Monday, May 13, 2013

Win a Print Copy of the Teratic Tome and Other Fine Prizes - Just Tell Us About Your Favorite Character Death

Welcome to Tenkar's Tavern, where the beer is always cold and adventurers are always welcome. Today we are celebrating the release of SlaughterGrid (I will post a review before the contest is over - I started peeking tonight with an advanced copy - "genocidal halflings" - I'm already hooked;) freebies and a contest with some awesome prizes.

Here's the instructions straight from +Rafael Chandler:

What you need to do is post your nastiest character death as a comment to this here blog post -- tell us how he/she died! I'm looking for brutality, grotesquerie, humor, or preferably some combination of the three.

Three winners will get free books -- just pick a book from the list below and I'll mail you a copy. (I'll also email you the PDF.)

* Teratic Tome
* Roll XX
* Roll XX: Double Damage
* Spite
* ViewScream

Three other winners will be chosen at random! Same deal, you'll get a free print book (and PDF). 

Not only that, but everyone else who participates will get a free PDF copy of Roll XX or Roll XX: Double Damage (your choice). Just for posting about the unpleasant death of one of your RPG characters, you get a free PDF!

Finally, I'll be knocking $2.16 off the price of Teratic Tome (which is currently $6.66 for the PDF). That'll bring it down to $4.50. And for every person who participates in this contest, I'll knock another two cents off the cover price. So if 100 people post at Tenkar's Tavern, that'll bring the price of Teratic Tome down to $2.50, which is a steal.

I'll also discount the print version by the same amount.

The contest will be open for entries for 72 hrs after going live.

So, you want everyone to get a PDF copy of the Teratic Tome for a steal or even cheaper, for free (we would need 250 entries for that to happen)? Share this blog post to G+, Facebook, Twitter, Forums - wherever! The more that enter, the cheaper it gets! Besides, everyone should have a copy of Roll XX ;)

Comments on G+ and the like are nice, but are not counted as entries for purposes of this contest. Sorry, them's the rules :(

Some links:

Rafael's Webstore

SlaughterGrid on Lulu

SlaughterGrid on DriveThruRPG

SlaughterGrid Blurb:

Created by genocidal halflings aeons ago, SlaughterGrid is a strange and gruesome dungeon, avoided by all save the bravest or most foolhardy of adventurers.

This module features:

This module features:
* An 18-area mini-hexcrawl to start you off
* A three-level dungeon with 55 encounter areas
* 32 new monsters, including stygiacs, gold-whores, progenitors, and necro-otyughs
* Weird treasure, dangerous magic items, and unpleasant surprises
* Rules for thieving abilities, schemes, and weaponized monsters

If you thought Teratic Tome was pleasurably vile, then you will like this adventure module. If you are not sure that you want to experience something that is "pleasurably vile," then this is probably not for you.


  1. I die. A lot.

    Dwarf Fighter/Thief killed by an Axel
    Human Thief, Eaten by shambling mound
    Paladin, killed by fire giant
    Dwarf Druid, slain by making a full attack against a behir.

  2. Well, I'll start off. Lugec the Lugubrious was a mountebank of Cuccagne, long in face and short in wit. He and his companions sought to bluff some cyclopes into believing that they all followed the same dark gods; the cyclopes were beguiled momentarily, but it was insufficient. An oversized cyclops spear punctured Lugec's side and he lay bleeding out... but it was his comrade's dousing the area in oil and setting the room alight that caused Lugec to succumb.

  3. I've got two deaths that come to mind.

    1) Doing a dungeon crawl where a lot of weird things were thrown at us. Shifting walls, invisible creatures, etc. As we're going down one hallway a pit appears in the floor stopping our progress. Thinking it's another trick from the DM I say "I don't believe in this illusion and run down the hallway." Needless to say the spikes at the bottom of the pit ended that character's career.

    2) I was playing a halfling thief who thought he was a paladin. Another team member was a minotaur fighter. A group of drow captures the minotaur and I decide that I need to rescue him. I turn to the drow leader and say "That's my cow bitch!" and then charge. It went as poorly as you'd expect.

  4. Since I mostly GM, I don't do much dying, but I try to do some killing.

    I've got a pretty good one. This happened in the Mysterious Temple of the Serpent God. The characters had defeated a nasty electrical trap, and opened the door to the Vault of the Frosthammer. After winding their way down a long and winding series of staircases (with absolutely no traps whatsoever), they had been lulled into a false sense of complacency. The final set of stairs let out on a longish corridor leading up to a door.

    Here's the thing. Right in front of that door was a 30 foot deep pit trap, with iron spikes at the bottom. The trap extended for 30 feet along the corridor, nearly to the door at it end. As if that's not enough, the ceiling above the trap was false, rigged to release an avalanche of boulders. I'd set this up to be at least somewhat obvious to anyone who took the time to look. Unfortunately, we were accompanied by Vane Barbute, the chaotic warrior, who charged ahead, ready to examine the door. That was par for the course. He does this sort of thing all the time. This time, though, two other characters followed right behind him, both clerics. In fact, the party's only clerics.

    I gave them all a chance to make a reflex save. Guess who made it? Right. The guy who caused the trouble in the first place. The clerics fell in the pit as the ceiling also collapsed right on top them. They took something like 6d6 damage (and they were first level guys at the time). Vane, though, was virtually untouched.

    In the end, though, DCC's "turn over the body" rule was invoked. They dug out their companions who both, miraculously, made a Luck check to be not-dead. By all rights, they should have been DEAD, as +Harley Stroh can attest, but I'd already agreed to the rule. Live and learn (to kill better).

    That has to be one of my favorite traps of all time. Misdirection and a whole lot of brutality. I was sort of sad that nobody noticed the pit trap, because the boulders would also be triggered by a plate in front of the door, which was separate from the pit trap itself, and would have (most likely) taken out the whole party.

  5. We were still using the OD&D white box rules when I moved from being primarily a player to primarily a DM. I lost MANY characters in those first few years of play (I recall having a character named Sparrowhawk XXIII... easy to guess why he was numbered!) Strangely, even though I played in other games over the years, I can't recall a single cool death. Fifteen minutes after this contest is over, though, I'm pretty sure I'll remember ALL of them.

    1. Oh, I see others have used examples of character deaths in their worlds, so I'll do that!

      I'm currently running an OD&D White Box game for my son and his friends. To help cure them of their 4th edition mindsets (which my son started them on), I'm using a zero level funnel like DCC. One of the first characters to reach first level decided to become a mage. Now, there's a recurring encounter the group has been having, with a tribe of orcs that have set up a toll-gate on the road they travel to get to a ruined village they're exploring. This newly minted mage decided he wanted to stop paying the toll, so he and three zero-level characters left the party, and went back to the toll-gate alone. Approaching the orcs, the mage explained he wanted to join the tribe, as did the three zero level PCs. The reaction roll was positive, (apparently the orcs were impressed that a scrawny little dude wanted to become one of them,) so they party was escorted back to the orc village, where a huge feast was laid out for them. In the morning, the chief told them all any of them had to do to become members of his tribe, was to beat one of his warriors in one-on-one unarmed combat.

      The mage chose to go first. He and his orc opponent faced each other surrounded by all the rest of the tribe, and began trading blows. The mage landed a few solid punches, but was knocked out after four rounds of combat. His fellows did about as well, and when all four were laying unconscious on the ground, the orcs finished them off.

      After we ended play for the night, I asked the player why his mage didn't use his sleep spell? He looked at me in surprise (no doubt wondering the same thing himself,) and after a moment, answered, "I didn't think the orcs would allow it!"

  6. Back in the days of AD&D 2nd Edition I had an unfortunate player with an unfortunate character (I believe it was a cleric) who had been captured with his group of fellow PCs by some mischievous goblins and thrown into a pit.
    The pit was inhabited by giant slugs, and the goblins placed bets on who would be eaten first.
    While the PCs fought fiercely, the unfortunate cleric seemingly fell out of favour of his gods and was gulped down, and devoured slowly by one of the giant slugs. There was nothing left to reanimate but his spirit hovered on in anguish and frustration for a while, haunting the pit and the goblins' lair.

  7. My two most memorable deaths were actually while I DMed (I rarely get to play).

    1) One guy played a dwarf that was always snagging the treasure, picking what he liked and then offering the remains to the rest of the group. Plus he was annoying as hell. The other players had enough and cornered me before a game session to coordinate their efforts with the GM. As they climbed a set of stairs in the dungeon, they cast darkness spells to blind the dwarf and various other means to strike him without him knowing it...eventually killing the dwarf. They asked me to describe the things happening so the player would not know it was them killing the dwarf. For about ten years we kept up the belief that the GM had launched some secret effort to murder his character.

    2) My other favorite one was when a player had decided to play a bard. He hated it. Every minute of it. As we were sneaking into Castle Ravenloft he heard Strahd's carriage being drawn by nightmares as it tore through the forest and decided now was the moment. He strolled out into the road, playing his madnolin...catchy tune the player made up on the fly about how stupid bards are...and I decribed in gory detail how he was ran over and crushed by the nightmares and the carriage.

  8. I never play, always GM, so here's the best character death I've ever seen from the other side of the screen.

    We were running BF1 Morgansfort with a bunch of first-time Basic Fantasy players. My friend Erik had only ever played 4th and 3rd, and so was unprepared for the brutality of old-school gaming---especially since he's a classic dice cheater, slightly misreporting every roll. In full sight of the party, he rolled a wizard with 1 HP, but still insisted on being at the front of every encounter.

    He somehow survived the first three or so rooms, until they discovered the secret door leading to corridor 19. He listened at the door and heard nothing, so he threw it open... right into some random Stirges. Surprised, he took no action. But Sean, right behind him, valiantly attempted to step in with a handaxe blow: 1. Fumble. The axe ended up right in Erik's back.

    My players were entirely unwilling to let Erik pass, however. Instead, half of them fought off the stirges while the other half wanted to suture his wounds with whatever they had handy. Twine, and iron spikes. Somehow, incredibly, they managed the extremely difficult Dex check needed to suture a huge back wound with nothing but twine and iron spikes. Erik was alive, but unconscious.

    They continued cautiously into the depths, Erik checking every round or so to see if he'd recovered consciousness. Miraculously, he did so in just a few rounds! Just in time to meet a gout of flame from an angry bombardier beetle, thus ending Erik's brave-but-short Basic Fantasy career.

  9. Not gruesome, but it's humorous. Here's the tale of how I killed off three of my own PCs within one hour:

    The scene: Playing OD&D back in the 80s in a basement rec room.

    To summarize the adventure, our party was looking for something called The Well of Time. The DM had hinted that some nifty futuristic doo-dads were waiting there if we were able to discover it. He hinted that leaping into The Well may transport us to another place and time, so we were totally jazzed for some time-traveling adventures. I was playing a 7th level fighter.

    Our party had climbed to the top of Mount Something-or-another where the Well was supposed to be located. When we got to the top, we saw that the entire top part of the mountain was missing and we were looking down into a large chasm. The DM explained that the bottom of the chasm was filled with a green haze. He asked what we were going to do.

    "This must be it," my youthful (and stupid) self said. "I jump in."

    Turns out Mount Something-or-another was a dormant volcano and we were looking down at the forest growing on the floor. So I plummet thousands of feet to my death.

