Death (mechanic)

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"Die" redirects here. For other uses, see Die (disambiguation).
A player dying and Death coming to reap their soul.
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Dying in Daemonheim

Death occurs when a character's life points reach zero. It can occur during minigames, travelling Gielinor, battling monsters, battling other players, during quests, and more. A message in the chat box informs the player: Oh dear, you are dead!

Once dead, the player will either be placed at Death's office if there was wealth risked upon death or the nearest respawn hub if no wealth was risked. A gravestone also appears on, or near the square where the player died. If the player dies in an instance, then the gravestone is typically placed outside the entrance to the boss, or for other bosses, in a "graveyard" area. If the player had an active familiar, it will disappear and any carried items will be dropped on the floor in Death's office, but in the past they would disappear if the player died in an instance.

Death will keep players items from when they died for 23 hours of in-game time if those items are not always kept on death. If the player died in the Wilderness, Death will also be holding the items that are "always kept on death". During Missing, Presumed Death, due to Death's kidnapping, Frank can instead be found in the office, and will act as a substitute for Death to reclaim items.

There are several ways to influence or circumvent the death process should the player's life points deplete to 0. If players have a sign of life/sign of death or defence cape equipped, or have a portent of life/portent of death in their inventory, they will instead be resurrected with a fraction of their life points after taking a fatal hit. However, they will not be able to benefit from this effect for 1 hour after activation unless a life refresh is used, and these items will vanish after use (with the exception of the defence cape). If soul phylactery is carried in the inventory upon death, the item will be consumed and the player will be revived with their life points completely replenished. If a player has a Ring of death with sufficient charges equipped when they die, they will circumvent the whole death process and be placed at their nearest respawn hub with their items and familiar intact, at the cost of 15% charges from the ring (3% if overcharged). Additionally, if players die while under the effects of the Immortality ability, they will be promptly resurrected with 40% of their maximum life points and the effect will end early, taking priority over any of the aforementioned items. None of these methods of averting death will work in PvP, with the exception of the Immortality ability. In addition, signs and portents of life or death will work in Deathmatch, but they will not work in any other PvP activity.

Minigames are either considered safe (for example, Fishing Trawler) or dangerous (for example, Pyramid Plunder). If a player dies whilst participating in a safe minigame, the player will retain all items and respawn at a location specific to the minigame. If a player dies whilst participating in a dangerous minigame, the player will respawn at the chosen hub, and a gravestone will be placed either at the place of death or at the entrance to the minigame.

Respawning[edit | edit source]

Main article: Spawning

Depending on if there was any wealth risked or not, the player will respawn at one of two places, either, Death's office or the closest respawn hub.

Death's office[edit | edit source]

If players risked any wealth when they died they will respawn at Death's office with full life points and restored stats. Players will keep all items that are always kept on death and those that are kept unless in the wilderness.

Players can leave Death's office through Death's hourglass where they can choose to be spawned at specific locations. These potential spawn locations through the hourglass are Camelot, Falador, Lumbridge, Soul Wars and Prifddinas in addition to exiting through the hourglass itself to Draynor Village.

Respawn hub[edit | edit source]

If the player died with no wealth risked, they will spawn at the last hub they have visited. The only basic respawn point every player unlocks automatically upon account creation is in Lumbridge.

Death (the NPC)[edit | edit source]

Main article: Death
Death's office where players respawn

Death's realm is accessed when new players die for the first time. Death will explain about death, item losses, and gravestones. The player may exit at any time through Death's hourglass. The player's gravestone timer will silently count down while in Death's office for up to five minutes. If the player leaves Death's office before the message stating that they have spent too long in his office, the visible timer will begin at the initial duration of the gravestone. This is anywhere between 1 minute and 45 seconds with the Memorial plaque up to 3 minutes with the Royal dwarven gravestone.

After the players first death, Death will retain most items from when a player dies normally for 23 hours of in-game time. This timer does not decrease while lobbied or offline.

