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The Wan Kuei retcon **Be extra respectful**

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  • #16
    I think a lot of issues with kue jin could be alleviated by having it linked with members dharmic religion members/cultures rather than just Asians generally. This would effectively remove the racial aspect while still maintaining the cultural links with Asia. It would also allow for certain groups to opt out rather than having Muslims or followers of tengri getting booted to problematic Asian hell and as a cherry on top opens up the door for non Asians in the form of converts who messed up their dharmic path.

    Maybe bring I'm some alternative vampire types in different parts of the world ala requiem. Ghuls, draugr and such. That way everyone wins-way less problematic but the rich setting lore is still there.
    Last edited by Ragged Robin; 03-31-2022, 09:42 AM.

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    • #17
      I am in favor of presenting a wide range of settings, ethnic groups, races, peoples and so on.

      Making all vampires Cainites makes them all Western. VtM vampires are a product of Western folklore, modern Western fiction, and the Biblical story of Cain.

      Making all vampires Cainites is erasure of cultures which are not Western.

      Is providing an adequate representation of non-Western vampires possible in RPGs?

      In RPGs represent most everything in quantified terms of mental and physical abilities and attributes. RPGs also quantify spirituality, magic, divinity, righteousness, sex appeal, and a lot of other aspects real life cannot quantify

      Is it even possible to try to make representations of a non-Western setting and people without falling into issues of racism and objectification?

      On a similar note, an issue with KOTE was the complexity of its subsystem.

      I like the idea of KOTE but feels it should be rebuilt from the ground up rather than pretending it doesn’t exist. However, that rebuild will probably best be left in the hands of the fans and community content over at the Vault.
      Last edited by Grumpy RPG Reviews; 03-31-2022, 11:26 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        They're completely different from Cainites.

        And don't really have a reason to interact with them, honestly.
        They are predators occupying the same territory and hunting the same prey. That competition gives them a reason to interact.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

          They are predators occupying the same territory and hunting the same prey. That competition gives them a reason to interact.
          One of the funny little ironies is despite all the flaws, KotE is better integrated into the greater WoD than VtM ever was.

          Beyond that I can't say much on the topic. The amount of erasure, talking down to and other negative commentary I've seen on this subject doesn't really give me hope that it'll ever get resolved.


          Not returning to the forums, just stopping in for a moment.

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          • #20
            Representation is an interesting and complicated subject that deserves all the attention it can get. One of the fascinating things about the subject is that I was initially attracted to VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE because of its diversity, which struck me as so very different from other games at the time that were so European-centric.

            When I first popped open CHICAGO BY NIGHT 1st EDITION., one of the things I was immediately struck by was how DIFFERENT it was from Dungeons and Dragons. There was vast diversity in ethinicities, sexual identities (Annabelle bi, Critias gay, and so on was more than I'd ever seen in the Forgotten Realms), as well as the role they played in the setting. It wasn't perfect but fit with the depiction of the Camarilla as a truly global organization that had been founded not for the preservation of European vampirism but the preservation of the Masquerade around the world. My initial assumption was that when they created the Camarilla, it would have delegations from around the world.

            At some point, that was changed and the depiction of vampires in the setting's Anarchs and Camarilla got whiter and whiter. I think It was Revised that seriously changed things, ironically, because Theo Bell's write-up was "Oh my God, can you believe someone embraced a BLACK MAN?" The entire attitude had changed with Asia and Africa (and even South America to an extent) treated as strange as well as unexplored continents. In the FIRST Vampire: The Masquerade novel, DARK PRINCE, the primary conflict was between Vannevar Thomas and the Chinese vampires of Clan Ventrue.

            https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Dark_Prince_(book)

            When vampires had been previously depicted as far in advance in terms of their treatment of both women as well as ethnic minorities. They were bloodsucking soulless monsters but they were the most cosmopolitan people on Earth.



            Mind you, this doesn't get into the subject of origins and I have nothing I could comment on the subject. The Caine myth has come to dominate the issue of vampire history when it was originally just the primary origin story of Western vampires. The Antediluvians existed but Set and the Ravnos actively rejected Caine above them while only a handful of vampires (see: the Ventrue) took Caine seriously.

