Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Hong Kong by Night: Fan-Made Setting for Kindred of the East

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hong Kong by Night: Fan-Made Setting for Kindred of the East

    I know it's not a very popular classic WOD game, but I have always had a soft spot for KotE because with a little imagination you could get past the problematic stuff, and I liked that if you wanted to run a Werewolf-style action-adventure "good versus evil" game, you could do that. However, I think the fact that it was so different scared off a lot of V:tM players. So I wanted to make a KotE setting that would be accessible to VtM players, using recognizable tropes (a "prince"-like ancestor, "anarch"-like Bamboo Princes, etc.)

    Yes, I know WW released their own Hong Kong book, but I've updated the setting to reflect current events, plus focused exclusively on the KotE.

    Here is the link: https://flamecourt.wordpress.com/
    "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been." -- Opening lines of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms
    Welcome to Hong Kong by Night, a fan-made resource for setting a Kindred of the East chronicle in one of the most important financial centers and densely-populated metropolises in Asia as well as the world. It focuses on the region in 2018 and the conflicts between Hong Kong's Kuei-jin as the Flame Court seeks to finally re-consolidate itself. In this, it is opposed by the Bamboo Princes, reform-minded modernizers opposed to the ultra-conservative ways of the Quincunx, the ruling body of the courts of China. Additionally, House Genji of Japan and the Kin-jin of the West also have their own interests, all involving destabilizing Hong Kong for their own benefit. Of course, there are plenty of other shen to encounter, from wraiths to shape-changers.

    This site diverges from World of Darkness: Hong Kong, an official sourcebook published in 1998 that did not concentrate on Kindred of the East but instead on the entire line of White Wolf supernatural RPGs (Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, etc.) There are several reasons for the departure. First, WoD: Hong Kong was written around the time of the hand-over of Hong Kong from a British colony to a part of China. This site updates the setting and offers an account of what has transpired in the last two decades. Second, while WoD: Hong Kong covered the gamut of supernatural entities and was meant to be used across several games, this site is meant to be solely for a Kindred of the East game. This is to provide greater richness and detail aimed at playing a specific type of game rather than only touch superficially on multiple supernatural societies. Third, this site was designed to help Vampire: the Masquerade players introduce themselves to Kindred of the East, which despite being an expansion for V:tM, differs dramatically mechanically and in feel from that game. You may note that the Ancestor of the Flame Court is a lot like an elder reactionary Camarilla Prince, the Bamboo Princes are awful similar to the Anarchs, and so on. This is intentional, and unfortunately something White Wolf itself chose not to do, playing up the "mystery" and differences of their Asian setting rather than making it accessible to Western players unfamiliar with adapting to different Asian countries and cultures.

    Theme

    Stories set in the Hong Kong outlined here could have multiple meanings, but an obvious one (and one suggested in the Kindred of the East sourcebook) is that of tradition versus change. This theme should be familiar to Vampire: the Masquerade players and storytellers, as a large aspect of that setting was the struggle between staid elders Embraced in the past, demanding quasi-feudal loyalty, and more forward-thinking neonates raised and socialized in more liberal beliefs and cultures. One of the reasons this is such an enduring theme because it reflects the all-too-human conflict between holding on to the sacred and familiar versus adopting strange but innovative ideas. Around the world today, there is a sense among people that the old ways are not working (at least, not for everyone), while elites do whatever they can to preserve their power. Thus, the unrest described as happening in Hong Kong is echoed in the very real agitation and anxiety many people feel in the present age, in all cultures.

    Another theme that should also be familiar to Western storytellers and players is extreme inequality. Since its time in the British Empire, Hong Kong has always had a class system with very rich and privileged elites above a much larger and poorer working class. In the past, this divide tracked with nationality and skin color, but this has become less true. Still, the elites of Hong Kong nevertheless have more in common with their upper-class counterparts in other countries than with the majority of Hongkongers. So, while discussing the highly developed and even futuristic feel of Hong Kong, it should be impressed that along with this affluence and grandeur is also incredible poverty and powerlessness. This injustice and unfairness is even more pronounced among the Kuei-jin, just as it is with the Kindred: those in power are essentially untouchable by their subordinates short of treachery or rebellion due to their superior might and resources. Just as Camarilla princes typically invoke old ideas of hierarchy to legitimate their rule, Kuei-jin mandarins and ancestors take for granted traditional Confucian ideas of loyalty and obedience. Generally, most Kuei-jin in the Middle Kingdom go along to get along. Hong Kong, however, is different; no one is complete control here, and while anarchy offers myriad threats, it also offers a degree of freedom.

