Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Tiansheng [Strains of the Cursed Blood- China]

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tiansheng [Strains of the Cursed Blood- China]

    Heaven Born

    [taijitsu surrounded by ten thousand petals]

    Ten thousand things serve bellow the Heavens. Ten thousand gods work in unison to bring forth order and life. Ten thousand people endure and serve under the commands of those holding the Mandate, following the story of perfect harmony and eternal glory. Ten thousand things are being tied together by fate- the destiny decided by the one to hold the Mandate of Heavens. Ten thousand things express the Three. The Three are produced from the Two. The Two are the faces of the One, and the One follows the Way. The Way tells the story of the ten thousand things- and from the Mandate of Heaven is the mechanism which brings that story fourth. All take part of the grand tapestry, serving their part in the delicate, ever changing structure of reality. By following the Way, the natural path of all, all things would be fulfilled. There are ten thousand things serving beneath the Mandate of Heaven.

    And ten thousand demons to spit in its face.

    The Yaoguai- strange devils, strange spirits. Lesser deities who strayed the path in the name of egoistic desires, pets of the gods and animal-demons who feast on the souls of the righteous in search for power. They search for immortality, for deification, for rising in the ranks of Heaven and taking by force what belongs to others by right. In the name of their hunger, the Mowang, lords of the demons, send forth the yaoguai to bring them souls to feast upon, twisting their flesh and spirit until they become another pet in their service. They exploit the Mandate and turn against the natural Way. They make nothing- only take, only steal, only break and destroy. Their mansion-worlds are realms of madness, and their servants exist simply to fulfill their every desire.

    They make nothing- but the nothing makes the whole.

    The Tiansheng are a weird lineage, coming from the ancient days of China (during the time of the legendary Xia dynasty, if the stories are to be believed). They speak about old, wild times in which the the Mowang has just rose their heads and bound lesser spirits as pets and servants. In those early days of terror, the people were exposed to constant attacks by the demons, being exploited by the Mowang through deals and pacts sanctified by the Mandate. Many souls were lost in those days, and the demon-lords danced in their mansions and drank their fear with pleasure.

    However, the Way is more powerful than any selfish desire, and even demons are forced eventually to bow their head before it- bound by the very laws they use to bind others. One day, after another raid by a group of yaoguai, the elders of a nameless village has gathered together and made a decision to stand against the Mowang which kept stealing their children and force it into a challenge. They knew it was a risk- for by the pact they made with the demon lord, they had to option to be freed from its clutches, yet while currently the Mowang could have attacked only once per month and take no less then three and no more than a dozen, if they'll fail it would be free to take them all to his mansion and feast on their souls for all eternity. But if they'll win- the demon would not only stop harassing them, but would also return all the souls it captured through those countless years.

    And so, when the moon shined bright and the servants of the Mowang came riding the wind, a single woman came before them and called the Mowang's true name, demanding the right to challenge their lords. Following the terms of their oath, the yaoguai took the women beyond the thorny walls which protected their lord's mansion, leaving her alone before the mighty throne upon which sat the demon lord.

    "I have heard you have challenged me" said the Mowang "and as promised, I follow the terms. What do you believe you could do that I, with all my sorcery and knowledge, could not?"

    and the woman said "I can make"

    and the demon laughed, for it knew that no being in its kingdom make create anything new, for it was too far from the guidance of the Way. "Very well" it said "and what do you wish to make?"

    "I can not say" she said "but it shall require time. The moon must shine nine times, where I shall not be seen or touched by you, and once it would I shall present you with my creation".

    "very well" said the demon "take all the time you need- but you must stay here, in my kingdom, and I free to hunt as I please as the Mandate dictates while doing so".

    The woman agreed, and the Mowang smiled, believing its victory was guaranteed. And the moon shined and set, and the yaogui hunted and the halls of the Mowang were filled with screams of terror- but the woman sat quietly in her room, hidden in the darkness. Once nine months have passed, the demon-lord broke into her room, preparing to demand its due- only to stand before her, holding a newborn baby in her arms.

    "Nine moons has passed" she said "and I present you my creation- the greatest thing a mortal may make and you can not. I made life, for I was pregnant as I walked through your gates. I made her here, birthed all alone through blood and pain. I have made her- and you have lost".

