This past weekend, I had the opportunity to put on my PC hat and took part in a Pathfinder Scenario, The Stolen Heir (#5-04). If you are planning to run this yourself one day, you might want to skip the text post-Maul image. There are spoilers.
I was anxious to sink my teeth into this, as it was the first time I’d had to play my character, an Ascetic Oracle named Gorr, since he dinged Level Two. I was also excited because I’d found my footing with his character, including his voice (a mix between Darth Maul and Illidan Stormrage).
My boy is an Intimidation wrecking machine. Consequently, due to his build, his Diplomacy is also pretty good. I was looking forward to having Gorr solve most of his problems with his fist. The rest of the party (Bard, a blood-thirsty Druid, and a Half Orc Inquisitor with a Greatsword), had a bit of a murderhobo feel to it. Everyone expected blood, including the GM.
Such was not the case.
Since Pathfinder Society characters cannot be evil, and having taken a level of Monk in my build, Gorr’s Lawful Neutral alignment really helped steer him in a certain way. A huge man wearing a hooded robe, and with skeletal facepaint covering the lower half of his face, Gorr was as unlikely a group face as you might think. But when many of the decisions needed to be made, I just thought to myself “What would Darth Maul do?”
Possible Spoiler Ahead. I’ll try keep things vague, so as not to spoil things. But if you run this, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
It was this mindset that had Gorr making Diplomacy rolls, and succeeding. I explained it that Gorr leads with Diplomacy, and with his scary appearance people tend to listen to him. Of course, if that fails then he’ll pull back the hood and show his scary face with a bit of Intimidation. He’d keep things controlled and orderly, as a Lawful character would.
As the group set up for the big finale, everything boiled down to two options. The GM was expecting a throw down. The group looked at Gorr to make the decision. So when I reflected on his alignment and his mindset, he made his choice. “Order must be maintained,” he said, and he followed through with what was the appropriate action (you’ll know if you run this). No combat. No blood. As he walked out, Gorr had the Bard play the Imperial March. For me, the player, the result felt wrong. But for Gorr, it was essentially the best decision in the situation.
The group and the GM all said the same thing: “Really?”
And that was it. Mission Accomplished. Flavor text and paperwork. The GM told me later, repeatedly in fact, that he was surprised the encounter went the way it did given the people involved. He was expecting the fight, and was pleasantly surprised there was none.
Lesson Learned: Sometimes it’s not about beating someone to death with your bare hands. Sometimes you can talk it out (while looking like you’re ready to beat someone to death).