bushido11 wrote:But when you think of it from the point of view where "the only way my sorry a$$ can pull this off is if I do something by the seat of my pants", then it kind of makes sense, sort of. It goes both ways, because you see both "success by the skin of your teeth" and "success only by pulling something completely out of left field" in cinema".
I'd say this is probably the best way to describe it (at least as far as I'm envisioning it).
When you're trying something against nearly impossible odds, like needing to roll a 17+ on 3d6, regardless of how you actually accomplish the task, it's amazing.
I'll use a famous story from mountain climbing called "The Belay". In 1953 on an attempt of K2, 6 climbers were descending with their comrade who was suffering from various forms of altitude sickness. One climber slipped, taking the climber he was roped to with him. That guy fell on the rope connecting two other climbers, one of whom fell on the rope connecting another climber to the injured man. That's 6 people in total falling. The last guy who wasn't falling managed to grab one of the ropes, while at the same time wedging his ice axe between two rocks. It was an absolutely incredible thing to pull off and it couldn't have "barely succeeded", it was something that took tremendous strength, quickness, experience and speed of thought.
Another way I would think about it, if a roll needs a 17+ to accomplish, I'd equate that to what you might see on the list like the top 10 plays of all time in the NFL, NBA, MLB or any other sport. Even when they barely happen, they are executed to perfection.