Infamous TPKs

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Ever had a TPK that your player(s) won't let you live down?

Here is one I'd like to share with you all.
It was New Years Eve of 2007 (also my wedding anniversary). My wife and I had a few friends over for a game of D&D (3.5). There were 6 players & I was DMing.

Fighter 5
Fighter4/barbarian1
Hexblade 5 (wifes character)
Ranger 5
Rogue 4
Sorceror 4

I was still pretty new at DMing at the time and my players seemed to be handling pretty much whatever I threw at them, So I thought that 5 Harpies would give them something of a challenge. The first 2 rounds were ok, but that ended quickly as the players started working seperately. Total TPK by the 5th round. My wife was the one that was peeved the most. After she died, she looked at me in shock and got up from the table and said, "You killed me". Before I could say anything she stormed off and said, "Happy Anniversary, **** You".

(I realized later that I did mess up by giving the harpies 2 attacks on the flyby attacks)

It was a year before she started playing again and she never lets me forget it, lol

Funny story.

For me, not yet (recently), and trying to avoid them like the plague, even going to the point of being very conservative on encounter building and fudging dice rolls (which makes me feel dirty Tongue out ).

Sorry for hijacking your thread, but i would like to add a related question: at what levels are TPKs frowned upon (or less frowned, if you prefer)?
at what levels are TPKs frowned upon (or less frowned, if you prefer)?


I wouldn't ever put some sort of arbitrary limit on it.  A TPK means I failed to provide a meaningful challenge, unless my players acted really, really stupid (unlikely) or suffered an encounter-long string of terrible rolling (also unlikely).
terrible rolling is a real and constant threat.

a level+3 encounter, meant to be harder, can EASILY wipe the party, not with a string of bad rolls, but only a couple.  double crit, for example, might suddenly mean 1 party member DEAD.

a string of hits can produce the same effect, where multiple people hit bloodied, and the healer simply guesses wrong who to start slapping with the healing words.  maybe bob the fighter looked to be in the best shape out of the people who needed healing, but on the monster initiative, before he could get a turn ad second wind, he gets dropped by 2 near-max damage hits.

a few misses by the players can produce the same thing.  If your strikers miss 3 out of 5 attacks, the fight will drag, giving all those monsters more chances to swing.

Add these problems to the fact that PCs rarely (if ever) retreat, and are even MORE unlikely to retreat if a party member is down.  Or the fact that its easy to find yourself isolated from the party (trying to avoid area attacks, running off on your own, getting hit by a big slide effect, or being the only one missed by a group slide effect are all easy ways to get ganged up on and killed....and only ONE of those is even somewhat poor tactics)



back on topic.  I have 2 TPKs theplayers don't like letting me live down.  The first was 3.5.  Level 2 or 3 characters who ran into a group of CR 1 Orcs with 1 level of barbarian instead of the NPC warrior class (this is why they were CR1s).  The orcs all raged and TPKd the party in 2 turns, maybe 3 to mop up 1 last party member.  I swear ot was the most brutal overkill i've ever seen of a party, and was our first REAL look at how CR doesn't really mean much (i don't even think any of the orcs were dropped).

The other one was 4e.  It was the duergar champion fight in Thunderspire labyrinth.  The fight with 2 doors and monsters who come around behind.  Well, the party chose the "correct" door....the one pretty much straight in to the elite champion, instead of the one that leads to the lurkers (both are dangerous, if the party chose the other door, they'd have an elite brute hacking up the back line!).  This meant that the lurkers snuck up behind the bow ranger (who likes to hang WAAAYY back) and pummeled her good, dropping her really low.  She, coincidentally, also happened to hit the champion first, whose tactics mention "goes after the first person to damage him, ignoring everyone else."  She runs away from the 2 lurkers (runs forward, toward the party) and then the champion gets bloodied, making him grow and increasing his reach....well, the champion double attacks the ranger and pulps her.  dead outright.

That wasn't so much a nasty DM trick as a combination of good monster tactics, not-so-good (but not necessarily BAD) player tactics, and poor luck.  To be honest, i thought it was REALLY cool and a fitting player death, and didn't really feel like anyone's fault.  The party could have even survived the fight, except for one thing.....The part of the wipe they really won't let me live down is that the duergar in the Thunderspire labyrinth module are pre-MM2, and have one extra addition that the MM2 duergar don't have: 

immunities:  illusion

i have a habit of being very strict to the module when i run prepublished modules, which my players and i both hate (i'm working on it still).....the illusionist gnome wizard particularly hated it, since his only non-illusion spell was scorching burst.....Duergar also have

Resist: 10 fire

*headdesk*

we have since rightfully stricken the ridiculously stupid illusion immunity from the duergar, but the players, and particularly the illusionist wizard player won't let me live that down
Just a month ago the party I'm playing in TPKed.
It was a new game, playing Darksun. We'd done a bunch of RP at the beginning, set out into the desert, and failed a skill challenge, causing us to come across a bunch of sand runners (basically Darksun kobold things). We stopped for the night.
Session 2:
We start the fight with the Sand Runners. Three of them with blowguns, one brute. 4 of us.
Round 1: Everyone but my character gets hit or critted by the blowguns, which cause immobilisation (save ends) and a heap of damage. The Brute runs up to me and beats my fighter down. I hit him and push him towards the others so they can hit him too.
Round 2: The Blowgun attacks all recharge. The DM crits twice. All of us are immobilised and three of us are unconscious.
Round 3: Everyone is unconscious.

TLDR: We all died in the third round of combat. Of the entire campaign.

We agreed that DS was just as lethal as we remembered it in 2nd Ed, and spent the evening making new characters for the next session/campaign, and fielding questions from the DMs wife ("Is it always like that? That didn't look fun. Why did you all throw dice at Ben?"), who had never seen D&D played before.
The new DS campaign is going well. Three sessions so far and nary an unconcsious PC to be seen.
Chandrak's awesome solutions to the 5-minute workday 'problem'
97183719 wrote:
Seeing as there is a disconnect between balance (quantifiable) and fun, (subjective and personal) discussing fun in a thread about balance because you find one system more enjoyable than another is as helpful as discussing religion in a thread about architectural engineering because you think cathedrals look prettier than outhouses.
I have had nurmerous TPKs at all levels and been on the receiving end as well nearly as many times. I think the one that I recall most is the game where the players had played for a number of months meeting twice a week and were (3.5 edt BTW) 10th & 11th Level. It wasn't that the player played poorly at all, it was the string of 7 or 8 crits and a high damage fireball and failed saves that ruined that party. I really felt bad as this was  a solid group of players and it caused a little turbulence in the group that took a while to settle, which it did. It was over in like 5 rounds also. they did not even want to continue the  campaign either, we started a new one.

