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The Essential Guide to Taking Hostages

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So you are considering taking a hostage, maybe you are inexperienced, maybe you have done this many times, either way, I hope this guide provides some guidance or useful tips for you.  I know there seems like a lot of information in this guide, but there's a reason that it is recommended that people don't jump straight into being a bandit when they join, there is a lot you need to know, especially when hostages are involved.  I would strongly recommend also reading THIS guide and THIS(not available) guide as they are somewhat related in content and cover points I have not addressed at all that you really should know.

If you are new to the server, I would advise against taking anyone hostage until you have a firm understanding of the rules, have been taken hostage a couple of times yourself and possibly have been part of a group which had people who have experience with taking hostages (either official or dynamic group).  Before you run off and get yourself taken hostage, please read THIS guide as it may help you with being a hostage.

So many things can go wrong for both you and the hostage, and when you end up powergaming/metagaming/RDMing the hostages because you have no real clue what you are doing, it ruins the experience for all/most involved, including yourself when/if you get hit with a ban.  Remember that if you get reported for bad RP and the staff find that there was a rulebreak, you are looking at also having your whitelist revoked if you have been playing for less than a month.  When in doubt about the rules re-read them, jump in the help desk on TS or post a question up in forums.

Secondly, know what metagaming and powergaming are and don't do these things EVER.  In fact, if you don't have a good grasp of the rules in general I would stay away from any behaviour associated with bandits.

my next point is that anyone who is about to initiate on people needs to ask themselves "Am I prepared to die the second I initiate, or to have my friends who are with me die?"  If the answer is no, don't proceed any further.  You have no business trying to take hostages or initiate on anyone.




The first thing you should do, especially if you don't have much experience with hostile RP is to have some sort of plan of what you are going to do once you have the hostage(s).  This guide has all the information you need in order to come up with some sort of plan on what you intend to do with the hostage(s) once you initiate.

Prior to initiating you  should ask yourself these questions:

  1. what is your motivation/reason for taking the hostage?  There are countless reasons, perhaps they disrespected you, perhaps you don't like them, perhaps you want some information from them, perhaps you want to teach them a lesson, perhaps you want something they have, perhaps they are in your territory etc etc.
  2. Are you aware of whether there are other people in the area?  If you haven't checked the area, you take the risk that one of their buddies is going to pop around the corner and gun you down.
  3. Do you have an "inside man"?  If so, you need to make sure that they have not encouraged the hostage to resist if something goes down.  This is considered baiting.
  4. Do you know where you are going to take the hostages once you have them?  Are you going to get them inside a building or run them somewhere more remote.  My advice is that generally it is a bad idea to keep them inside a building in a fairly well traveled area as you never know who is going to come through.
  5. Are you in a good spot to drop an initiation or, for example, are you sitting in an open field surrounded by trees that they may have friends in with weapons trained on you?  Can you get them to a better spot before you drop the initiation?
  6. Do you have the time to take a hostage and provide them with good RP without having to combat log?  If not, don't take anyone hostage.

Know how to initiated properly and what is considered an initiation:

Initiating on people in general:


Your initiations need to have a clear demand and consequence.

Examples of valid initiations:

  • "put your hands up now or die"
  • "drop your weapon now or I will shoot you"
  • "get on the ground and drop your weapon or I will murder you"

It is also important to note that raising your weapon at someone and telling them to do something is also considered a valid initiation. 

You should always make it clear who you are initiating on, sometimes distance and buggy voip can make it seem like someone near them is being initiated on, and while the safe thing for them to do is comply, some people may think that something is merely happening near them and doesn't involve them (which they do so at their own risk).  It is your responsibility as the potential hostage taker to make sure everyone hears/sees the initiation, it is not for the hostages to relay it to other people in the area being initiated on.

Initiating on compounds:

If you are going to initiate on an enclosed compound or on everyone within a certain area, be clear about the initiation so that those that are being initiated on can be sure of what is happening.  I would recommend using text and voip for this as well, especially if there are multiple people talking within the vicinity.

