V:EKN Tournament Rules
1.1. Player Eligibility
Any player is eligible to participate in an open, non-invitational, V:EKN-sanctioned tournament (for non-open tournaments, see section 9.8) except for the following:
- The tournament organizer of record (unless he or she is participating in an event that uses the Multi-Judge System; see section 2.9);
- The head judge and any other listed judges of record (exception: see section 2.9);
- Players currently suspended by the V:EKN;
- Playtesters of card sets used in the event (until one month after the official release date of those card sets);
- Other players specifically prohibited from participation by V:EKN or White Wolf, Inc. policy.
Any ineligible player participating in a V:EKN-sanctioned tournament will be subject to the Judges' Guide and further V:EKN review.
1.2. Necessary Tournament Materials
Players must bring the following items to a tournament in order to participate:
- A visible and reliable method to maintain and record game information (counters for the Blood Bank, pen and paper to record deck information if required, and so on).
- A valid and unique V:EKN number registered in the participant's name.
Note: New players must register for V:EKN membership at their first tournament. Players may only have one V:EKN number. Tournament organizers must report any player using more than one V:EKN membership number.
- Any materials specifically required for a particular tournament format, as required by the V:EKN Floor Rules or the tournament organizer.
Example: Players need to bring their assembled decks to Constructed tournaments.
Players and tournament officials may not wager, ante, or bet on the outcome of any portion of a tournament.
1.4. Taking Notes
Players are allowed to take written notes of their opponents' decks and activities, so long as doing so doesn't interfere with game play (especially the speed of play).
1.5. Electronic Devices
The head judge or tournament organizer may choose not to allow players to participate with electronic devices (such as cellular phones, pagers, and/or portable audio units) turned on.
1.6. Publishing Event Information
White Wolf, Inc. reserves the right to publish event information such as the contents of any player's deck as well as transcripts or video reproductions of any sanctioned tournament. The tournament organizer is also permitted to publish event information.
1.7. Document Updates
The V:EKN reserves the right to alter these rules as well as the right to interpret, modify, clarify, or otherwise issue official changes to these rules, with or without prior notice.
2.1. Event Knowledge Responsibilities
Competitors, judges, and organizers involved in sanctioned tournaments are responsible for knowing and following the most current version of the V:EKN Tournament Rules and any other applicable regulatory documents, including the game rules and official errata.
All new cards and game rules go immediately into effect for V:EKN tournaments. Whenever a ruling is reversed or new errata is issued, the ruling reversal or errata doesn't go into effect for 30 days.
2.2. Tournament Organizer Responsibilities
The tournament organizer for an event is ultimately responsible for all tournament operations and event reporting for the event. The tournament organizer's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Selecting the site for the event
- Providing all materials to operate the event (product at Sealed Deck events, and so on)
- Retaining all tournament results for one full year after the event's completion
- Reporting to the V:EKN of all event results, including winner, in a timely manner
- Staffing the event with appropriate personnel (including finding an appropriate head judge for the event)
- Advertising the tournament sufficiently in advance of the event date
The tournament organizer may choose to delegate some or all of these responsibilities.
2.3. Player Responsibilities
Players must follow the rules interpretations and guidelines for play set forth by the V:EKN, the head judge, and other tournament officials. Players are expected to behave in a respectful and sportsmanlike manner at all times. Players who argue with the head judge or other tournament officials may be subject to the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines. Players are not permitted to waive penalties on behalf of their opponents. The judge must ensure that the appropriate penalty, if any, is imposed.
2.4. Spectator Responsibilities
A spectator of a game is defined as any person other than a judge or an organizer who is not playing in that game. A player who is ousted from a game is considered a spectator for the remainder of the round. All spectators are expected to remain silent during the course of a game and are not permitted to communicate with players in any way while a game is in progress. Spectators who believe that they have observed rules violations should inform a judge, but they must not interfere with the game. Players have the right to request that any spectator not observe their game. All such requests must be made through a judge, who may grant or deny the request as he or she sees fit. The judge or organizer may choose to prohibit all specatators at any table(s) or round(s) of the tournament.
2.5. Judge Responsibilities
All judges have the responsibility to deliver fair, impartial rulings and to assist the head judge and other tournament officials in any area that is required to ensure a smooth tournament. Judges must take action to resolve any rules infraction (whether a violation of the V:EKN Tournament Rules or the game rules) they notice or that is brought to their attention.
2.6. Head Judge Responsibilities
Officially sanctioned competition requires the physical presence of a head judge during play to adjudicate disputes, interpret rules, assign penalties, and make other official decisions. The head judge may, with the tournament organizer's agreement, appoint any number of other judges to help in the performance of the head judge's duties and to perform other tasks the head judge may require. The head judge is responsible for reporting all warnings issued at the tournament to the V:EKN either directly or through the tournament organizer's event report.
The head judge and the tournament organizer can be, but do not have to be, the same individual. The head judge is the final judicial authority at any V:EKN-sanctioned tournament (see section 2.5 - Judge Responsibilities).
2.7. Appeals to the Head Judge
If players should disagree with a judge's decision, they are free to appeal the ruling to the head judge. The head judge has the right to overrule other judges' decisions. Players may not appeal to the head judge before the judge responding to the situation renders an initial decision. The head judge's decision is final.
2.8. Lengthy Rulings
If a judge uses more than one minute to make a ruling, he or she may extend the game time appropriately. The extra time must be clearly communicated and recorded immediately by the judge.
2.9. Multi-Judge System
The Multi-Judge System may be used at any non-qualifier, non-championship tournament with at least eight participants (i.e., having at least two tables). Organizers choosing this system must announce its use before the tournament begins and identify six judges as head judge, secondary judge, and third, fourth, fifth, and sixth judge. Organizers should use good judgement when selecting the Multi-Judge System and should ensure its use will not disrupt the event. Tournament organizers may only participate in events they sanction if they are using the Multi-Judge System. These types of events are the only ones in which judges and/or tournament organizers are allowed to participate.
