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Player Conflict
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Magicosm is, to one degree or another, a PvP (player versus player) game. Most characters, most of the time, will find it easy to avoid PvP combat, even if they wish to engage in frequent PvAI (player versus artificial intelligence) combat, but that possibility of PvP combat is there. Here are some of the rules of when you can expect to be engaged in PvP combat or PvP theft.


You can be engaged in involuntary PvP by entering an area which is controlled by a organization opposed to your own. This organization may be a religion, a government, or even a guild. Throughout the lands are nexus points, and each nexus point has an obelisk devoted to one of the territorial organizations. Each organization has its own type of obelisk : for one organization it may be a shrine, for another a mystical pool, a statue, or virtually any other large, immobile object or feature. Generally, a broad region will be filled with obelisks dedicated to a particular territorial organization.

Alliances and Feuds

Between the organizations are alliances and feuds. Most characters choose to belong to one of these organizations, and within the lands controlled by that organization or one of its allies, you are protected from attacks and theft by others devoted to that organization. If you should wander into lands controlled by an enemy organization, you will be subject to attack or theft by other characters who belong to that organization. Also, in lands controlled by an opposing organization, your power, hit points, and stamina will replenish more slowly. You will be warned as you approach uncontrolled areas or areas controlled by enemy organizations. Some transportation magic may not work into or out of areas controlled by enemy organizations. The further you go into enemy territory, the farther behind you leave the protection of your own land, the more likely it is you will reach a point where you will not be allowed to attack or rob someone. If you are an enemy deep within someone ' s land, you operate under the same rules as career criminals. This means you can be attacked, but nothing explicitly flags you as an enemy. Of course your clothes, language and actions can give you away.

No Man's Land

There are vast areas of the world which are under the control of no organizations. When you enter these lands you do so under the protection of the Mother, who brooks no violence between creatures who possess souls. These lands can be conquered and owned by organizations after they have established a presence for a period of time and constructed the appropriate nexus points. Once the territory has been turned into owned land, the Mother removes her protection from its inhabitants.


You can be engaged in involuntary PvP during wartime. Two regions controlled by organizations which are not allied may end up at war. You will be warned of impending war at least two (real time) days in advance. During wartime, characters devoted to the opposing organizations can storm the opposing regions and "take" nexus points, devoting them to their own organization. This procedure involves dealing damage to the current obelisk until it is destroyed, then one or more priests or mages performs a fairly lengthy ceremony at the nexus point to rededicate it, while other characters protect them. Note that as long as an obelisk stands, it regenerates at an alarming rate. As nexus points are overcome, the power in the remaining obelisks of that organization is increased, and taking more nexus points becomes more and more difficult. It is virtually impossible to take the last obelisk devoted to a organization.

During wartime, you can hide in a temple of Pax if you like. No one can attack anyone else from within the temple, or attack anyone who is in such a temple. Magical transport near a temple of Pax fails. Note that you may not defend your homeland while in a temple to Pax and may have to swear loyalties to the enemy if he wins the war. Player housing cannot be destroyed by any other players, either at war or at peace, but community owned structures can be attacked and destroyed by enemy players. Town walls, for example, can be crushed, burned, destroyed as enemies attempt to storm the town.


Occasionally, a thief will be allowed to steal from you or attack you for no good reason. The gods won ' t allow this to happen very often, but occasionally a thief of a power level comparable to your own will be allowed to steal from you or even mug you, threatening your life. Characters devoted to a god of thieves can choose a target (or "mark") and pray to their god to be allowed to steal from that target. If it has been long enough since the mark was last stolen from or attacked without provocation, and if the mark is of equal or greater power than the thief, such permission may be granted. Note that those who live lives of peace (who have never initiated PvP) may be stolen from, but not damaged, by a thief under these circumstances.


If you initiate PvP combat as a thief, brigand, or mugger you may be subject to "hit" contracts taken out on you. When you have been attacked in such a manner, you can go to the assassin ' s guild, local authorities, or to your guildmaster and put out a contract on the thug ' s life. Characters seeking sport and profit can go to the appropriate government, guild or underworld authorities and obtain a contract to kill some such ruffian. Whoever holds the contract will be able to attack the target of the contract, although the target can (of course) fight back. Note that the contract indicates who requested that the assassination occur, and if the assassin fails, the target may turn the tables on the contract initiator. In some cases, e.g. merchant trains, groups of brigands will get permission to attack everyone in a gathering at once. So it is possible for a massive ambush to occur against a traveling group, but again, this will only happen when the odds are reasonably fair, and if it has been some time since any of the targets had been attacked.


Under almost all circumstances, seeking sanctuary in the temples or areas devoted to Pax is a sure way to avoid combat and theft. Note, however, that for half an hour after you initiate PvP theft or combat, the protection of Pax is denied you. Also, take care in how frequently you murder and steal from your allies. Murderers and thieves are remembered, and the protection of Pax will eventually be revoked. Such characters cannot even enter the regions protected by Pax, and if you ' ve made enough enemies, you will find staying alive from one moment to the next a difficult task. Regaining Pax ' s favor after such a fall from grace is an arduous task indeed. Also, such characters will likely become outcasts from their organization, meaning that anyone anywhere can initiate PvP combat against them. There are no flags which indicates to people that you can be attacked, it is only through observation or word of mouth reputation that someone will know you are a career criminal.

Some of these circumstances involve you being subject to attack by others once you have initiated a combat. You can always renew your normal, mostly PvP-immune, status by entering a temple to Pax and performing some simple prayers (assuming that you haven ' t forfeited your protection from Pax by repeat offenses, as noted above). This normal status will also be recovered with the passage of time.

Assisting Someone in Trouble

When you see other characters are engaged in PvP combat, you can come to their aid. Doing so means that they and other characters can then engage you in PvP combat. Be careful about coming to the aid of others, you might end up the target of a much more powerful character before all is said and done.


You can always (except in temples to Pax) engage in consensual combat. Duels must be formally declared, the rules established, and agreed to by both parties before combat begins. There are a variety of types of duels, with different rules and results. Characters can duel to the death, to first blood, or engage in safe duels that can only result in unconsciousness. The winner of the duel may end up with lauds (a listing in his deeds that he defeated the loser), he may get to choose one item from the defeated, or he may get to fully loot the body of the loser.

Monster Possession

Under some circumstances, a character may possess a monster and attack other adventurers as that monster. This will generally happen as a penance before being resurrected by your diety or by the character ' s choice. When a character possesses a monster, he will be given a list of goals. Generally these are as simple as "defeat the intruders". In some cases, the monster will already be in combat with a foe. The gods frown on attempts to attempt to initiate combat on those much weaker than the possessed monster (unless they are in the monster ' s lair), and generally a stiff penalty will be paid by the possessing character. In addition, the character will be "booted" out of the monster and the combat attempted will not occur.


Characters devoted to opposed organizations will not generally be able to use communication magics to contact one another, and also commonly do not speak the same languages. It is also generally ill advised to trade with characters of opposed organizations, since solicitation of trade may well just be an invitation to an ambush.

There is, however, a plane on which all of these rules fail to hold. The fabled plane of the Bazaar is simply a vast plain of tents and shanties, hucksters and shopkeeps, in which you can generally trade with anyone, and find anything you want if you have enough gold. No combat is possible here, due to ancient magics and pacts. It is quite possible to lose all you own to some silver-tongued devil, however.

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