The level of interaction between players on Discworld is controlled by the status of 'player killer'. By default players are not player killers which means that other players cannot kill them, steal from them, loot their corpse or place contracts on them at the various assassin guilds.
Players who wish to do these things must apply to be player killers using the 'apply' command. Once registered they will be able to do these things to (and have these things done to them by) other player killers.
Player Killers are commonly referred to as PK. In opposition, those who are Non-Player Killers are referred to as NPK.
Changes are ongoing and the information presented here might be out of date at any given moment. For more information see this page.
Player killers (PK) are now referred to as members of the playerkillers clan.
- Members of a clan can kill other members of the clan (and overall engage with them as a PK).
- The clan name/designation might change in the future to clarify this.
- Clan members who have been in the clan for at least 2 days of playtime (or everyone who was a PK at the time of the change) can vote in an election for clan leader.
- This election uses preference-based voting.
- Candidates need someone in the clan to second them.
- NPKs are allowed to stand for the position of PK leader.
The elected Leader of PK, a player, has the following powers:
- remove someone from the clan (all members will get an inform about this)
- invite someone to the clan who was previously removed (or is too young to join)
- see when someone previously left (and whether it was voluntary or not)
- write a message in the clan log file for future leaders to see (for example to note why a player was removed)
It has been stated that the leader of PK can be removed through an option to hold a vote of non-confidence (VONC).
Currently the commands for PK status changes and information are available with the
clan list members- List the members of the Playerkillers clan.
clan join- Become a player killer.
clan info- List members and other information for the Playerkillers clan.
clan leave- Stop being a player killer.
Anyone can join the playerkillers clan (who has not previously left it or been barred from PK), and any member can leave after they have been in the clan for at least a day of playtime.
Many people are worried about becoming a playerkiller due to the perception that weak characters will be mercilessly victimised repeatedly. (This reportedly does happen.)
Since the 2020 changes it is now possible to leave PK if you have been in the clan for at least a day of playtime.
However if you leave you might not be able to join again, since you'll need to be invited by the PK leader. Depending on who that is and their policies this can be a formality or it can be impossible until the next PK leader.
Yes, you will be stolen from. If you carry items of sentimental value or that are hard to replace, you may want to either stay NPK or consider vaulting them. But in general, you won't be stolen from that much (unless you are), and most thieves are willing to sell things back to you or even just give them back if you explain why the object holds such value to you (unless they don't want to). Obviously this doesn't apply if the object in question was taken because they were trying to hurt you, but if you're reasonable and polite, you shouldn't have a problem (but you might).
The main annoyance is that if you have low perception, you basically can't carry coins. Go to the bank when you want to buy something and don't idle on your pk character and you'll be fine (maybe).
This will happen, but not as often as many fear (unless it does, for example if someone dislike you enough for any or no reason). Spend your xp frequently as a precaution, and if someone attacks you, take it with good grace. Random attacks can be a fun part of the game, either trying to get away from your opponent before they kill you, or turning the tables on them. Or in more even match-ups, using various skills and tricks to try to come out on top.
This happens even less often than random attacks, due to the cost. Most people won't bother with more than warning contracts, because those are much cheaper, and even real death contracts aren't much of a problem due to the coded time limit on the frequency of contracting. Make sure you always have a few spare lives and try not to repeatedly annoy people with a lot of cash and you'll barely even know assassins exist.
For an action to be pk-checked generally means that playerkillers can do it only to other playerkillers, and non-playerkillers can do it only to NPCs. Broadly, this applies to:
- Attacking or stealing
- Casting offensive spells
- Performing offensive rituals
- Picking locks on real estate, although if a pk is permitted in the house then any pk can pick the lock
- Things that interfere with covert actions (the Light ritual, spraying perfume, etc.)
There are other, more specific, things that are checked. These include (but may not be limited to):
- The Calm and Chant rituals. These may, however, be performed on players who are grouped with you.
- The Celestial Anchor ritual
Some actions have a less strict check:
- Find Corpse can be used on npks, and can be used on pks after being "permit"ted
- Tempt is only checked for poisoned fruit
- Track can be used on npks
There is also something called a "pk assistance check", which means that npks can't perform the action on pks who are in combat with other pks. It applies to the scrying systems.
Action that used to be possible, but that cannot be done anymore, having been removed from the game:
- Corpse looting without being permitted.
- Stealing furniture and items from them without being permitted in that room or house.