Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
|Character Creation Rules – Detailed character creation requirements for the Crimson Empires Kindred of the East game.||Character Advancement Rules – Detailed character advancement rules for gaining and spending experience points.|
|KOE Errata – Rules changes or ‘house rules’ for the Kindred of the East campaign as well as clarifications and modifications from the developers.||oWoD Dice Roller – A free, web-based die roller that is modifiable for difficulty and allows for things like re-rolls and botches that take away successes.|
When raising in Dharma you are now given a free dot in both your Dharmic Lore and in your KoE Lore halved rounded down.
For Example: If you have Dharma 3 it would be a free dot in general but if you are Dharma 4 you have 2 free dots as well as with Dharma 5.
When using Heightened senses, the character uses their Dharma rating to determine the benefits of it. Perception rolls have their difficulty reduced by a factor equal to the character’s Dharma. If the character has Dharma 2, he gets a -1 difficulty. If he has Dharma 3, he gets a -3 difficulty. No difficulty will ever drop below difficulty 3 in this manner.
When using Heightened Senses to pierce through illusions or deception, use the character’s Dharma to pit against the other character’s Obfuscate, Chimersty or other similar power. If the Kuei-jin’s Dharma is higher than the character’s overall rating in the power, then the Kuei-jin sees him automatically. If the Kuei-jin’s Dharma is lower, then he automatically fails. If the two have equal levels of power, then the Kuei-jin rolls Perception + Alertness against the appropriate roll for that character’s power.
Example: A Kuei-jin with Dharma 3 and Heightened Senses activated confronts a Vampire using Obfuscate 2, Unseen Presence. What’s important is the vampire’s overall rating, not the power he’s using. If the vampire has Obfuscate 4, which is higher than the Dharma 3, then the vampire remains unseen. If the vampire has Obfuscate 2 which is lower than the Kuei-jin’s Dharma 3 then the Kuei-jin notices him. If the vampire has Obfuscate 3, a tie, then the Kuei-jin rolls Perception + Alertness vs. the vampire’s Wits + Stealth (the roll appropriate for Unseen Presence). Ties in this roll still go to the defender which would be the vampire with Obfuscate.
On Jade Shintai 4: Harnessing the Dragon’s Breath
Note that while using Jade Shintai 4 to fly, the vampire must stay within the Chi Line in order to maintain his ability, or transfer to a new line should the opportunity present itself. Also note that smaller Chi Lines will do for this purpose. This power does not require a major Dragon Line to function. However, the higher the Wall is, the smaller and thinner the Chi Lines of that area are. Assume that a vampire may fly for a number of miles equal to 10 – the Wall Rating of an area before he must change lines. Thus, a vampire in Downtown (Wall rating 8) could fly for 2 miles before having to find a new line. While a vampire in Little Tokyo (Wall rating 7) could fly for 3 miles. A vampire who is in Angles National Forest (Wall Rating 5) could manage to travel 5 miles before he had to change to a new line. In such a place that actually has a Wall Rating of 10, the Chi Lines are too weak to support flight and the Kuei-jin is unable to use this power.
In addition, the following may be found in the Vampire Storyteller’s Handbook, pg. 168 to 174 with modifications as appropriate for site balance and clarity.
Dharmic Social Bonuses
While the Running Monkeys and jina may be impressed by displays of wisdom, the mandarins know that the ancestors and even the mighty bodhisattvas, however enlightened, are still fallible. Kuei-jin who themselves recieve a bonus to social interactions based on their Dharmic Station (Kindred of the East, pg. 54) may subtract the number of bonus dice they receive from the number of bonus dice an elder of higher station receives when the characters are interacting. So for example, a bodhisattva of Dharma 9 would receive only 3 bonus dice to Social rolls against a mandarin of Dharma 7. The Kuei-jin have little doubt that the bodhisattvas’ incredible powers of persuasion are one of the main reasons that the mandarins strictly limit the amount of contact they have with disciples and jina.
Unlocking Demon Chi
As stated on pg. 91 of Kindred of the East, a Kuei-jin must roll P’o (difficulty Hun + 3) to gain access to their Demon Chi for a scene. Four or more successes on this roll sends the vampire into fire nature. This roll need ONLY be made when the Kuei-jin wishes to burn “raw” Demon Chi.
