This resource was created due to the great number of people who do not understand the way murder counts and redness work. Hope it's helpful.
The best way to avoid receiving murder counts is to wait for your opponent to flag him/herself as an aggressor. What this actually looks like is their name appearing grey to you. This is a result of them attacking you, whether you be red, blue, green, orange, you name it. The person who attacks first will be flagged the aggressor and will appear grey to the person they attacked.
This can confuse spectators as an aggressor flag is not the same as a criminal flag. For example: If a blue player attacks a red player first, the blue player will still be blue to everyone else, but will be flagged an aggressor(Grey) to the red he attacked and the red player can then kill the aggressor without penalty.
Anytime a player re-attacks(Double-clicks on the person they are attacking while in war-mode) their aggressor flag will be re-set to an additional 2 minutes. Death does not make the aggressor flag go away. If you resurrect very soon after dying and your aggressor flag is still up, you can legally be killed again and again by the person you attacked until your aggressor flag goes away. The body of an aggressor will appear grey to the person that they attacked and can legally be looted by that player.
Many people believe that murder counts are given on a basis of who delivered the fatal blow. This is untrue. Anyone who was an aggressor to a law abiding("Blue") citizen when they die are candidates for murder counts. Example: If you and your friend intend to kill an innocent player where you paralyze that player and your friend kills them, the innocent player will be prompted to report both of you for murder.
Another example would be if an innocent player is fighting a monster and you paralyze him/her so they cannot get away or attack them in any other way such as just double-click on them in war-mode without delivering any damage and the monster kills them, they will be prompted to report you for murder.
An innocent player is defined as anyone who highlights blue to you when you attack them and when they die. Be careful when dueling for fun with a blue person who promises they won't count you. If they lose connection, client crash, or otherwise leave the game without answering the prompt to report you for murder, the game will automatically report the attacker(s) for murder by default.
Here's an example of an aggressor flag. You'll notice the attacker is blue to everyone else, but is grey and legally killable to the red she attacked.
Receiving murder counts:
Everytime you are reported for murder(Kill another player who did not consent to fight you - Blue), you receive both a long-term and short-term murder count. Long-term murder counts take 40 hours to dissipate and short-term murder counts take 8.
The counters for short and long-term are separate and add and subtract hours individually, but do so at the same time. When you receive a murder count, you are given a count to both your long and short-term counter. Please review the table below which shows an example of how many play hours you'd have if you took 3 counts in a row:
Murder Count Hours
Keep in mind that we're talking about PLAY hours. This means hours that your character is present in the game. The counter does not budge unless you are logged on as that character. So if you were a UOaholic who played 10 straight hours a day(Most people don't play that much) it would still take you 4 days of playing to work off that count.
If you're a moderate player who logs on for say 5 hours a day on average, that figure is doubled. It would take 8 days of playing to get rid of 1 count.
Your long-term counts determine redness. At anytime when you reach 5 long-term counts, you shall become red. When you go back to 4 counts, you will be blue again. It's important to be especially careful when you just turn blue as taking another count will result in redness immediately.
The Turning Point of Redness
You will always have a set 40 hours until you return to the status of "Blue" again. It doesn't matter when you receive the count. Example:
In this example the player has spent 18 play-time hours after taking 4 consecutive murder counts and then took a 5th. As we see, even though adding 40 hours to their existing time would mean only 22 hours until blue, the counter rounds your odd count up to a full one. When you only have a few hours left on one count, and take another, your murder counters fill up all of the hours on the count you were working on and adds one to it. So if you are newly red, it will always be 40 hours (at least) until you are blue again.
Murder Count Rounding
This is the area that most people are confused about. Statistic loss occurs when you resurrect with 5 or more short-term counts. What actually happens is a loss of a certain percentage of all skills and attributes(str/dex/int and all skills: magery/swords/tactics/ect). The severity of the penalty you receive depends on how many short-term counts you have in excess of 5.
Here's a master table that displays all that we've learned so far. This is an example of a person who decided to kill a hunting party of young people(or whoever) and took 7 murder counts from 0 resulting in redness and stat loss:
Entering Stat Loss
And in this last example we'll demonstrate how short-term counts are often gone long before you ever turn blue:
Notice that the player has worked off a full long-term count from his above record and is now at 6 long-term counts. His short-term counts are now substantially lower than his long-term counts, bringing them to only 1 while his long-term counts are still many at 6, leaving him red still, but in no immediate danger of stat loss.
The last thing you'll notice is that short-term counts which determine stat loss go away sooner than long-term counts which determine redness resulting in it being impossible to achieve stat loss and be blue at the same time.
Short-term Count Decay Rate
Should a character die in stat loss, it is recommended that they stay dead and play as a ghost until they are no longer in stat loss. (See "I must consider my sins" below to find out how to determine if you are still in stat loss.) Both short and long-term counters will work off counts while you are a ghost. You will lose no stats until you resurrect.
"Ping-ponging" refers to going from no stat loss to stat loss. It's important to know that going from no stat loss to stat loss 5 times will result in "Perma Red". Once this occurs, your character will stay red forever.
Some people will say that they are perma red which what is usually meant is that they have so many counts that they might as well be perma red as they have such a great number of hours it would not be practical to ever work them all off, but it would still be possible to in theory thus not permanently red.
Most people do not have to worry about being perma red as it's generally designed to affect those who kill innocents profusely, but an important thing to keep track of.
I must consider my sins:
By saying the phrase aloud, "I must consider my sins," you will be told by the spirits in the lower-left portion of your screen what the status of your counts roughly are. Its main purpose is to tell you if you are in stat loss. This function is by no means a way of determining the exact number of counts you have or how many hours until they are gone. Here's how to read what they tell you.
ST - Short-term counts
If any of the above messages appear in blue text, then you are not in stat loss. If any of the above messages appear in red text, you are in stat loss.
Wrapping up redness:
Being flagged as a murderer("Red") is among the least desired things that can be achieved in Ultima Online. Most who become red do so by accident and will likely take careful measures never to become so again after working off their counts.
Hopefully after reading this and understanding the content, you will be more cautious when engaging in Player vs. Player combat and avoid becoming flagged as a murderer. The main goal of this page was to help existing reds understand the system.
Ummm...It's probably best that you view this thingy using 800x600 pixels n' stuff...If anything here looks a little funny to you, you probably didn't listen to a word I just said.