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A friend of mine has challenged me to design a game using the classic Magic 8-Ball as a central resolution mechanic. I'm starting this thread to think about how this might work and to appeal to the Story Games Hive Mind for inspiration.
The Magic 8-Ball is basically a d20 with a distinct "answer" on each face. There are 10 positive results, 5 negative, and 5 uncertain.
So... seems like if I'm going to use the 8-Ball, I need to think about using questions to frame whatever activity is being resolved.
I'm swinging my sword at the goblin. Do I kill him?
I need to find some unobtainium to fuel my Doomsday Device. Is it in the laboratory?
Will Mary Sue go out to dinner with me?
One of the central design challenges I see is determining and communicating how to appropriately scope the questions.
Yes: Out of the box, the Magic 8-Ball is heavily weighted toward success, which I find problematic as I'm very much in the camp that values interesting failure. I can see using the slight shading in the answers to provide a bit more graininess, but I'm not sure where to go.
Ask Again: These results are interesting to me - I can see using them to introduce complication (analogous to 7-9 in AW), or to extend the conflict.
No: Interestingly, the "No" answers are all slightly hedged, whereas the "Yes" answers are mostly definitive. Don't know what this means to me yet.
Before I continue rambling, I'd like to appeal for some of SG's trademark thoughtfulness, wackiness, or whatever. Does this seem worth pursuing? Has someone already done this? Any suggestions or ideas?