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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 are the official rules for the Spring 2020 game of Capture the Flag with Stuff.
I. Base Rules
I.@.1. When rules in this document conflict, the later rule takes
I.@.1.a. E.g. I.C.4 states that a captor may not capture, while
V.D.2 states that a player wearing Doc Arnold's Belt
of Many Places at Once may capture multiple times.
I.@.2. The judges may choose to change the rules or add or remove stuff into
the game. Any such rules or stuff changes must be clearly explained before
the start of the game in which those changes are to be introduced.
I.A. Teams and Territories
I.A.1. The game consists of two teams, red and yellow. Team membership is
indicated by colored bands, worn on the upper arm or head, which must be
visible at all times.
I.A.2. Each team has a home territory. One team's is Wean, the other's is Doherty.
The teams should swap territories after each game. The territory is defined
as the space inside the building, with the doors closed, or as defined by
the judges in the case of ambiguity. Where there is a chamber between two
sets of doors, the chamber is included in the building.
I.A.3. Certain areas such as labs, clusters, and any normally
inaccessible or otherwise restricted areas are forbidden. No player may
enter these areas at any time during the game.
I.A.4. All areas which are neither a team's home territory nor
forbidden are neutral. There must always be at least ten feet of neutral
territory between opposing teams' home territories.
I.A.5. A player is considered to be in a team's territory if any
part of their body is in the team's territory. If a player is in no
team's territory, they are in neutral territory. Magic items have no
effect on players who are in neutral territory.
I.B.1. A player is any person playing the game.
I.B.2. A teammate is a member of the same team.
I.B.3. An enemy is a player who is not a teammate.
I.B.4. A player may be normal, ethereal, captive, captor, prisoner,
interrogation victim, or stunned.
I.B.5. A normal player is in the default state described in these rules.
I.B.6. An ethereal player may not use, drop, or pick up magic items,
is not affected by magic items, may not capture, and may not be
captured. A player must use jazz hands to signal ethereality.
I.B.7. A captive is a player who has been captured (see I.C).
Captives may not move or touch enemy flags and may not use or drop
magic items (except for the Ninja Potion; see III.B).
I.B.8. A captor is a player who has captured another player (see
I.C). Captors must lead their captives to the jail (see I.C),
but are otherwise normal players.
I.B.9. A prisoner is a player who was a captive, but has touched the Glyph of Jail
I.B.10. An interrogation victim is a prisoner who has been given truth serum
by the jailer (see I.C). They may not use magic items, but otherwise act
identically to a prisoner except where specified.
I.B.11. A stunned player must immediately sit on the floor in the territory in which they were
stunned until the stun wears off. The time they are stunned is measured from
when they sit down, not when the stunning effect occurred. If they are captured
while stunned, they become unstunned. A player may not be stunned again while
stunned. Stunned players may not capture.
I.B.12. Only normal players and captors can be stunned.
I.B.12.a. If John Mackey changes a player's major during the game, the player is
stunned for one minute.
I.C. Capture and Imprisonment
I.C.1. If a player touches an enemy when both are in the first
player's home territory, they may choose to capture the enemy. At this
point, the enemy becomes a captive.
I.C.1.a. As capture is optional, captors are encouraged to notify their
captives of this action ("Gotcha" is a good choice).
I.C.2. A player, when captured, must immediately drop any flags they are carrying at
the spot where they were captured.
I.C.3. A captive or prisoner must give up any non-concealable items upon
request of the captor or a teammate of the captor. Concealable items need not
be given up unless the enemy asking for them knows that the player has the
I.C.4. A captor must lead their captive directly to their team's Glyph
of Jail (see II.B) at a reasonable speed. They cannot make any more
captures until their captive has entered jail by touching the Glyph of
Jail or another prisoner in the jail. Once this
occurs, the captor is again a normal player, and the captive becomes a
I.C.5. If a captor is stunned, their captive becomes a normal player.
I.C.6. Prisoners may use magic items.
I.D.1. Each team has a jail, designated by the Glyph of Jail.
