The Flexible Character

April 20, 2009

I find it a frequent problem in RPGs that characters designed for combat and those that aren’t don’t function well together.

I’m currently arguing on the Conan d20 forums that noncombat builds in Conan aren’t especially useless in combat in comparison to other systems.  But, still, there’s the “playing two different games with one party” problem that occurs far too frequently.  In Conan, it’s actually how useless the soldier class is in any game where you don’t just fight all of the time.

All problems come back to planning and expectations.  If the party is planned well to meet the expectations for what sort of adventures it will have, then there shouldn’t be this problem.  But, let’s pretend that people don’t go to this effort (since they often don’t).  Further, I’m going to assume that the rules can’t be changed to balance things better.

So, the onus gets put on the player to figure out how to be useful in most situations.  There’s being useful in combat and then there’s out of combat (knowledge, social, athletic, perception, thiefiness, etc.).

For combat usefulness, one needs to understand the game mechanics to a much greater extent as combat is frequently more sophisticated.  One also needs to know what the game’s style is.  Is the game extremely lethal like L5R where you either need really, really good defenses to be competent defensively?  Or, is it a game where you can take a few licks no matter how noncombatty you are where having some sort of effective attack may make more sense?

Size of party is extremely important.  The smaller the party, the more defense matters.  The courtier may hide long enough in a group of 6 or 7 to do one banzai attack – assuming the combat isn’t over before the character takes an action – but will just get shredded in a group of 3 or 4.

The Conan discussion is about a temptress in a party with a barbarian and a pirate.  It’s a system where offense is much better than defense but where it’s possible to get all defensive without putting a lot of resources into it.  The small party size and ability to easily take the Combat Expertise feat suggests to me a defensive build.

In Heroes of Rokugan, where parties are often 5-7 and combat is absurdly lethal, I’d like a few defensive “tricks” – Earth above 2, Strength of Earth (to slow a death spiral), TN to be hit bumps, and so forth.  But, I’d look to have at least one offensive angle.  In that system, that means having some way to generate a high attack roll since any hit might do heinous damage.

I’m not sure what to do in systems like Vampire: The Masquerade and other old World of Darkness and new World of Darkness games as I always seemed to end up with combat-useless characters unless I started with combat effectiveness when conceiving the character.

Noncombat can be even worse than combat.  The superskill or magic class/school/whatever may so outclass the combat builds that the fighters have nothing to do while investigation, intrigue, sneaking, infiltration, knowing, or whatever is going on.

For noncombat abilities, it’s extremely important to know what the other player characters are good or strong at.  No sense being the third tracker in the party, for instance.  Usually, if two characters have something covered, better to look elsewhere unless it’s something the party does all of the time.  Sometimes, when stretched thin on noncombat abilities, leave an area entirely up to one character.

L5R makes picking up skills cheap, so having a bunch of rank 1 skills is reasonable, plus there’s using Void to “know” a skill.  Of course, jacking the nonfighty attributes like Awareness and Intelligence above 2 has a huge impact.

Meanwhile, in Conan and other d20 games, some classes have serious disadvantages.  In Conan, I would start every character as a thief, maybe a scholar for a pure scholar build.  (Actually, I’d change the rules, but …)  Going from starting with 16 skill ranks to starting with 32 is absurdly hot.  In fact, except for supercombat builds, I’d have every character take ranks in scholar and/or thief because the difference in skill ranks is so mighty.  Scholar also has the advantage of giving magical abilities, and as usual, magic can do things that can’t be duplicated otherwise.

In Hero System (Champions, et al), overall levels are interesting for making all of one’s skills more useful.  Dexterity and Intelligence, as in many systems, have good noncombat benefits while Dexterity is frequently useful in and out of combat in systems.

Class choices, multiclassing, skill choices, points put into flexible abilities like magic or things that can be moved around like levels – there’s usually some place in the system that enables a more flexible character. 

Because, who wants to sit around while others are playing?


