Monday, October 12, 2020

Proposal: [Appendix] [Special Case] Ground Rules

Self-killed. Josh

Adminned at 14 Oct 2020 18:28:24 UTC

In “Appendix::Keywords::Other”, add a keyword called “Upkeep Action” with the following definition:

An action meant to indicate a gamestate change that the Gaia can perform even when Dynastic Distance is active.

Replace the “Special Case::Dynastic Distance” rule with the following text:

The Gaia does not possess gamestate variables, and any Island which is implied to possess a gamestate variable may not be the Gaia.  The Gaia is considered an Island only:
* for the purposes of non-dynastic rules;
* for the purposes of dynastic rules dealing with voting; and
* for the purposes of executing dynastic upkeep actions.

Under “Dynastic Rules::Turns”, replace

Gaia must Progress Time, which is an atomic action


Gaia must Progress Time, which is an atomic upkeep action

Under “Dynastic Rules::Weather”, replace

When an Island or Gaia Sets the Weather


When an Island Sets the Weather

An attempt at adding structure which is hopefully useful to handle situations where we want Gaia to perform certain dynastic actions but not others.

Bonus points for getting the pun in the title.


Kevan: HE/HIM

10-12-2020 18:08:11 UTC

This does fail the “would this have prevented the thing that just happened?” test, though. (The problem was a supplemental rule saying “When an Island Sets the Weather”.)


10-12-2020 18:37:05 UTC

Is my interpretation wrong?  I specifically designed it this way because my understanding was that the Weather rule only specified its steps, but didn’t explicitly say when they could be taken, or by whom.  It’s the Progress Time which specifies that Set Weather can be taken as an action, and I added “upkeep” as an adjective there to make sure that the term “Island” in Weather would include Gaia


10-12-2020 18:44:02 UTC

That came out confusing;  let me rephrase.  In my interpretation, since Progress Time says that Set Weather may be performed by Gaia as an upkeep action, then Gaia is to be considered an Island for the purpose of the Weather rule.

Kevan: HE/HIM

10-12-2020 18:59:21 UTC

You’re right, I was reading the “for the purposes” as allowing them to take it, rather than giving them an “I am now an Island if anything looks at this action” hat for the duration of the action.

So what support would this rule be giving us in the future? It feels like a very specific band-aid for when we have one rule of “the Emperor may do X” and accidentally write another as “when a Player does X”, forgetting that the Emperor might be doing it. And if (since we’re worried about forgetful players) we forget to say “this is an upkeep action” on the former rule, we’re back where we started.


10-12-2020 19:33:58 UTC

It’s definitely true that the utility of this proposal is related to how often the Dynastic Distance rule is active (I was under the impression that it was relatively often), and how often it is the case that there are general “upkeep” rules involved in the dynasty.  Perhaps I don’t have enough experience to really tell how often both of those conditions apply, perhaps the more experienced players can weigh in about this.

But, assuming that they do apply often enough, I think that having a specific keyword for this kind of situation will contribute to avoiding players forgetting about this situation itself.  In a similar way that we have “atomic” as a keyword to indicate reoccurring situations, rather than the players always indicating that a set of actions all occur at the same time.

Ultimately, I think it’s OK if this doesn’t pass, and it’s not trying to fix that requires a huge deal of attention;  but I do think it would be a nice addition, as a complement to the entire idea of dynastic distance.

Kevan: HE/HIM

10-12-2020 20:30:57 UTC

Dynastic Distance is active more often than not, but problems like this (where one rule says “the Emperor may do X” and another accidentally says “when a Player does X”) very rarely come up. I can’t think of an instance before this one.

A more common mistake we make during distant dynasties is to say “any Player may do [some boring maintenance action]” and forget that this means the Emperor can’t do it, even though they might want to. Maybe there’d be some mileage in saying that the Emperor can always be considered a player for the purpose of taking any action.

But it might be too surprising: it could be frustrating if a player thought they’d cleverly blocked all their opponents from taking some action, only for the Emperor to (without realising the consequences of it) step up and do it instead.

Kevan: HE/HIM

10-13-2020 09:26:05 UTC

against on the basis of all that. There’s also the cost of making a currently very simple Special Case rule into something more complex and opaque.

Josh: HE/HIM

10-13-2020 09:39:21 UTC

against per Kevan.


10-14-2020 06:20:19 UTC

In addition to everything Kevan said, I think “any Island which is implied to possess a gamestate variable may not be the Gaia” is very likely to accidentally remove Gaias from office, particularly without an “unless” for gamestate variables that only apply to the Gaia.


10-14-2020 17:35:15 UTC

against so we can move along