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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    That's the whole problem.

    You didn't noticed, but you're talking from your experience even while an actual Asian player that plays a Camarilla game is telling you eliminating KOTE isn't cool.

    All the problems you addressed are real. No one said otherwise. Your experience was probably the experience of many others around the "western world". But we're not just talking Asian-Americans, we're not just talking LARP, we're not just talking the problems it caused 23 years ago.

    We're talking the game now, and the other options to deal with the problem. You keep addressing it as if anyone disagreeing with you simply didn't recognized the problem and eliminating the Kuei-Jin was the only possible solution. No one is asking to leave things as they were. What we're saying is that this option is actually even worse.

    Erasure isn't a nice thing. "Minorities" have to deal with it all the time, the "pretending we don't exist". It isn't just about not having a given representation in the fiction, but the whole attitude of lets just pretend it never happened. Almost any solution that recognizes the group exists or existed is better than just pretending it never was;

    How to solve this? Have the Kuei-Jin not be such a numerous presence in Asia and/or not be so racist towards Kindred. You don't need to eliminate KOTE to have Asian kindred in equal or even superior numbers. You don't need to eliminate KOTE to have the Camarilla as a relevant presence in Asia. You don't have to eliminate KOTE to reveal that the old depiction of Asia's undead is actually propaganda from a small number of Kuei-Jin that are like that but the reality is something else altogether. You have plenty of options that address the problem without erasing a splat and what it represents after 23 years.

    On another note, stop shouting about China and Japan all the time. Asia has almost 50 countries! You keep circling around the same two or three of them again and again. Have you considered that maybe people in other Asian countries also play this game? And that maybe what is a valid concern for China or Japan isn't for them? Raziel specifically cited their game to be set on the Philippines, an Asian country you never once acknowledged, maybe their country, maybe not.
    I am very confused.

    Because the whole point was sharing the anger and distaste for KOTE from the perspective of Asian and Asian American gamers. I'm not qualified to talk about it.

    The reason I bring those two countries up is that the gamers I've talked to are from those nations.

    Have I missed something? Serious question.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 03-27-2022, 03:55 PM.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    I admit, though, I'm speaking from my own experiences and conversations and I don't see a way out of this that doesn't piss off somebody.
    That's the whole problem.

    You didn't noticed, but you're talking from your experience even while an actual Asian player that plays a Camarilla game is telling you eliminating KOTE isn't cool.

    All the problems you addressed are real. No one said otherwise. Your experience was probably the experience of many others around the "western world". But we're not just talking Asian-Americans, we're not just talking LARP, we're not just talking the problems it caused 23 years ago.

    We're talking the game now, and the other options to deal with the problem. You keep addressing it as if anyone disagreeing with you simply didn't recognized the problem and eliminating the Kuei-Jin was the only possible solution. No one is asking to leave things as they were. What we're saying is that this option is actually even worse.

    Erasure isn't a nice thing. "Minorities" have to deal with it all the time, the "pretending we don't exist". It isn't just about not having a given representation in the fiction, but the whole attitude of lets just pretend it never happened. Almost any solution that recognizes the group exists or existed is better than just pretending it never was;

    How to solve this? Have the Kuei-Jin not be such a numerous presence in Asia and/or not be so racist towards Kindred. You don't need to eliminate KOTE to have Asian kindred in equal or even superior numbers. You don't need to eliminate KOTE to have the Camarilla as a relevant presence in Asia. You don't have to eliminate KOTE to reveal that the old depiction of Asia's undead is actually propaganda from a small number of Kuei-Jin that are like that but the reality is something else altogether. You have plenty of options that address the problem without erasing a splat and what it represents after 23 years.

    On another note, stop shouting about China and Japan all the time. Asia has almost 50 countries! You keep circling around the same two or three of them again and again. Have you considered that maybe people in other Asian countries also play this game? And that maybe what is a valid concern for China or Japan isn't for them? Raziel specifically cited their game to be set on the Philippines, an Asian country you never once acknowledged, maybe their country, maybe not.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
    Essentially, the Camarilla and the Ashirra differ on local culture, as expected, and on the top level command, with the Camarilla having Justicars and the Inner Circle and the Ashiira having some equivalent thing. But at their core they are the same.

    If they were to do something like it for Asia, it'd probably be a localized name, certain differences but the core themes remain the same.
    From the perspective being discussed, the point is still that they didn't erased the Ashirra from the setting. Instead, they adapted it to their view, which is fine.

