Yesterday, I fucked up and ruined the integrity of our campaign. Now I'm trying to restore it.
The party confronted a major monster. The monster's description said it would probably talk to the characters even though that meant giving away all but certain surprise.
Stepping on a slippery slope that would prove my downfall, I gave the monster an insanely high initiative so it could maintain its advantage while still talking to the characters.
When hostilities erupted, one player actually beat the monster's initiative anyway, then rolled well on a spell casting roll, and then rolled spectacularly well on damage.
Behind the screen, I silently added +20 hp to the monster's hit points to prevent it from dying on the spot. OUCH!
I have some excuses, all of them bad, and some thoughts on how to foster the kind of mental hygiene espoused by Eero Tuovinen. Dunno if I'll get around to posting them next week.
In any case, my first fix is to own up to cheating.
For next week – the party is still in the middle of the fight --, I'd like to proceed as follows:
The monster's new and improved stats and abilities remain unchanged.
The permanent damage the monster has done up to this point is revoked (i.e. one player character regains two points of Luck and a valued henchman is not teleported away after all).
I hope to get things back on track.