Karma is one of two variables in the Reputation Title System, the other being Fame. Karma was designed to regulate combat between players. Simply put, unjust killings, thievery, and the making and applying of poison adversely affect a character’s karma. Dispatching evil creatures, completing quests, and killing murderers benefits a character’s karma. Karma can be calculated by the following approximate formula:
Slaying an Evil Creature
- Example: Ice Fiend's Karma = -18,000
- Your Karma = 5,000
- Karma Gained = -(-180) - 50 = 130.
- New Karma = 5,000 + 130 = 5,130
Slaying a Good Creature
- Example: Crane's Karma = 150
- Your Karma = 10,497
- Karma Lost = (-150 - 10,497) / 100 = -106 (rounded down)
- New Karma = 10,497 - 106 = 10,391
Karma & Skills
Paladins are spiritual warriors. The divine powers that a Paladin relies upon are affected by the amount of karma possessed by a character. Karma influences every spell cast by a Paladin, except for Sacred Journey. For Close Wounds and Noble Sacrifice it is the amount of damage healed. The amount of fire damage incurred when Cleanse by Fire is cast is lessened if the caster has high karma. The chance of a successful Remove Curse or Dispel Evil is affected by caster's karma, and in certain instances the Target's amount of fame and Necromancy skill. The duration and the bonus effects of Consecrate Weapon, Divine Fury, and Enemy of One are affected by Karma. And finally, the amount of damage dealt by Holy Light is based, in part, on karma.
Karma is also integral the Necromancer's calling. Negative karma can increase the effectiveness of certain necromatic arts. One of the creatures that can be summoned by the Necromancy spell Summon Familiar is the Shadow Wisp. A Shadow Wisp so summoned will regenerate mana for the Caster and those friendly to the caster only if they have a negative karma. Plainly stated, in such instances a Dread Lord will receive more mana than a Sinister Lord. In September of 2005, Publish 36 added a new Item Property, that of Increased Karma Loss, which grants a higher rate of karma loss for those casting Necromancy spells. Currently, Increased Karma Loss is only found on the Necromancy spellbook, the Ossian Grimoire.
Color & Morality
All characters, NPCs, animals, and monsters have a moral standing that is indicated by their Allnames color, the color of their Object Handle, and their Highlight color. The morality color of NPCs, animals, and monsters is determined by the respective karma and alignment possessed. Blue creatures have positive karma and a good alignment; killing a blue will reduce a character’s karma. Attacking gray creatures may or may not have an effect on karma. Red creatures and player characters may be attacked without karma loss. In fact, one way to gain karma is to kill red characters.
Gold-hued, or Paragon, creatures receive a 40% increase, or decrease if negative, in fame and karma over the non-paragon version unless the creature has a karma of 0, in which case there is no increase, see Publish 27.
If a character's karma points exceed those of a monster, he or she will not receive an increase in karma. Non-aggressive animals give either no karma or negative karma when killed. New characters will generally receive more karma than fame for a kill. However, veterans receive more fame than karma per kill.
Karma is accrued on a close-ended range from -32,000 to +32,000. Within that range is an exponential scale, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Levels & Amounts
|Positive Level 5||10,000 to 32,000|
|Positive Level 4||5,000 to 9,999|
|Positive Level 3||2,500 to 4,999|
|Positive Level 2||1,000 to 2,499|
|Positive Level 1||500 to 999|
|Neutral Level 0||499 to -499|
|Negative Level 1||-500 to -1,249|
|Negative Level 2||-1,250 to -2,499|
|Negative Level 3||-2,500 to -4,999|
|Negative Level 4||-5,000 to -9,999|
|Negative Level 5||-10,000 to -32,000|
The scale is slightly skewed towards the positive at the early levels.
In the lands of Ilshenar, some magical creatures (i.e., blues) will aggressively target characters with negative karma (e.g., pixies and cu sidhes). A player character may be both blue and have a negative karma; in such cases, the blue is often surprised to find themselves under attack from fellow blue NPCs. It is to a player’s benefit to keep an eye on their character’s karma.
Having a negative karma score causes NPCs to act differently in the character’s presence than when possessing a neutral or positive karma. Most NPCs will not interact with characters possessing the very lowest karma.
Karma is automatically locked when a character moves from neutral to a negative karma. An ankh must be visited and the karma unlocked before karma can be regained.
- Sometimes, it’s just more fun to play a bad guy:
For a host reasons, some players like their character(s) to keep a negative karma. However, it is hard to maintain a negative karma while engaging in certain aspects of gameplay (e.g., PvM). For this reason, a character may lock his or her karma. The karma lock is one-way; a character will not gain any karma but he or she can still lose karma. Fame is unaffected by a locked karma; characters still gain or lose fame.
Karma can be manually locked at most shrines by accessing the Context Menu (i.e., click or shift-click) for the ankh.
The easiest way to discern a character’s moral standing is to access its Paperdoll. The title displayed includes the karma title unless the character has a Reputation Title, which supersedes both the karma and fame title.