Assassination Games

From AmtWiki

You’ve seen them. You probably even participated in one, a long time ago. That’s right, it’s Friday night at Midreign: Assassin time! This game has been played in countless variations, and far be it from me to say which way is best. Sometimes the action is fast and furious, well-organized and managed. Other times the game is little more than a chaotic free-for-all in the dark. Usually, it falls somewhere in-between; an almost-entertaining, almost-lame excuse to do something other than go to sleep. However, if properly handled, with planning and forethought, the Assassin Game can be one of the starring highlights of your next event. Below is a short summary of some basic Do’s and Dont’s for running a successful Assassin Game, written with the Reeve in mind.

  1. DO run the game more like a tourney and less like a random assortment of assignments. Oh, it’s okay to make it seem like it’s a random assortment of assignments, but somebody needs to be keeping track of the wins and losses. As the sneakier and more successful assassins begin moving through the ranks, pit them against one another, until only the big guns and true ninjas remain!
  2. DO allow the full range of Amtgard-legal weaponry, as well as a wide assortment of safe, harmless “outside the box” weapons. Balloon traps, “poisoned” drinks, “acid” squirt guns and the like should not only be permitted, but encouraged. Make sure all such goodies are checked out by a Reeve beforehand.
  3. DO allow all Class abilities and Rules of Play OR make sure everyone is playing by the same set of scenario rules. (i.e.: everyone is Full Class, everyone uses Militia Rules, all wounds are instant kill, etc.) DON’T feel obliged to let players be Monsters unless it’s part of the scenario - and then make sure all participants stay within the restrictions of the scenario. (i.e.: Vampire Assassin Game wherein all players are Vampire+Class. Nosferatu, Ghouls and Wraiths may also be played, but no other Monster classes are permitted. Or War of the Fae wherein all players are Brownies, Elves, Centaurs and Dryads vying for control of the Seelie Court. A wide assortment of Monsters could be permitted here, but garb and role-play would be highly encouraged. Of course, in either variation, regular Class-only players should be permitted.)
  4. DON’T involve noncombatants, the unaware, the inebriated or the sleeping! Again, it should go without saying, never attack anyone who isn’t expecting an attack. If your victim has a lapse in judgment and lets his guard down, he’s dead meat. But if he went to bed a hour ago, go tell a Reeve and get another assignment. Likewise, if your target is obviously drunk or otherwise impaired, tell a Reeve and move on.
  5. DO designate clear and concise boundaries. There should never be any combat in or around tents, parking lots, bathrooms or small sleeping children.
  6. DO make it obvious who is playing the Assassin Game and who isn’t, especially if it is being held at a large event. Armbands, headbands, belt favors, colored sashes, whatever it takes to tell the assassins from the cattle. This is largely a precautionary measure, to keep overzealous assassins from randomly taking a stab at passersby. Likewise, be sure to advertise the Assassin Game on the event flier, to alert the rest of the populace there will be weirdos fighting in the dark.
  7. DO have an award ready for the winner, even if it’s just a scroll or award blank with the date. DON’T give away good live-steel swords, fancy garb, money or other high dollar prizes, unless you keep it a secret until the game is over. These kinds of prizes bring out the worst in people; pair that with most of the action taking place after dark and you’ve got a Sluff Fest waiting to happen.
  8. DON’T ever allow players to team up, group together, recruit outside help or otherwise increase the odds in their favor. This leads to packs of drunken friends coming to assist one another, which makes the whole point of stealthy, individualized missions moot. Spellcaster players might have a good game wherein each can summon a Monster of their choice to assist them, but that should be the stated goal of the game, not a way around the rules. Bottom line, this is a one-on-one kind of game and should be played that way, and nothing ruins it faster than turning it into a gang fight. If necessary, make all missions into non-magical honor duels and allow the victor instant, safe passage back to the Reeve once the battle is over.