  BTW Bloodcircle, your story made me really laugh for about 5 minutes. I sent the link to this thread to my buddy who just got married in Nov. as a lesson for next Nov.

KSW
at what levels are TPKs frowned upon (or less frowned, if you prefer)?


I wouldn't ever put some sort of arbitrary limit on it.  A TPK means I failed to provide a meaningful challenge, unless my players acted really, really stupid (unlikely) or suffered an encounter-long string of terrible rolling (also unlikely).



Back in 1E with the volume-filling fireballs I ended up with what could certainly have been a TPK from a stupid action by one player.  They were being harassed from the shadows (they were using lanterns, the bad guy didn't need them) and were getting quite upset with the situation.  A wizard did a snapshot fireball down the bearing of an incoming shot.  They were in a dungeon with 5' wide corridors--the rest of the party screamed "NO!" but it was too late--unless there's some issue where the player didn't understand the described situation I run you said it, you did it.  I let the wizard shoot straight and it went down the corridor.  He hadn't given a range, it burst when it hit a wall.  I started counting off the squares it filled, each time I got to the path they could see I described the wall of fire coming 5' closer.  The wizard had rolled high on the damage, anyone who failed their save would have been below zero.  They were exceedingly lucky when it burned out *RIGHT* in front of them.  (They were in a room at the time and abreast so it would have gotten them all at the same time.)
This was from our own stupidity...well, stupidity from about half the party anyway...

We were a thieves guild in Waterdeep, all 2nd level rogues under 3rd Ed.  We bribed a dock worker to get onto a ship while the captain was out and steal what was in the hold.  So we sneak on while the captain...was doing whatever ship captains do when they make port, probably wenching.  So all eight of us are at the docks.  Two of the team stays on the dock as lookouts.  I and another of the team stay on the deck.  The other four go into the hold.

Which is filled with ivory...still in whole tusk form...in crates...

And while all four of us serving as lookouts had crowbars, not a single person in the hold thought to buy one.  So one of the idiots in the hold decided to try to pry open the crate with his rapier.  Not his dagger, his rapier.  Which snapped in half.

The captain came back early and I slid down the rope latter to warn them  I did the worst on initiative (I min-maxed for skills rather than for Dex like everyone else), so everyone shoved past me to get away.  Four skill checks to make the 80 foot ladder, just don't roll a 1.  The last guy to shove past me to the ladder?  10.  18.  17.  1.  Fell and the damage brought him to 1 HP.  What did I do?  Well, I was annoyed at their stupidity, so I kicked him before climbing up myself.  0 HP and sitting there waiting for the captain to get on board.  Someone else tried to make the jump from the ship to the dock and rolled a combined skill plus roll of 23.  Except he forgot to tell the DM until AFTER he landed on the docks that he was loaded down with a bunch of the tusks strapped to his back.  So there was a redo and the penalties with the tusks meant he fell...and loaded down with heavy ivory tusks, he drowned.

So two down and we were no richer.  We'd spent all our gold bribing that dockworker so we felt we really needed that haul.  So we decided to recruit and bring our strongest thugs with us (each player had two characters, one that was a normal character and one that was allowed to be a monster race using the 3rd Ed template rules, which meant I had a human skill-fiend and a brutish thug of a werewolf).

We snuck onto the ship in the middle of the night.  The crew's asleep and everyone's doing well...until the other character played by the same player whose character I kicked to death in the hold earlier botched his sneak roll.  So the crew wakes up and we had a choice...run away or stand and fight.

We took a vote very quickly...bail and give up on the gold or try to take out the captain and his crew.  We were big badass half-dragons, werewolves, vampires, etc.  All eight of us voted.  It came out 4-3 (with one abstaining)...the voice of reason had lost and we decided to stand and fight.

No one told us that the captain was a Level 12 Rogue/Fighter Tiefling...

Only two of us escaped, one by standing in the back with a crossbow and running away when everyone else dropped, and me by jumping into the water after I was hit by one of the crew's arrows, shifting to wolf form in the water, and swimming away as quietly as I could.

So it wasn't technically a TPK, but it was close enough.  Our guild was crippled by the loss of members and unfortunately, the campaign ended because apparently I was the only person who was into the idea of an urban campaign.

(All roll numbers are estimates since this game was about a decade ago)
I don't know how many people have been around long enough to remember, but there was a time when you rolled 3d6 for your stats and placed them in the order that they were rolled.  For perspective: a character whose average ability score was eleven or greater was above average.  You could end up with more than one stat at five or less, and none greater than fourteen.  It wasn't uncommon to roll - say - a Wizard, because your 12 Int was your highest ability score.  Rolling an eighteen was like winning the lottery; you just had to hope that you didn't turn around and get a 4 Con.

So: through sheer dumb luck, I once managed to get good enough stats to roll a Paladin, back when that was a big deal.  My lowest ability score was around a 14.  I think I had both a 17 and an 18 in there somewhere.  This was like the holy grail of old-school characters, is what I'm getting at.

Another important thing to know about old-school D&D is that killer DMs played for keeps back in the day; the average life-expectancy of a PC in this campaign was around half a session.  I think we spent more time rolling characters than we did playing.  Still, I think my godly Paladin and his allies managed to be the shortest-lived of all our doomed adventuring parties.

In our first encounter, I rolled a 1 on an attack.  The DM pulled out his homebrew critical fumble table, and asked me to roll twice more.  I rolled another 1, followed by a 20.  Result: my wild swing decapitates both of my comrades, and then impales me on the backswing.  TPK, reroll.  At least I got a story out of it.

The weird thing is, I kind of miss that system.  Heh.
"The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else." -Umberto Eco, from Travels in Hyperreality "The first adventurer was a nuisance. I am sure he acted against his mother's, his wife's, and the council of old men's strict orders when he did it; but it was he that found where the mammoths die and where after a thousand years of use there was still enough ivory to equip the entire tribe with weapons. Such is the ultimate outline of the adventurer; society's benefactor as well as pest." -William Bolitho, from Twelve Against the Gods
Just a month ago the party I'm playing in TPKed.
It was a new game, playing Darksun.



Also have one recently in Dark Sun.

We were playing the Dark Sun Game Day "The Lost Cistern of Aravek".

Most of the adventure went very well (no real difficulty at all), up to the fight inside the cistern, topside (the cistern, to those who dindt played it, was a cavern with a hole in the middle to which water flowed, so the sides were slippery, and with another cavern on the level below).

We also had little difficulty dealing with the creatures on the topside of the cistern, although they manage to outmaneuver us; during that fight, our sorcerer was pushed to the hole and fell; while down there he could here roars from a big creature, and the floor was filled with corpses half eaten, so we knew he was in trouble.

