A Guide to writing Playsets for The Slow Knife

What is this?

The Slow Knife is a story game, designed by Jack Harrison and published by Mousehole Press. If you're here, you probably know a little about the game already—that it's card-based, uses a conspiracy board to track relationships, and it's all about the patient revenge of a long-forgotten victim. You might also know that the game comes with three Playsets, pre-generated settings and characters to make the game's setup quicker and help players to tell their stories.

This document's purpose is to enable other writers to create their own Playsets for The Slow Knife. It is an explanation of the Playset's sections and how they help players tell their story.

It is not a guide to hack The Slow Knife itself. If you want to do that, be my guest—just don't copy any text directly from the books or cards.

How to use this document

To learn more, start by reading through the Sections. Each page has three parts:

  • Definition: A description of the Section and its key features.

  • Intention: The purpose of the Section in a Playset.

  • Example: An example of the Section from a finished Playset.

These descriptions are prescriptive, aiming to use clear and precise language to describe how I (Jack) put together the three Playsets that come with the base game. You're encouraged to break from the guide as required to make your Playset work—but always know why you're doing so.

If you have feedback about how this document could be improved, or just want to chat about The Slow Knife, please feel free to drop me an email (jack@mousehole.press).


Last updated