what if it all came down to a single roll, before the game even began?
I'm not sure how to calculate the target number needed, or the type of die that's rolled, or even how many rolls would be made, but players would each go around the table and make at least two rolls: one for obtaining their goal, and perhaps another one for survival. No "do overs", no player controlled modifiers, just one roll of the die. Impartial and unyielding. And by the end of the game the outcome of that die roll would be shared around the table. How the players get to that point doesn't really matter. They can't be cut down by a foe before reaching their goal because the dice said so. They can't save the princess because the dice said so. They will found a kingdom and die because the dice said so.
Now I didn't get this at first. Why play out a fixed outcome (even if you don't know what it is until it's revealed at the ending). But then I realised, if you are used to playing in predetermined outcome, railroaded games, then suddenly dice seem a way of having more than one ending! Suddenly those dice things which seem kinda pointless actually open up a surprising, unexpected outcome!
However, the design still surprised me - to go from dice rolls which mean nothing (because the outcome is predetermined in railroaded games) to having one actually determine the ending? That's a massive step. Plus the clarity of it - no fuffing around with a long set of rules to show how dice will determine this, it's right there! Very neat! Another useful one to link to in future!