One of my goals in life is to try to come up with original ideas for games, so that we never have to be stuck playing games that are just prettier versions of previous games. So I like to challenge myself to come up with particularly different game ideas. Here's one I'd like the people on this forum to try to answer:
Your assignment: design a combat-less RPG.
Come up with a setting, main character, and goal for that character, in a game that plays like a role-playing game, but offer other means of making the game compelling and exciting than the now-common combat mechanics in most RPGs.
You must find a way to replace combat with something more than a simple substitution. For example, the first PC adaptation of the game Magic: The Gathering included a gameplay mode that played as an RPG, where the combat was replaced with Magic card duels. To me, this still counts as combat.
I would also say that scripted, linear and repetitive action sequences found in many recent RPGs aren't a good substitute either, as they wouldn't work if they had to be played in place of every place where a battle would otherwise have occurred.
I'm looking for the most original and compelling ideas you can come up with. Describe a game YOU would want to play, and hopefully, it'll be a game I will also want to play.
I'll drop by, from time to time, to comment, and hopefully, to come up with my own answer to this challenge. I'm really curious to see what some of you are going to come up with.
Don't be afraid to post multiple ideas, if you have them.
Note: I've also posted this challenge on my blog (URL in my sig) and I hope some of you will be interested in pasting your ideas in the comments there as well. Yes, I'm trying to drive traffic to my blog, but it's not for money (I don't have any ads) I'm just trying to build a community of people who like coming up with original game ideas, and discussing those ideas. Mods, if this last paragraph offends you, just ask, I'll edit it out.
Now, everybody, get designin' !