The game of Knivesies (pronounced knighve-zees) is a popular bloodsport in lawless regions, such as the Shackles or the city of Riddleport, that counts Korvosan crimelord Devargo Barvasi among its fans. In more civilized areas, the game might have an underground following.[
The game is comprised of two contestants who usually check their weapons and remove any armor. They stand on opposite ends of a long, sturdy table, their right hands are bound together, and each has an empty belt pouch tied to their sides. A single dagger (known as the knivesies) is stuck in the table between them.
Spectators place bets on who will win, and the wagers are piled around the dagger. The bettors then stand at the end of the table near their chosen winner.
Play starts at the count of 10. The game ends as soon as any of the following happen:
- One contestant is knocked out, dead, or knocked off the table.
- Any coin is knocked off the table.
- All of the coins have been snatched up by the players.
An unconscious, dead, or de-tabled contestant automatically loses. Otherwise, the contestant who pouches the most coins wins.
All of the coins are piled back onto the table, with the winner keeping half and the rest split between the winning bettors. Beyond that, anything goes. The initial move is usually a lunge for the dagger, forcing the other player to grab for coins; most games then devolve into a bloody brawl.