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Aug. 20th, 2018 @ 08:56 pm RPG-a-day: day 20: Which game mechanic inspires your play the most?
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

Day 20: Which game mechanic inspires your play the most?
To me, the ‘success at cost’-mechanic that’s in the Apocalypse World Engine and in Forged in the Dark games was a real eye-opener. Prior to that, success in my games (and in the games I played in) was binary: either you succeeded and got what you wanted, or you failed and (potentially) bad things happened. But this third value added a whole new dynamic to it: you get what you want, but there is a complication that you (or a party member) have to deal with (immediately, or in the future).

For instance, suppose in a game of Dungeon World, a goblin is charging towards the Fighter. The MC asks: “What do you do?” and the Fighter answers they want to use their shield to prevent the goblin from reaching them. They Defy Danger with their Constitution and roll an 8. That’s a partial success: they get what they want, but there is a complication. The MC rules that the Goblin jumps onto their shield (that’s the success) and then is deflected towards the Wizard, who is just preparing a spell. Smiling, the MC asks of the Wizard: “What do you do…?”
There are still all kinds of possibilities on how to deal with this situation, but the MC has complicated the characters’ lives and added action and adventure. That allows the characters to show off their cool moves, and doesn’t every player want to their character to pull off cool stunts?

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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Fleeing rabbit
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Date:August 22nd, 2018 06:17 am (UTC)
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So, presumably the mechanic is how the game works?

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Date:August 22nd, 2018 01:29 pm (UTC)
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Yes. It's a game (as opposed to just Making Stuff Up) because there are rules. The most important rule is how to determine if something a character tries succeeds or not. And that is the mechanic I'm talking about here.
Good mechanics drive the story forward in an interesting manner, while not being so cumbersome that the game grinds to a halt while dice are counted, complicated calculations are done and esoteric tables are consulted.
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