Here’s another really cool idea for a resolution mechanic I found over at Vincent Baker’s anyway.
Use these rules when somebody says “my character accomplishes this…” and somebody says “…but it’s not a given.” They can be the same person or different people.
First, identify the accomplishment at stake. If the person said “my character punches him,” ask why. If the person started with the reason, like “my character gets past him, by punching him down,” you’re set!
Second, identify two or more things that the character is risking. It might be helpful to say something like “but the danger is…” For instance, “my character gets past him, by punching him down, but the dangers are that he’ll hurt me, and that Millicent will see me fighting and be mad at me.”
The punch is a given; the character punches the guy successfully. What you’re going to resolve is the other three things: does the character get past him? does he hurt the character in the fight? does Millecent see the fight and get mad?
Third, roll 3d6. After you’ve rolled them, assign one each to the three things.
Assign one of the dice to the accomplishment at stake:
1-2: the character does not accomplish it. The character punches him but doesn’t get past him. Update the circumstances and roll another conflict, or go forward with the accomplishment totally unachieved.
3-4: the character makes progress toward the accomplishment, but doesn’t achieve it outright. Update the circumstances and roll another conflict, or go forward with the accomplishment partly achieved.
5-6: the character accomplishes it!
Assign the two remaining dice to the two dangers:
1-3: the danger comes true.
4-6: the danger doesn’t come true.
If the 1-2/3-4/5-6 scale works for the dangers too, feel free to use it.
So say I roll 1 3 4. How do I assign them? It depends on my priorities, of course. Maybe what matters most to me is Millicent’s regard: I assign 4 to that danger, so it doesn’t come true. Maybe what matters next is getting past the guy, who cares about a black eye: I assign 3 to getting past the guy, we’ll roll again, but pow! he gave me a real shiner.
Say instead I roll 4 6 6. I do the butt dance of victory!
Optionally: Sometimes we negotiate for extra dice up front. The deal seems to be, if you can justify 1 extra die, you get it; to get 2 extra dice, you have to justify very well or really really want it. Sometimes we negotiate for extra dice after the roll but before assigning, but that’s less common and I can’t think what the rules for that are.
Thanks for sharing Vincent.