November 13, 2017


V:TES.  Berkeley.

We wander.  Victory Point Cafe.  Power outage.

Game 1

EuroBrujah -> Anarch Aus/For -> Anthology Anarch Instantaneous Transformation -> Mata Hari Chimerstry -> Saulot IC

Uninspired at deckbuilding.  Have Anthology reprints.  Instantaneous Transformation + new vampires.  Use piles of unsorted cards.  90 card deck.  No offense.

No pressure on prey.  No pressure from predator; steals Gas-Powered Chainsaw.  Saulot helpless.  Grandprey and predator ousted.  Field Training with Salvador Garcia “fun”.

Game 2

Trem Bleed -> Aus/Dem/Vic -> Vidal Jarbeaux -> Santa & Serenna -> Baali

Santa suddens.  Predator bleeds.  I bounce.  VJ go away.  Wall up.  Baali broken.  Luc blocked.  Ousted.  Endgame.  Santa wins.

Game 3

Borrowed +1 STR CEL wall -> AAIT -> HoS Temptation -> Gangrelish with Dom -> Prince Kaymakli

Giotto multiacts.  CEL murders predator.  Club Illusion.  Temptations?!  Bleed prey out.  Flesh of Marble predator.  Kaymakli readyless; ousted.


Food:  Decent.

Hot chocolate:  Expensive, not sweet.

Ambiance:  Good.

Drive:  Bad.


L5R tournament.  Castro Valley.

Brunch:  country fried steak (okay), seasonal vegetables (not good), spaghetti (bad).

10 players.

Pickup – Scorpion.  Unfinished.  Five completed LCG games.

Unicorn vs. Scorpion

3-costs.  Hiroue.  Yunako.  Defensive.  Time.  Concede.

Andy (Dragon) vs. Unicorn

Reduce hand.  One break first three rounds.  Andy recovers hand.  Raitsugu duels.  One Honor.  Void = three Keeper Initiates; Voidless.  Unicorn fall.

Dragon vs. Unicorn

Tilt?  Threatless.  Three rounds – three Doomed Shugenja.  Time.  Concede.  Eight completed games; tournament five.

Play:  Weak.  Slow.

Deck:  Fourless/fiveless!  Weak or ultraweak?

Prizes:  Not weak.

Nostalgia:  Talked to Ed of old days.

Mood:  Frustrated.  Unable break provinces.  Unable outwide Dragon.  Opponents’ hands full.

Enjoy cards:  Cavalry Reserves.

Unpleasant:  Dueling.  Defensive play.

Overall:  Fine.


Desire:  Deckbuilding, tournaments.

Skillfulness:  Lacking.  Improve?

Decklists:  Improbable.


Getting Mental

August 26, 2017

Is charisma a mental attribute?  That’s another topic.

Nope, time to talk more about everyone’s favorite subject (… because it totally is something easy for anyone to do …) – more True Dungeon!?!???

Before getting into the actual topic, some miscellaneous notes.  I just updated my HoR4 characters in an e-file for both my main and my political characters.  I apparently did not do a great job tracking Glory, as it looks like I’m at 4.3 Glory for my main rather than 4.0.  “Yeahhh …”

Found out recently Gamehole Con will have True Grind, hope for the mornings, hope for the mornings.  Lots of free time in the mornings for us, at the moment.

For closing on a year, I’ve wanted TD to use up design space by making INT, WIS, and CHA more meaningful.  Sure, INT is majorly important for wizards and WIS is majorly important for priests.  But, it’s purely a threshold, there are hardly any ways to affect these stats, and nobody else gives for INT.

WIS already does something natively.  CHA kind of does something natively but is not tracked from a bonus standpoint.

I want various tokens that pump those stats.  Ioun Stones are obvious for pumping them, but neck slot (Amulet of the Citizen +1/+1/+1; Amulet of the Politician +2/+2/+2) or whatever works, too.  I mean, we have robes that pump DEX, INT, and CHA.

But, then what?  What you gonna do when the Drow come for you?

I was going to post first to the forums, then “classic” my post to here, but I have to think things through first as, otherwise, unclear thoughts will get lost in the massive threads on what tokens to do next year.

There are some fundamental problems with doing more with these stats.

Number one, lack of using them historically.  Classes aren’t likely designed to incorporate improvements or thresholds.  Now, classes can be redone, though that’s a major undertaking.

Two, discrepancies.  While one of the most important reasons to reward INT is to differentiate the stats of Wizard from Elf Wizard, if you suddenly bonus up INT to, say, AC, what about the massive discrepancies between classes that exist.

