Playerkilling on Discworld MUD
Playerkillers (PKs) interact with each other in more ways than non-playerkillers (NPKs) can. Certain rules apply only to PKs, or in a different way to PKs, and this helpfile attempts to clarify these.
What we refer to as an 'interaction' is any single set of related activities between two players that may result in death, injury, or loss of property. This includes, but is not limited to: theft, killing, looting, contracting, pursuing, immobilising, affecting with spells and rituals, and many other forms of in-game behaviour. While interactions may be prolonged and may occur in the context of an ongoing feud or disagreement, a single interaction is unlikely to last across logins.
A PK cannot retaliate directly against NPK actions, and it is therefore illegal for an NPK to interfere in a PK interaction.
As a PK, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are not under any NPK-provided effects if you attack or otherwise interact with another PK. If you initiate the interaction, it is up to you to ensure you are free of any NPK-provided benefits before you start, within reason. For example, this means that you are breaking the rules if you are shielded by an NPK with the intention of starting a PK fight.
If you are attacked while protected or otherwise affected by an NPK then these effects must not be renewed and, where possible, you should actively try to remove those effects. For example, you should let a major shield run out rather than being recast by an NPK groupmate, and you should normally leave the room (or ask your shielding NPK groupmate) to actively remove the effects of the ritual 'security blanket' when cast by an NPK.
This rule also covers other cases where an NPK can use their status to give a PK an advantage. For example, giving an item to an NPK or allowing them to take it from your corpse to prevent a PK stealing it, or hiding in a house locked with an NPK lock to escape a PK interaction. Of course, common sense applies; you may engage fully with NPKs during the normal course of the game, as long as it does not affect a current PK interaction.
Note that although it is primarily considered the responsibility of PKs to ensure they are not under the influence of any NPK effects/benefits during an interaction, both PKs and NPKs may face consequences if the interaction rules are purposefully broken.
Interactions that are allowed between NPKs are similarly allowed between PKs and NPKs, as long as the above principles are maintained, i.e. no current PK interaction is affected. This includes grouping, roleplaying, trade, council and other player-run structure activities (voting, legislation, enforcement), the provision of services including corpse-finding, and many other game activities.
Losing your link/logging off to avoid death or other interaction
Logging off is not a valid game tactic. It is against the rules for you to intentionally lose your link or log off to avoid death or other immediate game situation. Within playerkilling, this means that you should not lose your link to avoid a PK fight being initiated or to avoid dying, being stolen from or other PK interactions, e.g. logging off to prevent someone retrieving a stolen item.
If you are in a PK fight and need to leave the game, you should let your attacker know and ask them to leave you alone, or perhaps to continue later. If they don't then you should make every effort to end the interaction using acceptable means, e.g. by running away, hiding, and stopping the fight, or by getting assistance from other PKs. Of course, if you do this in order to end an unpleasant interaction, but then log on shortly afterwards (even with an alt) then you are unlikely to be believed! A PK who gets upset by such unsportsmanlike behaviour is entitled to be annoyed with you, and might be expected to come hunting you later on.
If you unexpectedly lose your connection it is good to get back online as soon as you can, even if that is only to say you are leaving. Behaviours like this mean that you are less likely to be accused of breaking the rules, or of being "unsportsmanlike".
If someone leaves the game while you are chasing them and you believe they left solely to avoid being attacked or stolen from, you should remind them of the rules. If they do it repeatedly then you should let a liaison know so that any necessary action can be taken.
Breaking this rule can result in suspension, particularly if the behaviour is repeated or in clear violation of the spirit of the rule.
PKs should expect to be killed and stolen from randomly on a daily basis, as this is part of being PK. They should also be prepared to be looted, have corpses hidden and be contracted, and to engage willingly or unwillingly in other interactions listed above.
The "help harassment" helpfile gives some ideas for resolving unpleasant situations, such as approaching councils and other player-run structures, or acting with a group of PKs to discourage bad behaviour. If all these options fail and the PK actions are prolonged, repeated, excessive, disproportionate and unprovoked then you may wish to make a complaint to liaison admin as detailed in "help harassment".
Although situations can become heated, personal harassment such as racial, religious or sexual abuse, or real life threats are utterly unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If you encounter one of these problems you should follow the guidelines in "help harassment" and contact a liaison if necessary.
Avoid Grey Areas
In general, if you think something might be questionable, then you should probably avoid doing it. The above guidelines are not black and white - rules always need to be interpreted with a degree of common sense. If you would like to discuss these rules in greater depth, please talk to a liaison.