Reading about Yes, and; yes; yes, but; no, but; no; no, and

Is there somewhere that I can read about this kind of system for resolving conflicts? Using Google to search for yes, and; yes; yes, but; no, but; no; no, and isn't so fruitful. Thanks.
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  • Untold has this system on cards and explains it briefly in its rules.
    image
  • edited April 15
    My group and I work with "yes and..." solely.
    Each individual player defines what happens to their character, and then the other players build on and riff on that to expand it, then the player of the character does the same, etc, until it eventually is built upon and expanded to the point of being something we're all artistically happy with.
    There's no "yes but..." because we don't believe in imposing unwanted events on each other, and there's by no means no "no" of any kind. If there was something that would be a "no", it would have been caught and reworked long before the piece of content hit the table - long before any piece of it became canon.
  • That's a really interesting insight, Emma!

    Does it hold in brainstorming/planning mode, too?
  • @Hopeless_Wanderer:

    I think you'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about this, as well as downsides, and games it's been used in, here:

    http://story-games.com/forums/discussion/19114/is-the-d6-yes-and-scale-enough
  • If it's at the table, it holds, but not in our out-of-session planning stuff.
    Out-of-session planning stuff is serious, litcrit type stuff as far as really analyzing our collective work and what we need to do to make it sing the way we want it to.
    A lot of the in-session stuff works so well for us the way it does because we're working with pre-planned material, we all have equal power to influence the fiction at all times, and we trust each other to add meaningful and useful material that really helps us accomplish our artistic goals with our characters.
  • Just for fun, here is the variation that I used in Rewind (you can get it for free on DTRPG.)
    -----------------
    Any time the outcome of an action is in doubt, you can roll two regular six sided dice, add the results of the dice together plus any advantages/disadvantages, and check the Time Table (because “What-Happens-This-Time?” table is a bit of a mouthful.)

    Time Table
    3 or less No, and (something terrible/annoying)
    4-5 No
    6 No, but
    7 Delayed
    8 Yes, but
    9-10 Yes
    11 or more Yes, and (something great/special)

    Disadvantages subtract from the total of the dice while advantages add to the total. These modifiers can stack as well as cancel each other out. A maximum of -3 or +3 can be applied to any single throw of the dice. For example, being unskilled is a -1. Having mastery is a +1. (And by default, being skilled is no penalty.)

    For example, conditions such as darkness or rain can inflict a disadvantage when searching or navigating. But, that same darkness or bad weather might offer an advantage when the protagonist is trying to hide. You can also have an advantage such as preparedness or surprise on an opponent. A character’s history might give them an advantage, if their knowledge would be really helpful.

    Let’s walk through the seven possible results on the time table. For our example, Robert is throwing a dagger at a fleeing bandit after a failed ambush.

    No, and You failed to hit your target and your favorite dagger goes ‘ploomp’ in the swamp, never to be seen again.

    No, A simple failure, the dagger does not connect with the target. The story doesn’t stop nor will the bandit. Try something else.

    No, but You failed to kill the bandit, but maybe your hit knocked him off balance and he fell.

    Delayed Trees and brush get in the way of a clean shot. This isn’t failure unless timing is an issue. For example, the bandit is getting on a horse. Crossing swords and trading insults or witty banter could also be a delay.

    Yes, but You succeed, but at a cost. Perhaps the bandit yelled out before he died.

    Yes A solid success, you achieved your stated goals without a problem.

    Yes, and Not only does the bandit fall, he accidentally reveals the name of the bandit boss, “Red Hand Sam will avenge me! Arrgh…”

    The Time Table is designed to be casual in its details. The results are there to guide the story forward. Time travel does offer the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (or is that foresight?) When you revisit a decision point, if you do not change your actions, you can follow the same path. However, you can use your fore-knowledge to create advantages such as having the right tool, information, or perhaps just being warned in advance of an ambush.
  • Is really the general category of which success / failure and success margin are a subset. Breaking those into pieces and re composing them decoupled outcome from from PC ability and realistic probabilities. This allowed for many players the slide toward "story" stance (Cf As the worm turns). That's my undocumentd historical hypothesis anyway.
  • Game designers, remember to be extra mindful about probabilities when turning boolean outcomes into scalar outcomes.
  • I learned about this "scale" through the FU rpg and I immediately loved its genericness and I though A LOT about it during the past few years.

