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  • #16
    Originally posted by Thoth View Post

    While I do enjoy the Kuei-jin, the fact that they can not control their reproduction rates or who is reborn always meant that at best a Kuei-jin Elder is Goblin Slayer and the Cainites are the Goblins. Sure the K/D ratio will be horrifyingly out of balance, except for the fact that it takes decades for new Kuei-jin to pop up, be captured, trained, and then let loose on the enemy. On the other hand the Kindred can just mass embrace a group of mercenaries and replace their losses within days with equally skilled soldiers.

    But that fact is that that the quality of Kindred degrade in power with every embrace, unlike the Wan-Kuei who always have the chance to garner a higher ceiling of power no matter what once they spawn. Not only that like I touched on before, most of the Kindred right now with V5 setting logic.. are well.. very high gen Neonates and early Anchillae. To put another boot in this, the Wan-Kuei also spawn from geographical regions with high populations; every second around the world someone dies, so they realistically have a steady reoccuring natural supply no matter what that's very hefty.

    In a realistic storytelling plot move-along, the Wan-Kuei should be getting MORE expansion with no viable competition or opposition to go against them. And not only that; Mass Embraces are wholly a Sabbat tactic, but as another fiat of V5, they've almost ALL been shuttered to he Middle-East (yes, even the neonates and achillae of the sect)... so I don't really see the remnants of the Camarilla and Anarch from the Beckoning doing such a tactic. Even if they did, the Mass Embraces they'd make would probably be Thin-Bloods or very High-Gen... not very effective.


    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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    • #17
      Shakanaka I feel that you are over stating the Kuei-jins attributes, many of which have not been quantified at all in the books. While simultaneously focusing on the wrong aspects of Cainite mechanics.

      Kindred Generation decay only comes into play if you assume that each vampire created has to create more troops, rather than having a few lower generation vampires in hiding just churning out the soldiers. This approach keeps the soldier vampire generation relatively stable. Further more yes those individual troops won't be as experienced or powerful as an elder Kuei-jin, but chances are that since you can choose who is embraced, they will all be competent with modern weapons. It might take Technocracy level weapons to take out a Bodhisattva but phosphorus grenades should work just fine on a lesser Kuei-jin elder.

      As for the Kuei-jin, yes people of the appropriate race/soul type die around the planet all the time. But only a certain percentage of them die within an area with a strong enough community to allow the second breath. Then only a percentage of those people who are in the correct place are karmically messed up enough to wind up in the Yomi. Then from that percentage only a small group are spiritually strong enough to break free of the Yomi to return to earth. From there it takes time for the dharmas to learn of their existence, eventually find them and capture them, and finally recruit them successfully. But even dealing with such a small percent of a percent, you are assuming that individuals who take the second breath are immediately combat capable rather than taking years of training. Just taking a look at the sample characters in the Dharma books makes it obvious that most Kuei-jin are not combat focused. Also there is the fact that the agents of the Yomi Kings as well as all the Heretical Dharmas (which are more common outside asia proper) don't recruit the new Kuei-jin first.

      Fact is that the section of time to escape the Yomi alone is highly variable. In the background fluff we see examples of it only taking a few nights to it taking over a year to return. So lets put this into RTS game terms. The Cainites can recruit units when ever they want, with what ever stats they want. The Kuei-jin on the other hand get a random unit spawn every few months if we are being very generous and they have no control over what stats they have, and there is a random chance the spawn goes to an enemy group.

      Lastly there is the fact the Kuei-jin are canonically have far smaller numbers than the Kindred world wide, regardless of affiliation, torpor status, or status as existing in other dimensions. Yes Vampire is currently running on V5, but the Kuei-jin have yet to get a V20 update so we have to work with their original books for information. In the those books there are only about 10 thousand Kuei-jin in the world to the 50 thousand plus Cainites. So at best you are working with a 5 to 1 troop discrepancy and the requirement that you can't leave your original places of power unguarded. So only a small percentage of Kuei-jin could be sent abroad just to mind the expansion communities, how exactly they are going to "invade" anywhere is just not functional due to the amount of space each Kuei-jin would have to control.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Thoth
        rather than having a few lower generation vampires in hiding just churning out the soldiers
        But like I said already, most of the low-gens are completely gone already to the Middle-East.

        Originally posted by Thoth
        The Cainites can recruit units when ever they want, with what ever stats they want. The Kuei-jin on the other hand get a random unit spawn every few months if we are being very generous and they have no control over what stats they have, and there is a random chance the spawn goes to an enemy group.
        Quantity doesn't matter because in the case of all out sieges, the Kuei-Jin would send and shore-up their most experienced Kuei-Jin along with their best mortal retainers to fight; while the High-Gen disorganized Kindred wouldn't be able to mount up a credible defense.

