4e Effect = TPK

Total Party Kill

Yesterday I was awarded my first TPK (Total Party Kill) in our Wilderlands campaign we started back in October.  No, I wasn’t the DM.  I was playing a 2nd level red-cap gnome bard that had a rich backstory and a lust for blood.  I guess it was that lust that ended up getting the party killed and all my successes wiped in a few rolls of the dice.

There was a moment of silence as the last player fell, our barbarian which had managed to run away when he realized our inevitable doom.  We had been exploring a tunnel east of City State when we reached an intersection and I suggested we head in the direction of the burial grounds.  Others suggested it to be a bad idea while I argued, “Where’s your sense of adventure?”

The tunnel ended at what appeared to be a tomb inhabited by several skeletons and wraiths which quickly turned on us and we all rolled horrible initiative.   I tried to encourage the group, I mean come on it was 5 vs 5!  In 4th Edition we wouldn’t even blink at this encounter, we’d already be adding up the experience and searching the room for treasure.  It was when the first wraith hit me down to 1hp that I realized I’d misjudged the brutality of D&D 3.5 and The Wilderlands of High Fantasy.  By the sencond round of combat I was dead and the retreating party were quickly cutoff by another group of undead coming up the tunnel.  The Cleric managed to take control momentarily of the undead until one unfortunate attack of opportunity knocked him unconscious and thus the death to what remained of the party.


There was a long moment of silence as the last party member fell, the first TPK for our group as a whole and many of the players in general.  The DM offered his sympathies and genuine apology for what had taken place, but that is how the dice fall.  It wasn’t long before all eyes turned to me and people began reminding me of my decision to “seek adventure”.   I quickly pointed out our past accomplishments, our past ability to overcome anything that was thrown at us.  It was then that  I realized just how much 4th edition had changed me, made me a daredevil of the catacombs.

As an adventurer 4th edition spoils you, makes you feel invincible at times.  3.5 definitely humbled me, gave me a new respect for caution and even the lowliest of monsters.  We’re taking a week to re-roll characters, form a new party and start anew in the Wilderlands.  I’ve learned my lesson;  Never assume victory and don’t play a gnome because if you have to run away, you’re the slowest.



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