This is a response to Denis' blog.
Here is the apparent problem with lots of RPG games: the encounters can favor either combat or exploration skills and characters that are good at one tend to be bad at the other so supposedly on type of character is bored during combat encounters and vice versa.
Denis proposes that players use two characters. It's a neat idea.
I was thinking about how lots of RPGs degenerate into dice-rolling combat and "I want xp" fests. I liked the idea (also from Denis' blog) to only give xp for treasure that you spend on wasted stuff, like a wine, women and song. ("Brave, brave sir Robbin, sir Robin ran away...")
But I remembered an idea I had a while back when I was considering what would make a good rpg game. I though that it was interesting that you had monks in RPG that are anything but monk-like, are really just fighters with less hair and bare fists.
I realized that part of the reason for this is that there was no incentive to avoid a battle. Ever. So if you have an imminently weak fighter, you rely on the fighters for those encounters and you become one of the support staff: a healer or a aerial bomber/mage type. Well what if there was an incentive for a fighter not to fight and still generate xp?
So I conceptualized that the "Monk" type characters be given a bonus for winning an encounter without fighting. Then I though, the "Rogue" types should have that too. Trickery, seduction, avoidance and all manner of interesting role-play can come into hand if you are trying to avoid combat, even if you are one of those martial character types. The bonus should be fairly large, like a 10% but not just on the encounter but on the whole day's session. And it stacks... Yeah it would lead to some fast climbing of some classes but then, the role-play would be so much richer.
Another idea that I'll incorporate into my RPG world is that even combat classes should have some exploration qualities. One of which, "climbing" is I think ever forgotten in dungeon design. I played the Conan MMORPG, and climbing was a key skill for thieves as it'd give you access to treasure in towers, but also fighters who could climb to new areas and discovers new enemies to fight.