    If you died in one of our games, you could roll up a character at 2 levels less than your previous character. So -- rolling frantically -- my next character was a 5th level thief that the party met after entering the dungeon. (We had passed the entrance half-way up the side of the mountain.) So we're exploring this long dark hallway - me in front, checking for pit traps. I popped one open. Looking into it, we see that the hall we're in is suspended over the forest floor (an enclosed elevated walkway).

    "OK, I'll take a running jump over it," I said.

    I land safely on the other side - and on top of the SECOND pit trap that was there. It triggers. So I plummet to my death. (The other party members are now laughing themselves sick. One person starts calling me Wile E. Coyote.)

    New character rolled up - a 3rd level illusionist found held as a prisoner. My DM gave me a ring of feather fall with one charge "for any future emergencies." We enter an empty 10 x 10 room, when the door begin sliding shut. Everyone gets out except for me. The far wall drops away and - yup - it's opened out into the volcano's maw again. The wall behind me begins sliding forward and it pushed me out. Once again, I'm plummeting to my death.

    "I put on my ring of feather fall," I said.

    "OK, you stop falling. However, you're still 1/2 mile up!" the DM said. I floated down about 1/4 mile until the ring's charge gave out. At which point, I plummeted to my death.

    The DM refused to let me roll up a fourth character (at 1st level) so he just suggested I leave for the night. When the party eventually got to the jungle at the bottom of the volcano, they found three impact craters there. They, of course, looted the bodies before moving on.

  10. Adventuring in Undermountain is never safe. Ever. After venturing through a portal in the bole of a tree outside of Waterdeep, Jessal Darksong, a 9th level magic-user, and company expected a difficult go of it. They found themselves deep in the lair of vicious drow, attempting to set up a base with which to conquer Skullport. Adventurers being the murderous hobos which they are, we decided to put an end to the drow. Amidst a deep shrine to Vhaeraun (sp?), Jes loosed a spell ~ a simple fireball, as I recall ~ at some oncoming spiders and driders. Unexpectedly, the Wild Magic area the group was in summoned in random monsters (rolled for by the DM from nearby creatures). 2 of Xanathar's beholders from Skullport were teleported in, and began laying waste to the area. It was a firefight of epic proportion, though ulitmately disastrous for the group. The paladin went down on the first round, disintegrated to a fine ash. As it was a three way melee, the spiders were still involved - our fighter was swarmed, and - as all good rpg's have - a save or die versus spider poison dropped him to the ground, writhing under the poison of no less than 8 failed saves. Jessal and our cleric (I forget his name)beat a hasty retreat as the thief was hit with the beholders death ray. Three rounds later, being chased by both beholders, the driders and spiders mostly gone, the cleric scored a direct hit with a Blade Barrier, shredding one beholder to flaps of flesh on the ground. The second beholder disintigrated the cleric a round later.

    Jessal was out of spells, running. A house rule allowed us to tear a page out of a spellbook and use it as a scroll (this was in the day of backup and adventuring spellbooks)- he was tearing like mad. Out goes the fireball spell, the beholder saves. Out goes lighting bolt. Phantasmal Killer. Running through the halls of Undermountain, bursting though a door. Out of the frying pan and in to the fire. A death knight stands up from his throne of bone beyond the door. The creatures advance towards him. In a last desparate move, Jes rips out Delayed Blast Fireball, hoping to set it and get away. More wild magic. The fireball goes of, enhanced to maximum damage, at his feet. Both the death knight and the beholder are turned to ash by the blast. Nothing remained of our hero.

  11. My favourite character death was not mine, but one of the other PCs in Ravenloft (the original AD&D module). We had been discussing the VSM (verbal, somantic and material) components required for D&D spells earlier in the evening and I had been laughing abour my favourite - the ball of sulphur and bat guano required to set off a fireball.

    So when the big bad vampire Vlad appeared on the balcony of a library we were exploring and raised his right hand, my elven MU-thief's reaction was to scream "Bat guano!" as I dived for cover.

    The cleric's somewhat bemused - but appropriate - response as she stood there unmoving before being engulfed in flame, was: "What? He's sh*tting on us...?"

    hehehe! Still makes me giggle to this day.....

  12. Here is mine from back in the AD&D 1 days.

    I have played exactly 1 ninja my entire gaming life. His name was (horrible I know) Oko-nishi. My lame attempt at a Japanese sounding name. In my defense at what I knew was bad I made him a half-orc. It must have been around the time of the Oriental Adventure rules. My then DM and I had worked up a D&D combat simulator for the TRS-80 and we plugged him in with 9 other characters. He was attacked by a Black Dragon (or Red, cant recall) and killed.
    The dragon then kept attacking him and only him, no one else. We had not worked out all the errors in the code. In the end he had been reduced to something like -70 hp. My DM offered to let him be ok, or keep him dead. We enjoyed watching it so much and getting the mental image of this dragon jumping up and down on my dead ninja that I felt it was a waste to say it never happened. So Oko-nishi the poorly named half-orc ninja died because this dragon hated him so much he kept jumping up and down on him.

  13. As long as this doesn't have to be mine, I have a good one. Technically it's two characters – but still my favourite.

    I'm running a low-level B/X game, with a fairly new player in the group, and they are up against a cluster of Purple Worms. The player in question (who shall remain nameless) charged head-first against the enemy, managed to slip over on some slime and was essentially helpless. His character died in the first round of combat, and the player hastened to roll up a new character. Fifteen minutes passed, and the rest of the party started to get to grip with the worms, and it looked as if things were beginning to wind up, and the player said, “I've just finished my character – what about if he's exploring the dungeon as well, and hears the sound of the combat, and decides to investigate?” It seemed like a decent enough idea to me, so I agreed.

    He charged in, and it so happened that the PCs preceding him in the initiative order managed to miss. There were two Purple Worms remaining, and the new character decided to 'show his bravery' by diving head-first at the enemy.

    The final result? The player managed to die in the first and last rounds of combat.

  14. In an online Dust (depression era america + folk tales + monsters) game the group investigated an underground complex and found a room with what amounted to an electrified summoning circle. My character pushed buttons randomly, was electrocuted and his soul turned into a Wraith, importing that kind of monster to the game world for the first time.

    The players discussed what to do now until I started bugging the GM wether I can start killing the other PCs now? how about now?

    In the end, I only got one because the group decided to blow up the place while I was feasting on my first victim, thus creating the _second_ wraith in the game world.

    Suffice to say, I had the most fun dying in this game for a long time!

  15. I don't know if this counts since I was the GM at the time, but it's my favorite PC death--and was entirely caused by the PCs being dumb.

    I was running a World of Darkness game. Early in the session, one PC set off a chain of explosions in another PC's house, which killed 2 PCs; the remaining 3 fled south, one of them badly wounded. They stopped at trashy roadside motel. The badly wounded PC--a vampire--needed blood, so a second PC offered to give him blood if the first one would make him into a vampire. The vamp PC, desperate for blood, agreed, and they began the process. But they were interrupted by the third PC; he was disgusted and horrified by the scene, and so set them both on fire (which killed them) and fled.

    The best part is that the vamp PC had a background of "Dark Fate," meaning he'd eventually die in some horrible fashion. We all agreed that burning to death in a shitty roadside motel bathtub while in the midst of a pathetic attempt to create a vampire was pretty damned dark.

  16. I once died four times in the course of a single adventure. Why? Bad. Luck.

    My DM at the time had us team up with a "vampire hunter." Since I had the highest intelligence, I was to determine if he was legit. DM rolled, I failed, but he just told me that I, Seltar the Magic User, felt this guy was legit. So he said we needed a boat, I went to go find a boat. I failed a wisdom check, and went with a boat that was NOT sea worthy (I noticed that it was SO CLEAN what with no rats and all).

    So we went to sea and a storm came up. Our ship broke apart and I was killed by falling wood. The DM brought me back to life because it was a random attack roll, which selected me, and then rolled a natural twenty.

    So we are floating in storm tossed waters, and my character fails a con check (even though I was given a huge bonus), and die again due to exposure. GAH! :) DM brings me back.

    We finally get to our destination, we sneak in... and trigger a trap. I get hit AGAIN. And die... and get brought back.

    Finally, at the end of the adventure, we encounter the Vampire (read: Lich), and our vampire hunter gets toasted. DM rolls randomly and gets ME, and I get toasted. DM says he can bring me back to life again, but I say "screw it, I'm rolling a new character!"

    Four deaths, four DM interventions, and all due to dice rolls the DM was making. The rest of the party felt it was funny as hell, and called me a trouble magnet... cause I pulled trouble away from them and to me! :)

  17. Okay, I thought of another one involving a character I was playing. In my current gaming group, my characters have been killed by several different other players' characters in different campaigns. This was the best.

    We were playing Advanced Dungeons & Savages (a Savage Worlds hack meant to emulate AD&D) as an evil party. I can't stress that enough. My PC was a cleric. At one point, we raided a tower and my PC found a crystal rod--which, it turns out, was possessed by a demon. The demon instructed me to keep the rod no matter what. So I did. That night, while my PC slept, another PC--who was curious/worried about the rod--was searching through my PCs stuff, which woke me up. I challenged him--I mean, he was going through my stuff--and we fought. One other PC joined the other guy, and my character was killed easily.

    To replace that PC, I made an orc. As I'm creating the character, I decide to take a disad that makes me (1) paranoid about women; and (2) deathly afraid of water. A session or so later, right by a river another PC reveals a friend of his (whom we'd never met) who is female--so I freak out, go on the attack, and die easily.

  18. Ulric the wizard, along with his companions had infiltrated the depths of the keep and discovered the angel crucified by adamantium spears. His blood seeped down a vertical shaft, pooling to fuel a dark ritual that would unleash Orcus at the head of an undead army. The necromancer Kalarel had built a gate filled with a black viscous substance that bulged and flexed as the undead abominations tried to push through. The runes around the gate were becoming active, one by one. The battle against Kalarel and his minions was tough, but because he was distracted trying to keep focus on the gate, the future Heroes of Winterhaven were emerging victorious. In the moment of Kalarel’s fall, Ulric was blasted too close to the gate, and the beings within reached out and pulled him through.

    It was the most brutal 4e death I’ve seen...

  19. I once had two players snap and turn on each other. One was a rather serves-his-own-needs evil villain type, and the other was a bounty hunter.

    The bounty hunter did something stupid that got the villain attacked by town guards. As a result, the villian, in character, decided to poison the other character with wolfsbane in a wineskin... and then proceeded to decapitate her, cut off her hands, and cut long strips of skin off of her back to create a skin flail.

    That was the first entry in our book of Thou Shalt Not. Thou Shalt Not turn other characters into skin flails.

    Good thing it was a one-off!

  20. I had spent a lot of time working up my character background and writing in the little details that breathe life into a character sheet. My character was an assassin in a group of villainous types.
    In a group full of villains, everyone wants to be the top dog and our group had one particularly diabolical psionicist mastermind. I am not even certain how our rivalry escalated so quickly, but after a short amount of banter it quickly became clear that we both regarded ourselves as the leader of our rogues gallery.
    With a quick mind control, I was disabled and my so-called ally had pulled one of my swords and slashed my throat with a vicious coup de grace. No one lifted a finger to stop it, and no one was playing a character that wanted to resurrect me (what villainous squad would go without a necromancer?).
    Not the most gruesome death I’ve witnessed, but certainly the most painful to watch and the shortest-lived character I ever played.

