Out in the wild, successful avoidance of unpleasantness — combat and killing — requires a level of vigilance and situation awareness considerably higher than all but the most ruthless PvP characters typically muster. For while it is always an advantage to strike the first blow, with surprise on one’s side, and to avoid picking fights one might lose, the true pacifist must not only seize control, from the start, of any encounter with superior opponents but also must diffuse potential aggression from those of inferior ability, which the violent-natured may more or less disregard, dispatching any such fools as they come. To this end, here are a few simple rules and tips to follow: Make a clear, unmistakable point of surrendering the tactical advantage of surprise. Whenever direct encounter is unavoidable, speak, wave, bow, curtsy, blow a kiss. Always be the first disclose one’s presence in the vicinity to a potential adversary. Most, especially the experienced who are more dangerous, will recognize “friendly intentions” in a deliberate relinquishment of an advantage that might easily have been exploited to defeat even better armed and capable opponents. Always take a pet along when you travel alone. The cuter the pet the better. In my experience, cats are the archetypal diffuser of hostilities. And as one cannot always be the first to apprehend the potential for conflict, pets serve to sow momentary confusion when every moment counts. At first glance, from a distance, despite visible name tags, harmless pets can contribute to uncertainty as to your number and your class. Uncertainty of this sort is always to the pacifist’s advantage. (For this reason, it is ill-advised for warlocks to ride blatantly flaming warlock special mounts.) When traveling to a quest or hunting-gathering destination, traverse the landscape quickly and efficiently, leaving not a ripple in your wake. The surest way to call down upon one’s head every dedicated villain and opportunistic ganker in the area is to litter one’s chosen path with corpses or, equally obvious to the observant, the silent emptiness of recent death. Predators read the land to find their prey. Kill only what is needed or has a bounty on its head. Spare the rest and spare oneself. Corollary of the above: Never run or ride in arrogance straight across the land, setting all in commotion as creatures great and small abandon their peaceful pursuits to run in anger after you. It’s a cheap form of vanity, particularly when one is mounted. But one which not only leaves an obvious trace of one’s passage, but opens a clear path along which any pursuers may hurtle pell-mell without fear of aggression from any of the creatures roused in fury against oneself and one’s party. Just one slip, one of your party unhorsed, and any unseen pursuers will be upon you at precisely the moment you are most distracted and dissipating energy, dispatching creatures you had no business but arrogance aggravating in the first place. Upon arrival at a hunting or questing destination, avoid to the full extent possible killing the outermost perimeter of local wildlife. Those spared become a buffer, a defense, a living tripwire alarm between oneself and any potential adversaries later entering the area. The chance increases that hostile intruders first see and engage or inadvertently draw the aggression of this natural perimeter defense, and with it increases one’s chance of being the first fully aware of a situation’s potential for conflict. In many areas of the world, natural features of the landscape limit entry and exit, so that exercising this precaution in practice requires leaving only a very few creatures be — no real sacrifice at all. Always come to the assistance of a potential adversary waylaid by too many or too strong creatures. This is the most obvious way to signal peaceful intentions to those you assist, as it represents an emphatic renunciation of an ideal opportunity to kill even a significantly superior opponent. Few so assisted will afterward turn to attack. But as important, most will also advise others of their faction who come to the area that you are a “friendly.” In any area one intends to “farm” day after day, week after week, a reputation as a “friendly” is invaluable, greatly increasing the amount of time one may devote to hunting and gathering rather than to wasteful cycles of revenge killing too easily started in resource-rich areas. Note that most all these rules and tips for the pacifist also lend themselves to faster leveling regardless one’s intentions toward fellow sentient beings, as well as being good starting points for “native wisdom” role play in the kind of hunter-gather economies most fantasy MMORPGS instantiate.