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''Kindred of the East'' is a spin-off of ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' dealing with, well, the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Kindred of the East]]. Asia was always a forbidden land to Western Vampires. Those who went there and were fortunate enough to return would tell stories of the bizarre abilities and practices of the "Cathayans" (Cathay is an archaic name for China). It was almost as if they weren't really Cainite vampires at all but something totally different. They had no idea...

This book was the flagship project of Creator/WhiteWolf's ''Year of the Lotus'' event, which focused on the Asian side of the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness. ''KOTE'' was intended as an offshoot of ''Vampire'' but the Kuei-Jin, as Eastern vampires are called, share only superficial similarities with the Cainite variety. Because it introduces several new mechanics and has its own {{Splat}}s, ''KOTE'' is often treated as a standalone game, though some knowledge of ''Vampire'' and ''TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion'' will help.

OurVampiresAreDifferent indeed. Kuei-Jin are humans who died violently and are sent to [[IronicHell Yomi]], from which they escape back into their bodies and must sustain on chi to survive. At first, they can only obtain it from human blood and/or flesh, but after centuries of spiritual enlightenment (comparable to Cainites' generations), they can draw chi from a person's breath or even directly from the earth itself. Like Western Vampires, Kuei-Jin are allergic to sunlight, vulnerable to staking, and subject to beastly frenzies of anger or fear. However, they can't embrace; all damned souls have to make their own way out of Hell. They also can't make Ghouls or blood bonds; their curse is theirs to bear alone. As former Wraiths, Kuei-Jin also have to contend with their Shadows and Oblivion (see TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion for details) and strive to Transcend the mortal plane.

The game's new mechanics rework ''Vampire's'' concepts of Virtues and Paths of Enlightenment and ''Wraith's'' concept of dual-mind. There are 5 Virtues to keep track of and the first four are paired off. '''Yin''' and '''Yang''' deal with the type of chi a Vampire consumes. Yin chi is dead, like from a blood bank, corpse, or another Vampire. Yang chi comes from living targets or a Kuei-Jin with an overabundance of Yang chi themselves. Too much of the former turns the Vampire into a shambling zombie while the latter turns them into a raging hedonist who can bear children if not careful. '''Hun''' and '''P'o''' respectively deal with a vampire's higher mind and base instincts. The classic angel on one shoulder, devil on another. The fifth virtue is '''Balance''', as keeping those two sliding scales towards the middle has its own benefits.

There are five mainstream Dharmas each based on one of the Virtues:

* '''Thrashing Dragons:''' Yang; Thrill-seekers
* '''Bone Flowers (The Song of Shadow):''' Yin; Necromancers
* '''Resplendent Cranes:''' Hun; Redeemers
* '''Devil Tigers:''' P'o; Sadomasochists
* '''Thousand Whispers:''' Balance; Travelers

In addition, there are five Dharmas considered heretical by the mainstream:

* '''Phoenixes''': Hun and Yang; FriendlyNeighborhoodVampires who emulate humans
* '''Tempests''': Balance; Taoists
* '''Godlings''': Hun and P'o; Incarnate gods
* '''Cerulean Veils (The Spirit of the Living Earth)''': Yin and Yang; Shamans
* '''Scorpion Eaters''': P'o; Ruthless survivors

!! In addition to the tropes of Vampire and Wraith, this game also provides examples of:

