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I'm running an evil campaign at the moment for D&D 4e, and recently I "accidentally" killed a player character.

Now said player character is a vampire, and he was level 4 with 44 hit points. Long story short, he killed a random NPC giving the player characters directions and I rolled a d6 in secret. 1-2 would be no repercussions, 3-4 some minor inconvenience, 5-6 the NPC would have a family member who wanted vengeance.

I rolled a 6.

So I created a level 6 paladin who was searching for his brother's murderer (in a later session) and who wielded an executioner's axe. They party encountered him in their travels, and he charged the vampire. Since their initiative was much better than his, all 4 of the party members went first.

Barely standing with 17 hit points, he bellowed a mighty roar - blessed his weapon and used Blood of the Mighty. I rolled a 19 - and since blessed weapon allows a crit on 18-20 on undead creatures, he would take 65 + 1d6 radiant damage - instantly killing him.

Damage was calculated as follows: 5[W] because executioner's axe has a high crit property + Str modifier (5) and 1d6 radiant damage.

Either way this would have put him to below -22 hp. But instead of his character dying I allowed him to live, but I need some sort of penalty to offset the generosity. I honestly did not want to kill his character for the second time.

Any ideas?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take a moment to check out the tour and see how it's different to a forum. In particular, questions here are required to have a single best answer, so "any ideas" type requests don't really work well here. You might want to try a forum instead. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Oct 4 '15 at 3:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ It’s worth noting that we do this because this format is bad for idea-generation, and we know it. This is in no way a statement that there’s anything wrong with the question, just that there’s something wrong with this site – by design – that prevents us from handling it well here. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 4 '15 at 3:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a side note: this is why it's a bad idea to use PC stats for enemy characters. They're designed to use different math, and aren't interchangeable. Hence why a single enemy nearly died from one round of combat, then one-shot a PC. \$\endgroup\$ – Michaellogg Oct 5 '15 at 18:39