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.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. General Conduct
  3. How to Kill People
  4. How to Report
  5. Out of Bounds
  6. Accomplices
  7. The Police Force
  8. The Wanted and Incompetent Lists
  9. The Umpire(s)
  10. Notes
  11. Open Season and The Duel
  12. Signing Up
  13. Disclaimer

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(s), who will be only too happy to provide it. While we would ask that 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 dedicated to enforcing the rules, with only those who break them as the targets, and nobody targeting them; they are not in contention to win, but have a far easier, perhaps less strenuous game. They are police either from the start or become so 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.

With that in mind, this is the game 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 or even disqualification from the game (for egregious and/or dangerous behaviour).

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(s) or anyone else) about the rules in order to gain advantage in the game. Purposefully lying to the umpires will see you disqualified from the game rather than just going wanted.
  4. The Code of Conduct applies not only to game actions but also to how the game and society are organised.

2.1a General Conduct: Self Isolation

  1. Assassins must inform the Umpires as soon as possible when they are in isolation, and when they leave isolation. Anyone who is self-isolating, or marked as self-isolating by the Umpires, is Out of Bounds, and if you find that your target is self-isolating but their notes say otherwise, inform the Umpires. Purposefully misinforming an Umpire or other Assassins about your isolation status is a serious rules violation and will see you removed from the game.
  2. Furthermore, any Assassin who has recently left self-isolation is OoB until the Umpires have updated their notes to say so and have informed the recently isolating Assassin that they are now in bounds (this should take less than a day, if it takes longer then feel free to remind the Umpires to do so).

2.2 Friendliness

  1. Fundamentally, be nice to one another. The game can certainly be intense at times, and tempers can be strained, but you are all (vaguely) sensible and intelligent individuals, so we rely on you to control yourselves, and, if you do misstep as we all might from time to time, put it right. This is not complicated, and hopefully doesn't need stating; we will take a very dim view of having to remind anyone of it.
  2. 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.
  3. Assassins is only a game. Being killed, betrayed, lied to or plotted against in a game is no grounds for taking real-life offence, 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.
  6. It should be acknowledged that players have lives outside of the Guild, and that many players are students with degree work to conduct. The Umpire will take a very dim view of anybody holding people's studies, work, or serious personal matters to ransom - for example, by persistently making a loud disturbance such that they cannot work while locked in their room, so that they have to leave the room and engage in combat. This also applies to disturbing anyone, player or otherwise. Apply caution and common sense around e.g. porters and bedders.
  7. As with any other rules, if you feel these are being breached, you are encouraged to say so, if not to the perpetrator, then to the umpire(s), police chief(s), or other senior players, and we shall take appropriate action (which will hopefully be no more than chiding).

2.3 Personal Safety

  1. Joining Assassins implies 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. You are not allowed to force entry into anyone else's room. This means you may not fight them to keep the door open or put your foot in the door as they are closing it. This is a violation of the No Force Rule.
  4. 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. Any type of attack that an Assassin is not comfortable with should be provided in their personal Notes section. They are considered OoB to these forms of attack, which should not be made against them.
  5. Do not attack anyone that is not part of the society (or anyone who is, but is not playing this term).
  6. Playing assassins does not grant you consent to photograph or video other Assassins in occasions it would not otherwise be allowed (e.g. you cannot video through a target's bathroom window, but you can still photograph a boat race that an assassin is in); use your common sense so as to not invade privacy or make people uncomfortable (and err on the side of caution).
  7. You may not use anyone else's electronic devices or computer accounts for the purposes of Assassins, unless you have been given explicit and specific permission from the owner. For example, if you walk into your target's room and they have their computer open, you may not use it, but if you ask your friend if you can check your target's location on Snapchat then you may do so. You may use public computers such as in a library or computer room for Assassins purposes, so long as no one else is logged in at the time.

