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  • Let´s talk about the Kue Jin

    I must admit that i have conflicted feelings over the Kue Jin.I feel really Tsundere about them

    On one hand I like the influence they have in Saulot metaplot , their relationship with golconda and the fact that they keep the Ravnos interesting via their conflict in india.I also like the idea of they having a different origin as in my games the Kindred origins are always obscure an each clan has multiple teories about it´s origins and founders.Finally some of their powers are cool.

    On the other hand I don´t like the fact that they are Zpecial Risens from wraith just for being from the Asian Culture , i don´t get why unlife and souls should be different becuase of etcnicity.I feel like the Kindred of the East could have been more interesting as a new sect but very spiritual sect in Asia being the equivalent to the camarilla or as a bloodline of the clans in Asia in a similar manner to Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom.

    But that´s just my conflicted opinion , I would want to know what other people thinks about the Kindred of the East , if they have used them in their chronicles and what would they change from Kue Jin.


    Hunger pool

  • #2
    I'm not going to mince words.

    I hate the Kuei-jin.

    I really really hate them.

    I think they are embellic of everything wrong with the latter years of White Wolf's glory days and pretty much make themselves the single most irritating thing in the canon since the developers wiped out the Ravnos as well as retconned World of Darkness: Gypsies.

    I remember when I read a single line that turned me against the whole concept. "Kuei-jin torturers know methods of making even Tzimisce puke." Which...no, just no.

    The Kuei-jin are a heavily orientalist bunch of stereotypes that blow the Assamites out of the water in terms of being a bad idea gotten worse. They're a weird combination of Risen, Werewolves (We fight the Wyrm...err Yama Kings!), and Vampire: The Masquerade that never really gells in a decent way.

    They have a damned weird and racist origin that everyone in the Far East can become Kuei-jin but only if they're of Asian descent--yet it doesn't matter what you believe, it can just happen to you because that's the way cosmology works.

    They're also racist as hell to vampires which limits the crossover appeal.

    They're also grossly out of place because with the existence of the Laibon and Middle Eastern vampires (I don't remember their name at the moment, sorry), we've effectively got Asia as now the only place in the world WITHOUT Cainites.

    Because the Far East is MYSTTTTERIOUS and WEIRDDDDDD.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post
      I must admit that i have conflicted feelings over the Kue Jin.I feel really Tsundere about them

      On one hand I like the influence they have in Saulot metaplot , their relationship with golconda and the fact that they keep the Ravnos interesting via their conflict in india.I also like the idea of they having a different origin as in my games the Kindred origins are always obscure an each clan has multiple teories about it´s origins and founders.Finally some of their powers are cool.

      On the other hand I don´t like the fact that they are Zpecial Risens from wraith just for being from the Asian Culture , i don´t get why unlife and souls should be different becuase of etcnicity.I feel like the Kindred of the East could have been more interesting as a new sect but very spiritual sect in Asia being the equivalent to the camarilla or as a bloodline of the clans in Asia in a similar manner to Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom.

      But that´s just my conflicted opinion , I would want to know what other people thinks about the Kindred of the East , if they have used them in their chronicles and what would they change from Kue Jin.

      For a start in my chronicles we never used the word Kuei-jin because it is nonsense my players were Langsuir, Kuntilanak, Penanggalan, Jenglot and Pocong first. They were all bar one of Heretical Dharmas and we hewed close to traditional folklore with occasional breakaways to make play more interesting.

      I removed silly stuff like The Great Leap Outward and the endemic hatred of Cainites and found they work really well, as for why they are 'only' found in Asia? My explanation: The Yama Kings. Everywhere else people die and either fall to oblivion, transcend or become a Wraith ( and then either get forged or more rarely get to go on). In the half of the globe that includes Asia and Oceania the Middle Umbral Spirits collectively called the Yama ( though obviously called other things outside of Buddhism) have managed to retain enough grip on reality that they can snag certain souls before they cross. In the past this also included such beings as Cihuacoatl, Veles and others throughout the world but most of them lost their grip on the bridge between life and death.

