Quest of the Iron Crown
is no fun. Especially when it’s just due to bad luck. In my games, you can count on the following: as long as you keep wanting to be part of the game, you will have a part to play from beginning up to the final conflict. You can be captured, sold into slavery, lost on a deserted island, lose all memory of the rest of the party, or otherwise be Not Okay, but before the final conflict you will be rescued, escape, build a raft out of sea turtle shells, or regain you memory after being hit on the head by a troll.
This is called, Plot Immunity.
There is, however, one exception.
Sometimes, something is just too dangerous to shrug off. You can’t jump off a cliff, insult a vampire lord to his face, or break a deal with the Queen of the Fay and expect that somehow the DM will make it all better in the morning. Whenever there is a chance that your character could actually die, I will warn you with the phrase “dire peril”. Here’s an example.
Player: I say “Hey toothy, your grandma was a mosquito!” GM: "The Vampire Lord stares at you, smiles a smile that freezes your blood and says “You are lucky I find your spirit amusing, and that you are worth more to me alive than dead. For now. But I have no more time for this, let us discuss business.” His eyes are cold as ice, and you sense a feeling of dire peril like you never have before…
You can choose to ignore the vampire’s offer, even insult him more. It might even be the right thing to do, but it will probably be the end of your character. But it would be your choice to do so, not because you rolled a three on your diplomacy check.