Friday, March 17, 2017

What You Missed: The EHC

by Pi "Kwido" Fisher

43 proposals this year, and 25 passed.  A large number of them won’t affect your weekly adventuring, but here I am to reprise last year’s account of What You Missed: The EHC.  (Spoiler alert: you missed an opportunity to vote.)

Firstly, we wanted to give all you fighters out there a power buff, because too often we hear the complaints that casters are in a power creep.  So from now on, as long as you’re wearing armour on at least ¾ of a hit location, the entire location counts as being armoured.  So now I expect to see everyone wearing belly-button chain shirts, because everyone knows that those extra few ounces of armour slow you down too much.

Next, I want to talk about Fireballs.  They’re magical.  Because, you know, they’re balls of fire.  How often do you see those when there’s no magic involved?  Thought so.  Fireballs are basically just boulders that don’t break your stuff.  They’ll kill you, unless you’re one of those casters with Resist Magic or Resist Death.  Gone are the days of seeing a ball of fire on a quest and having no idea what it’ll do to you. Now you can sleep soundly at night assured in the knowledge that you die when it hits you or your equipment. Not really sure why your impending death helps you to sleep at night, but I'm not one to judge.

In case any of you casters were wondering, you’re allowed to use arrows and javelins that are longer than your weapon restriction.  So enjoy your comically-long arrows.

If you had any spells that allowed you to compel people to do your bidding, by turning them undead or by giving them a death wish or by making them answer your questions, you should read the new Compulsion Caveat.  It makes them all consistent in what you can and cannot do.

If you rewrite your spellbook and get the signature of the EH or MM when you grandfather (which you probably won’t do this year), that signature will be able to replace the need to get signatures of the people who taught you your spells.  If you wash your spellbook or have some other reason to rewrite your spellbook, you’re still SOL.  Oops!  Remind us to fix that next year.  The signature used to need to be either on the list of your current spells or along with the description of the spell.  While I don’t remember which one it was, they’re now both allowed.

Lots of individual spells have small changes, so I’ll throw them all here.  Aura of Protection was meant to protect from certain calls.  With the addition of some quotation marks, that intent is now clearer.  If some event-specific call happens to break through armour, Aura of Protection won’t do a thing to stop it.  Call the Soul used to be so restrictive in terms of what could be used as a material component.  Now you can use any objects that feel the same, such as four Aces and one King.  Skew Divination lets you specify a topic instead of a caster, so now you can try to prevent anyone from learning about The Big Book of Burgundy, rather than preventing Sir Biggs from learning about whatever Sir Biggs cares to learn about.  ID Creature no longer uses the word “chanting”, because you only have to say the verbal once.  Reforge has two uses, because people thought it was too weak.  I agree with them.  Enchant Armour works whether or not you know Repair Armour (let alone have a casting remaining).

Three updates to caveats.  All your sashes for spells like Purity now have to be visible.  Hope you find some sashes that look decent with your garb!  I recommend avoiding surveyor’s tape.  Spell Failure wasn’t changed, but now it’s referenced by the correct spells.  The Potions Caveat no longer applies to poisons, because the caveat deals with things like needing to put a sigil on it.  Who wants to draw a sigil on a bouillon cube they’re using to poison a soup?

Another change to the undead spells is that the MCs for those spells now match.  Animate Lesser Undead, Animate Undead, and Undead General now have the same MC requirements.

Some small changes were made that are just barely outside the purview of the OEC: the learning progression now doesn’t require you to learn a spell at an event after you choose to not learn one.  When you release a magic item, you can do what everyone thought you could do and include a tag instead of writing on the item itself.  The way we used to count votes at the Players’ Meeting is how we intend to keep doing it, but now it matches what the rules say.

“Omnibus Knightly Powers” used to be a thing.  I’ve definitely seen event descriptions that say those things will pass.  Unfortunately, they were moved from the Omnibus and put somewhere else, and now they aren’t in that other place.  Well, a new section has been added to define what the KoEF and KoR can do.

Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for.  There were a few proposals that kept us in the OEC up for nights on end.  Tip of the hat to Pat and Jen for doing most of the heavy lifting.  Tucker decided that the Omnibus had a ton of clutter, so he rewrote a lot of sections.  If you’re a fan of flavour text, you might be upset by this change.  It doesn’t change any rules, but the rulebook is shorter now.  So yay!  Next, Tucker wanted to move things around so the order makes more sense, and he wanted to add section numbers.  This turned out to be an enormous help for the OEC, since we were able to more easily talk about where changes happened.  Again, no changes to the rules.  Last, but definitely not least (especially in terms of how long it took us), we changed all the pronouns to be gender neutral.  If you want to know why this was an important change, ask around.  Lots of people have a lot more to say about this than I have room for.  I’ll just say that not a single person at the EHC voted against this, which is not something I can say for the proposal that updated the rules for how we vote at the Players’ Meeting to match what we actually do.

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