All Dragonmarks for all races = Epic Fail

140 posts / 0 new
Last post
I have to admit I was probably excessively excited about this book. I insisted last week that "they aren't changing anything significant..."

But... wow.

The "logic" basically is "we want people to take dragonmarks, and we want PCs to be able to make any sort of PC they like."

By the same logic a human fighter should be able to take all the dwarf feats in the book that they want.

It's a shame that the whole concept of dragonmarked races and houses is being jettisoned in favor of what... making a bunch of supercharged feats that every class feels like they have to take to stay on the power curve?

Whatta revolting development..
A quick skim of the feat list suggests the more likely design motivation was "we still couldn't come up with equally attractive choices for all the feats so we just punted..."

Obviously, I liked Eberron as a place with a story, and an internal narrative. I wonder if wizards was worried they couldn't sell Eberron as Eberron and just felt like they had to pour on the "juice" (i.e. crunch).

It would have been nice to see the marks reenforce the original key function in the story, (i.e. you are a member of a dragonmarked house).
Maybe they felt like intrigue and story-roleplaying element was too "niche"; that Eberron needed to match up perfectly with "superpowered people running running around killing stuff" that is the DnD power fantasy?
It's a shame that the whole concept of dragonmarked races and houses is being jettisoned in favor of what

They aren't being jettisoned. The houses are still there, and the majority of the holders of a mark(basically every NPC) still correspond to the appropriate race. The PCs having the option of having a mark not normally associated with their race is supposed to be a rare and unusual event that has major storyline implications. It isn't just that suddenly half the people on the continent woke up with a random mark. It is that at most a few people ended up with an unusual mark resulting in a large number of movers and shakers becoming interested in why it happened(and possibly preventing anyone else from becoming aware of the fact that it happened).
You are over reacting.

Take a deep breath, relax.

Couple concepts we need to reinforce before we continue.
1) The dragonmarked feats no longer have racial requirements.
2) In 4th edition the rules for NPCs and PCs are not the same. NPCs don't recieve feats generally do not recieve feats at all.
3) PCs are special.
4) In 3.5 there was an adventure that marked undragonmarked races. Eyes of the Lich Queen.
5) According to the Lore in the Eberron Player's Guide and the Eberron Campaign Setting the Houses are made up of the races they always have been. Dwarves bare the mark of Warding, they always have, House Kundarak is a house of Dwarves. There has never been a human with the mark of warding.

Alright, we got that? The history of the setting has not changed. However the fact that the dragonmarks are the prophecy written on the flesh of the mortal races is being played up, so yes a human fighter PC could choose to bare the Mark of Warding. Because he's special, because the prophecy has marked him.

This isn't common, in fact its unheard of. Imagine the reaction you just had, now magnify it by about 20. Imagine the reaction of House Kundarak to this. Or the Dragons of Argonessen. Keith has said that races with the improper mark will be adressed in the ECS, they're conidered Aberrant, and unnatural, and may well have some of the most powerful organizations in the world gunning for them.

Or not, you know your table, your choice. Feats are for PC building, not NPC building or world building.
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
Also Keith Baker's thoughts on the matter:

And behold... I appear from an internet hotspot at UK Games Expo to attempt to soothe fears.

There are no racial restrictions on the dragonmark feats themselves. However, both the EPG and ECG have a lot of text discussing the significance of race, highlighting the fact that the marks are tied to race, but "as a player character, you can choose to be an exception, because player characters are uniquely significant individuals." The ECG goes into this in more detail, noting that such a character might be one of the first in history to develop such a mark, and could potentially be targeted for extermination by the houses. So if you take the marks in isolation - stripping setting away - they have no restrictions. However, within Eberron there ARE racial connections and consequences for ignoring them.

In short, what you're getting now are just glimpses of a big picture. People posting things often haven't read through all the information or are only presenting part of it. I won't say any more, because *I'M* under NDA and because I'm traveling and really don't have the time. But bear in mind that brief spoilers may miss the greater depth of the book.

Don't think I'm overreacting...

