This applies to Dungeon World as well.
If you do make players skip rolls; why do you do it?
Originally shared by T. Franzke
A theory on why people use “Say Yes or Roll the Die” in Apocalypse World and games inspired by it.
Disclaimer: I believe that using SYoRtD in AW or related games is not supported by the game. You shouldn’t be doing this by rules as written. Using it can still create a very enjoyable gaming experience. There is no fundamental thing that gets broken beyond repair by doing this.
I do also believe though, that saying you can do this in a post of a newer player is hurtful to the discussion because it can confuse them and lead them down an understanding of the way the game works that is not intended. If you want to use this in your game; go ahead. I just don’t like it when you don’t mention that this is basically a hack of the game.
Okay with this out of the way? Why is this happening?
Dan Maruschak made a great point about it earlier today that I’d like to mention here too:
“My theory on “say yes or roll the dice in DW” is that “it’s all about techniques!” is the story-gamer-friendly strain of System Doesn’t Matter. People think that any idea that’s good in game X is “a good technique” and therefore something they should import into every game. ”
This is definitely one of the major reasons, I do however want to propose an additional one.
It creates a better story
Quite often I found people arguing for saying yes with mentioning an example where it wouldn’t be interesting/realistic/good for the story when a character would need to roll for a move and the 6- or 7-9 result doesn’t mix with what everyone else thinks should happen there. They do that because it is better for pacing and for the story as they think of it at that moment.
The problem however; is that AW and others don’t care about “The Story” from what I understand. They care about how interesting and cool characters react to different situations. The story emerges of characters doing cool things in tense situations and succeeding or failing. A narrative arc is not something that you should care about as for the principles. Still a lot of people care about it.
That is understandable. I think it is a pretty human thing to strive for dramatic build-up and conclusion. AW doesn’t.
It seems like a lot of people aren’t used to letting go of “The Story” and I don’t really know how to address that in talking about it. It doesn’t help that the texts (that I have read) aren’t very clear about this either.
Do you think that this need for “telling a story” has a hand in this?