No flips for you!
Is being beaten in combat in D&D antithetical to player agency? My answer to this rhetorical is no, of course not.Well, this sure went a long way in the last 18-ish hours.
Without quoting a bunch of posts or going on at ridiculous length, I'll just sum up thusly:
To those who are speaking in favour of social mechanics being able to determine or force PC decisions/actions - that's all well and good, and no doubt such things enhance your games at your tables. All is good.
But if any of you ever start advocating for player agency (and some of you have in the past) I'll reserve the right to either take such advocation with a rather large grain of salt or outright call shenanigans; because the sort of mechanics you're favouring are completely antithetical to a player having agency over his/her character.
Same with social mechanics -- if the player is able to understand the risks and rewards possible with a given action, however adjudicated (mechanically or by fiat), then they have agency. If, as I think you incorrectly understand these mechanics to work, the GM is fiat imposing mechanics to take over the PC, that's bad in any system. One of the reasons I really don't like charm and dominate effects in D&D, either as a player or as a GM.