As pointed out "marks in weird places" was a common theme in 3.5.
Adventures game them to random people; books featured protagonists with "wrong" mark/race match-ups, etc.
KB had someone carring around one a bottle, even.

Nope, storymiester Wyatt's Eberron Design and Development post is claiming this is their "major innovation".

Why do that if it's not a change.

You may feel it's an awesome change; but if they're writing whole design articles devoted to it then it's meant to be a significant change.

They could have come up with something that supported and built on the Dragonmarked Houses, not tore upart the logic that underpinned their exisitence.
Or maybe they wrote the design and devlopment article to try to pacify this reaction which we've been seeing crop up time and time again ever since this was confirmed at Gen Con of last year.

The Dragonmarked houses are the same, the history is the same, the fluff from the book dragonmarked is the same. At individual game tables someone can take a dragonmark not of the proper race, but its impact on the world is decided by the DM at that table. This change has not altered the world.

Yet still people are flipping out about it. So yeah they wrote an article explaining why they did it.
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
As the Design and Development article put it, at one point, someone asked 'Did Dragonmarks in 3rd Edition do what we wanted them to do?' The answer, as it turns out, was 'no'. They got a needed revision to actually do what they're supposed to do; make you a little better at what you do, not provide a weak ability that doesn't help much.

An example was given: The Mark of Healing. In theory, a Jorasco healer should be one of the pre-eminent healers of the day ... instead, since it was racially restricted to halflings, you got a rogue with a 1/day cure light wounds, which paled behind the cleric (and the three wands of cure he invariably toted about).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
seems like a fair thing to do.

i don't see any problems, personally...
Is it just me, or do all threads with the phrase "Epic Fail" in the title turn out to be someone getting hysterical about some small detail?

I don't think Epic Fail means what you think it means.
Don't think I'm overreacting...

As pointed out "marks in weird places" was a common theme in 3.5.
Adventures game them to random people; books featured protagonists with "wrong" mark/race match-ups, etc.
KB had someone carring around one a bottle, even.

Then what is your issue? The capacity for dragonmarks to (rarely) appear on the "wrong" people has been in the setting all along. Now it's in the rules, specifically the rules for PCs. As others have pointed out, the Houses still exist, are still limited to single races, and still have their economic monopolies. Even if you have 5 PCs who *all* have "wrong" dragonmarks, that's five people on the entire planet. Five people who have just attracted the attention of the Houses and probably every other major organization in the world.

Deadstop
I don't think Epic Fail means what you think it means.

Inconceivable! :P
Well if this is our spell plague and 100 year jump, then you know what? I think I'll manage to survive this terrible ordeal.:D
Well if this is our spell plague and 100 year jump, then you know what? I think I'll manage to survive this terrible ordeal.:D

I agree, anything seems reasonable after the butchery the Realms went through.
Anyone taking bets on how many months before people stop posting on the "huge" change to dragonmarks and how its ruined Eberron forever?

So what I've read from the original poster. Wrong-race marks are fine and have been here since the setting began. Now that there are rules for players (If which a typical game has 3-6) it has broken the entire setting of Eberron and dragonmark houses are somehow doomed to extinction.
I agree, anything seems reasonable after the butchery the Realms went through.

And both settings are better as a result.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Whatta revolting development..

You do realise it takes 5 seconds to house rule don't you?
Nope, storymiester Wyatt's Eberron Design and Development post is claiming this is their "major innovation".

*shrug*
Read the quote from me above. I'm directly refering to the material IN the book. Both the EPG and ECG emphasize that while it is POSSIBLE to have an out-of-house mark, it is a HUGE thing that is potentially extraordinarily dangerous for your character. Can it be done? Yes. But it is anything but trivial.
*shrug*
Read the quote from me above. I'm directly refering to the material IN the book. Both the EPG and ECG emphasize that while it is POSSIBLE to have an out-of-house mark, it is a HUGE thing that is potentially extraordinarily dangerous for your character. Can it be done? Yes. But it is anything but trivial.

