My housemate Lloyd was expounding on the topic of dice in RPGs and storygames the other evening: his stance was that we need to try and break away from our reliance on them as the go-to fix for designing new games. In other words, when it comes to that point in the design when we ask "How do we decide what the results of the characters' actions are?", we need to stop reaching for the dice as a solution automatically.
This has got me to thinking: I've tried to break away from the lure of the dice in many small designs, mostly by using coins or cards instead, but aren't they still basically dice in cosplay? I'm currently trying to imagine what a real breakaway design would use instead, but before I can do that, I need to think about the methods that are used. So that's what this thread is about: what methods do we/can we use as game resolution mechanics?
Randomisation: dice, cards, coins, RNGs, the I-Ching, the cut-ups method and so on; any system that relies on a random source for guidance on or determination of outcomes. These might be quantitative ("I rolled a 6") or qualitative ("I drew Temperance.")
Negotiation: talking it out and coming to a consensus about how things happen and what occurs as a result, most often with an emphasis on what is most plausible in the fiction ("I think my thief should be able to pick a simple lock quickly") or what makes for the most satisfying story ("I think it would be more interesting if my thief gets caught and taken straight to the Chief of Security.")
Skill: memory, dexterity or some other human capacity is used to make the calls, e.g. the way the Jenga tower is used in Dread.
Resources: spending story or character points to make things happen; these might be generic or tied to specific elements of the game, e.g. Magic points to cast spells.
The big question is, are there any other significant methods that aren't just a variation of the above? For example, I'm toying with a system that uses coloured chips drawn from a bag, with the colours tied to different stats, but that's really just an intersection of Randomisation and Resources on the Venn diagram. I'm really driving towards a taxonomy of methods so I can see what's been used and if there are really any viable options still to explore.