Non-combat combat. A weird combination of words, I’m sure, which is exactly why I want to talk about it today. First, let’s break down what I mean by it in the context of roleplaying games.
Combat, in roleplaying games is a remarkably common affair. A group of goblins show up, the adventurers draw their swords and axes and a few minutes later, there’s bloody corpses everywhere.
What it also is, is a very regimented affair. The goblins show up, everyone rolls for initiative. One by one, everyone takes their turn to perform whatever actions they’re allowed and when everyone’s been, the turn rolls around again. This has a noticable effect on players, who know that when Initiative has been rolled, shit just got real. Initiative means there’s things on the line and people are going to die.
Which brings us to non-combat, which is generally safe, a little freeform and lower-takes than the life-or-death of combat.
So why not combine both?
That’s right, today we’re talking about introducing combat mechanics to ratchet up the tension in non-combat situations.