|2 people marked this as a favorite.|
The group I ran refused to swear loyalty to the dragon overall (although a couple were willing), so we ended up in combat. One breath weapon later, the PCs decided to stand down and retreat, and I decided the dragon would let them. After all, having them escape would mean they'd likely report the dragon's presence and add to its notoriety (and maybe win it more converts), while killing the characters didn't really benefit it.
It's important to note that the characters' mission is NOT to kill the dragon; it's to retrieve information on what happened to the ship and about the anomaly. My group ended up with full success after good RP with the cultists at the end. I did have to give the Concordance player a strong hint with an Int roll that they might want to try recruiting the cultists, though, since there was nothing obvious in the scenario prior clearly calling this out as an option.
I think it took my group about 4-1/2 to 5 hours, but they did battle both crab groups in the first part.