When using the Multi-Judge System, the head judge makes all rulings, except when a decision is needed in a game in which the head judge was seated as a player. If a ruling is needed in a head judge's game, the secondary judge makes the call, except in games in which both the head judge and secondary judge were both seated, and so on. The only time the sixth judge makes a ruling is when the head judge, the secondary judge, and the third, fourth, and fifth judges are seated at a game.
3.1. Round Structure
V:TES tournaments shall consist of a minimum of three rounds. After the preliminary two or more rounds, the players are ranked according to the number of Game Wins (see section 3.7.1). For players with the same number of Game Wins, the players' total accumulated Victory Points from the preliminary rounds are used as a tie-breaker. In the event that ties still exist, Tournament Points (see section 3.7.3) are used. Remaining ties for any of the top five rankings are resolved using any fair random method (e.g., a coin toss or a die roll). The five highest-ranked players advance to the final round.
3.1.1. Round Time Limits
Each round in the tournament has a time limit. The minimum time limit used in V:TES rounds is two hours. The time limit must be announced before play begins. The final round may last longer than the preliminary rounds, at the judge's option.
When the round is over, the judge will notify all players. The game will end with the current minion action - if any -, or at the end of the current phase, if the notification didn't happen during the minion phase.
3.1.2. Preliminary Rounds Seating
The judge will group players randomly and impartially, using prepared index cards, a computerized system for generating random groupings, or another impartial randomizing method. Regardless of the method used, the players are to be grouped randomly and impartially, without regard to the identities of the players behind the numbers (or cards or other method used to designate players in the system) and without regard to any personal relationship between the players or personal disposition of any player toward another. Use of the optimal seating chart, found in The Archon tournament tracking spreadsheet, is encouraged.
The judge will randomly and impartially assign players in groups of five. In the event that the number of players is not evenly divisible by five, the judge will assign players in groups of four and five, such that as many groups as possible contain five players.
If the players cannot be divided into groups of 4 and 5 (i.e., there are 6, 7, or 11 players), then the judge may elect to use a seating arrangement in which some players sit out each round (while still ensuring that every player plays the same number of games, usually equal to one less than the number of rounds).
Each table has five positions, numbered one through five, arranged clockwise around the table. The first player assigned to a table occupies position one, and so on. When play begins for each round, the player in position one plays first (with a default of one transfer during the influence phase), and so on. At tables with only four players, the empty position for turn rotation is ignored.
The judge must ensure that exact predator-prey relationships are not duplicated from round to round whenever possible. When this occurs, the judge will randomly and impartially rearrange the seating assignments of all players at the affected table. The judge may, at his or her discretion, reseat players who were assigned to table together during any previous round to different tables (doing so impartially).
3.1.3. Final Round Seating
Table positions are not assigned in the final round. Instead each of the finalists is given an index card (or reasonable substitute) with his or her name on it. Starting with the lowest qualifier, each qualifier places his or her index card faceup in a row on the table. When placing his or her card, each player must choose to position his or her card at either end of the row (one end of the row is equivalent to the other) or may create a space between two cards already placed. After all cards have been placed, they are read from left to right to determine seating positions in the final round. The judge will then determine randomly which player will play first.
Player 5 (the lowest qualifier) places her card.
Player 4 chooses to place his card at the right end of the row.
Player 3 chooses to place her card at the left end of the row.
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Player 2 chooses to create a space between players 5 and 4 and places his card in that space.
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Player 1 (the highest qualifier) chooses to create a space between players 2 and 4 and places her card in that space.
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3.1.4. Bowing Out of an Event
Players choosing to leave (quit playing) an event must inform the scorekeeper before the seatings for the next round are generated. Players leaving the tournament after the scorekeeper begins seatings for the next round receive a "Loss" in the upcoming round and will be removed from the event after that round.
3.1.5 Multi-Deck System
Players are prohibited from making modifications to their decks between rounds unless the tournament uses the following multi-deck rules. The multi-deck system can be used at any tournament with fewer than 12 players (i.e., fewer than three tables). Organizers choosing to use this system must announce its use in advance of the tournament date. Players may choose to bring any number of tournament-legal decks to the tournament and/or extra cards to exchange with cards in their decks (also known as a sideboard in some games). Between rounds, players may freely switch decks (or cards in their decks). A tournament begun with the multi-deck system cannot admit more players between rounds if doing so would create a round with 12 or more players.
3.1.6 Tournament Without Final
In a very small tournament, one with fewer than 8 players (i.e., fewer than two tables), the organizer may choose to omit the final round altogether or may choose to run an additional "preliminary" round in place of the final. This decision must be made and announced to all the players prior to the start of the first round. With no final, the results of the preliminary rounds (including the additional preliminary round, if any) are used to determine final standings in the same manner as described in 3.1 above. The no-final rules can be used in conjunction with or without the multi-deck system above, at the organizer's option. A tournament begun under the no-final arrangement cannot admit more players between rounds if doing so would create a round with 8 or more players.
3.2. Pre-Game Procedure
The following steps must be performed in order before each game begins.
- Players shuffle their decks.
- Players present their decks to their predators for additional shuffling and cutting, if desired.
- Each player draws seven cards from his or her library and four cards from his or her crypt.
All shuffling must be done so that the faces of the cards cannot be seen. Regardless of the method used to shuffle, players' decks must be sufficiently randomized. Each time players shuffle their decks (before the game or during the game), they must present their decks to their predator for additional shuffling and/or cutting. At the judge's discretion, players may request to have a judge shuffle their cards rather than pass that duty to their predators. By presenting their decks to their predators, players state that their decks are sufficiently randomized.
