If you’re familiar with indie theory, you’ve heard the phrase ‘say yes, or roll the dice.’ (Its derivative of one of the principles in Nobilis, which is as a GM to never flat out say no; ask how, ask why, or say yes, but don’t say no. It’s come into its own in Dogs in the Vinyard as a principle that’s all grown up.)
So in Shattered Vistas, I’ve got twin mechanisms for Task and Conflict resolution. The Task is interesting, because the GM gets an initial pool for free, and has to buy extra dice. So if you want a lock to be hard to pick, you have to pay extra dice (out of your limited resources) to give the PCs a harder time getting around it. I think this is pretty novel.
So then, I’m going one step further: if you, as a GM, force the PCs to roll for a task, they can force you to spend at least one of your dice to make it more difficult. Use your GM powers of calling for rolls too often, and you’ll find that the players bleed you out of dice and roll over your important antagonists later.