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A Sourcebook for Kindred of the East™

2 Kindred of the East

Credits Special Thanks


Written By: Neall Raemonn Price Bruce & Brandon Lee
Art By: Jay Geldof and John Van Fleet Jackie Chan
Storytellers Vault Developers: Shane DeFreest & Dhaunae De Vir Akira Kurosawa
Layout and Design: Marcos M. Peral Villaverde Sun Tzu
John Woo
Michelle Yeoh
Masamune Okazaki

© 2017 White Wolf Entertainment AB. All rights reserved.


Vampire: The Masquerade®, World of Darkness®, Storytelling
System™, and Storytellers Vault™ are trademarks and/or registered
trademarks of White Wolf Entertainment AB. All rights reserved.
For additional information on White Wolf and the
World of Darkness, please, visit: www.white-wolf.com,
www.worldofdarkness.com and www.storytellersvault.com.
Contents 3

Contents
The Storytellers Vault Style Guide 5
Metaplot 7
Geography 7
Media 8
Kindred of the East across the Editions 9
First Edition 9
Second Edition 10
Third Edition (Revised Edition) 10
Fourth Edition (20th Anniversary Edition) 10e
The Storytellers Vault Style Guide 5

The
Storytellers
Vault Style
Guide

Welcome to the Kindred of the East Storytellers Vault The Dark Ages after the Kindred of the East sourcebook Blood
Style Guide. This guide exists to help you create new ma- & Silk, or write Beijing by Night, developing some of the teasers
terial for the Kindred of the East setting of Vampire: The found in Beckett’s Jyhad Diary, there exists a huge amount of
Masquerade. ground to cover with Storytellers Vault supplements. Original
This guide is designed to help writers of any level of ex- ideas are just as welcome, should you wish to create a regional
perience contribute work to the World of Darkness setting. sourcebook for the lands dammed by the Three Gorges, write
The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate how to apply the a novel about vampire affairs between the vampires battling
correct tone and respect to a part of the world not covered in the Ravnos in India, or create a whole chronicle series for a wu
depth by many World of Darkness sourcebooks. Kindred of tracing the ancient trail of Saulot’s pilgrimage throughout the
the East was only released to support one edition of Vampire: continent. Kindred of the East presents entirely new avenues
The Masquerade, but by using the rule clarifications in the with which to explore Vampire: The Masquerade.
Vampire: The Masquerade Storytellers Vault Style Guide, Kindred of the East are humans who died violently and
you can write with any ruleset in mind. in a state of spiritual decay, and are thus condemned to Yomi,
Kindred of the East requires a great deal of coverage in a hell realm within the Underworld. Their ghosts escape
order for it to become a full-fledged setting in its own right. and make it back into their bodies, but they must sustain on
Whether your desire is to expand lore on the Courts and chi to survive. At first, they can only obtain it from human
Dharmas introduced in the Kindred of the East book, write blood and/or flesh, but after years and eventually centuries
newer levels of the Wan Kuei variants of Disciplines such as of spiritual enlightenment, they can drink a person’s breath
the Shintais, Chi Arts, or Soul Disciplines, explain in greater or even draw chi directly from the earth itself. As former
detail what became of the bodhisattvas during the Fifth Age wraiths, having a basic knowledge of Wraith: the Oblivion
and the historic time period of Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: will help craft a cohesive product.
The Storytellers Vault Style Guide 7

