I killed my wife last night. Let me rephrase; in our D&D game, a giant jigsaw shark devoured her character Brienne as she tried to scramble aboard a shipwreck while tied to a dragonborn blackguard.
We haven’t had a PC death in a long time, and this has been a good reminder that D&D can still be deadly if the situation merits it. The encounter was ‘fair’ by the book. It was 400xp of monsters against 4 level 1 pcs. The difference was there were only two opponenets, both level 5. On it’s own that made them dangerous, but the thing that really swung it for the bad guys was the terrain. We had a pc in the sea, struggling to swim in chainmail. The others were tied up on a sinking ship, in difficult terrain, against a King Craud (think monstrous lobster). Brienne was in trouble already, and the giant shark critted her with an enormous bite attack that took her straight past minus bloodied (2d8+7 damage, maxed). Ouch.
Don’t worry, I think both the campaign and my marriage (!) will survive this blow. From my perspective, it’s good to see the party have a little more respect for the environment. With luckier prep, the battle might have swung another way, but it wasn’t supposed to be easy.
I wonder if we’ll see the party back away from any encounters now?