Friday, September 27, 2019

Discussion: How Much Combat Is Too Much? Too Little?

When it comes to the games you're in, how much combat is too much? How much is too little? Do your groups prefer to avoid combat? Or do they go into every situation with swords drawn and guns at the ready?

Table Top RPGs have a weird relationship with violence. It's like a default to be in every game. A game could be about the struggles of controlling your own life as a teen...and will still have rules for how to do combat. I think one of my favorite examples is John Wick noted that violence and murder was so prevalent and decided to instead make a game where the main conflict resolution model was sex. An interesting idea, but in execution? It's just the same combat mechanics we've had for years and years in other games with different descriptive flairs on them.

I don't have a grand solution for this. I think the closest I've seen a game come to avoiding normal combat - or having a conflict system that could do combat but could also do arguing with the same mechanics - is FATE with its Stress and Consequence system.

Still, no matter how much it comes up in RPGs every table has different preferences. So what about yours? Do you have fights every week? More than one? Is the game predominantly combat? Or is combat fairly rare?

My games have been known to go multiple sessions without combat. But then the story will bring up multiple in a go, or a very long combat. We tend to go for a balanced approach. Combat happens, but there is a reason for it and if conversation can happen - or solve things - then that is what is used.

How about with your game?

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