Our intrepid group consists of five player characters. We have two rogues: Emmriel, who specializes in picking pockets and stealing hats; and Phynix, who wields a Rod of Wonders to hilarious effect. The monk, Pois, is best described as an accidental tactician. Heron is the charismatic dragon disciple, and Kitty, an unfettered Litorian (for those who don't know the Cook book, that's a fancy way of saying "giant cat-person fighter-rogue"). We each take our turns at being dungeon master. Phynix's player has only recently begun to play Dungeons and Dragons but we let her be the dungeon master one night anyway. We figured it would be a good learning experience for her.
Our group came upon a mysterious doorway that led to a plane of fire. We stepped in the doorway and looked around, more than a little wary. That was when she sent the Nightmares at us.
It shouldn't have been that difficult of a battle for five fairly high-level PCs, but for some reason we were having some difficulty with the seven or eight Nightmares. (It might have been directly related to Heron dropping a Meteor Storm spell on our heads first strike. "It's okay, you've all got good Reflex Saves," he said.) Heron's tactics were to fire as many Meteor Storm spells from his staff as he could and so the rest of us spread out as far apart as we could. It helped that Phynix had a cloak that allowed her to fly while Pois had a continuous Air Walk effect, so they could fight in the air. That left Kitty, our best fighter, and Emmriel, our worst fighter, spread out on the ground.
This spread-thin tactic worked well to avoid being Meteor Stormed, but had an unintentional side-effect. One or two Nightmares engaged each of the characters, and unfortunately for Emmriel, two of them set their sights on her. Emmriel fought bravely, but without her sneak attack damage, her attacks were pretty much ineffective. Emmriel called for help. However, all the others pretty much had their hands full.
When Emmriel went unconscious early in the fight, only Pois (with her high base speed movement) was able to detach herself from battle and rush over to stabilize and defend her fallen comrade against the Nightmares. With one less ally and no cleric handy, the four conscious companions continued to fend off the Nightmares, but it was taking a long time, which was the bane of a downed PC. Eventually, Emmriel (and her player) got bored with not being a part of the action.
And lo, Emmriel whined.
"I'm dying, I'm downed, I'm gone for good. I'm flat-lining here! Don't bother with saving me, I'm lost to the world. I see a white light." And on and on...
Not that the rest of us could do anything about it, especially since Heron was taking the hits and Kitty and Phynix had their own troubles. Pois, who was doing all she could to fight three Nightmares and keep Emmriel from getting trampled to death, got a bit fed up with the whining, ungrateful little rogue.
"It's the end of the line! It's all over..."
"If you die, I'm going to take all your stuff!" Pois snapped.
It was quiet for a second. And then...
"Medic!" Emmriel hollered.