Feedback: But/And/Yes/No Mechanic

Hello All,

Will you help me move this forward with some reviewing?

BANY is meant to turn the idea of Yes/And/No/But into a mechanic for easy import into a role-playing game. If you have a setting/story, but don’t want to make a mechanic, BANY is ready to go. If all goes well I will make it open source.

I hope to be able to sell custom dice to go with it.

Comments should be enabled on the file.



I like how thoroughly you’ve put this together; it’s a nice presentation, with examples, and covers a lot of bases.

Question for you:

Are you aware of the FU RPG?



I’ll read that soon. Haven’t heard of that.

Wow… that’s eerily similar. Great minds think alike, eh?

Yes and No on their own don’t suggest anything about what comes next. They are more about levels of victory (wargamey) than about keeping the story going (Improvey).That’s not necessarily a problem but something to take into account. Some systems make do with two “Yes but” or “No and” slot, often leaving the choice to the player, something like a “Yes and No”.
Also, I can’t help noting that if you add +1 question/outcome for +1D, what you get is the Otherkind resolution system, one of my favourite.

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Yup, my aim is closer to wargamey than improvey.

I’m looking up Otherkind. DuckDuckGo is finding very little about it. Got a good link for me?
Update: found the good stuff.
I like the assigning dice to answering the various questions.

Also, I can’t help noting that if you add +1 question/outcome for +1D

I’m afraid I don’t understand this (yet).

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I’ve always found that the 6-point “yes/no/but/and” scale is a logical design on paper, but doesn’t necessarily give the right elements the right weight. There are so many different ways to structure such “answers”, and giving each equal weight might or might not be the right choice.

For instance, Archipelago III has an “outcome deck”, which produces similar answers. It’s weighted like this:

Yes, and (2 cards)
Yes, but (8 cards)
Perhaps (2 cards; need someone’s help first)
No, but (4 cards)
No, and (2 cards)

I like that it omits the less interesting “no” and “yes”, and weights the most interesting outcomes more heavily (“yes, but” and “no, but”). Privileging “yes, but” tends to be really fruitful for RPG design (for various reasons we could get into), whereas “no, and” is favoured by some screenwriters (e.g. Jim Butcher considers it to be the basic structure of film and novel writing - the most common “answer” according to him, in scenes).

My worry with FU and this idea is that “yes, and” and “no, and” will be most favoured, whereas the most interesting results could come up less often.


As another touchpoint, consider how PbtA games allow you to partition these results; it’s actually quite interesting.

First of all, the modular design of moves allows you to shift the balance from situation to situation, rather than making it standard or generic, which is already pretty interesting: you can have one type of move which gives you “yes, and - yes - yes, but”, and another which is “no, but - no - no, and” if you want, to show which is “more difficult” or to explain what kinds of actions might be successful in your setting, world, or genre.

Second, the “miss” category is open-ended, allowing the MC to treat it differently from case to case.

So, many PbtA moves look like this:

10+ - Some type of yes; sometimes a “yes, but”, sometimes a “yes”, sometimes a “yes, and”. I think “yes, but” and “yes, and” are most common here.
7-9 - Most commonly a “yes, but”, but variations exist here, as well. Tends to be the most common result over most ranges. For very difficult moves, it can sometimes be a “no, but”.
miss - Here, the MC has free range. “Yes, but” is possible when it suits the situation, but it can also be a “No, and” or a “No, but”. I think “No, and” is most common here, but the design allows the MC to choose on the fly, which adds some interesting flexibility to the game.

What’s really cool about PbtA design is that the outcomes of specific moves can end up slotting into one of these categories depending on the fictional circumstances of the game, kind of like old-school task resolution mechanics, rather than being locked in at an abstract level.

DeReel mentioned Otherkind dice earlier, which are also one of my favourite mechanics. They are very heavily biased towards “yes, but”, with “no, and” and “yes” possible but rare. Depending on how you use the categories, “yes, and” is also possible, in theory. However, instead of categorizing results into these slots, the dice generate more specific fictional outcomes, which is both efficient and powerful.

I designed a system around these ideas a while back… I should see if I can dig it up. It has some things in common with the OP here, at least in terms of presentation.

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I meant “add a die (or half a coin, token, etc) for each possible outcome or dramatic question.”
I like the coin version, like Belonging outside Belonging strong/weak moves.
Me thinking about otherkind doesn’t mean it’s something you should do. I guess what I mean is : BANY will provide resolution, yes but, what else can it do ?
Having the players formulate a question is good for many reasons. What other practices, moods, approaches, etc. can you provoke and enhance with BANY?

