The skull is a status effect in RuneScape. The skull appears for players attacking another in the Wilderness, or if they enter the Abyss and they do not have an abyssal bracelet equipped. Players can also get a skull without having to use either method by asking the Emblem Trader to skull them or equip an amulet of avarice, in which they remain skulled until 20 minutes after the amulet is unequipped. When skulled, players will lose all items upon death, unless the Protect Item prayer is used, in which case they will keep their most valuable item upon death.
Players who are attacked by another player in the Wilderness can safely retaliate without getting skulled themselves, so long as they do not attack players who haven't already attacked them initially. Players should be careful to not attack a player on sight that has skulled on them before because it's possible they could have logged out and in meaning if a player attacked them again initially, the player would become skulled.
Players entering the Wilderness should be careful for skull trickers. Skull trickers will attempt to skull players through deception, aggravating and by exploiting in-game mechanics. Skull tricking is a common practice as a lot of players kill monsters or collect resources without the intention of player killing, so they may bring three or four valuable items assuming that they would keep them on death.
Note: In multi-way areas, you can unintentionally skull yourself with multi-target attacks (e.g. burst/barrage spells, chinchompas, special attacks) if you use it against the aggressor and there are other players that haven't attacked you first next or on them.
The "skull" will disappear automatically after 10 or 20 minutes depending on how the player got it; it disappears after 10 minutes after using the Abyss, and 20 after attacking a player. If a player re-enters the Abyss or attack another player that has not attacked them yet, the skull timer will reset. Having the amulet of avarice worn will cause the player to be indefinitely skulled up until 20 minutes after unequipping it.
- In RuneScape Classic, getting marked with a skull was officially known as setting one's alignment to Evil.
- The skull is said to be the mark of Zamorak during the Enter the Abyss miniquest.
- Sir Renitee asks for the player to be skulled for switching to the "Skull" family crest.