Examples of what to say in text and voip:

  • "Everyone near the well get your hands up now or we kill you"
  • "Everyone in this compound drop your weapons or die where you stand"

Initiating on Vehicles:

If initiating on a vehicle you MUST use voice and text.  The reason for this is that it can be hard if not impossible to hear voip due to how loud vehicles are when you are in them.  Make sure your voice and text demands are the same so as to not cause confusion.

If you are initiating on a vehicle, especially something that can carry many people such as a bus or cargo VS3, and the driver does not comply, try to only take out the driver if possible.  While it is taken to be that a driver is responsible for their passengers, and it is the drivers fault if the passengers die due to the driver not complying, the passengers have absolutely no physical control over whether the driver stops and if you can get shots on the driver do that instead of gunning down all the people helplessly sitting in the back of a VS3 or inside the bus.  This way you will have more of a chance of actually having hostages to RP with.  Please go and look at THIS verdict for staff comments on a situation like this.



Once you have dropped the initiation:

Give them ample time to comply:


You need to give the hostage time to comply.  Now obviously if they are standing there after 20 seconds with weapon in hand not listening to your commands they aren't complying and you are well within your rights to shoot them.  But if they do something like put their weapon away/drop it so that they don't pose a risk and then ask you to reconsider, be a bit more lenient with them (bearing in mind that they should still comply, but just be a bit more patient with it if they are trying to RP)  worst comes to worse do a countdown or tell them "final warning then you die, put your hands up now." 

It sometimes pays to have someone watching text to see if they go OOC to let you know they are glitched and cant drop weapons or if they ask how to put their hands up as this does happen occasionally especially if it is a new player.

If you happen to stumble on someone who is AFK, don't initiate on them, or if you already have, don't kill them, you can instead tie them up and wait for them to come back.

Cut off their communications:


Have you searched the hostage for a radio?  If not do this as soon as possible and remove it if they have one.  If you haven't done this, remember that if the hostage doesn't have their hands up or they are not restrained, they are well within their rights to communicate via TS or any third party program, informing whoever is on the other end that they have been initiated on, descriptions of the hostage takers, their location and direction they are being moved etc. 

Example of how to correctly search for a radio:

Hostage Taker: *searches the man for a radio //do I find one?

Hostage: //Yes

Hostage Taker: *takes the mans radio

Example of how NOT to search for a radio:

(without having asked if the person has a radio)

Hostage taker: *takes mans radio


The reason for this is that they may not be carrying a radio and you may have just powergamed them.

Search them for concealed weapons and remove them:


Always remember that they may have a weapon on them somewhere and some people can be deadly with something like a glock against multiple people.  You have a few choices here, either restrain them and look at their inventory, or use text.

Example of a text search:


  • Hostage Taker: *searches the person thoroughly for weapons// Do I find anything?  If so please drop them all on the ground." 

You could always make them drop all their gear but it is generally considered bad RP to make someone completely strip.  You don't necessarily have to remove their weapons, it may be enough to simply take their mags and ammo.



Moving the hostage(s):

If you are moving the hostages make sure that they are being provided with RP .  Don't simply tell them to shut up and run a particular direction.  Talk with them, mess with them, make jokes at their expense, find out more about them, do anything, just make sure you talk to them and allow them to talk to you.

Give them clear and concise instructions on which direction they should go, when to stop, when to speed up or slow down etc.  There is nothing worse than multiple people spouting off different commands at the same time, it becomes very confusing for the hostage.  My advice is to nominate a person to do this if you find this happening.

Be smart about where you take the hostage(s):

Try and get your hostage somewhere where you can easily see people approaching, and somewhere where you have some decent cover in the event the hostage has friends that were in range to acquire KOS rights on the hostage takers.

