For examples of my DM mastering, please refer to this "Rise of the Runelords"
and this "Kingmaker"
I like my player's characters brave and heroic. Willing to save princesses and orphans, fight dragons and monsters, and stand for all that is good and defenseless.
I tend to ignore rules when they hinder the game, dislike min-maxing, and like roleplaying (but not self-centered drama).
In my games a character will not die unless his player is OK with it. But as Shepherd Book said about the bible and killing: "[is] somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps". Your character life is maybe protected, but his abilities, equipment and contacts are not.
I don't assign experience, but let the characters go up a level when it serves the story.
Don't really like alignment rules, specially lawful-chaotic, so I tend to ignore it. But I won't pick evil characters, and will prefer good ones.