* AGodAmI: The Heretical (non-Quincunx) Dharma called the Face of the Gods believes that Kuei-jin are latent demigods whose journey ToHellAndBack awoke their powers. Unlike most examples, they aren't inherently jerks about it-while many who split off from the Quincunx are indeed quite vain and reckless, the Indian Godlings (ie, the people for whom it is a native philosophy) are extremely respectful of their cultists and [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire find actually feeding on them without permission distasteful]], preferring [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve prayer]] (an ability of theirs is to transmute the faith generated by worshipers' rituals into physical Chi, which they can eat).
* AffablyEvil: Devil-Tigers hold this as an ideal to achieve-they're utter monsters, yes, but they're ''regal'' monsters who punish the wicked rather than corrupt the innocent. Indeed, the intro comic to their Dharma book has one realizing betraying a lover just because he could was infinitely too petty for a Devil-Tiger, and this understanding advances his his own powers (although he doesn't make restitution-indeed, he still keeps her soul as a paperweight).
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The {{Jiangshi}}, the akuma, the Yama Kings and their minions...
* AnatomyOfTheSoul: A Kuei-Jin's soul has two components, the higher moral one called Hun and the lower amoral one called P'o. Their torment in Hell has caused their P'o to seek dominance, and if not restrained, it will drive them into becoming evil.
* TheAtoner: Every single Kuei-Jin is like this. They went to Hell for some kind of transgression, and one way or another, managed to return to the land of the living. They believe that this second life is meant to correct their past mistakes. Unfortunately, the philosophies disagree on just ''how'' one is supposed to atone for sins and transcend suffering (Devil-Tigers want to become the Yama Kings' actually helpful replacements, Bone Flowers want to maintain tradition and respect for the dead, Cranes desire to make the Earth more like Heaven, Thrashing Dragons want to have another chance at living, and Thousand Whispers want to study existence). Some Kuei-Jin decided to say "[[ScrewThisImOuttaHere fuck it all]]" and become ''akuma'' instead.
* BackgroundMagicField: Chi flow in the world is treated like this, and Kuei-jin feed upon the Chi that conglomerates in mortals.
** Kuei-jin must pay attention to the Chi flow of their lair. Some of them are highly versed in feng-shui, and even [[CutLexLuthorACheck rent out their service to mortal architects (while passing as a mortal)]].
* BloodyMurder: The Blood Shintai discipline.
* BodyHorror: Kuei-jin rot instead of burn under sunlight, and this disfigurement can become permanent if it happens thoroughly.
* ChineseVampire: What Kuei-Jin resemble if they have an imbalance of Yin chi. High skill in Bone Shintai allows for the creation of zombie minions.
* CulturalCringe: In-universe, one [[EnemyWithin P'o archetype]] makes a Kuei-Jin spit on the Dharma and praise the unrestricted ways of the Cainites (Western vampires). This is treated as a bad thing, if only because it's impossible for a Kuei-Jin to learn Cainite disciplines (and vice versa).
** Zao-Lat (Saulot) figured out how to learn Cathayan Disciplines by training with the Kuei-Jin equivalent of the Buddha (He's an Antediluvian, so good luck pulling this off as a player character). Nobody quite knows how he made it work, and he was eventually exiled from the Middle Kingdom due to being a Canite. Most Cathayans are generally alright with the story, as Saluot actually paid their traditions respect, unlike the "Foreign Devils" who keep coming in and causing trouble.
* DangerousDeserter: The Quincunx considers Scorpion Eaters to be this, for several reasons. First is a basic matter of principle; they're Kuei-jin, therefore they're obligated to join a Quincunx Dharma and fight the good fight against Yomi Wan, and by ditching the fight they deprive the Kuei-jin of strength. Second, they may not technically be akuma, but they spread taint and decay to create fouled nests where they can live. And third, they're violent thugs one step above chih-mei.
* DeathByAThousandCuts: And there is a discipline with almost that exact name!
* {{Dhampyr}}: Were first introduced to the World of Darkness through this game. Asian Dhampyrs are the offspring of Yang-imbalanced vampires. They have limited access to Disciplines, but their main power is that they're BornLucky, a spiritual side-effect of their unlikely birth.
* EmotionEater: For a Kuei-Jin, the emotion of the prey is just about as important as the prey's blood.
* EnemyWithin: P'o, the amoral lower soul. {{Subverted}}, though: all beings have both Hun and P'o, but Kuei-Jin's P'o are agitated and out of balance due to their time in Hell. Maintaining balance between Hun and P'o is a constant challenge for a Kuei-Jin.
* TheFettered: Since the Kuei-Jin must adhere to Dharma if they don't want to become a cannibal ghoul, all Kuei-Jin except for Scorpion-Eaters are TheFettered in one way or another. Yes, even the Devil-Tigers.
* FireAndBrimstoneHell: The [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Hell of Boiling Oil and Hell of Seven Burning Seas]]
* FriendlyLocalChinatown: The larger ones have a healthy number of Kuei-Jin, and are a good way to set a Kuei Jin campaign in a Western setting. UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco in particular is considered neutral ground between Eastern and Western Vampires.
* GratuitousChinese and GratuitousJapanese: Right there in the title. "Kuei" is Chinese for 'demons', while "-jin" is Japanese for 'person'. This is actually pointed out in the corebook itself.
* TheHedonist: Any vampire with Yang imbalance will become very lively, and can even sire or bear child if they are careless.
* TheHeretic: The Heretical Dharmas aren't bad, ''per se'' - bar the Scorpion Eaters, and even they [[VillainHasAPoint have a point]] - but the establishment doesn't like them.
* HeroicWillpower: A Kuei-jin with ridiculously high Hun (higher soul) trait can hold herself from doing actions caused by P'o-induced (lower soul) [[UnstoppableRage shadow soul]]. Since most Kuei-Jin are not even self-aware when they are in shadow soul, that's saying something.