        Originally posted by Thoth
        Just taking a look at the sample characters in the Dharma books makes it obvious that most Kuei-jin are not combat focused.
        Like my original post broached on, a takeover wouldn't need to be all out combat based. The Cainite Elders have basically left all their resources on the table with them being shaunted to the Middle-East per V5's Beckoning metaplot. The Wan-Kuei can easily buy out the companies they have control in, subsume their previous contacts in mortal society, and be free at hand to spread their holdings/possessions/rackets without any real resistance; the takeover wouldn't need to be pure combat based in the first place. All of the Kindred on the streets now are fledglings to very young, just only recently popped into the underworld and now almost every Elder of Vampire society is gone... If anything like I broached before, the Kuei-Jin should be expanding; not having some nonsensical weave-off like they're probably planning to handle the Wan-Kuei with.

        Originally posted by Thoth
        In the those books there are only about 10 thousand Kuei-jin
        Originally posted by Thoth
        Lastly there is the fact the Kuei-jin are canonically have far smaller numbers than the Kindred world wide, regardless of affiliation, torpor status, or status as existing in other dimensions
        Huh, is there a source for this in KotE regarding the exact numbers of the Hungry-Ghosts or that they have smaller numbers than Kindred? I have to check it in the book for myself.


        Jade Kingdom Warrior

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        • #19
          Shakanaka Most of the Low Generation elders going to the middle east is only a V5 thing, yes that is a bit of a cop out statement but we have people who prefer V20 to V5 and then there is the fact that as stated the Kuei-jin have yet to be officially detailed in either V20 or V5 so we have to take into account the deployment of Kindred from the KotE era books.

          Yes for the record I do think that the "Plot Advancement" in V5 is somewhere between eating paste and crayon scribbles as far as making sense. So there will be a hint of bias that means I don't treat it as default.

          As for a book reference you have a couple of choices, the 2nd edition Vampire Storytellers Handbook or the 3rd Edition (2nd edition revised) of the Vampire Storytellers Handbook. The 2nd edition gives the amounts I listed, while the 3rd Edition (2nd edition revised) adjusted its math to reflect the increased real world human population between books and stated that there are 60k total vampires with 40k Cainites and 20k Kuei-jin to maintain the 1 per 100,000 mortals math.

          But as I said these numbers include those vampires who are in torpor, in other dimensions (Shadowlands / Yomi / Umbra / etc.), and who are not attached to groups or went independent. So all you have to do is start looking at the numbers and applying so basic military math about how many vampire need to be stationed to hold the given groups places of power, then allocate the numbers required to account for those who are out of commission or can't be used to further the factions goals, and you have a relatively small group to push any given agenda.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Thoth
            The 2nd edition gives the amounts I listed, while the 3rd Edition (2nd edition revised) adjusted its math to reflect the increased real world human population between books and stated that there are 60k total vampires with 40k Cainites and 20k Kuei-jin to maintain the 1 per 100,000 mortals math.
            Ah, that's why I had missed it entirely. Definitely is a good resource to note for future games, thanks.


            Jade Kingdom Warrior

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            • #21
              As a thought experiment lets take the larger number of 20,000 Kuei-jin and divide them up to see what we are left with.

              If we break it up by basic larger groupings of Official Dharmas, Heretical Dharmas, and Akuma, then that works out to be about 6,666 kuei-jin per major faction. Which means the you have to then divide the numbers by Wu membership and assign them to cities or regions. Considering most Wu are supposed to have five members, and there are often a couple Wu per city/area, that means only about 500 plus cities can boast of having 10 Kuei-jin and that is in Asia.

              But such a simplistic break down is actually pointless when it comes to the Kuei-jin because their numbers aren't fixed like Cainites are. A person who is embraced by a Brujah will always be a Brujah, short of being used to make a Gargoyle or re-embraced by a Baali. A Kuei-jin can swap Dharmas as they see fit, thus the numbers rise and wane randomly.

              It would be tempting to just say divide 20,000 by 11 (5 official dharmas / 5 heretical dharmas / Akuma) which gets you about 1,818 Kuei-jin per dharma grouping. But that is not counting Yulan-jin, nor does it take into account that the grouping of Akuma is spread across multiple Yama Kings. This is important because if you give too few Kuei-jin to the Yama Kings grouping, then the central "Bad Guys" in the entire Kindred of the East setting become a non-issue due to lack of man power.

