Eloquently and adroitly put. You give a good guide that counters excellently the suggestion that the narrator could be somehow taking the sting out of the game by doing stuff like this. We really needed good examples. I reckon these will help.
To address your last paragraph (below):
What you are asking I think is: can the players do things to adjust the difficulty? Yes, resoundingly!
The player view of what's interesting is the major concern of the narrativistic gm. So the pass/fail cycle says it's going to be hard this time? This is not incompatible; after all you're not showing the players the cycle diagram or refusing to reward interesting game play.
The players are, in your example, defining the name of the resistance their heroes face. Changing it to match their abilities. This means they are cleverly finding a way to bring in their character focus abilities (where they presumably have been spending their character improvement HPs). This need not impact the difficulty level as indicated by your pass/fail diagram.
The resistance can still be Hard. The heroes' abilities may now be more favourably matched.
Wow. Got through all the back log before my bed time.
Hope that helps.
From: HeroQuest-rules_at_yahoogroups.com [mailto:HeroQuest-rules_at_yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bryan <snip>
Which sounds great in theory. What bothers me as a player is that it sounds much harder for players to take ownership of things. My inclination has never been to sit back and wait for the Narrator to tell us what is next, but rather my preference is to find out what is going on, then go make things happen in our own way. Part of this of course is to try and find an easier way to solve things: Can we counterfeit the Bishop's Heart somehow, or blackmail the witnesses so that they'll tell the truth? But part is a player view of what is interesting: what if we use this mis-carriage of justice to rouse the other merchant lords to fund a revolution to overthrow the arbitrary and capricious First Confessor, or on the other hand what if we feel like running a prolonged siege? I would think that for many narrators it might be all the harder, when players change the intended plot like that, to maintain both the 'objective' ratings and the story flow appropriate ratings. It is a lot to keep in your head at one time while also improvising, I'd think!
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