Cloak & Dagger The Assassins' Guild: Lent 2017 Main Rules

First time player? No time to read all these rules? Try here for a summary of what you need to know to play.

1 Introduction:

Assassins is a game of mock assassination for a large number of players. The object of the game is to track down and eliminate specific other players using a variety of harmless methods in accordance with the following 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, please ask for clarification from the Umpire, who will be only too happy to provide it. While we would ask you check the rules before emailing, we’d very much prefer you email with what seems a silly question than go and do something cavalier.
Throughout these rules, an “Assassin” is someone who has read these rules in order to participate in the Game in any capacity. A “Player” is someone who has signed up for the main game and who is still in the running to win it. The “Police” referred to in these rules are not actual police; these are Assassins who are playing a separate, more casual game, either from the start or after their death in the main game. Players who become Incompetent or Wanted are targets for all Players and Police and are usually killed in pretty short order! This enforces adherence to the game rules and ensures the game doesn’t stall. In these rules, for the purposes of clarity, the actual law enforcement agency is referred to in full capitals as POLICE.
In brief:

2 Code of Conduct

It is important that players familiarise themselves thoroughly with this section. Breaches of the Code of Conduct can lead to becoming Wanted (for minor or unintentional breaches) or disqualification from the game.

2.1 General Conduct

  1. Exercise common sense at all times. Players are entirely responsible for the consequences of their own behaviour.
  2. There are some places and circumstances which, for reasons of safety, security and sanity, are considered Out of Bounds (OoB). You should not fight in an Out of Bounds zone or fight an Out of Bounds person. You may not lie about your Out of Bounds status.
  3. You should not lie (to the Umpire or anyone else) about serious rules concerns in order to get advantage in the game.
  4. The Code of Conduct applies not only to game actions but also to how the game and society are organized.

2.2 Friendliness

  1. Assassins is meant to be fun, inclusive and friendly. Anyone using the game as an excuse to bully, intimidate or behave in an otherwise unacceptable manner may be disqualified and may be banned from the society.
  2. We are tolerant of all likewise tolerant people. In particular, you must respect other Assassins. Bigotry, “-ism”s or “-phobia”s are not welcome here. If you feel you or someone you know is being harassed, disrespected or discriminated against, you can ask for it to stop and / or you can bring it up with the Umpire, the Chiefs of Police, or anyone you feel comfortable talking to.
  3. Assassins is only a game. Being killed, betrayed, lied to or plotted against in a game is no grounds for taking real-life offense, and real-life nasty behaviour is not an acceptable response to treason or having the outcome of a disputed event not go your way.
  4. Assassins is not a game of real violence. Any Assassin found to be using a violent method, or threatening violence, even with no intent to carry through the threat will be disqualified from the game immediately. There is no excuse whatsoever for pushing people around or forcing them out of your way. Please contact the Umpire if this unlikely occurrence happens to you.
  5. Nobody can use the Assassins’ Guild as an excuse to crash, infiltrate or lurk societies or activities they are banned from.

2.3 Personal Safety

  1. To be involved in Assassins is to consent to be met. It is however not a card to intrude beyond welcome. Many Assassins kill people by walking into their unlocked rooms - please note that if your room is not Out of Bounds, you are consenting to this, whether you are Police or a Player. We advise that you lock your door.
  2. You may enter a target’s room through an unlocked door or an open window only. If a 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. You may not open it in any way it’s not meant to be opened. Do not enter non-Assassins’ rooms uninvited unless they are the only way to reach a target, and do not go through their window unless you are invited.
  3. Personal safety concerns of anyone present always take precedence over tactics or weapons choices. Some Assassins may interpret some attacks as physically cornering them or entering their personal space, and everyone has a different threshold for what they’re okay being shot at with. If someone tells you they’re not okay with something, don’t do it to them. In particular, the content of an Assassin’s notes section should be respected.
  4. Do not attack anyone that is not part of the society (or anyone who is but is not playing this term and has asked to be left alone).
  5. You are not allowed to photograph or video anyone without their prior consent.

2.4 General Safety

  1. All weapons and tactics used in this game must be safe to use, and used in a safe manner. You should never do anything likely to cause anyone (including yourself) injury. Players who endanger the safety of other players accidentally or purposefully may face disqualification from the game.
  2. The No-Force Rule: This is not a game about physical strength or violence and should never come down to tests of such. You are not allowed to move anything that someone else is holding still: for example, if a door is held shut, you may not try to force it open. In any situation in which force has been used, you may call out "No-Force Rule!" and everyone should move back to where they were before the breach occurred.
  3. If an Assassin 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, everyone 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.