    1. Addendum: A PC death that I had forgotten about until I was reminded by the DM that did me in.

      Quell, Tiefling Psion in Dark Sun: torn in half and devoured by a flame demon. (Coup de grace).

  21. My worst character death was a very messy affair. We were playing in a tropical island environment and had been on the island for nearly a month in game time (5 game sessions) trying to find and loot a lost temple. After we found the temple we were cursed and any PC that suffered damage from the native wildlife suffered from a fungal infection that was slowly taking the over.

    Our cleric was able to cure disease each day one player at a time. I was play Dorn a fighter and was able to make the petrification save consistently to keep the infection at bay. But over the last day another combat and a failed save made it likely I was going to fall to the disease.

    But we were making out way back with loot to leave the island when one of the players remembered a random encounter we had during the first session with several statues likely created by a Basilisk. His brilliant idea was that if I could get myself petrified it would be like being in suspended animation and I could be returned to civilization and saved once we had more spells available.

    So while returning to our ship we went hunting for the basilisk. When we find the ruined statues we quickly learned it wasn't a Basilisk we saw signs of but a conclave of 3 Medusai. Still sticking to the plan I engage and look at them to turn to stone. We killed one before I failed a save.

    I think I'm safe. Just two Medusa left to fight then I can be brought back at a later time. But the next round our cleric is hit by a medusa poison arrow which killed him. The other players not wanting the same fate flee. My stone PC is left behind. No rescue mission was ever sent to retrieve him.

    1. Not to buck up a competitor, but this is a great story! Really made me smile.

  22. The following happened in a Middle-Earth Role Playing session way back in the 1990s:

    Our group stumbled upon an agent of Sauron speaking to a large group of villagers who was turning them against us. I looked down at my character sheet and saw, for whatever reason, that my character had "Public Speaking" as a skill, so I foolishly tried to persuade the audience to our side. I critically failed my roll.

    The villagers swarmed me with a motley arrawy of weapons before moving on to the rest of the group. I vividly remember my character getting...
    ...his jaw broken and stunned
    ...struck to thigh causing a broken hip
    ...one eye destroyed, and stunned
    ...struck on the head, more bleeding, more getting stunned
    ...a blow to my arm, breaking it

    A few more of the villagers still needed to attack me, but the GM stopped rolling at that point. My character was as good as dead. None of those criticals outright killed my character or knocked him unconscious, so he was very much alive and awake as the villagers bludgeoned him to death.

    Besides, combat in MERP can take quite a bit of time with all of those combat charts--especially when mulitple characters do multiple criticals. And there were other characters who needed to die.

    Somebody else got cut down and pretty much dismembered by the villagers--once again, multiple criticals.

    The agent of Sauron severed another character's lower leg. The character was trying to run away.

    I remember that there were two survivors. One was a hobbit. Hobbits are seemingly invulnerable in MERP, but I think he even he took a hit. The other was a human or an elf who feel unconscious from blood loss.

    The game, and the campaign as I recall, ended with trying to figure out how the hobbit could carrying the wounded character to safety.

    So, not only did I get my character brutally killed, but more than half the group as well, pretty much ending the campaign.


  23. Gribble, my RuneQuest Trickster, beheaded for serial murder, including eating two party members and the attempted consumption of a third. Would you believe that despite that, he was the most popular character I've ever played in that group?

  24. Back in the late 80s, my first D&D character ever, Gimli the Dwarf, was exploring the Temple of Elemental Evil when he found the body of a dead dwarf facing down. Upon turning the body up, a banshee sprung from it and wailed. He failed the save and died. Ah, the good ol' save or die...

    "You should have put wax in your ears!", said the DM. I was like WTF? Whose character ever put wax into his ears before entering a dungeon?

    Anyway, Gimli later returned as a FLAISNAILS character! ;)

  25. I mostly DM, but I have caused some fun player deaths. After losing two P.C.s in one adventure due to his reckless play he changed to a more cautious approach with his new M.U.. Entering a lair and being meet by bow fire from orcs the rest of the party charged in, he turned invisible and hung out in the back. The orcs triggered a log trap that swept down hit his MU and brought him down to negative hit points, the problem was since he was invisible the rest of the party didn’t have a clue where he was or that he was in need of healing and he bleed out.

  26. This is more of a story of survival, in a sense. Sure, there was a lot of death, but the funny part comes from the one that walked away.

    This was at a Gary Con 0-Level Dungeon Crawl Classics game run by Michael Curtis. I don't want to give too many details, because it was a playtest for a module that's about to be released by Goodman games, but here's the set-up --

    The party had been exploring a strange "dungeon" that had been previously buried under ice. We had lost a few of our party to various contraptions, traps, and other nastiness. One of the players lost his first two characters pretty quickly (we were each running 3, as is common with the DCC )-Level Funnel Rules), so he was playing the rest of the session very cautiously. When we came across what looked like a treasure room, he decided to stay back and "guard the doorway", rather than exploring the room. When the rest of us had passed through the door, it slammed shut, locking him outside. We all figured he was done for, as the lone person left out of the room.

    A few artifacts were picked up, a couple buttons were pushed and eventually a "light sword" was passed through an "invisible shocking wall". It caused a giant explosion, killing everyone in the room. We avoided the TPK, only because the guy who didn't want to risk his last character had stayed outside. After hearing the explosion, he wandered back through the dungeon and back to the village, telling them they should probably just avoid the whole area. He claimed his DCC Survivor Badge Flag, while the rest of us ended up with DCC Kill Flags to display proudly.

  27. Back in Junior High we had a cluster of games we'd run in the library during breaks and Lunch. Because there were so few willing to GM I would often run an adventure for 10+ players. We'd break those massive groups up into units of five, each with a caller who gave orders to a capitan who relayed them to us. It was a wonderful sort of chaos really, piles of AD&D and BECMI books, lots of little squares of paper with hand scribbled character names, +hirelings + Henchmen + War dogs. Good times.

    One of the rare instances I was actually able to play rather than GM I was a captain, and we were fighting a Transposer/displacer/Beholder. Most of our games were large scale dungeon crawl affairs, and this particular Game Master was on a Monster hybridizing kick (from the mindset that brought you the Thoul). The beast had four spell casting eyes, and four tentacles that, on striking an opponent, did damage and caused damaged to be transposed from that point onwards (ala its transposer heritage).

    By sacrificing most of the War Dogs and a good number of the Hirelings we'd worked out the sequence of the critters displacement, each round 3' in a different direction, rotating clockwise. What we hadn't worked out was the transposing, and I'd been hit. Unfortunately for Luc the fifth level fighter, I had a plan.

    I had everyone hide in an alcove of the dungeon with the Spell casters using whatever they had to conceal us, and the thieves hiding in shadows around the room. We all prepped missile weapons, spears, knives, slings, arrows, Magic Missiles, anything we could throw at the abomination. When the foul creature entered the room everyone let loose in one grand volley. As we finished a wild bout of to-hit rolls everyone was suddenly stunned to find out that the creature only had an AC of 6 (odd, that was the same AC as Luc), they were even more shocked when Luc started screaming and fell to the ground, a pincushion, run through with everything they had and singed by magic missile fire. They were even more shocked to realize that they were all exposed, and it was the creatures turn to attack.

    Because of the size of the group it wasn't a TPK, but it was a 8-9 PC slaughter. The remainder ran for the exit, and never returned. They say you can still hear the beast to this day, mumbling to himself "Who's idea was I anyways?"

  28. Half-elf ranger (can't remember the name)skinned alive by cannibals and eaten in front of the party.

  29. I usually GM, so let me tell you about the nastiest way somebody has died in my game.

    Note that English isn't my first language, so please disregard all grammar errors, which, I'm sure, will be abundant.

    You see, Calen, a friend of my players, was quite a handsome fellow, yet his body was frail. He bled too easily. Any cut meant that he risked his life. Beyond that, he was a strong young man. And he accepted a pact with beings beyond the veil to learn how to be stronger.

    The Arcane Academy where the players adventure as iniciates is superficially similar to Hogwarts, but this one is located just over the Carcieri Inversa, a thorn on side the world where monsters live and breed. The iniciates are not only students, but also jailors for the Inverted Prison. But there were beings that could project their thoughts beyond the Carcieri, into the minds of impressionable men.

    Calen was very close to one of the female characters of the party, Claire. Claire was a caste follower of the White Goddess. She teased him and he responded, but nothing happened.

    Through their adventures I described the strengthening of Calen. He grew healthier and stronger, following the instructions from his secret masters. But, when Claire finally chose Andrai, another player character, as a partner, he broke. He plotted to kill him secretly in several invasions from the Carcieri to the academy, which failed, yet left Andrai blind, which made her care more about him, all of this with the players ignoring the workings of Calen.

    His anger finally took the best of him. Calen decided that he would do this quickly now, and without subtleties. He invited Andrai to go out of the Academy, to the city, to chat. Alone, he would be an easier pray. Andrai went with Calen.

    The players realized what was happening soon enough after Calen had Andrai far from the academy. They went to save him, after all, he would be quite an easy target blind.

    Andrai started hearing strange, wet noises. He started calling Calen, but he didn't answer to his calls. When the players came, they saw a tall, bloated and beating column of flesh and tendrils and, on the top, hanged the broken body of Calen, with terror in his eyes. Calen's strengthening was the result of the nesting process of the astral beast, which feed on his hatred. His health was just the way how the beast replaced Calen's organs with his own. Now the transformation was complete.

    After a long fight, the characters managed to destroy the astral beast. Calen, now, a fleshless bag of skin, didn't survive.

  30. Half-elf ranger (can't remember the name)skinned alive by cannibals and eaten in front of the party.

  31. Awesome. Michael Bolan: it was my wife whose character actually caused that explosion.

    My favorite comes, I think (of course) from a _Call Of Cthulhu_ game. Set in WWII, on a Pacific island. My character is a stereotypical Army Sergeant. He's facing Dagon, or at least, an enormous Deep One.

    He empties his guns into it to no avail. So then he lights a stick of dynamite, lights the fuse, and leaps into the creature's maw.

  32. Where to begin...

    There was once a corridor described as "gently sloping, with small holes in the walls". The party decided that it "seemed safe enough", and proceeded down it. As Agord the Cleric was crossing the end, the oil sprayers activated and the pit trap with the gelatinous cube opened beneath him. The rear half of the party saved to avoid slipping down the oiled slope, and miraculously all succeeded, while the fighter and paladin at the front made a heroic attempt to pull Agord out of the cube which had paralyzed him. They got him out, but he was paralyzed and bled to death because he couldn't heal himself and the paladin was already out of laying on hands. And then they hired a thief instead of a new cleric, which ended up costing them more casualties in the long run.