            There was also a lot of ignorance by Western writers that only complicated the thing further. 80% of Africa follows Abrahamic faiths with most of them predating their spread to Europe and if Enoch existed anywhere, it almost certainly existed in Northern Africa but it was acting like the Caine myth was new there. Yet, of course, Asia has their own vampire myths. If they had wanted to do a Kindred of the East, it seemed like the Kindred of the Ebony Kingdoms (ugh, that name) would have been better to do the latter as believing in the Caine myth or having variations while the kindred of the East would be the 12
            Clans and completely reject the Caine myth with their own shared mythology.

            But still be recognizably the same creatures or at least close enough for crossover.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 03-31-2022, 11:48 AM.


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

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            • #21
              Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post

              One of the funny little ironies is despite all the flaws, KotE is better integrated into the greater WoD than VtM ever was.

              Beyond that I can't say much on the topic. The amount of erasure, talking down to and other negative commentary I've seen on this subject doesn't really give me hope that it'll ever get resolved.
              Well, fingers crossed that this thread will surprise everyone.


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

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              • #22
                Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                I think Wan Kuei are salvageable (but drop the Kuei-jin term). Personally, this is how I'd resurrect them:
                We've finally created Revenant: The Ravishing

                On a serious note, them as a subsect of Wraith and the Risen would fit more better than Vampire.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
                  On a serious note, them as a subsect of Wraith and the Risen would fit more better than Vampire.
                  Really, on all accounts the Kuei-Jin *are* a Jade Kingdom variant of Risen, and they fit *much* better into the vincinity of the Wraith gameline than Vampire on pretty much all accounts.
                  I have a strong suspicion that the *only* reason they got all marketed as 'Kindred of the East' and got into so many shenanigans with the Cainites was..well, the Vampire gameline's pull and big market, really. That's about it.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post
                    Really, on all accounts the Kuei-Jin *are* a Jade Kingdom variant of Risen, and they fit *much* better into the vincinity of the Wraith gameline than Vampire on pretty much all accounts.
                    I have a strong suspicion that the *only* reason they got all marketed as 'Kindred of the East' and got into so many shenanigans with the Cainites was..well, the Vampire gameline's pull and big market, really. That's about it.
                    That's not a small thing, though.

                    The Vampire: The Masquerade fandom dwarfs all of the other fandoms combined. It is the iconic gameline and the one all of the online and physical clubs are for. The Storyteller's System doesn't work like Vampires being Fighters and Werewolves being Rogues or even Vampires being Forgotten Realms and Werewolves being Birthright. The Storyteller's System works like Vampires being Dungeons and Dragons and Mage being Star Frontiers.

                    The Kindred of the East being their own splat puts them in their own corner like Mummy: The Resurrection.


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                    • #25
                      I’m in largest WoD community of Chinese mainland, and many people think KotE is… okay. We have translated much material on our website and just mind those “stereotypes” and “orientalism” (of course they’re very normal things during that time)…

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                        I am in favor of presenting a wide range of settings, ethnic groups, races, peoples and so on.

                        Making all vampires Cainites makes them all Western. VtM vampires are a product of Western folklore, modern Western fiction, and the Biblical story of Cain.

                        Making all vampires Cainites is erasure of cultures which are not Western.
                        VtM vampires are first and foremost a product of pop-culture, and more of a "What if Cain was a Vampire" than a product of the Biblical text. As far as I know, Cain isn't cursed with Vampirism, hooks-up with Lilith, makes vampire offspring, or gets superpowers because he murdered his brother.

                        The problem is that Caine should have been just a myth, a commonly believed origin amongst western kindred. Not the confirmed origin and everyone who didn't believe in it was just wrong. It should have been as true as the Bloody Man legend from WtA, which is a far more neutral origin.

                        Making all vampires Kindred, especially in a context where Caine is actually a Myth, isn't necessarily erasure, as Vampires would still exist in Asia and have their own interactions and reinterpretations of local folklore and mythology, like in the West.

                        Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                        I like the idea of KOTE but feels it should be rebuilt from the ground up rather than pretending it doesn’t exist. However, that rebuild will probably best be left in the hands of the fans and community content over at the Vault.
                        This is true, Fans are probably the best equipped to do this. I've seen some very interesting adaptations, by actual Asians, to V5 for example, as normal kindred who just have completely different myths.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Rock113 View Post
                          I’m in largest WoD community of Chinese mainland, and many people think KotE is… okay. We have translated much material on our website and just mind those “stereotypes” and “orientalism” (of course they’re very normal things during that time)…
                          Thanks for this insight!


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

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                          • #28
                            I am Southern Asian roleplayer, and i love the KotE and want them to be part of the World of Darkness. I implemented many of the changes suggested by AdamBeyonceLowe at my table, 20 years ago, and ignored a lot of the more orientalist stuff.