Three, overhead.  Suppose you make one ultrarare that uses INT bonus to do something.  Now, you have added one token to many that works differently than every other token.  Suppose you add one token that “ranges” (see below) INT.  Now, you have one token that looks for an INT of one value to do one thing and another to do another thing.

Ranges:  Tokens that work one way if stat is in first range, say 13-16, and another if in second range, say 17+.

Thresholds, Bonuses, Ranges.


Threshold seems the simplest because, uh, it’s already used.  Lenses of Divine Sight and Mad Evoker’s Charm are both premium URs that depend upon other tokens.  In the past, MEC was very dependent, affecting builds significantly, now everyone just Starhides or better.  LoDS is entirely dependent upon a single other token in the game.  Yes, even though WIS actually does something natively, there is only a single token in the game that makes your WIS stronger.  What?!?

My concern with thresholds is overdoing it.  It also is weird because the threshold is really just going to be set based on what classes already have and tokens may not get you to the threshold.  For instance, you wear the Amulet of the Citizen as a wizard – and you cut yourself lots with MEC.  Wear it as an elf and you did care at all, except how this nonexistent token pumps your WIS.


INT and CHA bonuses are already on the class card.  But, what about tracking – party cards, et al?  Well, the party card has a place for spell bonuses, so, if the token was add INT bonus to damage, that’s easy from a party card standpoint.  It’s somewhat more effort for manual calculation of spell bonuses but not a lot given how many other things to worry about and I see most UR running players going to using apps.  I know that I, not a millenial, actually downloaded an app and it was good.

Problem I see with bonuses is limited number of tokens that make use of them.  It’s just not a built in rule to the game like hit/damage bonuses or saves bonuses, so it’s limited design space.  Also, there’s the discrepancy issue.  How much whining are elves going to make because humans deal more INT than they do?


What I like about ranges is that there’s greater design space for all classes and not just spellcaster classes.  I want INT/WIS/CHA to matter to everyone (more so than the latter two already do).

I can see a range being 14-16 and 17+.  This encourages getting 13’s to 14’s and 11’s to 14’s.  Big problem:  classes are not well equipped for specific numbers and tokens that pump stats are going to have varying effects in ways that may not work at all.

Bigger problem:  what will these tokens do?

What will these tokens do?

Obvious thing is to turn INT into spell damage bonus or spell to hit bonus.  Okay but limited.  I can see INT doing general to hit bonuses, AC bonuses, and the like because, actually, d20 systems had mechanics like those.

WIS could pump healing, but there’s a belief healing is already broken.  Could just pump paladin healing, but that’s incredibly limited.  Healing in general very limited.  AC bonus?  AC’s are already out of control unless we are talking about a slot that no one playing BIS would use on the token.

Non-numerical abilities.  Can recast spells; limited to spellcasters.  Can reslide pucks; steals from Fighter even more and duplicates another token ability.  Bard Lore interaction (and its ilk); one class.  What does everyone do?

Take puzzle and push damage.  WIS token could reduce one or the other.  Second token reduces the other.

CHA does what?  So much push for bard instruments, which I’m good with.  But, I want CHA to matter to everyone.  Then, big problem is that some classes already have sky high CHAs.

CHA could be the help other party members with mechanical bonuses stat, except bardsong already does that.  Figurines already cover having helpers and high CHA is already a figurine thing.  Can’t do anything with treasure chips that wouldn’t be massively controversial and offensive to … me.

There are very few ways to interact with puzzle/push damage, so I definitely like the path that WIS can interact with those.  INT can add bonus to something.  CHA adding bonus to, say, AC is just awful with paladin.  I just feel like expanding on CHA expands in problematic directions.

One last, terrible, idea for CHA:  resurrection effect.  You are so hot, just like that story … from that book … that has a musician/arcanist/martial artist hero.

What slots?

Huge consideration.  You don’t create a WIS token in the eyes slot, head slot, torso slot, or shield slot.  Depends a lot on rarity.  You can have something like “Don’t Push My Buttons” that reduces push damage based on WIS at rare in feet slot, even though nobody BISing is going to run it because how do you compare to Boots of the Four Winds?

Well, actually, if you are on a nightmare puzzle run, maybe you don’t care about +5 damage … … … puzzles matter PTB, puzzles matter.

So, let’s post some ideas so that I can claim someone else stole them from the OG.

Charm of Savviness (UR)

Gain a bonus to hit with melee, missiles, and spells based on your Intelligence:  14-16, +1; 17+, +2.

Shirt of Divine Defenses (R)

Reduce “push” damage based on Wisdom:  14-16, 1; 17+, 2.

Lenses of Discernment (R)

Damage from puzzle failure is reduced based on Wisdom:  14-16, -1; 17+, -2.

