Gangrel Antitribu Newsletter


In this Issue .....

FICTION: THE CAULDRON [part 2 of a three-parter about the June tournament
in Portsmouth - NOT the April tournament, as wrongly stated in the
previous NL].
GUCCG [A plug for Jyhad as the Generic Universal Collectible Card Game,
and some ideas about how this might be developed].
BLADE EXPANSION FOR VTES [card ideas from the denizens of Legbiter Hall].

Just off Castle Street there is an exclusive little French Restaurant
called Le Sanglier. There is no sign outside, and you have to knock on
the shutters to speak to the not-very-friendly Patron. If a mortal, and
your French is good enough, and he likes the look of you, he MAY deign to
let you in. The food, of course, is excellent, and if you appreciate this
fact, can pay the bill, and don't do anything stupid like offer a tip,
then who knows, he may let you back in another night. But if you are a
vampire, and especially if you are the beautiful Stanislawa, then you
will go in by a different entrance, a steel door that leads off a World
War 2 tunnel that used to connect the forts on the Downs with the
dockyards. Then you will encounter Rebstock's Ghouls, who will usher you
in to the tastefully-furnished apartment where Rebstock's Brides are
cautiously massaging his shoulders and feet. Their master is not in a
good mood tonight, and his rages are terrible.

Stanislawa greets the old vampire with a barely-perceptible bow, which he
returns, studying her face with his large eyes the while. With a wave of
his talon he dismisses the brides who retire, relieved, to the crypt.

"More bad news then, i take it?"
"Yes Rebstock, zey have spies everyvhere. The antitribu of my own clan
have declared for Legbiter, including that Bitch Caitlin. He controls the
media. i just can't get through. Vhy von't you employ more help?"
"My Dear, our resources are too stretched. Cantlow the Beastmaster has
been worrying away at the foundations of our power - ah! Salaud!"

"... as you see. If only our ally, the Dear Prince of Mercia, could put
more pressure on Cantlow, then we in turn might be able to reduce the
power of the Wicked Legbiter. But alas, i have just been on the phone to
Coupe, and he tells me that although he has corrupted some of Cantlow's
minions the Progeny of Legbiter is on the point of destroying his
influence in Wessex. Indeed, i distinctly heard the sound of a helicopter
landing towards the end of our conversation, and i am afraid that Coupe
may already be on his way back to the Midlands to plot his revenge. This,
of course, will strengthen Anklebiter. Hmmm, perhaps we should ally with
Legbiter's progeny and aid him to destroy Cantlow. That young fellow is
far from being his Sire's puppet, and it seems that Legbiter's recent
attempts to discipline him have largely failed. Let me think awhile."

Rebstock lapses into meditation and Stanislawa, knowing her master's
ways, goes to the bookcase and takes down a First Edition of Pascal's
Pensees. Opening the cover she finds it inscribed, in the author's own
hand, to that Cher Duc de Rebstock whose many valuable insights have
contributed so largely to the present volume. It isn't philosophy that we
need now, she thinks, more like a bloody miracle - if Legbiter himself
cannot control his progeny, what hope have we?

Steve Jackson invented the concept of a Generic Universal Role-Playing
System or GURPS for short. Basically the same, very simple, mechanic is
used to generate characters and resolve conflicts for pretty much any
role-playing system. GURPS Goblins is my personal favourite, followed by
GURPS Blood Types, and it seems to me that there is mileage in a similar
idea for CCGs which are, after all, only role-playing games for people
with more money than time. This is not a new idea: Wizards tried to sell
a series of games based on the C23 mechanic that model systems as
different as Hercules/Xena and science fiction [C23 itself]. But although
the mechanic of C23 is quite neat [a cross between Magic and Jyhad], it
hasn't caught on - apart from me and Robert Shread the only Methuselah i
know who likes this stuff is Peter Bakija, and i suspect it is the
Leathers and Firm Protuberances aspect of Xena which is the real hook for
our respected Nosferatu brother.

It seems to me that Jyhad is the best bet for a GUCCG, for two main
reasons. The first reason is that the clans model the personality
archetypes really well - whoever you are, or however you would like to
be, there is a clan and style of play in Jyhad that reflects your
personality. The second reason is that the World of Darkness which Jyhad
so ably recreates in card form is the setting for four other RPGs -
Wraith, Mage, Werewolf and Changeling. All these games have essentially
the same structure, and it would be relatively easy to use the Jyhad
mechanic to create a CCG equivalent for any of these games.

