On May 10th, 2021 Black Chantry (as publisher of VTES) launched its first kickstarter campaign, Unleashed. As most of you will know, Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform, where project initiators can present their upcoming product, and people can pledge their support at various levels. Once the funding goals are met, the project initiator will produce the physical product(s), and deliver it to the customers.
VTES Unleashed Kickstarter campaign
The VTES Kickstarter Unleashed will bring the three expansions that were originally created by the VEKN, but only produced as PDFs, as physical products into existence. The expansions are Danse Macabre (2013), The Unaligned (2014), and Anarchs Unbound (2017).
The cards from these expansions will be published in four 90 card bundles (links to the Black Chantry product pages):
The exact card list can be found on the project’s kickstarter page.
The amount needed for funding the project has already been reached, and the first of several (so called) stretch goals also has been met. Again the exact details can be found the Unleashed Kickstarter page. The campaign has also been announced on the Black Chantry website.
The Unleashed Kickstarter campaign will end on June 9th, 2021 (9:05 AM CEST). So if you’re interested in supporting the project, and acquiring the expansion packs, don’t wait for too long …
On January 31st, 2021, the VEKN has published its newsletter for April 2021. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the announcement of the first kickstarter campaign, the Spanish gaming Youtube channel “La Mazmorra de Pacheco”, which featured some VTES content in early 2021, a strategy article about Stealth-Bleed, and (as usual now), four prominent tournament winning decks (from April 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015)
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for April 2021 on VEKN.net.
On April 4th, 2021, the VEKN has published its newsletter for March 2021. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely an article on the South American VTES Championship 2020 from a Mexican perspective, a VTES rules Q&A, four prominent tournament winning decks (from March 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015).
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for March 2021 on VEKN.net.
On March 1st, 2021, the VEKN has published its newsletter for February 2021. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely an interview with Bill Troxel about the TupDog/Emerald Legionnaire deck he was using when winning the VTES Online World Championship last year, an article about using deck archetypes, and four prominent tournament winning decks (from February 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015).
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for February 2021 on VEKN.net.
New version of Summon The Abyss
On February 3rd, 2021, the VEKN has published its newsletter for January 2021. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the changes of VTES card texts (that came along side with the publication of 470 VTES cards to DriveThruCards shop), a report of the Brazil VTES National Championship 2020 (including the tournament winning deck), the announcement that the latest revision of VTES rulebook (5th edition) is now available online as PDF, and four prominent tournament winning decks (from January 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015) with comments from 2021).
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for January 2021 on VEKN.net.
On December 31st, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for December 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely a report how a new player started with VTES, an article about VTES in Mexico, four prominent tournament winning decks (from 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015), and a list of the most popular post in the Vampire: Elder Kindred Network Facebook group.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for December 2020 on VEKN.net.
On December 6th, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for December 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely a tournament report of the VTES Online World Championship 2020 (which was won by Bill Troxel), four prominent tournament winning decks (from 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015), a list of links to interesting new VTES content, and finally the usual Black Chantry new product summary.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for November 2020 on VEKN.net.
On November 4th, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for October 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely an overview of recently published VTES information, the publication of VEKN newsletter index, an overview of the latest Black Chantry activities, and finally the call for contribution of content for the newsletter.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for October 2020 on VEKN.net.
On October 29th, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for September 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the announcement of the VTES World Championship 2020 (played online), an overview of the latest news in the world of VTES online, and the tournament winning deck played by Aldo Fernandez D’Ambrosio with which he won the invitational tournament of the Catalan VTES league.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for September 2020 on VEKN.net.
Here’s the updated list of the cards that are (or were) banned for VTES tournaments in 2020. For each of the cards I will briefly explain why (and when) they have been banned:
- Playing for Keeps — since January 9th, 1995
- High Stakes — since January 9th, 1995
- Cunctator Motion — since January 9th, 1995
An ante is a forced bet in which each player places a card from his deck into the pot before the game begins. The player who ousts another players actually wins the forfeited card from the losing player. The concept was (as in Magic The Gathering) never really popular, and the concept was dropped very soon after the release of VtES. So cards relating to ante, as those three above were banned for this reason.
