Greetings fellow Methuselah
Landed any 8-pool bleeds lately? Maybe a Parity Shift for 5 with added Voter Captivation for 13? No? Then you´re not just trying hard enough! This month we keep the letter short and sweet, because there are no real news about that stuff you really want to hear about. But then again, can it be more interesting than new V:TES rules changes?

Rulebook

RULES CHANGES UNDER CONSIDERATION
The V:EKN are considering rules changes. No decisions have been made yet, and we are interested in feedback from the player community.

From Vincent Ripoll, V:EKN Rules Director:

Proposed change #1: Timing during the influence phase
Suggested new rulebook text:
IV. Influence phase
At the start of her influence phase, the player gets 4 transfers, except on the first turn of the game where the first player gets 1 transfer, the second player gets 2 transfers, and the third player gets 3 transfers.
   Like master phase actions, transfers can be spent for different effects, and transfers that don't have been spent are lost when proceeding to the next phase.
These effects are:
   ·  Spend 1 transfer: move one blood counter from her pool to a vampire in her uncontrolled region
   ·  Spend 2 transfers: move one blood counter from a vampire in her uncontrolled region to her pool
   ·  Spend 4 transfers and pay 1 pool: draw a crypt card.
   ·  Spend 4 transfers and pay 1 pool: merge a base and an advanced version of a vampire.
Some cards allow to spend transfers to produce other effects. Some cards also grant additional transfers.
At any time during this phase, if a vampire has at least as many blood counters as his capacity, the player can move to the ready region that vampire.  The blood counters on the vampire stay on him and become his blood. Blood counters in excess to his capacity are burned (see sec. H.1. Crypt cards). If the vampire grants additional transfer, those can’t be used on this turn as transfers are gained at the start of the influence phase.

tl;dr: Vampires now do not come out all at once at the end of your influence phase. Instead, you order bringing them into play as you wish during your influence phase (and it's not mandatory to bring them out if they're at full capacity), resolving effects for them as they come into play. You can´t contest yourself anymore by "accidentally" moving a vampire you already control into play (hopefully Jimmy Dunn is still unaffected).  You still only gain transfers at the start of your influence phase, so you don't get 2 extra transfers the turn you bring Ingrid Rossler into play.
   Why are we changing this? The strategic value of the current system is very low, and has always been a source of mistakes (a player brings out a vampire, then influence some more), breaking moves ("accidental" self-contest), and difficult rollbacks (a vampire with enough blood should have come out the turn before).
   Changing the rule puts the influence phase on the same level as other phases where effects can be ordered as you want, removing an extra step to learn.
   It has some incidence on a few cards (such as Anarch Convert or Angela Preston), and allows people to Govern down many times on the same vampire, but playtest done so far has not shown any abuse.
   Self-contesting vampires would now be prohibited to follow the same rules as library cards (it never made sense to have two different rules).

Proposed change #2: Anarch as a sect
The anarch trait has always been tightly associated to the Independent sect: a vampire that would change sect would lose its anarch status. With the announcement of Anarch being a sect in the upcoming fifth edition of the Vampire the Masquerade roleplaying game (“V5”), we consider changing the anarch trait to a new sect. Cards that were previously requiring an Independent vampire would then require either an Independent or an Anarch vampire (e.g., Reckless Agitation). Most cards with a "go anarch" effect will be de facto cleaner since changing sect would automatically remove the vampire from the Anarch sect.
 
Proposed change #3: Caitiff as a clan
The rule stating that Caitiff are clanless, while true to the canon, has had negligible impact on games of V:tES.  For the sake of consistency, we are considering removing that special case and treating Caitiff as a clan.  This would also allow us to create clan-specific cards for Caitiff - it is currently not possible as a Caitiff cannot meet the clan requirement of a card if they have no clan.

Proposed change #4: Recruit region
Recruited allies will now go to a new region that is part of the ready region, called the recruit region. The behavior will stay the same (allies in the recruit region can't act or block), but will avoid having an ally "placed in your uncontrolled region, even though it is controlled, to indicate that it cannot act this turn".

There are also some other rule changes being considered. In the meantime, feel free to discuss the changes mentioned above and other changes you may think of on the V:EKN forum or in social media. The Rules Team will keep a close eye on your comments!