Metaplot and simply remain aware of the easy pitfalls of essentializing


entire peoples and cultures.
Kindred of the East was initially released as a hardback Asia is vast, home to the greatest number of people on
sourcebook for the Second Edition of Vampire: The Masquer- Earth, existing in a dizzying array of cultures. When creating
ade. Prior to that, the coverage of Eastern vampires assumed new products, the vampires of Asia presented in Kindred of
them to be variant bloodlines; A World of Darkness featured the East should be referred to by their cultural names: ki-jin
the Gaki bloodline and their Discipline of Rift, while Dark and taiyō no shizoku of Japan, riri laka of Sri Lanka, penangal-
Alliance — Vancouver for Werewolf: the Apocalypse featured the lan of Malaysia, Wan Kuei and gui ren of China, or simply
Bushi bloodline and their Discipline of Kai. Both were written the Hungry Dead for the type of creature they encapsulate.
out of continuity with the release of the the book Kindred of Although the line previously generalized the Kindred of the
the East, which covered the different Wan Kui (vampires of East, which comprise a unique supernatural character type
East and South Asia), their unique Disciplines, a travelogue in the World of Darkness as Cathayans or kuei-jin, we prefer
covering multiple parts of the continent, and material on you emphasize the variety of experiences and cultures of the
mood, environment, culture, and antagonists of the region. For continent by using variants of local names of “vampire”,
further reading, the continent also receives coverage in World “demon-person”, or “ghost-person”. Should you absolutely
of Darkness 2nd Edition, the various battling courts are found need to generalize, use Hungry Dead; though note that the
in Shadow War, and the domain of Tokyo receives detailed cultural court structure defaults to Chinese standard, so
coverage in the World of Darkness: Tokyo. Beckett and his team Wan Kuei and gui ren (for China) or ki-jin (for Japan) are
discuss the Ravnos Wars briefly in Beckett’s Jyhad Diary. The acceptable for those areas.
main metaplot thrust of the Great Leap Outward (the Wan
Kuei’s expansion into North America and Europe) is covered Dharma and Chi
in Shadow War, while the New Promise Mandarinate and The use of the term Dharma for the differing Paths of
interactions with the Camarilla are covered in San Francisco Enlightenment practiced by the Wan Kuei is also a sacred
by Night. Prior to these events, the invasion of California and term in Buddhism and Hinduism. We stress the use of Paths
destruction of the Ravnos Antediluvian at the hands of three of Enlightenment rather than Dharma, both as a point of
enlightened Wan Kuei (or at least, in their presence) is covered cultural sensitivity and system synchronicity with Vampire:
in Nights of Prophecy. the Masquerade. Similarly, Yin and Yang — the interac-
With this freedom, you come in with your Storytellers tion and harmony between the complementing negative,
Vault material. The continent is completely open to you to death-associated energies and positive, life-affirming ones
explore and profile as you see fit. We want to see metaplot — are specifically Taoist concepts prevalent in China, but
take place in the Asian continent, receive expansion there, are difficult to divorce from the metaphysics of chi (another
and plant new roots in the urban sprawl of Tokyo, the silt traditional Chinese cultural adaptation). When using them
along the Yangtze River, the division of Korea, the Taklamakan as game terms, please be aware that this is partly a cultural
Desert, and all the continent’s many locations. lens through which the vampires see themselves.
The Kindred of the East are typically divided into courts
Cultural Sensitivities in a cultural structure that originated in China. The Chinese
The Kindred of the East are fundamentally different courts are called the Quincunx, from the Five August Courts
from the Kindred of the West. In truth, referring to them as that once ruled the Silk Road. They are joined by the Clans
“Kindred” at all is something of a misnomer. Their super- of the Sun in Japan, the Green Court of Korea, the Golden
natural might does not descend from an ancient curse on Courts of Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, the Golden
a blooded progenitor, but from the reincarnated mantles Lion Court of Singapore, and the Infinite Thunders Courts
of corrupted heroes in the ancient past. The term Risen of of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Concepts such as dharma, yin
the East would be a more accurate moniker, as they have and yang and chi can be similarly be conceived of as cultural
far more in common with the fallen souls of Wraith: the Chinese influences to describe metaphysical differences.
Oblivion, save that they have escaped from an especial hell
in a degraded but still symbolic journey in remembrance of
those forgotten heroes.
Geography
People from outside Asia have made frequent mistakes
In general, the original Kindred of the East is written
in classifying the continent in a number of ways, including
from a decidedly Western lens: that of the Kindred descended
assuming it refers to solely East Asia, and assigning an outsized
from Caine. It strives to emphasize how different from the
cultural importance to the People’s Republic of China and
norm the Kindred of the East are, starting with the qualifier
the State of Japan. The term Far East and East Asia results
of the East. When writing supplements for the game line,
from European geopolitical discourse in the 12th Century,
please research the term “orientalism” and the signifiers of it,
8 Kindred of the East

