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KotE's perspective on Kindred is weird.

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  • KotE's perspective on Kindred is weird.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed this, but the way the wan kuei view kindred in KotE doesn't make any sense.

    Firstly, they keep assuming that kindred are some bastardized offshoot of the hungry ghosts. While I get that this is supposed to mirror the western kindred's same assumption, they are too obviously different from the wan kuei perspective for this to work in setting. To highlight three major and obvious differences that make this unrealistic:
    • Kindred can reproduce by embrace. It'd be harder to prove that wan kuei Can't embrace so the kindred can be forgiven for not realizing, but this is something that should be a major red-flag to the more zombie-like wan kuei.
    • Kindred Start Off with their generation without working their way up. It'd be hard to catch a Wan Kuei rising in dharma so kindred aren't likely to see the difference. Wan kuei have more common "Ki" sensing abilities, so the moment a recently embraced vampire starts throwing around "Yin Ki" like a highly respected Jina, then red flags should be raised.
    • Kindred gain generation by Devouring their elders rather than enlightenment. See above example for the kindred perspective.
    Most of these things would be obvious the moment one of the scouting parties, that KotE says the courts occasionally throw out to gather information on kindred society, witness a sabbat shovel head party(or any sabbat "parties" really).

    Second, It really doesn't make sense that KotE doesn't take kindred any more seriously than an invasion of pests. Consider the fact that the average kindred is much more physically adept than the average hungry ghost. The reasons for this being:
    • Kindred, from the moment of embrace, can blood bump their physical traits to superhuman levels. Hungry ghosts have to learn certain disciplines to do the same and their ability to "Buff" using them is limited by their mastery in those same disciplines(which also cost more XP to develop).
    • The most common disciplines in kindred society are the physical disciplines potence, celerity and fortitude. Ghouls learn potence for free and most clans have at least one of these disciplines to start. Earlier editions(pre-20) even let vampires learn these disciplines without a teacher, so they'd essentially spread from blood exposure like vampiric STDs. The wan kuei's closest equivalents are Demon shintai, Black Wind, and Iron Mountain give them unique tricks at the cost of being more XP heavy, coming with inherent drawbacks, take longer to fully implement(demon shintai), and don't raise their dice pools as high as the equivalent kindred before elder levels.
    • Kindred have larger blood pools than wan kuei on average for powering these disciplines. Kindred have pools ranging from 10-15 without flaws, but a wan kuei must buy their pools from 3(up to 19) with freebie points or XP. Wan kuei also split their pools into three different types that can't be spent on the same turn, meaning it takes them much longer to "Buff up" compared the the equivalent kindred who just needs to "blood buff and go".
    This all collectively means that your average kindred is a much stronger physical fighters(brujah especially) than your average hungry ghost, which plays into the whole barbarian thing I guess, but also means that kindred shouldn't be the laughing-stock that KotE makes them out to be. These "barbarians" should be a terrifying existential threat that out-breed "civil" hungry ghosts at an unimaginable rate and can physically overpower more established wan kuei from the moment they are born.

    This also kinda highlights why the great leap outward makes no sense in context. California was teeming with sabbat and anarchs at the time.
    Last edited by Prometheas; 09-16-2020, 05:30 PM.

  • #2
    Yes, a lot of KOTE is trash talking Western vampires in order to get players to think the KOTE are the new hotness.

    It's the Worf effect.

    However, all it did was make a lot of players genuinely hate the Wan Kuei.


    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 Prometheas View Post
      [/LIST] Most of these things would be obvious the moment one of the scouting parties, that KotE says the courts occasionally throw out to gather information on kindred society, witness a sabbat shovel head party(or any sabbat "parties" really).[LIST]
      that's actually what happened,
      in one section dedicated to crossover, it did describe kuei-jin getting rekt by shovelheads and, with it, the horrifying realization that cainites could force their curse on people

      The most common disciplines in kindred society are the physical disciplines potence, celerity and fortitude. Ghouls learn potence for free and most clans have at least one of these disciplines to start. Earlier editions(pre-20) even let vampires learn these disciplines without a teacher, so they'd essentially spread from blood exposure like vampiric STDs. The wan kuei's closest equivalents are Demon shintai, Black Wind, and Iron Mountain give them unique tricks at the cost of being more XP heavy, coming with inherent drawbacks, take longer to fully implement(demon shintai), and don't raise their dice pools as high as the equivalent kindred before elder levels.
      kuei-jin get both potence and celerity as innate abilities,
      black wind users get an advantage in that black wind extra turns happen before celerity turns,
      which means they can attack a cainite multiple times before that cainite can use their celerity turns

      the physical cainites are not that big of a threat to them thanks to access to the spirit worlds,
      the true threat is the blood mages, koldun and necromancers which can ward them or mess up their plans in the spirit worlds

