Follow TV Tropes


Winds of Destiny, Change!

Go To

"Einstein would turn over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded."
Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, "Looking God in the Eye"

A character is able to alter the laws of probability for a local area, resulting in "good luck" for them or "bad luck" for the opponent in the form of random and unlikely incidents happening spontaneously. The Dragon chasing you over a suspension bridge? Use this power, and the bridge's otherwise imperceptible design flaws will suddenly make themselves present, causing the bridge to collapse just as you make it across, but before your pursuer does. Need to stop a supercomputer from launching nuclear winter? This power will cause its state-of-the-art, Nobel-prize-winning software to crash spectacularly.

The only thing bad about it? Usually, you won't have any control over how probability is altered. You can have a specific outcome in mind, but there will always be a chance it won't work, or worse, turn against you at the worst possible time (namely, whenever you're about to save the day). Meaning your control over the forces of reality... well, y'know... isn't. This may mean that while the universe will look out for them on the big stuff (their survival, saving the world) they might be very unlucky in normal life.

That said, because almost everything theoretically has a chance of happening, when cranked high enough, this power begins to overlap with Reality Warping. When this power lacks punch, on the other hand, it can easily slide into What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? for the reasons described above. Sometimes it even alternates between the two, and sometimes it can be both. Immune to Fate is related to this trope in a sense,note  but not completely comparable. Some interpretations or inversions of this power could be related to Doom Magnet.

This is for characters who can actively and consciously change the laws of probability in their area, or if such alterations would constitute a Necro Non Sequitur. Just having everything go your way is being Born Lucky. Keep that in mind when adding examples below.

In games, this kind of ability may be represented by a Luck Manipulation Mechanic.

