I personally take this in the same way as I take the whole "Its all gamist because the goal of any RPG must be to enjoy the act of playing it" argument. Sure, there's an element of "in the fictional sense X follows from Y" in ANY RPG (except maybe a few way out ones like Toon where the action is all literally nonsense). However, if the discussion is about AGENDA, then it is quite possible for the plausibility/accuracy/verisimilitude/whatever of the action in the game's fiction to be unimportant to the players except to the degree that it establishes a thought structure, fictional position, which the participants in the game can use to make the game 'go' and not fall apart.I think it’s just because you’ve not peeled back the assumptions in your example.
What’s determined the NPC has the information in the first place? Isn’t your ‘hot’ skill what’s doing the work there? And if so isn’t whether the NPC has the information unrelated to your hot skill and the most important aspect and Yet the hot skill check resolves that as well.
Or take a slightly different example. Say it was established the NPC had the info. At that point it becomes process/sim because your characters fictional ability to seduce is fictionally and substantially related to why you were able to get the info.
This seems to be why I stay so confused in these discussions, because I’ve always easily picked up on sim elements but while conflict resolution play can sometimes momentarily become task/sim play it doesn’t have to be.
So, sure, hotness attribute 'explains' why I can 'seduce'. This need not be any more plausible or accurate than is needed to get buy in from the participants so that they can all imagine the hot character doing his thing.
I think how you are reasoning is what lead people in the late '70s and early '80s to imagine that some 'perfectly accurate simulation' would magically make every story 'work'. They confused the imaginary causality of events with what makes games 'go'. They seem to have believed that the troubles with doing that stemmed from lack of verisimilitude. That is, the "you plot to assassinate the king" story couldn't work in a D&D game because the rules are not an accurate enough simulation of reality to reproduce an assassination. Obviously this conception was deeply flawed! It did lead to much mental horsepower being expended on ideas around how to construct a 'game engine' that would be both playable and highly realistic. This was the impetus for the endless exploration of different skill systems, dice pools, and various other things like 'skill trees', etc. etc. etc. None of it ever really bore any fruit.