Gen Con Event Registration

April 19, 2009

Gen Con Indy’s http://gencon.com/2009/indy/default.aspx event registration began today.  Having gone to many a Gen Con and had my share of problems getting what I wanted with hotels, events, or whatever, I make a lot of effort to do things ASAP.

I probably didn’t need to.  While some of the events I got tickets for were down to 1 ticket left after I purchased mine, the events I try to get into usually are not that popular or can handle a lot of players.

My current philosophy is to strike a balance between Heroes of Rokugan and doing new and different RPGs.  In total, I signed up for nine RPG sessions, didn’t sign up for the HoR LARP but left the slot open to decide what I want to do then later, and didn’t sign up for True Dungeon.

True Dungeon, for me, has been a middling experience.  It’s different, but it’s just not as engaging as it should be for the high cost, effort to get a slot, and time.

Last year’s Gen Con went perfectly well playwise even though I did a lot of HoR events.  I recall four normal sessions and the battle interactive.  As there are plenty of weird events or systems I haven’t played that I want to try, I don’t like overcommitting to one gaming channel. 

I really like my schedule this year in terms of finding new things that sound good.  Hopefully, nothing goes wrong.  I do need to figure out what to do during that Saturday 2PM slot, though.  The typically odd stuff I’ve signed up for includes Weapons of the Gods (have the book, can’t imagine getting any of my groups to play it), How We Came To Live Here (Native American gaming), Houses of the Blooded, fairy tale noir using QAGS, Oz: Dark and Terrible using Balance RPG system.  There’s plenty of things I don’t have time for that sound interesting enough.  And, I’ve skipped old favorites like Feng Shui and Four Colors al Fresco to allot enough time for new and HoR.

I think I’m drawn to fairy tale games having played a really cool Alice in Wonderland session at a local convention.  I went through a superhero phase in recent years and probably overdid that.  HoR has become my anchor of normalcy in a world of experimentation.  The one story I tell about last year’s Gen Con is the weirdest game I’ve ever played where the premise was that we played dreams in the real world.  One player had to drop before we started because it was too abstract.

I did actually look at non-RPG events since I wanted to look up the HoR LARP.  I just can’t justify signing up for CCGs, miniatures, parlor LARPs, or whatever when there are so many RPGs to try.

The online registration wasn’t particularly painful this year.  Nor did I have to spend a lot of time putting the puzzle pieces together to make a functional schedule.  It is sad, though, how many systems don’t get used.  RPGs never become obsolete.


April 11th Playday

April 12, 2009

Yet more V:TES.

Saturday, the South Bay group got together and played three games.  We thought we would have five players but one got sick at the last moment.

Game 1:

Settite bleed -> !Toreador intercept/combat -> Slaughterhouse -> War Gods (from Aries II blog post)

This game not only wasn’t what I expected, it wasn’t what anyone should expect.  It would have been so different to be preying upon the !Toreador deck as I could have moved combat cards.  Instead, for most of the game, I was handjammed on Potence combat cards.

My prey and I didn’t interact hardly at all as he correctly didn’t block me and just kept going forward, which was fairly effective as he ousted his prey and was very close to ousting the Slaughterhouse deck, until the Slaughterhouse deck played Minion Taps for 6 and 7 in the same turn.  I didn’t interact with my predator until the end of the game because my predator’s deck wasn’t actually designed to do anything.

Before my library was milled away, I ousted the Settite deck.  I just kept bringing out more vampires, mostly ignoring my pool, as I figured my predator could only oust me with Brinksmanship.  In the endgame, I had enough minions on the table, a Preternatural Strength, and was gaining pool from Powerbase: Montreal and the edge that even without a library I had the game pretty much dominated.

Of great amusement was that the only offensive combat I generated from combat cards was by using Immortal Grapple to press.  I didn’t have any rush when I had combat cards and vice versa.

Somehow, I don’t think it was a good test of the viability of the deck, but that happens.

