In this issue: Introduction: Making Friends with the Samedi Card of the Month: Coroner's Contact Vampire of the Month: Lithrac Deck of the Month: Voting the Graveyard Appendix: Samedi Body Count (Samedi/Thanatosis Spoilers) Introduction: Making Friends with the Samedi Papa Legba, open the gate for me, open! Atibon Legba, open the gate for me, Open the gate for me, Papa, for me to pass, When I return, I will thank the lwa. -- Vodun Invocation (call to Legba) You're going to notice a few differences between this Bloodline newsletter and the clan newsletters. In particular, this newsletter won't always focus on decks based mainly on Samedi and their powers. Oh, there will be Samedi-dominated and Samedi-only decks, but because the Bloodlines cards were designed to flesh out and extend existing decks rather than stand on their own, I feel obligated to show how just a single Samedi in the crypt can make an enormous difference. Card of the Month: Coroner's Contact Coroner's Contact Master 1 pool Master. Go through your crypt to find a Samedi vampire. Show it to all players and place it in your uncontrolled region. Move one blood from the blood bank to that uncontrolled Samedi. This is the card that allows you to build an effective crypt with just a single Samedi. So long as you have Samedi in your crypt, this lovely card trumps Effective Management, Recruitment and The Stranger Among Us. Like EM, you get to move a vampire from your crypt to your uncontrolled region without spending four transfers. It does cost a pool, but you get to put that pool on the vampire, which means you're effectively getting another free transfer. That makes it superior to Recruitment (2 pool) and The Stranger Among Us (1 pool), but as with those cards, Coroner's Contact allows you to look through your crypt and choose which vampire you move out. The extra blood you slide on can be quite convenient: if the vampire you choose from your crypt is Lithrac, you can get him out in one turn. If it's the Baron, you can get him out in two. Coroner's Contract works equally well in mixed decks and all-Samedi decks. You can use it to bring out a single Samedi if and when you need him, or you can use it to get a full selection of Samedi into your uncontrolled region. Too bad there aren't more small Samedi to field! At their average capacity of 7, you won't find it easy to influence out all six of the Samedi. Vampire of the Month: Lithrac Lithrac Samedi 5 Capacity for OBF thn Camarilla: If a blood hunt is called on Lithrac, his controller gets 2 additional votes in that referendum. Lithrac gets +1 stealth when taking an action to enter combat with another minion. Many Samedi make an unliving out of doing other Kindreds' dirty work, and Lithrac is clearly one such Samedi. His special abilities suggest that he works as an assassin or semiofficial Scourge, giving him plenty of flavor and some utility. Having the extra two bloodhunt votes isn't as useful as having an Archon or a Prince, but they make diablerie a shade more appealing. The +1 stealth on rush actions makes it difficult for your targets to block Lithrac's Bum's Rush and Ambush actions, so Lithrac is more likely to have a maneuver to use. For most people, however, it's Lithrac's disciplines that will make him interesting. Lithrac is the smallest vampire with both fortitude and obfuscate--superior obfuscate, at that. He's also the smallest Samedi and the smallest vampire with thanatosis, and therefore the cheapest option for decks that want to play with the Samedi's toys. Finally, Lithrac is a Camarilla vampire, which makes him eligible for certain cards that most Samedi aren't--Praxis Seizure, for example. For all these reasons, Lithrac makes an excellent support vampire. You might use him to play Cloak the Gathering, or Mask of 1,000 Faces and Faceless Night for a Ventrue law firm deck, for example. You might use him to add Thanatosis nastiness to an Assamite, Nosferatu or !Gangrel rush deck. Or you might simply slip him into your tournament-ready Obfuscate mono-discipline deck next to Tansu, Zebulon and Grendel the Worm-Eaten. Training Deck of the Month: Voting the Graveyard Since it will take