Fiddle of Exultation (UC, slotless, Bard)

May restore a dead character to life once per game, and no Bard instrument may be used after this effect.  Requires 18 Charisma.

On a related note, I really like the idea of Ring of Soothing Touch but the execution is just bad.  For one thing, why would you not just use the ring immediately?  When would you ever heal less than 4 damage to someone who is pretty healthy?  For another, there’s no path to making the paladin more healy – I would have liked to have seen RoST be part of a transmute path.

Gloves of Pure Care (UC, hands, Paladin)

Once each room, use of Lay on Hands heals +2.  Requires 15 Wisdom.

Fisticuffs – Time To Eat

July 8, 2017

Even though it’s my one relatively consistent gaming experience, I don’t talk about Shadowfist much anymore.  It’s just the nature of settling in, that not as many things are new and shiny.  It’s also a matter of the game being a terribly casual affair for me.  Though, as I rewrite this sentence a couple of times, I realize anything I do repetitively I’m less likely to write about, so it’s not like weekly V:TES or weekly boardgames or weekly Type P Magic or whatever would cause me to post.

I’ve actually written quite a few Fisticuffs posts.  Why this one?

Let’s post a couple of decks.

Name: Memories of Money
Faction: Lotus
Size: 45

Lotus Cards (30)
Characters (11)
1x Doktor Herrnberger
4x Imp
2x Ming I
1x Punk Geomancers
1x Ravenous Devourer
1x Shi Kan Lun
1x Undead Horrors

Edges (1)
1x Insidious Plan

Events (14)
5x Bribery
1x Cries in the Night
1x Shi’s Dark Influence
1x Spirit Wrack
5x Tortured Memories
1x Underworld Coronation

Sites (1)
1x Shi’s Hillside Estate

States (3)
3x The Mark of Evil

Generic Cards (15)
Events (7)
1x Discerning Fire
1x Larcenous Mist
3x Pocket Demon
2x Spirit in a Bottle

Feng Shui Sites (8)
1x Cataract Gorge
1x City Center
2x Dockyard
1x Martyr’s Tomb
1x River of Lights
1x The Hidden Grotto
1x Waterfall Sanctuary

Nothing unusual about the idea of steal and sacrifice.  Some choices may seem unusual, but I throw together a lot of decks from whatever is lying around.  Then, there is some tech in here.

I keep trying to play with Ming I because:  alpha, I like the art; beta, I’m offended by how bad she is compared to Queen of the Darkness Pagoda; gamma, I rarely get her into play and do anything with her.  The sacrifice thing is synergy.

The Mark of Evil is a card I don’t recall ever putting into play.  I’ve played this deck a couple of times, and I didn’t even see it Thursday night.

Every deck plays better with our house rules, but the dearth of foundation characters is concerning.  I happen to have had a Dockyard early on, then used Bribery to take a Wailing Apparition to play Doktor Herrnberger.

Cataract Gorge rarely pays off for me, but I may have included here under the theory that I steal so many dudes I can fail and still attack with a hitter.  Waterfall Sanctuary is pretty good in the Thursday meta, which some may not find surprising, but I don’t find Waterfall to be the hotness in more general metas, especially when every deck has to include 5x Mobius Gardens and Dockyards and Manufactured Islands.

The Hidden Grotto was good to me in that I seized a site, taking me to three, then revealed to have enough power to play Ming I.  So cheesy in like a 7 Masters deck where you Jade Willow over and over.

River of Lights almost never gives me 2 power.  However, I see a reason to include it over other high body sites.  It forces me to think about burning for victory.  Too often, I’ll not think through the benefits of burning for victory, either overrating it or underrating it.  At least this gets me to consider when I’m prone to underrating it.

So, what happened?

Don (Syndicate power) -> Joren (Lotus states) -> Ian (Memories of Money)

Don put out two early Mars Program Executives.  I considered a while before Spirit Wracking one of them before he ended his turn.  Don kept having lots of power, anyway, using multiple The Price of Progress to annoy us as we tried to rein him in.  Joren’s Wailing Apparition got Bite of the Long Teeth and Vampirism.  I stole it and ran it into his Soul Reaver to tidy up his board.

After I played Ming I, Joren Evil Twinned it.  Don had a Street Doc and Song, The Little Dragon.  My Ming I was cancelled with seven damage.  I played Shi Kan Lun, sent him and Ming I after Don’s site, sacced Ming I, burned for victory.  I played Shi’s Hillside Estate, took Song, Tortured Memories Evil Twin, and won.

Yes, our environment is power heavy.  It probably does extend games in that three-player games can easily become beatdowns where one player doesn’t do much of anything, where it’s really hard not to be able to do things with our house rules.

