On 'Points' in Play
We're going to talk about story points. You can call these whatever you want.
The idea is, the players get a resource that allows them as a player to change the state of the game world. The player (not the character) can spend a point and literally change something about the game world. It is a meta-tool. It isn't something that occurs inside the game - it is something that allows the player to affect the game world as the player.
I find these universally bad in OSR type games.
'Jim' can spend one of these points to alter the game environment.
Within the context of D&D, this reduces both risk and immersion.
It reduces risk (because like in the demotivational above) there is no actual real threat to the player until these points are exhausted. This means a risk-free (read: boring) game until the points are depleted.
It reduces immersion because Jim the player is looking for a solution to the problem, not Jim the player thinking about what Jim the character can do.
In some of the examples (and indeed in 4e) these points aren't used so much to affect the interplay between the characters but as literal tools in combat. In this situation, these points are bad, because they are the awesomely platonic idea of a disassociated mechanic. Character resources and powers that are suddenly available that do not tie into the fictional positioning within the game does not sound like a thing that would improve my game. For no reason at all, other then the fact that I spend this point, I get bonus powers.
This is assuming a traditional game (D&D) with traditional consequences.
Many times, the things you can do with these points ("I want it to be dark!") can be done within the fictional positioning of the game ("I have my character wait until nightfall").
Some of the things that people use story points for are ensuring that the activities they engage in while gaming (trapfinding, roleplaying, whatever) are the ones that occur. This strikes me as particularly bad, because what's the consequence when you run out of points?
"I'm sorry Jim. You don't have the points for it, I guess you don't get to do what you want."