Exploring different types of random elements in tabletop games
Thinking about why I like output randomness. Looking at it through TTRPGs especially, I think I prefer output randomness because, to me at least, I feel my own agency more. Input randomness feels like something happens in the world and I react to it. Where output randomness feels more like I know what my best option is (or I at least have the thing I'm most interested in trying), then the world reacts to that action. It's more like I'm pushing than being pulled.
I'm curious if that's how others perceive it too?
Also!.. In a gameplay loop where opponents are taking actions as well, such as in a battle in a TTRPG, does the enemy's turns count as input randomness? Am I getting both my itches scratched at the same time?!
This is a really helpful post for clarifying my own thoughts, thanks for putting this together, Im going to keep reading. At this point, here’s something that struck me:
Story games largely take the output randomness we’re used to in TTRPGs (make a choice, ask fate how it plays out) and give us an opportunity to SHAPE the output randomness. “I ATTACK” -> (Random: you MISS!) -> Decision: “I would like to negotiate what we mean by MISS here so that my decision still have value, and the randomness generates something positive as opposed to simply foiling my plan.” In fact, you can nearly describing this as output randomness BECOMES input randomness.