Total Party Kill is when the party of adventurers are defeated in a single event, be it combat, a trap or an unfortunate accident. For the players it can be humiliating and for the Dungeon Master, the story ends here. Of course a TPK has its place; the Player Characters are mortal after all, and there are some modules where everyone is expecting a blood bath going into it and will roll multiple characters before the end.
For most cases, however, the Players grow attached to their character and the DM wants to create the story around them. That’s why I decided to create a book that gives the DM an option – a literal last throw of the dice – to determine what happens to the party if they are faced with elimination. And of course, that dice had to be a d20.
The TPK categories I created are:
– Combat encounter
– Construct encounter (being a combination or combat and trap)
– Ensnared by a trap
– Punishment from a geas or through a deity’s decree
– Abrupt end, such as falling from a great height or a spell gone wrong
– Life drain, such as a disease or a cursed wound.
The twenty options apply to each of these categories and in many cases I created multiple options that can be rolled, meaning there is a huge variety of possibilities to play out. Will a party gain help from allies, a magic item, or will there be a malfunction or will opponent in-fighting give them the chance to escape? It’s been a lot of fun to create an provides a solution to the age-old problem, how to avoid a TPK.