About diversity and inclusivity (including VEKN Rules Team Rulings 05/07/2020)

Hello everyone,


1. Black Lives Matter
I want to make it clear that Black Chantry Productions firmly supports the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The game we are honoured to publish, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, is a social game where friendships have been developed over the decades bringing people across the world closer.

We want everyone to have an equal opportunity to live, learn and love in life without being marginalised or having the fear of abuse, violence or death hanging over them due to their skin colour or race.


2. What does VTES or Black Chantry have to do with this?
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle is set within the World of Darkness and this is a world that has been designed to be a monster filled, alternate reality of our own. In filling this world with monsters, the original designers took many horrors and caricatures from our own world. This includes a whole host of things that are offensive by 2020 standards. I think the quote below encapsulates WoD very well.

The World of Darkness has always been about pushing back that darkness. That’s the -punk part of gothic-punk: the rejection of misuse of power and rebellion against it. That’s why the Riddle is A Beast I am lest a Beast I become. The player stands against monstrosity. – Justin Achilli June 2020


3. What practical things are Black Chantry or the VEKN doing?

VEKN

Rules Team Ruling – RTR 05/07/2020
From 1st August 2020 the following five cards will be banned in Vampire: Elder Kindred Network sanctioned Vampire: The Eternal Struggle tournaments:
Gypsies
Rom Gypsy
Tarbaby Jack
Terrorists
Tsigane


There may be other changes as the VEKN evaluates the card pool. Where possible we will design new cards to fit those spaces.

VEKN Code of Ethics Policy
This will continue to be reviewed and updated as needed, please let me know if you need any help with it, there have been a few queries so far.

It is partly there to ensure that no players are bullied or harassed whilst playing and particularly because of their race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability among others.


BLACK CHANTRY PRODUCTIONS

Here’s a brief overview of some of the ways Black Chantry works and how BCP thinks about inclusivity in the day to day work.

Art
We commission art to reflect the world around us, there will continue to be a spread of gender, race and other characteristics in the vampire characters we use in the game.

We try to ensure groups and cultures we know less about are accurately portrayed on artwork as we want the vampires to feel authentic. We do this through detailed conversations and research with a wide range of people.

Artists
We have a core group of artists who work on Vampire: The Eternal Struggle but are interested in working with more. We enjoy meeting with new artists and seeing if their style could work within VTES and often receive contact inquiries about work opportunities. We are keen to see a range of artist visions be portrayed in the World of Darkness rather than just our own.

There are some key things to note: VTES has a specific set of style constraints that we need artists to be able to work to, much of this is governed by World of Darkness art guides which looks for darkly horror-based art.

We have also taken steps to replace artwork from the game that we consider unsatisfactory due to depiction on the card or due to disagreement with an artist’s philosophy on life.

Design
We have a limited design team to the limited nature of what we do (one game), we do however take submissions via the VEKN forum.

Additionally, we operate with a diverse range of playtest groups and players, about 100-150 persons depending on the set. We are always looking for more playtest groups to encourage a wider set of opinions to help the testing.

Distribution
Black Chantry has deliberately used a range of distributors to help get VTES moving again, many of these are players of the game and the majority will be local to the countries they distribute in. This doesn’t make everything as smooth as it could be by using larger more established distributors or by selling to a larger online company or direct to customers but it does help us connect to retailers who are passionate about the game and talk to them directly.

We have so far avoided Kickstarter as we’d rather support retailers as much as we can.

We do enjoy using DriveThruCards to allow print on demand and by doing so also contribute to other, smaller, creators being able to use this mechanism to get their games out there.

Language
When we initially reprinted VTES we were asked on a number of occasions about getting the game in non-English languages. We have tried to provide cards in languages where it is economically viable as we want to be inclusive even if this means printing a limited volume of expansions for a specific playgroup.

Mistakes
I’m sure Black Chantry will make mistakes and has made mistakes. My intent is for mistakes to come with the best of intentions and for us to learn from any mistakes we make.

It may not be possible to please all of our community with the artwork and cards we produce or with some of the changes we have made to the game, but that won’t stop us from playing with you and being ousted cross table…

Thanks

Hugh Angseesing
CEO Black Chantry Productions

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