1E Paladin, died in the Arena in PvP against my brother (we'd been fighting IRL and was trying to get me to quit the game). He was an illusionist, which I didn't know anything about, and illusions were particularly powerful if you didn't. He used phantasmal force to create a duplicate of me that I spent all me resources fighting, while he pelted me with a sling. Eventually he cast an illusion of a fireball, which dropped me to 0 HP. Since it was only an illusion, I was just unconscious, but he calmly walked over and slit my throat.
It's been a while, but the first character death that I remember was back when I was running some friends through WGA4 Vecna Lives! (affiliate link) They got ambushed by cultists and elected to stand and fight rather than retreating, which was a bad idea, costing two PCs their lives.
...or were we supposed to talk about ourown first PC death?
It was in the dungeon from Village of Hommlet. My character- Zaphod Beeblebrox (yes, I really did name him that!), was killed by our party's Monk. Don't remember why. This would have been 1984 or 5. I may even still have my dead character files somewhere. I used to file them away with a page stapled to them with the story of how they died.
Most memorable was my fighter Cobra. He got ganked by a goblin in the Caves of Chaos. Had his noggin busted in by a club on a nat 20... I remember, because we were playing in the public library, and the DM followed this scene up by having an old down on his luck character of his wander through the Goblin lair, pounding on a drum, and shouting : "RESURRECTIONS!!! GET YOUR RESURRECTIONS HERE!!!" We thought this was hysterical, and a long, loud laughing jag followed- which made the librarian come over and shut us up, lol. They looted my corpse, and chipped in a bit to get er done. ( He was desperate for some drankin' money, apparently, and it was cheap.)
My character was forever after known as SPLAT!!! for as long as that group stayed together, lol. Someone even drew up the death scene on my character sheet! He went on to be with the party from our main, longest running campaign. I think he was 16th level when the DM moved- and took our characters with him. (and lost the folder sometime later...)
My first character death was a TPK against the rhagodessa on the Blue Nixie in the first adventure of the Savage Tide Adventure Path. Admittedly our “party” was only two players, but we had been doing really well until it showed up. We didn’t continue the adventure path after that though. I actually had to look up the details, as up until writing this post allI had was a vague memory of making a character for a nautical-themed adventure path my friend had offered to run, and getting killed by some sort of crab monster on a pirate ship in the first session.
There must have been some before this, but the first one I remember was a halfling psionicist/rogue. Killed by a giant leech random encounter after the entire party botched the first encounter in Against the Cult of the Reptile God and ended up dead or captured. He escaped the swamp lair they were brought to, but without weapons or gear, the denizens of the swamp devoured him before he could make it back to town.
Just for fun this Throwback Thursday: the first D&D character you had die during play, how did it happen?
Mine was a cleric during the first play of the Metzner Red Box adventure. My two older brothers and I were playing and my father was DMing. All of us were new to ttrpgs, but my dad was a computer gamer and board gamer. It was 1985 and I was 10 years old.
My death was simple, brutal and fast: I decided to rummage under the old gate while my brothers' characters headed up toward the door to the castle. The carrion crawler attacked, I failed my saving throws, and was unceremoniously dragged under the gate to be devoured. My brothers did not even stop to check to see if they could loot my corpse and continued on in the adventure while I frantically rolled up a replacement cleric (who would live much longer before being turned to stone by a gorgon). This death informed my attitude about PC mortality both as a player and GM forever, which can be summed up as: quit drying and roll up a new character.
Hmmm, my first character was also a cleric. I cannot quite recall what happened to it. Some sort of very mundane death from humanoids or something.
I do recall that when I ran my first game, using Holmes Basic, my sister also had a cleric, and it died due to a giant wasp sting. It was pretty much "we open up the (first) door" and that was the end of that! lol.
Dweeny the Dwarf devoured outside Castle Mistamere by a Carrion Crawler. Done-in by a failed saving throw and cowardly companions who didn't want to take the risk to save me.
I was magically revived by a mysterious source because I was destined for greatness (ok, ok the DM hand-waved my death because we were all beginners and I was ten. It was at the beginning of the adventure, so we just started over like it never happened.)
In 1977, was 10 and it was my first ever AD&D game. It was being run by a kid who would’ve made a great hobbit. We were in the library of East Middle School in Aurora, CO.
My human 2hd sword-wielding fighter was the last surviving character along with a Magic User. He was down to his last spell- Magic Missile.
We entered a cavernous room, waist deep with mist. Halfway across, a purple worm reared up between us and the door we were trying to reach. It was too far for us retreat, so we stood our ground.
The early stages of the battle were almost comical. After casting his Magic Missile, the wizard resorted to whacking the worm with his staff, while my fighter hit once before my dice went ice cold. I was missing more than my partymate.
Then, just as my luck started to change, the worm engulfed the magic-user whole, leaving me to fight alone. A few more rounds, and I had whittled it down pretty well, but I was down to 4hp.
The next round- simultanous initiative. The other players LSL oooooooohed in anticipation. He hit, I missed, end of game, and my fellow players cried in anguish like sports fans watching their favorite team come up just short on a rally.