In this final instalment of this interview, we turn our attention to ‘Antipodean Awakening’. This was an unofficial storyline that the Australian and NZ players ran across 2018, culminating in a custom tournament the day before the Championships – an event that Ke won in style.
B: So, how did the storyline shape up from your perspective?
K: I think the concept of providing crypt cards for the winners of the ANZ Championship was a solid idea and directly engaged the local community.. It definitely provided renewed interest in the game for local players. Amaranth turned out to be the perfect platform to get the cards out there and it was also a good motivator to add support for all Storyline cards to Amaranth.
B: As well as co-creating the card text, you were responsible for the visuals, Were there particular challenges to crafting the cards?
K: We had to source or create artwork for 9 crypt cards and 14 library cards in a very short amount of time with no budget, except for time. The crypt cards were based on photos of the Championship winners — with a bit of PhotoShop magic and a uniform approach we achieved a consistent, gothic feel to the cards.
A similar approach was used for the library cards, except with creative common licensed stock images.
Given the resources available and timeframe I think the set is something all of us should be proud of. Personally I’m really happy with the consistent feeling across all of the “artwork” it really adds a cohesive feel to the set. The story line rules and cards are available online if any one is interested: — it’s also available in Lackey.
B: How was it to see yourself as a card, and to play Ke? Did you enjoy the storyline day (noting that you won the event)?
K: I immediately tried to build decks around my card. A weird disconnect happens once a card representing you enters play. His special was fairly powerful and superior Auspex meant he worked in many decks. Reality had very different ideas. It turns out other players like the idea of ousting you with your own vamp and during the story line event it was even more fun to deny me the card (thanks Steve!).
The storyline event was very refreshing, it’s not common for story line events to come to a close with a tournament — even less so with a special format and rules. I played an Abbt Kindred anarch ‘Death Star’ that (coincidentally) had perfect synergy with the format. The Kindred took the day in style, in one round calling Revolutionary Council for 12 and then 14 in the subsequent turn — after that it didn’t matter what happened during the rest of the event!
B: Completely unrelated, but between you in NZ with Amaranth and Shan in Australia with JOL, we’ve got the brains behind two of the most important tools in VtES players’ toolkits (other great resources being ARDB and LackeyCCG). Is there anything in particular around the A/NZ mindset that means we’ve got such innovators? Is it due to remoteness / small playgroups perhaps?
K: I can’t speak for Shan; but for myself just “getting shit done” is definitely a thing. Once I decide to do something, then it’s going to happen — a bit like the giant boulder from Indiana Jones. There’s no stopping that once it gets going. It’s not always the most productive approach and knocks a few things out of the way in the process — but it definitely gets to the end.