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