The game is a competition between two teams, red and yellow, played in Doherty
and Wean. One team is based in Doherty, and one in Wean. Each team has a number
of flags hidden throughout its territory, and the other team tries to find
these flags without being captured by the enemy defenders. However, the task is
made much more interesting by the addition of stuff: wands, belts, and potions
that affect the game in exciting ways.
The Spring 2020 game has been cancelled.
A somewhat psychotic variation on a classic game
By Andrew Plotkin
Revised 2/7/2001 by Sean "Teki" Dobbs
Revised 11/14/2002 by David "dkitchin" Kitchin
Revised 3/10/2003, 11/7/2003, 3/25/2004, 11/19/2004, 3/24/2005, 3/30/2006 by
Benjamin "Hey You" Gilbert
Revised 3/2008 by edanaher, csjackso, ddagradi, cmartens, jgg, csawyer,
Revised 8/10/2008, 2/8/2009, 11/5/2009 by edanaher
Revised 2/20/2012 by tbroman, kharring, mjsulliv, eforney, aleibowi…
Revised 9/21/2014 by mwoolfor, jlareau, sguertin, egarbade, afrieder,
ssharera, cmorey, bwachowi, jnemes...
Revised 11/4/2015, 2/8/2016 by briedel, egarbade, tparenti, mwoolfor,
cmorey, eeb, jlareau, jpdoyle, sctoor
Revised 9/29/2016 by ssharera, briedel, egarbade, tparenti, mjmurphy,
hfernand, jpdoyle, sctoor
Revised 2/16/2017 by briedel, mjmurphy
A partial change history of these rules lives
Classic rules may be found here.
A timer / scoreboard for the game lives
These rules are designed to be easier to read than the official rules, and
should match them. However, in the case of discrepancy, the official rules
Each player is on the yellow or the red team. Team membership is indicated by
appropriately colored bands, which must be worn as armbands or headbands at all
Each team has a home territory, either Wean or Doherty. All other spaces
(outside, Scott Hall, Newell Simon, etc.) are neutral. Certain areas (labs,
clusters, any normally inaccessible or restricted areas) are forbidden
territory: no player may enter these at any time during the game.
A player is in a team's territory if any part of their body is in the team's
territory. If he is in neither team's territory, he is in neutral territory,
and is not affected by Stuff. (The team territories should be at least ten feet
apart, so no player may be in both territories simultaneously.)
If you touch an enemy when both of you are in your home territory, you may
capture them. (Note that this is optional; make it clear whether or not you are
capturing). You may then request any non-concealable items they are carrying,
and they must give them to you. Further, if you know that they have concealable
items (e.g., you just saw them use one) you may ask for those. If, however, you
do not know that they have a concealable item, they need not give it up. They
must also immediately drop any flags they were carrying.
You must then lead your captive directly to your team's jail at reasonable
speed. They may not use magic items (except for the Ninja Potion) or move flags
on their way to jail. You may not make any more captures until they have
entered the jail by touching the Glyph of Jail (see below). At this point, they
may again use magic items). If you are stunned before reaching jail, your
prisoner is freed.
The jail is designated by the Glyph of Jail (see Glyphs, below). There is also
an associated jailer's fedora; a player on the team owning the jail wearing
this fedora assumes the role of Jailer. This role is transient; at any point,
the jailer may give the fedora to a teammate (who then becomes jailer) or
remove it (leaving the team without a jailer). Note that the lack of a jailer
does not make the jail less functional; prisoners are still stuck there. You
may not move the opposing team's fedora.
The prisoners must form one or more chains, with each player touching the Glyph
of Jail either directly or through a chain of other prisoners. The jailer (if
one exists) may relax this requirement. Typically, the jail is at the end of a
corridor, and the prisoners are allowed to sit in the vicinity of the jail.
Every fifteen minutes, starting from the beginning of play, all prisoners are
released from jail. They must return to their home territories at reasonable
speed, by the most direct route. They are ethereal (may not use, drop, or pick
up magic items, are not affected by magic items, may not capture, and may not
be captured) until they return to their home territory. They must use jazz
hands to signal that they are ethereal.
