Approaching Approaches

I was thinking about Approaches in FAE today, and wanted to write out a philosophy I developed a little while back in a comment on another post. One of the issues I've seen and had with Approaches is how to make the differences between them meaningful without making them inflexible; here's what I came up with.

Basically, an Approach dictates what you want to happen on a success. It's not just a style; it means that your approach to solving the problem is to apply X. So:

If I Cleverly bypass a lock, I pick it with my lockpick, and I now understand the lock.

If I forcefully bypass a lock, I break it open, and it is now broken.

This provides a distinction! If you Forcefully convince somebody, they are convinced - and scared of you. If you Flashily convince somebody, they are convinced - and they might be attracted to you. BIG difference, even with the same result. 

Furthermore, when you succeed at a cost using X, you still accomplish X, but  you fail to accomplish Y. In this case, Y is one of the other Approaches. So:

If you try to Sneakily get into the Latvarian embassy, you go over the wall at night. If you succeed at a cost, you are still in, and you're still Sneaky, but maybe you aren't Careful, and somebody finds your footprints outside the wall. Or maybe you're not Clever, and you get lost.

If you try to enter Flashily, you might pretend to be a VIP and walk past the guards. Succeed at cost, and you're still Flashy - but maybe you aren't Sneaky, and suddenly you're surrounded by officials vying for your attention. 

Finally, if you fail at X, you're not X.

This is the big one. If you try to Sneakily enter the embassy, you not only fail - but you are not Sneaky, so you're spotted. If you Flashily try to enter, you fail  to impress anyone - you are brushed aside and ignored. Totally different results.

If you fail to Cleverly bypass a lock, you not only don't get through, but you also don't understand it - maybe you leap to the wrong conclusion. You have failed both at opening it and at being clever.

So the Approach you choose determines not only how things play out if you succeed, but also if you fail. You can still use multiple approaches to the same problem. but that choice has consequences that are, if not predictable, at least available to be weighed.
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