Death occurs when a character's life points reach zero. A message in the chat box informs them of this: Oh dear, you are dead!. Once the player has died, they 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.
Death will keep players items from when they died for 23 hours that are not always kept on death or always kept on death unless in the wild. 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.
All minigames are either 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.
When players die a normal death, they will respawn, meaning they will be transported to 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. If the player died with no wealth risked, they will spawn at the last hub he or she has visited. The only basic respawn point every player unlocks automatically upon account creation is in Lumbridge.
The realm of Death 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 first death, Death will retain most items from when a player dies normally for 23 hours. Players can choose to reclaim from Death for a fee or attempt to return to their gravestone within a set amount of time upon leaving Death's office for no cost. 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. 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.
Reclaiming items after dying from Death will present a nominal 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.
- 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 (for example 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. If players choose to instead to return to their gravestones, any items that would degrade upon death will do so. 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.
Items Kept on DeathEdit
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 are always kept on death
- All items in worn equipment and inventory 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
Bonds are an exception; 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 and tradeable items that degrade to 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, he or she dies again causing all items from the previous death to be lost from both the grave and Death. Any degradable items retrieved from gravestones will degrade the set amount, 10% for level 90 equipment and 20% for lesser level equipment. Retrieving degradable equipment from Death will result in no degradation.
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.
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 items 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.
Icthlarin and Death death animations can be unlocked after Missing, Presumed Death by talking to the statue again. There will also be a Soul Devourer death animation available to unlock from the Avatar of Amascut from the 2015 Hallowe'en event.
- 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.
- If a player dies 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?" instead of the normal message.
- Before it was removed, during the quest Romeo & Juliet, if the player were to drink the Cadava potion, he/she would have performed the death animation and the chatbox will say: "Oh dear, you are nearly dead!" before waking up in 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.