thread: 2011-06-27 : The Dice & Clouds series from 2009

On 2011-06-30, stefoid wrote:

Vincent in "Adequacy, Cause and Effect" you note two ways of getting players to say something interesting.

What do you think of simply insisting that to achieve anything at all, the player must state the characters intention in WHAT, HOW and WHY format.  Then roll the dice.

What - I attack
Why - to inflict damage!  (but could be to protect the princess, gain the high ground, scare the bejesus out of him, etc...)
How - With a succession of rapid knife thrusts and slashes.

The WHY must be backed up by mechanics for it not to be optional.  If the roll is successful, the WHY must happen.  It cant be arbitrary, or the WHY is redundant.  If the system promises - "you make the roll, the WHY occurs", then nothing can happen without WHY being stated, which is great.

My problem is, the HOW is desirable (very), but optional.  The system will still 'chug along' without it.  I cant think of a neat way to make it mandatory in the same way that the WHY is mandatory.  The system can promise if you make your roll, the HOW is how the WHY occurs, but the HOW itself is still color - it has no mechanical backing.

This is the same problem I have with my 'taking a stand' example.  WHAT and WHY are mandatory and HOW is optional, and I cant think of any way to make HOW mandatory except for saying "please say HOW, its great !!"

Neither of your two approaches are appropriate for me, unfortunately.  At the moment, my only answer is to insist that HOW is mandatory and hope it becomes habit.


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