The Infernal Bovine speaks the truth. The idea behind removing the racial restrictions on dragonmark feats for PCs is to not disallow them for PCs as a rule, especially within the context of an edition of the game that includes more and more PC races as the game progresses. I don't think any Eberron module will treat the idea of out-of-house dragonmarks as a commonplace occurrence, and, at the same time, all Eberron modules will push the idea of in-house dragonmarks.
So the rule sounds like it is just for PCs. It is for plot twists and player enjoyment. It could have been done by players without it being added into the book making it "canon" but since like all things in RPGs it can be ignored so it was added in. Not a big deal.

I have said this before but this is the trick with RPGs. Fans of RPGs are lucky. Unlike fans of other hobbies like TV shows, Comics, and Novels we have total control over the games and campaigns we run. If the designers change something you loved or added something you hate you can ignore it. Free will and imagination helps us do that. Fans of novels, comics and TV shows are at the mercy of the designers/producers, they cannot change much about their favorite show/comic/book. They have to watch/read whatever is put out. We have more power than that. We can alter things to work for us and our games. We always had this power and always will.
I don't think that this is a huge issue, but can someone point me to where in the EPG it talks about where, if someone takes a Mark not normally associated their race, the Dragonmarked Houses would take an interest and that it could possibly be a dangerous interest in the PC?

I read where this was true if someone took an actual Aberrant Mark (Mark of Contagion,etc.) but I am sure that it mentioned that if a person took a normal mark (i.e. Mark of Warding) that didn't belong to their race, it would be the Draconic Prophecy given felsh, but that the Houses would actually show little interest in them.

I, personally, plan on ruling that all non-normal Marking will be treated as Aberrant.
Number 3 on the 4 examples of taking a Dragonmark:

3. You take any Dragonmark, regardless of what race you are. The Dragonmarked houses show no interest and the Dragonmark is considered a direct manifestation of the Prophecy.
An example was given: The Mark of Healing. In theory, a Jorasco healer should be one of the pre-eminent healers of the day ... instead, since it was racially restricted to halflings, you got a rogue with a 1/day cure light wounds, which paled behind the cleric (and the three wands of cure he invariably toted about).

That is still true for PCs. For NPCs... the main ability (grant a saving throw) is not very useful. So it will depend on how common the ability to use rituals is. But magewrights and adepts should be able to perform the rituals of the Mark of Healing as well. (I don't think the level requirement is waived for Dragonmark rituals ?)

Well if this is our spell plague and 100 year jump, then you know what? I think I'll manage to survive this terrible ordeal.:D


True enough - when you put it like that, it makes it hard to criticize anything about 4E Eberron.

OoP's characters
My current character in Real Adventures Play-by-Post games:

 

  • Maeve in The Lost History of Istar


 
Number 3 on the 4 examples of taking a Dragonmark:

3. You take any Dragonmark, regardless of what race you are. The Dragonmarked houses show no interest and the Dragonmark is considered a direct manifestation of the Prophecy.

I'd rather deal with Dragonmark houses than anyone who's interested in the prophecy. The Lords of Dust, Chamber, and others aren't too nice.
I don't think that this is a huge issue, but can someone point me to where in the EPG it talks about where, if someone takes a Mark not normally associated their race, the Dragonmarked Houses would take an interest and that it could possibly be a dangerous interest in the PC?

It's actually called out in more detail in the ECG, specifically page 18 of the ECG. Since I don't think it's too huge a reveal, a sample quote is "The houses might not be sure what to do with a character like this - the character is probably the first such case they've ever seen, so there's no precedent to fall back on. Some people would probably try to recruit the character into the house, while others would argue for the character's extermination to keep the house's bloodline - and its economic monopoly - secure."

Your interpretation of the third example as "You take any Dragonmark, regardless of what race you are. The Dragonmarked houses show no interest and the Dragonmark is considered a direct manifestation of the Prophecy" is flawed. The specific quote is "In this case your dragonmark is a direct manifestation of the Prophecy and has nothing to do with the bloodline of the house. You'll probably never meet an NPC in the world like you, and House Lyrandar would not claim you."

