Content of the article: "seeking advice for keeping a character alive"
If your character lives in the Kindgom of Drul and is named Baz, Bjorn, Oscar, Nora, Shandri, or Tydar then it's time to look elsewhere for interesting DnD conversations.
My fellow DMs, I have a conundrum. In this group's last adventure they fought an epic battle against a company of goblins and hobgoblins. The fought on the side of a bandit camp, led by Draake, unknown to them at the time a level 10 barbarian turned elderly bandit leader. Draake is firm but fair, and well liked by the bandits he leads (important later). Draake's forces had originally captured the group on the road (without causing any injury) and Oscar quickly talked the group out of being captives. The group was fleeing their hometown which has been overrun by a goblin army. The group includes Oscar's elderly parents, who were originally captive as well but immediately released by one of the bandits who happened to be a former member of their flock.
So, back to the battle: it was an epic five hour fight, but due to the players' skill and some surprises the group threw at me, the characters were never really in danger and even the bandits took relatively few losses (as a DM, I realize in retrospect that I should not have spaced out the waves as much as I did). Early in the battle Draake was drawn into the fight to save one of his bandit lieutenants, which failed. This threw him into a frenzied rage and he single handedly took down between 1/4 and 1/3 of the attacking force before falling himself in the last round (this was scripted, of course). He wasn't dead though. The players finished off the boss (a homebrew hobgoblin warlord with legendary actions) and then a surprise happened. With roughly 60 potential witnesses, Oscar, a CG sorcerer, rushed to the fallen Draake (who was in the dim area of Light spell), checked him for vitals, shouted "Draake's down", and then murdered him with a spell. Oscar was then struck down by a group of retreating hobgoblins (not scripted and not DM revenge; just very lucky dice rolling for those forces). That's where I ended the session.
Now here's the problem: at this point the battle was over but it had just ended and as I said there were still about 60 potential witnesses who could have seen the murder. I really want to figure out a way that Oscar survives but 55 or so of the witnesses were bandits and the bandits really liked the leader Draake. But they were also mostly human with poor night vision and Oscar and Draake were in dim light. Those potential witnesses were just in combat and less than a round had expired since last contact and the murder thus they were on high alert scanning the battlefield so some percentage of them were probably looking in the right direction. The closest witness was between 50 to 60 feet away.
I'm thinking about having 1/3 of the bandits roll PP with disadvantage due to darkness and distance. I'll probably do this in groups of 5, as that is how they were organized during the battle and it limits the rolls. There were also several bandit lieutenants still up, including some with darkvision. Some percentage of them will also need to roll PP. The other issue is that the bandit group includes a cleric and the bandits will definitely want to examine the body and perform a burial. I assume that magic leaves a telltale trace of damage that a cleric might be able to figure out (the attackers had no magic ability and the bandits are aware of Oscar's abilities). The cleric doesn't have the spell that Oscar used to kill Draake, but I feel he should still roll a regular medicine and/or arcana check to figure out what killed him as that would be a natural investigation into a fallen leader.
I've talked to the player and he'll be doing the rolling (partly because I feel I messed up the description during this part of the battle). He's accepted that his character might die. While Oscar will survive the initial downing because he has a Periphat of Wound Healing the bandits will straight up kill him up if they figure out what he did. The party is nowhere near strong enough to stop this from happening (it would be about 80
One thing that that is settled is that Oscar has an alignment shift (assuming he survives) to CN (no longer CG) because, dang it, finishing off a downed character who fought with you is murder and no "Good" character would do that.
What would you do?
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