Accidentally killed half my party and don't know what to do!

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I was DMing an encounter with some friends this week. I am using the slaying stone adventure but it seemed a bit too easy for them. To change this, I leveled up the enemies.

During the last encounter (from a combination of bad player positioning, some unlucky rolls on their part, some crit 20s on my part, and none of the players healing each other) three of the five character's died (there was a sixth but his character ran away from the group, no idea how I should bring his character back). One of the players didn't like his character and took his death as good news, the other two did not feel the same. I would like to bring the characters back but that would not make the one player who hated his character happy and would not fit into where they currently are in the story at all. 

So what I'm actually looking for is some advice on the situation. Should I bring them back (if so, how?) or let them reroll (if so, what level and experience should I let them heve?)? 
Increasing level on monsters ups their defenses and increases the PC miss chance as well as ups the monster's attack roll and damage. You're often better off increasing the number of monsters rather than their levels. I'd also recommend you bring thing in waves when you want to up the ante rather than have them all come in at one time and feel like you have to ratchet things back if it gets too difficult. You'll get a feel for it over time.

Here's how I'd handle the deaths: Admit your error to the players (if you think it was one) and tell them you'd like to leave it to them how it will be resolved. Then recommend that the guy who took the death well should roll up a new character, same level, and bring him into play as a character the other characters have known for a while (ask them how). The two that weren't so happy can simply pick themselves off the mat, no penalty, no cost. But be open to the players' suggestions on this if they have other ideas.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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I don't see any reason why it's all or nothing. Let those who want to come back come back, and let those who want to reroll reroll. If you and the players can think of some interesting consequences for their failure in this battle, such as an important goal being out of reach, or a useful NPC being killed, or something, do that, so that losing in an encounter still matters.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Increasing level on monsters ups their defenses and increases the PC miss chance as well as ups the monster's attack roll and damage. You're often better off increasing the number of monsters rather than their levels. I'd also recommend you bring thing in waves when you want to up the ante rather than have them all come in at one time and feel like you have to ratchet things back if it gets too difficult. You'll get a feel for it over time.

Here's how I'd handle the deaths: Admit your error to the players (if you think it was one) and tell them you'd like to leave it to them how it will be resolved. Then recommend that the guy who took the death well should roll up a new character, same level, and bring him into play as a character the other characters have known for a while (ask them how). The two that weren't so happy can simply pick themselves off the mat, no penalty, no cost. But be open to the players' suggestions on this if they have other ideas.



I'm inclined to agree with iserith. But if you really feel that the players had more of a part in the characters deaths, then ask for them to come up with some interesting consequences (as Centauri states) that would keep players happy and at the table. Whatever you do, just remember that it's more important to keep the adventure moving forward and have your players return to the table. DMing is not just about running the game but managing people, these people could be family or friends, and if they are not friends they could be if you are flexible.
More lower level monsters, not fewer higher level monsters, is the better way to 'up the challenge level'
d420 introduced ghosts, and ways they can come back to life; might look into that.

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Thanks for the help guys! Though, what is d420?
If you've paid for the subscription to use the character builder & compendium, you also have acess to the monthly dungeon magazine (for DMs) and dragon magazine (for players). Issue 420 of dragon introduced "ghosts" - basically when you die you get your old character who has all his old skills, but now has these extra rules to play by. You can say to them out of character it is temporary while some passing priests are reviving their character.

If I ever "Total Party Kill" (TPK) I plan to spring the ghost rules on them. It should mean we can take the story in a new direction, instead of ending the story.

you could have the 6th character who chickened out gather up the nerve or come back with henchmen and minor skill challenge a rescue op. the one character whos player didnt like it could be "unsavable", devoured by dire pikachus or whatever..... that way everyone gets what they want, and you can maintain the story line without having to godhand anything.iFrame RemovediFrame Removed
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