- drakemonger suggested a fight with the vampire Garrett among a crowd of innocent dominated victims. I was attracted to the ghoulish question of "what do the PCs do when they're attacked by a bunch of dominated commoners?" But there's a fairly easy solution with D&D mechanics--with magic circle against evil, the commoners they come near will have the domination suppressed, and then they will presumably not attack so hard.
I could, of course, have them not dominated but brainwashed--but that seems inelegant to me in a way I can't wholly articulate.
I'd welcome your suggestions on ways to refine this.
I've come up with a refinement that, I think, really works well: the innocent victims will be young children.
This will make it more plausible that when the domination is lifted, the victims will freak out. Some will panic, some will run away (and become dominated again), some may attack the adult PCs anyway, and so forth. (The reduced combat effectiveness isn't much of an issue; it wasn't as if 1st-level warriors could damage the PCs anyway. It's all about getting in the way and denying fireballs.
And it will underline Garrett's nature as a puppy-kicking figure of eeeevil.
My players are going to hate this.