Name: Eleven Evils
Faction: Lotus
Size: 45

Lotus Cards (26)
Characters (17)
1x Demon Emperor
3x Eater of Fortune
1x Gibbering Horror
2x Li Yu
1x Seven Evils
5x Sinister Priest
2x Ti Kan
2x Two Hundred Knives of Pain

Events (9)
2x Corruption
1x Die!!!
4x Evil Whispers
2x Flying Sleeves

Generic Cards (19)
Events (7)
1x Discerning Fire
1x Larcenous Mist
3x Pocket Demon
2x Spirit in a Bottle

Feng Shui Sites (11)
3x Dockyard
2x Hydroponic Garden
1x Martyr’s Tomb
5x The Great Wall

States (1)
1x Six Demon Bag

Most of this deck was made from loose cards from when I broke down other Lotus decks.  I’m a big fan of Li Yu (special) and Ti Kan (art, 5 fighting).  Finally, the blog has come back to … the reason for calling out this session.

I played two Lotus decks in two games.  I played two lotus decks with the same number of Discerning Fire, Larcenous Mist, Pocket Demons, and Spirits in a Bottle.  Yet, the Lotus cards are rather different.

Alpha, Lotus have too many good+fun cards.  I’m willing to play steal cheese.  I’m willing to be so less cheesy and play fair Lotus cards.  I’m willing to play terrible Lotus cards like Gibbering Horror.  I would note that I’m constantly sitting in the wrong place as, if I were one seat to the left in games, they would be h-u-u-u-g-e, potentially worth the cost.  That’s a political joke and a sports joke in one people.  I’m like totally gifted.

Beta, let’s talk Lotus characters.  Not enough Eaters of Fortune in the deck.  All of Jammer and not Jammer nonsense have to Die!!!  So mote it be.  I don’t get why I’ve never seen Li Yu outside of my playing it.  It’s often amazing, just sloughing Final Brawls and miscellaneous annoyance plays.  Two Hundred Knives of Pain is the main reason people play Shadowfist – things have cool names.  It is, however, a rather terrible card.  Sure, the threat of its ability is vaguely better than using its ability, but I’d rather have a good Lotus 4-F character and, no, not Underworld Tracker – UT is just so dull with its obvious brokenness.  Sure, I’ll play UTs at times, but that just shows two things.  Omega, I do actually play good/broken cards at times in CCGs.  Psi, Lotus brokenness is more palatable to me than other brokenness just as Centauri cheese was more palatable to me than Narn cheese or Voter Cap abuse has become more palatable to me than Dominate abuse.

Gamma, events.  Corruption, to me, is sweet delicious feldspar-hard plums.  It’s just fun and totally my sort of card.  I should do a Card of the Weak for Shadowfist where I bring up all of the cards in other CCGs that are like Corruption that float my kayak.  Evil Whispers was an experiment.  Evil Whispers is awful in our meta for the obvious …, Gardens related reason.  It marginally got me more power than it gave my opponents.  Flying Sleeves is really good, twice (yup, 2 for 2) stopping Xin Ji Yang from causing the Empire of Evil to my left from winning.

Delta, generic events.  Why the same seven?  Alt power gain, even in the land of Gardens, is necessary.  Larcenous Mist isn’t just to further punish tank decks or gun decks or whatever, it’s also to address that some players like to play absurdly obnoxious characters.  Discerning is mostly to murder monkeys … and whatever else annoys me that day.  There was a turn in game two in which Don was set up to go for the win and had my Seven Evils for the turn.  I told Joren I could deal with Seven Evils.  I was prepared to Discerning Fire for “evil” to remove Empire of Evil as well, as I didn’t want to choose demon when Don didn’t have another demon in play, leaving me the only other demonmeister.

Two Lotus decks that have incredible similarities and ridiculous differences.  That’s just how I roll.  If IKG would ever let me design a card, I’d create a Lotus character.  A noble, virtuous Lotus character because you can look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!  The Empire of Good shall reign!  Yup, that’s a classic poem reference and a callback within this post.  I may be getting more and more decrepit, but I’m as good once, as I ever was.

So, what happened?

Ian (Eleven Evils) -> Don (Feast of Souls) -> Joren (monkeys)

I actually had to support Don at times.  So it is written, so mote it be – monkeys gotta meet their maker.

I had Die!!! in my hand early on while Don and Joren were tussling, but I couldn’t play it.  Yes, even given our house rules, I still run into resource issues.

What made this game unusual was that we got into this situation where everyone was constantly on 3-4 FSSs.  I actually had a pretty good setup with four FSS in play because Joren had Potlatched me, so, since everyone else would win if they took one of my sites, I not only always had four in play but could afford to lose one and still just take for the victory.

