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Some effects in Pathfinder 2e have the Fortune or Misfortune traits.

A fortune effect beneficially alters how you roll your dice. You can never have more than one fortune effect alter a single roll. If multiple fortune effects would apply, you have to pick which to use. If a fortune effect and a misfortune effect would apply to the same roll, the two cancel each other out, and you roll normally.

The Misfortune trait is described with similar text.

The bold sentence is clear when the Fortune and Misfortune effects are both passive, or intrinsic to the effect. E.g. if a PC had the (hypothetical) Fortune ability "When rolling a saving throw, you roll twice and use the higher number", and was affected by an enemy's spell that had the Misfortune clause "When characters roll saves against this spell, they roll twice and use the lower number", the Fortune and Misfortune abilities would cancel out, and the PC would make a normal saving throw.

Alternatively, as discussed in another question, suppose a PC was affected by the Misfortune spell Clownish Curse:

... For 1 round, the target must roll twice and use the worse result whenever attempting an Acrobatics, Stealth, or Thievery check.

If the PC has Assurance in Acrobatics, which is a Fortune feat, they can use it to cancel out the curse and roll normal Acrobatics skill checks.

But sometimes the Fortune and/or Misfortune effects are triggered by success or failure on a roll. Consider a PC with the Lucky Break feat (Fortune), who is also affected by Clownish Curse.

Lucky Break: You catch yourself as you make a mistake. ... When you fail or critically fail on an Athletics or Acrobatics skill check ... you reroll the triggering skill check and use the better result. [Edited for clarity when standing alone]

So the PC attempts an Acrobatics check, and rolls 5 and 15 where success requires 10. They are forced to use the 5, and thus fail. They decide to trigger Lucky Break. What happens? I can think of a few options:

  1. One of the initial dice (5 or 15) is arbitrarily or randomly declared to be the "original" roll, before [Mis]Fortune intervened, and that is the new result.
  2. Lucky Break cancels out Clownish Curse, and so they make a new "normal" roll that they must use.
  3. The two dice for Clownish Curse must be rolled in order - the player must declare using Lucky Break after the first roll. If they use it, it cancels out the Misfortune effect and they use that first roll (no other rolls are made).

Which is it, or something else?

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1 Answer 1

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Probably Option 2

The Fortune rules (and Misfortune rules) state:

If a fortune effect and a misfortune effect would apply to the same roll, the two cancel each other out, and you roll normally.

It's not the most clear, but option 2 seems to be the closest to a "normal roll" situation you can get. It results in a single d20 roll that has to be used, without the roller knowing in advance if their fail will turn into a success. That's probably as close as we can get to a normal roll in this situation, and it has the positive of being the simplest to adjudicate at the table.

Option 1 allows a user to look at both dice, see that both would fail anyway, and not decide to use their Lucky Break. Option 3 makes it actually impossible for Lucky Break to be helpful; since they can only use Lucky Break on a failure or crit failure, they'd only be able to declare it if their first roll was a failure, but since the Misfortune would still apply, they could only ever get a lower result.

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