As a GM, how do I wrap game-caused character switching into the story?

Suppose I had to murder one of the PCs for great ju... didactic purposes. For example, my players refuse to understand the idea behind overpowered monsters (not meant to be fought head-on) or the occasional necessity of thinking (instead of relying on my railroading which, as I specifically mentioned to the players, is not going to happen). Whether this is a right thing to do is a separate question.

If more specific details are required: the campaign is about to unfold in the wilderness, and character deaths are most probable inside a dungeon, in the neutral-but-suspicious-lizardfolk camp in the forest, that is, at one of the plot's highest-tension points where it would be difficult to justify the appearance of a previously unseen character. I'm not going to kill anyone in a manner that would seem too harsh and undeserved, so death will be an ultimate penalty for extreme mistakes my players make.


  • What is the most common/reasonable way of explaining the appearance of a new character?
  • Does the player have to sit around and wait for his new character to appear?
  • Is there an established technique available to keep the player engaged and the game moving?

I'm talking about a Pathfinder campaign, though there might just be a general rule applicable to a wider set of platforms.

I guess I should also clarify that I strongly disapprove of any "unrealistic" and simpifying measures like instant revival and gold penalty. The story should at least look logical.