Oh man. Where do I begin... how do I choose?
My Expeditions in the Northlands campaign this last years been pretty crazy. We've had 3 TPKs, 40+ character deaths. Yeah. Very bloody. I've never been a killer DM. A tough DM. But never a killer DM.
I guess everybody's getting used to "old school" play where character deaths were far more common and not as big of a deal.
With a lot my other stories, you just have had to be there. But several years ago I was in a group with an overly enthusiastic player who would do the craziest things:
"Come'on guys, they're only 1st level fighters. Think of the experience!" Yes. We were 5th level. And they were 1st level. But there were 50 of them, each with two-handed swords, and only 5 of us. The PC stood his ground while the rest of us retreated.
When his cleric died, he rolled up a paladin. After an adventure, he discovered he had just enough gold to convert his masterwork sword into a +1 sword that could emit light. So he spent all of his money to do this. He was dead broke. He couldn't afford to stay at the Inn with the rest of us. None of us, fed up at his antics, would loan him money, so his paladin had to sleep in the alley.
When his character awoke the next morning, he found that his new magical sword had been stolen.