dnd 5e – Issue with a light combat campaign (5e)

As part of session 0, I discovered my group wanted a campaign with a heavier amount of intrigue, exploration, investigation, etc. Well, I did it. And I think the general perception is that it’s going well. But I’m observing the following things that are growing into a larger concern:

  • For sessions that are focused on investigation, exploration, NPC interaction, etc., it feels like the majority of a character sheet becomes useless, with the exception of skills. It almost doesn’t even matter that one character is a monk or another is fighter.
  • As characters level up, it feels like the problem continues to magnify. Characters just keep getting more and more combat mechanics that don’t get used. But when they do use them — let’s say there’s a single combat in a session — they hardly scratch their resources (particularly spell casters). This becomes fairly problematic from a combat balancing standpoint.

Are there other GMs who are running story-focused campaigns with 5e (I’m assuming “yes”)? Are you observing the same things and/or how are you navigating the situation?

I understand there are many other role-playing systems out there (I own many of them), but we’re kind of immersed in this existing 5e campaign and my players aren’t really interested in trying other systems.