This is a long story but so worth the read. I started playing a homebrew 5e campaign and for most of us this was the first time we ever really played any sort of tabletop game. We have our aspiring author DM, a sadistic Dragonborn fighter named Dom, a righteous Dragonborn Paladin named Torrin, a life cleric wood elf named Marstab, and myself a Barbarian/Druid named Royce.
After a couple sessions filled with hijinks and stupidity we ended up coming across a magical amulet dropped by a retreating Necromancer who vowed to settle the score with us, that made our Cleric and Paladin sick if they touched it. Fighter picks it up and keeps it and we learn that it holds expendable charges that can give benefits of rests in combat, but each day at dawn it loses a charge and if it has no charges the holder goes crazy. How does one get charges? By killing morally good people. Also the amulet will bond to its evil holder at dusk which is now 15 minutes away and a timer was set in real life. We have an inner party scuffle with our good guys trying to grab the amulet and throw it into our bag of devouring. My CN BarBearian, being the party leader, decides the risk is worth it for the fighter to have and takes the amulet and turns into a bear with the amulet unreachable and waits for sundown.
The party continues on with my character not turning evil or anything bad happening. As we continue our quest we come upon a hobo and my character bombs a perception check and insight check and is convinced the hobo has a lot of treasure. The Hobo dares me to kill him, so I do. Turns out the amulet was affecting my senses and influencing my decision making. Our cleric is so tired of the wanton murder that he attacks me and gets off a surprise round while the amulet is completing the ritual. My barbarian goes down and the fighter, who I was trying to save the whole time, decides he wants the amulet back and kills my downed guy. The rest of the party has a standoff but the paladin persuades the cleric and fighter from killing one another. They then leave and carry on leaving my corpse in the road with all of my stuff.
Fast forward a few sessions, and my new character(warlock) has been introduced, our paladin died being drowned by some snakes and his new druid is around. As we get back to our magical boat to leave town the cleric feels a presence on the ship but can’t see anything. He turns around and is blasted by lightning and goes down. Out of a dark portal who should step out? Royce, my original character! But his eyes and tattoos are glowing red. Dom, our fighter, who has been on a journey of reformation and breaking the amulet’s curse and grip on him then backslides and murders our downed cleric to give charges to his amulet. Evil/undead Royce goes after the fighter and when anyone else attacks him says he is just here to settle the score. Our remaining party is badly injured and we strike a deal that he can kill the fighter and leave. Which our DM did not consider we would do. Then the big bad necromancer who’s amulet it was originally steps out of the dark portal to monologue, but none of the remaining party members even knows who he is and we totally wrecked our DM’s cliffhanger finale. But so far we have had four PC’s die, and three of them have been inner party killings. Our table has a high stress level and fears each other as much as the DM and his world, also everyone has back up characters ready at all times, just in case.