    Nowadays I use a shorter variant that also specifies who narrates the result (eliminating the need of making out an outcome that goes against the best interest of your character):

    Yes: The player narrates a complete success.
    Yes But: The GM narrates a partial success.
    No But: The player narrates a partial failure.
    No: The GM narrates a complete failure.

    The way you map your dice roll to the scale is up to you but I firmly believe that this kind of "4 outcomes" scale ({success, failure} X {partial, total}) has the right size and the right amount of genericness to deal with everything.
  • Once you breached out of boolean limitation, you can add more logical operators "or", "unless", "if ... then" (Archipelago, Polaris)
  • Yeah, X-ary outcomes are great and I do use them. Just saying that I'm seeing a lot of wonky probability stuff; not in this thread but it can happen pretty easily.
  • "No, but" and "No, and" should die, because it's what "Yes, but" actually is. The phrases comes from improv originally, and I guess roleplaying gamers got a hold of them and didn't understood what they did.

    "Yes, and" is accepting while "Yes, but" is blocking.

    https://improwiki.com/en/wiki/improv/accept

    https://improwiki.com/en/wiki/improv/blocking

    It's good to accept (Yes), but blocking (What RPGamers think is "No") can occur as well, but not matter what you choose, it's even better if you offer something new - usually with "And", "But", or "Because".

    https://improwiki.com/en/wiki/improv/offer

    "I would like to go out the door."
    "Yes, but there is a guard in the way because you're in prison". Blocking ... but offering.
  • edited April 15
    In a way, most traditional RPG systems with fumble and crit systems have Yes/No ... and/but.

    Crit: Yes, and
    Success: Yes (GM narrates)
    Failure: No (GM narrates)
    Fumble: No, and
  • Right, and in d20 based systems that has caused some probability wonkiness (the chance of fumble or crit is not related to character skill, just fate). For general checks I just use binary outcomes, if I have a "no and" or a "yes but" in mind I'll do a DC12/DC20 combo
  • Uh, sorry for the thread jack :bawling:
    Oh and also; whenever I do use ternary, it's because it's when there are multiple possible outcomes already. I don't know if I'm putting the cart before horse but that's my practice. I don't go like "Ok, oh, wow, now I need to come up with a 'yes, but' here"; I'm more like "all right, so either she makes it up the tree, or she doesn't get very far but remaining safely on ground, or she falls & hurts herself. let's call for a ternary, announcing those three stakes before fortune"
  • Yeah, X-ary outcomes are great and I do use them. Just saying that I'm seeing a lot of wonky probability stuff; not in this thread but it can happen pretty easily.
    As a matter of fact I use the previous scale with the mechanic:

    Player has a clear advantage: Toss 2 Coins and add 1 head.
    Player has a clear disadvantage: Toss 2 Coins and add 1 tail.
    In all other cases: Toss 3 coins.

    Then count the number of "heads" and narrate the result:

    3 heads: Yes.
    2 heads: Yes, but.
    1 head: No, but.
    0 heads: No.

    Which I'm sure qualifies as wonky probability stuff but, an that's my point, if your "4 outcomes" are flexible enough it does not really matter.

    I mean, you should roll only when all 4 outcomes make sense* (= rolling any particular outcome is not going to spoil the game) so it all boils down to your ability to distinguish between the outcome distribution of this system and the outcome distribution of your system of choice.