Anthology sale

ANTHOLOGY STILL FOR SALE
Yes, there are still a some packs of Berlin Anthology left at the PDA web shop. Including Ashur Tablets, Enkil Cog, Monastery of Shadows as well as many never before printed cards, these packs are indeed worth 30 euro – don´t hesitate!


Kari Hyll
PLAYER INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH: KARI HYLL

Kari Hyll won the UK National Championship last weekend, the as of yet greatest achivement in a long and generally high standard V:TES career, in Sweden, Canada and England. Kari is a calculating player with original ideas, so we thought a chat would be interested for you to take part of.

Congratulations on the victory Kari! What deck did you play and why?
- I played a block’n’vote master deck based on Angelica, the Canonicus. The UK metagame is violent so I wanted sometehing  that would be fairly rush-resistent. I also wanted to stealth vote. I recalled seeing Randal Rudstam playing a similar Angelica-deck once, so I put a deck together the day before the tournament. Always a bit risky with an untested deck, but as long as it’s a deck I look forward to playing I will have a fun tournament anyway.

Deck Name: Canonicus
Crypt: (12 cards; Capacity min=8 max=10 avg=9.166667)
3x Ambrosio Luis Moncada, Plenipotentiary10 aus for DOM OBT POT PRE  Lasombra:2
1x Francisco Domingo de Polonia  9 pro DOM OBT POT PRE      Lasombra:2
1x Gratiano                      8 obf pot DOM OBT          Lasombra:2
5x Angelica, The Canonicus       10 cel obf DOM OBT POT      Lasombra:2
1x Antonio Delgado               9 tha DOM OBT POT          Lasombra:2
1x Alvaro, The Scion of Angelica 9 dom pre OBT POT          Lasombra:2

Library: 82 cards
Master (40 cards)
1x Elysian Fields
2x Giant's Blood
2x Information Highway
1x Legendary Vampire
2x Metro Underground
1x Monastery of Shadows
4x Parthenon, The
6x Ashur Tablets
1x Pentex(TM) Subversion
1x Presence
1x Purchase Pact
1x Secure Haven
6x Villein
1x Wider View
6x Zillah's Valley
1x Dark Influences
3x Dreams of the Sphinx

Action (2 cards)
1x Entrancement
1x Govern the Unaligned

Action Modifier (18 cards)
1x Enkil Cog
1x Foreshadowing Destruction
2x Private Audience
1x Seduction
2x Shadow Play
3x Shroud of Absence
3x Shroud of Night
1x Sleeping Mind, The
1x Tenebrous Form
1x Voter Captivation
1x Blanket of Night
1x Conditioning

Action Modifier/Reaction (1 card)
1x Murmur of the False Will

Political Action (10 cards)
1x Ancient Influence
3x Kine Resources Contested
1x Political Stranglehold
3x Banishment
2x Conservative Agitation

Combat (1 card)
1x Entombment

Reaction (10 cards)
8x Obedience
1x Cardinal Sin: Insubordination
1x Deflection

- The strengths of the deck is that it’s resource efficient. It doesn’t have any wakes, but relies on Metro Underground and/or Moncada to keep Angelica untapped to play Obedience. The ability to throw away masters for intercept allows you to play with more crypt acceleration and Parthenons so that you can get key cards early. The six Ashurs are then used to recover cards like Obedience and votes. Its major weaknesses are bigcap rush (which luckily wasn’t present in the tournament) and that it is a bit slow in dealing damage, due to lack of multiact.

How were the preliminary rounds?
- Overall, my deck flowed well and had strong starts and good survivability, but was a tad too slow. Two tables timed out, with me getting a few scattered VP’s. In the third game I got two VP’s but ran out of deck, partly due to sacrificing an Ashur Tablet for intercept (denying a Sudario Refraction and allowing me an oust next round). With no deck I couldn’t get past Hugh Angseesing´s two Raven Spies, and he got the two last VP’s in that game.

