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Wuxia of Darkness

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  • Wuxia of Darkness

    Inspired by the fact the Mage Chronicler's Guide has a wuxia setting, and by the fact that in the Chronicles of Darkness, the occult world is less "grand hidden truths" and more "rivers and lakes"; everyone knows it's there, everyone knows you just have to look, nobody really wants to.

    I'm trying to understand how one would put more of the wuxia theme and all its cousins into CofD stories. Not necessarily kung fu for everyone, but definitely themes of mentorship, loyalty, and trying to find a balance between what is just and what is the law. Also a good way to satirize generic xianxia, by making the Generic Sociopathic Cultivator Fighty Dude the genre is infamous for having protagonists for a major villain (I suspect most factions, hearing the kind of obsessive training to kill dozens of people they undergo, immediately think "ah crap, someone else is high on their own power" rather than anything about anger some upstart seeks to destroy them).



  • #2
    So... do you just want themes in CofD stories, or CofD in a Wuxia setup?


    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
      So... do you just want themes in CofD stories, or CofD in a Wuxia setup?

      Little of both. I simply said "not necessarily" because the combat engine is freaking brutal and assumed both sides are trying to win the fight before it starts. Not a lot of places to show off martial arts.


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      • #4
        Oh, here's an idea!

        Inspired by Legends of the Wulin, one could describe Slashers as Baneful humans; they have rejected all moral and celestial order other than violence, so they have unlocked their inner potential.

        It's just that they did that not by mastering their inner devils, their darker thoughts, but by becoming much, much worse than anything their subconscious made on its own. They have reached Heaven through violence, little gods of death and pain. Thus, killing them requires the ability to kill human potential; as a result, there is an order of monks that seek to protect them for study, and so learn how they overcame the will of the cosmos. Anyone who dies is a non-issue; they were too weak in this reincarnation anyway.


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        • #5
          Kill Six Billion Demons definitely seems like a useful thing to have in the pantheon of inspiration here. In particular, I rather like the idea of a counterpart for the Slasher 'little gods of death and pain' who don't master their inner demons or deny them, but embrace them conditionally, attaining a kind of enlightened state where they are at once serene and desirous of battle and opposition - the character that comes to mind is Netero from Hunter x Hunter.
          Last edited by ajf115; 02-28-2019, 10:01 AM.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
            Kill Six Billion Demons definitely seems like a useful thing to have in the pantheon of inspiration here. In particular, I rather like the idea of a counterpart for the Slasher 'little gods of death and pain' who don't master their inner demons or deny them, but embrace them conditionally, attaining a kind of enlightened state where they are at once serene and desirous of battle and opposition - the character that comes to mind is Netero from Hunter x Hunter.
            I just looked him up. Good call!

            Also, to add to the xianxia satire, I think we could have a Generic Sociopathic Fighty Guy working for the Crucible Initiative. On some level, the Sworn are the kind of people you find as villains in that genre (the Cryptocracy are corrupt bureaucrats, the Jeremiad are hostile religious fanatics, I think Zero Hour are masters of forbidden arts), and the Initiative's desire to burn it all and let the divine sort it all is the kind of simplistic thinking people hate in bad fighting-focused stories (not because simple solutions are bad, but failing to explain why they're good). Problem is, the Fire-Bringers are explicitly insane and more worried about their own survival than anything. So the "compromise" turns out to be the path of harmony instead.

            Also, the Sworn can easily be played as ancient traditions that teach how to tame and control the demonic, chaotic chi of the Contagion and turn it to good use.


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            • #7
              The concept of the God-Machine as a vast Celestial Bureaucracy forwarding Destiny and Balance, formed of and forming Angels as Ministers (and Unchained as rogue/corrupt Ministers) is fairly obvious.

              Mummies might be an interesting inclusion...


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                The concept of the God-Machine as a vast Celestial Bureaucracy forwarding Destiny and Balance, formed of and forming Angels as Ministers (and Unchained as rogue/corrupt Ministers) is fairly obvious.
                I'm reminded of that terrible Legend of Wukong (I think that's what it's called?) film on Netflix, where destiny is controlled by the 'Destiny Astrolabe'.


