Entire games are built upon differences in scope.

Consider Shadow of the Colossus or the Monster Hunter series.

I’ll admit my knowledge of the latter is based on my limited experience playing the game which was uninformative and my research into the game which led me to an entirely different conclusion, but that rant is so three years ago.

Maybe the Dark Souls series is another good example of play in scope?

The point is essentially, that the monsters, colossi, et cetera, can squash you with impunity. It takes the skills you develop through playing the game to overcome them because they are so much bigger than you.

With patience, skill, and luck you can overcome each obstacle.

I think the important thing to note here is the existence of these three factors in tandem — you must have patience and skill and luck — and that many games fall short of achieving this trifecta by removing the skill factor.

Maybe there’s something to this — that when you place a specific obstacle for the players to overcome, you want to challenge their patience, and/or their skill, and/or their luck. Let me see if I can think of some examples.

In 4e your patience is challenged by wearing down enemies.

Monsters have high hit points but if you spec your PCs well — which the game makes fairly easy — you’ll almost always hit, and you’ll deal a lot of damage too. Once you clear the Heroic tier however, many encounters become trivial.

In early editions of D&D, your luck would be tested in two ways — whether the monsters hit you, and whether you hit the monsters.

You know what — maybe I’m still not being entirely fair to the game itself because I’m not taking into account the fact that many of us are “doing it wrong” by building characters with such high ability scores.

I’m going to have to think about this some more.