    Mood

    The mood of any chronicle set in the Hong Kong described here should be aggression and restlessness. The Flame Court has its name for a reason. According to Chinese Taoist philosophy, fire is associated with dynamism, strength, vigor, creativity, and passion -- when in balance. When in excess, these qualities take on their negative connotations, becoming dangerous and destructive. That is the condition of the Flame Court has remained in since colonization and one it cannot escape, despite the restoration of Hong Kong to native control. This is because the tensions in the region run deeper than physical ownership. Since it was last under Kuei-jin control, Hong Kong has changed in extreme, critical ways that the Wan Kuei elders cannot and will not accept. The Bamboo Princes, too, refuse to abandon the vision of Hong Kong as an oasis of relative liberty and progress in the extremely conservative Middle Kingdom. But whereas the Flame Court refuses to compromise, the modernizers have perhaps compromised too much. Their willingness to join forces with the Genji of Japan and the Kin-jin of the West has permitted the intrusion of more groups pursuing their own interests and further undermining order and stability. With both restoration and revolution frustrated, the norm has become of constant conflict and shifting alliances.

    Player characters thrust into this world can pursue many different paths. They make it their mission to bring one of the warring factions to victory, or they may play sides against each other so they can come out ahead when the dust settles. It's also possible that characters will only be interested in enhancing their own reputations and profits with little investment in vampire politics. Still, it is unlikely that the feuds and schemes playing out in Hong Kong will somehow impact them. Regardless of how they feel about what is happening, player characters should feel like moments of rest and calm are rare, and they must always be looking over their shoulder for the next danger.


    "I am a prophet. I bring chaos and unrest to the foolish and wicked. I am no fit prince for Cainites, and I am no fit shepherd for the souls of men."

  • #2
    It is nice to see a location updated, and the Kuei-Jin getting some content. Shouldn't it be Dharma instead of ' Level ' in the Kuei-Jin's descriptions ? While it might make it more accesible to those who didn't read KotE, I think that Dharma is too important a word / concept to omit.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
      It is nice to see a location updated, and the Kuei-Jin getting some content. Shouldn't it be Dharma instead of ' Level ' in the Kuei-Jin's descriptions ? While it might make it more accesible to those who didn't read KotE, I think that Dharma is too important a word / concept to omit.
      Agreed on all accounts.


      It is a time for great deeds!

      Comment


      • #4
        I see your point and thank you for your comments, but what is the KOTE equivalent of saying someone is a "Xth Generation Y?"


        "I am a prophet. I bring chaos and unrest to the foolish and wicked. I am no fit prince for Cainites, and I am no fit shepherd for the souls of men."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Anatole View Post
          I see your point and thank you for your comments, but what is the KOTE equivalent of saying someone is a "Xth Generation Y?"
          Generation is a reverse scale. The Wan Gui use level of Enlightenment. So a Dharma 6 Ancestor is more potent and Venerable then a Dharma 2 Running Monkey. They don’t call it Dharma 6 though, they just allude to how high your enlightenment is, which is often determined by how refined your capacity to drink Chi is. So a chi mieh eats flesh to gain Chi, a running monkey drinks blood to gain chi but may also eat flesh to gain chi. An Ancestor May turn into a tiger and sup chi from your breath as you scream or through your bum as you sleep. Really enlightened can sup upon dragon lines.


          It is a time for great deeds!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post

            An Ancestor May turn into a tiger and sup chi from your breath as you scream or through your bum as you sleep.
            This sentence makes me smile. It's arguably the best sentence anyone has typed on the internet, ever.


