Thinking about Tim’s diceless Vamp game got me thinking about Karma, Drama, and Fortune.
These are terms from Everway, appropriated for use in pretentious theory discussions. Essentially, Karma means resolution by comparing numbers and stats, Drama means resolution by what makes the most sense (either by explanations of plans and strategies, or story needs), and Fortune means resolution by random chance.
In the three sessions of Everway I ran, I suspect I leaned heavily on Fortune in the first one, the middle was practically resolutionless (and extremely Narrativist), and the last was very much Drama driven.
Why? I had a fairly straightforward situation thought out, and was willing to say yes to pretty much anything the PCs did. I wasn’t just letting them be awesome; I was letting them be too awesome. There wasn’t any challenge.
Whereas the first situation was great. There was a situation, and the cards came out, and stuff happened. No one knew what to expect next!
The lesson here is: don’t run anything with a goal already in mind. Let the situation speak for itself, and the events of play take their own direction.
And in addition to “say yes or roll the dice”, sometimes it’s important to remember the following: “say no and then roll the dice.”