considerable analysis of the new Bloodlines cards before I can present a competitive Samedi deck, I've decided to take a different approach this month and present a deck that is designed not to win, but to instruct. Most political decks are built in the hope that they will be able to force their votes through over the objections of other Methuselahs. This month's training deck deliberately excludes that option. It includes plenty of political actions, but to pass them you'll have to forge a coalition for every referendum. The deck includes Bribes, but if you use your imagination, you'll find other ways to bribe your fellow Methuselahs: offer them Consanguinous Boons naming their clans, put KRC points on their prey, Blackmail their prey's designated blockers, sell them intercept from your media master cards, rescue torpored vamps in exchange for future vote support. . . with a little practice, you'll soon be an expert in table dealing, and you'll be proud of any victory points you earned. Despite its lack of votes, the deck does have several things going for it. Its vamps are all small and sneaky, yet this deck won't trigger hysterical anti-weenie cross-table attacks. Also, since the deck doesn't include Bewitching Oration and the like, it can fit in a wide selection of votes. Don't hesitate to drop a vote card in every referendum called by other Methuselahs. No one likes to waste actions diablerizing weenies with no blood on them. So should you wind up with a weenie in torpor (as seems likely), you may eventually be able to drop a fortitude skill card on him and use Rapid Healing to revive him. If you play with the same group of Methuselahs, some will learn to play along with this deck after just a game or two. So, once you've played this deck a few times and have learned what you can from it, play it again with 5 Cryptic Riders thrown in and some Praxis Seizures swapped for whatever votes were least useful. The relatively easy victory should put a smile on your face, and your competition will learn an important lesson too: never assume your opponent is playing the same deck. Crypt: (13 vamps, 3.38 average, 10 smallest, 19 largest) Normal (Malkavian, 2, obf) Dimple (Nosferatu, 2, obf) Duck (Nosferatu, 3, obf) Panagos Levidis (Gangrel, 3, obf) Zoe (Malkavian, 3, obf) Dollface (Malkavian, 3, obf) Watenda (Malkavian, 3, obf) Regilio, the Seeker of Akhenaten (Nosferatu, 3, obf) Dan Murdock (Caitiff, 3, obf) Agrippina (Nosferatu, 4, OBF) Zebulon (Malkavian, 5, OBF) Grendel the Worm-Eaten (Nosferatu, 5, OBF) Lithrac (Samedi, 5, OBF, for) Library: 85 Masters: 13 Archon Investigation x 2 Blood Doll x 3 Coroner's Contact x 2 Fortitude x 3 London Evening Star Powerbase: Rome The Rumor Mill Minion: 71 Blackmail x 4 Consanguinous Boon x 5 Conservative Agitation x 3 Disputed Territory x 3 Domain Challenge x 2 Dramatic Upheaval x 2 Justicar Retribution x 2 Kine Resources Contested x 3 Malkavian Justicar Nosferatu Justicar National Guard Support x 2 Rapid Healing x 3 Rumors of Gehenna x 2 Sacrifical Lamb x 2 Bribes x 6 Cloak the Gathering x 5 Faceless Night x 5 Freak Drive x 3 Lost in Crowds x 5 Swallowed by the Night x 5 Dodge x 4 Resilience x 2 Skin of Steel x 2 Appendix: The Body Count (Samedi/Thanatosis Spoilers) Here are the texts of all Samedi vampires, Thanatosis cards, Samedi clan toys and other cards of particular interest to the clan from Bloodlines. Forgive this unadorned list: each of these cards will be discussed in depth in future issues of this newsletter. I'm listing them here for people making their trades. Lithrac Samedi 5 Capacity for OBF thn Camarilla: If a blood hunt is called on Lithrac, his controller gets 2 additional votes in that referendum. Lithrac gets +1 stealth when taking an action to enter combat with another minion. George Fredrick Samedi 6 Capacity FOR nec obf THN Camarilla Jorge de la Muerte, the Agent Samedi 7 Capacity cel for nec OBF THN Sabbat: Jorge gets +1 bleed when bleeding a Methuselah who controls a ready Sabbat vampire. Jack Dawson Samedi 7 Capacity cel FOR nec OBF qui thn Independent: When you move Jack from your uncontrolled region to your ready region, you may equip him with