I have a group of friends that I'm going to be DMing for the first time. They are almost all veterans of TTRPGs and want to play a game for sure, but I have a plan that may be controversial and rage-inducing. I want to have them make two separate parties and have the second one get killed.

See, my first group I DMed/played with were also new to D&D, so when they took a quest from the stock Adventurer's Guild that the guild had posted that was for "new" adventurers, and they immediately got TPK'd. Level one characters, no big investment. Make new characters in same world and guild. They take the same quest again, and they get TPK'd again. Turns out the quest I had printed out was made for a party of like, 5 at level 5. Oops. But it gave me an idea: what if that quest was intentionally put there because someone in the guild KNEW it was tough, and was trying to get adventurers killed? So after letting their 3rd characters level up a bit to level... 4 or 5, I can't remember, they see the quest again and they all immediately took it hoping to avenge their previous characters ( I scaled the difficulty a bit). It sparked a campaign of trying to follow the thread and chain of command to see who was responsible that then turned into a conspiracy by a neighbouring country that turned out to be great fun, and it managed to get these 3 players that NEVER roleplayed to truly get invested.

My question is this: should I try to recapture that magic by killing my new group's player characters? The way I see it, it establishes that I don't fudge rolls, and that there might be something wrong with the guild and their challenge ratings, as well as making the players more invested in what happens when they see that same quest pop up again.

This can backfire soooo many ways, though. They can start seeing me as that evil DM, being untrustful of me, they can decide to never be invested as their characters can die at any moment, or the worst scenario: they decide not to play at all.

I can't seem to think up a good way to get them invested in this conspiracy without some sort of tragedy happening. The closest I can get is making an NPC adventurer and hoping they get attatched to them, and sending him on a quest to die. That could take a real long time to get the proper investment in an NPC that dies off-screen, so to speak, and I don't really want to have a bunch of bog-standard one-session quests for them to go on while they get attatched to this NPC that will trigger the real campaign.

Any advice?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour to find out how things work here. I just wanted to point out that the [dungeons-and-dragons] tag we tend to use for talking about the series as a whole, and usually we use the tags for specific editions when talking about a specific edition (i.e. [dnd-5e]). Can you confirm which edition you're playing? Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jan 5 '19 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, this is my first post on here, not really sure where to put it or use tue tags system \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Aragon Jan 5 '19 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Thanks for the tour link! I had no idea about all the rules. This seems like a question thatbis opinion-based, so it shouldn't really be here. Perhaps r/DnD is a more appropriate place \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Aragon Jan 5 '19 at 16:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you did want to try a forum, there is a meta-question that lists some recommended forums. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jan 5 '19 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fabian If this were Stackable it would need to have the [dungeons-and-dragons] tag replaced. It’s the wrong tag for the question since the question is not directly about playing multiple editions. The all-editions tag is almost never the right tag, so when in doubt, a Q needs a specific edition specified in the tags. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 5 '19 at 20:07