Every now and then there is some talk about errata ideas, ranging from small adjustments to card texts to adding/changing some rules to make the game more balanced. These ideas usually end up in the archives of the forum since they are noted nowhere else and it's usually not a good idea to request a specific errata idea to be active in a game since that reveals your strategy (for example asking for my One Ring in Bag End idea is a clear sign that you're playing One Ring). When a bunch of errata would be bundled however that effect would disappear, it would be much easier to find the errata since they're noted in one document somewhere. Obviously some players prefer to play without the unofficial errata, but for the more experimental strain of players (like me) it would provide an opportunity to play a somewhat different and perhaps more enjoyable and balanced game.
I think it would be good if there was a widely visible and accessible process to make such a collection of unofficial errata (i.e. optional rules). One way to do this is to use this Optional Rules forum as a test bed for rules, in combination with the phpBB poll system or manual voting (by posts). If an Unofficial Errata Proposal (UEP) receives at least 5 YES votes and a 66% majority (to keep things conservative) it ends up in the Accepted Unofficial Errata list.
I want to stress that this is not about either introducing new cards or changing the meaning of cards in a way that effectively makes them new cards (though adding alternatives to an existing function or removing alternatives is fair game). Also it's not about changing the rules in such a way that the gameplay is severely affected (no fixed draw mods, no scenarios). In the end however the system should produce a mostly conservative list that changes the game for the better without affecting already good stuff (and let's face it, ICE has done a terrific job in balancing out the game, so there won't be that much to errata).
[Thanks to Peter for this introduction].
Below is a list of FAQs. This has been compiled from various questions posted by community members, which arose after the UEP idea was conceived and initiated. This list is fluid and will be updated regularly as new questions are asked:
Q: What is the purpose of Unofficial Errata Proposals (UEPs)?
A: The UEPs are per-definition not made for tournaments but for casual play. The fact each UEP is subject to a community review process ensures that the Accepted UEP list contains only UEPs that have been approved by community members. Tournament MECCG is the domain of the NetRep team and the Council of Elrond (CoE). Organisers of tournaments can of course choose to include UEPs.
Q: I have a proposal for unofficial errata. How do I create a UEP?
A: There’s a thread at the top of the forum titled Creating a UEP. In it there are details on how to create a UEP and the template format which must be used to allow the Accepted UEP list to be properly maintained. Once familiar with the process for creating a UEP, copy and paste the UEP template to a new topic and fill in the required details. The title of the UEP thread must follow the layout [UEP, proposed] <UEP title>, so it can be recognised by the script.
Q: What are the acceptance criteria for a UEP?
A: To be accepted there must be a minimum of 5 YES votes and a 66% majority in favour.
Q: It might be a good idea for accepted UEPs to get stickied so they don't get lost down the pages of this forum. Either that or have a specific UEP subforum for all accepted UEPs?
A: There’s a thread at the top of the forum titled Accepted Unofficial Errata List. This is updated and maintained regularly through the execution of a script created by Peter Minten. Running the script will add UEPs with titles [UEP, accepted] <UEP title> to the list along with their associated errata.
Q: What about playing using Optional Rules not in the form of UEPs or indeed failed UEPs?
A: There's nothing governing people on which Optional Rules they decide to use in their MECCG games. The important thing is that both parties are agreed on the rules before play. However, it's natural to assume people will be more inclined to adopt optional rules if they see a well thought out reasoning, clearly defined errata or rule changes, and most importantly see a community acceptance of them. The purpose of the UEP system was to design a way by which optional rules could be created with these points in mind and then collate accepted UEPs under a single location in one easy to read reference file.
Q: The one 'problem' I see is that I'm not sure how often and by how many this forum is checked.
A: This is one of the reasons behind the creation and reorganisation of an Optional Rules forum specifically for UEPs and other house rules. Since the number of scenarios was so small, they have been split from Optional Rules and combined with the Dream Cards. This net effect is that the new forum title should more closely reflect its contents and indeed make the topic more instantly visible to the casual forum visitor and those interested in optional rules.
Q: What if you get more ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes after the UEP is rejected or accepted, respectively?
A: The usual solution to this kind of problem is instituting a reasonable voting term. Something like two weeks from the entry of the voting, with a two day extension should last minute changes be made. Furthermore I recommend everybody interested in such a vote to watch the topic. After two weeks, if hardly any voting has taken place, the UEP maintainer/proposer can decide to extend the voting period. Testing is really the only way to gauge the impact and effect of the accepted UEPs. If sufficient concerns are subsequently raised over the content of an accepted UEP, then the most suitable course of action is to re-open the UEP to discussion and a possibly run a re-vote.
Q: As an advice, if this project is going to work, it could be good to have a new section for that in the Scenarios & House rules forum. This way it should be easier to follow the different proposals compared with if they are mixed in all the others threads.
A: The project has taken off well and as a result the mod team have created this more suitably titled Optional Rules forum.
And lastly, please keep your UEPs updated on a regular basis!
To share and discuss non-standard rules, from the simplest of house rules to the more serious Unofficial Errata Proposals.
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