Only two characters survived last weeks' session, leaving only one character alive from the original party. As the de facto leader of the party (or what is left of it, rather) he has decided that he has had his fill of Tarraxian and is now devoting his energy to finding a way back to his home world.
Normally, I don't give much in the way of advice to the players as a DM, but I did dispense two recommendations based on recent play trends:
1. You don't have to attack every single thing you meet right away, and
2. You probably shouldn't attack when you are vastly outnumbered. I suppose I must also add
2.a If you cannot ascertain how many opponents you face, it is probably wise to assume you are vastly outnumbered.
That being said, the party has something of a history of slaughtering potentially friendly creatures out of nervousness or because "they're worth more xp," so I'm going to go ahead and say that karma was responsible for this near-TPK.
I must also note that it is to my players' advantage that I generally ignore alignment, because I don't know that I could classify any of them as "good" anymore. They are quite ready to sacrifice henchmen, they have no compunction about slaughtering helpless opponents, and until recently they had something of an obsession for running down fleeing enemies to kill them off. One player defended his actions by saying he was just being pragmatic. I reminded him that good is not a pragmatic alignment. However, I am generally ignoring alignment because I find that it adds nothing to the game, and it has been beaten to death, and most players act in a fashion I would consider neutral evil regardless of what is scribbled 'pon their character sheet.
Do not misconstrue this post as criticism of my players, or if you must, consider it constructive criticism. If anything, I'm impressed with myself for being much less "soft" as a DM than in previous years, and for not fudging the deaths of characters, even veteran characters who had been in the party since the first session.
Also, we're playing the week of Christmas... so this group has managed to play every single week of both November and December, months that have pretty much been a gaming wasteland with previous groups. You, gentlemen, are hardcore.