Didn’t get a chance to read these updates until now - this one is great, useful terminology and discussion that I don’t really have any questions about or critique of.
All that’s left is to answer your questions:
A) What sort of modal game experiences have you most enjoyed?
I’ve enjoyed OD&D & B/X for a long time, the jarring shift from thinking through puzzles, negotiation, and exploration to fast messy and dangerous combat marks that combat as a sort of climactic collapse of player choices into risk and danger.
B) What games with nonmodal rules have felt like the biggest stretch to you?
The memory that jumps out is Torchbearer, simply because it’s so close to the classic D&D editions I mostly play in tone and goals. I liked the ideas of the system, but in practice the identical game of bonus stacking and sheet interrogation for chopping a ghoul with an axe and using elven memory and dance to make it remember its former life and despair felt way too gimmicky. I totally love the idea of forcing the undead to remember life as a means of overcoming them - but forcing everything into the same mechanical sausage casing is jarring.
C) Do you often feel like you have trouble knowing how long to talk at the table?
At times, I tend to be verbose and have a fairly strong personality. Luckily I’ve had a lot of training in meeting management and public speaking - so I think I usually manage it unless I’m super excited and/or drunk (which is not entirely uncommon when playing games). As a GM I find I do better at controlling pace and managing the flow of play while giving quieter players an opportunity to be involved as well - but I worry my descriptions can run long.