How I would relaunch V:TES (card reprint)
Not all Clans /Disciplines are equal and that is just fine.
There are a lot of bad things that have been going on in V:TES for 20+ years now. I'm of the opinion that if we're going to relaunch the game, we should give it a serious foundation-level overhaul. I would get rid of rules, mechanics, concepts, cards, etc. that ended up not working out for whatever reason, and re-expand into those design spaces with a solid foundation for getting them to work.
For the Design Team's work, our approach is different. We design cards for the game as it is right now. We're not designing with an eye towards taking a flamethrower to the card base, regardless of how much I'd love to do that. That said, as much as I think there's a lot wrong with V:TES, I also think there's much, much more that's right with it.
Potence bounce would make my skin crawl a bit, just from the thematic point of view. It just feels a bit... off.
Celerity, though, I'd be very interested in seeing something in this sort of area - in part, because Celerity has got progressively less exciting over time because other disciplines/strategies don't need additional strikes or maneuvers etc. from Celerity, because they got extra damage or their own maneuvers (and the Target cards). Whereas Potence still has some real killer options from IG and Disarm.
I'd also personally be happy to see:
- cards in other disciplines/traits where bleed bounce was only one level, like Murmur of the False Will
- several more specific bleed bounce options (e.g. requires two disciplines, requires sect+title, requires anarch+discipline), rather than just one or two in central disciplines, so you could perhaps go for Obf+Ani to help the Nosferatu without giving it to everyone with Obfuscate, or whatever
- bleed bounce that wasn't quite as good as Deflection, but was still very good.
[cel] [action] Bleed with +1 bleed.
[CEL] [reaction] Play when you are being bled by a minion whose controller is not your prey, after blocks are declined. This reacting vampire burns a blood to cause that minion to bleed your prey.
[cel] [combat] Gain 1 additional strike.
[CEL] [reaction] Only usable when you are being bled, after blocks are declined. Choose another Methuselah other than the controller of the acting minion. The acting minion is now bleeding that Methuselah with -1 stealth.
Neither of them tap you (like superior Deflection, since they require a superior discipline), but Bait and Switch is slightly more restricted (prey only) and Urgency has the stealth penalty. Similarly, the Serpentis bounce which reduces the bleed I vaguely outlined earlier in the thread .
What's my thinking? Two-fold:
1) I'd like to see other options that make things better for weaker strategies, but without pushing the very top of the power curve further
2) I like it when different decks, different disciplines, different strategies feel different. It'd be nice that an Assamite deck using the Qui+Cel bounce option feels very different to the Anarch deck using the three-way bounce. Say, the three-way bounce is quite poor to start with, but combines in a Keystone-Kine-like-way to become quite decent (Nec = don't tap, For = cheaper cost etc.), so it's pretty different in feel.
(And no, Lost in Translation doesn't cut it — a lost opportunity to very conservative design. At least one of its 3 big cost/restrictions gotta go: age, 2 blood, only one per action. Now that I have used it more, I agree with ICL's logic and favor removing "one per action." Removing counters from the table speeds up the game, and opening up bounce makes more surprise responses to bleeding interesting. Simple errata solution in my view.)
I also believe more bounce is healthy because it helps deck construction and covers clans that really need something more useful to do with their Reaction time. (Which Reactions is the biggest part of one's play time by default, and interaction is the name of the game...) The big "chuck 5 down the pipe and see where it lands" needs a robust, affordable response — so as to save slots for other blocks, combats, and forward pressure — and bounce is it.
100% agree. I think a Lost in Translation-type card with a 1 blood cost and age restriction as the only costs should exist. I'd like to hear arguments against introducing a card like this because I can't see any downside.
Now first thing, Deflection cannot be king of the hill anymore. Any design here has to at least equal or best basic dom Deflection, or don't bother. It's been over twenty years, enough already, time to take a fair appraisal and stop wasting time. However, achieving parity does not preclude lateral design development; discipline cards usually do come with two levels of play, basic & superior.
At one point I thought Obfuscate and Fortitude were a hot space to cover several clans. But on retrospect Obfuscate is a strong discipline with lots of fun things to do. Fortitude is the Freak Drive discipline, but i can see it getting more fun toys, possibly more bleed reduce. Nowadays I think Celerity and Potence covers a wider range of clans that could really use bounce help while diversifying these way too focused disciplines. There will be some redundancy, but such is the nature of so many clans and discipline overlap.
So my big priorities would be Celerity and Potence bounce first and then Obfuscate and Fortitude bounce/reduce later. Reaction cards is a design space that should be diverse and lush; it's the majority of playtime and player interaction. Pushing bleed defense further into Masters, Actions, and Act Mods is just stressing diversity while ignoring a card pool vacuum that's been in the game too long.
Here's where I disagree. Dominate and Auspex need to be the number 1 and 1A bounce disciplines. It's been this way since Jyhad, and their spot on top of the mountain should not change. But I think introducing a disciplineless bounce card that is a touch inferior to Deflection/Telepathic Misdirection, but is not as restrictive as Lost in Translation, is the best way to handle introducing more defense via bounce. I just don't see a downside to this.
By freeing up defense from "everlasting wall of intercept" and "backrush" you let players interact more without feeling as compelled to lockdown predators/g-preds to stay in the game. That smaller defense module package, "democratized bounce," should help alleviate deck build pressure and open up several more slots for card diversity. It might even help open deck space for specialized meta responses, like poking combo decks in their lynchpin.
I agree 100% with this part too.
The bounce has to be in a discipline's basic level, and still usable by low caps, or nothing changes. It has to equal Deflection at basic to even be relevant, period. There is no getting around this. It's the primary logic of all power gaming: use that which is the best and has no equal. When grafting and its small offense/defense package is this easy, in all its bolted on forms, anything less is laughably naïve.
Time's up! Let's stop being naïve. Game's indefinitely retired! Might as well duplicate and diversify the apex cards with equals.
As for Celerity, I can easily see it being a bounce card. Franticly phoning in defensive measures is an obvious thematic point, and it can easily split from there. I cannot imagine Methuselahs not having defensive instructions already in place, it's more a matter of enacting them all in time and maintaining masquerade discretion.
Frantic Phone Tree
Only usable when you are being bled, after blocks are declined. Tap this reacting vampire. Choose another Methuselah other than the controller of the acting minion. The acting minion is now bleeding that Methuselah.
As above, and reduce the bleed by 1.
Potence is a thematic challenge, but I could easily see a The Mole level form of bleed defense. And instead of getting into combat as a means to trigger other effects, it could just be a warning kneecap or broken leg, something unlikely to kill someone outright. Then instead of being Wake dependent bounce — which is already strong — it can laterally support further untapping reactions development, like Eluding the Arms of Morpheus and the like.
Only usable when you are being bled. Tap this vampire to cause the action to fail.
As above, and if the acting minion is a vampire, it burns 1 blood.
We already dealt with and weenies & fatties running defense against big bleeds. The issue was about stressing their blood and wake/untap supply — and this involved the give and take of opportunity windows. That is more interaction than the imperative to shutting down your predator's ability to play almost completely in order to survive.
These two follow in the same bleed defense vein (ha ha, vein! ) while being easy to read, incorporate, and yet different enough for lateral design development.
Sabbat.Black Hand Shakar: Lech loathe ranged weapons. Once each action, he may burn 1 blood to become Camarilla Prince of Krakow until the end of the action.