Saturday, December 30, 2023

Proposal: Casing the Joint

Timed out and enacted, 5-1. Josh

Adminned at 01 Jan 2024 17:22:10 UTC

In the core rules:

In the rule Ruleset and Gamestate, change “rules which apply in special cases” to “rules which set metagame parameters for the current dynasty”.

In the rule Victory and Ascension, add the following as a second bullet point in the final bulleted list:

* Optionally specify any number of Building Blocks rules to remove or insert, as per the instructions in the Building Blocks section.

Change the now-third bullet point in the same list to read:

* Update the Ruleset to reflect any changed terms, repeal any dynastic rules which were not listed to be kept, and make any specified or automatic changes to the Building Blocks section of the ruleset.

In the Special Case section:

Rename the section to Building Blocks. Rewrite the text under the top-level heading to read as follows:

Building Blocks are rules that can be substituted in and out of the ruleset as needed, usually as a result of an Ascension Address. All rules in the Building Blocks section are ruletext.

Potential Building Blocks rules can be found at the Building Blocks page of the wiki. That page is gamestate and may not be altered except as specified by the ruleset or through the passage of a Proposal or CfJ; however, its contents are not rulestext. When the contents of the Building Blocks page are referred to as ‘rules’ by the ruleset or by a votable matter, it should be assumed that said contents are being referred to as potential rules rather than actual rules.

When a Grim Reaper specifies the Building Blocks rules in use for a new dynasty in an Ascension Address, they should specify (by name) the rules from the Building Blocks page that they would like to be included in this section of the ruleset; these rules must then be transcribed faithfully to this section of the ruleset, and any rules not so named must be removed. Some rules on the Building Blocks page are listed as being Recommended; if the new Grim Reaper makes no statement on Building Blocks rules to be included in their Ascension Address then the Recommended Building Blocks are considered to have been selected. The current Recommended Building Blocks rules are: Dormancy, Dynastic Distance and Mantle Limitations.

Collapse the text of the rule ‘Imperial Deferentials [Active] [Standard]’ into a single paragraph and make it a bullet point in the rule ‘Rules and Votable Matters’; then repeal the rule ‘Imperial Deferentials [Active] [Standard]’.

Add the following to the end of the rule Dynasties:

Unless otherwise stated by a dynastic rule, for the purposes of dynastic and Building Blocks rules, the Grim Reaper is not a Necromancer.

Add the following to the end of the rule Fair Play:

On the 24th, 25th and 26th of December, BlogNomic is [[#hiatus|on Hiatus]]. In addition, game actions defined by the core rules titled “Necromancers” and “Victory and Ascension” (with the exception of Voting in DoVs) may not be taken.

Repeal the rule Dynastic Distance [Active] [Standard] and the rule Seasonal Downtime [Active] [Standard].

For each Building Blocks rule that has the tag [Active] in its title, remove all of the tags in its title. For each Building Blocks rule that has the tag [Inactive] in its title, repeal it. If the Building Blocks page of the wiki has been altered since its first edit, revert those changes.

Throughout the ruleset, wherever it appears, change the term ‘Special Case’ to ‘Building Blocks’.

Special Case has been a long-standing bugbear for me. It is densely wordy, and in many dynasties the bulk of it is inactive and doesn’t matter. The tags are as aesthetic nightmare, and seem to cause problems about once every six months when we remember that titles are flavour text and thus the tags shouldn’t really do anything. The recent discussions around favours made me thing: what if it was more of an imperial-styles type menu that new emperors were expected to peruse and pick from?

Also bumping a couple of the SC rules into the permanent ruleset that never seem to get switched off.


Zack: he/him

30-12-2023 17:16:40 UTC

This proposal can’t change the Core, Special Case, or Appendix sections because it doesn’t have any tags.

Zack: he/him

30-12-2023 17:18:14 UTC

Actually on closer reading of the Tags rule I think I was wrong, should be ok.

Josh: Observer he/they

30-12-2023 17:23:46 UTC

My one-man campaign against Tags continues

JonathanDark: he/him

30-12-2023 17:33:58 UTC

Something struck me when you mentioned that titles are flavour text. There’s this statement in the Appendix:

The names of rules and wiki pages (other than the Ruleset) are flavour text.