    Now, the outcome distribution of this system is:
    Advantage:   25.0%, 50.0%, 25.0%, 00.0%
    Regular: 12.5%, 37.5%, 37.5%, 12.5%
    Disavantage: 00.0%, 25.0%, 50.0%, 25.0%
    Whereas others systems like Fate simulate a great number of combinations but then they usually boil down to 4 outcomes ("Yes and", "Yes", "Yes but" & "No") and get a distribution like:
    4dF+2 vs 0: 38.3% 43.2% 12.3% 06.2%
    4dF+1 vs 0: 18.5% 43.2% 19.8% 18.5%
    4dF vs 0: 06.2% 32.1% 23.5% 38.3%
    I know that these are different distributions and the law of large numbers says that, in the long run, I will be able to tell them apart just by looking at their output, but I really doubt that for any particular 3h game you will need to roll that many times.

    Moreover, since you have to translate the 4 outcomes to whatever makes sense for the story you will adapt them and you will add whatever the narration needs at the time: A "no, but" looking for a clue might give you a weaker clue whereas the same "no, but" fighting a dragon might left you almost dead hanging from a cliff.

    Since the 4 outcomes are so generic it does not make much sense to agonize about the probabilities of the roll because you will have to adapt them anyway (introducing a lot of noise in the process).

    Now, a completely different topic is whether these two system feel different (and I completely agree that they feel very different) and whether they encourage different styles of play (and, again, I agree that they are not equally well suited to be used in different contexts) but the thing is that for the kind of games where using this kind of outcome scale makes sense the exact probability distribution of the resolution mechanic is not very important.

    This being said, as a mathematician I do think that many designers do a very poor job when they work out how to translate the roll output into a scale of outcomes (which, if I understood you well, was your point) but I wanted to point out that, for this particular type of "scale of outcomes" that problem is not as relevant as for other kinds of "scale of outcomes".

    Sorry for the wall of text... :-)




    * Indeed, when you roll with advantage you cannot get a "No" and when you roll with disadvantage you cannot get a "Yes" but this is not a bug, is a feature: Now you have a crystal clear definition of what does it means "to have advantage": To be in a situation where the worst outcome you can expect is a "No, but".
  • edited April 15
    Now, the outcome distribution of this system is:

    The fact that you’re even aware of your outcome distribution means that you’re pretty far ahead when it comes to designing RPG mechanics. (Uh, I came up in the 90s when things were especially dire and every system needed its own mechanic for some reason.)

    This being said, as a mathematician I do think that many designers do a very poor job when they work out how to translate the roll output into a scale of outcomes (which, if I understood you well, was your point)

    That’s right♥

    Sorry for the wall of text… :-)

    Hey, I’ve written close to 3K words on S-G today I'd guess. Brevity is the soul of… hey, do they have nachos here?

  • edited April 15
    "No, but" and "No, and" should die, because it's what "Yes, but" actually is. The phrases comes from improv originally, and I guess roleplaying gamers got a hold of them and didn't understood what they did.

    "Yes, and" is accepting while "Yes, but" is blocking.

    https://improwiki.com/en/wiki/improv/accept

    https://improwiki.com/en/wiki/improv/blocking

    It's good to accept (Yes), but blocking (What RPGamers think is "No") can occur as well, but not matter what you choose, it's even better if you offer something new - usually with "And", "But", or "Because".

    https://improwiki.com/en/wiki/improv/offer

    "I would like to go out the door."
    "Yes, but there is a guard in the way because you're in prison". Blocking ... but offering.
    I understand what you mean but I use the "Yes" and the "No" bits as a declaration of what happened "a posteriori" (random oracle) rather than as ritual to shape the narration (key phrases).

    In that sense I was thinking in a classical action resolution:

    - I try to hit him with my axe. What happens?
    - [rolls a "No, but"] You get to narrate your "partial fail". Remember that you don't really hit him with the axe but you end up somehow better off than how you started.
    - Ok, I try to hit him with my axe... and he dodges the blow... but that leaves him off-balance and he won't be able to counter-attack immediately!

