OFFICIAL VEKN GANGREL-ANTITRIBU NEWSLETTER VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2 FEBRUARY 2004 ***************** In this champagne-and-chocolates issue: FICTION: Dramatic Upheaval WORK IN PROGRESS: Experimenting with a new rule designed to boost big vampires, based on an idea by Henrik Klippstrom DECK: Unlife in the City: City Gangrel-antitribu Happy Families deck. **************** FICTION: Dramatic Upheaval It's a crisp January evening, time to implement another of my New Year resolutions - the evening run! Off we set, Winthrop and i, in our elegantly-monogrammed tracksuits. Winthrop is in good form tonight, and i watch his bony shoulders pumping from the comfort of the rickshaw. Back to the mansion in record time, and then through to the briefing room for breakfast and a situation report. "Your Lordship's Cajun ally is looking a bit wobbly, his main vampire, Agaitas, having been burned in combat with our Brujah friends' Gargoyle double-agent Ublo-Satha. On the other hand he did manage to wrest control of the Rack from them. Your Lordship's prey has managed to resurrect Arika but the alchemical and necromantic rituals involved have left him very weak. The Gargoyles have been revealed as a mere tool of the hated Warlocks, o sorry Miss Wei, didn't see you there." Just at this moment the door of the conference room opens and in comes Snarls-at-Postmen. He is VERY late, he is wearing a new pair of chinos, a smart striped blazer and a straw hat. Instead of the usual evil-smelling reefer he is smoking a fine, fat Cohiba, and upon his arm the sluttish-but-amenable Pack-Mattress has been replaced by a gorgeous ex-pornstar, her absurdly long blonde hair positively CASCADING past heavily-mascara'd eyelashes and ski-jump nose set in a heart-shaped face, and over her opulent breasts. In short, Snarly has got a life. "Ah, Snarly, glad you could join us! Ms Chelsea, a great pleasure! Now, ladies and gentlemen, tonight is the night. And first of all, it behoves us to succour our loyal ally. You know we Brits have aways had a soft spot for Francophones. Why, during the last big war did we not valiantly let them cover our retreat, and when it was obvious that they were going to surrender to the Germans, did we not fraternally sink their entire fleet at Oran? THAT'S what the friendship of this Great Nation is all about
, and THAT'S why the very first thing we are going to do tonight is KICK THE SHIT OUT OF THE FRENCHIES!!!!!!!" "O yes .. thank-you, Winthrop .... i meant of course that the very THIRD thing we're going to do tonight is kick the shit out of the Frenchies. First, we are going to buy a controlling share in the London Evening Star. Yes friends, this is a good investment because we have the best press in the world. Why, our journalists are SOOO good, that even when they completely make up a totally libellous story severely injurious to our National Interest, it is still Broadly Correct, and anyone who demurs from this point is an evil fascist stooge determined to wreck the basic freedoms upon which this country is built. Now, where's that cheque - thanks, Winthrop! Don't suppose i could trouble you for your fountain pen? Super, that's all settled then! And, erm, second, as the new owner/editor i want a bit more breast on page 3. Chelsea, darling, off you go with the nice cameraman, and you fellow, chuck this article about global climate change on the scrap-heap so's to make space for her nipples, there's a good sub-editor! O, and, erm, secretary-girl? Not to micro-manage or anything, but i think you'll find that "succour" is actually spelt S-U-C-K-E-R." Shortly afterwards, Marlene is relaxing in her little flat, smoking a Gauloise and listening to Edith Piaf on the gramophone. Suddenly she becomes aware of Rends-the-Treehuggers's massive presence, and only slightly less massive AK47. Blam! blat-at-at-at! And down she goes. "Non, rien