After decks are presented and accepted, players who do not consider their opponents' decks to be sufficiently randomized must notify a judge. The head judge has final authority regarding whether a deck has been sufficiently randomized.
Once predators have the opportunity to shuffle and/or cut players' decks, the cards are returned to their original owners. If the predator has shuffled the player's deck, that player may make one final cut.
Players are expected to be in their seats when each round begins. Players arriving at their seats after the round begins may be subject to tardiness penalties. Players who fail to arrive at their seats within 15 minutes of the scheduled start of a round will receive a "Loss" in the round. This section should not be construed to apply in the case of Late Arrivals who were not assigned a seat in a given round (section 3.3.1.).
3.3.1 Late Arrivals
Players arriving for the event after the start of the first round may, at the judge's discretion, be added to the event and may play in subsequent rounds. Such players may begin play at the start of the next round. Players may not be added to games already in progress.
3.3.2 Early Departure
Players leaving ("dropping out of") an event before all of the preliminary rounds are finished must notify the judge as soon as possible. If the judge has already set seating assignments for the round, the judge may treat this as per section 3.1.4 above, at his or her discretion.
3.3.3 In-game Breaks
Players are not premitted to take breaks in the middle of a game without notifying a judge. Players should take any necessary personal breaks between rounds, but if it is necessary to take a break in the middle of a game, a judge should be called first to ensure that the proper amount of time is given to the game (extending the time limit for that table as needed).
3.4. Pre-Game Procedure
At the start of each game, competitors shuffle their decks and present them to their opponents for additional shuffling and/or cutting. Any shuffling of opponents' decks must be done in a timely manner before the game begins. Shuffling requirements specified in section 3.2 apply during these steps.
If the head judge determines that a player uses shuffling as a stalling method, that player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.
3.5. Conceding Games
Players may concede a game at any time provided all but one of the players agree to concede, and provided it doesn't violate the play to win rule, with the result that game is recorded as if the remaining player had succeeded in ousting the conceding players in sequence. Please note that players who attempt to bribe, coerce, or otherwise improperly induce their opponents to concede will be subject to the appropriate section of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.
3.6. Intentional Draw
Players may mutually agree to accept an intentional draw at any time before the game results are submitted. If an offer to intentionally draw is declined, the game must continue as normal without any further coercion to accept the offer. Declaring an intentional draw has the same results for competitors as playing to the time limit (see sec 3.7.2).
3.7. Determining a Game Winner
There are three different types of scoring points in V:TES tournaments:
- Game Wins are awarded to the winner of each game.
- Victory Points are awarded when a player's prey is ousted and when a player survives a round (or as otherwise specified in the game rules or by effects of cards played, but with only a half Victory Point awarded for withdrawal).
- Tournament Points are awarded based on a player's table ranking at the end of a round.
3.7.1. Game Win Scoring
A player receives a Game Win at the end of a game in which they have received at least two (2) Victory Points and have more Victory Points than any other player in the game. (No game win is awarded in the case of ties.)
3.7.2. Victory Point Scoring
A player receives one Victory Point each time his or her prey is ousted during a game (or as otherwise indicated in the V:TES game rules or by cards played during the game).
Unlike the standard rules, however, a player receives only a half Victory Point for withdrawing, not the full Victory Point the normal rules award.
A player receives a half Victory Point if he or she has not been ousted when the time limit is reached, marking the end of the round, unless that player is the last one surviving at the table, in which case (as indicated in the V:TES game rules) the player receives a full Victory Point, as normal.
With all the Victory Points recorded, players are then ranked at their table from first through fifth place. The player with the highest total Victory Points places first, and so on.
3.7.3. Tournament Point Scoring
Five-player table: First place receives 60 Tournament Points, second place receives 48 Tournament Points, third place receives 36 Tournament Points, fourth place receives 24 Tournament Points, and fifth place receives 12 Tournament Points.
Four-player table: Players are ranked first, second, fourth, and fifth - third place is taken by the "table bye" position, an empty position.
If more than one player is tied for a particular table ranking, the tournament points are averaged (see section 3.7.4 - Scoring Examples).
3.7.4. Scoring Examples
Example (five-player table): Players A and C ousted one prey each. Players B and D were ousted by A and C, and did not oust any prey during the game. Player E did not oust any prey, but survived the round (along with A and C).
Therefore, Players A and C each receive one and one-half Victory Points - one Victory Point for ousting one prey, and one-half Victory Point for surviving the round. Player E receives one-half Victory Point for surviving the round. Players B and D receive no Victory Points.
Players A and C tie for first place (first and second) at the table, so each receives 54 Tournament Points ([60 + 48] / 2 = 54). Since they are tied (and since neither scored at least 2 Victory Points), no Game Win is awarded. Player E is clearly in third place, and receives 36 Tournament Points. Players B and D tie for fourth (fourth and fifth) place, and each receives 18 Tournament Points ([24 + 12] /2 = 18).
Example 2 (four-player table): Player A ousts one prey and survives the round. Player B was ousted by Player A. Players C and D did not oust any prey during the game, but both survived the round.
Therefore, Player A receives one and one-half Victory Points - one Victory Point for ousting one prey, and one-half Victory Point for surviving the round. Player B receives no Victory Points, and Players C and D each receive one-half Victory Points for surviving the round.
Player A finishes in first place at the table, and receives 60 Tournament Points. Players C and D tie for second (second and fourth, because third place at the table goes to the "table bye"), and each receive 36 Tournament Points ([48 + 24] / 2 = 36). Player B finishes in fifth place with 12 Tournament Points.