Has nothing to do with They Changed It, Now It Sucks!.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • As an inversion of the trope, Himawari from ×××HOLiC randomly causes bad luck to anyone who tries to become close to her, with the exception of a few people: her parents and Doumeki. She can't control when it happens or who to.
  • This is the power of Ania Fortuna of Asura Cryin'. As a luck eater, she can remove or add to the luck of a person in the area by biting them. The uses for this are variable, from giving Tomoharu an edge in battle to making sure he's on the receiving end of pranks.
  • In Berserk, the Godhand and the Idea of Evil have a broad control of circumstance in their world. They extensively use this power to make the world as horrible as it possibly can, and acutely use it on Behelit-holders to spurn them into becoming Apostles.
  • Rouge, Vanessa's cat familiar formed out of the "Red Thread of Fate", from Black Clover can change the fate of the Black Bulls near it in their favor. Certain death attacks miss, strike the wrong area, or backfire as best suits Vanessa's mindset. She effectively rewrites fate to what's most optimal for them.
  • Bleach:
    • Moe Shishigawara has a luck-based Fullbring called Jackpot Knuckle. He boosts up his own luck while bringing bad luck to others. For example, it allows him to knock down trees and break bones with his punches even though his punches aren't that strong because they were unlucky enough to be fragile.
    • Gerard Valkyre's special power, The Miracle, allows him to alter probability to do seemingly impossible feats. For example, if he is outnumbered or outmatched, his power level will rise to even the odds. If his opponents attempt to hide from him, he'll find them immediately.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, the first Majin shown, One-Eyed Othinus has nigh-omnipotence, where the nigh part came from the fact that her powers are bound by the omnipotence paradox: she embodies every possibility, both success and failure, so whenever she tries to reality-warp, it has 50% chance of not working. In effect, her powers are like that: she has 50% chance of winning against anything, and 50% chance of losing against anything. She seeks to overcome this.
    • It turns out that all Majins used to have this problem when they first became Majin, which the Majins of True GREMLIN group had overcome. Aleister avoided this entirely by modifying his body so that he will not become a Majin, and instead makes up for it with...something else.
  • In Chivalry of a Failed Knight, Amane Shinomiya has this as his Blazer ability. Under the pretext of making wishes, he can bring anything his heart desires into reality. Problem is, he has no control over the routes his wishes take to come true. For instance, when fighting in the Seven Stars Sword-Art Festival he merely wishes "not to have to fight his opponent". Said opponent, a doctor, was forced to forfeit her match with him as every single one of her hospital patients had mysteriously come under critical condition, despite her double and triple checking that they were stable before leaving to compete. It turns out he does this for all of his matches, and as a result made it all the way to the semifinals without having to fight a single person.
    • What's more, the roundabout and coincidental nature of this ability makes tracking it back to Amane, the source, impossible. Even if there was evidence, he could simply wish for it to disappear.
    • It has a negative effect on his mental health as well, as people who learned of his powers in the past either refused to acknowledge his hard work (believing it was just more good luck), or outright abused and exploited him until he granted them good fortune. Naturally, this treatment turned him into a sociopath.
  • If Her Flag Breaks: Souta has the ability to see flags on top of people's heads, allowing him to see and change important events and choices in life. He can also break flags by taking action to prevent events he doesn't want to happen. He's not up on all the nuances, however, particularly when it comes to the way his friends' flags appear (or don't). Mei had a lesser form of the ability before she lost her memory.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind has 2 stands weaponizing this trope: King Crimson and Gold Experience Requiem. King Crimson can alter the future with a Required Secondary Power called Epitaph, while GER reverses the alterations done by King Crimson.
    • Stone Ocean has Dragon's Dream, which weaponizes feng shui and inflicts misfortune on an opponent whenever they move in a particular direction.
    • Steel Ball Run has an odd version in Pocoloco's stand. Instead of changing luck itself, it just whispers commands for him to follow, to make the most of his already rather sizeable luck, driving it from passable to ridiculously lucky.
      • Much later we have Valentine's Love Train, which allows him to redirect any misfortune aimed at him, such as physical damage, elsewhere across the world.
    • JoJolion has Les Feuilles, a Stand that works by making pathways on leaves and causing those who step on the leaves to move in ridiculously improbable (and unlucky, usually resulting in the person breaking and/or stealing something) ways before they can even notice it happened. This happens to Josuke and Joshu as well as the other denizens of Shakedown Road, and anyone who is aware of it is able to manipulate it for themselves.
      • Much later in JoJolion, there's Wonder of U, which triggers any time anyone attempts to pursue it or its user, activating all their stored-up negative Karma with interest. In effect, it seems to warp reality to force negative outcomes on opponents, to the point of rewriting the immediate past, making people suffer overly grievous injuries from otherwise harmless incidents, and even causing You Are Already Dead situations with no visible cause. The power is outrageously sensitive and completely unavoidable once triggered, to the point where entire family lines have been plagued by misfortune just by catching a glimpse of the Stand, and anyone who shows aggression to the Stand's user suffers a messy death in seconds.
  • In Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, the black Rukh grant the ability to alter destiny. The villains even come close to repeating the trope name verbatim when invoking the black Rukh power in the Balbadd arc. Later revealed to be an inversion. People already have the power to Screw Destiny since the White Rukh embodies Free Will. Black Rukh embodies destiny, and accepting its power means surrendering self-determination. This inevitably leads to suffering and death since that is what the entity that produces Black Rukh wants.
  • Medaka Box: Namanie Nienami, a member of one of the Kurokami branch families, wields a Style (a word-based ability) called "Contrary Conjuction"; using the word "therefore", she can switch probability itself, making the least-likely outcome the most-likely and vice versa. For example, there is no way her sword can cut an entire ocean liner in half, "therefore" she can cut it in half. But it can work against her as well; by fighting the weakest member of Hitoyoshi Zenkichi's Student Council (Zenkichi himself), she was matched up with the one opponent she was most likely to defeat, "therefore" she lost. She knew this would happen, she just didn't care (she's weird like that).
    • In order to defeat Shishime Iihiko (and knowing that she herself is too much of a Cloudcuckoolander to be reliable), she lends her "Contrary Conjunction" Style to Zenkichi; he was least likely to even stand up to Iihiko, "therefore" he could fight him. It doesn't last long enough for a straight victory on Zenkichi's part, but it does create the opening needed for Shiranui Hansode, whom Iihiko had possessed, to destroy her parasite with his own unstoppable power.
  • One Piece Film: Gold features Baccarat, one of Tesoro's lieutenants. She packs the power of the Lucky Lucky Fruit, rendering her able to freely take or grant luck with a touch. Tesoro usually has her use this to enslave important people with gambling debts by putting them on winning streaks and then taking away the granted luck in time to sucker them in to one final all-in bet, but in the film's climactic fight, she has absorbed so much luck from Tesoro's regular goons that the simple act of throwing a casino token into the air is able to spawn a series of improbable events that invariably end with her enemies getting hurt in some way. Defeating her requires Usopp to come up with a clever way of draining off that excess luck. The solution? Tricking her into winning a jackpot from a disguised slot machine.
  • Although not yet confirmed (and it possibly never will be), King from One-Punch Man seems to have this power on a subconscious level, as, despite being a physical weakling with no fighting abilities whatsoever, he is constantly threatened and challenged by powerful monsters and other enemies and always comes out on top due to a series of highly unlikely coincidences. This has happened so often that he has gained the reputation of being "The Strongest Man on Earth" and one of the most respected heroes in the S class.
  • Penguindrum's fifteenth episode reveals that Momoka's diary has the ability to change fate in exchange for something important to the user.
  • The main character in Psycho Busters appears to have this, with things like pieces of the ceiling falling to intercept attacks or the floor collapsing under his opponent's feet just before they attack. It turns out to be just highly precise subconscious time manipulation.
  • Erwin Schordinger's talent in Reincarnation No Kaben is called the Cat Chooser and allows him to decide the outcome of any given action within range as long as it's within the realm of possibility. This mean that even surrounded by expert marksmen, and wielding a single gun with which he isn't proficient, he can decide that all of them will miss while he will bullseye them with every shot. Unfortunately for him, his ability becomes pointless if he finds himself in a situation where his chances of victory are 0%.
  • Saki:
    • Amae Koromo. There are Born Lucky players who could get the Mahjong tiles they need almost all the time... and then there's her. She's not only Born Lucky, she can actually manipulate the luck of everyone around her so that no one else on the table could ever get a good hand unless she lets them.
    • The titular heroine, Miyanaga Saki, is quite clearly described by her to-be teammates in the first episode as having "superhuman luck" as if it were an actual superpower. Then again, considering the kind of ridiculous hands these people get, it probably is.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: The Supreme Goddess, matriarch of the ancient and powerful Goddess Clan, has this power. She can grant unto a person a fate that will occur even if others try to fight it. Only one who has power on par with her, such as her Evil Counterpart the Demon King, can hope of messing up the designed fate. In the series, she curses her daughter, the goddess Elizabeth, with a cruel destiny. She will be reborn again and again, having no memory of her life as a goddess, inevitably meeting with the perpetually immortal demon Meliodas, whom the original Elizabeth fell in love with, and while lacking proper memories of him, fall in love with him again. On the side, Meliodas is cursed with immortality and will recover from even fatal injuries in time by the Demon King for falling in love with a Goddess and siding against the Demon Clan in the great war. If she is told about any past lives with him, it will start to trigger her memories coming back and in three days she will die close to Meliodas and nothing he can do will save her. The reason for this curse: falling in love with Meliodas and working to save the lives of other demons. As of the current incarnation, she is the 107th Elizabeth Meliodas has met in the 3,000 years since the war ended and her memories are coming back. Major Spoiler: This time, Meliodas figures out a way to turn the trope on them: take all ten Commandments and become equal to the Demon King (as the Commandments were created by the Demon King supplying half his power), beat him, take his power to become equal to the Supreme Goddess, and use all that to break both of their curses.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Anti-Spirals have access to missiles that alter probability to prevent the targets from avoiding or blocking them. This technology is thrown right back at them in the final battle; missiles that can't miss happen to be perfect for Attenborough's favourite tactic: he targets every single point of space-time at once.
  • Horribly deconstructed in the first Tokyo Babylon OAV. Shinji Nagumo noticed he had such extremely good luck that he survived several accidents: he became so smug that he actually started to set different accidents involving him and his work rivals/superiors. . . so that he'd as much get small wounds, but the others would end up dead. I.e., he tampers with an elevator which falls down its hole with him and the head of the enterprise inside then stops mid-fall; as a result, Nagumo gets a broken arm and the old man dies of a heart attack, setting Nagumo as a possible successor to his director seat. Too bad the boss had hired Subaru Sumeragi believing that there was a curse in his company, so this puts Subaru and Seishirou in the case...
  • In Toriko, Ichiryuu's main ability, Minority World, is a passive and simple version of probability manipulation: He inverts chance. He uses it in combination with techniques with a Million to One Chance—under Minority World's effect, it becomes an almost guaranteed outcome. This backfires on him spectacularly when his opponent catches on and not only tries unlikely moves of his own but because Ichiryuu almost guaranteed death on his opponent—under normal circumstances—Minority World allowed him to keep living long enough to kill Ichiryuu.
    • Joie has Gourmet luck ability, which causes him to be extremely lucky. This power not only causes all his attacks to deal maximum possible damage but also makes all attacks directed at him miss or simply not work, making it a game-breaking power. In fact, one of his favorite strategies is to release flesh-melting fungus in the air around himself and wait until his opponent's body melts, while staying completely intact, since fungus doesn't affect him due to his luck. Sadly for him, he eventually come across Midora, who can copy any superpower, that was used against him. Unnatural luck included.
  • Played for Laughs in Tottemo! Luckyman, the eponymous character's only ability is luck and has the body stats of little kids, his punches are so slow that it takes half a minute to fully extend his arm, but that is all that he needs to be the most powerful Super Hero in the entire universe and the other 10 universes and the larger universe and stopped an invasion from the Inner Larger universe by pure luck. He can even save billions of dead people and recreate an entire universe(the 4th) when at "Infinitely Lucky Mode", that is when he combined with his home star, the Lucky Star. Problem is, if he is not under the light of the star, his bad luck can kill him without him doing anything at all.
  • Undead Unluck: Fuuko's power "Unluck" causes people to suffer serious, usually fatal accidents shortly after making skin-to-skin contact with her. She cannot prevent this and doesn't know exactly what the accident will be, but the type of contact dictates the severity of the accident. Touching her bare chest caused large pieces of rubble to fall off. Tightly hugging her parents made their plane explode on the runway. Kissing Andy on the cheek brought a meteor down on him. After regenerating from that last one, Andy theorizes having sex together would do something even crazier, though she obviously refuses to explore that one.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne. The primary antagonists have built a machine to see - and alter - the fate of human beings; their ultimate goal is to do this to the entire world, which they believe justifies their numerous atrocities. Played most straight with the "Intensified Luck Soldiers" Naria and Eirya, who get powered up with "lucky blood" which causes, among other things, lasers fired at them to bend off-course, swords swung at them to veer dramatically off to the side and flying mechs pursuing them to spontaneously power-off and drop out of the sky. Unfortunately for the two of them, that blood proves to be Power at a Price. Also, the antagonists' power doesn't work well around Hitomi - her optimism, fortunetelling skills, and Atlantean Clap Your Hands If You Believe pendant are enough to trump the machine without her even thinking about it, and when she's close to Van, it's enough to shut it down completely. That's just when she's physically close to him; when she feels emotionally close to him, it's as if such a machine is being used against them!note 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Atem/Atemu has the power to manipulate destiny, but only after learning his true name, which he specifically wiped from his own memories to hide the power from Zorc Necrophades. Supposedly, anyone can pull this trick off, with the aforementioned character just really, really good at it. (Good enough to play Xanatos Speed Chess with an Eldritch Abomination, in fact!)
    • Judai of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX proves to be capable of defying the predictions of Saiou, an otherwise omniscient seer.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, this is a power of Number 7: Lucky Straight, which is exactly why CharlieMcCay stole it, albeit to give his niece who was about to undergo a risky procedure. The card also makes his luck-focused deck nearly unstoppable, with him having 10,000 LP at one point in the duel.
  • Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs: Chitose Nakai, the manager of Yuragi-sou, has this power as a Zashiki-warashi. She uses it to get rid of the Godunn Mass in Chapter 2; she reverses the bad fortune that made them become priests in the first place (baldness, debt, family problems), so they spontaneously quit and leave. Although she can manipulate luck, she can't actually create luck, which means forcing something fortunate to happen to someone right away will leave them with less overall fortune over the rest of their life. Also, if she tries to make something unlucky happen to someone, it'll result in something equally unlucky happening to her later.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • The super-villainess Hazard causes bad luck for her opponents by tossing a pair of dice (that always come up snake-eyes).
    • The villain/hero/villain again/hero again Major Disaster's probability-altering powers allow him to cause apparently anything that can be labeled a "disaster" e.g. earthquakes, meteor showers, power outages, heart attacks, etc. Not to mention an "entropy shield" that causes bullets and such to miss him.
  • The Incredible Hercules: Amadeus Cho is eventually revealed to have a variation of this power. When sufficiently charged up (usually via sugar), he can actually see the formulae of event probability, and pick or dismiss which ones he wants to happen or doesn't, essentially setting off Rube Goldberg Devices of reality warping. Especially fun when he uses it on telepathic opponents, as they can also see what he's doing, but most can't duplicate or even keep up with it.
  • Classic Justice League of America villain Amos Fortune has this power, with various bizarre explanations over the years, ranging from "luck glands", to a mysterious radiation that emanates from playing cards, to chaos theory. Eventually they gave up on the technobabble and just said it was magic.
  • Talisman from the Justice Machine comics had this power. One standard tactic of the team (much to Talisman's disgust) was to throw Talisman towards their enemies. This would invariably result in the bad guys' guns jamming as they attempted to shoot Talisman.
  • Wanda Maximoff - aka the Scarlet Witch - who pretty much launched this trope. Her power is usually described in the comics as the power to alter probabilities, changing the odds of something happening (Spontaneous Combustion, entropy, changes in weather) from very unlikely to a dead certainty. That's before it got kicked up to total omnipotence. On the downside, it also increased the odds of making contact with the horrible demon sealed in the mountain near her home. This is both the reason for her increased power and the long, long Trauma Conga Line that is her life.
  • Shamrock (Marvel's attempt at an Irish Captain Ethnic) is somewhere between this and Born Lucky. She's accompanied by ghosts that manipulate events in her favor in return for her helping them resolve Unfinished Business. Note that this isn't always a good thing—her fight with Deadpool in Marvel Zombies went the same way as the Ultraheroes example above, when Deadpool convinced her that death was preferable to living on in a ruined world.
  • Spider-Man's ally/enemy/would-be Love Interest Black Cat invoked this ability in her debut, although it turned out she had actually visited the scene beforehand and boobytrapped it to stage that she had superpowers. Then, after she decided that the Badass Normal routine wasn't going to cut it, she sought a favor from the Kingpin behind Spidey's back and he imbued her with the ability to negatively affect probability around her, in the first of her on-again-off-again relationship with superpowers. Spidey eventually had her Depowered because she suffered Power Incontinence with these abilities and so endangered him. This made her very angry with him because he both failed to ask her beforehand and also stripped her of her powers when she was in the middle of a life-and-death struggle. In the early 2020s, she had cybernetic implants installed to give her back her bad luck powers. Alternative continuities have instead presented Felicia as a latent or unrealized mutant who can afflict others with bad luck but may not yet have control over it.
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: The protagonist Zayne Carrick has this "special relationship" with the Force as explicit power, although he only learns about it in the final arc.
  • One story from anthology Strange Adventures opened with a crook getting caught entirely by chance. Out early on good behavior, he spends years studying probability mathematics, culminating in engineering a handheld device that verbally calculates the odds against suggested outcomes occurring before nullifying them to make whatever he wants spontaneously occur. After using it to great success, when he attempts to use it to Take Over the World it spontaneously develops sentience and a conscience and activates itself to asphyxiate him and save the world from his greed.
  • In the "Ultraheroes" Affectionate Parody of superheroes story running in Walt Disney's Comics #701, Gladstone Gander, already Born Lucky, is upgraded to the ultrahero "Cloverleaf" with this power. He then engages the also upgraded Pegleg Pete in a Curbstomp Battle. At least until Pete's dogged determination to keep on fighting despite how badly outmatched he was engaged the crowd's tendency to root for the underdog. Since Cloverleaf's motivation for heroic acts is to gain favorable public attention, he wished he were on the losing end—and his powers instantly fulfilled that desire.
  • Longshot from the X-Men has this ability, though it's magical and not a mutant power. Further, it has a catch that he can't use it for selfish gain. Defending himself is fine, but no trips to Vegas. The villainess Roulette also had this power, her psychic energy manifesting as red chips for good luck and black chips for bad. Domino is often cited as well, but her powers are more Born Lucky than this trope since she doesn't directly control what happens.