      This also kinda highlights why the great leap outward makes no sense in context. California was teeming with sabbat and anarchs at the time.
      you forget that they had anarchs that sided with them


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pleiades View Post

        that's actually what happened,
        in one section dedicated to crossover, it did describe kuei-jin getting rekt by shovelheads and, with it, the horrifying realization that cainites could force their curse on people
        Which makes it even weirder that the rest of the book seems to be trying to worf kindred.

        Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
        kuei-jin get both potence and celerity as innate abilities,
        black wind users get an advantage in that black wind extra turns happen before celerity turns,
        which means they can attack a cainite multiple times before that cainite can use their celerity turns
        They don't exactly get them as innate abilities though, black wind is added to melee, not strength or dexterity, so they don't get any out of combat utility like with potence or celerity. They also have to choose between getting melee successes or extra actions, so they end up making a lot of low dice-pool attacks or less high dice-pool attacks. If the kindred has fortitude in that situation, then the wan kuei is going to have a very rough time.

        They also have to deal with risking fire and shadow soul using black wind, either of which could turn the fight against them if their facing an intelligent enemy. That makes it really risky to rely on an all or nothing black wind assault, as you're essentially betting everything on whether the enemy survives the first turn.

        That's also a problem that get's worse rather than better at higher xp. The kindred disciplines are cheaper even before factoring in-clans.

        Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
        the physical cainites are not that big of a threat to them thanks to access to the spirit worlds,
        the true threat is the blood mages, koldun and necromancers which can ward them or mess up their plans in the spirit worlds
        I'm not so sure. A lot of wan kuei disciplines deal directly with thinks like sensing/messing with magic-juice itself and they deal with both the middle and low umbra. A wan kuei could escape a blood mage by stepping into the spirit world that their pursuer isn't familiar with(middle umbra for a necromancer, low umbra for a koldune) or calling on demon allies against blood mages that don't deal with spirits(most tremere).

        Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
        you forget that they had anarchs that sided with them
        At first, but didn't the wan kuei betray them?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
          At first, but didn't the wan kuei betray them?
          My take on the subject is that Ming Xiao utterly screwed up any potential alliance. Their Imperial Japanese Police State rulership of San Fransisco also probably went over like a lead balloon.


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
            They don't exactly get them as innate abilities though,
            they do, they can spend demon chi on auto successes (like potence) or on additional turns (like celerity)

            then they have disciplines like black wind which gives imediate extra turns and another that gives extra turns similar to celerity except they spend yang chi (I think) instead of demon chi

            At first, but didn't the wan kuei betray them?
            I don't know how it ended, but you're saying that kuei-jin don't take cainites seriously even though they got rekt in mexico and later hired anarchs,

            the Genji often ally with sabbat and recognize paths of enlightenment,

            the BP often allies with Anarchs, they even allied with Tremere once (which they regretted)

            the quincunx allied with a Tremere,

            the green courts accepted invited the nagaraja

            I have cause to question the premise of your thread


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
              I don't know how it ended, but you're saying that kuei-jin don't take cainites seriously even though they got rekt in mexico and later hired anarchs,

              the Genji often ally with sabbat and recognize paths of enlightenment,

              the BP often allies with Anarchs, they even allied with Tremere once (which they regretted)

              the quincunx allied with a Tremere,

              the green courts accepted invited the nagaraja

              I have cause to question the premise of your thread
              Frankly, this is an overly romanticized view of the Kuei Jin's handling of Kindred relationships and ignores that when we last left them that the Anarchs had successfully destroyed the Kuei-Jin presence in Los Angeles (Bloodlines) and the Treaty of Los Angeles (between the Camarilla and Kuei-Jin) was prevented by Jeremy MacNeil working with the PCs in Nights of Prophecy.

              Beckett's Jyhad Diary showed a Kuei-Jin presence in California but the depiction was one of Cold War and hatred not friendship.

              Louis Fortier seemed ready to ally with the Kuei-Jin and given he lost his territory to Therese and Vannevar Thomas, we can assume it didn't work out well.