            “Nobody is purely good or purely evil. Most of us are in-between. There are moths that explore the day and butterflies that play at night.”
            - Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute The Sun
            (She/Her)

            Comment


            • #7
              What were the issues people had with KotE?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post

                Generation is a reverse scale. The Wan Gui use level of Enlightenment. So a Dharma 6 Ancestor is more potent and Venerable then a Dharma 2 Running Monkey. They don’t call it Dharma 6 though, they just allude to how high your enlightenment is, which is often determined by how refined your capacity to drink Chi is. So a chi mieh eats flesh to gain Chi, a running monkey drinks blood to gain chi but may also eat flesh to gain chi. An Ancestor May turn into a tiger and sup chi from your breath as you scream or through your bum as you sleep. Really enlightened can sup upon dragon lines.
                I know the difference in terms of the games, but saying someone is a an “Ancestor” is like saying they’re a “Prince.” It gives no reflection of blood potency the way Generation does in VTM. Providing their Enlightenment level shows how potent the Kuei-jin are more specifically than just providing their title. “Bitter Smoke, Devil Tiger 7 Ancestor” doesn’t seem as correct as “Bitter Smoke, 7th Level Devil Tiger Ancestor.”

                Originally posted by omenseer View Post
                What were the issues people had with KotE?
                Most of the complaints are that it goes too far from the VTM source material. It totally does away with the idea of vampires as "damned" or descended from Caine and instead presents the Kuei-jin as vampiric versions of the Garou: spiritual beings devoted to fighting beings of pure evil. Whereas VTM tended to be focused on shades-of-grey morality, KOTE (like WTA) is more black and white. Mechanically, I think it's OK, but some people have complained about the Hun and P'o aspect, which are a bit like Rage and Gnosis, except you're supposed to role-play your character's P'o as well as the character itself... This stuff isn't too unfamiliar if you've played other CWOD games like WTA and Changeling, but compared to VTM, where your only real concern is your Humanity score, it's a lot more "work." VTM is just plain more accessible than KOTE, even though the latter is supposed to be an add-on to the former.
                Last edited by Anatole; 12-09-2018, 03:12 PM.


                "I am a prophet. I bring chaos and unrest to the foolish and wicked. I am no fit prince for Cainites, and I am no fit shepherd for the souls of men."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by omenseer View Post
                  What were the issues people had with KotE?
                  It uses of stereotypes and potential racism are the big ones I've seen and the way it tends to mix all Asian societies into one group (like the very name Kuei-jin does). Another issue that often pops up is with the basic concept that Asian souls apparently operate differently from western souls. So the argument is that Kuei-jin should just be a type of Risen, not their own special snowflake type of monster.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I ST a kueijin chronicle for a while. It was divided in three parts. First was the transition of Hong Kong to China, based in WoD 1st ed and WOD: Hong Kong, then the Great Leap Outward (the failed Ash Plan), the the last part is still in making which will be the Great Leap Outward (Two Fang Serpent plan) and the Sixth Age.

                    I'm intetested in another perspective fron HK, I'll be checking the site out.

                    - Saga

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just read the site. It is really a different way to see the city. The setting section is really great! Good to see how HK is in actuality on triads, politics and society.

                      - Saga

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saga View Post
                        I just read the site. It is really a different way to see the city. The setting section is really great! Good to see how HK is in actuality on triads, politics and society.

                        - Saga
                        Thank you! I don't have any editors in real life so I appreciate the feedback.


                        "I am a prophet. I bring chaos and unrest to the foolish and wicked. I am no fit prince for Cainites, and I am no fit shepherd for the souls of men."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Anatole, are you planning to do any more writing for the World of Darkness ?
                          Last edited by Muad'Dib; 12-15-2018, 02:12 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                            Anatole, are you planning to do any more writing for the World of Darkness ?
                            Yes, I am working on projects for V20 and W20 for the Storyteller’s Vault.


                            "I am a prophet. I bring chaos and unrest to the foolish and wicked. I am no fit prince for Cainites, and I am no fit shepherd for the souls of men."

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X