And how was the final?
- I was 3rd seed into the final. I didn’t know what the 5th seed-player was playing, so I went for preying on Hugh instead, knowing that his Gangrel/!Gangrel toolbox deck was annoying, but manageable as long as I had Obediences. I wasn’t too pleased when the presence vote deck chose to prey on me – it was obvious that we would compete on votes, while we otherwise could have been allies. The Rachel Brandywine deck chose to be my prey, which meant I was between the two other decks with votes – not an optimal seating.
Karis final table
- My initial libary draw was lousy – I only had one transfer, and I didn’t draw any crypt acceleration. So I chose to go for Alvaro instead of Angelica as first minion, to get some votes to counter the Praxis Seizures of my predator. My grandpredator blocked a few early votes by my predator, which slowed him down a bit. After turn three I got some crypt acceleration and could start getting Angelica out, who became a Legendary Vampire. Eventually Moncada followed.
   The table changed rapidly when Rachel Brandywine got Rötschreked by Hugh, followed by diablerie. I decided on burning Hugh’s diablering minion, earning a grudge from him. I waited with ousting for a few turns as I didn’t have any Obediences in hand and didn’t want to oust and end up next to Hugh’s Deep Song-rushes, but becoming low on pool forced my hand and I took the VP. When Angelica was Archon Investigated by Hugh shortly thereafter I was sure my game was over –  I lost the slight vote overtake I’d had on my voting predator, and also my only way of blocking his actions. However, time was running up and my predator had a bad draw, so I managed to just survive until time was up, with one pool left.

What about your V:TES background, when did you start playing the game?
- I started playing V:TES in 2004 when I moved to a town in northern Sweden for a year. The local gaming club mainly played Warhammer 40k and V:TES, so I chose to learn the latter, already having encountered a bit of White Wolf fiction before. I started with two of each of the Final Nights Setite and Ravnos starters. I think it took me half a year to get my first VP – lucky that I was patient!

What decks do you generally prefer?
- I love toolboxes, but the printing of Villein forced me to change my playing style – toolboxes just didn’t deal enough damage any longer. The three decks I’ve worked most on during the last few years are my Blood Brother block deck, my Sha-Ennu powerbleed deck, and my Assamite Royalty vote’n’bleed deck. I will rarely play grinders or Inner Circle decks - they bore me.

Do you think you have a special “style” of playing?
- I would say that my play is prey-oriented. Just let me play my game so that I can try to oust my prey. I rarely make VP deals, or any other big deals. I prefer decks that don’t casually oust just to get to the triad. Also, my decks are always rather thick – I rarely go below 75 cards.

Do you have any new deck or tech "boiling" you can warn us about?
- I’m currently experimenting with a weenie Chimestry “costs 3 blood to deflect” deck. And I’m still trying to find the right thing to do with Mithras.

Thanks for the chat Kari, and good luck in the future!


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
Dec 2 - 1er Torneo Liga Barcelona Vtes 2017 - Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Dec 2 - 5th Töölö Grand Ball - Helsinki, Finland
Dec 2 - The Grand Dan & Mariana Christmas Party Stockholm 2017 - Stockholm, Sweden
Dec 3 - Loughman's Birthday IV: A New Hope - Heath, USA
Dec 9 - Pszczyna Last Ride - Pszczyna, Poland
Dec 16 - Monkey Wrench - Utrecht, Netherlands
Dec 22 - Liga "NOVA ERA" Brasil AP - Fall of the Camarilla - Macapá, Brazil
Dec 23 - Torneo Marató de TV3 2017 - Badía del Vallés, Spain

For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.


CONTACT V:EKN
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

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

Greetings fellow Methuselah
Our crypts might have gone cold, but luckily the blood is always keeping us warm. Welcome to this month's newsletter. Isn´t it interesting to have a look at what decks are played in other parts of the world? Below you have the great opportunity for you to become familiar with two different metagames, as we publish reports from both the South American and the Australian championships. We also advertise some cards and some events and talk to an artist. But first: Time to celebrate!

Happy birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY VAMPIRE: ELDER KINDRED NETWORK 20 YEARS!
This coming month we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this organisation, V:EKN. In no less than two full decades hundreds of people have volunteered their time and effort to further Vampire: The Eternal Struggle in various forms, primarily by arrangeing tournaments. If you think about all those other collectible card games that have come and gone in these years, you understand what a fantastic accomplishment this is. We, the current V:EKN officials, want to thank everyone that has been involved in the organisation since the start, and we hope for at least twenty more years of Eternal Struggle!