2.5 Security

  1. The Assassins’ Guild does not condone any course of action that leads to confrontation with people in authority.
  2. Avoid inconveniencing other people, especially Porters, Bedders, POLICE, and the general public. If you are involved in a battle in a public place with non-players present, please respect their wishes and allow them to pass in safety. Non-players are not to be used as cover. Avoid attacking people in situations where they are surrounded by children, the elderly etc. or where an attack might startle bystanders with babies or carrying valuable or fragile items.
  3. Be aware that the security forces, POLICE, and the public are easily alarmed at present. Avoid behaviour that may cause you to be mistaken for a stalker, burglar, murderer or terrorist: do not wear a balaclava or other suspicious clothing; do not use realistic-looking weaponry; remember that even toy guns can look real in the dark or on CCTV - and remember there are laws with regard to carrying what looks like a firearm in public; where possible, do not lurk suspiciously; be particularly cautious anywhere outside central Cambridge, where students are less common.
  4. You are not allowed to impersonate authority figures such as Bedders, Porters, College authorities (not including student union or other student representatives) or the POLICE. You must not (even by accident) use an authority figure to gain entry to people’s rooms, and should not lie to authority figures while undertaking any Guild activity (note that "I’ve got some stuff to deliver to a colleague" is an entirely truthful description of ’I’m going to find someone I’ve never met before, whose name I’ve been given, and shoot them with a rubber-band-gun’).
  5. You are not allowed to impersonate the Umpire, for the same reason. You are also not allowed to impersonate the Umpire indirectly by, for example, forging e-mail messages. 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.
  6. Assassins must not swap their room numbers or nameplates for those of their neighbours, or make up false nameplates. This also applies to the resident lists found attached to accommodation buildings, particularly because as this may contravene fire regulations. If your staircase has an ’IN/OUT’ board for fire purposes, you must not lie on this for game advantage.
  7. You may neither use, nor manufacture nor lie about a fire alarm, security alert or medical emergency to gain an advantage in an attempt to kill a Player or gain information on them.
  8. If entering University or College property on Assassins business, you should carry your Uni ID if you possess any and if not, the contact details of someone from that Department or College (this can be your target, a member of the Police, or someone you know from outside Assassins).
  9. In the event of an incident with an authority you should apologise, leave and not return for some time, and give the Umpire a very detailed report about what happened as soon as possible. Do not speak on behalf of the society.

2.6 Timeout

In the event of an emergency, any Assassin may call "Timeout!" in order to bring an immediate halt to all local game activities. The Assassins in question and immediate surroundings are considered Out of Bounds until the issue is resolved. This includes any independent Assassins who come across the event. Once the issue has been resolved, people are given a short period to leave the surroundings or return to where they were before Timeout was called. When restarting battle, make sure everyone is clear when it will recommence and do not let it become a game of quick-drawing. Timeout should be used for serious issues only, not discussing rules or events. It covers things such as:
  1. Safety (e.g. the apparent use of a possibly dangerous weapon).
  2. Behavior (e.g. if someone feels an Assassin or bystander’s conduct is threatening, abusive or similarly unacceptable).
  3. Security (e.g. If Assassins activity appears to be concerning bystanders or porters). In this case, players should generally stop fighting, conceal weapons and leave the premises - this also allows Assassins to warn their opponents about such an issue, without risking being shot.
  4. Transient concerns, e.g. if a battle is occurring across a minor road or driveway and a car appears, players should call a Timeout, move out of the road, wait for the car to pass, and then by mutual agreement recommence the battle. Other concerns include children or elderly bystanders entering an area where a firefight is occurring.

3 How to Kill People

This section defines the rules relating to making an attempt to kill someone, including the methods which are allowed or banned, the outcomes of the event and the rules for activities conducted during the attempt to facilitate safe and fair play.

3.1 Weaponry

The weapons rules describe the various weaponry you may use to eliminate other assassins and their effects. You may e-mail the Umpire to request that other weapons be licensed. The Umpire’s decision is final. Generally, weapons kill if they strike the head or torso, and remove limbs if they are hit.

3.2 Valid Targets

The following are valid targets for any Player:
  1. Any of the three targets provided by the Umpire.
  2. Anyone on the Wanted List.
  3. Anyone on the Incompetence List.
  4. Any Assassin openly bearing a weapon, especially people trying to kill you with it! The object in question must be clearly visible to you as an Assassins weapon. Players who were previously holding weapons but have since concealed them are not licit targets. Players who have recently dropped or thrown a weapon (but have not concealed it), which is still visible, are licit targets. If you pick up someone’s weapon, they are no longer bearing that weapon - you are.
  5. The three people who have been assigned you as a target (you will not be told who these are, but should you find out you may attempt to defend yourself pre-emptively by killing them first).
  6. Accomplices to any of the above.
It should be noted that suicides are not allowed - if you wish to leave the game, email the Umpire, asking to resign. Assassins must not induce or allow others to kill them.