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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                Beckett's Jyhad Diary showed a Kuei-Jin presence in California but the depiction was one of Cold War and hatred not friendship.
                let's stay on topic, we're not arguing about vampires hating or liking each other,
                we're arguing about kuei-jin taking cainites seriously or not, and if either position is justified and why


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pleiades View Post

                  let's stay on topic, we're not arguing about vampires hating or liking each other,
                  we're arguing about kuei-jin taking cainites seriously or not, and if either position is justified and why
                  Both are related. Kuei-Jin think themselves the superior species and that's why they hate Cainites.


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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                    Both are related. Kuei-Jin think themselves the superior species and that's why they hate Cainites.
                    well, they have reasons to believe so

                    KJ are cursed to pay a karmic debt, most of them deserve their fate (by their standards)
                    Cainites have no purpose, and they can force their curse on anyone, the innocent, the child, anyone,
                    they can also enslave and force anyone's actions

                    kj have spiritual ties and can balance the flow of chi,
                    most cainites are confined in the tellurian (lasombra the rare exceptions), and their powers cause the surrounding chi to go bad

                    kj are dynamic beings capable of change and capable of maturing,
                    cainites are static beings, eternal teenagers


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                      Both are related. Kuei-Jin think themselves the superior species and that's why they hate Cainites.

                      Well, kuejin can achieve dah, ascend to heaven and cease their curse, so yeah, that's something a Cainites can never do even in Golconda. Kueijin, though systematically weaker in higher power levels, they are creatures that the entire spirit worlds are accessible to them, that's something that Cainites are very limited to do so.

                      - Saga

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                      • #12
                        In general KJ views on the Kindred didn't bother me any more than vice versa because most supernatural factions have less than perfect knowledge of other supernatural factions in the WoD even without factoring in prejudices. The KJ aren't going to be any different in this regard. I'm also pretty sure a number of supplements from the KOTE era on both sides have discussed the conflicts with the Kindred and the differences and benefits/drawbacks therein. The aforementioned prejudice/ignorance played part of a role there, but alot of it was fundamentally different ways of approaching warfare as well (Scarlet Screens are *very* different from Ghouls for example and that has a huge impact on tactical, operational and strategic implications.)

                        I think when it comes to warfare you have to be careful gauging Kindred vs KJ because it's more than just tactical or physical abilities. Sure you might make a case (like I do below re: Black Wind) about the Kindred having POTENTIALLY greater power... but once you get above tactical scales indivifdual power of a 'soldier' starts to matter less than other factors (and even at tactical level it's not always the dominant one.) Indeed if there was a big drawback at 'above tactical' scales (usually called 'operational' in military parlance) it was the fact Kindred can reproduce faster than KJ can, and can create ghouls. Qualtively a KJ may be more experienced because of their 'life cycle' of development and more capable, but they take longer to become 'useful' compared to a Kindred, and the ability to mass-embrace means you're better able to survive attrition (fundamental to any kind of war) and your numbers at operational and higher scales can outweigh any indivivdual weaknesses in the unit - as long as they are competently lead.

                        That is the second caveat and where 'higher than tactical' gets complicated. Effectively guiding a Kindred force requires effective leadership (Command and control), and this can be a kinda big question mark for the Kindred IMHO. They DO Have good leaders, but it still takes time to train/equip/consolidate forces into a coherent unit... something that the KJ can at least start out with an advantage in generally (if because their preparations will necessitate all that.) Only once attrition kicks in and time passes will the scale tip towards the Kindred (again because of how easily they can embrace or create Ghouls) but even then easy creation doesn't instill discipline, military competence, or any of the other traits essential to warfare, so there are still certain limits that Kindred face unless economies of scale become involved (ie mass embracing huge numbers who train at the same time. Even if the training time remains the same, the numbers they can train at any given moment are an advantage. And they can start training more via mass-embracing once the old forces deploy so there is little delay in the training pipeline)

                        Thirdly, there's the differences in disciplines and what sorts of abilities they cover. Kindred HAVE alot more raw power in a sense, but alot of KJ powers tend to be more diverse which can be an asset (especially their ties to the spirit realm) - and those are advantages that aren't easily overcome without involving necromancy or blood magic, either.

                        Basically there's a ton of context here and while you can argue that a KJ fighting on Kindred terms and playing to Kindred strengths will get beaten, that's as much because of the conditions and circumstances of the fight as it is because of the intrinsic abilities or drawbacks of the individual. And 'intrinsics' include not just the physical stuff but the aforementioned prejudices and biases (going to war on inaccurate information will get you killed just as readily as going to war against an opponent that is physically more powerful than you.)

