Monday, August 31, 2009

Mystery Competition Revealed: The Assassins' Circle

If you were brave (fool?) enough to sign up for our latest mystery competition, you are hereby initiated into "The Assassins' Circle".

(pause to allow gravity of situation to sink in)

If you hope to survive, I strongly suggest you read the following carefully...but if it's just too many words, skip down to the bottom "In Summary" for the Cliffs Notes version:

(click image to enlarge)

General Concept

  • Find yourself in the circle above. Make note of the person to whom your arrow is pointing. He/she is your 'Kill Target.' The person whose arrow is pointing at you is your 'Stalker' and is trying to kill you.
  • Your objective is to eliminate your Kill Target while avoiding elimination from your Stalker.
  • If you eliminate your Target, in the following round that person's Target is your new Target.
  • For example, Fred's Brim is targeting rbnlaw, who is targeting Dr. Geek. If Fred's Brim successfully knocks off rbnlaw, his new Target for the following round is Dr. Geek (assuming Dr. Geek wasn't also eliminated, in which case Fred Brim's new Target would be SoSG Karros).
  • After every round, the Assassins' Circle will be updated by removing the eliminated players.

How to Kill Your Kill Target

  • Starting tomorrow and on each subsequent weekday (excluding Labor Day), an Assassins' Circle "Kill Thread" will be posted at 9:00am PT. That post will be in play until 3:00pm PT.
  • You kill your target by making a comment in the Kill Thread immediately following the comment of your target. If there are any 'live' comments (defined 2 bullets below) in between yours and that of your Target, no kill has taken place.
  • In a given round, each player can eliminate only his/her target and can thus make at most one kill per round.
  • With the exception of 'The Initiator' (explained below), only the first comment in a given day by a given player is a 'live' comment. All subsequent comments will be factored out of the game (ignored) when I tally up the bloodshed at the end of the day.
  • Similarly, any comments made by those not playing, by those already eliminated, or those made after 3pm are not considered 'live' comments and also will be factored out. For clarification: 3:00pm comments are accepted. 3:01 is too late.
  • No posting under usernames similar to your own to decoy your competitors (the "Dr. Geek Rule").
  • New Rule for 2010 onward: No making side-deals or alliances with your stalker/target such as agreeing not to kill them in return for a shield (the "Faberuben" rule, named after Fred's Brim and rbnlaw who used this strategy brilliantly last year)
  • Remaining competitors cannot delete their own comments. Incidentally, we can see who deleted their own comments, so we can still score correctly, but it adds administrative tedium.
  • Any player who does not comment in the Kill Thread by 3:00pm PT is eliminated.

The Initiator

  • Because the first comment in a given thread cannot kill anyone, and thus one would be sacrificing their ability to kill if they commented first, whoever comments first is given a 2nd comment he/she can use to kill his target. This person is dubbed 'The Initiator' for that round, and his 2nd comment is called his 'kill comment'.
  • The Initiator himself cannot be killed via his 'kill comment'. In other words, The Initiator's Stalker kills him by commenting immediately following The Initiator's initial comment, not his subsequent kill comment.
  • Even if The Initiator is killed in a given round, he still gets his kill comment for that round and can try to take his Kill Target down with him (presumably out of spite).
  • The Initiator's kill comment can shield others, but it cannot shield The Initiator himself.
  • A new Initiator is determined each round by whoever comments first.

The Endgame

  • Throughout the rounds, players are eliminated either by being killed by their Stalkers, or by failing to comment by 3pm.
  • In addition to tracking who is eliminated, we will also track how many kills each player makes.
  • Kills are only awarded for explicit kills. If someone is eliminated because they failed to comment by 3pm, their Stalker is not awarded a kill.
  • If the last round eliminates all but 1 player, the game ends and that last player is declared the winner.
  • If the last round eliminates all but 2 players, the game ends. Of the two remaining players, the one who has made the most kills throughout the game will be declared the winner (if they're tied, well, we'll cross that bridge if we get to it). Thus, to win the game, you cannot just sit back and hope others are eliminated via the 3pm rule.
  • If the last round eliminates all players, the last one to die in that round wins.

