Note: I am the back-up DM for the store so I have to prep the mod and thus have meta-knowledge of what is going on that the other players don't. I try to seperate what I know from what my character does.
Session 3: SEZZ'IA OUTPOST
DM: John U.
The Cast of Characters:
CE Female Drow Avenger (Pursuit) of House Melarn, House Priestess of Lolth (Me)
? Female Drow Cleric (Templar) of Bregan D'aerthe, Theme(?) of "Lolth" (really a cleric of Corellon)
Unaligned Female Drow Paladin (PH1) of Bregan D'aerthe, Theme(?) of ?
? Male Drow Wizard (Mage) of Bregan D'aerthe, Elderboy
? Male Drow Ranger (Hunter) of Bregan D'aerthe, Theme(?)
The combat wasn't as interesting as the backstabbing that went on after we secured IyeIle, traitorous priestess of House Faen Tabblar.
The Ranger and my Avenger attempted to sneak to the left to discover the lay of the battlefield, but or DM made us roll individually 3 separate times to sneak up and on the third attempt the Ranger rolled low. It would have been better if he had us do group checks instead, because eventually one of us was going to roll low even with +11 to stealth (and my PC benefiting from +2 from the Ranger's Ambush ability). Roll initiative.
Surprise, I won. I double move back to the middle opening (keeping behind a wall for cover and challenge the priestess and her 3 hobgoblin slaves) shouting out a challenge.
The cleric moves and charges the nearest hobgoblin and the battle is joined.
The fight was tough, my avenger slipped past the hobgoblins after the mage hit them with winged hoard (no OAs!) and used her oath on the priestess. I then missed with both attack rolls.
The ranger stayed at the arrow slits and shot at targets that presented themselves.
The Paladin and the Cleric took on two of the hobgoblins (the third broke off to deal with my avenger to help the priestess).
The mage was crucial to this fight. His daily dropped a zone that proned and mobilized the priestess and the hobgoblins. Winged hoard made the hobgoblin lines porous.
The enemy priestess hit me from range and beat me up pretty bad with ongoing 10 poison damage (I had resist 5 poison from my Ruby Medallion of Lolth), immobilized and weakened. This held me up for two rounds.
In the end the ranger killed the hobgoblin (after I softened it up), I knocked the priestess unconscious, the mage took care of another hobgoblin, and the final hobgoblin died under my avenger's blade when I hit it with two nat 20s as my oath of enmity target.
Why did I knock the priestess unconscious? Well I meta-gamed a little, but with a purpose. Normally my character should have killed her outright for being a traitor, but that would deny my fellow players an opportunity to complete their mission. First step I used the manacles and a sack over her head to keep her from attacking or escaping our "custody."
I then informed the rest of the party that I captured her to interrogate her. While the paladin and I attempted to get to passed the whispering wall, the mage manage to get the info from our prisoner that we should have got if we talked with her at the beginning of the fight. I was also able to explain (out of character) some of the background of why Lolth wanted the Demon Weave and what the Way of Lolth was.
We got through the barrier and then I played my true purpose for the priestess, I told the other players that I had saved the prisoner so I could consecrate the alter to Lolth with the traitor's blood. Stunned silence. The Bregan D'aerthe players suddenly remembered they needed the traitor alive to complete their mission.
Now, they had to credibly convince me to not kill her right then and there. It was a delicious role-playing moment.
The paladin convinced me that I would be denying my House Matron Mother the opportunity to publicly try and execute her back in the city. I agreed with her and I told her I would take "my prisoner" back to my house for a quick trial and public execution. More stunned silence.
I consecrate the alter to the Demon Weave with the unholy water and the ritual scroll.
We head back to the Menzoberranzan. The Bregan D'aerthe start getting desperate to keep the prisoner from going to trial until they can complete their mission.
They decide to gang up on me 4 to 1 and the Paladin makes me an offer I cannot refuse, threatening me with violence (My DM made this an opposed skill check, intimidate check vs. my Insight which I lost badly. Personally, I would have had the players hash it out in role playing instead).
So they basically told my House Noble that Bregan D'aerthe would "interrogate" the traitor and when they were done House Melarn could try and execute her when they were done with her. I ignored the opposed check and played along that I was beaten. I knew that I could not take on all 4 of the other PCs, they would kill me.
So, I bided my time and when we were close to Menzoberranzan I told the DM that I was going to assassinate the traitor and flee for my House compound. If House Melarn was not going to get the prisoner, then Bregan D'aerthe would not have her either.
DM randomly rolled to see who was on duty (damn, the Ranger won, the one most likely to beat my stealth with perception... sunlight me). We roll off, I beat him by 1. DM rules I kill the prisoner but the ranger notices me do it but too late to stop it. I run.
The other players are now very pissed at my PC. All is right with the world, a member of House Melarn should be despised.
I talked with the players after the session and explained that I wanted them to have a chance to compete their House goal, because just killing her outright in combat would have been truer to my PC but no fun for anyone.
I also explained that by strong arming my PC led to me killing the traitor. I could not allow them to force me to back down from a challenge (I would lose worth and station in the eyes of my fellow drow). If they had instead made a softer play by convincing my PC to take the prisoner back to our leaders and let them decide the her fate is something my PC could agree to (and then the DM could rule that Bregan D'aerthe faction gets their way and complete the mission) which allows my PC to save face because it wasn't my character that "lost" the prisoner.
All in all, this was the most role-playing that I have experienced at the table of D&D Encounters. I am not sure my fellow players get the whole Drow intrigue thing yet. They are still acting like heroes. They should have killed my PC to make and blamed it on someone else. I think they might do that in the future.
Update: I did get a moment of greatness for my role-playing. They were not happy with my character but still like me, so far.
Playing at Guaridan Games, Portland OR