Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Anatomy of a VtES Library Card

VtES cards, as cards from other trading card games, are the living proof, how much information you can cram onto a rather small piece of cardboard.

There are generally two types of VtES cards, library and crypt cards. Library cards can be identified by the green marble card backs (in contrast to the amber marble of the crypt cards). Library cards make up the bulk of your VtES deck (betweeen 60 and 90 in tournaments), and at the start of your game, they are in the library (drawing card stack). Immediately after the start of your game you are dealing the top seven library cards to yourself to form your hand. From there on you play your library cards from your hand, they represent the things you or your minions can do or use, when you play them.

A library card usually consists of the following elements:
  • Card Name -- the name of card.
  • Type -- the symbols show the card (sub-)type. If there's no symbol the card is a master card, other card types are action, political action, action modifier, reaction, combat, equipment, ally, retainer and events cards.
  • Requirements (Clan / Discipline) -- this symbol shows the requirement of the cards. Usually this is a clan or one (or more) discipline(s).
  • Cost -- the cost of the card. If the cost is in the form of a red blood drop, it is the blood cost to be paid by the minion who uses it. If the cost is in the form of white diamond, it is the pool cost the player has to pay.
  • Card Text -- the actual effects of the card are described here. If the card text is preceded by discipline symbols (as shown in the picture), the card usually has two effects. The first text is the inferior version with the discipline symbol as a square. The second text is the superior version with the discipline symbol as a diamond.
  • Draft Text -- this text with the grey background can only be used in a draft game. Take note, that the requirements on the left side of the card do not apply for the draft, unless explicitly named in the draft text.
  • Expansion Symbol -- this shows the VtES expansion this card is from. The symbol has no actual meaning in the game (as the other items following as well).
  • Card Image -- in the rectangular central area the artist's depiction of the card can be found.
  • Flavour Text -- some cards have a flavour text. The text does not have any actual meaning, but provide some flavour from the World of Darkness background or real world references.
  • Copyright Notice -- the copyright statement of White Wolf/CCP.
  • Artist -- the name of artist.
In the example shown above, you see the combat card (type) "Blur" (card name) from the 3rd Edition (expansion). The card requires Celerity (discipline) and costs the minion one blood to play (cost). On inferior Celerity the card grants the minion who played it an additional strike, while on superior Celerity even two additional strikes (card text). In a draft game, the card can be used in combat for gaining a maneuver without any requirements (draft text). The text at the bottom of the card is from a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson named "Prudence" (flavour text). The artist who made the card picture in the rectangular is Ken Meyer Jr. (artist). The card was printed in 2006 by White Wolf Publishing (copyright).


pirupöllö said...

I'm new to this and I in demo game I played one of the master cards with diamond on it but there was X in the diamond. What does that mean? ( I forgot to ask about from my mentor back then. )

extrala said...

The diamond indicates that the cost is *pool* cost. The blood drop indicates that it is paid from the vampire playing/using the card.

The X indicates that the cost is variable, and you choose how much you want to pay, anything from 0 to infinity.

This type of questions are asked best in the international VtES forum on http://vekn.net/