The P’o roll used when activating a Demon Art is a shadow soul roll of Hun (difficulty P’o), as specified on pg. 90 of Kindred of the East. When a Kuei-jin activates a Demon Art, be sure to use this special roll and not the standard shadow nature roll described on pg. 91 and 151. When activating Black Wind and Iron Mountain, this roll is made once and does not need to be made again so long as the Demon Art is maintained over consecutive turns. If the Kuei-jin chooses not to spend Chi and thus deactivate the power and then start it up at a later time, then the Hun roll must be made again to avoid falling into shadow soul. Kuei-jin invoking Black Wind must make this special shadow roll when first activating the Art as well as a P’o roll (difficulty 8) each turn it is active. As specified on pg. 108 of Kindred of the East, failing this roll triggers fire soul.
Resisting Mental Intrusion
Through the power of the P’o, Kuei-jin can resist spiritual chains of any sort, be they Soul Shackles, the blood bond, Dominate, Presence or the more esoteric abilities of other shen. Note that Kuei-jin whos equivalent generation is lower than the Kin-jin’s (as per Kindred of the East, pg. 12-13 equivalent generation is equal to 13 – Dharma) is AUTOMATICALLY immune to the effects of that Cainite’s Dominate. Any magical power that would mentally subjugate the Kuei-jin’s free will may be resisted with the P’o (remember, the roll is P’o, difficulty 9 and does trigger an automatic check for Shadow Soul). This includes even powers like Chi’iu Muh’s Dragon Ward, Dementation and the Mibasham powers Pors’dan and Riddle of Maya.
Kuei-jin may spend Willpower to resist such mind control, but only if they are aware that they are bound. In general, only one such resistance is allowed per constraint, though extraordinary circumstances might allow an additional roll, at the Storyteller’s discretion.
Note that the P’o cannot resist powers that investigate rather than manipulate (for example, Auspex or certain powers of Obligation), those that rely on mental misdirection (like Obfuscate or Shrouded Moon) or those that prey specifically on the Demon’s nature (like Cultivation, Dread Gaze or Goblin Spark “firecrackers”).
Because it is complex, combat is the subject of extensive rules and is the facet of Vampire that changed the most between editions. Most of the changes involve the new initiative system, powers that allow vampires to take multiple actions per turn and the new division between bashing and lethal damage. Most of these powers are already covered in the site’s primary combat rules. For those that aren’t, here’s the conversions for those that aren’t.
Use the standard weapons chart for normal weapons and hand-to-hand attacks. Supernatural weapons made manifest through Demon Shintai, Yin Prana or other powers do the amount of damage do the amount of damage listed for the weapon. This damage is aggravated only if specified in the power description, otherwise it is bashing or lethal as appropriate to the weapon.
Sources of damage that do not have mortal equivalents but which rely on attack rolls have their damage reduced by one. So, for example, bone talons grown through the use of Bone Obedience will now do Strength + 1 aggravated damage instead of Strength + 2. Included in this category are bone swords, the bloodlash, claws, fangs, maws, spines, suckers and pretty much any other attack that relies on the combat system (attack-dodge-damage-soak) to resolve.
Attacks that do not cause direct damage (for example, the Blood Atemi) or that do not rely on attack rolls to determine if they hit (for example, the Five Poison Cloud) make the transition to the revised rules unchanged from their original form.
Special exceptions to these guidelines are discussed below, under Disciplines.
Bashing Damage from Firearms
Regardless of the Kuei-jin’s Aspect or Chi Balance, they treat damage from firearms as bashing damage. Note: The Kindred of the East Companion states that Yang-aspected Kuei-jin suffer lethal damage from firearms. This new rule supersedes that. Despite their elevated body temperature and ability to function sexually, Yang-aspected Kuei-jin are still undead. While the destruction of major organs might inconvenience them, it is no more than a nuisance. This is true even for Kuei-jin with permanent Yang-imbalances. However, the Storyteller should raise sharply the difficulty of permanently Yang-imbalanced Kuei-jin’s monthly infection roll if they are severely wounded and leave the wounds unhealed or untreated. The Storyteller may even require an immediate roll at difficulty 8 or 9 if the vampire encounters highly septic conditions while bearing unhealed wounds. The scarlet Chi that permeates the flesh of such Cathayans makes it a fertile breeding ground for diseases of the most virulent sort.
Black Wind, Demon Chi and Yang Prana all draw on different and mutually incompatible sources of energy. As a result, these sources of extra actions are not compatible (with the limited exception of Dragon Dance and Black Wind… we’ll get to that in a moment). Just as with actions granted by Celerity, a Cathayan’s extra actions can be used only for physical tasks. The difference between physical and mental actions is often very blurry for Kuei-jin and is left up to the Storyteller for adjudication. Generally, Chi Disciplines and Shintais may be used multiple times per turn, while most Soul Disciplines may not. In any case, keep the Kuei-jin’s Chi expenditure limit in mind.
