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A Betrayal of Innocenceby Joaquin Menchaca
I am having this problem where the PCs kill everything on-site that is considered "evil". I guess this is much the same way pioneers saw Indians, shoot first, ask questions later.
Anyhow, I thought of a cool idea. Let's say the opposing force like the Veiled Society has a high level wizard under their employ. A crafty mastermind would use this diabolical plan to get the PCs to commit murder and become criminals, thus removing them from the true adventure, ridding the mastermind's forces.
Here's the plot:
(1) The wizard takes some unwilling peasants and casts seeming to make them appear as some humanoid, like goblins. This same wizard casts seeming on some thugs.
(2) Spies on the streets find the whereabouts of the PCs. The PCs will either go down one street, or be somehow lead down the street. Perhaps, flinging a few arrows in their direction and then running.
(3) As the PCs go down the streets they see a group of goblins attacking peasants. The goblins are actually thugs (Veiled Society members) with the seeming spell. The thugs are further disguised as peasants, so if they die, they seem like commoners. Other goblins, are peasants, and they'll attempt to bolt, at the first opportunity. However, they are held at bay by armed men.
The PCs can get notable clues. A simple observation or Spot (DC 10) check will reveal that only some goblins are wielding weapons, while others are not. Further observation, or a Sense Motive (DC 15) check will reveal, that some goblins are attacking peasants, while others are not. Further, observation will through either Spot or Sense Motive (DC 20) will note that those that are not attacking are held at bay by one to three goblin guards.
When the PCs attack, the thug goblins will attack the PCs, while the peasant goblins will only defend themselves (total defence, +4 AC bonus) and not attack.
To confuse matters worse, the Veiled Society could even place a few non-goblin-disguised agents in the crowd of the peasants. They could backstab the PCs, or perhaps even assist in killing the peasants (disguised as goblins or otherwise). But this latter, shouldn't be used unless the player's are particularly smart and attentive.
(4) As the battle ensues, the guard goblins will start slaughtering the peasant goblins, and then attack the PCs. The goblin thugs will try to kill all witnesses to the scene, and then attack the PCs. There should only be the thug goblins remaining.
(5) Once the battle is over (all peasants and thugs should be dead), the town guard will arrive in the form of 6 armed horsemen. As they arrive, one horseman will be sent for re-enforcement. They will see the PCs with blood on their swords, and attempt to arrest them. Those resisting arrest will collaborate their crime and be branded as criminals. A bounty will be put out for the PCs. Those brought to court will be guilty until proven innocent, and here-say is admissible evidence.
(6) The party can be tempted by another criminal organisation that they'll be set free if they do a favour for the criminal organisation. If the party accepts, they the criminal organisation will grease the judge, and voila - the party is set free.
(7) If the party has done a favour for an aristocrat or for the church, they can then pull in that favour. The aristocrat or cleric will have the party be under his/her custody, until the innocence can be proven. There was one witness that survived the scene. If his presence, his life will become undoubtedly in jeopardy.
Further follow-up, will reveal that the spell Seeming is unknown within Karameikos. However, the ambassador of Glantri knows and actually possesses such a spell. If the player's can her favour, perhaps performing some mission within the city, then she'll help them, acting as a witness by demonstrating the spell's ability in court, and perhaps even selling magic/spells, or casting spells in the party's favour.
If the one lone witness is killed, then the party's only recourse is to capture members of the Veiled Society who know about this plan, and somehow convince them to testify.
The situation about this adventure, is that there are a lot of moral (good vs evil) and ethnical (law vs chaos) dilemmas thrust upon the player characters. The player's at any moment can break the law, by escaping from prison, refusing to go to prison, accepting the criminal organisations offer to grease the judge, etc.
In the initial scene, when the player's kill the goblins, they did not realise that they are committing an knowingly evil act, and as such should not suffer any consequence at first. However, they should be horrified by this. If anyone has the Ravenloft book, consider having the PCs make a Saving Throw (Will Save) or be inflicted by some sort of insanity, or voluntarily slip towards evil.
In the course of the adventure, if the PCs commit acts of violence, they might be embracing evil. Torturing Veiled Society members would count, as well as murdering them (except in self-defence).