de rien, non, je ne regrette rien" sings the gramophone, as Rends saunters off to make his report. Snarls-at-Postmen is meanwhile ripping Vincent into undead julienne strips. Over to the conclave where Prince Igo the Hungry is making a powerful speech about the inequity of the food supply distribution in Canada. Arika and the entire Ventrue bloc oppose it, of course, but the combined weight of Princes Igo, Angel and Rake, not to mention the Gangrel and Tremere Justicars render the opposition ineffective, despite a last-minute dramatic intervention by an Antediluvian, possible Set himself. Alas, his speech is delivered in hieroglyphics, and he can't get the slide projector to work. Arika leaves the chamber in disgust, just in time to spot her employer getting into a black helicopter which departs at speed, strewing chaff and pursued by several SAM's. Igo is looking rather peaky after the vote, doubtless something to do with the fine print he inserted in the legislation. So Giuliano thoughtfully acquires the entire Red Light district of Quebec for his Honourable Friend's delight. And now in rapid succession Thadius Zho, The Knights, Rake, Ricki and Jing Wei steam in to liberate our Cajun former ally's remaining assets for the General Good [believed to be a euphemism for yours truly]. Princess Angel now tries to recruit a Loyal Street Gang but runs into a Gargoyle patrol. Quick as a wink she scoots up to the rooftops and thumbs her nose at the carbuncled fellow. It was only a ruse, anyway; now Vasilis is free to become Prince of Seattle. And as the night wanes, i draw the delectable Uma Hatch to my bosom, after a suitable prelude involving dinner and flowers. Next night is relatively uneventful, the Gargoyles succeeding in recruiting a Razor Bat despite Uma's attempt to prevent them using the London Evening Star. After that it is time for the coup-de-grace; i myself distract Ferox the Rock Lord ["nice place you have here, took us a while to find it"], whilst my many minions, aided by inside information from Ublo-Satha to my Brujah employees, destroy what's left of the Gargoyle/Tremere empire. Victory! Rends-the-Treehuggers and Snarls-at-Postmen celebrate by changing into lupus form and gambolling over the snowy Canadian landscape. Suddenly Rends stops, and gazes into the trees. "Say, isn't that whatisname, Cajun methuselah bloke?" Snarly looks. "Yeah, but war's over, man. In victory magnanimity sorta thing, what? Now, watch me make the mother of all piss-flowers in this snowdrift." Over in the trees Bleu trains a powerful camera on the two werewolves and takes a picture, which he posts to his old friend and enemy Legbiter, along with a cordial invitation to visit. And so another chapter in the Jyhad draws to its close. ************ The turns of the jyhad on-line game local40 upon which the above story is based, transcribed by Wes: LEGBITER 10.3 Starting Pool: 22 (-19 xfer, -10 RenGarou, -5 AssRifle, -4 Thadius, -3 bleed, -3 DrawVamp, -2 Casino, -2 Misdirect, -1 Knights, +26 AutPers, +6 Oust, +4 Bribes, +3 Ascend, +1 Edge, +1 LegalManip) UNTAP: Snarls gains 1 life (Snarls 3/3). MASTER: 1) Put into play London Evening Star (Pool 19). 2) Tap The Barrens to discard Dramatic Upheaval. MINION: 1) Rends-the-Treehuggers (RenGarou) enters combat with Marlene (Bleu). Rends moves to long range and strikes twice for 8R (Marlene 0/6 torpor). 2) Snarls-at-Postmen (RenGarou) enters combat with Vincent (Bleu). Snarls strikes twice for 4 damage (Vincent 0/6 torpor). Vincent strikes with hands for 1 (Snarls 2/3). 3) Igo calls KRC, tapping Creepshow Casino to make it a +2 stealth action. The terms of the referendum are 2 to Wes and 2 to Bleu. --Legbiter has 13 votes FOR (3 Giuliano, 3 Jing Wei, 2 Rake, 2 Igo, 2 Angel, 1 vote card) --Wes throws an Ancient Influence for 1 vote AGAINST --Wes throws Arika's 4 votes AGAINST --Wes taps Ventrue Headquarters for 3 votes AGAINST The referendum passes 13-8 and Wes loses 2 pool (Wes 0) and Bleu loses 2 pool (Bleu 6). Wes is ousted and Legbiter gains 6 pool (Pool 25) and a Victory Point. Igo plays Cryptic Rider (Igo 0/2). 