    In that context it makes perfect sense to have one or more "No" outcomes because we are asking whether the action does happen or not once it has been established what we intend, what are the stakes, etc...

    So I completely agree with you that in the context of collaborative story-telling it will be better to restrict the outcomes to "Yes and" & "Yes but" but in the more general context of action resolution via "random oracles" it makes sense to have pure negative outcomes.
  • Indeed. "Yes, but" has a very different meaning in an improv context (accepting someone's contribution, but undermining it) than it does in terms of in-fiction resolution (the character's chosen action succeeds, but leads to complications). It may look similar on the surface, but that distinction about whether it's the player or the character who is being thwarted is pretty key.

    Also, hypothetical reader, do be sure to review this earlier thread - it covers a lot of this:
    @Hopeless_Wanderer:

    I think you'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about this, as well as downsides, and games it's been used in, here:

    http://story-games.com/forums/discussion/19114/is-the-d6-yes-and-scale-enough
    In another discussion, we have covered how writers think about this (although I can't find it right now). Some dramatic theorists/writers have suggested that, in most stories, the most common result/outcome should be "no, and", right up until the end of the story.

    That's an example of how the fictional output (constant "no, and" is a reasonable analysis of a lot of writing/story types, from the protagonist's perspective) does not work well in a gaming context (since it would shut down one player's contributions to the game constantly).
  • edited April 15
    I understand what you mean but I use the "Yes" and the "No" bits as a declaration of what happened "a posteriori" (random oracle) rather than as ritual to shape the narration (key phrases).

    In that sense I was thinking in a classical action resolution:

    - I try to hit him with my axe. What happens?
    - [rolls a "No, but"] You get to narrate your "partial fail". Remember that you don't really hit him with the axe but you end up somehow better off than how you started.
    - Ok, I try to hit him with my axe... and he dodges the blow... but that leaves him off-balance and he won't be able to counter-attack immediately!
    Yeah, but you're talking about adding something to a system to change it. I talk about changing how we design a system to support a "and/but" mechanic in, IMHO, a smoother way.

    And don't assume that I'm talking with only collaborating storytelling in mind. However, I do talk about how the group interact (talk) to build something together. If there were a tactical system that is going to be designed, I would have a totally different opinion.
  • Inspectres got a Yes/No ... and/but system.
    Skill Roll Chart (Find highest result)
    6: Amazing! Describe the result and gain 2 Franchise Dice. 5: Good. Describe the result and gain 1 Franchise Die.
    4: Fair. Describe the mostly positive result of your action but you must include negative or humorous effect.
    3: Not Great. The GM decides your fate but you may be given a chance to suggest a single positive (albeit minor) effect.
    2: Bad. The GM decides your fate or you may suggest something suitably negative.
    1: Terrible! The GM gets to hose you with a truly dire situation resulting from your incompetence.
    I really like that the system tells that the GM only should narrate the negative effects, and also suggests that the GM should involve a humorous effect. I took that way of thinking into other games as well.
  • In my own experience, there's not much point to categorizing the three "no" responses in a ladder. A "no" roll should either be one of the three, and designing a system to accommodate all three as potential options in one roll adds complexity without significant benefit.

    Anecdotally, most GMs already categorize roll quality based on the roll itself even if the rules don't prescribe it. The "natural 1/20" rule that pervades many d20 games evidences this.
  • Anecdotally, most GMs already categorize roll quality based on the roll itself even if the rules don't prescribe it.
    Is this still common? It's been so absent from our own play and from groups in our local community. It's something I associate with online discussions maybe five years back or so

