Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Editon art by Samuel Araya.
Greetings fellow Methuselahs
BLACK CHANTRY FAQ, APRIL 2020
We are getting closer to the launch of Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition, so why not ask the makers some questions?
You have been rewording cards to the modern template. What is the most problematic thing with rewording old cards?
Vincent Ripoll, rules director: I would say that it is clarifying the card texts without breaking how they are supposed to work. VTES has mostly been built on layers of lax rules and numerous rulings, and I try to balance it the other way by moving the rulings to the cards and unifying some game patterns. For instance, most timings are pretty obscure in VTES and create complex interactions. Being able to play Obedience when someone is about to enter combat with you with a Deep Song or when you block, all without being locked, required to introduce the concept of "block resolution". Another example of problematic timing is Spying Mission versus burning Major Boon that don't trigger exactly at the same time despite the same wording.
Why do we use “realistic art” for VTES nowadays, and not more “old school”?
Ginés Quiñonero, art director: Nowadays, the main challenge to VTES art is to convey the World of Darkness in a way that makes its dark horror theme believable. That requires a great deal of experience with photo art and/or human figure drawing, colouring and lighting in order to produce realistic pieces that veer far away from several of the "old school" styles (for example the “comic book” style).
Some noticed on the Bolesław Gutowski promo card that the clan symbol for the Malkavians was slightly different. What's up with that?
Ben Peal, product director: Astute observation! The symbols for the Camarilla clans got a facelift in 5th Edition Vampire: the Masquerade. VTES is derived from that source material, so any new crypt cards we make for those clans will accordingly have the new clan symbols. The new symbols don't represent new clans – it's just like the changes to the clan symbols for Tzimisce and Lasombra way back between the Sabbat and Sabbat War expansions. Note that for reprints of the White Wolf-era cards we'll have available via print-on-demand, we'll be using the original clan symbols so that the look of those cards remains consistent with the cards you already own. For library cards, anything printed (or re-printed) in brand-new products based on the V5 source material (like the upcoming V5 set) will use the new clan symbols.
Where in the world is VTES most popular? How does this show and do you have any idea why this is?
Hugh Angseesing, CEO: There are many countries across the world where VTES is very popular; Brazil, Finland, France and the US all have large playing populations for events. I have also attended the huge events in Paris and the relaunch event in Berlin. However I missed what is probably the largest event we have had in Barcelona in 2003! There's something about Spain and VTES, it seems embedded in the psyche and we saw this when looking to produce VTES in Spanish – the interest was astounding! I don't know if it's because the volunteers have been so dedicated or if it's the social politicking that makes it so popular, but it's truly amazing seeing the enthusiasm coming out of Spain. Most recently have been impressed with the Spanish online tournaments, and I have seen they've spread that excitement to Brazil and Mexico among others.
Many players ask questions in social media. What are the most common question asked right now, and what is the answer?
Henrik Klippström, marketing director: Most questions are about how they can get our products, and that is usually easy to answer: either you print-on-demand on Drivethrucards.com, or you buy from your local game store or favourite online store. If that store doesn´t have our products in stock, please ask them to contact a distributor (who are listed at blackchantry.com). Another common question right now is of course when Fifth Edition will be available, and that is not decided yet, but will be soon!
Thanks to Black Chantry for the answers. Do you have a question too? Don´t hesitate to ask them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or in a mail to
Sadly, the current health crisis has forced the organizers of the game convention Ropecon to cancel or postpone the event, which means the 2020 VTES European Championship cannot be played in Helsinki in July as planned. Please read the EC website notice to get the full picture. Discussions are now held about what to do and where to do it - stay tuned to VEKN channels for news about that!
Sure, it might not be the same thing, but if you really love playing VTES, don´t let a pandemic stop you. Playing online is possible. The two most popular ways are using either Tabletop Simulator (found on Steam) or LackeyCCG (found at LackeyCCG.com). In the case of Lackey, you can register games at www.vtes-hook.com and participate in various leagues and tournaments. The site creator Kai Kimmerle has a series of Youtube clips to help you understand how everything works - check it out at VTES-Hook Event Management!
MEET THE VEKN: WES WESTON, NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF CANADA
This month we are delighted to present to you an interview with Wes Weston, veteran player and the current Canadian NC. Take notes, here comes wisdom!
When did you start playing VTES?
- Right from the get go, shortly after it hit the market. I had played a little bit of Vampire: The Masquerade, the role-playing game that VTES is based on, so I was already familiar with the World of Darkness. I really enjoy the theme of trying to hang on to one's humanity, and all of the different warring clans and interesting disciplines. They had taken the age-old vampire mythology and made it into such an elaborate and detailed world filled with interesting conflicts and histories.
When I came across the cards in a game store in Windsor, I was intrigued and picked up a starter box. I didn't really know too many people who would also be interested, but over the years I managed to rope a few friends into occasionally playing with me, none of whom stuck with it, sadly. I eventually met up with a lot of the players across the river in Detroit, Michigan, and they became my regular playgroup.
I was very active in the newsgroup, rec.games.trading-cards.jyhad, and produced a lot of the clan newsletters, starting with the Brujah Antitribu in 2001 and then the Followers of Set until 2004.
When it became more difficult for me to play the game in person, I became active in JOL, and I started the JOL league and hosted semi-annual tournaments, which attracted as many as 75 people. I think this worked pretty well, given the resources we had available at the time.
What do you like most about the game?
- I've always enjoyed the predator-prey dynamic and how it creates intrigue and temporary alliances. Having cross-table allies who will eventually be your enemies, and trying to manage this dynamic to your advantage... not many games can do this, or do this well.
