Turf MUD

Turf Judgements : Case 0001 - Hemlock vs. SirHumphrey

Date Thursday 8 July 1999
Judge Mtf
Plaintiff Hemlock
Defendant SirHumphrey
Witnesses BlueVelvet, Zartid and Cera


Details of the complaint were agreed on by both the Hemlock and SirHumphrey. It was as follows:

Hemlock had heard SirHumphrey requesting a group at IMT and had proceeded there to attack SirHumphrey (the then Overlord of RunHide). A combat ensued between SirHumphrey and Hemlock, however due to the amount of caffeine and rillinure carried by SirHumphrey, along with healing (provided by BlueVelvet, Zartid and Niknak), Hemlock chose to flee. Hemlock had no complaint about this as to quote his own words 'All's fair in love and pk, after all.' SirHumphrey stated that he was getting irritated at this stage. Hemlock fled, wandered to the sea for a while and rested. A short time after (at least 5 minutes, based on code restrictions with regard to clan combat) SirHumphrey made use of the goto command to reach Hemlock and attack him. Hemlock felt that this was unfair, but a certain amount of combat followed. SirHumphrey claims to have been aiming for revenge. Hemlock did not wish to complain about this however as he felt he could beat SirHumphrey anyway and he was having some fun anyway. However BlueVelvet arrived on the scene and provided SirHumphrey with sanctuary. As a result Hemlock fled once more. BlueVelvet admits this was an error on her part as she had not realised it was a clan combat issue. Hemlock once again rested for a while but this time summoned SirHumphrey. During this combat round SirHumphrey chose to disconnected Hemlock. SirHumphrey stated the following 'i used disconnect as after 15 minutes of interupption to the group i had initiated on my phone bill and I wanted to get back to it.' SirHumphrey admitted that there were other ways he could have dealt with it but lost his temper and typed the command. SirHumphrey also agreed that after his own use of goto Hemlock's use of summon was perfectly fair. SirHumphrey made an apology to Hemlock and was offered to resign over the issue. Hemlock was of the opinion that demotion was the only acceptable outcome.


Clearly the use of goto was inappropriate and offered SirHumphrey considerable advantage over Hemlock. However the 'goto' command does not currently have any guidelines and it would be unfair to punish an immortal where there are no clear restrictions and no previous precedent. Therefore a clear statement will be made below which will serve as a guideline on use of the command in future.

The use of the disconnect command does however require greater scrutiny. The guidelines for the use of this command are:

'If they are offensive, abusive, or harassing players, do it. If not, don't.' [where they is the player to be disconnected]

It is my interpretation that Hemlock's activities did not fall in this category as both SirHumphrey and Hemlock had chosen to join clans and are therefore legitimate targets. This would not be the case if the killing was a regularly repeated action, or the repeated slaughter of a much lower level player. I conclude that SirHumphrey was in breach of the guidelines and Hemlock had a fair and justified complaint.

Selection of a suitable punishment proved somewhat difficult. SirHumphrey was in breach of the rules, however this was the first complaint against him and a demotion would have been more harsh than is appropriate.

The Gods do not expect perfection from either themselves or any immortal, although all immortals are expected to strive for it. It is my opinion that this was a minor error of judgement during an intense moment and a suitable apology was forthcoming, although not accepted by Hemlock. In this case SirHumphrey is reprimanded. However this event will be kept on record and any future event of a similar kind will lead to permanent demotion. The event will also be taken into consideration when any decisions are made with regard to promotion. It is recommended that SirHumphrey should not receive consideration for promotion within the next 2 years.

The Gods also offer a public apology to Hemlock with regard to his treatment and will endeavour to prevent similar problems in the future.

Resulting Guidelines

As an extension to this ruling the gods will also lay out the following guidelines for immortals.

In the future immortals will refrain from using commands associated with immortality when engaging in clan combat. Immortals should carefully consider how a reasonable person would view there use of a command to provide advantage over a regular player. Particularly it is not acceptable to use 'goto', 'transfer' or 'at' to provide an immediate advantage in locating and killing players. The gods will not be attempting to implement these restrictions in code and therefore it is expected that immortals will use their own best judgement.

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