Pondering D&D stuff
So...players stick around after finding out not only that they're dead right away, but that the guys who killed them were merely trainers?
I hope that works for you!
Perhaps I wasn't clear - It's a TRAINING mission - no one is actually dead. The 'deaths' were a simulation, a lesson in not playing stupidly and/or assuming character invincibility, which players tend to do. This is especially effective for players who are used to permissive DMs who routinely fudge numbers to let them live, or newer players who aren't quite used to how mechanics of D&D combat work.
In context they are shaken 'back to life' by their instructors with a 'And what have we learned?' moment.
So yes, it works for me. And has so for years. Without fail, the players involved approach potential fights after this with more hesitation and appreciate the cautionary example.
Of course, that said, most of my players now have been with me for years and know the score, so such an opener hasn't been necessary for a while.