1b. Coolness. Integrity always trumps coolness. You can be uncool a million times, and retain the capasity to be cool without any problems. If you lose integrity it's a lot harder to regain.
2. Zooming out. Yeah, sometimes it helps to make the system smooth. It's a feature not to have to zoom in, but I consider the occasional apparent requirement to zoom out a bug. I prefer to resort to Fiat in those cases if nothing helps. However, for the most part it's easy to work with micro-goals, and resolve on basis of those. Carryover requires some care, though, as noted.
3. No Repeat Attempts. I think I see what I think about this in a better light now. My interpretation of the rule means that for the loser the first result stands: try again, and the same happens. Not "you can't try agsin" -- which would be silly, and goes against the grain of allowing players all the choises I possibly can. If they _want_ their character to keep trying, sure -- and getting hurt in the process.
3b. I think I will actually allow retries for the winner from now on: they might lose this time, in which case they will keep losing -- so a retry is a gamble. You might get a better result, or you might lose what you've gained -- which is fine with me.
4. Implicit Stakes. Word! Hear, hear! I find delineating the exact price of failure and results of success beforehand boring -- assuming the players understanding of the stakes and their chances of success approximates that of their character. ("I jump over the chasm!" Um, you realize it's a mile deep, so if you fall... "Yeah, I know! I jump nevertheless.")
Anyways, again: many many thanks for the comments. This has clarified my thinking on several points. Maybe not enough to articulate my thoughts properly, but enough to make me happy. :)
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