I have been told that by and large RPGs don’t require combat, but when I look at the covers of some of the PDFs I have I get the impression that they promote combat. In fact, about the only cover I have that does not promote combat is the cover for Mythus. This shows a man and woman on horseback riding up a slope towards the viewer, and while armed neither faces any sort of immediate peril.
There are other RPGs that don’t focus on combat, but by and large I don’t see them discouraging combat, or promoting alternatives. The problem I see is that you make combat too easy while doing nothing to present any real alternative. Here’s my point, you don’t want to make combat the default step to take when faced with a potential opponent.
For one thing it isn’t realistic. A goblin band is not about to assault a group of PCs, even when they out number the PCs. Why not? Somebody’s going to get hurt, and that’s going to impact group survivability. Fighters don’t want to win fair, they just want to win. If you have to have fighting all the time then you are cheating. You’re cheating yourself and you’re cheating your players.
Not only that, but by going to continuous fighting you’re losing opportunities to interact with the players in their roles. Think of the plot hooks you’re missing. Or, for that matter, opportunities to take advantage of the players and their characters while leaving th characters alive so that they can then go get more stuff for you to scam out of them. Just as important, by restraining all the fighting you’re eliminating the need to constantly make new NPCs. Alfdred the Orc doesn’t have to be a one time foe, let him be a recurring nuisance and maybe an ally you just need to keep your eye on.
Think past mindless slaughter and use your imagination. And for you designers, let your design get messy. You don’t need to limit play in any manner, for RPGs are about adventure and adventure is about more than killing things and taking their stuff.
😀 😀 😀