3.3 Common Places people die

  1. In their room or accommodation corridor.
  2. Outside their lecture theatre.
  3. In the street.
  4. In their college dining hall.
Players are permitted to leave notes for targets they have visited and found to be out or who have hidden such that they are aware of the identity of the assassin whom has made an attempt and can report it accurately. Notes left should in no way be threatening: you are Assassins after all, not thugs, (e.g. "I’m coming to get you!" is definitely not OK), and should where possible have the Player’s real name and/or pseudonym such that the recipient can make a report. When leaving a note consider how it will look to a non-player or passing bedder/porter who knows nothing of the game but is on the alert for abuse/suspicious behaviour and you shouldn’t go far wrong.

3.4 Honesty and Disputed Events

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 Assassins involved in a disputed event are considered to be subject to a discussion phase; this includes any accomplices present.
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.
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.

3.5 Death

If any Assassin is dealt a fatal blow (i.e. a hit to the torso or head) they are immediately killed. Once killed, the person should announce to any other players present that they are dead and inform the Umpire of their death as soon as possible. They are immediately subject to the following rules:
  1. Dead Assassins must refrain from bearing weapons openly.
  2. An Assassin, once dead, may not tell anyone any information acquired either while dead or in a previous life; most importantly their target lists or information concerning the identity of their Killer. An obvious but often-missed example of this is that recently killed Assassins may not phone their Player friend upstairs to warn them that there’s an someone coming for them. Another might be that if two Players go on a raid and one dies, and as they are returning the dead one notices that an Assassin is tailing them, they cannot mention it to the live Player.
Dead Assassins cannot pretend to be live Assassins, and vice. versa. (This includes by omission: If you can see that a highly probably fatal hit has in fact just missed you, the onus is on you to immediately tell everyone present that you’re still alive.) You are likewise not allowed to lie about the vital status of other Assassins who are present. You are not allowed to claim that an Assassin you know to be alive is dead. (However, you are allowed to claim that a non-present Assassin you know to be dead is still alive!)
Failure to abide by these rules may lead to consequent events being annulled at the Umpire’s discretion.

4 Reporting and Pseudonyms:

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. During the course of the Game, reports of events will be published on the website under a pseudonym, which conceals the players true identity until they are killed.

4.1 How to report:

Reports must be emailed to the Umpire. The Umpire’s email is at the top of these rules. The Umpire will decide whether reports are published in full or whether some information is redacted, and you can request that parts of a report are not published until the end of the game or are not published at all.
Reports comprise two sections: A summary of events in clear and concise English, and a descriptive report. The summary is a concise description at the top of the email of the following information where relevant:
  1. Player(s) involved (real names if known)
  2. Any kills and whom they were carried out by
  3. What weapons were used
  4. What the player would like to do after their death (i.e. become Police or not)
  5. Where possible, a short factual summary of events and their times
  6. Which pseudonym(s) they wish the report to be made under
If the event was complex or disputed, provide a one or two-line summary at the top of the email and then go into as much additional detail as you desire in the next paragraph.
The descriptive half of the report is an optional description of the events. This is what will be what is added to the website as news of the event in addition to a brief headline created by the Umpire. Descriptions are encouraged to be creative and dramatic, and can bend the truth a little for thematic purposes.

4.2 Suggested report format:

Subject: [Event(s)] at [time(s)]
Email body:
[Summary of event]
[Additional details if complex or disputed]
[Creative, dramatic and possibly amusing report]

4.2.1 Example:

Subject: Kill at 12:00 today
Email body:
I (John Smith) killed Tom Jones.
I was attacked by Tom Jones around 12:00. His first Nerf shot hit my left arm, crippling it. We exchanged fire for a short while. During this I hit him fatally in the torso with a waterpistol shot. We spoke and confirmed the outcome. I would like my new pseudonym to be ’Paul Atreides’ and to report under that name.
A Harkonnen in full uniform strode past Paul as he infiltrated further into the palace. Soon, he’d be in the main area and ready to make one more step on the road to prevent the galaxy spiraling into chaos. Then his nexus-awareness twitched. He whirled, drawing his las gun, moving at such speed that the oncoming projectile hit only his left arm. Guns? In this day of shields? It was unorthodox, to be sure. He looked at his opponent: a white bearded gentleman bearing a small pistol. He would stand no chance. Diving behind cover, he fired a series of shots, putting his opponent on the defensive. The man fired back. Paul saw the next few actions he must take to win this fight. Left, right. Left again. Then he lunged out of cover, and fired a shot which caught the flailing Harkonnen directly in the chest. The man fell, and Paul slipped quietly back into the shadows, knowing that no-one had heard the commotion. His dreadful destiny continued to drive him on.

