I know the rules say that Melodrama Checks will almost never happen, provided players are roleplaying their Melodramatic Hooks... but, speaking hypothetically, if one did have to make such a roll, a few questions come to mind:
First: What's the Difficulty? It seems like maybe it's just a "1" since no difficulty is ever listed (or at least I can't seem to find any examples in the rulebook). That would mean you've got a less than 1-in-6 chance of failure, as you'd only get a "0" or less if you had an exploding "6" on the negative die and also a much lower roll total on the positive die. The rulebook states that eventually they'll fail the roll, but it seems like that could take a lot of sessions/situations before it happens. So that seems like a "hollow threat", not an actual "tool". UPDATE: The difficulty is 7, as listed on page 12 of the rulebook.
Second, there's not a single example of what happens to a PC, if they do fail it. How heavy-handed is this supposed to be? Does the GM dictate a course of action? Is the player just "on their honor" to act as if this thing they'd been ignoring now matters to them? I know the point of the rule is just to be a reminder of player buy-in on plotlines, but it seems pretty toothless as written. It doesn't feel like it would actually provide the necessary support for a GM who had a player that was playing cold and emotionless, and ignoring the plot or their own hook.
I don't think it will be an issue in my game (my players are great), and maybe it's not going to be an issue in anyone's game in practice... but it feels like it doesn't (as written) actually solve the theoretical issue it was meant to address.
Anyone have any insight I'm missing on this? Any examples from actual play where it did (or didn't) help nudge the player toward the plot / into action?
Was there a similar rule in 1st Edition?