Thursday, March 30, 2006

Semantic question

A recent proposal had a statement which basically stated “Bucky must move larsatomica from hell”. Does the word ‘must’ also confer the power to do whatever is required? It is not clarified in our glossary.

I was reading ‘must’ in this case as ‘is required to, by all means at eir disposal’. If a statement said ‘smith must give 50 Distimmed Dosh to Josh’ I would think that I would have to own the Dosh I am required to give. But there are other examples which obviously confer the power, such as ‘smith must reduce eir stigma by 3’. We don’t have the power to lose stigma, but the statement seems to allow it.

So ‘must’ could work either way, but I’m wondering if there is a general rule of thumb I’m missing.

UPDATE: Sorry, I used different terms than the actual example I’m paraphrasing. “If Lars Atomica is in Hell and gives Bucky 10 Dosh, Bucky will move em to the Lobby.” I think the general concept is the same—does ‘will’ confer the power?

SECOND UPDATE: It may be that there was an existing mechanic to move lars from hell, but I didn’t see it, so I’m not sure how this statement was actually interpreted. In any case, this question is still unresolved for me in general.

Comments

Bucky:

03-30-2006 22:39:20 UTC

HR floor description.

90000:

03-30-2006 23:59:57 UTC

‘Y Must X’ doesn’t convey Y the authority to do X and should be used only where it’s certain that Y can X.

In the case of “Smith must reduce eir Stigma by 3”, that statement would be worded very poorly.  I’d prefer “Reduce Smith’s Stigma by 3”, and thus it is; the GNDT should just track the gamestate.

‘will’ does not confer ability.  If I said “I will fly.”, it’s just a meaningless statement.

Rodney:

03-31-2006 01:21:43 UTC

It was in itlalics, so precident says that nothing should happpen.