Yazata gone?

Do you have suggestions? Questions? Are there mechanical or balance problems?

Yazata gone?

Postby Wazat » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:23 pm

I'm sorry to see the Yazata missing from the new edition. It was mechanically neat, but most importantly it filled a very important roleplay role. It was one of the few options that gave a bonus to Cunning, the most derided of stats. Other sources are the Scath, the Carnac, and most notably, demons. Its only skills are gossip, sneak and steal. This gives the impression that it's only about sneaking and harming.

When my players first tried out Mayhem, several saw Cunning as a negative attribute. One tanked it because he wanted to play a good angelic character who had no guile. This is one reason why I fleshed out the attributes in such detail in my wiki for the campaign: I felt strongly that I needed to correct player impressions about what their stats meant, and how they would be used. The limited and narrow use for cunning gave the very natural impression that it was only for sneaky, gossipy, thieving murderers.

But the Yazata was different: it offered a divine path that vindicated cunning, turning cleverness into a valuable attribute that the player would want to put to good use. It basically told the player there were divine beings out there serving good causes as expected, who also believed in using cunning, stealth, and their social prowess in gossip to investigate, pursue and eliminate evil and sinister threats. He was the quiet word of power, the shadow eye and hand of the side of good who didn't just charge headlong into battle, but employed very different means to the same end. Plus he healed, deafened, and stunned foes with naught but the power of his words. The Yazata was pure awesome.

The divine healer is a valuable addition, and I assume the Yazata was removed to make room for it. Perhaps the Yazata's abilities were mechanically broken and needed fixing. But whatever the case, I loved the theme of the Yazata and the effect he had on the player and the whole party. Please bring him back!

/soapbox ;)
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Re: Yazata gone?

Postby Maugh » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:47 pm

the yazata was a great character that a lot of people liked, and had some neat effects. It was strong, sure, but the high feedback and recoil made it relatively balanced. great concept, which was actually pulled from zoarastrian mythology, which sets it far apart from normal western sources. Solid character both thematically and mechanically.

The divine healer took its place. This is probably not as vivid a concept, but the base healer is a pretty critical conponent to the game. Previously, that role was largely covered by plant magics, as well as an ability available as a minor part of some of the divine characters. That worked, but there was some interest in playing a healer, but without the plant-themed tone. (I think they called them a "tree hugger".) having a dedicated healer makes sense, and doing it as a divine talent also makes sense.

The divine healer needed in, and as a divine talent, it needed to replace the yazata or divine blade. The yazata was solid, but the big effect/big payoff effect of it makes it unsuitable for new players, being a little disruptive to running smooth combat. It may fit better in the advanced concepts of the second book.

Besides, I liked the art better for the divine blade. =] Ill likely replace the art that was on the yazata.


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Re: Yazata gone?

Postby Maugh » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:50 pm

also. There is no reason someone can't still use the yazata. =]

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Re: Yazata gone?

Postby Maugh » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:52 pm

on the note of cunning, there are actually a few divine chars in vol 2 that use the cunning attribute, and at least one that does cng/cha.

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Re: Yazata gone?

Postby Wazat » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:11 pm

That's good. Will the Yazata be in the new volume? I just don't want it to disappear into history -- it should keep its visibility somewhere.

Also, have you considered creating a wiki for Mayhem? It would offer a place to have the most up-to-date corrections, hyperlinked content (e.g. anything that refers to a crit, parry, etc could link to the page, speeding up lookups), and a place to put information that just doesn't fit in the book. And it would be a good way to involve the community, as they could fill out the information, assist with corrections, propose updates, donate art, etc.

On the divine healer: yea, I understand the need for the character, and I remember the player who called plant magic the hippie option. :) The divine healer serves a valuable role in that her healing is based on a karma pool, and is not regulated by time limits (one hour per heal) or willpower. She can burst it out as fast as she feels she needs to, but has to manage her limited karma points carefully.

I did worry at first that the healer will be overly-survivable. Between her healing powers and normal plant magic, she has exceptional heal potential and she can't be knocked out easily (only killed). But I don't think that will compete with the enemy's ability to output damage, so it should be fine.

But I hope Yazata sticks around in future books.
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Re: Yazata gone?

Postby Maugh » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:25 pm

Oh yeah, I already put it in the book 2. I really want to get the race/talent chapter up so that people can preview it, but my graphic designer, (read, wife,) has been busy working on other projects for the last few months. I got her back this last weekend, though, so we SHOULD start to see more progress soon.
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