We are back to having small(er) groups instead of all gaming at once. After having thrashed their way through the Temple of the Frog, the group has divided up. One group (last Friday's) went after the temple of Orcus on the fourth level of the Tomb of Abysthor.
Now, I have to be honest here. The mega-dungeon format of Tomb of Abysthor has been a bit of a learning experience. After having read about mega-dungeons for years on OSR blogs, actually having a group clonk around one for eight of nine sessions has been wearing a little thin. There are roleplaying encounters available in the adventure, but they are often buried in obscure places, or require a ridiculous amount of effort to get to them. As a result, much of the group's time in the dungeon has been of the kick-open-the-door-and-kill-everything variety.
Which is why I was delighted when Sign's player started trying to bluff her way through the temple of Orcus posing as fellow devotees of the dark god. Good roleplaying plus some truly terrible die rolling on my part resulted in the group getting past several encounters and into an audience with the high priestess. Once close to her, they ganked her and her demonic pet with little difficulty and scampered away.
I was pretty generous with the XP, granting it for encounters that they successfully circumnavigated through roleplaying rather than combat. I felt that would hopefully reinforce the idea that roleplaying is always a good alternative to fighting. I'm ready to get the group out of the Tomb of Abysthor and into something different at this point, and that's something with more character, more creativity, and less stabby-stabby.