Cloak & Dagger The Assassins' Guild: Lent 2022 Weaponry Rules

The following gives an outline of the various weapons which can be used against enemies. It is not an exhaustive list and players are encouraged to use their imagination; however, any weapon not on this list must be shown to the Umpire(s) and approved before its use in the field. In general, all weapons must be completely:

All weapons that are not immediately recognisable as an Assassins weapon must be clearly labelled. If you were carrying a real knife, you wouldn’t be able to convince your target that it was a pencil by holding your thumb over the label, so you are expected not to do so in the game either. Weapons should be specific to the victim; killing bystanders is to be avoided, even when the effect is harmless.

Except where noted below, weapons will kill the target instantly if they strike any part of the head or torso. If a limb is hit, then it should be declared openly that it is "injured" and so it can no longer be used for the duration of the encounter for any game-related purpose, including to fire, reload or hold a weapon, to block a projectile, to open a door or window or to run away (although if you have to run away you may use your wounded arm(s) to carry your weapons with you rather than leave them behind, as long as you don’t use such weapons again in the encounter). Any assassin who continues to use a limb with the knowledge that it has been injured will find that any associated kills are invalidated and possibly that the exertion is deemed to have caused death from blood-loss. Limbs also respawn after 30 minutes, if the encounter is still ongoing. You must declare this openly.

If fire is obstructed by an injured limb or a weapon being carried by an injured limb, the players should act as though it were not there. i.e. if the shot would have hit the torso or head, the person is dead etc.

Likewise, if fire is obstructed by objects such as bags, or weapons not being wielded, the players should act as though the object was not there.

Any weapons that you have constructed or functionally modified must be shown to the Umpire(s) for a safety check.

All the allowed weapons in this game, when used responsibly, pose very little risk of any kind of injury.

1 Allowed Weapons:

1.1 Ranged Weapons

None of the following weapons may be used in ’No Projectile’ zones (see main rules).

If you are found to be using a weapon easily mistakable for a real firearm, you will be heavily penalised or removed from the game. No matter how safe it is, the law is quite strict on this matter, and the Guild has no desire to see its members arrested.

1.1.1 Guns

Any weapon which consists of both solid ammunition and a means by which to fire it counts as a gun. This includes dart guns (Nerf and similar brands), rubber band guns, foam disc launchers, toy pig catapults, children’s toy bows and other similar things.

As of Michaelmas 2019, ricocheting bullets will kill you after at most one bounce.

Try to avoid head shots with all guns, as shots hitting eyes have the potential to cause injury, especially over short ranges. If using off-brand darts instead of the ones from the manufacturer, only use the types with compressible (squidgy) tips.

1.1.2 Throwable Weapons

Stress balls labelled ‘Moon’, paper aeroplanes labelled ‘Kamikaze’, origami ninja stars, attack animals and knives (see below section), and rubber bands flicked from the fingers are all examples of throwable weapons.

They must be thrown only using your own arm or hand, with no assistance from any kind of launcher (or else the weapon becomes a gun, as above). Throwables are allowed to bounce once and still be deadly – two or more bounces and they do not count.

Throwables may only be thrown one at a time. Throwables must be safe and must not cause bruising. When using a throwable with significant impact, do not throw it unnecessarily hard.

1.1.3 Grenades

Confetti in bags made from tissue paper or water balloons may be used. Use common sense with all of these. They will kill if they strike any part of the head or body. If they hit a wall and splash your head or body appreciably (i.e. if you’re wettish) you are dead. If you are only slightly splashed, you survive. Being splashed on the arms or legs will disable the limbs in question as normal.

Water balloons are for use only in Full Water areas. If you use a grenade on someone, you must help pick up the mess.

1.1.4 Boulders and safes

An empty (large) box or sizeable lump of expanded polystyrene may be labelled ’safe’, ’fridge’, ’anvil’ or similar, and then dropped onto your target from above. [NB: it does have to be dropped from a metre or more above your target - you can't throw them.] A beach ball or balloon at least the size of a football may be labelled as a boulder and then rolled, dropped or thrown as a weapon (not kicked, however – that would break your leg) - any impact with significant speed may kill, including from rebounds.

1.1.5 Water Weapons

Players may decide as to what extent they wish to allow water-based weapons to be used in their own rooms; this information should be supplied to the Umpire(s) at the start of the game. The default state is No Water. In-bounds areas have restrictions placed on what sort of weaponry may be used in them, and are divided into three categories:

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:

The following areas are Full Water:

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 waterguns.

