I played softcore and was invited into a public game to do Baal speed runs, but worried that someone might try to kill me and loot my items. Is it possible?
No, when you die you'll drop a corpse, and you're the only one who can grab it. You can either get back to the location where you died, or you can quit and join a new game, which will cause the corpse to move to your spawn point in town.
No one else will be able to get your items from your corpse.
In earlier (like super early) patches of the game there was a mechanism where you could drop items upon death, but that was fixed.
If memory serves, rejoining had 2 disadvantages - all the enemies respawn and there's a loss of some gold, Jan 2, 2020 at 7:01
@JourneymanGeek I'm pretty sure you lose the gold anyway. Jan 2, 2020 at 11:23
1You'll also know when someone wants to duel ahead of time. Their name will go red and they will be read in the party member area. Everyone in your party will be allied against this person. They can only do this from the town, so no one in the map will have this option available. They will also be unable to take any of your member's portals, so they will have to run all the way to where you currently are. No one in multiplayer games bothers with doing this, as there is no benefit except your gold that drops and gold is worthless. Jan 3, 2020 at 3:43
Also: "In Diablo II, the player is revived without any equipped items or minions, in the act's town. To regain their lost items, the character has to return to the place they died, and pick up their 'corpse' - often a dangerous proposition, as any monsters in the area remain. Further deaths (even of an itemless character) result in more corpses. A corpse will appear in town only if the player restarts their game, but only the most recent corpse would appear - thus, if a character died multiple times, they might lose all items they had equipped." per diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Death Jan 3, 2020 at 18:31
They can only kill you permanently if you play on 'hardcore'. In this game mode every death (no matter who or what killed you) will delete your char and all your items. In this mode you can allow players to get your inventory (if you are playing with friends for example).
Most players play softcore (the default setting) and there it is impossible to lose anything from your inventory.
To kill you a player must declare you the enemy. You will see a big red skull icon on your screen. After he declared you his enemy, he is not allowed to enter any teleport portals or way points. So let's say that you are in baals chamber and a player declares you his enemy. He then needs to start from the town and move through the whole act 5 to get to baals chamber. This gives you enough time to react and go back to safety in town or leave the game. You can even go to a random location via WP and your enemy wouldn't know where you are, since this information is exclusively shared in parties.