4.3 Pseudonyms:

Each Assassin starts the game with one pseudonym, which they may use in news reports to disguise their true identity. Reports will be made under an Assassin’s pseudonym. If an assassin has more than one pseudonym and does not specify a preference, their 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 licit kills an Assassin makes, they are entitled to another pseudonym. Should they wish to make use of this they should note this at the end of the report of their second kill (and include it in future reports in which they wish it to be used). It is possible for successful Assassins to accumulate several pseudonyms over the course of a game. In addition, any particularly outstanding or amusing kills may merit an additional pseudonym.
  1. Pseudonyms must not cause personal or general offense and the names of recent Players may not be used (unless it’s your own name).
  2. Pseudonyms of anyone in a position of authority within the university (lecturers, tutors, porters, etc) may not be used.

5 Out of Bounds:

  1. No-one may kill anyone or be killed when they are Out of Bounds (abbreviated to ’OoB’).
  2. If you are not sure whether a given time or place is Out of Bounds or not, please contact the Umpire.
  3. Similarly, if there is something not mentioned on this list you think should be Out of Bounds, ask the Umpire to consider it.
  4. Do not abuse Out of Bounds areas: in particular, do not attempt to bring an Out of Bounds zone with you everywhere you go, and you should not run into an Out of Bounds area to escape combat unless it is somewhere you normally go or were already planning to go before the combat started.
  5. Kills can be made near the edges of Out of Bounds zones as long as neither party is actually Out of Bounds at the time. People are deemed to be inside a room if any part of them is within the volume of the room, regardless of whether their feet are touching the floor. Rapidly ducking in and out of an Out of Bounds zone in an attempt to be invulnerable whenever not firing your weapon counts as an abuse of an Out of Bounds zone.

5.1 Out of Bounds areas

  1. Lecture theatres whether or not a lecture is in progress.
  2. Official practicals and laboratories.
  3. Hospitals, libraries, museums, schools, gyms and sports halls.
  4. Bathrooms and toilets, with the exception of the en-suite rooms of Assassins.
  5. Churches, chapels, synagogues, mosques, temples, stupas or any other official places of worship.
  6. Any dining arrangement in which you are obliged to wait for the attention of staff in order to be seated, such as College Formal Halls and the like (this includes drinks receptions before or after). This does not include informal halls and pubs (see later).
  7. Any Ball, Event, garden party or similar. Regular college ents are in bounds but are no-projectile-zones (see later).
  8. The area immediately surrounding a bar (the specific area you are served at, not the room) is OoB. This includes people seated at the barside as well as those buying drinks. Bars (i.e. the room) in general are in bounds but no-projectile-zones (so no bang kills either); be careful not to cause targets or bystanders to spill drinks.
  9. Radio stations (including amateur radio stations, such as those of the Cambridge University Wireless Society).
  10. The premises of government buildings, banks and building societies.
  11. In shops, the immediate vicinity of a shop till or an ATM is Out of Bounds. This includes a queue for one. While you may usually take shortcuts through such places, none of the areas listed in this clause should, under any circumstance, be used as an avenue to escape pursuit. You should not use any kind of projectile weapon in a shop (see later).
  12. Anyone in a car or other motorised vehicle is Out of Bounds. Players on bicycles are in bounds only if they are not in the vicinity of other traffic (inc. other bicycles); please be careful only to attack if there is no possibility that you could cause an accident or injury. The only weapons permitted to or from a bicycle are weapons usable in a Water with Care zone. If you wish to, you may request in your signup email that you are Out of Bounds whilst on a bike.
  13. Public transport vehicles. The same is true of airports, train stations and their vicinities, including bus stations (but not bus stops, e.g. the line on St Andrew’s Street).
  14. London is blanket OoB, due to the density of OoB areas and security issues in London. Other settlements that a player may travel to during the game, however, are generally in bounds and subject to the same OoB rules as Cambridge.
  15. Auditoria of theatres/cinemas and concert halls are Out of Bounds during and immediately preceding/following a performance or rehearsal. Any area in which a scheduled public play, recital, concert, or any other similar scheduled event is being performed counts as an auditorium. Areas in which backstage preparation work is taking place are also Out of Bounds.
  16. Organised sports activities are Out of Bounds. This will usually be taken to mean tournament matches at inter-College level or higher. This does not include impromptu ’kickabouts’. However, pre-arranged training sessions of officially-recognised teams may be considered society meetings. Non-spectating participants are Out of Bounds for the duration of the match and during any preparations immediately before or after. If you are unsure whether a particular activity is Out of Bounds, please ask the Umpire.
  17. Safer Space meetings and activities are Out of Bounds and using Safer Space activities to follow or otherwise find out more information about targets is banned. This includes the CakeFaeries. If someone knocks on your door and claims to be a CakeFaerie, you may safely let them in.
  18. Computer rooms are Out of Bounds. A computer room is 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.
  19. Clearly Marked Locations where sociological experiments are being conducted are Out of Bounds. Such experiments may be held outside of scientific labs, and rely on isolation of the subjects from external events to be objective.