              Now with that in mind, you break that 1,818 kuei-jin into 5 person Wu and that leaves around 363 Wu per Dharmic faction. Some Wu are guardians, some are researchers, some just hunt Akuma, some just find new Kuei-jin. So then you follow that math of a couple Wu per city/area and the number of places the Kuei-jin can control shrinks rapidly. Especially since in the era of books the KotE comes from, nothing has changed the levels of Hengeyokai, Lightning People, or ghosts in their domains to try to take control if the Elders suddenly say to all move to California.

              Don't get me wrong, I like the KotE in concept and theme. The math and logistics of the fluff.....just doesn't work out.

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              • #22
                Well the KotE book itself never really mentioned hard numbers for the Wan-Kuei and VTM is written and designed in the perspective of "Western" Vampires who as a point don't know much about the realities of Wan-Kuei society; and vice-versa. Not only that the fundamental thing that I feel is being forgotten about here is that in Vampire and Kindred of the East; almost every single mid-rank to high-rank in these factions control assortments of mortals who willingly fulfil their goals and objectives; and among that pecking order alone, half of the mortal servants/forces (essentially the criminal elements of society and corrupted institutions) are fully aware and know who they work for are actually supernatural.

                That's why quantity/high numbers doesn't matter because in the background a slew of mortals are working the gears who project informal control over the city. You don't need a bunch of supernaturals specialized in subterfuge to be much in number to conversely hold a whole lot of things. The point is that the topic is centered around V5 speculation, so you can't discount the Beckoning too. San Francisco is wide open for subsumption in almost every level of the city with almost ALL of the Elders of the Western Kindred Beckoned to the Middle-East. For the Wan-Kuei to not push an advantage from a storyline point doesn't make sense.
                Last edited by Shakanaka; 12-07-2020, 11:39 PM.


                Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
                  Many people are saying that the Wan-Kuei would somehow "lose" influence or lose occupied control of San Francisco... This is very generous and certainly unrealistic considering the fact almost ALL of the Elders of every sect/polity of the Kindred society are affected by the Beckoning. Without any of the heavy hitters or the ones with adept management of domain keeping, the Wan-Kuei who aren't affected by this event would realistically be gaining MORE influence in the region. All the abandoned subterfuged-controlled mortal companies, all the abandoned real estates, all the mortal political connections that the Elder Cainites have crafted in that region would be completely open for seizure- its VERY unrealistic for the Wan-Kuei/Kuei-Jin somehow collapse and not probe this sudden shift in power-balance.

                  Though I would expect with the ""unpopular"" nature that Kindred of the East unfortunately has between the writers and the general fanbase, they'll come up with some gonzo smackdown to somehow explain away the Wan-Kuei expansion.
                  I would assume that with the Wan Kuei there would be some similar plot-level concept similar to the Beckoning that would have taken many of the elders out of the picture since getting rid of elders seems to be the direction WoD5 is going with all of their lines in general. Maybe many of them suddenly vanished and it's widely believed they ascended to the Heaven or maybe fell into Hell. Nobody really knows for sure what happened but suddenly there's a huge power vacuum.

                  That would easily explain why the Wan Kuei Courts in Asia suddenly stopped give a fuck about San Francisco, because most of the leaders vanished overnight, and the new leaders weren't able to keep sending any support, and many of the Wan Kuei in San Francisco decided to go back. Of course there would be some who decided to stay (they had some level of power and influence in SF they didn't have in Asia, or they were born in America, or they were afraid whatever happened to the elders back in Asia would happen to them if they went back or whatever.)

                  Of course, if an ST were to choose to revise Wan Kuei to be Kindred, then their leaders would have been Beckoned and you'd end up with a functionally similar outcome - the elders of the Courts went missing and there was no possibility of reinforcements for the New Promise Mandrinate.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by AnubisXy
                    getting rid of elders seems to be the direction WoD5 is going with all of their lines in general.
                    Yeah a prime reason why V5 (because this is the only line adapted for a "5" so far) doesn't make sense from any storyline perspective at all. How in the hell are all the young Cainites even surviving when we're supposed to believe this heavy "Second Inquisition" is about (that has, as you know, taken out one of the big pillars in the Camarilla- Tremere) and they aren't experienced in night-time survival or society management then the Elders? How the hell are the managing the vast web of connections the Elders have or even having the experience in maintaining them? Also how can they recover everything at length fast enough with the suddenness of the Beckoning?