  • Is this still common? It's been so absent from our own play and from groups in our local community. It's something I associate with online discussions maybe five years back or so
    I suppose it depends on what games you play. In my experience with the tradsphere, getting a natural 1/20 is a Big Deal, and both players and GMs lap it up. The behavior happens emerges quite naturally regardless of the game played (especially those with binary success/failure states).
  • But I mean on like a nat 4 or a nat 3 or something. Back then I used to see a lot of narrative power invested in the unmodified roll even when it's not a 1 or 20 and that really invalidated the character. Not that I have anything special on 1s or 20s in our game except the hobbit's luck power to reroll 1s.
  • From what I've seen, it happens on "magic" numbers like 1/20, doubles on a percentile system (or rolling 01/00), rolling 3d6 and getting 6-6-6, rolling many successes over the target number in a dice pool game, and so on and so forth.
  • Oh, you mean codified. I meant the, like, "folk practice" of reading the boolean outcomes as if they were scalar
  • edited April 16
    Oh, you mean codified. I meant the, like, "folk practice" of reading the boolean outcomes as if they were scalar
    You had it right the first time, and I like that term. Lots of "folk practice" that comes from those magic numbers, almost like superstitions. Ah, you rolled DOUBLES, so something else happens to make it bigger, bolder, more interesting! Success and failure magnified as a matter of drama and probabilistic outcomes.

    Certain types adore this.
  • edited April 21
    "No, but" and "No, and" should die, because it's what "Yes, but" actually is.
    I respectfully disagree, or rather, I'd say it depends on the intentions of the system. DayTrippers (for instance) uses all of the options except for a flat "NO", and I absolutely see "No But" and "No And" as being qualitatively different than "Yes But" - especially in a game such as DT when both parties have already stated their intended actions and the die roll is working out how those two things interact. The GM narrates the negative parts while the Player narrates the positive parts.

    Rough example: "Yes But" means you succeeded but another problem arose, "No But" means you failed but some benefit arose, and "No And" means you failed plus some other problem arose.
  • edited April 21
    Yes, but whats the difference.

    The natural range is ...

    Yes.

    Yes with a difference (which include any no but, et.c.).

    No.

    Or do you include the no but/and) as a no.
  • edited April 21
    This speaks to the broader point I was trying to make (and failing, evidently). Such logic (as above) only works if the system's point of view is unipolar, i.e. the PCs are the only active parties and everything else is abstracted. The system I described is bipolar: it is what you get when both parties are active and the level of abstraction is equal between them.
  • edited April 21
    Typically you first sort out the conflict you want get solved.
    So, when you´re asking: "Is it possible to pass Cerberus unnoticed?" and then you get "No, but..." you don´t pass Cerberus (but maybe Eurydice returns without your help...).
    When you get "Yes, but..." you pass (but maybe Cerberus destroys your lyre). It´s a difference, isn´t it?
  • Okay, so you include them with the no (no with variations).
  • Sure... it´s called "No, but..."
  • ”Yes, but” is a ”no” that not end the story, the use is much the same as the suggested ”no, and” and ”no, but”. The ”no” ends a story, and replaces it with either nothing or a new story.
  • That's why DayTrippers doesn't use "No". We agree on that. However, "No But" and "No And" are both still interesting. One of them adds a new problem, the other a new affordance.
    • Yes and → You get what you want + You get even more good things
    • Yes → You get what you want. That’s it. HAND.
    • Yes but → You get what you want + You get some things you definitely don’t want
    • No but → You don’t get what you want + You do get some other good things
    • No → You don’t get what you want. That’s it. HYSTE.
    • No and → You don’t get what you want. + You get even more things you definitely don’t want.
  • I read it as this.

    Question. Do the story (path) continue?

    Answers.

    Yes

    No

    Yes, but ... (with a change in direction).
  • Wow, in that case, Quads, I get why people come up with bull like "failing forward" and so on and why they are so afraid of a no. Normally "can I get through this locked door?" "No you can't" "OK then I'll go do something else" is fine. It's just a door that you couldn't open. Same as real life.

    But if the story (path) only goes one way — through that door ­— then a "no" is devastating.
    So that’s why Gumshoe and Trail of Cthulhu exist (games where you pretty much always find all the clues). Because they are funnels to one big & intended & scary reveal.
  • Yes, but if you put into the framework you just mention, there is a place for the ”no, and” and the ”no, but”.
  • There already is!

