lots of great feedback on the last post, thanks a lot. i think that the idea i've developed has taken a step or two away from a true or traditional DEM but it was interesting reading your comments nonetheless.
here's why i asked about it in the first place:
i've been running age of worms and just... REALLY disliking it. i'm about to take a complete turn away from the campaign as written but i am in the middle of an adventure and want to finish it out. the last encounter i ran almost ended in a TPK. i had to fudge a lot and they still lost a cohort. no great loss. the way things have been going in the game i'd almost be relieved by a tpk.
i know a lot of you will say my dislike of the campaign is a sign of a broken game, and we should shelve it and do something else, and i tend to agree. but a couple of the players have expressed that they like their characters and the game and don't want to quit. i have plans for the game that i think will make it more enjoyable for everyone, especially me. basically i'm turning it into a quest for the rod of seven parts, with some elements of planescape. but i digress.
at any rate i want to finish the leg of the adventure they're on as published, but considering how things went for them last session i don't expect them to survive without some help.
my solution for this initially was for them to wake up after they all, inevitably, die at the hands of the minions of kyuss, restored by an astral deva, a servant of heironious, the god of the party's resident paladin. the deva would cast true resurrection (four times) give them some guidance and send them on their way. while i was thinking about my plan, and reading your comments, i decided to modify my plan a little.
i don't think its outside the realm of reasonability... reasonableness... uh... i think it makes sense to think that the god of the paladin in the party would be interested in stopping the age of worms. and i think that as the only people in the world who have witnessed all the little bits and who have put the picture together and who are doing the most to stop it, they rate a little divine intervention. but instead of waiting for the TPK and then fixing it, i'm giving them some invisible divine accompaniment. my plan now is to have an astral deva with levels of cleric follow them while invisible. he'll be casting helpful spells along the way, blessing, healing, etc. i imagine the first thing they'll notice is that they're being healed for no good reason. when things get hairy the divine presence will become more and more apparent until eventually, he'll show himself (probably not until after they take out the final bad guy but before if necessary) heal them up, give them some guidance and send them on their way.
then after that, i can go about the business of creating a game almost but not quite entirely unlike the one i've been running up till now, and never look back.
so anyway, what do you think?