One of the first V:EKN members was Robert Goudie, and he has written a text about how it all started, that we really recommend you all to read:

“By 1997, Vampire: the Eternal Struggle had already suffered through three torturous years of existence. Magic: the Gathering creator, Richard Garfield, had designed the game to improve upon the flaws he saw in Magic’s design and Wizards of the Coast was expecting to release another wildly popular game. Confidence was high at Wizards and they released the game with an absolutely massive print run of 170 million cards to avoid the shortages experienced with Magic’s first printings..." [Continue reading at Roberts Tumblr-page]


Anthology sale

ANTHOLOGY STILL FOR SALE
There are still a few (not many!) packs of Berlin Anthology left at the PDA web shop, so take the chance to increase your stock of Ashur Tablets, Enkil Cog, Monastery of Shadows, unique V:EKN-created cards and all of the other good stuff included in the set. If you have seen the second hand prices at Ebay, you know that $30 per pack is quite a bargain. Pool up with friends to save shipping cost!



Europe
MORE ABOUT V:TES EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
We revealed the brand new European Grand Prix in last month's newsletter, and now there are some more info about the planned tournaments at an official VEKN.net-page: www.vekn.net/european-grand-prix

T
he Grand Prix sites 2017-2018 are:
- Bologna, Italy (9 and 10th of December 2017)
- Brussels, Belgium (February 2018 – date to be confirmed)
- Madrid, Spain (28th and 29th April 2018) 
- Helsinki – Finland (Ropecon, end of July 2018 – date to be confirmed)
- Budapest, Hungary (to be confirmed)

Keep an eye open for more info at separate threads at the VEKN forum - these threads are marked “VEG” in the subject line.

The Inner Circle member in charge of the VEG is Organized Play Coordinator Orian Gissler (aka TTC_master) - ask him or the announced local organizers if you have any questions!


SAC 2017
THE GANGREL REVEL AT SOUTH AMERICAN CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP 2017!
Report by Desso Alastor (V:EKN Organized Play Coordinator) and Lincoln Figueredo:
The "Land of the Sun" as is known Fortaleza, a large tourist city located in the state of the CE, was the scene of another South American tournament. Players from different states were present, among them Amazonas, Amapá, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. During the event, we stayed in a mansion with pool and individual suites, the impeccable organization was supported by Marcio Pinheiro (general organizer), David Orck (barbecue), Mauro (lunch), Renato Torres (t-shirts of the event), Fernandão (drinks), Elzo and Nilceu (awards).

5 tournaments were played in this event, being:
- Constructed (Boas vindas) – Champion Desso Alastor (SP)- 24 Players
- Classificatório SAC 2017-  Champion  Renato Torres (CE) – 27 Players
- Sulamericano – Champion  Elzo Benzaquen (SP), - 31 Players
- Limited JYHAD – Champion Marcio Rilley (CE) – 8 Players
- Classificatório SAC 2018 (despedida) – Champion   Márcio Pinheiro (CE) – 11 Players

Elzo Benzaquen
Elzo Benzaquen.


The SAC2017CE Champion was SP player: Elzo Benzaquen (#6010171) with a fully authored Gangrel deck! Follow this link of the deck list at the VEKN forum.

Congratulations Elzo! We had 31 players in the SAC competition, we expected 50 players but unforeseen events happen and it is not always possible to make all the players confirmed.

Below is the meta-game of SAC:
1 Elzo Benzaquen / Gangrel! + Embrace
2 Luis Otávio / Stanislava - Voto + Bleed
2 Fernando Carvalho / Mono AUS
2 David Orck / Baali - B/S
2 Fernanda Nunes / Mono AUS
6 Carlos Eduardo (Ganso) / Imbued - Brainwash
7 Renato Torres / Malkavian B/S
8 Fabiano de Souza Galvão / Tup Dog
9 Fabiana Polesi  / Kiasyd/Lasombra - B/S
10 Tiago Uchoa / Ventrue! Grinder
11 Jeferson Carvalho Ferreira / Turbo Nephandus
12 Joel Oliveira / Cailean block
13 Denny Paula / Setita Politico
14 Everton Biell / Arika + Marcus Vitel -  stealth politico + bleed
15 Giselle Rossetti / Malkavian! 17 Sudden + B/S
16 Fernando Cesar /  Baali - Nergal toolbox
17 Mateus Silva de Souza / Kiasyd - B/S
17 Mailton Silva / Giovanni shabling hordes
19 Mauro César / Setita Temptation
20 Marcio Rilley / Tzimisce - Horrid Form + Hush
21 Moacir Júnior  / Enkidu
22 Alexandre Koch / Tremere Rush & Block
23 Maria Vitória / Tremere! Grinder
24 Desso Alastor / Turbo Montano
25 Nilceu Galvão / Ravnos + Sensory
25 Bruno Patrício Pontes / Lohi/bola 8
27 Samuel Oliveira / Tzimise Wall
27 Joana D'arc Duarte / Baali - B/S
29 Alan Winther / Turbo Henry Taylor
30 Lucas Raphae / Malkavian! B/S
31 Moises Paiva / Gangrel Valkyrie Politico