3.7.5. Final Round Scoring
The player with the highest total of Victory Points from the final round only is the tournament winner. In the event of a tie, the players' rankings at the end of the preliminary rounds will be the deciding tiebreaker. The rest of the finalists tie for second, with no additional criteria considered to attempt to break that tie.
4.1. Cards Allowed
All cards in a player's deck must be genuine Vampire: The Eternal Struggle or Jyhad cards or official V:EKN issued cards from the only authoritative source www.vekn.net. When using V:EKN issued cards they must be preferably color printed on standard paper and inserted into opaque sleeves before another Vampire: The Eternal Struggle or Jyhad card, this requires opaque sleeves for the whole crypt and/or library.
If cards with distinct backs are used in the same deck (e.g., Jyhad and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle cards, or upside-down 3rd Edition cards and right-side up cards, or mis-cut cards, or cards without the Deckmaster logo) are used, in order to prevent a significant advantage, all cards from the different sets, printings, etc. must be of sufficiently mixed card type, unless they are all sleeved with opaque sleeves (recommended).
Banned List: The following cards are banned in all V:EKN tournaments:
- Anthelios, the Red Star (Promo)
- Dramatic Upheaval (V:TES)
- Edge Explosion (NoR)
- Kindred Restructure (V:TES)
- Lilith's Blessing (Promo)
- Madness of the Bard (Dark Sovereigns)
- Memories of Mortality (Ancient Hearts)
- Protect Thine Own (Ancient Hearts)
- The Return to Innocence (Ancient Hearts)
- Seeds of Corruption (Ancient Hearts)
- Succubus Club (V:TES)
- Temptation of Greater Power (V:TES)
- Any cards that are usable only when playing for ante, including:
- Cunctator Motion (V:TES)
- High Stakes (V:TES)
- Playing for Keeps (Dark Sovereigns)
Note that rules cards from Nights of Reckoning are legal for V:EKN play in both Constructed and Limited formats.
4.2. Card Interpretation
The head judge is the final authority regarding card interpretations. All cards are to be interpreted according to their most recent printing. If the head judge determines that a player is using older cards and/or misprints to create an advantage by using misleading text or artwork, that player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.
4.3. New Releases
New V:TES cards and rules (new expansions, new editions of the basic set, new rules released in expansions or basic sets, and promotional cards) are allowed in Constructed tournament play beginning 30 days after their retail release date. V:EKN announcements confirm the exact date that each new card set enters tournament play before the set is released.
New cards or rules are allowed in Limited tournament play immediately, including before the release date (for example, at a Prerelease tournament).
4.4. Card Elevation and Disposition
Players must keep their cards above the level of the playing surface. Revealing cards in your hand or uncontrolled area to any opponent is not allowed.
4.5. Proxy Cards
As long as the game is not under production, the organizer of an event that is neither a National Championship nor a Continental Championship 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.
Otherwise, the use of proxy cards is not permitted, unless a judge provides these cards. If a card becomes excessively worn through play or accidentally damaged in the current sanctioned tournament, or if the owner of the card must leave prior to the conclusion of a game, the judge may provide a proxy replacement card or (in the case of damaged or worn cards) require the player to sleeve all of his or her cards before play continues.
When a judge creates a proxy for a player, it is included in the player's deck. The original card is kept close at hand during the game, if possible. When the proxy is in play, replace it with the original. When it returns to the player's deck/hand, swap it with the proxy. This replacement method helps ensure that the opponent is able to clearly see the intended card and to avoid confusion.
The term "proxy" includes counterfeit cards or any card that is not a genuine game card. Counterfeiters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
4.6. Card Sleeves
Players may use plastic card sleeves or other protective devices on cards. If a player chooses to use card sleeves, all cards in the player's current deck must be placed in the sleeves in an identical manner. If the sleeves feature holograms or other markings, cards must be inserted into the sleeves so these markings appear uniformly on the cards (all markings on the face or all on the backs, but not mixed). A player may choose to sleeve his library but not his crypt, or vice-versa, and the crypt and the library may be sleeved differently from each other.
Once a game begins, players may request that the judge inspect an opponent's card sleeves. The judge may disallow a player's card sleeves if the judge believes they are marked, worn, or otherwise in a condition that interferes with shuffling or game play. To avoid confusion, a card sleeve may also be used to mark a player's card if the card is in an opponent's playing area.
4.7. Locked Cards
If a card must be locked as a part of the game rules, it must be turned approximately 90 degrees from the normal position.
4.8. Play to Win
One aspect of sportsmanlike conduct is that players must not play toward goals that conflict with the goal of the game as stated in the V:TES rulebook (e.g., attacking certain players on the basis of their V:EKN ratings or overall tournament standing, etc.). For tournaments, playing to win means playing to get a Game Win if it is reasonably possible, and when a Game Win is not reasonably possible, then playing to get as many Victory Points as possible.
Neither the basic game rules nor the tournament rules enforce or regulate deals made between players. The tournament rules acknowledge deals, however, in that a deal which represents the best interests of the players involved at the time the deal is made is allowed to be honored, even when the normal play to win rule would indicate that a deal should be broken. This only applies to deal that are in the best interests of the players involved at the time the deal is made. That is, it applies only when making the deal is playing to win. (It is also allowable to break such a deal, of course).
During the finals, playing to win means playing to finish as tournament winner (as defined in 3.7.5).
Exception: when only two Methuselahs remain, the tournament rules no longer acknowledge any deals. Prior deals are voided, even if they were play to win when made. When only two Methuselahs remain, both Methuselahs must play to win based only on game state, without regard to any deals.
4.9. Infinite Loops
When a loop is detected (meaning game state has been completely restored to a previous state and could be repeated without limit except for the round's time limit), the activity cannot be begun again (until and unless game state changes). This includes actions, sequences of combats, rounds of combat, and everything else. Note that game state includes all players' hands, ash heaps, and libraries, as well as available maneuvers and presses from cards in play, and master: out-of-turn plays.
