I’ve had a question sitting in the back of my mind for the longest time. I started out with Dungeon World before getting into the OSR, lured in by Sage Latorra’s assertion that 'If you started playing D&D as a kid, it runs more or less exactly like how you imagined a fantasy game of exploration and adventure should run.
I stopped playing it and switched to the OSR, because of DW’s focus on placing the PC’s narratives first, and shaping the world around them. (To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that)
My question was about my favourite Dungeon World mechanic, which is also the one at the heart of PbtA: the Failure/Mixed Success/Success roll. Certainly it stretched me as a GM more than any other mechanic I’d tried up till then.
Thing is, integrating ‘Mixed Successes’ has never really taken off in OSR-influenced games. That’s understandable in the retro-clones, but I notice even as OSR games have innovated with things like Hazard Dice, or overloaded Encounter Dice, or Inventory Slots, dice rolls still seem largely binary pass-fail. I’m aware of games like Brindlewood Bay, Beyond the Wall, World of Dungeons etc, but it seems (to me!) that these games don’t get much discussion in OSR spaces, and they exist within the ‘Storygame’ category for some.
So: is there something I’m missing? Is the ‘Mixed Success’ mechanic counter to fundamental OSR play loops? Or is this just fall-out from the OSR-Storygames War that went on a few years ago?