In my A Team post yesterday, Dave commented, "OD&D was mechanically all about combat."
Sorry, Dave. We've discussed this before, I discussed it here about a year ago, after Dave, Alex, Josh, Pat and I had a talk about it at the Board Game Group.
I emailed Dave a copy of OD&D, so he can have a look (in case he's never seen it).
Anyway, looking at it, I can see all kinds of non-combat mechanics. First of all, there are social mechanics such as the henchmen/followers rules. There are the Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma scores. There are the general equipment items, the majority of which are non-combat related.
Next, let's look at the spell lists. Obviously Fighters fight, but what about the Magic-Users and Clerics?
M-U Combat Spells:
Level 1: Protection from Evil, Charm Person, Sleep
3 out of 8, all of them defensive, and with some non-combat applications as well. Light and Continual Light have not yet been noted as able to blind opponents.
Level 2: Detect Invisible, Levitate, Phantasmal Forces, Invisibility
4 out of 10, with only one directly offensive, and two best used by weak M-Us to get the hell out of the combat!
Level 3: Fly, Hold Person, Dispell Magic, Fire Ball, Lightning Bolt, Pro. Evil 10' Radius, Invisibility 10' Radius, Slow Spell, Haste Spell, Protection from Normal Missiles
10 out of 14. Well, 3rd level has always been the combat spell level. Still, quite a few of these are defensive and/or have useful non-combat or avoid-combat applications.
Level 4: Polymorph Self, Polymorph Other, Confusion, Charm Monster
4 out of 12, although the Wall spells and Growth of Plants could be used in combat, possibly, but they're really escape spells IMO.
Level 5: Hold Monster, Conjure Elemental, Animate Dead, Magic Jar, Cloudkill, Feeblemind, Growth of Animals
7 out of 14, although again some wall spells, Transmute rock to mud, and a few others could serve get out of jail free purposes in combat, and some of the above could be used for non-combat purposes.
Level 6: Invisible Stalker, Anti-Magic Shell, Death Spell, Disintegrate
4 out of 12, again with Invisible Stalker and Disintegrate having some useful non-combat applications, and clever use of a few of the non-directly offensive/defensive spells being used in a combat.
That leaves an awful lot of spells that aren't intended for combat purposes, and there are mechanics for their resolution. I'll do the Cleric spells and some other bits later, as I've got to get ready for work.
The Beginning of Something Wonderful
3 hours ago