A Tale of Newbies
A group of college friends and I decided it would be really fun to start a D&D group. Only one of us had played before, so he was the DM. Our party consisted of a Drow Rogue named Soren, a Drow Ranger named Faeremma, a Genasi Mage named SupaHot, a Deva Paladin named Noodle the Holy, a Wilden Invoker named Scalymanbeast, and me, a Hengeyokai hexblade named UDoneMessedUp (you can see that we took naming our characters seriously).
Our DM started us out locked in a dungeon with no memory of the last three months. All of us being totally new, we immediately did the most logical thing we could think of—we cautiously proceeded to search every nook and cranny of the room (except for the door), for a way out. After exhausting all other options, we proceeded cautiously through the door to find our way blocked by six ordinary, garden variety zombies. Our first combat encounter!
After the minor panic that was us trying to figure out the rules and read all the attack options that we had before us, we quickly realized that we were all going to die. Our ill-informed attempts at characters, nonetheless precious to our greenie gamer hearts, were going to die horrible deaths without ever seeing the light of roleplaying day. Our Paladin rolled the highest initiative of the encounter, and preceded to take a half hour to decide how to make his first move. This was disconcerting to Scalymanbeast, who quickly realized that this kind of game was more of a commitment than he was willing to take. So, after a quick conference with the DM, he proceeded to attack his own party!
In seconds the highly organized and calm demeanor of those ready to die an honorable death fighting the enemy turned into hysteria and panic as we realized that, not only were we going to die, but it was going to happen at the hands of a fellow party member. Oh the injustice of it all!
Imagine our joy when we got our first introduction to critical success/failure. Scalymanbeast turned to SupaHot, planning on blasting him smithereens, and rolls a 1!
Nothing is more dangerous than a PC with nothing to lose, and we certainly had nothing to lose that day. Out came our encounters and our dailies, which we unloaded as the DM gleefully described Scalymanbeast slipping on a stray piece of rubble and falling face-first into the dust. He didn’t last three turns.
We then turned our attention back to our previous task awed by the amount of damage that 2d8+7 can do when trained at a character with an AC of 17. We proceeded to wade our way through zombies that faced us and left the room victorious, leaving the unconscious Scalymanbeast lying in a pool of blood at the mercy of the zombies that were sure to fill the room after our departure.
The best part of it all is that almost a year later when I tried DMing my first side quest, I was able to bring him back to mete out revenge on the characters that had so unjustly left a fellow PC behind.