    The Morlock Massacre - party engages part of a lair of morlocks in a stairwell, burning oil does most of them in but the few that break through manage to kill the party's trusty war dog, Monty. Party is low on spells and out of healing, but decides to push through to the lair and kill them all in vengeance. The paladin falls to a hail of arrows and a surge of axe-morlocks, and the thief is likewise cut down. The elf thief-wizard makes his move silently rolls and maneuvers out of the stairwell into the lair, while Tormund the hench-fighter, using the fallen paladin's magic shield, charges out into the morlocks as the rest of the henchmen flee. Tormund and the morlocks fight inconclusively for several rounds while the elf watches, but his nerve breaks and he flees (loudly) up the now-deserted stairs, igniting the oil in the thief's pack as he goes (and sealing the fallen thief and paladin's fates). Three morlocks break after him; two die in the fire, but the last cuts him down on the stairs. Tormund then manages to miraculously kill every last son-of-a-morlock, with all rolls in the open, carries the paladin's corpse out of the dungeon for resurrection, casually stabs the morlock who was eating the elf in the stairwell, and rolls no random encounters on the way out. And so a new and beloved PC was born, out of an almost-TPK (Tormund subsequently died once while collecting yellow mold spores for use as a weapon, and again when she rolled a one while deploying said spores against a lair of angry troglodytes, but was raised from the dead both times).

    For a more complete list of the deaths in that campaign, see here. 'twas a good campaign.

  33. back in 1988 or 1989 my group had a slew of overpowered characters we'd been playing since 2nd grade (we were in 8th grade when this all went down). my friend who was our usual DM got his hands on the last module in the BLOODSTONE series and decided to run us through it (with the intention of killing all of our munchkiny characters). anyway, we made it all the way into orcus' throneroom and one hell of an epic battle breaks out. just so you know, the throne room is like a large circular tabletop that's magically suspended on a megathin pedastal (this is important for later). now, there are people flying all over the place, meteor swarms everywhere, levels being drained by orcus' vampire army, all that good stuff. i had a 40th level fighter named ross who was dropped onto the platform alongside the party's cleric to fight the hordes of undead (the cleric was coated in green slime, stripped of his armor and then level drained into nothingness inside of 2 rounds). anyway, ross is holding his own - meaning that after a few rounds he was level 20, wounded, but steadily moving towards the throne with his eye on the wand, which was what we were after. well, after a terrible round of combat i was reduced to level 14 or so and i was bleeding bad...like 20 or so HP left. i decided to just drop off the platform and heal - so, i jumped from the throne platform. i had a ring of feather falling so i figured i was golden. well, right then one of the other guys in my party scored a massive critical hit against the abyssal red dragon. he was flying (literally) and slinging a hammer of thunderbolts (backed with the gauntlets of ogre power and a girdle of storm giant strength, of course). we were using those crazy critical charts from dragon magazine - he got triple damage on top of the other damage multipliers from the hammer/gauntlets/girdle combo and he kills the dragon - which crashes into the edge of the platform...just as my friend's super high level wizard casts dispel magic on the wand of orcus (he was trying to negate the death touch thing so he could grab the wand and plane shift out of dodge)...so the dm makes him roll for the most powerful enchantment first - the wand. it makes all its saves. the next most powerful enchantment was the magic holding the platform in place. it fails. and tips over due to the impact of the abyssal dragon's body...so, ross is floating to the ground and the whole throne room tips over and falls towards him...it's gaining on him and all he can do is float gently to the ground...and when he reaches the ground he is promptly crushed by the throne platform of orcus.

  34. Ok, directly from one of our first MERP/Rolemaster campaigns: party was crossing a very frail suspended bridge over a chasm. They (I was the GM) had to do it one man at a time, to avoid having the bridge collapse under their combined weight.
    So, it's the cleric turn and as he is more or less halway through, a giant flying thing, much like a pterodactyl or one of those beasts the Nazgul ride, comes down from a nearby cliff to attack him.
    He's holding fast ot the bridge not to fall, so he's basically helpless against the thing.
    (Un)luckily for him, his companions are there to help!
    The party's fighter quickly draws her bow and shoot the beast. Critical hit! Foe drops dead instantly!
    At first the cleric is like "yeah, nice shot man!" then he realizes "waidaminute... that freaking thing was just over my head!"
    So, yes the flying beast crushes over the cleric, the bridge collapses under its weight and both fall in the depths of the chasm... RIP

  35. We traveled on board of a ship on a river in the North of the Forgotten Realms. In the night a ship was spotted and as it turned out, it had an undead crew and we were attacked. Our Halfling thief, the paladin and I, a shadow dancer, tried to board the ship to lay fire on the rotten boards of the enemy ship. We jumped and the Halfling and I (all nimble hands and so on but no nimble feet) both botched our rolls and we fell into the icy water. The current was strong but we managed to reach the dry shore just to watch our ship getting boarded. Shortly after, we were joined by our witch, who also has jumped over board to escape death. But death followed us…We had no equipment with us to start a fire and the witch had no spells left after the fight. So we waited till morning and just as the morning sun started to rise we froze to our death. Glorious ending ;)

  36. The following occurred during an exploration of a Gothic dungeon (a la Ravenloft) :

    My character was the group leader, a fighter. The door he opened before dying was actually 10 feet above the floor of the next room. Unbalanced, he fell ... in the open stone coffin of a vampire (which was placed beneath the door). The vampire quickly closed the coffin with my character inside to take care of the group. You can guess the rest!

  37. Not sure how gruesome it was, but a memorable death for sure. We were in the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (SPOILERS I guess) and my cleric of Fharlaghn (Brother Bizard), who I had brought up as a wee zero XP cleric, used his cloak of flying to bypass the cave moray eels. I thought I was so cool. I was the forward scout in some sort of plate (magical maybe) armor, and I floated right into the clutches, or rather clubs, of the Formorian giants. The battle didn't last long, I was a smooshed puddle of bloody cleric pulp on the floor within a round or two.
    The party worried, but started to debate about how to get through the eels, when my friend Dan's failed bard, Gheros DeVaskos, charged through the eels - with nary a scratch, to fall to the giants as well. He was a, naturally rolled, 18/98 fighter, who when he lost a point of (wisdom?) and could no longer become a bard, immediately changed alignment to Chaotic Neutral. :) But I always followed that madman PC into battle, so he attempted to save me. The paladin of the group finally decided to get moving, and took eel hit after eel hit. Finally the party got through to defeat the giants. But the other cleric (of Celestian) had a scroll of resurrect dead. Problem solved for Neutral Good Bizard! Dan and I actually shook hands and laughed.
    Then my friend Jim felt bad. "I think I'll roll to see who to raise." That's when John, the DM, looked up. "You're a good character, he's a good character, you're both clerics, and you're gods are brothers. You can do what you want, but remember that last bit. You being a cleric and all."
    Jim rolled the dice, raised Geros (Dan laughed and shouted, "time to kill again!") and promptly lost all spells above 4th level.
    Maybe not so gory, but definitely a great death in a good game!

  38. I GM way way more than I play, and I haven't seen many of my characters die, but one was pretty funny.

    Years ago, when I first started playing D&D, I tended to play non-combat or very cautious characters. They would survive pretty well, but eventually they retired or keeled.

    Once, one of these careful characters died in a rain of acid.
    I decided to roll up something very different to my usual style - a dumb, raging, mighty barbarian.

    Five minutes later - "You see a long hallway. At the end stands an angry looking..." (I don't remember what it was! Maybe an orc.)

    I rage and charge, axe out.
    There was a hundred foot pit trap halfway down the hall, spikes and old bodies on it and all. I was kind of pissed for about a minute, then we all laughed.

    - Alex

  39. Well, first ever PC death: my character (I think a dwarf fighter, but honestly don't remember much about him) -- killed by a poisoned arrow from Hercules. I was 10, and I cried. :)

    Most violently protested PC death: my rogue was peeking around a corner in a barn, and a troll threw a bale of hay which hit him in the head, breaking his neck (love those explicit Rolemaster critical charts). I argued like a maniac that there was no way a bale of hay could hit such a small target that was so close to a corner, etc. etc., all to no avail, thus losing my dignity as well as the PCs life.

    The goriest PC death I can recall as a player was in a GURPS historical game where we were in England, fighting Vikings. The Vikings had besieged a keep and two players were holed up in the keep. One of them challenged the Viking leader to single combat in a bid to raise the siege. The Viking won, chopping off the PCs arms, then legs, and he miraculously kept making his survival rolls. The Viking then blinded him (popping the eyeballs with his thumbs), and left him a 'living corpse' -- I think the DM had recently read some novels about vikings where something similar happened. Well, at least it wasn't the 'blood eagle' treatment.

    Probably the bloodiest PC kills I've had as a DM were a TPK by ghouls (with several PCs eaten before the paralyzed eyes of the others), and at another time a cleric was picked up bodily be a pair of gargoyles and dropped from a great height. They party carried out his dented armor and a bucket of his remains.

  40. I think my favorite character death was actually in Rifts. I played a necromancer who learned his art because he was seeking a way to raise his dead brother from the grave; when he learned that all his magic could do was make undead, he was despondent. At the beginning of the campaign, he believed he had nothing to live for, and joined the group out of boredom and despair.
    Over time, he came to care for his companions, and gradually awakened to the world again. Then one day, the party was fighting a powerful cyborg, who grabbed my wife's character and hurled her through the air. The impact would kill her.
    My necromancer leapt into the air and caught her, trying to shield her w8th his body. He would die instead, sacrificing his life for a friend.
    I rolled poorly, and instead they both died a meaningless death.

  41. The Death of Glibleaf the Elf:

    The foot locker was jerked off the floor and inelegantly swung back and forth as unthinking creatures carried it into the hallway. The chest was dropped roughly to the sound of breaking bones. The lid was opened, and Glibleaf feared what stood above.

    “Come, look,” said a human voice outside of the box. “See what is to become of your noble friend…and of you.” Glibleaf was grabbed and jerked to his feet by one of the hideous zombies; the spark of intelligence which shined out of their eyes was enough to make any elf crazy. Glibleaf turned to his left, where a priest in black and purple robes was crouched over the body of Galagaron, his traveling companion.

    Galagaron awoke as the priest finished his spell. In pain from his many wounds, Galagaron still tried to reach for his weapon, but a large undead gnoll stood on top of it.

    “See, any hedge-necromancer can raise a skeleton or a zombie out of a dead body. Those of us with power and understanding raise our undead from the living!” With this, the man began to cast again. Zombie hands dropped onto Galagaron’s shoulders to keep the already weakened elf in place. Glibleaf’s curiosity outweighed the horror until the priest completed his spell, throwing a dust upon Galagaron and then touching his head.

    Galagaron’s screams echoed down the wide corridor as the evil magic took hold. While the elf was yet being tortured, the priest started casting again.

    It was a sunken, unhealthy Galagaron that received the second touch upon his forehead. With little more energy or voice to scream, his pain came out in bloody rasps, tearing at his throat. The spark of life and awareness left Galagaron’s eyes as they closed in death. When they opened, Glibleaf could see the burning hatred of the undead as the ex-elf realized his condition and sought to wreak vengeance on the living.

    Turning away from the pain in his former companion’s eyes, Glibleaf spotted a familiar looking axe upon the hall floor. Inside a pile of ashes and scrap metal, Gorlandor, Zorr’s magical axe glowed a new reddish hue. The dwarf himself was nowhere to be seen, unless the ashes on the floor were his unfortunate remains. As a bard, Glibleaf regretted not being able to see the dwarf’s brave doom.

    As he contemplated these things, a zombie bent down to pick up the glowing axe. The creature stood with the prize in its hand when suddenly Glibleaf could hear Zorr’s voice again. He must not be dead! “Get yer hands off me bloody axe, ye damned corpse!” Looking around, Glibleaf could find no sign of his comrade.