      In the lands stretching from the borders of the Near East to the Pacific at least some of these 'Yama' have held on and it is through their machinations that the 'Wan Kuei' can arise. Others arise very occasionally in the lands of the Americas, Africa* and Europe but without an established society to teach them they rarely survive their bestial state after rebirth and are often put down as wights by unknowing Cainites and other forces.

      There are many Cainites in Asia and associated regions and for the most part they are much the same as Cainites elsewhere in that they are both part of and at once removed from the human cultures about them. One sticking point that may provoke some annoyance among those Wan Kuei that exoist is that the Cainite Curse destroys any possibility of a rebirth as a Wan Kuei. So an Embrace may well prevent a Wan Kuei from being reborn from the dead mortal...as rebirth is never a sure thing anyway this is unlikely to ever rise above a personal grudge generally.

      * Africa is a special one as the particular metaphysics of the Dark Kingdom of Ivory may make 'Wan Kuei' impossible....still working on that one.

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      • #4
        I never really read the book, to be honest, although I did buy it. I did like the work about Asian countries that came out a bit later for Mage - Dragons of the East and so on. For me though, the Kindred of the East was just not the same game as Vampire, really. Could never get into it.

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        • #5
          I think if you're going to add Kue Jin to a vampire game they have to replace Risen wholesale. Just say that they're more common in Asia for some reason and that's why they've been able to keep Cainites out and develop their own society, while elsewhere they are destroyed whenever they pop up.

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          • #6
            I didn't dislike the concept of the Great Leap Outward but I hate the name. The Camarilla and Sabbat constantly fight for territory, so why shouldn't the Kuei-jin (Who I wish were called Jiang-Shi)?

            However, if you have the Kuei-jin curb stomp the Anarchs (i.e. the most popular faction in the game) and slaughter them before setting up a racist orientalist dystopia in San Fransicco....don't be surprised if players hate them.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alucard View Post
              I think if you're going to add Kue Jin to a vampire game they have to replace Risen wholesale. Just say that they're more common in Asia for some reason and that's why they've been able to keep Cainites out and develop their own society, while elsewhere they are destroyed whenever they pop up.
              Risen are normal ghosts that exit a caul after some "adjustment time" to process being dead, and then make a kind of ritual deal with their Shadow; Hungry Dead get snapped in half, their Shadow-equivalent flung right into hell, and it suffers in hell (often justly, because the Demon People are named that for typically being horrid in life) until it escapes. The distinction is that one endures a traumatic form of reincarnation into a full-on monster in the skinlands that most resembles a vampire, while the other is taking a risky side-trip into the skinlands, but remains in all ways a pretty normal ghost, albeit one uncommonly skilled in various ghostly powers.

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              • #8
                Technically Risen can Arise in Asia. Only those whose souls, hun, went to Yomi and escaped are Wan Kuei. Is don’t mind them existing. Considering the
                Middle Kingdom successfully makes a setting we’re you can do crossovers I’m not complaining.


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  I didn't dislike the concept of the Great Leap Outward but I hate the name. The Camarilla and Sabbat constantly fight for territory, so why shouldn't the Kuei-jin (Who I wish were called Jiang-Shi)?

                  However, if you have the Kuei-jin curb stomp the Anarchs (i.e. the most popular faction in the game) and slaughter them before setting up a racist orientalist dystopia in San Fransicco....don't be surprised if players hate them.
                  Jiang Shi are only one type of undead under the banner, though; you're also pulling from hungry ghosts/pretas, penanggallan, and various others. That's why permanently Yin-imbalanced Hungry Dead from China were referred to as Jiang Shi (it might have been difficult to tell because of WW's unstable Romanization standards, but it was there), but others are not.

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                  • #10
                    I admit, I'm debating establishing this as canon in my games:

                    Here's the thing you need to know about the Kue-jin.

                    Everything you have heard about them is complete bullshit.

                    They're Cainites.

