Content of the article: "My first PC death as DM. Am I doing this right?"
Let me preface with, this is only my 4th session I've ever ran being a DM. Be gentle senpai.
I DM for 6 players, 2 of which are through-and-through beginners. One of my beginners is a character whos idea of having fun is being a pain in the ass (their literal words, not mine). Last session was pretty RP heavy. (LMOP; they just got to Phandalin with Sildar and are hearing about the Redbrands running a racket, killing the woodcutter and kidnapping his family, I also tweaked it that Sister Garaele is missing and part of the same church as one of my clerics.)
This self proclaimed "pain in the ass" PC decided that when everyone is done talking and wants to long rest, they want to "go find the redboys right now." They decide to walk north for 25mins to the edge of town. I had them make a perception check and informed them of the sounds of the town have gone quiet, crickets, wind in the air, and in this dead silence the hair on your neck stands up because you feel like you're being watched.
My idea here was to raise the fear level enough that they would go back to the inn and go to sleep while also beginning to plant the very start of the seeds of the Doppelgangers in town watching the party.
The reply was: "I keep walking north out of town."
I asked what they were looking for and how long they intend to walk…in the middle of the night…alone…in the wilderness…30 mins away from anyone that can help you.
The reply was: "I want to try and find the redboys. I'll walk for 1 hour" and the whole table gasped.
I had them roll 1d12 for a wilderness encounter and 3 stirges came from out of the woods attracted by the scent of a living creature to feed on. I gave them an opportunity to make a reactionary choice to run since they failed their stealth check. 30 seconds go by, no decision made.
Combat took place and they dropped the first creature after taking 2 dmg, but the second one crit for 9 dmg and dropped the lvl 2 warlock ending in the death of the character. This is the first time I've killed a character and I felt awful.
Did I do a bad job as DM in conveying the danger?
- Can I just rant here for a second? One of my players is ruining my DMing experience.
- Remember the non-attack combat actions
- Got told I was meta-gaming and was threatened to be booted from the campaign. I truly believe I wasn’t.
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