    Glibleaf’s eyes returned to the axe, though, as the reddish glow began to get more intense. A putrid smell of rotted, burning flesh assaulted the elf’s finer senses. The axe glowed a bright red and was obviously burning through the zombie’s unfeeling hand. As the entire hand turned to ash, the axe fell back to the floor and returned to its former hue.

    A voice from behind Glibleaf jumped him. For a moment he had forgotten who and where he was. “Interesting development…I must have fused some of the heat and some of the dwarf’s wretched soul into the axe with my Flame Strike. Cyric will love it!” Four strong arms suddenly tightened on Glibleaf. “Your moment of observation is over. You have seen your doom, now embrace it!” With that, the priest started casting a spell, and threw a powdered dust over Glibleaf’s body. The last thing the elf felt was his life leaving while a burning hatred for the living rose up inside him…that and the scream tearing out of his throat.

  42. Spoilers for Horror On the Orient Express follow!

    I ran this game, but it's the most memorable character death I've experienced. The player-characters are all on the Orient Express, having collected a number of pieces of the central MacGuffin. Also on the train is an old vampire named Fenalik, also after the MacGuffin. He knows where they player-characters are, but he cannot get to them in their cabin because he hasn't been invited in.

    So Fenalik is outside, scratching at the door, and the players are having a good old time taunting him from the safety of the private room beyond. He gets desperate and begins to plead with them, which of course makes them taunt him even more. Then he starts to get angry and begins threatening them; he comes up with all sorts of elaborate scenarios regarding their gruesome deaths at his hands.

    Then one of the players -- caught up in the moment -- laughs at the bitter old vampire and says "Just come in and try it!"


    Only one of the player-characters died in that fight -- and not the one who made the blunder -- but it was everything leading up to it that made it so memorable.

  43. In the days of yore, I played in a Labyrinth Lord campaign, with Ark, of Studio Arkhein fame, as GM. His description of my character was apt.

    "Imbroglio is Tim's first level elven fighter in the Razing Zone campaign. Imbroglio worships the mysterious elven god Faux. This god is so mysterious that no one on the planet has ever heard of him but Imbroglio. Faux also talks to Imbroglio. Often. The DM is, however, unaware of most of these conversations as they take place inside of Tim's head.

    It is rumored that Imbroglio was run out of the elven lands by his own kinsfolk. Upon meeting Imbroglio, it is understandable why. Imbroglio has large amount of pamphlets, explaining in full detail why everyone, including you, should worship Faux. Did I say he has a lot of pamphlets?

    Imbroglio runs a traveling road show, developed with the express purpose of spreading Faux's divine message. The road show is comprised of many people that do not know they are part of the road show. They just happen to be innocent bystanders. Imbroglio uses his amazing feats of strength to sway potential devotees by breaking stick on his forehead. Some say he has hit himself too many times in the head with wood."

    Imbroglio's travels were long and legendary, until he had the misfortune to run into a plain-spoken Druid. Imbroglio attempted to teach the Druid the mysteries of Faux, but the Druid would have none of it. Cutting Imbroglio off abruptly, he told Imbroglio exactly what he though of Faux, and those that worshiped him. Imbroglio, being the High Priest of the Fauxian Church, had no choice but to strike the Druid.

    Unfortunately for Imbroglio, the Druid had friends in high places who did not appreciate their friend getting manhandled. The Druid cast a summoning spell, and a Unicorn was summoned from the ether. Said unicorn promptly joined the fray, and alas, poor Imbroglio was struck down, pierced through the heart by the horn of the Unicorn.

  44. In full detail from character perspective here: http://metalvsskin.blogspot.com/2013/04/dear-lady-thuria-i-get-joke-as-i-am.html

    Basically, a party had pissed off some fish people in Trent's New Frierland setting and were getting chased down by a crossbow wielder they couldn't see in a featureless tube of stone. I went in with my Half-Orc Cleric/Assassin, armed to the teeth and carrying several potions from Ian Burns' Vats of Mazarin. Since there was no cover, I had the other PCs start several fires to hide behind. Hide they did. I decided to bum rush the crossbow guy.
    Cloning potion: the clone had a crane's head and was made of ash. I sent him off toward the crossbow guy with some poison, hoping he'd get them to drink it, but we never saw him again (he survived).
    Green Slime #1: Gave to the only other PC brave enough to come with me to confront the fish people. The goal was to get it in the river to poison the Fish People's ecosystem. Crossbow guy said he'd let me go if I shot the other PC in the back. I did, thinking I'd use a Reincarnation Potion on him after. I got him in the leg. He guzzled the Green Slime potion and rushed toward the Crossbow wielding Fish guys, but turned into Slime before that.
    Reincarnation Potion: I managed to cut off the PC's thumb before it became Green Slime. The Dwarf reincarnated as a lady a bit later.
    Animation Potion: I poured on the inert Green Slime the PC had become, turning it into some sort of Green Slime Golem.
    Green Slime Potion #2: Then I ran for the water, where another PC was being held captive. I got attacked by a Fish Guy, and threw my second and last Green Slime potion at him. Conveniently, he was in the water, so our goal of poisoning their ecosystem (as petty revenge - hey, don't look at me, it was the other PCs' idea...) was met. UNfortunately, he nets me and pulls me in the water and we both get slimed a bit.
    I climbed out of the river with rapidly spreading slime onto a house on stilts where I thought the captured PC was. It was just a trap, the captured PC was upriver somewhere. I tried to scrape the Slime off my leg on the doorway as the house sank, but to no avail. I got out of the house trap, but not the river, which was rapidly becoming slime as all wildlife was consumed by it.

    I don't know how it reads written out like that, but it felt like a fucking horrorshow through and through - making the least-bad decision in front of me and they all turned out the worst possible way. The other PCs agree- they kept interjecting with "What the fucks" and stayed to watch hours after their PCs were safe.
    It was awesome.

  45. Jack-be-quick was an aspiring thief but not named correctly, while attempting to sneak up a sloped tunnel to scout out a kobold lair he apparently fell down as the slope was steep and oiled. he made a large noise sliding down the tunnel he was spose to be sneaking, he got the oil all over him, he also broke the oil he was carrying.

    meanwhile the kobolds hear him slip and rushed to their ambush with more oil and FIRE, and his dungeon delving team mates had already layed out oil for a trap at the base of the slope and had ready torchs

    needless to say there was an inferno, it burned in the tunnel for 2 days because there was so much oil and a good updraft and jack-be-quik was just cinder after that

  46. My characters don't die.
    They descend to a tougher level.

    1. The group being Planescape fans and all, it made sense for the time that group was gaming together.

      I should put in a non-gimmicky response. A few I recall:

      Nameless the Wizard. Slain by magic missile, which he was trying to cast at his opponent at the time. Just wasn't fast enough on the draw.

      "Fail" the (2E) psionicist in a Dark Sun campaign. Can't be bothered to dig up the character sheet for the actual name, or if I even bothered to keep it. I must have understood the rules wrong at the time because this character couldn't activate a single power. He kept failing his rolls. Latched on to his scimitar like it was worth its weight in gold, cause it was the only thing that worked. He wasn't remotely decent with it anyway.

      Got shived repeatedly by some thugs while his buddy was occupied with other members of the same gang. DM even threw a few rolls with the thugs to give me the chance to summon up something, anything, so Fail could save his own hide. Didn't matter. Literally couldn't manifest a mental whimper to save his life. Death multiple stab wounds in a dark alley was a good death for Fail, considering at that point I was about to have him walk into the desert without supplies to bring a swift end to his inept misery. (Or my inept misery I guess.)

  47. I always DM. :) So, I've told this story before, but I'll tell it again. My favorite in game character death, though it was an NPC that died:

    Sascha the Archmage (a PC played by my friend Rachal,) Queen of Korocia was in her private study, attempting to unlock the mysteries of The Orb of Ithquaris. The Orb, an Artifact created by the god of magic himself, was a highly dangerous little toy. Intelligent, holding a potentially limitless power to Alter Reality and designed to eventually, permanently merge its own consciousness with that of its wielder, the Orb could possibly, totally subsume Sascha's personality.

    Sascha was holding her infant in her arms as she went about her studies.

    Suddenly, Balston the Usurper (PC, played by my friend Joey,) Dwarven King of Korocia, burst into his human queen's study, the Axe of the Dwarvish Lords in hand. He then proceeds to demand that his wife give up the highly unstable Orb.

    Which, considering what the Axe was doing to him, was more than a little hypocritical. And considering that his wife was the most powerful Archmage in the world, it was also more than a little futile.

    But, since his Int was all of a 7...

    When married couples argue it can get messy. When both husband and wife are powerful personages in a fantasy world, it can get dangerous. When this power couple is actually a pair of AD&D PC's, with the history of a long-running campaign behind them, it can also get hilarious!

    Sascha told her husband to go to hell!

    Player/Balston to DM: "I throw the Axe at her!"

    Player/Sascha: "I'm holding the baby!"

    Player/Balston, smiling to DM: "If I Roll a 1, I think it should hit the kid!"

    Me/DM: "Ok. Sounds good!"

    We all think this idea is funny as hell!

    Me/DM: "Roll initiative!"

    Balston wins, hurls the Axe and...

    Rolls a bloody 1!

    How perfect was that!

    The Axe bites into the skull of the infant, killing it instantly, spraying brains and blood all over Sascha's robes. Sascha teleports out, as the Axe returns to the King.

    Everyone laughs their asses off!

    Sascha had her son resurrected. There being a 20+ level PC Cleric in the party, whose god was the same as Balston's and had specific schemes in mind, made this a virtual fait accompli. Eventually, the royal couple made-up. More or less.

  48. Can't say I've had too many; but three do come to mind though two of them aren't my character.

    So the most recent one occurred last week, friend was running us through D&D Next, now being evil bastards that we all are we plan to destroy the provided adventure. In the course of doing so we encounter a wight, none of us think we can take him being as we're still 1st lvl so we negotiate with them, feeding his ego and pledging ourselves to his cause to destroy the deep gnomes. The wight doesn't trust us so we offer to leave a party member as a hostage. After the group left the hostage was killed. Of course our characters don't know that last bit yet. Insult to injury the DM informed us after the session that if we had attack him the wight would have fled.

    Next one with me at the helm, was introducing some friends to LotFP, only games they had played before had been World of Darkness. Thought I'd start things easily enough with Tower of the Stargazer. Party member died on the way there as I rolled a random wilderness encounter. The character died to a badger. Not a great death by any means, and almost pointless in its absurdity.

    My own character death was pathetic and amusing. I had just gotten back into TTRPG and the only thing my friends were running was pf. So I rolled up a hobgoblin barbarian. Things started off well enough, we followed the story the GM was setting before us and it had us encountering many sentient evil monsters. We would negotiate with all of them as we didn't want to die. This brought us eventually into a fight between the minions of an Aboleth and a Roper. The Roper's minions were easy to take care of with my character posing as bait and fleeing into a cloud of mist provided by our spell caster; of course he had to jump a pit in order to reach safety as we had dug one to trap the minions. Made the jump, we finished off the minions and proceeded to engage the Roper. The barbarian ended up getting tripped, poor rolls after the early successes, and ultimately when he attempted to rise to his feet he failed and was eaten by the Roper. Then the party fire bombed the Roper to death, along with my character.

    Oddly enough he had the good end of all those characters as the rest of the party became enslaved to an evil crown.

