A player just came up with an awesome, over the top, OP move! Instead of ramping up the DC, here is a better way to handle it.

I’ve written before about task resolution in Interesting Failures and Combat Maneuvers. This a distillation of that subject, a neat trick to try out.

Generally in Cypher, the player will state an Action, and the GM will set the Difficulty. This process takes the form of negotiation most of the time - the more the player asks or hopes to achieve, the higher the Difficulty the GM will set. That’s fine as it is, but consider the following idea: instead of raising the Difficulty, raise the stakes.

Why? Well, raising just the Difficulty reduces the chances of success, and does not consider the failure state. The player might give up on her awesome action due to low chances or go for it, resulting in either no-action, standard failure or, an unlikely extraordinary success.

On the other hand, if we leave the Difficulty alone and raise the failure state to make it more dramatic, the player might readily opt to proceed with the action, and both success and failure will be more dramatic and exciting.

More drama and awesomeness is a win-win situation for any GM.

For examples of this kind of adjudication, check out the Legolas shield surfing scene from my Combat Maneuvers article, and a scene in the Managing Risks section from my Interesting Failures article.

In situations where players try to ramp up the success state, instead of asking for a nearly impossible roll, up the ante and raise the stakes!