Thursday, February 13, 2020

Proposal: Crisis on Exactly Two Blognomics

Reached quorum 8 votes to 0. Enacted by Kevan.

Adminned at 14 Feb 2020 17:05:23 UTC

Add a new rule to the ruleset, entitled Portals:

Whenever any Scientist takes a Discrepant Action, they must roll DICE12. On a result of 12, a Portal is opened. The Scientist whose action provoked the opening of a Portal is responsible for then carrying out the following atomic action:

* Give the Portal a name, made up of one of the names of their choice from this page and a random 4-digit number;
* Randomly select a Star Sign for that Portal;
* Set the Portal’s Strength, which is the result of a DICEx roll where x is the current Crisis;
* Set the Portal’s Source as the Universe to which the Scientist who provoked its opening is Oriented, or a random Universe if they are Balanced;
* Make a story post to the blog announcing the opening of a new Portal, and update the Scientists page of the wiki with the name, Source, Star Sign and Strength of the new Portal.

Add a new rule to the ruleset, entitled Mindflaying:

As soon as possible after Monday 10am UTC each week, any Scientist should, as a weekly communal action, Flay. Flaying is an atomic action with the following steps:

* If there are more than two open Portals, set the Polarity of all Balanced Scientists to either 1 or -1, seleted at random;
* Move the Polarity of all Prime-Oriented Scientists Primeward by a number equal to the number of open Portals with a Prime Source;
* Move the Polarity of all Alpha-Oriented Scientists Alphaward by a number equal to the number of open Portals with an Alpha Source;
* Double the Crisis.

Add a new rule to the ruleset, entitled Cataclysm:

If both Universes are ever Cataclysmic then all Scientists have failed and no Scientist may declare Victory. Any Scientist may repeal all Dynastic rules and immediately start a new metadynasty with a blank Ascension Address.

A Universe is Cataclysmic if it has a crisis value of zero, or if all Scientists in that Universe have a Polarity that is at the most extreme value for the Orientation of that Universe (-50 for the Prime Universe, 50 for the Alpha Universe).

Remove “A universe with a crisis amount of 0 is considered “cataclysmic”” from the rule entitled Budget.

Setting up a basic framework for a semi-co-op game loop, with Scientists trying to close portals as they open to bring the Universe back to a stable situation, along with a fail state: so many portals existing that it tears the multiverse apart.


Kevan: HE/HIM

02-13-2020 12:04:07 UTC

Picking a name from a list on The Encyclopedia That Anyone Can Edit and writing it into the ruleset is, of course, extremely scammable.

Are we sure this interacts okay with past usage of “Portal” to mean “thing that splits the ruleset when created”? I think we’re okay as the split is clearly framed as being “two universes now exist” rather than “an additional universe now exists”.


02-13-2020 12:07:01 UTC

The name doesn’t go into the ruleset, just into the Scientists page of the wiki, but I take your point. I’ll move the list over to our wiki and make it gamestate.

I have a few questions arising from the portal, actually, like: what happens to the existing rules? Nothing says how they are tracked as separate rulesets, who is responsible for tagging everything as [alpha] and [prime], basically what happens when divergence occurs… That’s a subject for a follow-up proposal.


02-13-2020 12:18:30 UTC

Amended to a different name list as I’m afk and the 2hr deadline is looming.


02-13-2020 13:00:29 UTC

I love the idea of a co-operative dynasty.  for also Josh, what made you pick the term ‘mindflaying’? it’s a very grotesque and gothic term hehe!


02-13-2020 13:23:17 UTC



02-13-2020 14:29:23 UTC

Crisis on Infinite Earths reference?

derrick: HE/HIM

02-13-2020 14:43:24 UTC




02-13-2020 14:44:36 UTC

@Cuddkebeam I don’t know what that is


02-13-2020 15:04:22 UTC

It was a big in-story Marvel event.

The Josh Curse continues of pulling references without intending to lol

Kevan: HE/HIM

02-13-2020 16:40:07 UTC

against Strong personal preference against “nobody wins, metadynasty” failure states. Whether or not metadynasties are a good thing, if there’s a “nobody wins” button within reach (whether by a stretch of gamestate or a scam), it can become a tempting option when someone else is about to win.


02-13-2020 17:52:12 UTC

@Kevan That’s a fair objection. Anything even hinting towards co-op needs to have a fail state, though, and it’s hard to see what that would look like if not a rule reset of some kind.


02-13-2020 17:57:34 UTC

We can have the fail state be that Duke wins

Kevan: HE/HIM

02-13-2020 18:31:27 UTC

We’ve also had a fail state of a player secretly chosen at random earlier in the dynasty winning, before.

[Josh] It’s more that I’m uncomfortable with it being possible for a player to crash the dynasty if they realise they can’t win it, whatever that failure outcome might actually be. We often have scrappy scams in our back pocket: if that scam happens to allow you to force the fail state, then you have a handy reset button to stop any rival’s victory with, when you’re left with no other option. The wiring here (failing if X is zero or Y is 50, maybe with a side order of “as the last player in the Prime Universe, I Idle”) feels like false jeopardy that will only realistically be tripped by a scam - if the game gets to 999,999 Crisis through natural gameplay, why wouldn’t we all agree to halve it by a (perhaps very thematic and mechanically clever) proposal?

Brendan: HE/HIM

02-13-2020 23:09:16 UTC

imperial For now, on Kevan’s argument. I’ll propose to amend the fail state.

derrick: HE/HIM

02-13-2020 23:10:37 UTC

I agree with kevan’s failstate objection, but that’s something that can be ammended.

Darknight: HE/HIM

02-14-2020 02:25:46 UTC


Kevan: HE/HIM

02-14-2020 10:20:42 UTC

I think there’s maybe a fundamental problem with making a co-op dynasty that “everyone loses” can only really be balanced by “everyone wins”. If you balance it with “one player wins”, then if the fail state ever becomes genuinely threatening (and why have it if it doesn’t), it also means that a losing player can grab the wheel and crash the dynasty into it.

I’m trying to think of co-op boardgames that have a single formal winner, and can’t remember any. I think they even shy away from giving any kind of “most valuable player” award: you always win as a group.


02-14-2020 12:07:49 UTC

Castle Panic, Archipelago, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and Legendary all Spring to mind for that brief, Kevan.

Kevan: HE/HIM

02-14-2020 12:27:36 UTC

Hmm, I only know Betrayal from that list, and I thought it was “traitor wins” or “everyone else wins as a group”. A frustrated third place player can only throw the game to the traitor.

I haven’t heard of Archipelago, but reading this review that casts the fail state as a catch-up mechanic is interesting: that there’s strong pressure on the lead players to pay to avoid the fail state (because they want to win) and much less pressure on the back players (who don’t care so much). Maybe there’s some mileage there.

Kevan: HE/HIM

02-14-2020 12:28:37 UTC

imperial CoV to see where this can go.

The Duke of Waltham: HE/HIM

02-14-2020 16:51:24 UTC

I’m a bit suspicious of this, teetering between DEF and AGAINST… But let’s see how it goes. It does seem to create more of a losing condition than a winning condition, but I think I have an idea about that.