  49. So, I was playing a witch-doctor-ish wizard (back in 2nd ed) named Dok K'hil'd'hare. Anyway, he had ended up alone on top of a burning tower, surround by hobgoblins, exactly how it had come to this, I no longer recall. But, in a last act of desperation, he cast sleep centered on himself . . . and the DM ruled that it effected him first because (at 1st level) Dok was the lowest HD there. So, we all fell asleep and perished as the burning tower toppled over . . .

  50. Dark Heresy.
    An Adept, a Tech Priest, an Arbiter, a Guardsman, a Scum, and two Pyskers.
    The Team is travelling through the warp aboard a questionable merchant vessel. The Geller fields momentarily malfunction and flicker on and off and on again. Bad things start to happen on the ship. The Stewards who were serving lunch become possessed, sprout huge bone knives from their limbs and begin killing each other. The (mostly) unarmed team flees the passengers lounge. They wander the dark and creepy deck passages, avoiding weird manifestations and terrible sounds. Soon they are rescued by the Captain and his hunting party of crew men who are sweeping the decks with thrice blessed shotguns. A repair crew who had gone outside to check the Geller emitters returns. One of them has been died from exposure. The corpse suddenly splits open and slime and tentacles and horror erupts everywhere. The Adept and the Tech Priest run into a side passage. The Captain and Crew open fire. The Psykers run down the hall. The Guardsman and Arbiter throw the inferno grenades they had hidden on their persons right on top of the Captain, crew and the Scum. They all immolate along with the warp horror. The Scum is staggering around burning, screaming. The Tech Priest Calmly shuts the side passage door in his face and locks it. The Scum expires.

  51. My longest running AD&D character was petrified by a gorgon and while his friends went to get help an evil assassin in the party with a grudge sneaked back to hack off his testicles. My character did not survive being returned to flesh...

  52. Gortan the Magic User; "I don't care how many Ranger levels he must have to cast that spell. He's not hitting me from 350 feet through a bloody arrow slit!"

    Alas, not one of my PC's, so he doesn't count but I thought I'd share it with you all anyway.

  53. It's a toss-up between two characters that both got ripped to death.

    The most gruesome corpse goes to a human paladin. The party was trying to get a wagon through a valley infested with a multitude of undead skeletons. However, at one point some skeletons got too close, and the cleric had to fire of a Turn Undead spell. Which alerted every other skeleton in the entire valley, causing them to charge us.

    Figuring that he would draw the skeletons away from the wagon, our brave paladin grabbed a barrel of gunpowder, lit the fuse, and jumped out the back of the wagon. He lasted for maybe a round of combat, before he got ripped to pieces by the skeletons. Then the body was blown up by the gun powder. And the wagon still got overrun by the skeletons a bit later.

    However the most abused award goes the the dwarven thief in a Planescape campaign. He did die. Ripped apart by were badgers in a single round, when he was the only character to successfully resist a mass hold person spell. Which lasted only that one round.

    In the previous adventure, he had surrendered himself to the authorities on the charge of having poisoned an inn full of people, to give the rest of the party time to find the real poisoner. The authorities were in possession of a Ring of Regeneration. Which meant that they could torture him over and over again, without him ever dying or passing out. Cutting of fingers. Pulling out organs. General vile and bloody mayhem.

  54. In a small bookshop run game convention years ago, me and the rest of the party inflicted an utter tpk on yourself... with the help of a disintegration doorway we thought was a teleportation portal. That might be among the cleanest tpk's. A messy one was a cleric with a silver chainmail that was infected with lycantrophy, luckily for the party the first change was also the last.

  55. I'm not sure if this is the nastiest death, but is one I remember the best because it was at best, a pathetic and inevitable death.

    I played an outlaw, GURPS was the system. My guy was excellent at slipping out of bad situations. Then he slipped into a western style town, rope tie offs, water troughs, saloons and so on. I got into a card game. Cheated. Got caught. Fled. But the sheriff in this town was no man, but an iron golem. I don't remember the exact details of the battle, but I was losing and then the iron golem got a hold of my guy. He grappled me and it would have taken a miracle to break free. The iron golem slowly drowned my guy in a water trough then walked away, with his iron spurs jingling.

  56. Here is a recent humorous one:

    Playing DCC RPG - My character, Zark "the One-Eyed" was a simple herdsman turned reluctant warrior - and not a very smart one. The science-fantasy world we found ourselves in contains a lot of strange technology beyond our comprehension (we came from a medieval background). One day we found what looked like a large glowing amulet on a chain. The party was not sure what to make of it but fumbling around, managed to "activate" it and and the glowing glyphs changed in a repetitive rhythm. Zark assumed it was a powerful artifact and eagerly held it close to examine it further. The pulsing glyphs continued to change until finally, Zark was engulfed a furious blast of electrical energy, killing him instantly. Turns out it was a lightning grenade.

  57. As the dm, unfortunately I don't have any good ones of my own!
    the players, however:
    - overdosed on magical drugs, hoping to become a God
    - threw a hag down a hole and went to sleep in her bed. She climbed out.
    - fighter used wizard as a shield against rat swarms, invoked Shields Shall Be Splintered.

  58. One of the most shocking (to me) deaths of a character was Indy J. Bartok, a The Fantasy Trip character based loosely on Indiana Jones. He was a scholar with a whip, among other things. Classic medieval fantasy.

    We were camped with a several hirelings standing guard. A strangely-dressed man in a long black coat with lots of odd insignia and a weird hat walked up to a sentry openly and asked for my character by name. Our hirelings got me, I walked over and said, "Yes, I'm Indy Bartok."

    The man pulled a small metal object with a tube attached out of his coat and a great noise came from it. Then I was bleeding and dying.

    The fellow activated some device and vanished in a flash before anyone could react.

    Turned out one of our enemies had managed to open a Gate and pulled a squad of Nazi SS troops from WW II. I was killed by a Luger. I don't recall why I was singled out for death. I must have been figuring out what was going on, or was researching the Gate or something.

  59. We split the party - always a good move...

    My thief, whose name is lost in history, had a ring of invisibility that he used to scout ahead (move silently, climb walls, etc) with no intention of ever attacking an revealing himself.

    Anyway he heard the sounds of battle and raced back to where he had left the party to scout a bit. Arriving just in time for the magic user's fireball to take out the baddies. Of course the invisible thief had entered the room all the baddies were in, not expecting to be blown to bits by the party's mage.

  60. I mostly DM these days, and I must say (to my everlasting shame) I'm not much of a killer DM. There was this one time, though....

    The PCs were defending a small keep from demons (unbeknownst to them, summoned by one of the wizards living in the keep for his own purposes). The party is upstairs in the entry hall, picking off what warrior demons they can from the windows, and ready to rain down death into the prepared killing-field that is the first floor of the hall.

    And then an assassin-type demon, who'd been clinging to the outside wall watching this, reached in through a window and grabbed the party wizard, Sask. The demon then teleports itself and its hapless abductee to the roof of one of the keep's outbuildings. Just as the warrior-demons burst through the front door, so no help is coming from the rest of the party. Sask dimension doors out of the demon's clutches, to the roof of another outbuilding, this one in some disrepair. He then sheathes himself in magical fire. (These demons can be hurt by fire, and he was a little desperate.)

    The demon leaps after him, causing the roof to sag as it lands. Some quick spells (and possibly an arrow from the other PCs) and some attacks from the demon and both demon and wizard aren't doing so great. Neither is the roof. Finally, as the demon is taken down, the roof collapses, sending Sask into a disused barn. The fall knocks him unconscious, with enough damage that he's lucky I have fairly lenient negative hit point rules. And then his fire shield ignites the hay left in the barn, and the fire spreads to the barn's walls and fallen roof. And the unconscious, until-now-lucky wizard burns to death while his party desperately fights off the rest of the demons.

    He did get raised from the dead later, only to throw himself off a flying island.

  61. I had a 3rd level thief named Pemblik. He was searching for traps, crawling on all fours across the dungeon floor. He failed his roll and sprung a spear trap! The DM gleefully announced that the spear went through his ass and out his throat. Poor Pemblik.

  62. Caves of Chaos. First time player, first character, a wizard. They avoided the pit trap going in, but... the kobolds have a paper mache boulder full of hornets.

    So as they flee the boulder, the wizard fails the jump. She falls through the pit lid, rolling 4 damage from a 10 foot fall--which kills her.


    She also landed on spikes. And was carrying the torch. So when the massive paper mache boulder cracked on her and swarmed her corpse with stinging hornets, then the paper mache caught fire and merrily burned her corpse.

    The player erased the name on the top of the sheet and wrote a new one in. Welcome to D&D.

  63. My favorite PC death:

    Shamus the Mage and his viking allies were lugging a Hyperborean artifact around the frozen ruined city. They had recently bypassed an area filled with death traps - horrible statues called "watchers" that blasted lasers out of their eyes or gouts of flame out of their mouths.

    All the deaths started when they ran into a spiteful alien ghost shortly thereafter.

    The ghost possessed an NPC, then ran the hapless victim down into the death trap to get incinerated by the watchers.

    Aghast with horror, Shamus started fiddling with the Hyperborean artifact, hoping it would fire something that would affect a ghost (which was now floating back towards the remaining characters to claim another victim - some of the characters were already running after failing fear-based saves).

    The artifact blew up, killing Shamus and knocking some bystanders unconscious for the ghost to mess with.

    It was a pretty classic death sequence because it was such a fiasco - half the party fleeing into the snowy ruins, driven by fear; some of the characters blown up by Shamus; the unluckiest ones were possessed by the ghost and marched to their dooms.

  64. Since I'm always the GM, I don't think I've ever had a chance to die as a PC. So instead I'll tell one of the better deaths of my players.

    This was a homebrew Trail of Cthulhu scenario in a near-future WWIII wintry forest. The PCs had blown up the black stone that was going to help them seal the wendigo/Ithaqua, which was inside of a lab in the forward base of the enemy. They decided to sacrifice the daughter of a woodsman/cultist they found, and one of the 2 PCs went insane as they cut her open. After a brief tussle, he joined her as a sacrifice to the dark god, and the other PC walked alone through the bloody-white landscape all the way back to the front line.

  65. Guy1 I opened a door, and the handle was shaped like a snake. It came alive and bit him. He failed his fortitude save. It was his first act on his way to becoming a level 1 adventurer...

  66. I'm also mostly a DM so here's one from one of my games. So the party was delving into this ancient laboratory carved from wet, rotting stone filled with undead and nightmarish biomechanical constructs. Party finally gets to the main lab and kills the baddie, but during the course of the fight a huge chunk of magically radioactive material in the lab gets caught in a fireball and starts to go critical. During the subsequent escape from the collapsing complex the party gets a subjected to huge amounts of raw magic, but everyone except on survives with just some minor illness. This last guy, played by a chronically low-rolling player, completely botched his saves.

    End result was he degenerated into looking like that guy in Robocop who got dunked in toxic waste before just collapsing into a heap of putrescence.

  67. My illusionist had a pet dog. They were in a some dungeon running away from ghouls, and came across a pit in their path. I shouted "jump over the pit!". Bold party members like paladins, rangers and thieves did so, with heroic DEX rolls. My illusionist jumped the best jump in his life. "Come on dog, jump!". But no, the dog goes for the ghouls, gets paralysed (of course) and lays there, rigid, as we fight our way out of this place.

    We encountered him later as a ghoul dog, so I guess he died.