- Madness of the Bard — since July 1st, 1999
The judgment of this card varies from “downright silly” to “very much fun“, but in the end it prevents most players from freely communicating to each other, which is one of the cornerstones of a multi-player game.
- Return to Innocence — since March 14th, 1999
A card which allows a vampire to bleed for 10+ is just too good for the game. In a typical tournament the comfort level in terms of having pool is something like 10-12. With that amount of pool you need two high-level bleed come through, but this requires considerable setup and/or amount of cards being played during these actions, or you need at least 3-4 Kine Resource Contested/Conservative Agitations, but this also needs some setup. With RtI you can just bleed with Daring the Dawn and the only thing you’ll have to worry about is bleed bounce.
- Succubus Club — since January 1st, 2005
Mass trading resources, especially with the now defunct tournament rules about table-splitting (at least for practical purposes), this led to absurd situation. Players Bob and John made a table split deal, with one of the them having a Succubus Club in play. After the deal both trade regularly their whole set of resources of vampires, master cards and other permanents back and forth, until they succeed in having ousted the other players.
- Kindred Restructure — since January 1st, 2005
The abusive technique for using Kindred Restructure (and to a lesser extent) Dramatic Upheaval was called VP Sniping. The player with the Kindred Restructure in hand would wait where some predator was in sure ousting range (i.e. down to less than 5 pool or something similar) for the next turn. Then the KR would be played, and his new player, while having done nothing all the while, ripped off the reward for ousting from the original player. Furthermore with Kindred Restructure this player could arrange the table in manner which was most suitable for him, e.g. having a weak predator or prey or both. But LSJ’s publicly stated reasoning for the ban was simpler — it gives a player two predators at the same time, their real predator and the guy who’s going to jump right in there. Which is pretty unfair.
- Dramatic Upheaval — since January 1st, 2005
The same arguments as for Kindred Restructure applies to Dramatic Upheaval as well, but to only slightly lesser extent, since it allowed to change seats with one player only.
- Edge Explosion — since January 1st, 2008
One of the driving engines of an Imbued deck, since it both allowed him to have a power for which he hasn’t had the appropriate Virtue, but may gain a Conviction for a successful action once each turn.
- Memories of Mortality — since January 1st, 2008
Very powerful when playing an ally deck, not only wasn’t an opposing vampire with this card no longer allowed to block any ally, he couldn’t hurt him anymore and the card was hard to get rid off.
- Protect Thine Own — since January 1st, 2008
This card provided a very cheap way to remove any non-Camarilla vampire, though it requires an Inner Circle member for using the card’s full effect.
- Lilith’s Blessing — since April 22nd, 2013
This is the first (and only) promo card on the ban list. The card provided very easy (and repeatable) access to 3 blood, and is somewhat abusive when used with Villein (or Minion Tap with multiple master phase actions).
- Anthelios, the Red Star — since February 16th, 2016
The card is problematic not of its own, but predominantly in combination with multiple Master Phase actions the card can easily be abused. So to speak, the cards suffers from the dial-a-card syndrome, repeatedly.
- Temptation of Greater Power — since February 16th, 2016
The issue with is that the use of the card often influence the outcome of a game dramatically when played (even if that can only happens once per game). Even if the player using the card isn’t put into a winning position , the target player surely cannot win the game anymore, either because he lost one his key vampires, or loses so much pool, that he is ousted much more quickly.
- Seeds of Corruption — since February 16th, 2016
The reason for the ban of Seeds of Corruption seems to be more of a technical issue rather than the power of the card. It’s not always easy to figure out, what exactly happens with the target vampire (and what happens after the Seeds of Corruption has disappeared).
