IIEE is a model in role-playing game theory that breaks down resolution into four steps that take place within the game world. The name is based on the first letters of these four steps, which are:
- Intent: a character wants to do something
- Initiation: a character attempts to do something
- Execution: a character succeeds or fails at their attempt
- Effect: a character affects the game world through their success or failure
IIEE originated in discussions at The Forge that were primarily led by Ron Edwards. The terms used varied as the model settled, with execution also being known as completion and effect also being known as outcome.
However, while every resolution includes all four parts, resolution mechanics often do not. A game may have mechanics that cover only one stage (leaving the rest to be determined through narration), multiple stages at once (leaving it to the players' discretion at what stage the resolution is blocked in the event of failure), or multiple stages each with its own mechanics.
Considering a basic attack in D&D 5th edition, for example, a character wants to attack an enemy (Intent) and can automatically make an attempt to do so in their turn unless subject to certain conditions (Initiation). Whether they hit or not is determined by an attack roll, the core resolution mechanic of the system (Execution). If they hit, they then need to determine how much damage is inflicted on the enemy through a secondary game mechanic, rolling a different set of dice and adding a different modifier. The damage inflicted can have other impacts, such as the death of the enemy if damage is higher than the creature's remaining hit points (Effect).
Also, while every resolution process has these four parts, if a character fails at any given stage then the resolution process may stop before all four parts take place. For example, if a character wants to say something to a rival (Intent) but is unable to attempt to do so (Initiation), then no further resolution is needed to resolve Execution or Effect because nothing has happened.
- Vincent Baker (2006-05-18). "A quick IIEE primer, by request". anyway. Retrieved 2020-03-14.
- Vincent Baker (lumpley) (2003-09-23). "I finally got IIEE!" (topic post). The Forge. Retrieved 2020-03-14.
- Manu, Ron Edwards, et al. (2001-10-18). "Topic: The 4 steps of action (for Ron)". The Forge. Retrieved 2020-03-14.