Sure. It’s a bit of subtle thing, not an obvious problem.
What typical three-pronged PbtA resolution does is it says: you might get what you want, or something else might happen, but the most likely thing is some kind of mixed outcome, where things will get more complicated.
Pretty much any situation can be handled this way, and we can think up ways to make it more complicated. The dice mechanics push us to do so; they practically say: “Hey, how can we make this more complicated?”
However, the player’s role in much of this type of gaming is to make plans which minimize their chances of things getting complicated.
I suppose you could enjoy that tension: hey, I’m trying to avoid complications, but the mechanics are pushing towards more complications. But, in most cases, that could be frustrating.
If you imagine a typical adventuring scenario, there are a bunch of critical points, and as we move through we want as many of them as possible to be resolved without rolling, with the remaining ones left to the dice. If what the dice do is generate more and more complications, that can be frustrating. We’re trying to resolve situations, and the dice are generally conspiring to make them unresolved. Sometimes a binary resolution is cleaner, easier, and more satisfying.
Imagine playing through a typical “dungeoneering” sequence, for instance, with most rolls resulting in 7-9-style outcomes. It would take ages just to play out a basic sequence of events, as it tends to snowball out of control.
So, in this style of play, you want to avoid rolling the dice. But that doesn’t jive well with the positive bias of the dice in PbtA play, nor does it jive well with the design of most PbtA moves, which are designed either to:
- Give you a way to get what you want (rolling the move gives you a chance to achieve your aims, and often explicitly gives you some choice or control over the outcome) - the move is your leverage over the fiction, your way of asserting control and authority
- Make a situation that might otherwise be simple into one that is complex and involved.
The other thing is that moves which privilege a “mixed” outcome (like a typical 2d6 PbtA move) must make room for that by making a full success significantly less likely. That’s also frustrating for the player: how do we reduce our chances of getting a complicated outcome without either avoiding the dice altogether or without making rolls so much in the player’s favour that they rarely fail at all?
We could make a PbtA game that does all this in a way that fits together, probably. But I don’t think any existing PbtA games do this well, at least not the ones I’m familiar with.