  68. I ran a game where everyone in group but the druid's dog failed their saves against a hag resulting in a TPK. The dog took the hag to 1 hit point before she barely managed to kill it.

  69. Ah, my poor halfling assassin died twice.

    We were exploring some caves overrun with goblins and other minor nasties when we found an alternate exit into an abandoned tower. Turns out the reason the goblins didn't use this exit is it was occupied by a fair sized nest of very nasty stirges. We came pouring into the basement of the tower pursued by a growling mass of goblins flinging flaming oil and javelins, and javelins covered in flaming oil, and each other (sometimes covered in flaming oil too... that's how you knew which goblins weren't popular in the warrens) at us. In a rush we closed the door, barred it, the wizard cast Wizard Lock on it... and then a stirge criticalled on my face.


    So I'm lying there stunned with an enormous evil freaking mosquito from hell jammed into my face, and the rest of the party is swarmed by another dozen or so of the bastards. They were so busy trying to deal with them all that they completely forgot the stunned halfling on the floor. After a few rounds of fighting the blighters and discovering that two more flew into the basement for every one we killed, the party reopened the door and ran back into the goblin warrens where the waiting goblins poked, skewered, roasted and barbecued.

    But not the halfling. Oh no. I was left on the floor of the basement, drained completely dry by a damned uber-mosquito ON MY FREAKING FACE.


    But it doesn't end there. You see, the DM took pity on us and retconned the TPK, letting us live to... well... die another day.

    Well, not really another day.

    We died again the same bloody day.

    The party awoke in the goblin larder where they were trussed up to be cooked that night. Except for my damned halfling assassin who was dessicated, blind, and choking to death. Once the party freed themselves of their bonds, they heard the choking from behind a small wooden door. Investigating, they find the assassin hanging upside down in the smoker...

    Because that wasn't insult enough, the end came much more quickly this time, and even more ignobly than dying with a ten pound mosquito sucking your vital fluids out through your face.

    We escaped the larder through the garbage chute. The DM warned us not to go there in the least railroady ways possible - warnings, us hearing the sound of the otyugh below chewing the various bits that had been dropped down, and downright saying that the other exit from the larder to the kitchen was not only unguarded, but offered us access to weapons in said kitchen, a nice bonus for a bunch of murderous adventurers who's only equipment remaining was the apples and pears that had been stuffed into various orifices as the goblins prepared to cook us.

    But no, we had to go underground. So we lured the Otyugh to one side of the garbage room by tossing every other bit of food in the larder down there. Finally stuffed and as far from the exit of the room as possible, we decided it was "safe" to head down. As the team "scout" (a nice way to avoid saying assassin), I went to the door and listened for noise through it.

    My ear stuck. Then the damn thing jumped my poor little half-pint killer. And then the Otyugh revealed that he wasn't actually completely full, so he lumbered towards the party.

    Being such a supportive group, they didn't even BLINK before they ran past the door/mimic that was so happily devouring the scout in order to get away from the Otyugh.

    At least as I was getting chewed to death by the door, it was to the pleasant sounds of them discovering that this lead right back into the basement of the damned tower...

  70. Our half-orc (PC) blew his head up, at the end of a glorious battle at the shore of a lake, eating a fish out of revenge, which was actually a giant that our wizard had just polymorphed ... and he knew it!

  71. My first AD&D character ever was a half-elf mage. The very first session, while we waited for about half the players to show up, our DM rolled a die and flipped through the monster manual counting. He stopped on Umber Hulk. So our group of first level characters were suddenly confronted with the beast. None of us knew that we had no chance. So we fought. I was randomly selected for an attack and received five damage. Just enough to kill my character. I am not sure what exactly happened but the others slew the Umber Hulk. I suspect our DM realized he through something way over powered at us and fudged some rolls.

  72. My most memorable character death occurred on a local Hungarian OSR convention. I played in Melan's group, exploring the legendary halls of Tegel Manor (actually, the revision which was never published). I played a Cleric of Odin or Thor, I don't remember that.

    Anyhow, a character in our party went insane and started to dig a hole in one room so that we can escape the cursed place. Unfortunatey, a random encounter check was triggered: and oh my, the lich lord of the house came to inspect what the heck that noise was.

    Long story short, it almost resulted in a TPK: my character died in the lich's initial lightning bolt (despite making a successful save and halving damage) and so did most of the party. The survivors (thanks to high HP, good saves, little encumbrance, and sheer luck) left Tegel Manor with approximately 200-250 gp worth of treasure and the terrifying vision of the enraged lich burnt in their memory.

  73. Most memorable death was the very first one. It's 1982 and i'm in 4th grade. My friend in 5th grade shows me this new game. I roll some dice, i make a fighter. I survive a pit trap, kill some goblins, go back to town and buy a two-handed sword. On the way back to the caves i get eaten by a wandering pack of wolves.
    I immediately roll up a new character.

  74. I played a roguish archeologist once who got hold of an cursed item that started to transform him Gregor Samsa-style into a giant bug. That put the character in the lead of a possibly plane-shattering insectile horde. The character died when the rest of the party, traveled astrally into what was left of his mind and killed the last human parts of him that remained, on which the item had attached. Without which the item couldn't function, saving the world!

  75. Playing Earthdawn with my kids, several 'zombies' were attacking, which aren't bad unless they get wounded, then they go into a frenzy and roll 4 attacks. Well the archer hit with an arrow, just enough to wound it. It rushed forward, and slammed his head into a tree....repeatedly, archer went from full health to pulp.

  76. Keg Ironstein was a 5th level cleric of Moradin, a fourth edition nigh invulnerable brewer of religious elixirs that can get you drunk and knit your wounds.

    Having been diseased with Ooze Rot by infectious gelatinous cubelings in a previous session, the group set out to find a cure from the local wizard tower on an isolated island.
    The master of the tower, seeing their infection, decided to destroy them rather than attempt to cure them. Safer. For him. Awakening his gargoyle minions, he proceeded to attempt to clean house.
    Hit for more than half of his health by a vicious Prismatic Spray crit in the first round, Keg opted to selflessly heal the others first. (First mistake).
    Slowed, immobilized and brimming with ongoing damage from a pair of mystic stones that also enhanced his Lances of Faith with elemental energies dealing crazy damage. (Second mistake). Keg was soon knocked out of the fight by his conditions.
    The thief pulled Keg away from the dangerous stones but was unable to rouse or stabilize my cleric. The death saves did not go well. 3 strikes on 3 rolls.
    The group was shocked into silence as their stalwart leader perished and soon rose as a zombified ooze cleric.

    It was lamented afterward that they would miss Keg’s beer the most. Beer which heals. Beer which Keg carried on his person at all times. Beer which EVERYONE forgot he had.

    1. Oh damn that's rough but so, so funny.

      Kudos to you for staying stumm and not mentioning the beer OOC.

    2. Is there anything worse then purusing your character sheet after an intense encounter and thinking 'Oh crap I forgot I had that'.

  77. Korath the cleric was 50 XP away from second level when he was set upon and killed by a random encounter with squid-raptors in the caves under New Feierlands.

  78. As a player my favorite death of late has been that of Lune Cha Met (it's phonetic) in the fourth session of the very deadly Vaults of Pahvelorn.

    Lune considered himself the party leader, and was a risk taking lout of a man at the best of times. Still, on the day of his death he was abominably hungover, worse than normal and had only 1 HP left after a giant bat dive bombing. When the party approached a pair of giant golden lion statutes behind the doors of a government building, buried in the pit of Pahvelorn, Lune wanted to get past the lions. Now the the lions were obviously a trap. There was oily liquid dripping from their maws and the floor was covered in black scorched cones from the lions mouths across most of the room. Lune, despite his drunkenness, surly temper and world weary affect, was a cautious delver. Examining the scorches Lune discovered boot prints walking through them (the prints of the annoyingly incorruptible man beasts), but still tested the floor with his pike shaft, threw rocks at and around the lions and examined the ceiling before deciding it was safe.

    The rest of the party kept telling Lune it wasn't safe, and maybe he knew it wasn't, but it was the very warnings of his companions that forced the veteran fighter to step calmly before one of the lions.

    Lune was of course instantly incinerated, along with his newly forged silver plate mail, his silver flail, 3oo GP and 8 flasks of oil. The fighter's right boot was recovered by his companions and buried with proper rights.

    As a mechanical matter Lune (F1 AC 2, DEX 13, HP 1) had no chance, while he failed the Save vs. Dragon Breath the statutes offered, Lune would not have survived the 8 points "1/2 damage effect" had he been successful. Furthermore Lune should not have survived, not only is this a classic example of the dangers of overthinking, but a character who intentionally dares an obvious trap to annihilate him should be annihilated...

    Pahvelorn's other most infamous deaths (there are lots more) include: Two wizards punched to death when messing with skeletons (on two separate occasions) they knew they shouldn't have been messing with, a twelve year old orphan thief speared by six neanderthals, half of the party blasted to bits by a demon with a flame caster while charging from 'ambush', and another wizard who fell into a pit of spikes trying to jump over an ant automaton.

  79. I had a dwarf thiefly type who scouted ahead to a ruined church held by cultists. He climbed the wall of the church, and then was narrowly missed by someone throwing a rock at him form the bell tower.. It was dark, and he jumped into the church to hopefully unlock the door.... but he didn't see the ropes with twisted iron hooks hanging from the ceiling. A few failed saves later, and he was hanging form the rafters, glasgow smile, legs impaled, and guts hanging out form a ripped abdomen.

  80. The game was Cyberpunk 2020 and we had to follow the McGuffin across the border into Mexico. It turns out a carload of heavily-armed cyber-sociopaths draws some suspicion from the border guard.

    Inspired by some possibly-malarkey "true detective" book I had been reading, I nonchalantly offered the officer a nice bribe in the allegedly street smart way that true detectives offered bribes.

    The officer just stares with bewilderment at the wad of cash in my palm. "This is Meh-hee-co. We have laws here."

    All right, fine. We are a jacked-up three man street army, no? A show of street samurai bad-assitude and these chumps will surely get out of our way. We start rolling dice for combat.

    So the border guards spin up the heavy chainguns they have trained on the road. We spend kind of a while working through the system for just how much damage we're sustaining as we're riddled with a large quantity of heavy caliber bullets. I think all the PCs died in the second round, and then only on account of taking some cover behind the car.

    In the dark world of cyberpunk, life if cheap. Especially if you're stupid.

  81. Some wizard, long ago, from disbelieving a rolling boulder trap.
    Some wizard, a bit less long ago, from disbelieving the ground after a teleportation spell went awry.
    A daemon summoner, a frost giant's war hammer while casting inside his summoning circle.
    A barbarian, hit by the ceiling. Twice.
    A ranger, fell into a pit of ghouls and was paralyzed.

  82. My story is about my most favourite Bard: A Wood-Elf namef Rioko.
    He was pretty good at singing, drinking and hitting people in the face. I played him for 3 years but slowly the time took its toll. Death came quickly and frequently back then and each ressurection shaved off a little of my Constitution. So one fateful day I was down to 3 and that meant the next death would be my final call...
    Rioko wasn't all to buddy buddy with the gods so petitioning them was not an option but after some research we found a story about some dark elven sorceress that worked on a longevity potion.

