I don’t recall the first character that died. I think we had so many characters trying to be successful and have someone survive that we weren’t too attached to them.
My favorite character Griswald did a lot of solo adventuring and had not played with the other players for a while. One player, Daryl, had a character Gwale with a +1 handaxe, and was known as Gwale of the Axe. He helped Griswald. They encountered some orcs and Gwale died. I don’t recall if Griswald witnessed it or learned of it. Unfortunately, Gwale was eaten, but Griswald went to the orc lair fireballed it and retrieved the axe.
Another character played by Daryl, James Forrester, a human magic user, who is now the highest level character in the game, 18th level due to an ioun stone. The first arch-mage in a game where magic is not overly common and a 5th level magic user is very tough, and the people view a 1st level magic user as a great wizard. He was helping Griswald fight some orcs, long story. James died helping Griswald, but he was raised.
Griswald was later helping James on a hit and run on a high level evil wizard. We disguised ourselves, applied protective magic, teleported in and started blasting and fighting. We took out all his bodyguards, etc. but the evil wizard managed to kill Griswald. That was quite a shock, but I took it well as I was sure he would be raised. Thankfully, he made his system shock survival roll and reduced his constitution by one.
Later on an adventure that had all the players in the game involved and their high level characters went on an adventure together. I don’t recall the circumstances, but Griswald was killed. Daryl had not told any of the other players that Griswald had died in the raid on the evil wizard, so everyone was shocked as Griswald had this reputation of being the player who had gone the longest without dying, and to their knowledge still had not died. It was funny to see the look on their faces when I revealed in an out-of-character moment that that was not the first time he died.
I think it was inspired by an article in Dragon Magazine, but the rule in Robert’s game is that you get 1,000 experience points for being raised from the dead as a consolation for the loss of all the experience from the adventure.
This led to a saying among the players in the game when we were faced with a very difficult and dangerous task for our next endeavor, “You only get 1,0o0 experience points for being raised.”