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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!