What it is: A long-term game of stealth and elimination
Best for: A big group of players at an event or place together over several days or longer, like at a dorm over a semester of college, at a week-long camp, or at a family reunion
What you need: In this variation, you need stickers – the circular red, yellow, green, and blue label stickers work very well. You’ll need a few stickers per player.
How to play: This game is meant to be played over several days or even weeks. Players eliminate others from the game until the group of players gets smaller and smaller, resulting in only one champion.
You’ll need a moderator to set up the game and not play because it involves creating top-secret targets.
If you’re the moderator, first get a list of everyone who wants to play. Players need to commit; you can’t have players just deciding to drop out after a while. So get your list of committed players.
Randomly assign each player another player’s name (this will be the player’s target). You want to make sure no one is assigned their own name, and that all of the names assigned create a big “loop.” For example, if you have Harry, Ginny, Fred, Hermione, Ron, and George playing, you don’t want the assigned names to look like this:
See how that creates two separate circles? Instead you want one big loop, like this:
The easiest way to do this if you have a lot of players is write each player’s name on a separate strip of paper. Shuffle them well and then draw the first one. Write that player’s name down.
Then draw the next name and write that name as player 1’s target:
Write player 2’s name down on the next line:
Draw the next name:
Go until you’ve used up all of your names. For the last name on the list, assign them player 1 as a target.
Then you need to top-secretly deliver the targets to your players. Write each target’s name on a piece of paper and deliver it to the correct player, making sure no one knows who has who. Each player should know the name of their target and that’s it.
You’ll also need to deliver your method of elimination – we’ll call them “death stickers.” Give each player a strip of stickers. Tell your players to have the paper with the name of their target and their death stickers on their person at all times, or as much as possible.
When everyone has their assassination assignment and their death stickers, the game can start! Here are the rules:
- Players eliminate their targets by secretly sticking a sticker on the target’s body somewhere.
- If you are caught in the act of sticking on a sticker, it doesn’t count.
- When an assassin eliminates a target, the assassin receives the eliminated player’s target as their own.
- Players can eliminate only their own target, not anyone else’s.
You might need to make additional rules for your specific players and situation, like no killing people in the dormitories or during Potions class.
Let’s take a sample game with our players up above, even though a real game would ideally have many more players.
Harry’s target is Ginny. He confides this to his friend Ron. Ron’s target, however, is Harry. So Ron lies and tells Harry he’s targeting Fred. They agree to help each other.
Harry tries to find an opportunity to eliminate Ginny. This turns out to be not too hard since she has a crush on him. He finds a chance to talk to her alone in the corridor, and then, when she turns her head, he sticks a death sticker on her shoulder. Ginny doesn’t notice and after a moment Harry points it out. Ginny is horrified to realize she’s been eliminated. (Harry feels a little bad, but he’s determined to win.)
Ginny’s out of the game, and she hands Harry her slip of paper with her target’s name on it and her extra death stickers. Harry is a little surprised to learn his new target is Fred. (Remember, Ron told Harry that Ron’s target was Fred.) Harry immediately is distrusting of Ron and, when Ron asks Harry who his new target is, Harry lies and says he has George.
Hermione, meanwhile, is working on a way to eliminate Ron. She finds a relatively easy way to do this by sneakily pushing his books on the floor. When he bends to pick them up, she sticks a death sticker on his back without him noticing. Ron is bummed, but gives Hermione his slip of paper with Harry’s name and his extra death stickers.
Harry thinks he’s found a way to sneak up behind Fred and eliminate him, but when Fred turns around Harry realizes he’s actually stickered George. It doesn’t count since George isn’t Harry’s target. George has now figured out that Harry is targeting Fred and agrees to help him if Harry will help George eliminate his target, Hermione.
After class one day, Harry pulls Hermione aside to ask her a question about his History of Magic essay. George, meanwhile, is sneaking in the corridor behind them. He stealthily sticks a sticker on Hermione’s arm, but not stealthily enough, because Hermione catches him in the act. George’s attempt fails and now Hermione knows to be on her guard around George.
Since George wasn’t successful in eliminating Hermione, he decides to break his pact with Harry and tells Fred that Harry has his name. Now Fred knows to be on his guard around Harry, and Harry starts finding it very difficult to eliminate him.
Hermione finds a chance to eliminate Harry when he’s tired after Quidditch practice one evening. Now Hermione’s new target is Fred. Before Fred can realize Harry’s out of the game, Hermione eliminates Fred, too, leaving only George and Hermione in the game.
Harry and Ron agree to help Hermione, but George has Fred working for him. It takes several days of stalking and stealth before Harry and Ron distract Fred and Hermione has a clear shot at George in the common room. He doesn’t catch her sticking on her death sticker, and a few moments later she points it out. George hands Hermione his slip of paper, which actually has Hermione’s name on it. This means that Hermione has won.
So alliances might happen. Be prepared for betrayal, conspiracies, and deceit. Some players will be more skilled than others. And only one champion will remain in the end…
Good luck, agents.