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You guys are dropping some science on me. Thank you! So many games to research.

Hrm. I’m open to suggestions.

Alas, I haven’t rolled a die since my second daughter was born, so there’s been little opportunity to play games. The plague isn’t helping. I haven’t played Dungeon World (my introduction to PbtA) or the like yet.

Let me know if any of you would like to contribute to the document. Maybe write a port/hack of a particular setting or other game.

My next step is to flesh out using it for writing stories. I’m imagining a writing class using it. And to maybe explore other dice (2d6 or d12).

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I’d say you have the same goal as me : find a game that you could play and enjoy. That means trying different formats but, overall, short ones, and different audiences : family, friends, internet pick up groups, local gaming club (?) Each comes with a different set of advantages and limitations, and for each your taste will tell you which one you can take as is and which one you want to absolutely have, suggest or avoid.

If your connection is at least average and your schedule allows it, you could RSVP at Gauntlet Hangouts to play some cool games.

I really want to make this Otherkind Coin BANY game but I don’t have a Setting or Character goal in mind. It should be something dramatic, with high stakes requiring mitigation, like a “dramatically rich” environment. For it not to go all over the place, I’d also need a strong, railroad-like Goal, like a mission.

For an explosive situation smoldering, let’s say it’s a Faction game a la “New Dragon Gate Inn”. Make a faction pentagram (even if some factions are NPCs) of relations, and randomly assign 10 goals (intercept weapon cargo, romantic pursuit, deliver resistance weapons cargo, mislead a mortal into the ghost world, etc.) It takes place in a small neutral place : an inn. Everybody plays a Faction (agent, posse, as you like) undercover. To act openly is to become a target : dramatic irony ensues.

Each Faction has to accomplish 5 successful actions toward their goal to reach it.
Use BANY with “2 coins” variant : each desired outcome is appreciated with 2 tokens : Yes = 2 black tokens, Yes but = 1 black 1 white, No = 1 white 1 black, No and = 2 white.

Start with 1 black token for a talent to be revealed in game (imperial sigil, secret passageaway, wall crawling, spy network, musical language, hallowing bell, forbidden technique, legendary blade, etc.) More experienced players can take a handicap by announcing their talent early on. On the contrary, fresh players should be allowed “extensible” powers. Get on the same page regarding power level though.

Every white token in an action rises one Faction suspicion level. First level is : something fishy, let’s investigate. Second level is : as a faction agent I need to do something about it (but I won’t talk to the others about it) Third level is : let’s settle this with all we’ve got.

Each action toward your goal must be made on a different turn. You can choose to take an action unrelated to your goal. This makes all suspicion toward you drop by 1 tick, except for those Factions you gain suspicion with on that turn. Even if you take no action, you still have to narrate what you do (fake sleep, dance, etc.) Moreover, when someone narrates an action that concerns you, you are entitled to narrate what you do.

You can add “desired” outcomes to your actions. Either to accomplish different things, or to concede something to succeed. As a matter of fact, you can move your tokens around as you wish, between your action outcomes and your talent pool. This means you can use your talent or accept to rise suspicion in exchange to a fully successful action, or save some for later.

Other players can add outcomes to your actions, and give you black tokens, too.

And that’s that.

Optional rule would be : Galactic Encounter meta-powers to mess around with someone else’s tokens.

The KS would be for small factions screens, goal cards and mundane/crazy talents cards, a beautiful table mat for action outcomes, maybe with a plan of the Inn as background. And jade / gold tokens purses for premium backers, utterly disregarding delivery issues.

*edit : finally found the name of this Raymond Lee Wai Man movie


Damn, that sounds great. I’d love for that to be the first game using BANY.
Sounds a bit like Among Us and the video game where the players each have a target to assassinate but they have to conceal their intent from their target. I’ll look up the name.

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Another thing to potentially look at for trying to solve similar design stuff is recluse solo, which has some nice constraints but not the proprietary dice.

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The circle of death is ages old. It existed at least in 1982

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BANY works with standard d6s. I hope to sell some proprietary dice though.

I’ll read up on Recluse.

Done. Hmm. Neat. The bit about the assumptions is interesting. Something is not as it seemed when you asked your question. I wonder how I can steal that. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.