There's a WORLD of difference between "would not claim you" and "shows no interest." What's said is that House Lyrandar WON'T accept you as a member of their house - that you WON'T get a tiefling in House Sivis. Which in turn leaves you open to persecution, because the house won't provide you with shelter. It also calls out that you'll probably never meet an NPC like you - meaning that we're talking about six people in the world that may have such marks, and that the houses themselves are going to remain pure.

So I certainly take issue with your interpretation of that third example. As *I* interpret the four examples given on page 86 of the EPG, they are:
  • 1. If you are of the appropriate race, you can be a member of the dragonmarked house. Nothing new here.
  • 2. If you are of the appropriate race but don't want to have anything to do with the house, you can be an orphan or excoriate, as outlined in Dragonmarked in 3E. Nothing new.
  • 3. If you are of the wrong race, but really really want a dragonmark, you can. This is a direct manifestation of the Prophecy. You won't meet any NPCs like this, and the house won't take you in. You're a weird freak on your own. This is obviously the new thing, and it's the point clarified further on page 18 of the ECG, which provides suggestions for DMs about dealing with out-of-house marks.
  • 4. You can have an aberrant mark. Even here, it's called out that aberrant marks "are more common among those races that have dragonmarked houses". So it's possible to have an aberrant marked warforged, but it's freaky and weird - and it does highlight that aberrant marks may cause hostility.

So yes, #3 presents a new option. But it's called out as the freakish touch of destiny, and in the ECG specifically highlighted as something that could have you targeted for extermination. Again, not a casual thing.

and, at the same time, all Eberron modules will push the idea of in-house dragonmarks.

True. The dragonmarked characters in Khyber's Harvest all have the appropriate race for their marks. And again, you won't see NPCs with out of house marks. It's a weird character option, but one with minimal impact on the SETTING - just something you can choose to do in your game. Again, the ECG specifically calls out that such a character may be the first in history to manifest such a mark.

I'd rather deal with Dragonmark houses than anyone who's interested in the prophecy. The Lords of Dust, Chamber, and others aren't too nice.

An excellent point, and one that SHOULD be called out on page 18 of the EPG and sadly isn't... but yes, anything tied to the Prophecy risks entanglement with these forces.
That is still true for PCs. For NPCs... the main ability (grant a saving throw) is not very useful. So it will depend on how common the ability to use rituals is.

Personally, I provide dragonmarked NPCs with a +2 bonus to skill checks to the roll and a 10% discount to ritual costs (something I'd consider letting a PC do with a feat... although if I wanted to be mean, I'd say that this specifically reflects house training from an early age and that out-of-house characters can't get this feat). It's not a big bonus and might not be worth it to PCs, being most useful when dealing with the Mark of Making (given which I might rule it out for the creation of magical or alchemical items). But it does help to establish the house as having a clear economic edge over competitors; if they can either do things cheaper or make more profit when charging the same price, it's easy to see how they succeed. But this is ABSOLUTELY a personal house rule, and I dubt you'll see it in a book.

I also allow dragonmarked PCs to perform the rituals in question without need for a ritual book, though all other restrictions and costs apply. To me, the idea of the ritual is something that has developed as a tool to allow others to duplicate the effects the houses have been using since for centuries. So there was a time when the only source of arcane lock was a dragonmarked dwarf; sometime over the past few centuries, the Arcane Congress successfully crafted a ritual to duplicate the effect.

House rule, again, but it's the flavor I'm going to use in whatever material I work on. One of the core ideas of the Eberron setting is evolution of magic within society. So the idea that many rituals are relatively recent and follow a path of magical research and development is important to me... and the idea that for quite some time the houses have been the sole source for these things is a logically foundation for their current power, even if the rituals now exist for other people to provide those services.

As a note, I'm traveling and have poor internet access, so it's unlikely that I'll respond to direct questions - I shouldn't be spending the time I have right now writing this, but the issue is important to me, as dragonmarks are an important part of the setting. I quite like the interpretation of dragonmarks in 4E, but there are things I will certainly emphasize in my personal campaign, as outlined above.
And both settings are better as a result.

