Everything is great.
My four heroes look good going into this fight. Fresh from camping, their health is high and their stress is manageable. They’re playing off of each other well: my Hound Master makes short work of the enemy my Occulist debuffed, my Crusader’s blows are hitting hard, and my Vestal is unleashing crit heals like a champ. I rest on the laurels of my battle management, already fantasizing about how I’m going to use the loot from this dungeon to level up my buildings and roster of other heroes, waiting for us back in the hamlet.
Then everything is terrible.
The Bone Courtier enemy dodges an attack and lands his Tempting Goblet attack, which causes low physical damage but a lot of mental damage. The other Bone Courtier does the same, and suddenly my Crusader’s stress bar fills up and he develops an affliction: Abusive. My Occultist misses and the Crusader mocks him, pushing his stress to the brink. Enemy debuffs start stacking: their blows grow less accurate, their resistance to damage weakens. Suddenly my hardy little band of heroes is hemorrhaging HP and sanity. I try to retreat on my Hound Master’s turn but his stress has caused him to develop the Masochistic affliction, which makes him refuse. My Vestal hovers on death’s door; the next blow could kill her. The attack that takes her out leaves our party without a healer. It’s a cascade of bad luck, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.