Talking Your Way Out… Fun? Skills before Kills
The party has bashed and exploded all the contructs and guardians standing in their way. They chopped off all the heads of the hydra, sent the storm titan back from whence he came, and now it comes to this. The epic champions stare face to face with an aspect of Moradin in the secret soulforge, flanked on either side by massive clockwork juggernauts.
The illusionist starts pulsing with rainbows of energy, the half-orc fighter tests the edge on his legendary great-axe, the barbarian hefts his might maul, and… And?
The artificer convinces the aspect that we’re all on the same side here and none of this violence is really necessary. The aspect agrees and sends you on your way with a bit of advice on where to continue the quest.
While I agree that RPGs should be about options and not just an endless murder-fest, I feel like sometimes talking your way out of fights gets more praise than it should. After the party “defeats” an encounter in this fashion, it can be a refreshing change of pace if you’ve been slogging through endless fights (which can be commonplace in the epic tier) but it doesn’t generally make for the same sense of accomplishment as standing atop a pile of defeated foes.
Last night we had an experience much like the one detailed above in our epic Scales of War campaign. In retrospect, I should have used the tried-and-true comic trope of having the good guys fight the other good guys to a bloody draw before they can convince each other they are on the same side. This probably depends on the group but I’ve found that same players are reluctant to call off combat once those initiative dice hit the mat. Overall, it left me with a bit of a “meh” feeling.
What are your feelings on talking your way out of a fight? Refreshing change of pace? Anti-climactic? Let us know in the comments below!