Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Gaki (V:tM 3rd edition)

Last week, I rolled a Natural 20 in real life. 

Over the past 6 months or so I've been looking for things which I wrote online 15-20 years ago, and while I've managed to track down most of them through the Internet Archive and backups of old mailing lists, there was one thing I couldn't find, and thought I would never find, because I thought I never shared it with anyone outside of my private gaming group. I had tried everything I could think of to find it and had resigned myself to it being lost to the mists of time. 

Last week I was Up Too Damn Late and the thought occurred to me to Google a specific text string. I knew that it wouldn't work, of course -- everything else had failed, so would this succeed? -- but I could honestly say I'd tried everything I could think of to find it. 

The first two Google hits were my missing creation: a writeup of the Gaki (a Japanese vampire) as a clan for Vampire: the Masquerade, written between 2001 and 2003. (Yes, I know about Kindred of the East. I never cared for it, mainly because V:tM is deeply rooted in Biblical mythology and KotE isn't. I also didn't much like the version of the Gaki which first appeared in the original 1992 World of Darkness sourcebook, but I used that as a jumping-off point.)

Have you ever read something and realized just how young the author was? This gives me a strange combination sensation of nostalgia, deja vu, and "Oh, you sweet summer child," because I was in my late 20s when I wrote this, and it shows. It's not just a matter of "I would have done this differently," although that's definitely part of it; there's also the fact that this piece feels like it's trying so hard to do everything right by explaining everything, instead of leaving things vague so that GMs can incorporate it into their games. Plus, it has that old White Wolf conceit of "Supernaturals did everything important in the world, so if you reference real world events there needs to be a supernatural link explaining how or why." It even has the obligatory Kewl New Discipline that every new bloodline needed to draw the players. 

At any rate, here's what I wrote 20 years ago. I'm showing it to you now so that when I update the Gaki for V5, you can see the difference between my writing styles of the then and now. 

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