i'm running age of worms. i'm an experienced player but not a terribly experienced DM, especially not in 3.5 edition. anyway i fully expect the game to get more deadly. none of the pc's have died yet but one came close recently.
the pc's were exploring a storage room. they were raiding an active temple. as they moved from one room to another where they were about to get ambushed one of the players said something like "i'm a little down on hit points i should have healed myself while we were in that last room" but she didn't. in the fight that ensued she died, her pc dropped to -11 hp.
she seemed upset that her character died and she's a good roleplayer with one of the more interesting pc's in the party. it was really a player oversight that she hadn't healed herself with a wand of cure light wounds that they'd found. it has become pretty common practice that she does that every so often. so in the interest of the party and game stability i let her burn a charge on the wand "retroactively". as i remember her pc was still unconscious even after the effects of the wand were applied. it was a challenging battle with everyone but the party mage down at one point. but they managed to overcome and survive.
i suppose technically the pc died and i should have left it that way. but there is a rule in the dmg about standard operating procedure and keeping the game moving by assuming tings that always happen always happen, even if the players don't specifically say they did it, things like rogues checking for traps even if they don't mention it, stuff like that. i don't mind fudging the way i did when this happened. i may have been playing favorites because i do really like that character. given the circumstances i would have done it for any of the pc's, and if she hadn't just said "i should have healed myself" i would have let the pc die.
at any rate, the pc's constantly surprise me. they have trouble with what i expect to be easy combats and stomp right through what i expect to be easy fights. all that aside, i do expect one or more of the pc's to die soon. they're at a point now where they can probably afford resurrection magic, or something of the sort. i'm interested to see how things turn out when it happens.
the player running the mage is prudent and rarely ends up in a tricky position. the party cleric is a high HP tank and he survives well. the party paladin (the one who almost died) seems to take a fair amount of damage. the party rogue is greedy, selfish, and conniving. but selfish motivations and survival instinct aside the pc unflinchingly runs into flanking position when necessary, and scouts ahead alone without being asked (sometimes when asked specifically NOT to).
so i kind of expect a PC to die soon, and i kind of expect it to be the rogue or the paladin. i'm not sure how that's gonna fly. both those players put a lot of thought into their characters and how they want to play them. the interaction between those pc's is interesting too, they don't really get along which i like to watch. i guess i'm kind of rambling here. but i've been thinking about it a lot lately. since they always confound my expectations they probably won't die or even come close this weekend when we play. still, it could get interesting, and not in a fun way.