5.2 Conditions making individuals Out of Bounds

  1. Seminars, supervisions, tutor or DoS meetings and the like: An Assassin is Out of Bounds while they are in sight of the person(s) they are meeting. The pre-arranged supervision location is Out of Bounds for the arranged duration of the supervision.
  2. Persons engaged in ’serious’ activities on the water, such as rowing or canoeing, are OoB. Similarly, they are Out of Bounds while transporting substantial, related equipment to or from such an activity. College, University, and Town Club boathouses are OoB. Punts are not Out of Bounds.
  3. Anyone working in a real, proper job is Out of Bounds while at work. If this is a job which entails dealing with possibly vulnerable people, such as in a hospital or a school, then the Out of Bounds area extends to anywhere within sight of their work place. This includes graduate students working in a department, research institute or any kind of official placement. Anyone working at a college bar or ent is also Out of Bounds, but they are a licit target if they have time off.
  4. Anyone in uniform (e.g. cadets, student nurses, St John’s Ambulance staff) is Out of Bounds while in uniform.
  5. Players working with or riding on horses are Out of Bounds.
  6. Anyone in clear sight of a POLICE officer, emergency services vehicle or news camera is Out of Bounds.
  7. Anyone using a hot object (e.g. an iron, hot pan or fire stick) is Out of Bounds, as is anyone in their vicinity where an attack on them might startle the user. The same applies to anyone using a sharp knife to prepare food or similarly dangerous objects, or anyone carrying valuable and fragile items.
  8. If a person’s notes say they are Out of Bounds at a specific time or in a specific place, they are.

5.3 No-Projectile Zones

  1. Anywhere you get food yourself from a Servery, including informal halls and pubs (except in the immediate area of the bar) is a no-projectile zone. Be careful not to cause targets or bystanders to spill drinks or food.
  2. Regular college ents.
  3. Shops (except for areas near ATMs or shop tills, including the queue, which are Out of Bounds).
In addition, Assassins should avoid firefights across busy streams of traffic (motorised or not), both to avoid risk of injury and to prevent aggravating drivers.

5.4 Society meetings

  1. Official university or college society meetings or regularly scheduled meetings of an unofficial society are Out of Bounds. If you want to claim OoB-ness while at an unofficial society meeting, the Umpire may request evidence that it actually is a society that meets regularly.
  2. Players involved in these are Out of Bounds from the moment they enter the rooms or area (for outside events) where the event is being hosted and until 2 minutes after either the meeting has concluded or they have left the rooms or area (even if they intend to return). People setting up for or clearing up after a society meeting are OoB. Pubmeets are not Out of Bounds.
  3. Assassins carrying bulky or expensive items to and from society meetings may be Out of Bounds while doing so, but must specifically clear that you may be doing this at a particular society with the Umpire beforehand. If you are planning to attack someone near their society meeting, you may check with the Umpire as to whether there is any reason your target may be Out of Bounds.

5.5 Activities involving Assassin weaponry

  1. Assassins may declare that their weapons no longer count as assassin weapons for a given time. This is intended to allow participation in any non-assassin-related activity that might lead to non-players/assassins getting killed by assassin weaponry (for example, a waterfight or snowball fight with friends).
  2. To do this, simply declare to any participants in the activity (particularly known Assassins) that the weapon no longer counts as an Assassins weapon. For the duration of the activity, your weapon will no longer count as a weapon.
  3. This means that everyone who heard you can’t kill you for bearing while you are participating in the activity (although this does not extend to Assassins you forgot to tell, since they have no way of knowing what you are wielding isn’t a weapon). The Umpire will take a very dim view on people claiming stupid things like: "I did say I understood his weapon didn’t count but I actually didn’t hear him, so my later attempt on him for bearing was justified". Also, if anyone makes an attempt on you while you are participating in such an activity, your weapon will regain its power so you can fight back.
  4. Do not abuse this rule (for example, by attempting to use this so that you can have your weaponry out without it counting as bearing). This rule is made so that you don’t miss out on fun activities like snowball fights, etc., not as a way of survival.

6 Accomplices:

  1. Players (or Police) may, if they wish, make use of accomplices on their attempts. Any person who is not a Player or Police who is acting to the game-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.
  2. Players collaborating to kill anyone, or Police collaborating to kill someone who is Wanted or Incompetent, are not considered to be accomplices and are not subject to these rules. People who are merely around, friends with or accompanying a Player for non-game-related reasons (and playing no part in the game) are not accomplices either.
  3. If an accomplice has not read the rules, the person they are accomplicing is responsible for their safety, and will bear some responsibility for their actions. The accomplice is not allowed to act independently and should generally stay within earshot of whomever they are accomplicing. If an accomplice has read these rules, they are deemed to be an Assassin and entirely responsible for themselves, and can act independently within the game.
  4. Police are allowed to act as accomplices to Players who are making attempts on targets not on the Wanted or Incompetence lists.
  5. Accomplices cannot kill anyone. They may not openly bear weapons nor anything that could be construed as such in front of possible enemies. They also cannot use the No Force Rule to hold doors or gates shut.
  6. Accomplices are licit targets if the Player they are currently accomplicing is a licit target. If a Player’s accomplice is killed, the Player whom they were accomplicing will be held responsible and made Wanted as if they themselves had made an illicit kill. Accomplices are not licit targets if they are not currently accomplicing anyone.
  7. If an accomplice is killed in the process of accomplicing, they are subject to the rules for Death and therefore cannot continue to accomplice. If they wish to continue accomplicing, they should ask to join the Police force.

