I was IMing with Jim, talking about gaming and we both had a situation like this.
I was in a young teenager and the players were caught and put in the dungeon under the castle. I don’t remember much about the adventure, only that the castle was controlled by this bad-ass troll I had grabbed from Dragon magazine; I think it was half-demon or something and could throw lightning bolts. It had a hammer that had a unicorn horn driven through the stone of the hammer-head. I thought that was pretty cool and now, decades later, I still remember that detail. I have no idea if I made that up after falling asleep with the movie, Legend, on the TV or if I stole it.
So, they got stuck in the dungeons and I refused to let them go free. They failed rolls and couldn’t trick the guards. I just fucking sat there while they bickered at one another.
Hours went by.
I don’t know why but I just decided to sit there through sheer cussedness.
Then, one of the players looked at his character sheet. “I have a sleep spell!”
They got the guard to sleep and grabbed the keys. I have no memory of what happened after that.
I only remember being a young DM, refusing to let them off the hook, even if it meant having a shitty evening in my friend’s living room. I don’t think I was wrong, necessarily.
I was just wondering if anyone else had experience with that kind of thing, recently or in their younger days. Chime in with any odd hiccups at the table or advice for that 15 year old kid.