Content of the article: "Death in the early game (TPK)?"
So without going into all the details, some bad luck, bad rolls, and one bad decision led to my party getting wiped. TPK. Ended the session with everyone unconscious and making their death saves.
This is partially my fault, as I think I made the encounter too difficult for them, but they also had a very solid break in combat and a window to retreat but the player who wasn't so injured at that point dragged them back into the fight (the bad decision). Bad decision guy kept moving forward, the headstrong warrior wouldn't shy from battle so they followed, and the spellcaster felt compelled to stick with the group so now they're all unconscious and dying.
Now I really don't want to kill them, it's early game still and they have just sort of finalized their characters (I let them make some adjustments as we played), but I don't want to set a precedent for coddling them either, especially when they largely brought this on themselves.
So do I ignore the death saves? Let them play out? They've already made a couple, but when the final player went down I ended the session.
Do I keep it in real time? Say they make their death saves on their "6 second combat rounds" and wake up with 1 HP. They're still surrounded by enemies at that point.
Or do I let time pass? Say the make their saves and wake up. Maybe hours have passed and the enemies just robbed them and moved on?
Or do I just take it easy on them, ignore further death saves and come up with something else? "You awaken in town…" or "you awaken to sounds of combat, local militia has arrived…" or whatever.
I wasn't expecting this, and I don't want to kill them, it's still early and they put a lot of work into their characters. They might quit if they died so soon.
But I also don't want to just hand wave away the death saves and set a precedent that sometimes I'll ignore it and sometimes I won't, but maybe that's the best thing to do here and just hope they learned they're lesson going forward?
I'm at a loss as how to handle this. Any ideas?
- Is it ever a good idea to allow a party with both good and evil aligned characters?
- I royally f*ed up, and don’t know how to fix it
- Ruling Discussion: Knocking a creature unconscious + Instant Death overlap
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