7 The Police Force

In order to enforce the rules so here laid out, as well as to ensure people who get killed in the main game have something interesting to do, and to accommodate people who prefer a more relaxed game, the Umpire employs a Police force to keep the city safe from criminals and lazy people. The Police force is headed by (possibly multiple) Chiefs of Police.
  1. Police can licitly kill, or use weapons to participate in the killing of, Wanted or Incompetent Players, Corrupt Police, and anyone who is openly bearing an Assassins’ weapon, as well as accomplices to any of these. (Note that if you pull out a weapon before your opponent does, and you end up killing them, you are deemed to have used a weapon to participate in the killing of someone who wasn’t bearing. However, if you can get them to draw first...)
  2. Police have no targets, and no-one is targeting them.
  3. Police are not required to give an address or any information that can be used to locate them. They may choose to do so if they wish. Alternatively, they may choose to be Out of Bounds whenever they are not hunting.
  4. Police have no competence deadlines and are not penalised in any way for not being active in the game.
  5. The list of Police is public on the site, along with a public pseudonym for each Police person. Police can acquire new pseudonyms in the usual way (1 for every 2 kills), which they can choose to be either public or private.
  6. Police can hunt Wanted or Incompetent people with Players as normal. Police may act as accomplices to Players who are hunting people that are neither Wanted nor Incompetent, but cannot be openly bearing while doing so.
The normal rules for killing people apply to Police as well as Players, with the following exceptions:
  1. When a Police person is killed, they resurrect upon submission of the report. They are no longer allowed to attack their killer(s). If their killer dies and resurrects, this restriction is lifted.
  2. Police are not allowed to share or use information that was gained only while dead or in a previous life.
  3. If a Police person kills or uses weapons to participate in the killing of a Player who is neither Wanted nor Incompetent, the Player does not die, but should refrain from actively involving themselves in the game until submission of the report. (They are still allowed to defend themselves from other Players as normal, but should not make any attempts.) This allows Police to break up firefights or punish conspicuous weapon-bearing without overly impacting the game.
Players or accomplices who have been killed may choose to resurrect as Police in order to continue participating in the game. People can sign up as Police at any time during the game, including after the signup deadline for Players has passed. People who wish to can sign up as Police for a short amount of time only (e.g. during a visit to Cambridge or for the day of the Incobash).
Being on the Police force is suited to team play, more casual play, and for people who are unable or unwilling to give information about themselves or have people targeting them. There is less focus on winning and more focus on having fun. The Chiefs of Police are your first point of contact for finding people to go on raids with, and they’ll usually maintain some form of chat for the purpose of organising. Players can ask to be on this chat if they’re willing to take the loss of anonymity resulting from this.

7.1 Police Wars

As the game nears its end and the Incompetence list dwindles, the Umpire may decide to organise some type of game for the Police force to do: most often they’re divided somehow into two teams and told to fight to the death (or to the most kills, given that they usually resurrect). Such wars are opt-out, but plenty of warning will be given before they start. Police participating in these wars are expected not to let them interfere in the main game, and in particular should make truces with the other side in order to hunt Wanted players. There may not be a clear definition of what is required to ’win’ - the spirit of them is one of fun rather than competitivity.

