Biggest thing is looking for solutions to problems that aren't "hit it until it goes away."
If that's by far the most desired solution then the party should be looking for as many ways to stack the odds in their favor before the hitting begins because once the hitting begins anything can happen.
Finally, it is very easy for the players to be broken but far less likely for them to die outright. It can happen, but it's not going to happen as frequently as you might be thinking. When your players are broken, let them live if it's at all plausible given the situation. If the bandits got the better of them, they're not going to go around murdering each of them in cold blood, maybe they'll try to ransom them or sell them off to slavers or Rust brothers. Usually there's a way to "let them live". That said, if they die, they die - don't go out of your way to save them from death to the detriment of the story or to cheapen their experience.
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, an instructional AP dedicated to Year Zero games. Currently playing in a Raven’s Purge campaign and GM’ing a campaign of Vaesen.