We quickly ended the battle and were considering how to rescue the striker, all alone with this saber-tooth kind-of creature circling around: either jump to his rescue, send a rope and hope the Tembo woulndt catch him while he climbed (fat chance), or just leave him to his fate.

Heroes that we were (new to DS), and still with most of our dailies (although without a short rest), we chose to save the (litteraly) fallen comrade. TPK in three rounds.

Another funny note: the player with the sorcerer character (that basically was the reason for the TPK of the entire party, accidentally) also played the Dark Sun Encounters twice, and on both times managed to get killed on the first encounter; since the Game Day, he refuses to play Dark Sun Tongue out
Infamous TPK is my rap name.
Advice for DMs: When you are ad lib or improve DMing don't self-edit yourself. Some of the most fun you'll ever have is by just going with whatever crazy thing crosses your mind based on what your players are doing. Advice for Players: When your DM is ad libbing there are bound to be plot holes and inconsistencies that crop up. You'll all have a lot more fun if you just roll with it instead of nitpicking the details.
Previous Advice
Advice for DMs: Always dangle a lot of plot hooks in front of you players. Anything they do not bite you can bring back and bite them later. When considering a new house rule ask yourself the question "Will this make the game more fun?" Unless the answer is a resounding yes don't do it. Advice for Players: Always tell the DM not just what you want to do but also what you are hoping to accomplish. No matter how logical the result is it will never happen if it simply never occurred to the DM. "That's what my character would do" is not a valid excuse for being a disruptive ass at the table. Your right to have fun only extends to the point where it impedes the ability of others to do likewise.
Another one I had...

5 Players all  - lasted 6 sessions.
The setting was a mix of modern & fantasy. It took place in a small town where 3 of the players were meeting up with their employer after a heist (of an artifact). Another player owned a bar and the last player was the bouncer in the bar. The employer does something with the artifact which causes a 1/4 mile radius of the town to be ripped from it's location and transported into a remote area of the fantasy setting. The players were able to salvage a small supply of guns, ammo, vehicals, fuel, generators, ect..


Anyway, during the 6 session, they decided that they were going to ram their Jeep into a Giant Stag Beetle and force it over a cliff into the dried riverbed 40ft below. They strap on their seatbelts and the driver floors it. They succeed in knocking it over, but driver forgets to step on the break and they go over also. All failing their reflex save to try and get out, they plummel down. The resulting explosion from them hitting the ground......

Anyway, during the 6 session, they decided that they were going to ram their Jeep into a Giant Stag Beetle and force it over a cliff into the dried riverbed 40ft below. They strap on their seatbelts and the driver floors it. They succeed in knocking it over, but driver forgets to step on the break and they go over also. All failing their reflex save to try and get out, they plummel down. The resulting explosion from them hitting the ground......



And this is why you do not buckle your seat belt, they kill more people than save.
Ant Farm
Perhaps a little more fundamentally sound advice: don't forget to hit the brakes before flying off cliffs.

A dm ran Return to the tomb of horrors.


Nuf said.

We never even made it through the 'original' tomb.

That module is a deathtrap- the only 2 ways to be successful is to be extremely lucky- or metagame. I despise metagaming, playing to solid ic- at times to the detriment of my character (attack a hallucination in a vampire larp was ic. Gettign staked by the hunter that I had hallucinated duplicating himself 3 times was also..but it hurt). I'm also not that lucky..

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I am both selfish and instinctive. I value growth and community, as long as they favour my own objectives; I enjoy nature, and I particularly enjoy watching parts of nature die. At best, I am resilient and tenacious; at worst, I'm uncontrollable and destructive.

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Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.

Pilot of: Thrullilicious Bats in the Belfry Glittering Totem Citadel of Barbs Thallid Salad Spreading Slivers Swamped Hardheaded The Big Green Kobold Fire, Fire! The Eyes of Deception It's Complicated Candyman Faceless How to Annoy Friends and Alienate Enemies
Where's the fun in that?
A dm ran Return to the tomb of horrors.



A DM friend of mine is running it in his campaign now; im curious about the body count, especially since he is known for upping his encounters :P

His party is quite good, experienced players for the most part, to give them credit as well.
A dm ran Return to the tomb of horrors.



A DM friend of mine is running it in his campaign now; im curious about the body count, especially since he is known for upping his encounters :P

His party is quite good, experienced players for the most part, to give them credit as well.



3.x: 6 player party (sorcerer, cleric, ranger (yay me! teifling modded from 2ed planescape, hooven feet), theif, arcane archer and paladin) , all dead before we got through the tomb itself. Shame too, I owned it, and knew about everything, just didnt metagame. One guy even stuck his hand in the sphere of annihilation trap.. we were the appropriate levels according to the dm, just cant recall what those were, but between party whittling down and dice rolls.. we didn't make it.



do not open if you haven't read it or played it before


We never made it to the other plane and fortress which is awesomesauce the way its written.


He let us have the option to wake up 'from a dream' but given how epic the session was, and how much fun we had.. my ranger losing its soul to a demilich was a fitting end I felt, and we all had a good time. We all swapped characters, and our new party went in to show those 'punks from the tavern' ie the old party - how it was done. Don't remember that as much as the tpk- all I recall is we had a wizard, theif, druid, I think 2 fighters- and I was a halfling paladin/monk.
My colors and decks
I am Black/Green
I am Black/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both selfish and instinctive. I value growth and community, as long as they favour my own objectives; I enjoy nature, and I particularly enjoy watching parts of nature die. At best, I am resilient and tenacious; at worst, I'm uncontrollable and destructive.

whatcolor_isblack.jpg
Take the Magic: The Gathering 'What Color Are You?' Quiz.

Pilot of: Thrullilicious Bats in the Belfry Glittering Totem Citadel of Barbs Thallid Salad Spreading Slivers Swamped Hardheaded The Big Green Kobold Fire, Fire! The Eyes of Deception It's Complicated Candyman Faceless How to Annoy Friends and Alienate Enemies
Where's the fun in that?
A dm ran Return to the tomb of horrors.



I did something like that once, only I simply took one creature from tomb of horrors, thinking it couldn't be so bad (it was only CR 10).  It solo TPK'd my level 8 5-man party in a straight up fight without breaking a sweat.

Other TPK that is still talked about is the elevator incident.  Some of my players wanted to play evil necromancers (cleric necromancer and a dread necromancer) while the other half of my party didn't (a ninja and a swashbuckler).  I decided the best way to try to get this to work would be strand the good characters with their enemies (the bad characters) in the middle of nowhere and have them be forced to work together for mutual survival.

The party was a little light on ranged attacks, so I allowed the necromancers to charm and then bargain with an intelligent arcane skeleton that had an at-will Magic Missile attack.  The skeleton agreed to work with the party, as long as they gave him first pick of the creatures they killed (he needed to eat fresh bodies as part of his undead curse).  This was meant to allow me to throw certain monsters at the party, without having to worry about them being raised as undead and used against me.