8 The Wanted and Incompetence Lists

8.1 Consequences for Breaching the Rules

As a rule of thumb: breaking rules that have no real-life component and are only in-game wrong will result only in in-game sanctions that can be remedied by in-game actions, whereas transgressions of things in the Code of Conduct are dealt with in a way that is not affected by how active or good you are at the game. Penalties also stack, e.g. shooting an innocent will make you Wanted with the redemption condition being both a kill and a certain amount of days.
  1. Making a kill in an Out of Bounds zone, or with a disallowed weapon, or acting in breach of the Code of Conduct, or using illicit information, will cause the kill to be annulled. The victim will not die and the perpetrator will not score any points or competence for the kill.
  2. Making an illicit kill – any kill of a person who is not a licit target for you at that point – will put you on the Wanted list until you have made a number of licit kills equal to the total number of illicit kills you have made so far in this game. So a first time offender will require 1 kill, a 3rd time offender three kills, and someone who kills 4 illicit targets at once will require 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10 licit kills to get them off the list. If someone kills your accomplice, you are deemed to have made an illicit kill.
  3. Minor, unintentional breaches of the Code of Conduct will cause you to be put on the Wanted list for a certain number of days as determined by the Umpire: normally 1 to 7 for first-time offenders. This is determined by both the nature of the event and your attitude following it – it may be possible to reduce your sentence by apologising to the relevant people and making a sincere effort to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
  4. Major, intentional, or overly repetitive breaches of the Code of Conduct will result in disqualification from the main game. The offenders may be allowed to stay on the Police force, possibly subject to only hunting when supervised by one of the Chiefs of Police.
  5. If things get bad enough, the Umpire or other senior members have the right to ban people from the Society, and to take whatever real-life actions are necessary to deal with people who refuse to respect these bans. (Note: this almost never happens.)
As a refresher, the Code of Conduct includes (but is not limited to): shooting innocents who are not involved in the society or who have stated a wish to be left alone, using unsafe or overly realistic weaponry, causing or threatening injuries or damage to property, disrespecting personal safety and personal boundaries, impersonating, lying to, or being overly confrontational with authority figures, breaching the No Force Rule, creating or using a safety or security incident for game advantage, and being unfriendly to other members of the society.
Complaints from official persons (porters, for example) will almost certainly result in the disqualification of involved players in order to preserve the standing of the society. Involving the POLICE will definitely cause you to be disqualified (and may jeopardise future participation).

8.2 The Wanted List

  1. Players on this list are a valid target for all Players and Police. In particular, the Police force will make a special effort to track them down and murder them. Players are removed from the Wanted list either by dying or by redeeming themselves.
  2. 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.
  3. Players who are on the Wanted List are valid targets for everyone while on the public list - this means that, even if someone is known to be Wanted, they are not a valid target until the list is updated. Similarly, even if the redemption conditions are met, the Wanted Player is still a valid target until removed from the list.
  4. Police have their own Wanted list, known as the Corrupt list, which serves much the same function (except because Police resurrect when killed it’s used more for fun: Police may choose to deliberately go Corrupt in order to have people hunting them down, and the redemption conditions tend to be somewhat arbitrary). Police who are Corrupt are a licit target for all Police and Players.

8.3 Competence

  1. To encourage participation in the game, there is a time limit for making attempts on your targets, called the "competence period". Players who are active in the game, for instance by making and reporting attempts on targets, will be granted an extended competence deadline.
  2. If you do not make two valid attempts or one successful kill within your competency period, you will be designated Incompetent.
  3. After each two attempts (including unsuccessful ones) or one successful kill, your competence deadline will be renewed to today’s date plus the length of the current competency period. The Umpire reserves the right to decrease competency periods towards the end of the game if not enough is happening.
  4. The Umpire will periodically send out reminder emails with your competence deadline affixed.
  5. Any players who fail to fulfill the conditions of competence will be placed on the Incompetence List. The Incompetence List will first be published anywhere from a week to two weeks into the game, and the Police force usually react to this by organising a large-scale raid on all the new targets known as the Incobash.
  6. The Umpire will specify conditions for Incompetents who wish to clear the list, which will usually be one valid attempt. Redemption only occurs at the next update of the list on the website. Even if someone is known to have run out of competence, they are only a valid target while on the Incompetence list. If the list is not yet up, they are not Incompetent. Incompetent Players remain a valid target for everyone while on the list - even if they have met their redemption targets, if the list has not yet been updated, they are valid.
  7. Incompetents who remain on the list for a long period of time without making sufficient attempts at redemption may be removed from the Game by being "thunderbolted" (removed from the Game by umpirical omnipotence). However, the Umpire and associated forces will try really hard to meet you before this point (to kill you and maybe offer you biscuits in the process). If you are thunderbolted but still wish to be involved, you’re very welcome to join the police. Please let the Umpire know if this is the case.
  8. You will usually not be given competence if an attempt is made on you, unless you manage to kill a live Player, although particular skill and effort may be rewarded. Kills of Police may or may not provide competence.

9 The Umpire:

  1. Each assassins game is organised, run and regulated by the Umpire. The Umpire for the Lent 2017 game is Kim Ward of Churchill College, who may be contacted by e-mailing
  2. The primary method of contacting the Umpire is through e-mail, but they will be happy to meet up with players to discuss any aspect of the game which may be worrying them. The Umpire’s address (should you find it) is Out of Bounds, and absolutely no weapons should be openly carried there - please email to warn beforehand if you will be visiting. Players can ask to be Out of Bounds to and from meetings with the Umpire.
  3. 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 they will do their best to get back to you as soon as possible.
  4. Taking or attempting to take items from the Umpire’s pigeonhole or break into their computer account is strictly forbidden. Impersonating the Umpire is also forbidden: see Conduct.
  5. 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 in said communication.
  6. The Umpire is immortal, omnipotent, omniscient and completely immune to any form of mind control. Players attempting to test these propositions may be placed on the Wanted List or subject to more creative umpirical sanctions.
  7. The Umpire has the right to personally hunt any Incompetent Players, Wanted Players, or Corrupt Police. Killing a mortal incarnation of the Umpire may or may not provide competence (as with police), although it will give you the satisfaction of a kill. However, if you are not a valid target of the Umpire this will also place you on the Wanted list if you are not already
  8. The Umpire’s ruling is final. There will be no right of appeal against their judgments.

