Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's been a long time... so time for an idea...

I've been thinking a little bit, after the recent play-testing round, that it might be worth doing a VTES set themed around the combat specialists of VTES.

Settite Warriors
Archons of the Camarilla
The Lead Goons of the Sabbat
The Salubri Antitribbu
Thugs in the Guruhi

I'm sure almost all of the clans, in the canon, have at least one or two vampires who were kept around in the power structure  because they were really good at beating other people up.

So, if you have some vampires from Canon that you think I should go look at (and maybe turn into a VTES style card) let me know.  I'm going to dig around the obvious culprits: Paladins, Archons, Warrior Castes, Salubri Antitribbu, Giovanni Thugs & etc.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Necromancy Ideas

Now, I am not quite sure if these are exactly "VtM" necromancy powers.  It seems like the game had deliberately vague spells that players were meant to use in creative ways.  So I am going to wing-it a bit on these.

This idea is unfortunately wordy, I can't spot a great way to clean it up.
Vigor Mortis
Requires Necromancy
[nec] Choose an ally or retainer in any ashheap. Untap the acting vampire and put that ally or retainer in play with this card on them and their starting life. If it is an ally it may use its own text. If it is a retainer it gains any permanent effects that it would give to its employer (i.e. +1 bleed, +1 intercept) ; it has 1 strength, 1 bleed.  After it takes an action which resolves burn the ally or retainer.
[NEC]  As above but put a blood from this acting vampire on this card. When an action by the minion with this card resolves burn a counter off this card or the minion.  During your untap one vampire you control may transfer 1 blood to this card.

Vigor Mortis
Requires Necromancy
[nec] Choose a mortal in any ashheap. Untap the acting vampire and put that mortal in play with this card on them and their starting life; it has 1 strength and 1 bleed. It may use cards as if it had [pot] and use its life instead of blood. When it successfully blocks or after it takes an action which resolves, remove this minion from the game.
[NEC]  As above but put a blood from this acting vampire on this card. When an action by this minion resolves or it successfully blocks, burn 1 counter from this card or remove this minion from the game. In your untap phase you may transfer 1 blood from a ready vampire to this card.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

VEKN Set #2 - Independent Clans

So, when we think of the "Proper" Independents (Assamites, Followers of Set, Giovanni, Ravnos)... what is it that they need?

For the 'most feared killers' of the vampire world, who required an elaborate Tremere ritual to put the Genie back in the bottle (so to speak)... Assamites blow chunks at combat.  It all comes way up front, has basically no way to get around S:CE and barely anything to get around S:D.  All bark, no bite.  Loss helped give them some steroids, but honestly Quietus combat blows chunks.  Consequently I think they should get:
  • Improvements to Contracts (and we can easily dovetail on kickers for Black Hand)
  • "Reactive Combat" (instead of their telegraphed in advanced stuff that requires 3 or 4 cards to beat 1 card)
  • Some very "Assamite" tools.  For instance, a Clan-based Secure Haven, Death-Seeker-for-Assamites and maybe a weapon other than Kali's Fang.
  • Clan + Discipline required cards to represent things that may have been taught by Assamites to other Assamites.
Followers of Set
Followers of Set have been given a number of interesting cards lately.  Corruption is a weak tactic, and could do with things to improve the effects.  They tend to be action-intensive and result-low (as a global trend).  There are a few things, like Revelation of Desire, which benefit from the Corruption counters and the obvious Nakhtoreb shennanigans.
  • Cards which utilise Corruption counters but leave them in play to gain other effects such as:
    • Reduced Intercept (effectively 'blackmailing' the blocker)
    • Increased Bleed
    • Burning Blood (al la Enticement but also not)
    • Political Influence either by reducing votes, cancelling votes, changing votes OR gaining votes
    • Screwball effects
  • Defences are badly needed in FoS decks.
    • Intercept is badly needed, but thematically problematic
    • Passing off part of the damage to others (setting up suitable decoys)
Giovanni don't need much in the way of allies or retainers.  Most of the good retainers and allies have already been given to the Gios; Necromancy needs these more than Giovanni.  What they do seem to lack is the ability to get things done.  Block denial/prevention via Seduction and Call of the Hungry Dead are basically the only two options, unless you are one of the blessed few to have a pile of Spiritual Divinations laying around.
I'd naturally lean towards improving Necromancy since that also improves the plight of Harbingers, Samedi and Nagaraja.
  • Necromancy needs:
    • Delivery systems (continuing actions, actions from the ashheap, start combat but action succeeds like Gift of Bellona)
    • Allies that don't just beat up things
    • Retainers that are more useful than Masquers
  • Ash-heap management
    • Interfering in others ash-heaps (See argument about (D) actions and ash-heaps below)
    • Culling cards out of your own ash-heap for benefits other than replay or making fatter allies
Ravnos have become victims of their own Breed X success (Clown Car, Ravnos Laibon Vote, Trapparition Weenies) and other than a few decks utilising Mata Hari (for her impersonation text), Gabrin (Cheap Chimersty is AWESOME)... most of the really commonly seen Ravnos decks seem to breed.
  • Chimerstry needs:
    • Something to make big-caps attractive other than Reality
    • Focussed go-forward that is NOT Week of Nightmares (but it aware of the WoN problem)
    • Defensive illusions
  • Ravnos needs:
    • Non-Breed angles for winning

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A logo for Independent Vampires

So, the Independent Vampires are the only ones 'without a club' so to speak.  From a quick look over the Lore, they seem to be independent either:

  1. They didn't sign onto the Camarilla. (FoS, Assamites)
  2. They got a deal from the Camarilla. (Giovanni)
  3. The Camarilla had no idea what to do with them and kind of left them alone (i.e. Ravnos)
Since it all seemed to be about deals, or not making deals, then I thought the best symbol for the Independent Clans would be parchment, quill and ink.
And on a sample Giovanni (who I made up mostly because Ben Peal has told us all the next set will be Indies)... you can see it below under the name and next to the Clan logo.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Logos in VTES

I was thinking that maybe it would be worth removing some of the labels which tend to appear on VTES cards and turn them into Logos.  For instance:

Black Hand
Inner Circle

It seems easier to do for Black Hand, Anarch and maybe Laibon.  It would be more difficult for the titles, since the Prince and Archbishops need their Domains listed.

