Age of Decadence - Non-Combat Gameplay
Vince's latest article on RPG design at The Age of Decadence forums examines non-combat gameplay. Here's the opening:
As we all know RPG usually means a game where you kill things. If you are role-playing a good character, you kills things in the name of justice and general goodness, weeping for every life taken. If you are role-playing an evil character, you kill with glee because you are evil (duh!), and finally, if you are playing an undecided character, you kill things and shrug.
You can often see "Different ways to play the game!" on a game box. 12 out of 10 it means "different ways to kill things". For example, venerable Baldur's Gate 2 offers 11 different classes, including bard, druid, and monk. Surprisingly enough (well, not really, but the word "surprisingly" increases the overall dramatic effect I'm going for), even though the manual boldly claims that bard's "strength is his pleasant and charming personality; With it and his wits he makes his way through the world....", the psycho bard makes his way through the world by killing things and singing sons that help him and his buddies kill things in a more efficient manner, which is great if you think that killing things is what RPGs are all about. If not, if you are starting to doubt that diplomacy is for fags, or expecting more than backstabbing from your thief, or simply wondering where the fuck all non-combat classes are, welcome to our PowerPoint "Non-Combat Gameplay: Myths and Reality" FAQ-style presentation [...]
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