15.10 Player Killing

Player killing is an acceptable and necessary avenue for conflict resolution in Aetolia. Contract enforcement, vengeance, or yes, roleplay, can be Acceptable reasons to attack another player. The visceral exercise of combat affords an unmatchable level of drama and challenge that help make Aetolia an exciting and memorable world.

Player killing almost never occurs without consequences, however - a fact of which every potential combatant needs to be acutely aware. Most commonly, consequences of player killing can involve reciprocal attack from other players or being declared the enemy of an organization. Consequences of irresponsible and egregious player killing may also include direct Divine retribution, Administrative punishment, or even the total loss of one's character.

There is no rule book, so please don't ask the administration to enumerate or hypothesize about specific situations where you may or may not kill another player. We recognize that no two conflicts are alike, and we evaluate -each complaint individually-.

That said, there are certain tips and easily-avoided mistakes that we can point out from experience. What follows is a short list of guidelines for player vs. player aggression. It is by no means all-inclusive; it is provided merely to assist in making intelligent choices:

No single death issues
Any issue filed purely over an attack where NO DEATH or a SINGLE DEATH occurred will generally BE DISMISSED outright. Death is a part of Aetolia, and there are numerous avenues to deal with the repercussions of player killing without the Administration stepping in. These avenues should always be taken, and issues that concern player killing of any sort should only be filed where they constitute serious breaches of conduct and may constitute harassment. This does not mean that Admin will never act if it is a single or no death involved. However, it is more likely to be dismissed.

Please keep in mind hard rules such as those that constitute open PK and the like will take precedence if it is found that they are intentionally broken.

Roleplay-based deaths
While a roleplayed motive can be a reason to attack another player, it is not carte blanche to kill whomever you want with impunity. EVERYONE is presumed to be playing a role in Aetolia, and those who violently inflict their roleplaying on others are subjected to a much higher standard.

Your role defines your motives, not the other way around. If it's not clear to others that you are immersed in a role, then you effectively aren't. The burden is on you to demonstrate that your aggression is in-character, not only at the time of a fight, but constantly through your character's everyday behavior, habits and speech. See HELP ROLEPLAYING for more information.

Hurt feelings only go so far as an excuse for player killing. Failure to apologize is not a good reason to continue killing someone repeatedly.

Teaming, assassination, and excessive PK
Repeatedly killing the same person for the same reason is rarely acceptable behavior. Killing someone over and over, and other attempts to demoralize someone to the point of wanting to quit playing are good ways to attract the ire of immortals.

Any time you assist another player, or group of players, in slaying someone - you are expected to have a strong reason to help kill them.

Being hired to kill someone, by itself, is not enough of a motive. If you are claiming a bounty, make sure you are aware of the motive to begin with. Just killing them because there is a bounty is not enough. Both the hired assassin and the hirer are equally culpable for what results from their interaction. BOTH need to make sure their reasons justify killing, and both will be punished if they do not.

If you use assistance to slay someone, and do not land the killing blow, you generally _can not_ use the same reason and attempt to kill the person again.

Raiding and Bounties
If you enter an enemy city/council of your own volition or attack one of their guards, you are assumed to be launching an assault on that city/council and should expect to be attacked accordingly by its citizens.

During a raid:

  - You cannot kill whoever you want in a raid. In particular, this includes
    random citizens. You can kill those that are defending the city while
    you're raiding, and not later. Non-citizen defenders of a city are fully
    protected by this provision.

  - Sitting one room outside of the entrance of a city you are an enemy of
    is considered raiding, and defenders may act accordingly.

  - If you are participating in a raid, regardless of if you died during it,
    the defenders can set a bounty on your head and have someone claim it as
    retaliation for your raid later. This stands even if you were just
    participating in the raid by healing attackers and never hitting anyone.

  - Forcing someone to kick guards is illegal unless the person is
    A. Already an enemy and
    B. Their enemy status hasn't kicked in yet.

  - If your reason for killing a player is a bounty placed on their heads, you
    have to claim said bounty. If it is not claimed, it is no longer valid as a

  - So long as the person who is claiming the bounty is a member of the city
    that placed the bounty, how that person got the head to claim it is of no
    consequence. You cannot withhold the claiming of bounties by citizens of
    your own city. The end result is the person died for the bounty placed, you
    do not get to dictate the validity of that death.