                    How the hell has the Anarchs not just completely won outright if the whole basis is taking out the Elders- but would'ya know, all the Elders are gone.. Sure they've gotten stronger, but with V5 logic in this setting they should completely dominate; you can't be hypocritical and shoot-down the Sabbat metawise, but the Camarilla is still intact too? The Sect that relies on the Elders the most... what? The entirety of V5 should be completely Lost-Boys Anarchs right now and very disorganized to meet this "Second Inquisition" threat.

                    The Beckoning was just a meta excuse to bring VTM to a street level thing and shuff out the Elders ungracefully. Its also not as if even before V5 you COULDN'T do street level things, but it was good to have good context in the setting with the Elder machination about and schemes (and it was fun).

                    Originally posted by AnubisXy
                    That would easily explain why the Wan Kuei Courts in Asia suddenly stopped give a fuck about San Francisco, because most of the leaders vanished overnight, and the new leaders weren't able to keep sending any support, and many of the Wan Kuei in San Francisco decided to go back.
                    The ones who are even spearheading the Great Leap Outward is the Blood Court of the Wan-Kuei; the faction that rules directly from Beijing. They pretty much like the Ventrue are the rulers are Wan-Kuei society. They definitely care about gaining influence in the West Coast. Saying that the current writers "might" do the same thing with the Wan Kuei like they did with the Cainite Elders is yet to be seen or even confirmed, essentially story cop-out. Until then in any real sense like I said previously, the Wan-Kuei would certainly press the advantage with the major administrative base of Cainite society gone.


                    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                    • #25
                      I mean it seems to me that in V5, whatever ends up happening with Wan Kuei, at the moment their presence in San Francisco is at best, a shadow of what it once was. We don't know why that is, we can only speculate (maybe the Blood Court imploded due to Akuma, or maybe the war with the Yama Kings suddenly boiled over and they don't have the resources to "waste" fighting Kindred, or maybe the Wan Kuei were all retconned to be Kindred and their elders got Beckoned, or whatever). Regardless there are any number of reasons to explain why the Wan Kuei would have apparently taken their attention away from the West Coast of the United States which is apparently what has happened.

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                      • #26
                        The ubiquity of the Beckoning was way overstated in the first few V5 books, Chicago V5 shows that there’s still a fair number of elders left in that city who were able to resist the Beckoning for various reasons (Critias) or are working on a way to resist it (Annabelle). Let The Streets Run Red showed even more elders still hanging around the midwest like Modius and Maxwell so Chicago isn’t unique in that respect. Some of these remaining elders that haven’t left are exceptional circumstances but some methods of staving off the Beckoning are repeatable. Not all elders have up and left for the Middle East, and hell some of them even returned later on.

                        Also, only Ninth generation Kindred or lower are being Beckoned, (and maybe also higher generation kindred over a certain age but thats not confirmed as far as I know) so you still have older ancilla and very old members of the higher generations that still have their own power bases and webs of contacts that may not be on the level of the lost elders but are still useful. And all the young neonates and ancilla tend to be better suited to blending in and existing in modern society since they lived through it before they were embraced. These neonates would be at least somewhat more familiar with the kind of technology and tactics the Second Inquisition could bring to bear against them.

                        We also see that like you said the kindred aren’t generally weathering the SI very well, several major cities like Montreal and London have been nearly wiped clean of vampires and the survivors are scattered and fleeing. So you’re right in that the Kindred aren’t really in a good position against the SI, but the vampires are doing what they can to hide and secure themselves against their hunters. The SI are kind of a tool for Storyteller to shake up the status quo, as a deterrent for PCs that act too blatantly, or just use them as bad guys for the players to fight. They’re a more widespread and effective version of hunter groups in previous editions like the Society of Leopold, in every chronicle and in every city the SI will work a bit differently based on various factors.

                        On the matter of the Wan Kuei/ Kuei Jin, I don’t know much more about them than what I saw of them in Bloodlines (which isn’t a lot of info) but here’s the thing. Yes the Wan Kuei have a good opportunity to continue their expansion, but even ignoring any new developments that could be happening in their corner of the metaplot (I imagine the Yama Kings and Akuma haven’t been idle the last decade and a half) Wan Kuei in America will also be targeted by the SI. Even though they are very different creatures, they’re vampire enough that they can be fought through most of the same methods that they use against Western Kindred. And if they’ve been in the west coast since around the year 2000, the hunter groups of the area will have already taken notice of them and started cataloguing their unique powers and weaknesses like they’ve been doing for the Cainites.
                        Last edited by LordPyrus25; 01-15-2021, 12:30 PM.

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