On RPG Theory: K
After our nice break yesterday, Let's get right to it, shall we?
Karma: This is part of the Drama/Karma/Fortune resolution triptych. It essentially means resolving actions based off of character ability or decisions. As stated earlier, there are some issues with this sort of division, such as the fact that there's a lot of bleed over (d20 skill checks are karma+fortune rolls, and if the DC is adjusted by fiat, it could be considered a concession to drama) and it isn't very useful, in that it doesn't really help us come up with new or more interesting ways of resolving conflict.
Kicker: I'm used to the Hackmaster usage of this term. Ron uses it in his game Sorcerer as the origin story - the event that catapults the character into play. It's basically pre-game motivations, Vampire does it with the prelude, Old school hack with it's table, I even have a mega-dungeon motivation table which provides the same impetus. What I don't understand is that this is essentially a term for character motivation, but is in fact more limited, because it refers to a specific event - why do we need a word for it at all. This is similar to my complaint about bangs.