Sunday, March 8, 2009

BYO Storyline Melbourne: "What Lies Beneath"

VtES Storylines -- custom and official -- are the real deal right now. The Melbourne (Australia) came up with the following Build-Your-Own-Storyline named "What Lies Beneath".
Gehenna approaches. The baleful light of Anthelios burns brightly in the night sky. The Thin Blooded walk in the day. The Masquerade is torn asunder. An Ancient moans in fitful slumber, tormenting Caine"s children with visions of the bloodshed to come.

The streets are awash with the blood of Kine and Cainite alike, as each sect vies for dominance in a world that rapidly approaches its ending. All eyes turn to a nameless city upon the shores of a blackened sea, beneath which is rumoured to slumber one of the Ancients - perhaps even a childe of Caine himself. Methuselahs bend their wills towards seizing control of the city and preventing the rise of that which slumbers beneath, heedless of the cost to powerbases meticulously constructed over the previous millennium. These are the last nights of the Jyhad - what is there left to lose?

Which sect will rule this city in its Final Nights?
This is a custom storyline event for Vampire: the Eternal Struggle to be conducted throughout regular playgroup sessions in the first half of 2009.


1. Crypt Construction

1.1a The storyline is to be conducted over 12 games. At the start of the storyline season, each player will elect a sect that he is representing. In addition to the standard storyline crypt construction rules (see 1.1b) 75% of each player's crypt must belong to the sect he/she has chosen to represent.

1.1b Crypts must be constructed using standard Storyline Tournaments rules -- i.e. at least 75% of your crypt must belong to a single clan.

1.2 Imbued are not a clan.

1.3 For the purposes of tournament reporting and tallying victories, each deck's sect will be recorded (as well as their clan). Sect status is based on the clan that composes 75% of the crypt. The sect breakdown is as follows:
  • Camarilla
    • Brujah
    • Gangrel (see 1.4 below)
    • Malkavian
    • Nosferatu
    • Toreador
    • Tremere (plus Gargoyle slaves -- see 1.5 below)
    • Ventrue
    • Caitiff
  • Sabbat
    • Lasombra
    • Tzimisce
    • Brujah antitribu
    • Gangrel antitribu
    • Nosferatu antitribu
    • Malkavian antitribu
    • Toreador antitribu
    • Tremere antitribu (plus Gargoyle slaves -- see 1.5 below)
    • Ventrue antitribu
    • Pander
    • Ahrimanes
    • Blood Brothers
    • Harbingers of Skulls
    • Kiasyd
    • Salubri antitribu
  • Independents and Laibon
    • Akunanse
    • Assamite
    • Followers of Set
    • Giovanni
    • Guruhi
    • Ishtarri
    • Osebo
    • Ravnos
    • Gangrel (see 1.4 below)
    • Abomination
    • Baali
    • Daughters of Cacophony
    • Gargoyles (see 1.5 below)
    • Salubri
    • Samedi
    • True Brujah
    • Anarch (see 1.7 below)
1.4 Gangrel -- As clan Gangrel have changed from being a Camarilla to Independent clan over the course of V:tES, the sect of a Gangrel deck for the purposes of 1.3 is determined by the majority affiliation of Gangrel within the crypt. So, if a deck had nine Camarilla Gangrel and three non-Camarilla Gangrel, the deck's sect would be Camarilla. If there is an even split between sects (for example, six Camarilla Gangrel and six Independent Gangrel), the player must declare their chosen sect at the beginning of the game. Note that this has no in-game effect on Gangrel's default sect status (which remains Independent).

1.5 Gargoyles -- Gargoyles who are Tremere slaves may be counted as Tremere for the purposes of achieving the 75% clan rule. Thus, a crypt could legally include eight Tremere and four Gangrel Tremere slaves. Similarly, Gargoyles who are Tremere antitribu Slaves may be counted as Tremere antitribu for the purposes of achieving the 75% clan rule. Gargoyles without the Slave trait (regardless of their individual sect status) are counted as Independent Gargoyles, and may not be considered Tremere or Tremere antitribu for the purposes of storyline crypt construction.

1.6 Laibon -- For ease of tallying, Laibon are included with the Independent sect tally. Laibon are, however, considered a distinct sect within the game.

1.7 Anarchs -- At the end of the Storyline game or when a Methuselah is ousted, if at least 75% of a Methuselah's controlled vampires possess the "Anarch" trait, that Methuselah may change their designated sect to "Independent.(Anarch)" at their discretion.

