Killing Players

It's possible that I am a "killer DM."  When I'm reading everybody else's session recaps, they speak endless of players being knocked unconscious, and getting revived later.  They also don't seem to encounter the endless series of traps that I've scattered around.

The first level of my megadungeon is loaded with traps.  It's also got lots of "specials" that are basically magical roulette wheels - the players don't know what's going to happen, they only know that something will, if they mess around with the obvious gimmicky thingamabob.  If they don't touch the gimmicky thingamabob, or walk away from the (rather obvious) traps, then life continues on.  The dungeon isn't actively out to get them, but if they want to try for the good stuff, they've got to figure these things out.

So that's tons of traps, often with save-or-die poison effects, and combat is brutal.  I'm trying to play Labyrinth Lord by the book, so you go to 0 hp, you're dead.  No funky tables that may save your life, no going to -10.  You're just dead.

All this makes players cautious, and they've gone a couple of sessions without losing a PC, so I don't think I've made anything too deadly.  I just find the contrast between how I'm running my campaign, and some of the session recaps of other people's campaigns, interesting.  Not good or bad, just different.  This is the first time I've been this much of a hardcase about the rules though.  It definitely adds some tension.

I've only got one room left to detail in the first level of the megadungeon, and then it's time to work on electronic versions of the maps.  I may have a PDF of the first level ready in December.  It's a lot (and I mean, a LOT) more verbose than other megadungeon material I've seen so far, for better or worse.  I personally prefer to have everything written out in detail beforehand.


  1. I don't think there's any right on wrong approach as long as everybody's enjoying themselves. It's been quite some time since one of the character's in a game I've run has died, but there has been several strategic retreats to avoid TPK.

  2. Just remember... there's a big difference between "killing players" and "killing characters"!