Greetings fellow Methuselahs
The summer is certainly no eternal struggle. Soon it´s over, and you can stop feeling ashamed for hiding from the sun in dark gambling dens, flipping cards and drinking blood. This month we have some great stuff to present: new community website from White Wolf, report from the V:EKN design team and interviews with two fantastic talents of V:TES. Enjoy!
WORLD OF DARKNESS.COM IS HERE
White Wolf has launched a beta version of the community site WorldofDarkness.com. Log in and advertise your playgroups presence, whether it is V:TES, LARP, RPG or otherwise – already over 200 groups all over the world have done so. The site will also contain RPG campaign tools, a bookstore and many other things.
On this note, we cannot resist the urge to mention that World of Darkness creator and author of Vampire: The Masquerade First Edition Mark Rein•Hagen has returned to his creation. At GenCon is was announced that he is now a part of the Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition development team. Welcome back!
DESIGN TEAM NEWS
Design Team leader Ben Peal reports:
Round 3 of the Bloodlines playtest is underway! It will conclude at the end of September and it is the last round of playtesting. 75% of the artwork for the set is complete and the remainder is already in progress. We're expecting an October release, but we won't have a firm date until the artwork is complete and the set is reviewed by White Wolf.
We're still very early in the discussion stage regarding what will come next after the Bloodlines set. However, with a new edition of Vampire: The Masquerade coming in 2018, having a Camarilla set to coincide with it seems like a good idea. We definitely want to fill the holes in Group 5 for Camarilla, explore more of the Camarilla themes and concepts, and find ways to make Primogen more useful. We would also like to revisit the Sabbat at some point as well as Bloodlines again to cover the clans we didn't touch upon in the current set. For the moment we'll stay focused on getting the Bloodlines set into the hands of the players, but we'll be keeping an eye on the developments for Vampire: The Masquerade.
ARTIST IN FOCUS: CARMEN CORNET
Among the very talented artists that have contributed for the V:EKN-created card sets is Carmen Cornet of Madrid, Spain. Her work is found on for example Xaviar Advanced, Legba and Guardian Vigil, and will also appear in the upcoming bloodlines set (see two previews above). We asked her some questions, and she was kind enough to answer:
What are your background as an artist? Are you educated or self-taught?
- I have learnt all I know about art by my own. As almost everyone on the job, I started drawing stuff when I was child. And from there, I really never stopped, trying to improve my understanding from comics, animation, and also from the internet. I think this is the best way to learn, and the internet is the most efficient teacher. There is a vast community of artists online willing to share their techniques and knowledge. One can find anything, from tutorials and digital resources to any kind of tips and pieces of advice. I have tried formal education in arts, but I think that was not for me.
Have we seen your work in other games, or at other places?
- So far, I have been mainly focused on my formation and improving my technique. However, since the last couple of years I have been involved in several minor projects, and some collaborations with independent studios.
What techniques do you prefer?
- I started hand-drawing with pencil and paper, but I must admit that almost all I do now is digital art, using mostly a computer and a digital tablet. You can say I have almost left traditional hand-drawing, but sometimes I cannot resist grabbing the pencil again.
How do you like working for V:EKN?
- I’m always excited to collaborate with the V:EKN and spend some free time on it, and since they’re very easy-going and flexible with deadlines, I find this as a hobby, fresh air. I really love the V:tM RPG, and when it comes to put faces to known vampires, I feel it as it as a privilege. As a V:TM fan, I enjoy drawing World of Darkness characters and devious dark stuff, it matches well my style. And I always spend big time gathering info and trying to stick to the official description, in addition to the briefing V:TES art director Ginés Quiñonero provides me. And I'm a fan of V:TES itself as well, I think it matches perfectly the original RPG spirit.
We preview two crypt illustrations of yours in this newsletter, a Harbinger of Skulls and a Salubri antitribu. How we´re your thoughts working with them?
- I don´t remember reading about them before, so I just followed the description the V:EKN gave me and improvised a bit, since there was no other information about them available. So they were almost fully made from imagination.
This V:TES expansion has been very interesting. I found it kind of challenging drawing skulls, masks and rotten – but yet alive – stuff, so I enjoyed making both characters. However, when it comes to choose a favorite, I pick the Salubri truck driver. Saulot’s progeny has always been a very captivating clan. They are the good ones … or the worst of them all, depends on the reader. And he is a lone nomad Sabbat trucker with three eyes. It’s inevitable to find him cool!
What kind of motives do you prefer? What kind of assignments?
- Regarding V:TES, drawing crypt characters or library cards scenes is indifferent to me; I like both types of illustrations. However, I usually pick more crypt cards when a new set is coming since I tend to finish this kind of illustrations much earlier, it’s just a matter of time.
