Monday, April 06, 2020

Proposal: An End to the Tyranny of the Mathmeticians [Special Case]

Timed out 2 votes to 7. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 08 Apr 2020 15:10:53 UTC

Remove the sentence “All Money and Power quantities bid must be expressed using only the ten numerical digits of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system” from the rule Auctions.

Add a new Special Case rule, entitled Simple numbers, with the following text:

All numbers used in this Dynasty must be expressed using only the ten numerical digits of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, the ‘-’ symbol for negative numbers, and the ‘.’ symbol to denote decimal places. Commas may optionally be used to improve the readability of long numbers, provided that they do not alter the meaning of the number thus expressed.

Set that Special Case rule to Active.


Darknight: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 14:27:36 UTC



04-06-2020 14:36:00 UTC


Kevan: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 14:37:02 UTC

against  This needs an exception for writing out numbers as words - which this rule is already doing with its “ten numerical digits”.

I’m unconvinced that we need this as a permanent rule.

Josh: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 14:44:58 UTC

@Kevan - I agree that it doesn’t need to be a permanent rule, which is why I made it a special case -i purpose or because I can guarantee that it’s going to need to be in place any time I’m emperor, so it saves time to have it easily toggleable.

You’re right about numbers-as-words, although I do query whether “numbers used in this dynasty” extends to ruleset text.

Josh: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 14:45:48 UTC

“i purpose or” should be “I proposed this”. My autocorrect apologises.

Tantusar: HE/THEY

04-06-2020 15:17:03 UTC

against as it stands, might have something to say about it in short order

Kevan: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 15:20:38 UTC

Special cases flip to “active” by default, and on its surface there’s no reason to switch this one off. It just feels a bit of a fool’s errand, similar to trying to define what kind of English language players should and shouldn’t communicate in, which we don’t bother with. If some joker enjoys making obtruse mathematical bids, can’t they do the same under this rule by framing them as “my bid is the digit 1 followed by X iterations of the digit 0, where X is…”?

In dynasties with public numbers, we can see when someone is being a bore with them; in dynasties where those numbers are tracked privately, we just need a rule like the current Louis XIV Powers to let the tracker reject them if they don’t like them.

Kevan: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 15:25:46 UTC

Really, this dynasty is a huge outlier for allowing and perhaps encouraging arbitrarily large secret numbers. In any other dynasty we’d just throw out a quick sanity-check rule of “bids cannot exceed 100”.

Darknight: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 16:10:23 UTC

against cov per Kevan

Brendan: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 16:13:38 UTC


pencilgame: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 17:18:19 UTC

I’m voting for it just to show I ain’t mad about that veto.

pencilgame: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 17:21:01 UTC

additionally, although this is technically a fools errand like Kevan said….Having this rule explicitly written at least codifies an unwritten social resistance to being tricky with your numbers.

It’s good to express intent, even if it doesn’t technically get rid of tricky bastard mathematicians.

Kevan: HE/HIM

04-06-2020 18:22:19 UTC

I’m not sure tricky numbers is a regular problem, it’s usually just someone saying “oh look, this action is free, I gain 999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 units of grain” because it’s funny. Which they can still do if this enacts.

I assume Josh has just been getting some weird bids this dynasty from a player who has decided to win some bids at any cost.


04-06-2020 18:56:22 UTC

imperial  CoV


04-06-2020 21:17:14 UTC


Clucky: HE/HIM

04-07-2020 18:09:15 UTC


The rule is self contradictory because “ten” is a number and it isn’t represented using the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.

after the dynasty, Josh can speak more publicly about the types of bids he saw and we can brainstorm ways around them. But until we actually have that information to better understand why this rule is needed, I don’t wanna make permanent changes to the ruleset.


04-07-2020 20:52:37 UTC

against  CoV per Clucky

Kevan: HE/HIM

04-08-2020 09:15:32 UTC

[Clucky] Josh comments above that they don’t intend or consider “numbers used in this Dynasty” as referring to ruletext. (Beyond the self-reference in this rule, there were lot of numbers-as-words in the dynastic ruleset at the end of this dynasty - mostly “one"s.)

Even reading it as only affecting gamestate and game actions, though, it still seems a bad idea to say that (months from now when half of us have forgotten about this rule and new players haven’t noticed it) it would be illegal for someone to post a blog-comment-as-action of “I spend three coins”.