a weapon card from your hand (pay the cost to equip as normal). Reg Driscoll Samedi 8 Capacity aus for OBF pre THN Independent: If Reg performs a successful equip action, you may move the equipment to any ready minion you control. +1 bleed. The Baron Samedi 9 Capacity dom FOR NEC OBF THN Independent: 2 votes, +1 bleed, during your untap phase, if the Baron is ready you may look at the hand of each Methuselah controlling a ready Giovanni. Unre, Keeper of Golgotha Harbinger of Skulls 9 Capacity AUS dom FOR NEC ser thn Sabbat Bishop: If a minion opposing Unre in combat is burned, put a trap counter on her. Unre gets +1 intercept for each trap counter she has. +1 bleed Ashes to Ashes Thanatosis/Fortitude Combat for : Only usable by a vampire being burned; he or she is sent into torpor instead. thn : Prevent all damage. This vampire untaps and goes to torpor (ending combat). THN : As thn above, and this vampire gains 2 blood from the blood bank. Compress Combat Thanatosis/Potence 2 blood [pot]: Strike: strength+2 damage. [thn]: Strike: 2 aggravated damage. [THN]: Strike: 3 aggravated damage. Dirty Contract Master Burn Option Samedi Master: Contract. Put this card on a minion and choose a Samedi in play. The chosen Samedi can enter combat with the minion with this card as a +1 stealth (D) action unless they are controlled by the same Methuselah. This card cannot be played on a Nosferatu or Giovanni. Dust to Dust Thanatosis/Obfuscate Combat obf : Press, only usable to end combat thn : Strike: Dodge, with an option to press. THN : As thn above, with an optional maneuver. Elemental Stoicism Fortitude/Obfuscate Combat/Action for : Prevent 1 non-aggravated damage for/obf : The vampire treats all aggravated damage as normal damage for the remainder of the combat. FOR/OBF : +1 stealth action. Put this card on this acting vampire. The vampire with this card treats aggravated damage done in combat as normal damage. Burn this card if this vampire goes to torpor. Hag's Wrinkles Action Modifier Thanatosis/Obfuscate Only usable on an equip action. obf : +2 stealth thn : Untap this acting vampire if the action is successful. THN : As thn above, but at +1 stealth. Infection Combat Thanatosis/Fortitude 2 blood for : Prevent all damage from the opponent's strikes this round. thn : Prevent all damage to a ghoul (ally or retainer) in combat. Usable by a vampire not involved in the combat. THN : Only usable at the end of a round in which this vampire successfully inflicted damage on the opposing vampire. Put this card on the opposing vampire. The vampire with this card cannot block the vampire playing this card. Putrefaction Combat Thanatosis/Presence 1 blood pre : Strike: Combat Ends thn : Strike: 1 damage. Put this card on the opposing minion. The minion with this card has -1 stealth. He or she may burn this card instead of untapping as normal during his or her untap phase. A minion may have only one Putrefaction. THN : As thn above, and this minion takes 1 unpreventable damage when he or she strikes in combat or takes an action. The minion with this card may choose not to strike during the Choose Strike step of combat. Regenerative Blood Master Samedi Unique Master. Put this card on a Samedi you control. The Samedi with this card can heal 2 damage for each blood counter he or she burns. Rigor Mortis Combat Thanatosis/Presence 1 blood Only usable before range is determined. A minion can play only one Rigor Mortis each round. pre : The opposing minion cannot use any additional strikes this round. thn : As pre above, with an optional press. THN : As thn above, and once each round, you may cancel a maneuver used by the opposing minion. Withering Combat Thanatosis/Animalism ani : Strike: 1R damage. thn : Strike: strength damage. Place this card on the opposing minion. The minion with this card has -1 strength. Burn this card during his or her controller's next discard phase. THN : As thn above, and the minion with this card cannot play cards that require any Disciplines. Thanks for reading. I'm interested in hearing any comments or suggestions you may have. Send any submissions for future newsletters to firstname.lastname@example.org.