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Task Resolution


 -  Define the conflict
 -  Determine the participants
 -  How much stress for each participant?
 -  What resolutions are wanted?
 -  Bidding
  -  Each player may bid a trait for or against
  -  Player to player negotiation about strategy (ie prisoner's dilemma and plot points)
 -  Task resolved<<


 -  Character vs inanimate (i.e. defusing a bomb)
 -  Inanimate vs inanimate (i.e. weapon breaking weapon)
 -  Character vs character (i.e. an arguement)
*  Aided by inanimate
*  Aided by character


Some systems define task resolution to have specific set outcomes, and some systems use random factors to determine whether a task succeeds or fails. Both styles weight the power of the outcome according to the skills and abilities (or power) of the protagonist and/or antagonist. I propose a number of classes of task - from the characters must succeed/fail“ down to “it doesn't matter whether the characters succeed or fail”.”

  1. Determined - No random factors. The outcome is certain.
  2. Predestined - Very few random factors. The outcome is certain within a set boundary (ie very successful to slightly successful).
  3. Weighted - Some random factors. The outcome is weighted (usually by skill levels and abilities) for a particular success.
  4. Balanced - Some random factors. Outcome is not weighted.
  5. Wild - Many random factors. Outcome can be very different.


  1. Trivial - In general trivial tasks do not require any system to determine their resolution. Climbing stairs when not stressed or not in a hurry.
  2. Minor - Usually uncontested and with little plot relevance. Climbing stairs while being shot at or chased.
  3. Major - A task whose outcome determines the direction a plot goes. Or it could significantly change or injure the character.
  4. Climactic - A plot or character climactic event. Usually it ends the plot and may create another. Or it could kill the character.

Stress Resolutions

Minor, Major or Climactic tasks may be resolved as stressful“. A stressful resolution is a method to create stress in the player who is attempting to resolve the task, and potential stress for the other players in the group at a future time.” Modelled after the Prisoner's Dilemma it is based on the concept of a player making a small betrayal now, can afford a big win later. The asymmetrical nature of the payoff is based on the importance of the task. The rewards for the betrayal are paid in Plot Points. The mystery of how big the payoffs will be in a session is based on how often important tasks occur.

  • Minor Task (Other Player/Acting Player Plot Points)

" " "
Acting Player
Wants to succeedWants to fail
Other PlayerSupports0 / 0-1 / 1
Does not support1 / -1-2 / -2

  • Major Task (Other Player/Acting Player Plot Points)

" " "
Acting Player
Wants to succeedWants to fail
Other PlayerSupports0 / 0-2 / 2
Does not support2 / -2-3 / -3

  • Climactic Task (Other Player/Acting Player Plot Points)

" " "
Acting Player
Wants to succeedWants to fail
Other PlayerSupports0 / 0-3 / 3
Does not support3 / -3-4 / -4


If using dice, treat a Plot Point as a 1 point modifier to the die roll.

Multiple Players and No Player

What if there is more than one opposing player? Or if a task is being attempted that no player wishes to take part in other than the acting player?

Your major is my trivial

What if the importance of a task is varied between players because the task is important to a particular character?


As far as I can see, there are three types of resolution in a task - reversed, prevented and dominated.

  • Reversed — One or more players wish to reverse the outcome of the acting player's task. i.e. Supervillian killing hostages vs Hero rescuing hostages.
  • Prevented — One or more players wish to stop the acting player from succeeding in their task. i.e. Supervillian killng hostages vs Hero stopping hostages from being killed.
  • Dominated — One or more players wish the task to succeed, but prefer it is their character that does it. i.e. Which Hero rescues the hostages.

If there are different resolution types for different players for the same task - then each resolution should be regarded as a side.


roleplaying/narrativetasks.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/13 00:38 by