which split Asia into three defined “easts”: the Near East, physical and political differences between each country, and
encompassing Western Asia (including the Near East, en- many of the countries in the region don’t even think in terms
compassing the Arabian peninsula and the furthest extent of of “insiders and outsiders”.
the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East, which encompassed In general, you are advised to write books carefully and
Central Asia and northwestern South Asia, and the Far East, with consideration to the people, countries, and cultures you
which encompassed countries along the western Pacific and are depicting. If you want to write about vampires subsisting
eastern Indian Oceans. Kindred of the East primarily concerns by the Korean DMZ, write also about the families and lineages
itself with East Asia (China, Japan, the Koreas) and Southeast split by a half century of war and fear. If you wish to explore
Asia (including the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand). the great industrial cities of China, be sure to talk about the
South Asia, Pakistan and India and Afghanistan, are more Belt and Road Initiative recreating a modern Silk Road to
typically the domain of Kindred of the West. rival the ancient one.
While China has indeed dominated the historical and
modern landscape of East Asia, and is the most populous
country, and while Japan has a cultural exchange with America
Media
Any writer seeking to research the Asian continent will
that was on the rise in the 1990s and reached a fever pitch, the find a plethora of fantastic resources. We hope for any Sto-
region is home to thousands of varied cultures and powerful rytellers Vault products to come with an air of authenticity,
nations with unique supernatural expressions. While the as some books and shows covering the continent lean toward
Hungry Dead are the dominant stripe of vampire, even the exploitation and exoticism. Take from these pieces of suggested
Kindred of the West find some solace and even victory within media, but read and view widely. It bears repeating that even
these lands. While the inhabitants of the different countries divided into Western conceits of “East” and “Southeast” Asia,
may look similar to Western media and have some similar the lands are massive and home to a diverse range of cultures,
aspects in their cultures, there are many serious cultural, religions, and peoples.
The Storytellers Vault Style Guide 9

Fiction to Reference: Bushi believe in their descent from Susanoo, the Japanese
• Bridge of Birds, Eight Skilled Gentlemen, The Story of the kami of sea and storms, whose children were banished from
Stone by Barry Hughart the day’s light when their father tricked the sun kami Am-
• The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson aterasu into a cave for a time. Vampires of the East exist in
• Fox Girl by Nora Okja Keller a strict caste system based out of Japan, and do battle with
• Shogun by James Clavell foreign shapeshifters called hengeyokai in the rest of the Asian
• Silence by Shusaku Endo continent. Both bloodlines revolve around some manner
Non-Fiction to Reference: of right conduct and the Shinto-Buddhist conception of
• The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Mushashi uncleanliness. Both too revolve around the concept of sin
• The Analects of Confucius and personal conduct.
• The Art of War by Sun Tzu Neither bloodline (referred to as full clans), nor their me-
• The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff chanics, were updated for subsequent editions. Nor are vampires
Films and Television to Reference: outside of Japan mentioned. Descriptions for these bloodlines
and their unique disciplines can be found in World of Darkness
Though it covers much of the Far East, Hong Kong
First Edition (Gaki) and Dark Alliance: Vancouver (Bushi).
action movies cast a long shadow over Kindred of the East.
• Infernal Affairs by Alan Mak, & Andrew Lau As with the first edition of Vampire: The Masquerade,
playing the Kindred of the East through a first edition lens
• Oldboy by Park Chan-wook
will focus more on the personal struggle of being a vampire
• A Better Tomorrow by John Woo
in a massive and stratified social network that towers over you
• Big Trouble in Little China by John Carpenter
by centuries, akin to a Wraith chronicle. The Hungry Dead
• Bullet in the Head by John Woo
will find themselves wrestling with their own sins.
• A Chinese Ghost Story by Siu-Tung Ching
The clans and castes are hoary and inscrutable, almost
• High and Low by Akira Kurosawa
impenetrably dense, full of ancient immortals demanding
• The Last Emperor by Bernardo Bertolucci
impossibly high standards from the young vampires running