Examples:
To illustrate, let's look at a few example scenarios with only 4 players. Here's Example 1:

Given this configuration, let's walk through the following sample Kill Thread:

  • 9:30am - Player C comments - Because he commented first, C is The Initiator. He cannot kill anyone with this comment (as there is no preceding comment), but will has a 2nd comment (his 'kill comment') he can later use to kill his target.
  • 1:00pm - D comments - This comment is harmless because it immediately follows C, and C is not D's target. And in fact, with his comment, D has just protected C from being eliminated that round.
  • 2:15pm - B comments - This comment is also harmless because D is not B's target. B has just protected D from getting eliminated that round.
  • 2:30pm - C comments - This comment is also harmless, and C has just protected B from getting eliminated that round.
  • 3:00pm - B comments - Although B's comment immediately follows his target C, it is a harmless comment as well because it is B's 2nd comment, and only his 1st comment counts.
  • 3:01pm - A comment - It is after 3pm, too late. A is eliminated, although nobody is credited with the kill.
  • Result of Round: A is eliminated and removed from the circle, although nobody gets a kill. For the subsequent round, D's new target is B.

Example 2 (using same sample configuration):

  • 9:30am - A comments - A is now The Initiator. He gets a 2nd comment he can use to kill his target.
  • 2:00pm - B comments - This comment is harmless because it immediately followed A, and A is not B's target.
  • 2:15pm - A comments - A, who is The Initiator, uses his kill comment. It immediately follows his target B, so A has eliminated B. A is credited with a kill.
  • 2:30pm - D comments - D's comment immediately follows his target A. However it is harmless because it was A's kill comment, not his initial comment, and The Initiator can only be killed through his initial comment.
  • 3:30pm - C comments - Although C's comment immediately followed his target D, it came too late (after 3pm), and thus C is eliminated, although nobody is credited with a kill.
  • Result of Round: B and C are eliminated. Only two players remain, A and D, and A had more kills (1) than D (0), and is thus declared the winner.

In summary: It may seem complicated, but you really just need to remember 3 things: 1) comment in each day's Kill Thread on or before 3pm, 2) hope that your Stalker doesn't make a comment immediately after yours, and 3) try to comment immediately after your target so you can get credited with a kill, which you will eventually need to win the game.

Hey, we told you it was highly experimental. We do not guarantee the complete absence of rule loopholes, so please let us know if you think you see one (or if you have any questions in general). I expect the game to become self-explanatory after the first round or two. And just FYI, I'm a little scared of what I've gotten myself into administration-wise.

Anyhow, the game starts tomorrow with the first Kill Thread to be posted tomorrow, 9am PT!

100 comments:

Dusty Baker said...

I will kill you and take your lucky glasses, Gagne!

Fred's Brim said...

haha this is crazy

crazy awesome!

Eric Karros said...

And J Steve, in case you're reading this...I will enjoy killing you.

J. Steve said...

Interesting... The weird part is that I can't trash-talk EK back! There's no way I'll ever be able to kill my stalker. So all I can say is "EK...I will enjoy having more kills than you if/when we reach the finale!"

Regardless, judging by EK's 100SS prowess, I'm doomed. Unless EK decides to share with me when he'll be away from his computer...

J. Steve said...

One more thing...

You're going down, Loneyfan!

rbnlaw said...

Missed my chance on FB. I think.
I need to read the rules again, and again.

Eric Karros said...

rbnlaw - it doesn't start until tomorrow...

Steve Sax said...

EK, when I click the image to enlarge, I get more of an assassins' oval. Is that just an issue with my aspect ratio? Or do people on the horizontal ends have more distance to travel and therefore more of a challenge? Just wondering.

Steve Sax said...

btw EK I am strangely excited by this game

Dusty Baker said...

RB is a little trigger happy.

He's crazy! *pan to the vacant, wide-eyed stare of RB*

Dusty Baker said...

If nothing else, I am going to print this graphic and post it onmy bulletin board at work as a conversation piece.

rbnlaw said...

Not only am I trigger happy, I was gunning for the wrong guy.

Dr. Geek; my aim is true.

Steve Sax said...

If EK's avatar had gone to the police, this assassins' circle would never have happened.

Eric Karros said...

Sax - I think the oval you see is a result of your hangover.