Australian CC 2017

COMPLETE CACOPHONY AT AUSTRALIAN CONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP 2017!


Report by Stewart MacLeod, Prince of Melbourne:
The Australian Continental Championships has been held on the first Sunday of October for many years, and this year was no different. It coincides nicely with public holidays across a variety of states, although the Grand Finals of the country’s two great religions... er, I mean football codes... are held on the same weekend, so turnout is occasionally depleted depending on which teams makes it into the finals.

Australia has been running a Continental Championship in some form or another since 2002. Despite the recent discovery of Zealandia, we’ve taken to calling it the Australia/NZ Championship in honour of our friends across the Tasman Sea, who frequently make the finals table or win the title. VTES in Australia and New Zealand face the dual challenge of relatively small populations and the tyranny of distance. Play groups are smaller than what may be encountered in other continents, and are geographically isolated. Our dedicated players from Townsville need to fly almost 700 miles to find their nearest playgroup, and travel 1,288 miles (2,073km – approximately the distance from Boston to Miami) to get to the Championships. Players coming from Wellington, NZ fly 1,600 miles over the Tasman Sea (2,575km – a bit more than London to Moscow) for their chance at the trophy.

The trophy itself is long-standing tradition. It’s known as the Matt Barnett perpetual trophy, in honour of a player who passed away several years ago (Matt has been immortalised in the game, with White Wolf kindly using his picture as Lord Ashton [Anarchs]). We’ve had nine winners over sixteen finals, with each name added to the trophy’s base as the years tick on. I must admit that when VTES went into a semi-torpor after the release of Heirs of the Blood I suspected that we’d never fill up the names, but I am very glad to be proven wrong on that front. Indeed, 2017 was one of our most successful years yet: at 35 players (including a couple of locals who had to pull out on the day due to sick kids at home), it was the second-largest Championship we’ve had, and only one short of equalling the 36 we got in 2007. The release of the Anthology Set was largely responsible for this spike in interest, and I want to thank Stephen Harris and Simon Reed for organising for enough copies of the Set to be shipped from across the other side of the world to arrive in time for the big day. One of our other players also designed custom VTES playmats for the finals table, while another donated a sealed box of Lords of the Night.

As a frequent holder of sixth place on the Archon spreadsheet, I was keen to turn my luck around this year and built a Harbingers tap-and-bleed number. Round 1 started off well, with my Le Dinh Tho able to discard key cards from my predator’s Arika Soul Gem deck, while my Tariq Eats The World grand-predator shutting down the big lady herself. My prey was an Anneke guns deck, and I was able to lunge near the end to oust both him and my grand-prey in quick succession, giving me the game win.

Round 2 started off as a more dicey affair. I had a Fida’i / Web of Knives swarm on my back and a Baba Yaga intercept deck as my prey, with an aggressive Presence-driven anarch bleed deck and an Assamite bleeder cross-table. With ten minutes left on the clock, all five players were down to a handful of pool – it truly was anyone’s game. Le Dinh Tho’s ability was once again critical, and I quickly realised that most players had few wakes or intercept in hand. Within a couple of turns, I steamrolled the entire table and got the full 5 VPs with barely a minute remaining on the clock. Thank you to Call of the Hungry Dead for block denial, I couldn’t have done it without you!

