Skip to main content

Questions tagged [total-party-kill]

A Total Party Kill (TPK) is when the whole PC party is killed at once, preventing restoration of the party to life. Often (but not always) considered an undesired failure state to be solved or prevented.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9 votes
3 answers

Is the Umbrage Hill Quest in Dragon of Icespire Peak likely to kill 1st-level PCs?

1st-level characters in the adventure Dragon of Icespire Peak have 3 quests available to them, and one of these is the Umbrage Hill Quest. This pits the players up against a single enemy, a CR 3 The ...
User 23415's user avatar
  • 3,375
5 votes
1 answer

Can you use Glyph of Warding to prepare for a difficult fight and avoid total party kill?

I was wondering if in the past our party could have prepared better to fight a potentially deadly foe. We had time to prepare for this and could have used a Glyph of Warding or two, but we didn't. We ...
Senmurv's user avatar
  • 9,651
10 votes
11 answers

What are the risks of TPK-ing the party at the start of a campaign deliberately?

I've been planning out an idea for a campaign to run with a group that would consist of both veteran and new players, and I'm unsure if I should follow a particular plot point. I would start the party ...
voidUpdate's user avatar
29 votes
10 answers

Creating a campaign that ends with a TPK by design

I'm creating a campaign that takes players from level 3 to level 15+. The premise is that the party is granted a special role by the reigning good King to protect and serve (essentially they are ...
Porschiey's user avatar
  • 568
26 votes
5 answers

How do I kill the party?

I have twice before had a game in which, for story reasons, I wanted to kill the entire party all in one go. Once because I needed the players to enter the afterlife, the second because I wanted the ...
Wheat Wizard's user avatar
  • 4,287
11 votes
2 answers

How is the Old Bonegrinder supposed to be appropriate for 4th level?

Spoiler Warning This question is about Curse of Strahd. It is essentially a completely-spoiler question, so, if you plan to run it (as a player) and you do not want to get spoilers, avoid reading this ...
HellSaint's user avatar
  • 37k
8 votes
6 answers

What can a GM do if player's rolls are just terrible?

I ran a game last night, a pre-written module (the game is not relevant) with a certain difficulty level (not so difficult in my opinion), and the party is composed of moderately experienced players ...
Snakehelm's user avatar
  • 2,417
3 votes
1 answer

How can I handle blown cover in a high-stakes game as a GM?

I will be running a high-stakes Eclipse Phase game in the coming weeks and I find myself anticipating a severe problem. The scenario (The Devotees, for any EP players) is based on infiltrating a ...
JS Lavertu's user avatar
38 votes
5 answers

The DM is unapologetically providing TPK encounters; what can we do?

Situation I have a friend who is just starting as a DM. They've run a couple of one-shots that were really hard and ended with TPKs. Both one-shots were miserable slogs, and the encounters were ...
Gwideon's user avatar
  • 1,952
23 votes
9 answers

When designing an adventure, how can I ensure a continuous player experience in a setting that's likely to favor TPKs?

I am planning to design a Adventure which has a strong political flavor and is taking place in the Nine Hells. Its gonna be an evil campaign. I plan to let the heroes start at level 15 and require the ...
Zaibis's user avatar
  • 3,991
1 vote
2 answers

PCs enraged high level NPC that is vital to the story and could TPK them [closed]

The 3 PCs enraged the main quest giver in my campaign by the PCs threatening to kill him and doing things to try to get more money out of him. They are level 1 and could easily get TPK'ed by this NPC. ...
GameDungeon's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer

Can an encounter that is designed to be a TPK ever be fair? [closed]

My campaign is ending. My players and I have agreed due to time commitment issues that our campaign should end soon. They have just encountered a summoning ritual of the Avatar of the Evil God of ...
John Carroll's user avatar
  • 1,539
6 votes
1 answer

How can I make battles to the death less random?

This is the thing: One of my players has a character with Fighting in 6. Last session, the entire patrol fought an Owl, and the last action was an Attack vs Attack with lots of successes, so they ...
Cuenta Cuentos's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers

Stop PCs from Killing a Town / Running Amok?

So hear me out, because this is probably one of the craziest things that's ever happened in one of my campaigns. I'll also need to give general backstory, so that there's context. Quick exposition: ...
Sojak246's user avatar
  • 173
15 votes
1 answer

How should I handle TPK's and retrying in a dungeon crawl?

I will be running a group through Tomb of Horrors from the 5e adaptation in Tales from the Yawning Portal. For those who don't know, Tomb of Horrors is infamously sadistic. The book itself claims that ...
Eidolon108's user avatar
  • 4,887
10 votes
3 answers

Will adding 2 Winter Wolves to the party make the Amber Temple more survivable for a group of five Level 5 PCs?

I'm DMing a Curse of Strahd game for a party of 5 players, who are all currently level 5. The party consists of the following: Wild Magic Sorcereress human TWF Battlemaster human (has the only magic ...
Eidolon108's user avatar
  • 4,887
11 votes
4 answers

After a TPK, we are re-doing the adventure at 2nd-level. Are there any guidelines for what the items and equipment the PCs should have?

After finishing the first part of an adventure and leveling up, the party continued to the next part but all of them died. Now, we are trying the adventure again but without redoing the first part ...
Theo Don's user avatar
  • 251
52 votes
12 answers

Risk of a TPK vs realistic NPCs

I am a novice DM running a game for an even more novice group of players and I beginning to think that my next session may result in a TPK (total party kill, for the uninitiated). Is this something I ...
Dovetailed's user avatar
  • 1,943
26 votes
2 answers

Game Over in RPGs?

Me and my friends are novices in TRPG. Recently, we've played Anima Prime. The game's quite simple so we could play it right away with short prep. But one thing came in my friend's mind. What happened ...
Dorklord's user avatar
  • 363
86 votes
14 answers

My PCs have a plan that will get them all killed; how and why should I save them?

Related: How do I help my players figure out how to stay alive in a realistically-deadly sandbox campaign? I am running a sandbox game for a group of players who are used to more traditional ...
Tim C's user avatar
  • 9,713
16 votes
7 answers

What to do when I accidentally kill the whole party?

So, my players' PCs were fighting 11 fifth-level orcs. They are five 5th-level characters in D&D 4e. It ended in an unexpected TPK. Thing is, their bard was new (he was put in place of their ...
Davi Braid's user avatar
  • 4,399
9 votes
4 answers

How can I plan a TPK finale that doesn't look planned?

A campaign I was GMing in the past abruptly stopped because of stuff IRL, with characters trapped in a tower in the center of a city that is being destroyed by a huge demon. When the group gets back ...
Archer Blue's user avatar
46 votes
12 answers

How can I prevent a TPK without obvious Deus Ex Machina?

I've gotten into a situation in my Pathfinder game where I will certainly kill my entire party (perhaps excepting one or two who can flee quickly) if I let the situation play out. We arrived in this ...
C. Ross's user avatar
  • 24.2k
93 votes
16 answers

Total Party Kill - What do I do as a GM?

Your party has had a streak of bad luck and/or made a poor choice and are now staring down death. The rules were followed to the letter and loss is assured. How do you handle this as a GM? Does ...
Maximillian's user avatar