Hi everyone. It’s been just over nine months since I opened the covers of Bindusara’s Jyhad Diary. It’s been bigger than I could have imagined, and I wanted to take a quick breather to reflect on what’s been covered.
The Diary has, so far, seen 69 posts in 38 weeks. That’s about 68,000 words across 48 interviewees, making it (I think) the largest collection of interviews that exists on this game. My thanks to everyone who has contributed! We have also had an artist outed, which may be a first.
The posts that have proven most popular are, largely, those people who’ve had the most impact upon the game we know today as Vampire: the Eternal Struggle. Richard Garfield and Skaff Elias set down the foundation in 1994’s Jyhad, ably assisted by Andrew Greenberg. Steve Wieck revived the game, LSJ shepherded it for over a decade and Ben Peal and the Black Chantry team took the game to new heights.
I want Vampire: the Eternal Struggle to be a diverse and inclusive game, and I’ve been really pleased to see that voices representing those diverse perspectives are amongst the most popular posts. Selen‘s work as a game designer and lecturer provided a unique perspective on the game, Eric T‘s interview gave readers an insight into the Filipino scene, whilst Secrets of the Masquerade gave a number of readers a much-needed wake-up call around representation. My views on that topic align with those of David K, who said
One thing I’ve always struggled to deal with is that I often find myself reluctant to celebrate my nerdier hobbies, simply because so many people in those hobbies feel they’re somehow permitted to exhibit the same currently en vogue themes of misogyny, racism and general bigotry that has no place in any society in 2019. These people, collectively, need to Get Into The Sea. And if you do it at an event with me in it, you’re going to get told. Be better.
Beyond those posts, I’m been happy to see that interviews with some of the sometimes-unsung heroes of the game have proven popular. Robert Goudie helped keep V:TES alive during the First Torpor and contributed to its development thereafter. Peter Bakija, in the words of Jason T, helped lay down the alchemical structures of the game. Oscar Garza acted as the bridge between White Wolf and the V:EKN player organisation, while Johannes from Walch & Nusser helped get cards in peoples’ hands and gave the game the boost it needed during its Second Torpor.
I’ve had the chance to speak to the artists of V:TES too. Getting a glimpse into the artistic process of legends like Larry Snelly, Brian Le Blanc, James Stowe and Ken Meyer has been a real honour. Richard Thomas, of course, not only helped design the icons and contributed to the art but also shepherded the World of Darkness IP into new realms via Onyx Path Publishing.
A theme that has emerged through some of the entries has been how V:TES has influenced other games. Thanks to Jon’s interview we discovered that Jyhad almost made it into the Origins-winning Chez Geek, while Mike gave us insights into the connection between Vampire and Dark Influences. And from Onyx Path’s Matthew Dawkins, we learned that the flow of canon was reversing via Jyhad easter eggs in the latest Vampire: the Masquerade books. The stories that I love the most, though, are the ones that show how life-altering the game can be. Mark B discovered that one deck set him on a new path, and Erin and Daniel got married!
In terms of where my readers are coming from, the US is (rather unsurprisingly) #1. Australia and Spain are close behind – and while I’ve interviewed a bunch of Australian players, every time I look at the stats from Spain I feel sorry that I haven’t wrapped my interview with Ginés Quiñonero. France and Finland close out the top five countries, showing the diversity of the player base. I’d love to have more readers from places like Brazil, Poland or Hungary to name three, but that’s my problem to solve: I need to reach out to players and creators from those countries so that the blog represents the broader story of V:TES across the world.
So, where next? Well, there are plenty of interviews with creators, players, artists and more besides still to come! But my current weekly schedule will start to slow, and I suspect I’ll be moving to fortnightly updates before the year is out. I’ve been slack in responding to some of my interviewees (for those of you who I’ve left on the hook, I’m sorry!) and I hope the change in schedule will give me a little more time to catch up and get those stories here.
Over the past nine months I’ve reached out to so many people who’ve been involved in the story of Vampire and every day I’m humbled by the responses that flow in. Thanks to everyone who’s made this series a success. If you’d like to share the story but I haven’t reached out to you, please make contact.