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

On 2017-06-07, Callan S, wrote:

The point of literature isn’t to try and disappear into it, it’s supposed to give a moral or lesson. When a character fails, it’s because they didn’t try hard enough or didn’t look before they leaped or didn’t save their pennies or some other message (not necessarily a correct one) about how people should do things in life.

Where as in traditional RPGs PCs fail things because…they just didn’t pass the roll. There is no message from an author when it happens. And gamers seem to try and treat these fail results as meaningful, even though they have no message, until meaning obliterates for them. And they are left wondering why they have fails and worse, why literature ever has failures. The message of literature (whether the message is right or not doesn’t matter for now) is hidden behind a big blurry cataract.

For example, imagine if you could only fail a ‘roll’ if you had some character flaw associated with it - your PC just can’t be bothered preparing himself, so he fails the check to see if he brings enough food on the expedition. He doesn’t just roll and f’s up because the dice rolled in a particular direction. Does something seem to clear things a little and something past a blur starts to be visible?


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