Today's post, as rambly as it may be, was inspired by a twitter conversation I saw going on the other day. In it, folks like the NewbieDM were talking about RPGs for kids and where to pull inspiration from. Some people seemed to have problems with the idea that you can have weapons, you can have adventure, and still not have violence. Today, I wanted to talk about that.
Adventure Doesn't Need Blood
The first part that needs to be said is that an adventure game/story doesn't necessarily need blood. There are lots of adventure stories where there is actually a minimum of blood. In fact, most pure adventure stories have very little blood. Doesn't mean there isn't fighting, but the fights aren't violent and are only very rarely bloody. That is something to keep in mind when doing those games.
Combat Doesn't Need Blood
This one is something of a cop out, but combat doesn't need blood either. You ever watch a cartoon aimed at young boys? There's always fighting, but never blood. How? Well, usually the heroes are fighting robots, or aliens, or they use weapons that don't inflict any sort of bleeding or fatal wound. The Clone Wars is a great example of this, where despite having lightsabers that dice up robots in seconds, most fights against people are won with the occasional kick, punch, and - most often - a well timed force push that leaves someone pinned under debris.
80's Disney Cartoons....
My sole contribution to the discussion was to point out the old Disney cartoons as a source of inspiration. Shows like Gummy Bears, Aladdin, Tail Spin, Gargoyles, and Dark Wing Duck had tons of adventure - and even the occasional combat - but had very little violence and no blood. It was silly, light hearted, thrilling, and fun...but it wasn't bloody, dark, or violent. It can be done, you just gotta use the head and keep the focus point aimed in the right direction.