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                • #9
                  I just realized; the Cthnonic Gods are Ghost Immortals; those who relied too much on Yin to ascend and are now stuck at the lowest possible level of divine power. The fact they only manifest as forces that guide the heartless laws of the dead is a sign of how dead inside they are due to the Yin imbalance killing their emotions. They can't even conceive of acting without being prompted to do so to punish transgressors.

                  Come to think of it, we could mine Cultist Simulator for this. The entire point of that game is to become an immortal, the question is what will you do to get there.


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                  • #10
                    Now I'm trying to associate splats with the Wu Xing. Keeping in mind my expertise in the five elements is Wikipedia articles:

                    Vampires: Water and Metal. The dominant emotions in the Kindred are fear and resolve to continue living, with no small amount of grief for their living selves. This is why fire injures them so severely; at once, it melts a surplus of metal within them while their internal water rages to extinguish the fire, causing great injury. The fact that Water is focused by Metal also creates the Beast; the collection of emotions in them is always pooling, always strengthening. Without Touchstones to balance them, the Water inevitably breaks free in a vicious tide of irrational emotion that gives them great strength but removes their rationality.

                    Werewolves: Wood and Fire. Urathra are a deeply angry and passionate people, yet also one capable of great kindness, familial love, and idealism; the reason Father Wolf is dead now is because five gods decided the dream of a safe and harmonious outweighed the life of their sire, and yet they recognize that was a crime. Death Rage, then, is what happens when that Fire rages out of control, burning up the endless supply of Wood to the point where all idealism and righteous anger is gone - the only thing left is passion, and cold hatred. But even in Basu-Im, a werewolf recognizes her packmates, albeit only if they too are consumed by Fire.

                    Changelings: Earth, but frequently imbalanced. They escaped by centering themselves, finding harmony between human and fae, themselves and the shifting Hedge. This isn't a natural balance, hence their wild swings of Clarity that nonetheless are always capable of being healed.



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                    • #11
                      This is a pretty swell theme you got going here, Leliel. I have always been a fan of Journey into the West since I was in my twenties. I especially like your elemental description of Changelings and Werewolves.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Extant Reality View Post
                        This is a pretty swell theme you got going here, Leliel. I have always been a fan of Journey into the West since I was in my twenties. I especially like your elemental description of Changelings and Werewolves.
                        Thanks. It took me a bit to realize that Earth is about inner peace; something measured by Clarity.


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                        • #13
                          Looking forward to see the other splats' elemental composition.

                          Are you planning on modeling the fighting style of wuxia via e.g. merits, to a degree?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wormwood View Post
                            Looking forward to see the other splats' elemental composition.

                            Are you planning on modeling the fighting style of wuxia via e.g. merits, to a degree?

                            Honestly, didn't think of it, but probably a good plan.

                            Though on a related note:

                            Demons: Metal favoring. Unchained were creatures of near-total rationality and divine intuition about their role in the world. Falling, and renouncing their place in the Million Ministers of Destiny, actually sends them closer into balance with the other five; they just combine their rationality and the profound leaps of accurate logic that Agendas allow with a fuller grasp of emotions. It's not a coincidence metal is associated with adulthood, either; in many walls, Falling is choosing to stop being a child led around by nothing except rules and orders.

                            Sin-Eaters: Fire is what is left in their revived bodies, and geists are beings of Water. It is Fire that burns so bright it bores enough of a hole between a forming ghost and a demon who was once a ghost for said demon to make her customary offer of sharing a body in return for life, and it is Fire that infects the dead flesh with life and burns away entropy, causing the Bound to rise as a living entity instead. And it is Water that is the home of all who dwell in the soaking Underworld; those who survive must be capable of great resourcefulness and the ability to listen to advisable fears of destruction, with geists simply being more in tune with it. In time, Water will smother Fire, hence why Bound still age, but it's not the Water you need fear in a Bound. It's the Fire willing to establish a Tyranny over their patrons.


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