kill the prisoners!

The Essentials starter set teaches skills by requiring a handful of successful skill checks before the PC finds a goblin lair. They’re all directed towards that goal, except one:

The goblin’s injuries are quire severe. You can let it die in peace, or you can attempt another Heal check to try to save it. If it survives, it will certainly remember your kindness, but it might still fall into a life of evil. You can decide how to treat the goblins. If you try a Heal check, you need a 15 or better to keep it alive.

Either way, you need to follow the goblin’s directions to the goblin’s lair without alerting the other goblins to your approach. Go to 83.

This is the first, but not the last, time that a beginning D&D player will deal with the question “what do we do with the prisoners?” The choice is presented as gently as possible: “let it die in peace” is different from “watch its helpless eyes brim with tears as you plunge your pitiless sword through its ribs,” but it comes out to the same thing: a dead goblin.

This Heal check is the first skill check that, succeed or fail, provides no benefit to the PC. If you just care about winning the game, it’s irrelevant. It only matters if you’re roleplaying. I’m glad it’s in the adventure.

More Red Box thoughts…


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