Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

In sessions 4 and 5 of “Clean Slate,” a gathering of vampires is intended to take place. While it is ostensibly just a negotiation between Red Court and White Court, I intended to include Jade as well (who have allied with Diana Raith, the White Court vamp for … reasons.) This means that in the climactic encounter, the PCs may face off with Jades so I absolutely have to figure out how this vampire court actually functions in my version of the Dresden Files universe.

 

In the actual book series, absolutely nothing is known about the Jades. As far as I can recall, they’ve only been referenced once in book 5 (“Death Masks”) where they identified as being very secretive and operating mostly of Asia. Thus, I can pretty much do whatever I want to with them, but since the other three vampire courts have basis in various vampire myths, I obviously need to do the same.

Online research gives me the Jiangshi, which is sometimes translated to as “hopping corpse” or “hopping vampire.”  Further digging (TV Tropes. That’s all I needed so … oh, that’s interesting. And so’s that. And that. NO! Must fight urge to waste an entire day on this site!) gives me some further research material to look at but also forces me to acknowledge that Chinese hopping vampires are patently ridiculous-looking when in motion (see this YouTube scene to see.) World of Darkness has the kuei-jin but they’re more akin to the Black Court (Stoker vamps) than the White Court, but in all cases, they need chi the same way Black & Red Court vamps need blood.

So, the hopping itself seems kind of ridiculous but what it occurs to me that perhaps the “hopping” is an inaccurate description and instead they use a “flash step” akin to Faora (and other Kryptonians) in the DCEU? Like so.

Okay, I’ll admit that I just wanted to throw that in there again because Faora is just so damned awesome in this movie. But the point stands: flash step in lieu of hopping. It makes them a lot scarier since no one else can do this. This appears to be Warp (from Basic), but instead of using that, I’m looking at Autoteleport 3 from Psionic Powers (which is Warp, just with stuff factored in and gives a maximum range of 5 yards or 15 feet. Swap out Teleportation, -10% limitation with Chi, -10%.

My research has turned up conflicting statements regarding how jiangshi are created, so I’m going to go with the usual “infectious attack” thing. Something that does seem to be consistent is their appearance as monstrous and corpse-like, as well as their tendency to kill at night. From most descriptions, they do not appear to be particularly dexterous, however; from wikipedia specifically, I see “the Chinese character for “jiang” (僵) in “jiangshi” literally means “hard” or “stiff”. It is believed that the jiangshi is so stiff that it cannot bend its limbs and body.” Honestly, they come across as pretty weak when you compare them against other types of vampire. There appears to be no mind control whatsoever and really, these guys seem to be more like zombies than vampires.

Fortunately, GURPS: Horror actually has a Jiangshi vampire template that I can use as a basis, though it is only 58 points (which seems bizarre to me until I realized how relatively weak these guys seem to be.) So, using that as a basis, the following is what I’m leaning toward the following as my Jade Court template. This is the newly made vampire, who has not fully learned to control himself. It caps out at 250 points. Note that I use “Living Chi” here but honestly, it’s just another name for Hit Points and is treated like all other vampiric suckage (although I do sort of envision it as a visual thing, like light being drain out of the victim’s mouth and nose.) Paradoxically, the very thing they require to survive – Chi – can also be used to seriously injure them.


Attribute Modifiers: ST+10 [100]; HT+2 [20]. Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Basic Move-1.00 [5]; Extra Hit Points 5 [10]; Extra Perception 2 [10].

Advantages: Autoteleport 3 (this is Warp (Blind Only, -50%; Chi, -10%, Gyroscopic, +10%; Range Limit, 10 yards, -50%; Reduced Range 1/10, -30%; Reliable 10, +50%) [40]; Claws (Talons) [8]; Damage Resistance 5 (Tough Skin) [15]; Dark Vision (Color Vision) [30]; Detect (Breath) [10]; Doesn’t Breathe [20]; Injury Tolerance (Unliving) [20]*; Resistant (Immunity to Metabolic Hazards) [30]; Unaging [15]; Unkillable 2 (Achilles’ Heel (Fire and Lightning))* [50]; Vampiric Bite (1HP/sec) [30].

Disadvantages: Appearance (Unattractive) [-4]; Dependency (Life Chi, very common, daily) [-15]; Divine Curse (Cannot cross a Home’s threshold without being paralyzed) [-5]; Draining (Life Chi) [-10]; Dread (Consecrated Incense) [-5]; Dread (Peach Wood) [-5]; Unnatural Feature 5 (Greenish-white hair, long fingernails) [-2]; Uncontrollable Appetite (Life Chi, 9 or less) [-22]; Vulnerability (Chi-fueled Strikes, rare, x4) [-20]; Weakness (Salt, 1d per minute, rare) [-20]; Weakness (Sunlight, 1d per minute, very common, Variable) [-36].

Skills: Autoteleport (IQ/H) [4]

Features: Affected by True Faith; Cannot use holy items.

* I note that the Achilles Heel in Horror is listed as this. Interesting that it is fire and lightning, which is something I’ll probably play with.