Ever been called a Killer DM or heard it said like it was a slur?
A PC died last session and I enjoyed it immensely as DM.
We are in the third session of the campaign. The players sought out and got a contract to protect the general area of a community from goblin raids. They found a peel tower occupied by a captured old man and a band of goblins. So they set the tower on fire, the old man turned out to be a glamoured Redcap so they had a brawl with him but prevalled and then realized...oh crud most of the loot just got ruined in the fire didn't it? They almost found their way to the dungeon but managed to pass it up. They've spent a number of days wandering around the country side and camping the same spot almost every night (they hoped to ride out the terms of their contract with the town and collect the fee for protecting the area from goblins without having to do much fighting).
Then one night the sentry (one of the PCs) noticed the horses all laid down and slept on the ground, there was something burrowing in the earth in a circle around their camp and went to wake the other PCs and discovered one of the humans and the dwarf were asleep and couldn't be awoken. All of a sudden a dark furry form with red claws and fangs burst out from the ground knocking a small sigil aside. He stated his purpose in goblin as an assassin sent to avenge the destruction of the tower and his price was blood. The players were all slow to react asking questions and taking actions that gave the opponent an edge. One attempted to use a fear spell from a scroll and found it had no effect. The beast rushed forward and eviscerated the sentry (inflicting almost triple his HP in a flurry of attacks). The following round it ripped the flesh from the sentries skull in it's red toothed maw and kicked the skull at the other elf in the party. One of the players realized blood had been paid so they stood down and the foe left with the terms of it's contract complete. The party located the split sigil discovering it to be a goblin item that drew the Buggane to them.
It was fun killing the PC, I liked it. They are now really p.o.'d at the goblins and scarred of Bugganes. It was early in the campaign so the player wasn't attached to his character yet.
Did I say I liked killing the PC?
Maybe I'm a killer DM. Maybe I've manged to set the tone for this campaign being lethal and while the players are free to do as they wish they also have to deal with active foes that aren't tied to die rolls and fixed locations and the actions of the PCs will have repercussions. The PCs just might want to be a little more careful, they may be dealing with a killer DM after all.