The actual victory was not terribly interesting, being attrition based as we kept stopping Don’s hitters and Joren’s monkey poo from winning.  Sure, Don did have a Haunted Forest in play that duped a Family Home, then a Mobius Gardens.  He cancelled his Feast of Souls when I Eatered it, as his deck is designed to do.

Sure, I won both games.  I tend to do better in three-players probably because someone else is usually the threat early, yet our rules allow for people to always be in the game.  Maybe the fewer decisions on what to do make it easier for me to make decisions that balance things in my favor.

Welp, that’s Shadowfist from 2017/7/6.  It’s like gaming, with customizable decks.  It’s like the good stuff in life.

On a totally unrelated note, congratulations to Martin for winning the V:TES NAC.  Great guy.  I really, really need to figure out a plan for playing V:TES more often.  At this rate, though, not until after Gen Con.  No momentum at all locally, from what I see, due to Anthology Set, which a shame it be.

The Sleeping Mind

March 12, 2017

No, not a Kingkiller reference.

I woke up from a dream this morning.  Twas between 3AM and 4AM (already changed my bedside clock).

The dream may have started with Shadowfist play, certainly the players were Shadowfist players, including one who may not be playing anymore.  But, the end of the dream had to do with V:TES.

I had played someone’s deck.  I didn’t get it.  I told someone how I thought it was odd.  He (how come there aren’t more shes, oh right) went on about how I missed the point of the deck by not using card X to be able to do Y and Z.  I was all like “what?”.  “What are you talking about?  I don’t remember those cards.”

So, I looked through the deck.  I still didn’t see the cards that it was supposed to be built around.  So, I looked again.  I finally saw one of the key cards.

It was a Dominate card.  It had no art, just lots of text.  The mechanic of the card is that you turned Dominate into other disciplines, which is why you could play Melpominee(?) in this deck.  There was some explanation (on the card) about why you didn’t want to give your vampire superior Dominate as that would prevent something to do with the uncontrolled region.  It was said, not by me, that the reason the card existed was to give Dominate more variety without making it stronger, but I questioned that.  You know, turn Dominate into Temporis or whatever may be bad.  Actually, thinking about it now, Dominate into Protean would likely be worse.

I finally got the point of the deck.  Btw, the name of the card kept reminding me of Hymn to Tourach.  Though, maybe that was the other card.

So, I started thinking about how to template this card, as it reminded me of a mechanic that we came up with for some of our Traveller cards.

I, then, fell back asleep, kind of, just so I wouldn’t remember as much to post in this blog.

Yup, gaming has been slight in the last week.  I could expound on True Dungeon transactions, as I’ve been back in token tycooning mode, again, plus I built a Spring 2017 transmute spreadsheet where I created a formula to appoximate the value of a token based on its trade items, but let’s save such unsavory topics for when it’s not early in the morning.

Strike Fast, Strike Precise

January 8, 2017

Get something out of the way first.  Played Shadowfist Thursday, five player team game.  I made my last bid for victory having five Cobra Clan Stalkers at a seized Humble Dojo.  The expected Neutron Bomb went off, and someone else won.  But, more importantly, I had five Cobra Clan Stalkers in play at the same location, that being someone else’s site.  I’m sure I won some other subgame as well.

Okay, busy, and I’ll get to HoR4 comments next time, even though we played a bunch of mods before yesterday.

Yesterday, two V:TES tournaments, my first tournaments in a long time as I missed the August tournaments.

I built three decks yesterday morning.  By built, I mean pulled the cards.  I designed them either weeks ago or months ago.  Of course, design takes all of 10-30 minutes, where pulling the cards takes an hour in many cases.

We had 12 players for the two events.  Brandon organized.  Only Chris came up from SoCal.

Tournament 1

Round 1:

Ian (To Perish Uncreated) -> Dave CK (Cel/Pro bruise bleed with rush) -> Eric S (Trem Burst and bleed) -> Alex (Vlad and friends)

Key play.  I play Precision and name Sideslip, thus sealing Dave’s doom.  Dave was hurt immensely by how Eric had Merrill out, who could avoid so many aggpokes, plus Merrill got Ivory Bow giving the poke.  Alex was screwed, sucking bleeds right and further right, only having Vlad in play.

I had two Quira and two Gwendolyns in my uncontrolled, brought both out and stealthed by Dave consistently, avoiding beatings with Swallowed by the Night or Celerity.

Dave Villeined some and Golcondaed Anson, but he had problems fighting forward and I just kept bleeding.  Eric ousted Alex.  I had Appolonius as well in play and ousted Dave by just enough, then didn’t have too much problem in the endgame as Alex’s last significant play was burning Muaziz in combat, so Eric was playing with two dudes.

