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Making KotE's Dharmas as Changeling Courts

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  • Making KotE's Dharmas as Changeling Courts

    In any case, I have been browsing ye olde problem child of the cWoD, Kindred of the East, and I remembered something I read once; in many ways, the successor to the Wan Kuei in the CofD is the Lost. They too, are legally-minded escapees from Hell who organize based around philosophical principles.

    So, in a moment of inspiration, I was wondering if they can't be mined for a more Indian Court system. Not nearly the confused melange of Eastern cultures their inspiration was, but perhaps based on Hinduism; drawing inspiration from the different lives of a soul to find Moksha through Clarity.

    First, their defining emotions; methinks Devil-Tigers are Pride (in what they are and in better rules of behavior than the Fae), but that is as far as I got.

    Edit: Having done a cursory search on both religions, Buddhism really does not fit them. As far as I know. I know very little about that family of faiths and am very happy to have help with is before I prove myself even worse about cultural appropriation.
    Last edited by Leliel; 04-16-2018, 10:20 PM.



  • #2
    RE: the Dharma

    Here area few ideas -

    Dance of the Thrashing Dragon
    Emotion: Desire Element: Wood
    The Thrashing Dragons are aggressive, sensual, and shameless. In the context of Changeling, I could see them as as a court centered around living all experiences to the fullest and being more focused on moving forward with their lives.

    Howl of the Devil Tiger
    Emotion: Pain Element: Fire
    The Devil Tigers are fearless, impulsive, and insightful. In the context of Changeling, the Devil Tigers use pain (emotional and physical) as a form a catharsis - accepting pain as a way to move beyond fear and to cut away weakness.

    Song of Shadows
    Emotion:
    Sorrow Element: Metal
    The Song of Shadows are curious, dispassionate, and self-controlled. In the context of Changeling, the Song of Shadows are the keepers of history, and focus on mourning what was lost properly to provide closure.

    Way of the Resplendent Crane
    Emotion:
    Shame Element: Water
    The Resplendent Cranes are wise, honorable, and prudent. In the context of Changeling, the Resplendent Cranes work to make amends for past misdeeds by scrupulous adherence to principles of dignity, honor, and discipline.

    The Path of a Thousand Whispers
    Emotion:
    Calm Element: Earth
    The Thousand Whispers are patient, flexible, and open-minded. In the context of Changeling, the Thousand Whispers work to achieve balance in all aspects of life, and help changelings reforge new identitiesfrom the pieces of their old lives and from their durance.


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    • #3
      This is a brilliant Idea.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Reighnhell View Post
        RE: the Dharma

        Here area few ideas -
        Are each courts’ Elements something in Changeling 2E’s designs?

        (Great idea, btw)


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        • #5
          How does one find "calm" strong enough to siphon glamour from? Heck, how does one reap "calm"


          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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          • #6
            Meditation? Other relaxation exercises? People in the process of falling asleep (but not from exhaustion)?


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            • #7
              I dunno. Calm just is a state of low emotional stress that can be flavored by a variety of emotions. Plus, this potentially creates a gamebreaker. If calm is a harvestable emotion, then it can also be reaped. As far as I can tell, that goes one of two ways. One, you can reap endlessly because, by taking away their emotions, you create a perverse sort of calm. Or two, reaping calm takes away their ability to control their emotions and the victim is then paradoxically a massive font of constantly shifting glamour until they resolve the condition.

              That is, unless I'm misunderstanding and reaping is not something you can do to specific emotions.

              To bring this around to constructive criticism, who thinks that Contentment would be an acceptable emotion for this court concept. That, or, working with how they help Changelings weave new identities, something related to a sense of belonging


              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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              • #8
                Re: Elements

                The Court Creation rules do not specifically call out courts as having (or even needing) and associated element.But when dabbling with Court creation, I have found that outlining the themes of a court is incredibly helpful when designing Mantles and Court Contracts. The Dharma already had elemental sub-themes in place, so it was a easy port over.

                Re: Calm?

                Truthfully, "Calm" is probably not the best word for the emotional state I am aiming for. The Dharma of the Thousand Whispers is about balance - a focused mindset clear of internal conflict or distraction, like the concept of Mushin. It would be glamour pulled from artist and athletes when they are "in the zone". Contentment ( or perhaps Serenity)are close and would be a valid emotion, but I am not sure its a fit for the Whispers.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                  I dunno. Calm just is a state of low emotional stress that can be flavored by a variety of emotions. Plus, this potentially creates a gamebreaker. If calm is a harvestable emotion, then it can also be reaped. As far as I can tell, that goes one of two ways. One, you can reap endlessly because, by taking away their emotions, you create a perverse sort of calm. Or two, reaping calm takes away their ability to control their emotions and the victim is then paradoxically a massive font of constantly shifting glamour until they resolve the condition.

                  That is, unless I'm misunderstanding and reaping is not something you can do to specific emotions.

                  To bring this around to constructive criticism, who thinks that Contentment would be an acceptable emotion for this court concept. That, or, working with how they help Changelings weave new identities, something related to a sense of belonging

                  Yeah, Contentment, defined here as "belonging", seems a lot more fitting.