Decide whether you want to restrain the hostage(s):

Restrained hostages will have a harder time escaping but they can't run as fast, maybe get them to where you want to be then restrain them.  As a point to note if the server is being dodgy or a server restart is going to happen soon, try something like "//are you ok with us Rping that you are tied as we don't want you dying from a server crash or restart"

Always note that an unrestrained hostage can still pose a threat to you in the right circumstances if you let your guard down.


j8IkMly.jpgOnce the hostages are in place:

Do something different and unexpected:

Far often there is a tendency to simply take someone, tell/show them how bad-ass you are (or think you are) or make them apologize for some indiscretion, talk shit to them, cut/mark them in some way and then eventually let them go, possibly a lot lighter than they previously were, and honestly there is nothing wrong with this if you are providing decent RP, but many people have probably experienced this exact "formula" before.  Even if your RP involves something similar to this, try and throw in something that makes your RP stand out from other hostage takers.

Make sure to keep RPing with the hostage(s)

There is nothing worse than sitting there in silence while your hostage takers go through your gear and ignore all attempts to RP.  If you are going to take their possessions don't all just run up and look through their shit taking what you want, you will end up looking like the

, so try and give them some RP while doing it at least, maybe question them on certain items in their inventory, tell them why you are taking a particular item etc.

Don't shut down a hostages attempts at trying to RP either.  Obviously if they are continually spouting off threats at you because they are a supersoldier to the point it is NVFL, then give them a few warnings that if they continue talking that way you will shoot them, but don't tell them to shut the fuck up or die unless you have a good reason such as to hide what you are doing from people who may be passing by, but even in a situation like that you can be more creative than that.  Another exception may be if they keep interrupting while you are trying to get  something important out, but you need to tell them they can talk again afterwards. 

There are many examples but the main point is, don't shut down their RP because you can't think of anything decent to say or are too busy trying to look through their gear.

Suggestions for where you have multiple hostages and multiple hostage takers:

If this occurs, you need to think about how to best communicate with each other.  If you have multiple people speaking at the same time it is going to be confusing for everyone so think about how everyone is going to talk to each other.  One suggestion is to split the hostages up either individually or into smaller groups and get some distance between them, or try using text with some of them and ask them to do the same OOC.

Of course there will be times when you want all the hostages together.  If you do this, again, make sure everyone isn't talking over each other all the time.  Maybe have someone lead the RP if you find this happening or have people rotate between keeping an eye out for potential threats and coming in to speak to the hostages.

Don't let your guard down:

You never know if you are being followed by one or more of the hostages friends who are choosing the right moment to strike.  It pays to have at least one person keeping an eye out.  If you are the one keeping an eye out and you think that the RP from the other hostage takers is a bit awkward or not up to par, you should swap with someone and go talk to the hostages because being on overwatch does not excuse you from the badRP/non-existent RP that your friends may be involved in.

It is your responsibility to "care" for the hostage(s):

This doesn't mean you need to smother them with love and affection and serve them 7 course meals, but is does mean that while you have them and are RPing with them (without having gained kos rights, execution rights etc) you need to ensure that:

  • They don't starve to death or die from dehydration.
  • They don't get mauled by zombies (or some other NPC threat that may be added to the game at a later date).
  • You don't accidentally and unintentionally  kill them (e.g. from a punch that you thought would only knock them out).

Perma-scarring and being denied:

I have found that people are more receptive to giving them some detail and choice in the matter.  for example:

"//permission to perma-scar you with a "w", you can choose size and location."

If your hostage denies you the ability to perma-scar them, then that is their prerogative under the DAYZRP rules.  Learn to simply move on to something else.  That's not to say you can't ask to scar them in some other way but don't keep asking them over and over.

Try not to overly belittle and swear at the hostage(s):

Verbally abusing someone is part and parcel of hostile RP and can serve a purpose.  That being said, I think that it can be overdone and doesn't really add to the RP when all you can do is swear every third word and call the hostages names over and over.  Are you really giving your best RP when doing this?  I will just leave THIS(not available) here where there is a discussion on the subject which I think raised some valid points for hostage takers to think about.  A lot of people really don't enjoy being constantly abused to the point they get annoyed/upset on an OOC level, and personally I think it can get to a point that it just makes the RP boring.

Don't get sucked into an OOC argument with your hostage(s):

If your hostage is going OOC in text and asking you unnecessary questions, making inappropriate comments, trying to get information about your intentions and group, threatening to report you, demanding to know why you are taking them hostage, complaining about your RP etc, then ignore it.  If it continues simply write "//please stop OOC" and leave it at that.  Don't go back and forth with them, you won't achieve anything other than breaking the OOC rules which could land you a warning or a short ban.