Round 2:

Chris (Undue Influence with Spoils of War) -> Ian -> Dave A (Shattering Crescendo) -> Dave CK

This was an easy collapse.  Chris could only go forwards.  Dave A’s first Daughter got diablerized before Shattering anything.  By the time he transferred someone who wasn’t Scout (that he could have transferred a round earlier), he Shattered once and I took my VP.  The endgame wasn’t impossible for me for a bit, as I had Quira in play as a 3 bleeder and Gwendolyn in play as a 6 bleeder, but Dave had too much pool, too many minions, and too much combat.  Not a surprising ending.


1GW and 4VPs only put me second behind Brandon, which made things difficult in terms of seating choices.

Alex and Dave CK were low.  Mark was playing a Malgorzata deck, like Alex was, so they didn’t want to sit next to each other.  I would have been fine with being Dave’s predator since I could stealth by him consistently and I had enough ways to deal with rushes, but, if I placed behind him, Brandon would have likely been behind me and that seemed bad, with my not knowing how much I probably didn’t care about Brandon’s deck.  It would have been bad as Dave likely would have rolled Alex, though maybe that wasn’t terrible as Dave would become the enemy and Brandon might let me just go forward.

What did happen is that I inserted as Mark’s predator and Brandon as Alex’s predator.

Ian -> Mark (Malgorzata, Capuchin, Lord Tremere, whatever) -> Dave -> Brandon (Brujah limited collection deck) -> Alex

Early on, Alex was under pressure and I ignored his token bleeds.  Brandon had about the same number of minions as Dave, and the two fought with both getting beaten up.  Dave was strong early on with pool and minions and because Mark’s deck just grows high caps before he does anything.  But, he got torped at times.  Mark became the biggest threat once he had Malgorzata, Capuchin, Lord Tremere, and Carlton in play, but time was running out and he had limited success on removing Dave’s pool.

Nevertheless, Dave was in danger.  Alex was potentially in danger but not so much.  I had Famed Quira (I got Famed like five times during the day and never once went to torpor), who got Pentexed, Kalinda with Tasha Morgan, Appolonius, and a very late Darrell Boyce.

Time was running short.  I talked about who should remove Pentex for me to interact with Mark.  Alex seemed to be the player.  Alex bleeds me, bleeds me, I’m at 5, bleeds me with Vlad for 5.  I bounce with Quira, of course.  Mark Eludes Morpheus.  I DI.  Mark takes 5.  I bleed him out.  Time runs out.

Key play?  Precision naming Eyes of Argus that gets blocked due to Eyes of Argus.  Between that and my being Obedienced like five times as I never bothered stealthing by Mark’s four +1 intercept minions, Mark had no chance … unless Alex just burned Pentex like we “hoped”, which meant Brandon would have likely won on time, though maybe Mark had enough bleed to oust Dave.

Not a brutal victory, but I could have reasonably gotten Dave next, which would have been more convincing as to the true power of playing one Walk of Flame in a deck.  Mark was constantly worried about my combat because … of geniusness.

Deck Name:   To Perish Uncreated
Created By:  Apple’s sidekick – Ian Lee
Description: Apple bleeds, Quira and friends Cloak and Revelate and Precision.

Crypt: (12 cards, Min: 22, Max: 42, Avg: 7.66)
2  Appolonius                         CEL for pot PRE10 Brujah
1  Darrell Boyce                      CEL OBF PRO    6  Gangrel Antitribu
1  Greta Kircher                      AUS CEL obf PRE7  Toreador Antitribu
2  Gwendolyn                          aus CEL FOR POT PRE tha11 Brujah
1  Kalinda                            CEL OBF tha    6  Assamite
2  Quira                              AUS OBF obt tha6  Malkavian Antitribu
1  Tansu Bekir                        cel OBF        4  Assamite
1  Vasantasena                        AUS DEM dom OBF pot9  Malkavian Antitribu
1  Zahir                              CEL OBF qui tha6  Assamite

Library: (80 cards)
Master (21 cards)
1  Barrens, The
5  Blood Doll
1  Direct Intervention
1  Dreams of the Sphinx
2  Heidelberg Castle, Germany
1  Legendary Vampire
2  Obfuscate
3  Perfectionist
1  Villein
4  Wider View

Action (9 cards)
1  Computer Hacking
4  Precision
4  Revelations

Action Modifier (15 cards)
9  Cloak the Gathering
2  Elder Impersonation
1  Leverage
3  Veil the Legions

Reaction (17 cards)
3  Confusion of the Eye
1  Delaying Tactics
1  Fillip
5  On the Qui Vive
5  Telepathic Misdirection
2  Wake with Evening`s Freshness

Combat (5 cards)
4  Vampiric Speed
1  Walk of Flame

Retainer (2 cards)
1  J. S. Simmons, Esq.
1  Tasha Morgan

Combo (11 cards)
4  Resist Earth`s Grasp
7  Swallowed by the Night

With that out of the way, I felt like playing something different.  Though my second deck was different, my third deck was much more different, being full of beatings, I mean, whiffings.

