In my first-ever Earthdawn campaign, I was more or less tortured to death. I was a Lightbearer (a particular kind of prestige class) and they have an ability to case their memories and a portion of their abilities onto a party members. So we roleplay it out, and the GM made me choose the party member I would cast the essence of my being into and I picked the other character that I thought was the most “noble.” Then I recount my life story, or at least the primary motivating bits, to that character, explaining the magical corruption that had infected my family and that I was looking for a way to destroy the aberrations they had become.
It was painful for my character, and really upsetting for me to go through the whole backstory and perceptions of the group and our mission/campaign thus far, knowing that I wouldn’t ever get to fulfill those goals. I had to try and impress on the other character that he should do those things, and send a part of my power into him as I died. The GM told me I was dead, and that was more or less the end of the session. I was pretty bummed out, because we were REALLY close to the end of the campaign.
I talked to the GM a few days later about what I needed to do about making a new character or if I would be able to finish out the campaign. He looked really confused and then said, “Oh wait, didn’t I tell you? It was a particular kind of illusionary magic. Basically, you were bluffed into thinking you were dead. You’re not actually dead, just show up with your regular sheet next time. But because you really did think you were dead, <the other character> and you are now bonded mystically.”
I might have broke down crying.