Cloak & Dagger The Assassins' Guild: Michaelmas 2010 Rules


Assassins is a game of mock assassination for a large number of players. The object of the game is to track down and eliminate the other players using a variety of harmless methods in accordance with the rules, while trying to avoid elimination yourself. The game is played for the enjoyment of everyone involved.

If you have any questions about these rules, then once you have read them thoroughly, please ask for clarification from the Umpire, who will be only too happy to provide it.

Throughout these rules, a "Player" is someone who has signed up to participate in the Game in any capacity. An "Assassin" is a Player who has been alive since the start of the Game and is not a member of the Police - this is the capacity in which most people start to play the Game.

Who can play?

The game is open to people who live and spend a large proportion of their time within 5 miles of Great St. Mary's Church and in an environment compatible with the nature of the game. Students at the University are almost certainly eligible to play; those who are unsure whether they live and work closely enough to participate are invited to contact the Umpire.

Be aware, however, that the Game is not limited to Cambridge. If a Player intends to leave Cambridge for a protracted period of time during the Game, they should inform the Umpire.

How do I play?

The game, in brief:

The weapons rules describe the various weaponry you may use to eliminate other assassins, although you may e-mail the Umpire to request that other weapons be licensed.

Whom can I kill?

The following are licit targets for any player:

Conduct during the Game:

It is important that players familiarise themselves thoroughly with this section. Deliberate breaches of rules of conduct may lead to being placed on the Wanted List, or disqualification. They may also lead to trouble with the authorities. If someone breaches a rule, the Umpire is at liberty to effect what he believes to be a reasonable outcome.

Exercise common sense at all times. Players are entirely responsible for their behaviour. The Guild does not condone any course of action that leads to confrontation with people in authority. Avoid inconveniencing other people, especially Porters and the general public.

This game depends on players being honest for it to work. Please inform the Umpire of anything assassin related that occurs to you, especially if you have been killed. The Umpire will decide whether reports are published, and you can request that a report is not published, although it may be published despite this. Anyone knowingly giving false or misleading information to the Umpire will face severe penalties.

Assassins should not swap their room numbers or nameplates for those of their neighbours. This could lead to you going wanted, particularly if an innocent is shot as a result.

You must expect other players to have nefarious intentions at any time during the game. Do not involve (or cause to become involved) college authorities or other non-players to eject or intimidate those attempting to kill you or others. If you feel players are behaving unreasonably, contact the Umpire.

This is not a game about physical strength or violence. There is no excuse whatsoever for pushing people around or forcing them out of your way. Most specifically, if someone is holding a door open or shut, you should not attempt to move that door, and you should never do anything likely to cause anyone (including yourself) injury. If anyone breaches this rule any subsequent in-game actions may be disallowed.

Be aware that both the security forces and the public are particularly easily alarmed at present. Avoid behaviour that may cause them to mistake you for a stalker, burglar, murderer or terrorist: do not wear a balaclava or other suspicious clothing; avoid bearing weapons or fighting in public; remember that even toy guns can look real in the dark or on CCTV; where possible, do not lurk suspiciously; be particularly cautious anywhere outside central Cambridge, where students are less common.

You are not allowed to impersonate authority figures such as Bedders, Porters, College authorities (not including student union representatives) or the (real) Police. This is so that players can take part in the game without aggravating their Bedders by refusing to let them into their room. You should also not take advantage of Bedders unlocking the door to your target's room to break in and kill them.

You are not allowed to impersonate the Umpire, for the same reason. If someone knocks on your door claiming to be the Umpire (or, for that matter, a Bedder or Porter), you may safely let them in. You are also not allowed to impersonate the Umpire indirectly by, for example, forging e-mail messages.

While it is allowed for an Assassin to kill another Assassin without punishment if the victim was openly bearing weapons it may be considered unsporting to attempt to lure an Assassin who is not a licit target into bearing. The Umpire will take a dim view of Assassins who make repeatedly make attempts on those who are not normally licit targets for them, and may place them on the wanted list.

You may neither use nor manufacture a fire alarm, security alert or medical emergency to gain an advantage in an attempt to kill a Player or gain information on them. Also, if a Player is in obvious distress for a reason unrelated to the fact you are trying to kill them, or they are obviously dealing with someone else in distress, do not take advantage of this situation. This includes mandatory evacuation for fire alarms. In all situations, players should be allowed to return directly to whichever situation they were in before the emergency arose and will be out-of-bounds until such time.