    The quoted text is the opinion of a character. From this opinion we get that the Ashirra exists, that it was until now a politically distinct entity, and that their history and nomenclature remains. We even get a direct statement that their distinction as adapting Islamic law and ethics to form their traditions and that their "professed piety" is a point argued in-universe for the Ashirra being closer to the kine, as the narrator specifically addresses their discordance.

    So the text has an in-game narrator professing their opinion on why the Ashirra should be considered the same as the Camarilla for most purposes, but this same argumentation demonstrates patently that their opinion isn't unanimous and the factors for differentiation exist.

    Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
    I have to admit, the political material and messages injected into this work are a serious turn off to me. Not just the blatant agenda, but how it’s done. Clearly having the SI use Putin’s assassination calling card on vampires, as absurd as it is, is trying to convey some kind of point about the evil of the SI but it’s really poorly done.

    The entire book also seems to undermine what I liked most about WoD which is the shades of gray. Hunters in particular were a kind of antagonist that reminded players and characters that vampires are the mostly pretty bad, because even a relatively good vampire could become the target of a hunter who is largely justified in destroying vampires.
    I agree with the bit about using Putin's calling card, but not so much with the shades of grey. As I said before, the problem is more that this was already done with all the sects previously than it being done with the SI, given that they are a particular, if powerful group of hunters instead of representing hunters in general. And I pretty much like the message that even against vampires the ends do not justifies the means.

    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    Anyway, one could argue that the Ashirra is absorbing the Camarilla, in the spite of the size of the latter.
    I must say that an Ashirra-guided Camarilla is far more interesting to me than the Camarilla from the sect book.

    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    Also, how worse are the SI versus the Camarilla and Anarchs?
    Plenty.

    While they're both in their most childish EVIL versions in V5 by their sect books (not necessarily they have to be just that for the whole edition), they're still rulers and societies.

    Despite all their evils, their main purpose is to exist and they have the capacity to foment creation, no matter how self-serving their goals with such creation or if they do it themselves or through others.

    They are parasites, and parasites want their hosts to otherwise thrive, especially intelligent ones. The SI is just destruction.

    Here is the crux of the matter with hunters. Their mission is one of destruction, not creation, as far as the hunting goes. Unless you temper the hunt with side activities geared towards doing some good, the hunt itself can't create anything. It exists and defines itself by the things it destroys. And destroy at what cost?

    For example, who's responsible for the actions the vampires have to take to survive against such hunters? Is it right to blame one's activities only on them even when they were pressed to such actions? Or should we blame those who escalated things to create that pressure in the first place?

    On the SI we have a force of destruction that does nothing besides destruction. Even on the sidelines, instead of tempering the hunt they went for increasing destruction for the sake of empowering the hunt. They can't create anything, they are unable to do anything positive or to foment good on others. They corrupt the very notion of redemption. While a vampire is doomed to do evil, but can strive to lessen their evil and even try to temper it with some good in the world, the SI chooses to not do so.

    Yes, they are worse than the Sabbat.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

    I agree. KOTE has issues but pretending it doesn't exist is a poor way to address those issues. I support the idea of Asian (and for that matter indigenous American and African) vampires not being descended from Caine. That is because to me making them Cainites smacks of cultural chauvinism and a tacit religious bias.

    That said, this is supposed to be a thread about the SI book.
    Warning - Long and Rambling Story about Racism in LARP

    I've mentioned this before but I think the issue is that the attempts to deal with the problem of cultural chauvanism (for lack of a better term) is that it keeps resulting in trying to seperate Asian gamers from being able to play Vampire: The Masquerade. It's well-intentioned but forcing them from the game and making it harder for them to be part of the community.

    Which they really do not like.

    This is actually something I have experience with as way back in my LARP days, I had the unfortunate history of having to deal with the racism directed at some Asian gamers in my area. Basically, KINDRED OF THE EAST had just come out and they were harrassed by some local assholes who used, "It's in character" to attack Asian characters because of the Kuei Jin. It was an Elders game and they were playing Chinese vampires. I admit I can't tell you much because this whole scandal was toward the end of my participation in the group and I sadly didn't know the participants well. Still, the story became pretty infamous for obvious reasons.

    It was about 1999 and basically, the Asian gamers did not want to play Kuei Jin because that would utterly exclude them from the local Camarilla game. Both of them were under pressure to "switch", though because they were Asian Americans and it was the new hotness or so the white gamers around them told. This despite the fact they were already fond of their Cainite characters, had been playing them for years, and had deeply involved backstories as well as a history with the other chaarcters.

