Okay, so what do you do as a GM when you've got that prison scene coming up and you kinda just dread going through what will likely end up at nothing? I mean sure, players sometimes come up with some crazy plan and get out. But if they don't, then it stops dead and you find yourself fast forwarding to them being taken out and basically going to court. And if they didn't get a crazy plan in prison that worked, probably at court they wont either.
So you figure some psuedo-and-made-up-on-the-spot puzzle to get out!
There's a troll under one bridge in this dungeon and there's another bridge near the prison window - so I figure maybe the troll patrols sometimes (pun not intended). So there's a figure walking under the water - everyone's lousy at perception rolls, so I ask who have they met before in this dungeon. Actually Angrog remembers the troll (and a bunch of others) off the bat - it's nice to be remembered for once!
It's been about a week now, but as I recall their opening diplomacy involves throwing stones at the troll...to gain it's attention!
You know, I really, really want to record the dialog at my table - because it is so hard to remember all the crazy nonsense afterward, but it's all really engaging at the time!
I want to record it because now I have to cut to the chase - Reed offers the troll all the money under his bed if he comes and lets them out. All of the money under his bed would be zero money, of course. So there's a bit of a firecracker once the troll finds out - which is quite shortly after as he opens the prison door and comes in to look!
As I recall, they all pretty much book it out the door - except the honest barbarian Shargoth, who the Troll spots before he can sneak out. The barbarian gives some line about having to go catch that rogue for the troll and rolls a nat 20 persuasion roll, IIRC! So troll and Shargoth are best buds and Shargoth heads out - somewhat confused himself as he maybe needs to catch the rogue now to be honest?
They go south, as things are in general - and find themselves at a pier overlooking a lake. They can see off in the distance (about 160 feet away) a shore they've been on before.
But everyone is terrorfied of the water! But they've dead ended themselves - they are stuck between the troll coming down the corridor and the water! Well the rogue decides to climb the rough stone wall and kinda hide by clinging to the ceiling, semi Jackie Chan style. Shargoth and Angrog, being jocks (ie, having athletics as a skill) finally decide to swim to a closer dock than the far shore. And then Shargoth is the only one who fails to hide from the troll.
Troll: "You got that rogue yet?"
Shargoth, floating in water: "Uh, no? Still trying"
Troll: "Okay, that's good! We get him, yeah!"
And the troll slips into the water to head toward his bridge, hunting around for Reed the rogue as he goes.
There was even more than this - Shargoth and Angrog climb up and enter...the room of the many, many ghouls. And Reed goes back to prison!
And that's not even the two hours over, yet! And I'm running the next session of princes of the apocalypse tomorrow!