You may enter a target's room through an unlocked door or an open window only. If the door is locked you may not make any kind of attack including firing shots or pushing any other item through keyholes, letterboxes or any other gap in, under or over the door. The same principle governs toilet cubicles. Do not attempt to gain entry to a non-Player's rooms in this manner.

You are perfectly at liberty to deny that you are an Assassin. However, you are not allowed to claim that you are a Dead Assassin and hence harmless. You may also not lie about the vital status of other Assassins who are immediately present.

You may not lie about your out-of-bounds status (e.g. when carrying society equipment (see Out-of-bounds areas)).

Most of all, remember that this is just a game. Do your best, but have fun. Please be friendly to other Players you meet during the game, even if they may be trying to kill you.

Out-of-bounds areas:

There are some places and circumstances which, for reasons of sanity and safety, are considered out-of-bounds (OOB). No-one may kill anyone or be killed when they are out-of-bounds, which include the following:

A computer room is, in general, defined as a place where the public (or any clearly-defined group, e.g. members of a college) are permitted to use computers. This may include departmental common rooms.

It should be noted that anywhere you get food yourself from a Servery is in bounds but no projectile weapons may be used (this includes bang kills).

A Player's room is usually only out-of-bounds for supervisions, society meetings and sports activities, as described above. If you believe your room should be made out-of-bounds for any other purpose, or are unsure as to its status, you should ask the Umpire.

Players should not abuse no-kill zones. You should not run into an out-of-bounds area primarily to escape an attacking assassin unless it was your intention to go there prior to encountering the other assassin.

If you are not sure whether a given time or place is out of bounds or not, please contact the Umpire. Similarly, if there is something not mentioned on this list you think should be out-of-bounds, ask the Umpire to consider it.

Accomplices and non-Players:

Players may, if they wish, make use of non-Player accomplices on their attempts. Any person with at least a basic knowledge of the Assassins Game acting to the advantage of a Player on their instruction, with their consent or by prior understanding is considered an accomplice. A Player should not induce one of the Authority figures described in the Conduct rules to be an Accomplice.

Non-Player accomplices cannot kill anyone. They may not openly bear weapons nor anything that could be construed as such. Kills in which armed non-Players are used as decoys may be annulled. Players are entirely responsible for the safety of their accomplices, and will bear some responsibility for their actions with regard to these rules. If they are killed, the Player(s) whom they were accomplicing will be held responsible.

Note that if a Player instructs, or by deliberate omission permits a non-Assassin to put themselves in the way of danger on their behalf (e.g. by exiting a Room first to ascertain the presence of their attackers), that person will be deemed an accomplice.

Players should avoid killing non-Players wherever possible. The usual penalty for killing non-Players who are not accomplices is to be put on the Wanted List, but excessive and deliberate murder of non-Players may lead to a disqualification. Sometimes accidents do happen...

Players may not enter non-Players' rooms through the window unless they have been specifically allowed to do so by the room's occupant. While Players may pass through the unlocked rooms of non-Players, they should avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary (for example, because they are on the only route to a target's room).

If a non-Assassin acting as an accomplice to a Player or a group of Players is killed in the process, they will be strongly requested not to act as an accomplice to that Player or group again in the course of the Game. Someone persistently involving themselves in a game which does not involve them personally may damage the gameplay experience for all.

Dead Players:

If you die, you remain bound by the rules until the conclusion of the Game. In particular, you should refrain from bearing weapons, from announcing the fact that you are dead unless directly questioned face-to-face and from directly involving yourself in any Assassins activity. You may lend your weapons to other Players, and give general playing advice.

A Player, once dead, may not make known, nor by deliberate omission cause to be known, any information they acquired as a direct consequence of player the Game; most importantly their target lists or information concerning the identity of their Killer. The only exceptions to this are that they must pass on such information to the Umpire in their death report and that they may, at their own discretion, pass their target list(s) onto their Killer, although here they have the option to mislead.

Failure to abide by these rules may lead to consequent events being annulled at the Umpire's discretion. Once your death has been posted on the Assassins website, you may become a member of the Police Force. (see Police Force)


Any information disseminated through the website or given you by the Umpire you should assume to be legitimate information unless you have information to the contrary, in which case you should check with the Umpire.

Any Player who explicitly tells you that they are dead, you may assume to be dead. Note that a statement to the effect that you are dead is always taken to concern your most recent incarnation unless explicitly stated otherwise. The Umpire will take a very dim view of any Player who impersonates another Player, or who permits a non-Player to impersonate them, for the purposes of pretending to be dead. The obvious similar rule exists for any Assassin who tells you explicitly that they are Wanted or any Police player who tells you that they are Corrupt.