    The Mowang raged, wishing to tear the woman apart- yet as it failed the challenge, it lost the Mandate of Heaven through which it governed. Its kingdom crumbled around it, and its was ripped apart by the broken laws which defined its existence. As the mansion collapsed upon itself, the woman escaped- taking her new born together with her as the two of them run through the thorns. As the woman was not a demon, the thorns cut through her flesh and scarred her heart, and she came different then before. She became a yaogui, unable to create, unable to make. Yet her baby was birthed in the realm of demons, and as such was a demon by herself. The thorns didn't cut through her delicate skin, and her bright soul was unarmed. She was a child of heaven, the first Tiansheng, carrying the cleverness of men- and the powers of a demon.

    ​While the accuracy of that story is a matter of debate, it can't be denied that the Heaven Born are touched by the Mowang and their terrible taint. Each member of the lineage shows the signs of the yaogui, having the potential to work terrible magics and innate sense to how the Mandate stirs the events of the world. That influence, however, also effects their ability to reproduce- for the powers of the Mowang consume their creative spark as it burns in their blood. Only one out of five Tiansheng is fertile, and one out of five pregnancies ends with an abortion- not to mention the high death percentage of the mothers. More than that, only the children of the mothers carry the demon-blood. Male Tiansheng who sire children bring fourth only regular, normal kids, if any at all. Some claim it to be a curse of the ancient demon-lord their tricked. Others claim it to be a natural effect of being so far from the Way, only barely being able to live natural life.

    ​For that reason, the hierarchy of the Tiansheng is highly matriarchal- the women choose their husbands, give orders and decide the course of the conspiracy. Each of the Tiansheng is trained from very young age to use his powers, learning occult secrets and methods to channel their abilities and the different weakness of their eternal enemies- the yaogui and the mowang who control them. Those training last up until the Heaven-born is 18 years old, and after that she takes an oath under the Mandate and the Way to ward off evil and hunt for those who feast on human misery and fear. Some try to escape the oath, searching for life of freedom from the binding Mandate- but few manage doing so. Those who do usually ends up making bargains with the yaogui, leaving this world to the world of demons and becoming Mowang by their own right. Others are enslaved by the demons and become toys and pets in their service. However, the most take the oath and humbly serve the Mandate of Heaven- not out of fear, but out of duty, for if they were not to protect their people, who would?

    Unlike certain other conspiracies, the Tiansheng are a lot more rural- their leadership stays away from the large cities and the centers of powers, preferring small, isolated places as temporal bases. They never stay in the same place for too long, knowing that by drawing too much of attention the mowang would track them down and send their yaogui against them, as they see their very existence as a disgrace- half bloods who rebel against their parents, birthed out of trickery and lies.

    Because of that constant threat, the Tiansheng has developed through the years complicate forms of communications- from a complicated set of road signs and gestures meant to allow one member to recognize other members and call them for help which was perfected through hundreds of years of hard work, which is constantly changing and evolving in order to make sure their enemies won't be able to break the code. While the modern era has brought with it many new ways for communication, the older members of the conspiracy are still wary from using them, preferring the old system over things like phones and the internet. After all, while the mowang are not able to create anything new- they are quick to exploit the creations of others for their uses. Some of the younger members, however, work to incorporate their old system through the new media- using hidden messages in blogs and websites in order to share information or ask for help, but currently the fear from both supernatural and mundane threats (such as being hunted down by a governmental agency as a cult) are enough to keep the old tradition strong.

    While the Tiansheng carry their Vigil against any kind of monster, blocking the influence of the mowang is seen as their top priority. Those demons are powerful and terrible- yet thankfully they are bound to their mansions from beyond the wall of thorns. Instead, they act through the yaogui- their pets and servants enslaved by the Mandate to their demonic will. Fighting against those demons is possible, and many of their members have lost their life by doing so, but as whole the conspiracy prefers using trickery over brute force. Once tracking a roaming yaogui, their goal is to tire it out- misleading it again until it grows tired and tired until it is banished back to the realm from which it came. That means, however, they must make sure the yaogui keeps interested and won't return to its mission. Doing so is a dangerous act, but the life of the Tiansheng are dangerous. Luckily (or not), the enmity of the demon lords marks the Tiansheng, drawing the yaogui's attention toward them, for better or worse.

