The folks that I currently run games for aren't really interested in small press stuff. D&D and White Wolf only. My wife is always up for whatever I feel like, bless her heart.
I tend to worry a bit more these days on how many overall rules there are in a system, and whether that system is going to deliver a play experience I'm happy with.
So right now, I'm running a variant d20 game for the group that they all seem to dig. And I'm shortly going to be doing Secret of Zir'An with my wife. And depending on how things go, I'll be doing something called Witch Hunter: Invisible World (similar to OWod mechanics) for the group.
My question come to the whole skill thing.
Talislanta has some bits for partial success, which appeals to me. I'm wondering how something similar to a partial success might be implemented in one of these traditional games, where success is usually a binary Yes/No deal.
But of course, that's not quite it. See, as I was doing the hour drive to Philly for the game, I was thinking about failure in the game. If someone makes an attack roll and fails to beat the number, I don't have 'em simply miss. No, they get their attack and groovy description, it just doesn't actually do damage.
Of course, that's still a binary Yes/No result, but at least they still get a nice description to go along with it.
so I started thinking about this more, and asked myself, "What if failure is impossible?"
Wushu does something sort of like this, with their Principle of Narrative Truth. Players chew away at a pool of points until eventually the threshold is reached, and then the player that managed to get their gets to narrate the victory.
I'm not entirely sure I want to apply the "failure is impossible" aspect to combat or what it would look like. But I really am curious to see what folks think of the idea overall, and what it might look like (or suggestions for) implementing it when it comes to skills within traditional games.
Search for a secret door (standard D&D): Search check DC22 in order to spot it. Player rolls an 18, "Nope, you don't find anything"
Search for a secret door (failure is impossible): Search check DC22 in order to spot it. Player rolls an 18, "Yeah, you find a secret door. But..."
And that's where I stumble. The "But.." part. How to complicate the characters lives. Yeah, you should only be rolling the dice when failure has the potential to be interesting, but a lot of D&D/traditional play seems to rely on rolling an awful lot.
I'm doubting it's the sort of thing I'm going to do with the group. They like their traditional play, and I have fun running the game for 'em. But I am curious to try implementing it with the Zir'An game I do with my wife, and seeing how it works out.