Information considered illegitimate is most likely to have been acquired from a Dead Player: see "Dead Players" above. Whilst still alive, you are at liberty to pass information onto other Players as much and as misleadingly as you so desire.

Using information you have acquired only through illegitimate means to your advantage may result in sanctions.


Whenever a player is involved in any assassins-related incident, such as attempting to kill another player, or another player making an attempt on them, they must inform the Umpire as soon as possible. The Umpire will decide what to publish. You may request that a report not be published, but it may be despite this, or disclosed at the end of the game, for the amusement of all involved with the Game.

During the course of the Game, reports of events will be published on the website. Reports are encouraged to be dramatic and creative and sometimes misleading (although they may never contain outright lies).

E-mails with reports must in addition contain the following information for the Umpire, for the sake of clarity, as he likes to know what's actually going on:

If players are unsure about what happened during an attack, they may call a "discussion phase" to clarify who has been hit and who, if anybody, is dead. Once a Player has made a bona fide call for a discussion phase to sort out the facts of the incident, so long as it is not a direct interruption of the event, no Players involved in the discussion phase may kill each other during and shortly after the discussion phase is over (giving time for each Player to run away). All players involved in a disputed event are considered to be subject to a discussion phase, this includes any accomplices to the players involved. You may not directly follow another Player involved in the discussion phase immediately after it has finished, but you may of course make another attempt a short time later if you find them again. Players taking part in a discussion phase should take care not to expose themselves to other independent passing Players (as they will not be included in the discussion phase and will thus be able to kill anyone freely). Calling a discussion phase in order to gain an advantage in the game (e.g. to expedite your retreat) may result in sanctions being edicted.

Assassins are strongly encouraged to reach a decision about the facts of an incident at the scene. However, do not be afraid to disagree over the outcome of the incident or the way in which the rules have been applied to events. If there is a strong element of uncertainty as to what the outcome should be, you should make a report to the Umpire as soon as possible and should avoid directly involving yourself in Assassins proceedings until you have received clarification. The Umpire will try to be understanding as far as Competence is concerned. (See Competence)

In the event of an emergency, or suspected breaking of the rules (e.g. using a banned weapon) a player may call "Time-out" in order to bring an immediate halt to all game activities. The players and immediate surroundings are considered OOB until the issue is resolved. Unlike a discussion phase, this includes any independant players who come across the event. Like a discussion phase, once the issue has been resolved, players are given a short period to leave the surroundings or return to where they were before "Time-out" was called.
Note that abusing the Time-out rule is very likely to result in a player going Wanted, or being removed from the game.

If the Umpire is not satisfied that the Rules have been properly followed, he will inform you of any change in the outcome of the incident.


Each Assassin starts the game with one pseudonym, which they may use in news reports to disguise their true identity. Reports can be made under an Assassin's pseudonym, or under their real name. If you do not specify a preference, your initial pseudonym will be used. If you do not specify a pseudonym on sign-up, the Umpire reserves the right to make one up.

For every two legal kills of Assassins an Assassin makes, s/he is entitled to another pseudonym. Should a player wish to make use of it he should email the Umpire informing him of the new name (and include it in future reports in which they wish it to be used). It is possible for successful players to accumulate several pseudonyms over the course of a game.

Pseudonyms must not cause an undue degree of personal or general offence and the names of recent Players may not be used (unless it's your own name).

Because the Umpire enjoys cinematic kills, any kill with "epic music" in the background may cause the Umpire to award an additional pseudonym to the killer. If possible, the Umpire should be informed of the title of the piece of music that was playing.

Kills made in public places with unsubtle weapons may result in the incident being reported under a Player's real name, with no option to use a pseudonym. As a rule of thumb, having half a dozen uninvolved onlookers or more would constitute a public kill.

The Wanted List:

Assassins who break the rules in minor ways, for instance by accidentally killing an illicit target, will be placed on the Wanted List and they become legal targets for everyone else in the game, including the Police.

Players may remove themselves from the Wanted List by redeeming (the conditions of redemption will be decided by the Umpire based on the severity of the crime. Redemption conditions will typically be a combination of making licit kills and of a minimum time period) or by dying.

Players who redeem themselves from the wanted list may be either given a new pseudonym, or given less stringent conditions for acquiring one (e.g. one kill), at the Umpire's discretion to help with their rehabilitation.


