Capture the Flag with Stuff

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Capture the Flag with Stuff is one of KGB's flagship events. Held semesterly, the event regularly draws over one hundred students, non-students, and alumni.

Capture the Flag with Stuff was created by KGB alumnus Andrew Plotkin, who famously does work in interactive fiction and game design. He was inspired by Moopsball, a mildly psychotic game for up to 324 players (plus referees). To the best of our knowledge, no game of Moopsball has ever been played, as it requires three days, nearly 200 people at minimum, a field-of-play the size of more than 10 football fields, and thousands of dollars worth of bicycles, plastic hammers and bats, and frisbees. It's also probably illegal, as modern civilized society frowns upon drunken assault, especially when bicycle-based.

Versions at Other Institutions

Capture the Flag with Stuff has been played at other universities and institutions, often with consultation from CMU KGB members on how to adapt rules to better suit their facilities or players. Adoption for other campuses has traditionally resulted in hilarity and creativity which enriches the game.

CtFwS in the Park

CtFwSitP is essentially the same game, except it has been scaled for outdoor play, by fewer players, in a park (specifically Golden Gate Park where many CMU and KGB alumni live near after graduating).

Harvard University

Harvard University's variation differs from KGB's in some major ways. They include a category of White items, but their color scheme in general is not as dichotomous as KGB's (red items are typically for offense, blue for defense, and green are special items in the KGB's rules). Also, the concept of charging is majorly changed, in that, items tend to have a single charge per game or much longer recharge periods. The issue of Stuff becoming useless is then mitigated by the inclusion of a glyph which recharges items, included below. Major additions or changes to particular pieces of Stuff include:

  • The Long Wand of the Law (red): A deprecated item in KGB's rules, the Long Wand of the Law allows a player to extend his reach, presumably for easier capture of opponents. The wand does not count as an extension of the body for being tagged by others or for being whapped by other magical wands.
  • The Wand of Snoozing (green): This wand is the same as KGB's Stun Wand but with a better name.
  • The Dispel Wand (white): Essentially the same as KGB's identically-named wand except for the color change from blue to white and a few rules changes. 1) A simultaneous whap with another Dispel Wand dispels both users Stuff. In addition, a piece of Stuff may be dispelled to become a "mundane piece of foam"
  • The Bribe Potion (red): Replacing the Ninja Potion from KGB rules, this potion may be given by a captive to a captor in exchange for "free-backs".
  • The Truth Serum/Potion (blue): The jailer uses this potion to ask the six questions, instead of having this power at all times. Each blue potion may only be used once every 15 minutes.
  • The Potion of Lubrication (white): The Key Potion from KGB's rules is split into two potions in Harvard's rules; the Potion of Lubrication allows a jailed player (and one jailed friend) to escape from jail by handing the potion to the jailer, who must take it. The green Key Potion (which Harvard refers to as the Jolt! Potion) retains its color in their version and is used only for becoming unstunned.
  • The Belt of Twofer (red): Similar to the blue Belt of Doc-Oct, the wearer may capture up to two captives. The belt is activated by capturing one player and then yelling the key-phrase, "Twofer!" at any point before reaching the jail. The key-phrase which compels the first captive to sit down and await either the wearer to capture a second captive or one minute to pass.
  • Goombah's Belt of Humiliating Protection (green): Essentially the same, except for the suggestion of singing the Super Mario Bros. theme song (which sort of makes more sense, given the belt name). Also, the wearer and anyone chained to her may not carry other magical items.
  • The Glyph of Charging (Still Going): Stuff may be touched to this glyph to regain a charge. Unlike other glyphs, this glyph is available to any player regardless of team affiliation.
  • The Glyph of Entrancement (Gotcha): This glyph is similar to KGB's identically-named glyph, except for 1) the glyph only works if you are within 10 feet and 2) those who see opponent glyphs are stunned for 10 minutes.
  • The Glyph of the Net (Thanks): If an player sees the opponent's Glyph of the Net and is within 10 feet of it, the player is compelled to leave one magical item at the glyph. Magical items left in this way may not be picked up and returned to play.

Here are some pictures of CtFwS being played at Harvard.

These minutes from the MIT Anime Club imply that MIT students were also in attendance.

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (popularly referred to as Io) ran a small game of Capture the Flag with Stuff and later emailed the 2009 Officers to tell tales of their adventures. The email is transcribed below:

Dear KGB,

While looking around this summer for activities for the members of Glasgow University Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (known as Io, for reasons), I happened upon the CMU KGB website, and the rules of the game of Capture the Flag with Stuff, which I promptly decided to steal. However, I thought that you might be interested to know something of our experiences playing the game, which took place yesterday evening, Wednesday the last of September.
The venue was the two main quads of the University, which are connected by gothic cloisters some ten metres in diameter. I was aware that playing outside would cause problems; in particular the Glyph of the Disgusting Doorknob was absolutely useless for both teams. I wracked my brain trying to think of an indoor venue that would allow us to run around and wreak general havoc within, but none could be found. Playing after nightfall, albeit in well-lit surroundings, also made things interesting. Telling blue Stuff from green Stuff was a particular challenge.
In spite of the above circumstances, the ten players we managed to gather seemed to have fun, with play closing after an hour with a score of 3-0 to the yellow team.
You may, therefore, be pleased to know that the game has invaded Scotland, and I definitely intend to run it again, probably in a better location.
With my regards,
Josy Shewell Brockway Games Convenor Society of Io

Josy also included a link to their wiki which is no longer in use. However, Io is still alive and well according to their Facebook group

University of California at Santa Barbara

There is a Facebook group with activity as recently as January 2010 which implies that someone at least attempted to organize a game at UCSB.