    They argued as Kuei Jin they couldn't be Prince, they couldn't engage in Clan politics, they couldn't attend Elysium, and they wouldn't be part of the power games that V:TM is set up about. It would be like playing werewolves and asking if they can be Sheriff. Indeed, I recall at least one of them HATED Kindred of the East because it was something that said, "The Kuei Jin kill all vampires of the Cainite Clans in the East and consider them inferior." It made his personal roleplaying choices and ability to have fun in the game HARDER.

    Mind you, the real problem was the assholes who were using it as an excuse to engage in RL racism under the guise of being in-character. After all, aren't Ventrue and Brujah supposed ot be racist against Kuei-Jin? Aren't they a threat to us Western Kindred with their kung fu and mysterious spiritual ways? *vomit* It got so bad they quit the LARP and we had to kick those racist assholes out of the group but the damage had been done.

    The thing is that the shared common origin of Caine and the Cainite religion is something that binds the game together. Now people who absolutely hate this element of the game exist and that's fine. It's probably why they didn't want it in VAMPIRE: THE REQUIEM. There are people who just cannot deal with the Judeo-Christian satire of V:TM for justified past or personal preference reasons.

    However, it's NOT going to be the primary concern for gamers who just want to sit down and play. They want to be vampires and part of the Thirteen Clans because that's what the game is all about. It's far less important giving them the super-special Awesome BrandTM monster of their very own than letting them play one of the preexisting popular monsters. That's at least what my experiences and conversations have taught me.

    I admit, though, I'm speaking from my own experiences and conversations and I don't see a way out of this that doesn't piss off somebody.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 03-27-2022, 12:32 AM.

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
    Not necessarily. If South America can have strange, non-Kindred vampires, why not China?
    I agree. KOTE has issues but pretending it doesn't exist is a poor way to address those issues. I support the idea of Asian (and for that matter indigenous American and African) vampires not being descended from Caine. That is because to me making them Cainites smacks of cultural chauvinism and a tacit religious bias.

    That said, this is supposed to be a thread about the SI book.

    Leave a comment:


  • MarkK
    replied
    But ARE the SI worse than vampires?
    The American branches of the SI are using their power to wax political dissidents en masse, amongst other things. Vampires do awful stuff, but despite their own sense of self importance, they're not really a significant force as far as empowering humans oppressing humans.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
    When your enemy is unambiguously more evil than you are, then it’s not really a shades of gray situation anymore. Just as Werewolf, as nasty as Garou themselves are, is a much more black and white game because the antagonists are entirely and unredeemably evil.

    Also, I don’t necessarily object to the occasional absolutely evil adversary in a WoD game, but that probably shouldn’t be the role for human hunters, especially not if it’s describing the most significant hunter organization in the WoD.
    Well we know we're getting HUNTER: THE RECKONING next, so I think the Second Inquisition not being related to them is a very good choice. Mind you, I think the primary issue of "significant" hunter organization depends on how big an importance you place on the Gothic PUNK part of the World of Darkness. They do seem to be going a right direction versus the Technocracy in the Second Inquisition exemplifies the evil that men do.

    But ARE the SI worse than vampires?

    Because while they're nasty, the Sabbat still exists and is at its most ISIS-like. Also, how worse are the SI versus the Camarilla and Anarchs?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sergeant Brother
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    I thought the shades of gray is in the fact vampires are evil but the people hunting them are arguably worse.
    When your enemy is unambiguously more evil than you are, then it’s not really a shades of gray situation anymore. Just as Werewolf, as nasty as Garou themselves are, is a much more black and white game because the antagonists are entirely and unredeemably evil.

    Also, I don’t necessarily object to the occasional absolutely evil adversary in a WoD game, but that probably shouldn’t be the role for human hunters, especially not if it’s describing the most significant hunter organization in the WoD.

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  • Spencer from The Hills
    replied
    Originally posted by Raziel View Post
    I think Spencer meant that the Wan Kuei are going to be a sect or a collection of bloodlines.
    Not necessarily. If South America can have strange, non-Kindred vampires, why not China?

    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    But the reason I bolded the above is because White Wolf actually did more than I think people acknowledge: The Ashirra no longer exists.
    If the writers didn't want the Ashirra to exist, they could have whittled it down to a footnote within the bounds of Arabia. While it isn't fully developed as a sect, I don't think any edition has said more about it in a modern setting. Anyway, one could argue that the Ashirra is absorbing the Camarilla, in the spite of the size of the latter. Tegyrius is the senior partner in the Vermillion Wedding and Fatima al-Faqadi says: "The Camarilla welcomes us, and we welcome it, as the time has come for the law of Ashirra to guide the ranks of all Kindred".

