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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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closed as primarily opinion-based by Miniman, KRyan, Ruut, SevenSidedDie Oct 4 '15 at 3:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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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