Round 3 didn’t go nearly as well. A bloaty stealth-bleeding Black Hand deck at my back kept me on the ropes, and my Giovanni prey put their Acquired Ventrue Assets to good use and never seemed to drop below 10-15 pool for the entire game. I was playing a little too safely, and the game went to time with only one oust (my prey, taking down a Dmitra & Scout stealth-vote deck belonging to NZ’s Simon Reed).

The final table was Khazar’s Diary > Nosferatu Archon bruise-bleed > Harbingers (me) > the aforementioned Dmitra stealth-voter > !Tremere power-bleed (first seed). I was second seed going in, and positioned myself where I did on the basis that the Giovanni were likely to swarm my defences and slow set-up, and there was little chance I could block the huge stealth generated by the vote deck. I was also conveniently placed on the potential Deflection chain, not that it often came to that.

The top-seeded !Tremere focused on Governing down for a couple of turns before launching their assault. The Giovanni quickly brought out a range of unique allies, but few counters appeared on the Diary. It looked likely that they were stockpiling their Deflections for the barrage of bleeds, and not cycling through to the cards they need to advance. For my part, I wasn’t drawing enough of my Dominate (either modifiers or flicks), and while I was able to get the Brujah down to 4 pool I couldn’t seal the deal. An early Ivory Bow + Leather Jacket on Unre was enough to make my predator nervous, but I wasn’t drawing sufficient Fortitude in hand to stop a sustained assault on my minions.

The first oust came 55 minutes in, as Dmitra, ably assisted by Scout Youngwood, launched a series of punishing votes against the antitribu sorcerers. The Giovanni only managed to score a few counters on the Diary, with their chance of forward momentum spoiled by the need to constantly use Sudario Refraction to grab Delaying Tactics to slow the Brujah advance. They eventually succumbed with around 10 minutes left on the clock, leaving the Brujah with 2.5 VPs, a game win, and their name on the trophy.

Simon Reed
Simon Reed.


This was Simon Reed’s second Championship victory, following up his 2008 win with Assamites. Overall, a fantastic day with excellent sportsmanship, an array of interesting decks and – most importantly - a chance to reconnect with friends from across the country who I’ve known for decades thanks to this great game.

Check out Simon Reeds tournament winning deck at the VEKN TWD forum thread.
 




Noora Hirvonen
ARTIST IN FOCUS: NOORA HIRVONEN
Noora Hirvonen of Finland is not only the artist behind cards like Matasuntha, André the Manipulator and Nar-Sheptha, she is also a skilled V:TES player. For example, she played the final table at this years EC in Berlin. We asked her just about the same battery of questions as we asked other artists – no special treatment for anyone!

Noora, what are your background as an artist? Are you educated or self-taught?
- Being graduated last year from Turku Arts Academy with BA in Fine arts, one can say I have a classical training. I have dabbled with digital painting since high school, but I only started learning it in earnest when I was signed up to make two illustrations for the Unaligned. Being a pc-gamer, game art has always had an impact on me, and I had this idea of a proper tcg artist being a mad-skills-photoshop-wizard, so obviously I had to set that as my goal around the time.

Have we seen your work in other games, or at other places?
- Apart from V:TES-illustrations, most of my work is traditional and owned by private people, or buried somewhere in my stashes. My exhibition activity is quite low, since I am not a full-time artist, but maybe in the future I will embark on that path. There are some projects with more public interest on the way.

What artistical techniques do you prefer?
- I prefer expressive, colorist painting on large surfaces, but unfortunately my current lack of a studio space makes digital painting mostly the best option for working right now. Pencil drawings are the basis of my artistic work, but they seldom turn out to be more than treasured visual notes.

 

SisterArt by Noora Hirvonen.


Tell us a bit about the piece of art we are previewing in this newsletter. What technique have you used? How were your thoughts working on it?
- The illustration we're talking about now is part of a circle of vampires that I designed for the expansion, so I it would be hard not to comment the making of them as a whole, going back and forth between them in progress.
   I set up my friend to model for the circle of vampires, since I was unsure in the beginning if I would be able to keep the look of the character constant through all five of them. I took photographs with her and used them later for reference. This one is the first one, and it happens to have a photo collage as a background, altered with painting, which is unusual for me, but worked well enough here. The character I just drew on (with Wacom Intuos Pro and Photoshop) keeping the references close by. I googled a lot of piercings for ideas, but at the same time my friend was a perfect fit for the characters so she inspired me a lot overall.
   Also important to note is that when [V:EKN Design Team leader] Ben Peal asked me to make the five of them, he sent me a lot of funky references and underground Budapest music tips to work with, so I hope he is pleased with them!

