Pain was our Halloween run at Games & Stuff. I ran it for Jimmy, Amanda, Hudson, the Bradley brothers, and Mike. Hudson had played it before but had an awful experience, so I figured I could improve on it some. It’s a great investigative adventure when run properly.
The investigation went well! So that’s cool. Unfortunately, the plot branch I used has a final fight which went very poorly for the PCs. My monsters caught them in overlapping auras, and they didn’t really have any good way to handle it, which resulted in a sort of cascading failure effect. Not to spoil overly, but there’s a monster out there which creates new versions of itself when it kills a PC, and it’s not like you can decide not to use an aura.
I don’t think the adventure is unfair, although my players might disagree. I think that particular fight is harder on low level characters than most because of the death effect. I also think it’s a demonstration of the importance of mobility and forced movement control: they just had no way to change the underlying tactical disadvantage. You really want that at paragon tier.
Anyways, it wound up being my first… I guess not a TPK, because four PCs lived. The antagonist had no interest in killing people as long as they weren’t in her way. But if you look at it through an MMO lens, you’d say the party wiped.