Watch the Cruel 2 B Kind Video. Learn how to become a benevolent assassin -- and watch a 200-player game unfold on the streets of San Francisco
Read the general game description here.
Download your copy of the new Booty variant of the Benevolent Assassin's Guide here (PDF).

The Rules
Here, we explain the basic rules of the game, from start to finish. Your Benevolent Assassin's Guide will explain the finer points of how to interact with other players and with the game's mobile email system during live play.

The game begins with all assassins working as individual teams of one assassin, two assassins, three assassins, or more. You can choose how many assassins to include in your original team.

  • You and any teammates must stay together at all times.
  • You are not permitted to split up and work independently.
  • When you attack a target, you must participate in the attack together.
  • You and your partner are scored as a team. The teams with the highest point totals at the end of the game receive Top Assassin awards.

Every player must come to the game with a piece of booty that they are prepared to surrender if assassinated. (So, for example, if your team starts with 3 players, you should have 3 pieces of booty total to surrender if killed.)

Your booty doesn’t have to be valuable, but it does represent you in the game, so choose something cool and interesting. Suggestions for cool booty: an interesting used book, strange candy, a BART ticket with some random cents left on it and a lipstick mark, foreign currency change, a post card with an original haiku on the back, whatever.

There are no limits on what your booty can be, except the following

  • You will not get it back, so don’t give up anything you can’t live without.
  • No sentient creatures

Public Spaces
You must remain within the formal game boundaries for the entire game.

  • You must stay in public spaces.
  • If the game is an outdoor game, you must remain outdoors for the entire game.
  • You cannot, for example, get inside any vehicles with doors, or enter any buildings.

Benevolent Attacks
24 hours before the game, you and all of your registered teammates will receive an email alert describing the weapons you can use during the game. Each live game features a different set of 3 weapons from our secret weapons database. Each weapon is an act of kindness you perform on suspected targets. Example: Praise your targets' shoes. If you perform this weapon on the correct target, they will surrender. If you perform this weapon on non-targets - well, we have no idea what might happen!

During the game, you can choose to deploy any of these 3 weapons, at any time. Which weapon you use is entirely up to you!

However, in many cases, you and another team will spot and attempt to kill each other at the same time! For this reason, the weapons are assigned powers according to the classic rock-paper-scissors model. If both teams deploy the same weapon at the same time, it’s a standoff—you should turn and run in the opposite direction, and both teams must wait 30 seconds before attacking again

Immediately after the attack, any member of the successful attacking team must SMS or call the game master with the dead team’s name to report the kill.

You can attempt to kill anyone else who is playing the game. However you will have no idea who else is playing the game.

  • You will not be given a name or photograph of your target.
  • You will only know that they will be outdoors, in the public spaces of the game area, for the entire duration of the game.
  • You must deploy your weapon on everyone you suspect of being other players; only then will you discover if you have completed an assassination.

Because killed teams form alliances with their killers, your targets (as well as the groups trying to kill you) will be increasing in size throughout the game.

  • At the start of the game, all targets consist of single teams. Those teams may include 1, 2, 3 or more players.
  • However, half an hour into the game, you may have to attack an alliance of twelve players. And you may be hunted by an alliance of twenty players!
  • Weapons must be deployed on a majority of the entire allied group that you are targeting. You cannot, for instance, praise the shoes of just one player. You must praise the entire group's shoes.

When a team is killed, it joins forces with its killers.

  • The successful assassins and their victims form a new alliance.
  • The new alliance must stay together at all times, for the rest of the game.
  • As more teams are killed and subsumed into new alliances, the alliances will group larger and larger. For instance, an alliance of four teams may successfully assassinate an alliance of six teams, creating a new alliance of ten teams.

Giving Up the Booty
When you are killed, you must immediately give up your personal booty to the team or alliance that attacked you.

You should hand-deliver your piece of booty to the player whose style of attack impressed you most. That individual player gets to keep your booty.

The only booty you have to surrender is the personal piece of booty you brought with you to the game. You never have to hand over booty you have WON from another player. That booty is yours to keep forever, even if you are killed later in the game.

Booty is scored at the assassins’ debriefing.

    There are three ways to earn points.

    • Kill points: Your team receives 100 points for each kill you make. Earn your points by calling or sending an SMS to the game master to report the name of the team you have killed.
    • Booty points: Your team receives 100 points for each piece of booty you collect from a dead player. You can continue collecting booty even after your team has been assassinated, by joining forces with the team that killed you. To earn points for your booty, bring it to the assassins’ debriefing.
    • Survival points: Your team receives 25 points each time another team is killed BEFORE you are killed. You stop receiving survival points as soon as your team is assassinated.
    • Spy honors: You are encouraged to take photos and videos during live gameplay of your assassination efforts. At the debriefing party, or in the days following, you can submit your evidence to or by tagging your Flickr uploads "cruel2bKind". We will post top Spy Honors for each game on our scoreboard to reward outstanding secret documentation of the game!

    The game ends in one of two ways - whichever happens first:

    • A climactic bloodbath: Only two alliances are left, and one successfully assassinates the other. All of the players in the final, successful group of assassins are the official game winners. The players in the final, killed group are the losers. But some of the losers may still receive a Top Assassin award if they completed enough spectacular kills earlier in the game!
    • Saved by the bell: The game time runs out with multiple surviving alliances. In this scenario, there is no winner; however Top Assassin awards are still given out at the debriefing.

    Debriefing & Awards
    When the game is over, you or a member of your alliance will receive a phone call or SMS with news of a secret meetup location. You will immediately report to that location for awards and debriefing.