I'm curious. Please chime in with an opinion on the following idea.
Chimera-death. As an alternative to perma-death.
Your character dies. You now have to select another Class when you next level up. Your choice.
If you die again before leveling, the choice is limited to a random roll. 1d8 for Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, Wizard, Paladin, Sorcerer. (For the classic D&D characters, 1dwhatever if you choose to include any or all classes). The random roll is dependent on if you already have that class or if it is incompatible [Bard-Paladin], in which case you roll again.
If you die a third time before leveling - re-roll as in perma-death.
You stay on the new class, leveling up, until you die again. Then - same as before. Choose another class or random roll or re-roll character.
When you have three classes - deaths bounce from one class to the next. With 1 death, you choose which class. With two, you roll [1d2 or 1d6 odds or evens you get the idea]. Three deaths - reroll.
You get to keep your original character much longer. You have a better chance of seeing levels past 12 (maybe), you don't lose XP level parity with your mates. If you are someone who hates multi-classing, it will serve to keep you playing careful. Definitely serves the purpose of a death penalty for them. If you like multi-classing the random element will serve to make you play careful just as much as a pure player, because most multi's are planned and oops random makes for a hard slog.
Depending on your viewpoint, multi-classing also makes for a more versatile character at the expense of power, so in effect makes the game more challenging as time goes on. YMMV.
It can make for some truly gimped characters. Also many people do not like, really do not like at all, multi-classing. Plus there is the re-roll factor, making it like PD - only more delayed. Last resort sort of thing.
I'm sort of taking a poll, seeing what others think about this idea. It is a cross between the G.I.M.P project of a few years back and the THACO playstyle.
As a devout multi-classer I'm a bit biased toward it and would like to have feedback - pros and cons.