A friend or two alerted me to the Free Kriegsspiel Revolution this last year and I have given it a fair reading a few times. While it never jumped out at me as exceptionally interesting, something keeps itching at the back of my brain regarding FKR. Last year I even delved into the murkiness of the Arnesonian playstyle and wrote my own version of early-play D&D and spoke frequently with my buddy Norbert about that early play style. I think some of that discussion was the forbearer to Norbert creating the FKR play style.
If you are not familiar you can check out Norbert's blog for far, far more details here: http://darkwormcolt.blogspot.com/ but in my amateur opinion it boils down to this:
Like I said, this has been rolling around in my brain and last night I was reading some FKR stuff about using dice versus not using dice. I found it quite interesting. I woke up this morning with this thought dancing around my brain.
As players, myself included, we would rather leave the story up to random dice than an impartial game master. We accept that some things will happen that are very unlikely to happen, rather than having an impartial GM who would arbitrate the outcome using logic.
Why is that? We have modifiers to the results through attributes, levels, and gear but in the end we allow the dice to completely and arbitrarily determine the results. Seriously, think about it.
A third level fighter is fighting a single goblin. Player rolls a 1 and the fight goes from a simple thing that the fighter should easily succeed at, to suddenly he lops of his leg/breaks his sword/guts the cleric nearby (again, likely determined by another random roll on a Critical Fumble table). Stepping back and looking at this from a not-in-the-moment viewpoint, if you came across this in a novel or your favorite TV show, I bet you would groan about how silly that was. Here though, we accept it. Why??
Now, a friend of mine would say the following:
1) It adds a level of fun, chaos, interesting and unexpected outcomes.
2) As a GM I have the power to limit that amount of silliness in my game.
I would agree on both these statements. I too enjoy the silliness that results from Tim rolling three "1"s in a row and lopping of Joe's ear, breaking his magical crowbar+2, and setting his hireling on fire. This is hilarious and fun all at the same time. Also correctly, you are right, as the GM I have the innate power to control those aspects of the game, choosing to roll only when I want and deciding when I want to allow the dice to determine the results*.
Anyway, just some thoughts I felt I needed to put down on digital paper and get out of my head this morning.
*As a side note, I would add that as a GM I have often 'rolled the dice' behind the screen and ignored the result, deciding before I roll the outcome and simply narrating the result as I saw fit at the time. Usually this is because of story elements or plot development that I am working on for the larger campaign.