Non-Combat Combat

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.

“Beardman, your turn.”
“I use cunning rethoric!”

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.

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The GM’s toolkit

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about our games, preparing for them and even running them. We’ve talked about the metaphorical tools in your toolbox and the different tricks that can be employed by the savvy game master.

Well, you get the idea. Add some dice and you can probably play some obscure indie RPG.

What we haven’t touched on are the actual tools you can use to make your games easier to run or more enjoyable to be a part of. So that’s what we’ll be talking about today. I’ll mostly be going over the tools I personally use and why I find them to be a good addition to my ‘kit’ as it were but i’ll be offering a few suggestions that I intend to pick up at some point in the future as well.

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