Remember your simulation dynasty, Josh? The core mechanic was around the rule titles and how they applied to the players. If the rule title (a.k.a its name) is flavour text, does that mean the entire dynasty was invalid? It can’t be covered by Prioritisation because that only says that dynastic rules have precedence over Core rules, but explicitly says that Appendix rules always have precedence:

1. The Appendix has precedence over any other Rule;
2. If a Core Rule explicitly says it cannot be overruled by a Dynastic Rule, that Core Rule has precedence over a Dynastic Rule, otherwise a Dynastic Rule has precedence over that Core Rule;


Josh: Observer he/they

30-12-2023 17:41:10 UTC

Yep! Skated by on that one, hey.

(Actually it’s debatable - flavour text is ‘is not considered to have any meaning beyond being a string of characters’, and the tags in the titles in both my dynasty and the current Special Case rules are reading them as a string of characters, not really imparting meaning into them - but it’s all very iffy imo.)

Kevan: he/him

30-12-2023 18:24:22 UTC

Very good call, Special Case has always been a bit of a heap of different things, with its constant presence in every ruleset probably making it feel too precious to ever become a genuinely useful toolbox of potentially recurring mechanics.

“The current Recommended Building Blocks rules are: Dormancy, Dynastic Distance and Mantle Limitations.” shouldn’t include Dynastic Distance because you’re repealing it later in the proposal. It would also be easy to drop Mantle - the current “core: you can pass mantles” and “special case default: actually you can’t pass mantles” setup has always seemed unnecessarily backwards when it could just be a default-off special case rule of “you can pass mantles”, with no mention of them in core. If that just leaves us with Dormancy in the Recommended list, we could boil that down to a core rule that’s phrased in a way that’s easy to override when a small group want to play on.

Imperial Deferentials should maybe go into the core voting rule if it’s now a common default, rather than deep in an appendix; new players definitely tend to assume that an Emperor DEF is an abstention. And Seasonal Downtime probably could stand to be buried in the appendix, as it comes but once a year and somebody will always point it out.

“any rules not so named must be removed” might need a little more duct tape to clarify its implied Building Blocks scope, that it’s not going to knock out the rest of core.

And the page you’ve created and hyperlinked to here is typo’d as “Bulding” Blocks - I think that’s going to give us an initially blank “Building Blocks” page per “becomes gamestate as a result of a Votable Matter enacting”, irrespective of any subsequent typo correction.

for as this all seems patchable before the next ascension.

Raven1207: he/they

30-12-2023 18:31:35 UTC


JonathanDark: he/him

30-12-2023 19:16:13 UTC


Vovix: he/him

30-12-2023 20:05:32 UTC


Clucky: he/him

30-12-2023 20:48:01 UTC


This breaks several existing special case rules that refer to other special case rules. While in theory they can be fixed before the next dynasty starts, as one of those broken areas is a part of the rule set saying “this is because this combo is too strong” I think its better to not risk leaving that combo in there.

I also would prefer to keep dynastic distance as a special case rule (or at the very least, flip it so you have a special case rule to turn it off which could easily be done if we also redo this with a fix for the broken special case rules))

There is also a subtle change to Imperial Deferentials done by this—by moving it out of the special case rules the “If there are six or fewer Necromancers” clause now will include the Grim Reaper even with Dynastic Distance turned on. This wound up being a point of concern last dynasty. So I think its worth pointing out that it would change the behavior.

Clucky: he/him

30-12-2023 21:03:33 UTC“Dynastic+Distance+[Inactive]”&title=Special:Search&profile=default&fulltext=1

Dynastic Distance was last set to be inactive in Ruleset 208 and has been switched off 11 times since it was added in Ruleset 159.

Seems like a popular enough building block to keep around

meanwhile some other special case rules can probably get the boot due to never being used:

Bounties has never been used (Added in 214)

Malign Emperors has been used exactly once (196)

Clucky: he/him

30-12-2023 21:12:15 UTC

also… am I just missing how the building block page gets updated to include the new player/emperor terms or is that also broken?

Synonyms mentions the words “to be replaced by the new value everywhere in the ruleset”. But the building blocks page is not explicitly not the ruleset

JonathanDark: he/him

30-12-2023 21:58:08 UTC

There’s definitely stuff to be patched. Josh seems to be committed to working the issues out and spending his slots during this dynasty to cover this. If he doesn’t, we can simply just write a Proposal to revert the ruleset revision from the enactment.

Clucky: he/him

31-12-2023 05:05:52 UTC

my view is that you can just as easily write a proposal that adds the rule changes and patches stuff at the same time as you can write a proposal that patches stuff

but as there is not guarantee the patches pass…