Game 2:

Kiasyd -> KoT Ventrue 4CL -> !Toreador intercept/combat (different deck) -> Malk stealth bleed

This game was painful to play.  My deck was just a good stuff, 4 card limit Ventrue deck that I restricted to Keepers of Tradition vampires only.  I wanted to play with vamps I would have little interest in.  The problem was that they didn’t go together very well – too many missing disciplines and inferior disciplines.  It also hurt that I couldn’t get a Prince or Justicar in play and so all of the cards that required such were dead draws.

The Malk deck decided too late to go backwards with Kindred Spirits, having had a number of vampires get torped.  Right before I was going to lunge, my predator took me out.  I had spent a lot of pool to bring out minions knowing that only overwhelming numbers of actions was going to enable me to do any damage to my prey.  The Malk deck didn’t survive much longer.  In the endgame, the Kiasyd took out a tooled up Klaus Konrecht, achieving a vastly superior position, and went on to win.

Game 3:

Conrad Adoula anarch rush -> first !Toreador deck from above -> Ani/Pro stealth bleed -> big cap Lasombra

I didn’t have the perfect number of transfers to start things out, but the early game was great for my bleed deck.  I got out Beatrice Tremblay.  My prey got out Moncada.  So, I just kept bleeding for 3, which mostly got bounced around the table.  When Francisco Polonia came out, I switched to bleeding for 2 with monsters having -1 intercept and bleeding for 2-3 with my Gangrel.  My prey bounced a lot, but he couldn’t hold me off even as I started running out of stealth.  Some of my minions got beaten up, but my second prey was low on pool and I ate Conrad after doing agg damage to her, removing his ability to function.  Meanwhile, my predator was largely crippled from fighting earlier in the game.  So, I finished them off.

I like the Ani/Pro bleed deck.  It’s weenieish, fights a little, blocks a tiny bit, and does a lot of damage.  I should work on making it better for tournament play.


Aries II – Zodiac I

April 10, 2009

In the first part of the Aries series, I explained how I consider astrology a fantastic resource for creating RPG characters and don’t see why I can’t use it for inspiration in other gaming endeavors.  As I can never seem to make short posts, I stopped with just creating a Conan d20 character.  Aries II will show how astrology can inspire deckbuilding for CCGs.

Deck Name:   War Gods
Created By:  Aries
Description:

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 18, Max: 34, Avg: 6.58)
———————————————-
  1  Amelia                           CEL POT PRE      7  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Antonio Veradas                  obf CEL POT PRE  8  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Evangeline                       cel pot pre      4  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Hugo                             pre vic POT      4  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Jacko                            obt CEL POT PRE  8  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Marcel de Breau                  ani pro CEL POT PRE9  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Miguel Santo Domingo             cel for POT PRE  7  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Rigby                            aus pot CEL PRE  5  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Salinger                         tha CEL POT PRE  9  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Sela                             cel obt POT PRE  6  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Sela (ADV)                       cel obt POT PRE  7  Brujah Antitribu
  1  Wah Chun-Yuen                    cel dom pre POT  5  Brujah Antitribu

Library: (80 cards)
——————-
Master (18 cards)
  5  Blood Doll
  7  Danse Macabre
  1  Fame
  1  Frontal Assault
  2  Gang Territory
  1  Parthenon, The
  1  Powerbase: Montreal

Action (20 cards)
  7  Enchant Kindred
  1  Entrancement
  6  Fleetness
  1  Legal Manipulations
  1  Preternatural Strength
  4  Public Trust

Action Modifier (7 cards)
  2  Inspire Greatness
  5  Iron Glare

Combat (35 cards)
  2  Disarm
  8  Immortal Grapple
  2  Increased Strength
  4  Mighty Grapple
  6  Taste of Vitae
  2  Thrown Gate
  2  Thrown Sewer Lid
  6  Torn Signpost
  3  Undead Strength

I’ve been wanting to build a Danse Macabre deck for some time.  The problem was that I’d keep thinking about how good it would be with !Malks, something that someone has already done in a tournament winning deck. 