4) Giuliano steals The Rack and points it at Igo. 5) Thadius Zho bleeds Bleu for 2 (Bleu 4, Legbiter gains Edge). 6) Rake bleeds Bleu for 1 (Bleu 3). 7) The Knights play Computer Hacking to bleed Bleu for 1 (Bleu 2). 8) Ricki bleeds Bleu for 1 (Bleu 1). 9) Jing Wei bleeds Bleu for 1 (Bleu 0). Bleu is ousted and Legbiter gains 6 pool (Pool 31) and a Victory Point. 10) Angel recruits Loyal Street Gang. Ublo-Satha plays Forced Awakening and Patrol for +1 intercept and blocks. Angel plays High Ground to maneuver to long range. Both combatants wave. 11) Vasilis calls Praxis Seizure: Seattle. The terms of the referendum are that Vasilis becomes Prince of Seattle. The referendum passes automatically (due to Cryptic Rider) and Vasilis is declared Prince of Seattle. INFLUENCE: 3 on #? to reveal Uma Hatch (Pool 28). DISCARD: Ascendance. Ending Pool: 28 (-22 xfer, -10 RenGarou, -5 AssRifle, -4 Thadius, -3 bleed, -3 DrawVamp, -3 LondEvStar, -2 Casino, -2 Misdirect, -1 Knights, +26 AutPers, +18 Oust, +4 Bribes, +3 Ascend, +1 Edge, +1 LegalManip) ================================ DEAN 11.2 Starting pool: 6 (-21 xfer, -4 bleed, -3 DrawVamp, -1 AFRazor, -1 ConAg, -1 KRC, -1 PBWashington, -1 SecHaven, +8 AutPers, +1 Edge) UNTAP: All MASTER: Doll 1 from Ferox to pool (Ferox 4/7, pool 7). MINION: Ublo-Satha hires a Razor Bat. Uma Hatch attempts to block, tapping the London Evening Star for +1 intercept. Ublo-Satha plays Skin of the Chameleon (at VIS, Ublo 3/7) for +2 Stealth. Ublo burns Soul of the Earth to pay for the Razor Bat. INFLUENCE: None DISCARD: Powerbase: Chicago Ending pool: 7 (-21 xfer, -4 bleed, -3 DrawVamp, -1 AFRazor, -1 ConAg, -1 KRC, -1 PBWashington, -1 SecHaven, +8 AutPers, +1 Blood Doll, +1 Edge) ================================ LEGBITER 11.3 Starting Pool: 28 (-22 xfer, -10 RenGarou, -5 AssRifle, -4 Thadius, -3 bleed, -3 DrawVamp, -3 LondEvStar, -2 Casino, -2 Misdirect, -1 Knights, +26 AutPers, +18 Oust, +4 Bribes, +3 Ascend, +1 Edge, +1 LegalManip) UNTAP: 1) Gain 1 for the Edge (Pool 29). 2) Snarls (RenGarou) gains 1 life (Snarls 3/3). 3) Igo gains 2 blood from The Rack (Igo 2/2). MASTER: Misdirection on Ferox (costing 2 due to Secure Haven, pool 27). MINION: 1) Igo plays Charming Lobby (at PRE) along with Brujah Justicar. The terms of the referndum are that Uma Hatch be declared Brujah Justicar. --Legbiter has 19 votes FOR (4 CLobby, 3 Giuliano, 3 Jing Wei, 2 Rake, 2 Igo, 2 Angel, 2 Vasilis, 1 vote card) The referendum passes unanimously 19-0 and Uma Hatch becomes Brujah Justicar. The next vote will pass automatically. 2) Jing Wei recruits Outcast Mage, tapping Creepshow Casino to make it a +2 stealth action (Pool 24). 3) Ricki van Demsi bleeds Dean for 1 (Dean 6). 4) Tap The Barrens to discard Arms Dealer. 5) The Knights play Computer Hacking to bleed Dean for 1 (Dean 5). 6) Giuliano Vincenzi bleeds Dean for 1 (Dean 4). 7) Thadius Zho bleeds for 2 (Dean 2). 8) Rake bleeds for 2 (due to Ublo-Satha's special). Virstania blocks. Rake strikes with Lucky Blow for 2 (Virstania 5/7). Virstania strikes hands for 1 (Rake 3/6). 9) Vasilis calls KRC. The terms of the referendum are that Dean lose 3 pool and Legbiter loses 1 pool. The referendum passes automatically due to Charming Lobby and Dean loses 3 pool (Dean 0) and Legbiter 1 (Pool 21). Dean is ousted and Legbiter gains a Victory Point for ousting Dean and another Victory Point for being the last standing Methuselah. The game ends with Legbiter as the winner. ================================ This game began on Monday, October 27th, 2003. Original order of play: 1) Bleu [Philippe Legrand] 2) Dean [Garrison] 3) Legbiter 4) George [Fink] 5) Wes - mod [Andrew Weston] Legbiter won this game on January 