Monday, June 20, 2016

An interesting thought

    I came across an interesting post on Against the Wicked City. I want to share a snippet of it,

The idea of resolving encounters through non-violent social interaction is hardly a new one. If you look at the very earliest D&D rulebooks and adventures, they presuppose a world filled with danger which can be navigated in three ways: via combat (kill the monsters), via logical problem-solving (work out a way to rob or evade or outmanoeuvre the monsters), or via diplomacy (persuade the monsters to leave you alone, and maybe even help you out or fight your enemies for you). WotC D&D has mostly been all about the combat, whereas OSR D&D is more likely to emphasise the problem-solving, as Arnold K's eloquent discussion of 'OSR-style challenges' demonstrates; but while you're more likely to find diplomatic elements built into OSR adventures than into, say, Pathfinder modules, they're usually not accorded any kind of central role. (Maze of the Blue Medusa may be an exception, as the best way through it really is just to walk very cautiously from room to room having very strange conversations with very strange people.) If your group prefers combat and/or problem-solving to diplomacy, then that's fine: those are totally legitimate preferences, and indeed almost certainly define the majority of participants in the hobby. But I've gamed with a number of players over the years who really enjoy things like befriending goblins by swapping make-up tips ('I hear mud-brown is in this season!'), flirting with princesses, developing weird love-hate frenemy relationships with local authority figures, adopting strange outcast kids as sidekicks, and generally using social interactions with NPCs as one of the main methods through which they interacted with the game world. And if that's a mode of play which your group enjoys and wants to encourage, then I think there's a lot to be gained from building it into the game at ground-level, creating a world which is built around relationships and thus amenable to relationship-based manipulation.

You can read the whole thing here. Lots of really cool stuff besides this as well. Wander about and give dudes blog a gander. You will be rewarded.

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