So I've spent some of my weekend trying to think through how this will play out. I see people afraid to comment early for fear they'll be picked off, resulting in a flurry of comments just before and around 3pm.

But keep this in mind - if you comment early, it is likely your Stalker will be afraid to kill you, lest he be picked off by his Stalker, who also will be afraid to comment for fear his Stalker will kill him, and so on. So I guess I'm really not sure how this will play out.

Should be interesting.

Matt said...

I'm already terrified

Dusty Baker said...

There's no stopping what can't be stopped.

drewdez said...

EK, I think I got left out of the circle. I should be between Keven C and Dusto (assuming the order is based on the sign up list).

Eric Karros said...

Indeed I did, drewdez. My apologies. It's been corrected.

drewdez said...

No problem, thanks for fixing it.

This should be interesting. About to set an alarm for 2:55 every weekday for the next few weeks.

Dusty Baker said...

Does it look like a circle now, Sax?

Gagne's lucky glasses said...

Dusty you are going down

Orel said...

@Matt "I'm already terrified"

You should be.

Dusty Baker said...

Erin, can you swoop in and make an uncannily prescient prediction on this game?

Dusty Baker said...

Can we test Gagne for steroids?

Gagne's lucky glasses said...

I predict I will not win this game

Steve Sax said...

@DB the new Gothic font of "Assassins' Circle" is scaring the crap out of me.

More so than the skull icon.

Josh S. said...

No one else finds this a touch morbid? I think I might opt out, if no one minds. It's kinda hard for me to go from thanking Dusty for congratulating me on my new baby to "Oh boy, I can't wait to kill him!" (Even if it is just a game.)

Sorry I'm a wet blanket.

Fred's Brim said...

HI EK, I have a rules question: You say that only your first comment counts. I understand that you can't kill more than once in a day, but can you defend more than once? I am guessing no, but want to be sure.

karina said...

@Sax "the new Gothic font of "Assassins' Circle" is scaring the crap out of me"

It's lovely you get scared out of type, it means "you feel it"

Fred's Brim said...

Sax, with that logo and font, you could make an Affliction-style douchirt out of it!

Gagne's lucky glasses said...

Since you can only comment once a day, the likely hood that people will actually take some one out seems to be minimal. Why not change the rules to where you can comment as much as you want each day if you are brave enough?

I'm just trying to give Dusty a sporting chance here

Dusty Baker said...

Well, at least Josh S won't be trying to kill me in the first round. I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Eric Karros said...

Josh - As requested, you have been removed from the Assassins' Circle. We have our first casualty before the game even begins!

I will email fanerman to see if he wants to replace you.

FB - no, you cannot defend. You can comment more than once, but any comments after your 1st one will be ignored by the scoring mechanism (as if the comment wasn't made at all - except the Initiator, whose 3rd and subsequent comment will be ignored).

Gagne - That is actually how I initially envisioned the game, but I wasn't expecting 30 responses, so for my own ease of administering I added the 1 comment limit. I think once the field is whittled down a bit, kills will happen more often.

DB - you will always have a stalker. If fanerman doesn't want to replace Josh S, then John G becomes your Stalker, as he was Josh's Stalker. The loop simply closes.

Mr. Customer said...

I don't know if this is a potential loophole, but the first posters would seem to have a significant advantage over pursuers, since they are able to block freely after their first comment to discourage pursuit.

I suppose if you started the first surviving player started last in the second round, you could negate that effect.

Perhaps I should read the rules a few more times.

Dusty Baker said...

EK said "You will always have a stalker."

That's what you tell all the ladies, right? ;-)

Yeah I knew that...I just needed some solace from the PTSD I am left with after the gothic lettering trauma.

Eric Karros said...

Mr C - no, you cannot block. Any comment subsequent to your 1st comment (or subsequent to your 2nd comment of you're the initiator) does not factor into the game. It is ignored. I will clarify this in the rules.

Is this what you mean, or am I misunderstanding the concern?

Fred's Brim said...

thanks for the clarification, EK. Along the lines of what you said, I think multiple defending, along with the multiple kills, could work when you have fewer participants. Otherwise it would be an admin nightmare

Mr. Customer said...