Cheating will not be tolerated. The head judge reviews all cheating allegations, and if he or she determines that a player cheated, the head judge will issue the appropriate penalty based on the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines. All disqualifications are subject to later V:EKN review, and further penalties may be assessed.
Cheating includes, but is not limited to, the following intentional activities:
- Receiving outside assistance or coaching
- Looking at opponents' card faces while shuffling or cutting their decks
- Collusion to alter the results of a game
- Misrepresenting rules or card texts or errata
- Using marked cards/sleeves (see section 4.6)
- Drawing extra cards
- Manipulating which cards are drawn from your deck or from an opponent's deck
- Stalling to take advantage of a time limit
- Misrepresenting or obscuring public information (pool totals, number of cards in deck, and so on)
5.2. Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any time. Players who engage in unsportsmanlike conduct will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines and will be subject to further V:EKN review. Judges, players, spectators, and officials must behave in a polite, respectable, and sportsmanlike manner. In addition, players must not use profanity, argue, act belligerently toward tournament officials or one another, or harass spectators, tournament officials, or opponents. See also "Play to Win" in section 4.8 above.
5.3. Slow Play
Players must take their turns in a timely fashion. Whereas taking a reasonable amount of time to think through game strategy is acceptable, playing excessively slowly or stalling for time is not. If a judge determines that a player is stalling for time or playing excessively slowly at any point during the tournament, the responsible player will be subject to the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.
5.4. Marked Cards
A card is considered marked if it bears something that makes it possible to identify the card without seeing its face, including scratches, discoloration, unnatural bends, and so on. If a player's cards are sleeved, the sleeves are considered part of the cards, so:
- For cards placed in clear sleeves, both the sleeve and the card must be examined to determine whether a card is marked.
- For cards placed in opaque-backed sleeves, just the sleeve must be examined to determine whether a card is marked or not.
If the head judge determines that a card in a player's deck is marked, that player will be subjected to the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.
6.1. Constructed Formats
The V:EKN sanctions only one constructed format: Standard Constructed.
6.1.1. Set Restrictions
The tournament organizer may limit players to the use of one or more card sets. For example, the tournament organizer may require players to restrict their decks to cards from the Dark Sovereigns and Final Nights card sets. The tournament organizer must advertise any card set restrictions prior to the event. All cards will be required to use the most recent card texts even if the revised card text appears in a set not allowed in the current event. Example: In an event restricted to the use of the V:TES base set, the Master card "Misdirection" would still lock only one minion.
Note: Sanctioned tournaments conducted with card set restrictions will not have their results included in the V:EKN player ratings.
6.2. Constructed Deck Size Limits
Standard Constructed decks must contain a minimum of sixty cards and a maximum of ninety cards. The crypt must contain a minimum of twelve cards.
6.3. Constructed Deck Registration
The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to register their decks upon arrival at a tournament. Registration records the original composition of each deck. Once a tournament official receives a player's decklist, the deck may not be altered. Failure to properly register a deck will result in the head judge applying the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines. The V:EKN recommends that organizers check a reasonable number of decks against their decklists each round.
The rules in this section apply to all Limited tournaments, including Sealed-Deck tournaments (sections 7.3 and 7.4) and Draft tournaments (sections 7.5, 7.6, 7.7, and 7.8).
7.1. Limited Formats
The V:EKN sanctions the following Sealed formats:
- Sealed (standard) (see section 7.3)
- Restricted Trade (also called Michigan Draft) (see section 7.4)
The V:EKN sanctions the following Draft formats:
- Booster Draft (standard) (section 7.6)
- Table Draft (also called Rochester Draft) (section 7.7)
- Mixed Draft (also called Elder Draft) (section 7.8)
7.2. General Limited Format Rules
7.2.1. Limited Deck Composition
The minimum sizes for the library and the crypt in limited formats are determined by the number of boosters used per player. If any starters are used, the minimums are forty for the library and twelve for the crypt.
If eight or more boosters are used per player, the library minimum is forty. Otherwise, the minimum for the library is five cards per booster, and see Recursion (section 7.2.2) below for the mechanism used to increase the effective size of the library.
In all cases, the library cannot contain more than ninety cards.
If twelve or more boosters are used per player, the crypt minimum is twelve. Otherwise, the minimum for the crypt is equal to the number of booster packs used per player.
Crypts may contain cards from any groups without any limitations based on group numbers.
Note: The rules based on number of boosters assume that each booster pack has eleven cards. When using boosters from the sets that don't have eleven cards in each booster (e.g., the original 1994 and 1995 base sets, or from the Dark Sovereigns, Ancient Hearts, or The Sabbat expansions), then calculate the effective number of 11-card-boosters by dividing the total number of cards by 11 (rounded to the nearest whole number). Use that number to find the minimum deck sizes (this section) and the number of recursions (next section).
When the minimum library size is less than forty, each player gets a number of recursions based on that minimum size. (The term recursion is based on the draft format which inspired it, the Internal Recursion Draft format, also known as Swainbank Draft).
Each recursion allows the player to use a discard phase action to shuffle all the library cards in his or her ash heap back into his or her library. This can be done whether or not there are any cards left in the player's library or hand. A player is not considered to have exhausted his or her library if he or she has any recursions remaining (which means that a player cannot attempt to withdraw if he or she has any recursions left, for instance).
The number of recursions is chosen to make the effective library size (the size of the library multiplied by the number of times the player goes through the library) as close to sixty as possible. The following table shows the number of recursions each player gets based on the number of booster packs used per player.
