In Round 2, I briefly sketched out the possibility of generally using combat to determine the results of actions and situations and some of the resulting effects on storytelling.
But this “reductio ad combat” or rather “reductio ad combat rules” naturally also affects another area – the choice of the rules to be used.
I’d like to avoid launching into a tirade about rules and roleplaying games in general, instead keeping this to the point about the cited reduction, although I feel some context may be lost that way.
The main point to consider is that a reduction to combat rules, by its very nature, eliminates other elements of the rules and thus also the necessity to allow for contact and interaction between different elements of the rules.
This differs from one of the other common approaches to eliminate possible friction and gaps at such points of contact, the use of a global, overarching mechanism (often thought of as a “streamlined” set of rules), by leaving unaffected any specific thematic details or options within the combat rules.
It goes further yet, in that the reduction greatly simplifies changes to a a combat (sub-)system or the selection of a game solely focussed on combat as a rules set – such as a miniatures skirmish game or a genuine fighting game, thus bringing us full circle.