Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Should We Reward Failure?

I recently came across a blog post that discussed the possibility of awarding things to players for failures, as well as success. Shouldn't you learn something from the failure?

I think re-tries can be important to a game in some cases. In some situations, most of those life or death, one-shot is all you get, and that makes sense, like when a character is diffusing a bomb. However, should we allow trying again after a failure if the character survives the failure. Should an archer get better aim on the second attempt? Should learning how something works, even though failure, give an advantage?


In the real-world, we learn by failure. That's how we learn to walk, talk, shoot, be artistic, or play an instrument. I think the question here is how real we want our games to be. Do we want it to be like a
video game, where once you screw up it's game over, or do we want it to be like real life, where screwing up is an essential part?


I do think that allowing characters to try again encourages more risks from players. Most players won't attempt something if they don't think they can succeed on the first try, especially if there is a much safer
option, where you will more likely succeed. However, if they can learn from failure, perhaps they will try the riskier option.


Like to GM in Theatre Noir? If this discussion about inspiration has spurred new ideas, perhaps you want to playtest GM Theatre Noir. 



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