Sunday, December 22, 2013

Call for Judgment: A legal fight (to delay things further)

Times out and fails 3-3. -RaichuKFM

Adminned at 26 Dec 2013 16:03:32 UTC

What should Clucky’s Power be?

There are three options, really; 1520, 1000, or zero.

The argument that it should be 1520 is based on that being what his Power was before it was blanked as part of his becoming Interim Despot. 1000 derives from the Ruleset’s apparent default figure for Despots, and zero is the option should neither of the other two be applicable.

This CfJ contends that neither of the non-zero situations are applicable and that Clucky’s Power should be zero. The sequence of events was that Clucky had 1520 Power, but then moved into a player category that did not have a Power stat, before moving into another player category that did have a Power stat. He would thus only retain the 1520 Power if the stat is considered to persist even when not applicable to Clucky’s current role. To draw an analogy, at the same time as he has 1520 Power, Clucky had several other stats - a Credibility score, a Location, a Flunk etc. If he ceases to be Despot, do those also re-appear? I would argue not; these are not continuations of Clucky’s old values, but new iterations of those statistics. They should therefore start at a default level.

The default value question is tougher. The ruleset says that the Despot “starts the game” with 1000 Power; however, it also says elsewhere that an Oligarch “becomes the Despot”, suggesting that the Despot is a continuous role and as such that it has a continuity that supersedes the identity of whoever is occupying it. An argument could be made that Clucky should then inherit the Despot’s continuing Power. But in any case, the Despot has already “started the game” with 1000 Power; it’s not a default in that sense of the word. Clucky suggests that we adopt this as a “compromise”. This isn’t about compromising, though. It’s about getting it right.

That only leaves zero, which is applicable because of Glossary entry 3.3.1, which states that “If a game variable has no defined starting value for new Oligarchs, or for existing Oligarchs upon the variable’s creation, then that starting value is zero (for numerical variables) or blank (for a text string or list).” Remember that the Despot is considered an Oligarch for Core and Glossary rules.

Therefore, if this CfJ passes, subtract 1000 from Clucky’s Power (to a minimum of zero) and reverse the effect of any actions that he has taken while Despot that relied on Power that he had not earned as Despot prior to carrying them out,


RaichuKFM: she/her

22-12-2013 15:14:20 UTC


Kevan: he/him

22-12-2013 15:57:34 UTC

for since I can’t see any explanation from Clucky other than “I think it gets retained” and him adopting 1000 as a compromise and to “avoid a legal fight that will delay things even further” (does that just mean “avoid RaichuKFM/Purplebeard/whoever instantly deposing him”?).


22-12-2013 16:17:36 UTC


Clucky: he/him

22-12-2013 17:04:07 UTC


Rule 3.3.1 even uses the phrase “defined starting value”. Trying to argue that we are not “starting” and so the “starts the game value” is invalid, but we should use the “starting value” from 3.3.1 is pretty weak.

Clucky: he/him

22-12-2013 17:11:32 UTC

furthermore, I am neither a “new Oligarchs” (I have been an Oligarch this whole time) nor a “existing Oligarchs upon the variable’s creation” (the variable was recently created) so that rule does not apply.

Clucky: he/him

22-12-2013 17:16:28 UTC

Point is, there isn’t actually any rule that fully applies.

We have rules for the “what to do if value is temporarily undefined due to someone not being a player because they were idle”

and “what to do if the value is undefined upon creation”

but neither of those actually fully apply here. So the 1000 is a nice compromise. Given that “the game” has no meaning within the context of blognomic but we still gave Josh 1000 power to start his reign, seems reasonable to do the same for me.

Kevan: he/him

22-12-2013 20:56:27 UTC

So does this just come down to what happened to the variable “Clucky’s Power” between the time when you were Interim Despot (and “Clucky’s Power” was not a game variable), and the time you became Despot (and “Clucky’s Power” was a variable again)? Either the variable was “created”, or it underwent some other process which was not “creation”?

Clucky: he/him

22-12-2013 20:58:45 UTC

It underwent the same process that variables go when you idle - being temporarily undefined.

