The character goes along with the party and is very useful, but kills no creatures and doesn't even try to attack them.
Does it happen?
Does it happen?
I never have because it's too disruptive to the premise of D&D the way it is usually played. I'd only do it if the entire group was pacifist.
YES!!! That's just the idea. You see, I'm disruptive by nature. I'm so "outside the box", that I haven't seen the inside of the box for a couple of decades.
Should "the premise of D&D the way it is usually played" become stale or tiresome, then ways of alleviating the monotony must be found to instill new vigor into the game play. One idea I had was creating characters who gain experience in ways other than attacking. Maybe it'd be more fun to run from and evade a kobold rather that just nonchalantly extinguishing it?
Well, strictly speaking, there's no thing stopping you from solving problem with orcs raiding towns with a diplomatic solution...
However, I did play a character… a ranger… that had a strange religious conversion. He went from a paranoid, borderline psychotic to a serene, holy warrior in a very short span. Not a pacifist, but really sought to avoid violence after his conversion experience.
The other PC's were a little miffed as I had gained some super-powers that would have been really useful in combat. I agonized over using them to their chagrin. Great role-playing for a few months.
In our current campaign we're low level. My character prefers non-lethal solutions. Being low level, I'm presuming that he isn't yet the hardened, casual killer that most players seem to run.
Several times, when we face an implacable opponent (one who attacks on sight and can't be reasoned with), my character will bandage their people-type fallen after the fight (after ours are handled, of course.)
Aside from the fact that he occasionally loses his lunch after we're forced to kill, he figures that we might be better received should we ever have to come back this way.
In short, I'm running a civilian, with a civilized upbringing, for whom casually killing opponents will never sit well.
In a 4e game I was DMing I had the party meet a Tiefling lady who claimed to be a simple cook. The party proceeded to not-very-casually question her about her combat skills, a conversation that culminated in one of them finally asking her bluntly, "How do you kill people?".
She was shocked, and asked, "What kind of person do you think I am?"
Then it was their turn to be shocked: She really was an NPC, a commoner who wanted nothing to do with war or killing, and who had a commoner's view of, well, murder.
Taking life is such a casual thing for most PCs that I thought I would remind them that, to most civilians, the line between being a Player character and a serial killer was very very thin.
You aren't a pacifist just because you don't attack people. It's more accurate to ask if anyone's played a non-violent character.
. . . from an RPG perspective, it's almost impossible to balance the game for a pacifist hero.
The problem with the pacifist is that to overcome problems, they have to be either basically invulnerable or else some form of diplomancer.
And to make them good enough at those things to compensate for the fact that they have no fall back options if their first recourse fails, then basically they have to be good enough to handle challenges solo.
The system also supports a variety of combat actions that don't automatically assume lethal violence --- tricks, tests of will, unarmed combat that allows for non-lethal damage, a ranged combat system that makes it easy to support a character using drugged darts to knock players unconscious, etc.