Note: The game of Knife & Candle has been put on hiatus a few years ago. If and when it ever returns, it's likely to be quite different than the version described in this guide.
So you're 50 Dangerous and want to try your hands at this little game of stabbing your opponents when they least know it? You're at the right place! To enter the game you first need to get an Iron Knife Token. This can be gained in Watchmaker's Hill for 101 Whispered Hints or you can have someone gift you one on this thread on the official forums.
Once you've gotten a knife token, the games begin. You'll gain 7 every week unless you already have 7 or more, in addition to a sense of urgency. Before you can do anything you'll need a form, though. This can be gained on the following cards/items:
- A Sense of Urgency One free attack/form-change every week. (Make sure you use this up first, as using any other will also remove this from your inventory.)
Fourth-tier lodgings cards:
- The Western Tower: An opening in the Game of Knife-and-Candle!
- The Tower of Sun and Moon: An opening in the Game of Knife-and-Candle! 2
- The Lofty Tower: An opening in the Game of Knife-and-Candle! 3
Opportunity cards for Persons of Some Importance:
- A Polite Invitation: What's that written on the back?
- The Soft-Hearted Widow: Meet her eyes and make the Sign
An opportunity card for those with criminal connections:
Rare opportunity cards:
The forms you can change between are:
- The Fatal-Clawed Bat has a very high Savage score, which becomes even higher if you have equipment that boosts Savage. A formidable attacker.
- The Spiralled Shadow becomes lethal once you learn that Exotica (K&C equipment) can be stolen with Elusive attacks. It's not considered very proper according to K&C etiquette to steal tons of knives, however. Also note that you lose your exotica when you lose.
- The Night-Lamp is the most defensive form, and can attack in different ways. It's not really that good an attacker, though.
- The Egg Imponderable is probably the most lethal of them all, because the other forms have rather bad Baroque. Unfortunately, you lose Baroque when winning with Baroque, and gain it when losing with it, so it becomes crappy after a while. It also has almost non-existant defence against the other forms, so it might not be the wisest choice in all scenarios.
The egg also requires A Connoisseur of Neathy Delights, which can be gained by using honey in Veilgarden if you don't have it already.
As mentioned under elusive attacks, there's special K&C-items to be had. On the wiki we call them exotica. All items are stolen with elusive attacks, unless they're stolen in other ways.
These 3 also have other, non-game functions and can be found in opportunity cards. When used to adjust stats as below, they are consumed. Stat gains/losses are lost when you change your form, so be careful not to waste these.
- Counterfeit Head of John the Baptist (increases elusive by 1 and reduces the other stats by 1) - Stolen with Savage
- Giggling Mandrake (increases savage by 1 and reduces the other stats by 1) - Stolen with Baroque
- Nephrite Lens (increases baroque by 1 and reduces the other stats by 1)
- Brass Ring (Weapon, +2 Baroque, +5 Persuasive, can be bought/sold at the Bazaar)
- Knife of Lost Sky (Weapon, +10 Savage, +10 Dangerous, bought with prize tokens)
- Waxwail Knife (Weapon, +20 Savage, +20 Dangerous, bought with prize tokens)
- Shroud of Little Midnights (Clothing, +10 Elusive, bought with prize tokens)
- Mirrorcatch Box (Weapon, +10 Baroque, can be stolen with special attacks only.)
This is the league you first enter. You need to wait for opportunities for attack, which can, depending on where you are in the game, take quite a long time.
You can challenge whenever you want to; however you may only have one outstanding invitation at a time. You must wait for your opponent to respond, or you must withdraw the invitation in order to issue another. Fights take a lot longer. You have access to sponsorships.
From the Knife-and-Candle: attack! storylet, there are several options. If you are new and just want to accumulate a few Iron Knife Tokens you can attack NPCs before trying your teeth on humans, by choosing Attack a minor player. The Attack an Indomitable Chandler is an Elusive 65 challenge. An Anomie-Ridden Tomb-Colonist is Savage 65; unfortunately either a win or a loss against her will cost you quite a lot of Approaching the Gates of the Garden progress.
The attacks against human players are Merciless Assault (Savage), Circumspect Ambush (Elusive), and Plans within Plans (Baroque). Higher wins. According to the Gamekeeper, if both players have equal stats, the odds are even (50/50 chance).
