Internal conflict:

* Wanting to build online RPGs inspired by classic TTRPGs with monsters and loot.

* Wanting to only make pacifistic games, because "Kill 'Em All" gets boring after a while. ("Master Of Puppets" is better anyway - can we get some non-lethal political intrigue games, please?)

@InspectorCaracal but they're in conflict!

I can't stick to only making pacifist games, and then also make a game about randomly killing monsters for arbitrary loot.


@zatnosk but you can totally make a pacifist game about randomly ____ing monsters for loot with loose plot justifications and just fill in the blank with a verb that isn't "kill". 😉

@InspectorCaracal yeah, but can I build it as a federated MUD (#mudstodon) and let other people do their thing with content and dungeons and stuff, and still expect it to be pacifistic?

@zatnosk Depends on what you mean.

Can you build a game system based entirely on non-combat mechanics that still carries core TTRPG design concepts, that will continue being pacifist when running other people's campaigns (so to speak)? Definitely.

Can you build a pacifist open sourced game framework where people can't write their own combat mechanics into the codebase in their implementation? No, of course not, you can't control other people's server code.

@zatnosk But in the second situation, you can easily write *your* implementation to simply ignore combat mechanics elsewhere as unsupported. So in that sense, your game does remain pacifist. And you can include license restrictions if you want to disallow use of your code for game violence.

@InspectorCaracal but.. core TTRPG design concepts ARE combat mechanics!?

Even Pokémon doesn't qualify as pacifist in my view.

So even if I could build a federated pacifist RPG, I don't think I could make it feel "old-school" :/

@zatnosk Core TTRPG design concepts are the division of natural characteristics into a handful of numerical stats and using those numbers to affect a semi-randomized contest of abilities.

Pokemon isn't even remotely pacifist, or a TTRPG, so I'm not sure why you mentioned it. >.>

@zatnosk Oh, I forgot the improvement of skills and characteristics being represented by the increase of the numbers according to a system of achievement driven by assigning scores to challenges

@zatnosk Anyway all you need to do to make a pacifist TTRPG style game is replace physical damage to HP with a different progress meter. Hostility Points reaching zero, say.

@InspectorCaracal @zatnosk I remember one pet-critter-collecting videogame in development that replaced combat with dance-offs. Replaced HP with confidence points. I wish I could remember the name. Starts with O, I think

@InspectorCaracal Oh, right. You have a point there. But everything but the combat just feels so impotent in that model. Probably because I'm most used to D&D where combat "contests" are "do I hit and damage with my weapon" and every other contest is "I want to do something, do I succeed?".

@InspectorCaracal I don't know why I mentioned pokemon, either. It's combat mechanics where nobody dies?
I think it was a reaction to your earlier toot:
> randomly ____ing monsters for loot with loose plot justifications and just fill in the blank with a verb that isn't "kill"

@zatnosk Right, because they focused on combat. So you apply that idea of progress on a cgoal - the reduction of HP to zero, in combat - with a different progress meter. Then you focus on skills and actions targetted towards that type of challenge and progress meter.

@InspectorCaracal sounds like you'd do a better job of designing such a game than me :P

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