On 2009-04-14, Ben Lehman wrote:
"You rendered your judgment based on whatever reason you felt like using whatever standard you cared to because you have that authority".
Is functionally the same as:
"You spend your point to get the outcome to go the way you wanted for whatever reason you felt like because you have that authority".
But, it's not functionally the same at all. I look at those things and go "nope, player who paid for it is entitled to decide things in their favor, the same as if they spent their point for a straight bonus. Player who is called upon to do it by the group isn't."
What's going on here? I say "hey, look, these two things are different and here's why" and you say "no, they're actually the same."
They're not the same. From any perspective. This is pretty clear from experience for me. I don't actually see why you would think that they would be the same.
Let's take an example pair of rules.
1) Spend a X point to get +Y on your roll. Describe why.
2) The tactical judge for the scene decides which character holds the tactical advantage, if any. That player gets +Y to their roll.
I can promise you that the vast majority of players, in the seat of the tactical judge, will not rule for their characters %100 of the time.
Additionally, and as a separate thing, I think you need to decouple "impartial" from "internally consistent." There are many possible outcomes for a given situation that are internally consistent: indeed, this is why we can use randomizers at all. The important thing in terms of the integrity of the SIS is that the outcome be an internally consistent outcome, not that it be the most internally consistent outcome.