Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

“Okay we’re dead. Now what?”


hellWhat happens after a TPK (Total Party Kill)? With the Dungeons and Dragons game, it happens from time to time. When it has happened in my games, it was usually due to something that I, as the DM, did wrong. “I really thought that the party would run away from that monster.” -or- “Who would have thought that they would all fail their saving throws?” Whatever the cause, looking back it was usually something that I should have realized was a possibility and headed off before it was too late for the players.

I know that some DMs have more TPKs than I do, and that is just fine. Many games fall apart after a TPK, but sometimes it comes at the dramatic conclusion of an adventure. There have been times that I just did a little DM “hand waving” and stated that that didn’t just happen, and all of the PCs were not dead after all.

That last option was the most unsatisfactory option of all. It was usually after the players were really upset and felt that the situation that resulted in the TPK was unfair.

This got me thinking of a better “in game” way to handle the situation. (This may only work once, but TPK’s aren’t all that common.) What if, after they all dye, they wake up in Hell and go on a short adventure to earn their way back to life?

I am working on just such an adventure and will post it here when it’s done. Here it is: Fires of Hell

4 responses to ““Okay we’re dead. Now what?”

  1. Len April 22, 2013 at 9:49 am

    We used to pull out character sheets and roll up some new characters. Hell sounds cool though (wait, that sounds very strange HaHa)

    • Ronny April 22, 2013 at 10:11 am

      I actually have been working on the adventure for about a week now. I did find an old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Planetscape adventure “Fires of Dis”. I am basically plagiarizing that. Trimming it down to a much shorter adventure, making it for a group of “dead” characters, and converting everything over to v3.5. I’ll try to have it finished by the end of the week. I hope you will like it.

  2. sonworshiper September 16, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Just found your blog. I love this idea! If players are attached to their PCs, and if you can identify that the fault partly (mostly?) rests with what you did as DM, I think it’s a fair way to keep the story going. Come on, fighting your way out of Hell? How epic is that?!

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