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The Wan Kuei retcon **Be extra respectful**

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  • CTPhipps
    started a topic The Wan Kuei retcon **Be extra respectful**

    The Wan Kuei retcon **Be extra respectful**

    A Spin-Off from the Second Inquisition thread.

    There hasn't been an official announcement (as far as I know) but a number of developers: Jason Carl, Matthew Dawkins, and Justin Achilli have all basically said that there's not going to be any more Kuei Jin/Wan Kuei content. Indeed, we've seen multiple "soft retcons" like Tokyo being a Camarilla City and references to Chinese cities under the control of the Camarilla or Cainite Blood Cults in books like FORBIDDEN RELIGIONS.

    It seems very likely the Kuei Jin/Wan Kuei have been retconned out of existence. That not only haven't they been "Tremere Antribued" or not mentioned but not only don't exist anymore but have never existed.

    This is a thread about discussing that decision but note that this is going to be a SPECIALLY watched thread due to the subject of racism, orientalism, erasure, and other subjects. We have Asian American and Asian gamers who have very strong opinions on the subject and they need to be taken at their word.

    I have faith in you guys to share your thoughts and not only be understanding and respectful but willing to discuss the issue safely. Everyone should act as if everyone here is open minded and willing to learn.

    Thanks.

  • Mister_Dunpeal
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    One possibility that gets around the idea of morality and belief systems is there's something fundamentally screwed up about Hell in the WOD.

    Demons stealing souls that they're not supposed to have.

    Sort of like Changeling: The Lost only demonic.
    Not just Hell, but the very nature of reality and the world/universe itself is off kilter, if not breaking down. The whole cyclical 'Ages' stuff was very much a part of that, and it meshes (out of setting) with concepts in other fiction like Stephen King's Dark Tower series (Where magic is dying and reality is breaking down because science and manmade stuff can't replace it) And while its been awhile since I read that stuff, the W-K were *very* interested in preparing for the coming 'apocalypse' when things might break down (hoping to avert it and/or make it less worse). It's a quality shared but alot of the other crossover lines also fed into that narrative it seemed (WTA, DTF, HTR, MtR, VtR). Heck, that idea of 'preparing for apocalypse' means most people will be forced to make all kinds of dubious decisions either to survive or to achieve goals, so a 'breakdown' in morality/philosophy seems to fit right in, as does the question of 'how far do you go breaking the rules to save the system' and how you differentiate yourself from those you profess to fight.

    Also wouldn't the demonic version of CtL basically be DtF? I mean Demon's own narrative had a strong emphasis on 'things going wrong' at all levels including spiritual, including the afterlife and presumably whatever passed for 'Hell.' Although I do like some of the parallels brought up with Geist (the W-K always had some closer connection to WtO and especially the Fallen, but were still very much above and beyond that. Of course a lot of 'spirit inhabiting physical bodies' exist conceptually across the different ones - including many of the oWoD settings.)
    Last edited by Mister_Dunpeal; 04-17-2022, 10:34 PM.

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  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    Slotting Nose mythology into KotE, it's more likely that the character's soul would have fallen into Helheim, where the unworthy are sent, and then managed to get back out. They would probably have a spiritual system that would suggest that, if the followed it, they would eventually reach a better state at which they would eventually become a "living Einherjar" and then ascend to Valhalla (like the KotE become Bodhisattva and then eventually reach the Hundred Clouds). But that's just me sticking with the idea of playing a character who escaped from Hell (or in this case, Hel).
    “You fled the blade in life. Now you will face it in death.” does sound like a nice tagline.

    Leave a comment:


  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Slotting Nose mythology into KotE, it's more likely that the character's soul would have fallen into Helheim, where the unworthy are sent, and then managed to get back out. They would probably have a spiritual system that would suggest that, if the followed it, they would eventually reach a better state at which they would eventually become a "living Einherjar" and then ascend to Valhalla (like the KotE become Bodhisattva and then eventually reach the Hundred Clouds). But that's just me sticking with the idea of playing a character who escaped from Hell (or in this case, Hel).

    Leave a comment:


  • 21C Hermit
    replied
    All the talk of hells make me wonder if we can have Einherjar from Norse mythology as examples of non-Asian Hungry Dead that also double as examples of more "loyalist" Hungry Dead ("Akuma").

    Hey, a hall where warriors battle 24/7 until the world ends (Valhalla) sounds a lot like a realm/existence where daemons war until their nigh-immortal lives end (the Asura Realm). Double points for that old comment about "Aesir" and "Asura" being suspiciously similar.

