We were playing AD&D (1st edition) about two years ago and Bill was running the game. We had progressed to somewhere around 4th or 5th level and were getting along quite well. We had built a great party rapport and we all liked our characters. Things were finally starting to move along quickly and we were getting into the swing of things…. until….
Bill drew out a long, straight, five-foot-wide passage on the battle board and asked for a marching order. We did our best to put the biggest fighter in the front, followed by the cleric, followed by the other spell casters with our thief in the rear to guard that direction. Bill then pulled out a few miniatures and placed them about 50 feet down the hallway in front of us. We knew something was up. Bill always uses chits for monsters unless they are special, and then he pulls out the miniatures. In this case, there were no chits on the board. We knew we had run into another adventuring group.
That either means parley and trading, or bloody war. We were prepared for either eventuality, and then we heard the chanting. Our wizard recognized the spell as lightning bolt, and we were trapped in a straight line! Bill called for an initiative roll, and we ended up losing poorly. The other group got to go first. Their wizard unleashed his lightning bolt and Bill required all of us to make our saves… We collectively rolled: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2.
Yep. Nothing higher than a 2. No saves for us! With the rattle of his dice, Bill rambled off the damage and asked who was still standing. The math was easy for us. No one had anywhere near the maximum HP of the damage done by the spell. We were toast. Literally. The brief campaign ended with a TPK (total party kill.)
Now, you may be thinking that Bill is a hard-ass for killing us off that way. I’ll always defend Bill because he showed us the stats on the group after we were all dead. We should have been able to take them had the dice rolls not gone the way they did, and Bill does not fudge dice rolls. In the end, we rolled about as poorly as we possibly could have, and he rolled about as well as his dice had ever allowed. The combination of the two strokes of luck brought doom to our party.
We still laugh and cut it up when someone mentions the numbers “1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2” because we all know what they are talking about.
Good times, indeed….