    Fan Works 
  • The Avatar in A Champion in Earth-Bet can, a few times a day, cause extremely improbable events to affect the battlefield. Notably, unlike the rest of his powers, this one is completely impossible for precognition to account for, which is the only reason he has a semblance of a fighting chance against the Simurgh.
  • Child of the Storm has the Trope Namer, Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch. She normally uses her magic - trained by Doctor Strange since she was a child - but she uses her mutant power for some of the big stuff. Like dropping a piece of space junk on a King Mook with pinpoint precision, splattering it across Chicago's streets. Then, when she finally catches up with Sinister in the sequel, the architect or enabler of much of her godson's childhood misery, she... well... basically, she points at him and sets reality to randomize. The results are not pretty. But damn, he deserves it.
  • The Korean fan game Danganronpa Another gives Utsuro, whose fortune surpasses even Nagito's. Called Divine Luck, it grants him borderline Reality Warping abilities that always benefit him and those around him. However, this not only left him with no sense of satisfaction or accomplishment, since he's always guaranteed to succeed, but everyone he knew- including his own parents- got greedy and tried to exploit his Divine Luck for their own benefit, eventually forcing him to live alone on the streets.
  • Doctor Whooves Adventures has the twins Murphy and Yphrum who have this hard. Neither of them can control this, and being a living Bad Luck Charm / Good Luck Charm respectively has, in effect, ruined their lives.
  • In the Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog fanfiction A Shiny New Australia, Penny is revealed to have this power.
  • Boo from Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons has this ability due to being possessed by Discord until his apparent death in chapter 65.
  • Gaz's Horrible Halloween of Doom: As revenge for destroying an offering that Dib was going to make in his name, Samhain curses Gaz with terrible luck on Halloween, her favorite holiday.
  • In Gaz The Jungle Girl's Bad Day, the spider god Anansi notices that Dib has a high level of bad luck that he doesn't deserve, while Gaz has a high level of good luck that she doesn't deserve, either. So he switches their levels of luck around, resulting in Gaz getting a Humiliation Conga while Dib gets a bone thrown toward him.
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • Rota Fortuna implies she can do this, being the Anthropomorphic Personification of Fate, but won't do it, as doing so would mean she's picking favorites, something she will never do.
    • It's revealed that Clover's Special Talent for luck is actually her subconsciously doing this. The reason she has the ability is she's the descendant of Rota Fortuna's mortal incarnation.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Brave, the Witch's spells are presented as a means to change one's fate. However, they aren't straightforward as Merida's request for a spell to "change" her mother results in her being turned into bear, just as what happened to the prince who became Mor'du when he desired a spell to give him The Strength of Ten Men. That said, the spell does work as Merida wanted as her dynamic with her mother changes over the course of their adventure together.
  • In Tangled, the song that invokes the flower and later the hair calls on this.
    Heal what has been hurt
    Change the Fates' design
    Save what has been lost
    Bring back what once was mine

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Domino example in Comic Books above is used again for Deadpool 2, but Deadpool doesn't believe it's a superpower nor does he consider it very cinematic. The movie goes out of its way to disagree with him.
  • This is one of the ways the Force can manifest itself in the Star Wars universe. Sometimes directly, as in the example above from the Knights of the Old Republic comic, with a character who warps chance. Sometimes indirectly, as with Anakin in The Phantom Menace, who appeared to be a much better pod-racer than he actually was because he could see the future. Sometimes very indirectly as the Force takes you toward your destiny, willing or no. In a very meta way, this is what the Dark Side of the Force is. The Force is Space Daoism, and the Light Side means living in harmony with the Force, following its plan for the galaxy. The Dark Side means living out of harmony, opposing the will of the Force and instead forcing it to your own will. So, by the Lucas definition, every Sith lord is actively using this trope.