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: You may not move anything that someone else is holding still. It is explained in more detail below.
  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 can be easily alarmed. 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 staff, student representatives (from a college JCR/MCR or the SU, whether the representative position exists or not) or the POLICE; if one should be expected to open one's door to that person, you may not impersonate them. You may also not impersonate CakeFaeries, per their request. You must not (even by accident) use an authority figure (including yourself) 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(s), for the same reason. You are also not allowed to impersonate the Umpire(s) 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. You are expressly forbidden from using protests/trade union issues/civil and human rights issues as a reason to get anyone to open any door, regardless of whether you are a part of said protests/trade union. This includes more than just the doors of assassins; you may not ask another person to open a door for you under the guise of being a protestor/trade union representative (however truthful) in pursuit of a kill/attempt in assassins. Do not attempt to find loop holes here as complete umpirical discretion is allowed in dealing with violations of this rule in spirit.
  7. Assassins must not swap their room numbers or nameplates for those of their neighbours, or make up false nameplates. This includes less formal looking tags, such as Homerton has been known to use in the past. This also applies to the resident lists found attached to accommodation buildings, particularly because this may contravene fire regulations.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. In the event of an incident with an authority you should apologise, leave and not return for some time, and give the Umpire(s) a very detailed report about what happened as soon as possible. Do not speak on behalf of the society. Saying you are there for assassins purposes is not ideal, but if all else fails, telling the truth to diffuse a situation at first instance is better than having more authority figures drawn into the incident.
  11. Individuals with access to information not in the public domain as a consequence of their position of authority (e.g. as a supervisor, society president, government employee etc.) should not use such information for assassins purposes. A notable example of this is CamCors access. Similarly, players should not induce such individuals to gain information for assassins purposes. Information that one has access to as an ordinary college member, society member or the like is not restricted by this rule.

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. Timeouts should not confer a tactical advantage (e.g. if someone was about to die when a timeout starts, then the timeout should not prevent this, such as if a dart fired before timeout is called finds its mark after timeout is called). Timeout covers things such as:

  1. Safety (e.g. the apparent use of a possibly dangerous weapon).
  2. Behaviour (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.

2.7 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. A player who is out of bounds (see later) cannot be 'no-forced' until they are in bounds (e.g. by no-forcing a player into/out of a particular area while they are temporarily out of bounds from leaving a society meeting).

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 weaponry rules describe the various weaponry you may use to eliminate other assassins and their effects. You may email the Umpire(s) to request that other weapons be licensed. The decision of the Umpire(s) is final. Generally, weapons kill if they strike the head or torso, and remove limbs if they are hit. Limbs respawn in 30 minutes.

3.2 Valid Targets

The following are valid (a.k.a. licit) targets for any Player. If the target is another Player (not Police), killing them rewards competency:

  1. Any of the three targets provided by the Umpire(s).
  2. Anyone on the Wanted List.
  3. Anyone on the Incompetence List.
  4. 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 preemptively by killing them first).
  5. 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.
  6. Accomplices to any of the above.

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, etc. 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). 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(s) 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, refrain from taking part in the rest of any ongoing encounters, and inform the Umpire(s) 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 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 seemingly 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 discretion of the Umpire(s).

It should be noted that suicides are not allowed - if you wish to leave the game, email the Umpire(s), asking to resign.

Assassins must not induce or allow others to kill them; if this is deemed to occur, in a case sensitive manner, the kill may be undone, or the 'victim' retrospectively thunderbolted (i.e. they stay dead, but the kill is deemed to have been made by the Umpire(s), rather than whoever tried to kill them, so there is no competence gain, etc.).

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(s) 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(s). The Umpirical email is at the top of these rules. The Umpire(s) will decide whether reports are published in full or whether some information (usually colleges and assassins' real names) 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 added to the website as news of the event in addition to a brief headline created by the Umpire(s). Descriptions are encouraged to be creative and dramatic, and can bend the truth a little for thematic purposes. PLEASE submit a factual report as soon as possible - if you feel you want to write a descriptive one but don't immediately have the time, please just send a factual one and mention that you intend to write a different report (to avoid your factual report being published) so that the Umpire is aware of all deaths - if a kill is not reported within 24 hours and someone else kills the same person and reports first, they will be awarded the kill.

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 'Zaphod Beeblebrox'.
Report (using pseudonym Paul Atriedes):
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, or request an inappropriate one, the Umpire(s) reserves the right to make one up.

