Tabletop Game / Vampire: The Eternal Struggle

Vampire: The Eternal Struggle — originally known as Jyhad, but changed to distance the game from the Islamic term "Jihad" — is a Collectible Card Game initially published by Wizards of the Coast and designed by Richard Garfield of Magic: The Gathering fame, released in 1994. Based on Vampire: The Masquerade, players assume the roles of Methuselahs, powerful vampires who are thousands of years old; while not being able to get involved personally, they direct their unwitting vampire minions to get rid of the other players by destroying their influence.

White Wolf took over the development of the game in 2000, after it was dropped by Wizards. Notably, after the Time of Judgement had passed and wiped out the rest of the Old World of Darkness in 2004, the game continued and was the only product of the old World still ongoing; the game was eventually transferred to CCP and finally ended in September 2010. Despite this, the game continues to be played and maintains a strong following, with official new card sets being created by the Elder Kindred Network fan group.

In addition to tropes present in Vampire: The Masquerade, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle provides examples of:

  • Arms Dealer: One of the cards is named this. While in play, the Arms Dealer can take an action to allow the player to search his deck and place a weapon into his hand. Thus, while the player still has to pay for weapons, he can readily have an arsenal available to him.
  • Ascended Demon: Golconda, as in Masquerade, which can be seen in this card.
  • Car Fu: One of the attack cards is named "Well-Aimed Car", which involves picking up a car and throwing it at someone.
    "We'll discuss your breach of the Masquerade later..."
  • Chainsaw Good: Talbot's Chainsaw is a brutally powerful weapon that turns the holder in a combat monster, but also forces the holder to attack another minion each round or damage himself.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The "Leather Jacket" equipment card, which completely prevents a single attack before being destroyed, making it one tough jacket, considering some of the attacks you can go through. By comparison, the "Flak Jacket" is usable every round, but only prevents one damage each time. (The newer card "Hell-for-Leather" has nothing to do with this trope.)
  • Kingmaker Scenario:
    • The game is designed around this. In multiplayer games, the rules dictate that a player can attack the player on his left on his turn, and only that player. Thus, a player needs to defend himself only from attacks by the player on his right. (Predator > Player > Prey, proceeding clockwise.) This leads to (and indeed, the game encourages) discussions, arguments, and deal-making between players, as a player can offer not to attack his target, leaving the target free to devote resources to attacking his own target, or the player can offer concessions to keep another player off his back while he launches a full assault. In addition, when a player is eliminated, the hunting order skips over him to the next player, making long-term planning a must.
    • Also relevant is that the rules specify a way for a player to withdraw from the game without necessarily losing, though not to reenter. In fact, the first player out of the game could end up as the winner (though that's unlikely). The possibility of players having in-game motivations other than to be the "last one left" makes the game even more political.

Alternative Title(s): Jyhad

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