2. Special Rules

2.1 The Storyline tourney will introduce two new types of cards:

2.2 City Regions

2.2.1 At the start of the game, three Region cards are placed, face-up and uncontrolled, in the centre of the table. These cards represent unique areas of control within the city, larger than a single location card. These are as follows:
  • Downtown Tunnels -- This card may be tapped to allow a vampire you control to tap and enter combat with any minion controlled by another Methuselah as a D action. This action cannot be blocked by a younger vampire or ally. If this card is untapped at the beginning of your turn, a vampire you control may gain two blood from the blood bank.

  • Nightlife District -- This card may be tapped to allow a reacting vampire you control to burn one blood and untap with +1 intercept. If this card is untapped at the beginning of your turn, a vampire you control may gain two blood from the blood bank.

  • Uptown CBD -- This card may be tapped during a referendum to give an acting or reacting Vampire an additional 3 votes. If this card is untapped at the beginning of your turn, a vampire you control may gain two blood from the blood bank.
2.2.3 In order to take control of a Region, a Methuselah must have five control tokens on the Region. Once five control tokens are placed on a Region by a given Methuselah, all control tokens on that Region burn.

2.2.4 Any vampire may take a Control action to place control tokens on a Region. The amount of counters placed by such an action is equal to half the acting vampire's capacity, rounded up. (i.e. 10 and 11 caps can take control of a Region with a single action, whilst 1 caps can only place a single control token per action)

2.2.5 No effect may prevent or "interrupt" the control (or change of control) of a Region from occurring, beyond cancelling or blocking the action to add counters.

2.2.6 Whilst a Region is uncontrolled, the Control action is undirected. Once a Region comes under a Methuselah's control, the Control action becomes directed at the Methuselah who controls it.

2.2.7 Placing control counters is a specific action restricted by the NRA ruling.

2.2.8 No actions or effects, beyond those specifically listed above, may add or remove counters on a Region. Similarly, no actions or effects beyond the untap phase and the specific Region card text, may tap or untap a Region. Note that, while Regions are notionally similar to Master cards and Locations, "Region" is a specific card type and lacks the "location" text. As such, cards that would normally target or affect a master card or location cannot target or affect a Region.

2.2.9 A Region is never considered "played", as they begin the game in play (albeit uncontrolled). They can never be removed from play.

2.3 Events

2.3.1 Five Unique Event Cards will be created for the Storyline event. These are as follows:
  • Ancient's Nightmares -- Storyline Event. Each Methuselah burns 1 pool during his or her untap phase.

  • Citywide Quarantine -- Storyline Event. If a vampire moves to the controlled region from the uncontrolled region, the controlling Methuselah burns 1 pool. Additionally, vampires have -1 stealth. An acting vampire may ignore this effect of Citywide Quarantine by burning 1 blood as the action is announced.

  • The Hunger -- Storyline Event. Vampires may not hunt as normal. Any vampire may steal 1 blood from another vampire as a hunt action. If this action targets a vampire controlled by the same Methuselah, this action is at +2 stealth.

  • The Rising -- Storyline Event. A Methuselah may only gain pool if he or she controls the Edge. If a Methuselah who does not control the Edge would gain pool by any means, this pool goes to the blood bank instead. A Methuselah who has a Victory Point is immune to the effects of The Rising for the rest of the game.

  • (Note that The Rising does not prevent a Methuselah from gaining pool from a successful oust, as the victory point is gained prior to the pool.)

  • Thirst of the Father -- Storyline Event. At the beginning of your untap phase, each tapped vampire you control burns 1 blood or remains tapped. You may burn X pool during your master phase to untap X vampires that remained tapped by Thirst of the Father's effect.
2.3.2 At the start of the game, these five Storyline Events are shuffled and placed face-down in the centre of the table. At the end of the final Methuselah's discard phase of turn 2, one Storyline Events is chosen at random, turned over, and put into play. This effect also occurs at the end of turns 6, 10, 14 and 18 (i.e., every four turns after turn 2, until the last Storyline Event is played)

2.3.3 While these Events are considered "played", they are not considered played by a given Methuselah, and once in play are not considered to be controlled by a given Methuselah.

2.3.4 Storyline Events cannot be cancelled as they are played, nor can they be removed once in play. Face-down Storyline Events are also not considered to be "in the game" or in play, or in a library or ash heap. No effect can reveal a face-down Storyline Event.

3. Banned And Un-Banned Cards

3.1 In addition to the standard list of banned cards, the following cards cannot be included in storyline decks:
  • Recalled to the Founder

4. Tournament Structure

4.1 The storyline games will be played at regular VTES sessions. We will devote one game every session to be a designated Storyline match and tally the results.

The winning Sect will be the focus of a storyline Event scheduled for the second half of 2009. Players of the winning Sect will win fantabulous(TM) prizes!

Thanks to Jason Ryan, Prince of Melbournce for providing the information.

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