                    Most of what they claim about themselves is superficially true. However, just about all the weird and mysterious stuff they talk about is the exact same stuff we have, only by a different name. It's kind of like how all those wannabe Buddhists in the 80s started claiming they understood the thousands of year old culture they knew from a weekend trip to China and reading a couple of books.

                    What are the Kuei-jin? They're 13 Clans of Cainites and various bloodlines. They follow Paths of Enlightenment. They have Thin Blooded. They have dhampyrs. They use Thaumaturgy. They have feuding sects. They have Anarchs, Traditionalists, and Crazy Mofos.

                    No, there's no Tremere. There's no Giovanni. There are, however, three-eyed religious nutters and some suspiciously corpse-looking scholars. Do NOT attempt to suggest they're Salubri and Cappadochians, however. Maybe if you actually get one to talk to you, they'll admit Kindred might be from a bastardized version of their clan.

                    But the Western Cainites do the exact same thing.

                    They don't believe in Caine, so no Book of Nod, but neither do the Setites. They believe each of their line was cursed by the gods to fight worse demons and redeem themselves or something, I'm still working it out.

                    As for the Yama Kings? If you get one of them to open up, you'll find out that refers to their mysterious progenitors versus actual demons (though they deal with those too). Monsters who will one day return to reclaim their blood and must have their schemes fought at all time.

                    Remind you of anything?
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 09-23-2018, 12:10 AM.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • #11
                      Kindred of the East is a game line that suffer from multiple issues.

                      The "middle child" of WW game lines
                      If you look at when the game was released and dig into the mechanics, it becomes clear that KotE was a stepping stone in game design that served as a testing ground for other game designs. Prior to KotE all the splats were more or less stand alone games that could have the other splats added, with KotE it was assumed that all the other game lines were being used. There was even a disclaimer in one of the books about how you could easily require hundreds of dollars worth of other splat books just to play the KotE game.

                      They started with the Asian vampire thing as a beginning, then added werewolf's shamanism, mages multiple dimensions, and wraiths dual soul system. You can even see proto systems being tried out like how the Demon Shintai "battle form" was built using a system that would later be used in 1st Edition Exalted Lunars. In fact the you can pretty much draw a direct line to the majority of the Exalted setting and later the NWoD unified systems to ideas that were being field tested in KotE.

                      Also it is worth noting that 1st edition exalted was originally marketed as the precursor to the WoD setting. The Kuei-jin were the really degenerate descendants of the Dragon-Blooded.

                      Stereotype Problems
                      Let's face it, most people in Europe and America have minimal understanding of eastern cultures. Unless you have friends/family from those regions or have spent time there your self, stereotypes are your only real base line. Anime is primarily a Japanese cultural export, yet when you think about it anime is really not much more than day time tv of a different culture. If you were to flip the situation it would be like an Asian RPG where you play Dracula with heavy influences from shows like Jerry Springer, Lost, Americas got Talent, with a sprinkle of Game of Thrones. Is it racist, no, it's just focusing on a very narrow cross section of the referenced cultures to the point of being ridiculous. At the same time it's not like we can claim that V:tM is doing a better job showing western theology or giving a good tutorial about various western cultures.

                      To be fair though, its not like the cultures referenced in KotE didn't have their own issues with stereotyping other cultures in that area or not having a good grasp of their own history. Consider the cultural hatred between the Japanese and Chinese for how racist the views can be or if you want a messed up view of history consider the debacle that is separating out the differences from the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" vs. "The War of the Three Kingdoms". One is essentially a Chinese history fanfic while the other is a historical record, except a lot of people keep mixing the facts up.

                      Bad Book Design
                      KotE suffered poor implementation in a technical sense. Several of the books had that brush painting background that made it occasionally difficult to read the text, and all to often the books would have the LARP information shoe horned into it rather than simply dedicating the space to world building or mechanics. Because of the Kitchen Sink approach to how KotE was constructed there was a lack of design focus as far as themes and ideas. So you could bounce from the subject of eastern philosophy and enlightenment to discussing the sex trade in the same paragraph. Thus the reader often got mental whiplash from the tonal shifts and genre mixing when something like a tea ceremony and john wu actions movies are equally valid touchstones.