* HollywoodAtlas: The game generally portrays "[[InterchangeableAsianCultures The Middle Kingdom]]" (actually an old epithet for China, used here to refer to the entirety of East Asia) as a combination of {{Animeland}}, FarEast, LandOfDragons, ThirtySecondsOverTokyo... basically the place has more in common with a John Woo movie than the real world. Whether this is artistic license or artistic insensitivity is a subject of debate.
* IAmAHumanitarian: Kuei-jin with Dharma 0 must feed from human flesh to gain chi. Eating a corpse nets Yin-aspected Chi, while eating a human alive nets Yang-aspected Chi. {{Squick}}. All Kuei-jin are able to do this, but eating flesh at higher Dharma levels is sloppy at best and downright vulgar at worst.
* ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty: Dhampyrs age normally until the reach their physical prime, after which they age at the rate of one year for every five.
* JekyllAndHyde: unlike the western vampires' beast, a kuei-jin's P'o is a fully developed alternate personality
* KissOfTheVampire: {{Averted}}. A Kuei-jin's feeding doesn't induce euphoria in the prey, though it ''will'' induce other kind of emotions. A Kuei-jin who wants to avoid Chi imbalance will need to pay attention to those emotions.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to Western ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade''. Kuei-jin society is brutal and richly political, but your elders are (usually) not actively out to screw you over. There's a clear evil for the Kuei-jin to fight against. And Golconda isn't a myth for them, it's proven fact, and there are active Bodhisattvas to show you the way. On a cosmic scale, unlike for Western vampires, Gehenna may be the beginning of an age of sorrow and the end of God's reign, but the Sixth Age itself will pass in time.
* ManOnFire: The Flame Shintai can turn a Kuei-jin into one, while not being harmed by fire. Since Kuei-jin normally take aggravated damage from fire, the practitioners of this discipline are much feared.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Magical kungfu zombie philosophers!
* NuclearNasty: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki devastated the Chi flow of those cities, and no sane Kuei-Jin will enter said cities willingly. Unfortunately, there are insane Kuei-Jin, and they gain strange powers from the magical radioactive poisoning they contract there.
* OneWingedAngel: The various "___ Shintai" disciplines. All of them turn you into a horrid, no-nonsense monstrosity.
* RecycledInSpace: Right there in the title: Kindred [-OF THE EAST!-]
* {{Retcon}}: The first edition of ''Vampire'' included Asian bloodlines that were later retconned into Japanese Kuei-Jin factions.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The Scorpion-Eaters took one look at the state of the world and the conflict between the Quincunx and Yomi and decided to prioritize personal survival over fighting the Great Cycle. They have a truce with the Yama Kings, which puts them in conflict with the Quincunx.
* SeductionProofMarriage: The gameline features animal spirit shapeshifters who like to seduce humans ForTheEvulz. It's specifically stated that their seduction powers don't work on anyone who is serious about being faithful to their spouse, or a vow of celibacy.
* SpiritWorld: One of the striking differences between Kuei-jin and Cainites is that the SpiritWorld is extremely important for the Kuei-jin, and they will go to great lengths to keep it in a semblance of balance, not unlike [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse Werewolves]].
* SpiritualSuccessor: Thematically, ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' can be seen as a SpiritualSuccessor to ''Kindred of the East''. The player character went to a literal {{Hell}} and was tormented by {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, escaped to the mundane world as an almost completely changed person, and is now trying to figure out what to do with his or her existence. And the monsters that tortured them want to drag them back to Hell. Also, the emotion of the prey is important to both the Lost and the Kuei-Jin.
** A lot of the concepts and terms were adapted to ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''. To name some of them: Hun and P'o, Shintai, Scarlet Empress and Ebon Dragon, the dragon lines.
* SpotlightStealingSquad: Other Asian supernaturals like the [[TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse Hengeyokai]] and [[VampireHunter Shih]] are defined by their relationship with the Kuei-Jin.
* SupernaturalMartialArts: In addition to learning mundane martial arts such as wushu or aikido, the Kuei-Jin can also learn martial arts tied to their specific condition, called Shintai ("god-body"). Since those martial arts forms require deep understanding of the flow of Chi, the Kuei-Jin who know them are held in high regards.
* ToHellAndBack: That's you, bucko.
* {{Triad}}/{{Yakuza}}: As one can imagine, the Kuei-Jin occupy all levels of organized crime in Asia. Particularly true for the Scorpion Eaters, who delight in living it up like the archetypal gangster - fast cars, faster women, and lead flying everywhere.
* TheUsualAdversaries: Say what you want about rival courts or Dharmas, but you'll need them when the Yama Kings' minions come running down the streets of your city. And they ''will'' come for you, for you're the escaped convicts of Hell.
* VaguenessIsComing: The approaching Sixth Age and the rise of the Demon Emperor, which are cryptically (and toward the end of the line, increasingly openly) referred to in the various books.
* VampireVarietyPack: Or rather, a Vampire ''Expansion'' Pack to TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade.
* WeirdnessCensor: TheMasquerade isn't enforced as strongly, as {{Muggles}} in Asia are generally more superstitious and ask fewer questions.
** Oddly, ''Clanbook Lasombra'' mentions that Asian people are more prone to forming angry witch-hunting mobs.
*** It's easier to ignore a vampire just hanging out at a bar than it is a vampire actively trying to eat your family. While they may not deal with the average vampire, if the vamp crosses the line, they're pretty much screwed.
* WithUsOrAgainstUs: The Quincunx are ''not'' cool with Kuei-jin who don't follow their Dharmas and obey their elders. There's a little slack in the latter for youngsters (who are supposed to run wild for a century or so before getting down to the serious business of enlightenment), but even that is less accepted in the modern world, and those who follow heretical Dharmas are treated just as badly as actual servants of the Yama Kings.