Tournament 2

Round 1:

Rick (Le Dinh Tho supports Dem bleed) -> Ian (CEL +1 STR) -> Kenneth (Lasombra SB) -> Alex (as above)

Kenneth blew through Alex, not that long for Rick, decked, but he had just enough stealth to get by my two +2 intercept minions – Carlton Sport Bike, Blaise Sport Bike and Mr. Winthrop – to not have all of his dudes murdered by my combat.

I never beat anyone down, discarding Blurs, Sideslips, Tastes.  I did make a terrible mistake by not giving Blaise (or Carlton) Mr. Winthrop a turn earlier.  I’m not sure if having Carlton at +3 was better or not than having two +2 interceptors.  But, between Shroud of Absence and combat ends, I never touched Kenneth’s dudes.


I played my King of the Mountain deck with no Tastes.  I’m unclear what I was thinking.

Round 2:

Andrew (Malk SB) -> Rick -> Mark (Lucian, The Perfect bleed) -> Ian

This didn’t last long.  I couldn’t generate enough intercept to stop Lucian, so I took several bleeds of 7.  Andy ousted Rick.  Mark had more pool and more bleed in the endgame.

Well, that wasn’t all that.  Again, losing is fine.  Not doing anything is the bane of good games.  But, whatever.  I already won an event and had allergy issues all day so chilling was cool.


Five player, I played a Jyhad only Pre/Cel deck and had the only oust, bringing out my sixth minion afterwards.

Great to play V:TES again.  Great to still have enough players to have meaningful events.  We talked about a V:TESlike game that relied less on cards in hand.

Congratulations to Kenneth for winning his first tournament.

Thanks to Brandon for organizing, to Andrew and Eric and their family for the use of their house, where we get our biggest events.  Thanks to all three for getting sandwiches and burgers.

Good times.  Hopefully, just a start on my playing a bunch of V:TES in a bunch of places this year.

Kickstarter – Traveller Card Game

December 9, 2016


So, I said I was working on a card game.  Kickstarter is live, folks.

What should I start with?  How about some insight that you probably won’t see in another announcement?

Someone asked us what makes this game special.  As lead developer, what impressed me was how solid game play was early on, even when Bankruptcy was too common and Piracy wrecked opponents.

I may not be a big art person, but I have also been really impressed with what the artists have come up with.  Vibrant.

You can see inspiration come from various card games that we have played.  What’s interesting is that some feedback from playtesting has included feelings of similarity to games that the design group hasn’t played.  At some point, I’ll get into this more.

Design Goals

Traveller RPG

We wanted the game to have a strong RPG feel, where a game would evoke a sense of playing a series of adventures.  Are you more interested in plot or challenge?  Contracts are the plots, Complications the challenges.


Everyone wants games to be fun.  How do you achieve that?  Be reasonable in duration.  Have interesting choices.  Have the quality interaction with other players that I’ve talked about with other games.  Keep rules manageable.


Want to be a playtester?  We have stretch goals and potential expansions already in development.

Next local convention is DunDraCon.  If we get funded, expect to see me at Origins and Gen Con demoing the game, as well as additional regional conventions.


Fisticuffs 20160908

September 9, 2016

While I haven’t played V:TES in quite a while, I have been playing Shadowfist, even more than weekly after a few weeks off from travel.

I don’t remember a lot from earlier games.  Sure, I remember the “battle of everyone play four FSSs side by side” game to some degree, what with my massive character steal failing, multiple Big Bruisers failing, and how this sort of site structure only comes about because of one of our house rules.

I could recreate some events based on remembering which decks got played in which games, but whatever.  Let’s go recent.

Game 1

Justin (Cops) -> Ian (Archaic Architects) -> Joren (Jammers) -> Don (Nukey Jammer Battlegrounds)

At a certain point, we sort of decided Joren and Don had infinite power due to three Jury-Rigged Dynamos being in play (one seized!).  That didn’t stop Justin and me from making bids for victory.

My bids with CHARs kept coming up short as I was overaggressive.  I definitely have a habit of going from one extreme to another with Shadowfist, sometimes knowing failure is an option just to have the thrill of defeat or, if the game is goofy (see below), the agony of victory.

