Player-vs-player combat is allowed in Vaxia and Sirian on the condition that all players have consented to PVP in that scene with those characters. PVP is one of the Character Permissions you can enable for a given character if you wish for them to be eligible for PVP. You cannot update this permission in the middle of a session, however, so please consider in advance if you would like to have it on or off before you join a session.
PVP can either be self-ruled (like when characters engage in friendly sparring) or ruled by an A/SH. Self-ruled PVP is limited in that it cannot result in permanent material consequences. You cannot kill or maim a character in self-ruled PVP, nor can you steal from them or otherwise grievously impact their life. For any of those, you need an A/SH to rule the scene.
PVP must be voluntary!
PVP is only possible when all parties involved have their character permissions for PVP enabled. If your flag is enabled, you still cannot engage in PVP with a player character whose flag is disabled. Likewise, even if the player character you target is flagged for PVP, you must also be flagged before you can engage them.
Permissions are locked during a given scene, which means any time an A/SH is present and ruling. You cannot update your flags in the middle of a session, and you cannot change your flag to join a fight already in progress. Therefore it's very important to think through any updates to your character permissions.
PVP Lock-out Period
Any time you engage in PVP that requires a ruling A/SH (anything beyond harmless sparring), your character's PVP permission will be locked in the "on" permission for a 7-day window. This is to allow for allied engagements that may result from the PVP action - for instance, if you kill a particular character, their friends may be interested in engaging you in PVP (if they know and are able to find you, of course).
A/SHs are instructed to closely examine "reprisal" PVP to ensure that out-of-character knowledge isn't being used, and to ensure it isn't part of a larger harassment issue. Once it's been 7 days since your last PVP engagement for that character, their flag becomes unlocked and you can disable it if you wish.
Support Efforts and PvP
You cannot lend aid to anyone actively engaged in PvP conflict without also consenting to engage in PvP for that conflict. This includes buffing, healing, even analyzing their PvP opponent and shouting advice, so be advised: you cannot be a passive partner to PvP, helping a friend without potentially opening yourself up to reprisals from their opponent.
Working at Cross Purposes
It's important to remember that working against another character's efforts where an NPC party is involved is not automatically PvP. For instance, if a PC is chasing an NPC, and you help the NPC to escape, that is not PvP. If they're chasing an NPC and you trip the PC, that IS PvP. Even though might yield the same outcome, one involves attacking the other PC directly, while bolstering the NPC does not.
As another example, if character A is setting fire to a building, and character B uses a water spell to put it out, that is not PvP, and they can continue to battle over the state of the building all night without ever crossing that line. If the fire mage tries to set the water mage on fire, that does cross the line into PvP and would need consent.
Where this gets hazier is when someone parries or blocks the efforts of an attacking character against an NPC. If character A attacks an NPC and character B tries to parry the strike, that is NOT PvP, even though it's combat. Character A wasn't attacking character B when they attacked, and character B is acting defensively. If B strikes back at A, that's PvP, and if A stops trying to go around B to hit the NPC and attacks them directly, that's also PvP. But B can continue trying to block A all night as A staps at the NPC behind them without it becoming PvP.
"Attacks" against one character by another may not always be so direct or literally as throwing a punch or firing a gun. The principles and guidelines of PvP do extend to more indirect attacks as well.
As a general rule, it's considered PvP when one character targets any of the following of another PC with intent to do harm:
- Their LIF or other Stats
- Their free will (mind control, loss of consciousness, coercion/intimidation, etc.)
- Their owned Items (theft, destruction or modification without permission)
- Their Companions (drones or animal companions)
- The well-being of their NPC loved ones (assuming said loved ones aren't Setting NPCs)
- Their Reputation (through libel, slander, etc.)
There are also some notable exceptions to this expansion of PvP. In these cases, rules are already in place to ensure any exchanges are handled fairly, and either an A/SH or the Setting Department is directly involved, so there's no need for further considerations and oversight.
Business and Location Ownership
Businesses and property with associated RPG Chatroom locations can often be mistaken for Items, but in fact are part of the larger Setting and thus not covered under the same PvP considerations. Just like with NPCs which belong to the larger setting (if your character's cousin somehow becomes mayor of a town, for instance), businesses and property locations are a fixture of the larger IC world and aren't protected by association with a PC. They can be attacked without consent.
That said, such attacks still need to be ruled by A/SHs as normal, and any appropriate Crime and Punishment rules may come into play, since property destruction is typically a crime. But they are not considered PvP in and of themselves.
This also applies if one PC attempts to buy out a business or property owned by another. All those transactions will follow the normal rules for business and property ownership and purchasing.
Rank and Title
Attacking a PC's reputation (more specifically their Reputation Score) via slander or libel is considered PvP, but attempting to claim their rank, title or position in the IC world is not. Essentially, if your character simply works on improving their own standing without directly affecting that of their competitors, that's fine. If they try to damage the reputation or otherwise win a position through underhanded means, that's considered PvP.
The rules for Rank among PCs apply as normal - if one PC genuinely beats another to a given title, rank or position that then removes it from another PC, the PC who lost the title, rank or position is not protected under PvP considerations.
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