Custom Card Ideas: Ritual Knife
There is an advantage to dying in Munchkin. I'm sure at times you wish you could say, "I give up. Let it kill me." But you still have to roll for it. Instead of suffering the fate to the cards or to your rivals at the table, take charge of it yourself with the Ritual Knife!
What does this Card do?
You ever want to just commit suicide during a game of Munchkin? I have your answer. The Ritual Knife is a one-hand +2 bonus. It's special effect? "Discard this card to immediately kill the user for a level. If in combat, the fight immediately ends."
Really, there isn't a lot of complexity in activating this card, but it'll make your head scratch.
Now, why in the world would you choose to kill yourself? Kind of a convoluted strategy regarding a game where death destroys all of your hard-earned loot. Well, several reasons on its own, of course, and even more strategies with other cards (ie Rocks Fall Everyone Dies). Let me give you a few reasons:
1) You just got screwed and you find yourself with little to no items (or you just sold them all for levels). Killing yourself allows you to respawn next turn with new cards and gain a level, so why not?
2) You really want to screw over the other guy. Say you're in a fight with a helper or you are the helper. Kill yourself, immediately forcing him to fight on his/her own without being able to ask for another helper (since you're the helper already, you just died). You'll get a level out of it, at least, and a good laugh once you've left another player to his own ruin.
3) To avoid a worse fate. Really, what could be a fate worse than death? How about going to Level 1? Losing all of your items but not dying? Losing multiple levels in end game? It's better just to off yourself, gain the level, and not lose your equipment senselessly.
4) With Rocks Fall Everybody Dies. Be in combat, kill yourself, then play Rocks Fall Everybody Dies. You'll go up a level, everyone else goes down a level. Better yet, no one gets your stuff and everybody essentially has to start over.
5) With the Necrophillic Amulet. Kill yourself, gain a level, gain an additional +3 (meaning the Necrophillic Amulet is now +6), and you get new cards next turn! Of course, you could combine this with Rocks Fall Everbody Dies for staggering effect...
6+) I've got numerous other custom card ideas that revolve around death and dying, making veteran Munchkin players experience more high-risk, high reward type gameplay. As I write them, I'll link them from here so you can see them easily.
One quick note though: You of course cannot use the Ritual Knife's special effect and discard it when you are level 9 (or 18-19 in Epic Munchkin play). You gain a level by dying and you cannot choose not to gain the level and only apply the other effects.
Death is part of every Munchkin game, no matter how infrequent. Therefore, this card can be used in any of them. However decks play off Death better than others. Munchkin Cthulu in particular pits the player in a lot of situations where it's arguably better to just die than face a Monster's Bad Stuff. Also as mentioned before, Rocks Fall Everyone Dies in the core Munchkin series gets a serious advantage to being played.