[color:"orange"]offer them gold if they stop attacking[/color]
I'd rather die (and reload) than give up my loot. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/evilgrin1.gif" alt="" />

These conversation options could be good for some main plot or quest related fights, but I wouldn't want to talk out my differences with every thug or thief who started something with me.
There were places in Planescape: Tourment where you had to die to advance the main plot. It could be interesting to have a quest where you were sent to kill some demon or wizard, but they were impossible to beat, requiring you to yield and talk your way out of the situation.

[color:"orange"]beg for their lives when beaten near death[/color]

I'd want their oath not to attack me again, or aid others in doing so, before sparing them. In addition to common sense, if nearby NPCs are going to judge you harshly for not sparing someone, you would need justification to refuse someone the second time they attacked you.

If there are going to be any responses based on stats or skills, a perceptive person might be able to spot an opponents fake surrender pleas, and get an option to accept, then do a fakeout-turn-your-back-while-preparing-a-counterattack move.

[color:"orange"]Basic flee/surrender/fight decision making, ending combat before death, is not beyond today's technology[/color]

Opponents that attack and then flee are annoying, especially weak ones. If you went hostile on tibars in act 2 of BD, at least you could have the secondary character (set to aggressive) take them all out with a bow while the lead character explored or talked to NPCs, etc.

I hated when the metal slime in the old game Dragon Quest stuck around long enough to get down to 1 HP (a couple minutes, IIRC), so you only had to get one more successful hit in for a large experience reward, and then fled.

If weaker opponents (ie without appreciable experience points or loot) simply avoided you, though, that would be good. There were a couple artifacts in one of the old Ultima games (or maybe Final Fantasy?) that would either repel weak opponents and attract strong ones, or repel strong and attract weak. The same kind of thing could be done with a skill or spell.

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