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  • India in the World of Darkness

    Are there any sources for India in any game line? I'm particularly interested in the mid-19th century, but would be happy with anything from any era. Thanks.

  • #2
    ...For that time specifically? Sunset Empires for KotE has a chapter about Victorian-era India. For the modern era, Beckett's Jyhad Diary has a Ravnos-focused chapter there, and Wraith 20's Book of Oblivion has a chapter giving an in-depth look at Swar, India's Dark Kingdom.

    Let's see... other lines tend to touch on India but not focus on it, looking at it in terms of their splats with a connection there (Revised-era Ravnos onwards, Euthanatoi, Cult of Ecstasy), and it sometimes has brief mentions in other books


    Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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    • #3
      Alternatively, if you have no issues with tweaking Requiem material, you may find materials that can provide inspiration for your own games.


      Also the Nagaraja bloodline, based on their name alone, should definitely have some connections or at least roots in the subcontinent.
      Last edited by Baaldam; 05-23-2021, 07:19 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
        Also the Nagaraja bloodline, based on their name alone, should definitely have some connections or at least roots in the subcontinent.
        In-universe, they started out as a Euthanatos cult that took up vampirism around the Himalayan War (first millennium BCE), but that's about it for any real connections there.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by marin View Post

          In-universe, they started out as a Euthanatos cult that took up vampirism around the Himalayan War (first millennium BCE), but that's about it for any real connections there.

          What hilariously also ignores the Naga-Raja root of the name pretty much in the face, but then, not first time writers come up with something that is not passed along for the following ones. Giovanni & Transylvania Chronicles continuity and plot hiccups are pretty much all about that.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
            What hilariously also ignores the Naga-Raja root of the name pretty much in the face, but then, not first time writers come up with something that is not passed along for the following ones. Giovanni & Transylvania Chronicles continuity and plot hiccups are pretty much all about that.
            It's more one of those cases where WW borrowed the name without considering how appropriate it was; the Nagaraja have had that name and origin ever since their intro in Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand.


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            • #7
              The V20 Black Hand book does touch on india due to the Najaraja's and the Eastern Hand's cconnection to there.

              Edit: So does the C20 Core (though not great detail) and Players Guide (mainly through the local types of changeling)

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              • #8
                I don't think there is anything major, but the game lines have various bits of lore dripped all over the place concerning India in some way.

                Wraith: the Great War has some information concerning India at the time of World War 1 obviously. And the Wraith Players Guide has more information on the Dark Kingdom of the underworld in India.

                The Stargazer tribebooks have some tangential information about the Garou in India, but probably isn't very helpful. Most of it is just generic Eastern mysticism.

                The Euthanotos tradition books likewise have a lot of stuff about India since that is where the tradition originated I believe, and the Book of Chantries has information on the House of Helekar, a powerful Euthantos chantry with direct ties to India.

                Vampire likely has the most information.

                There are some very important vampires from an Indian background that were instrumental in both the creation of the Sabbat and Camarilla. The story of Vasantasena and Unmada can be found in the Children of the Inquisition and Revised Malkavian Clanbook. The Children of the Inquisition probably gives a little more detail about India as it covers the origin of Vasantasena in India around the 10th century.

                Bindusara is a prominent Ventrue elder and historian, and is obviously of Indian ancestry by his name (or at least association).

                And of course the Vampire concept of Golconda is named after a location in India. Because so many diamonds were mined there, "Golconda" became a synonym for any source of great wealth. That's probably the reason the term was used for the state of quelling the Beast. Though it is possible in the Vampire setting that the term was used as a result of some kind of pilgrimage by Golconda seekers to that location in India (perhaps because of vampires that dwelled there that had achieved the state), and gradually the act of "going to Golconda" to learn about how to achieve it became the term for the state itself.

                The Revised Ravnos clanbook also has more information on India as that clan went from being the clan of gypsies to the clan of India. It's like the writers didn't quite understand the problem was tying any clan of vampires to a specific ethnicity.

                There's also a lot of generic Himalayan mysticism in Vampire involving the Children of Osiris, Salubri, and others. That is just as much Indian as it is Tibetan.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by marin View Post

                  It's more one of those cases where WW borrowed the name without considering how appropriate it was; the Nagaraja have had that name and origin ever since their intro in Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand.
                  The details were somewhat more vague in DSotBH, the himalayan war and actual date coming up in Revised era or later books. But yeah, water under the bridge either way, not like there's anything on the bloodline's background that touches on naga myths on Asia or anything similar.

