Lizaur on TheRPGSite commented:
Well, the vast majority of RPG has leeengty chapters just about how to kill people, so what do you expect my players do?
Being a bunch of cold-blooder killer bastards, that’s. The fuckers.
Which stands to reason that if you want a game that is violence-free (though not necessarily conflict-free) then you need to reduce the number of pages allocated to killing and maiming in the game. And, to be honest, it also stands to reason that games traditionally appeal to a small section of the population.
The traditional game, D&D, brings you a setting where it is assumed that you will wander the cuntryside, robbing tombs, killing wildlife and murdering other intelligent beings. It’s no wonder that I never liked it.
I am always amazed by the page count and detailed system mechanics given over to physical combat and how to run it in big RPG books and a few lines on any other type of conflict. I wonder it it simply easier, given the history of gaming coming from wargaming, to imagine/describe physical encounters than social or other conflicts.
I tried hacking a popular system to provide a sort of generic combat system one that could be applied to a “social” conflict as easily as a “physical violence” one. But I didn’t get far enough to really test it.
This is why the Smallville RPG really piques my interest (and why I’ve bought it in PDF and hardcover). It’s a relationship-driven drama and the “violence” is really such a small part of it because, for the most part, it’s a final showdown thing. And, for the most part, the protagonist is utterly invulnerable.
So, in a setting where you can’t be hurt, what’s the point of combat mechanics?