  • The keeper of The Affix can sometimes leverage the gem's tendency to radically mess with probability, but it can backfire. Matt discovers this the hard way when he threatens to strike the Professor—who's driving the convertible they're both in—with lightning. It works, but the "lightning" is painted on the side of a truck that broadsides the car, and the drunk driver who hit them is the guy whose name Matt has been using as an alias.
  • The Lazy Guns from Against a Dark Background worked by causing an unlikely event when you pulled the trigger on someone: instead of simply being shot, an anchor might fall on them and kill them. If shot at a ship, a tidal wave could destroy it.
  • Luna of the Alex Verus series suffers a curse that causes her to essentially steal luck from those around her, causing misfortune to anyone who crosses her path in exchange for being essentially immune to random accidents herself. If that sounds handy, that's because it's actually a variant on a defensive spell: the curse is that she can't turn it off, making long-term relationships extremely difficult.
  • Beowulf: The titular hero himself says, "Fate often saves an undoomed man, if his courage is good." Implying that most anyone can alter their own fate by their actions... but if you're doomed you're doomed. It should be noted that this is actually an aversion; in the context of the poem, 'doom' means 'unchangeable destiny'. So you can change your fate unless that fate has been specifically written.
  • The Chaos Weapon by Colin Kapp is a Wave-Motion Gun with this capability: if something bad will ever happen in the target area, the Chaos Weapon can make it happen NOW. Lightning strikes, dams giving way, earthquakes.... and at least some of the power needed to move the event from its proper place in space-time winds up increasing the violence of the event.
  • As explained in the appendixes of the The Death Gate Cycle, Patryn and Sartan magic is based on modifying probabilities so that the outcome you want happens, instead of what was most likely to happen.
  • In Wolfgang Hohlbein's Die Rückkehr der Zauberer (Return of the Sorcerers) having luck is the protagonist's main ability. Examples of use are him finding a pack of zigarettes, manipulating cards (making him always predict the wrong card), or turning all traffic lights green when he drives at over 60 mph through the city.
  • In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency Bart's calling as a "holistic assassin" works like this. So long as she wanders around killing anyone she feels like she's supposed to kill, luck favors her to the point she's unstoppable. Guns pointed at her fail to fire or miss and the bullets rebound to her advantage, no matter how sloppily she aims a gun it will kill her target, whatever route she chooses will evade police despite no particular attempt to hide from them, and any bonds constraining her will happen to break when she decides to free herself.
  • In The Dresden Files, several villains can cast "entropy curses" which cause their targets to suffer convenient accidental deaths. Exactly what kind of accidental death is heavily influenced by who's casting the curse; when the caster has a practical, organized personality, the "accidents" are simple and unremarkable, but when cast by someone undisciplined and prone to dramatics, the curses tend to result in things like the target getting hit by a car... while water skiing. Or someone being crushed by a frozen turkey that fell out of an airplane. (The temperature sensor then popped while everyone was staring at the crushed body, in the middle of a fight scene.) To a lesser extent, all wizards are stated to have this going on all the time - it's how the Magic Versus Science thing works. Wizards are Walking Tech Banes—the presence of magic naturally causes machines to glitch: the stronger the magic or the more complex the machine, the worse the glitches. Though this only applies to humans, as fae and others are more sure of who and what they are so no "stray bits" get loose.
    • According to Maggie, Mouse has abilities of this kind. While they aren't particularly overt, it is well within his capabilities to ensure that your favorite restaurant just happens to have a free table when you want to go out to dinner, or that all the traffic lights on your commute are green when you pass them.
  • Harry Potter:
    • There exists a potion called Felix Felicis, which will make a person phenomenally, impossibly lucky. This example plays out a bit differently, however, as the potion merely leads the drinker to the best possible results, by giving them subconscious suggestions on where to go, what to say, etc. Because everything will go right for the drinker, it is considered cheating to use this potion to help make the right bet, during a Quidditch match, or a test at school, etc. The drawback comes in that it is a dangerously tricky potion to make and frequent use can lead to overconfidence. Also it is stated that luck can't do everything, as we find out at the end of book six.
    • The tie-in book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gives us the exact opposite of Felix with the Mackled Malaclaw. It has a venom that will make the victim impossibly unlucky, and the book even warns that a victim should cancel any bets, duels, tests, etc. until the venom is cured or wears off, as they are sure to go against the victim.
    • Voldemort (Tom Riddle at the time), puts a curse on the Defense of the Dark Arts position that makes it impossible for any teacher to hold it for more than a year. Some of their fates are nastier than others.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has the Infinite Improbability Drive, which uses extremely unlikely happenings to power the Heart of Gold spaceship. Particularly it's used as a kind of Warp Drive, by temporarily making everything happen before settling on the desired outcome, that being the ship already being at the set location. It requires calibration between use, as a Blind Jump carries Unpredictable Results not just for transit, but potentially reality.
  • In InCryptid, this is the jink species's hat. They can sense and manipulate luck, usually their own but also consuming that of others nearby. If a jink lives mainly on bad luck, they'll have a bunch of small disasters, but no really huge catastrophes. Conversely, a jink who lives mostly on good luck will have great fortune, but also great loss.
  • Keepers Chronicles: The Keepers have the ability to alter reality by changing the probability that certain actions can or will occur. For example, the heroine can take her familiar, a talking cat, into a restaurant to eat by changing the probabilities that anyone inside the restaurant will notice anything out of the ordinary. Or, she can get a noisome person to vacate her presence by increasing the probability that they need to get to the nearest toilet, immediately.
  • The titular protagonist from Leven Thumps is an offing, which means he has both the power to see a bit into the future and manipulate it, although he cannot always control how he manipulates it.
  • According to some supplemental material, the Lovecraftian god Nyarlathotep seems to have the ability to tweak probabilities to go to his favor, although it only seems to apply to small-scale stuff. His real power is being a Shapeshifter Chessmaster (and a god).
  • Quite a few of powerful beings in Nightside have a form of this as a power. King of Skin knows your biggest fears and can alter reality to make them appear right here, right now. Count Video rewrites history by choosing and enforcing an alternative time track. Count Entropy and later his son could pick and choose any Million to One Chance in anything and make it a dominant one.
  • Night Watch (Series):
    • Curses on people result in an attraction of bad luck to that person. Cursing is an ability even normal people can do — and is why the Light Others are so careful about swearing about someone doing something.
    • The Others can also look at their "probability threads", their possible fates in the next few hours and pick their paths accordingly. A conscious and inverted version of this trope, if you will.
  • Justified the hell out of in Quarantine (1992). Something involving quantum mechanics, wavefunction collapse, and an "eigenstate mod." I could try to explain it more, but we'd just both end up confused. Unfortunately, since this particular gift is distributed as a body modification, chaos breaks out when a city's inhabitants receive the mod: almost every single citizen temporarily becomes a Reality Warper, and though the rest of the world is apparently unaffected, reality is still out to lunch in that particular city.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Lindsay the Luck Fairy has good luck powers.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: Fitz, from the Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, is a Catalyst. A Catalyst is periodically born in conjunction with a White Prophet who can see possible futures. The Catalyst alters circumstances just by existing, causing the possible futures the Prophet can see to multiply and better enable him to guide the world down the right path. It's rarely a pleasant experience for the Catalyst.
  • In the Kurt Vonnegut short story "Report on the Barnhouse Effect," Prof. Arthur Barnhouse develops the ability to alter probability by keeping a particular series of thoughts in his head. At first, it manifests as being able to roll snake eyes on dice at will (50 consecutive times, the first time he tried it). It eventually strengthens until he can cause various effects to happen at will, including machines falling apart simply because he wanted them to. Fearing being turned into a weapon, he goes into hiding and uses his powers to unilaterally disarm the world's militaries. He teaches the narrator, a former student of his, how to continue his work in the coda.
  • In Larry Niven's Ringworld series, it's established early on that the Piersens' Puppeteers had been breeding humankind for pure dumb luck. When Nessus attempts to recruit one of the more lucky members of the species in order to improve the odds of their mission, all of the candidates just happen to be on vacation or are having communication glitches, or are simply impossible to locate. Only one of these people is found and, unfortunately, her luck is more centered around her living a full life rather than being centered around her remaining comfortable and content, ultimately leading to the events in the book.
    • Not only is she lucky, she's descended from a line of people who were only born because their parents were lucky enough to win the birthright lottery for several generations.
    • In the second book, her luck turns away from her after she becomes a Protector and makes the conscious choice to allow Louis to kill her.
  • In Super Powereds, this is Nick's ability, which is vaguely explained as something to do with quantum probabilities. Since he's a Powered at the start of the series, it happens randomly and could be either good, bad, or both. For example, just before being chosen for the program, he wins a lottery. While celebrating in the street, he's hit by a vehicle and is sent flying; luckily, he hits a bouncy castle in someone's yard. Unluckily, said bouncy castle's compressor then explodes. For bonus points, his winnings end up just covering his hospital bills and the settlement with the owner of the bouncy castle. After the procedure turns him into a Super, he gains full control of it. When he engages it at full power at the end of the first novel, he causes a truck speeding along a highway to experience every possible malfunction at the same time, instantly turning it into a mangled wreck. In a later book, he's given a taste of his potential power and is able to see and manipulate probabilities on a nearly quantum level, effectively making him invincible.
  • The magic in C. J. Cherryh's Sword of Knowledge books consists entirely of causing the target to have good or bad luck.
  • Aornis Hades from the Thursday Next series had the latent ability to cause extremely unlikely misfortunes: being struck by lightning, or being crushed by a car jettisoned from a zeppelin. This is explained as some sort of entropy manipulation. It causes all manner of bizarre coincidences beforehand that can tip off the intended victim, but that's only useful if you know about it. It can even be used in your favor: Thursday at one point tries to find a certain person's telephone number, but the phone book lists more than 50 people with that name. She just pierces the page with a pencil right before leaping out of the way of a car — and, of course the pencil hit the right one.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The ta'veren have this to varying degrees (which also varies arbitrarily over time), but they have absolutely no control over it and no way to turn it off. Things can get really weird across an entire city around them at times. Moreover, the same power in fact pushes them (and those around them) towards their destinies, for better or worse. Not so much Screw Destiny as a superpower as You Can't Fight Fate. The power seems to have specific effects for each of the ta'veren. Mat's power seems to directly tweak probability, one time actually rolling a perfect roll with a set of dice weighted to land slightly lower than a perfect roll. Perrin's seems to tweak people, making them say or do things they wouldn't normally do. Rand just causes everything in a very wide area to go haywire just by being there long enough.
    • Late in the series, there are signs that ta'veren can have some control of their power and literally twist the Pattern of Ages to their will. Rand starts threatening to will people to death, and though he doesn't actually do it, it's treated as a real possibility. It may also counter the Dark One's taint on the land itself. For example — it appears that all the foodstuffs in a ship's hold are rotten. Until Rand shows up and the bags opened from there on out are fine. They just happened to check only the rotten ones before. This seems to have something to do with the ta'veren's intent. When Rand is despairing and verging on destroying the world himself, he stops causing any good events, only bad ones. After he gets some Epiphany Therapy, the opposite seems to happen.
  • Xanth:
    • The main character, Bink, in A Spell for Chameleon has a magical ability never to be harmed by magic; he has no control of this power and the power always manages to make it look like his survival was purely by chance, so for a long time, everyone assumed that Bink had no magic ability at all. The rationale for this subtlety seems to be that if Bink's enemies knew that he was invulnerable to magic, they would use non-magical means to harm him, so his own magic talent kept itself hidden. However, considering that any method of discovering his talent would be magical, and therefore influenced by his talent, this may be a slight Plot Hole (or not — not all means of finding things out are magical, just the most convenient ones). Later books seem to indicate that Bink's power grew from just protecting him from magic to making him the luckiest person to ever live. Some characters speculate that his powers actually managed to manipulate the True Neutral Eldritch Abomination that serves as Xanth's God and source of all magic, and that his luck also partially protects his many descendants as well. Essentially, Bink's power is unconsciously causing the universe to play Gambit Roulette in his favor.
    • This is Magician Murphy's magical talent: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Unfortunately, while he can control the end result he is seeking, he cannot control what will go wrong in order to make that happen. Initially he uses it for himself, but later uses it on another's behalf (causing the other person's enemies to suffer). His Heel–Face Turn basically came when he had to invoke his talent on behalf of his son, Grey, who was drawn to Xanth on his own and about to be forced to serve the morally-ambiguous Com Pewter — the curse worked when Grey became an apprentice under Good Magician Humphrey, whose obligations trump anyone else's.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Trance from Andromeda has the power of luck, and if made to guess, will usually guess correctly despite extraordinary odds. Also, her presence might cover what in other TV shows is taken for granted: none of the main characters die, and the Andromeda doesn't explode.
