file Other ways of getting actions through (beyond +Stealth)

20 Mar 2020 18:09 #99398 by LivesByProxy
Ankha recently posted an idea about a Thaumaturgy :tha: card that granted +stealth and I said that was borning and uninteresting and that the game has this cool framework to do neat stuff with, but it isn't being used creatively.

So what are the ways and methods of doing successful actions?

Stealth: The most basic way vampires accomplish their actions. A high stealth value allows the vampire to complete the action unhindered, usually. It is opposed by the enemy's intercept value.

Block Denial: Seduction and Approximation of Loyalty, but also other cards that restrict who can attempt to block, i.e. "can't be blocked by younger vampires" or "can't be blocked by Gangrel."

Tap/Lock: Cards that directly tap down the opposing minion before or during the action, or cards that let you untap after combat like Majesty and Earth Meld.

Evasion: Cards that continue that action as if it were not blocked, i.e. Form of Mist & Torrent. Usually come as Strike effects.

Defeat: Like the above, only allows the action to continue after a combat if you diablerized them, burnt them, sent them to torpor, or used a specific Press effect. Shadow Boxing is one such example.

Rush Combat: Direct "enter combat" cards to remove potential obstacles via combat, to be followed up with the desired action you want successful.

Threat Combat: Not using any other means except the threat of damage on a strong combat vampire to scare the opponent into allowing the action through.

Bribery: Like, "this vampire may pay 1 blood to the vampire attempting to block to cause their block to fail. the other vampire may reject this offer."

Taxing: Cards like Aching Beauty and Crocodile's Tongue, making the opponent spend resources to attempt to block.

Debate: I recently posted this effect to FaceBook as a card idea and it can be built on: instead of the normal block attempts being made, the blocker and the acting minion instead engage in a "referendum" where it is just them. If the "referendum" passes, the action continues and they can't attempt to block again.

So perhaps with these outlined, we can come up with something a little more creative than just +1 stealth or +2 stealth on a non-D action...

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.

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20 Mar 2020 22:24 #99400 by Yomyael
First of all, I have to say, that I disagree with the premise, that the "Stealth-Intercept" part of the game is boring. I find it very interesting, because it is all about resources. When being on the Intercept side, you have to think about what actions to block, since often it is not possible to block everything. When playing a Stealthy deck, it is easier in the beginning, but as resources get spent you have to think about what the most important actions to pass are.

Decks that completely go beside this part are interesting in their own way - but I think it is healthy for the game, that it is not too easy to do this. If there are too many, lets call them creative ways, then it is a liability to your deck packing intercept, therefore reducing possible ways to defend yourself to a minimum. Delaying Tactics, Poison Pill and Bounce are then the only ways. And stealth becomes even better, since you will more often than not need just a few stealth cards. Of course this would lead to an ever shifting meta, but I'm not so sure if too much change in meta is healthy. Wizards experienced this with Magic when they tried to have two set rotations each year, leading to many people not wanting to play the game.

Many of these ideas share, in my opinion, the same weakness. One thing you have to keep in mind when building good decks is the very thin line between having things as complex as they need to be while keeping them as simple as you can. If you want to have meaningfull actions, you need to dedicate cards (therefore resources) to make them as meaningfull as possible (this can be as easy as packing +bleed or vote push). Then you need to dedicate cards to get these actions passed. If that is stealth, it is quite simple. If it is S:CE + Untap, it still is quite simple, but you need to think more about ordering actions in the right way and baiting out blocks. Which gets harder the more experienced your opponents are.

If the way is now something like Shadow Boxing. Well. Then you need something to make your combat meaningful. And not only against single combat types, but against a lot of them. You need to have something against S:CE. You need to have something against Dodge, Prevention, you need to defend yourself against the other players combat. This makes the package you take with you extremely complex - if Lady Luck is your friend it can work, but often it will not. You will have cards that are dead against certain decks and not get the cards you need against them. Especially with Shadow Boxing (I think there is no other card that has the same effect on superior) this is something very weird to do - since you have to have OBF, therefore it is very easy to pack meaningful stealth with much less cards than the combat package would require.

Rush Combat does not serve the purpose of being able to pass actions in my opinion. Most of the time your deck has to be so focused on combat that there are not so many cards left to take meaningful actions, if you even can take actions after you have rushed possible blockers down.

Threat Combat is better functioning, since you will take mostly meaningfull actions and one has to often think about letting them pass or risking a vampire. But take for example The unnamed - built in aggravated strike. Still most decks are stealth bleed decks - since combat risks The unnamed as well, and the payoff for succesfull actions is much higher than the payoff for a torporised blocker.

Taxing opens up another resource game - this creates very interesting "Damned if you do, damned if you don't situations". That would be a method of passing actions where I would like to see more cards. Aching Beauty is very hard to pull off with the high pool cost of multiple ones, but it can work and can be fun. But again - not too much of this please.

Continue the Action as if unblocked is fine in the case of Form of Mist, but all other cards get totally trumped by wakes. Still, these things get even better when you pack in stealth. Same as Block Fails and Block Denial (though the latter in a lesser extent). This is where added complexity adds something to your deck that can work completely on its own, unlike the aforementioned combat methods.

To the Bribery thing: I don't like cards like this. It gives your opponent the choice of doing what they like best. That gives to much control away from you into their hands - so it could be a fun mechanic appearing once or twice, when blood is an issue, but in most cases it's just not good.

To Debate I can only say, that I don't have Facebook so I don't know exactly what you proposed, but it sounds terrible. So... I'm an Inner Circle with Presence - you will not block me ever. Or I simply am an Inner Circle - you can block me if you are one as well, or a Regent, but everyone else stay the hell out of my way.

To close it of, I want to say that I think that more and more stealth cards in different disciplines appear, because getting intercept is often way easier. There exist many more Disciplineless Intercept cards than stealth cards - having a limited amount of options in more disciplines sound like a good idea to me.

Prince of Bonn, Germany

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