Kindred of the East the streets. Blood is cheap, while chi comes pumping in veins
rather than breathed through the lungs. Blood is, as ever, the
across the Editions focus in this edition. Crime, the sins of mortality and the
Kindred alike, are themes present in an East book set in the
Kindred of the East was released for the second edition first edition of Vampire. Hungry Dead unlives are cheap, and
of Vampire: The Masquerade, but can easily be updated for enlightenment seems a goal for the far future, when survival
V20 or any of the other editions of the game, should you in the tonight is more immediate.
wish to tailor your writing a particular ruleset. For rule As many Asian nations experience a period of eco-
differences, the prominent changes are noted in nomic boom, the gulf between the rich and poor
the Vampire: The Masquerade Storytellers grows, mirroring the most desperate lands
Vault Style Guide, but here we briefly go of the Americas. This leads to conflict
into some tonal differences you may between different gangs of criminals,
wish to apply to different takes on all of whom have various backers
Kindred of the East: among the sinful Hungry Dead.
They fight over mortal concerns,
First Edition looking at territory and not blood,
Sinful Lives and Undead living dangerously and getting all
Passions their passions out before a tragic
Two bloodlines stand out in shootout claims their short lives.
First Edition Vampire: the Gaki, However, more often than not,
or jiki-ketsu (“blood-suckers”), and some of those gangsters get back
the Bushi, who hew to a corrupt up when the shooting’s done.
version of bushidō, the Edo-period First edition reminds us how
samurai code of behavior. While both horrifying it is to be a vampire, and how
interpret the Caine mythos through the the Kindred act as a dark reflection on mor-
lens of Japanese mythology, the Gaki believe tality. The Bushi and the Gaki display much of
themselves to descended from Izanagi (Caine) and this superior attitude over mortals common in first
Izanami (Lilith), equating Japan with the Land of Nod; the edition. Be careful playing with stereotypes in this edition.
10 Kindred of the East

Accentuate them, but do not exploit them, especially given Of a final note: the Kindred of the East lose three of
the ease of which Asian characters are stereotyped in media. their most enlightened vampires to the rising of the Ravnos
Antediluvian during the Week of Nightmares, a consequence
Second Edition of a fierce-three day battle. It takes three of these ancient
beings to hold back the Kindred titan, and the stalemate is
Grand Sorceries and the Splendor of the East
only ended when an outside force bombards their battlefield
Kindred of the East is set in the second edition of Vam-
in sunlight and nuclear weapons. It is this event that breaks
pire: The Masquerade by default, and it is recommended
the longstanding aloofness and turns the Kindred of the East
you read that sourcebook before writing your own material.
towards seizing their protection in far-off lands.
Many of the line’s major books were published just after the
change to Revised.
However, as noted before, it is impossible for any singular Fourth Edition
book to capture the many different nations and cultures of
East Asia. Readers and writers of new material are encouraged
(20th Anniversary Edition)
A Brave New World and the Turning of the Wheel
to take the book’s material as simply another component of
The fourth edition of Vampire: The Masquerade acts as
research when writing their own material for games.
an encyclopedia of all Vampire’s possibilities, and Kindred
of the East products written with this in mind should keep
Third Edition (Revised Edition) in mind the myriad of possibilities. Think full globalization, a
The Orient and the Occident faltering America, and the overarching, resurgent dominance
Many of Kindred of the East’s supplements come during of Chinese culture, influence, and economics. With this
the Revised era, yet they are largely in line with second edition edition’s thinking, Asia is a power player on a global stage,
sensibilities. Consider both perspectives when reading the with North Korea looking to gain access to nuclear status,
supplements. Japan worrying over the past, and China taking the stage along
In the Revised edition, the Kindred of the East must the United States and a resurgent Russia as superpowers.
contend with a rapidly changing world that extends far beyond Technology and social media can change minds faster than
Asia and into an era of globalization. Conflicts with the West tanks, and the attitude of colonialism subtly flips.
are frequent and inevitable, as the Quincunx seeks to flex their The Camarilla begins to contend with the Courts as
might and acquire territories in North America along lines of equals, with ambassadors of each taking residence in the
the pan-Asiatic disaspora. Their counterparts in Japan do the domains of the other, while the Sabbat find their religious
same, and the once-derided view of the Asian Century — the sensibilities breaking against the bulwark of the ancient
idea that Asian nations will become the dominant world powers enlightened beings at the heart of the Courts. The Sabbat’s
in the 21st Century — begins to claim the minds of ancients as sheltering of the last Salubri, too, causes inordinate difficulties,
the Wheel turns and they are ascendant once more. as the Wan Kuei loathe the spawn of Zao Lat. The Anarchs
One notable book set in the third edition of Vampire: The are offered individual shelter, as the Hungry Dead see the
Masquerade by default is World of Darkness: Blood & Silk, a easiest way to break the grip of the Camarilla to be offering
supplement for the Dark Ages line. While it is based around succor to their enemies. Review Vampire: The Dark Ages
a thoroughly medieval sensibility, it has several important 20th Anniversary Edition for that edition’s view of the Silk
rules updates and has a general strength and power level that Road and the Salubri Watcher Caste, and Beckett’s Jyhad
is more apropos to the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire. Diary for the ancient battles with the Ravnos.
OF THE EAST

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