Day 21 - Push
Dear Gods... what the heck to blog about this prompt of the day?
Hmm... Well, to push is to utilize force against a source of resistance. That is what roleplaying games rely on to challenge and motivate the players. When the player characters are down, injured, exhausted but there are still goals to achieve, the player characters sally forward in a heroic push to achieve their ends and goals.
How do the players usually push forward in this case? Through the use of a special mechanic and token/counter in the game in question. Call them Story Points, Drama Point, Fate Points, Hero Points, Bennies, Momentum, whatever. The key here is that they give the players the agency of changing the odds. That said, I firmly believe that players can do that without those freebie points by making decisions that have a grand effect: pick their fights, use the terrain, set up a con job, and so forth. The question is a matter of environment and game situation, methinks. If the player characters succeed working along with or despite the environment, then perhaps it's a case of using Special Points. If the player characters succeed because of the environment and their...call it cunning, they don't use Special Points. But that can have other effects and ramifications. Needless to say, there are two extremes here, and there's a lot of grey area in the middle. A perfect example of this is an environmental condition. Like dense fog in the air. So it's foggy or there's a -4 to Perception checks to see anything in the dense fog. Which do you use?
When it comes right down to it, game systems use various conditions and situational modifiers to affect play, and determine whether a player decides to spend a Special Point for the action or not. But they do so with a difference. For example, one may apply a penalty to a guard who is drunk. But which is right?, the penalty to the guard whom the players get drunk in one game, or the condition of "Drunk" applied after a player character has too much to drink at a festival?
The key for me, and at least my answer, is that they're not all that different. It's more a case of the mechanics of the game and how the task is resolved or not. And how the game approaches the idea of the characters changing the game environment. Or perhaps that's just how good stories are told.
And there you have this twenty-first post for this #RPGaDay for August, 2020. Comments, thoughts, questions, etc. are all welcome, of course. :)