thread: 2017-06-07 : Failure in RPGs (by Paganini)

On 2017-06-09, Paganini wrote:

Ajax said: "I've always thought the key to the boringness of the D&D whiff was the ability to just try the same thing again in the same circumstances. Fiction doesn't tend to do that."

Absolutely. I didn't get to it earlier, but one of the things I've been thinking is that real-life tasks aren't statistical. There's no guaranteed "chance of success" if you just keep trying enough times. Doesn't matter if Elric "summons him again," Arioch is just not coming. So it seems like part of handling this right is to do what Burning Wheel does - one roll for every possible "try" or contingency.

I got locked out of my house a few times over the last year as I was getting used to the new routine. It's a kind of funny feeling - actually being blocked and unable to proceed. The first time I got back in through the window with the AC, but the second time the AC was winterized and the house was sealed up tight. 

I think there are three related interesting things here.

The first one is sort of "conflict resolution" adjacent. The overall question was very clearly not "can you open this door," but, "can you get into the house?"

The second one is that that made it about cost. I either had to spend time waiting for my girlfriend to come let me in, or I had to damage the house in some way necessitating actual financial cost and additional time for repairs.

The third one is about scale of action. It's sort of like Pace in Trollbabe I guess. My Goal was "get into the house," and my first try was "I open the door." But the door was locked, so I had to change my approach. "I'll try going in through the
window where the AC is!"

Having the camera "zoomed in" some can generate content. "That way didn't work, come up with a new idea," rather than just applying some blanket resolution mechanic to the whole scene. 

So this is more about the kind of "conflict" where the world is getting in your way, and the GM is standing in as the world's advocate. Not so much about missed attack rolls.

Is that making sense?


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