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                  • #10
                    India was always sort of a blank area. A lot of this is mostly the realities of trying to research things in the pre-Internet age and India not being as trendy as, say, Japan or China/Hong Kong among geek media. But there were bits scattered about.

                    Vampire

                    Even as far back as 1992, it was established that various clans dwelt in India, including Malkavians, Tzimisce, and Ventrue. By the time of the revised era, we also had the majority of the Ravnos clan, a line of Setites, and others. By the mid 19th century, really every clan should be there, both as long standing native lines (including surviving Salubri, and possibly even surviving Cappadocians), and as those who've come with various waves of Portuguese, French, and British merchants, soldiers and explorers (including Tremere and Giovanni).

                    My own head canon about Hindu vampires is here.


                    Werewolf

                    While the game was originally very focused on North America and Europe, it gradually nudged its way into India. This included the original Silver Fangs tribe book (House Blood Red Crest) and the Stargazers, among others. Then came the Changing Breeds, including the Makara stream of the Mokole, the various Bastet tribes (mainly the Baghera, but also Khan and some Simba), the Ratkin, the Nagah, and Ananasi. The revised books introduced the post-Week of Nightmares Camp of Shiva, which was a cross-breed alliance of mostly animal-born shifters who felt that with the Apocalypse/Age of Iron imminent, the Garou's focus on human culture and ties were becoming an impediment to the war effort. The revised Silent Strider book also briefly discusses the alleged Garou "caste" system in the region, with different tribes being seen as akin to certain castes.


                    Mage

                    The Euthanatos and Cult of Ecstasy have always been presented as having strong ties to India, with certain parts of the Dreamspeakers, Celestial Chorus, and Akashic Brotherhood also having their place. Also the occasional bits about Hermetics, Batini, Etherites and Virtual Adepts. Guide to the Traditions talked about the region a little. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Victorian Age Mage is going to have an entire section about the region.


                    Wraith

                    Wraith the Great War and the W20 material, especially the Book of Oblivion IIRC, have the most information about India's underworld.


                    Changeling

                    There's a thread about Changelings in India here. I think there's only one or two "official" Indian related kiths, but a lot of people have ideas for potential new ones.


                    Kindred of the East

                    India's Kuei Jin called themselves the Infinite Thunder Courts. A lot of them followed "heretical" (ie non-Chinese) dharmas, specifically the Face of the Gods and the Flame of the Rising Phoenix (which is to say they see themselves as either reborn proto-gods or as evolved versions of their humans selves).


                    Mummy

                    Next to nothing that I'm aware of. It's possible there may be some purely Indian variation of Immortals. Also likely a handful of Ishmaeli or Greek mummies who came to India at some point in the past and just decided to settle there.



                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by marin View Post

                      It's more one of those cases where WW borrowed the name without considering how appropriate it was;
                      This was the same author and developer pair who decided a term for vengeful ghosts who come back from the grave was a great name for hereditary ghoul families and that the Zoroastrian embodiment of darkness, lies, and evil made a great name for an all female Gangrel group from the frontier era/Antebellum Southeastern US, so ... yeah.


                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                      • #12
                        Thank you, everyone, for all the wonderful replies!

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                        • #13
                          Kartarirya (the Tzimisce antediluvian's many-armed first progeny) is supposed to be in torpor in Sri Lanka, and his childe Ratti-Ben is the preeminent active member of the clan in India.

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                          • #14
                            There is a great write up of the Indian changelings at the Asura Project: ‚Äčhttp://shadownessence.org/index.php?...233-the-asura/

                            I would guess that the Nagaraja appropriated that name without knowing about the weresnakes. The real Nagah keep their existence very, very secret, even from other shapeshifters. Anyone who find out about them dies ASAP.


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                            • #15
                              The only thing I can think of that hasn't already been covered above is a write-up on Indian Kindred in either Blood Magic or Blood Sacrifice. In one of those two, there's a chapter on the Indian blood magic/Thaumaturgy analogue called "Prapti." Within that write up, they talk about different castes of Kindred, the clans typically found in each caste, what their respective roles are, and who is allowed (or expected) to learn Prapti. In addition to the Ravnos, there are some Ventrue and Tremere branches that feature prominently. Overall, it's not a lot, but it's something.


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