                            A world splat of the damned returned as vampires is a cool idea and fits the WoD well, with a few changes.

                            If anyone is interested, on RPG.net, a poster called hsienfan is posting their ideas for changes and revisions to KotE. Hsienfan is Asian i believe and appears to have a deep knowledge of and respect for the myriad cultures of Asia and an enormous affection for the Wan Kuei. Feel free to check it out, fellow KotE fans, its some great stuff, and they intend to suubmit it to the Storytellers Vault.

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                            • #29
                              It's nice to read the opinions of players from Asia.

                              Originally posted by hachiman View Post
                              A world splat of the damned returned as vampires is a cool idea and fits the WoD well, with a few changes.
                              Do you mean Kindred of the East, but all over the world? That actually sounds pretty cool. There actually isn't much of a reason why Western vampires can't be represented with the KotE system, with a few flavor changes.

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                              • #30
                                For my two cents on the matter...

                                I don't care what they are called, but the Kuei-jin gave a very nice alternative to the extremely bloated V:tM setup. It had fewer "clans/bloodlines", it had fewer disciplines, it had less meta story that STs and Players would have to manage. Further more the fact that the factions were fluid meant there is really only three kinds of Kuei-Jin, the basic type that joined a dharma, the body jumper, and the akuma.

                                IRL every culture on the planet has some kind of "vampire" creature in its myths, so I think it is only fair to have some non-cainite types available.

                                As for the cultural aspects being problematic, this is a "three edged sword" sort of scenario. There is the western view on things, there is the eastern view on things, and then there is the factual objective truth. The problem is that any one of those things can cause problems in discussion or in games. Are the western takes on many aspects of oriental culture shallow and disrespectful, yes. But at the same time how hard are we looking at some of the western portrayals in eastern media and judging it to the same standard of authenticity? Look at any anime that involves a character that is Christian or involves the church, more often then not the outfits are incorrectly stylized, the rituals are wrong, the Latin chants are just gibberish, and practically none of the Christian ideals are conveyed. No comment on the accuracy of the Hentai regarding the alter boys though. Why bring up christianity? Because most european vampirism is heavily linked to christian theology after a certain point in history, which means most vampire anime/manga/manwa/etc. draw heavily from those sources.

                                Is anyone going to watch the Sin City movies and call that insulting to american culture because of how unrealistic or non-current year it is? It is film noir inspired which means highly stylized in a given way. Having a KotE game that is essentially a John Woo film with fangs is no more or less offensive.

                                A few years back there was a random news cycle on the idea of the warner brothers character "speedy gonzales" being racially offensive. But when people checked into it most mexicans here in the US and in Mexico seemed to enjoy the character, regardless of his catch phrase being gibberish. The only people finding him offensive was a bunch of overly woke americans of non-hispanic descent. Interestingly enough the mexican government has repeatedly refused to let the Taco Bell restaurant open branches over the boarder. I bring all this up because while it is important to be mindful of others, it is important to remember that messing with stereotypes is part of the fun of rpgs.

                                Of course this is all brought up before I point out that V:tM was originally designed to be a transgressive game system. You are not the hero, but the monster. When the RPG was designed most people didn't really know about the various BDSM+ aspects that the book heavily drew upon. So you can't really make a Vampire game under this brand and not have some group offended. Just having the Tzimisce as a clan in the game more or less shoots credibility in the foot on that count.

                                As for what to do with KotE going forward, I would suggest that the game be retconned in the following ways.
                                1. Fold most of the Heretical dharmas into the main ones, some can stand on their own, while others were just palate swaps.
                                2. Make the dharmas much less antagonistic to each other
                                3. Remove the asian only aspect, just explain that the yama kings are trying to gather more souls than normal.
                                4. Have the Kuei-Jin not invading anywhere, but just acting as guardians of china towns, japan towns, little koreas, etc.
                                5. Over haul the mechanics to less clunky, the multiple chi types, souls, etc, needs streamlining.
                                6. I would prefer the KotE disciplines to be less activable powers, and more permanent upgrades with synergistic pros and cons

                                Though you could just wait until 6th edition is going to come out and change the direction of the game line from meta story to entirely modular. That way if you want to run the clans as all living together in huge underground cities like Seraph of the End, you can. Alternatively if you want the only kind of Vampire in the world to be Kuei-jin style, that works too.

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