This actually worked out pretty well, as it gave the evil characters a strong reason not to screw over the good characters.  For one session, I took an encounter from Expedition to Undermountain (3.5) where the party is supposed to descend into the depths of massive underground cavern on a rusty mechanical lift.

In this encounter, a pack of grells are supposed to ambush the party while in mid-descent (still several hundred feet above the lava base of the cavern).  The fight was tough, but should have been easily winnable.  Unfortunately, towards the end of the fight the cleric necromancer got badly smacked around and was grappled by the last remaining grell.

His dread necromancer buddy decided to try and help him by attacking the grell and rolled a crit.  Alas, the 3.5 rules included a clause that attacking a grappling creature had a chance to hit either party.  And he hit the cleric.  And did enough damage to kill the cleric outright.

Right after this, the last grell did enough damage to the swashbuckler to bring him to -1 HP, just before the ninja killed it.  At this point, of the PCs, only the dread necromancer and the ninja were left standing.  This was a problem, as the dread necromancer particularly disliked the ninja (the necromancer's player thought the ninja class was absolutely useless, and had his character constantly mock the ninja).

The ninja then proceeded to mock the necromancer for killing their only cleric.  The necromancer responded by casting Blind at the ninja.  The ninja failed his saving throw.  The ninja decided to respond by charging blindly at the necromancer with a bullrush.  On a rickety elevator platform with no safety railing that was several miles above a lava pool.

I tried to dissuade the ninja from this course of action by telling him he'd have to roll a random direction in which to charge and number of squares to move in total.  The ninja proceeded to roll anyway and managed to get the exact right direction needed to hit the necromancer.   The bullrush roll was a natural 20, which was enough to not only push the necromancer off of the elevator, but for the (blinded) ninja to follow him right off.

They both fell for miles and died horribly in the lava.

The swashbuckler then stabilised.  Alone on an elavator in the middle of nowhere.  With a now uncontrolled, flesh eating skeleton standing over him.

The End.
Other TPK that is still talked about is the elevator incident.



LOLOLOLOL.
I've been TPK'd twice so far.  Both by the same DM.  First went down when we came up to the top level of a tower on a spiral staircase.  Two Destrachans managed to keep the entire party under a rain of perma-daze as we were all in the AoE. 

One person used his action to leave the AoE, and was cut down by the other mooks.  The Leader managed a single heal.  There was a missed attack and a second wind.

No good.  No good at all.  We go down under a hail of AoE death.  Funny thing is, the drow rogue (who had previously dropped the entire party off a cliff that nearly TPK'd us) sacrificed himself to revive the wizard, and promptly died.

Wizard managed to flee successfully.

#2 had us up against a pair of boneclaws and a pair of arcane guardians.  We spent most of our firepower on the boneclaws.  Managed to get one.  The guardians show up and each quadruple attacks the swordmage.  He uses an arcane power and they each double attack him.  He tries to shift away and save himself - turns out that provokes another two double attacks.

Splat.

They do the same on the sorcerer.  We don't manage to down another creature before everyone else dies, and the spent cleric flees back to the portal.  It's revealed he needs to perform linked portal to open it - and splat.
I've never been TPK'ed, though I have done it to the group I DM before. I'll be honest though- I did a little fudging to keep the party (barely) alive. Killing off all the players at that point would have made for a bad story.

The PC's- an Eladrin Wizard, a Revenant Warden, a Dwarven Fighter, and a Goliath Shaman- lived inside a mountain of ice on the island, and were asked to leave the island in search of help when danger became apparent (madness, darkness that preceeded demons/devils, etc.) After finding the passage out, battling there way through hordes of undead, and even surviving an ecounter with the Balor Champion that ruled the outside of the island, they all slept easy on the ancient boat they'd repaired. They were level 3 at this point (one of the players decided to shoot into the Balor's horde of minions and managed to not only target a Level 28 Legion Devil Vanguard [there was a random die roll table for that], but managed to crit for an Auto-Hit and kill the guy, giving the group the XP they needed to level).

They awake, after an extended rest, to ghostly wailing down below. They go to the bottom of the ship, passing through the galley and the sleeping quarters on the way (4 levels to the ship, if you count the deck and are confronted by 2 Deathlock Wights (one of which was later changed to a regular Wight- the auras were giving them issues), and three zombies of some kind (and each Zombie was encased in Animate Armor or something like that- a low-level minion). It was fairly cramped below deck, and al but the Wizard got pounded by the Deathlock Wight's aura. The Wizard hung up on the stairs and shot down, while everyone else fought. One of the monster-encased zombies engaged him, but the Wight's left him alone, for the most part. After fudging a few numbers, and convienently "forgetting" the Deathlock's regeneration a few times, they got through the battle, even though they should have all died.

The kicker? They never thought to retreat or have the Wizard enter the fray. The Wight's were tied to an artifact at the back of the boat, and could only go so many spaces from it. The wizard- and through him, the whole party- knew going in that the Wight's were tied to something. They only thought to search for the artifact (a small mirror for two-way communication, exactly like one the party owned) and toss it overboard AFTER they "defeated" the wights.

I almost started taking their complaints about the encounters being too tough seriously after that. Almost. (Seriously- it was only a 6th or 7th level encounter for those guys anyway- and they survived a 29th level encounter the day before. Go figure).
Little Big Horn and Thermopylae are to TPKs that come to mind.

Gygaxian is NOT a slur. Those who use it as such should be punched in the face. Repeatedly.
Little Big Horn and Thermopylae are to TPKs that come to mind.




Little Bug Horn I've heard of, but what's Thermopylae? (Goes to wikipedia....)

Huh. So that's what 300 was about. I'll have to watch that now. I was trying to find stuff to watch over the holidays, so thanks for that.

If we're going with examples outside of the game, the movie "The Gamers" comes to mind (still D&D though, now that I think about it), just not the party you'd expect. I guess the actors still qualify as player characters though. Happened in the sequel too, but it was the actual characters that died (so... the player character character?).

More recently (and not D&D related): My friends and I were all horribly conquered by the video game Contra. Multiple TPK's in a 10 minute period. We  never made it past level 2. Yeah... we suck. We couldn't even master inputting the cheat codes.
Little Big Horn and Thermopylae are to TPKs that come to mind.




Little Bug Horn I've heard of, but what's Thermopylae? (Goes to wikipedia....)

Huh. So that's what 300 was about. I'll have to watch that now. I was trying to find stuff to watch over the holidays, so thanks for that.



If you are looking for historical information then "300" is most definitely NOT the movie to watch.

Also, I did not mean to rerail the discussion.  There was supposed to be smiley face with my above post. 