Check out Carmens portfolio at www.artstation.com/ccornet
PLAYER INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH: MARTIN WEINMAYER
In the June newsletter we could congratulate Martin Weinmayer to winning NAC 2017, and we promised to try to interview him. The V:EKN delivers!
Martin, you have played Stanislava decks for many years at tournaments, and won a lot with it. Why do you like it?
- When I started playing back in 1995, I almost immediately fell for Clan Tremere and started playing it as a wall deck. Another player from our league, Stefan Ferenci, was known for his vile bleed decks, and I “accepted the challenge”. We would usually go crazy against each other, and then further maximize the bleed and block abilities of our decks. Funnily enough, Stefan should later become European Champion with a block deck (2003).
As the game and the players progressed throughout the years, with all the table talks and deals, it became more and more of a struggle to finish on time. Sometimes one would sit around for 2 hours doing nothing, and around 2009, I finally thought I should make a change.
At that time, Erol Hammer won a lot with his Stanislava deck. I was impressed by his performance and started playing it myself. I like the deck because I can play it slowly like a wall deck, while still being able to do a lot of pool damage in one turn.
What is its strengths and weaknesses?
- I think it´s greatest strength lies in its versatility: Govern the Unaligned (bloat or bleed), Form of Mist (stealth, tap, s:ce), Earth Meld (tap, s:ce), Murmur of the False Will (bleed or bounce), Parity Shift (bloat and pool damage), Rapid Change (stealth or s:ce), Dreams of the Sphinx (card cycling or transfers), Jake Washington (rush block or blood gain), Forced March (stealth and untap) … Especially the combination of stealth/strike: combat end is it´s defining strength for me.
Playing that deck, your worst nightmare are cards that deny or cancel Form of Mist at superior, like Immortal Grapple, Psyche, Rötschreck and Direct Intervention.
You won NAC 2017 with the deck "Stansilava goes for a bloody donat" (deck list here). Tell us about that tournament. How was the preliminary rounds for you?
- The first round was a smooth 1 gw 4 vp victory which allowed me to be more relaxed going on in the tournament.
In the second round, I had two of the strongest players in the US at the table, namely Darby Keeney and Adam Hulse. Luckily for me, they sat as predator-prey, and with the table dynamics in my favor I was able to pull off another victory.
The third round happened to be the perfect setup for the finals. I sat between two of the later finalists, both playing block decks. Despite them destroying me in this round, I got the chance to catch a glimpse of their decks and playstyle.
What was your thoughts when you sat down at the final table? Your strategy? Was there any particular threatening decks or players? How did the final play out?
- When I realized what kind of deck my predator was playing, my first thought was: “Oh shit!”. I wrote a report on Ralf “Extrala” Lammert´s V:TES blog. It is called “One Card to Change it all”.
Do you think you have a special “style” of playing? How would you describe it?
- My style is to exceed the other players expectations. If they guess I have two Wake-card in my hand, I will make sure I am holding four. And to pretend to be weak, while you are not. One of our greatest players, Hugh Angseesing, beat me on it in the EC finals 2013. With Otso Saariluoma and Vincent Ripoll at the table as well, it was the best final I ever played.
What decks do you currently like playing?
- I still enjoy playing and tweaking my Stanislava deck. For me, the fun and challenge comes with the players, not so much from the decks they are playing. That is the reason why I love participating in big international tournaments, when all the different styles and cultures clash together. I can´t wait for the next one – see you there!
Sep 2 - Classificatório Sula JF-2017 - Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Sep 9 - Pulled Fang #6 - Jihlava, Czech Republic
Sep 9 - 2017 French National Team Championship - Nice, France
Sep 9 - Domain Magdeburg Player Meeting - Magdeburg, Germany
Sep 10 - 2017 French National Championship - Nice, France
Sep 10 - Sede de sangue - Campina Grande, Brazil
Sep 17 - Fortaleza Limited - BH - Fortaleza, Brazil
Sep 23 - Spanish National Tournament 2017 - Alicante, Spain
Sep 23 - Finnish Nationals 2017 - Espo, Finland
Sep 24 - Borboleta - Liga Nova Era - São Paulo, Brazil
Sep 24 - Liga Nova Era - White Nights Massacre - Macapá, Brazil
Sep 24 - Hunger Moon: Newark - Newark, United States
Sep 30 - The Final Night - Melbourne, Australia
Sep 30 - Crusade Toluca 2017 vol 2 - Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico
Oct 1 - Australasian Continental Championship 2017 - Melbourne, Australia
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 official V:TES Facebook page Vampire: The Eternal Struggle and the official V:EKN Twitter account @VEKN_VTES
“I'm twelve. But I've been twelve for a long time.”