This is a ranty post, so skip if you don't have time for bullshit. I have a few of these in the tube. I must be in a mood today.
I think it's not controversial to say that D&D is a game about killing things and taking their stuff in order to get better at killing things and taking their stuff. And that's fine. Hell, we've been playing it that way for decades. That's what it is.
Yes, you can play it differently. As someone once prickishly pointed out, you can roleplay Monopoly. But the rules of Monopoly do not facilitate roleplay. The rules of D&D facilitate combat, theft, and the gaining of power. You can play entire sessions of D&D without combat or theft... but I god damn guarantee the rules are not helpful to you in that endeavor and you're fooling yourself if you argue otherwise.
(Cue that one guy who has an incredible story of an entire campaign in which the only dice rolls were Reaction Rolls. Bravo! You used one table in the entire game book. D&D is good at everything.)
This little rant was inspired by having read a few times recently how some people like to "role play vs. roll play". I thought that cliche died at -10 hit points in 1999. It's a game with 6 different dice. Fucking use them.