Note that sixty is used for the effective library size rather than forty, because players will typically want to use recursion before their hands are empty, and because some library cards may be in play area or may have been removed from the game during play (and therefore not returned to the library by recursion).
7.2.3. Limited Deck Registration
The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they receive in a Limited tournament. Once the cards are registered, players have a limited amount of time to prepare their decks before play begins. The V:EKN recommends that organizers check a reasonable number of decks against their decklists each round.
7.2.4. Card Use - Limited Tournaments
All cards players use in Limited events must be received directly from tournament officials. Every player receives identical sealed product (same number and assortment of booster packs as every other player in the tournament), with the possible exception of preconstructed starter decks. If any preconstructed starter decks are used, they may be distributed randomly to the players. The organizer may require that players use the decks they are randomly given, or may allow the players to trade starters amongst themselves before opening any of the sealed product (starters or boosters).
Optionally, the organizer may have the players bring their own sealed product, with whatever restriction to set(s) and/or number of boosters and/or starters from each set the organizer chooses. These restrictions must be advertised well in advance of the tournament. In these cases, the players won't necessarily have identical product.
Players may use only the actual cards they receive or draft at a Limited tournament plus any additional cards specifically provided by the tournament organizer. Players may not trade or replace the cards they receive or draft at a Limited tournament with any other cards, even if the replacement is an exact copy. If a card is damaged or otherwise considered "marked," players must comply with section 7.2.5 - Abnormal Decks, Boosters, and Cards.
7.2.5. Abnormal Cards or Boosters
Players who have an abnormal number of cards in the decks or booster packs they receive must inform the head judge, who may replace the deck or booster pack at his or her discretion. If a player receives a "marked" card (section 5.4), the head judge may replace that card with a proxy card at his or her discretion. (See section 4.5 - Proxy Cards)
Neither White Wolf nor the tournament organizer guarantees any specific distribution of card rarities or frequency in a particular booster pack or deck.
7.2.6. Early Departure and Late Arrivals
Once a player in a Limited tournament has received sealed product, he or she may not leave (withdraw from) the event prior to the conclusion of first round. If a player violates this rule, he or she must return the product he or she received from the organizer, and receives a "Loss" for the round on the official tournament record and is dropped from the tournament.
Late arrivals can be added, if the organizer permits it. The added players receive product and build decks according to the sealed deck rules, even if the tournament is a draft. This is true even if there are multiple late arrivals. They can be added into the tournament in any round after they have completed the contstruction of their decks.
7.3. Standard Sealed Deck Tournament Rules
7.3.1. Deck Construction
Before tournament play begins, each player receives an assortment of sealed product. Each player then creates a tournament deck that meets the Sealed-Deck size requirements found in the game's V:EKN Floor Rules. Players are given a set amount of time, determined by the event organizer, in which to construct their decks.
The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they intend to play in their decks. Failure to properly record the cards being played will result in the head judge applying the appropriate provisions of the V:EKN Penalty Guidelines.
7.3.2. Sealed Deck Swap
A Standard Sealed Deck event may require participants to perform a sealed-deck swap. In a sealed deck swap, players do not play with the decks they originally receive at the event. Instead, the sealed product - as well as deck-registration sheets - are handed out to all players in the event. Players open their decks and record the contents on their deck-registration sheets. This process is called "registering a deck". A tournament official will then collect the sealed product and the corresponding deck-registration sheets. Next, 10 to 20 percent of the decks are handed back out to the players who registered them. The remainder of the decks are handed out randomly to all players who do not have a deck. It is perfectly acceptable for players to receive their original decks back at this point. This entire process is called a sealed-deck swap. Players will then construct decks from the product they have at this time.
7.4. Restricted Trade Tournament Rules
Restricted Trade (also known as Michigan Draft) follows all the rules for Standard Sealed (see section 7.3), with the following changes:
7.4.1. Preparation for Trade
Library Cards: Each player constructs a library cards as normal, except that it must contain exactly 50 cards. Each player then selects 15 cards from his or her remaining (unused) library cards; these cards form the player's trade stock.
Crypt Cards: Each player constructs an initial crypt of 10 cards. The remaining crypt cards are kept as a sideboard. After the trading phase, each player will take two crypt cards from his or her sideboard to put into his or her crypt, bringing the crypt size up to the standard 12 cards (after which the sideboard is put away - the cards remaining in it cannot be used for the rest of the tournament).
7.4.2. Player Distribution
With their initial libraries, crypts, trading stock, and crypt sideboards, the players assemble randomly into trading circles (called pods) of four to five players. Pods may correspond to the Players' first round table assignments.
7.4.3. Trading Procedure
Players in a trading pod place the library cards in their trading stock faceup in front of them.
The player trading first from the cards presented on the table is called the active player. The first active player is the participant in the first seat, designated by the judge. After each successful (accepted) trade, the player to the left of the active player becomes the active player.
The active player offers a trade by selecting a faceup card in front of another player in the pod. The owner of the selected card may accept or decline the offer, with the following results:
- Accept. The owner of the selected card selects a faceup card in front of the active player. The two selected cards are exchanged and placed facedown.
- Decline. The owner of the selected card turns the selected card facedown where it is. The active player cannot select any other cards from the same player again this turn.
If the active player has no faceup cards, or if all other players decline to trade with the active player, then his or her turn is over and the player to his or her left becomes the new active player.
If only one player has any faceup cards, he or she turns them facedown.
Once all cards are facedown, the trading phase ends. The players then add two cards from their crypt sideboards to their crypts and shuffle their 15 trading stock cards into their libraries (bringing the libraries to 65 cards). Once all pods have finished the trading phase, regular tournament play begins.