Actions gained from the use of raw Demon Chi and Yang Prana powers occur NEXT round, as if they had been granted by Celerity. Just as with Celerity, these extra actions can be used only for physical activity. Actions gained via the use of Black Wind occur in the round that the Demon Chi is spent, thus making the first dot of Black Wind a very worthwhile purchase.
The following actions are reflexive. They do not require an action and thus do not require that the vampire’s dice pool be split.
-Using the P’o to resist mental domination
-Expending Chi to power Disciplines or improve Physical Attributes
-Healing damage with Chi
-Making a reflexive attack to activate a power that requires the vampire to touch his target (see below)
An attack that requires the vampire to touch his target allows the Cathayan to make a reflexive Dexterity + Martial Arts or Dexterity + Brawl check to determine if he can successfully touch his target. This reflexive attack does no damage, other than the effects of the power. If the Kuei-jin attempts to split his actions in the same turn in addition to using the power which involves the touch attack, then the reflexive attack roll faces the same penalty that the power itself does. For example, a Kuei-jin attempts to throw a punch, then touch a second opponent and use Chi Interrupt, and then dodge an incoming kick from a third. The first action faces a -3 penalty for taking three actions. The second action, the power use, faces a -4 penalty and the dodge faces a -5 penalty. The reflexive attack action to touch the target will face the same -4 penalty that the power does.
A Kuei-jin with extra actions cannot make a successful attack on a target with one action and then invoke a power on a later action based on the previously established “touch.” The sort of physical contact required for the invocation of Disciplines is quite specific to the power in question, not just a simple condition of the power’s effects.
Like Combat, Disciplines require a certain amount of mechanical overhead based on their importance to the game. As a result, the Disciplines section of the conversion is quite extensive.
Equilibrium powers like Chi Mastery and Chi Interrupt can be used during extra actions, making Cathayans skilled with this art deadly in combat.
Tapestry is a difficult and often arduous Discipline to perform, and Tapestry powers cannot be performed with extra actions.
Chi-Shaping – The bad joss effect of Chi-shaping has different effects under the revised rules. When a target or area effected with bad joss, "1"s and "2"s are subtracted from the number of rolled successes. Note that botching still requires no successes and at least one “1” to be rolled — no successes, no "1"s and one or more "2"s is not a botch.
Principle of Motion – Each point of Yang Chi channeled through the Principle of Motion adds 3 to the Kuei-jin’s initiative rating total for the turn, NOT three dice.
Yang Mantle – Although not explicitly stated, additional successes on the Cathayan’s Dexterity + Melee roll to attack with a Yang bolt add tot he damage done by the bolt, which does two aggravated damage by itself.
Dragon Dance – Because attack roll successes add to damage dice pools in the revised rules, the effects of the Dragon Dance are slightly different. Successes on attacks made by a Kuei-jin using the Dragon Dance ARE NOT counted twice.
Instead, when performing the Dragon Dance, the Kuei-jin’s attack AND damage roll difficulties are reduced by 1 when she is engaging in hand-to-hand combat. Also, the Cathayan’s hand-to-hand attacks to lethal damage, even if made unarmed or with blunt weapons, making the blows of Yang Prana practitioners devastating against mortals as well as effective against those who have taken the Second Breath. The negation of wound penalties and other effects of the Dragon Dance are exactly as presented on pg. 105-106 of Kindred of the East.
Yin Mantle – As in Yang Mantle above, additional successes on a Yin bolt attack add to a base two dice of aggravated damage.
Eightfold Yin Mantle – To clarify the method by which the wayang takes damage, it soaks with the vampire’s BASIC Stamina only, not adding other bonuses such as Bone Armor, Stamina bonuses from Shintai arts or soak difficulty reductions form Permeate. However, a wayang takes half damage from bashing attacks and treats gunfire as bashing. It is, after all, nothing but an animate shadow.
Black Wind is as described in Extra Actions and Unlocking Demon Chi, providing its extra actions the turn the Demon Chi is spent. As noted on pg. 106 of Kindred of the East, Black Wind can be invoked during the Dragon Dance (remember, I said we’d get to this part). When this is done, the Black Wind can be used only to provide automatic successes or to increase running speed. Extra actions between the two disciplines are still mutually exclusive. Failing the Black Wind’s per-turn fire soul roll while using the Discipline in conjunction with the Dragon Dance generally results in a terrible combination of fire and shadow souls, in which the Kuei-jin is reduced to little more than a chih mei for hours, sometimes nights. As a result, most vampires avoid mixing the Disciplines, but during times of desperation, many Cathayans are willing to push the envelope for the extra power.
