So…I run a couple of D & D games during the week. And last night I TPK’ed (Total Party Kill) my Tuesday night group. It wasn’t malicious, it wasn’t planed it was 2 simple words EPIC FAIL.

So I was running Thunderspire Labyrinth, the players had just entered the “Well of Demons”, and ancient temple dedicated to Baphomet, The first encounter proved to be their last encounter. And  judging by the monster choices I can only assume Mike Mearls had something to do with it…Cavern Chokers, Ghouls, and a new monster for the adventure the Phalagar. 2 of the 3 creature types were designed to immobilize a character to allow the ghouls to wreak havoc on the players. And that is exactly what happened.

Round 1: The groups Paladin was attacked and immobilized by the Phalagar, then the Warlord and the Rouge tried to move into position they each were struck by opportunity Attacks from the Phalagar whom has Threating Reach combined with a a hefty reach of 4, which in turn immobilized both of them. The party inflicts some serious damage on the Phalagar in this first round, but they fall short of blooding the tentacle horror. Then the ghouls to enter the fray from their hidden shadowy position. With two of the PCs immobilized they see them as easy prey. One attacks the paladin, the other the digs into the Warlord. Each hitting and stunning the groups only healers.

Round 2: The Wizard hopes that he can lay some hurt on the Ghouls…only to realize that they have a insane Reflex defense and thus stops his chances at total domination. The Cavern Chokers enter the fray and proceed to cause havoc in the back field. The Rogue failing his attempt to get free lays a shot in with his hand crossbow inflicting enough damage to bloody the Phalagar. The Warlord and Paladin both make their saves vs the stunning effect. However the party watches on as the Warlord and the Paladin’s hit points are lowered even further, by the Phalagar and the Ghouls. The Warlock tries a desperate gambit with spider climb to bring a bit of death from above with one of the ghouls but…alas…the all might Natural 1 foiled that plan.

Round 3: The suck fest continued. Monster hits…player misses However the Warlord made a valiant effort to rally the party, yet to no avail. More damage piled and it was looking grim. The paladin was on the ground bleeding out, the Rogue and Warlord were both bloodied. The Warlock kept missing with her attacks. And it just looks bad for the home team.

Round 4: The Wizard uses Dimension Door warps to a central point in the room…Uses his Staff of the War Mage and drops a Fireball on everything….including his own party, and scored a Crit on the poor Paladin.  So now the Paladin is at -23 and ever closer to death. The Warlord and the Rogue take more damage driving them closer to unconsciousness. The Warlock hits with her encounter ability…and rolls minimum damage.

Round 5: The Paladin’s face is eaten by a ghoul, and he dies. The Warlord delivers the killing blow to the Phalagar…however it is too late. Then Ghouls then turn their attention to Him and negate any healing he had just had. The Cavern Choker gets is stretchy meat hooks into the rouge again and its partner makes his attack against the Wizard.

Round 6: The Warlord and the Rouge both go down for the count. The Ghouls be line for the Wizard held by the Choker.

Round 7: Stunned Wizard fails save…Ghouls chew on him. Warlock kills a Ghoul…Rogue and Warlord fail death saves.

Round 8: Wizard gets more damage from the Choker that has him in its grip. Rogue and Warlord fail their death saves again. Warlock moves away and lays a small amount of damage on the Ghoul.

Round 9: Wizard still held fast and stunned can do nothing…is dropped by the Ghoul. Warlord fails final death save. Chokers mover towards the Warlock.

Round 10: Rogue fails his final death save and crosses over into the waiting arms of the Raven Queen. Warlock is surrounded by Chokers and a Ghoul.

Round 11: Warlock on her Last Legs…has nothing left in her tank. Summons her power for a final brilliant explosion killing herself and the Ghoul and the Chokers. The TPK is complete.

Was a brutal brutal fight….

I hope the next group they come up with fares better….Mearls is my hero…and an evil evil man!


~ by lyoncage on December 11, 2008.

5 Responses to “TPK…TPK…TPK!!!”

  1. Sounds like a combination of some crappy dice and a great deal of ineptitude on the party’s part…go Mearls! 😉

  2. Nice writeup… Speaking from the vantage point of the rogue, I can honestly say that it was as he recounted; Brutal, but fun. Odd to say such a thing, I know, but my respect for 4E just went up a notch. That “safety net” just got a little smaller. 😉

  3. Hey there Daezarkian, I don’t remember you sitting at the table…”a great deal of ineptitude”? You seem to be making quite the judgment call there.

    • Daezarkian aka Steve is one of my best friend (albeit in Seattle)…while yes he is making a baseline judgment on the groups over all performance don’t be too hard on him.

  4. We put the “I” in teamwork on that fight…or the “AAAAAAIIIIYYYYYEEEEEEE” as it were (famous Lucas scream).

    I do feel proud that I got exactly one encounter power off the entire encounter before going down like a chump. The ghouls quickly found out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a paladin-pop.

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