I.D.1.a. Whenever possible, the Glyph of Jail in Doherty will be placed on floor A,
near the staircase closest to the main lobby, and the Glyph of Jail in Wean
will be placed on floor 6, near room 6220 at the end of the 6200 corridor.
I.D.2. One player on each team may take on the role of jailer by
wearing the team's Jailer Fedora. The jailer is a normal player except
as described in the remainder of this section. The jailer may at any
time transfer the fedora to a teammate, who becomes jailer, or
remove it, leaving no jailer.
I.D.2.a. In particular, if the jailer is captured or stunned, the jail
remains functional; prisoners are not released (although any interrogation
in progress is ended).
I.D.3. A player may not move the opposing team's fedora except to drop
I.D.4. The prisoners must form one or more chains, with each player
touching the Glyph of Jail either directly or through a chain of other
I.D.5. If there is a jailer, they may relax the requirement to form chains.
I.D.5.a. Typically, the jail is at the end of a hall, and prisoners are allowed to
sit around in the vicinity of the jail.
I.D.6. Every fifteen minutes, starting from the beginning of play,
all prisoners are released from all jails. Released prisoners must
return to their home territories at reasonable speed, by the most
direct route. Prisoners released in this manner are ethereal until they
re-enter their home territories.
I.D.7. A player in a normal state not carrying a flag may touch a prisoner
in another team's jail. As long as freeing the prisoner does not break a
chain leading back to the jail, the prisoner is freed. Both players are
ethereal and must return to their home territory as after a jailbreak (see I.D.6);
they need not remain together.
I.D.8. The jailer has a supply of Truth Serum, which they may use by
poking a prisoner in the shoulder with a pinky finger. The prisoner
then becomes an interrogation victim.
I.D.9. The jailer may then ask the victim up to six yes/no
questions, and the victim may lie no more than once. The victim may
answer "I don't know" if they really don't know, but then the question
doesn't count against the six.
I.D.10. Upon completion of questioning, the victim is freed from jail
and must return to their home territory as after a jailbreak (see I.D.6).
Questioning is complete when the victim answers the sixth question, if
the jailer decides they are done with this victim, if the victim is
freed, at jailbreak, if there is no jailer, or if the jailer leaves line of
sight of the victim.
I.D.11. There may be at most one truth serum victim in each jail.
I.E. Initial Setup and Game Completion
I.E.1. 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. Magic items have no effect during this
I.E.2. The game begins at the end of the set up period and ends after one
hour, or when there remains only one team with uncaptured flags.
I.F. Additional Terms
I.F.1. Cooldown: This is a property of certain items. An item with
cooldown may not be activated again for one minute after its use. This
requirement may be suspended by the singing of a number of verses from
a song determined before the game begins; the item is then usable after
singing that song.
I.F.2. 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 they have the item.
I.F.2.a. Potions cannot be used while concealed.
I.F.3. Dispelling: A dispelled item has no magical effects.
I.F.4. Field of View: The field of view is the extent of the observable world that
is visible to the player at any given moment.
I.F.5. 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.
I.F.6. See: A player sees an item or event if it passes within their field of
view and they can recognize it.
I.F.7. Sacrificial: Red items are sacrificial. These items may
only be activated in enemy territory, must be dropped upon use, and may not
be picked up or moved when in enemy territory.
I.F.8. Whap: A player is whapped by a wand if it hits them at approximately the same
time the wand bearer shouts the key word.
I.F.8.a. As wands are fairly soft, whapping a player on the head counts but is discouraged.
I.F.9. Key Words/Phrases: Some items have a key word or phrase used to
activate them. This phrase must be said entirely in the territory where the
activation occurs, and the action occurs upon completion of the phrase.
I.F.10. Knowledge: knowledge of an opponent's concealable items, as referenced in
rules I.C.3 and I.F.2, means that they have not had a chance to dispose of
that item since the last time you saw it in their possession.
I.G.1. Flags are large pieces of cloth or felt. Each team has three or more flags.
I.G.2. Flags must be placed during the initial setup time, and their
placement must be supervised by a judge. They must be placed no higher
than six feet above the floor; the flag must be clearly visible from most
angles; flags must be placed 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.