This deck isn’t my style at all.  I like defense in V:TES decks.  I like decks that can handle any matchups.  I consider combat an inefficient strategy with a lot of potential for things going wrong.  I’m risk averse.  But, this is Aries’ time and Aries isn’t risk averse.  Aries has the faith and the courage that it can do what needs to be done. 

!Brujah have a huge problem – pool defense.  Presence enables them to vote well and voting is great for bloating one’s pool in order to survive.  But, that’s so dull.  Let’s beat the crap out of people instead.  Let’s use Enchant Kindred and Public Trust to gain blood counters.  Danse Macabre can set up an ideal turn of Enchant Kindred at superior followed by Public Trust bleed.

I quite despise Powerbase: Montreal as I think it just slows games down.  But, again, Danse Macabre steps in to give multiaction ability to go steal it back after it’s inevitably taken away while still getting in aggressive actions.

Is this deck good?  Good enough to play in a tournament?  … um … I wouldn’t be comfortable with it because I see it being far too matchup dependent.  It can power through squishy decks that don’t draw a lot of bleed bounce.  It can cow other decks into not blocking or not being aggressive.  In the hands of a player who is skilled at terrifying other players, it has more than one dimension and may have enough game.  In my hands, it’s more of a casual environment, stylistic anomaly that can maybe fool people into thinking that I’m more likely to play combat than I am.


Aries I – Zodiac I

April 8, 2009

One day, some years ago but not nearly as many as it should have been, I realized just how insanely useful astrology is for creating role-playing game characters. Why limit oneself to just RPGs?

This is the first in a series devoted to making use of astrology in gaming. I have in mind doing a RPG character, a V:TES deck, and maybe get into other gaming areas as ideas come. Perfect time of year to get started. Spring, Easter, rebirth … Aries!

Aries
the infant
“I am”
positive: innocence, wonder, faith, courage
negative: selfish egotism, thoughlessness, aggressiveness, impulsive action
– from Linda Goodman’s “Love Signs” [it was handy]

I could whip up a Legend of the Five Rings character since I’ve been studying the main book recently as my interest in Heroes of Rokugan http://heroes-of-rokugan.com/, L5R’s living campaign, was rekindled by playing a module online not long ago. But, I have an assignment due Memorial Weekend to come up with player characters for my friend’s Conan d20 (http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/home/series.php?qsSeries=7) game, so why don’t I put my effort into that instead?

I was given some guidance: five 7th level characters, at least one pirate, no scholars or temptresses, Dabbler feat would be useful. Aries is about action. There’s no shortage of action roles in Conan, but the note about pirate makes things easy. Pirate is meant to be an aggressive class in Conan what with its Ferocious Attack ability. Being a lover of irony, if I were creating a character for myself, I would be amused by creating an Aries scholar (which I can’t do anyway), but people playing in one-shot games at cons aren’t looking for subtlety and cleverness so much as they are looking to have fun, and it’s easier to give people what they expect than to be so clever as to confuse them.

Race and class are the two most defining flavor elements to Conan characters. I have class. Race is interesting. The adventure is going to be set around the Vilayet Sea, far to the East of where the dominant Hyborian nations and the infamous Stygia can be found. Typically, I’d expect someone building a pirate to choose Zingaran or Argossean for race. It’s not in any way difficult to explain how an individual from an ocean-faring race got to the Vilayet – the Empire of Turan/Hyrkania which surrounds the Vilayet is heavily involved in slaves from around the world. Yet, this seems a prime opportunity to try something different. Why not a local?

Attributes. I’ll use the heroic method and roll 8, 8, 8, 5, 4, 2. A total of 36 would be an average attribute of 14 (36/6 + 8 base), so I’ll move the 2 up to a 3. Normally, I like to have high INT characters as about the only thing I like about d20 is the skill system. There’s nothing unintelligent about Aries or any other sign, but the character should be good at physical action, so strength and dexterity should be high, while charisma should be high for an outgoing pirate and a leader of men (Aries being the cardinal fire sign after all).

