Last Sunday I put my players through the Good-vs.-Good scenario I mentioned in the previous article. Here's how it went.
First encounter was actually an obstacle; a teensy-weensy bridge receding into the haze of distance over an immense cloudbank. A sign near the foot of the bridge states: "Flying Prohibited Beyond This Point."
Sometimes you have to give your players choices, even dumb ones. Why no flying? Flying is faster and avoids unwanted terrestrial encounters. Such an inconvenience! And yet... what happens if they ignore it and fly across the gulf anyway?
In this case the party chose to respect the local posted notices and walk along the bridge. The suspect (correctly) that I'll do something awful to them if they choose flight.
Next up, the Guardian. The party continues along the bridge above the clouds until they come to a brightly shining, star-shaped obstacle. A man in black armor stands before the barred portal. "None shall pass!" You know the rest...
The party has another option to foil themselves here. The Guardian is no slouch, and he's standing in front of a gate that is actually a Prismatic Wall. If the party sends in their main fighter and engages in an honorable single duel, they should be able to pass this hazard. If, however, they choose to gang up on the guy, all hell breaks loose.
The Guardian is no slouch in combat. He automatically hits anyone who hit him in the previous round, meaning he usually switches to Power Attack mode during those rounds. Energy damage (fire, cold, acid, lightning, sonic,) heals him, targeted spells reflect back at the caster, and so on.
Worse still, if the Guardian is defeated ignobly, his backup behind the gate fires off a quick Reverse Gravity spell, causing everyone to be hit with pre-loaded Prismatic Spray from the gate building itself.
Again, the party chooses the right (easier) path and sends in their main tank to face off vs. the Guardian. The party wins and passes through the gate.
(This was a win because it allowed the party fighter to do some serious fighting in between stretches of intra-party squabbling and ruminating. Fighters get bored easily.)
Beyond this, the sanctuary, and some very polite people welcoming them. They will be granted access to the 'saint' they are looking for but first have to pass several test. The Guardian was the first...