EK,

I read your response to GLG just after I hit submit. I think we understand each other, thanks.

Eric Karros said...

DB - a restraining order is just a piece of paper.

QuadSevens said...

I think this game is going to generate a lot of extra hits on the SoSG page from assassins hitting the refresh button. Very good plan boys.

Dusty Baker said...

@4-7s

True, which means I'm paying w one hand tied behind my back because Firefox does a shitass job at refreshing on a Blogger interface. It refreshes, but then places one back at the top of the thread so you have to scroll all the way back down to the bottom to see the most recent masterfully insightful post.

Dusty Baker said...

Oh my god, I just noted the new, post-Josh S. graphic. Can't stop laughing.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

If I don't post at all, can I not be killed?

Eric Karros said...

MLASF - if you don't comment by 3pm, you are eliminated.

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

D'oh!

Eric Karros said...

rbnlaw@9:40am - thank God you're not a real assassin.

Gagne's lucky glasses said...

You missed me today Dusty...better luck tomorrow

Eric Karros said...

Hey rbnlaw: if I jump out there on the Kill Thread, you'll keep Dr. Geek at bay, right? You got my back?

rbnlaw said...

@EK: Always. Until the circle closes.

karina said...

Neeebs, do you really want to kill me before i listen to the new Cerati's record?

Eric Karros said...

rbnlaw, I see you already used your comment in the kill thread, so you can no longer kill Dr Geek

Eric Karros said...

...and thus you are useless to me this round

Gagne's lucky glasses said...

So we have 2 down today?

Eric Karros said...

Neeebs, J Steve, and myself have all been taken down so far today...

QuadSevens said...

I don't like that Loney Fan has been so quiet since the announcement of this game. And I have no protection now that J Steve is dead.

I'm terrified!

karina said...

Neeebs, thank you very much. If it is any relief, i wouldn't have been able to kill you either.

rbnlaw said...

Like I said earlier; I need to read the rules a few times. Us legal folk usually get paid to read the rules and digest them.

I'll get the Geek. Just you wait.

QuadSevens said...

Rbnlaw, I'm counting on you to get Dr. Geek. His quick kill of EK has got me worried.

rbnlaw said...

Q7: He's sneaky, but I've got him in my sights.

The carnage has already been heavy today.

rbnlaw said...

OK, Q7: The Geek has been taken out.

Watch my back. And yours.

Mr. Customer said...

Hmmm.

Now Quad has a free fire zone. I'll be proceeding with caution.

QuadSevens said...

Nice work rbnlaw! I'll be on the lookout for you tomorrow. For now, I'll continue to stalk Mr. Customer.

Dusty Baker said...

What's up with the deleted comments today? Skulduggery may be afoot.

Mr. Customer said...

John G continues to taunt me. Employment is such a burden.

rbnlaw said...

Sorry Q,
We've been duped by treachery. The Geek will pay.

QuadSevens said...

His decoy idea gave me a good idea to try. But I think I'll skip it and just play my normal game. I might reveal my idea after the game is done.

rbnlaw said...

I now admire Dr. Geek's honor, although there is no honor among assassins.
Well played, Doctor.

rbnlaw said...

karina is the Black Mamba!

karina said...

Paul didn't ask for it and he doesn't seem sad for hos own death, however, Eric did ask for the link and it''s hard to say no to kim, so:

www.polarpilsen.com

It appears a screen where it asks if you are an adult or over 18 years. Then click "Si"

Then, there's a video,there's a bar above the video which gives the option to download content for the PC, Ipod and Iphone, besides a YouTube, Twitter and Facebook sites.

When the video finishes, it appears another screen. There's a bottle cap that says "Galeria", click and then there are 4 pics on the right, if you click in one of them, you can see more photos about events related to the Chicas Polar.

Any help with the language, just tell me :)

Fred's Brim said...

hey RB, a proposition...

how about I post first and then you cover me. This is only if you don't care that much for killing QuadSevens today

Paul said...

Karina,

I am still in denial about my own death. It is difficult to accept death when people are still in your office asking you questions.

No I didn't ask for pitctures of hot women and cold beer but I a man so when in doubt that is always a nice sorry I killed you present.

Maybe you can help me conjucate spanish verbs I have the hardest time with that.

rbnlaw said...

