Curse of the Crimson Throne
The ever-popular Knivesies (nighve-zees) is the game of choice among the steeliest pirates, brigands, thieves, and scallywags in Riddleport. It’s increasing popularity in Korvosa is in large part due to Devargo’s enjoyment of the game. Knivesies is simple to play. Two contestants stand on opposite ends of a long wooden table. Their right hands are strapped together with a boiled leather strap, belt pouches are fitted to their waists, and a dagger is stuck in the tabletop between them. The game begins after a count of ten, during which time observers can place bets by tossing gold onto the table and standing at the end of the table where their chosen fighter stands. As the game begins, each contestant makes an initiative check. There are two ways to win Knivesies. You can either force the other contestant to fall off the table, or you can grab for the gold and drop it into your pouch. Snatching a fistful of 1d10 coins off the table is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Since each opponent has only one free hand, the first round is typically a mad lunge for the dagger, forcing the slower opponent to make grabs for gold. There aren’t any more rules beyond this; most Knivesies games devolve into tabletop brawls, with the first person to drop or touch the ground losing. The game ends once a contestant is unconscious, dead, or knocked off the table; as soon as no coins remain on the table; or as soon as any coin is knocked off the table. When the game ends, an unconscious, dead, or de-tabled contestant is automatically the loser. Otherwise, the winner is determined by which person has the most coins in his pouch. At the end of the game, all money is emptied from the pouches back onto the table. Half the total is paid to the winner, while the remainder is split evenly among all of those who stood at the winner’s end of the table.