    Although hunting down the yaogui is seen as their greatest duty, the Tiansheng do not forget their duty for those who escaped the clutched of the demons. Those people, who call themselves as "the Lost", are twisted beyond any redemption of returning back to the path- but they are not, by themselves, evil. Usually, the Heaven born even work with those broken people, trying to help them adjust to their new lives, such as killing the fake manikins the mowang created with their magics to replace those who were kidnapped (as the Tiansheng have little qualms about banishing those demons). Still, the Tiansheng avoid making a long term relationship with those beings, always keeping one eye open and never establishing an oath or bargain with them or their so called "courts". They may have suffered a lot- but once a demon, always a demon.

    While the Tiansheng have some rigid rules meant to fulfill their goal, they rarely intervene in the hunter's personal life. They believe that each person has his own path to walk, and while the core believes of cosmology of the conspiracy are strongly influenced by the Taoism, their members come from every religion or system of faith, be it Buddhism or Christianity. Once they are young, the conspiracy trains their members to improve their strengths and learn their weaknesses, carefully matching members together into creating "perfect cells". The conspiracy governs the many cells through their communication system, requiring monthly reports which are transmitted from once cell to the other until it reaches to one of the Five Perfects who leads the conspiracy. Each of the Five, in turn, sends her commands through her own information network, and the Five meet together only once a month in order to compare intelligence and discuss their vision for the conspiracy. Each of the Five has her own method of operation and her own goals needed to achieve, with one of the other members of the Five working to help her while another works against her. The official stance is that by doing so, they confuse the mowang and protect the conspiracy from spies. Others think they simply can't trust each other.

    Still, unstable as it may be, the system works- the Tiansheng stand strong in China, and even reach out for nearby territories, from India to Japan- where they fight new monsters and meet similar yet different lineages. Some of them even reached out and went to the western world, establishing a small presence in the United States. They go wherever the Way leads them, be it across the land, beyond the sea or even through the thorns of the demonic mansions. They know their place under the Mandate of Heaven.

    It's time for the demons to know theirs, too.


    Status:
    0- you have finished your training and took an oath to protect mankind from the hungry demons. You may buy dots at the Mofa Endowment, and can expect to live for 150 years.
    000- you have fought in the name of the Mandate to remove unnatural taint from the world, and you learned to recognize it. You gain the Eye for the Strange merit for free. You may also live up to 200 years. This is the highest a man could reach in the conspiracy.
    00000- you have shown yourself worthy to the Mandate, and many think of you as possible candidate for the Five Perfects. Until then, your place in the conspiracy allows you to touch the Mandate itself. You get Unseen Senses (Talecrafting), and you can expect to live up to 400 years.

    Endowment: Mofa (0-00000)
    The Heaven-born know how the Mandate stirs, and to exploit it to command the Ten Thousand Things. Mofa works as if it was the Goblin Vows merit- that is, each dot represent a single aspect of reality which the hunter learned to command. However, there are few changes- first, the hunter may replace current aspects with new ones. Doing so requires a quest which re-balance the Mandate, both repaying the replaced aspect and serving the new one. Second, each of those dots also grants the hunter an alternative form which is related to that aspect. That form may be humanoid or not, to your choosing (most actually prefer beast-like forms), and works like the Disguise of an Huntsman- although instead of paying Yearning, the hunter reduce her permanent Willpower by 1 for as long as she is in that form. Third, she gains one Arcadian weapon per dot, which may be summoned by spending a Willpower point and under a situation appropriate to the bound aspect (arcadians weapons to be released with C:tL 2E). Finally, once activating her Endowment (not including shape-shifting), the hunter draws the attention of the yaogui around her. She gains the Marked Condition toward any Huntsmen in a range of 2 meters per Mofa as if she was a changeling hunted by it. The Huntsman in question would mark her as its top priority.
    Last edited by LostLight; 12-29-2016, 02:42 PM.


    My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

    On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Approaching Heaven's Children
    The yaogui are excellent hunters. They yearn for it, desire it, exist only for the ideal of the hunt. This is their role beneath the Mandate, and they follow it rigorously- and so, it is a little wonder that the Tiansheng, with their deep understanding of the Mandate and the Way, have learned how to exploit it against their eternal enemies.

    While the Tiansheng are not a court of lost souls, they do enjoy the benefit of an Approach- that is, when the yaogui come after them, they are inclined to do so in a certain way, one which fulfills their primal, lowly desires better. They are, after all, slaves to their desires- and by manipulating those desires against them, the Heaven born can lure them into traps and tire them until they are banished back to their hellish kingdom.

