I used to play an old mmo called Star Wars Galaxies that had a wound system very similar to corruption in CE. Basically if you got hit hard enough and the attacker was little lucky, you had a chance that the hit would reduce your max HP until you visited a doctor or entertainer. Persistent players who went on long adventures would eventually accumulate enough wounds to essentially force a visit to towns.
You already have this mechanic for corruption, so I was thinking maybe other sources could reduce max HP, maybe max Stam, and even max Carry weight. And it would be cured by visiting an entertainer thrall or maybe some new thrall types.
One of the fastest ways to accumulate wounds in that game was by being knocked out - a state your player goes into when they lose all HP but before dying. The attacker could choose to deliver a killing blow by attacking you while KO’d. I think this would add some interesting complexities to PVP interactions in this game, especially the player-built “arenas” on many servers, where the participants have to circumvent the instant-death mechanic by having a farm of bedrolls all around the venue.
You also already sort of have a KO state for NPCS (truncheons cause it) - so I was thinking maybe player characters get KO’d the first time their HP hits 0, and they only die if they take some direct damage in that state. If left KO’d for longer than the server respawn time without being killed, they return to standing with some percentage of HP healed up.
To prevent KO griefing, a player KO’d more than once in a short period will have the option to “let go” and die during the KO state, releasing to spawn.
Hostile mobs like bears, wolves, etc would simply attack you one more time to kill you. Perhaps this can compliment the above outline wound system in some way so there is a minor penalty for being KO’d.