I'm unsure how to take this. Isn't that the point of those details? As a player, it's your responsibility to account for them. All the details that you need to account for are all in the open. If you don't account for them, some things will be blocked.
An easy example: say you make players write down what gear they have. I think this is something that many tables do (we'll say 50%). The party comes up against a cliff they must climb down. The get the idea to get a rope and tie it to something at the top to help anchor people who scale down. The GM asks if anyone has a rope. The party checks, and nobody does. The party therefore can't use their rope plan.
This is a roadblock of that plan. And it's because of a detail. But now you get to see what they do. Do they all climb down individually? Does that mean one of them falls and gets hurt? Does that mean a healing spell is used? Does that mean they have one less spell when they need it later?
The only way to know just how important the impact of a detail is is to see what happens when the players account for it (or don't). Forgetting that rope could lead to a PC death, for all we know. And that's just one example. There are many that I'm sure I make my players keep track of that not even 50% of tables do (outfits, bedding or tents [in case it gets cold], arrows, daggers, food, etc.). All these things can lead to very interesting situations. Players that run out of food might actually decide to find pesky goblin tribes in the area to barter with or loot so they don't starve. Or, hell, they might have to eat goblin. Or slow down while they hunt and gather food, which might have other effects (what with weather, the setting continuing to evolve, etc.).
Logistical D&D is an old tradition and a perfectly valid playing style, but I think one that primarily interests a subset of detail-oriented people, and bores rather more. I've seen horrible unfun issues arise in this playing style so I no longer find it attractive as a constant pursuit. Forcing players into painstaking logistics management on pain of PC death can end up counterproductive. I've seldom seen logistics being enforced consistently and fairly either. "Forgotten rope" issues can be a sign that the DM feels his or her adventure hasn't been sufficiently prepared/ written and wants to delay the players. This being a case where the players had discussed a plan using ropes well beforehand, there was plenty of time and opportunity to prepare, and logistics checking hadn't been an issue in the campaign much before.
While as in your example this sort of thing can leads to lots of adventure, it can also make the person who forgot the rope, or forgot or mislaid the piece of paper with rope written on it, or who wasn't able to get to the session, feel stupid or responsible for getting a PC killed. If there's enough bad feeling about it, the campaign can blow up as a consequence. "For want of a rope the campaign was lost"
Adventures can contain single points of failure where something is needed to pass them, and being roadblocked by them may be naturalistic but it often isn't fun for anyone involved. Sometimes, particularly in dungeons, there's only one way forward, and a roadblock is a literal roadblock, forcing the party to leave to get the lost item. At which point a lot of DMs do a u-turn and just let them have the forgotten item, as they realise the mistake is partially their own.
Also, I don't agree all the details are out in the open. Even the referee doesn't know everything, but he knows far more than the players. There is such a vast amount of detail in the gameworld, and most of it is irrelevant, but the relevant details pop out clearly to the referee. It's hard to keep in mind that this isn't the case for the players who generally have difficulty distinguishing genuine clues from red herrings, mistaken conclusions, badly written notes, lies from NPCs, lies from other PCs, etc.(the referee doesn't know the secret plans of the players, individually and in groups and subgroups)
I prefer higher level D&D in any case, where simple logistical problems are moot due to bags of holding filled with all basic adventuring supplies. If your players aren't detail oriented, punishing them for that lack is shortsighted and fails in the DM duty to cater to the players you have rather than punishing them for what they are not. Though obviously, it's sensible to recruit players who want the style of game that you want to run.
Also my playing time is precious and I see a sizable amount of logistical roadblocking as timewasting, wasting both my players and my own precious playing time.
The "Assumption of Competence" is one of my core principles nowadays - generally assume that the PCs are competent, don't make dumb decisions off camera, don't forget basic supplies, don't get killed by house cats. Newbie PCs can flail around a little, but my players and I have done all the logistical exercises before in previous games, we don't need to do them over and over again. For me the fun failures are those that take place on camera in the game due to the active decisions of the players.
And these are just basic exploration details. While 4e has some rules on these sorts of things, I'd definitely consider the non-combat rules ill-defined, especially by comparison to it's fairly concrete combat rules (outside of the huge realm of stunting). And that's a shame, because I'd really like my players to be more empowered when making decisions instead of everything being filtered through me.
True, it can lead to this. I think the flip side is that the abstract rules make it so that player actions might now be filtered through the GM, and that's not something I much like (because I'm lazy!). But I definitely understand why people would like the more abstract approach. I guess I just don't see it as transparent still. Thank you for the reply
As others have said, the gameworld is always filtered through the DM. Barring a DMing AI and virtual environment, the players are forced to constantly play twenty questions to build up even a pale shadow of the DM's appreciation of the gameworld. Thus all the stories about DMs who failed to mention the giant dragon in the centre of the room (which is the D&D version of the Elephant in the Room). Players can't automatically see what is clear to the DM due to the lack of context and ability to zoom into details, mostly irrelevant.