Two weeks ago the Rules Director of the VEKN (Ankha) as posted the latest Rules Team Rulings which contains some updates to the VTES rules. In fact the RTR 03/03/18 contains of three parts, that is
- Rule change #1: Timing during the Influence phase
- Rule change #2: Recruiting allies
- Rule change #3: Caitiff as a clan
You can read the full text down below as well as in the VEKN.net forum (with the accompanying discussion).
Today the VEKN has started (the albeit short) preview of the upcoming VTES Anthology set. The expansion consists mostly of reprints of existing cards, but has a few new cards as well (10 new crypt cards and 2 new library cards). The set will be released on May 11th, 2017 on the occasion of the World Of Darkness Berlin convention alongside with the VTES European Championship 2017.
With the expansion, two significant changes come along, mostly (I think) because WotC is no longer involved in VTES, and their intellectual property had to be respected. First of all, the backside of the cards will change, because the “Deckmaster” logo/text had to be dropped. This will typically require the players to play with sleeved decks during tournaments when using decks with different cardbacks.
Also the keywords tap/untap were dropped, and they have been replaced by the keywords lock/unlock, while the function remains the same.
Check the preview page on VEKN net of the Anthology set.
Really big news today, the VEKN has released a new Rules Team Ruling, which basically allows the proxy cards in VTES tournaments. There are few caveats, but right now proxies are .. legal for tournament play.
As you’ve probably heard today, we have some news from Paradox.
Tournament Rules Change
After several years of suggestion from players, discussion, debating amongst the NCs and Inner Circle, we have submitted a rule change to Paradox, and we are happy to report their support on the following points :
“As long as the game is not under production, the organizer of an event can choose to allow proxy cards in his or her event. For events where proxy cards are allowed, several points apply:
– there are no limit to the number of proxy cards a deck can have
– every proxy card must be a color-copy of the original card, on standard paper
– the quality of the print must allow the reading of the illustrator’s name
– the organizer must mark the event as ‘allowing proxy cards’ on the VEKN calendar”
As for VEKN-issued cards, proxy-cards would have to be inserted in an opaque sleeve (along the rest of the crypt and/or library), before a regular VTES card.
This change in the Tournament Rules will not apply to National Championships and Continental Championships.
This RTR will be effective for events created for August 6th 2016 and later (this includes events held on August 6th, 2016).
As we just received their answer, the implementation of the checkbox on the Event Module Creation isn’t fully complete, and we kindly ask for your patience before creating Proxy-allowing events (it shouldn’t take long).
.. when you’re playing Shattering Crescendo, you already need the second copy of Shattering Crescendo in your hand and you cannot rely on drawing a second copy of the card as replacement for the initial Shattering Crescendo? The reason is, that you need to be able to pay the “cost” of the card when announcing the action. This comparable to not being able to play an action card that costs two blood when you only have one and/or having the weapon in your hand when you’re playing Concealed Weapon.
Reference: [LSJ 2010-08-02]
Here’s a short FAQ of rules questions around the new cards from the Anarchs Unbound (and The Unaligned) expansion, which has been released earlier this year. Most of these questions are copies from the rules questions forum on VEKN.net.
- Question: Can I play Field Training on a vampire who is already an Anarch?
- Answer: Yes, the card (as per card text) can be put on any other “another ready, non-titled vampire you control” vampire. This restriction obviously doesn’t exclude Anarch vampires.
- Q: Can I play an action card that requires an Anarch and immediately afterwards play Red Question to fulfill the requirements.
- A: No, you can’t retroactively fulfill any requirement when playing a card. The requirement (Anarch, discipline, sect, etc.) has to be met before any card is played.
- Q: Can I play Red Question before “as the action is announced” action modifiers e.g. Ni Dieu ni Maître?
- A: No, similarly the questions above you have to fulfill the requirement of a card before playing said card. Plus, any action modifier with the “as the action is announced” clause has to be played immediately after the action is announced, that is before any other action modifiers can be played.
- Q: Can I play Red Question before “regular” action modifiers e.g. Power of One that require an Anarch.
- A: Yes, that possible. Action Modifiers always resolve immediately (in this case making the acting vampire an Anarch), and then you’re are eligible to play an action modifier requiring an Anarch.
- Q: When an Anarch Convert is influenced up and uses its ability to turn a vampire into an Anarch will the Convert trigger Hackerspace as well as the ability for two counters?
- A: Yes, Hackerspace gets two counters. The first one, when Anarch Convert enters play (even if only very briefly), and the second one, when a second (non-Anarch) vampire becomes Anarch.
- Q: Does a untitled Gangrel with a Skaald attached to him retain the extra two votes after becoming Baron, e.g. an unmerged Danielle Diron has a Skaald, but then becomes Baron by merging with her advanced version.
- A: The Skaald remains on the vampire, but the extra votes from the Skaald are not added to the Baron’s inherent 2 votes, because the cardtext of Skaald states explicitly “this untitled Gangrel gets +2 votes“. If, for example, after the title is lost (e.g. after a contest) the Gangrel will receive the two extra votes again. On the other hand, during an ongoing contest of the title, the Gangrel is still considered titled and therefore does not receive an extra two votes.
First Strike was always somewhat iffy in terms of handling its effect in a VTES game. I think most of it comes from the naming “First Strike” implicating that it is resolved/handled first in any combat (which is not true; see below). Maybe a better naming would have been “Fast Strike” (or something along that line).
From the VTES rulebook section 6.4.5. “Strike Effects”:
First Strike. A strike done with first strike is resolved before a normal strike. Thus, if the opposing minion is burned or sent to torpor by a strike done with first strike, his strike will not be resolved at all. If the opposing minion was striking with a weapon that is stolen or destroyed with first strike, then the opposing minion simply loses his strike altogether. If both minions strike with first strike, then the strikes are resolved simultaneously. A strike done with first strike will still not resolve before a combat ends effect (which always resolves first), and a dodge still cancels the effects of a strike done with first strike (see below).
And here’s a summary of various scenarios that are relevant for handling First Strikes in a combat:
- .. vs. Dodge — according to the rules (under section 6.4.5 — Dodge) a Dodge is handled before First Strike, that is the First Strike effects are evaded by the vampire using the Dodge.
- .. vs. Strike: Combat Ends — also according to the rules (under section 6.4.5 — Strike: Combat Ends) S:CE is handled before First Strike, that is the combat ends before the First Strike is resolved.
- .. vs. another First Strike — in this case, both First Strikes are handled at the same time, similar to the case when both strikes are “normal” strikes (exception are the environmental damage effects (if any; see below).
- .. vs. environmental damage — the environmental damage is always handled during normal strike resolution (regardless of who actually played the First Strike). For example, if one of the combatants goes to torpor (or is burned) by damage effects of the First Strike, the effects of the environmental damage are not resolved.
- .. vs. Rötschreck — Rötschreck is played when strikes are chosen, that is before the strikes resolve. Therefore the effect of Rötschreck kicks in before the sequencing of First Strike and the “normal” strike takes players.
- .. vs. Nightstick/Forearm Block — the prevention effect of Nightstick/Forearm Block is not there yet, when the First Strike is resolved. Therefore the First Strike’s damage cannot be prevented by using these cards.
Here’s the updated list of the cards that are (or were) banned for VTES tournaments in 2016. 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 vary 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 of 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).
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.