    (Yes, the Asura Realm is technically one of the 'better' or 'goodly' realms/reincarnations, but if we're already talking about how the world is broken......)

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
    That’s fair, something more akin to the incomplete or unresolved vibes that Mummy (Arisen) and Wraith have might click a bit better there.
    Once you're going for a more broad pool of cultural influences for the Wan Kuei, looking at what "Hell" means in other religions becomes a lot relevant. And for context: the modern Christian definition of Hell isn't just not common, it is actually rare. Most religions don't have this notion of a hellish land of eternal punishment for the sinful.

    The Thousand Hells are loosely based on some accounts of the land of the dead in Chinese folklore under influence of the Buddhist notion of Narakas. In this account, the Yama Kings reign over their realms, places where people that committed some kind of sin or bad action go for a time dependent on the severity, then are sent to be reincarnated again. The details vary greatly as this isn't a formal religious canon as we understand it, and the roles of individual Yama Kings, a central Yama King and the Jade Emperor in the whole thing depend on the retell.

    Narakas in Buddhism are realms where one reincarnates when the soul has bad karma to compensate, being the main influence for the idea of "Hell" as a place of torture in China and Japan at least. The main sources on the Narakas are Chinese translations of the original Sanskrit texts. Two important aspects of the Narakas, though, are that there is no sentence and the punishment isn't eternal. It is your own Karma that naturally draws you to reincarnate at a given Naraka, and it is the complete compensation of that Karma that makes you reincarnate outside of it when the time comes (in a realm dependent on your remaining unripe Karma).

    Yomi is the Japanese word for the Land of the Dead, but while many tales and legends involving it are influenced by the Narakas, the main Shinto descriptions of Yomi resemble what is actually the real most common depiction of "Hell" across religions: a gloomy, but otherwise bland place where everyone goes after death, located beneath the earth. While some tales exist of exceptional mortals being sent to Heaven after death, it is the realm of the gods, not an afterlife, and being sent there means being given divine duties.

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  • AkatsukiLeader13
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    One possibility that gets around the idea of morality and belief systems is there's something fundamentally screwed up about Hell in the WOD.

    Demons stealing souls that they're not supposed to have.

    Sort of like Changeling: The Lost only demonic.
    Which would be in line with the Yama Kings in general given their... well everything. After all, originally the Thousand Hells were less Hell and more a means of purging sin and such from souls before reincarnation. So the notion that souls end up there for all manner of reasons beyond just typical evil/sin wouldn't be out of place with established lore. The Yama Kings rejecting such duties in favor of their own greed and ambitions and turning their domains into hellish perversions we know them as while said domains still drawing in souls as they did before.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
    That’s fair, something more akin to the incomplete or unresolved vibes that Mummy (Arisen) and Wraith have might click a bit better there.
    One possibility that gets around the idea of morality and belief systems is there's something fundamentally screwed up about Hell in the WOD.

    Demons stealing souls that they're not supposed to have.

    Sort of like Changeling: The Lost only demonic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gryffon15
    replied
    That’s fair, something more akin to the incomplete or unresolved vibes that Mummy (Arisen) and Wraith have might click a bit better there.

    Leave a comment:


  • AkatsukiLeader13
    replied
    Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
    My take on KotE has been for a while that it’s got plenty of interesting conceptual nuggets (like most WoD games do imo) but it would work best as it’s own standalone game line and one with a global scope like every game line should have.

    How I usually handle this in my games is that the splats are global. There are kindred vampires in East Asia and there always has been and the only differences they have are the ones which would naturally occur from divergent cultural evolutions and maybe some unique bloodlines and forms of blood sorcery.

    I do think though that the core premise of KoE (as I see it) is strong enough to support a game line of its own. I usually dub it something alone the lines of ‘Hellspawn the Returned’. The idea of playing a person who was so awful in life that upon death a part of their soul was actually drawn into Hell and was tormented by evil spirits, only to get the chance to escape and reanimate as one of the hungry dead. Then you have the returned trying desperately to avoid returning to Hell while also balancing their spiritual hunger with the needs to order themselves and seek redemption lest they become true demons in their own right.

