73 votes
Accepted

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

You have two options. Talk to your DM, or Find a new DM. End of the day, you can't force a person to change and No D&D is better than Bad D&D. So if your DM cannot be persuaded to change their ...
guildsbounty's user avatar
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61 votes
Accepted

Creating a campaign that ends with a TPK by design

Surprising your players with this will subvert the expectations the game itself is built upon. D&D is designed as a fundamentally cooperative story-telling game, and not just in a "the ...
Thomas Markov's user avatar
49 votes
Accepted

How do I kill the party?

You're most certainly not here to tell everyone a planned-out story. -- "Agenda", from the GM section on the repo. And you've felt that friction trying to make it happen, haven't you? ...
Glazius's user avatar
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36 votes

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

Demoralization Is A Real Concern Few things can demoralize a group more than a TPK or a near TPK. To put such an event in the first session (or very near the beginning) of a game signals a lot to ...
Novak's user avatar
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29 votes

How do I kill the party?

You cannot do this if you will only accept the outcome that the party is killed. A central agenda point for both GM and players in Dungeon World is "Play to find out what happens!". If the ...
ACuriousMind's user avatar
29 votes

Creating a campaign that ends with a TPK by design

I have had this done to me before, it is a BAD idea The basic idea of D&D is that you tell a story with the players, something I see too often on here is a DM who wants to tell a story to their ...
SeriousBri's user avatar
23 votes

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

Time for a new Session 0. If all of the players involved are on the same page then I'd do the following with the other players before going to the DM: Write down and agree upon several frustration ...
Joshjurg's user avatar
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22 votes

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

Plot armour I am talking from experience with computer games rather than with D&D, but the general idea of being somewhere out of your depth and only ever 1 decision from death is the same. The ...
SeriousBri's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

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

You say "TPK" like its a bad thing ... There are groups that adopt a style of play where the onus is on the players to assess risk and to pay the price when they get this wrong. These groups ...
Dale M's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

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

Your PCs will likely not survive the Amber Temple fully intact. Even adding the two Winter Wolves is not likely to help, as they are only CR 3 creatures. That is, one Winter Wolf is a medium ...
LegendaryDude's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Stop PCs from Killing a Town / Running Amok?

I can see a few ways to play this off from in-world solutions: The first is have the door get kicked in, soldiers busting in from all sides at the sound of a body hitting the floor, and actually have ...
Rheios's user avatar
  • 368
16 votes

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?

No, you will not find a better guideline than the DMG. That being said, if you feel the players need something it is within your power, as GM, to give that thing to them. It would probably not break ...
GreedyRadish's user avatar
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16 votes

Creating a campaign that ends with a TPK by design

You need to write a novel, not run an RPG Since you tag this dnd-5e, I'll reference the rules of that game - PHB p.6: The DM describes the environment. The players describe what they want to do. The ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
15 votes

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

You can't have it all. If the continuous player experience is important, then it needs to be easier to avoid the "wrong" choices, non-death consequences need to be prevalent, or death needs ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
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15 votes

Stop PCs from Killing a Town / Running Amok?

The first normal piece of advice in this situation is, Talk To Your Players. As GM, sit them down and explain to them that this is just not feasible at their current status, nor may it ever be ...
Novak's user avatar
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14 votes

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?

The problem here seems to be the characters have completed an encounter or two and should have received some benefits from that. So you should simulate having completed an encounter. Take a look at ...
Joel Harmon's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

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

First of all, Tomb of horrors is not particularly sadistic. As long as your players are used to their characters risking death, and have encountered traps before, and know what they are getting into, ...
Tommi's user avatar
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14 votes

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

The way you've set this up, the PC players have no agency in shaping when/what/how they engage with the BBEG in the initial encounter. Suppose as soon as they see the village being destroyed, they ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 2,861
13 votes

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

Listen to your friend first Speak to your friend out of the game, openly and honestly. Don't complain, do not try to "teach" him DMing, don't give him any advice. Ask questions instead. Try to figure ...
enkryptor's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

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

Different Systems, Different Solutions This problem isn't unique to your group, or your game. How to handle failure is addressed in a lot of ways in TTRPGS (or RPGs as a whole). Here are some things ...
PipperChip's user avatar
13 votes

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

First, consider running a Session Zero. You don't have to give away your plans, but two general topics of discussion would be character death and railroad vs. sandbox. I'll come back to these. Risks: ...
RedGeomancer's user avatar
  • 6,599
12 votes
Accepted

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

The manticore need not immediately go to shred the whole party In addition to David Coffron's excellent answer, the manticore itself can behave in a way that gives the party some insight into what ...
Jack's user avatar
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11 votes
Accepted

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

Keep in mind that this is an answer to the general question of dangerous campaign and some aspects might work less well with evil and inherently selfish characters. Also I freely admit that I took ...
mlk's user avatar
  • 644
11 votes

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

Try to show them that the encounter is too difficult In order for a world to feel alive and not like it levels with the party it makes sense for their to be encounters that are too strong for the ...
David Coffron's user avatar
10 votes

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

Not everyone will die in a Party Kill, possibly. Depending on how you approach your players, and by making it very clear to them, you can encourage a behavior of 'flee the minute someone gets ...
Jihelu's user avatar
  • 3,537
10 votes

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

The same way Game of Thrones does By having a continuous plot line irrespective of the entry and exit of various characters. This can be “You are no this guy, this is how the events to date have ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 211k
10 votes

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

Yes -- you can design a "fair" TPK, using the definition you provided Using the definition you provided, it's absolutely possible to have a fair TPK battle. You could create a situation in which "...
Dan B's user avatar
  • 89.6k
9 votes

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

The light is not worth the candle here Is it viable? Yes. It can be done. Is it a good idea? No. It is a weak idea. Can it be done? There is historic precedent for campaigns that start out with the ...
Nobody the Hobgoblin's user avatar
8 votes

Stop PCs from Killing a Town / Running Amok?

I GM'ed a situation once in this general price range. Frantically thinking thru the week between games, I came up with a sideways alternative to force meeting force. When the PC murder hoboes came ...
Blaze's user avatar
  • 995
8 votes

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?

I have no rules citations for this, and won't attempt to present it as part of the handbooks, because it's not. It's the great part about being the DM: creative, realistic storytelling. The Situation ...
D. Ben Knoble's user avatar

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