Success & Failure

Over the course of the campaign, a given group of PC's will win at some things, and loose at others. Because FFZ is strongly narrative, the loss usually doesn't result in direct character death, but that doesn't mean that failure doesn't carry brutal consequences.

Success and failure are measured in two major places: in the individual challenge, and over the course of an adventure.

It's pretty easy to see if an individual challenge is passed or failed — if the party is KO'd in combat, restarting from their safe crystal, they have failed. If the party KO's their enemies, they succeed. Individual encounters don't generally come with awards for success, though the party can earn them through great success, or with difficult encounters (see below)

The GM can mostly ignore successes — FFZ, to a large degree, assumes that the players will succeed. But if they fail, the GM should keep track of it. If the party fails more than 3 times on a given adventure, the entire adventure is failed.

When the party fails an adventure, they don't gain the usual awards for the adventure. They miss out on equipment, gil, and XP, at least. They also have to deal with the narrative consequences of failure, which are up to the GM.

Achieving Great Success happens in two instances: defeating a normal encounter under unusual conditions, or by defeating an especially difficult or tricky encounter. The GM may award rare events, or special effort, by awarding a Great Success as well. When the party achieves a Great Success, they may receive a special item or piece of equipment, or they may make up for previous failures by gaining standard gil, XP, and equipment. Great successes are rewarded after the encounter or event, immediately, rather than waiting for the end of the adventure.

Optional Rule: Detailed Accounting

The "3 failures" rule is a guideline, roughly derived from "failed once per session." However, if you want, you can perform a more detailed accounting of a party's successes and failures, counting each one. At the end of each session, evaluate whether the party as a whole was successful or not by comparing the two: the bigger number wins. If the party was a success, note one "Adventure Success". If the party was a failure, note one "Adventure Failure." If the failures were double or triple the amount of successes, note two or three "Adventure Failures."

At the end of the adventure, if the party has more Adventure Failures than Adventure Successes, they fail the adventure.

This can be useful for campaigns not sticking to the default timeline, as well as for campaigns where the challenge of the encounters may differ from the standard: if there are more difficult encounters, it can be better to allow the PC's to make up for those than to simply tabulate failures.

The down side to this is that it involves more detailed record-keeping from the GM, and more casual GM's may not want to bother with it.

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