In Let Thrones Beware, both combat and non-combat powers are loosely framed – this means that how you want to describe using a power is really up to you.
Non-combat powers are especially abstracted. As I’ve mentioned in the past, one of my primary desires was to create a system in which any hero can accomplish any task. With this in mind, you don’t need “use rope” to do fancy rope tricks. Instead, you declare what you want to do and a challenge is initiated. You can frame your approach to that challenge however you like. Perhaps you’re a powerful warrior who uses ferocious might to power through obstacles. Maybe you’re a cunning sneak who employs stealth and misdirection. The point is, it doesn’t matter how you describe your approach – everyone’s equally capable. Win on an Act power, and you accomplish your objective on the first try. If the GM counters your first move, you’ve run into a setback, but you can still manage to triumph with an Overcome power.
This is a great question, and it’s one with a simple answer. Having spent a long time away from roleplaying games, I returned to the hobby with D&D 4th edition. When I returned, I spent years playing it with with a bunch of different groups on the tabletop. While I loved the edition, there were a number of things that really bugged me. The classic D&D funnel of stats to race to optimized class was annoying. The slow pace of combat, even with MM3 was frustrating. Hard to track fiddly modifiers everywhere. The list of feats was incomprehensible. The gear treadmill was tedious.
I wanted to write Let Thrones Beware because I wanted a game that matched my sensibilities. Low prep, easy to run, with the players actively engaged throughout. The challenge mechanic, with its straightforward play cycle, streamlined numbers, and easy resolution is my attempt at addressing a lot of the issues I’ve had with RPGs in the past.