So I want to have near-instant (next in-game day) reincarnation, as I plan on running a fairly brutal campaign. There are a couple of things I plan on doing, and I would love some help fine tuning the mechanics. I'm going to start w/ the reincarnation rules (which are tied to Soul Stones.
Every PC has a Soul Stone (and some NPCs). This will tie together the reincarnation, as well as provide an additional benefit to the players, and provide me (the DM) with more entertainment.
Soul Stones gain experience during combat when the player is entertaining and descriptive during their turn. "I cast magic missile at the goblin." = No SSXP. "I aim my staff at the small humanoid, shouting 'Feel my wrath', as green fire erupts from the end and the magic missiles hurtle towards him." = SSXP.
Soul Stones can gain levels during an extended rest. Soul Stones can lose levels to re-roll a failed roll lower then it's level as long as the description of the power use was interesting or entertaining enough to be worth SSXP.
I had originally envisioned Soul Stones having 3 levels, one each for At-Will, Encounter and Daily powers. They would have a single SSXP pool, and the SSXP could be spent to increase the levels independently, with higher levels requiring more SSXP, and Encounter levels being more expensive then At-Will Levels, but cheaper then for Daily Levels.
I think this might be a bit to much book keeping, and so I'm trying to come up w/ a simpler way. Should I just have them have a single level, and they can use the re-roll on any type of power? Maybe limit it to just At-Wills and Dailys? Or maybe require expenditure of XP for Encounter and Daily powers in addition to the level loss? Or make it 2 levels lost for encounter and 3 for daily re-rolls?
I want to the system to be enjoyable for my players, but I also don't want it to be too easily abusable.
Finally when a player dies (and isn't resurrected by some means or other) they can make a new character of the same level at the end of an extended rest, but they lose all excess XP. Their Soul Stone keeps it's level and XP, but it can not be leveled up until the next extended rest.
Is this penalty severe enough or too severe? I want there to be some penalty for dying, so that players don't forget about self-preservation, or get their characters killed on a whim, but I don't want it to make it unfun for the players either.
How would you feel about losing some XP? Coming back with a lower level character?