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  • Gaki Revision for V20 and V5

    I'm trying to revise the lore and mechanics for their discipline, weakness, and if V5, their clan compulsion. I'm also trying to revise their lore and made them being associated with the Ravnos as they are implied that their founders have the same sire and have their origins in India but spread further into the East and even had a presence in the Middle East where they are called by the Ashirra the Bayt (Insert Arabic word for hungry here) since they became responsible for stories about ghuls. I also made the reason why Gaki or Gui Ren is a more widespread name instead of Preta/Pisacha/Bhuta is that a Western kindred would likely encounter Chinese or Japanese hungry ghosts due to diaspora.

    for V5, I think that their discipline set would be Oblivion, Obfuscate, and Potence. Oblivion plus another discipline probably obfuscate would form amalgams that have the same abilities as the Rift discipline in 1e. for their clan bane, it would be that they are more thirsty than other vampires even if there is an abundance of blood, as their curse doesn't allow them to be satisfied, which can result in them draining their prey which would make their weakness dangerous. for the clan compulsion, I have no idea admittedly but maybe they have something similar to DTF torment or having shadows/p'o?

  • #2
    I think it'd be prudent to just... use the normal clans, maybe with localized names.Maybe create a few clan bloodlines as done with Africa Keep the "Gaki" and the orientalism they represent out of current and future editions.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
      I think it'd be prudent to just... use the normal clans, maybe with localized names.Maybe create a few clan bloodlines as done with Africa Keep the "Gaki" and the orientalism they represent out of current and future editions.

      well, that's why I made this thread, to revise their lore and mechanics.

      although yes, the Gaki was clunky in the first edition, but they are decent if they are rewritten by people with expertise on Asian folklore and actual Asians.

      like the Ravnos despite their past, they can be fixed if written correctly.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary
        Keep the "Gaki" and the orientalism they represent out of current and future editions.
        I disagree with this. The Gaki are an actual entity/monster/yokai native to Japanese folklore. Not everything that is brought into World of Darkness has to broach "Orientalism" if it's done right; and it's not "Orientalism" just to merely mention actual supernatural things developed from Asia. It is actually spotty within itself to have western style Vampires be placed over the few instances of an exact extraction of a Vampire from another culture.


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        • #5
          In my opinion, they could work as an Hécata bloodline. Or maybe, just Wraiths.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Justycar View Post
            In my opinion, they could work as an Hécata bloodline. Or maybe, just Wraiths.

            I admittedly prefer them to be a clan although I plan to make them less associated with India like the V5 Ravnos. they did make the Salubri be a full clan once again

            I imagine the Gaki spread through Rome as well, also caused the legends of the lemures but are the least populous than the ones in North Africa and the Far East.

            still thinking about what to name the Ashirra ones besides the first word of their name being Bayt since wondering what is the Arabic word for hungry or insatiable.

            might give more info on their mythos if I have time, but one of their founder's stories is involved in the vampire equivalent of the Mahabharata.

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            • #7
              Well, a bunch of years back i made up something of a an unholy hodge-podge morass of published materials. No idea of how would it fit or not with the OP's interests, but here it goes.


              - the 1000 Hells so essential to KotE mythos are non-places where halucination and reality become one and the same, the torpid dreams & nightmares of the Ravnos1 antediluvian, that will occasionally swallow a mortal soul for unclear reasons2 and spit it back unto the world on its corpse as a frenzied clanless undead. Due to this phenomemon, among other things, clanless vampires as something on their own instead of "bastards of Caine" have spread and prevailed through a good part of the continent.

              (Did it partly as a homage/wink to their lore and because i felt just having what are essentially upjumped Caitiff as the organized kindred majority in a part of the world would be quite peculiar, novel and scary to a bunch of kindred in Europe and the Americas.)


              - The clanless/hell-risen are known under a number of names depending on locale: jiangshi, kyonshi, preta, gaki, wan kuei and vetala. Calling an undead kuei-jin will get something between quizzical looks and offended stares (and worse), depending on the individual's experience with the japanese during WWII.

