Hard Mode Rule 60-80. Based on the Overconfidence Effect which has the surprising statistic that Experts who are 99% Certain can be wrong 40% of the time. This hard mode overlay on the rules is something that players may not all like except for stimulative, hard, or horror games.
This means capping the chance of success to 60% or 80% depending on the level of complexity and agency in a scene or scenario. When the level of control of the character is far removed from him like running an organization against another organization or the economy/market then it can fall to 60% cap. A good rule would be an Organization where the character is 1-2 levels removed he has only up to 80% control and at >3 levels remove at most the character has >60%.
Capping Success Consequences.
Capped success does not need to mean immediate failure It can be:
- Extended Cost/Conflict. The result is not a failure but an extended cost to the ongoing conflict. This results to a high attrition result. Repeating the Roll again while exacting the same cost (attrition or casualties), on both sides.
- Complications. Not a failure and a more nuance version of Extended Cost and Conflict. There are more Opportunity Costs or Trade Offs that occur in the failure. Instead of adding costs like above, the GM creates opportunities that would be significant enough to alter course or enough to distract the key PC in the scene.
- Unexpected Consequences. more confusing and counter intuitive than Complication. This is when the GM messes with the Pay-offs or Costs of the ongoing conflict. He reverses it in some way. Example would be something in the conflict would negatively affect the perception of the Character. the character would take a Social or Political consequence hit IF he would pursue for a success.
- Confusion. this is when the non-success results to new information, doubt, dissonance, or confusing and contradicting information. The PC is unable to follow through to success and role-plays the changing off gears. Confusion can also be the GM makes the shifts the payoffs like unexpected consequences.
GURPS 60-80% Rule
In GURPS this would mean caping success to 11-13. This would very relevant in Boardroom and Curia and Mass Combat. Implementing above would simply make the Margin of Failure result in the Capped Success Consequences for every 2 levels of failure. So 1-2 for Extended Conflict, 3-4 Complications, 5-6 Unexpected Consequences, and 7+ for Confusion.
Traveller 80-60 Rule
In Traveller that would mean capping success to 7-9 in a 2d6 for 60-80%. Simply use the margin of failure to trigger Capped Success Consequences. So 1-2 for Extended Conflict, 3 Complications, 4 Unexpected Consequences, and 5+ for Confusion.
- Complexity Theory
- Risk Aversion
- RPG Design Patterns Terms
- Narrative Bias
- Success at a Cost or Partial Success in Running GURPS more Narratively
- Base Rate of Success for Small Businesses
- Financial Advisers are no better than the market (illusion of Skill)
- others who have studied and pointed out the illusion of skill Robin Hanson and Nate Silver