What kind of motives do you prefer? What kind of assignments?
- Portrait illustrations are right up my alley, and I like to include quirky details to them. I feel like games in general need a broader spectrum of realistic characters, regarding but not limited to gender stereotypes, and I happily will contribute to that as sneakily as possible. I also do live portraits and colorist landscape paintings, which more of the mainstream interest. Making contact through art is what makes portraits so endearing to me.

Check out more of Nooras art at www.noorahirvonen.com


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
Nov 4 - Nacional Portugal 2017 - Lisboa, Portugal
Nov 4 - Shores of Hydaspes (SER) 2017 - Belgrade, Serbia
Nov 4 - Nosferatu Performance Art Stockholm 2017 – Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 11 - Crusade Toluca 2017 vol. 2 - Toluca de Lerdo, Mexico
Nov 12 - Camarilla Conclave 2017 - Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Nov 18 - Island of Yiaros - São José, Brazil
Nov 26 - Liga "Nova Era" Brasil AP: Wormwood - Macapá, Brazil
Dec 2 - 5th Tölöö Grand Ball - Helsinki, Finland
Dec 3 - Loughman's Birthday IV: A New Hope - Heath, United States

For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.


CONTACT V:EKN
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

"No one holds command over me. No man. No god. No Prince. What is a claim of age for ones who are immortal? What is a claim of power for ones who defy death? Call your damnable hunt. We shall see whom I drag screaming to hell with me."

Greetings fellow Methuselah
Autumn falls, sweet darkness embraces us. What better way to spend these nights than around the gaming table? Secret schemes, diffuse deals and bold bleeding awaits! This month in the news: grand prix circuit revealed, cards for sale, artist in spotlight and don´t miss the event calendar - especially if you´re in South America. But first something about the Old World...

Europe
WELCOME TO THE V:TES EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
The V:EKN, the Inner Circle, the National Coordinators and all tournament organizers involved are proud to introduce you the V:TES European Grand Prix Circuit 2017/2018 (“VEG” for short).

The VEG is a circuit where you can get great prizes for winning, get surprises, get ranking points, get direct qualification for events, but above all, gather five great tournaments in a general circuit for a lot of additional fun.

More details will follow in a larger announcement, but the places that will host the VEG during the 2017/2018 season are:
- Bologna, Italy (9 and 10th of December 2017)
- Brussels, Belgium (February 2018 – date to be confirmed)
- Madrid, Spain (28th and 29th April 2018) 
- Helsinki – Finland (Ropecon, end of July 2018 – date to be confirmed)
- Budapest, Hungary (to be confirmed)

The Inner Circle member in charge of the VEG is Organized Play Coordinator Orian Gissler (aka TTC_master). Keep your eyes open for more information within short!


Anthology sale
A NEW CHANCE TO BUY ANTHOLOGY!

World of Darkness Berlin is over but the organisers Participation Design Agency (PDA) still have some packs of Anthology that they want to sell to you.

Purchases started at the World of Darkness Berlin web shop on Thursday September 28 2017, and is possible until the stock runs out. Preliminary reports says the sale is going really well.

The price of each deck will be 30 EUR and, due to freight services being quite expensive in Sweden, the best way is to order more sets at the same time. Freight cost will be the same for up to 12 Anthology sets so find some friends and place an order together.


DESIGN TEAM NEWS
Design Team leader Ben Peal reports: 
The Bloodlines set is nearing completion. Round 3 of playtesting finishes at the end of this month. All artwork are finished. After that, Mike and I will make the final adjustments to the cards and then submit the set to White Wolf for review. White Wolf may have changes they want us to make, but otherwise we're on pace for a release in mid-to-late October.

For two new art previews from this set, see the interview below.



Riccardo Fabiani
ARTIST IN FOCUS: RICCARDO FABIANI
Once again we have the great pleasure to ask some questions to an artist that contributes to the upcoming official V:EKN expansion set. Previously Riccardo Fabiani of Italy created V:TES-art such as Missy Shillingford, Instantaneous Transformation and Darvag, Butcher of Rus. He is also a dedicated V:TES player that you might have encountered at many tournaments.