Reclaim costs[edit | edit source]

From Death[edit | edit source]

Returning to Death's office near Draynor Village

Reclaiming items after dying from Death will present a return fee depending on several factors. Values are split between saved value, total cost to save and sacrificed item value. Saved item value and sacrificed item value are generally small percentages of the total value of a given item which is reduced the more the item is worth. However some items have fixed items values like the Dragon Rider amulet and Asylum surgeon ring where they have no sacrifice value and cost the same to replace through Death or their original source.

Items worth up to 10,000 coins cost 15% to save and have a 60% sacrifice value. Items worth more than 10,000 coins have a decreasing percentage to save ending at 0.5% at an item worth upwards of 10,000,000 coins. All costs are rounded down. The minimum value reclaim can be is 1 coin. Sacrifice is always four times the cost of reclaim's final value.

Where is:

  • The Grand Exchange price of the item, if it is available on the Grand Exchange
    • Some items use the price of one or more other items, commonly degraded items using the price of their tradeable, non-degraded counterparts
  • A custom death value which applies to death mechanics only (e.g. seasinger kiba)
  • The item's value

Sacrificing items can reduce the cost of reclaiming items and several gravestones can further reduce the cost to save by 1% and up to 5%. The visible gravestone will not affect the deduction provided by the base gravestone purchased. Any items that would generally have degraded upon death will not do so if reclaimed from Death or Frank. Some items have a custom sacrifice value, usually 0, which does not follow the above formula.

If players have been disconnected due to server side issues, they will be able to reclaim their items should they die at no cost.

Gravestone[edit | edit source]

Main article: Gravestone

If players do not want to spend coins to reclaim their items, they are free to attempt to reach their gravestone within the allotted amount of time. The time gravestones last can be extended up to five minutes with the use of a Sign of respite I for 12 seconds, a Sign of respite II for 21 seconds, Sign of respite III for 30 seconds or another player blessing their grave. Any items that would degrade upon death will do so, when retrieving the item via the gravestone.

If a player fails to reach their gravestone in time, they can return to Death's office and reclaim their items for the same fee.

Items Kept on Death[edit | edit source]

Main article: Items Kept on Death

When a player dies, they will lose all items they were carrying at the time of their death except in the case of:

  • All items in worn equipment and inventory that are always kept on death
  • All items in worn equipment and inventory that are always kept on death unless in the wilderness
  • Combination of the above and only three to five items (if sign of item protection is used along with protect item prayer or curse) and fewer items are held by the player

A few notable exceptions are:

  • Bonds. They are always kept on death regardless of whether or not the player was in the Wilderness.
  • Dying in the Wilderness will also cause non-tradeable items to either disappear, or be replaced by a set amount of coins based on the item
  • Tradeable items that degrade will fully break upon being dropped.

When in the wilderness, players who are not skulled will retain the three most valuable items held, up to a max of five with the protect item prayer or curse in combination with the effects of a fury shark, as well as items that are always kept on death. Signs of item protection do not work in PvP situations. Any and all coins not in the player's money pouch will be dropped on death.

It is possible for players to "double grave" when attempting to return to their graves. Double graving means that while one grave for the player is up, they die again causing all items from the previous death to be lost from both the grave and Death. Any degradable items retrieved from gravestones without being protected will degrade by a set amount, 10% for level 90 equipment and 20% for lesser level equipment, while any augmented items not protected will drain two hours worth of divine charge. Retrieving degradable or augmented equipment from Death will result in no degradation or divine charge drained.

If the player manages to return to their gravestone before it crumbles, they will be able to reclaim their items; if they do not manage to return to their gravestone when it crumbles, they can return to Death to reclaim their lost equipment at a return fee for saved items which can be lessened for sacrificing items.

Item anomalies[edit | edit source]

Items in gravestones and in Death's reclaim interface are based on their Grand Exchange values, although players can also select what they want to protect if they died outside the Wilderness. Prior to the 19 April 2011, update, the precedence for retaining an item depended on its store or alchemy value, which can often be at considerable variance with the value to players. Rares such as party hats (alchemy value: 1 coin) were vulnerable to this problem.