Agreed! I would have never player 3.5 Realms.
Well, lets remember what happened that the last time in recorded history that a dragonmark appeared in it's wrong race:
Eradis d'Vol, an elf half-greendragon, was born with the mark of death.

She wasn't even completely off her race, been half elf, and yet the dragons and elves both made a truce to ally in the extermination of House Vol. And as we know, that was the end of the Mark of Death.

So yeah, off-race marks are not new, but are a big deal.
Well, lets remember what happened that the last time in recorded history that a dragonmark appeared in it's wrong race:
Eradis d'Vol, an elf half-greendragon, was born with the mark of death.

Indeed, good example.

Though just to pick nits, I personally don't use the "d'" prefix with Erandis Vol (and I believe the 4E books bear this out) since the Line of Vol was never part of the Twelve.
I see no reason to worry at all. If you really hate it that bad just make some houserule about it saying that you can't take it in less you're so and so race. Hellcow's list of points (along with Nived's) clarifies the main idea of the Marks.

If you have some player that goes around being an idiot by doing all sorts of wierd stuff like trying to gain every mark possible then put a stop to it. My point is that there is nothing to fuss about. Anybody that is going around and complaining about this is probably overreacting. You are the DM, and you can change what ever in the whole blasted world you want to. So instead of freaking out calm down and say "I don't like that, I'll just tweak it a little bit and forget about it."

If you’re going to complain about the 'Marks then don't complain about something that makes sense to easily fix. I admit I'm a little disappointed that there is no Least, Lesser, and Greater Marks but that can easily be changed or forgotten. So hear by a I am not going to complain about any changes.

So if you're going to complain, keep it to yourself.
I also allow dragonmarked PCs to perform the rituals in question without need for a ritual book, though all other restrictions and costs apply. To me, the idea of the ritual is something that has developed as a tool to allow others to duplicate the effects the houses have been using since for centuries. So there was a time when the only source of arcane lock was a dragonmarked dwarf; sometime over the past few centuries, the Arcane Congress successfully crafted a ritual to duplicate the effect.

You mentioned that in another thread and I'll definitely nab it. It makes a lot of sense.

Personally, I provide dragonmarked NPCs with a +2 bonus to skill checks to the roll and a 10% discount to ritual costs (something I'd consider letting a PC do with a feat... although if I wanted to be mean, I'd say that this specifically reflects house training from an early age and that out-of-house characters can't get this feat). It's not a big bonus and might not be worth it to PCs, being most useful when dealing with the Mark of Making (given which I might rule it out for the creation of magical or alchemical items). But it does help to establish the house as having a clear economic edge over competitors; if they can either do things cheaper or make more profit when charging the same price, it's easy to see how they succeed. But this is ABSOLUTELY a personal house rule, and I dubt you'll see it in a book.

I had a similar idea - I was going for a 20% discount (but I don't know the actual rituals yet). It'd indeed help to explain the continuing near-monopolies of the Houses.

Weird plot idea: one of the usual culprits (Mordain, the Lords of Dust...) is trying to create (aberrant) dragonmarks that can emulate other rituals.
It's not one of the usual "the Prophecy says that..." scenario, it's more like "what happens if we do that ?".

OoP's characters
My current character in Real Adventures Play-by-Post games:

 

  • Maeve in The Lost History of Istar


 
*shrug* well if people are over reacting at least they care. That's a good thing right?
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
I like that Dragonmarks are now available to all races. I always thought their racial requirements were stupid anyways. I never DMed a specifically Eberron campaign, but I allowed everything from the books into my own setting, and I always allowed anybody to have a Dragonmark if that was what they wanted.

Is it just me, or do all threads with the phrase "Epic Fail" in the title turn out to be someone getting hysterical about some small detail?

I don't think Epic Fail means what you think it means.

QFT

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Weird plot idea: one of the usual culprits (Mordain, the Lords of Dust...) is trying to create (aberrant) dragonmarks that can emulate other rituals.
It's not one of the usual "the Prophecy says that..." scenario, it's more like "what happens if we do that ?".

Nice PC background.

"You were not born, you were made. You're one of Mordain's wrong biology projects gone awry and he set you loose just for the lulz."