I also really enjoy building original decks, with card interactions that no one else has thought of. It is always great pleasure to see an original deck design winning a table, whether it is my own deck or someone else's. I don't mind losing a game, but bonus points if you kick my ass with something original.
I have also met so many great and interesting people over the years, both in person or virtually via JOL. I was able to renew some old acquaintances at our most recent Hamilton tournament which was fantastic. It's not always easy for me to travel as much as many of you do, but I hope I will be able to do so in the future.
What is your all-time favorite deck?
- Ever since the Detroit group playtested the Ahrimanes I have had a Howler deck built and ready to play, and it hasn't changed much over the years. I've won several tournaments with it and still to this day have a lot of fun when playing it – though I am not sure others feel the same way about it!
What other decks do you currently like playing?
- I generally try to play decks that are, not so much toolboxy, but that do not fall into the typical bleed/vote/combat archetypes.
Currently I think my playgroup most associates me with a !Salubri deck, which is very aggressive toward my prey but can also be quite capable of walling up when needed. I don't see a lot of !Salubri decks being played, or at least I don't see many entered in the TWDA, but I've been having a lot of fun with them.
I also tend to build a lot of decks that combine PRO and SER. My most current PRO/SER monstrosity is a Nadima anarch deck which uses Hatch the Viper, Guardian Vigil and Donnybrook.
Neither of these decks did well at our recent Hamilton tournaments, but I enjoyed playing them.
Do you think you have a special style of playing?
- I tend to make a lot of deals, and I build decks that facilitate deal-making. For example, one card that usually goes into all of my decks is Rumor Mill – not because I need the intercept, but because someone else at the table usually will. And I can sell that intercept to my predator for a turn of no bleeds or what-have-you. Not only is it a commodity that my predator will need, it will also cost her a blood to borrow, and usually more, if she manages to block and enter combat. The net gain from this arrangement is a weaker predator, slightly weaker future predator/prey, more room for me to maneuver, and better control of the table.
I also pay a lot of attention to blood on vampires. Many of my decks tend to take advantage of my opponents' vampires spending blood on cards or losing it to combat. If I can keep their vampires low on blood, and scrabbling for more, I can use that to my advantage. Cards like Free States Rant are ideal in this regard. By the same token, I tend to try to keep my own vampires from being too anemic. Perfectionist is a great way to gain blood while doing other things. This card goes into all of my decks.
You are the National Coordinator for Canada. How is the situation for VTES in your country? What are your ideas for spreading VTES?
- It's been difficult to get much done as Canadian Coordinator, honestly. We have a vibrant and relatively new group in Hamilton and Toronto, where I usually play, but there isn't a lot of communication between players across Canada, whether it be Ontario, where I am, or BC on the west coast, or, say, Halifax on the east coast. We are a very large country geographically, obviously.
I will occasionally get a question from someone in a different part of Ontario, asking about local playgroups, but the closest group is usually us, and we are many hours away. I wish it were easier to coordinate this. So, I think we have been very successful in promoting the game locally, but, as a country, I don't give myself high marks.
Still, I have managed to find some older players who did not know the game had been resurrected, or new players who see us playing and want to join in. Again, this has been more successful locally, and this has certainly not been due to my efforts alone. My playgroup has been fantastic at promoting the game.
Thanks for the interview Wes, and good luck with further deal-making and coodinating!
BLACK CHANTRY SUMMARY: APRIL 2020
• Black Chantry is now active on Instagram, of course with focus on sharing images, but also on dialogue with the community! Please follow the account black_chantry
• Work on Fifth Edition continues, now mainly marketing preparation and the last touches on the new rulebook. The actual card and deck design is finished and both cards and deck lists will be spoiled very soon. Recently a render of the box content was shown:
• Print-on-demand on Drivethrucards is back on track again as per April 20, but might be slow due to light staffing. Read their update at COVID-19 Update from OneBookShelf.
• All who participate in a VTES game online that is registered on VTES-hook.com participate in the Fifth Edition Raffle!
• Currently 18 Black Chantry products are available through Drivethrucards.com and other stores:
- Lost Kindred bundle
- Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 1
- Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 2
- Heirs of the Blood Reprint Bundle 1
- Heirs of the Blood Reprint Bundle 2
- Den of Fiends Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Libertine Ball Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Pact with Nephandi Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Parliament of Shadows Preconstructed Deck (Also Spanish, French)
- Anthology I bundle
- VTES Card Creator (Drivethrucards only)
- 25th Anniversary
- First Blood: Malkavian (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Nosferatu (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Toreador (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Tremere (Also Spanish, French)
- First Blood: Ventrue (Also Spanish, French)
- VTES Legacy Card Singles (Drivethrucards only)
- Promo Bundle 1 (Drivethrucards only)
Do you have opinions or questions for Black Chantry? Start a topic on the VEKN forum, or contact the company by e-mail, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
The World of Darkness team at Paradox Interactive has started a weekly news tv show! Hosted by Brand Community Developer Martyna "Outstar" Zych, the show will air every Friday night at the World of Darkness Twitch channel but will be available on Youtube after that. In the premiere show the World of Darkness team members were introduced, and there was talk about Shadows of New York, The Chicago Folios and the current state of Bloodlines 2. Sounds interesting? Enjoy!
Nope, we still cannot encourage any physical tournaments. Instead, tune your decks, sort your collection and try playing online on LackeyCCG or Tabletop Simulator!
For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.
You can contact the V:EKN Inner Circle members using contact forms at V:EKN.net. Also follow the V:EKN Facebook group, the official V:TES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official V:EKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES
"The important thing in life is not to triumph, but to compete."