Other. While assigning skills is time-consuming, it’s not all that difficult for me. I start with what I think fits the character as I envision it, discover I’ve way overspent, and pare down considerably, often taking out skill themes. Feats are what kill me about creating d20 characters. I pretty much hate the feat system even though the concept is really good. d20 feats are just far too bland, mechanical, and unbalanced. I don’t want a poor sailor for this pirate, so I know I’ll be devoting most of the skills to traditional sailor areas. Unfortunately, 7th level isn’t high enough (normally) to get the Navigation feat, not that navigating on the Vilayet is quite the same as ocean travel.

Names. I dread names. I like to have meaningful names which is hard for fantasy worlds, fortunately, Conan’s world uses a prehistory of ours, so we can look up real world names and be confident they will sound reasonable. My favorite site is http://www.20000-names.com/ as the meanings of names is as or more important than how they sound. From Armenian boy names, I get Dzovag “lake”. From Turkish girl names, I get Pinar “spring”, I don’t know if it’s spring as in Spring or some other spring, but that seems entirely appropriate for an Aries whichever way. Neither Armenian nor Turkish were my first thoughts, I was thinking more Cossack, Tatar, Hun, or Mongolian, but these are probably fine.

Background. As a pure pirate, I envision this character as being from a family who lived by the Vilayet, maybe a fishing family, maybe a child of pirates. But, for more of a hook, I envision someone forced into piracy, pushed into the sea by politics or violence. A desire for revenge on landlubbers and a freedom-loving spirit feed the character’s career choice. With faith being an Aries element, I think it’s important to have this character worship some god or pantheon local to the Vilayet to get the Faith bonus to Will saves (a notoriously weak area for many Conan characters).

Looking over the character sheet below – I apologize for the crummy formatting, I must admit to not being thrilled. This pirate could really use being better at combat, better in certain skills, and more interesting and flexible. Probably best to create the other PCs and see how this character compares, it could just be not remembering how limited characters were at 7th level. More likely, I’ll just start tweaking to make the character more efficient.

Pinar (female) or Dzovag (male)
Race: Hyrkanian Class: Pirate Level: 7

STR 17 3 Fort: 5 +1 6
DEX 18 4 Ref: 5 +4 9
CON 13 1 Will: 2 +1 2 5 (Faith)
INT 14 2
WIS 12 1 Hit Points: 45
CHA 17 3

Parry Value: 13 +3 16 (18 on boat/ship at sea)
Dodge Value: 15 +4 19 (21 on boat/ship at sea)
Magic AB: 1 +3 4

Armor Check Pen.:
VS. Touch Attacks: 19
Arcane Spell Fail:
Flat-Footed: 19 (Uncanny Dodge)

Armor/Protection Type DR MD CP SF Spd Weight
Leather Jerkin L 4 +6 -1 40% std. 5
Steel Cap 1 0 10% 3

Initiative: 5 +8 13

Base Attack Bonus: 5
Melee: 5 +3 8
Finesse: 5 +4 9
Ranged: 5 +4 9

Weapon Proficiencies: All Simple, All Martial, Two-Weapon

Weapon Dam. Crit. AP RI H HP Weight
Hyrkanian bow +3 d10+3 19-20 3** 100′ 5 3 2
arrows (40) 5 1 6
Yuetshi knife (F) d6+3 x2 1 8 1 1
scimitar d8+3 18-20 2 10 5 2.5

Feats:
Far Shot [1] projectile weapon range increment x1.5, thrown x2
Improved Initiative [3] +4 initiative
Mobility [p5] +4 dodge DV vs. AoO from moving
Fleet-Footed [6] +10′ movement