    Once joining the conspiracy, each hunter may choose one of the Five Steps- five different approaches represented by the Five Perfects. Once per year, the hunter must replace her approach with either a supporting one, or with a balancing one (that is, someone who follows the Fire Step must replace it with either the Wood Step or the Water Step). The chosen Approach also effects the connections the hunter holds through the information network (that is, any Contacts, Allies, Mentors or similar social merit which is based around the hunter's connections in the conspiracy are replaced with others of equivalent rating). That also means that every year the hunter replace the Perfect she serves with another, reducing the power of each Perfect over the conspiracy as whole. The name "Perfect cells" is usually given to a 5 hunter cell, where each member follows a different Perfect and walks a different Step.

    The Five Steps which serves the members of the conspiracy are as the following-

    The Fire Step- artistic fight (singing contest, painting, dancing, craft, etc)
    The Earth Step- investigation contest (discovering one's secret, solving a certain mystery, riddles, etc)
    The Metal Step- duel of physical prowess (like battle, race, test of endurance, etc).
    The Water Step- battle of wits (luring one another into a trap, solving a puzzle in limited time, passing through a maze, etc)
    The Wood Step- social challenge, built around teamwork for a specific purpose (commanding the building of a structure, gathering a certain amount of resources, team combat etc)

    Magic may and will be used in each challenge, and as such the hunters have to take that into consideration. The exact terms of the challenge must be settled as the hunter choose her Step, although they may be changed through the course of the year by preforming a meditation roll. The challenge itself is governed by the Mandate, and as such breaking the rules of the challenge would end up with curses, bad luck or even death.

    Wait- Were is the Cursed Part?
    Very few people who look at the Tiansheng would ever think about putting them together with the other "Strains of Cursed Blood". Sure, they are, undoubtedly, a supernatural lineage- but does having one's blood enchanted through magical incident is enough to make one into a demon-child? After all, no member of the lineage seem to be embarrassed of their origin, and the philosophy of the group does not seem to teach them they should repay for the sins of their demonic forefathers or something similar. They don't uphold the Vigil in search for redemption, they do not seek forgiveness for their very existence. Yes, they do recognize themselves as being "unnatural"- but they do not define their philosophy and life around that. In fact, they even call them "the Children of Heaven". In that case, can one truly put them in the same basket as the other strains? Could you, truly, name those people as demons?

    Why, of course you can!

    Being a demon is not a matter of personal thoughts, ideals or choices. Being a demon is an objective condition. Sure, you may become a demon through various methods- but once you are a demon, you are a demon. And the Tiansheng know that- they know that while their foremother has tricked the mowang in order to save her people, by doing so she damned her daughter and every other descendant of her blood by the touch of hell. They know that they are unnatural, twisted from beyond the Way and as such can never truly take part in the harmony of the Ten Thousand Things. They know that their very existence is a twist of the Mandate, a sin against all that is pure and alive.

    But so what?

    Being a demon does not mean you need to define your very existence around that. Being a demon doesn't mean anything about you- just that you are a demon, and as such can do things other people can't. The more you think about it, the more it becomes obvious that being a demon is not that different than being a god- only a matter of perspective. While they may be unnatural, they can still find their place among the Ten Thousand Things- for even demons are only a part of the whole. When they hunt after demons, they do so in order to protect their people, not out of some duty to repay some obscure sin. That is also why they don't immediately attack Changelings where they can find them- after all, being a demon doesn't make you into a bad person, only a selfish person. You can go above your nature by embracing the Way, and eventually find your place among the Ten Thousand Things. You are not damned- you are just different, and you can use that difference in order to transform yourself from a demon and into a god. The Tiansheng do not name themselves as what they are- but what they could be.

    Too bad their sibling strains don't see it that way.

    Stereotypes:
    Knights of St George: "their members came invading our countries, searching for witches and demons as sacrifice by witches to demons. We lost many members to their hands- but they many more to ours"
    Network Zero: "they are useful to our operations, giving us ready-made platform to make contact with our members across the globe. However, by doing so, they usually ends up on the wrong side of out government. Don't grow attached to them"
    Lucifuge: "all gloom and doom if you ask me. Yes, I understand you were birthed by demon- but dying in battle just to prove you are not like it just seems so.. futile. You are who you are, after all"
    Hototogisu: "our cells in Japan has made contact with those people. They seem to have existed for long time, even though they fell and rose more than once. Never shake their hands, and never sign their contracts. Their control over the Mandate is great and terrible- and they strayed the Way too far to return"

