Now I wouldn't want to do this for every mission, but it would definitely clear up a concern I have about players not getting the spot light time they want, or feeling like they are getting challenged enough (or perhaps they just want a laid back, casual, run and gun scenario versus the nail biting, everything is at risk type of scenario).
What would it look like? It's is going to vary from game to game - my Dresden Files game is going to have different challenges than a D&D game. But some basics I would expect there to be a premise, challenges, and rewards. Using my Dresden game as a basis:
Premise: One line summary is happening. "A conclave of evil wizards is headed into Denver to summon the dark gods."
Challenges: There are three primary challenges:
- Determining who the wizards are;
- Determining how they are going to do it; and
- Stopping them from summoning the dark gods.
- Large number of Wizards, who have powerful lackeys.
- Other wizards are in town, who may be innocent of THIS plot.
- Happening at a collection of ley line points outside of town.
- Going to require a large sacrifice of energy, perhaps a local spirit, perhaps lots of people. It won't be subtle.
- Requires knowledge and understanding of the rites.
- Direct force at the ritual site with ensuing pyrotechnics of massive wizardry battle.
- Obtaining all resources before they get them, preventing them from summoning local spirit to sacrifice, rescuing kidnapped children.
Rewards: Significant Milestone, or Major with combination of another plot line, such as the New World Order pursuing one of the PCs.
For another system, I'd want to rate each challenge based on the number of obstacles and the difficulty of each obstacle. I probably could do it with this game, and granting each area a "Max" rating from +1 to +20 for the max skill of the opposition.