An unusually long session this week, in fact two sessions back to back. In the first one, the party polished off Wolves in the Borderlands, although they made another enemy in the form of a Caled druid. In the second, they reached Gis, unloaded the Holy Handkerchief of St Veronica for laundering, and were then summoned by the Ninth of Twelve, one of Gis’ master alchemists, who sent them on a mission into Zandor, allowing me to run the introductory scenario in the setting book, which might have been tailor-made for Athienne and Garstrewt.
No spoilers, but here’s pretty much what I said after they had set a trap for some bandits in a small village… You know the village I’m talking about, Umberto…
“So, if I understand you correctly, this is your plan…”
“The Warforged is concealed in shrubbery outside this hut, holding on to a rope you have buried in the dirt; as the bandits ride into the village, you will pull the rope taut, unhorsing the leaders. Garstrewt has moistened the same area with oil and is hiding in the hut opposite with his McGyvered catapult, ready to launch a burning cloth or something into the oil. Abishag has loaded his Potion of Blast, which he bought in Gis, into a sling and will fire it at the bandits while they are getting up and sorting themselves out. Athienne is standing here, where everyone is inside her Command radius.”
“By the way, you do realise that will have no effect whatsoever, as the rest of the party refuse to acknowledge her as leader. Yes? Doing it anyway? Fine.”
“Meanwhile, to entice the bandits into the village through that opening, Alihulk and Peter Perfect are displaying themselves doing manly things to show what good slaves they would make. Specifically, they are sitting on the pile of cabbage you brought to the village, drinking beer.”
What could possibly go wrong? Not much, as it happened. They even took prisoners, although The Warforged and Alihulk interpret their Bloodthirsty hindrance to mean not only can they not take prisoners, but nobody else in the party can, either; so the prisoners lasted about 90 seconds, that being how long Alihulk’s player (who has medical training) advised someone would take to bleed to death through a severed brachial artery. As he said later, “Cutting people’s arms off is not a viable interrogation technique.” As The Warforged replied, “I’m not trying to interrogate them.”
It astonishes me sometimes what the party are vicariously capable of; but when some years ago I researched what their actions would really mean and described it to them in detail, it was not much fun for anyone, so now I just drive on.
If only the party would acknowledge a leader, he or she could order them not to do things like that; but they won’t. See previous comments re: Number of Scoobies in party… Fortunately, Athienne has good Tracking skills and a background allowing her to use Common Knowledge to figure out some of what’s going on. Meanwhile, the posse has saddled up and is riding out after the bandits, following their tracks back to wherever they came from.