TPK or Total Party Kill, refers to a time when an entire party of adventurers in a game (usually dungeons and dragons or other tabletop game) dies at the same time. Can also be referred to as a "wipe" or "scrub". TPKs are considered to be by far the worst experience in the game, and often are due to overconfidence in one's character, or an unbalanced enemy, but may also be caused by play error, or the dreaded "jank rolls".
In the event of a TPK, a DM may use one of 3 tools to auto-correct the situation... though none are truly good options.
The first, is to interrupt combat with an NPC who saves the party. This can be seen as pretty unrealistic, and is very obvious to players.
The second, is to use some form of "Deus Ex Machina" to right the adventurer's mistakes or misfortunes, by influencing events in an absurdly specific method. Such as a staff that was granted the ability to teleport the party from danger in the event of an emergency. This is too, fairly obvious, and is akin to the dragon balls from the popular cartoon.
The third, and most functional... Is to weaken events leading up to the TPK. When a DM starts to notice the situation getting out of hand, they can often reduce the enemy attack bonus, or reduce it's armor class. Even make it's HP total lower than it would be normal. If done well, this method can go undetected... But is still, in my opinion... A real "BITCH MOVE."
TPKs happen... Sometimes you just have to reroll, and quit whining like a panzy. Heroes die. New heroes take their place. It happens to the best of us from time to time.
The best part of the game is knowing it could happen... And preparing yourself, so that it doesn't.
Until next time, May your D20's roll well, your saves be adequate, and your loots be phat.