Gygaxian is NOT a slur. Those who use it as such should be punched in the face. Repeatedly.
If you are looking for historical information then "300" is most definitely NOT the movie to watch.


But if he's looking for information on TPKs in heroic fantasy, then it definitely is!  Laughing

I had one last night; My Dragonborn Sorceror|Barbarian who was basically both the party's face, and the "I hit it really hard" guy, ended up getting us into a really bad situation with an enemy Red Dragon. Basically, I, though not unbacked by my party members, thought it would be best to try and kill it before it killed the man we were trying to rescue/get information from. I started out, rarther wishfully, hoping I could get a surprise round, and somehow managed to nat 19 the check, which was enough to sneak around the somewhat distracted dragon's lair. From there I basically just charged the dragon, like an idiot... and ended up botching, which according to My GM's botch table, ment I swung so clumsily, I accidently lose my grip on the weapon, and throw it halfway across the lair. I then tried diplomacy, hoping that my Draconic linguistic skills could save me; They could not. To our credit, though we actually bloodied it, despite the fact that I swear our dice were cursed (I got 4 botches, and nothing over a 17 the entire fight on d20 rolls, and Damage rolls wern't much better either) and that it was an encounter many levels above us (and one, I later found out, in which we were just supposed to rescue our informant and get out, rather than stay and fight). Ironically it was Blooding it that essentially doomed us, since it unleashed its dragon breath immediatly once we bloodied it, and we're a predominantly melee party, so you can imagine how well it worked out.

It was a fair TPK, but a TPK, none the less, so people were pretty pissed.
Not as the DM, But in the 2nd session of the first campaign I was in.

There were 5 of use players in an airship. The airship was damaged and going down. the rogue in our group managed to tie 2 lenths of rope together with a grappling hook at its end, passed the Use Rope check, attaching it to another airship we were battling as we were plummeting down into a deep chasm. As were all dangling from the rope, the enemy the enemy starts shooting down on us while others are climbing down. Well, the rogue decides that he'll cut the rope Surprised



You can guess how that ended
Not as the DM, But in the 2nd session of the first campaign I was in.

There were 5 of use players in an airship. The airship was damaged and going down. the rogue in our group managed to tie 2 lenths of rope together with a grappling hook at its end, passed the Use Rope check, attaching it to another airship we were battling as we were plummeting down into a deep chasm. As were all dangling from the rope, the enemy the enemy starts shooting down on us while others are climbing down. Well, the rogue decides that he'll cut the rope



You can guess how that ended



Ha!, I remember that and it wasn't even my fault. 100+ foot drop, and you all were level 2. Dave says hi btw, lol.

Ugh, worst I can recall was gnolls.  3e game, exploring ruins as adventurers are wont to do, we come across a coupls of straggling gnoll guards.  No problem for a level 3 party right?  Unless the entire party rolls nothing over 10 for nearly the ENTIRE encounter.  When my half orc fighter finally managed to crit the last gnoll to within an inch of its life, we all cheered, because we were beat to hell!  Most people were in single digits, no heals left, dying rogue... and the stupid gnoll crawls over and sets off a flame trap that hits us all and finishes all but one PC off, who barely manages to make it out and back to town.  Not a TPK, but a crazy game all the same.
Well, I just DMed my first game today and it turned into an almost TPK. The session started with 5 players

3.5 game - all lvl1
Georgie - Halforc barbarian
Johann - human fighter
Holt - human rogue (alternate) (player who survived)
Snea'atk - halfling rogue
Mrs. Buttermuffin - Halfling sorceress
plus each player had a lvl1 npc warrior merc

Towards the end of the session 2 of the players (Snea'atk & Mrs. Buttermuffin) decided that an easy way to make some extra gold was to buy some blank scrolls and write stuff on them then cast magic aura on them to make them look magical, then sell them to someone from the shantytown side of the city.

 Well they take 'em to a shop and successfully sell them. What they didn't know was that the guy was also the ganglord who ran the shantytown and when he found out that he had been had, he went looking for them. He finds out which tavern they are hanging out in and catches up to them. 

ganglord - halfling expert lvl3 (Hamish) (on bodyguards back - think masterblaster)
Bodyguard - bugbear fighter lvl1 (Dragoth)
2 thugs - human warriors lvl1

They enter the tavern looking for the party (failing spot checks), only Snea'atk notices them enter, he gets up and moves along the back wall to go around the gang. He gets noticed and confronted. By the time the rest of the party notices the gang it's too late. Dragoth grapples Snea'atk and smashes his head into the wall, then throws his limp body across the room. The fight continues until only Holt is left. Afterwards he collects the bounty on the ganglord.


Thankfully, none of the players were upset and said that it was funSmile
I have a story of a failed TPK. That is, after a long period of adventure, epic level 3.5 characters raised from level 1, and everyone going off to college in different directions, the best thing to do would be to TPK the party in the name of saving the world. And then not have them save the world.

You have to understand. I'm a bitter, evil DM--ever adventure ends with a plot twist that makes the world miserable. You survived imprisonment? You unleashed ultimate evil. You restored dimensional balance between good and evil? You let a super-villain into the world. You stopped planar-portal-storms from ravaging the planet? There's now a 5-mile-deep chasm where there was once a city--good job saving it, guys.

But this would be glorious. It would be the evil twist to beat all evil twists: the party, contrary to the entire campaign, would DIE. MISERABLY. PAINFULLY. WITHOUT RECOURSE.

It would be glorious. It would be a D&D tale they would remember forever: the day that their legendary characters, the most powerful on their plane of existence, died but due to their own stupidity and lack of Spot checks after a huge multi-adventure buildup. Their names would be curses, if anyone was alive to remember their names at all, etc. etc.

It even had a clip show. The dungeon leading up to where this chained god was being held had a room where the party's greatest ally became their greatest enemy, we had a time-delay effect of the Deck of Many Things bringing back old heroes imprisoned, we had the party wizard's alternate-universe double who has been plaguing the party and living to tell the tales since level 8 show up intending to not stop the party from saving the day, but profit from it whne they're not looking.

Brilliant misdirection and plot weaving went into this. I wanted it to be perfect, and it was about a month of build up leading to me crushing the party beneath my heel--the TPK of all TPKs.

* * * *

At the end of the dungeon, the party has swelled to be about 8-10 men strong, including companions, knights, alternate characters, rescued heroes, and even a resurrected party member who had died 4-5 levels earlier. They easily wipe out the cultists trying to unleash the god from his crystalline prison using an orb of annihilaiton + amulet (the mcguffins the party has been chasing for months). The wizard's necromantic evil twin, who was disguised wearing another person's skin, tries to make off with the amulet, except with the help of the Deck of Many Things the party had figured out his identity about a week or two ago, but were just playing along to get his assistance in the dungeon (they knew he was too fond of the party + his twin to outright kill them in their sleep, even though he was pure evil otherwise), so they easily stopped him.