That could lead to all sorts of bizzare stories...
Sebby
"I'm a bonster. Rawr!"
Nice especially if the player has a background already. (not that I would kick dirt in the face of a player who is took exquisite time with their background) Everything they think they know is a lie, the parents they remember, never existed, their childhood a lie.

They go back 'home' and no one in town rememebers them, most will think something has happened to everyone else, not that they never lived there.

It'd be fun to run so long as the player was willing to go along with it. Its a delicate plot point, to be done with care, you don't want a player to feel 'screwed'.

Luckily my players are fans of Call of Cthulhu, Silent Hill, and Ravenloft so I think they'd give me room to run a mind screw.
Aesop had it right 2,500 years ago, "By endeavoring to please everyone, he had pleased no one, and lost his ass in the bargain".
I think what's more worrying is the fact that Dragonmarks will be appearing in Living Forgotten Realms... The Mark of Storms is going to be a regular trait of most LFR Swordmages with any inclination towards min-maxing...

Swordburst + Arcane Admixture + Arcane Reach + Heavy Blade Opportunist + Resounding Thunder + Mark of Storms = burst 2 within 2. Any enemy hit takes 1d6+int thunder and force damage and is slid 1 square. This power is at-will and may be used on opportunity attacks...

Feat heavy investment, sure, but... that monster is at-will. It makes the Swordmage arguably as much a controller as a defender..
How do I put this, I'm not thrilled with the change but I can understand some of the argument for it. I like the idea that's coming, that we can use it as a plot element or something similar. However I'm also vaguely concerned that we're going to end up with dragonmarks suddenly becoming a case of 'every other PC has one'. Or to put it another way, just as renegade drow seemed to outnumber the normals so too might the non-marked find themselves outnumbered. I can see some great story elements, and can even justify some of the changes with ideas of Vol messing with bloodlines to resurrect the mark of death and causing the marks to manifest amid other races. It just seems like it's getting rid of something that made Eberron feel a bit more unique. That being said, I might be totally wrong and change my view once I look at the campaign material.
Or to put it another way, just as renegade drow seemed to outnumber the normals so too might the non-marked find themselves outnumbered.

I'm afraid I never understood that statement. Isn't every group's scampaign or series of campaigns a world of its own? Why assume that other PCs exist in your campaign and can actually change the demographics?
Resident Prophet of the Reformed OTTers We offer free desserts and second helpings.
I'm afraid I never understood that statement. Isn't every group's scampaign or series of campaigns a world of its own? Why assume that other PCs exist in your campaign and can actually change the demographics?

What I mean is that everyone and their brother tends to play or wants to play the marked character, same as how so many people seemed to want to use renegade drow. Yes, your table and mine might never meet, but if in both our games at least half the people have marks, and the marks are nonstandard race it can start to feel sort of strange. Or to put it another, if stranger sounding, way if everyone plays giant purple snorklewackers then giant purple snorklewackers become the new common thing, instead of being a special or unique part of a setting or character as the setting would indicate instead they seem to be all over the bloody place.
Regardless of what it says in the Eberron Player's Guide, as the DM I can ask my players to stick to the canonical dragonmark-race correspondences. Or I can choose to run a game where one or more of the PCs has an "aberrant" dragonmark, and make that an explicit focus of the story.

What the rules theoretically allow is not the same as what must happen in your individual games - and I certainly don't care what some other joker does in his games!
Christopher Adams Religion must remain an outlet for people who say to themselves, "I am not the kind of person I want to be." It must never sink into an assemblage of the self-satisfied. - Frank Herbert, Dune
Regardless of what it says in the Eberron Player's Guide, as the DM I can ask my players to stick to the canonical dragonmark-race correspondences. Or I can choose to run a game where one or more of the PCs has an "aberrant" dragonmark, and make that an explicit focus of the story.

What the rules theoretically allow is not the same as what must happen in your individual games - and I certainly don't care what some other joker does in his games!

Oh sure, I recognize that too, that being said rules modification can happen in any game to make it better fit the overall program.