To encourage participation in the game, there is a time limit for making attempts on your targets, called the "competence period". Initially the competence period will be seven days. If you do not make an attempt within seven days of the start of the game, you will be designated Incompetent. After each attempt (including unsuccessful ones), your competence deadline will be extended.

As the Game progresses, competence deadlines will decrease, and the conditions required to remain competent will become stricter. When this occurs, the Umpire will inform the Assassins. The Umpire will periodically send out reminder emails with your competence deadline affixed. Killing another Assassin, by any means, will always ensure competence, although kills of Police of any variety do not count for competence.

Any players who fail to fulfil the conditions of competence will be placed on the Incompetence List. This is like the Wanted List without the glamour; Incompetent Players are legal targets for all other Players, including the Police. The Umpire will specify conditions for Incompetents who wish to clear the list, which will usually be two valid attempts.

Incompetents who remain on the list for a long period of time without making sufficient attempts at redemption may be removed from the Game ("thunderbolted") by the Umpire.

The Police Force:

Dead Players will be reincarnated as a member of the "Police force", if requested. This is a special group of Players who exist solely to hunt down and kill Wanted Players and Incompetents. A list of all Police (including real names and addresses) will appear on the Game website. It is important to remember that:

The Umpire:

This Umpire for this Game may be contacted by e-mailing

The primary method of contacting the Umpire is through e-mail, but he may be found if you like that personal touch. The Umpire's room and the area immediately outside his door is out-of-bounds. However, Players are discouraged from running into this area in order to escape an attacker. Should a Player burst into the Umpire's room gibbering about attacking Assassins, he will laugh and draw attention to their lack of (wo)manly courage.

Players should try to resolve any queries before they become a matter of life or death. Feel free to email the Umpire regarding any questions you have regarding the rules and he will do his best to get back to you as soon as possible.

Attempting to take items from the Umpire's pigeonhole or break into his computer account is strictly forbidden. Impersonating the Umpire is also forbidden; see Conduct.

Player-Umpire communications may be made public at the end of the game for everyone's enlightenment and amusement. If Players do not wish a certain communication to be made public, please tell the Umpire.

The Umpire is immortal, omnipotent and omnipresent. Players attempting to test these propositions may be placed on the Wanted List. Players persistently attempting to test these propositions may be attacked by a pack of velociraptors with laser eyes. And machine guns. And will be found dead the next morning.


It is the responsibility of Players to read their e-mail and the News frequently to see whether they have been put on the Wanted list. Players are deemed to know that they are Wanted/Police/Incompetent as soon as these details are published on the website. They are not Wanted/Police/Incompetent before this, and you cannot kill someone just because you believe that they are about to become Wanted, unless they have explicitly told you that they are Wanted.

7.1 Web pages:

The game website is at; you are probably reading these rules there now. During the Game, the news will be published on the website along with any updates to the rules, news of upcoming special events or social events, etc. To avoid waste of bandwidth, game news will not be distributed by e-mail.

7.2 Newsgroup:

The game also has its own newsgroup ( which players may use for discussion, etc. You are unlikely to find news about the current game here, but you may find discussion of special events, proposed changes to the game or new mini-games, etc. There is a web interface to the newsgroup on the Assassins' home page.

7.3 IRC Channel:

There is an IRC channel #assassins on the SRCF server (, port 6667). All assassins, potential assassins or ex-assassins are welcome to join and discuss the game or anything else. See Jonathan Hogg's Assassins FAQ for more details on both the newsgroup and IRC.

Signing up for the game:

If you've read all that and you'd like to play, you should provide the Umpire with:

Anyone found to have supplied false or misleading details to the Umpire will be disqualified, but I'm sure it's not necessary to say that.

If you live in a shared room, you are advised to tell your roommate that you are playing, so that he or she will not think that your assassins are real murderers. It is your duty to ensure that they will not act unreasonably towards any attacking Players.

Note that by signing up to play you are agreeing to report any assassins-related events which you are involved in for the period during which you remain alive, including your death. You are also giving permission for other players to enter or attempt to enter your accommodation should you leave doors unlocked or windows open and to make attempts to 'kill' you, acting in good faith and utilising such methods as described elsewhere in the Rules.

You play the game of Assassins entirely at your own risk. Neither the Umpire nor any other member of the Guild, past or present, can accept any liability for personal injury, loss of, or damage to, property or other loss incurred during the game. Nothing contained in these Rules should be taken as encouragement or permission to break the Law.



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