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Bloodline Conversion- Burakumin

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  • Bloodline Conversion- Burakumin

    Hi there, everybody! As promised, I'm continuing my 1e corebook bloodline conversions to 2e. This week, I humbly submit the Nosferatu necromancers from the Land of the Rising Sun: the Burakumin. As always, leave your thoughts and comments.

    Thoughts on the Burakumin
    The Burakumin are such a strange bloodline. They are the only 1e corebook bloodline that has a strong ethnic component, and their necromancy discipline goes way beyond what most 1e core book and clan book disciplines can accomplish. Some people love them for this, some people hate them. Personally, I think there's room in Vampire for strange, gonzo bloodlines with weird powers, but that there's a way to do it right. To me, the Burakumin have a strong sense of irony: they protest being written off as unclean and pariahs, and so turned to abilities that perpetuated that stereotype. It was when they became self-reliant and started aiding the other Japanese Kindred that they received acceptance.

    Per the 2e conversion principle, I removed Getsumei as a unique discipline and replaced it with Auspex, which I thought fit with their mysterious, occult focus. Instead, I took Getsumei and reinterpreted it as blood sorcery. It follows the 2e rules for blood sorcery. The names for each ritual are in Japanese, and translate to a phrase that I think does a decent job of explaining what the ritual accomplishes. The rituals' end goals were kept the same, since I liked what each one accomplished. All-in-all, a fairly straight-forward conversion.

    Bloodline Conversion- Burakumin
    What, precisely, do you think is “unclean” about me? Do you find my former occupation distasteful? If so, I must remind you that you enjoy your luxury only through my labor and that of many like me. Or do you find my very nature abhorrent? If that is the case, I find that opinion rather ironic, coming from another corpse who feeds on the living to survive.

    In pre-Meiji Japan, the burakumin referred to the caste of people who held jobs that Shinto priests and Buddhist monks considered unclean: grave diggers, morticians, butchers, and tanners. These people were legally classified as sub-humans, and forced to live in buraku, or hamlets, far from their purer neighbors. Japanese Kindred have long used it in another sense: to them, it is synonymous with “Nosferatu.” Centuries of oppression guaranteed that, until relatively recently, the necromancers of the Burakumin bloodline were the only Nosferatu present in Japan.

    Background: For centuries, Japanese Princes restricted the feeding and Embracing rights of Nosferatu to the burakumin caste. In time, the Japanese Kindred began to refer to the Nosferatu as Burakumin, and the name and restrictions spread to many domains in East Asia. The restrictions placed on the Burakumin kept their numbers low, and limited the influence they could wield over mortal politics. However, their low numbers allowed for the rapid dissemination of ghastly necromantic rituals among the Burakumin. Soon, the Japanese Nosferatu were a distinct bloodline. They began to spread through the Far East, and the Burakumin were able to use their abilities to gain some rights within their domains, including the right for Burakumin elders to petition Princes for redress of wrongs committed against members of the bloodline.

    The Meiji Restoration abolished discrimination against burakumin, but the longevity of Kindred made them reluctant to mirror this change, and continued to require that the Burakumin feed on and Embrace from a caste that no longer truly existed. Facing the continued prejudice of their brethren, the Burakumin began to forge their own path. Handfuls of Burakumin travelled over the Pacific to America, gaining influence over export-import companies, while those who remained in Japan slowly gained control of key industrial interests.

    After World War II, the Burakumin discovered an unexpected reversal of fortunes. Foreign investments brought them wealth where the most august of Ventrue dynasties found themselves impoverished. Those who had gone to the West typically rose high in the domains they settled in, and they funneled funds to their bloodline members back in Japan. Their role in rebuilding the Japanese economy has won the Burakumin greater respect and rights in Japan. Those who live in the West are treated well by Princes who fear to provoke the wrath and horrific powers of the Burakumin.

    The Becoming: In the East, many Burakumin continue to Embrace people from “unclean” occupations or the poor; not because they must, but by choice, as a quiet statement to their former oppressors; to be Burakumin is now a blessing for these people, rather than a perpetuation of their misfortune. Other Eastern Burakumin Embrace the attractive or those who hold to traditional views on class and piety out of spite. Burakumin in the West tend not to Embrace, but when they do, it is always to further their economic and political endeavors. Burakumin do not rely on Social graces or Physical prowess, but instead used their Mental alacrity to achieve their current standing. Similarly, Burakumin favor Mental Skills, though Social Skills are also useful. Social Merits other than Status are useful, while certain Mental Merits are also useful.

    In the Danse Macabre: In the East, Burakumin dwell among members of their own bloodline. The Burakumin within a particular domain defer to an elder who represents the bloodline to other Kindred, but this is still currently the limit of what Eastern Burakumin can accomplish. In the West, Burakumin are not bound by the same levels of discrimination that their Eastern cousins face, but their bloodline’s bane still limits their upward mobility. Western Burakumin tend to associate with each other for the sake of familiarity, but isolated Burakumin will associate with the baseline Nosferatu dwelling in their domains. Politically, the Burakumin as a whole tend to be neutral thanks to the traditional prejudice against them, but as the bloodline gains greater respect in the East and more exposure in the tolerant West, the bloodline has begun to enter the political realm. The Carthian Movement’s message of equality between Kindred regardless of clan, bloodline, or age is attractive to the Burakumin, and many Burakumin flock to local chapters in the West, or establish chapters in the East. However, the chance to prove their worth by their own merit and ability also appeals to the Burakumin, and the meritocratic Invictus has seen a fair number of Burakumin join it in recent years.

