It’s a dilemma almost as old as the tabletop roleplaying hobby itself: In a game that revolves around exploring and (often) looting dangerous places filled with dangerous creatures, how does a DM cure players of the seemingly irresistible urge to simply murder and loot literally every living thing they come across?
I mean, combat and finding treasure and loot are fun, but you can’t kill and loot everyone. Who’s going to cook breakfast after Gorg the Gormless has killed the innkeeper’s family in search of treasure that, being innkeepers, they probably don’t have? And what interesting and weird things might happen if Gorg actually tried to communicate with those kobolds in the dungeon passageway or that randomly encountered traveler instead of hacking into them by reflex? (EDIT: Not being familiar with details of the D&D bestiary, I don’t know if it’s even possible to communicate with kobolds; the point is that there are other options besides stabbing things.)
How do you get enthusiastic, bloody-minded gamers to consider options that don’t require bloodshed…and like it?
If this is a question that has vexed you, fear not. Cirsova has a very useful and straightforward answer for you.
Even if it hasn’t vexed you, go read Cirsova anyway, because if you keep on playing these games, it probably will at some point.
PS: One thing you may want to know if you’re unfamiliar with old-school D&D: When he says “play B/X,” he means the 1981 revision of the Dungeons and Dragons rules by Tom Moldvay and David Cook, which had a Basic book and an Expert book: thus B/X. It’s the quintessence of OSR.