For every two licit kills an Assassin makes, they are entitled to another pseudonym, which they may use from their next report (i.e. your next attempt (successful or not) after your 2nd kill) onwards. 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, or directly influence the game (e.g. by no-forcing doors) when they are Out of Bounds (abbreviated to 'OoB'). An assassin who is OoB may generally give information to other assassins (e.g. sitting in a lecture with a target and texting assassins outside the lecture to arrange an ambush), unless they are in a situation where they are OoB to some assassins but not others (e.g. discussion phases, and often Incobash squads), in which case they may not help other assassins kill a target who is OoB to them.
  2. If you are not sure whether a given time or place is Out of Bounds or not, please contact the Umpire(s).
  3. Similarly, if there is something not mentioned on this list you think should be Out of Bounds, ask the Umpire(s) 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, as well as a transgression of the general rule against taking of the piss.
  6. Kills made while out of bounds or using a projectile in a no-projectile zone will be annulled (they won't count) and the perpetrator will be made Wanted/Corrupt.

5.1 Out of Bounds areas

  1. Lecture theatres whether or not a lecture is in progress.
  2. Official practicals and laboratories.
  3. Hospitals and other medical facilities (e.g. counselling and dental practices).
  4. Libraries, museums, schools, gyms and sports halls.
  5. The Senate House.
  6. Bathrooms and toilets, including the ensuite bathroom of Assassins only if it is in use.
  7. Churches, chapels, synagogues, mosques, temples, stupas or any other official places of worship.
  8. Graveyards and cemeteries. Those with a clearly defined boundary are OoB within the boundary (this includes the whole of church grounds with a clearly defined boundary if it is used as a graveyard). In the case where there is no clearly defined boundary, it is OoB within two metres on any sides from the furthest gravestone - this should not be taken to exact measure, but to be erred on the cautious side. The Umpire(s) will take a grave view if you try to abuse this rule.
  9. 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).
  10. Any place where you are required to wait or book an appointment to receive a service (such as a barbershop or a law firm).
  11. Any Ball, Event, garden party or similar. Regular college ents are in bounds but are no-projectile-zones (see later).
  12. 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.
  13. Servery queues. This includes the queue for informal hall, college butteries, or any other buffet-like food queue (like West Hub Cafe).
  14. Radio stations (including amateur radio stations, such as those of the Cambridge University Wireless Society).
  15. The premises of government buildings, banks and building societies (really, please don't).
  16. The immediate vicinity of a till or an ATM inside a shop. This includes a queue for one. Shops are also No-Projectile Zones. Be careful when assassinating others in shops so that you do not inconvenience shoppers or staff around you.
  17. Anyone in a car or other motorised vehicle.
  18. Anyone on a bicycle 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. A common Notes request is to be OoB whilst cycling
  19. 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).
  20. 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.
  21. Auditoria of theatres/cinemas and concert halls 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 OoB.
  22. Organised sports activities. 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, during any preparations, and immediately before or after. If you are unsure whether a particular activity is OoB, please ask the Umpire(s).
  23. Using Safer Space activities to follow or otherwise find out more information about targets is banned, and their activities and meetings are OoB (as per the general rules for a society (see later)).
  24. Computer rooms. These are defined as a room where computers are provided and the room is dedicated primarily for the public or any clearly-defined group, e.g. members of a college, to use these computers. This may include departmental common rooms; however, college common rooms with computers are usually in bounds.
  25. Places of work, including open plan offices.
  26. Clearly marked locations where sociological experiments are being conducted. 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 OoB while they are in sight of the person(s) they are meeting. The pre-arranged supervision location is OoB for as long as it is used as such. This also includes online supervisions - players are OoB during their online supervision and while in the room they are taking the supervision in (e.g. their bedroom) for as long as the supervision is happening.
  2. Persons engaged in 'serious' activities on the water, such as rowing or canoeing, are OoB. Similarly, they are OoB while transporting substantial, related equipment to or from such an activity. People coaching or bank partying are also OoB whilst doing so. College, University, and Town Club boathouses are OoB. Punts are not OoB.
  3. Anyone working in a real, proper job is OoB 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 OoB area extends to anywhere within sight of their workplace. 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 OoB, 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 OoB while in uniform (misuse of uniform will be dealt with severely).
  5. Players working with or riding on horses are OoB.
  6. Anyone in clear sight of a POLICE officer, emergency services vehicle or news camera is OoB.
  7. Anyone using a hot object (e.g. an iron, hot pan or fire stick) is OoB, 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 OoB at a specific time or in a specific place, they are.
  9. Anyone actively taking part in a protest (actively includes e.g. marching but doesn't include e.g. staying away from lectures while lecturers are striking).
  10. Anyone assembling outside for a fire alarm (even just a drill).

5.3 No-Projectile Zones

All Assassins are Out of Bounds to ranged weaponry whilst in a No-Projectile Zone. This includes thrown melee weapons, such as knives.