Because lent items are kept above all other items on hand, some players borrow an item in return for lending the same item to another player so that it may be kept upon death. It is possible to be scammed by this. A player may ask you to trade your item instead of lending it, and in return lend their item, essentially leading to them obtaining a copy of virtually any item they have. The most popular items for this scam are rares such as Partyhats and Santa hats.

It is not possible to separate stacks of items to be kept or sacrificed as the whole stack must be kept or sacrificed.

Animations[edit | edit source]

There are various death animations which can occur during player death. By default the death animation is based on the damage type of the killing blow, however this can be overriden by cosmetic settings or, in PvP, by the killing player's PvP Victim Death Animation. The cosmetic settings for the death animation can be changed by visiting Death, right-clicking him and selecting "Death Event".

Animation Details
Magic death.gif Default death animation when killed by magic damage.
Ranged death.gif Default death animation when killed by ranged, melee, or dragonfire damage.
Melee death.gif Death animation when killed by melee damage from certain sources, including Giant mole, Outlaw, and player killing.
Death animation (Death).gif A player having Death reap their soul after death, a reward from Missing, Presumed Death.
Death animation (Icthlarin).gif A player having Icthlarin guide their soul after death, a reward from Missing, Presumed Death.
Death animation (Amascut).gif A player having Amascut's Soul Devourer reap their soul after death, a reward which was able to be unlocked from the Avatar of Amascut during the 2015 Hallowe'en event.

PvP Victim Death Animations[edit | edit source]

Animation Details
Death by Air.gif Death by Air
Death by Water
Death by Earth.gif Death by Earth
Death by Fire

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included - see here for how to help out!
  • patch 27 September 2021 (Update):
    • Feathers of Ma'at are no longer destroyed on player death.
  • patch 10 February 2020 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue which led to players being unable to access their inventory after dying.
  • ninja 8 May 2017 (Update):.
    • Death will now correctly sort items to be reclaimed based on their reclaim cost instead of their base value.
  • patch 1 June 2015 (Update):
    • The warning message when Death will keep items for less than an hour is now red.
  • patch 5 January 2015 (Update):
    • Death will once again automatically initiate the death tutorial conversation after dying for the first time.
  • patch 21 August 2012 (Update):
    • The Ring of visibility now protects on death.
  • patch 11 January 2010 (Update):
    • Improved the timing of the sound played when you die to start and finish earlier.
  • patch 22 June 2009 (Update):
    • Resolved an issue where the items kept upon death would randomly swap two items with the same price around.
  • update 27 January 2001 (Update):
    • You now keep your 3 most valueable items when you die.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • If a player dies while they have the Retribution prayer or Wrath curse active, all enemies that are in a 3x3 (Retribution) or 5x5 grid (Wrath) centred on the dying player are dealt damage based on that player's prayer level.
  • When a player died in RuneScape Classic, the message in their chatbox reads, You have been granted another life. Be more careful this time! You retain your skills. Your objects land where you died.
  • During The Fremennik Trials quest, being killed by Koschei the Deathless after killing him 3 times will give you a message saying: Oh dear, you are...still alive somehow?
  • Before it was removed, during the quest Romeo & Juliet, if the player were to drink the Cadava potion, they would have performed the death animation and the chatbox will say: Oh dear, you are nearly dead! You would then wake up at the Apothecary.
  • From 1 February 2011 to 26 May 2015, the timers on all gravestones were doubled, with the exception of the Royal Dwarven gravestone - the timer for this grave has been increased by a factor of 2.5.
  • Previously, in the 16 October 2007 update, players who dropped items on death would have one minute within which no one could see or loot their dropped items. After that, they would become visible to other players. Once two minutes had passed from time of death, the dropped items would despawn. The gravestone update on 10 December 2007 rendered the previous update obsolete.