    "Let's play a game, shall we?"
    Last edited by LostLight; 12-29-2016, 02:46 PM. Reason: changed Steps and associations according to Hermit


    My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

    On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
    I now blog in here

    Comment


    • #3
      I see you've combined three faiths into one in their backstory - the Mandate of Heaven from Confuscianism, the concept of the Way from Taoism, and the Mowang from Buddhism. But then again, it's not like folklore and fairy tales particularly cared about the fine differences anyway

      I also notice that you're building them less on existing lore about otherworldly bloodlines (or a mythic source that could have spawned them), and more on the Changeling setting. It feels like you are kinda forcing the Changeling setting to cough up a Strain, rather than connecting a Strain to a gameline. Were you doing that already with other Strains and I didn't notice? Or have I missed some piece of a fairy tale about a woman outwitting a demon king through clever application of childbirth?

      Anyway, still looks promising as ever.

      EDIT: I'd also switch around what the Five Movements do (yes, including the name)
      Wood is associated with growth and vitality, so they get social networking.
      Fire is associated with passion and temper, so they get artistic contests.
      Earth is associated with integrity and firmness, so they get investigation.
      Metal is associated with endings and severity, so they get physical prowess (and probably martial arts)
      Water is associated with wisdom and strategy, so they get wits.
      Last edited by 21C Hermit; 12-25-2016, 09:24 AM.


      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
        I see you've combined three faiths into one in their backstory - the Mandate of Heaven from Confuscianism, the concept of the Way from Taoism, and the Mowang from Buddhism. But then again, it's not like folklore and fairy tales particularly cared about the fine differences anyway

        I also notice that you're building them less on existing lore about otherworldly bloodlines (or a mythic source that could have spawned them), and more on the Changeling setting. It feels like you are kinda forcing the Changeling setting to cough up a Strain, rather than connecting a Strain to a gameline. Were you doing that already with other Strains and I didn't notice? Or have I missed some piece of a fairy tale about a woman outwitting a demon king through clever application of childbirth?

        Anyway, still looks promising as ever.

        Honestly, given Chinese mythology, I think this is an intentional example of myth confusing things. As shown in Dark Eras, "demon" in Chinese cosmology is not a small category-it defines "everything supernatural that is not a ghost or a god, and several of those that are", and China's changelings have long thought of the fae as yaoguai. Thus, someone who's inherited fae traits under the influence of the Directional Courts is likely to think themselves part-yaoguai, and since yaoguai are demons...

        Of course, as mentioned, part of the vastness in Chinese myth is also that, well, demons are more of a descriptor for anything supernatural-which is to say, it doesn't assign morality to them. In fact, Di Yu is the home of demons precisely because its natives serve the Mandate and keep the naural order; they're the legion of clerks, prison guards, and purifiers that do all the jobs that Yama and his Kings are too few in number to oversee. So as mentioned, they really don't hate their prey as a species.

        It also provides a convenient explanation for how they're survived despite their abysmal fertility; changelings have long had practice getting around their own fertility issues, so I wouldn't be surprised that it's an open secret that many branches of the Tiansheng have had deals with the Lost for viable offspring. It's probably not even regarded as strange ("Um, no duh we perform rituals for fertility. Sort of like every religion known to man. We just happen to talk to our guardian spirits directly, and have fairer negotiations").


        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Leliel View Post


          Honestly, given Chinese mythology, I think this is an intentional example of myth confusing things. As shown in Dark Eras, "demon" in Chinese cosmology is not a small category-it defines "everything supernatural that is not a ghost or a god, and several of those that are", and China's changelings have long thought of the fae as yaoguai. Thus, someone who's inherited fae traits under the influence of the Directional Courts is likely to think themselves part-yaoguai, and since yaoguai are demons...

          Of course, as mentioned, part of the vastness in Chinese myth is also that, well, demons are more of a descriptor for anything supernatural-which is to say, it doesn't assign morality to them. In fact, Di Yu is the home of demons precisely because its natives serve the Mandate and keep the naural order; they're the legion of clerks, prison guards, and purifiers that do all the jobs that Yama and his Kings are too few in number to oversee. So as mentioned, they really don't hate their prey as a species.