- Gypsies, Rom Gypsy, Tarbaby Jack, Terrorists, Tsigane — since August 1st, 2020
These cards have been banned in the wake of the Black Life Matters movement in 2020, because the cards contain words or images that are associated with real world racist caricatures.
Earlier Card Bans and Revokes
- Rowan Ring — from January 9th, 1995 to January 1st, 2000(?)
- Stake — from January 9th, 1995 to March 14th, 1999
The cards were banned because the corner-case paralyzation rules which were dropped in VtES (as opposed to the Jyhad rules). Since extensive rewording would have been necessary the rules team decided to ban the cards. With the new wording of the VtES version of Wooden Stake and the Camarilla Edition (CE) version of Rowan Ring the paralyze mechanic was dropped and replaced by “send to torpor“, so the ban could be lifted after the new version had been released.
- Monocle of Clarity — from January 9th, 1995 to January 1st, 2000(?)
The wording of Monocle of Clarity allowed easily to break the game, thus it was banned. For an example see the following thread. With the new wording of the CE version which limited the card’s functionality to the current game state, not a future one, the card was allowed again.
On September 3rd, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for August 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the decision not to change the vampire contest rule, the ability to create library cards on DriveThru cards, and an interview with the national VTES coordinator of Crotia, Deneš Kociš.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for August 2020 on VEKN.net.
On August 2nd, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for July 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely a FAQ on the August 2020 card bans, an interview with the VTES national coordinator of South Africa, Neil Muller, and some additional news from Black Chantry.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for July 2020 on VEKN.net.
On July 5th, 2020, the Black Chantry published a statement about diversity and inclusivity with regards to VTES. The statement also included the latest Rules Team Rulings (RTR 05/07/2020), which bans 5 cards from tournament play from August 1st, 2020 onward. The reason why Black Chantry banned these cards, is that contain words or images that are associated with real world racist caricatures. The 5 banned cards are:
- Rom Gypsy
- Tarbaby Jack
You can read about the details on the issued statement and the included RTR on the Black Chantry website and the RTR on the VEKN website.
On July 1st, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for June 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely an update of the current VTES tournament situation and an interview Gonazalo del Río (national coordinator of Chile).
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for June 2020 on VEKN.net.
On June 2nd, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for May 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the open playtest for contesting vampires, a Q&A with regards to the VEKN Facebook group, and interview with Tomasz Izydorczyk (National VTES Coordinator for Poland), along with his favourite deck.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for May 2020 on VEKN.net.
Black Chantry has released a second promo pack of VTES cards, which is intended to be handed out as rewards for participating in tournaments. This second pack consists of crypt that were previously only available as promo cards during VTES Continental Championships, and a few selected crypt and library for which the card text has been changed recently (or the card was misprinted in a recent expansion (Murmur of the False Will). The first block of cards have a quantity of 10 each, while the second blcok only has a quantity of 1 each.
- 10 Benedito, a Lanterna
- 10 Bituin
- 10 Casey Snyder
- 10 Jacques Rouge
- 10 Leumeah
- 1 Una
- 1 The Ankara Citadel, Turkey
- 1 Black Metamorphosis
- 1 Murmur of the False Will
- 1 Parity Shift
- 1 Pentex Subversion
The tournament packs are not intended for the regular distribution channels and resale, but for tournament organizers as prize support for participating in or winning a tournament.
You can read the original post on the Black Chantry website.
Just for your (and sometimes my) convenience, here’s a list of vampires that will appear in the upcoming VTES 5th Edition, and which have been shown as previews on the Black Chantry website or their Facebook presence. Also note the changed clan symbols, which have been changed to reflect the changes that have been in Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition.
The VTES 5th Edition will be a boxed set consisting of 5 new starter decks (Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, Ventrue), and will be published later in Q2/2020.
