I'd like to raise the question of whether permadeath even belongs in this game. As far as I can tell, permadeath really belongs in rogue-likes where it increases suspense, because you could lose everything any moment. In AVWW, you're not really supposed to lose the whole game. Therefore, whatever sense of loss you might get from losing a character can only be equivalent to a character dying in an MMORPG: an XP loss aka a grind punishment.
At the same time, permadeath has a serious downside which Tom Chick pointed out in his podcast: it detaches you completely from your avatar. And that's really not good. People like their avatar to grow in power and thrive. They like to identify with him/her/it, even if their avatar never talks.
There's another issue as well: a much more natural gameplay element suggests itself very strongly in this game. You're collecting survivors, right? And they come from different time periods, and have different abilities etc. So the natural suggestion is that the survivors are the ones whose bodies the glyph should control. Here's how it would work out more or less: if you die, you're just incapacitated. You then have to choose one of the other characters you have in your settlement. If all characters are incapacitated, then you get some penalty. This penalty could be strategic or it could be grind-related, as time passes by for all characters to heal.
This also allows for some really cool possibilities. Inventories could be made character-specific. Each character could store a different collection of spells and enchants, and could therefore offer completely different gameplay. Getting more characters means getting another life (before the penalty hits), but it also means you could have another character to customize. You get to know your different characters, care about them, and appreciate their different abilities.