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
    I have to admit, the political material and messages injected into this work are a serious turn off to me. Not just the blatant agenda, but how it’s done. Clearly having the SI use Putin’s assassination calling card on vampires, as absurd as it is, is trying to convey some kind of point about the evil of the SI but it’s really poorly done.

    The entire book also seems to undermine what I liked most about WoD which is the shades of gray. Hunters in particular were a kind of antagonist that reminded players and characters that vampires are the mostly pretty bad, because even a relatively good vampire could become the target of a hunter who is largely justified in destroying vampires.
    I thought the shades of gray is in the fact vampires are evil but the people hunting them are arguably worse.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sergeant Brother
    replied
    I have to admit, the political material and messages injected into this work are a serious turn off to me. Not just the blatant agenda, but how it’s done. Clearly having the SI use Putin’s assassination calling card on vampires, as absurd as it is, is trying to convey some kind of point about the evil of the SI but it’s really poorly done.

    The entire book also seems to undermine what I liked most about WoD which is the shades of gray. Hunters in particular were a kind of antagonist that reminded players and characters that vampires are the mostly pretty bad, because even a relatively good vampire could become the target of a hunter who is largely justified in destroying vampires.
    Last edited by Sergeant Brother; 03-26-2022, 07:27 PM.

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  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
    With all due respect, I think you are reading too much into the marriage. It took it as nothing more than an alliance of convenience and a marriage as a passing interest. The Camarilla and the Ashirra each retains their own sphere of interests. I have trouble imaging the existing vampire power structures in Arabia, the Levant, Pakistan and so on doing so much as changing the terminology they use, to say nothing of starting to answer to the Camarilla Inner Circle.
    I don't think CT described it in the most accurate way. To quote Camarilla:

    "This (Ashirra) is the name for our union in the Middle East. Some argue that the Ashirra is another sect entirely, but I disagree. They were the Camarilla long before we were, founded on principles of hiding among their mortal kin and adapted the pillars of Islam as part of their foundational principles. Our cooperation is no less close than the bonds between Chicago and St Petersburg. Both Camarilla, but worlds apart. So while many see the impending marriage between the hidden masters of the West and those of the East as a monumental shift, I see it as the correction of a misconception. If you see in this some great idealism, some inclusive victory against divisive cultural prejudices, I ask you to think again. We are not on the side of the people, of the millions who are turned away from refuge in our cities, and nor are our friends in the Ashirra, their professed piety notwithstanding. We are in this to rule and to survive. We are diplomats, kings, businessmen, elite soldiers, cult leaders, and generals. We are the elite. We are vampires"

    Essentially, the Camarilla and the Ashirra differ on local culture, as expected, and on the top level command, with the Camarilla having Justicars and the Inner Circle and the Ashiira having some equivalent thing. But at their core they are the same.

    If they were to do something like it for Asia, it'd probably be a localized name, certain differences but the core themes remain the same.

    Leave a comment:


  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    Generally, I think White Wolf should listen to Asian gamers and developers when asking whether or not to do this.
    I do agree with this sentiment.

    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    But the reason I bolded the above is because White Wolf actually did more than I think people acknowledge: The Ashirra no longer exists.
    With all due respect, I think you are reading too much into the marriage. It took it as nothing more than an alliance of convenience and a marriage as a passing interest. The Camarilla and the Ashirra each retains their own sphere of interests. I have trouble imaging the existing vampire power structures in Arabia, the Levant, Pakistan and so on doing so much as changing the terminology they use, to say nothing of starting to answer to the Camarilla Inner Circle.

    That said, I think an error in the book is in not addressing how China and Arabia deal with vampires. Egypt is part of the SI though.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    But again, it doesn't change it existed. And more, that the new canon acknowledge it has existed.

    It isn't about the status quo, it is about erasure.
    Yeah, it's a question now whether there WAS something there or if it only got a organized Kindred society when the Camarilla came.

    As for erasing the Wan Kuei, I think it's probably best thought of as a better-intentioned WOD: Gypsies.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    It's almost danced right over but I'm pretty sure that the Camarilla is meant to have joined with the Ashirra and become the global entity it was in 1st Edition. The Vermillion Wedding being not actually just a weird thing but meant to symbolize the two organizations were now one.

    They WANT a universe Camarilla and Anarchs now.
    But again, it doesn't change it existed. And more, that the new canon acknowledge it has existed.

    It isn't about the status quo, it is about erasure.

    Leave a comment:

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