15th, 2004 with 5 Victory Points, sweeping the table. ************** WORK IN PROGRESS: Experimenting with a new rule designed to boost big vampires, based on an idea by Henrik Klippstrom. i've been very intrigued recently by the ideas of Henrik Klippstrom on super-superior cards, which he envisages as a possible way to sex-up the big non-IC vampires. Briefly, Henrik's idea is that we might consider cards playable by all vampires, but that confer an extra possibility on big [>9 cap] vampires. i think he is addressing a real problem in a novel and constructive way, but have been wondering if we might not be able to Klippstromize the game without recourse to new cards, by implementing the following New Rule: Extra rule: any vampire with a capacity of 9 or greater may burn a blood one time any card is legally played by it to add one to the votes, additional strikes, bleed modifiers, stealth, intercept, damage prevention or strength normally granted by the card. Note that this doesn't mean you can burn a blood to give yourself stealth on a 0-stealth action, or intercept on a Forced Awakening, etc. The card must already say "+1 [or more] to [something on the above list]", or "[something on the above list], for, eg, additional strikes". We tried this rule out last weekend, but only in one game, with two HF decks [Michael playing 2/3 Tremere, Jack playing City !Gangrel] and one precon [me playing Assamites, can't swear to not having tweaked it a bit]. i won this game, and the rule DEFINITELY had some interesting effects, for example in giving Michael a VP which he wouldn't otherwise have got. However, to my surprise this rule encountered resistance from Lady Legbiter, who is my touchstone for the non-committed VTES player, so we did not play it in the games in which she was involved - so much for my belief, publicly-stated, that new rules are less annoying to casual players than new cards! ************* DECK: Unlife in the City: City Gangrel-antitribu Happy Families deck. An updated version of the Happy Families deck for the City Gangrel antitribu. Not all members of the family are in it - Blaise and Sebastian Goulet simply DEMAND to have decks built around them, or in the case of Blaise, their disciplines. CRYPT: Jesus Alcala 2 cel hat Sadie 2 pro Max Lowell 3 cel obf Scarlet Carson O'Toole 4 pro CEL Wren 4 cel obf pro Maria Stone 5 cel obf pro FOR Skryta Zyleta 5 obf pot pro CEL hat Black Hand Darrell Boyce, Consul 6 CEL OBF PRO tattoos Harry Reese 6 cel obf FOR PRO Zachary 7 for pre CEL OBF PRO Ellen Fence, the Tracker 8 aus CEL OBF PRO Bishop special Samantha 10 ani tha CEL OBF PRO Bishop 2 specials LIBRARY [90 cards] MASTERS [20, 4 are trifles - still probably too many] Blood Doll x 3 Campground HG Celerity City Gangrel Connections Creep Show [trifle] x 2 Fame Haven Uncovered Life in the City [trifle] x 2 Minion Tap Obfuscate Pentex ™ Loves You! Protean The Rumor Mill, Tabloid Newspaper Sociopath Storage Annex [should be Path of the Feral Heart] Tribute to the Master MINION  DISCIPLINELESS  Ambush Arson Atonement Blow Torch Bum's Rush Computer Hacking [should be Fiendish Tongue] x 2 Gas-Powered Chainsaw Laptop Computer Leather jacket x 2 Meat Cleaver Pier 13, Port of Baltimore Saturday Night Special Sengir Dagger Sport Bike WWEF x 2 Zillah's Tears x 3 CELERITY  Blur x 3 Flash x 4 Lightning Reflexes Pursuit x 2 Preternatural Evasion x 2 Psyche! x 3 Side Strike x 2 OBFUSCATE  Cloak the Gathering x 4 Disguised Weapon x 4 Faceless Night Forgotten Labyrinth x 2 Hidden Lurker x 2 Lost in Crowds Spying Mission Swallowed by the Night PROTEAN  Bone Spur x 2 Claws of the Dead x 2 Earth Control x 2 Earth Meld Form of Mist x 2 Homunculus Rapid Change Shadow of the Beast Wolf Claws x 4 **************** And that's it for February! Pray accept this HUGE bunch of red roses and as much chocolate and champagne as you can consume without barfing. See you all in March!