His epic-level prismatic wall fills the room, where he hides harmlessly inside it while trying to plan his way out. The entire dungeon is dimension locked, but in addition to necromancy he's a master of portals, as revealed several adventures ago, and can tunnel in and out of even the most sealed nightmare dimensions if he needs to. Except, he doesn't have the amulet to go with the orb, so he wants to steal that before running; so he argues with the party while coming up with a plan on how to get out with all of his new toys.

I'm secretly rolling Spot checks for the party, which they're failing. The orb of annihilation, for those who don't know, responds to two things: thoughts on a powerful Concentration check, and it's associated amulet with an okay Concentration check. The orb is moving across the air, unnoticed by either the evil wizard or the party due to their argument.

It drifts, slowly, foot by foot, until it collides with the crystaline prison, slowly manipulated by the dark god himself, who is conscious, destroying it... and releasing the dark god.

You have never seen a party ally with their nemesis more quickly than at that moment at the table. There wasn't even discussion. It was just assumed they were now BFFs for the sake of the hell that was about to be unleashed.

Now, to be clear: the party was only just into epic tier. This was a full God, not even an avatar, the full level 60+ beast. I streamlined his abilities into a single readable 4E-like stat block (but for 3.5), by going "Hm.... he has 10-20 spells per day that deal 20d6 damage in a radius of between 20 to 60 feet... okay, he has an at-will spell that deals 20d6 with a 40 ft. radius" and such. He also could do that as a swift action, since he had that feat (being a god, he basically had all feats). He also had two initiative turns because I'm an evil DM.

This was my TPK. The party would try to force him into his chains once more, at the cost of their lives. In round one (after both of his initiative orders), his at-will blasts had eradicated half of the party. The resurrected cleric, all of the knights, a number of old heroes, the party wizard... all we had left was a handful including a rogue, the dark wizard, and a monk.

It was the rogue's turn. I awaited with glee their futile attempts to save the day, which I had confident in my veteran party would nonethless be unsuccessful.

* * * *

Rogue: "Wizard, get a portal to the Far Realm open, horizontal, on the floor beneath him!"

Wizard: "Got it."

Rogue: "First, I drink my potion of Jump."

DM: "Potion of jump? I never gave you a potion of jump (I have a good memory)."

Rogue: "Yeah you did. Part of our first treasure: *shows me the character sheet which, in spite of all its smudges and eraser marks, has a perfectly clean "Potion of Jump" at the top of the inventory.*"

DM: "...damnit."

Rogue: "Then I loot the tower shield off of our dead fighter."

DM: "Okay? ... that's a move and a swift down, you have a standard."

Rogue: "Then, I ready my action: when the portal's open, I am going to bull rush the god into the hole."

Wizard: "I cast the portal. Spellcraft DC: off the charts, and, success. Save DC is [xx]."

DM: "The portal opens but the god auto-rolls 20s on his checks, and dodges the portal easily, stepping to one side of it. Rogue, you charge the god but fall into the portal."

Rogue: "Can I make a Climb check?"

DM: "...sure, but it's an ethereal, ever-shifting edge of a non-existant planar boundary. The check is pretty high."

Rogue: "That's okay, I'm spec'd in Climb. *rolls*"

DM: "...WHY?... anyway, that succeeds, somehow, you're holding on to the edge."

Rogue: "By one hand, right? Holding the tower shield?"

DM: "...with a check like that, yeah, sure."

Rogue: "Okay, it's the monk's turn. Monk! BULL RUSH THE GOD!"

DM: "If it didn't succeed the first time why do you think it would succeed the *watches the die land on 20* Jesus f****** **** **** Christ. ... ... Okay, fine. The God falls into the pit and, since he auto-succeeds on checks, grabs the edge easily."

Rogue: "No he doesn't."

DM: "...?"

Rogue: "He's standing over me. There's no edge to grab. He has to grab my legs if he wants to hold himself up."

DM: "Okay, then he grabs your legs."

Rogue: "Free action, off my turn, I'm letting go of the edge."

DM: "Okay..."

Rogue: "It's his turn."

DM: "He lets go of you, and starts teleporting straight up out of the hole. You keep falling. When you hit the ground, you see--"

Rogue: "Wait, it's my turn."

DM: "? What could you possibly do, you're falling?"

Rogue: "I drop the tower shield. Free action."

DM: "...?"

Rogue: "I jump off the tower shield."

DM: "...? How... what's your Jump check?"

Rogue: "With the feats, being spec'd in Jump, and the potion of Jump and my Jump boots and epic feat?"

DM: "Why are you spec'd in useless skills? And why have you never used them before today?"

Rogue: "Is that a success?"

DM: "...you... *calculates Jump skill DC PRECISELY* tell physics to sit down and shut up, and jump off of an equal-velocity object in midair and somehow jump up to the portal edge and grab it."

Rogue: "Do I even need to make a Climb check to climb back over the edge onto material ground?"

DM: "no, but, roll it anyway, maybe you'll roll a 1."

Rogue: "Nat 1's don't stop skill checks."

DM: "For the next 10 seconds, they do. Roll it."

Rogue: "Not a 1. I yell at the wizard "CLOSE. PORTAL. NOW. DO IT. TELEPORTING GOD. NOW!"

Wizard: "It's my turn, right? A close the portal, sealing  the god in that dark dimension."

[note: in my world, the far realm has infinite pocket universes. Some are fully sealed against dimensional intrusion, except by a super-high-level-specialist-wizard. Of which this necromancer was. They had visited such a dimension previously when they wandered through a gate into an otherwise sealed dimensional vault--they escaped, broke the gate, and later found out that it had been the necromancer's tower they were in the whole time, hence, him being a specialist gateist.]

* * * *

I sat there at the table for a full minute, staring blankly at the party. Then I got up, and walked away, shaking my head. I came back a solid 5 minutes later, with them chattering and sitting eagerly.

 * * * *

Monk: "So, what happens next?"

DM: "Next?"

Rogue: "Well, uh, usually you have a plot twist which royally screws us over. Like maybe we sealed him in the dimension but it somehow destroys the world, or something."

Wizard: "Yeah, seems like something you'd do."

DM: "There's no plot twist."

Monk: "What?"

DM: "There's no plot twist. The plot twist was that you guys manage to stop the cultists, and the god comes out and kills you all BRUTALLY and you never see the ilght of day again because you serve him in the bowels of hell for all eternity. Then he destroys the world. Then the sun fades to black and all hope ceases forever. And then the bad things start to happen. That was the plot twist. That plot twist has been severed by you sealing him in a damn alternate dimension."

Rogue: "Huh. So, we saved the day?"

DM: "YES."

Rogue: "No consequences? Pure victory?"

