Luck as an Ability Score (5e Variant Rule)

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Luck as an Ability Score[edit]

Like other abilities, Luck is rolled for in the same method used for other ability scores. If a point buy system is used instead, add 3 points to spend to make up for having another stat to buy (30 points total). Most monsters and NPCs have a default Luck score of 11.

A suggested optional rule when rolling stats is to wait until the original six abilities have been rolled and assigned before rolling the luck score.


Luck affects a few different aspect of the game.

Critical Hits: The Luck modifier affects a creature’s chance of hitting critically by affecting the creature’s Automatic Critical Range (ACR) and Automatic Miss Range(AMR).

By default, most attacks have an ACR of 20 and an AMR of 1, meaning that only on a naturally rolled 20 can they strike critically and only on a 1 do they automatically miss. A creature’s Luck modifier and any applicable luck bonus modify their ACR and AMR. See the Luck Natural Rolls table below for details.

Luck Natural Rolls

Luck Bonus -5, AMR 6 or lower, ACR 20

Luck Bonus -4, AMR 5 or lower, ACR 20

Luck Bonus -3, AMR 4 or lower, ACR 20

Luck Bonus -2, AMR 3 or lower, ACR 20

Luck Bonus -1, AMR 2 or lower, ACR 20

Luck Bonus +0, AMR 1, ACR 20

Luck Bonus +1, AMR 1, ACR 19 or higher

Luck Bonus +2, AMR 1, ACR 18 or higher

Luck Bonus +3, AMR 1, ACR 17 or higher

Luck Bonus +4, AMR 1, ACR 16 or higher

Luck Bonus +5, AMR 1, ACR 15 or higher

Etc...

Luck bonuses do not stack with each other (such as the keen edge spell, keen enchantment, or Improved Critical or Superior Critical abilities of the fighter’s Champion archetype), only with the Luck ability score modifier. If you are under the effect of multiple luck bonuses simply use the highest one.

Performing Luck Checks: Anytime that a check must be performed and none of the original six abilities are tied to it, it becomes a Luck Check.

Death and Dying: In the default system, when a character has fallen to 0 hit points, they must make a death saving throw to stabilize and become unconscious with 1 hit point. With the addition of the luck ability score, this saving throw is becomes a Luck Saving Throw. The DM may, at their discretion, allow a character to apply their Constitution Modifier to the saving throw.

Also, a character is not slain when dying unless they take damage equal to their hit point maximum plus their luck modifier. For example: a character has 15 hp and a Luck modifier of +1, they will not be dead unless they take 16 points of damage (hp max + Luck modifier).

Keen Weapons: This weapon enchantment grants a +1 luck bonus. This bonus is added to you luck ability modifier to determine ACR and AMR on the Luck Natural Rolls table. For instance, if you have a keen longsword (which has a ACR of 19+) and your luck modifier is +2, the keen longsword scores a threat on a 17+ (20- Keen bonus – your Luck modifier).


New and Modified Class Abilities[edit]

Fighter: Champion


Improved Critical

Beginning when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain a +1 luck bonus with any weapon you are proficient with. This bonus is added to you luck ability modifier to determine Luck natural rolls on the Luck Natural Rolls table. For example, a weapon usually critically hits on a natural roll of 20 instead strikes critically on natural 19+.

Luck bonuses do not stack with each other (such as the keen edge spell, keen enchantment, or Improved Critical or Superior Critical abilities of the fighter’s Champion archetype), only with the Luck modifier. If you are under the effect of multiple luck bonuses simply use the highest one.

Superior Critical

Starting at 15th level, you gain a +2 luck bonus with any weapon you are proficient with. This bonus is added to you luck ability modifier to determine Luck natural rolls on the Luck Natural Rolls table. For example, a weapon usually critically hits on a natural roll of 20 instead strikes critically on natural 18+.

Luck bonuses do not stack with each other (such as the keen edge spell, keen enchantment, or Improved Critical or Superior Critical abilities of the fighter’s Champion archetype), only with the Luck modifier. If you are under the effect of multiple luck bonuses simply use the highest one.


New and Modified Feats[edit]

Close Calls

Your luckiness improves your skill at dodging blows. During your action, you designate an opponent; you may add your luck modifier to your armor class when attacked by that opponent. A condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) does not make you lose your Luck bonus to AC.

Lucky

You have inexplicable luck that seems to kick in at just the right moment. You have a number of luck points equal to 3 + your luck modifier. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you may spend one luck point to roll an additional d20. You must choose to spend the luck point after you roll the die, but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.

You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker’s roll or yours.

If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled.

You regain your expended luck points w hen you finish a long rest.

Ghost Buster

When striking ethereal foes, you have a chance of your attacks hitting ethereal target regardless of whether they are on the material plane or not.

When striking an ethereal foe, you may make a Luck Saving Throw (DC = ethereal foe’s AC) to ignore the foe’s etherealness. Normally ethereal creatures ignore attacks not on the same plane as them.

Keen Striking

Choose one type of weapon, such as longsword or greataxe. With that weapon, you know how to hit where it hurts. You gain a +2 luck bonus with the selected weapon. This bonus is added to your luck ability modifier to determine Luck natural rolls on the Luck Natural Rolls table. For example, a weapon usually critically hits on a natural roll of 20; with Keen Striking, it instead strikes critically on natural 18+.

You can gain Keen Striking multiple times. The effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon.

Luck bonuses do not stack with each other (such as the keen edge spell, keen enchantment, or Improved Critical or Superior Critical abilities of the fighter’s Champion archetype), only with the Luck modifier. If you are under the effect of multiple luck bonuses simply use the highest one.

Loot Master

Your lucky nature reveals itself to you when searching for treasure. When you search specifically for treasure, you may apply your Luck modifier to the check result. Also, any coins you find are increased by a percent equal to your Luck score.

Lucky Shot

When performing attacks that are difficult to hit, you may perform a Luck check against the target's AC. If successful, any bonus due to cover is negated.


New and Modified Spells[edit]

Keen Edge

3rd level transmutation

Classes: Bard, Cleric, Eldritch Knight, Ranger, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Components: V, S

Duration: Concentration up to 1 hour.

This spell makes a weapon magically keen, improving its ability to deal telling blows. This transmutation grants the target a +2 luck bonus. This bonus is added to your Luck ability modifier to determine Luck natural rolls on the Luck Natural Rolls table. For example, a weapon usually critically hits on a natural roll of 20; with Keen Edge, it instead strikes critically on natural 18+.

If cast on a ranged weapon, the affect is applied to the weapon’s ammunition. Luck bonuses do not stack with each other (such as the keen edge spell, keen enchantment, or Improved Critical or Superior Critical abilities of the fighter’s Champion archetype), only with the Luck modifier. If you are under the effect of multiple luck bonuses simply use the highest one.

Enhance Ability

2nd level transmutation

Components: V, S, M

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Touch

Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour.

In addition to the normal magical enhancements from this spell, you also can choose the following:

Rabbit’s Luck. The target has advantage on any check that is affected by Luck modifiers.


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