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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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Tales of Moonsea

layer vs. Player

Is player versus player conflict allowed?

Yes, and in fact it is encouraged. The most distinctive feature of a multiplayer world is that your character's actions and plans take place against an enviroment that includes NPCs (controlled by the game engine or a DM) and PCs. Your actions, plans or simply who your character is will at times put you at odds with other character's actions and plans. Sometimes conflict can be avoided or resolved, sometimes it leads to hostile actions. Sometimes the environment is simply hostile towards your character, and that includes other PCs. In summary, you do not own your character's story. It will be molded and changed in ways you may not foresee by your character's interaction with the world and with other characters, and the sooner you embrace the idea the more you will enjoy playing in ToM.

PvP conflict does not imply player killing. It may not even imply PvP combat. It does imply actions by other PCs that try to forcibly modify your behavior or the result of your own actions. You may be kidnapped, extorted, threatened, restrained, manipulated, your friends and allies may be forced to influence you. The possibilities are endless, and this is what playing in a multiplayer environment means. If you don't want PvP conflict, you should look for party-based worlds, or social servers. That said, player vs player combat and ultimately player killing is a major aspect of PvP conflict and the one that needs better explanation due to its sensitive and emotional nature.

How can I control when and how my character gets involved in PvP combat?

Players should be aware that there will be circumstances where their characters may be subject to attacks, and this includes both NPCs and PCs. Generally speaking, anywhere you go where you wouldn't be surprised by a monster or an NPC jumping at you, you shouldn't be surprised by a PC doing the same. Your character should be prepare for such eventuality and would make no distinction between a PC and an NPC. For instance, if you travel alone at night through the woods, you shouldn't be at al surprised if thieves or a band of crazed Malarite hunters tried to attack you. Either be ready to fight them off, or do not travel at night through the woods.

This can also be extended to other not so obvious circumstances:
- If you directly or indirectly foil or disrupt some evil overlord's plan to take over Faerun, don't be surprised if him or his minions try to get rid of you.
- If you are a pest for the authorities or the good citizens of Phlan, don't be surprised if posses are thrown to hang you or if mobs with pitchforks chase you through the streets.
- If you are known to have a lot of money and walk alone and unprotected through a dark and desolate area of the city, don't be surprised if others try to take a share of that wealth.
- If you are an honest and harmless follower of Ilmater who would never think of harming a fly, don't be surprised if a cult of Cyricists decides to turn you into the main attraction of one of their ceremonies.
- And so on.

The bottom line is, expect PvP combat to happen, prepare for it, and enjoy the ride.

Is player killing allowed?

The DM team strongly believes that nothing is more thrilling than having to use your wits against other player's wits, and that is doubly true when there is a certain risk of loss and/or death. You may feel completely comfortable figthing monsters that you have fought many times before, but when a human intelligence is behind your enemy's actions you can no longer assume what will happen, and that will make the event doubly thrilling.

Player killing is explicitly allowed, and as long as the IC events leading to a kill do not involve metagaming, cheating or intentionally trying to cause grief, the victim should not complain. If you do believe there are unsual circumstances in your death that warrant a complaint, take screenshots, save your game logs and contact a DM, first in game and if that fails, sending an email detailing all the circumstances of the event to talesofmoonsea@gmail.com.

What is griefing?

Griefing is the intention and effect of causing OOC grief to other players. This is a very broad term, but we DMs are very good at telling griefers from normal players playing their characters. There are some specific circumstances when PvP combat and PKing is not acceptable and when the DMs will intervene:
- Characters attacking people at random, for no particular IC reason ("My character is evil" is not a good IC reason) and particularly when accompanied by OOC insults, remarks or behavior.
- Players whose characters always follow a pattern of harming other characters, even if it is always IC. If all your characters are compulsive thieves and crazed murderers, or if they react to insults with deadly violence, we may have a talk.
- Players whose characters avoid PvP combat in all occasions, even if it is not IC for them to do so, except when the circumstances all but guarantee victory.
- Players who always resort to violence and PKing as the only means to achieve their IC goals.
- Players who exploit mechanical weaknesses or metagame to give their characters an edge in PvP combat.
- Players who always full loot or kill their victims, regardless of the circumstances. Specially if they loot their victims and immediately sell their gear to NPC merchants, making it impossible to recover.

