Vampire By Appointment.

That dress in panel two was a chore.

That dress in panel two was a chore.

The title of this post has some backstory to it. When the “New 52” started at DC Comics, I suggested many of my own titles, fairly constantly. One of them was called “Werewolf by Appointment.” The premise was simple…if you’re a werewolf, you only have powers about three days a months…so you really have to schedule your adventures. The comic book, then, is all about the scheduling of the appointments.

Obviously, that didn’t become a comic book.

Marvel now has a character in one of its books called “Vampire by Night,” a variation of their 1970’s era “Werewolf by Night” comic. So long as you turn into a monster at night, right? Since the pretty haughty vampire duchess in panel two is clearly not happy to have made it into the strip, it seemed like this was more of a “Vampire by Appointment” situation. Believe it or not, the fancy vampire duchess is very much a literal part of my day today.

Today is the last day of the first week of Spring Semester. During the Lunch Period, I will be playing Magic: The Gathering with a few of the young players at school, hence the artwork above. Some of the young wizards at the Edu-Mountain are surprisingly rough at the card table.

I played a game with them on the final day of school before Winter Break, and that was a great deal of fun. The two rounds were both multiplayer games, with no real discussion of any deck mechanics beforehand…just crack open your cards, and play for love of the game. The second round ran long, and when my final class of the day came in, they treated the matter with incredible seriousness, like it was some kind of Olympic Event…sitting down quietly as to not disturb the proceedings. The games were good, and I looked forward to seeing the group after break, and playing again.

I looked forward to it enough that I took a walk to the local game store, and started to cobble together a new deck from cards on hand. The deck went through a few conceptual iterations, but I think now it’s a playable effort. I’ll find out soon enough.

In terms of concept, I went kind of obscure here…I want it to stay interesting to play, so I actually worked at an unusual game mechanic. About twenty percent of the deck’s overall cards actually punish other players for having cards in the first place. That’s a pretty odd mechanic for a card game, but at the same time, kind of guarantees a low rent global cost of life points to any opponents. The creature blocks are mostly vampires, with various variations of the “growth counter” mechanic that drives that card type. The vampire cards are selected to work with one another, and provide a solid, basic style of play while the “card tax” mechanic unfolds.

That’s what drove the art…looking forward to that game. Obviously, vampire henchpeople are called in at panel two, to assist with the wizard hooligans at the Edu-Mountain. Oddly, the “Kalastria Highborn” card that I based that art upon didn’t arrive on time, so I’ll be playing without it. Maybe the fancy vampire duchess was too underwhelmed by the prospect of Edu-Mountain wizards to show up. She should have, though, if she’s a Vampire by Appointment…that’s what the panel suggests, at least.

I can’t see us seeing the Kalastria Duchess too often, because really…that dress is a chore to draw. I kind of want to address it again, if only to add more detail, in a larger piece…and on the other hand, it was such a chore that I don’t. I especially like her blindfold wearing, hunchbacked toady…he came out pretty well, and creepy.

There’s a real chance of this Friday Game, which is getting to be more regular, turning to some kind of school Gaming Club…which would be interesting to sponsor. It also makes a very solid finish to a good first week of class, which I can’t complain about at all.

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