Over at the Iron Tower (NOT Lore!) forums, Vince (Age Of Decadence) Weller has up a great post on non-combat play in RPGS.

He really does a good job showing how situations can be handled without the player rushing in to slaughter everyone in sight (or hiding behind the curtains).

Some do involve fighting/killing, but not by the player. For the most part, though, it’s done with charisma and manipulation. In other words, using the “social skills” and dialogue to achieve results.

Of course, we’ve had a little of that in RPGs from time to time. However, Vince is looking at playing the game in this fashion throughout. This would certainly be an interesting experience, although I’m not sure I’d care to play an entire game without fighting.

After all, I enjoy the combat. Still, let’s face it, RPGs do focus on that for almost every situation, and I sometimes find myself becoming bored by endless hack’n’slash.

What I’d consider ideal is a blend of the two. Have some combat outside, that is, the “wilderness” or out of doors. And allow the player free reign with social skills in the important situations, both main line and side jobs.

Naturally, that has to be done with great care to provide a fun experience for those who want fighting and those who might want a less aggressive solution to a problem. Check out his post, and see what you think.

Non-combat Play on Iron Tower