Special Abilities:
Hyrkanian +1 attack rolls w/ bows
Hyrkanian +1/2 attack w/ bows 6/9 range increments away
Hyrkanian no requirements for taking Far Shot
Hyrkanian +2 Diplomacy, Gather Info, Intimidate in empire
Hyrkanian -2 saves vs. hypnotism
Hyrkanian tulwars and Hyrkanian bows as martial
Religion god/pantheon local to the Vilayet, as Erlik
Seamanship [p1,6] +2 Climb, P: Sailor, Use Rope, Balance, DV aboard boat/ship at sea
Ferocious Attack [p1,7] +4 initiative, attacks, damage melee; -4 DV; additional attack; first round
Pirate Code [p2] Vilayet Sea Flags
TSaRoBaS [p2] Coup as a free action
Sneak Attack [p3,6] +2d6
Sneak Subdual [p3] nonlethal
Uncanny Dodge [p4] dodge while flatfooted
Bite Sword [p7] 3+3 rounds/minutes

Languages: 9 – Hyrkanian, Khitan, Shemitish, Zamorian, Brythunian, Kothic, Iranistani, Yuetshi, Vendhyan

Skills (8+16+4,5,5,5,5,5,6 = 59), max 10:

Class Skills Ranks AM MM Key Skill
Appraise 2 2 INT 4
Balance 6 4 DEX 10 (11 at sea)
Bluff 5 3 CHA 8
Climb 2 3 STR 5 (7 at sea)
*Craft (bowyer) 2 2 INT 4
Disguise 0 3 CHA 3
Escape Artist 0 4 DEX 4
Gather Information 5 3 CHA 8
Intimidate 5 3 CHA 8
Jump 2 3 STR 5
Knowledge (geography) 1 2 INT 3
*Knowledge (local) 5 2 INT 7
Knowledge (rumors) 1 2 INT 3
Move Silently 0 4 DEX 4
Perform (sing) 1 3 CHA 4
Profession (sailor) 5 1 WIS 6 (8 at sea)
*Ride 2 4 DEX 6
Search 1 2 INT 3
Spot 0 1 WIS 1
*Survival 2 1 WIS 3
Swim 5 3 STR 8
Tumble 5 4 DEX 9
Use Rope 2 4 DEX 6 (8 at sea)

Reputation: 15 – +2 Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, Perform; -1 Disguise

Fate Points: 2

Corruption Points: 0


March Tournament Decks

April 3, 2009

Here are the three decks I played in the tournaments last weekend:

Saturday morning –
Deck Name: 090323 Ur-Shulgi Has No Presence Qualifier

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 4, Max: 44, Avg: 7.66)
———————————————
2 Augustus Giovanni cel pre AUS DOM NEC POT11 Giovanni
4 Ezmerelda dom tha ANI CHI FOR PRE11 Ravnos
2 Sutekh cel pot NEC OBF PRE SER11 Followers of Set
4 Tupdog POT VIS 1 Gargoyle

Library: (80 cards)
——————-
Master (24 cards)
1 Barrens, The
1 Blind Spot
1 Blood Doll
1 Direct Intervention
1 Dreams of the Sphinx
1 Fear of Mekhet
1 Giant`s Blood
1 Golconda: Inner Peace
4 Information Highway
1 Legendary Vampire
1 Life Boon
1 Monastery of Shadows
1 Opium Den
1 Pentex Subversion
1 Powerbase: Rome
1 Sudden Reversal
5 Villein

Action (1 cards)
1 Entrancement

Action Modifier (14 cards)
1 Aire of Elation
1 Bribes
3 Call of the Hungry Dead
2 Perfect Paragon
1 Tangle Atropos` Hand
6 Voter Captivation

Political Action (13 cards)
1 Anarchist Uprising
1 Ancient Influence
1 Ancilla Empowerment
1 Banishment
1 Disputed Territory
1 Free States Rant
3 Kine Resources Contested
1 Neonate Breach
1 Reckless Agitation
1 Reins of Power
1 Rumors of Gehenna

Reaction (13 cards)
7 Deflection
3 On the Qui Vive
3 Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (7 cards)
4 Majesty
1 Spiritual Intervention
2 Staredown

Ally (1 cards)
1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)

Combo (7 cards)
3 Scalpel Tongue
4 Spectral Divination

Master heavy and really in need of The Parthenon. Too many decisions to make when put under pressure – not a deck I’d want to play at four-player tables again. So many of the one-ofs have unique effects that it’s unpleasant discarding anything. Either I should take the pressure off the deck with something like Storage Annexes or find some recursion with The Sargon Fragment or Necromancy.