I.G.3. 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
I.G.4. 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 the flag.
I.G.5. Each flag will be assigned a point value at the beginning of the game by the
I.G.5.a. Judges may or may not inform the players of these values on a per-game basis.
I.G.6. The winner of the game is the team with the most points. The point values of
each flag must be set such that the team with the most flags has the most points.
I.G.6.a. If the point system is set differently than specified in I.G.6, the players
must be informed of this fact before the set up of the game in which this takes place.
I.G.7. A player who brings a flag to the judges room earns for their
team the number of points associated with the flag. The flag is then
out of play for the remainder of the game.
I.H.1. Judges are indicated by blue or silver headbands, and are responsible for
keeping the game running smoothly.
I.H.2. The head judge is the final arbiter and scorekeeper, and should remain in the
judges' room, which is Wean Hall 8427 unless otherwise specified.
I.H.3. An assistant head judge should reside at each team's jail.
I.H.4. Each team should also have at least 1 roaming judge. The total number of
roaming judges is up to the head judge, and based on the number of players.
I.H.4.a. Roaming judges’ responsibility is to resolve conflicts or perform other
duties required of them.
I.H.5. Judges should attempt to resolve disputes fairly and find outcomes agreeable
to both sides. In all cases, the judge's decision is final.
II.A.1. Glyphs are large sheets of paper or poster-board marked with a spell.
II.A.2. Each glyph is owned by a particular team, indicated by the coloring of the glyph.
II.A.3. A glyph must be taped to a wall in the owning team's territory or side
of a door that would be in the owning team's territory if it were closed.
II.A.3.a. Once placed, all glyphs are considered part of the owning team’s territory.
II.A.4. A glyph affects all normal players on opposing teams in its owning team's
II.A.5. A glyph may not be placed within ten feet of a flag. If a flag is dropped
within ten feet of a dispellable glyph, the glyph is dispelled for as long as
the flag remains, and for one minute after.
II.A.6. A glyph may not be placed such that any part of it is more than 6 feet off
II.B. Glyph of Jail
II.B.1. The Glyph of Jail is indicated by the word "Jail".
II.B.2. The Glyph of Jail defines the Jail, as described by section I.D.
II.B.3. The Glyph of Jail cannot be dispelled.
II.C. Glyph of Entrancement
II.C.1. The Glyph of Entrancement is indicated by the word "Gotcha".
II.C.2. A player who sees the Glyph of Entrancement is stunned for one minute.
II.D. Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob
II.D.1. The Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob is indicated by the word "Yukko".
II.D.2. If a Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob is on a door, a player may not
open the door or prevent it from closing by interacting with the side of
the door the Glyph is on. If the Glyph is mounted on one of a set of doors,
all doors are affected.
II.D.2.a. The Glyph of Disgusting Doorknob affects players in neutral territory.
II.D.3. The counting of exits for purposes of flag placement is unaffected by
II.D.4. If a Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob is mounted next to the
buttons controlling an elevator, no affected player may push any of the
buttons or prevent the elevator doors from closing.
II.D.5. Any player must be able to exit to neutral territory without opening any
door from a side affected by a Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob or activating
any stuff. No player can be completely trapped by this glyph.
II.E. Glyph of Alarm
II.E.1. The Glyph of Alarm is indicated by the word "Alarm".
II.E.2. A player who sees the Glyph of Alarm must shout or sing
"Alarm" or another phrase as loudly as possible for one minute or
until they are captured or returns to neutral space.
II.F. Glyph of Recharge
II.F.1. The Glyph of Recharge is indicated by the word "Recharge".
II.F.2. A player may recharge a white colored magical item (see VI.A) by holding it
to a Glyph of Recharge for a period of 10 seconds.
II.F.2.a. A player may use any Glyph of Recharge in either territory.
III.A.1. Potions are small pieces of foam wrapped in colored tape.
III.A.2. Potions are concealable.
III.B. Ninja Potion of Magic Smoke
III.B.1. The Ninja Potion of Magic Smoke is red, and thus sacrificial.