  1. The dining area for informal hall, pubs (except in the immediate area of the bar), and anywhere you sit down and eat food is a no-projectile zone. This includes cafes, even if they only serve drinks. 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 OoB. If you want to claim OoB-ness while at an unofficial society meeting, the Umpire(s) may request evidence that it actually is a genuine society.
  2. Players involved in these are OoB 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 OoB (but are No-Projectile Zones).
  3. Assassins carrying bulky or expensive items to and from society meetings may be OoB while doing so, but must specifically clear that you may be doing this at a particular society with the Umpire(s) beforehand. If you are planning to attack someone near their society meeting, you may check with the Umpire(s) as to whether there is any reason your target may be OoB.

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). If anyone does make 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.

5.6 Water Status

All areas should be considered No Water unless they are on the lists below. In addition to this, players in formal wear are No Water no matter which zone they are in.

The following areas are Water with Care:

  1. Communal areas of accommodation buildings; including corridors, kitchens and bathrooms, unless specified otherwise. Players should be especially careful around electrical equipment.
  2. Players' rooms listed as Water with Care.
  3. Anyone riding a bicycle. Please note that this affects both the rider and those attacking a cyclist.

The following areas are Full Water:

  1. Players' rooms listed as Full Water, and the area immediately outside them (on the doorstep, for instance).
  2. Outdoor areas, unless specified otherwise.

Note that water weapons inappropriate for the water status of an area may not be fired into or out of that area.

If small water pistols are used, it is a good idea to confirm the kill immediately with the victim who might not have noticed the hit if wearing thick clothing. This avoids arguments later, when the water has evaporated. For reference, a hit (with any water weapons) is wetness roughly the area of a 5p piece in the case of Water with Care weapons and a 50p piece in the case of all larger weapons. Only clean, drinkable water of a normal temperature is allowed in water guns.

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 an Assassin 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. Accomplices are licit targets if the person they are accomplicing (their 'principal') is. If an Accomplice is killed, their principal will be held responsible and made Wanted/Corrupt as if they themselves had made an illicit kill. Accomplices are not licit targets if they are not currently (as in that encounter, rather than that second) accomplicing anyone.
  3. Players collaborating to kill anyone, or Police collaborating to kill someone who is Wanted or Incompetent, lackadaisical elephants 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.
  4. If an Accomplice has not read the rules, their principal is responsible for their safety, and will bear some responsibility for their actions. These Accomplices are not allowed to act independently and should generally stay within earshot of their principal.
  5. Police are allowed to act as Accomplices to Players who are making attempts on targets not on the Wanted or Incompetence lists, but are considered Accomplices rather than police at that time (i.e. they are subject to these rules, so cannot kill, will lead to the Wantedness of their principal if they die, etc).
  6. Players who have died can also act as Accomplices (although we'd recommend also signing up as Police).
  7. 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.
  8. If an Accomplice is killed in the process of accomplicing, they will respawn in 4 hours after their death is reported to the Umpire(s). Until this time, they may not act to the game-advantage of any Assassin, and benefitting from their continued help will make you Wanted for longer.

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, a Police force is employed by the Umpire(s) to keep the city safe from criminals and lazy people. The Police force is headed by the Chief(s) of Police.