Demon Shintai’s Attribute bonuses work as printed. As noted in General Conversions (above), weapons generated with Demon Weapon now use the weapon lists from the site house rules to determine traits. Other damage-causing investitures that casue direct harm have the amount of damage they do reduced to one.
Horror – Kuei-jin in the Demon Shintai form often have the Characteristic Horror. This terror is a supernaturally powerful effect that grips mortals who see the vampire in its demon form. The fear triggered by being confronted with such a creature is of a spiritual and not rational character and is normally found only in the depths of the darkest nightmares. Mortals of Willpower 6 or below (most of the population) will usually flee from the vampire’s presence in varying degrees of stark terror, depending on their Willpower. Those with higher Willpower scores will react in a variety of ways, typically based on the situation and their role in it. Mortals capable to withstanding this occult terror are not necessarily compelled to throw themselves into mortal combat with a monster from beyond the grave, though hysterical anger is an occasional response.
After exposure, most mortals remember the event poorly, if at all, from a combination of shock-induced amnesia and blocking mechanisms. Psychological withdrawal, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide, spousal abuse and other post-traumatic stress symptoms are common among those who have been exposed to this Delerium, particularly in violent or otherwise traumatic situations. Being forced into close and continued proximity with such a horrific creature will induce massive derangement, usually culminating in catatonic withdrawal. Kuei-jin with this Demon Shintai characteristic should be careful — this divine terror is a weapon that knows neither friend nor foe.
Shen, including magicians and ghouls (and mortals with True Faith, even though they aren’t really shen), are immune to this effect. Although they probably don’t find the vampire pleasant to behold, they are not seized by hysterical panic. Mortals with advanced combat training, who are defending their children or who have some familiarity with the unseen world may make a Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 6), with each success increasing their effective Willpower by 1 for the purposes of withstanding this terror.
Other than Bloodlash’s reduction to Strength + 1 aggravated damage, Blood Shintai works as printed.
Bone Obedience – Talons to Strength + 1 aggravated damage, and the Bone Blade does Strength + 2 aggravated damage.
Five Poison Cloud – Five Poison Cloud works as printed. Since there is no attack roll, the damage remains the same.
Ch’ing Shih – A Kuei-jin who has activated Ch’ing Shih has access to the Talons, Visage and Key powers of Bone Obedience for free (though she must still wait for the appendages to grow). Bone Armor and Bone Blade continue to cost Chi, but the effect per point spent is doubled — Bone Armor provides two additional soak dice, and the Bone Blade lasts for six turns per point, rather than three. Wounds inflicted with the Bone Blade carry the same venom as the ch’ing shih’s bite and talons.
Walking corpses created through the ch’ing shih’s venom take damage as if they were a vampire (that is, halve bashing damage after an attack and treat firearms as bashing weapons). Unless the corpse is VERY badly mutilated, the zombies return with full health levels.
Jade Servant of the August Personage – Strikes by the Kuei-jin wearing any of the five elemental mantles do lethal damage. Also, while the elemental mantles provide three additional soak dice, they do not penalize the vampire’s Dexterity.
Detach Limb – Constriction damage is bashing. Bite damage is aggravated, but remember that Kuei-jin must spend Demon Chi to grow fangs or a maw. Note that Kuei-jin penangallan leaping or floating about may make bite attacks even without a successful grapple.
Pelesit – The attacks delivered by pelesits do lethal damage by default, though the Kuei-jin may choose to shape the homunculi into forms that have bashing attacks.
Ten Thousand Forms – Kuei-jin using Ten Thousand Forms can grow a variety of horns, spines, claws and fangs that do lethal damage. Use the Bone Obedience and Demon Shintai characteristics as guidelines for how much damage these body weapons do. However, the Ten Thousand Forms does not allow the Kuei-jin to grow natural weapons that deal aggravated damage. Cathayans use other powers (usually the Demon Shintai or Bone Shintai’s power Bone Obedience) to make such fearsome attacks.
Goblin Face – If for some reason the Kuei-jin’s bite does bashing or lethal damage, the use of Goblin Face in conjunction with the bite causes the damage to become aggravated.
Goblin Spark – The Yang rating referred to in the third paragraph of the power description is the target’s PERMANENT Yang rating.
The “P’o domination” referred to in this Discipline is the Demon Shintai form. Kuei-jin MUST know the Demon Shintai form to manifest the Dragon Tear. While in their normal mortal form, they may use only the Hun side of the Discipline, while in Demon Shintai form, they may only use the Discipline’s P’o versions. It is the vampire’s physical form and NOT THEIR CURRENT SOUL STATE that determines which power is usable to be.