III.B.2. To activate this item a captive throws this potion onto the ground and yells
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 ten seconds.
III.B.2.a. This includes enemy players within line of sight in all
territories. Players in neutral territory are unaffected, as they are
immune to all stuff.
III.C. Potion of Wait... There's a Key at the Bottom of This
III.C.1. The Potion of Wait... There's a Key at the Bottom of This is green and has cooldown.
III.C.2. To activate this potion, a player must bonk themself on the head
with this potion and use one of the key words "Lolt", "Jube", or "Key".
III.C.3. A stunned player, once they are sitting, may use this potion to unstun
themself and return to a normal state.
III.C.4. A prisoner may use this potion to free themself from jail and return to a normal state.
III.D. Potion of Mind Control
III.D.1. The Potion of Mind Control is blue.
III.D.2. To use this potion, a player must capture an enemy player while
using the key word "obey". The enemy becomes the player's captive,
and must be handed this potion immediately.
III.D.3. A player may capture two people simultaneously with one invocation
of the potion's ability. They must be simultaneously tagged when the
player says "obey". Both enemies become the player's captive.
III.D.4. Captive(s) who are handed this potion must proceed directly to jail as if
escorted by the captor, clearly displaying the potion to any members of the
captor's team they encounter.
III.D.4.a. Player(s) controlled by the Potion of Mind Control are still
captive(s). They may not be stunned, and they ignore opponents' glyphs.
III.D.4.b. No player may take the Potion of Mind Control from captive(s) being
controlled by it, even if they know they have it.
III.D.4.c. If the Potion of Mind Control is dispelled, the captive(s) under its control
III.D.5. A captor who uses the Potion of Mind Control becomes a normal
player after handing off the potion. They do not have to escort the
captive(s) to jail.
III.D.6. The captive(s) may not proceed to jail by a route that is less
than direct, in an effort to explore for flags or for any other
III.D.6.a. If two players were captured, they are controlled by the same
potion and must stay together.
III.D.7. This potion may be activated while concealed.
IV.A.1. Wands are eighteen-inch lengths of foam rubber.
IV.A.2. The effect of a wand is activated by whapping a person or glyph and shouting
the key word.
IV.A.3. Each use of the key word invokes at most one wand on one subject.
IV.B. Wand of Vengeance
IV.B.1. The Wand of Vengeance has key word "Toast", and is red, and
IV.B.2. A normal player may whap an enemy in the enemy's home territory.
The user captures the enemy, and both players become ethereal. The user
must lead the enemy back to their jail as directly as possible at reasonable
IV.B.3. Upon entry into the user's home territory, the user becomes a captor and the
enemy becomes a captive.
IV.C. Wand of Stun
IV.C.1. The Wand of Stun has key word "Stun", and is green and has cooldown.
IV.C.2. Any player whapped with this wand is stunned for one minute.
IV.D. Wand of Dispel
IV.D.1. The Wand of Dispel has key word "Dispel", and is blue and has cooldown.
IV.D.2. If a player is whapped with the wand of dispel, all magic items they are
carrying are dispelled for one minute.
IV.D.3. If two players simultaneously use this wand on each other,
all items carried by both players are dispelled for one minute.
IV.D.4. A dispellable glyph which is whapped by the Wand of Dispel is dispelled for
V.A.1. A belt is a long sash of cloth or felt.
V.A.2. To be used, a belt must be tied around a player's waist.
V.A.3. A belt can be worn by at most one player.
V.A.4. A player can wear at most one belt.
V.B. Andy Warhol's Belt of Pop Occultism
V.B.1. Andy Warhol's Belt of Pop Occultism is red, and thus sacrificial.
V.B.2. To activate this belt, the wearer must yell as loudly as
possible some phrase to be determined by the judges before the start of
the game. Upon activation, all enemy players within line of sight of
the user are stunned for one minute.
V.B.2.a. Since the belt is sacrificial, the user must also drop the belt.
V.C. Goombah's Belt of Humiliating Protection
V.C.1. Goombah's Belt of Humiliating Protection is green.