As you may see, in very rare cases a single event can be labeled as griefing. However, in our experience, 99.99% of the cases we witness are just that blatant. There have been very few occasions where the DMs have had to study a pattern of behavior looking for griefing, and even less cases where that suspicion has been confirmed. Trust your DMs to be able to spot and remove the griefers as quickly as possible. Needless to say, griefers are not welcome to ToM and will be dealt with harshly.

Is full looting allowed?

Yes, although as we mentioned before, it should be a rare event. Normal thieves usually don't strip their victims of all their posessions, murderers don't hang around their victims long enough to remove their every piece of clothing, and so on. However, item loss can be sometimes more crippling than death itself in a world where you can come back from the death, and in cases where long drawn conflicts between pitted characters and/or factions lead to a fight and/or a death, full or almost complete removal of items may be warranted.

But what if I don't want to kill or loot other players?

You can always choose not to. Although in the setting that might be very much not the proper IC behavior for most characters. If what you are concerned is the OOC distress caused on other players when you kill or loot them, there are many ways to show OOC courtesy to them. These are more than welcome and often appreciated but not mandatory by any means:
- Avoid stomping on lower level characters with your uber character of doom. Try beating them up or hire minions to deal with them so that there is a challenge. Of course repeated failed attempts to stop them like that may lead to your character taking things directly on his hands.
- Avoid full looting if not necessary. Take the gold and/or a small selection of items. If you take personal or special items, allow for a chance to recover them in the future. Of course, there are circumstances where IC your character may want to give a great economic blow to another character or faction and that may require to put OOC considerations aside.
- Use non violent means to assert your character's will. Threats, beatings, and the support of powerful allies are sometimes much better IC avenues of action than straight violence. Of course, some characters may not yield to anything but death, and in those cases direct action may be completely necessary.
- Avoid attacking and killing characters in circumstances that will make it very difficult or impossiblle for them to recover their gear. If you kill someone alone in a quest area you may inadvertently make it impossible for him or anybody else to retrieve his gear. Take that into consideration before planning an attack. Of course, there may be IC events within a quest that warrant an attack and kill, but if that happens you may also either move the gear out of the quest area yourself or even arrange an OOC recovery of the items at a later time.
- Send an OOC message after the kill to reassure the victim there were no OOC bad intentions. Have a chat out of the game afterwards. Point out the fact that you are giving OOC considerations beyond what's required. We've noticed that all of this sometimes this helps to dispel any suspicions of griefing. Of course, tempers may be hot around the time of a death, so use carefully and in case of doubt avoid OOC at all.
- Give fair warning of what your victim to be will face. It may well happen that the other player doesn't realize he's getting into a potentially deadly situation.
- Delay the exercise of violence. You will see that often the experience is more rewarding for both killer and victim if time passes between the cause of the attack and the attack itself. This may be anything from villain monologues, sacrifices to evil gods or formal executions (taking minutes of hours) to long plans full of jabs and feints, challenges to duels or arrangements of OK corral type showdowns (taking months or years).

All these and other OOC considerations are strictly voluntary, and while they may be appreciated they cannot be demanded. Even if you do show OOC kindness to your victims, that doesn't buy you the right to demand the same treatment from other players.

But what if the victim exploits my OOC kindness?

That is a risk you take, if you choose not to kill an enemy and then he later comes and kills you, it's the IC result of your actions and you should take it in stride. There are of course situations where a victim may react unfairly and warrant DM intervention:
- Victims who contacts friends OOCly to retaliate for the attack.
- Victims who exploit the limitations of subdual mode and go immediately from being unconscious to fleeing or attacking.
- Victims who complain OOCly to the attacker about the attack, or who label him as a griefer. Only the DMs can make that call.
- Victims who respawn and immediately go to the authorities to report the event. Nothing more off putting than that to both attacker and guards.

But what if I don't want to be killed or looted?

As we said, there are many IC ways your character can minimize the risk of being exposed to PvP conflict. But ultimately you are in the middle of a world where bad things may happen to your character, and sometimes those bad things are caused by other PCs. If you are looking for a completely risk-free environment where PvP conflict and combat aren't a possibility, then ToM may not be the server for you.

Can you make a quick summary of the PvP rules?

Yes. First, don't be a jerk. Second, don't be a wuss.