We at Black Chantry Productions want to make Vampire: The Eternal Struggle as available as possible for everyone. That is why you now can download PDF versions of the brand new illustrated rulebook and the five Fifth Edition clan helpsheets totally free from our site!
Vincent Ripoll is the very busy Rules Director for Vampire: The Eternal Struggle at Black Chantry. We asked him some questions about his role and what is going on ruleswise with the game:
Vincent, what do you do as the Rules Director?
– My role is quite technical, since it consists in ensuring the consistency of the rules with the existing rules – notably by taking into account all the existing rulings that complete the rules – while continuing to develop them. This includes among other things eliminating certain unnecessary complications, introducing new concepts to reunite certain rule points, and adapting the rules to the needs of game designers, for instance to follow some evolving aspects of the World of Darkness. I also spend a lot of time ensuring that cards we reprint follow those rules and use consistent patterns, not only in English but also in the various languages our game is printed in.
The Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Fifth Edition box set is now in stores. Were any particular rules changed for this set?
– The Fifth Edition is a perfect example of how the evolving lore has an impact on the game design, and by capillary action, on the rules themselves. For instance, Anarchs have taken a predominant part of the course of events in the World of Darkness. This was a perfect occasion to make them a sect, rather than a trait that behaved like a sect.
Another example is that clans are no longer tied to a sect by default. Previously, you had to know the default sect of a clan in order to properly play cards such as The Embrace, and some interactions were odd. For instance, if a Gangrel Prince created an Embrace, that Embrace would have been Independent, since clan Gangrel became Independent with the release of the first Anarch set in 2003, with no retroactive effect on the printed vampires. In both cases, removing those unnecessary details makes the game easier to play for all players, old and new.
Finally, some clan symbols were changed as well as some clan names – Assamites become Banu Haqim, Followers of Set become The Ministry, etc. These are cosmetic changes with no impact on the rules. For instance, the Assamite clan is now called Banu Haqim, but they are strictly equivalent: an Assamite is a Banu Haqim and can use cards requiring that clan, whatever name is used on the card.
Fifth Edition has a brand new, illustrated rulebook. What differs from the old rulebook?
– The previous rulebook was very thorough but needed some refreshment. It is a good, solid, technical document, but not a very user-friendly one. We wanted a new illustrated version as complete as the old one but easier to dive into, especially for new players. We used the services of Gaming Rules!, a company specialized in the writing of rulebooks for board games, since Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is very similar to a massive board game, and of Elisabet Pérez for the graphic design who both did an amazing job. It took us more than a year to create it, with a lot of feedback from everyone, and we cannot wait for everyone to be able to use it.
You also answer rules questions online. What are the most common questions?
– Many questions are from new or returning players, which is a good sign despite the pandemic situation. Some questions are about recent changes in cards, and some are about exotic situations that happened in the game. It is quite varied, but most of them already have an answer – I strongly advise everyone to use the search button on the VEKN forum or to use Codex of the Damned, a wonderful tool that collects all the rulings about the cards!
PDF downloads (also in ‘Utilities’ at Blackchantry.com):
– Fifth Edition Rulebook (English, Spanish, French)
– Helpsheets (English, Spanish, French)
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