Gargoyle wrote:Totally agree, sometimes non-combat encounters are more difficult to design though, just something I need to work on. I get too focused on combat stuff sometimes.
If you work out a good way to do this, please share.
Having a game without combat is hard, but is sometimes need to tell the story. Have skill challenges that don't involve the DSR is good too.
I always liked the idea that NPC's have a 'social' toughness and wounds and you have to use different skills and techniques to get them to do what you want, kind of like social combat if that makes sense.
1-on-1 games I've always gone down the die hard, infiltration or investigation route, with having the 'authorities' there to back them up.
Well, one thing I do that helps is use the "Five room dungeon" design method. This is a method in D&D adventure design where you create five different encounters...doesn't have to be a dungeon. https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Five_Room_Dungeon
The idea is that you have five "rooms" with a Guardian, a Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge, A Trick or Setback, Big Climax, and a Reward/Revelation. The link explains it, but you probably get the idea. The "rooms" equate to scenes in Torg, and that's a great way to quickly design an entire Act which typically works for one session of play.
The Guardians and Big Climax are typically combats, and might also include a DSR, especially for groups. But my problem is that I tend to make one or two of the other scenes a combat as well. For instance, I might make the Trick or Setback scene a DSR, but to challenge players not doing the DSR I might have waves of mooks attack. So the act gets clogged with too much combat.
This method is good though and may help. You can be flexible with it and put it more or fewer scenes or different types of encounters...but it gets your creativity going and helps you slap ink onto paper. I just need to use some discipline to come up with more roleplaying and adventure challenges with it rather than falling back on my old rpg habits of creating lots of interesting fights and not enough other challenges.