    • In a later episode, it turns out that she actually is able to see the multitude of divergent futures and follow them through to where the main characters don't die. It gets really burdensome on her.
    • In an early episode, an attempt to teach Trance to navigate Slipstream results in the ship ending up in the past. While some speculate that she has trouble actually guessing (this is a requirement for Slipstream travel, which is why a living pilot is needed, since machines can't guess randomly), others think that the time jump may have been intentional (the results massively altered the timeline to allow the show to happen). Also, she is later shown piloting through Slipstream without problems.
  • The leprechauns of Charmed (1998) can bestow good or bad luck on someone. The episode "Lucky Charmed" involves a demon who is threatening the community of leprechauns, and ends with this demon getting hit by a meteor.
  • In The Flash (2014), Becky Sharpe (a.k.a. Hazard) develops this ability, which is, at first, unintentional. Basically, being unlucky all her life, she is suddenly incredibly lucky. Unfortunately, the quantum field she's generating is affecting everyone else around her, making them unlucky. The effect gets worse the more she uses her luck, and the field is expanding. Then she visits a casino and goes on a winning streak, resulting in the city nearly suffering another particle accelerator explosion. Barry's attempts to stop her invariably end up being thwarted by increasingly improbable events, such as him slipping on marbles at superspeed or a sign falling on him, causing him to accidentally put the power-dampening handcuffs on himself. She's eventually stopped and put in Iron Heights and is actually glad that she's no longer hurting anyone. Later, after Barry helps the bus metas break, out, the others turn on Barry. Becky blocks him. When the others try to attack her, she tells them "good luck with that". She then proves capable of controlling her power, causing a series of Disaster Dominoes that disables the others, while causing Amunet to kill all of Warden Wolfe's men.
  • The Fringe episode "The Plateau" features a guy who zigzags this trope. Rather than changing probability or destiny, his powers of logical prediction are so phenomenal that he can use Disaster Dominoes to do things like assassinate people. He comes undone when Olivia makes a suicidal pursuit of him through a toxic area without breathing gear — something he could never have accounted for because he didn't know Olivia was from an Alternate Dimension.
  • Kamen Rider Zi-O: White Woz has a special tablet that he can use to make a certain future happen. It's impossible to avoid once he writes it in. For instance, when he wrote that someone will be in a car accident, not even Time Stands Still powers could stop it. However, unlike most examples of this trope, he has specific limits. He cannot make a future unless it has a chance of happening, as such he cannot create Transformation Trinkets of future Riders unless he knows there is a significant chance of that Rider existing in the future. He also has to physically write in the tablet or use a voice recognition module to make that future happen, so anyone can interrupt him. It's also possible to trick White Woz into writing something that doesn't mean what he intended for it to mean, such as by failing to specify if he writes "Woz" that he means himself and not Black Woz.
  • In Red Dwarf, this power is bestowed upon anyone who contracts the good luck virus. Lister uses it twice in the series to perform such feats as finding discarded fully functional weapons and correctly guessing a security password on his first try.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Rivals", the central guest character obtains a device from a dying alien that allows probability to be altered. He then uses the replicator to create larger versions, which then go on to wreak havoc throughout the station. When the crew figure out what's going on, they destroy the devices, which are then never heard of again. Nobody even realized that this was what they did until the very end of the episode; they were being used as slot machines.
  • Chance Harper's main ability from the old FOX show, Strange Luck, is a version of this. He can't directly control his luck, but having had it all his life, he's learned how to work with it and to some degree how to predict it. He works as a freelance photographer because he's "going to be in the wrong place at the right time anyway," and pays his diner tab by buying a few scratch-off lottery tickets, always winning enough to cover his meal plus a nice tip for the waitress. Chance never tries to profit from his luck, having learned long ago that pushing his luck will backfire.
  • Supernatural:
    • An episode revolved around a rabbit's foot that was stolen from one of John's storage units. The foot would bestow great luck on its owner...until they lost it, after which their luck would be nothing but awful. Death was soon to follow, and it was hilarious. Poor Sam.
    • In Season 6, the boys learn they have enraged one of the three fates by stopping the destined apocalypse. She decides to kill them and thus they face a gauntlet of potentially deadly accidents.
    • In the 15th Season, it's revealed that God himself put a circle of good luck around the Winchesters because they were the heroes of his story and he didn't want them to die randomly, go to prison or deal with many of the hassles of daily life. When he removes this, Sam and Dean are suddenly faced with mundanities like cavities and expired credit cards.
  • WandaVision: Agatha suggests that the reason the second bomb that hit Wanda's apartment was a dud was because she subconsciously cast a probability hex to make it so. For her part, Wanda simply chalks her survival up to dumb luck, and it's left ambiguous whether or not she actually has this power.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): One-Shot Character Bonnie Murphy, in the "Girl With a Gift for Disaster", produces bad luck whenever she's agitated.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Ivan has the ability to form a representation of an event through any media of his choice (i.e. using a chessboard to represent an actual battle). He can then manipulate the media, in turn affecting how the event itself turns out. The manifestation of his power is always subtle, giving one side a minor advantage over the other.
    • Mirielle has the ability to see people's relationships, visualized as strings that come off their body. This includes their relationship with fate, which she can manipulate to force a good, bad, or neutral outcome on someone.
    • Jae is in possession of 'karma' powers: by snapping her fingers, she can cause good events to happen to people who do good things (and vice versa, causing bad events for people who are up to no good).
  • Fire Emblem On Forums: The Inquisitor class skill Benediction grants the power to change dice rolls in their favour, while the Monk has access to Faith, allowing them to force attacks to be rerolled to take the most favorable (to the Monk) roll. Some games have access to a Seer class, whose entire class gimmick allows them to manipulate dice rolls.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The fate point mechanic in the Fate System, Spirit of the Century, The Dresden Files et al., is by default this more on the player than the actual character level in that spending fate points lets players alter the outcome of dice rolls and establish narrative details for their characters' benefit, especially with an appropriate aspect to back them up, but doesn't necessarily reflect so much any specific distinct 'in-universe' power. However, as long as the ability doesn't need to be mechanically more powerful than other aspect invocations, simply picking an aspect like, say, "Implausible Luck" or "Weirdness Magnet" (they're freeform) is all the narrative excuse a character needs to embody this trope while the player's supply of fate points lasts... and as with any aspect, more can always be earned by allowing it to work against the character every so often, too.
  • Complete Scoundrel gave luck feats and even a prestige class based upon them to Dungeons & Dragons.
    • There's also the Fatespinner (Song and Silence, later updated in Complete Arcane) and Luckstealer (Races of the Wild) prestige classes for spellcasters that like to manipulate fate.
    • For the gods in Deities and Demigods, the salient divine ability "Power of Luck" is basically this trope, and its strength is proportional to how many divine ranks the deity has.note 
    • In the 1st Edition Forgotten Realms boxed campaign set, Beshaba is the deity of Mischief, Misfortune, Ill Luck, and Accidents. Surefire plans go awry, stout weapons or walls suddenly give way, and freak accidents occur to man and beast in places where she has been.
    • The third-party Tome of Artifacts includes the Lucky Coin, which not only makes the user Born Lucky (providing a bunch of small static bonuses) but also allows them to do this, an ability called Push Luck (giving them tons of free rerolls). Its downside is that mucking with probability tends to cause the universe to snap back, which means that people with the Coin tend to suffer bizarre, random calamities (their roof falling in on them, being attacked by a dragon out of nowhere, or their best friend turning out to be an evil vampire).
      • Fifth edition includes the halfling feature 'lucky', the feat 'lucky', and the divination wizard.
  • Exalted: The very act of channeling Virtue is exactly this. Then in the Sidereal manual, it's revealed that the very act of spending Essence overrides the power of the Loom of Fate, and the pattern spiders who maintain the Loom must rewrite destiny in accordance with the effect used or suffer causality errors. So the wind regularly blows for Essence users, the biggest of which are your player characters.
    • 3e introduces the Getimian Exalted, whose internal anatomy has been replaced with their own personal Loom of Fate. Thanks to that, they can control their own fate, and disrupt the weave of Creation's Loom by unleashing fates they've created.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Tzeentch, the Chaos God of Gambit Roulette from Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 has fate as part of his portfolio, and as such he and his minions manipulate fate and luck as a matter of course.
    • In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, the Fatemasters of the Arcanite Cults are blessed with the ability to alter the strands of fate to aid their fellow Cultists. In-game this is represented by the ability to grant a re-roll to nearby Tzeentch Mortal units.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • The Divination Psychic Discipline has some powers that can manipulate fate, such as "Misfortune", which twists the fate of his allies so that their blows strike their enemy’s weak points with unearning accuracy.
      • As its name suggests, the Runes of Fate Eldar Psychic Discipline specialises in the manipulation of the paths of destiny. Eldar Farseers use the powers of this Discipline to alter fate to bring fortune to their allies and doom to their enemies.
  • Godlike has the Aces power, which gives good luck to your rolls, and Jinx, which gives bad luck to your enemies. Justified that both of these powers use up lots of Will, the fuel that makes your powers work. Run out of will and your powers stop working until you get some more. The Aces power can even be improved with the 'Flamboyant' extra, which makes your powers go off in very obvious ways.
  • GURPS: Luck and its upgrades: Extraordinary Luck, Ludicrous Luck, and Super Luck. Serendipity is closer to Born Lucky than this trope, and a beneficial Destiny is closer to Because Destiny Says So, but either could fall under this trope depending on the GM's interpretation.
  • Magic in the Maelstrom gaming system worked by warping probability in this way. There were different grades of spells, ranging from "likely" through "unlikely" and "wildly improbable" to "completely impossible."
  • Magic: The Gathering has numerous cards that allow a player to partially stack, reshuffle, or otherwise manipulate either their or their opponent's deck. A classic example is Portent while Preordain makes decks draw what they need so consistently that it had to be banned in Modern.
  • Marvel Super Heroes had the power of "Luck" - in a game where everything was determined by percentile dice, this allowed the character to ALWAYS take the higher die as the 'tens' digit, making it INORDINATELY powerful to have.
  • Mutants & Masterminds, 2nd Edition has Probability Control, a power that sets the minimum result of a roll equal to the number of ranks you have in it. It's possible to have 20 ranks in it... though it's expensive as hell. In addition, 20s produced this way are not criticals.
    • There's also Luck Control, a power that allows you to use Hero Points (usually spent to boost yourself) to help others, force others to reroll and take the worst of the two rolls, or cancel out "GM Fiat." This is usually combined with the feat Lucky to gain bonus starting Hero Points every adventure.
      • There is some debate over which of the two is better at manipulating fate. Probability Controll is more reliable and easier to use, but it cannot be used to make things worse for your enemies or cancel out a GM's "cause I said so". A lot of players solve the debate by taking both and make screwing the Dice Lords their main strategy.
  • Planescape: It seems like this power is accidentally introduced in the 2nd edition The Planewalker's Handbook. The Celestial Etheroscope is a device that can predict the tides of fortune on a particular plane of existence. When you use it, you roll the dice to see what's going to happen on the plane, and the results indicate various degrees of good or bad luck for the locals, explained partly in game mechanical terms. The odd thing is that there's no mention anywhere that the planes ever get such luck modifiers unless someone used a Celestial Etheroscope — so it not only predicts them but causes them. Of course, the direction of the result can't be controlled by the user.
  • This is the power of the villain Kismet in Sentinels of the Multiverse but it comes with a twist. Probability and destiny don't like being messed with so when she causes herself to have good luck it rebounds and then gives her bad luck. So instead she causes bad luck for others which rebounds into giving her good luck. It's weird.
  • This is essentially how most magick works in Unknown Armies - while some spells do allow for blatant violations of physics, most of it just changes the probability that something you do (like lying, attacking, or trying to dodge a car) will succeed. Of particular note are Entropomancers, whose entire shtick is surrendering themselves to fate in exchange for the power to manipulate it, and the Ritual of Light, a very powerful spell that puts this ability in the hands of the players, allowing them to decide the outcomes of actions by vote instead of dice rolls.
  • The World of Darkness games have a couple of examples:
    • Mage: The Ascension covers this power under the Entropy sphere. In Mage: The Awakening, it's covered under Fate.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has "Xochipilli's touch" for Nuwisha. It grants a target the Nuwisha's choice of "good" or "bad" luck as determined by the storyteller. Then again the only control the Nuwisha can exert is if the luck is "good" or "bad", a time delay of up to a few hours, and if the luck is "Extremely improbable" or not.
    • New World of Darkness-only examples:
      • Changeling: The Lost has the Contracts of Hearth, powers that affect a person's luck with the caveat that they can't be used too much. The caveat responds to the magnitude of the power — a power that impedes another person can't be used on them more than once per day, a power that blesses another person's action can't be used for the exact same purpose twice per day, and a power that grants a truly monumental success can't be used more than once per year. Attempts to go against these provisions backfire. Badly.
      • Vampire: The Requiem has the Bohagande bloodline, with the power to steal others' luck for their own use.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! also features tons of cards that allows searching own deck or force the opponent to shuffle their deck.