Text RP can be awesome for hitting/torturing/interacting with hostage(s):

Try and use text and see if it works for you.  I think that if used properly it can really add to the RP.  Instead of hitting someone with fists or a weapon,try using text.


  • "*punches the man in his face."
  • "*hits the man's ribs with the butt of her rifle."

You can really hit them if you want, but then you take the risk that you might accidently kill them, and accidental or not, it is still considered to be a rule break.  Personally I think you can do more with text in these types of scenarios as you can be more specific about what you are doing, how you are doing it, where you are hurting them etc.  It can also tie in with seeking permission to perma-scar someone, for example:

"*swings a bat at the mans jaw//does it hit, and if so does it dislodge any teeth"

Then are are other things you can do such as "*shoves the womans back//if the force is enough you would fall flat on the ground."

This gives the hostage a say as to what happens to them and gets them more involved in my opinion.

Don't immediately execute the hostage if you start taking shots:

Unless you have gotten the hostages frequency and told their buddies over "radio" (Teamspeak) that you will kill the hostage if you take any/anymore shots, or have gotten the hostage to tell their buddies over the radio themself, you cannot kill the hostage.  Sometimes there may be other people who have KOS rights on you and have nothing to do with the hostage(s), other times people simply don't understand the rules and think they can get involved and start shooting the "bad people" and your hostage(s) shouldn't suffer for this, nor should you risk a ban.

Remember that if you kill your hostage, you are potentially losing the only leverage you have to stop their friends from coming in to try and kill you.

Don't just ignore the hostage and cease RP if you start taking shots:

You took them hostage, so they are your responsibility, and it is your responsibility to ensure they don't just sit there in silence.  Just because you are getting shot at doesn't mean you can now not RP with the hostages.  You could always leave someone inside a building with the hostages who can talk to them, or direct them to get somewhere in earshot that is a bit safer for them and tell them to stay there, but at least keep yelling out stuff to them and interacting now and then if you have nobody to keep watching them.

To give you some ides, here are ome quick examples of what you could be yelling at them as you are fighting:


  • "I better not find out these are your friends"
  • "you better pray nothing happens to my friends or we are gonna take it out on you"
  • "I bet you are just loving this aren't you you bastard".

I understand that you may not want to give away your position, and it can be hard to be in a firefight and deal with hostages, but at least do something, even if you take the risk of cutting them loose and telling them to get out of town (if it is possible to do so without them accidently getting shot by the attacking party).

Think about how long you have had the hostages:

Try to remember that people play this game for fun, and not everyone wants to be held hostage for hours.  Personally I try not to keep people longer than 15-45 minutes from initiation to releasing the hostage, depending on the situation.  As a general rule, if you are going beyond 15 minutes, make sure you RP continues to be  solid, and that the situation and the RP is actually going somewhere.  There are going to be situations which will last longer (e.g. a firefight breaks out, there are negotiations for the release of the hostage, there is some history between the hostage takers and the hostage etc etc) but if you are grabbing someone that you don't really know, try not to keep them longer than this.


pu5TcIS.jpgTips for when you are getting bad or no/insufficient RP from the hostage:

General Tips:


Sometimes you just wont get sufficient/any RP from the hostage(s).  There can be a number of reasons for this including but not limited to inexperience, and the hostage being upset with the situation OOC for some reason.  My advice here is to just try and give them good RP anyway and to cut them loose quickly if needed and talk to them and/or make a report if you think it was bad RP.  While I believe that as a hostage taker, it is your responsibility to entertain the hostage(s), RP is a two way street and they should reciprocate.  Here are a few tips I have for some situations.  As a general tip, make sure they aren't communicating via text, sometimes people will use voice and text, for example when they are giving pain RP, and some people have a tendancy to not see people text RPing.

