Fun weekend in Turku, attending a knife fighting seminar. This time we concentrated on folding knives (traditional ones, not butterfly knifes etc, those will come later). A lot of fun, and even though people managed to get some cuts and lose some drops of blood, it was due to fumbling with own knife – always better than accidentally scratching a training partner. I learned a lot, having previously had very little experience with the folding thingies, and managed to do a draw + open under one second; a small something to feel smug about. My new toy, though expensive, proved to be worth that cash and was a joy to use. Solid blades are always faster and more reliable than folders, of course, but folders have their advantages.
A funny mental thing: we did the normal pair drills this time so that the sequence started with the attacker flipping open his knife and attacking, the defender then opening his in response and doing what was required. It’s a small thing, but that metallic “snick!” sound you hear when the knife opens brings a whole new psychological element to the game. It sounds evil and dangerous, in a whole new way. My training partner also commented on it, so it wasn’t only me.
Speaking of evil and dangerous… when I got back home on Sunday I curled up on the couch and read Don’t Rest Your Head, a very cool little game from Fred Hicks (of “Spirit of the Century” fame). A bastard love child of Dark City, Neverwhere, Alice in Wonderland and some demented drug dream, this thing rocks and proves you don’t need a huge word count in order to have a complete game. It’s only about 70 pages, but that’s enough. The dice mechanics are very interesting and elegant, with the roll giving you several different details (like the ORE system in Nemesis and Wild Talents, though this has no other real similarities to ORE).There’s a death spiral mechanic that’s vicious, and a “hit the ground running” attitude running throughout the game. I get the feeling that this is most suited for a one-shot or short campaign, if only because the player character lifespans seem likely to be in the “short” category.
If you’re at all into indie rpgs, you’ll do yourself a favor by checking this one out. Mucho cool.