          It also provides a convenient explanation for how they're survived despite their abysmal fertility; changelings have long had practice getting around their own fertility issues, so I wouldn't be surprised that it's an open secret that many branches of the Tiansheng have had deals with the Lost for viable offspring. It's probably not even regarded as strange ("Um, no duh we perform rituals for fertility. Sort of like every religion known to man. We just happen to talk to our guardian spirits directly, and have fairer negotiations").
          Hence, the part about where folklore usually don't give a damn about the fine print in religious texts

          I dunno if Di Yu ("Earth Prison", or the Underworld as it's commonly translated) counts as a home of demons-as-everything-supernatural, though. I don't think Diyu ever housed lesser gods, malevolent ghosts (who got warped that way because they couldn't pass on in the first place), shapeshifting beasts, pseudo-human races and the like. You are, however, describing demons of Diyu as jailors of Hell in the next sentence, so it's alright I guess...?


          MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

          Comment


          • #6
            I was wondering what you would name the Chinese lineage and which game splat you would tie them to. Part of me suspected that you were going to connect them to Changelings. That said, the Tiansheng sound like Faetouched just as the Usij are Stigmatics. Their Endowment certainly allows them to tap into the power of Goblin Vows, and perhaps with a little more versatility than the Lost. I may need to look at the drafts for Huntsmen again to comment on their access to Arcadian Weapons, and the mechanics behind their Disguises.

            Seeing as you wrote that the Heaven Born are making inroads into India and Japan, they would have extensive interactions with both the Avici Sutra and the Otodo. And I am especially interested in the norm for encounters with the latter, seeing as they both focus their respective Vigils on the Lost. On a semi-related note, there's also exploring a Tiansheng hunter chronicle set during one of two Dark Eras.

            In the Three Kingdoms of Darkness, I can see the Tiansheng carrying out their Vigil in a manner similar to the approaches of the Wuchang Gui (AKA Sin-Eaters). And their relationship with the Lost might be rather bellicose, seeing as they do contribute to how long and violent the conflicts of that time were. I kind of wonder, though, where each of the Five Elemental Ways stand, and if they're in turn divided among Wu, Shu, and Wei.

            For Fallen Blossoms, China had limited access to Japan during the Edo Jidai. This was kept to the port of Dejima, but there may have been a few Heaven Born that could have been traveling throughout the country, and maybe even settling in certain areas. And then, there's of course their interactions with the various hunter compacts and conspiracies, in particular the Otodo.
            Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-25-2016, 09:59 PM.


            "My Homebrew Hub"
            Age of Azar
            The Kingdom of Yamatai

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
              I see you've combined three faiths into one in their backstory - the Mandate of Heaven from Confuscianism, the concept of the Way from Taoism, and the Mowang from Buddhism. But then again, it's not like folklore and fairy tales particularly cared about the fine differences anyway

              I also notice that you're building them less on existing lore about otherworldly bloodlines (or a mythic source that could have spawned them), and more on the Changeling setting. It feels like you are kinda forcing the Changeling setting to cough up a Strain, rather than connecting a Strain to a gameline. Were you doing that already with other Strains and I didn't notice? Or have I missed some piece of a fairy tale about a woman outwitting a demon king through clever application of childbirth?

              Anyway, still looks promising as ever.

              EDIT: I'd also switch around what the Five Movements do (yes, including the name)
              Wood is associated with growth and vitality, so they get social networking.
              Fire is associated with passion and temper, so they get artistic contests.
              Earth is associated with integrity and firmness, so they get investigation.
              Metal is associated with endings and severity, so they get physical prowess (and probably martial arts)
              Water is associated with wisdom and strategy, so they get wits.
              pretty much everything Leliel said- the Tiansheng are not, after all, a religious group, and it's Changeling's theme that telling the right story is more important than the actual facts. And no, the story about the woman and the demon king is something I've came up with, not an actual fairy tale. After re-interpreting myths for some time, I kinda wanted to make a group with a more... original backstory. After all, it is not like the backstories for actual, canon conspiracies are all based around real mythology, and again- considering the fact the group way tied to Changeling, as possible connection between (at least some) Yaogui and the Gentry was established in the Dark Eras- it felt "right" to make up a story for them. (The al Rih al Asuad, for example, are not all that "better", as they are based around V:tR's Edimmu, which are not exactly the way they are represented in the myth).

              As for the Five Ways, I'm not claiming to be an expert on Chinese philosophy, and I've based on Wikipedia, so I'm all open to switch their associations. However, the name "Movement" is not really a good replacement for a Way- the Five Elemental what-you-call-it are not some political division in the conspiracy or something- it is an Approach, a way to make sure you'll choose the game you and the Huntsmen play. I've chosen "Way" as a "Way to Approach". If I were to switch it, it is better to use something like "path" or a similar word. Suggestions about that?


