understood. That's why I asked. If that is the case, there is the alternative of adding a default of assumed guilt and hostility to failures. Might be hard to come up with reasoning for that on the spot every time and if enemies would attack you on sight already that doesn't function. So at that point it seems like a GM best effort based on the situation and what you can come up with on the spot. Its kind of like you mentioned in original post, it might be a good rule of thumb, but its a tool you have to learn to use over your past habits and being called on the spot. ... It might be better considered more of guideline than an actual rule, where you try to implement at best effort on the spot to establish a new habit, but trying to force it might be an impediment in actual implementation. In hind sight with all the time in the world you will get a lot of great advice on a per case basis. but in the moment you may have to bail out of the attempt from time to time. As long as your practicing with the attempt you will likely get better at finding meaningful consequences or discarding the test.My definition is that there must be sufficient risk that a player has to weigh it against the benefit. Failure should come with at least a twinge of regret for having rolled.
“Failure to earn a reward” wouldn’t seem to qualify.
… not really useful advice, but if people add suggestions for specific encounters you can add them to the tool box of your mind and hope you can grab a decent one when you need it. For you example this time, considering attempts of stealth acts of guilt by default would be useful sometimes.