              - The Dharmas are esoteric societies formed around the most successful among local paths of enlightnement, a number of them having gleaned ritual methods of increasing the potency of one's blood3 glimpses of arcane lore infused on them by the nightmarish experience of their making, or by exchanging/stealing esoteric secrets from each other. Rituals to eliminate a weakness by the acquisition of another one or some particular kind of behavior are among other small tresures kept by these groups.

              - While many of these kindred rise with sterile vitae, it is neither an universal phenomenon nor an insurmountable limitation and due to this a number of bloodlines, like the Children of Susano-o (Bushi) exist in some countries, not to mention peculiar groups like the debauched Followers of Sesha (duh) and their less conspicuous nemeses, the ascetic Bardo (haha), a spiritual fraternity of tibetan origin.

              - Vampires from at least a few clans familiar to european kindred have also existed in east asia for centuries if not millenia, as indicated by references from early materials4, like the background of Vasantasena (Malkavian x Tzimisce in 10th-11th century India) in Children of the Inquisition, Mictlan being embraced by a Gangrel in the Pacific Northwest around 50BC in Diablerie: Mexico, tidbits like the name of Mithras' sire in World of Darkness and Bindusara, thuggee Assamites & Kartarirya in the clanbooks.


              1The idea was inspired by Chimerstry 10 and parallels with the Rift discipline from 1st ed WoD, but as in my own games i occasionally treat Chimerstry, Dementation, Obfuscate & Obtenebration as aspects of the same discipline, Zapathasura/the Ravnos Ante is certainly not the only culprit and the phenomena not restricted in anyway to any one continent.

              2Being the (very distant) mortal descendant of the antediluvian dreaming a nightmare realm, or a medium/psychic strongly connected to one at the time of death. It just happens that very few antes had mortal descendants and those descendants would mix up in the most populous area of the world. The fact eastern europe had some quite similar legends of its own might relate to the Tzimisce's eldest use of Vicissitude - and his childer making of several ghoul families - somehow messing the whole "mortal descendant" angle.

              3An idea i got from how PG Assamites would work around their diablerie restriction and a fragment of Bushi background (from Dark Aliance: Vancouver) that seemed to imply a similar ritual was a major element of their culture and empowerment inside it. As further connection i explained/handwaved that sometime during the middle ages the Assamites learned one of these methods through contact with some individuals or groups amidst migrating turkic tribes and warbands.

              4While for years i counted Subitai, the mongol chieftain turned nosferatu - and Hong Kong primogen - from 1e World of Darkness among these references, in a later re-read of the book i found a mention that, much like Jalan-Aajav, he was embraced amidst mongol expansion in eastern europe (Poland in particular).



              Dharmas as esoteric societies/paths/mini-sects/cults i used as excuse to pepper little reference winks here and there, using not only the names of KotE's dharmas but those of a number of disciplines if felt would be redundant to port over to VtM, like Black Wind and Demon Shintai that are basically celerity & Vicissitude.
              Last edited by Baaldam; 01-01-2022, 01:43 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Baaldam View Post


                - The clanless/hell-risen are known under a number of names depending on locale: jiangshi, kyonshi, preta, gaki, wan kuei and vetala. Calling an undead kuei-jin will get something between quizzical looks and offended stares (and worse), depending on the individual's experience with the japanese during WWII.
                Fun, quick fact: while the use in KotE is junk, the romanization "kuei jin" is actually close to how you read those characters in Dungan, the language of Hui people from China who live in various post-Soviet Breakup states.

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                • #9
                  I want to tinker with trying to translate the most iconic and distinct powers of the Wan Kuei into Bloodline Disciplines, and then the Dharmas into Paths of Enlightenment.

                  Have the Yama Kings, but not as Western style Infernalism patrons. They’re just the judges of the dead as it says on the tin, and hate the Kindred and all other varieties of undead as an afront to the proper cycle of death and rebirth.
                  Last edited by glamourweaver; 05-03-2021, 05:36 PM.