              My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

              On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
              I now blog in here

              Comment


              • #8
                double post


                My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
                I now blog in here

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post

                  pretty much everything Leliel said- the Tiansheng are not, after all, a religious group, and it's Changeling's theme that telling the right story is more important than the actual facts. And no, the story about the woman and the demon king is something I've came up with, not an actual fairy tale. After re-interpreting myths for some time, I kinda wanted to make a group with a more... original backstory. After all, it is not like the backstories for actual, canon conspiracies are all based around real mythology, and again- considering the fact the group way tied to Changeling, as possible connection between (at least some) Yaogui and the Gentry was established in the Dark Eras- it felt "right" to make up a story for them. (The al Rih al Asuad, for example, are not all that "better", as they are based around V:tR's Edimmu, which are not exactly the way they are represented in the myth).

                  As for the Five Ways, I'm not claiming to be an expert on Chinese philosophy, and I've based on Wikipedia, so I'm all open to switch their associations. However, the name "Movement" is not really a good replacement for a Way- the Five Elemental what-you-call-it are not some political division in the conspiracy or something- it is an Approach, a way to make sure you'll choose the game you and the Huntsmen play. I've chosen "Way" as a "Way to Approach". If I were to switch it, it is better to use something like "path" or a similar word. Suggestions about that?
                  Hey, it's your work after all - of course you get the final word on it. And I do agree that original stories do spice things up. Was just checking out of curiosity than criticism.

                  On the other hand, I thought the connection between the Yaoguai/Yaogui and the Gentry was not just a 'possible' connection, but a blatantly obvious one. Because "Yao", which means "wicked", has always been the go-to word for translating "fey" or "faery". Yaoguai / Yokai / Yogoe literally mean "the wicked & the bizarre", so it's almost the perfect word to describe the Fae.

                  Hmm... yeah "movement" does sound political in English. I take back my word - Way/Path/Approach do sound better Though I still insist on Wu Xing being called Five Agents or even Five Movements/Actions, rather than Five Elements. But alas, that goes into nitpicking territory very quickly.


                  MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                    I was wondering what you would name the Chinese lineage and which game splat you would tie them to. Part of me suspected that you were going to connect them to Changelings. That said, the Tiansheng sound like Faetouched just as the Usij are Stigmatics. Their Endowment certainly allows them to tap into the power of Goblin Vows, and perhaps with a little more versatility than the Lost. I may need to look at the drafts for Huntsmen again to comment on their access to Arcadian Weapons, and the mechanics behind their Disguises.

                    Seeing as you wrote that the Heaven Born are making inroads into India and Japan, they would have extensive interactions with both the Avici Sutra and the Otodo. And I am especially interested in the norm for encounters with the latter, seeing as they both focus their respective Vigils on the Lost. On a semi-related note, there's also exploring a Tiansheng hunter chronicle set during one of two Dark Eras.

                    In the Three Kingdoms of Darkness, I can see the Tiansheng carrying out their Vigil in a manner similar to the approaches of the Wuchang Gui (AKA Sin-Eaters). And their relationship with the Lost might be rather bellicose, seeing as they do contribute to how long and violent the conflicts of that time were. I kind of wonder, though, where each of the Five Elemental Ways stand, and if they're in turn divided among Wu, Shu, and Wei.

                    For Fallen Blossoms, China had limited access to Japan during the Edo Jidai. This was kept to the port of Dejima, but there may have been a few Heaven Born that could have been traveling throughout the country, and maybe even settling in certain areas. And then, there's of course their interactions with the various hunter compacts and conspiracies, in particular the Otodo.
                    Arcadian Weapons are still not out. Not sure about making the Tiansheng as full Faetouched. Need to check again what exactly being a Faetouched gives them.

                    And yes, they do know about both the Avici Sutra and the Otodo- but there are good chances that those groups don't know much about them. They prefer to avoid being noticed by other Strains, as they usually judge them as mischievous at best and tainted at worst. All in all, they prefer to avoid drawing attention- for that's how the yaogui catch you (having an inborn shapeshifting ability does helps them at doing so).

