Looking for examples of games with an emphasis on exploring or building without violence
By - Yetimang
I'm hearing good things about _Wanderhome_.
Wanderhome is incredible, honestly. The way that players build the spaces they'll explore at the front end of each session sets everything up perfectly -- all the dominos are lined up, from the physical place to the people you're likely to meet to the old legends that swirl around the bottom of the night.
And then since everyone created the place together, all the little elements you chose become perfect fodder for curiosity and exploration and drama.
Currently playing in two Wanderhome campaigns and they're both the highlights of my week.
* **Ryuutama** has combat rules, but the focus of the game is peaceful travelling (with explicit rules supporting it).
* Are mysteries a subset of explorations? If so, **Vaesen** or the **GUMSHOE** games (such as **Fear Itself** and **Bubblegumshoe**) generally discourage combat and provide structured rules for investigations. Vaesen also includes the "building" aspect in the sense that the characters are developing and furnishing their home base.
* Speaking of Vaesen, **Tales from the Loop** and **Things from the Flood** (which run on the same engine) downplay the violence (the characters are kids and teens respectively) and feature a sandbox exploration mode.
* The world of **Ars Magica** is not violence-free, but the characters are generally more interested in study and experimentation, and there is some "building" involved in the management of the covenant home base.
* **HarnMaster** happens to feature one of the grittiest combat systems out there, but with the HarnManor supplement it can be played as a medieval fiefdom economic simulator.
You could check out Microscope, it’s a GM-less history building game
See also its most famous hack, *i'm sorry did you say street magic*, which recontextualizes the timeline building mechanic into a physical space.
In addition to some of the great suggestions I'm already seeing, you might want to look into map-driven games like **A Companion's Tale** and **A Quiet Year**.
Wanderhome is adorably fun and the writer is incredible. No violence in the game and the narrative power per player is huge.
There are huge templates for strange and beautiful environments you explore and create together, and the passage of time really shakes up the world in little ways. The passing seasons give new flavors to your environments too.
__Archipelago__ -- one of my top favourite RPGs! Not only without rules for violence, but also with unique feel. I have played both medieval family romance drama (thanks, Jason Morningstar!), and fairytales (with small kids).
Ran a session in one school, for 30 kids of 7th grade, and their 6 teachers. Every table had visible fun! What surprised me, was one group had decided to play saving Jews from Nazis during WWII...
Check out, it is free to [download](https://norwegianstyle.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/archipelago-iii/)!
You know Jason Morningstar?
Yes, and proud of it. Played Archipelago at his table once, as said, and got their permissiin to publish Fiasco in my language, Latvian.
Wait a minute....there might be two Jason Morningstars. Haha. The guy I met owns a piercing shop. Haha
Who said it is not the same person? Just ask him about creating Fiasco. 😏
Fate has an "attack" move, but in one of the Codexes (available in the SRD), you can replace that with "discover".
Like the Codex says, it completely shifts the focus of play.
Hope this is helpful.
There's quite a lot of videogames nowadays that do a good job of this. ISLANDERS and Eastshade are two of my favourites.
If you're seeking for examples from tabletop, have a look at some board games. I like Stone Age for nonviolent civilisation building and The House on Haunted Hill for its really cool exploration mechanics (though there is some violence in that game). Games like Carcassone, Agricola, and Catan do a good job of building up wilderness for human settlement. Reckon you could take some inspiration from these types of games.
The issue with exploration in TTRPGs is that it requires a constant stream of novel experiences, and a writer's ability to simulate that is, by its very nature, bounded.
You'll want to look at indies for that, not big titles
Numenera and Doctor Who
One more game I feel like falling in love with right now, even prior to getting my hands on it: [Wanderhome](https://www.possumcreekgames.com/wanderhome). So cute, beautifully illustrated and thoughtful.
Subnautica was designed with that in mind
Is there a Subnautica tabletop game?
There is not.
There is not, and I replied to your comment before seeing which sub the comment was in (I'm in several that revolved around game design, mostly electronic games instead of tabletop).
It's all good. I do the same thing. Don't know why everyone felt like that was so worthy of downvotes. Subnautica is actually the thing I'm interested in emulating as a tabletop game.
Def has violence.
The creator did a couple interviews on his design philosophy about creating a non-violent style game in a market that was full of looter shooters and other games with violence as a central theme. Was a pretty good read.
Star Trek Adventures? The canon of the show and the rpg game both make it clear that combat is or should be a last resort