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                  • #10
                    Leave the possibility open that the Yama Kings and the Judges of Ma’at are the same beings as manifest through different cultural lenses, their reach is just more active in East Asia because they’re an observed part of major continuously living traditions with millions upon millions of believers.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                      I want to tinker with trying to translate the most iconic and distinct powers of the Wan Kuei into Bloodline Disciplines, and then the Dharmas into Paths of Enlightenment.

                      Have the Yama Kings, but not as Western style Infernalism patrons. They’re just the judges of the dead as it says on the tin, and hate the Kindred an all other varieties of undead as an afront to the proper cycle of death and rebirth.
                      That brings up something I've been wondering for a long time - what was the first source that brought in Yama Kings as big bads instead of judges of the dead? Because I recall hearing RIFTS doing it, but don't know if it came to WW through other RPGs.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                        That brings up something I've been wondering for a long time - what was the first source that brought in Yama Kings as big bads instead of judges of the dead? Because I recall hearing RIFTS doing it, but don't know if it came to WW through other RPGs.
                        Erick Wujcik's Mystic China (1995) for Palladium's Ninjas & Superspies was the first time I'd encountered the Yama Kings as demonic entities, so it pre-dates their appearance in Rifts by nearly a decade (World Book 24: The Yama Kings was 2004).

                        That said, it probably is more due to misconceptions about the afterlife in Chinese culture that associated Yama with Hell because, outside of Catholicism, the Christian mindset doesn't really have the concept of Purgatory. It was either Eternal Punishment (Hell) or Eternal Paradise (Heaven). By contrast, and similar to the Catholic concept of Purgatory, the punishments typically handed out by Yama were not eternal, but rather lasted for a period of time in which the soul suffered until its sins were purged and then it could move on.

                        Basically, if you don't know the Chinese religions and aren't familiar with the concept of Purgatory, then the closest translation for the part of the afterlife Yama oversees would probably be "Hell" and since Hell = Evil in Western culture then it follows that Yama = Evil.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                          Erick Wujcik's Mystic China (1995) for Palladium's Ninjas & Superspies was the first time I'd encountered the Yama Kings as demonic entities, so it pre-dates their appearance in Rifts by nearly a decade (World Book 24: The Yama Kings was 2004).

                          That said, it probably is more due to misconceptions about the afterlife in Chinese culture that associated Yama with Hell because, outside of Catholicism, the Christian mindset doesn't really have the concept of Purgatory. It was either Eternal Punishment (Hell) or Eternal Paradise (Heaven). By contrast, and similar to the Catholic concept of Purgatory, the punishments typically handed out by Yama were not eternal, but rather lasted for a period of time in which the soul suffered until its sins were purged and then it could move on.

                          Basically, if you don't know the Chinese religions and aren't familiar with the concept of Purgatory, then the closest translation for the part of the afterlife Yama oversees would probably be "Hell" and since Hell = Evil in Western culture then it follows that Yama = Evil.

                          It's a little more complicated than that, as at least as portrayed through the lens of chinese conceptions of celestial bureaucracy, while they indeed serve a most important spiritual role, many of the Yama Kings and their underlings were also self-serving highly-placed bureaucrats meting out punishment, that also happened to be demons in some, if not most, of cases.

                          So yeah, corrupt hell-bureaucrat trying to get the most of their position, be it abusing people, mortal or more than mortal, with trumped-up charges, sweeping crimes under the rug for bribes or exploit any number of situations to rise in position and power is not really a product of western flanderization, it's ressonant with their own history, literature and culture's views on the many ills that can come of centralized power along with the benefits.

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                          • #14
                            If my past few years of reading chinese pulp fiction have anything to say, it's that you can expect almost anyone with power to abuse it, doesn't matter if they're mortals or gods. Going against the heavens is like, half the Xanxia genre. Deeply corrupt Yama kings is part of the parcel.


                            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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                            • #15
                              It may be a moot point, in any case, since the Hungry Dead got axed.

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