From this thread on the angband.oook.cz forums where Darren Grey gets into a post episode 59 discussion about Sil with the developers and fans:
Actually the variance can function a little like multiple lives systems: you can think of it not as stochastically letting you die when you deserve life, but stochastically letting you live when you deserve death. And by being memoryless, it doesn't induce the temptation to restart if you lose a life early. (It's also a little less clear about providing feedback to the player when they made a mistake, but at least ending up on low life is a clue.)I've been reading a lot of writing about how randomness has no place in games, and while the people taking this position seem to be perfectly nice and otherwise sensible, to me it feels like getting to know someone and then finding out their favourite book is Atlas Shrugged. I have an essay about it in me somewhere, but today is not that day. Scatha's sentiment is something I can agree with.