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In Ultima V, leading a life of virtue is practically mandatory to advance in the game. Most of the time this is easy, but I have one weak spot: stuff that belongs to other people.

Thing is, the world is littered with items and food nobody seems to be keeping tabs of. There's keys in tree stumps, swords in bins behind unlocked (sometimes) doors, crops growing in fields, perfectly good armor buried with their former owner. Nobody seems to mind if I help myself to their belongings. They won't even raise an eyebrow if I take the meal they're having.

An angelic being appeared a couple of times to scold me for straying far from the path of virtue, so I've obviously crossed the line somewhere. But where? Is it bad to pick up anything that I haven't bought with my own money or taken from fallen enemies? Can I loot homes of bad guys? Can I at least take everything from Iolo's hut as he's in my party anyway?

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You can loot fallen enemies, but everything apart from that will damage your karma. From what I figure though its only if its in plain sight.

We can swipe things using get, including torches right off the walls. While "Borrowing!" can lower karma, for some strange reason stealing torches is immune from this effect, so I'm going to steal absolutely every torch in Britannia because I can. It also seems taking items found by searching doesn't count as stealing, though taking things from plain sight or swiping food off tables (yes, food is placed on tables and yes, you can steal it) does lower our "Karma."

Source

There is also a bug:

In the pub of Empath Abbey are provisions where the programmers have forgotten to apply a "other people's stuff"-tag. Meaning: you can take them and it's not stealing. Climbing then up and and down the ladder exploits another bug, as the food will re-appear. This means without paying or karma-loss you can get lots of food.

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  • Note that taking a lit torch does not, in fact, add it to your inventory. It just allows you to use it until its fuel is depleted. So there's no point in collecting as many lit torches as possible.
    – Psychonaut
    Aug 26 '16 at 10:23

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