No Pain RP


Sometimes you will get a hostage and their RP might not be the best in your eyes or you might not be getting the reactions you might expect.  This can be for a number of reasons, maybe they are new and inexperienced, maybe they are overly excited, maybe there is some other reason.  When you are hitting the hostage or hurting them in some way, and they aren't reacting at all, try and draw their attention to this fact subtley.  One way I will do this is that if someone I am with has hit the hostgage one or two times and there has been no reaction, I will say something to the person I am with like "See I knew you hit like an old lady, its not even making them flinch, now stop messing around and hit him for real."  This has worked for me almost every time, and generally it helps them click as to what is expected.  I especially think that you should do this if you are hurting them via text RP in case they missed it.

Some other examples of what to say to try and get them to give pain RP:

  • "You can stop trying to hide the pain, I can tell you are hurting"
  • "Well you can take a hit, I will give you that, but everyone has a breaking point and I don't think we are far off from finding yours."

There may be a time when you run into the proverbial "Supersoldier" who "can't feel pain" no matter what you do.  This is just bad RP on their part and there probably isn't a lot you can do about it other than to record the situation, talk to them afterwards and/or make a report if you have to.  If you run into such a person, try your best to still give them good hostile RP or just cut them loose quickly without anything that they may use to harm you.

No RP at all

First, make sure they aren't disconnecting or havent gone AFK.  Secondly, just try and ask them questions to illicit some response.  Thirdly, is there something to suggest that they can't talk but are trying to communicate some other way and you are just missing it?  If they are just sitting there being upset about the situation OOC and refusing to RP for whatever reason, give them a simple demand and tell them they will die if they don't answer your questions, warn them a few times if they don't answer your questions, make sure you have someone recording and shoot them for non-compliance or just cut your losses and let them go.


Releasing the hostage(s):

So you have done what you had to do, hopefully both the hostage taker and the hostage has enjoyed the RP, but you have one final step to take, letting the hostage(s) go.  Now at the time of writing this, it is important to note that the infected aren't really that big a threat, and other predators haven't been introduced into the game yet.  There may come a time when this changes but for now all you need to know is as follows:

You must leave the hostage with a realistic chance of survival:

This doen't mean you have to load them up with food/drinks and weapons.  There is no requirement to leave a hostage with anything to defend themselves with, not even a melee weapon.  It is enough to simply leave someone by a well and an apple tree, or to point them to a town that is close by where they have a water source and apple trees (or berries, but those carry some risk if they are the wrong colour).

Don't release them with no clothes unless you have a very very good reason as it is generally taken to be bad RP if you strip someone completely.

Hang around the same area at your own risk:

When you let the hostage go you are can get the hostgage to stay where they are or get them to run in a certain direction.  Remember that the timer for KOS rights ends after the last hostile act against the hostage, so basically from when you wrap it all up.

If you get them to stay there, give them a count down (just don't make it  a stupidly high number) or talk/text something in particular (use your imagination) so you can hear that they are in place while you move.

If you get them to run away you can either remain in the area or also run in a different direction to make it harder for them to find you.  If you stay in the same area, remember that they can always get armed and come back to put shots into a few of you and run away if they know what they are doing, or come back with friends and initiate on all of you.

Make sure not to combat log:

Once you have released the hostage, they have kos rights on you for 2 hours, but you can log out before this by breaking line of sight and waiting at least 30 minutes to log out.  Log out means log out, not change servers.

If you are part of a group who have hostages and need to go during the hostage situation, simply come up with a reason IG, then run away, break line of sight and wait at least 30 minutes to log (or find somewhere reasonably remote and AFK in a bush, which is done at your own risk).

If something comes up and you need to log out before the 30 minutes, you can always ask the hostage(s) and others who are involved in the situation if you can log early.  Just type something along the lines of "//Sorry something urgent has come up and I need to go, permission to log".  Make sure to get permission from all hostages.

If the hostage denies you permission, don't get upset with them, as it is your fault, not theirs.  You shouldn't be taking anyone hostage if you don't have the time, and when you log early it affects their ability to seek revenge using their KOS rights which is unfair on them.