If you touch a prisoner in the other team's jail, and freeing them does not
break the chain leading back to the Glyph of Jail, they are freed. You both
become ethereal, and must return to your home territory as on a jailbreak
(ethereal, with jazz hands).
The jailer (if one exists) also has a supply of Truth Serum. He may poke a
prisoner in the shoulder with a pinky, making the prisoner an interrogation
victim, and freeing any previous victim. The victim is now under the control of
the jailer, and may not use magic items until freed from interrogation. The
jailer may ask the prisoner up to six yes/no questions, and the victim may lie
no more than once. They may answer "I don't know" if they really don't know,
but then the question doesn't count against the six.
The questioning is finished when the victim answers the sixth question, if the
jailer decides they are done, if the victim is freed, at jailbreak, if there is
no jailer, or if the jailer leaves line of sight of the victim. At this point,
the victim becomes ethereal and must return to their home territory as after a
jailbreak (ethereal, with jazz hands).
Initial Setup and Game Completion
At the beginning of the game, there is a setup period of fifteen minutes. This
time should be used for the placement of flags and glyphs, and distribution of
magic items. No player may enter enemy territory during this period; they must
remain in their own territories or neutral space. Magic items have no effect
during this time.
The game ends after one hour, or when there remains only one team with
uncaptured flags. The winner is the team with the greatest number of points;
in the case of a tie, the winner is the tying team that reached its final point
- Cooldown: This is a property of certain items. An item with cooldown may
not be used again for one minute after its use.
- Concealment: Potions may be concealed, meaning they need not be visible.
All other game items must be visible at all times. A captive is not required
to give up a concealed item unless their captor asks for it specifically and
knows that she has the item. Potions cannot be used while concealed.
- Dispelling: A dispelled item may not be used for its magical effects.
Usually items are dispelled for one minute.
- Field of View: The field of view is the extent of the observable world
that is visible to the player at any given moment.
- Line of Sight: A player is within line of sight of an item or event if they
can rotate themself to bring it into their field of view.
- Sacrificial: Red items are sacrificial. These items may only be used in
enemy territory, must be dropped upon use, and may not be picked up or moved
when in enemy territory.
- See: A player sees an item or glyph if it passes within their field of view
and they can recognize it.
- Stun: A stunned player must sit on the floor in the territory in which they
were stunned until the stun wears off. If they are captured while stunned,
they become unstunned. A player may not be stunned again while stunned.
Stunned players may not capture.
- Key Words/Phrases: Some potions have a key word or phrase used to activate
them. This phrase must be said entirely in the territory where the use
occurs, and the action occurs upon completion of the phrase. You cannot
use a key phrase without the intention of activating an item.
- Knowledge: Knowing somebody had a potion is not the same as knowing they
have it now. If they could have gotten rid of it, you don't know they have
As the name implies, the goal is to capture the opposing team's flags. These
are large pieces of cloth or felt; each team has three or more of them. Before
each game, a point value will be assigned to each flag. If you bring an enemy
flag to the judge's room, your team gets the points for the flag.
During the initial setup time, flags must be placed, with placement supervised
by a judge. They must be placed no more than six feet above the floor, with at
least half the flag visible from every angle. There may be no more than one
flag per hallway or corridor. If the flag is placed inside a container, there
must be an obvious way to remove the flag in one smooth motion.
No flag may ever exist in an area with fewer than two exits, unless it is being
carried. If a flag is dropped in an area with only one exit, a judge must move
it the shortest possible distance to a valid location.
Any magic items a player is carrying are dispelled if they are carrying a flag,
and remain dispelled for one minute after the player gives up the item or drops
Judges wear blue headbands, and are responsible for keeping the game running
smoothly. The head judge is the final arbiter and scorekeeper, and should
remain in the judges' room, Wean Hall 8427. An assistant head judge shall
reside at each team's jail, and there are usually at least 2 roaming judges per
team whose job is to resolve conflicts or perform other duties required of
Judges should attempt to resolve disputes fairly and find outcomes agreeable to
both sides. In all cases, the judge's decision is final.
