I’ve had this idea for a while, and there’s a better than even chance I’ll turn it into something in the future. It’s a diceless conflict resolution system for an RPG, the schtick being that you get to choose whether you succeed or fail at a given task. Here’s how it works.
The system revolves around tokens. I don’t have a specific name for them yet, so for now let’s call them Plot Tokens, because that’s suitably generic. You don’t start with any of these.
Each player also has a number of Skills or Schticks or whatever; maybe it’s straightforward stuff like “Fighting” and “Athletics”; maybe it’s more descriptive stuff like “Scary as Fuck”; or maybe it describes an occupation or role, like “Freelance Investigator”. The important thing is that, when you attempt an action that falls under the purview of one of these things, you can choose to succeed at no cost. Maybe they can be used a limited number of times per scene or per session, maybe not; I haven’t quite decided yet.
Whenever you attempt an action that falls outside the purview of one of your Schticks/Skills/whatever, you have a choice: succeed and spend a Plot Token, or fail and take a Plot Token. The key here is that both results have to have teeth. If you succeed, you get something concrete out of it; if you fail, something bad happens to complicate your life. Also, in regards to failure, “retries” are not allowed; if you choose to fail, you’ve failed. That opportunity has passed and you fucked it up.
The fact that you don’t start with any Plot Tokens means you’ll have to fail a few times in order to succeed later (unless you’re doing something relating to your Scthicks), which is intentional.
And that’s pretty much it. I have a setting for this system in mind, but I’m going to hold that back for now. I’m still working on these mechanics, but I’d very much like to get your input.