    • Toa Jaller has the Mask of Fate in his Inika form, which passively applies this to his physical actions. In practice, it acts as a Mask of Reflexes (or if you're feeling snarky, a Mask of Action Film Moves or perhaps a Mask of Take 20), allowing him to pull off theoretically-possible-but-extremely-unlikely stunts.
    • Toa Nikila has the Mask of Possibilities, which is closer to the spirit of the trope by the fact that it affects probabilities of events happening around the wearer.

    Video Games 
  • Nell (and to a lesser extent, her little sister Rachel) has this as her power in Advance Wars; her units are naturally more likely to score extra damage, and her CO power allows such impossible feats as infantry taking out a platoon of Megatanks.
  • Case 02: Paranormal Evil: Sally's compact and clovers have the ability to increase the value of dice rolls and Marty believes he's succeeding due to her luck rubbing off on him.
  • Enderal: This is how magic works in Vyn. Mages see countless alternate realities playing out before them and, to use magic, a mage needs to concentrate on one of these realities, causing his magical powers to make it true. If, for example, the mage is attacked by a wild wolf, they can concentrate on a reality where the wolf is burning, allowing the mage to shoot fireballs at the wolf. Magic does come with a downside though, as being constantly exposed to visions of countless other realities can drive a mage mad. The player character describes this sensation as being in a feverish delusion, while also seeing things much more clearly.
  • In Fallout, "Luck" is one of the seven Base Stats, with this exact effect on your personal actions. Taking the "Jinxed" perk would cause both you and everyone else to suffer far more critical failures and lower your Luck stat, Fallout 2 upped the ante with Pariah Dog, who drops your luck to 1 once he starts following you around. Since all of this can stack, creating a Jinxed character with 1 Luck and Pariah Dog as a pet can turn the PC into a walking disaster area.
    • Creating a character with 10 Luck (the maximum) and the Jinxed trait creates a PC who is a walking disaster area, but is never touched by it themselves. Angel walking through the valley of death style. This is awesome.
      • You'll still critically miss much more than without the Jinxed trait (not perk), but simply because a gang of enemies have more turns than you, they'll be bearing the brunt of the fails. As such, a good tactic is to go solo and NOT ATTACK while enemies lose their ammo, destroy their own weapons, and break their own limbs trying to attack you.
    • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas lessened the effects of luck considerably, but it does determine your success at winning casino games in the latter. Low-Luck Couriers can say goodbye to their caps (6 or less), while High-Luck Couriers will be banned from a casino in ten or fifteen minutes for winning too much.
      • Though in New Vegas, your Luck stat is described as not being probability manipulation, rather it's probability prediction (which is what professional gambling is based on in real life) hence House, the guy who could predict the Great War coming down to the day and owns New Vegas itself, has the max Luck stat of 10.
    • Fallout 4 makes it a larger mechanic in battle again. Players can now make Always Accurate Attack Critical Hits happen by filling up a bar akin to a Limit Break by scoring hits in V.A.T.S., and the higher your luck, the faster it fills.
  • The Gambler class in some Final Fantasy games.
    • Astrologians in Final Fantasy XIV use this power thematically as healers. Using star globes and magic tarot cards, Astrologians can see all of the different fates someone might have and selects the best possible fate for their ally.
  • Galaxy Angel: Milfeulle Sakuraba has what could be considered an unconscious version of this trope. When her luck is good, it's insanely good (for example, her Establishing Character Moment in the first game has her winning the grand prize in a convenience store lottery five times in a row); however, when her luck is bad, it's horribly bad (a picnic being ruined due to a fire alarm being tripped, followed by the Cool Ship she and her crewmates serve aboard warping out in the middle of an enemy fleet, followed still by her personal starfighter's engine crapping out on her). Her luck is also apparently finite since it is said that she used all her life's worth of good luck to alter the outcome of the first game's Final Battle. Of course, the release of the sequels seemingly retcon that piece of information.
    • Just to hammer the point home, her craft, GA-001 Lucky Star, is explicitly said to be otherwise unsuitable to be piloted due to its engines, powerplant, and even weaponry having an unpredictable output. Only Milfeulle's sheer luck keeps it running, and running constantly.
  • The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker: The Professor came up with a fate manipulation mechanic by simply finding a way to choose to be in a universe in which he achieved the best possible outcome. He uses this to gamble: he bets on the highest payout option possible, then "ends up" in the universe in which he wins, in a variation on the Quantum Suicide theory. The eponymous Doctor "breaks" this ability, and the Professor has lost everything as a result.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Black Cat familiar; which causes everything to go wrong for you. If you beat Bad Moon with this as your familiar every single fight, that difficulty level is permanently unlocked.
    • There is also the Black Cat Tonic which temporarily lets you spread bad luck to enemies; upping their fumble rate and never letting their critical.
    • Opposing that is the Ten-Leaf Clover. When you enter an area with a Clover, it initiates a Clover Adventure if there is one in that area. Clover Adventures provide very good items, buffs, or stat points.
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Purple Dragons "guide the fate" of the era they're born into. In practice, this translates to being able to defy any prophecy that they don't want to happen and get a different outcome, something Spyro does several times throughout the trilogy.
  • Lie of Caelum: Lunari claims that if she were to directly speak to people instead of using telepathy, she could end up changing how the future unfolds. This is supposed to be related to her mysterious Truth Flow ability.
  • Fortune from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is said to have this power, but the real explanation is something else entirely. (Maybe.)
  • Pokémon:
    • The "Super Luck" ability, which doubles the probability of their attacks making critical hits.
    • Related is the "Serene Grace" ability, which doubles the probability of secondary effects activating (like an attack with a chance to also inflict a status effect).
  • In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, sufficiently advanced factions can armor their units with "probability sheaths" in a practical application of Probability Mechanics.
  • Touhou Project has this as either an explicit or implicit superpower of several characters:
    • The Heroine, Reimu Hakurei, implicitly uses this as her ultimate power - in spite of technically being totally outclassed in terms of raw power to the actual deities or Reality Warper enemies she fights, she uses her "Intuition" to frequently evade all harm from things that should flatten her to a paste. Of course, her explicit power is a Reality Warping application of Intangibility, which may certainly help in this regard.
    • Remilia Scarlet has "Manipulation of Fate" as a (largely undefined) superpower, although she generally just uses brute vampiric strength in combat. It is implied, however, that she can manipulate destiny to ensure such things as the survival of her human friends, or the success of the machinations of the absurdly involved Batman Gambit plots of the likes of Yukari. One in-story rumor has it she changed the fate of her maid by giving her a different name... Remilia's little sister, on the other hand, proposes that Remilia doesn't really have any power over fate at all but that she just refuses to admit a loss.
    • Both Hina Kageyama and Suwako Moriya are curse goddesses. Hina is a goddess of misfortune that can inflict bad luck upon people to the point where they suffer a Necro Non Sequitur. However, she generally likes people and instead grants good fortune by eating the misfortune of others, if still dangerous due to her absolute lack of control over the accrued misfortune. Suwako gained curse god powers by bringing powerful curse gods under her control but generally uses her powers to help others, largely because she needs people's faith in her to continue to exist, and as such grants good fortune and miracles in exchange for faith. Both, however, use their curse powers as weapons when in a fight.
    • Suwako's priestess Sanae Kochiya explicitly has the power to cause miracles. Like your miraculous defeat at her hands.
    • Tewi Inaba, the Earth rabbit youkai, can bestow good luck. She mostly uses it exclusively on herself, though.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nagito Komaeda, the "Ultimate Lucky Student" in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, really is as supernaturally lucky as his title implies. However, even though things tend to work out in his favour, the universe does so by inflicting terrible expense on those around him. Being forced to watch indescribable amounts of suffering for his own benefit has left Nagito so desensitised he's borderline suicidal. His powers go both ways too. During one of his Free Time Events, he recounts how he and his parents boarded a plane, which was then hijacked. Luckily, a fist-sized meteorite hit and killed the hijacker and Nagito's parents, leading to Nagito inheriting all of his parent's sizable fortune. His desensitization to his Talent leads him to view it in an "all's well that ends well" light, much to the confusion of those around him. It's also stated his luck comes in waves, huge amounts of good, followed by huge amounts of bad. The reason his good luck is consistent throughout the game? It's because it's balancing out the "bad luck" from the fact that he has both stage 3 cancer and dementia, and a year to live at most.
  • In the Nasuverse, a Marble Phantasm is the ability to transfigure the surrounding world at will according to the user's vision of the world, allowing one to essentially interfere with probability. The English name comes from a metaphor for picking a single white marble from a bag of black marbles; a Marble Phantasm would be the ability to pick the white marble with 100% certainty. This is contrasted with a Reality Marble, which would achieve the same feat by changing all of the black marbles into white marbles. The main difference is that a Marble Phantasm is constrained by what is "possible", while a Reality Marble allows one to create the "impossible".
    • One ability of Lancer's Gae Bolg reverses cause and effect, causing the heart to always be pierced before the attack is even launched. Or as stated, "It didn’t hit because it was thrust, it hit so it was thrust, an attack on destiny itself. The only way to dodge Gae Bolg isn't high agility but the ability to reverse fate: High Luck".
  • Lucien in Sweet Enchantments specializes in luck magic, and enchants some of the pastries he bakes for the cafe to give the eater a minor boost to their luck - all duly marked as magical on the menu.
  • Bernkastel, the Witch of Miracles, in Umineko: When They Cry. Flexing her full powers (as she does for Erika from the first Core Arc onwards) favors game pieces with lucky "coincidences" worthy of any such person. Unfortunately for Battler, Bernkastel falls into the category of Good Powers, Bad People.