                      Now with all of that in mind, is it a bad game, no. It's just a some what clunky game that never got out of the titillating stereotype phase of development. Personally I was usually able to fill in the gaps in the cultural information from my own experience so the game different get marked down that much for me. As for how it interacted with the other game lines, that changes based on the game group. I never had that much reverence for the meta history of WoD and so the Great Leap Outward was just a plot point rather than a core concept.

                      To be honest I did get a bit perturbed when San Francisco by Night came out because it was blatantly obvious that the writers hadn't really thought things out or studied up on the Bay Area. But if you really dig into the locations and history of what most WoD books reference, yeah most of them didn't do much more than skim a travel brochure and add some fluff to it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                        Risen are normal ghosts that exit a caul after some "adjustment time" to process being dead, and then make a kind of ritual deal with their Shadow; Hungry Dead get snapped in half, their Shadow-equivalent flung right into hell, and it suffers in hell (often justly, because the Demon People are named that for typically being horrid in life) until it escapes. The distinction is that one endures a traumatic form of reincarnation into a full-on monster in the skinlands that most resembles a vampire, while the other is taking a risky side-trip into the skinlands, but remains in all ways a pretty normal ghost, albeit one uncommonly skilled in various ghostly powers.
                        I get that, I just think it simplifies things if in a crossover you just have Kuejin.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                          Risen are normal ghosts that exit a caul after some "adjustment time" to process being dead, and then make a kind of ritual deal with their Shadow; Hungry Dead get snapped in half, their Shadow-equivalent flung right into hell, and it suffers in hell (often justly, because the Demon People are named that for typically being horrid in life) until it escapes. The distinction is that one endures a traumatic form of reincarnation into a full-on monster in the skinlands that most resembles a vampire, while the other is taking a risky side-trip into the skinlands, but remains in all ways a pretty normal ghost, albeit one uncommonly skilled in various ghostly powers.
                          Isn’t it the Hun that goes to Yomi and your animalistic soul stays in your corpse?


                          It is a time for great deeds!

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                          • #14
                            While I liked the idea of the 'Kindred of the East,' it really showed that they were designed *after* the cosmological insights of the Werewolf, Mage and Wraith games, and sort of tied them all together, while the 'Kindred of the West' were designed before all of that, and so had little to no interaction with the other sub-settings and their rules.

                            The whole 'better than thou' thing got kind of old and tired, with weird references like Kuei-jin fresh out of the ground bragging about going to Camarilla-run cities in Europe and America and effortlessly ganking a bunch of Kindred elders, and I tried to shrug it off as the usual 'unreliable narrator' type stuff like you'd read in the Clanbooks where the clan in question would offer all sorts of bitchy and dismissive snark on their rival clans or the other WoD critters, but it crept out of the places you'd expect unreliable narrator stuff and into what seemed more like mechanical text than flavor text, which made it turn from an old and tired joke to kind of annoying.

                            *If* the Kindred of the East book had been followed up by a modernization / toning up of the original Kindred, to integrate them into the World of Darkness and give them mechanics and systems and whatever (not nearly to the Kuei-jin's level, since, IMO, they took it a little far, and I feel like some of the stronger elements of Vampire is that becoming a Vampire makes one unnatural and locks one out of some other options, like True Magic, etc.), but it felt like it just went on as presented, with Kuei-jin arbitrarily better at everything than Kindred (or Wraiths, or even Garou, in some respects), and that felt less like 'cool!' and more like 'trying way too hard.'

                            I remember when they first came out, that it was noted on the forums that the standard Vampire clans had very few ways of dealing Aggravated damage, for one example, with Protean and Thaumaturgy (Lure of Flames) being the two most common options, while just the basic Kuei-jin 'disciplines' had five or so options, and weren't as clan-limited or restricted as Protean or Thaumaturgy. It was just one of several specific examples of how Kuei-jin seemed to be designed to be 'better' options, for just about everything.

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                            • #15
                              Didn't the big white room simulation thread show that the Kuejin are overrated compared to Kindred?

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