Talk:Assassins' Guild

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Dr. Cruces was not killed with the gonne, he was stabbed through the chest when he tried to shoot Cpt. Vimes. --Lars Larsnephew 23:38, 1 March 2006 (CET)

Unfortunately, this large addition seems to be cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia.--Old Dickens 16:26, 19 February 2007 (CET) -Reverted from Wikipedia copy.--Old Dickens 22:58, 19 February 2007 (CET)

"This rule has been broken by the student assassin Jonathan Teatime (appears in Hogfather). He seemed to kill for the mere pleasure of it, a fact that made him a dangerous criminal, even by Assassins' standards.". Not true: Downey was infuriated that Teatime, while clearly insane, failed to technically violate any rules. Kellyterryjones 21:57, 15 August 2007 (CEST)


As with the Seamstresses' motto, Nil Mortifi Sine Lucre doesn't make any apparent sense. Neither mortifi nor lucre exists in Latin, dog, pig or human. Since better translations are so easy that even I can do them, this seems intentional, but why? --Old Dickens 18:53, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


The School has a total of thirteen named boarding houses and four for day pupils only. How many new pupils are admitted each year and how are they allocated to Houses? The usual class size in a comparable British school is no more than 30 - but this supposes an intake of 510 boarding and day pupils each year. Where are you going to put 390 full-board pupils in each of five years? Dorm space cannot be infinite. --AgProv 20:40, 30 March 2011 (CEST)

At least, not in a building not part of UU. --Knmatt 20:45, 30 March 2011 (CEST)

Viewing some of the numbers askance:

  • Why only five years? Everything seems to suggest at least eight. Quite young children have been described arriving and graduates seem to be a little older than the usual age of majority (16).
  • Why assume anything like thirty students in each year? First, one must assume that there aren't very many Assassins altogether. They wouldn't have it otherwise; they're exclusive. Not every house would manage a graduate every year; more than two contestants would be a lot for a house. Descriptions of first days at the College don't mention hordes of newcomers. Then say six in first year, five in second, 4, 4, 3, 3, 3. 2...only thirty; start with eight and get perhaps forty per house for a total student body under six hundred. Assassins don't need to get up football teams; they're not team players. --Old Dickens 02:47, 31 March 2011 (CEST)

Ah, found it! There's a reference in Pyramids (Corgi pb edition, page 28)

He'd always remember the first night in the dormitory. It was long enough to accomodate all eighteen boys in Viper House, and draughty enough to accomodate the great outdoors...

This suggests each House takes in 18 students to the first year, every year. Assuming this is constant in all Houses, and if we make the following assumptions:

  • That the AG School follows the traditional British pattern of seven years between First Year and Upper Sixth;


  • That at some point, possibly around the fourth or fifth year (age 15), those who are only there for the general education, and who have no intention of Taking Black, drop out (cf Cosmo Lavish.)

then these numbers might apply:

Each house has, in years First - Fourth, a maximum total of seventy-two students. From Year Five, if between a third to a half choose to stay on and Take Black, this adds a total of between eighteen and thirty-six additional pupils to each House. (Of course, this does not take account of any natural, er, attrition).

So accross nine male and four female houses, in the four dormitory years we have 648 male pupils and 288 female. (A maximum of 936 total). Those on the Black track will add a further 162 - 324 male and 72 - 124 female. So on these figures, the school has to be geared up to a theoretical minimum of 1170 pupils and an absolute maximum of 1384 pupils. Again, this takes no account of the undeniable fact that the rate of student drop-out, casualty, and regrettable incidence of over-confidence, must increase dramatically for those who are Taking Black - if 78-156 pupils (plus 24-48 from the day scholars) start to Take Black, how many remain at the time of their Final Run three years later? And by this reckoning, a maximum of 156 students do the Final Run every summer. If we allow for a percentage of Fails, and a significant number for whom merely passing is enough and who will never go on to become active assassins, and others who will be recruited as Dark Clerks, then perhaps a third might go into the active profession? Some, like Teppic, might pull off one job and never work again; others will be terminally outwitted by the client; others might inhume seldom or hardly ever. This final number feels, viscerally, right.

But the School still has to find accomodation for over a thousand students... packing them into shared dorms for four years is space-effective, certainly. (But then, Chidder in Pyramids says "later on, we get rooms of our own"... how does this work? I'm assuming smaller shared rooms and single rooms are earned privioleges for those on the Black)

Before going co-educational, it might just about have managed it for 810 male pupils. But adding nearly half as many again in girl students must mean the Guild has residence sites which are off-site? It must have had to build, in preparation for adding the girls. The eternal plumbing problem must have arisen, for one thing! (Again, Terry not making it easy for us?) --AgProv 22:05, 31 March 2011 (CEST)

There are too many imponderables: I suspect a higher rate of attrition (quit, sent down or put down) but we don't really know. Is the Black Track really longer and how many take it? Are those eighteen in the Viper House dorm all first-year? (They mention getting private rooms later.) What we do here mostly is to disregard Sherlock Holmes and speculate without sufficient data.
I cling to the assumption that you can't have graduate Assassins (or Wizards) lining the streets with nothing to do. Their colleges will keep the numbers down out of professional pride and practical necessity. --Old Dickens 00:25, 1 April 2011 (CEST)


I seem to remember the 5p fee for Nobby Nobbs; where does the $4.31 in "Open Commissions" come from? --Old Dickens (talk) 19:47, 1 September 2013 (GMT)

Have just checked the Discworld's Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2000 and found the commission listed there to be $4.31.
--Verity (talk) 00:02, 24 April 2014 (UTC)