(Mirrorsnatch! is a special type of Baroque attack to try and steal a Mirrorcatch Box if you think you know someone who has one. Otherwise it's not worth doing because it is expensive to perform and you don't get anything else, win or lose. The following information on winning and losing does not apply to Mirrorsnatch.)
When you win, you always take 1 Iron Knife Token from the loser. If they had at least 1 Prize Token, you also get one. The winner also gets a message that "Your winning streak has increased by 1." This is tracked by the quality Knife-and-Candle: A Proud Parade of Victories. If you lose (the streak ends), it resets to zero.
If the loser had certain types of exotica, the winner gets those too:
- Merciless Assault: Counterfeit Head of John the Baptist
- Circumspect Ambush: Nephrite Lens, Brass Ring, Knife of Lost Sky, Shroud of Little Midnights, Waxwail Knife
- Plans within Plans: Giggling Mandrake
Baroque attacks (Plans within Plans) have the peculiar effect of having the winner lose 2 Baroque points and the loser gains 4. Savage and Elusive attacks don't directly give any stat changes.
Duels in the Moon League resemble a chess match more than they do an actual battle. The pacing of Moon League duels create an exchange of bluff and counter-bluff. Each move you make is known to your opponent (with the exception of most gambits; more on that in a bit), so the main strategy revolves around diversion and subterfuge to catch your opponent off guard. These fights are exclusive to players. You may challenge your acquaintences or other contacts. The challenger gains a bonus of +10 Savage!; the target has the advantage of the first Move. You may only engage in one Moon League duel at a time, though it is possible to withdraw from one at any time with no penalty. On acceptance of the challenge, both players will receive:
- You are now both Hunter and Hunted...
- An occurrence! Your Making your Moves Quality is now 1 - In the Shadows!
At this point, the defender has the opportunity to make the first move. The turns alternate between players until one player decides to attack.
Players take turns to Move: each Move increases Baroque, Savage or Elusive, or allows you to play a Gambit for a unique bonus. You can still change your Form, but that will reset the bonuses from Moves.
You can attack when it's your turn, once you've made at least three Moves. Once you've made seven Moves, you must attack. An attack is a contest of Baroque, Savage or Elusive. Higher tends to win, but luck always plays a part.
During your turn you can increase any of the dueling attributes by +10. Prepare for a battle increases Savage!, Prepare for ambushes increases Elusive!, and Prepare for a contest of crafty schemes increases Baroque!. You also have the option to Deploy a Gambit, although you may only play one Gambit per duel. Playing a Gambit will notify your target that a Gambit has been played, but not which one (with the exception of A Peek in the Blind Book ). The standard Gambits are:
- The Devil's Gyre: spend 1 x London Street Sign to increase your Baroque! and Elusive! by 10 each.
- A Trick of the Light: spend 1 x Memory of Light to make yourself immune to Savage! attacks.
- Flight to the Flit: spend 1 x Hastily Scrawled Warning Note to increase your Elusive! by 10 and make yourself immune to Elusive! attacks.
- A Peek in the Blind Book: Learn your opponent's current form. Your opponent will also be notified that you know their form.
In addition to the standard Gambits, three sponsored Gambits also exist. These cost a bit more and you can only play the Gambit of your sponsor:
- Grace's Stirrup-Cup: spend 1 x Muscaria Brandy to gain 20 x Baroque! and Savage!. This will also increase your Wounds and Dangerous.
- Benjamin's Friends: spend 60 x Foxfire Candle Stub to set your Elusive! to 300, but prevents you from attacking with Ambush your opponent! . This also increases Nightmares.
- The Season of Revolutions: spend some Connected: Revolutionaries (~20CP) to increase your Baroque! to 300, but prevents you from attacking with Bewilder your opponent!. This also increases your Suspicion.
The attacks, and corresponding theft opportunities, in the Moon League mirror the attacks in the Iron League:
- Confront your opponent! is the Savage! attack.
- Ambush your opponent! is the Elusive! attack.
- Bewilder your opponent! is the Baroque! attack.
Once an attack is launched, the duel ends and the results are given. Tokens and winning streaks function the same as in the Iron League, although the winner will also receive 100 x Piece of Rostygold.
Players with a three-win streak can challenge other three-win players to a Golden Hunt. A Golden Hunt differs in two ways from a regular Moon League duel: you cannot refuse a Golden Hunt, and the victor in a Golden Hunt is awarded one point of the Assassin of Assassins quality.
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