Glyphs are large sheets of paper or posterboard marked with a spell. Each
glyph is colored with a team's color, and belongs to that team; it only affects
members of the opposing team. The Glyphs are distinguished by a word printed on
The glyph must be taped to a wall or door in the team's territory, and may not
be placed more than six feet off the ground or
within ten feet of a flag. If a flag is dropped within ten feet of a glyph
other than the Glyph of Jail, that glyph is dispelled for as long as the flag
remains, and for one minute after.
Glyph of Jail ("Jail")
It functions as described above under "Jail", and may not be dispelled. It may
also be used as a Glyph of Recharge by the team it belongs to.
Glyph of Recharge ("Still Going")
If a player has a discharged white magic item they may recharge it by holding
it to a Glyph of Recharge (or their own Glyph of Jail) for ten seconds.
Glyph of Entrancement ("Gotcha")
If you see an enemy Glyph of Entrancement, you are stunned for one minute.
Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob ("Yukko")
If an enemy Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob is on the side of a door facing
you, you may not open the door or prevent it from closing. If the Glyph is
mounted on one of a set of doors, all doors are affected.
If a Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob is mounted next to the buttons
controlling an elevator, you may not push any of the buttons or prevent the
elevator doors from closing.
Multiple Glyphs of the Disgusting Doorknob may not be used to trap enemy
players in an area; every area must have at least one path to neutral space
which enemy players can travel without running into this Glyph. Note that this
path is directed; glyphs on the other side of the door do not matter to this
Glyph of Alarm ("Alarm")
If you see the Glyph of Alarm, you must shout or sing "Alarm" or a similar loud
phrase as loudly as possible for one minute or until you are captured or return
to neutral space.
Potions are small pieces of foam wrapped in colored tape which are concealable:
you may hide them, and if captured, you do not need to give them up unless your
captor knows you have them. They are not usable while concealed. They are
distinguished by color.
Ninja Potion of Magic Smoke (Red, Sacrificial)
The Ninja Potion of Magic Smoke is sacrificial, so may only be used in enemy
territory and must be dropped on use. Further, it may only be used by a
captured player on the way to jail. He may throw this potion onto the ground
and yell as loudly as possible "Poof, I am a Ninja!" All enemy players who hear
this and are within line of sight of the user are stunned for 10 seconds. (This
does include players in other territories; if you use this potion near the
border between territories, enemy players in your home territory who are within
line of sight are still stunned. Players in neutral territory, of course, are
immune to stuff, so are unaffected.)
Potion of Wait... There's a Key at the Bottom of This (Green, Cooldown)
The Potion of Wait... There's a Key at the Bottom of This has cooldown, so you
must wait a minute before reusing it. If you are stunned or a prisoner, you
may use this potion by bonking yourself on the head, and using one of the
keywords "Lolt", "Jube", or "Key". You are then free; you are unstunned or free
from jail. If freed from jail, you do not get "free backs": you are
merely a normal player standing in the middle of the enemy jail.
(For the curious, this is the combination or the two potions formerly known as
"Jolt" and "Lube", which is where the unusual keywords come from.)
Potion of Mind Control (Blue)
This potion is activated by saying "Obey" while capturing an ememy player. The
potion must then be handed to the captive. The captive must accept it and
proceed directly to jail as if escorted by the captor. The captive is still a
captive, but the captor becomes a normal player again. The captive must display
the potion on the way to jail so as not to be confused with free players, and
must take the most direct route to jail.
A player may also capture two enemy players at once when using this potion.
Both captives are controlled by the potion and must stay together while going
directly to jail, as above.
Wands are two-foot lengths of foam rubber, distinguished by color. They are
used by whapping a person or glyph and shouting the appropriate keyword. Each
use of the keyword invokes at most one wand on one subject.
Wand of Vengeance (Red, "Toast", Sacrificial)
This wand is sacrificial, so may only be used in enemy territory and must be
dropped after use. If you whap an enemy player with this wand in the enemy's
home territory, you capture them and you must lead them back to your jail as on
a normal capture. However, you are both ethereal until you get into your home
territory, at which point you become a normal captor/captive pair. Thus, you
may not ask for their items, may not be stunned, etc., until you reach your
Wand of Stun (Green, "Stun", Cooldown)
Any player whapped with this wand is stunned for one minute.