Funny feeling being mocked by the dead.

FB: I'm thinking. Q7 is a crafty player.

Fred's Brim said...

ok - I am not very crafty, which is why I am proposing this. i just want to make it to the weekend

QuadSevens said...

Very interesting...

rbnlaw said...

They're dropping like flies today, and my stalker already took his shot.

Fred's Brim said...

patience is not my middle name



it's actually Brian

rbnlaw said...

Yeah, FB, it took me a couple of days to figure out the whole patience thing.

Now, just kicking back and listening to my iTunes on shuffle:
New York Dolls followed by Graham Parker. 20 minutes to go.

QuadSevens said...

"Taxi Driver" by Gym Class Heroes is playing on my ipod right now. This song uses 27 other bands and artists in it's lyrics.

http://tinyurl.com/l6t3t3 (lyrics)
http://tinyurl.com/kts473 (wiki page)

rbnlaw said...

Q7:
Your patience is impressive.

QuadSevens said...

I think I needed to wait an extra 5 seconds.

Loney Fan said...

Quad, I was looking forward to hunting you down, but I was driving all over Oregon the last three days with my boss, which left very few times to check the page on my phone. We got stuck in a meeting that started at noon and the next thing I know I was dead. Next SoSG game we'll battle it out again.

QuadSevens said...

I look forward to it Loney Fan. It's always fun competing against you.

Loney Fan said...

Until we are at odds again, I wish you great victory over your enemies.

rbnlaw said...

Hey Q,
Don't run up a huge tab, FB could be sending me to the Big Bar in the Afterlife today.
Or, I could be ending GLG's misery around 3.

rbnlaw said...

FB,
You've been covered. All other comments after yours are from the dearly departed.

Fred's Brim said...

thanks, RB - look forward to seeing you on Tuesday. Depending on the way the cards fall later today, we may be the only ones left

Fred's Brim said...

Hi EK, I have a rules clarification request: Can I use my Initiator's kill comment as a shield for someone else? Or does it only kill?

karina said...

Orel, this is a very good moment to post, since you can't kill Fred's Brim today :)

rbnlaw said...

I love all the dead posting from the peanut gallery and offering absolutely no cover.

Unofficially, I believe FB and I are safe for now.

rbnlaw said...

Oooh, karina looking for cover.

It's coming down to Lauro and Gagne's Lucky Roids.

Eric Karros said...

Sorry fb I've been occupied but yes u can shield another with kill comment

rbnlaw said...

Can you take down the intiator? If I cover FB now, he can't come back and kill me because his intiator comment was his shot. Correct?

I kind of like the idea of seeing GLG waiting for Orel's 3:00 post.

QuadSevens said...

@RB

I believe the initiator can only be killed if his stalker comments 2nd in the thread. But the initiator can still take out his target with a second comment. In other words, if Orel is the 2nd active commenter he would kill FB. But FB would still have a chance to take you out later in the thread.

rbnlaw said...

Thanks Q.
My question was not well-worded.
It does confirm my thoughts.

FB: I'm thinking again.

Eric Karros said...

RB - the Initiator, FB in this case, can kill you with his 2nd shot. But he is saying he won't do so if you cover him. It's up to you to decide whether you believe him...

(trying to cast doubt and stir up controversy)

rbnlaw said...

He's proven honorable thus far, which of course means nothing.
I think he wants Orel out of the way moe than anything.

rbnlaw said...

FB, You're covered. If you kill me, I will haunt your every waking hour.

rbnlaw said...

To paraphrase Clubber Lang:
"I predict. . .paiin!"

I have a meeting beginning at 2:30. Good thing I'm running it, so when 3:00 hits, I hit with it.

Or something like that.

And this is the time I thank DB for having not disposed of GLG in the first round.

rbnlaw said...

I like Neeebs' analysis of the end-game. If I'm not mistaken, I end up the winner with the most kills.

Maybe not, but what the hell.

QuadSevens said...

Rbnlaw...I'm a bit late in seeing your post. But you can only end up the winner if you manage to kill GLG and not be killed. Then you'd be one of the last 2 remaining players and have the most kills. Or if you are the last player to be killed today, you'd win too.