Kevan: he/him

22-12-2013 21:16:49 UTC

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say they became non-existent? “Interim Despot Clucky’s Power” is the same as “idle player Ais523’s Power” and “Kevan’s Cattle” - the variables are not defined by the ruleset, do not exist, and have no defined value. When we enact a rule of “everyone now has some Cattle but I forgot to say how many”, the variable is created and 3.3.1 kicks in. “Clucky now has a Power value again” seems the same; recreation is still creation.

The “temporarily undefined” idling thing is a clause in Rule 1.2.1 to say that the player’s gamestate is restored to what it was previously, it’s not default behaviour of game variables. Without the clause in 1.2.1, unidling players would - as I read it - have their variables recreated at zero.

Clucky: he/him

22-12-2013 21:34:49 UTC

I’d argue that recreation is different from creation.

also that doesn’t explain how Josh “started the game” when the rule was applied to give him 1000 power, but I did not “start the game” when I became despot. What is this “game” even referring to?

Josh: he/him

22-12-2013 23:36:16 UTC

It’s not great wording, sure, but it clearly means something different to “defaults to”.

Arguably I shouldn’t have had the 1000 Power from it at the time either.


23-12-2013 00:02:18 UTC

for Kevan and Josh make valid arguments. I would also like to reiterate Josh’s point that this isn’t about finding a compromise, or even a fair solution. We’re here to work out what happened, nothing more. If Oligarchs feel that Clucky should have this Power as a reward for his earlier gameplay or because of his winning smile, a proposal could sort that out if this passes.

In response to Clucky’s comments, the definition of ‘game’ is indeed a bit wobbly. It could reasonably be taken to mean ‘this Dynasty’ or the game of Blognomic (but not “the length of time during which Clucky is Despot”), and I would normally assume the second. As Josh notes, this could mean that he should have started with 0 Power and would invalidate pretty much everything we did this Dynasty. If so, another CfJ would be in order.

Clucky: he/him

23-12-2013 00:07:31 UTC

Josh clearly couldn’t have started the dynasty with 1000 power - when the dynasty began, power wasn’t a stat.

A CfJ to restart everything seems rather silly at this point. So I think its reasonable to stay consistent with what we have been doing and say it means “defaults to”


23-12-2013 10:45:53 UTC

Surprising myself, I find I agree with the perspective that whatever stats the despot has at the time of the change of the oligarch to the despot (whatever happens to the depsot’s stats in the meantime) are the stats the despot retains despite whoever assumes the role as despot.

If we have already defined the despot as a role distinct from other roles, such as oligarch, and since there’s been no gameplay to change Despot’s stats since Josh was removed (I think), then whatever state Josh left it in is the state Clucky inherits.

Unless there’s a specific reason to award or deny the Despot some value, it shouldn’t have been adjusted at all. The new despot has to sit in the ashes of the castle he burnt down in the coup.


23-12-2013 11:06:38 UTC

And, frankly, Josh should be given only what a new oligarch would have, since he is a brand new oligarch.

Despot is a position that any player might achieve. From how I read the rules, all stats held by the Despot belong to the position, not the player. Logically, since the rules don’t seem to make an argument that “Oligarch” is any less of a position than “Despot”, it doesn’t make sense that a player brings values with him when he assumes the new position.

To reiterate, the new Despot should have to inherit the Despot’s store the way the revolt has left them. And the newly-oligarched ex-despot should be set up as a new oligarch.

Josh: he/him

23-12-2013 12:02:23 UTC

Oh, interesting perspective. I think that may be right, actually.

Kevan: he/him

23-12-2013 12:34:38 UTC

How does that fit with Rule 2.1’s explicit “each retaining all of their existing GNDT values”, though?

Josh: he/him

23-12-2013 13:21:24 UTC

GNDT values aren’t gamestate values, Kevan. The Glossary ensures that when the GNDT conflicts with the Gamestate, the Gamestate wins.

Bucky: Proprietor

23-12-2013 19:47:54 UTC

I interpret that clause in 2.1 to mean that they retain all gamestate values that are tracked in the GNDT.