Dungeons & Dragons Online

Just commited my first TPK. Did I do anything wrong?

Content of the article: "Just commited my first TPK. Did I do anything wrong?"

No TL;DR. I feel like this needs full context to be judged.

I'd like to know if I did anything I could improve upon here. What's done is done, and we're prepping for the next campaign, but I'd like to know what more experienced players think.

We were running LMoP. The party was actually nearing level four at the time as they approached Thundertree. Five players went in, none came out. (Party consisted of a AT Rogue, Lore Bard, Champ Fighter, Grave Cleric, and Vengence Paladin. None had high INT, and this was their cause of death)

After clearing a house to sleep for the night, they awoke rested. The Bard decided he wanted to get a better view of the town from the tower on the hill nearby. For context, I had been prepping for Thundertree for a while, and had read up on Venomfang. Green dragons twist words and trick people into believing what they want. Se he spins a tale of a sister who wronged him, and the party jumps at the chance to work with a dragon, and get loot from his enemy's hoard.

Venomfang has no sister. This was all a ploy to get the players in close. Three had gone up the tower, and when asked if they were alone, readily invited their other two compatriots up the tower. When Venomfang drew the party in close to point out exactly where on the map his "sister" was, one player later told me, "I was just thinking, He could totally breathe fire on all of us right now. Nah, he wouldnt do that."

Venomfang took a breath, and gassed the entire party. I roll 50 damage total. The bard uses his reaction to give Cutting Words to the Paladin, reducing damage by two. Her hp was 25, this saved her from instant death, as she failed her CON save. Everyone else made their save, except for the Cleric. Her hp was less than the Paladin, and she was instantly dead. I'll comment on this in a bit. The Rogue, being a Green Dragonborn, had further resistance, and took 1/4 the damage. The Bard still hit 0 and started his death saves with the Paladin, and the Rogue and Fighter were the only ones left standing.

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I could see the looks in my players eyes. It didn't feel great. The Grave Cleric was newer to the game than the rest. This was her third session. She had just up and died, no way to react. I was scrambling to find some way to keep the game going, while also possibly keeping her character alive.

I had been planning a Warlock multiclass for our Paladin. We'd been talking about it for weeks, and were both super excited. The look on her face was crushing.

Trying to keep the game going, Venomfang begins cackling and looting the bodies, practically ignoring the still standing players. Until the Rogue casts Minor Illusion to hide his hoard, before retreating. In a rage, Venomfang begins to give chase. Players begin to roll death saves.

In a last ditch effort, I have the God of Death show up, to determine whether or not the Cleric had finished her job. In the end, she cast Spare the Dying, but modified. She was now rolling death saves. I felt this was fair, as it was now in her hands, and could give her a sense of closure in that if she failed, is was more of her fault. (Even though everyone grouping up in front of a Dragon's mouth was also their fault, this still felt fair.) This was my first PC death ever, and I didn't want it to be going like this.

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The fighter takes the Clerics ring while she makes her death save, and summons her Statefarm Bear to pull her out of the building. In the end, this was the only way her character could possibly survive. He then arrives just as Venomfang rips into the Rogue, causing another PC to start rolling death saves. The illusion dispels without the Fighter noticing, and his bluff fails.

Venomfang catches him easily. Negotiations fail, Venomfang is told all their loot is on them, and he knows he could just eat them and loot their corpses. And so he does. They were all unconcious. The fighter ws held in his grasp. We didn't bother to cover whether or not the Cleric survived. Everyone was down and dead. Whether or not she survived depended solely on whether or not she wanted to keep playing that character in the next campaign.

We sat in silence for a few seconds. That was it, the end of the campaign. I didn't want this to end, so I began asking questions about the next game. Should I keep DMing? Were they happy with my style? What story?

We've got another one planned now. I get to be a player this time, so that should be fun. I think they all accepted that it was their fault in the end. I think all players dumped INT, so it was an in-character decision for them. I hope they don't hate me for it, I don't think they do, but that's anxiety for you.

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What do you guys think? Is there something I could have done better here? I'm not the kind of guy to do Players vs DM. I just play the Monster how they would react IRL. I'd really like to know if I fucked up here, because it feels like I did, but it also feels like I didn't.

Source: reddit.com

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