One of the most difficult challenges facing any RPG designer, especially one working on a Dungeons & Dragons game, is the problem of death. In the paper-and-pencil Dungeons & Dragons, this usually required a trip to town, a convenient cleric or a hideously expensive resurrection scroll. D&D computer game players, on the other hand, found even a death penalty that mild to be boring, which led to the ever-ready out called "saving and restoring." In the end, most D&D games since the original Baldur's Gate just had players get "knocked out," only to get up when the combat was over.
However, the latest expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2 won't be doing that, instituting a death system a bit closer to the original paper-and-pencil game. GameSpy recently went hands-on with the game to check out this and some of the other new features of Storm of Zehir.