    Web Animation 
  • Madness Combat: The Improbability Drives, which are a reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, function in this manner. The Auditor uses them to give himself an advantage, such as when he infected Jebus with a virus. It's possible that this is also how he upgraded his Mooks later on in the series. The Auditor also lets Tricky use an Improbability Device, allowing Tricky to invoke this trope by constantly reviving himself and Hank, as well as making structures such as train tracks and buildings appear out of thin air.
  • RWBY
    • Qrow Branwen's Semblance creates bad luck for everyone around him, but he cannot control who it targets. This is very useful when fighting enemies, but is less useful when fighting alongside allies. He is surrounded by symbolism associated with bad luck, such as wearing crosses and having a scythe weapon named "Harbinger". He was named Qrow precisely because people associate him with the bad luck folklore of crows. In the Volume 8 finale, he is able to use his Semblance for an act of good luck for the very first time, by concentrating on Clover's iconic good luck badge.
    • Clover Ebi's Semblance brings good luck to himself and everyone around him. He fights with a weaponised fishing pole, a shout-out to his inspiration, which is based on the Aesop Fable of A Fisherman's Good Luck and Ebisu, the Japanese god of fishermen and luck. He wears a four-leaf clover pin that his flicks every time he activates his Semblance. He also has a backup horseshoe weapon and wears a rabbit's paw on his belt. In Volume 7, he and Qrow are paired together for missions and his optimistic, upbeat personality and good fortune is a constant contrast to Qrow's jaded, cynical personality and misfortune.