10 Signing up for the game:

10.1 Notes

If you have any additional concerns, the Umpire will list them in your notes which are available to anyone who might be targeting you. Assassins must respect the content of these notes. Please don’t hesitate to use these to fix things that might be bothering you about the game! Some examples are below, but don’t feel limited to them.
  1. Players can request that Assassins are not allowed to lurk outside their residence between the hours of midnight and 7am. This is to ensure the safety of players and their neighbours such that they do not feel threatened or intimidated by players lurking late at night.
  2. If you want your address to be Out of Bounds, or to warn of any safety or security concerns specific to the area. This includes warning of anything in your room that could be damaged by water (if applicable).
  3. If you would like to disallow the use of certain weapons against you (e.g. no Contact Weapons) or you have any other concerns relevant to your personal safety.
  4. If you’re carrying heavy or bulky society equipment to and from events, to be Out of Bounds while doing this.
  5. Graduate students (for example) may wish to be Out of Bounds at their department to avoid causing disruption to their colleagues.
  6. To be Out of Bounds on a bike.
  7. Anything else which your assassins should be informed of, such as that you live in a shared set and assassins should be wary of killing your roommate. (If you live in a shared room, you are advised to tell your roommate that you are playing, so that they 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.)
  8. Nicknames, preferred names, preferred pronouns, or anything else you want Assassins to know before meeting you socially.
In order to preserve competitive integrity, the Umpire may only allow certain more restrictive types or combinations of notes to be used by Police rather than Players. If this applies to you but you still want to Play, they’ll work with you to help figure something out. Usually, more restrictive notes can be balanced out by giving more / better quality information to the people targeting you.

10.2 If you’ve read all that and you’d like to play, you should email the Umpire with the following details:

  1. The full name(s) by which you are usually known.
  2. Your e-mail address (full if not, although your address is preferred).
  3. Your College or department (if you are a member of the University).
  4. Information that your Assassins can use to locate and kill you. This is normally your address (i.e. room number and building/court), but you may substitute this with other information such as your lecture timetable, society meetings you regularly attend, or details of your commute. If you are a Player, it should be sufficient to allow an Assassin to fairly easily locate you in an In Bounds zone within a 20-minute walk of Cambridge city centre at least twice a week for the entire duration of the game. Police can give out as much or as little information as they like. The information given must be accurate and not misleading.
  5. The extent to which water-based weaponry is allowed in your room. The options are no water (no water pistols or other water-based weapon may be used in your room), with care (small water-based weapons may be used if the user is careful) and full water (anything goes). You may also let the Umpire know of anything specific in your room which could be damaged by water; this information will be given to your assassins.
  6. An initial pseudonym, which will be used in news reports to disguise your true identity.
  7. Any other notes which may be relevant (see above for some examples).
  8. The word ’Thunderbird’, so that the Umpire can tell you’ve read the entirety of the Full Rules (well done!) and give you cookies/weapons/awards as appropriate.

11 Disclaimer:

  1. By signing up, you confirm that you have read the pocket rules as a minimum, and will follow them. You will not place yourself or anyone else in danger while playing, and understand that playing the assassins game is not an excuse for any behaviour that is against the law or the rules of the university or any other institution that may be involved (e.g. colleges, departments, etc.). You understand that the society is reliant on the tolerance of such institutions for its continual existence, and that you must not endanger the society by risking this tolerance.
  2. You will not speak on behalf of the society, and will contact the organisers immediately if someone needs to speak for the society (e.g. to the POLICE); You have thus saved or otherwise taken note of a number to contact in an emergency. You understand that the society may expel you, or otherwise give you up to the authorities on demand if it is necessary to preserve the society. Colleges who are concerned about security may request to know which of their members are playing.
  3. We have neither the resources nor the inclination to make the rules completely watertight. Hence, although the precision of the wording is often important, your attention is drawn more to the spirit of the rules than their content. The Umpire will not be bound by the rules if they feel that someone is attempting to exploit a loophole. If in doubt, e-mail the Umpire with your question.
  4. 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 (if your address is In Bounds) 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.
  5. People who break serious rules of safety, security and friendliness, or lie to the Umpire or to a deputy appointed to investigate these breaches, may be disqualified from a game, or may banned from the society.


The history of these rules may be found here.

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