DM: "YES."

Rogue: "No loose ends? No villains to hunt down later?"

DM: "I wish it weren't so, but YES!"

Rogue: "... well, hm, you know, I always thought one day we'd best you, that we'd circumvent your plot twist which destroyed the world or spread evil or caused a plague or something, and have an adventure come out WELL, and I always thought it would be great. It's actually kind of a let down."

DM: "It's your own damn fault. Anyway, you guys won D&D. Like, there's literally nobody bigger than that dark god I can throw at you. Anywhere. Ever. You win."

Monk: "Yay!"

* * * *

And that's my story. The story of the party which got a lot more successful than they ever deserved. The story of the TPK that never got to be.

*sad face*

* * * *

The best part about all of this though... is how they pulled threads from across the entire campaign together to weave together a perfect ending. The potion of jump from 20 levels ago. The fact the wizard could tunnel into an obscure dimensional pocket the party visited for about 5 minutes onc--AND that they could remember it well enough to use it on the field of battle. The tower shield that a fighter who had been in the party for all of 20 minutes had dropped. Nevermind the plot weaving that went into the preamble, or the choreography which lead to the god's release... just with the party's wild antics, this was an incredible operation they pulled off.

I'm proud of them.

And also, disappointed: i wanted to kill them off... 
I have never TPK'd my players, but I do have an infamous story of when I tried to TPK them...

The campaign was stagnent, my players meta-gaming excessively, and I was loosing interest, so I decide to just TPK them and start over.

My players were all 7th level, so I put them up against a 12th level wizard, with a host of undead to spice things up.  My wizard rolls the highest init, and promptly polymorphs the party's paladin into a chicken.

Next up was the parties wizard (who was the paladin's girlfriend in real life, as well as the game), retalitates with a polymorph spell of her own.  I tell her that she has a 1 in 20 chance of the spell working, but she's adament.

Well, I think you can see where this is going.  She polymorphs my wizard into a chicken as well.

The rest of the party wiped out the undead with little difficulty, even with two chickens underfoot.  Once the battle was done, being a DM who is always trying to think outside the box, I decided to have a little fun, and had a demon rise from the ground, encase the two chickens in a force ring and exclaim "PLACE YOUR BETS!".  The party bet every cent they had.

And we had us a **** fight.

I allowed the paladin-chicken to have "Holy Peck", but I still stacked the odds in the wizard-chicken, thinking if they loose all their money, that's as good as a TPK.  Well, I manage to miss every attack, and the paladin chicken slaughters my wizard chicken.  The party doubles their gold, and asks me what time to show up next week.

Ironically, this encounter rejuvenated the campaign, and brought the players back to role-playing their characters.  We played that campaign for another year before it fizzled out.  Go figure.......
And we had us a **** fight.



Sorry, it censored me, even though my terminology was technically not a swear, but the correct word.

Please read "We had us a chicken fight" instead.

The word I used in a synonym for "Rooster"

Tongue out

These are great - anymore out there?

I have a story of a failed TPK. That is, after a long period of adventure, epic level 3.5 characters raised from level 1, and everyone going off to college in different directions, the best thing to do would be to TPK the party in the name of saving the world. And then not have them save the world.

You have to understand. I'm a bitter, evil DM--ever adventure ends with a plot twist that makes the world miserable. You survived imprisonment? You unleashed ultimate evil. You restored dimensional balance between good and evil? You let a super-villain into the world. You stopped planar-portal-storms from ravaging the planet? There's now a 5-mile-deep chasm where there was once a city--good job saving it, guys.

But this would be glorious. It would be the evil twist to beat all evil twists: the party, contrary to the entire campaign, would DIE. MISERABLY. PAINFULLY. WITHOUT RECOURSE.

It would be glorious. It would be a D&D tale they would remember forever: the day that their legendary characters, the most powerful on their plane of existence, died but due to their own stupidity and lack of Spot checks after a huge multi-adventure buildup. Their names would be curses, if anyone was alive to remember their names at all, etc. etc.

It even had a clip show. The dungeon leading up to where this chained god was being held had a room where the party's greatest ally became their greatest enemy, we had a time-delay effect of the Deck of Many Things bringing back old heroes imprisoned, we had the party wizard's alternate-universe double who has been plaguing the party and living to tell the tales since level 8 show up intending to not stop the party from saving the day, but profit from it whne they're not looking.

Brilliant misdirection and plot weaving went into this. I wanted it to be perfect, and it was about a month of build up leading to me crushing the party beneath my heel--the TPK of all TPKs.

* * * *

At the end of the dungeon, the party has swelled to be about 8-10 men strong, including companions, knights, alternate characters, rescued heroes, and even a resurrected party member who had died 4-5 levels earlier. They easily wipe out the cultists trying to unleash the god from his crystalline prison using an orb of annihilaiton + amulet (the mcguffins the party has been chasing for months). The wizard's necromantic evil twin, who was disguised wearing another person's skin, tries to make off with the amulet, except with the help of the Deck of Many Things the party had figured out his identity about a week or two ago, but were just playing along to get his assistance in the dungeon (they knew he was too fond of the party + his twin to outright kill them in their sleep, even though he was pure evil otherwise), so they easily stopped him.

His epic-level prismatic wall fills the room, where he hides harmlessly inside it while trying to plan his way out. The entire dungeon is dimension locked, but in addition to necromancy he's a master of portals, as revealed several adventures ago, and can tunnel in and out of even the most sealed nightmare dimensions if he needs to. Except, he doesn't have the amulet to go with the orb, so he wants to steal that before running; so he argues with the party while coming up with a plan on how to get out with all of his new toys.

I'm secretly rolling Spot checks for the party, which they're failing. The orb of annihilation, for those who don't know, responds to two things: thoughts on a powerful Concentration check, and it's associated amulet with an okay Concentration check. The orb is moving across the air, unnoticed by either the evil wizard or the party due to their argument.

It drifts, slowly, foot by foot, until it collides with the crystaline prison, slowly manipulated by the dark god himself, who is conscious, destroying it... and releasing the dark god.

You have never seen a party ally with their nemesis more quickly than at that moment at the table. There wasn't even discussion. It was just assumed they were now BFFs for the sake of the hell that was about to be unleashed.

Now, to be clear: the party was only just into epic tier. This was a full God, not even an avatar, the full level 60+ beast. I streamlined his abilities into a single readable 4E-like stat block (but for 3.5), by going "Hm.... he has 10-20 spells per day that deal 20d6 damage in a radius of between 20 to 60 feet... okay, he has an at-will spell that deals 20d6 with a 40 ft. radius" and such. He also could do that as a swift action, since he had that feat (being a god, he basically had all feats). He also had two initiative turns because I'm an evil DM.

