Lately I’ve been thinking about how to handle defeat. Traditionally in RPGs, a lost battle means everybody dies and it’s game over. You can either load a save or start over from the beginning.
My thought was that it might be cool to make losing part of the gameplay as well. For example, if you lose a battle, you might still have a chance to talk your way out of being killed. I don’t think I’d do this for every battle though, since it would take too much time to add dialogue for so many scenes that players won’t even see most of the time.
Unscripted defeats would probably be best limited to boss fights or other especially difficult encounters. I have some ideas for how the story could continue after an unscripted defeat, or at least offer a chance to retreat and try again.
What do you think of this idea? If you lost a battle but were able to continue playing (with consequences), would you reload your last save, or keep moving forward?