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Fortune at the End

I love what RPG designers call “Fortune at the End”; making your decisions before the roll and then the roll shows you what happened. You have all kinds of ways to influence the roll but you do that first, and then there’s the showdown. Poker and roulette are similar in that regard. You think you’ve figured out when to hold’em and now it’s time for a prayer on the flop. I hate fighting in real life but these kinds of mechanics feel, to me, appropriate to how a good swashbuckling movie should feel. You’ve swung your sword or drawn back your bow and now all you can do is see how it landed.

This is contrasted with “Fortune in the Middle” or “Fortune in the Beginning”, where you roll your dice but then you get to fiddle endlessly with the result with points and chips and spends and this and that and the other. Legalized fudging. Not my jam. I want tension and release, not tension and hold-​on-​let-​me-​just-​tweak-​some-​levers.

I go into some of why I like Fortune at the End in these posts on tens-complement and retconning.