This was my TPK. The party would try to force him into his chains once more, at the cost of their lives. In round one (after both of his initiative orders), his at-will blasts had eradicated half of the party. The resurrected cleric, all of the knights, a number of old heroes, the party wizard... all we had left was a handful including a rogue, the dark wizard, and a monk.

It was the rogue's turn. I awaited with glee their futile attempts to save the day, which I had confident in my veteran party would nonethless be unsuccessful.

* * * *

Rogue: "Wizard, get a portal to the Far Realm open, horizontal, on the floor beneath him!"

Wizard: "Got it."

Rogue: "First, I drink my potion of Jump."

DM: "Potion of jump? I never gave you a potion of jump (I have a good memory)."

Rogue: "Yeah you did. Part of our first treasure: *shows me the character sheet which, in spite of all its smudges and eraser marks, has a perfectly clean "Potion of Jump" at the top of the inventory.*"

DM: "...damnit."

Rogue: "Then I loot the tower shield off of our dead fighter."

DM: "Okay? ... that's a move and a swift down, you have a standard."

Rogue: "Then, I ready my action: when the portal's open, I am going to bull rush the god into the hole."

Wizard: "I cast the portal. Spellcraft DC: off the charts, and, success. Save DC is [xx]."

DM: "The portal opens but the god auto-rolls 20s on his checks, and dodges the portal easily, stepping to one side of it. Rogue, you charge the god but fall into the portal."

Rogue: "Can I make a Climb check?"

DM: "...sure, but it's an ethereal, ever-shifting edge of a non-existant planar boundary. The check is pretty high."

Rogue: "That's okay, I'm spec'd in Climb. *rolls*"

DM: "...WHY?... anyway, that succeeds, somehow, you're holding on to the edge."

Rogue: "By one hand, right? Holding the tower shield?"

DM: "...with a check like that, yeah, sure."

Rogue: "Okay, it's the monk's turn. Monk! BULL RUSH THE GOD!"

DM: "If it didn't succeed the first time why do you think it would succeed the *watches the die land on 20* Jesus f****** **** **** Christ. ... ... Okay, fine. The God falls into the pit and, since he auto-succeeds on checks, grabs the edge easily."

Rogue: "No he doesn't."

DM: "...?"

Rogue: "He's standing over me. There's no edge to grab. He has to grab my legs if he wants to hold himself up."

DM: "Okay, then he grabs your legs."

Rogue: "Free action, off my turn, I'm letting go of the edge."

DM: "Okay..."

Rogue: "It's his turn."

DM: "He lets go of you, and starts teleporting straight up out of the hole. You keep falling. When you hit the ground, you see--"

Rogue: "Wait, it's my turn."

DM: "? What could you possibly do, you're falling?"

Rogue: "I drop the tower shield. Free action."

DM: "...?"

Rogue: "I jump off the tower shield."

DM: "...? How... what's your Jump check?"

Rogue: "With the feats, being spec'd in Jump, and the potion of Jump and my Jump boots and epic feat?"

DM: "Why are you spec'd in useless skills? And why have you never used them before today?"

Rogue: "Is that a success?"

DM: "...you... *calculates Jump skill DC PRECISELY* tell physics to sit down and shut up, and jump off of an equal-velocity object in midair and somehow jump up to the portal edge and grab it."

Rogue: "Do I even need to make a Climb check to climb back over the edge onto material ground?"

DM: "no, but, roll it anyway, maybe you'll roll a 1."

Rogue: "Nat 1's don't stop skill checks."

DM: "For the next 10 seconds, they do. Roll it."

Rogue: "Not a 1. I yell at the wizard "CLOSE. PORTAL. NOW. DO IT. TELEPORTING GOD. NOW!"

Wizard: "It's my turn, right? A close the portal, sealing  the god in that dark dimension."

[note: in my world, the far realm has infinite pocket universes. Some are fully sealed against dimensional intrusion, except by a super-high-level-specialist-wizard. Of which this necromancer was. They had visited such a dimension previously when they wandered through a gate into an otherwise sealed dimensional vault--they escaped, broke the gate, and later found out that it had been the necromancer's tower they were in the whole time, hence, him being a specialist gateist.]

* * * *

I sat there at the table for a full minute, staring blankly at the party. Then I got up, and walked away, shaking my head. I came back a solid 5 minutes later, with them chattering and sitting eagerly.

 * * * *

Monk: "So, what happens next?"

DM: "Next?"

Rogue: "Well, uh, usually you have a plot twist which royally screws us over. Like maybe we sealed him in the dimension but it somehow destroys the world, or something."

Wizard: "Yeah, seems like something you'd do."

DM: "There's no plot twist."

Monk: "What?"

DM: "There's no plot twist. The plot twist was that you guys manage to stop the cultists, and the god comes out and kills you all BRUTALLY and you never see the ilght of day again because you serve him in the bowels of hell for all eternity. Then he destroys the world. Then the sun fades to black and all hope ceases forever. And then the bad things start to happen. That was the plot twist. That plot twist has been severed by you sealing him in a damn alternate dimension."

Rogue: "Huh. So, we saved the day?"

DM: "YES."

Rogue: "No consequences? Pure victory?"

DM: "YES."

Rogue: "No loose ends? No villains to hunt down later?"

DM: "I wish it weren't so, but YES!"

Rogue: "... well, hm, you know, I always thought one day we'd best you, that we'd circumvent your plot twist which destroyed the world or spread evil or caused a plague or something, and have an adventure come out WELL, and I always thought it would be great. It's actually kind of a let down."

DM: "It's your own damn fault. Anyway, you guys won D&D. Like, there's literally nobody bigger than that dark god I can throw at you. Anywhere. Ever. You win."

Monk: "Yay!"

* * * *

And that's my story. The story of the party which got a lot more successful than they ever deserved. The story of the TPK that never got to be.

*sad face*

* * * *

The best part about all of this though... is how they pulled threads from across the entire campaign together to weave together a perfect ending. The potion of jump from 20 levels ago. The fact the wizard could tunnel into an obscure dimensional pocket the party visited for about 5 minutes onc--AND that they could remember it well enough to use it on the field of battle. The tower shield that a fighter who had been in the party for all of 20 minutes had dropped. Nevermind the plot weaving that went into the preamble, or the choreography which lead to the god's release... just with the party's wild antics, this was an incredible operation they pulled off.

I'm proud of them.

And also, disappointed: i wanted to kill them off... 




are you kidding!? XD I sat here, reading this whole thing, stopping periodically to engage in hearty bellowing laughter, and quite honestly feel that this is the MOST epic story EVER! especiallygiven you rtrack record.

and you feel dissapointed AT ALL!? XD

you realy are a heartless son-of-a-bitch cruel God. you make the Jewish God look like ... like ... the Flower of Eternal and Ultimate Harmless Love!
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