Non-combat RPGs?
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  1. #1
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    Non-combat RPGs?

    Hey all, what are your favourite (or interesting) RPGs with a focus out of combat? Or, without combat?

    I'm interested in playing and possibly developing a system and setting that would involve no combat, instead focusing on investigation in various forms.
    A fairly true-to-life type game, actually.

    Anyway, just looking for stuff to read.

  2. #2
    Are you looking at something for a long-running game? Or something more short-term?

    Dread can be an excellent system for non-combat investigating. The resolution mechanism is a Jenga tower and it's straight up amazing how well it works. You can read more here: About Dread the Game Dread

    I think you could also mimic real-world style investigative drama with a low-PL Mutants and Masterminds game. I've had great success using 2e MnM for "agents style" gaming.

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    Wanting true-to-life is a pretty hefty restriction.

    I could, for example, point you at Nobilis. In that game, characters may well come into violent conflict, but given that they are, for lack of a better term, demigods, how that plays out seems to have little resemblance to the way fights happen in D&D. The mechanics don't center on how one inflicts and resists physical damage, because physical damage doesn't mean the same thing to a small god as to a mortal. The sovereign power of Christmas may well be able to annihilate you, but it won't be through be through using a Power Attach feat to beat you over the head with a candy cane. It'd be more by inserting you onto the "very, very naughty list"...

    But, demigod characters aren't particularly true-to-life.
    Last edited by Umbran; Monday, 15th August, 2011 at 07:10 PM.

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    No to low combat is how you run it more then the game. I've had no combat in my Star Wars game so far for example.

    Fiasco and Dread are geared towards one shots but don't always have combat in them. Under My Skin is written to not have any combat in it, but I can see how it can cause fights.

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    Thanks guys. Will check out those systems... especially Dread. Crazy to use a Jenga tower!

    I'm thinking of putting together a game where players are investigative journalists. This would be more for PbP / collaborative writing with rules for those of us who like mechanics a little (I'm a rules light person.)
    Players would investigate then put together the facts in any way they see fit (positive, negative, spin, more spin, crazy spin) and see reader reactions in their next investigations.

    I figure anything that could work for that concept would work for a lot of games.
    Was thinking of modifying Savage Worlds...? I like how skills work in that system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Is_907 View Post
    I'm thinking of putting together a game where players are investigative journalists. This would be more for PbP / collaborative writing with rules for those of us who like mechanics a little (I'm a rules light person.)
    Players would investigate then put together the facts in any way they see fit (positive, negative, spin, more spin, crazy spin) and see reader reactions in their next investigations.
    The Gumshoe system is supposed to be really good at this type of game (investigative that is, IDK about PbP) and is also rules light. GURPS Mysteries might also be a valuable tool for running such a game.
    Last edited by alms66; Monday, 15th August, 2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: added stuff to clarify

  7. #7
    I'm very fond of Dogs in the Vineyard for non-combat based resolution. In particular, it handles persuasion gameplay very well. In essence, your character's persuasive ability is based on your ability to bring aspects of your character into the argument. Much of the game is focused on identifying how evil has corrupting ordinary people. Getting those ordinary people to change course is at least as important as expunging the unsavable.

    Also, PC v PC conflict (often non-violent conflict) is a major part of the game. That creates a nice dynamic because PC on PC arguments have a game mechanical method to allow someone to "win" the argument. However, because the player has to actually argue in order to use the game mechanics, there is also the possibility that the other PC (or GM) will decide that they are actually persuaded and give up the contest.

    The system is also more flexible than it looks. I ran a very success Star Trek game using the system.

    -KS

  8. #8
    Lame Mage's Microscope. It is all about history, so much so that there are no player characters per se.

    Microscope RPG Lame Mage Productions (check out the reviews at Age of Ravens via the links on that page to get a real feel for the system)

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    Not particularly true-to-life, but Fiasco, The Shab Al-Hiri Roach, Everway, and Mouseguard are all on my list.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytmare View Post
    ...Mouseguard...
    Burning Wheel would be the slightly more generic version of Mouse Guard.

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