Dont be afraid of asking for feedback from your hostages after the situation:

When I try something new I will occassionally try and track the person I took hostage down on TS and talk to them to see how they found the experience, and what they liked or disliked about the RP they received.  You would be surprised how many people will be prepared to give you constructive feedback and not just be salty that they were taken hostage (not to say you wont run into salty people).  Whether you listen is up to you, but if you run into a few people saying the same thing, there might be something to it.

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This is some good stuff right here. Thanks for this guide, looks like a lot of work was put into this. As far as criticism? I'd suggest some visuals to go along with this as well to make it more appealing to look up and break up the wall of text.

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Good stuff Dustup. You are a master at taking hostages and always keep things about RP in any situation I've ever experienced with you. Thanks for the guide!

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Great guide, Dustup +1!

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I liked the belittle and swearing portion of the guide. My immersion shatters when I get stuck up by someone who tries to berate me with a barrage of curse words and I've never even met the guy. It's like he is going over the top to try and shit-talk without retaliation, and you don't even know who the guy is - or care who he is for that matter.

Edit: Also, nice part about not ignoring the hostages if a firefight breaks out. Too many people neglect that they decided to initiate and it's their responsibility, even if/when under fire, to give you some form of RolePlay instead of telling you to," Shut the fuck up, if you speak you're dead." - Then you're cuffed on your knees for 30 minutes while a guerrilla war is happening wherever you're at.

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Very nice guide, has defiently some points I haven't thought about and I will implement in my own RP.

Maybe I just missed it, but if not you could add checking the frequencies of the hostages radio and telling their friends you would kill the hostage in case of an rescue attempt. I don't always do that, but I found it to be a big help in case you are dealing with bigger groups.

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As always, great guide. The main thing I would say has already been said, but I will reiterate. -- Adding some images would be nice. 

Otherwise think about bullet points for your examples / adding some extra examples. It makes it look organized. I was thinking kind of like on the rules page with What to do vs What not to do.

This sentence ends abruptly.. in the even(t) the hostage....? I am sure you meant to add -- in the event the hostage's friends attempt a rescue.

Be smart about where you take the hostage(s):

Try and get your hostage somewhere where you can easily see people approaching, and somewhere where you have some decent cover in the even the hostage.


<3 Me

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+1 I will have this guide open in the background next time I plan on hostile RP :) thanks for this

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A lot of care went into making this, and it really shows. Your handle on the little things for hostage taking is very professional. Well done sir. Having never taken a hostage before I will certainly be referring to this if I ever decide to.

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Once again you've made a great guide for those that are new to hostage taking. Anyone using this guide is going to find that things will go a lot more smoothly.

Like most people have said finding some suitable images would make this look more aesthetically pleasing. But apart from that it's a big +1 from me.

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This is a very good guide, i will adapt my torture rp when it comes to it with some of the stuff you said here.

I am more than impressed, thank you for this guide!

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"Be smart about where you take the hostages" Man oh man, the amount of times the boys have yelled at me for this. Sorry pagoons! :D

Decent guide, but needs a little art perhaps?

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Damn it, I thought a good robbery was handcuffing someone and going through their gear without speaking :(

Good guide man, some really good pointers in here

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Damn it, I thought a good robbery was handcuffing someone and going through their gear without speaking :(

Good guide man, some really good pointers in here

Well if it's enjoyable for both parties I don't see why not ;)

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Still a WIP, updated to include:

  • graphics
  • more examples
  • more topics
  • some work on colour scheme.

Please note some headings are yet to have info added.

Thoughts/comments on the edits welcome

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Just read this. And I'll tell ya, it's essential.

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Fantastic work as usual, Kurt. I'd say that this is essential reading for anyone looking to take a hostage for the first, or even the tenth or twentieth time.

Anyone who can't hang and fucks up with a hostage and/or is reported for badrp as a hostage taker should immediately read this guide.

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I have finished what has turned out to be a fairly comprehensive guide.  I will try and update it if/as the rules change, especially if the new rules draft is put into place and changes the rules with regards to anything I have in this guide.

If you think I have missed something, feel free to post something or PM me.

Thanks for all the feedback!

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