Monster killing, also called Player versus Monster or PvM, is the aspect of killing monsters as opposed to player killing. Players engaging in Combat against monsters (also known as NPCs) usually find themselves either at less imposed risk compared to player killing, or greater risk, depending on the monster itself, ranging from the weak chicken to the powerful Corporeal Beast.
Monster killing was initially one of the main purposes of the game, and much of RuneScape Classic still revolves around PvM, due to the use of limited weaponry within a players' arsenal.
Monster killing remains today as one of the most basic aspects of RuneScape, for without monsters, there would be no combat aspect involved at all, regardless of player-versus-players.
Much of RuneScape's storyline is also based around the evolution of monsters and how they came to be in the locations in which they are found.
Characteristics of monsters
The vast majority of monsters drop something once they die (most commonly bones, coins, and many other items).
Some monsters, particularly higher-levelled ones, are aggressive, meaning they attack on sight of a player, as is the case, for example, with deadly red spiders. Monsters will no longer be aggressive to players with a combat level of one more than twice the level of the monster in question. However, there are certain monsters that will attack regardless of combat level, such as Flesh Crawlers and Catablepon. Moreover, monsters located in the Wilderness will attack anyone, regardless of their combat level.
Monsters sometimes possess special abilities that may catch a player off-guard; be especially wary when venturing out into the Wilderness. Monsters such as the mysterious Chaos Elemental are known to teleport players a few spaces back and un-equip items.
Incentives for monster-killing
Players fight monsters mainly to gain experience, coins, complete quests, or just for the fun of it. Players who fight monsters for experience usually turn on auto retaliate in order to deal more efficiently with monsters that immediately respawn. Bandits, a popular camping ground for member PvMers, are able to attack a player more than once with fellow bandits, so players can gain XP extremely quickly by employing a continuous method of attacking, killing, respawning, and repeating. In non-member worlds, the same steps apply, but in a different place.
Some types of monsters require using one or multiple fighting styles, whether it be Magic, Ranged, or Melee. In RuneScape, many of the skills present are only achievable through fighting off monsters or using them to your advantage.
Those who seek to effectively monster-kill for an extended period of time are known to be "grinding," a process in which a player stays at a certain location or set of spawn points to continuously gain quick XP in hopes of levelling up faster, known as power levelling.