I don’t get the point of “limited success”
I was just reading an RPG where a successful skill roll, by default, results in “limited success.” I.e., “You succeed, but just barely.”*
To me, this is like “a little bit pregnant” or “mostly dead”.
Sure, I’m cool with “mixed” success, where you “succeed, but” and the “but” is something more than “but barely” — success at a cost, as the kids say these days.
But WTF do I care if I “barely” accomplished what I was trying to do? I still did it, didn’t I?**
Look, IMO there are three states we care about in a resolution mechanic:
2. Success, but at a cost
You can add in Fumbles and Criticals as long as they have, IMO, more mechanical weight than “The GM says that something really [good|bad] happens.” There has to be concrete guidance of some kind: “You do max damage” or “You lose your next turn.”
But “barely”? I’ll just barely pass, thanks.
* What’s dumber is that the only other options were to fail or achieve a “critical success”. I.e., you can’t just plain succeed. You either scrape by or else dazzle everyone for miles.
** Reminds me of that episode of Friends (my apologies for invoking Friends) where Chandler is grousing about how Monica tricked him into having sex, and Joey’s response is, “But you got to have sex, right?” and Chandler is suddenly enlightened.