Yesterday the VEKN/Black Chantry has announced an open playtest for contesting vampires in VTES. Instead of both vampires being turned face down and being out of play, the contested vampires stay in play. The cost of contesting of 1 pool each turn remains until one player yields (or is ousted from the game).
Here are the changes in detail:
- A contested vampire remains in play. Their controller must pay 1 pool to continue to contest them, or yield during the unlock phase, but can play with them normally (act, block, play cards, cast votes or ballots etc.). If this vampire has a title that is also contested, the vampire must pay 1 blood point to keep it, as usual.
- It is still forbidden to contest a vampire with oneself, and if this were to happen, the last vampire to enter play would be immediately burned, as usual.
- This concerns both vampires influenced from the crypt and unique vampires brought into play with library cards (Abomination, Call the Great Beast etc.)
- Unique library cards (including allies) and imbued are still unaffected by this rule change.
The VEKN wants to test if this a viable change, and asks players around the world to test this change (in non-tournament games) and answer a couple of questions regarding the effects.
The rule for contesting vampires was always quite controversial, because if in a given game two players fielded a deck which heavily relied on a single vampire (“star vampire”), typically both player’s game suffered tremendously by the contest. The contest of said star vampire then often allowed a third player to scoop up a game win easily. On the other hand, removing this contest rule can also lead to decreased diversity in decks, that is, players are more willing to play often dominant decks like Stanislava & Friends Dominate, or Unnamed Bleed, etc. With that regard, I like the idea of having an open playtest to be able evaluate the impact of the rules change, instead of just shoving down such a significant change the VTES communities throat and stating “to deal with it”.
Also quite interesting is the fact, that the Imbued are still contested the old way, when even library cards that are put into play as unique vampires are no longer subject to the original contesting rules. I would really like to hear about the reasons why Imbued are handled differently than the other crypt cards.
Read the full announcement on Black Chantry’s website here, which also includes a FAQ on the issue.
Last week, Black Chantry has revealed a lot of information on the upcoming release of VTES 5th Edition. This latest expansion will be a boxed set, consisting of 5 pre-constructed decks, a new rulebook, and blood counters. From the product picture it seems that the blood counters are this time made of cardboard. On the other hand, the pre-constructed decks are full blown starter decks with 77 library and 12 crypt cards. In comparison, the VTES Player’s Kit (3rd Edition) had glass blood counters (120 in total), but only had 4 “half” decks, (6 crypt cards and 44 library cards each).
The starter decks are based on 5 different Camarilla, which are
- Nosferatu — new artwork & decklist is published
- 9 new crypt cards and 3 new library cards (Roundhouse, Protected District, The Warrens).
- Malkavian — new artwork & decklist is published
- 9 new crypt cards, no new library cards.
- Toreador — new artwork & decklist is published
- 9 new crypt cards, no new library cards.
- Tremere — new artwork & decklist is published
- 9 new crypt cards, no new library cards.
- Ventrue — new artwork & decklist is published
- 9 new crypt cards, no new library cards.
Black Chantry’s website (the product page for the 5th Edition in particular) already has a wealth of information. Quite interesting is the fact, that Dominate as one of Malkavian’s in-clan disciplines are back, because the library cards contain cards for Auspex, Dominate & Obfuscate, while Dementation is missing. The two crypt shown in the preview both are from group 6. It’s highly likely that the vampires all belong to group 5 or 6. Another interesting side note , that the clan symbols have been slightly adjusted, so that they fit the clan symbols used in Vampire: the Masquerade (5th Edition). But they can clearly be connected/related to the previously used clan symbols.
Currently the price for the boxed set has not been announced. (I expect the price significantly higher than the 2006’s Player’s Kit. My best guess is between 40-50 EUR. Mostly because the 5th Ed. boxed set will contain 445 cards (instead of the 200 from the player’s kit). But you also have to take into account that Black Chantry has a different cost structure than White Wolf had, and in terms of inflation, 14 years have passed since the Player’s Kit has been released. It is also not clear, if it’s possible to acquire the decks individually.
