Jason Chapman



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3.12.03 - Peasants are called to Order

Well, I have been working on a White Weenie article and, as always, it just keeps growing. One thing leads to another and then I have to deal with a third thing – nothing wrong with being inclusive! Regardless, it doesn’t look like I will be done this week, but I have to keep the articles coming so it is time to turn to current events both in the real world and the PEZ world.

As for the real world, I have very strong political biases. I grew up in a family that had always been politically active and couldn’t escape dinner without hearing about the events in the news. I then want on to (fairly successfully) compete in policy debate, student congress, extemporaneous speaking, and policy address in high school. Now I judge/research/quasi-coach debate and wither and die without regular news updates. It is not my place to tell you what I believe or what you should believe but these next few years have the potential to be a turning point in history. Please make yourself aware of the world around you, learn about the issues, and let your voice be heard regardless of your point of view. I have a habit of asking my congressmen for help understanding events, their positions, and also for letting them know what I think. Nothing stops you from doing the same that is the whole point of Democracy – use it or lose it.

Anyway, onto the world of PEZ. Just today, Tuesday the 11th , a number of the regular contributors to the PEZ Yahoo group -  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/peasantmagic/ - were nominated to form a ‘council’ to decide on banning and restricting cards. The members include Johnny Lai, Rob Baranowski, Marcus Anderson, Abe Sargent, Danny Morano, Matthew Crofoot, and myself. It seems likely that we will also add Chris Morling to the group as well.

We hope that in the near future we can provide all PEZ players with a more stable environment that is conducive to both a competitive environment and variant deck design while remaining true to the spirit of the PEZ format. There is a lot that needs to be done for this process to work and I thought I would give you all a little peak into the tasks ahead of us – this is an edited portion of a message I sent to the council today. It does a good job of summarizing some of the issues we face:

“First, we need to decide how transparent we want to make the Council's decision making process. Should we allow the messages in this group to be viewed by others (although others couldn't post here), or just summarize our decisions on the PEZ board . . .

Second, how do we decide what changes need to be made? Do we require a consensus, a simple majority, a 2/3 majority? I think we should decide now and that we should use a process where we form a list of "watch" cards first and then move onto debate. We could use the poll system of the group to track votes and have a deadline for decisions.

Third, we need to decide what measures we should take. Banning and restricting are obvious but what about changing card text or declaring a common card as an uncommon? What about declaring an uncommon as a common?

Fourth, we need to decide what rules to invoke in regards to Portal and Unglued. I believe that there is a FAQ for how Unglued cards are to be used that deals with the issue of personal space and safety. We should find this and decide if it is right for us. We should also set a list of guidelines for Unglued cards that need to be banned. Ones that carry over from game to game or cards that refer to teammates, etc. We also should tackle the issue of Horsemanship in Portal. So far no one has used these cards but in other parts of the world the cards are much more common and as PEZ gains popularity it will become an issue. Should we leave it alone or make it the same as Flying (which would be effective but would look strange) or ban all cards with Horsemanship.

Next we need to decide the grounds that we use for considering changes. I think a strong case can be made for the very expensive cards - regardless of power. This is the most often critiqued aspect of PEZ and dealing with it will go a long way to make the format more legitimate. Obviously, overpowered cards should be dealt with for reasons of game balance. But should we also consider cards that violate the 'spirit' of the format however we define it. We should also decide now whether or not we will use our decisions to affect the meta-game by dealing with specific decks. I think that the answer here is yes but that a higher level of scrutiny must apply. Right now I think there is one clear problem deck and two other possible decks - High Tides (the thing I didn't mention in my article is that ProsTides has very effective answers to every other decks’ answers with few exceptions, hard counters and bounce are prime examples but FoW in the 5th uncommon slot makes it very hard to beat), Burn, and Black Control. Should deck decisions be incorporated or independent from card power decisions (ie. if a deck works because of 1 card that is not overpowered in other builds should we deal with that card or look for other ways to deal with the deck).

Lastly, should we be aggressive in our decisions or be more cautious?”

As you can see there are lots of issues for us to think about and I can guarantee that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I can also guarantee that, regardless of how open the decision-making ultimately becomes, that we always listen to your input and thoughts; the purpose of the council is not to remake the format but to make it the best it can be. As in the real world, it is important to speak your mind early before decisions are made. While everyone has opinions after changes are made, the only voices with power are the ones that speak up before a decision takes place. Feel free to e-mail me directly to let me know what you think PEZ should be or let us all know by adding your voice to our Yahoo group. Look for any changes in PEZ to be in effect by this summer in time for Origins, Gen Con, and Game Fest!

Jason Chapman – chaps_man@hotmail.com





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