Easy way to do death animations?

Do you guys recommend any good techniques for creating death animations? I’m using Blender and my current workflow involves physics simulation: I apply some force, then record keyframes for what the simulation gives me, and then I manually tweak stuff to make it less ragdoll-ish.

That’s not a bad workflow. the only thing to improve is to make it so that the animation gets a quick rig in order to adjust things a little more visually.
My blender plugin does just that.

The alternative would be to just let the engine handle it with a proper PHAT and ragdoll.
The ragdoll is often not what you need. It really depends on how you want stuff to die or where it was hit. For instance, ragdoll works well on head-shots since that’s pretty accurate as to what happens in real life.