Oh, you had it, you just didn't *say* it.I can only work with what I've got!
You say that part of it was implicit. Implicit steps are, effectively, macros - bits of process or logic that are understood to happen, and therefore go unstated, but still happen. In play with folks experienced in how you run a game, this is fine. But you could, if you wanted, unpack the implicit step, and elucidate what it would be, if it were explicit.
Yes, they are. However, I think there's a major point that you still might be missing.I was hoping that people's general familiarity with the Cthulhu genre would do some work in parsing the example. So whether fluid spilled down a grate is going to awaken Deep Ones in the sewers, or send the inhabitants of the house insane by contaminating their water supply, or something else appropriately Cthulhu-esque is an open question, but we can all see - I hope - that these are the sorts of bad things that happen in a Cthulhu RPG.
There's a ton of "bad" things that can happen. Some are worse than others. You have not set the stakes unless you tell me *how* bad. That's why I asked whether "bad" was a jargon word, or if somewhere in your example there was an encoding of exactly (or even vaguely) how bad things were. From where I sit, you claim to have set the stakes, but I don't see where that happened.
Which is really weird, because we then misses the entire point of having known stakes and consequences. I mean, look at it - you're saying you don't want to have to play analytical, right? And the way to do that is to make sure the players know what they are really choosing. And then in describing an example, you *skip the step where you tell them*?
Compare the butler who knows that "something bad might happen" to the character jumping over the pit. Something bad might happen there, too. But falling 10 feet is a lot different from falling 60', onto spikes that are coated with super-tetanus. "Something bad" does not do enough to stop me from having to be analytic. I'm in a role playing game, something bad might always happen! "Something bad" is not new information upon which I make an informed choice about whether I want to spend my inspiration on this roll, or not.