What would happen if we had a one time offer to make copap banned/uber gear plot and undropable for all players?
Just to be clear, the items I am talking about are the ones with any of these properties
Immune mind affecting
Immune spell school
Immune specific spell
Immune spell by level
Immune Critical Hit
Immune Sneak Attack
Immune Death Magic
Some of the On Hit effects (dispels, vorpal and the slays in particular)
Cast Spell of a spell level higher than 4
Damage Resistance of greater than 15
+5 item or equivalent
Items can be tagged as plot/undropable on the fly by DMs via the DMFI wand. So there would be no coder or builder time taken, it would have an effect on DMs, there is not enough of this stuff out there to make it a really major hit, and even if it was a major hit, it would only be for a short time. The workload on CoPaP teams is IMO not a prohibative issue.
In the short term, this would increase the have/have not situation currently in CoPaP as those with the gear would not lose it. But this is not too different to what we currently have anyway. There are very few options available for newer characters to get their hands on this stuff as it is (as it should be).
The characters that have this gear would have less to fear from death, all their best equipment would go with them.
There are characters out there that have this type of equipment that it is hard to justify how they got it. We would have to include them in the process as well, so we would be rewarding potentially iffy behavior by giving them plot items.
In the longer term, there would be no way that this stuff could get passed down. As the characters that currently have it leave, we can gaurentee it leaves with them, eventually this would cause all of this equipment to leave CoPaP for good.
This would also help to stabalie the economy to some degree. The only items that are able to move around in the economy, and therefore the only items that can have any effect on it are those that are theoretically available to everyone, be it by drop or DM reward. This effect would be instant. As soon as items are marked in such a way they are removed from the economy instantly even if they are still in the game world.
In essense what we would be doing would be creating a 2nd phase of 1%ers (2%ers?). But these ones would not be able to have the flow on influence to the economy that the current 1%ers have. The Avlis 1%ers had the trade in to remove items from the economy, this concept would also remove items from the economy, but with a longer time frame, and less direct effort.
If everyone has this option, then if these type of items are found on corpses, DMs can loot more freely without feeling guilty (I know some DMs or even worlds would not feel guilty already, but some would) to remove the items. It was the players choice to not have the item marked.
If these items do start to turn up again at a later date then it is clear they are not old stock, and will be much easier to spot exploits or other issues. eg. nobody is going to be given a greater belt of guiding light, if they were, then it would be a custom named item, and listed in the CoPaP DM rewards listing thread, and not the generic bioware palete item. If someone has earned a reward of that type, they have also earned a custom item.
While plot is a good property to have on an item, undropable really isn't. Undropable is esentially a curse, you cannot put the item in a bag, so you cannot reduce its weight, and it takes up a set amount of your inventory space. If you are uncumbered and have only undropable gear, you are going to stay that way.
One of the issues that came up when discussing this with others was merchant PCs. Currently there are a number of merchants that stock these types of item (zach featherfingers etc). This would kill the trade of these items (by design) and leave these merchants out of pocket. If however this idea was announced in advance, it would give these merchants a chance to offload the items for things that will still be allowed in the economy. This will have the effect of making the problem seem worse initially as all these items would be flushed out of peoples stockpiles, however in the long term this is also a good thing. If these items no longer stockpiled, then they will leave the economy quicker as you are not waiting for people in 1 or 2 generations time to leave with them.
This idea has both positive and negative sides, its a question of does the long term positive effect of getitng these items out of the economy for good outweigh the negative effect of making a select few characters more powerfull in the short term.