  1. The Police's role within the game is to kill those on the Wanted, Incompetent or Corrupt lists.
  2. Police may not target live players who are not on these lists. Any kill by a member of the Police on a live player not Incompetent or Wanted will be annulled and the guilty party may be put on the Corrupt list (judged on a case by case basis based on whether the Police were aggressors or defending themselves). Kills of Police by other Police will be upheld, but the offender will still go Corrupt
  3. Police respawn automatically 4 hours after communicating their death to the Umpire(s), be this death at the hands of another member of the Police or a live Player. During this 4 hours, they are dead as per the rules for Death (e.g. they may not communicate the circumstances of their death, etc.). Additionally they may not act as an Accomplice until they respawn.
  4. Killing Police while not on the Incompetent or Wanted list may cause the Player to go Wanted (judged on a case by case basis as to whether or not the Player was the aggressor).
  5. Killing Police never rewards competency.
  6. It is expected that Police will tell any player who they kill, or who kills them, that they are Police if at all practical to do so, so that live Players know to still defend themselves in future.
  7. Police may accomplice live players to make kills on targets who are neither Incompetent or Wanted, but they may not use any weapon for any reason when doing so; they are considered Accomplices, rather than Police, as per the accomplicing section above.
  8. Kills by Police of live Players who are not usually licit targets for them will only be upheld if they have been given 'permission to kill' by the Umpire(s). Permission may be granted in rare circumstances, such as during the incobash to defend live Players on the teams from roving opportunists. The Umpire(s) will endeavour to the best of their ability to see that nobody is caught by surprise when this occurs.
  9. Police have no targets, and no-one is targeting them.
  10. 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.
  11. A quirk of the software used to aid the running of the game means that Police will be assigned a competence deadline, which will be emailed out, but it will never expire, and can be safely ignored; Police are not penalised in any way for not being active in the game.
  12. The list of Police is public on the site, along with pseudonyms for each Police member. Police can acquire new pseudonyms in the usual way (1 for every 2 kills).
  13. Police may use weapons in self-defense if attacked by a live player unprovoked who would otherwise not be a target for them. In this case, an otherwise lethal hit by Police will instead stun the hit player for 4 hours (which starts after reporting their stun to the umpire). An attack is unprovoked if the police is not a licit target at the time of the attack and is not in any way instigating a fight with the player attacking them. Stunned players may not use weapons (for any reason) and also obey the rules of being coshed. In very rare cases, we may award a kill for the Police on this player (e.g. if that player has been going around hunting Police), but this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Any abuse of this rule by Police may result in permanent disqualification from the game.

7.1 Police Wars

As the game nears its end and the Incompetence list dwindles, the Umpire(s) 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 cut-throat competition.

8 The Wanted and Incompetence Lists

8.1 Consequences for Breaching the Rules

As a rule of thumb: minor breaches of the rules will place you on the Wanted list with redemption conditions that will vary depending on the severity of the rule breach. This is decided by the Umpire(s) on a case by case basis, but usually will be 1 kill or 2 days survived. Rules breaches that may put you on the Wanted list include:

  1. Making a kill in an Out of Bounds zone, or with a disallowed weapon.
  2. Making an illicit kill - any kill of a person who is not a licit target for you at that point. The victim will still die, however.
  3. Having someone acting as an Accomplice to you die.
  4. Minor, unintentional breaches of the Code of Conduct.

Major, intentional, or overly repetitive breaches of the Code of Conduct may 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 a Chief of Police. If things get bad enough, the Umpire(s) has the right to ban people from the Guild, and to take whatever real-life actions are necessary to deal with people who refuse to respect these bans (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) may result in the disqualification of involved players in order to preserve the standing of the society. Involving the POLICE will very likely 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 are on the Wanted list are valid targets for everyone while their name is on the list on the website - 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.
  3. Police have their own Wanted list, known as the Corrupt list, which serves much the same function. 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, one successful kill, or accompany and assist another Assassin in two valid attempts within your competency period, you will be designated Incompetent. What constitutes an attempt will be decided on a case by case basis, but in general, anything that has a decent chance of bringing you face to face with your target will be considered an attempt even if you do not actually find them, or if you do but fail to kill them. The Umpire(s) must be satisfied that it was genuinely your intention to kill the target.
  3. Whilst assisting another Assassin for competency, you do not count as an Accomplice as per the Accomplice rules, but as a Player as usual.
  4. After each two attempts (including unsuccessful ones), one successful kill, or two assisted attempts, 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.
  5. The Umpire(s) will periodically send out reminder emails with your competence deadline affixed.
  6. Any players who fail to fulfill the conditions of competence will be designated Incompetent (a.k.a. 'Inco') and 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.
  7. Getting off the Incompetent list has the same conditions as staying off it (i.e. one kill, 2 valid attempts or 2 assists). The currently updated list on the website is final when it comes to whether a player is Incompetant or not. They remain Inco until they are taken off that public list. In the same way, players are not Inco, even if the deadline for competency has passed, until the Umpire(s) places them on the list.
  8. Incompetents who remain on the list for a long period of time without making sufficient attempts at redemption may be killed automatically by being 'thunderbolted' by an Umpire.
  9. 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. Killing Police never rewards competence. Killing an Umpire may or may not provide competence at their discretion.

