@Deabaker : And just a little more musing on how Carriless's kill really drifted into execution territory for me:
Hypothetically speaking, Grace could have been much less helpless than she was.
- The fact that she was easily duped into meeting in a dangerous place, was a GM call. John played Grace as very secure in her own invulnerability, to the point of not even taking the most elementary precautions. That's a choice.
- Grace being willing to play straight with the Last Word was a GM call. She could have been crafty and duplicitous, as she'd been with Aldo so many times previously. She could have run, terrified, and stayed the hell away from crazy murderers who are fine with killing her. She could have had protections in place (I can't imagine that somebody as well-connected as Grace can't get rid of a ghost dog in the space of 24 hours if she'd wanted to). She could have taken more initiative, looked after herself better, but she didn't. That's a choice.
- John said a complication, when reading Grace's intentions, would be for her to read their intentions as well. That would have been a real wrinkle, had it occurred -- but when it didn't, he didn't merely interpret that as "Grace doesn't know what your intentions are"; he interpreted it as "Grace trusts you to fulfill your side of the bargain." Even though the crew never really did anything to inspire trust. That's a choice.
- The risks of poisoning Grace could easily have been made much more challenging. OK, Carriless has Commanded a minor server to do his bidding, but does that mean the rest of the wait staff don't notice what's up? Is this server so good an actor and with such steady nerves that he can basically shit his pants without anybody, including wily Grace, notice anything? Does Carriless's Command of one lowly server also mean nobody objects to him manhandling Grace out of the pub? That's a choice.
Now, I want to stress -- when I say "that's a choice," these are perfectly fine choices. Some of these choices come way before John even knew Carriless would have a go at Grace -- they facilitated the original score, coming to an accommodation about the book, and maybe setting Grace up as a new regular (and wily) element in the game.
That being said, I think these examples demonstrate my point fairly well (albeit with a particular focus on one particular participant, John as the GM -- which I don't mean to imply that he's somehow "doing this on purpose" or any such thing): that there are choices being made here, which, when aggregated, can really build towards the "execution of the helpless" feel.
So, it's much more than just "was it risky, or wasn't it risky." It can be risky and also be focused on that particular tone -- whether by intention or by natural drift. That's all.