  - If you are raiding a city, you cannot PK defenders after-the-fact. 
    Participation in a raid defense is not cause for further aggression.

Holy Wars
During a Holy War, only those members of the Congregations and Orders of the involved Gods are able to take part in any battles. Those who are of neither are prohibited from engaging them while they are in the process of defiling shrines.

Regardless of VALID PK CAUSE, attacking someone who is in the process of defiling a shrine, or fighting enemy Order members during a Holy War is prohibited as you are DIRECTLY aiding in the Holy War by this action.

This prohibition does NOT extend to those individuals who are in either Order, but are not actively helping to defile shrines or fighting enemy Order members.

During Holy War, members of the opposing Orders are considered open PK to one another. This does not include Congregation members unless they involve themselves, in which case they have made it clear their intent to participate, and will be considered open PK too.

Note that the above is only in play after the grace period ends.

Those who participate in the refining of ylem from the foci and ley lines will be enshrouded in an aura. Being within FIVE (5) ROOMS of an active extraction grants an aura. These individuals are now OPEN PK until their aura fades.

  - Rooms that will give auras to any individuals standing within them are
    marked in bright red room messages.

  - When major foci spawn, they will make the entire area they are in an open
    PK zone. Bear this in mind and avoid the area if you do not wish to partake.

  - Attacking an individual who wears an aura will also impart an aura unto
    you, making you OPEN PK as well.

  - Auras fade upon death, or two minutes after your last refining action or
    attack upon an individual bearing an aura.

  - Much like Ciem, this operates under the rules of no revenge; deaths
    suffered whilst bearing an aura do not allow the victim to exact revenge at
    a later date unless the target is also wearing an aura. Conflict tied
    around the auras is to be immediately dropped once auras dissipate.

Hunting Grounds
Entering the Hunting Grounds immediately opens one up to attack by any and all other individuals within the Hunting Grounds. This is an OPEN PK zone.

Holding one of the artifacts retrieved from the Hunting Grounds opens one up to attack by any and all other individuals who wish to seize the items for themselves. This means, in effect, you are OPEN PK so long as you have one in your possession.

  - If you no longer wish to participate in this fashion, RELINQUISH <item>.

Any conflict initiated within the Hunting Grounds will not be carried outside of it, in similar fashion to Ciem. Likewise, revenge cannot be enacted for deaths received in the Hunting Grounds while your target is outside of the Grounds.

Iernian Fracture
Entering the Iernian Fracture immediately opens one up to attack by any and all other individuals within the Iernian Fracture. This is an OPEN PK zone.

All rules that apply to the conflict of focus points and leylines (as seen above in Refining) apply to the Iernian Fracture, as you will gain an aura in this hostile environment.

The Vortex
Entering the Shattered Vortex is just like the Fracture, it opens you up to attack by any and all other individuals within it. This is an OPEN PK zone.

Any conflict initiated within the The Vortex will not be carried outside of it. Likewise, revenge cannot be enacted for deaths received in the The Vortex while your target is outside of The Vortex. Review HELP VORTEX for details on this area.

Other Structured PK
Structured PK involving aura requires the target to have the aura. You may not engage someone preemptively, except in cases of area battles like foci areas. This is to keep the structured events fun.

Safe PK Config
There is a simple config that can be used to help prevent you from engaging in PK by accident. Please note that this does not track any of the above guidelines - it is a config to help you keep track of when someone is open PK or not. Please read CONFIG SAFEPK for more information.

Other guidelines
Arena events like Free-For-Alls are consequence-free battles, and thus anything that happens inside an arena should be forgotten once outside. Attacking someone for something that occurred inside an arena would be foolish.

If you have an issue with another player and can imagine some way to solve it yourself, please do so. Remember that nearly every player answers to other players, an organization, or a deity - so diplomatic solutions can sometimes be even more effective than a counterattack. The more spurious issues get filed, the less the administration is able to focus on developing and enhancing the world. Those who file issues deemed spurious may be subject to administrative punishment.

Again, these points are merely here to assist you with making responsible decisions and are not a list of rules. The Administrators are not stupid, and attempts to play semantic games with them over words in this document will not work to your advantage.