A musical by Stephen Sondheim.

This musical tells the story of famous assassinations, and attempts from a different perspective.

Stories told from the view of:
  • John Wilkes Booth
  • Charles Guiteau
  • Leon Czolgosz
  • Giuseppe Zangara
  • Lee Harvey Oswald
  • Samuel Byck
  • Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme
  • Sara Jane Moore
  • John W. Hinckley, JR.
  • Assassins is a very cool game that you can play with your friends.
    The goal of this game is to be the last one alive.
    Choose a moderator, this person will not play, but will set up the game and solve disputes. Choose two if it's a larger group. Make a list of all the players (get at least 10, though it's much more fun with 25 or 30) and have each of them choose aliases. The moderator must randomly assign each player a "target" who is another player. This must be done so that each player has only one target and that a single loop of death is formed, for instance it should be Jessicapierce is the target of Pseudo_Intellectual is the target of Uberfetus is the target of Dem Bones is the target of Jessicapierce, instead of Jessicapierce and Pseudo_Intellectual are each other's targets and Uberfetus and Dem Bones are each other's targets. Now, the moderator tells each player who their target is, perhaps by writing their alias on a slip of paper or something. He then posts the list of players and aliases in a prominent place (a central location for small campuses, maybe a web page for larger ones.) Each player also recieves a set of little, blank stickers. The start time of the game is scheduled.
    Playing the freaking game:
    The goal of each player is to be the last alive. To do this, they must kill other players. Each person must attempt to kill their target. In order to kill someone, first they must be your target. Then, you must go up to them and attach a sticker with their alias written on it to them. However, if someone sees you do this and understands what you are doing or asks about it, then you have failed to kill them. If you are caught, you die. If you attempt to kill your target, but they get away, they can then "call" you to a moderator. If they identify their assassin correctly, and their assassin has made an attempt on their lives, then their assassin dies. If they guess wrong, they die. Now, if you successfully assassinate your target, their target becomes your target.
    Keeping track:
    During the game, each assassination, failed assassination, or anything that results in a player's death or disqualification must be reported as soon as possible to a moderator. The moderator then takes the dead player off the list of names. You may have noticed that it is possible for your target to die without your knowledge. Therefore, it is prudent to check in with a moderator, who can always tell you who your target is.
    It is a good idea to set limitations on the game, pick and choose:
    • Limit the game to certain times in the day, for instance, play only during daylight, or outside of classes, etc.
    • Limit the game to a part of your campus or some other form of boundaries.
    • Do not allow conspiracies of any kind.


    Soon to come: Stategy!

    Update, upon finding this node more than six months later:
    Obviously, the above statement re: "Soon to come: Strategy!" was a complete and utter falsitude. Oh well. If someone else wants to write it, go right ahead!
    Everybody wants to be a part of history; some of us just take a more creative approach.

    At any rate, Stephen Sondheim's dark musical about the people who try (and sometimes succeed) at assassinating American presidents.

    Opened December 18, 1990 at Playwrights Horizons, New York City.
    Closed on February 16, 1991; Ran for 73 performances

    1. "Everybody's Got the Right" - Proprietor, Czolgosz, Hinckley, Guiteau, Zangara, Byck, Fromme, Moore, Booth
    2. "The Ballad of Booth" - Balladeer, Booth, David Harold
    3. "How I Saved Roosevelt" - Bystanders, Zangara
    4. "Gun Song" - Czolgosz, Booth, Guiteau, Moore
    5. "The Ballad of Czolgosz" - Balladeer, Fairgoers
    6. "Unworthy of Your Love" - Hinckley, Fromme
    7. "The Ballad of Guiteau" - Guiteau, Balladeer
    8. "Another National Anthem" - Czolgosz, Booth, Hinckley, Fromme, Zangara, Guiteau, Moore, Byck, Balladeer
    9. "November 22, 1963" - Booth, Oswald, Guiteau, Czolgosz, Byck, Hinckley, Fromme, Moore, Zangara
    10. "Finale: Everybody's Got the Right" - Booth, Czolgosz, Moore, Guiteau, Zangara, Byck, Hinckley, Fromme, Oswald

    BTW--My school is putting this on in the spring semester (2002); all my friends are begging for a part from the director who happens to be none other than... (for those who know me, take a guess)

    Assassins: The Paranoia is 2/3 of the fun
    An expansion on Bob the Cow's write up on the same game

    The Goal is still to be the last person alive at the end of the game.

    When Setting up the Game, you need a moderator. This person will not participate in the game, but will instead facilitate all dealings within the game, like a referee. In the begining, everyone who wishes to play must give the moderator one US dollar to be used as "burial money" in the likely event of their death. At my school you also give the moderator your name, your room number and your mailbox number. The moderator then pairs everyone to another person who they are supposed to assassinate. (This is an important step and must be done with some care, because if you assassinate the person who was supposed to assassinate you, you are out of the game as there is no longer anyone hunting you or anyone for you to hunt.)

