PAX East 2013: How To Be An Assassin. The #gameskinny of Assassin's Ball.

As for my own tale? That is the reason behind my guidance. To warn you so that you may not fail as I did.

When you're an assassin, you can never be too sure who your friends are. That is a lesson I learned all too well at PAX. All too well.

Assassin's Ball is a role playing game created by Phillip Brady, and funded using Kickstarter. It was played by people attending PAX 2013 in Boston - this year with the most people signed up so far. To play it costs a measly $5 minimum with the option of adding additional things such as extra lives. It's only for PAX goers and is only played in the event area.

How One Becomes an Assassin

When you join this league of only a little over two hundred members, you are initiated into a Faction. The factions you may choose to chance your fate with are as follows:



Once you have accepted your new brotherhood, when the time comes close you will be sent an envelope containing your missions and necessary equipment. Make sure to take particular care of your Assassin's Manual; it will teach you all you need to know. Your main mission will be to assassinate a figure of importance at the upcoming event - although there will be others you can target should you find this task too arduous. These secondary targets are easier to find. All the targets are skilled assassins themselves. Our numbers are small, and the location is not in our favor. Crowds make it easy to hide and attack in, but also test your abilities. Can you observe your surroundings and find your mark?


Your mission card gives you the details of who you must find and eliminate. What you know about your target is very little. You are given a colored symbol that identifies this fellow assassin, and a possible faction. You must at least find the symbol; the faction might get you more glory but is not necessary. It is your risk to take if you choose to match all categories.

If you should succeed, then you receive your victim's mission card in return and continue the hunt. Our path is difficult, and there is no rest for those few initiated. All your kills will grant you points; these are the true marks for the elite of our kind.

Be warned, my friend.

If you are not careful you could become one of the hunted yourself and perish under the skill of another assassin. Just as you blend into the thralls of game fanatics, so too are your enemies just a stranger's face away. It could be the young girl innocently smiling at you. It could be the father tugging along a toddler as he prepares to strike. It could be that small group lurking by the Square Enix exhibit - perhaps the assassin has brought friends along to help distract you. In this swirl of people, sounds, and sights you have little help in your battle amongst killers.


Your one token among unrecognizable faces is the symbols all assassins are required by honor and code to wear - just above their heart. A fitting spot for those whose life could end so silently and so quickly.

As for my own tale?

That is the reason behind my guidance. To warn you so that you may not fail as I did. I signed my soul to the faction Cowboy 'Verse, but I was overconfident. I entered into the halls of PAX alert and sure that I would see any attack coming. I made sure to note right away all safe spots - those sacred places that all must honor as kill free zones. My eyes would scan just above your heart before they would look into your eyes, and if you saw darkness in my own then you were probably already dead.

No matter how well I thought I had planned, nothing could have prepared me for what eventually occurred. After walking a while in the crowd I finally made my way to my friends, my comrades. I approached them smiling with my countenance becoming soft. My guard went down. Surely amongst those I knew so well and have trusted for so long, I need not worry?

That's when he hit me, out of nowhere.

He was in the Varsity Dead faction, and we were both friends yet also sworn enemies. It took him only a second to kill me, and by the time I realized what was happening it was too late. 

So take heed from my words. In this sort of life, you can trust no one.

Featured Contributor

I'm a 29 year old Jersey girl who loves games. I currently work full time, volunteer part time at this awesome non-profit called Amman Imman, and go to school part time. I also train in jiu jitsu. So time isn't quite on my side (unlike that song says). I have been trying unsuccessfully for years to clone myself so I can devote one of me to boring stuff like working and laundry - thus allowing more time for gaming. I'm willing to offer large sums of imaginary money to any who can make this happen.

Published Sep. 1st 2017
  • Jamie K
    Featured Contributor
    Well...actually since of course you can't *actually* harm or touch anyone, it's mostly verbal. I'm sure really creative people could come up with ways to make it more interesting. One person was dropping "Loot" to people, lol. My friend literally got jumped/hugged attacked by a girl who was particularly enthusiastic about her killing technique. She said she scared her half to death lol.

    I have to say it was pretty fun. I had a second life, but didn't use it right away. You can also collect "intel" which I didn't add in the article but it's just a code that gives you extra points. Even after you "die" you can trade this "intel" with people.

    The creator still has some kinks to work out, especially given that more and more people are joining. All in all though it was pretty fun, and even today he made an update about what he plans on working on for future events so he's very responsive to people's opinions and comments. The links in the article in the beginning lead to his website and the game's info. :)
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    That sounds awesome. How do you actually make the kill, though?

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