The Week of Nightmares is underway in Columbus, Ohio, and the North American Championship is happening this weekend at Origins. Mike Nudd and I will be in town for Origins, and as we did last year, we'll have a meeting with the playtesters in attendance to go over playtest of the next set after Danse Macabre. We got a lot of great feedback doing this last year, and we look forward to doing it again! I've also spoken with the organizers of the European Championships in Stockholm, and we'd like to do a preview/question & answer panel with the Design Team.

As for the next set, I figured I'd update you on its progress. It is an as-yet-unnamed Independent-clan themed set, slated to be 36 cards in size. The clans will be the classic Independent clans: Assamites, Followers of Set, Giovanni, and Ravnos. We have more than 70 cards designed already and more are being designed. We'll be paring the set down to 44 cards or so for playtest. Depending on how cards fare in playtest, cuts will be made and each clan will end up with 5-6 vampires and 3-4 library cards.

The main limiting factor on the size of the set is artwork. We are thrilled to report that the great majority of artists from Danse Macabre will be returning for the next set. We're also looking for more artists, so if you'd like to contribute or if you know an artist who would like to help, please send contact info and portfolios to Gines Quinonero at .

Given that it's an Independent-themed set, some of you may be wondering whether we'll be including Gangrel. At the present time we're not. Again, we're limited by how much artwork we can get, so we're going to focus on the "classic four" for now. However, if print-on-demand goes online and if we can get the resources we need from, we'll consider expanding the scope of the set to include Gangrel. Under those circumstances, we'd also be likely to increase the amount of crypt and library cards each clan would get.

The first wave of art descriptions to be sent to the Art Director is due at the end of the month, and we'll be starting playtest then, as well. As Johannes mentioned in the forums, the print-on-demand project continues to progress with no major roadblocks. However, without final validation from all parties involved, there are no announcements to be made at the present time.

That's the news for now! See you at Origins

- Ben Peal, V:EKN Design Team Lead