                  Also, Huntsmen concepts:

                  Thrashing Dragons defend against the True Fae by entrapping them in their own desires and the heartbeat of the living world. The Huntsmen have no hearts, and no desires of their own; a Huntsman invited to out-indulge a Laughing Rainbow often does not understand the question, let alone the trap.

                  Devil-Tigers punish their Keepers by forcing them to feel pain, to be so awash in remorse and agony that they run or submit. A Huntsman has no agency, and thus no culpability in his own actions. Nothing the Celestial Devils can do can hurt them worse than the hollow in their own chest.

                  The Song of Shadow abjures the Gentry by invoking the memories of their culture, to make the wicked obey the rites and legends of the righteous. The Huntsmen make sure to study these traditions long before they send their heralds; they existed long before the Bone Flowers' ancestors did, and any obedience on their part is simply an affectation they have no respect for, cultural or forced.

                  The Way of the Resplendent Crane forbids the Old Gods through legal precedent and the weight of holy scripture. The Huntsmen counter that argument with the simple fact that every changeling is a criminal, a fugitive guilty of property theft and who has resorted to other crimes to stay alive. That the Shining Ice Guardians stole themselves is irrelevant; the Huntsman can study precedence too, and she knows exactly how to turn her quarry's burdens upon her.

                  The Path of a Thousand Whispers evades the Strangers by dancing through lives, and forces them to play a role they define in their latest self-inserted living play. The Huntsmen, as shapeshifters, can have any role they want. The Rootless Trees find themselves with a co-writer to their list of dramas, one who threatens to make them care about it enough to protect the other characters, ducks sitting on their eggs.


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                  • #10
                    “In the zone” or “trance” seem like the closest English word representing that Buddhist concept. Or “focus.”


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                    • #11
                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

                      Apparently the Zone has a scientific name in "positive psychology". The article even connects it to certain concepts like Mushin (weren't we trying to make it more Hindu than Buddhist though?)

                      Having their emotion be Flow or even literally Mushin might work, but you'd need a sidebar to explain what it means, so maybe not.


                      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                      • #12
                        Re: Mushin

                        From a design perspective, I am liking "Belonging" more and more. It changes the flavor of the Dharma/Court a bit, but is easier to grasp if you had to explain it to a player. As much as I like Flow/Mushin as something a changeling can harvest glamour from,its a little "out there".

                        Re: Patron

                        Courts in Changeling 2E have "patrons" thematic forces that grant the Courts the power behind their Mantles, Contracts, and the powers that let them fight off the True Fae. So, who would the patrons of the Dharma Courts be?


                        Curios, Relics, and Tomes - A collection of Relics (Cursed and Otherwise)
                        The Horror Lab - A collection of Beasts, Monsters and less definable things.
                        Strange Places - A collection of Dark, Mysterious, and Wondrous Locations
                        Twilight Menagerie - A collection of Ephemeral Entities

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Reighnhell View Post

                          Re: Patron

                          Courts in Changeling 2E have "patrons" thematic forces that grant the Courts the power behind their Mantles, Contracts, and the powers that let them fight off the True Fae. So, who would the patrons of the Dharma Courts be?
                          The five sacred beast-symbols of the Five Actions/ Wu Xing the Courts are elementally associated with?


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                          • #14
                            Regarding the emotions, belonging fits with the others as a kind of "five stages of alienation" - pain, shame, desire, sorrow, belonging.

                            Regarding elements, the Earth/Metal/Water/Wood/Fire system is Chinese, not Indian.

                            And regarding KotE, what about the other dharmas? The Face of the Gods believing the forces of Faerie are divine in some way, making them marked by the divine and able to become gods themselves.
                            The Flame of the Rising Phoenix believing in recovering their human life to the greatest extent possible.
                            The Spirit of the Living Earth were animists, more or less - that's certainly not out of keeping with beings whose powers come from deals with facets of reality - perhaps they seek Clarity by forging new bonds and bargains with this world rather than Faerie.
                            I don't really remember the Tempest of Inward Focus much, but I think they were about finding a stable centre - but all the courts do that, so I'm not sure what would distinguish them among changelings rather than kuei.
                            Last edited by SunlessNick; 04-18-2018, 06:18 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
                              I don't really remember the Tempest of Inward Focus much, but I think they were about finding a stable centre - but all the courts do that, so I'm not sure what would distinguish them among changelings rather than kuei.
                              The Seekers were...weird. They really did rely on Taoism's self-admitted paradoxes and koans a lot. But I do know they didn't think Yama Kings were really discrete beings so much as illusions thrown out by their own lack of unity with the Tao. Very angry and malicious tulpas. So I can see them being all about figuring out how their current state distances (and thus enables examination of) Oneness, and how to assimilate and understand all aspects of both their human and fae halves. So a lot like a more spiritual Autumn Court more focused on harmony than mastery.

                              Given recent spoilers, I can't help but think the Song of the Shadow is very conflicted about the Underworld; on the one hand, this is the way things are, and tradition can create kingdoms of the dead...but on the other, it's objectively terrible. I say they feel the Underworld is a bardo-world, formed from those trapped in transition between states, and absorption into it is temporary, but should still be avoided. You are, after all, trapped between rebirths in a state of static karma.


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