                    As for the Dark Eras- the Three Kingdoms of Darkness are, of course, a violent time. There is a lot of chaos, and a lot of demons roam free. They are almost over their heads, and many live sort, yet heroic, lives (and again, the Ways are not a political movement, they are a metaphysical trick of the conspiracy. What you need to ask is what the Five Perfects have in mind, and how they divide themselves in the Three Kingdoms. It is more than likely that their contradicting agendas may almost tear the conspiracy apart, as each support another rightful "bearer of the Mandate").

                    Finally, for Fallen Blossoms- as I've mentioned earlier in the post, the Tiansheng would do their best to avoid being noticed by the other hunters. Their main interest would be at investigating the Hototogisu, as their ability to steal other monster's powers mentions they may have some great influence about the Mandate (at least, in their eyes). The Otodo would most likely judge them as they judge the Lost, and as such they prefer to avoid them. The Bijin and the Ama San may be, however, good potential allies for them.


                    My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                    On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
                    I now blog in here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post

                      Hey, it's your work after all - of course you get the final word on it. And I do agree that original stories do spice things up. Was just checking out of curiosity than criticism.

                      On the other hand, I thought the connection between the Yaoguai/Yaogui and the Gentry was not just a 'possible' connection, but a blatantly obvious one. Because "Yao", which means "wicked", has always been the go-to word for translating "fey" or "faery". Yaoguai / Yokai / Yogoe literally mean "the wicked & the bizarre", so it's almost the perfect word to describe the Fae.

                      Hmm... yeah "movement" does sound political in English. I take back my word - Way/Path/Approach do sound better Though I still insist on Wu Xing being called Five Agents or even Five Movements/Actions, rather than Five Elements. But alas, that goes into nitpicking territory very quickly.
                      no problem- didn't meant for it to sound offensive or something, just wanted to explain my choices. All good (and I don't have full access to my Dark Eras copy right now, so I said "possible". better safe then sorry :P ).

                      As for the Wu Xing "Ways/Movements"- what about the "Five Phases" or "Five Steps"? Wikipedia says those are possible translations/names for it, but it is always better to double check.


                      My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                      On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
                      I now blog in here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                        no problem- didn't meant for it to sound offensive or something, just wanted to explain my choices. All good (and I don't have full access to my Dark Eras copy right now, so I said "possible". better safe then sorry :P ).

                        As for the Wu Xing "Ways/Movements"- what about the "Five Phases" or "Five Steps"? Wikipedia says those are possible translations/names for it, but it is always better to double check.
                        Agents, Movements, Phases or Steps - I see all of them as valid translations, for they show that the Five Xing are fundamentally different from the Four Elements. The Elements are the building blocks of the world, sorta like atoms and particles. In Taoism, though, everything is ultimately made out of Qi/Chi/Ki, even the mind and the soul and everything else unseen and intangible, so that's the only Element. Basically, it's Essence from Exalted. The Wu Xing describe how Qi moves and acts within the ten thousand things, which is why all of its translations focus on describing movement and action.


                        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I definitely can see the Ama San and the Bijin as likely allies to a Tiansheng in the Edo Jidai. They both rely on trickery and teamwork to maneuver around their enemies, just as the Heaven Born do, and they certainly could help in supplying them with information, especially on the Hototogisu.

                          I would also argue that the Azusa Miko and the Gimu might be cordial as well with a Tiansheng, seeing as they concern themselves with fighting corruption (both literal and spiritual).

                          On the other hand, the predecessors of the Aki Ten might not be so accomodating, since... you know, they're demons. And foreign ones, at that.
                          Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-26-2016, 11:45 AM.


                          "My Homebrew Hub"
                          Age of Azar
                          The Kingdom of Yamatai

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                            On the other hand, the predecessors of the Aki Ten might not be so accomodating, since... you know, they're demons. And foreign ones, at that.
                            That reminds me I should make a bonus mechanic for them to bind Cursed Strains and their like as shikigami :P

                            EDIT- also forgot to mention that Leilel's idea for the conspiracy making bargains with changelings for fertility is a great idea, and I fully approve of it.
                            Last edited by LostLight; 12-26-2016, 02:04 PM.


                            My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                            On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
                            I now blog in here

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, seeing as I made mention of it in my sidebar pitch, I second that idea.


                              And I am dreading/anticipating what you can think up on the Aki Ten binding such hunters as their shikigami, seeing as you posted mechanics for the Begotten. What's next? Amkhata and Huntsmen?


                              "My Homebrew Hub"
                              Age of Azar
                              The Kingdom of Yamatai

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X