My view is that if you get yourself killed, be it through bad luck, poor planning or plain stupidity (hey, I'll move the Reaper to my character and hope I roll a 6, I have fate left…), it's primarily your fault. Certainly should not get any crutches like keeping all (or all but one) of your previous possessions. You died, suck it up.
Bad luck, say drawing a Basilisk might not be avoided, but those are the breaks in Talisman. Yes, dying quite often means not being able to win, but not always. With Reaper and now the Horrible Black Void, the character who took your stuff could die as well. There was a recent game where the first character to the Crown drew HBV, then the next one in like to move to the Inner Region drew the Village Mob and being Lycantrophy, was also killed, leaving the Str 4, Craft 3 Dwarf (who starts with 3/3 stats!) as the winner despite being absolutely out of the running at that point. Yes, it'll happen once in a blue moon, but the possibilty of it suffices for me.