V.C.2. This belt is activated by starting to skip and loudly sing "Yankee Doodle".
While singing and skipping continues, the belt is in use, and the wearer is
immune to capture and stun.
V.C.3. 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
V.C.4. If any player in the chain is dispelled, all items carried by all members of the chain are dispelled.
V.C.4.a. In particular, the Goombah's belt is dispelled.
V.C.5. This belt does not function in elevators.
V.D. Doc Arnold's Belt of Many Places at Once
V.D.1. Doc Arnold's Belt is blue.
V.D.2. A player wearing Doc Arnold's Belt may have up
to three captives at once. They may attempt to capture further
captives beyond their first.
V.D.3. Once any captures have been made, the player must lead the captives
directly to jail as normal. On their way, the player may deviate from
their route only in the manner described below in
V.D.4. While wearing Doc Arnold's belt, a captor with at
most two captives may use the key phrase "I'LL BE BACH." If they do, each
captive of that captor must remain stationary for as long as the
captor remains within their line of sight, and for a period of 10
seconds thereafter. If the captor wearing the belt is outside of a
captive's line of sight for a period of 10 seconds while using
this effect, that captive is freed and becomes a normal player.
This effect ends after one minute, or when the wearer resumes
taking captives directly to jail, whichever occurs first.
V.D.4.a. A captor wearing Doc Arnold's belt may not use the key phrase
again if they have not brought a new captive back to their waiting
captive(s) since the last time they used the key phrase.
V.D.5. If the belt is dispelled, all of its wearer's captives except the
first are freed. If two captives were captured at the same time,
the captor may choose which one to keep.
VI. White Magic Items
VI.A. White Magic Items
VI.A.1. A white magic item is white.
VI.A.2. A white magic item must be charged to be used.
VI.A.2.a. All white magic items are charged at the start of the game
VI.A.3. White magic items come in potion, wand, and belt types.
VI.A.4. Each white magic item can be used as though it were a magic item of
the same type of any other color, and is activated by invoking the
keyword and action of that item.
VI.A.4.a. A white potion may be activated as any potion defined in III, a
white wand as any wand defined in IV, and a white belt as any belt
defined in V.
VI.A.5. A white magic item is always white. During its activation, it gains
the color of the magic item which was invoked, and follows all rules
of that magic item.
VI.A.5.a. In order to activate a white magic item, you must be in a valid
player state and location for activating that color and type of magic
VI.A.5.b. For example, if a white wand is used to invoke a Wand of
Vengeance IV.B, you must be in enemy territory, and the white wand is
VI.A.6. After the activation of a white magic item, it becomes discharged
and loses the color of the invoked item.
VI.A.6.a. If a white magic item touches the ground, it becomes discharged.
VI.A.7. In order to recharge a white magic item, a player must hold it to
either a Glyph of Recharge (see II.F) or their own
Glyph of Jail (see II.B) for a period of ten seconds.
VII.A.1. Players may not physically impede or block other players, either with their
bodies or with objects.
VII.A.1.a. This includes actions like preventing elevators from
moving. Breakage of this rule is grounds to eject you from the game.
VII.A.2. You may not change official timekeeping watches.
VII.A.3. You may not fabricate or replicate game items.
VII.B.1. Although lies and deceit are part of the game, there are several things you
may not conceal, obfuscate, or lie about.
VII.B.2. You may not lie about whether you're in the game.
VII.B.3. You may not lie about which team you're on.
VII.B.4. You may not lie about the status of the game.
VII.B.4.a. For example, whether the game has started or ended.
VII.B.5. You may not lie about what non-concealable items you have.
VII.B.6. You may not lie about cooldown, dispel, or charge status of items.
VII.B.7. You may not lie about any player's status.
VII.B.8. You may not make jazz hands unless you are ethereal.
VII.B.9. You may not display a Potion of Mind Control in enemy territory unless you
are a captive under its control.
VII.B.10. You may not imitate the activation or use of an item without the intent of
0. Respect: Above all, don't be a jackass.
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