Is Paizo planning on having a presence in San Antonio for this convention? I know you have events at the coastal varieties, but I haven't heard anything about this upcoming convention. I messaged the PFS venture captain but never got any kind of confirmation either yes or no.
I'm going either way, but it seems that this PAX is supposedly going to focus on tabletop, rather than mainstream (PAX Prime) or independent (PAX East) video games.
First off, I know should not have staged the ambush in the Foxglove Townhouse, but I did. Here's what happened. tl;dr at the end.
Before anything even got started, during the "between Burnt Offerings and Skinsaw Murders" downtime, one of the PCs decided to travel to Magnimar to purchase a casting of Fabricate to have mithril armor made rather than paying full price for it. I didn't tell him not to try, that there was a chance of failure, and that local guilds would be skeptical of doing such a thing. He couldn't convince anyone save one character to go with him, so it split the party, 2/2.
After they made it to Magnimar, and "successfully" paid a spellcaster to Fabricate mithril armor, the same PC remembered that Foxglove asked them to look him up while he was in Magnimar. They found his townhouse and visited him. This is where I messed up.
I went ahead and put the Faceless Stalkers there to open the door, not realizing the house was meant to be boarded up and abandoned. They let the players in like they were strangers. When the PCs brought up knowing Foxglove, the Faceless Stalkers attacked and were defeated, one escaped into the streets.
The same instigator PC immediately went to local authorities to report impostor monsters, where I made my second mistake. The local authorities were Ironbriar, aware of who the PCs were based on Foxglove already having selected his target. He placed the instigator PC under arrest while the other fled. Now I'm stuck.
I would "intend" for Ironbriar to have the PC executed for the "deaths" of the Foxgloves, as well as for the murder of the greedy spellcaster that Fabricated the armor for him, the last person the PC was seen dealing with. I can't come up with a semi-reasonable way for the PC to get out of his situation (he has access to a rage power natural attack worst case), especially considering half of the party doesn't know he's been arrested and the PC that accompanied him is not interested in helping the party ever.
tl;dr: I broke script and maybe ruined the adventure in order to punish a PC for powergaming
So I ran this adventure last night for the second time; first time went without a hitch. The second group, however decided after defending the caravan from the initial skeleton attack that staying with the caravan was much more important than risking going off into the woods to track down the source of skeletal attacks. The party split up so the more scouty PCs could follow the tracks while the heavier ones stuck with the wagon to defend it. They successfully spoke with Feren and were given the information about the location of the hobgoblin hideout. At that, they went back to the wagon to report.
And never left it. They argued with the NPCs that it didn't matter if the woods remained unsafe because it was their job to protect the caravan. They would report the existence of the hideout to the Society and come back if and when ordered to do so. With that, they walked out of the adventure. They all completed their own faction missions; none required entering the hobgoblin lair.
I didn't award chronicle sheets because it was an online game and had some time to ponder the situation and post here. I'm all for getting the same group back together to finish the mission and continue in the in-game weeks that would have passed like nothing ever went wrong, handwaving away the fact they basically ignored about four NPCs strongly urging them to investigate the information they received. I also consider it reasonable to tally up the rewards for the skeleton/worg encounters and hand out those along with the 1 XP and (at least 1) prestige points for "successfully" guiding the caravan through the Chitterwood.
I'm only hoping to perhaps get some reflection from other GMs, or maybe advice and stories about players that take the adventure hook, sniff the bait, and decide it isn't worth their time to find out where the line goes.