I’m not happy with the build. It’s a customizable deck. I cut Anthelios, for instance, for this tournament. It’s a hard deck to do nothing with, yet that’s the only way it will win.

Qualifier –
Deck Name: 090325 Harbingers of Suck 3

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 8, Max: 30, Avg: 5)
——————————————
2 Babalawo Alafin ani AUS FOR NEC 7 Harbingers of Skulls
1 Dela Eden cel dom AUS FOR VAL8 Salubri Antitribu
1 Mina Grotius cel FOR NEC 6 Harbingers of Skulls
1 Neighbor John dom for AUS 5 Ventrue Antitribu
1 Phagian for dom THA NEC AUS8 Harbingers of Skulls
2 Solomon Batanea nec AUS FOR 5 Harbingers of Skulls
3 Tupdog POT VIS 1 Gargoyle
1 Zygodat pot AUS NEC 6 Harbingers of Skulls

Library: (80 cards)
——————-
Master (16 cards)
1 Anarch Troublemaker
1 Archon Investigation
1 Barrens, The
5 Blood Doll
1 Direct Intervention
1 Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1 Mbare Market, Harare
1 Pentex Subversion
2 Perfectionist
1 Powerbase: Tshwane
1 Wash

Action (3 cards)
1 Aranthebes, The Immortal
1 Computer Hacking
1 Victim of Habit

Action Modifier (10 cards)
4 Call of the Hungry Dead
1 Daring the Dawn
3 Freak Drive
1 Leverage
1 Strange Day

Reaction (19 cards)
2 Eagle`s Sight
5 Eyes of Argus
1 My Enemy`s Enemy
3 On the Qui Vive
7 Telepathic Misdirection
1 Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (12 cards)
2 Armor of Vitality
2 Soak
4 Spiritual Intervention
2 Target Vitals
2 Zip Gun

Ally (2 cards)
1 Carlton Van Wyk (Hunter)
1 Mylan Horseed (Goblin)

Retainer (3 cards)
1 J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1 Shaman
1 Tasha Morgan

Equipment (5 cards)
1 .44 Magnum
1 Bowl of Convergence
1 Erebus Mask
1 Heart of Nizchetus
1 Seal of Veddartha

Combo (10 cards)
4 Ancestor`s Insight
6 Spectral Divination

Victim of Habit didn’t work out nearly as well as it did in my tournament-winning Osebo deck, just not enough time to take extra actions. More combat defense than I needed in the tournament. I was expecting a more experimental metagame where combat defense would be more relevant. Instead, my games played a lot like sleazefests and I discarded combat constantly.

I’m satisfied with this build. Even more Eyes of Argus and bounce might be appropriate in more competitive environments. Would be nice to run Guardian Angel over some of the combat defense.

Sunday morning –
Deck Name: Best Card Quality Ever
Created By: Winners

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 4, Max: 29, Avg: 3.75)
———————————————
3 Anarch Convert 1 Caitiff
3 J. Oswald `Ozzy` Hyde-White dom pre AUS FOR OBF8 Malkavian
3 Louis Fortier aus dom for obf pre 5 Ventrue
3 Tupdog POT VIS 1 Gargoyle

Library: (90 cards)
——————-
Master (15 cards)
11 Blood Doll
4 Minion Tap

Action (8 cards)
8 Govern the Unaligned

Action Modifier (19 cards)
4 Cloak the Gathering
6 Conditioning
4 Freak Drive
5 Lost in Crowds

Political Action (7 cards)
7 Kine Resources Contested

Reaction (34 cards)
11 Deflection
5 Forced Awakening
8 On the Qui Vive
5 Telepathic Misdirection
5 Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (7 cards)
7 Majesty

As a joke deck, there’s not any analysis to speak of. It was amusing to roll a die every turn for Ozzy. It was amusing to joke about wishing Elder Impersonation was a more popular card. Played better than expected, actually.