I have recently stumbled upon the Open Legend (OL) RPG. I often play as a D&D 5e gamemaster and I was wondering if the “every roll matters” rule could fit D&D gameplay style.
From The Core Mechanic: The Action Roll (emphasis in original):
The action roll
Roll 1d20 + attribute dice (all dice explode).
- If the action roll equals or exceeds the Challenge Rating, then the result is the player succeeds.
- If the action roll is less than the Challenge Rating, then the result is the player succeeds with a twist OR the player fails but the story progresses. (GM's choice.)
The “every roll matters” rule was designed to make player actions meaningful to the story whether they succeed or fail. It recognizes the fact that static pass / fail rolls aren’t particularly fun for players. But “every roll matters” also adds an extra layer of complexity to the game because it requires the GM to make on-the-fly interpretations.
This particular rule applies, in Open Legend, every time a character attempts either an ability check or a saving throw.
What caught my attention was the second point, and in particular the player succeeds with a twist feature, which further in the core mechanics is described as follows:
When a player fails an action roll, the GM may choose to allow the player’s action to succeed with a twist. In this case, the player gets what they wanted originally, but there is some sort of unintended consequence or unexpected cost. The following list is not exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of what qualifies as a twist.
- Put a character in danger
- Expend a resource
- Make an enemy or lose a friend
- Overlook an important detail
- Waste time
- Attract attention
- Find something you weren’t looking for
I was wondering if the application of the player succeeds with a twist feature as a variant in D&D 5e ability check and saving throws failure interpretation (where usually a fail is just a fail) could improve the storytelling fluency (and overall party fun) without unbalancing the game.