I CHARed up some with many Mobius Gardens plays (feeding the Dynamos, of course).  My last gasp in the game was putting Homo Omega in play and making a bid for victory that didn’t even come close to succeeding.

Don played a lot of uniques which meant my Bzzzzzt!s stuck in hand far too much.  I did Bzzzzzt! one of Joren’s Razor-Clad Fanatics to keep my Gardens a bit longer.  Actually, my main problem is that I had to police Don, since no one else could be bothered, and it didn’t really help me as I wasn’t moving towards victory and was getting Payback Timed repeatedly.

Joren didn’t get a lot of fighting.  The Lunatic Fringe did do some stuff, but it was mostly events that stifled others while he couldn’t get fierce enough to threaten.

Don didn’t really move much towards victory, often having few FSSs because his other stuff made him seem threatening.

So, Justin won.  He had 200 Guys to take some advantage of uniques coming down.  His cops would die.  More cops would appear.  Eventually, people couldn’t stop anything.

Some Nukes did blow stuff up.

Game 2

Justin -> Ian (Abominations) -> Joren -> Don

I don’t take advantage of some of our house rules or don’t take as much advantage of them as I could.  I couldn’t get an Arcanomoth to play anything.  So, I put Mobius Gardens in play and had 7 power.  I bought a Mooks to generate an Architect resource, dropped two Blood Eagles.  I took a site.  My Eagles didn’t take any damage.  I played a third Eagles on my next turn and won.

I was entertained by the game, but, then, the winner of these awful games is often far more entertained than the losers, and I’ve often been on the other side in multiplayer games.  Because this game lasted like 15 minutes, we played another.

Game 3

Ian (Minimalist Butterfly) -> Joren (CDCA Scientists) -> Don (Darknessy Monarchs) -> Justin (Hoods)

This was not all that compelling either, but, at least, it wasn’t quite as dumb as play three Blood Eagles and win.

CDCA Scientists didn’t do a whole lot.  Don’s deck did almost nothing of consequence.  Hoods were scary.  There was so many Hoods in play that Justin’s army had to be policed … hard.  This meant …

… I could win having played 13(!!) cards.  Oh, not only 13 cards.  More, wow, that’s … that’s more than 50% of your deck 13 cards.

I still have yet to fill out my 25 card Butterfly Knight deck to 30 cards.  As much as I hate on Miguel’s decks, I do steal ideas from everyone I play against.  The whole point was to go with as streamlined a deck as possible where I could take three sites in one turn.  If my first Butterfly Knight hadn’t been cancelled, I would have tried that path to victory.  Instead, I only went for two sites in one turn with a second Butterfly.

Name:  Basic Butterfly
Faction:  Monarchs
Size:  25

Monarchs Cards (13)
Characters (11)
2x Beaumains, the Mongrel Knight
4x Butterfly Knight
5x Fire Cadets

States (2)
2x Thunder Gauntlet

Generic Cards (12)
Feng Shui Sites (10)
1x Cataract Gorge
1x Eagle Mountain
1x Emergency Room
1x Humble Dojo
1x Nightclub
1x Precious Lotus Monastery
1x The Dragon’s Teeth
1x The Iron Palace
1x The Red Lantern Tavern
1x Tiger Leaping Gorge

States (2)
2x Deadly Fans

What five cards to add (that are Modern)?  I thought about it at one point, but I don’t necessarily care enough to worry about it.

See, to me, in Modern, Monarchs has cool cards but makes uncool decks.  Lotus has cool cards and cool decks but has way too many uncool cards and uncool decks.  Dragon has cool cards and largely uncool decks.  Hand has cool plays but maybe not as cool cards and only has cool decks when you don’t play certain obvious things (Superleap everywhere, counterspells everywhere, combos).  Jammers has cool cards and amazingly uncool cards, and the decks are often really annoying.  And, the Ascended are the antithesis of cool.

Gee, it’s almost like I don’t favor much of the game.  Or, is it just that I prefer Classic?  To an extent, yes.  I make goofy Architects decks as Neutron Bomb, Imprisoned, and Nerve Gas are all on my personal banned list.  I can find plenty of appealing Modern Lotus plays, but Classic just adds other Lotus plays.  Syndicate is green.  No, really, I don’t enjoy playing Syndicate much yet still like them, so it must be because they are green.  I like the effects in 7 Masters, though they are just so broken.  Purists used to be appealing until I found my decks boring and other people’s decks obnoxious.  Reascended are cool.

The best thing, one might say, about Classic is that there are so many more bad cards for me to play.  Ah, I guess some things never change!