7.5. General Draft Tournament Rules
7.5.1. Player Distribution
Players assemble randomly into drafting circles (called pods) of roughly equal size at the discretion of the tournament organizer or head judge. Pods may correspond to the Players' first round table assignments. A tournament official then distributes the booster packs to be drafted to each player in the pod.
As players draft the cards, they must place their cards in two orderly piles in front of them, one for library cards and one for crypt cards. Drafted cards may only be reviewed between the drafting of packs.
7.5.2. Draft Format
The organizer chooses the format for the draft (table draft, booster draft, etc.). The organizer may choose different formats for each sealed product, and may choose to use some of the product in a "sealed deck" format rather than drafting it. For example, the organizer may specify that players will use preconstructed starters as sealed deck and then add cards from two booster packs (per player) drafted using booster draft rules.
7.5.3. Draft Card Selection
Before the tournament begins, the head judge must announce how much time each player has to select a card. If a player fails to select a card in the time given, the pod judge issues that player a random card from the cards from which the player is selecting.
7.5.4. Deck Construction
Once drafting is complete, players are given a set amount of time, determined by the event organizer, in which to construct their decks from the cards they drafted. The decks must be constructed according to the specifications of section 7.2.1. The head judge or tournament organizer may require players to record on a decklist every card they intend to use in their decks, as well as all cards they drafted.
7.6. Booster Draft Procedure
At a signal from a tournament official, each player opens the booster pack specified by the official and counts the cards. If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack, he or she must notify the judge immediately, who will replace the pack. The player chooses one card from the booster pack, then passes the remaining cards facedown to the player on his or her left. The opened packs are passed around the drafting pod - with each player taking one card each before passing - until all cards are drafted. Once a player has removed a card from the pack, it is considered selected and may not be returned to the pack.
After each player's first pack is drafted, a tournament official will instruct players to open the next specified pack and draft in the same fashion, except that the direction of drafting is reversed. This process is repeated until all cards in all booster packs are drafted. For example, if five booster packs were being drafted, the first, third, and fifth pack would be drafted clockwise and the second and fourth pack would be drafted counterclockwise.
7.7. Table Draft (Rochester Draft) Procedure
Before the tournament begins, the head judge must announce how much time each player has to select a card. If a player fails to select a card in the time given, the pod judge issues that player the "oldest" card still remaining from the booster pack.
Example: The pod players each lay out cards two cards from his or her booster pack. The cards can be considered to be in chronological order (1-10), where 1 is the first card placed on the table by the player who will draft first and 10 is the last card placed on the table by the player who will draft fifth. If a player fails to draft in a timely manner, the cards on the table are examined by the pod judge and the "oldest" card on the table (not yet drafted) is given to the player.
During a Table Draft, players must always display the most recent card they drafted from the current set faceup. When all cards are drafted from the current set, players may move their cards from that pack to any position.
7.7.1. Table Draft Preparation
At a signal from a tournament official, each player opens the booster pack specified by the official and counts the cards facedown. If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack, he or she must notify the judge immediately, who will replace the pack. After counting the cards facedown to make sure the pack is correct, players then move all crypt cards to the top of the pack facedown.
Note: some packs may have a different number of crypt cards than others.
Players then place their opened packs facedown on the table in front of them. At a signal from the pod judge, players place the top two cards from their booster pack faceup on the table. Players are given twenty seconds to review the cards before drafting begins.
7.7.2. Table Draft Active Player Rotation
The player drafting first from the cards presented on the table is called the active player. The first active player is the participant in the first seat, designated by the judge. After all cards on the table have been drafted, the player to the left of the active player becomes the active player for the next set of cards.
7.7.3. Table Draft Order
The draft order moves in a horseshoe pattern, beginning with the active player, continuing around the table to the last participant in the pod group who has not yet drafted a card. The last player in the group selects two cards, instead of one, and the drafting continues in reverse order, moving back to the player who began the drafting (the first person who drafted from the set). After all cards are drafted (with each player having two cards from the current set), the table judge prepares for the next booster-pack draft.
Example: Five players are seated around a table. They are numbered 1-2-3-4-5 in a clockwise order. The active player is Player 1. Each player opens and counts his or her booster pack (facedown) and moves the crypt cards to the top. Then each player places the top two cards from his or her booster faceup in the center of the table. After the twenty-second review period has expired, the draft order is as follows:
Player 1 - card 1
Player 2 - card 2
Player 3 - card 3
Player 4 - card 4
Player 5 - card 5
Player 5 - card 6
Player 4 - card 7
Player 3 - card 8
Player 2 - card 9
Player 1 - card 10
Player 2 would become the active player for the next set of cards, drafting first.
7.8. Mixed Draft (Elder Draft) Procedure
For mixed draft, the players in each pod open all of the packs/starters that they received from the tournament officials, counting the cards in each facedown to verify that each pack or starter is complete, and then separating the crypt cards from the library cards (both facedown). If a player does not have the appropriate number of cards in his or her booster pack or deck, he or she must notify the judge immediately, who will replace the pack or deck.
After the cards are counted and split into crypt and library piles (two piles per player), the library cards are set aside and the crypt cards are drafted according to the Table Draft procedure (see section 7.7).
After all crypt cards have been drafted, the crypt cards are set aside and the library cards are split into piles. The size of the piles is specified by the tournament organizer. Each pile is then treated as a separate booster, and the cards are drafted according to the Booster Draft procedure (see section 7.6).
Tournament organizers must follow the rules in this section when sanctioning events with the V:EKN. The V:EKN reserves the right to cancel sanctioning for any event at any time.
8.1. Sanctioning Deadline
To ensure sanctioning approval, tournament organizers must apply for V:EKN sanctioning at least twenty-eight days prior to the event.
8.2. Sanctioned Tournament Advertising
Sanctioned tournaments should be announced/advertised at least twenty-eight days prior to the event. Announcements should include the time and place of the event.