There is a third, minor reason why i think that Jyhad as a GUCCG could be
a winner, and that relates to the big successes of things like B5, Star
Wars and Star Trek. Quite honestly, my opinion is that these are all
rather poor games - ugly cards and clumsy mechanics - but i can see why
they are popular; people WANT to play out their favourite shows.
Furthermore, the artwork is dead cheap - just photos or more precisely
stills from successful shows. Just think of all the vampire movies and
comics, and consider the possibilities of stand-alone Jyhad expansions
based on Blade, Buffy, Interview with the Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula,
and so on! Already Buffy cards with which you can't actually play
ANYTHING are one of the hottest collectibles around!

Anyway, Vitae for thought. i think there are objective reasons for being
optimistic about future expansions and support for jyhad - basically the
main one being that VtM is the second-biggest selling RPG. One night
Wizards will need money again, and then they will remember or realise
that VTES could be a real gold mine for them, if they chose. Maybe the
first step will be a Vampire: Portal offering. We'll see.

Just before we went off to Corsica Michael [aka Anklebiter] and i devised
a Blade expansion for VTES. If you haven't seen the film, this won't mean
much to you. Our advice in that case would be to see the film! It's VERY
VTES/World of Darkness.

Vampire Mace
Equipment, cost 0
Burn and strike for 1R, aggravated.

Blade's Cool Shades
Unique Equipment, cost 1 pool
A Vampire with Blade's Cool Shades counts as having superior Presence.

Equipment, cost 2 pool
Burn and strike for X aggravated damage, where X is the capacity of the
target vampire.

Equipment, cost 0
During each of your untaps, place a Mascara Running counter on Sunblock.
When there are 4 such counters, burn it. Burn Sunblock to prevent all
damage from a strike that deals aggravated damage.

Judiciously Engineered Retrovirus
Equipment, cost 1 pool
Burn to take a D action to destroy any non-unique vampire.

Ally, cost 1 blood.
1R, 1 life, 0 Bleed.

Dr Karen Jenssen
Unique Ally, cost 1 pool
1R, 1 life, 0 bleed.
Karen may take a +1 stealth action to search your library for EDTA,
Concoction of Vitality or Judiciously Engineered Retrovirus, or to add
one blood or life to a Vampire Hunter.

Abraham Whistler
Unique Ally, cost 3 pool
3R, 2 life, 0 Bleed
Whistler may take a +1 stealth action to add 1 life or blood to a vampire
hunter. Tap Whistler to reduce the cost of an equip action by a vampire
hunter by 1 blood or pool.

Curtis Webb
Unique Ally, cost 1 blood.
2 hand damage, 0 bleed, prevent 1 damage each combat.

Expendable Oriental Person
Ally, cost 0
1 life, 1R
Burn to end a combat involving any vampire hunter. Not usable after the
reacting minion has chosen its strike.

The House of Erebus
Unique Master Location, cost 4 pool
Tap to gain 3 votes during a political action. Any vampire may burn this
card as a D action.

The Book of Erebus
Unique Master Location
Tap to draw a card. Discard down to your maximum hand size at the end of
your turn. Burn as a Master Phase action to search your library for the
Temple of Eternal Night, and put it in your hand. Discard down to your
maximum hand size afterwards.

Temple of Eternal Night
Unique Master Location
Tap to remove 1 blood or life from any ally or vampire hunter. Any
vampire may burn this card a D action.

La Magra
If you control the Temple of Eternal Night and the House of Erebus at the
start of your turn, you may burn both and then play La Magra as a master
phase action. Remove a ready vampire you control from the game, and place
its blood, equipment and retainers on La Magra, which now counts as a 12-
capacity vampire with 4 votes, +3 bleed and superior versions of all
disciplines. Allies may not block La Magra.

Nosferatu 2 capacity
Your hand size is +1 if Pearl is ready. Pearl may take no actions, only

Ventrue 6 capacity
2 votes
If Dragonetti takes aggravated damage, burn him.

Pander 3 capacity
If Quin is in torpor at the start of your turn, give him 1 blood.

Deacon Frost
Pander 7 capacity

Blade, Daywalker
Pander 8 capacity
No disciplines, may strike for 3R, -1 bleed, first strike, prevent 1
damage each combat. Blade can play any combat card as if he had the
inferior level of any required discipline. Blade is immune to aggravated
damage. If Blade is reduced to 0 blood, burn him.
Blade counts as both a vampire and a vampire hunter. Master cards cannot
be played on Blade, and he may never have any votes.
At the start of each of your turns, if Blade is ready, remove 1 blood
from Blade and lose 1 pool or 1 blood from a vampire you control. If you
do not, burn Blade.

Two down, one to go. i'll do the September newsletter next week, i hope.
Seeya then!