    Clan: Nosferatu

    Nickname: Unclean

    Bloodline Bane: Like all Nosferatu, the Burakumin suffer from a curse that betrays their undead nature, and puts off those they speak to. In the case of the Burakumin, this manifests as a corpse-like appearance. Their skin becomes dry, leathery, and thin, until they resemble long-dead corpses, and they are incapable of disguising it. Burakumin are utterly incapable of using the Blush of Life to improve their appearance; attempts to spend Vitae to perform the Blush of Life automatically fail, and the Vitae is refunded. Additionally, the Burakumin’s long-standing isolation has rendered the bloodline psychologically reluctant to accept positions of influence and power. Burakumin must spend two experiences instead of one to purchase dots of Status, except for Status within the bloodline.

    Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Nightmare, Obfuscate, Vigor

    Bloodline Gift: Getsumei
    Taking its name from a Japanese word for “moonlight,” Getsumei’s innocent name masks a macabre practice of necromantic rituals. Developed over decades of study and meditation upon the professions of the burakumin caste, Getsumei is the Unclean’s ace in the hole, the bargaining chip with which they won what few rights they had before World War II. Getsumei is not a Discipline, but rather a series of blood sorcery rituals that grant the user foul abilities like control over the dead.

    New Blood Sorcery: Getsumei (@ to @@@@@)
    All Getsumei rituals follow the rules for blood sorcery found on pages 151 and 152 of Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition. The rituals require great focus and deliberate motions on the part of the ritualist, and also require a strong knowledge of human anatomy and the processes that go into decay and decomposition. Getsumei rituals use a dice pool of Composure + Medicine + Getsumei. All Getsumei rituals require a sacrifice of dots of Vitae equal to the level of the ritual, in addition to the sacrifice specified for the ritual. Getsumei is a specialized form of blood sorcery, and so learning new rituals cost four Experiences per dot.

    Dosou (@)
    Sacrifice: None
    Target number of successes: 5
    The ritualist sprinkles Vitae over the corpse and prays over it, and so preserves it for at least one month, plus any successes over the target number. The body suffers no decay, and its body parts can regain their full range of motion. Dosou is required to perform any higher-level Getsumei ritual, but the additional rituals need not be performed immediately afterwards, and can be performed at any point that the corpse is under the effect of Dosou. This ritual does not affect Kindred bodies.

    Shi no Koukei (@@)
    Sacrifice: The corpse’s eye(s), thrown into a fire
    Target number of successes: 6
    The ritualist spills two dots-worth of Vitae into a receptacle, usually a basin or bowl. The ritualist then scoops out the eyes of a corpse and places them in the Vitae to soak. After a period of an hour, the ritualist takes the eyes and casts them into a nearby fire, and begins to entreat the eyes to reveal the last thing the corpse saw before death. Upon completion of the ritual, the eyes are consumed by the fire, and a vision of the person’s last sight appears in the flames.

    Hifu no Yoroi (@@@)
    Sacrifice: A one-inch by one-inch piece of a corpse’s skin
    Target number of successes: 8
    The ritualist flays a piece of skin from a preserved corpse, and then burns it. The ritualist then smears the charred remains and ashes onto his forehead, and meditates. Upon success, the ritualist’s skin swells and bloats like that of a decomposing corpse. He suffers -1 to all Presence and Manipulation rolls that do not involve Intimidation, but gains an amount of temporary Armor equal to his dots in Getsumei, and does not suffer penalties to Defense or Speed. The bloating that the ritualist prevents him from wearing any other form of protection, and lasts until the end of the night.

    Hikutsuna Shishi (@@@@)
    Sacrifice: The body parts to be used in the construct
    Target number of successes: 7
    The ritualist severs a number of body parts from a corpse and arranges them as he desires, and then meditates over them. Upon success, the body parts fuse together in a manner as biologically feasible as possible. The construct is capable of locomotion, can crawl up walls and along ceilings, and can speak in a small, hissing voice. It has the same Intelligence as the creator, persists until dawn, is completely loyal to its creator, can comprehend the orders given to it and attempt to fulfill them to the best of its ability, has a sense of self-preservation, and cannot be affect by mental Disciplines or Auspex, but cannot pierce Obfuscate. Otherwise, the construct has Wits 2, Resolve 1, Strength 1, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3, Presence 2, Manipulation 1, and Composure 2. For skills, it has Athletics 2, Crafts 1, Investigation 3, and Stealth 3. It has Size 2, Speed 10, 3 Willpower, and 3 Health. It additionally has a Bite or Claw attack that deals 0(L), and a Throttle or Strangle attack that deals 2(B).

    Hotoke no Shoukan (@@@@@)
    Sacrifice: A prized possession or memento of the corpse
    Target number of successes: 10 (+5 for each additional corpse beyond 1)
    The ritualist places a memento or prized possession of the corpse on its chest, which turns to ash upon completion of the ritual. Once the ritual is complete, the ritualist must spend 1 Willpower to give the corpses a simple order. If the ritualist wishes to give the corpses another order, he must spend another Willpower and give the new order within audible range of the corpses in person. The corpses possess Strength 3, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4, Mental Attributes of 1, Social Attributes of 0, and Brawl 2. Their Speed and Size are typical of a human. They are unaffected by mental Disciplines or Auspex, but cannot see through effects of Obfuscate. They cannot speak, but they are aware of their surroundings, and have enough motor skill to open doors, crawl through tight spaces, and search for people in hiding.
    Last edited by Haberdasher; 08-21-2016, 03:21 PM.

    Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew