Kindred of the East: the Song of Lanterns
The Discipline of Equilibrium allows the vampire to regulate and redirect the flow of Chi in her body. Masters of Equilibrium commonly concern themselves with maintaining proper Chi balance in their systems; conversely, though, Equilibrium can be used to create grotesque Chi imbalances in individuals who displease the user. Most abilities require a touch, and this Discipline may not affect ghosts and spirits unless the vampire has other Disciplines enabling her to touch such beings. 1 · Master Flow · Vampires with Equilibrium quickly master the basic processes of regulating Chi flow in their bodies. System: The vampire spends three turns in contemplation, spends a temporary Willpower Point, and rolls Intelligence + Meditation (difficulty 8). For each success, one Chi Point may be converted to its opposite. Normally, a Cathayan may spend only Yin or only Yang in the same turn. This power enables the vampire to ignore that restriction, and spend as much Chi as her Dharma score allows. 2 · Adjust Balance · By touching a victim, the vampire may adjust the Chi levels in that victim’s body. A target may be overwhelmed with yin or Yang, or an imbalanced being may be restored to health. System: The vampire touches the victim, then rolls Perception + medicine (difficulty 8). For each success, one point of temporary Chi may be converted to its opposite. In this manner, the vampire may render Kuei-jin foes imbalanced or (at least) incapable of accessing certain Disciplines. This power can also be used to heal Kuei-jin who are in an imbalanced state. This power may also be used on mortals and Kindred to adjust their internal chemistry. The vampire decides whether he wants to attune the target to Yin, to Yang, or to Balance. He then rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty of the target’s Willpower). Success balances or imbalances the target in the direction desired. A mortal or Kindred attuned to Yang becomes feverish and manic. For the remainder of the night, the victim spends temporary Willpower on nearly any task attempted.. A Kindred suffers a +1 difficulty to resist frenzy. A mortal or Kindred attuned to Yin becomes lethargic and melancholy. For the remainder of the night, the victim is overwhelmed by negative, possibly even suicidal, thoughts. Difficulties of all Willpower rolls increase by one, and a Kindred suffers a +1 difficulty to resist Rötschreck. A mortal restored to a state of balance enjoys greatly improved physical and mental health. Most normal ailments and infections are cured (though truly debilitating sicknesses such as cancer and AIDS are beyond the scope of this power); this power’s effects last for one month, during which all difficulties of any rolls to resist disease or Derangements are reduced by one. A Kindred adjusted to Balance finds it easier to resist frenzy (-1 to difficulty) for the remainder of the night. 3 · Shift The Balance · With this power, a vampire may regulate the levels of Chi in her own body. She may attune herself to Yin or yang and become a conductor for positive or negative energy. System: The vampire spends a temporary Willpower Point and rolls Stamina + Meditation (difficulty 8). For each success, the vampire may raise a permanent Chi Virtue by one, while lowering its opposite. A Chi Virtue may never be reduced below zero. If the vampire creates a difference of three or greater between her Yin and Yang levels, she suffers the normal effects of imbalance. The effects of this power last for one scene. 4 · Chi Interrupt · A vampire at this level of power may interrupt the flow of Chi through another being.This interruption causes spasms and, if the Chi Points are hit properly, total paralysis. System: The vampire touches the victim and rolls Dexterity + Medicine (difficulty of the opponent’s Stamina + 3). For each success, the victim suffers -1 to dice pools for one turn (thus, with two successes, the victim would be at -2 to dice pools, for two turns). If the vampire scores four or more successes, the opponent is completely paralyzed for a scene. Mortals take a health level of damage in addition to the above effects; victims with Stamina scores of 2 or less typically die of heart failure upon being hit with this power. 5 · Chi Mastery · This power is one of the most feared Kuei-jin arts, for with it, a vampire becomes master of the Chi in others’ bodies. With a touch, a vampire can bleed the Chi from a victim or can corrupt the Chi flow, rendering the victim defiled. System: The vampire must touch the victim for the art to take effect. To disperse Chi, the vampire rolls Dexterity + Equilibrium (difficulty 6). A victim with Equilibrium may attempt to resist by rolling Stamina + Equilibrium (difficulty 6). For each success, one Chi Point disperses from the target’s body into the surrounding atmosphere. If this power is used against Kindred, an equivalent amount of Blood Points are instantly rendered inert. If used against a ghoul, enough Blood Points may be rendered inert to turn the target back into a human; if so, the target suffers the effects that a normal human would. Other supernatural beings have an equivalent amount of power (Gnosis, Quintessence, Pathos, Glamour, Sekhem, etc.) dispersed. Humans suffer one health level of damage per success, although this damage heals at the rate of one point per day. To infect Chi, the vampire rolls Intelligence + Equilibrium (difficulty 8). A resistance roll may be made as above. For each success, one Chi Point becomes corrupted, infecting the victim’s body from the inside out. The victim suffers one automatic health level of normal damage per turn until all the infected Chi is spent. Again, this power corrupts equivalent Advantages in other shen (e.g., a werewolf would take damage until she spent all of her “infected” Gnosis). A human whose Chi is infected is extremely unfortunate; he takes one health level of damage per turn and will die unless treated by a physical with knowledge or Yin-Yang healing. To heal this power’s effects with Yin-Yang healing, a practitioner must have Medicine 4+ and the appropriate background (i.e., training in Eastern medicine). Healing requires the doctor to make an Intelligence + Medicine roll (difficulty 8) and score more successes than the vampire who caused the infection. A vampire with Equilibrium 2 or greater can also cure the infection by rolling Intelligence + Equilibrium (difficulty 8), then scoring more successes than the attacker. 6 · Soothing The Soul · A master of Equilibrium can smooth out inconsistencies and eddies in the Chi flow of a subject. Like a gentle breeze blowing ripples across still water, the target’s Chi flows are all caressed and coaxed into briefly unhindered smoothness. As a result, the target feels a momentary sense of peace, an almost overpowering calm. Enraged or suffering individuals find their pains soothed, while frightened or agitated subjects are given momentary calm and resolve. Some people even come to yearn for this state, seeking out the peace brought by this moment of sussurating stillness. System: The Kuei-jin touches the subject and the player expends a point of temporary Willpower, rolling Manipulation + Meditation (difficulty 8). Each success garnered causes the power to last for one turn. While this power affects the subject, the character is clear-headed and calm. Individuals in the throes of frenzy (including Kuei-jin in wave soul or fire soul, but not shadow soul) immediately make another roll to overcome the frenzy, using Yin, Yang, Self-Control/Instinct, or Courage, as appropriate. When used on mortals, the subject may be stricken with lassitude and an overwhelming sense of peace. If the Kuei-jin scores more successes than the mortal has permanent Willpower, the mortal is rendered insensate with the strength of peaceful calm. This effect is similar to, though less intense than, the Kiss caused by the bite of a Kin-jin. while a mortal is rendered helpless like this, the Kuei-jin may feed freely and without resistance, just as the Kin-jin rely upon the ecstasy of the Kiss to sup from mortals. 7 · Accentuate Chi · By heightening the Yin or Yang energies in a subject, the Kuei-jin causes the target to experience extreme swings in mood and energy. Yin-energies cause the victim to become languid, dull-minded, and slow, while Yang energies make the subject restless and agitated. The Touch of a Summer’s Day accentuates the target’s Yin energies, while its opposite, Eight Burning Dreams, enhances the flow of Yang Chi. Unlike Touch of a Summer’s Day, which is almost exclusively used to render victims slow and helpless, Kuei-jin often use Eight Burning Dreams on themselves, particularly right before going into battle. Those who follow the Devil-Tiger Dharma find it particularly invigorating. Conversely, Bone Flowers sometimes use the Touch of a Summer’s Day to render victims helpless for special ceremonies of death. System: the Kuei-jin must touch the victim. The player spends a point of temporary Willpower, and then rolls Stamina + Medicine (difficulty 7). The results vary according to whether the power is used for Yin or Yang enhancement. The Touch of a Summer’s Day results in slowed motion and cognition. The victim loses one success from all Mental feats and Dexterity-related rolls. The subject also loses one point from all initiative scores for each success scored on the roll to activate this power; this lasts for the entire scene. Furthermore, the victim becomes generally torpid, slow, fumble-fingered, and thick-witted, displaying many of the classing symptoms of someone who has gone days without sleep or rest. When affected by Eight Burning Dreams, the target becomes quick and jumpy. For every success obtained, the subject adds one to the subject’s initiative scores for the rest of the scene. The Storyteller may also add one die per success to some other rolls, such as dodges, certain Dexterity-based rolls, or any other roll involving the need to move or act swiftly. The subject is also jittery and distracted, as if using coffee and amphetamines to stay awake. 8 · Opening The Gates · This is one of the most fearsome powers displayed by any Kuei-jin. The Kuei-jin forces open the “dams” that hold the victim’s Chi in check, causing the energy to flood the victim’s body uncontrollably and burn his flesh from the inside out. System: The Kuei-jin must touch the victim and spend two points of yang Chi. The player then rolls Strength + Meditation (difficulty 8). If he’s successful, the victim suffers one health level of damage for every point of current Yin and yang Chi that he has (for other beings, substitute Blood Points, Gnosis, Quintessence, Pathos, Glamour, Sekhem, and so forth). This damage is aggravated and can’t be soaked. Most mortals simply die if affected by this power, unused to the ebb and flow of their internal energies. Certain mortals, like Shih and, perhaps, dhampyrs may resist at the Storyteller’s discretion. 9 · Adjusting The True Balance · Even more feared than Open the Gates is this power, which represents a Kuei-jin’s ultimate control over Chi flow. It allows him to create a lasting imbalance in the victim’s Chi, with all the attendant difficulties inherent to that regrettable state. System: The Kuei-jin must touch the victim and spend a point or temporary Willpower. The player then rolls Stamina + Meditation (difficulty 7). If successful, he immediately knows the exact number of points of permanent Yin Chi and yang Chi possessed by the victim. For every success scored, he may adjust the victim’s permanent Yin Chi or Yang Chi totals by trading one point of Yin Chi for a point of yang Chi. (Thus, for example, with three successes, three points of Yang Chi could be converted into Yin Chi.) Typically this is done to create a Chi imbalance, but it has other effects as well. When used on another Kuei-jin, this power automatically causes him to enter fire soul or wave soul, depending upon his highest permanent Chi rating after his True balance is adjusted. Thus, if a Kuei-jin is adjusted with this power to have ratings of five Yin Chi and three Yang Chi, he enters fire soul immediately. If the Kuei-jin’s True balance results in equal values for Yin Chi and Yang Chi, he must instead make a Moment of Blindness check, as his sudden pure tranquility causes him to question his previous actions and Dharma. Kin-jin affected by this power automatically enter Rötscreck. If used to balance an otherwise unbalanced being, this power removes or erases the effects of Chi imbalance. If used to balance an otherwise unbalanced being, this power removes or erases the effects of Chi imbalance. If used on a mortal, it cures any disease or infection, even such illnesses as cancer, leprosy, or AIDS, at the Storyteller’s discretion. (Some Kuei-jin use this power solely to heal afflicted mortals — or to blight them with debilitating ailments.) In either case, balancing the victim’s Chi with this power also cures any Chi infection caused by Chi Mastery.