RPG Museum

Intent or intention is the step in a resolution that ascertains whether a character even wants to perform an action that the player wants them to perform. In the IIEE model of resolution, it is the first of four steps, immediately preceding initiation (i.e. it can't be determined whether a character starts their action until it is known whether they want to).[1][2]

Almost all role-playing games assume that a character's desires will match their player's desires for the character, meaning that the intention step of resolution is automatic and can't be blocked. This helps to maintain the agency of the players (player agency).

If an action's resolution is stopped at the stage of intention, then the character does not choose to perform the action and might do something different. If this happens, especially in games that otherwise assume an action's resolution will end in a different stage (such as the execution step), the loss of player agency can be shocking and potentially harmful. As such, games that expect or require the resolution of an action to be stopped at the intention stage should be careful and use appropriate safety tools. Games that include any form of mind control (even magic spells like dominate person in Dungeons & Dragons) should be careful around this issue.


  1. Vincent Baker (2006-05-18). "A quick IIEE primer, by request". anyway. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  2. Vincent Baker (lumpley) (2003-09-23). "I finally got IIEE!" (topic post). The Forge. Retrieved 2020-07-20.