9 The Umpire(s):

  1. Each assassins game is organised, run and regulated by the Umpire(s). The Umpires for the Lent 2024 game are Shin Min Seo (of Hughes Hall) and Emma Booth (of Murray Edwards College). They may be contacted by emailing
  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, to show weaponry that they want checking for licitness and so on. The Umpire(s) are very enthusiastic about assassins and will happily talk to anybody.
  3. Players should try to resolve any queries before they become a matter of life or death. Feel free to email the Umpire(s) 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 Umpirical pigeonhole(s) or breaking into their computer account is strictly forbidden (and illegal irl). Impersonating an 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(s).
  6. The Umpires are immortal (although they can be killed, they'll be back), omnipotent (ish), omniscient (so long as players are honest and they can get to enough lectures on time), incorruptible (although they were tempted to remove this word when they considered the sort of bribes they might get) and completely immune to any form of mind control, hypnosis or coercion (just don't test this). 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, although it will give you the satisfaction of a kill. It should also be noted that if you are neither Wanted, Inco, or Corrupt, and the Umpire licitly kills you when provoked, you may be made Wanted.
  8. The ruling of the Umpire(s) is final. There will be no right of appeal against their judgments. ^_-*

10 Notes:

Each Assassin has a Notes section, which is information provided to anyone who may be targeting them. On sign-up (or later, if you email the Umpire(s)), if you have additional concerns, you should put them in your Notes, and all other Assassins must respect their contents. With Umpirical consent this can involve making you Out of Bounds in certain conditions etc. As a general rule, asking to be OoB to something yourself will forbid you from using that same method against other Assassins (e.g. if you ask that people don't enter your room unannounced, you should not enter anyone else's room without announcing yourself). Some general examples of what you can put in your Notes are listed 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 (contact poison & lethal costumes), no Water Weapons in cold weather) 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 whilst cycling (don't forget that you treat all other cycling Assassins as OoB to you too).
  7. Anything else which Assassins targeting you should be informed of, such as that you live in a shared set and they 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 Assassin.).
  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(s) 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.

11 Open Season and The Duel

11.1 Open Season

Around one or two weeks before the end of the game, as the live Player count dwindles, the Umpire(s) may announce the start of Open Season, along with a date for the end of the game. All surviving Players are published on the website, and are licit targets to all other live Players. Competency is still meaningful, as Incompetent Players can still also be hunted by the Police. At the start of Open Season, all Incompetent Players who have done nothing all game (i.e. made no attempts or kills) may sometimes be automatically “thunderbolted” to death by the Umpire(s). In the event of more than 4-6 Players surviving until the end of Open Season, only the top scoring live Players will be invited to the Duel, with score being based on a secret system that rewards licit kills. Killing higher scoring Players is worth more points, so often all it takes is one kill on the current top Player to secure a place in the Duel. On the other hand, if only a single Player survives until the end of open Season, there is no Duel, and that Player wins automatically!

11.2 The Duel

At the end of Open Season, all Players are made immortal, and a date for the Duel (if there is one) is set. The nature of the Duel is decided by the Umpire(s), but usually takes the form of a free-for-all pitched battle between the top 4-6 surviving Players. In these battles, the rules apply as usual, but limbs respawn in 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes. Dead Assassins and Police are highly encouraged to spectate!

12 Signing Up

Assuming you've read all that (you did right?) and you'd like to play, you can sign up by filling in the Google Form that will become available around the start of the game. It will be emailed to the mailing list (to which you can sign up here), and will be accessible on the website. In the form, you should put the following information:

  1. The full name(s) by which you are usually known.
  2. Your email address (full if not, although your address is preferred).
  3. Your College or department (if you are a member of the University).
  4. Your address, so that Assassins have something to use to locate and try to kill you. In special circumstances, and with Umpirical permission, you may be able to substitute this with some other information, such as a timetable. Do not provide inaccurate or misleading information. For Police, providing this information is optional.
  5. The extent to which water-based weaponry is allowed in your room. The options are No Water (no water based weaponry at all), Water With Care (small water-based weapons, e.g. pistols, may be used if the user is careful) and Full Water (anything goes). You may also let the Umpire(s) know of anything specific in your room which could be damaged by water; this information will be given to your Assassins. It is worth repeating that Water With Care is not just a restriction on size; using a small water weapon manically in such a location is not acceptable.
  6. An initial pseudonym, which will be used in news reports to disguise your true identity.
  7. Any Notes which may be relevant (see the Notes section).

13 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 (at least one such should have been available to you in some way, likely by email). 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(s) 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(s) 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(s) 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.