Originally Posted by TheOOB
Taking equipment away permanently is a tactic of bad DM's.
Which of course forces the catch-22 where all new DMs are retroactively punished for being new DMs. And DMs that aren't good at optimization.
That point of view isn't respectable in the least. There are dozens
of potential stories revolving around taking away gear from players. But the "gentleman's agreement" pretty much tell people that all of them are crap because bad DMs don't know better, and players should throw a tantrum and whine on forums until the DM either capitulates or throws the player out.
The "Gentleman's agreement" is one of the worst things to happen to roleplaying games, it binds the DM's hands in the sense of "fair play" without doing the same for the players, making the game require an excellent DM to even adjucate the game, and essentially making the effort in becoming a great DM not worth it. It's pretty much the archetypal example of the arguments that raised the Oberoni Fallacy. "It's not broken, the Gentleman's Agreement/Rule 0 fixes it."