Hi Riccardo! What is your background as an artist? Are you educated or self-taught?
- My studies have always been in the art field. I did an art secondary school, then the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. I've learned a lot at school, but I reckon that many other things needs to be discovered on the field. When you start to work with other people you need to adjust your style, to compromise a bit, and it's not a thing that you learn on the books. 

Have we seen your work in other games, or at other places?
- I'm an illustrator now, but I work also as a painter and I draw a lot. My work can be seen in some illustrated books for the French market, and I work now as a cover artist for an Italian publishing industry: Cliquot.

What artistic techniques do you prefer? 
- I always work with traditional medium: pencil on paper, watercolor or oil on paper. I know how to tweak my paintings with digital post production, but I try to keep them very natural: sometimes digital paintings lacks a bit of that raw feel that I love when I see art of any kind.

Art by Riccardo Fabiani
Art by Riccardo Fabiani.


Tell us a bit about the two pieces of art we are previewing in this newsletter.
- Well, I need to say I'm a player myself, so when I work for V:TES and V:EKN I always think about the final result. I ask myself: Would I like to play with a card designed like that? Will I cherish the image when I build the deck? You know, all the seasoned players can recognize a card by a quick glimpse of the art, and I want to be in the few ones that you're happy to draw when you play, regardless of the card text.
    I'm a big fan of the old school style in the artworks, pieces like Smiling Jack (Drew Tucker), Aid from Bats (Melissa Benson) or Stanislava (Max Shade Fellwalker) are really cool even today because they have a unique atmosphere and they are not literal.
    So with these thoughts in mind I try to do my best for these new illustrations. I wanted them to convey a story which is not entirely told in the card. The horned vampire is not typical, I choose to put her in the wild, surrounded by a black forest where maybe she is celebrating some kind of ritual. But she looks a bit astray, sad or just nostalgic. The other illustration, the one with the woman with the burning sword, was probably one of the toughest I ever did. I tried to put a lot of information in it without clogging the composition. I wanted a dynamic image and the female punk in the foreground needed to look aggressive and confident at the same time, you know, she has Bellona on her side. So I put the scene in a dark hallway where the girl cuts the way out. My main inspiration for this piece was “Big Trouble in Little China”, one of my favorite movies as a child.
    Both these pieces are oil color on paper.

What kind of motives do you prefer? What kind of assignments?
- I love to work with some restrictions. I know it may sound a bit weird, but I think that illustrations are like cement that holds bricks together: the bricks can be anything, words from a poem, specifications or requests from the client. A good illustrator needs to melt between the cracks and the empty spaces and hold everything in place with a unique finiture. That's why I often use books, stories, legends or poetry for inspiration. And of course, the human nature. Most of the time I draw or paint people: portraits, bodies or body parts. I find it very natural and sometimes I need to force myself to focus on something different; I did a whole painting series of murder crime scenes without any people in sight and I've called "Human Disinfection".

If you are curious you can see some more of Riccardo´s work, not game related, at my web site: www.riccardofabiani.com He says it's not entirely up to date, but it hosts quite a few of his stuff. Also, you can follow his Instagram profile: riccardofabiani


CALENDAR
Upcoming events:
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
Oct 7 - Swedish National Championship 2017 - Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 7 - Elisyum - Reus, Spain
Oct 7 - True Love´s Face - Amadora, Portugal
Oct 8 - Finalmente ferias - Fortaleza, Brazil
Oct 12 - Recepção SAC 2017 - Caucaia, Brazil
Oct 13 - Classificatório SAC 2017 - Caucaia, Brazil
Oct 14 - SAC 2017 - Caucaia, Brazil
Oct 14 - 5th Hiekkaharju Nightmare - Vantaa, Finland
Oct 15 - Classificatório SAC 2018 (BR) - Caucaia, Brazil
Oct 21 - Powerbase: Ottawa - Ottawa, Canada
Oct 28 - Endless Nights - Bochum, Germany
Oct 29 – Liga "Nova Era" - The Uncoiling - Macapá, Brazil

For more information on upcoming events see the V:EKN Event Calendar.


CONTACT V:EKN
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

"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."