With a bit of added clarity, there is still a question about the actions (during a time of war) taken by Cpt Albert which motivate the vengeful emotion, conspiracy, and accusation by Kayla. Here’s a sticking point for me–Kayla is making an accusation that (during a time of war) Cpt Albert took actions which were incorrect, cost lives and territory, and didn’t have something to pay for that wrong action. I stick on that; since, this is a Guard Captain NPC–it wasn’t probably an issue the PC patrol mates could have influenced, yet they are being placed in the role of mediators over the issue. This seems frustrating; since, they probably cannot gain perspective on all sides of the matter and truly judge the truth against a version of the truth in order to offer both justice and mercy.
Whatever Cpt Albert did, it was during a time of war, and subject to review by G, probably no other mouse than G gave orders and commissioned her Cpts to act with their best judgement over the orders given them. Thus, Kayla’s conspiracy is not during time of war (presumably), but instead is a retaliation for a perceived failure to take the correct action or make the correct judgement of orders. Yet, Kayla is not really justified in scrutinizing the actions (in time of war) of the officers appointed by G. She took an act of traitorous conspiracy which may have ignited further warfare or other acts of violence in order to gain her own vigilante justice over the actions of Cpt Albert–an act which surely would have resulted in collateral damage toward other mice, particularly members of the Guard.
So, the players have once talked Kayla down from conspiracy, and are willing to permit her face-to-face airing of grievance to G; are they meant to also plead her case? This is why I’d back off a little to look at the overall Mice Hazard. In this case, the PC patrol mates are escorting a captive, foiled criminal with intent to allow her a chance to plead her case before G–placing the scrutiny back into the hands of Matriarch of the Guard in respect to the officers appointed by her. That’s all fine, but what’s the Mice Hazard? The hazard is that many Guard members and possibly non-Guard mice would object to the patrol’s choice in this matter. Probably many would say, ‘she’s guilty, she tried to conspire a plan against Lockhaven, and she should be punished for that without pleading her case.’ That’s kinda a paraphrase.
So, then the Mice Obstacle needs to interfere or interrupt the PC patrol mates’ assigned or perceived mission to place Kayla face-to-face with G where she can plead her case for scrutiny over Cpt Alberts actions and justice regarding those actions and the results of those actions. A good scenario to interfere or interrupt is that Cpt Albert confronts the patrol mates to make his case, and Kayla uses that as a chance to make her case to the patrol and any onlookers (Cpt Albert probably has followers willing to back him). Both sides no longer care about / don’t want a face-to-face hearing with G; because, that creates greater risk of failure. For Kayla, actually facing off against G is a major risk; she’s gotta try convincing the Matriarch of the Guard that her appointed officer failed and the resulting loss was greater than any perceived gain from the past choices made. For Cpt Albert, actually having G hear another side of the past story may allow her to better assess whether he acted within guidance of her orders; the resulting reassessment of his choices may lead to a severe loss of position, authority, status, and career potential.
So, the patrol is facing a hazard of other Mice being in disagreement to their course of actions. The obstacle is Mice confronting them to stop their course of actions. Placing the focus on a public argument, heated, angry, loud, belligerent, controversial, and totally without G’s judgement means a few things:
- Kayla might get a crowd riled up who feel empathetic to her case and want to keep driving for her resolution
- Albert might draw upon a riled up crowd who feel equally confrontational about a civilian scrutinizing actions of the Guard during time of war and want to keep driving to silence Kayla
- without G’s judgement, this isn’t (or doesn’t) have a final sentence; the argument might get back to her by rumors, but there is already a movement of mice taking sides (possibly right there in the citadel plaza)
- PC patrol mice might not agree with either side, but they probably feel like there is a need to get this judged by G once and for all; only, they’re stuck at a confrontation before even arriving at her desk
- Even with Kayla’s death, the issue might still smolder in the hearts of other mice who heard the public argument and want to know the truth for themselves–this can manifest in a number of other sessions where the PC patrol mates become the lightning rod for public review of the actions of Cpts during time of war.
Now, as the assigned or perceived mission is to place the matter at the judgement of G, and possibly influence her judgement as PC patrol mates desire, then, following the Argument Conflict (or Vs Test), the patrol still have the matter at hand to present to G. At that time, they’ve also got the results of that confrontation weighing on the opnions also. Imagine how things might go, if Cpt Albert states a Conflict goal: “The patrol will agree that Kayla is a traitor and must die for her crimes,” and then does quite well against them, wins (even with compromise), and the PC patrol now must figure how their opinions have changed under Cpt Albert’s argument! Or contrasting, if Kayla states a goal: “Cpt Albert is guilty of war crimes in addition to cowardice; his life must now be spent in atonement for those he murdered,” and then wins (even with compromise), such that the patrol now must consider how to implement her opinions in their discussion with G!
See, in all this, G can simply make a flat ruling over her Guard Captains, Patrol Leaders, Guardmice, etc. and that stands. She doesn’t really have to give Kayla a hearing and doesn’t really have to weigh evidence. She can, but really, she doesn’t have to. That’s all a bit of how you view the Matriarch role in the world/campaign.
On the other hand, Kayla and Albert don’t need to see more evidence–they already have their minds made about the issue and have a case to present against one another. They just want to get at each other and take action. If the assigned or perceived mission for the patrol is to place her in front of G, having those two NPC clash before they reach G makes the proper interference or interruption of their mission. It says, “Do you want to take sides, or simply get them to shut up so you can finish your mission!?” It says, “Do you believe Kayla’s accusation, or do you feel Cpt Albert’s past choices are beyond scrutiny of civilian mice!?” It says, “Is there a right or wrong side, or could there be reconciliation if this argument were not so angry!?”
And again, depending on the investment and engagement of the audience, having a full Conflict might not go over quite as well as having a Vs Test. Although the issue is really big, the patrol might not want to get themselves completely sunk in the muck over taking sides.