Kindred of the East Character Creation

As a companion to episode #101: Kindred of the East Character Creation and Hot Takes we’ve included a copy of Mapuana’s character sheet here, along with a text explanation of the Kindred of the East character creation process.

  • KotE is a companion book to Vampire: the Masquerade 2nd Edition (1992), so runs off the older World of Darkness Storyteller System. If you haven’t played it before it’s super simple – to perform an action you create a pool of d10s. Usually the pool is a number of dice equal to your characters attribute plus a skill. Roll the dice and your Storyteller will give you a difficulty target number (usually 6). If you meet or beat that number on a die, it’s a success. If you get enough successes, (usually you just need one) the action is successful! That’s the bare bones basics for new players.

  • Name and concept: Mapuana, polynesian (Wallisian) woman from New Caledonia.
    • Mapuana was a corporate translator for several multinationals working in France, Le Magreb, and South-east Asia. She was killed by a stray bombing run while working on oil deals in Nigeria, and has returned as a bitter spirit looking to indulge her unlife in a way she could not while living. Truly a hungry dead.
  • Step 1: Splat Stuff:
    • Choose balance. Do we want they character to be a creature of Yin (negativity/death), Ying (positivity/life), or Balanced? This will have some effect on the Dharmic Path of your character, since the Devil Song of Shadow are powered by Yin, Thousand Whispers dharmic path requires balance, and Thrashing Dragon is powered by Yang.
    • Conceptually, I’m going to make Mapuana a negative entity, so I’ll go with Yin.
    • This leaves us with three optimal Dharmic Paths for Mapuana (aka Map). She can be the distant scholar of the Song of Shadows, a strictly lawful bureaucrat of the Resplendant Crane, or a self-destructive Devil Tiger. Devil Tiger sounds fun, let’s go with that!
    • Next we need to pick Nature, Demeanor, and Direction. All three of these dictate how the character naturally behaves, how they chose to present themselves to the world, and how they are responsible for the world, respectively. I’ll go with Nature: Monster, Demeanor: Bon Vivant, and Direction: South, so Map is a really a horrible monster that cares little for others, but tricks others into thinking she’s a care free partier. Her direction is South, which means she will probably be a leader of the KJ, but also seek to destroy.
      • Directions are a very weak concept with little conceptual and no mechanical bearing on the game. They can probably be skipped.
  • Step 2: Attribute Dots
    • 7/5/3, Map will prioritize Social, Mental, Physical.
    • NOTE: Many Kuei-Jin disciplines use attributes as part of their dice pool, so you might want to move some of these dots around as you pick Disciplines to optimize better.
  • Step 3: Ability Dots
    • 13/9/5, Max 3 dots in a skill.
    • Priorities: Linguistics, Finance, Politics, Etiquette, Empathy, Subterfuge
    • NOTE: Disciplines use abilities too.
  • Step 4: Pick Kewl Powerz and Backgrounds
    • Let’s do Mundane first: Backgrounds. You get five points to distribute. Let’s assume that Map’s off shore accounts were siezed as she awaited the Second Breath and she has Resources 3. Additionally, she will have a number of contacts, particularly among her old Multinational and in the World Bank, giving her Contacts 2. Because Map is a social character, we’ll probably buy some more backgrounds with freebie points. Keui-Jin get access to some cool unique backgrounds, like Jade Talismans, Chi Powered dragon lines, and Guardian Spirits that watch over you.
    • Next we get to pick Disciplines, the kewl powerz of Kindred of the East! Characters start with three dots to spend amongst three disciplines  
    • There are a whole lot of Disciplines and characters can freely pick from almost any of them. I won’t go through all of them, but there’s a few broad categories:
      • Shintai Disciplines are forms of body alchemy powered by contained within the Kuei-Jin.
      • Chi Disciplines allow the KJ to manipulate Chi in their bodies or ambiently.
      • Soul Disciplines allow the KJ channel their P’o and Hun halves in different ways.
      • And the Demon Arts are vile powers granted by the P’o nature.
    • KJ are required to take one of the two Demon Arts, so that seems like a good place to start. The two choices are Black Wind, which grants preternatural strength and speed (Extra actions!), and Demon Shintai, which lets you turn your body into a demon. Let’s go with Demon Shintai because they sounds rad!
      • 1 Dot in Demon Shintai let’s Map get +1 Str/Dex/Sta when going demon form (Spend 3 Demon Chi points and transform over the course of three turns), and also lets her get a transformation feature, like wings or a tail. Map isn’t too concerned about fighting enemies straight on, so let’s give her The Horror. This ability gives her Delirium from Werewolf: the Apocalypse (sure hope you bought that book), which makes the weak willed flee in crazed fear if they fail a willpower roll.
    • For the next Discipline, we know Map is a Yin entity and I’ll be boosting that virtue. As such, let’s give her Yin Prana.
      • 1 dot in Yin Prana gives Map “Shrouded Moon” – spend a Yin Chi Point and become invisible in shadows.
    • Finally, we have one dot left. Since Map is social focused, let’s grab a Soul Discipline like Obligation.
      • 1 dot in Obligation is Evaluate, giving Map superpowered Empathy rolls to understand the target and magically learn things about their past.
    • With this in mind we can finish up the character’s power stats. The Kuei-Jin starts with one point in Yin and Yang, and has four additional points with which to increase these. Since Map is focused on Yin, let’s bump Yin to 4 and give her Yang 2 for good measure.
  • Step 5: A Few Stats More:
    • Okay, we’re almost done. KJ automatically start with 1 dot in Hun and 3 dots in P’o, and 1 dot in Dhama.
    • Yes, this means your evil side is automatically stronger than the “enlightened side.”
    • You also start with Willpower equal to your Hun, which as you will recall is currently 1.. However, KJ must start with at least Willpower 5! This means a character must use Freebie Points to either increase willpower or Hun or the character… I guess dies during character creation?
      • It’s a bad system!
    • So let’s spend those Freebie Points. You get fifteen, so we’ll spend 4 to get our willpower up to 5 total, spend another 3 to get allies backgrounds with Interpol agents, the Chinese Communist Party (you never know when that’ll come in handy), as well as a 3 dot Retinue of smugglers. With the remaining 5 points we bump up Map’s Charisma to 5.
  • And there we have it, a finished character! Map grew more vile in the finishing touch’s using her unlife not for ascetic solitude but for lecherous pleasures. Her business endeavors to smuggle cyclopean artifacts into the PRC will surely draw ire from the established Kuei-Jin courts…
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