    The game begins at midnight on Sunday, and lasts for one week. At on Sunday evening, the moderator deposits a slip in the participants mailboxes with the assassins name, the targets name, and a space for the targets signature (you need to obtain the targets signature to confirm a legal kill. We will talk about this soon).

    The Rules are as follows:

    • All players must have their target slips with them at all times!
    • Legal Kills are only made during dates of game play using only acceptable ordnances indicated below and NOT ON HOLY GROUND indicated below. All shots must be made using only clean water. Between the time that the target and the assassin are able to see each other, and the time the shot is made, NO ONE but the assassin may see the water gun. If the water gun is seen by anyone before the shot is made, the assassin must leave the general area of the target before making another attempt. Plain English: The target must be SURPRISED by the shot itself. If any action implies shooting before it is done, the kill is not valid. Unlimited attempts can be made after a kill has been thwarted or invalidated, but this is really, really hard when your target knows you’re after her. Note the person who tries to shoot you once can get shot and their killer is now after you.
    • Holy Ground is any territory where kills cannot be made. At my school, this includes inside offices, classrooms, food serving areas and at events at which it is important for students to go to, like student government meetings. Some may want to limit it even more, to only on campus, or only at certain times of day. We are more hardcore than that.
    • Acceptable Ordnances are anything you would normally call a water gun. This means that it must produce a jet of water. This excludes water balloons, buckets, cups etc. Modifications to standard water guns can be made, but FOR YOUR PROTECTION, your water gun must NOT look like a firearm. Do NOT paint your water gun black. If you are reported with anything resembling a firearm, you will be disqualified and your burial money will be given to the person who let the moderator know that you are an idiot.
      • The device must never have ever held anything but water. A new spray bottle from the drug store is ok, but a Tilex bottle you "are positive you cleaned thoroughly" is not.
      • Even if the device is brand new, it cannot have any medical connotation. This means even brand new syringes and brand new ear wax bulbs are NOT allowed.
      • all ordnances be equipped with a separate, necessary, integrated component that one would naturally call a "trigger". (no water bottles with holes in them)
      • Disguising the water gun has brought up the question of what "seeing the gun" means. Just consider this from the standpoint of surprising your target. If your target identifies your device as a water gun, then they have seen the gun. If they do not associate your device with a water gun, they have not.
    • In the event of a valid kill, the assassin must verify the kill with the signature of the target on the assignment slip. The dead target must then IMMEDIATELY give his/her killer all slips from completed kills plus his/her uncompleted assignment. This means you must carry all assignments with you at all times to keep the game moving. The dead target is then out of play for the rest of the game. The assassin must then attempt to stay alive and kill the uncompleted assignment of the last target s/he validly killed.
    • On the day after game play ends, all living assassins meet with the moderator. They get their original dollar back, and a dollar for every kill they have made (must be confirmed by a signed slip).
    • THE DIVINE RULE OF HOMER: in the event of any disagreement or confusion about rules, what the moderator says goes. No questions asked.

    Other Stipulations. In the game we play collusion among players (and non-players) is allowed, but frowned upon by the assassin elite. Students have been known to form non-agression pacts so someone is guarenteed to live, assassinated students have told their former targets who is now hunting them. All manner of betrayal goes on (which just makes it more fun) We also include off campus locations as legal kill zones (your assassin can follow you to AppleBee's or whatever and squirt you while you are eating). When you play, you may want to come up with some new rules to prevent this sort of stuff.

    Game Play involves a high level of paranoia. Back to the wall, never leaving your room, not opening your door to strangers who "just want to borrow a can-opener" and so forth. At my school, over 100 people play, so there is a good chance your assassin will be a complete stranger. Ask your friends to help you find them, but becareful who you tell, because you never know who may be listening and will tip off your target to your evil machinations. Facebook as proven helpful (but watchout for mass picture changes and deliberate mis-information in profiles during the game!) Student directories are helpful as well.

    I have also heard this game called Killer, and Murderers. There are also "assassins' guilds" at colleges all over the world, that run games at their school a few times each year.

    The University of Campridge has a fairly active guild from what I can tell of their website: http://www.srcf.ucam.org/assassins/
    An article on the game from the Chicaco Maroon: http://maroon.uchicago.edu/news/articles/2005/05/03/annual_spy_game_infe.php
    University of Illinois assassins guild: http://www.campusassassins.com/
    The New College Assassins Site (the rules of play for this writeup where taken from here with permission): http://studentweb.ncf.edu/assassins/

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