    We found her laboratory down in the Underdark with her ghost still haunting the place and quickly went to work. Experimentation was somewhat painful and research long winded, searching for hints in her vast library and rebuilding some distillation tower. After piecing all the necessary ingredience and words of power together the potion slowly took form till only the final words and correct place to speak them was left. We found the final clues in a book where the drow chick made fun of sages who warned about calling the denizens of hell. So I spoke the words before quaffing the glowing and swirling potion and then: All hell broke loose!

    The floor under Riokos feet broke apart and flames lept out while skeletal arms suddenly pulled him into the fiery depth. He was now trapped in a burning pit, separated from everbody else and to fight against horned skeletal beings that were on fire. I managed to dispatch a few but more and more were coming till Riko finally met his end, being torn apart in the pits of some hell.

    I guess the hint would have been that this drow bitch was already dead when we found her laboratory...

  83. best character death... not too exciting, but I did have a character running full speed thru a forest crit fail a notice check and run straight off a cliff to a fall of several hundred feet... splat.

    My favorite death of a character while I was DMing is the ranger who was down to 1 hp who kicked open a door only to be met by a cone of cold doing a cool 70 points of damage (see what I did there?). Negative 69 hp is pretty frickin' dead.

  84. My wizard Nilrem III created a 1" portal from the bottom of a mountain to the top to have a look through. The atmospheric pressure differential was so great it sucked the eye right out of my head, the skin right off my body, then sucked my insides out. The evil wizard at the top of the mountain was VERY surprised when I splattered his ritual site with my pulverized corpse! When resurrected Nilrem IV started to carry around a thick disk of glass to put over portals. Nilrem IV was killed by him creating a portal to one mile under the sea to blast away a wall with water pressure - he was standing behind the portal but the pulverized masonry killed him.

  85. So there I was... playing my trusty paladin Ockwig along with a group of other PCs within the infamous Temple of Elemental Evil. At some point we were in the thick of it fighting a group of bugbears (I suppose that's called a "sleuth" of bugbears?) when the cleric cast a blade barrier spell to cause mayhem.

    My paladin, seeing the opportunity to try to perform a mighty deed of arms (before there was a mechanic for such things) attempted to hurl one of the bugbears through the blade barrier.

    I rolled poorly. We all looked around nervously. The DM said, "Roll again, getting better than (some low number) to make sure you don't send yourself through the blade barrier..."

    Needless to say, my paladin went through the magical food processor only to meet his maker. It has been one of my fondest deaths.

  86. My thief was picking a lock in a dungeon, triggered a trap that he failed to detect, and some magic powder turned him to stone. Later on, going back through the dungeon controlling a (former) NPC, we saw a goblin clean up crew surrounding my old body. One goblin had just finished backing up for a big run at the petrified thief with a sledge hammer....

  87. I was playing in a Hyborian Age of Conan campaign using Rolemaster as the system. The group was crawling through a sewer tunnel. My character, an Argossean thief named Marco, was attacked by a rat. He took a Tiny Critical Hit to the neck, bled out, and died.

  88. Here's the dumbest, least satisfying, and most self-inflicted TPK I have ever had the misfortune of DMing.

    This was in the mid-90s, late AD&D 2e era. I was in high school and all rule options were on the table.

    One of my players was a LG Asimaar paladin, and he had this wonky racial ability to use Holy Word 1/week. But he'd never used it in the campaign up to this point, and since I'd never run a high-level campaign I'd never even read the spell description until these events unfolded.

    So my players had found their way to an ancient catacomb on a blasted asteroid in an empty crystal sphere they'd Spelljammed to. (That's how I roll) They encountered several low-level threats, but they got clues that this was a "boss level". Somewhere in here was the guy who was so threatening his body wasn't allowed to stay in the same solar system he'd afflicted in life. So the players were keeping their powder dryl.

    Well, they found him. The Lich King pushed the sarcaphagous cover aside to confront the PCs. Some of them may have gotten off initial attacks, but I don't recall now. But when it was paladin-boy's turn, he unleased his Holy Word for the first time in that character's career. Everyone was impressed, until we read the spell description.

    See, the spell affected everyone within 30' feet, regardless of whether they were an ally of the caster or not. (So the BBEG and the entire group (except the Thief who'd hung back to Hide in Shadows) were within the area of effect) And every creature "of a different alignment from the caster" was affected by the Holy Word. Not a single one of the other PCs was Lawful Good, and they weren't even allowed Saving Throws.

    So, boom - in round 1 the Paladin knocks unconscious every other PC except for the Thief who was hanging back. The BBEG made his Save, so he was "slowed" but otherwise was able to act normally. The paladin was left to face the Lich King in single combat (because the Thief wasn't going near that), and the Lich's first action was to Summon some kobolds to start auto-killing the other helpless PCs.

    The paladin died in a few rounds, and by then all the other PCs except the Thief were dead too. Unfortunately the Thief didn't even have anywhere to run to, because he couldn't helm the Spelljammer ship they'd arrived on (no spellcaster levels). He committed suicide before dying of starvation.

  89. I play in Trent B's New Feierland campaign. It is the most horrible place. Here is a list of all those who've died there:
    *Lost Souls*
    *Walter the Physician:* Spirited Away By Elfs.
    *Flavio Fantastique, Bard:* Led astray by a Corvid and Spirited Away by Varanis.
    *Zzyzxszasz, Rainbow Wizard:* Led astray by a Corvid. Captured and consumed by Varanis.
    *Karl, Feierlander Belligerent:* Mauled by Owlhounds and Exsanguinated.
    *Unknown, Elfin Panthera:* Overwhelmed and Traumatically Inseminated by a Blightberry Rotwyrm.
    *Rzzssszzzzsz, Prismatic Elfin Varanus:* Found Wanting by Inscrutable Forces
    *Maurice The Grub:* Drowned in a Sack whilst Draped Horsewise
    *KullPetal The Ork:* Misplaced beneath the Blightberries... Suspect Fallen Through Cracks or Taken By Fae.
    *Steve The Amazing/Ridiculous:* Blasted Self Out Of A Tree With Miscast Magic, Fell 20 Yards, Broke Leg, Immediately Set Upon By Vicious Owlhounds, Laid Open, Mauled and Exsanguinated.
    *The Tinker:* Dismembered, Torn Asunder And Consumed By Owlhounds.
    *Blain, Ranger:* Lain Low And Neck Cracked By Mo the Elf Monk.
    *"Stabatron", Moron:* Beaten And Impaled By GoatHead Emaciates
    *Bob The Brave:* Limb Severed And Beheaded By GoatHead Butcher
    *Buttercup, Wolf Familiar of Sir Digby Chicken Ceasar:* Put To Sleep And Slain By The Party After It Was Established That Said Digby Was, In Fact, An Elf Or Other Unscrupulous Fae. The Digby In Question Was Driven Into The Woods In A Hail Of Curses, Magic And Missile Fire.
    *Mo the Elf Monk:* Spirited Away By Nefarious Arachnids...
    Archibald, Cleric of Odin: Mortally Afflicted by a Nighteye.
    Mikael, Cleric of Horace: Lost After An Ill-Advised Experiment Beneath The Blightberries...
    Handsome Dan McStuffin: Lost In The Warrens. Feared Taken...
    Nick 'The Tweezer' Cosey: Aggrieved By A Sack Of Spiders, Impaled Liverly, and Bloodily Abandoned On The Shore.
    Grondor McFlatch: Troubled By Foul Venoms and Teleported A Kilometre Into The Ocean. Feared Drowned.
    Lucus Pionce: Disembowled By Pirats and Violently Conflagrated.
    *Korath, Cleric of Ahab:* Brought down, dismembered and head eaten off by a pack of Mushwood Cephalosaurus.
    Queeqeg, Warrior And Braviard: Brought down and head eaten off by Underhog Cephalosaurs.
    Lame Jimmy Headshots, Belligerent: Brought down, arm and head eaten off by Underhog Cephalosaurs, despite uncharacteristically effective defensive efforts.
    Erp Berton, Fledgling Wizard: Skull rent cruelly by a Faeline Construct.
    *Mo, -Elf- Monk, Agent Of The Fae Queen, Mutantor Of Chaos (7):* Captured by Cunning Fish and Slain By Great Magic whilst Almost Escaping

    *Pajak, Pious Assassin and Agent Of Chaos (3):* Dragged And Incorporated Into A River Of Green Slime, Which He Did Concoct

    *Rasdole Pompomore, Bartender and Treasure Hunter (1):* Shot in the Kidney And Face, Swallowed Pint Of Green Slime, Had Thumb Severed, Digested By Slime In Question, Animated As Green Slime Golem, Reincarnated From Severed Thumb On Banks Of Green River...

  90. D'estrus was a bad Drow. Not evil necessarily, just bad at being a Drow. Spelunking through caves and underground caverns and complexes were not something that D'estrus was born to do.

    A fine example of this would be when D'estrus died.

    D'estrus and his allies were venturing through a massive underground cavern that was (as other characters would later find out) to serve as a massive dungeon and prison for a fallen demon, held at its very core. This mega-dungeon complex led ever down, across lava fields and underground oceans and groves to the very source of evil in the world. It was a deadly place, to be sure.

    But D'estrus didn't have an epic death fighting the face of true evil in the planes. No, no, D'estrus' death was much more mundane. While crossing a bridge over a massive cavern, D'estrus and his allies broke the bridge with their weight and plummeted to the very bottom.

    The fall hurt, but luckily it was broken by spikes and skeletons and snakes. Oh yes, the swarms of snakes that lived at the bottom, waiting for some fool to come tumbling down, a fool like D'estrus.

    The small party began to climb their way out of the pit with successes here and there until the top was in sight. Victory was at hand. They would live. But no, on bad roll, and D'estrus lost his grip and fell. D'estrus was almost dead by the time he was so very close to the top, but the fall did him in.

    The rest of the party made it to the top of the crevasse and decided, quite wisely, that there was no way they could get D'estrus' body without one (or all) of them perishing in the process.

    D'estrus died alone resting in a bed of broken bones, spikes, and snakes in a cavern far underneath the earth that lead to a demonic prison where true evils and honorable death awaited. But these were not things that young D'estrus merited.

    As over the top in dramatics as my tale was. It was amazingly tense to play out at the table. We were all cursing and sweating and as everyone made it to the top and fumbled my roll, the tension lifted and we laughed as we rolled to see just how dead poor ol' D'estrus really was. And he was. By a lot.

  91. I was playing a 1st level BECMI Thief. My cousin was a 1st level Cleric. First monster we meet? A black dragon. We decide to fight it. It breathes acid and we don't even bother with saving throws.

  92. A couple of years ago, I played a AD&D 2nd Edition gnome illusionist/thief. Our party was high on a cliff face, battling a black dragon. Unfortunately, nobody was able to fly to confront the beast...Wait. Taskin my gnome was able or so he believed. You see, in a previous adventure we found among other things that potion. Taking a nip my DM told me that Taskin felt somewhat lighter...So back to the dragon: Takin jumped of the cliff face, dagger in hand, flying like superman into the dragon's direction so that he can place the dagger deep into the beast's belly...Well it turned out, that Taskin actually flew downwards falling some 50' feet to his death at the foot of the cliffs...

    1. Turned out that the potion wasn't a potion of flying as was my guess. Unfortunately I never was told 8or did i forget) what type of potion Taskin drank

  93. Halfling thief killed while "tumbling" by orc bandit.


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