"You must pay for your mistakes and choices, sometimes at the cost of life. Restoring games is discouraged and only provided to allow continuing split games." - Roguetemple on Permadeath
As previously mentioned, one of the differences in this version of Kharne is that the game wil be balanced around the implementation of permadeath. However, I do want to extend to the player the possibility of getting around permadeath. Not as a buffer for gross stupidity (the penalty for that in a Roguelike should always be death) but rather as reward for additional preparation and careful play.
So what could be implemented that wouldn't be overpowered? Roguebasin lists many alternatives, but there are a few in particular I think could be easily implemented in Kharne. The first are powerful necromantic magical spells would give the player a chance of ressurecting. Of course, there would be a heavy price to pay for such twisting of fate (perhaps coming back as an undead, which would be a whole different game experience). Another is a powerful artifact (which should be unique, albeit randomly found) that allows a single resurrection under certain circumstances. Again, there should be a penalty associated with use.
What I haven't mentioned is resurrection by deity. The original Kharne had a half-implemented (and -arsed) deity system. Although I've not played it, the roguelike Incursion appears to have a textbook resurrection by deity system:
"...in Incursion...The basic theory is that if you're in good standing with your diety, he can ressurect you if you die, but (A) some of the gods don't do this, while others do it only at varying levels of favor, (B) you lose an experience level as well as a point of Constitution when you get raised, and move back to the start of the dungeon (or the local temple, when I get wilderness levels done), (C) you need to attain a certain minimum character level before being raised and (D) you have a ressurection survival chance that is nearly certain the first time, and grows worse and worse with each death -- so it's only "certain" the first time."
I'm not convinced about this, but perhaps if deities are implemented in the new Kharne, this sort of system might be worth considering. What do you think?