After reading the "Play Dirty" article, I've taken some of John Wick's advice to heart for my Friday night game. The ability to kill a player is minimal. The ability to keep them coming back for more pain....that's power!
We're playing through an actual pre-published adventure for once--"The Tear of Ioun" saga, by Robert J. Schwalb. It's pretty standard for my fare: heavy on the Cthulhu, lots of investigation and madness, and lots of forbidden magic. However, we've gotten so far off track that I might as well have been writing my own adventure!
Our intrepid adventurers began, leaving the small town of Wellspring in search of the "Forlorn Tower" a few days travel away, through the Harrowwood. On the way, they encountered a small group of Harrowfolk, which had surrounded the party.
Now, the adventure says pretty clearly that, "the Harrowfolk are not hostile, unless the PCs prove hostile or untrustworthy". Well, just as soon as the Harrowfolk began questioning the group, finding out that they were from Wellspring...Fred's battlemind tried making a break for it. Combat ensued, and the Harrowfolk leader escaped, swearing revenge against both the PCs and Wellspring.
Somewhat concerned, the PCs returned to Wellspring to inform the Lord Mayor of Wellspring. Aghast, he had the PCs arrested on the spot. Why, you ask? Well, it just so happens that Wellspring had signed a peace treaty with the Harrowfolk at the end of the Bael Turathi-Nerathi-Arkhosian war.
The treaty treats all Harrowfolk as Wellspring citizens, provided that the Harrowfolk guard the roads in and out of Wellspring from banditry. Attacking the Harrowfolk broke the peace treaty, and now the tribes are on the warpath!
The PCs were equipped with explosive "Collars of Bane" to keep them from escaping from the city environs, while their trial was scheduled for three weeks hence.
If this weren't bad enough, the PCs have just finished exploring the "Forlorn Tower", which was tainted with Far Realm corruption streaming in through a re-routed waterfall. Unfortunately for said PCs, falling into the waterfall (which occured no less than 3 times!) subjects one to particularly unwholesome energies and creatures. Back in Wellspring, they're about to find out exactly how messed up they truly are...
The one plus side for our heroes is that, for some of them, their actual classes have been released. Fred, Jules, and Will have all been working from the playtest versions of the battlemind, seeker, and runepriest respectively. Now, they finally get to have their full range of class options! Well...for all the good that it will do them.
*insert maniacal laughter here!*