    And/But 101

    "Can I jump over the chasm?"

    No, you fall down, but you manage to fall softly
    No, you fall down. You are hurt.
    No, you fall down. And your gear also breaks.

    "But" → Something additional that mildens the main yes or no answer
    "And" → Something additional that amplifies the main yes or no answer

    Can I get released from death row, it's my birthday? "No, but here's some cake" "Yes, and here's some cake" "No, and here's a slap in the face for asking" "Yes, but here's a slap in the face for asking"

    In predicate grammar, "yes" and "but" both mean logically the same thing.
    "Statement 1. In addition, statement 2".

    In Lojban, you use the word ".e" for this. (Sorry for starting a word with punctuation, just Lojban things.) If you want to add the connotation that statement 2 somehow seems contradictory or unexpected given statement 1, you add a discursive, "ku'i". Giving the "and" more of a "but" vibe.

    "No", you can't get released, "and" here's some cake. Wait what, you're giving me mixed messages, am I getting good news and bad news?

    Good news, and more good news.
    Bad news, and more bad news.
    Good news, but some bad news.
    Bad news, but some good news.

    That's how it works.

    My apologies to everyone who already knew this! I just want to make sure that the basics are here in this thread for people who stumble upon it years later and wonder through the archeological record what the heck the word "but" is. In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war. And more war. So they forgot the word "but".
  • Not to be confused with any butts ...
  • edited April 22
    "No, but" and "No, and" should die, because it's what "Yes, but" actually is.
    I respectfully disagree, or rather, I'd say it depends on the intentions of the system. DayTrippers (for instance) uses all of the options except for a flat "NO", and I absolutely see "No But" and "No And" as being qualitatively different than "Yes But" - especially in a game such as DT when both parties have already stated their intended actions and the die roll is working out how those two things interact. The GM narrates the negative parts while the Player narrates the positive parts.

    Rough example: "Yes But" means you succeeded but another problem arose, "No But" means you failed but some benefit arose, and "No And" means you failed plus some other problem arose.
    "Yes, but there is a brick wall behind the door" is nothing different than a "No, you can't lock pick the door". "Yeah, but you can't really lock pick the door because that's impossible".

    "Yes, but" is waaaaaaaaaaaay broader than just failing forward, even though the principle could be there. There is more than one interpretation of "Yes, but" than being a nice way of presenting another option. The "but" is blocking in improv, just like "No" is blocking in roleplaying games.

    Trying to defend "No and/but" is IMHO just not realizing what "Yes, but" actually was from the beginning, and then trying to "improve" upon it by expanding on the "and/but" formula. It's not the "Yes" in "Yes, and" that is the "Yes" in roleplaying game – it's the "and". While, on the other hand, the "but" is the "no".
  • edited April 23
    In my model (and I think perhaps implicit in Sandra's, and probably most people's), is the notion that the scale and/or object of the two potential results is different. The "Yes/No" part addresses a question of greater magnitude and/or direct intentional consequence to the acting PC than the issue that arises through "And/But".

    The total question is not simply a matter of whether or not we're removing a rail segment (to use my own controversial terminology), but may indeed open up a new one (No But), or be turned to the service of increasing tension (No And).

    As you know, @Rickard, I tend to agree with you most of the time, having always felt a sort of kinship with your approach. But on this point I completely disagree with you, both structurally and functionally.
  • It's not a brick wall.
    It's something else entirely.

    Yes, you can lockpick the door, but there's a sad letter in the mail later that evening.
  • edited April 22

    Let’s break it down.

    “Good blocking” in impro is when a scene is splashing and you want to throw a wrench in the gears – introduce conflict and play with status.

    “Accept” is when you don’t block but build strictly on the other’s contribution.

    In this binary model,

    “Yes, and”, “Yes, but” are both forms of acceptance,
    and “No, but” is still a form of “good blocking”.

