Fellow Methuselahs,

Let me apologize for being late on this State of the V:EKN. It was due 01. April but I couldn´t get it done until today. Nevertheless this gives the opportunity to fully cover the recent events.

As most of you know in the fall of last year there has been a decision by the V:EKN to produce a fan made set. A design team with a handful of people was assembled and they set off to build that set. Unfortunately at the end of December, right around the start of R1 of playtesting, a conflict broke out in the team. My goal was to solve this conflict and to bring all the parties involved back together again. From all my experience in dealing with V:TES and the V:EKN, and I never thought this wouldn´t be possible or even it would be a hard task. Turns out it was. The differences couldn´t be reconciled and first one guy split from the team and then two others followed, you may have seen the topics in the forum. This was a really sad experience for me as a Chairman and a hard time. I did not want this to happen but in trying to solve that conflict I realized an important problem: there are people who see the ability to make decisions as a right they have earned and that volunteering results in entitlement. From where I stand this is fundamentally wrong. The ability to make decisions is a responsibility, not a right, and there is no reward for volunteering except the happy faces and respect of your fellow players. I quote Robyn Tatu: "It’s really simple. Volunteers simply go to work. If they’re not happy with their current assignment they quit or find other areas where they can contribute". The good news is this only slightly impacted the development process and we are still on track for Round 3 of playtesting. Ben Peal will speak to more details in an upcoming Designers' Diary.

During the public discussions about the design team I read from several people that they think the Inner Circle is too secretive and only staffed with a close connected group of people. To be honest, when building the new V:EKN after White Wolf dropped V:TES we didn´t build an Inner Circle. We just named important positions and put them in there. Also since we have been getting along just fine in the V:EKN days, the Inner Circle´s ability to make decisions was not that important before. So what we did is to think long and hard about the structure and members of the Inner Circle and here are the changes to come:

- The Storyline Coordinator position will be moved from the Inner Circle to the Design Team. All later tournament legal reward cards have to follow the standard design process.

- There will be a new group within the Inner Circle: Chairmen Emeriti. This is for formerly dedicated members of the V:EKN who currently can´t devote much of their time to the V:EKN. This is a non-voting position, senior advisors.

- In addition to the V:EKN Marketing Director there will be a V:EKN Spokesperson. The Marketing Director will handle external communication and actively market V:TES to the outside and the Spokesperson will proactively interface with the player base, the princes and the national coordinators.

- V:EKN Scribe. Accurately recollecting the decisions made by the Inner Circle and archiving them, maintaining and monitoring a calendar of important dates for the VEKN, keeping the records of the association in a safe place.

- Vice Chairman. Well, Vice-President. You get it.

So far for the structure. Let me talk about persons, we have a few changes coming here as well.

- Eric Chiang will be leaving us as storyline coordinator after running the event at the NAC. We thank him for his service. There are two promising candidates and we will give you a new name soon.

- David Tatu will be taking over the V:EKN Scribe position.

- Robert Goudie will be the first Chairman Emeritus.

The positions of: Vice Chairman, Spokesperson and Marketing Director are currently open. If you are interested in a more active position in the V:EKN or want to lift that veil of secrecy (*grin*) now is the time. I sincerely hope that this step shows that there has never been any desire for secrecy on the Inner Circle´s part and that we have an open mind about anybody wanting to participate.

A recent change to the website was the introduction of a V:TES video channel, a link (www.vekn.net/index.php/cause-and-effect) to the well known Cause & Effect. I think this is a great series and a prime display of volunteering at work. Thank you guys for letting us use your content. Again, this goes out to every player: if you want to contribute to the V:EKN, I am sure there is a place for you.

As I mentioned in the Cause & Effect interview, there's about a 20% chance of the game coming back into print. We've had dialog with various companies with respect to this. At this time, there is nothing tangible to report. However, dialog with those companies continues, and we'll be sure to let you know if there are any developments.

Johannes Walch
Chairman of the V:EKN