It's been my experience that players are pretty forgiving of a DM when the DM says "I'm ruling this way now, but I'm going to solidify my understanding to make it right for my campaign in the future." It's part and parcel to improving our skills as DMs, thus challenging our players to improve on their skills as players.
So... that said, I'll post my first "dilemma" which is more of a challenge...
So imagine this. You're a blood-thirsty orc leader. You are on a religious crusade to rid the earth of humans. You just sent your warriors to encircle a party of humans and you've watched this damn human spell-caster deal serious damage to them. In a bloodlust, you and your bodyguards charge the spell-caster, to remove the immediate threat. To your rear, a druid casts charm person on you. He then attempts to persuade you to stop your charge. (Imagine a bearded druid running after a charging orc yelling "Wait! Stop! That spellcaster means you no harm!")
As a DM, how do you rule how the charm has affected the orc?
Charm Person (druid) - AD&D Players Handbook
"The creature then will regard the druid who cast the spell as a trusted friend and ally to be heeded and protected. The spell does not enable the druid to control the charmed creature as if it were an automaton, but any word or action of the druid will be viewed in its most favorable way."
(NOTE: the magic-user spell description refers to the druid version for effects)
I'll tell you what I did. The orc leader assessed that his new friend, although human, was no immediate threat to him or his orc troops. He did not order his bodyguards to attack the druid. He assessed his new friend's entreaty to not attack the magic-user. While trusting that his new friend had the best intentions, the orc concluded the mage's continuing aggressive actions were the biggest threat to the orc's survival, as were the other humans attacking him and his friends. To not protect himself and his brothers would be suicide. So the orc leader attacked the mage and damn near killed him.
I think my players were a little surprised at the way I ruled on charm person and I've chewed on it all week and come to the conclusion that my initial ruling was the right one for my campaign/table. Charm Person is an amazingly powerful spell, but it's usefulness in the middle of combat, in the middle of a charge, is dubious. A charmed being doesn't go instantly stupid, nor does he somehow completely change his way of thinking in an obedient automaton. Rather, he has a changed data point to deal with - a powerful one, but only one.
In combat, with life and death on the line, charm person will have mixed results. In the middle of a charge, probably not nearly as much as at a moment of indecision, or if the target of the spell comes into a one-on-one with the charming spell caster. If this were a non-combat situation, the charm might have led to an extremely favorable result, depending on how the magic-user or druid steered the discussion.
Now, had the party ceased their attacks, this might have turned out different with regards to the charm. Weighing the threat versus the words of the druid would have led the orc leader to different conclusions and he would have found the datum of "the most favorable way to view the druid's words" to be more powerful than immediate survival.
It's an interesting spell and ruling to chew on.
Next week will be mounted combat, as I ran into this issue yesterday (3/13/2011) and it's going to take me a few days to chew on.
If there are any DM Dilemmas that you'd like to cover, please feel free to suggest or post your own and I'll link to it.