The Slow Knife

Sale price Price £25.00 Regular price Unit price  per 

A card-based story game of wretched scoundrels and patient revenge for 2-4 players. 

The Slow Knife is inspired by stories like The Count of Monte Cristo, where a simple death is too good for all those years the villains took from their victim. This isn't a John Wick-style action flick, no—this is curt whispers over fine wine, jewelled masks of jade and bone, half-buried scandals and half-heard truths, and yes - sometimes - a quiet blade in the dark.

You'll establish a promising young soul whose life is ruined by a handful of grasping scoundrels, then you'll tell the decades-long story of the victim's overdue and inevitable vengeance. You'll tell this story from the perspective of the villains, with the protagonist - The Knife - moving in the shadows or behind disguises.

You'll answer card prompts about your villain's life as you add notes and connections to a pinboard of sin and scandal.

Yes, an actual pinboard!

These prompts are split into four acts to help guide your story to a satisfying conclusion. As you progress through these acts you'll also tell the story of The Knife as they rise from depraved captivity to high society and begin to enact their revenge.

By the end of the game you'll have constructed the conspiracy that destroys your wretched character as they find themselves broken and utterly ruined, face-to-face with The Knife for one last reckoning.

Then, as the sun rises on a land free of those avaricious scoundrels, you'll consider what solace - if any - The Knife might find for the rest of their days.

What's in the book?

You'll find all the rules to get you set up and playing, plus all of the card prompts listed out for each Act of the game.

You'll also find three playsets, story starters that provide an original, pre-written setting and define all the major characters of your story—the Knife, your villains and the setting itself. These playsets are designed to be a quicker experience than the 'from scratch' approach, and they will fill your board with people and possibilities to propel you into your story.

The three playsets, each illustrated by a different artist, are:

  • The Count of Saint-Lazare—inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo of course.
  • Arcadia Prime—a near-future, neocapitalist nightmare on an orbital station.
  • The Lament of Broken Glass—a fantasy tale of elves, fashion and weird magic.

Of course, the book also contains guidance for creating your own original settings and characters if that's your preferred way to play. 

What do I need to play?

In addition to the book, you'll need:

  • A standard deck of playing cards, to randomise the prompts in each act.
  • Craft materials to make your board. You could use the classic pinboard and red string, washi tape on a bare wall, a sheet of MDF and a staple gun—use what you have to hand!

You'll also get access to all the game's digital files, including accessible PDFs and an (upcoming!) soundtrack.