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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Sep 2009

    Default Non-Combative Adventures?

    Hello All!

    This is my first post (long-time reader, though). Recently, my girlfriend's expressed interest in playing some 3.5 D&D. However, the combat bores/scares her (she has a REALLY active imagination).

    I was thinking, instead of combat, the focus of an adventure could be spying, subtlety, and subterfuge. Are there any published adventures that don't focus on combat to which I could reference? Also, does the forum community have any good ideas/posts regarding this kind of adventure? I would very much appreciate the direction.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lolzords's Avatar

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigby's Bearhug View Post
    I was thinking, instead of combat, the focus of an adventure could be spying, subtlety, and subterfuge. Are there any published adventures that don't focus on combat to which I could reference? Also, does the forum community have any good ideas/posts regarding this kind of adventure? I would very much appreciate the direction.
    Such a system would be ideal for an Oddworld setting, sadly I don't know of any. Hopefully there are some, though.
    Round Four: Eat Brains.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    This probably isn't the right forum for the question, but that's moot.

    Let's see. I can't think of any non-combat adventures off the top of my head. Well, Tomb of Horrors is mostly non-combat, but it's Tomb of Horrors so it's not what you're looking for. Which leaves you with making your own game.

    First, let's try to make combat a bit more flowing. Attacks of Opportunity: gone. Use the option from Unearthed Arcana to let the player roll dice for attack and defense. Let her keep her normal HP, but tone down all the enemies HP (or keep the enemies HP as normal, but make them low level. That works if she is playing as a hero in the mythological sense, but for vanilla D&D, just reducing the HP would be better).

    Warriors & Warlocks, a supplement for Mutants & Masterminds, has something cool that you might want to appropriate. It's called "stunts" and it's basically "choose a result, you and opponent make appropriate opposed checks, something happens". So, you might make a Bluff check vs. Sense Motive to cause two opponents on either side of you to attack each other (with a failure resulting in the character getting a penalty to defense). While W&W has more in-depth rules, since your girlfriend doesn't seem to care too much for the mechanics of combat, then just sort of wing it. Encourage her to try cool stuff (like jumping off of walls in order to increase her combat speed or firing an arrow in a dragon's throat to prevent it from breathing fire for a few more rounds) and then just describe the result.

    In short, try to make combat less of a game and more of a story with dice.

    Second, for completely non-combat adventures, look at other mediums that are non-combat. Spy and thief shenanigans, crime investigation, that sort of stuff. Shamelessly steal from a number of these things, transliterate it into fantasy medieval, and you have an adventure. Also, don't be afraid of simple plots.

    For example, classic plot: stealing the crown jewels. Have your girlfriends character be hired to steal the crown jewels (by who and for what reason? Discovering that might be a side plot or it can be known at the beginning). How does she do it? Sneak her way in, disguise herself as a maid, seduce the king himself to get into his chambers, whatever. Leave it open-ended. Create the setting, characters, and the goal and let your player determine how it progresses. Maybe plan out a few potential scenes (especially if you're bad at improv), but by and large it would probably work best if you have little preconceived notions of where the plot is heading. Maybe the character gets caught due to a bad roll or a bad plan and now has to break out of the royal prison. Maybe the character pulls it off without a hitch, but now the entire country knows of the deed and is on the lookout for the culprit.

    Oh, and I just had a thought for a plot twist based on real life. I forget which painting it was, but a clever forger created a number of forgeries of a famous painting. He found potential buyers and then hired somebody to steal the painting. Once the theft became public knowledge, he sold his forgeries to the buyers who were all convinced they were getting the real deal. He never contacted the person he hired to steal the original, instead leaving him high and dry with one of the hottest pieces of merchandise in the country and no safe place to sell it. Very well played.
    Smart is knowing that Frankenstein wasn't the monster. / Wise is knowing that Frankenstein was the monster.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooManySecrets View Post
    Oh, and I just had a thought for a plot twist based on real life. I forget which painting it was, but a clever forger created a number of forgeries of a famous painting. He found potential buyers and then hired somebody to steal the painting. Once the theft became public knowledge, he sold his forgeries to the buyers who were all convinced they were getting the real deal. He never contacted the person he hired to steal the original, instead leaving him high and dry with one of the hottest pieces of merchandise in the country and no safe place to sell it. Very well played.
    Haha, nice. Thanks for the help so far. I'm probably gonna go with your second suggestion (no combat at all). She claims to not have enough testosterone to enjoy fighting. I think she's being sexist.

    That said, I'll most likely have to build a setting. It's gonna be me and her. She'll run the primary character while I DM and run a secondary character.

    Also, I'm gonna stick with 3.5e on this one. I want to introduce her to gaming and 3.5's the system I feel most able to improv.

    So, my second question is this: what are some recommended published adventures with an Urban setting? I feel that has the most potential for thievery and such.

    I appreciate your suggestions!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    deuxhero's Avatar

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    A murder, designed around various magics (speak with dead gives you a free witness for instance)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    I was actually suggesting that you put the stuff from the first part into any combats that do occur, rather than making the gain combat-heavy but with those changes. In other words, you can still have combat, but make it important. Don't just throw a random encounter at her for the sake of extending the length of the session, for instance. Make each one count. Of course, if she is dead set against combat, that's fine as well.

    And, yes, she's sounding sexist. [\amused]

    I'm trying to think of a setting which is mostly non-combat. Maybe something set in Sharn (from Eberron) or something similar? If you don't like magitech, then set it in a generic fantasy medieval city, but use ideas from Sharn. Does Waterdeep have any sourcebooks?
    Smart is knowing that Frankenstein wasn't the monster. / Wise is knowing that Frankenstein was the monster.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    Eureka!

    You've jogged my memory. Waterdeep would be quite excellent. Yes, there is a sourcebook for it (Waterdeep-City of Splendors).

    Thanks!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kiren's Avatar

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    You could make a campaign in which combat can be evaded through the use of other tactics, realistically though combat can be unavoidable, though it can be rare. An alternative could be indirect combat, as in trap setting or getting others to fight for you through the use of social skills or magic items.

    If no combat at all is preferred, I have very few ideas, except player vs. traps.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    One way is to make it a magic heavy adventure. Lots of puzzles to solve and traps to evade using spells and skills. The few opponents are ones best dealt with save and die spells.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Non-Combative Adventures?

    Or a campaign that focuses mainly on exploration and discovery? Ancient ruins and complexes don't have to be full of monsters and bandits, after all. Some of the most rewarding events have no combat at all, such as reactivating the magenerator of the ancient Arcanotek Temple to access the archives... or something <Shrugs>.

    Again, Combat might still be inevitable, but that's really her choice. There are plenty of ruins that don't have a giant spider in the puzzle room, after all...

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