The Dragon Tear is a form of mind control. Kuei-jin who wish to resist its effects, even Spirit-Eating, may do so with a P’o roll (difficulty 9), as detailed on pg. 91 of Kindred of the East. This roll may be made only once per attempt.
Spirit-Eating – Note that the loss of Dharma rating for actually devouring the soul is AUTOMATIC for vampires other than the Devil-Tigers. The Hun and P’o must be in agreement to use either version of this power — Spirit-Eating is a metaphysically demanding process, and the Kuei-jin’s dual soul must be in harmony over the matter. If the currently dominant soul wishes to use Spirit-Eating without the other half’s permission, it must force the issue in a battle of wills. This is done via an extended, opposed roll of Hun versus P’o, withthe difficulty of both being the vampire’s Willpower. The winner is the first to accumulate three more successes than its rival.
If the dominant soul wins, then the lesser soul must permit the attempt at Soul-Eating to take place. If the secondary soul wins, then the Kuei-jin cannot use Soul-Eating on that target for (at least) the rest of the night. A botch on this contest of wills generally leaves the failed soul prostrate for some time.
Finally, remember that the Devil-Tigers CAN lose Dharma for consuming souls to no real end, but even the worst abuses will constitute no more than an Act of Blindness.
Distant Death Kata – Only simple physical attacks can be made with the Distant Death Kata. Attacks that have an effect other than doing damage (for example, most Equilibrium based attacks) do not work with the kata. The difficulty is as normal for the attack, and the player must roll three or more successes to perform the Distant Death Kata correctly. Successes do not add to the damage inflicted by the kata, nor do automatic damage successes from Black Wind and burning raw Demon Chi. Attacks that would do aggravated damage inflict lethal damage when inflicted by the Distant Death Kata.
Iron Mountain UNDER REVIEW
Soaking has become more difficult under the revised rules, and Iron Mountain has changed to reflect this. To activate this Demon Art, the vampire must make the Hun roll (difficulty equal to his P’o) for shadow soul, as per normal. For each turn that it is active, the Kuei-jin must spend a point of Demon Chi.
Thousand Hell stare (lvl 4) is presence-y and not capable of being stopped by Internalized Lvl 1 (No Mind).
Despite this Discipline’s name, it should be treated as a Soul Discipline, including the Kuei-jin’s inability to use its powers when in Demon Shintai form. Beast Shintai does not enable the Kuei-jin to increase their Strength Attribute under revised Vampire rules.
Stepping Stones – The effect of Stepping Stones is not instantaneous. The number of successes on the character’s Intelligence + Occult roll is compared to the chart on pg. 147 of Kindred of the East to determine the amount of time require to traverse the Wall.
More importantly, Following in the Crab’s Footsteps and Yin and Yang Prana provide the Kuei-jin with protection against the often hostile environments of the spirit world. Both the Yin and Yang Worlds are hostile to those without the proper spiritual natures, including the fallen Wan Kuei. Kuei-jin traveling the Yang World via Stepping Stones may suffer as much as one to three dice of aggravated damage per turn from the burning Yang that permeates the realm now. Mages call this energy the Avatar Storm. Kuei-jin feel it’s presence at all times if they cross without the proper protections, unlike Mages who feel it upon crossing, but then their Spirit Magics serve as protection from further harm. The Yin World has entered one of its great storm seasons as the Sixth Age approaches and though the storms have abated, the Kuei-jin using Stepping Stones still risks crossing in the middle of one of the Maelstroms that still wander the land, potentially leading to instant obliteration if the storm is strong enough (use the Wraith: the Oblivion rules for Maelstroms found on this site for this). Those few Kuei-jin schooled in Mibasham typically use Stepping Stones as a method of exiting the spirit worlds in an emergency, using Following in the Crab’s Footsteps instead to gain entrance to the Yin and Yang Worlds.
Entrance to Yomi via Stepping Stones is much less risky. However, the gate that opens one way does not necessarily swing the other way so easily. Vampires who enter the Yomi Realms via Stepping Stones sometimes find themselves either in the hazardous terrain of the Ebon Road or the Scarlet Path or else on the other side of a gateway into one of the Thousand Hells proper. It is up to the Storyteller where you end up, the Kuei-jin has no control of it. In the former case, the Kuei-jin need only worry about preserving his existance long enough to gain his bearings. In the latter case, the Cathayan is likely to find attempts to leave the hell blocked by the various wicked spirits who act as gate warders for the Yama Kings.
A Stumble On The Path – Heaven does not smile on those who push their fellows from the path of enlightenment. Kuei-jin who are not akuma may well suffer an Act of Blindness from the use of A Stumble on the Path.