Carrion Crown: Kyle's
Given that the characters must frequently face off against creatures that are far more powerful than normal you probably will have more characters than normal die in a dark fantasy campaign. Remember that the high fatality rate is one of the appeals of this campaign style (horror). The characters take great risks to defeat their enemies, but this heightened sense of danger makes victory that much sweeter.
To keep the action moving, it may help to have each player keep an extra character or two on hand. If a character dies, it might be a bit boring for a player to sit through the rest of the session with nothing to do. If you consider replacement characters beforehand, you can keep a player involved in the action.
Such PCs might be relatives of the current group of characters, friends, allies, or other investigators who have a stake in the current adventure.
While dark fantasy adventures are more dangerous than normal, try to avoid creating encounters with the express goal of killing PCs. Arbitrary situations and inescapable encounters can grow dull. Try to always include room for clever players to escape their doom, though it does not have to be easy or simple to survive an encounter.
Glorious Death, An Optional Rule: Sometimes, it makes sense for a heroic character to give his life so that others may live or to destroy a terrible threat to the world. A player who throws himself into his role and sacrifices a character for the greater good, and the success of the entire group, should be rewarded. As an optional rule, you can declare any character’s death as sufficiently glorious and self-sacrificial that the player gains a bonus for his next character.
When the player’s new character enters the game, he gains one of the following benefits: a +2 bonus to one ability score, a bonus character level, or 1,000 gp X PC character level in starting equipment. You can pick a benefit that fits your campaign or allow the player to choose. This rule lessens the sting of losing a character and makes self-sacrifice a viable option for a player without forcing him to the sidelines or penalizing him compared to the other characters.
If declared by the GM as a self sacrificing moment of heroism that results in a PC’s death I will enact the heroic death rule. If enacted a PC can choose from the following for the new PC. Note any actions that are suicidal will not be in the running for heroic death. If considered a heroic death a new PC can choose one of the following
1) +2 to a stat
2) 1,000gp X the PC who died character level X2
3) A bonus feat
4) A second favored class ability or favored racial class feature. Eg +1 hp/skill point per level(usually only choose one, but with this get both). Advanced players guide racial class feature may also be selected.