The exact release date is also not yet known, only that it will be some time in Q2/2020.
- The release date according to information on Black Chantry’s facebook presence has been pushed back to Q3/2020, likely September 2020.
- Also I have seen some price discussions (no official price information yet) for the boxed set, which was more in the range of 90-100 Euro, which would fit more the price of the decks as published individually by Black Chantry lately, e.g. the official price (MSRP) for the Sabbat starter decks was 20 Euro/22 US Dollars each.
Post Scriptum (01/June/2020):
- According to information on Facebook by KGS Cards, the MSRP will be $95 (or approx. 85 EUR).
On May 1st, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for April 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely an interview with key people from Black Chantry, the unfortunate news that the VTES EC 2020 has been canceled, and finally an interview with Wes Weston (veteran VTES player / national coordinator of Canada).
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for April 2020 on VEKN.net.
On April 1st, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for March 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely
a tournament report of the Grand Prix Ibérico 2020 (along with all 5 finalist decks and an interview with the tournament winner), an interview with VTES artist amy Wilkins, and finally some information on the VTES 5th Edition.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for March 2020 on VEKN.net.
On March 3rd, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for February 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the announcement of a number of major tournaments, a tournament report of the South American Cup, a second tournament report of the North American Cup, some card changes of the Assamite/Quietus, and an interview with VTES artist Samuel Araya.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for February 2020 on VEKN.net.
This year, the first German VTES Grand Prix tournament will take place in Darmstadt, Germany on March 21st, 2020. Here are the details of the tournament:
- Date: Saturday, March 21st, 2020
DRK-Zentrum (Centre of the German Red Cross) Darmstadt-Eberstadt
- Standard Constructed, detailed rules can be found on the VEKN Tournament Rules webpage.
- Tournament proxy cards are not allowed.
- Time Table
- Registration starts 11:00
- 1st Round starts 12:00
- Entry Fee: 15 EUR pre-registered, 18 EUR on location.
- Prizes: tba
- More details and registration
- Registration for the event is at vtes-hook.com .
- Players who pre-registered on registration.vtes-hook.com can now complete their registration by giving to a PayPal MoneyPool I opened for that purpose.
- A warm lunch is included in the entry fee (guaranteed with pre-registration).
- Non-alcoholic drinks are available as well for a reasonable price.
There’s an additional tournament on the following day as well (Sunday, March 22nd, 2020).
For full details on the tournament and the latest news on it, please refer this VEKN.net thread.
This year the German National VTES Championship tournament will take place in Bochum, Germany on May 16th, 2020. Here are the details of the tournament:
- Date: Saturday, May 16th, 2020
Zu den Vier Winden
Hofsteder Str. 94
- Format: Standard Constructed, detailed rules can be found on the VEKN Tournament Rules web page. Proxies are not allowed. Please note that you do not have to qualify for this event.
- Time Table
- Registration — 12:00
- Start 1st round — 13:00
- Round System: 3 rounds plus final round (time limit: 2h each)
- Entry Fee: 15 € (10 € of which count towards food & drinks on site)
- Prizes: tba
- More Details
- Pre-registration is recommended, under registration.vtes-hook.com/
- The location is a pub, so you may not bring your own food and drinks. The entrance fee includes 10 € minimum consumption of food & drinks on site.
Ayelech by Samuel Araya
On February 1st, 2020, the VEKN has published its newsletter for January 2020. The newsletter covers a number of topics, namely the announcement of the VTES 5th Edition “spoiler season”, the announcement of a number of major tournaments, a clarification about so-called limited tournaments, and finally an extensive discussion of the Goratrix Wall deck archetype with Mika Nurmikolu, who won the Finnish Grand Prix 2019 with the deck.
Read the complete newsletter here: VEKN Newsletter for January 2020 on VEKN.net.