hermitC’s comment on my previous blog post got me thinking about Dungeon & Dragons game. When I was 10ish years or so, we played D&D role playing game (I was wizard, yes). When our group encountered goblins near treasure cave, we had pretty close to one solution to this problem: combat!
Whatever we encountered, our swords and nasty fireballs would solve. We played D&D for some years and it was cool.
Decade later (or bit less) we tried to run again a campaign. This time things had changed. When we encountered goblins or orcs, we didn’t first shoot and … well, that usually did the trick earlier. No, we tried different ways to deal with encounters.
When goblins were guarding a lair, our group could do things such as:
- Use sleep spell to get them – well – to sleep so we could go past em (earlier we could naturally have cut their throats of course… but now we just wanted to go pass em)
- We could try bribe em: giving them gold coins which pays more than their current pay..
- We could try persuade them that their job sucks and they should join us to attack the evil mage
- We could have waited them to go to sleep… and then sneak past them
- We could have tried capture leader of the group, and then use leader to get other goblins to drop their weapons
- We could have tried to lure them away from the lair, by putting tasty food or such at distance… and then sneak in.
At older age, we tried to avoid combat and the playing style was much more different. Earlier it was hack’n'slash… now we actually were using brain to overcome challenges.
What if RPG would not give you one option – combat – to overcome challenge. What if instead there would be multiple ways to deal with the situation, and only if those fail – combat begins.
Sure, it might require work to get it done. It would require imagination to come up with alternative ways to solve things and think how these solutions affect gameplay, experience, mechanics, character relations, story and so on.
But could it be worth it?