Wand of Dispel (Blue, "Dispel", Cooldown)
If a player is whapped with the wand of dispel, all magic items they are
carrying are dispelled for one minute. If two players simultaneously use this
wand on each other, all items carried by both players are dispelled for one
The wand may also be used on a glyph (other than the Glyph of Jail); it is then
dispelled for one minute.
Belts are long sashes of cloth or felt, which must be tied around a player's
waist to be active. A belt can be worn by at most one player, and a player can
wear at most one belt. Belts are distinguished by color.
Andy Warhol's Belt of Pop Occultism (Red, Sacrificial)
Andy Warhol's Belt of Pop Occultism is sacrificial, so may only be used in
enemy territory, and while it must be worn to use it, it must be dropped
immediately after use. To use this belt, yell as loudly as possible, "Leroy
Jenkins" or some phrase to be determined by the judges before the start of the
game. The effect is to stun all enemy players within line of sight of the user
for one minute.
Goombah's Belt of Humiliating Protection (Green)
This belt is activated by skipping and loudly singing "Yankee Doodle". While
active, the wearer is immune to capture and stun. Any number of teammates may
share the protection of this belt by holding hands with the wearer, either
directly or through a chain of teammates, as long as all teammates in the chain
are skipping and singing along.
If any player in the chain is dispelled, all items carried by all members of
the chain are dispelled; it is as though all players were hit with the wand. In
particular, Goombah's belt is dispelled.
This belt does not function in elevators.
Doc Arnold's Belt of Many Places at Once (Blue)
A captor wearing Doc Arnold's Belt may have up to three captives at once. They
may capture multiple players at once. Once a capture has been made, the captor
must escort their captive(s) to jail, but may capture new players on the way.
On the way, they may also activate the belt (while in possesion of no more than
two captives) with the key phrase "I'LL BE BACH." In this case, each captive
must remain staionary, while the captor goes to find another captive. If the
captor does not return within a minute, or leaves their captive's line of sight
for 10 seconds, the captive(s) are freed and become normal players. If the
captor fails to bring back a new captive they may not use the key phrase again,
and must continue escorting their captives to jail. If this belt is dispelled
all captives except the original first captive are freed.
White Magic Items (White)
White magic items can be used as if they were a magic item of the same type by
invoking the keyword and action of the desired item. A white magic item must be
charged for it to be used, and using a white magic item discharges it. If a
white magic item touches the ground it becomes discharged. All white magic
items can be recharged by holding them to a Glyph of Recharge (or one's own
Glyph of Jail) for ten seconds. All restrictions (sacrificial, cooldown, etc.)
of the chosen item apply to the white magic item upon use (e.g., a white magic
item may only be used as a red magic item in enemy territory).
This is intended to be a friendly and fun game for all involved. This works
much better if all players involved make an honest attempt to follow the rules.
The following are additional rules to help make the game fun for all.
- Do not physically impede or block other players, either with your body or
with objects. This includes actions like preventing elevators from moving.
Breakage of this rule is grounds to eject you from the game.
- Do not change official timekeeping watches.
- Do not fabricate or replicate game items.
Although lies and deceit are part of the game, there are several things you may
not conceal, obfuscate, or lie about.
- You may not lie about whether you're in the game.
- You may not lie about which team you're on.
- You may not lie about the status of the game. (For example, whether the
game has started or ended.)
- You may not lie about what non-concealable items you have.
- You may not lie about cooldown or dispel status of items.
- You may not lie about any player's status.
- You may not make jazz hands unless you are ethereal.
- You may not display a Potion of Mind Control openly in enemy territory
unless you are a captive heading to jail.
Current top banner: CtFwS Fall 2010: scoreboard(credit: Alan V.) Reload for a new one.
Copyright © The Carnegie Mellon KGB.
Top banner and other media copyright © their respective owners.