1.1.6 Point-blank shots aka Bang-kills

If you are using a gun, water pistol, or anything else shaped roughly like a gun (e.g. a banana or hair-dryer labelled, but explicitly excluding 'finger guns'), which is clearled labelled 'GUN', you may use it for a bang-kill. Bang-kills are intended to be a way to avoid causing unnecessary harm to a target from close range, public nuisance, a waste of ammunition or the risk of a misfire.

The following conditions must all be met for the bang-kill to be valid:

More creative flavours for Bang-kills (magic wands and "Avada Kedavra!", attack ducks and "Quack!") are allowed (and frankly encouraged) if you contact the Umpire(s) to register them first. If you're using an alternative vocalisation, you may need to clarify immediately afterwards that this was a bang-kill.

It is the duty of the attacker to ensure that they are demonstrably fulfilling the above conditions when they say the word, "Bang!". Failure to do so will result in the kill being annulled. Bang kills are frequently a source of disputes and complications; if possible, safe, and convenient, pulling the trigger is generally a better option.

1.2 Melee weapons

In the interests of safety with all melee weapons, you should use as little force as possible, pull your blows to avoid bruising, and never aim for the head. As long as the victim can feel that they have been hit, this qualifies as a kill. Do not use anything particularly pointy, sharp, heavy, or impactful, and be extra careful with anything near the boundary. Weapons that break should be checked to see that no sharp or otherwise dangerous parts are exposed by this, before continuing to use it (timeout can be called for this if necessary, as a safety concern). Anything which is usable as a ‘Gun’ (see above) cannot be used as a melee weapon, nor can a melee weapon be attached to it (no ‘bayonets’).

1.2.1 Knives

Knives made of foam, rubber or cardboard, prop knives with retractable blades (plastic only), pens with lids on and without a metal barrel or sharp ends, or any other vaguely knife-shaped objects, may be used as knives. Anything which is not obviously a knife should be labelled "KNIFE", with the exception that Nerf (or other brands of) darts may be used as knives without needing a label.

Pens must have their lids over the nib at all times. Knives must be under 20cm long (or else they are Swords – see below). No metal objects may ever be used as knives. No cutlery of any kind, or actual knives of any kind may be used as knives. Be extra-careful when throwing knives, as they can cause eye damage if they hit at a bad angle.

1.2.2 Coshes and clubs

These are represented by a cardboard poster tube, a newspaper rolled up and stuck with Sellotape, or similar implements with umpirical approval (inflatable mallets, etc). They should be clearly labelled "Cosh" (unless told otherwise by the Umpire(s)). The effect of a cosh lasts 5 minutes and depends upon the location of the hit:

Unconscious assassins may not take part in the game until they recover, including warning or informing other assassins. They may not leave the immediate area without forswearing any involvement in the immediate events. Coshing an innocent will still send you Wanted, as will coshing an illicit target who is killed (in any way by anyone) before the effect wears off. An unconscious assassin may be coshed again to keep them under should there be genuine tactical advantage for doing so, and with the caveat above regarding being able to leave so long as they do not use this for their own game advantage.

Immobilised assassins may not take part in the game physically and may not move without foreswearing any future involvement in immediate events, but may communicate with others around them in the context of the game, including warning allies of an impending ambush.

1.2.3 Swords

Plastic or cardboard swords may be used as swords. Toy lightsabres may also be used. Rolled-up newspapers or cardboard poster tubes are coshes, not swords. Anything which does not obviously look like a weapon should be labelled. Latex LARP swords (or other LARP weapons, not including LARP bows or crossbows) may be used at the discretion of the Umpire(s): you must show them to the Umpire(s) beforehand and they may be disallowed on grounds of being too realistic.

With swords and other melee weapons, be very aware of how much force you have behind the tip, it's probably more than you think, and cored LARP weapons can be dangerous to stab with. Swords may not be thrown.

1.2.4 Killer Attack Animals

Fluffy animals may be used as attack animals as long as they are labelled "ATTACK ANIMAL", "KILLER RABBIT", etc. These work just like knives. You’re encouraged to register them first (mostly because Umpires like to see what embarrassing fluffy animals Players keep in their rooms).

1.3 Contact Weapons

Contact weapons can be used to kill someone by touching their skin or clothes directly. With any type of contact weapon, it’s important to remember that Assassins is not an excuse to grope, unwantedly kiss or hug, or otherwise violate personal boundaries - if it wouldn’t be appropriate outside of the game, it’s not appropriate in the game either. If in doubt, tap lightly on their shoulder with the tip of a finger, and don’t use these weapons with strangers. People can put in their notes that they wish to be ’No-Contact’ to opt out of being attackable with these sorts of weapons (though knives will still be usable on them, so there is no real concern of this conferring tactical advantage).