                        Regarding powers:
                        Black wind has some similarities to Potence/Celerity, but its 'all in one' nature has certain drawbacks as well. For one, its not 'innate' (although the use of Demon Chi to gain additional attacks OR automatic successses is, but that occurs on a one-per-one basis. Black Wind does this but far more efficiently than simply harnessing Demon Chi - presumably because the description mentions that since the Character is in a controlled 'demonic fury' they gain demon energy as fast as they expend it. Mechanically though you still consume one point of Demon Chi per turn of use and gain a number of dots equal to the level of the power that you can spend on extra actions, automatic damage successes (like potence), etc.

                        Even then the advantage is 'conditional' - A KJ with Black Wind fighting a Kindred with an equal number of dots between potence and celerity is less versatile, but the separate KJ disciplines can be developed further. And pre-V20 potence didn't require spending BP to achieve the automatic successes (And the way it was spent for celerity depends on the edition) so a Kindred can still potentially outfight a KJ under Black Wind leaving out any other considerations (of course the vampire with two fully developed disciplines is naturally going to have an advantage over the vampire with only one fully developed discinpline. Dots that don't go into boosting Black Wind could provide other benefits to help even the odds. Although there's still that pre-v20 potence needs no expenditures to work...)
                        Last edited by Mister_Dunpeal; 09-16-2020, 07:50 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pleiades View Post

                          well, they have reasons to believe so

                          KJ are cursed to pay a karmic debt, most of them deserve their fate (by their standards)
                          Cainites have no purpose, and they can force their curse on anyone, the innocent, the child, anyone,
                          they can also enslave and force anyone's actions

                          kj have spiritual ties and can balance the flow of chi,
                          most cainites are confined in the tellurian (lasombra the rare exceptions), and their powers cause the surrounding chi to go bad

                          kj are dynamic beings capable of change and capable of maturing,
                          cainites are static beings, eternal teenagers
                          I'm reminded of a bit from STAR WARS Imperial Sourcebook:

                          AT-AT Commander: The Navy has no discipline, structure, or strength.

                          Admiral: Yes, I suppose we'll just have to content ourselves with control of the entire galaxy.

                          The Kuei-Jin have a lot of fancy powers and ninja-moves but it's the Cainites who rule 3/4ths of the world and are the gameline moving into the rest.



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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post
                            I
                            Regarding powers:
                            Black wind has some similarities to Potence/Celerity, but its 'all in one' nature has certain drawbacks as well. For one, its not 'innate' (although the use of Demon Chi to gain additional attacks OR automatic successses is, but that occurs on a one-per-one basis. Black Wind does this but far more efficiently than simply harnessing Demon Chi - presumably because the description mentions that since the Character is in a controlled 'demonic fury' they gain demon energy as fast as they expend it. Mechanically though you still consume one point of Demon Chi per turn of use and gain a number of dots equal to the level of the power that you can spend on extra actions, automatic damage successes (like potence), etc.

                            Even then the advantage is 'conditional' - A KJ with Black Wind fighting a Kindred with an equal number of dots between potence and celerity is less versatile, but the separate KJ disciplines can be developed further. And pre-V20 potence didn't require spending BP to achieve the automatic successes (And the way it was spent for celerity depends on the edition) so a Kindred can still potentially outfight a KJ under Black Wind leaving out any other considerations (of course the vampire with two fully developed disciplines is naturally going to have an advantage over the vampire with only one fully developed discinpline. Dots that don't go into boosting Black Wind could provide other benefits to help even the odds. Although there's still that pre-v20 potence needs no expenditures to work...)
                            Granted, a wan kuei and a kindred given equal XP are not going to have the same number of discipline dots. The eastern version of disciplines are just way more expensive.

                            Interesting enough, wan kuei NPCs take a "Quantity over Quality" approach to attribute, abilities, and disciplines. The faction ranking requirements, example NPCs, and lore suggest that most hungry dead spread out their XP to try and get into the 3-5 range of everything until they become bodhisattvas. So they also tend to have lower dice-pools than kindred NPCs who tend to specialize more. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but with how much wan kuei disciplines cost I think it puts them at more of a disadvantage not to specialize.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                              I'm reminded of a bit from STAR WARS Imperial Sourcebook:

                              AT-AT Commander: The Navy has no discipline, structure, or strength.

                              Admiral: Yes, I suppose we'll just have to content ourselves with control of the entire galaxy.

                              The Kuei-Jin have a lot of fancy powers and ninja-moves but it's the Cainites who rule 3/4ths of the world and are the gameline moving into the rest.

                              your point?


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