Castle Cragmore was kind of quick in the end - the party burst in on a group of hobgoblins, one of which dashed away while the others faught. However, party members chased after and slayed him before he could open the door to...well, what was the door to that the hobgoblin so needed to open?
Well, they burst in and find a bugbear and a drow talking at a table, with an unconcious dwarf in the corner. Heh - I stuffed up here - because I kept looking at the stats of the 'drow' who was actually a doppleganger, I gave away what it was by accident! Saying 'The doppleganger attacks!'. I'm not even sure why it was a doppleganger to begin with - but anyway! Also I forgot the wolf that aught to be present - but the party got a little hammered by blows before taking the bugbear, king Grol, down as well as the doppler!
Great! So they revive the dwarf, find the map and that was the end of one session.
Next they explored a bit, with a new player in tow playing an archer - as usual a player turns up and no real question of that was made (since it happens so often), so ended up making a reason for it latter on that they found him as a prisoner alongside the Gundren the dwarf. Ah, the things I do out of sequence!
So they explore a bit - lifted the bar on a door, heard a giant monster inside roar and...though they won initiative, nobody put the bar back! The owlbear clawed up the fighter a bit (like, to 1 HP!), but they toughed it out and won.
The thing is when they go outside, they ran into a group of hobgoblins coming back.
The warlock starts his smooth talker routine to try and talk them down (mostly because the fighter was down and we only had four PC's this session), essentially saying 'all those dead bodies - it was like that when we got here!'
Then someone else says something that ruins his speel a bit and he tries to give up and sneak away (fails!).
I'm thinking of a new house rule in future of basically individual diplomacy rather than group. How it works is if one PC says something to offend the NPC, the NPC's don't automatically target all PC's. The other PC's can step back if they want (or join in the defence of that PC, if they want). But they aren't dragged into the battle because of someone saying the wrong thing.
I'm considering that, because in combat one PC doing something inept doesn't doom the whole party. So I think for talking it would do well to be the same.
Anyway, did they get out of it? Mr TORGUE knows the answer to that! MAYBE!!!!1!