    However, the binary model is for accepting “world facts” – even if the facts take the form of IC proposed events, like the “Let’s go to the movies today” IC proposal example from improwiki.

    Story games aren’t limited to dealing with world facts, where the “accepting/blocking” dichotomy is relevant. They are also dealing with success & failure of attempts.

    C.f. Fiasco where the scene resolution of a character saying “OK, I enter the pizza place and say freeze you dorks! Hand over today’s earnings from the register!” is much more about “is the character successful?” than “is there really a pizza place there?”

    Blocking: “A pizza place? This is a pharmacy!”
    Acceptance: “Oh no, someone is robbing our pizza place!”

    Hopefully it’s pretty self-evident to the story gamer that yes, there is a pizza place. There are mechanisms in place for blocking on this level, such as X-card or “Try another way” Archipelago card, but what we’re more concerned about is whether or not the pizza robbery – acceptance of which is a given – is successful or not. The “resolution” focus of roleplaying’s roots.

    That’s when the two ternary models “yes, no, maybe” × “good bonus side outcome, no bonus side outcome, bad malus sideoutcome” give rise to the familiar nine out comes, the “maybe” results are pointless & stalling so are discarded, leaving the six mentioned in the title of this thread.

    • Success + good bonus
    • Success, plainly
    • Success + bad malus
    • Failure + good bonus
    • Failure, plainly
    • Failure + bad malus

    Rickard is talking about a different level of gameplay than what all the “Yes but / No and” stuff is about.

    Arguably story games are more evolved than impro theatre in this regard.

    “Acceptance” of world facts, as opposed to blocking of them, is a given in a GM-less / GM-full game where we build on each other’s contributions, while in a GM-driven game (including, especially, “adventure games” to use Ben’s parlance) is something wholly on the GM’s side of things (where I’ve been pushing for the GM being under some sort of “rules” for this, such as gloracle or PbtA moves/principles/agenda).

    Now, in a impro model, the success and failure are themselves handled as if they were “world facts”.

    “OK, I enter the pizza place and say freeze you dorks! Hand over today’s earnings from the register!” “I’m shaking in fear as you approach the counter” “I’m nervous too – this is my first robbery” etc etc.

    There are story games that are based on resolving all scenes at this level – Microscope is what I have in mind.

    But there is also great fun to be had by having explicitly different mechanics for specifically resolution of success/failure propositions. Especially in some stances. “I try to do X, do I succeed?” is a common enough question in many story games that it has been lifted to be a “first class mechanic” as opposed to being handled by the general “world facts” mechanic. Example: Everway, where success/failure (and other events) is fortune cards, while other, non-event world facts are vision cards.

    Another example: D&D B/X, where success/failure on a save-or-die poisonous bee is “dice” while the existance of the bee is “prep”.

    Now, what’s my own take on this familiar yes/but/and etc hexad?

    First, I seldom see value in including a bunch of side world facts (the bonus / malus effects) when I turn to the oracle with a specific question of a particular attempts resolution. “Yes” and “No” are sufficient for me since I have other ways of introducing world facts and events.

    Second, for a lot of attempts the question of success or failure isn’t immediately interesting. “Can we search for traps?” I’d rather say “yes, and it takes 10 minutes” than “IDK we’ll let the dice decide” because I know that the time expenditure itself will lead to interesting side world facts / events being introduced soon enough.

  • AW does use this, but stripped down.

    10+: Success, plainly
    7-9: Success + bad malus or Failure + good bonus
    6-: Failure, plainly

    Talislanta uses the full hexad. Uh... if I'm about to start listing to what extent various games use or don't use this idea I'll be here all night.
  • I try to do X, do I succeed?
    In impro theatre: "I shoot you!" "Oh, damn, I'm hit!" is entertaining & surprising to the audience.

    Story games need to entertain & surprise even the shooter. Answering your own questions isn't always satisfying.


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