  • Acrobat: The aptly named Plot Twist has inhuman luckiness and an appropriately devil-may-care attitude as a result.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Christina can cause "miracles" to happen, defined as mundane events with a low possibility of occurance. One of the ghost wizards appears to be able to do this. He threatens to cast a spell that would stop the billions of coincidences required for someone to stay alive and well for years: "You will be cursed. The universe will turn its back on you." It's never made clear what exactly would happen, as he's thwarted at the last second, and it produces no obvious or explained effect even after he successfully casts it. Dr. McNinja does ultimately end up "dead" as a result of the effect, with literally the entire world turning against him (including his parents, his brother, and Gordito), but the final page makes it clear that while Dr. McNinja is dead, Patrick Goodrich is alive and well.
  • Darths & Droids: One of the Jedi abilities is "fate manipulation", which, in game mechanics terms, allows a player to reroll a die. The characters use this to varying effectiveness throughout the games. It takes a while for the ability to show up; it's first brought up as both a Take That! and an I Thought It Meant when Qui-Gon uses this ability while convincing Watto to help with his simple plan.
  • Erfworld: One type of caster is a Luckamancer. At one point a Luckamancer explains his magic by comparing units to dice. When one receives his boost, it only rolls max for the next combat it's in. But that luck comes from somewhere and he posits that it's from other nearby units. Even friendly ones.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Andrew Smith subconsciously creates order around him — for instance, if he throws a deck of cards behind him, they will land in a perfect deck in the right order. He's been known to abuse this in order to do things others can't do. When Annie and Kat can't throw their blinker stone so that it lands on a shore instead of in the river, they get Andrew to throw it. It hits a bird and falls directly downwards.
  • Hardcore Leveling Warrior: Hardcore Leveling Warrior's personal attribute is Absolute Luck, he is nearly guaranteed to win in any game of chance.
  • Homestuck:
    • In general, a good deal of the philosophy of the webcomic can be summarized as a conflict between this and You Can't Fight Fate.
    • Vriska (after attaining god-tier) gains all of the luck. All of it. She literally has the ability to steal luck and cause misfortunes (such as a floor collapsing underneath her opponent), or to manipulate random events like coin flips in her favor. She's convinced that this makes her more powerful than any of her teammates and even the Big Bad of the comic because it is impossible for her to lose. She can also weaponize this directly thanks to her weapon of choice being a set of enchanted d8 dice which cause various events depending on how they land, as she can simply make them land how she wants them to.
    • Clover of the Felt, a rival gang to the Midnight Crew, has luck that in theory makes him very difficult to hurt (he states that a gun pointed at him would jam). Diamonds Droog gets around this by swatting Clover with a newspaper — on the basis that you don't have to be that unlucky to be hit by a newspaper, it's kind of a grey area.
    • Eventually, John gets in on the mix, gaining the ability to go back and change any unfavorable events or destines that may or may not occur.
  • In Sluggy Freelance the Fate Spiders' ability to manipulate the Web of Fate is the inverse of how this power often works. They have incredible amounts of precision over which events they change the probability of, but how much they can alter probability is severely limited; they can only affect the outcome of events when the odds of one thing happening instead of something else are almost 50/50, like making someone decide to get pizza to eat instead of burgers. They have to make use of their immense knowledge of destiny and lots of For Want of a Nail moments to accomplish anything of significance, and even then someone who's Immune to Fate can still muck it up.
  • The Young Protectors: Fluke is able to give other people good luck, but he has to suffer some bad luck first. As an example, totaling the car he just paid off gave him enough juice to save some bystanders from falling rubble.

    Web Original 
  • Brennus: Dahlia/Tyche has the power to give herself good luck, which comes in handy for avoiding otherwise lethal attacks, but other characters note that people with this ability always wind up suffering a backlash of balancing bad luck sooner or later. It turns out that her power avoids this by shunting the bad luck onto people she resents, like her former bullies and her mother, slowly ruining their lives and killing one of them. Dahlia is horrified when she finally finds out.
  • In Curveball, this is one of the eponymous hero's powers. It seems to be limited to immediate, short-term effects, though; he can make somebody unlucky enough to trip over their own shoelaces, but can't make them so unlucky that they accidentally mail valuable information to him.
  • The twins Murphy (hint, hint!) and Yphrum who rule the Green Isle in Doctor Whooves Adventures both have this sort of powers, that work automatically and cover the entire kingdom of each respective sibling. They both consider this a curse, however, because they want to be Royals Who Actually Do Something and having the powers means not only does nothing ever goes Murphy's way, but all his subjects are doomed to bad luck no matter what he does, and everything in Yphrum's lands will always go perfectly smoothly, no matter what she does, so she feels redundant.
  • Discussed in several posts on Less Wrong, in the form of a device that takes a desired outcome and simply vetoes all possibilities that don't lead to it. The pitfalls are spectacular.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • A member of the D-class personnel kept surviving experiments with Keter-class anomalies by seemingly impossible coincidences. Further experiments confirmed that he could influence probability, and he was designated SCP-181. Then it was found that his influence could cause [DATA EXPUNGED], so now he's in solitary confinement.
    • Weaponized by SCP-7000, "The Loser". He spent his entire life believing himself to be The Jinx, when it turns out he was actually an inversion; rather than inflicting bad luck on himself and those around him, in actuality, he acts as a sponge absorbing it from other people. The Foundation exploited this by having him tag along on operations to ensure that things would always go right for their task forces, in response to their rivals the Chaos Insurgency using an enchanted particle collider to tamper with probability on a global scale.
  • In Super Powereds, Nick has this power. During the attack on Lander at the end of Year 3, Nick's powers can control individual strings of fate. Before going through the procedure that turned him into a Super, his power was random and could be either good or bad. For example, just prior to being recruited, he won a lottery, got hit by a truck while celebrating, landed in a bouncy castle, and the air compressor exploded. The owner sued him, but his lottery winnings were just enough to cover the lawsuit and the hospital bills. Also, during the climactic fight in Year 1, he uses his power to cause the bad guy's truck to have every conceivable malfunction at the same time, turning into a mangled wreck in the space of a few seconds. During his one-on-one fight with Chad, the strongest fighter in the class, Nick simply closes his eyes and guesses when he should dodge, as Chad tries to attack him. Amazingly, it works for a few minutes, until it finally doesn't. But Nick has robbed Chad of a Curb-Stomp Battle and the resulting psychological effect. From then on, Chad views Nick as a serious opponent.
  • Several side characters in the webfiction Whateley Universe have this ability to some extent.
    • Hazard (apparently a common name for these types of characters) also senses when unlikely events are about to happen, which is usually a sign to get the heck out of the area. Kismet has magical abilities and the ability to teleport short distances. When she teleports, local probability goes haywire: an opposing fighter is either going to slip on something or score an easy one-punch knockout. Risk likes to use his ability to play pranks and cheat at games like pinball. Murphy has this power, in theory, but doesn't have much control over it yet; she's as likely to get dumped on by her powers as anyone (hence her codename). Jinx causes weirdness all around her but has no conscious control of it at all yet. That is to say nothing of the cute little disaster that is Clover of the Three Little Witches (she's a wizard in the making all right, she just has this power on top of that).
    • The school's administration, incidentally, generally does its best to keep these "probability warpers" separated — in different cottages, if possible — because of the risk of their powers heterodyning and spontaneously creating wholly unpredictable events. This becomes a serious problem when three of them (Risk, Murphy, and Jinx) end up in Poe Cottage starting in Fall 2007.
  • The parahumans multiverse of Worm contains a number of straight-up probability warpers, enough that it is a well-known power set along with speedster and Alexandria package and others. Given the author's style no such simple version features in the story proper. Instead we see Shamrock who appears to have this power but in fact just has a whole host of smaller powers which effectively do the same thing and Coil, who can achieve this as one effect of his ability to view parallel dimensions simultaneously.

    Western Animation 
  • The Trope Namer comes from the signature chant in The Avengers: United They Stand of Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch. It may seem like a pointless power, but she's the only person who can consistently beat Ultron.
  • The black cat from the classic cartoon Bad Luck Blackie can cause random objects to fall on anyone whose path he crosses; he actually served as the inspiration for Black Cat's bad luck power (see above).
  • Equinox from Batman: The Brave and the Bold has performed feats like making a tree branch break and fall on Batman.
  • The Anti-Fairies in The Fairly OddParents! are the complete opposite of fairies in the fact that they roam the world causing bad luck to people, reinforcing many popular superstitions such as spilling salt, walking under a ladder, breaking mirrors, etc. Unsurprisingly, their favorite day is Friday the 13th.
  • Fry's lucky seven-leaf clover in Futurama bestowed incredible luck on its owner, allowing them to be immensely successful at anything they did. Maybe.
  • The experiment Shoe (113) in Lilo & Stitch: The Series was created to cause bad luck or good luck depending on where his horseshoe-like horns point.
  • Milo from Milo Murphy's Law normally has no control over his "anything that can go wrong will" effect, and the title characters from Phineas and Ferb similarly have no control over their own effect which is basically the opposite. When all three of them team up they learn that the two effects repulse each other like magnetic charges, so they can concentrate and target Murphy's Law by standing in the right formation.
  • In Rick and Morty, an Evil, Inc. gave themselves Reality Warping powers by using a probability-manipulating alien to make Misfortune Cookies.
  • Jinx of Teen Titans (2003) has this as a power, although she's only capable of creating bad luck. Of course, this usually involves wanton spontaneous destruction.

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life quantum mechanics, the double-slit experiment (among other tests) demonstrates that the results of a test are dependent on the presence or absence of someone or some instrument "watching" the test. (This is because the only way to measure a subatomic particle is to bounce another subatomic particle off of it, which forces the existence of multiple states inherent in subatomic particles to collapse into a single defined state.) Particle physics accepts as a matter of basic fact that subatomic particles can exist in multiple states simultaneously (which is called a "superposition"), so there exists the theoretical possibility that manipulating quantum physics by bouncing subatomic particles off others in superposition using certain angles or speeds can influence the probability of an otherwise random outcome involving the particles.

Alternative Title(s): Probability Power