Since vtesinla.org is not online anymore for some time now, I took the liberty of reposting some of the articles posted there. The first one is an interview with the creator of Magic: The Gathering (1993) and Vampire:The Eternal Struggle (1994), that Robert Goudie conducted in 2001,
How better to celebrate the good health of V:TES than to take a look back with its creator, Richard Garfield. Richard was kind enough to take a few moments from his day to answer a few questions about our favorite game…
Robert Goudie: Have you kept up with the ups and downs of Jyhad’s (now V:TES’) near death and recent rebirth?
Richard Garfield: No, not really. Certainly not formally. It is something I hear about from players when I go to conventions, and it is news I enjoy hearing about. However this conduit has become very narrow because I have cut way back on my convention visits, while my children are young (now 1 and 3).
Goudie: Are you surprised by the resiliance of the game and the loyal following it has created?
Garfield: Certainly – though now I recognize that it had some advantages. It was a really early TCG in a world which had a lot of interest. It was the first TCG as heavily oriented toward multiplayer play. After that, if the game is worthwhile, the players will keep it alive. Though, of course, for a fan base keeping a TCG alive is a lot harder than keeping an RPG alive.
Here’s a little video showing the basics of identifying fake Magic the Gathering cards. Luckily, fake cards doesn’t seem to be problem (or at least not a big one) with VtES, but still interesting to know.
On VEKN.net there was a discussion (as part of a thread regarding the fan-made set for VtES in 2012), what a proxy card in a collectible card game actually is. Wikipedia has the following definition for proxy cards:
A proxy card is an easily acquired or home-made substitute for a collectible card. A proxy is used when a collectible card game player does not own a card, and it would be impractical for such purposes to acquire the card. This usually occurs when a player desires a card that is cost-prohibitive, or is “playtesting” with many possible cards. When doing intensive training for a competitive tournament, it often makes more sense to use proxy cards while figuring out which cards will be brought to the tournament. Another card is substituted and serves the same function during gameplay as the actual card would.
A proxy can also be used in cases where a player owns a very valuable card, but does not wish to damage it by using it in actual play.
Common use of proxies
Proxy cards can be used in various situations. The rules and restrictions are object of common agreement, or a given policy, and may differ from the above mentioned “fair play requirements“.
- In casual games, the players may agree on a common policy of how to deal with proxy cards. This allows to play a higher variation of card combinations and strategies, while keeping a limit on the expenses.
- In tournaments, the organizer may permit a limited number of proxy cards, and define rules about how these cards must look. This policy has become especially popular in games or formats where some vital cards are far too expensive, such as the vintage format in Magic: The Gathering.
- For playtesting. Proxy cards allow a player to test new cards, before he or she decides to actually buy or trade for them.
- In card prototyping. Card developers in companies like Wizards of the Coast use proxies to playtest their ideas for new cards before they are printed.
- Some players create cards based on their own ideas for card themes and mechanics. In this case, however, the term “proxy” may no longer be applicable, as these cannot be considered substitutes for existing objects.
- An extreme form of copying original cards is forgery of expensive cards, which is again outside the “proxy” category.
From the latest Magic: The Gathering expansion Innistrad:
Victim of Night
Cardtext: Destroy target non-Vampire, non-Werewolf, non-Zombie creature.
For use in VtES, I guess, most would agree to “what a waste of cardspace” .. ;) Although the quote on the card is kind of nice:
“Do not touch a drop. Not yet. I want to watch this so-called slayer’s last crisis of faith.”
Watch Tomoharu Saito, one of the most successful Magic: The Gathering players shuffle his deck:
From a VtES perspective, or at least if you’re interested in the whole vampire/werewolf/.. theme, it’s interesting to note, that the next Magic: the Gathering expansion named Innistrad has a very strong horror angle. The expansion is subtitled “Horror Lurks Within” and the product information reads as following:
“Innistrad is a plane of menace and dread where every creature hides a darker aspect. Here, hedonistic vampires stalk the shadows to quench their thirst, and the full moon can transform a simple villager into a savage werewolf. Best to huddle inside, Planeswalker, lest the horrors of this world rend you limb from limb.“
Each of the five colors has it’s specific focus on an aspect of the horror theme:
- White — Angels/Clerics
- Blue — Ghosts/Mutants/Zombies
- Black — Vampires/Zombies/Demons
- Red — Vampires/Werewolves
- Green — Werewolves/Shamans
One of the most interesting aspects of the new expansion are the so-called double-faced cards (although the practical handling in the game is a nightmare). These double-faced cards are cards with two faces (two side with card text), but no regular MtG card back. The card is put into play with one specific side up, but this can change depending on certain conditions (if a creature died this turn, the number of spells being played, etc.) I think this gives the whole horror theme a nice twist in terms of the game mechanic.
And last not least, there are (at least) two cards in this MtG expansion that share names with cards in VtES, namely Murder of Crows and Wooden Stake.
Reference: Innistrad product page.
Post Scriptum: Yes, I am a little envious of the money WotC is able to spend on the artwork for the Magic cards (in contrast to most VtES cards).
“If wishes were horses, Beggars would ride” .. and if Vampire: the Eternal Struggle were like Magic: the Gathering, there would be a card like this:
And, of course, similar cards for handling the other disciplines as well ..