So I had an idea, to bring about an RPG which has the same team-building, creativity, imagination and problem solving as D&D, but specifically without a great deal of violence. The go-to solution should not be to draw the sword.

I'd like it to focus on character, and ingenuity.

Instead of steadily becoming an untouchable warrior and spending a lifetime punching goblins, and a story being secondary, I'd like character development to be believable. (Let's face it, if I took to the streets with a sword, I wouldn't become an unstoppable barbarian, I'd become a foolish inmate).

The aim shouldn't be to save the world, but to improve it.

Perhaps players would, occasionally, feel they have to fight, but it would have to be because their characters really feel the need to do so, not just because they've seen a goblin.

It's a question of developing something, and how to replace the ever-present combat systems of most RPGs.

  • Of course, a good story has challenges to overcome, and conflicts.
  • How could I penalize a violent response, how do we make it clear that unnecessary combat is going to end badly?
  • Is there any sources out there for likely kinds of encounter? (For instance, a book which contains scene starters as building-blocks for writers)

Any advice is welcome.


closed as too broad by SevenSidedDie May 14 '18 at 14:35

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This looks a bit like an idea generation question, which isn't a very good fit for this site. We have a list of discussion forums that may fulfill your needs better. Our format is aimed at a discrete problem/question with a discrete answer. Please excuse my manners: Welcome to RPG.SE! :) Please take the tour and visit the help center to get an idea for how this Q&A site is different form forums. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 14 '18 at 13:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you search this site for non violent RPG, you'll find some old Q and A that may give you some leads. This one is an example. Or this question about other than violent character aspects. As you can see, they are both now closed. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast May 14 '18 at 13:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider rephrasing the question so as to avoid insulting the present hobby and hobbyists. For example, Instead of steadily becoming an untouchable warrior and spending a lifetime punching goblins, and a story being secondary, I'd like character development to be believable pigoenholes the medium, denigrates the current storytelling ability of the medium and its players, and decries advancement as depicted in every current RPG as lacking verisimilitude. Please, scale back the rhetoric. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 '18 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ This sort of question is looking for ideas and discussion, which this site is not designed for. This would work on a discussion site though! There are many RPG discussion sites, so we have put together a list of discussion sites to help you find one that suits you. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 14 '18 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I knew this SE wouldn't like the question. \$\endgroup\$ – AJFaraday May 14 '18 at 15:36

Virtually any game can be played this way. Perhaps ironically, systems with the deadliest combat might be the easiest to push this direction: GURPS and Hero System. Both are skill-based point-buy systems, and readily support "less violent" play styles. If your players are on board, you could easily wind up with a game where violent conflict is a rarity.


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