    You’ve got similar themes to vampire with the hunger, undeath, and the struggle with redemption & damnation but I do think that it’s got enough different resonances and room for spiritual involvement and philosophical debate over the nature of good and evil to stand on its own.
    Well that probably wouldn't work all that well with the Wan Kuei as presented as the reasons why one ends up in the Thousand Hells are more varied and complex than the person was bad person. In fact multiple NPCs and sample characters in the books don't really have major sins or wrongs they've committed. For example the Thrashing Dragon Signature Character (to my knowledge she doesn't have a name) we get her backstory at the start of the TD DB and basically her sins were that she didn't live her life to the fullest (which is a common reason for plenty of future Dragons to end up in the Hells) and that at her lowest moment she killed herself. Not a particularly sinful or evil person. And some would argue given what she's gained since her Second Breath that it's more blessing than a curse.

    So it's not necessarily bad people going to Hell and coming back.

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  • Spencer from The Hills
    replied
    Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
    I do think though that the core premise of KoE (as I see it) is strong enough to support a game line of its own. I usually dub it something alone the lines of ‘Hellspawn the Returned’. The idea of playing a person who was so awful in life that upon death a part of their soul was actually drawn into Hell and was tormented by evil spirits, only to get the chance to escape and reanimate as one of the hungry dead. Then you have the returned trying desperately to avoid returning to Hell while also balancing their spiritual hunger with the needs to order themselves and seek redemption lest they become true demons in their own right.

    You’ve got similar themes to vampire with the hunger, undeath, and the struggle with redemption & damnation but I do think that it’s got enough different resonances and room for spiritual involvement and philosophical debate over the nature of good and evil to stand on its own.
    That could share concepts with Geist: The Sin Eaters and Changeling: The Lost. If Hell can mean Yomi, Christian Hell and so on, the game could come in a lot of flavours. Ideally, that would be accomplished without racial hells. Maybe Hellspawn don't really remember Hell, because of the unfathomable trauma or part of the escape process or some, so they interpret it based on worldly images of Hell. And they shouldn't actually be called "Hellspawn". That sounds like natives of Hell, not people who went there after they died.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gryffon15
    replied
    My take on KotE has been for a while that it’s got plenty of interesting conceptual nuggets (like most WoD games do imo) but it would work best as it’s own standalone game line and one with a global scope like every game line should have.

    How I usually handle this in my games is that the splats are global. There are kindred vampires in East Asia and there always has been and the only differences they have are the ones which would naturally occur from divergent cultural evolutions and maybe some unique bloodlines and forms of blood sorcery.

    I do think though that the core premise of KoE (as I see it) is strong enough to support a game line of its own. I usually dub it something alone the lines of ‘Hellspawn the Returned’. The idea of playing a person who was so awful in life that upon death a part of their soul was actually drawn into Hell and was tormented by evil spirits, only to get the chance to escape and reanimate as one of the hungry dead. Then you have the returned trying desperately to avoid returning to Hell while also balancing their spiritual hunger with the needs to order themselves and seek redemption lest they become true demons in their own right.

    You’ve got similar themes to vampire with the hunger, undeath, and the struggle with redemption & damnation but I do think that it’s got enough different resonances and room for spiritual involvement and philosophical debate over the nature of good and evil to stand on its own.

    Leave a comment:


  • AkatsukiLeader13
    replied
    Yeah the idea that the Wan Kuei are some enlightened naval-gazers that don't concern themselves with such mundane and worldly things is silly. As mentioned before, they have the Scarlet Screens. In fact, the book on Wan Kuei warfare has an entire chapter dedicated to it. And speaking of that book, it has two chapters on the formal warfare the Wan Kuei wage largely against each other, one of which being a non-lethal war of intrigue and other being a lethal war to settle honor and blood feuds. And in the case of the latter, it was originally meant to be used just against Akuma. So yeah, anyone who thinks that the Wan Kuei don't get involved in mundane, petty shit that Cainites do, doesn't really know much about the Wan Kuei.

    For all their declarations that they are more enlightened than their Western counterparts they're not really all that more enlightened. Their Courts are just as filled with factionalism, intrigue and in-fighting as the Cainite Courts. The young Wan Kuei fight with the old. They actively manipulate and meddle with mortals and mortal organizations.

    And the Rulebook itself points out several times that for all their seeking of enlightenment and penance for their sins, at the end of the day Wan Kuei are still undead monsters. And that the Dharmas don't necessary cause them to transcend that but rather refine it into a more perfect form.

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  • TyrannicalRabbit
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    I'd imagine that the Shadow Lords would probably be the least troublesome ones out of the Ferocious People to seat next to the Devil Tigers.
    It's a reference to something in one of the books but thank you for the input.

    Leave a comment:


  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    I'd imagine that the Shadow Lords would probably be the least troublesome ones out of the Ferocious People to seat next to the Devil Tigers.

    Leave a comment:

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