"And then the hydra makes eleven attacks."
God, that felt good. I am not a PC killing GM, as I've said in the past. I think of 'death' in DnD as a bit like KO in Final Fantasy. You're not really dead provided it's not in a cut scene ("Mommy! Mommy! Why doesn't Cloud just use a Pheonix Down on Aeris?") and provided that at least one party member survives the encounter.
No characters were killed last night, but a few were floored on up to -8 hp. And, quite frankly, I cam very close to a whole party death. But they persevered, and with some very, very clever ideas they eventually triumphed!
There is something remarkably satisfying about creating an encounter which tests the very limits of the characters, almost defeats them, but gives them enough room in the end to come through and beat the bad guys. All in all, I was very pleased with the session.
I remember that I was cackling maniacally for about five minutes over something, but I forget what it was. I think someone accused me of taking evil pleasure out of the whole affair. It was grand.