Receiving event reports in a correct and timely manner is fundamental to accurate and up-to-date V:EKN ratings. Tournament organizers must follow the rules outlined in this section when reporting their events.
9.1. Organizer Records
Tournament organizers are required to keep copies of all tournament reports for V:EKN-sanctioned events they run for a period of one year. These records serve as backups in case event results are lost.
9.2. Event Report Deadline
Event reports are due to the V:EKN within eight days of the tournament's conclusion. Tournament reports not received by the V:EKN within eight days are considered late, and are listed in the V:EKN tournament database as "Not Received" for fourteen days after the event.
9.3. Delinquent Tournaments
Event reports must be received by the V:EKN within thirty days of the tournament's conclusion. Event reports not received within fifteen to thirty days are listed as "Delinquent" in the V:EKN tournament database. Organizers may still submit event results in this time frame without penalty.
9.4. Invalid Tournaments
Players' game records at events that become invalid will not count toward their V:EKN ratings and rankings.
The V:EKN reserves the right to invalidate reported results of any sanctioned tournament for any reason, but will usually do so only when fraudulent or incorrect results are reported by the organizer. Additionally, the V:EKN reserves the right to invalidate any event reports not received within thirty days of the tournament date.
9.5. Event Status Updates
Tournament organizers and players may check on an event's reporting status by visiting the V:EKN website. If an organizer's event appears as "Delinquent" or "Invalid" on this report two months in a row, the V:EKN will investigate the organizer's reporting history and issue sanctioning penalties as appropriate.
The V:EKN reserves the right to adjust penalties on an individual basis due to extenuating circumstances and it reserves the right to change this policy without notice.
9.6. Mandatory V:EKN Numbers
All tournament participants must be assigned a V:EKN membership number prior to participating in a sanctioned tournament. Results reported with temporary player numbers, player names, or placeholders will not be included in the V:EKN ratings.
9.7. Tournament Reports and Event Invitation Lists
Tournament reports must be received by the deadlines specified in the Ratings Deadline and Publication Schedules provided on the V:EKN website. in order to be included in the ratings calculations used to generate invitation and bye lists (if any) for premier events.
9.8. Non-Open V:TES Events
Non-open V:TES events are held in the following manner:
- The event coordinator outlines the qualification process and number of qualifying tournaments in a message to ??????????? for approval.
- Qualifiers are handled just like regular tournaments for sanctioning, prize support, etc., and are open to all players.
- The non-open event is sanctioned and receives prize support (possibly different than usual prize support) independently through direct correspondence with ???????????.
Ante Card: Any card that mentions "ante" in the rules text of the card. These cards usually have a game mechanic associated with a player "anteing" a card. Ante cards are found mainly in older Vampire: The Eternal Struggle expansions.
Banned Card: A card that is not allowed by the V:EKN in the indicated format. For example, the card Return to Innocence is banned from all V:EKN-sanctioned tournaments. This means that Return to Innocence is not allowed in any deck in any V:EKN-sanctioned tournaments (neither in constructed nor in limited).
Constructed: A tournament in which players bring their own decks to the tournament. Decks are built with any cards the player has available, subject to any restrictions given in the V:EKN rules regarding allowable cards.
Cutting: One time only, removing a single portion of a deck and placing it on top of the remaining portion without looking at any of the card faces. Anything more than this one cut is considered a shuffle.
V:EKN: The V:TES Players Organization, responsible for developing and maintaining tournament rules and resources for V:TES.
Game Begins: A game is considered to have begun once all players have presented their decks to their predators for shuffling/cutting.
Limited: A tournament in which players build their decks at the tournament from cards they have received from packs opened at the tournament.
Premier Events: Any event that White Wolf offers only to select tournament organizers or is open only to a select group of players (based on invitations, for example). Premier events can include, but are not limited to: World, Continental, National, Regional, or State Championships, storyline tournaments, and Prerelease tournaments.
Promo Card: Any playable card that is released by the manufacturer separate of any given card set.
Proxy Card: A card used during competition to represent another card; also counterfeit cards, or any card that is not genuinely produced by the game's manufacturer.
Public Information: Refers to information that is available to all players in the game, such as statistics or card text that participants are required to share with tournament officials and opponents according to the rules of the game. For example a player's pool the number of cards in a player's library is public information.
Rating: A numeric value published by the V:EKN that indicates a player's past performance in sanctioned tournaments.
Ranking: A value, based on a player's V:EKN rating, that indicates a player's position relative to the group he or she is being measured against. For example, a player may be ranked in first place in the city of Hamburg, Germany, but may be ranked in eighty-fifth place when compared to all of Europe.
Round: The period during which gameplay takes place.
Round Begins: The time posted and/or announced by the head judge or tournament organizer for all players to be seated and ready for play.
Scorekeeper: The scorekeeper is a tournament official whose responsibilities include: receiving and recording all game results, constructing player seatings, ensuring accurate entry of game results, removing players from the event, and so on. Tournament officials, such as the head judge or tournament organizer, may also be the scorekeeper for the event.
Tournament Begins: Once the onsite tournament registration closes, the tournament has begun.
Tournament Official: Any person who is empowered to maintain the tournament. This includes, but is not limited to: the tournament organizer, scorekeeper, other scorekeeping staff, head judge, and all other judges (section 1.1).
The V:EKN Tournament Rules are based on the applicable portions of the DCI Universal Tournament Rules and the DCI Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Tournament Rules for the 1999-2000 Tournament Season.
White Wolf and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle are registered trademarks of White Wolf Publishing, Inc. Jyhad and Vampire: Elder Kindred Network are trademarks of White Wolf Publishing, Inc. Wizards of the Coast and DCI are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
© 2007 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.