… or underhanded tactics, depending on who you ask.
Today my Pathfinder/Planescape session started with the player characters in dungeon. Due to things that happened in couple last sessions, they’re wanted men. PCs where reading their map and planning where they’re heading next when they heard someone moving in the next room. They prepared themselves and scouted as much as they could but eventually the stranger opened the door to their room. Our trigger happy goblin gunslinger shot him before he could say anything.
The violence didn’t immediately escalate, instead both sides asked what the other wanted. After bit of debate (and the fact that the stranger could detect evil, the ninja PC was evil) it became apparent that Kamier, the hound archon (lawful good) bounty hunter had been looking for the PCs. Things got interesting when the neutral good cleric (who wasn’t wanted) started suggesting that they should surrender and sort the thing out. Team evil/neutral/chaotic wasn’t very excited (to put it mildly) about the whole idea.More debate followed and the representative of law and good demanded that the wanted evil doers surrender. Things didn’t proceed anywhere so the violence started. The battle looked like a stalemate, the party wizard disrupted the archon enough and the clerics with healing wand kept rest of the party alive. On the other hand the PCs didn’t have the magic arms to do any harm to the celestial bounty hunter. The good cleric offered more mid-combat diplomacy and the archon promised to leave him unmolested if he stayed out. Eventually the archon retreated outside the door and new round of diplomacy was had.
The archon sounded like he would believe the PCs tale that they had good reason to attack the Dustman. They had proof! They had sent letter to her superior! But the problem was that the archon wanted the PCs to surrender and come with him to sort the thing out with the Dustmen. He even offered to serve as neutral party in the trial but the players didn’t trust Dustmen justice enough. One option that was presented was to get someone who could magically detect lies so they could tell their tale. Unfortunately neither party trusted the other enough to go back to the city and find such magic.
Team evil/neutral/chaotic tried even sneaking away (they had found secret door around the archon’s location earlier) while the party cleric talked with the archon across the corridor and open doorway. But the cleric revealed this so they where still stuck. Eventually the archon tired and left. The PCs didn’t see him anymore during this session…
All in all, good session for me. I got the players thinking about their options and divined the party opinions nicely like I thought I would. The player of the good cleric didn’t directly attack the archon in the combat in any way (just buffed and healed his friends) and he was the most adamant about surrendering. On the other hand the chaotic goblin and evil tiefling where very much opposed. The wizard sat in the middle until combat started, then he merrily started greasing the ground under the archon’s feet.
The situation is very much unresolved. The archon withdrew since the combat seemed long and hard and he knew the way the PCs would have to take to get out. After he left the PCs shrugged their shoulder and carried on with regular dungeon crawl and actually found a large treasure. But, they are still in the dungeon and there is one patient bounty hunter after them. They just bought themselves one week (real time) to think a solution.
I’m eagerly waiting for the next session to see how the players plan to get out of the dungeon. Can they find another way out like someone suggested? Can they defeat the archon they don’t seem to be able to hurt? Do they surrender? Or like PCs usually do, do something completely unexpected?
Anyways, I like how this session turned out, I presented the players with a problem and watched how they went about solving it. Very old school in the way I understand it.