1.3.1 Costumes

People may wear a costume and become a weapon themselves. The costume must be decent (i.e. have taken some effort to make and appear obviously different from normal clothing) and must include a clearly visible label saying "KILLER [whatever you’ve dressed up as]" (or similar). When in a labelled costume, your whole body is a contact weapon (and you count as bearing!).

1.3.2 Contact Poison

You may colour any part of your body that is not hair or nails [ultramarine blue - the colour of a Nerf dart body] in order for that body part to become a contact weapon. The patch of colour must have area at least the size of a 10p piece. Do not use any colouring that could transfer to your target and not be immediately wiped off. You’re bearing if any visible part of your body is coloured blue as above - so we recommend using something that washes off quickly! (People who are sometimes coloured blue for non-Assassins reasons can get it put in their notes that they are not a weapon and hence not bearing while blue.)

Contact poison will not be permitted in Lent 2022 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

1.4 Other Weapons

It is possible to use many other weapons not in the ‘allowed weapons’ list. However, you must contact the Umpire(s) to register any other weapon first so that the Umpire(s) can decide whether it is fair and safe. Be prepared to present the weapon for the Umpire(s) to inspect in person in order to get it licensed. Any kills you make with an unlicensed weapon may be disallowed.

Examples of previously-licensed novelty weapons include poisoned umbrellas and cardboard double-decker buses. In general you can probably license anything that is safer and more difficult to kill with than the items already on the list. Creativity is encouraged. The Umpire(s) may award bonus competence and/or chocolate to those making kills with interesting weaponry, and the coveted Leek and Safe Award for most interesting weaponry is given each term.

2 Banned Weapons:

Some weapons are disallowed for reasons of safety, security and sanity. Using any of the weapons below will result in annulled kills and the perpetrator either going Wanted/Corrupt, or being removed from the game. If we have good reason to suspect that you are using an unsafe weapon (or a ‘safe’ weapon in an unsafe manner) with deliberate intent to hurt people, we have the right to ban you from the society - that’s not what Assassins is about.

If you see another Assassin using a weapon you think is banned or should be banned, tell the Umpire(s) as soon as possible.

The lists below attempt to set out an explanation behind the reasons why certain weapons are disallowed. Nevertheless, we are not required to justify a ban or listen to reasons why you think a weapon should be unbanned – please don’t even ask.

2.1 Eye Safety & Dartguns:

In order to ensure that players don’t have to wear eye protection to participate in Assassins (since in a 24/7 term-long game with bystanders, that would be incredibly impractical!), we operate a blanket ban on any ranged weapon with a muzzle velocity over 80 feet per second (that's about 30m total angled range). This includes:

Bear in mind that the harm caused by a projectile varies approximately with the square of its speed. Most of the stock Nerf weaponry has a muzzle velocity of up to 70fps. Anything shooting over 80fps is going to be noticeably more powerful than standard dartguns, and very hard to acquire unless you either go specifically shopping for it, or perform a range-enhancing modification on a more normal blaster. Any dartgun that has been functionally modified in any way must be approved by the current Umpire(s) for use in the current game: it is the right of the Umpire(s) to ban its use even if its owner believes it to be within these strict eye safety bounds.

2.2 Bruising & Other Injuries:

Any weapon which may cause bruises, cuts, significant pain, eye damage, or other injuries even when operated in a (fairly) responsible manner is banned – signing up to Assassins is not consent to be physically injured the way e.g. Paintball is. This includes:

2.3 Realisticness

We don’t allow any weapon that could cause alarm to the public, porters or the real Police by being mistaken as something highly dangerous. This includes:

2.4 Mess

Assassins generally aren’t happy about having their clothes ruined by strangers. For these reasons we don’t allow anything that could cause stains or messes that can’t easily be cleaned, including:

If you make a mess with an allowed weapon when fighting another Assassin, it’s your responsiblility to clear it up. Failure to do so will annul the kill and probably send you Wanted.

2.5 Material Defensibility

All weapons must not unbalance the game. You’re not allowed to make a voodoo doll of your target and stick a pin in it. Examples of less obvious weapons like this that have been banned in the past are:

Remember: The list of banned weapons is not exhaustive; any weapon not explicitly allowed must be personally checked by the Umpire(s) before being used in the Game.


The history of these rules may be found here.

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