So here is a possible logo for Black Hand.

I've also added in a little Sabbat Icon.

On a Sample card they would look like this:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stealth of Will

Decided I should have a non-standard S&B deck... Rather than going for the PRO-FOR road, which I've seen used really well, I decided to see what I could do with the Nos/!Nos that I saw with for-obf... A little ARDB-fu later...

Deck Name : Stealth of Will
Author : Juggernaut1981
Description : Multi-acting S&B with Force of Will & Retainers.

Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 4 max: 6 average: 4.83333

2x Louis de Maisonneu     5  FOR aus dom obf           !Ventrue:4
2x Skidmark               5  FOR OBF aus pot           !Nosferatu:4
1x Macoute                6  FOR NEC obf thn           Samedi:4
1x Janni                  5  cel for obf qui           Assamite:4
1x Maria Stone        Adv 5  FOR cel obf pre pro spi   Ahrimane:3
2x Maria Stone            5  FOR cel obf pro           !Gangrel:3
1x Aaron Bathurst         4  for obf pot               !Nosferatu:4
1x Little Willie          4  for obf pro               !Ventrue:4
1x Wolfgang               4  for obf pot               Nosferatu:3

Library [66 cards]

Action [16]
  8x Force of Will
  8x Rapid Healing

Action Modifier [24]
  4x Cloak the Gathering
  4x Faceless Night
  12x Freak Drive
  4x Lost in Crowds

Action Modifier/Combat [4]
  4x Swallowed by the Night

Equipment [4]
  4x Laptop Computer

Master [16]
  4x Dreams of the Sphinx
  1x Giant's Blood
  2x Heidelberg Castle, Germany
  4x Life in the City
  1x Powerbase: Montreal
  4x Wash

Retainer [2]
  1x J. S. Simmons, Esq.
  1x Tasha Morgan

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Halim's Laibach Treaty

What is this deck...?

The idea is to basically make a part Blood-Grinder and part Temptation/Minion Theft deck. It is to try exploit the synergy between Temptation, Corruption Counters and Cryptic Mission effects.  The wide variety of actions, and low stealth, should be counteracted by minion numbers and Change of Target.  With access to Dominate (through both Tremere and Halim Bey) it seemed a no-brainer to pack a good wad of Deflections.  There is a distinct combat weakness, only running Theft of Vitae.  Truth of 1k Lies is part offense and part multi-act.  Hopefully being able to use it with things like Cryptic Mission to offset its otherwise prohibitive cost.

Attack Plan:

Regular frequent bleeds for 1 or 3.
Minion Deprivation by minion theft from my prey and Minion Borrowing from my Predator.
Superior Numbers (aka The Russian Method... 5 men, 1 gun)
Action Overload.
Vampiric Disease. This is all about dropping blood off minions by proxy. Putting it on minions with Temptation will give me a way to potentially deliver the Disease Counters forwards.  Also, the untap from Temptation will drain blood faster and get the minions to the point where they can be taken most turns, forced to hunt and then borrowed by me to go forwards.

Defence Plan:

Deflection, deflection, deflection...
Don't Spend. Cheap minions with Govern the Unaligned. It is not really intended as a bleed card except maybe in a lunge.
Minion Borrowing. Use my predator's minions to go forward. That potentially drains my predator's blood and can buy me time.

Deck Name : Halim's Laibach Treaty

Author : Juggernaut1981
Description : See above.
Crypt [12 vampires] Capacity min: 3 max: 6 average: 5.66667

3x Halim Bey                6  DOM SER obf tha   Follower :4
3x Muhsin Samir           6  DOM THA aus pot   Tremere:4
2x Black Lotus               5 DOM aus obf ser Follower: 4
2x Masika St. John        3  THA               Tremere:3
1x Ankh-sen-Sutekh        6  PRE SER obf       Follower :4
1x Cohn Rose              5  THA aus dom pre   Tremere:3

Library [76 cards]

Action [22]
  6x Cryptic Mission
  6x Govern the Unaligned
  6x Revelation of Ecstasy
  4x Temptation

Action Modifier [24]
  6x Change of Target
  4x Mirror Walk
  8x Truth of a Thousand Lies
  6x Venenation

Combat [8]
  8x Theft of Vitae

Master [14]
  3x Dominate
  5x Treaty of Laibach
  4x Tribute to the Master
  2x Vampiric Disease

Reaction [8]
  8x Deflection

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Plans (not resolutions)

  1. A bunch of local tournaments
  2. A good variety of prize-loot for players at my tournaments (I'm thinking some more Deck Backers, Custom Pool Counters, Card Counters and maybe other stuff as well)
  3. Build at least 1 new deck before each tournament
  4. Rebuild my "newbie decks"
  5. Increase my local playgroup and keep it more stable (i.e. higher regular turnout to social games and push the size of local tournaments over 10 and to around 15).
  6. Build a stronger business/working relationship with the venue where I currently run tournaments.