So my story has layers. It requires a certain amount of context before hand. So let me start with that. When I was 11 years old, my Father got me into playing D&D, and we had a family group for the most part. It consisted of Dad, Uncle from Mom's side, Uncle from Dad's side, me, my younger brother who's 3 years younger and joined us when I was 14. Until my brother joined us, there was usually another player that had joined and sometimes GM'd that wasn't part of the family, but seemed cool for a long time. He introduced us to some cool games like Cyberpunk 2020, Morrow Project, Flashing Blades, and Traveller 2300AD. Let's call him Richard for now.
GMing for our group consisted of switching off between systems and were GM'd by my Dad, Uncle from Mom's side, and Richard. At this particular time, we were playing Shadowrun 2nd edition. I was playing a character who almost exclusively used karma to escape from death and death defying situations instead of really leveling up or expanding my character's skill set. Most people in the group seemed fine with this, and this story is ultimately about this characters anti-climactic sudden death.
The lead-up: Prior to the current adventure, we had also played Shadowrun, GM'd by Uncle from Mom's side. In this adventure, Richard's character was playing a sneaky character who was also working for the cops, while my character was working for the triads. The adventure consisted of us being contacted by my triad contact to make a "delivery". Richard played true to his character and played both sides until it came time for the drop and then called in his contacts who were the cops to raid the scene. Now little old 13 yr old me doesn't know what the heck is going on now at this point other the fact that the rest of the party is attacking all the guys in the triad, who we were technically working for, but opened up on us because the cops came. That adventure ended, we played another game for a bit, and then came back to Shadowrun.
Now Richard is the GM, and he wants to get the characters invested and asked if it was alright if my character had siblings since I hadn't detailed any background about my character yet. "Sure!" I said, and the adventure started by my character's sister in the hospital due to a drug overdose. Some pretty heavy stuff. I look on my character's contact list and which one would know about the inner workings of the drug trade? Why, my triad contact of course. And this is where things start getting shitty. Richard, the player who's character was responsible several months ago for souring my character's triad contact was now the GM in the game where we finally get to see the reaper-cussions (pun intended) of his and my character's actions, and he wasn't going to let the incident go for my character.
Now up until this point, I had about 9 points of karma banked for rerolls, extra dice or automatic successes if I needed them, as that's the way I preferred to use karma for this character. He was perfect as is in my mind. Despite the rest of the group telling me it probably wasn't a good idea to call my contact, I figure my character is invested. His sister's in the hospital, he needs this info, he makes the call. Sounds for some really great story telling, right? The contact wants a meeting, and I'm really getting into my character now, he finally has some depth. Yeah, things went sour the last mission and maybe my character can make a deal, or worst case scenario, shoot his way out of the meeting and get the info some other way. Some deep heavy story telling for this 13 year old kid trying to avenge his sister.
It comes time for the meeting, I'm getting ready for the fallout. They confiscate my weapon at the door, that's ok, my character knows martial arts and has wired reflexes, this is shadowrun after all, and I might be able to dodge a few bullets before taking out any guards or anything, right? RIGHT? GM wants a look at my character sheet real quick. I let him. He folds it up, puts in a folder, says it's his trophy now and I need to roll up a new character.
And just like that, I was left stunned. In retrospect, I shouldn't have banked on actually getting to fight my way out. In retrospect, I should have watched for the signs of the GM actually getting Giddy about the whole setup. But at the moment, I was a bit numbed by the whole experience. I didn't even know what to do next because I thought I'd at least get to act out the characters death if he was going to die. I had 9 karma banked to make it epic AF. Instead, it was an Anti-climactic ego stroke for Richard. There wasn't even any thought to the fact that technically, non of the characters left had any investment in the adventure anymore. The only one with investment was just unceremoniously killed because of the fallout of from being screwed over by the GM when he was a character. And he enjoyed it. He didn't even pretend not to.
Ultimately it led to the creation of one of my most epic and memorable shadowrun characters for everyone at the table. Everyone to this day, 25 years later, can still recount stories of the character I created from the aftermath of this, so it wasn't a complete loss. It didn't scar me forever or convince me everyone's a bad person out for themselves. I wasn't even bothered by the characters death. It was the way in which the death was handled that bugged me.
I think out of respect for me and the way I was feeling at the time, My dad's character became super invested in the rest of the story and wanted to see it through to the end and avenge his fallen comrade. We all saw out the rest of the adventure, my new character ended up being quite fun as well. I think my family wanted there to be closure to the whole event and that's why we kept on with the adventure, but afterwards, Richard never showed up to roleplay with us again and I'm pretty sure my Dad was the one who saw to that.