Thursday, September 30, 2021

Proposal: Dismantling [Core]

Timed out 2 votes to 4 (Raven and Pokes’ votes cancelling out). Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 02 Oct 2021 10:32:36 UTC

In “Victory and Ascension”, replace:-

If the game is in an Interregnum then the new Drone must either Pass the Mantle, by making a post naming another Citizen - in which case the Drone ceases to be the Drone and the Citizen so named becomes the Drone - or start a new dynasty by completing the following Atomic Action:


If the game is in an Interregnum then the new Drone must either Pass the Mantle (by making a post naming a Citizen who was not the last dynasty’s Drone, in which case the passing Citizen ceases to be the Drone and the Citizen so named becomes the Drone) or start a new dynasty by completing the following Atomic Action:

Last dynasty’s post-match discussion included Emperor Josh saying that he would have considered trying to hand Brendan the win, if asked, in exchange for a cut of mantle (“I can’t win this dynasty but he can pass the mantle back to me”).

Allowing Emperors to take the mantle at the end of their own dynasty should maybe be ruled out for unbalancing dynastic gameplay - and I say this from the helm of a proposal-focused dynasty where judicious vetoes could probably change the outcome of the endgame.


Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 09:06:37 UTC

Doesn’t this just cut down the possibility space for what kind of Emperorships and Dynasties we can have? Sometimes we’re going to want to play in spaces where the Emperor isn’t a neutral arbiter, where they can also scheme and conspire, and where they can win (acknowledging that the ruleset currently has a weak prohibition against this, but one that can be somewhat trivially sidestepped).

We have the relatively recent innovation of imperial styles, through which an Emperor is expected to declare whether or not they’re interested in running such a dynasty. When the matter came up in the last dynasty, one of the things I considered was whether it would be consistent with my states Imperial Style, and I was surprised that you didn’t bring it up - I think that if I had joined Brendan in a scam then it would have harmed my reputation as an Emperor if it hadn’t been supported by my style statement, and that tradition is only going to get stronger as time goes on.

At the moment I’m leaning against, because I think the diversity of BlogNomic’s imperial ecosystem requires a richness of levers rather than a paucity, and because I think that tools for managing outright imperial abuse are in place and working, to some extent.

Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 09:16:08 UTC

(For reference, my styles last dynasty were “Adversary on Player Protection [...] scam-neutral in context [...] predictability instinctual” - so lacking the silver-bullet Scam Positive, but Adversary may have given me some cover if I’d gone down that route.)

Kevan: he/him

30-09-2021 09:39:22 UTC

The Emperor explicitly not being allowed to win their own dynasty, yet being allowed to have the “winner” mantle passed back to them, isn’t very tidy or intuitive. We should unify it one way or the other, rather than leaving it as something that veterans will know to take into account in future dynasties, and new players won’t. My guess is that unifying to “Emperor can never win own dynasty” would be more popular than “Emperor can always win own dynasty”.

We could add a Rare Special Case rule for Imperial victory if it seems like a useful lever to have, although it’s probably simple and rare enough to just propose dynastically as needed (as we have done before).

Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 09:57:48 UTC

I’ll also add that this would complicate a Seventh Dynasty of Kevan situation, in which a player wins a dynasty through an early or cheesy move but wants to pass the mantle back to the erstwhile Emperor to allow them to continue their game.

redtara: they/them

30-09-2021 13:07:20 UTC

I think for the sake of keeping gameplay fresh and stimulating it’s probably a good idea not to have consecutive dynasties. This doesn’t necessarily rule out scheming emperors. People’s motivations differ but I usually am not playing Blognomic to win.

Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 14:07:33 UTC

I agree that back-to-back dynasties need a good, fun, justifiable reason - but it’s not like there’s an actual problem here - the last time an emperor actually properly had back to back dynasties was 2005.

I just don’t see that there’s a good reason to close this teeny tiny edge case that might one day be interesting or fun.

Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 14:08:08 UTC

against The tools we have to deal with this rare edge case are fine.

Kevan: he/him

30-09-2021 15:11:47 UTC

This isn’t about whether back-to-back dynasties are intrinsically good or bad - anyone can counter-propose “Emperors can always achieve victory” if that sounds better. It’s whether we want a clearly-written Core ruleset, or if it’s more fun when some players misunderstand how the victory process works.

Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 15:24:48 UTC

Oh! Well in that case I don’t particularly feel like this revision adds clarity.

Josh: he/they

30-09-2021 15:27:55 UTC

In fact I’d find it roughly on a par with this proposal, which was (correctly!) dismissed as not ‘game-critical in 95% of dynasties’ and ‘Appendix at most’.

Raven1207: he/him

30-09-2021 15:28:18 UTC


Snisbo: she/they

30-09-2021 15:29:57 UTC

against I think it is clearly written, assuming we interpret it as intentionally vague in terms of whether back to back dynasties are allowed. If the issue here is clarity, then I would be more in favor of clarifying that emperors *can* have dynasties back to back, though maybe that would have to be up to a vote rather than the new emperor having free reign to pass it back.

Kevan: he/him

30-09-2021 15:42:28 UTC

The ruleset currently says “Emperors can’t achieve victory their own dynasty but if you look closely and remember that the Emperor is always a Citizen for core they can always have the victory mantle passed to them”. And the game history shows that the latter basically never happens.

This proposal changes the rules so that the simple concept of “Emperors can’t achieve victory in their own dynasty” is true even for mantle passing.

If I’ve misread the room and everyone had always been fully clued-up about the possibility of a dynasty ending with “I veto the queue and refuse to perform some optional actions, Bob wins, Bob passes the mantle back to me, the Emperor, for my next dynasty”, then fair enough.

[Supernova] I think it’s accidentally vague rather than intentionally vague.

Snisbo: she/they

30-09-2021 17:12:21 UTC

@Kevan, yeah, probably, but the power of vagueness is that it can be interpreted however we like it to be. Blocking it off as an option seems a bit too restrictive to me, I have an alternate idea.

Kevan: he/him

30-09-2021 17:32:30 UTC

There’s no vagueness in the interpretation here: the rule says “Pass the Mantle, by making a post naming another Citizen” - the Emperor is always a Citizen for that rule, you can always, 100% pass the mantle to Emperor. It’s just a bit opaque.

Limiting how the Emperor can win their own dynasty isn’t much of a blockage, in a game of rule amendment. We’ve given an Emperor the ability to outright win their own dynasty at least once in the past, it only takes a single sentence of dynastic ruletext.

Do we think “Emperor can’t win their own dynasty directly, but can win as part of a team” is a good rule and we should keep it?

Clucky: he/him

01-10-2021 00:28:39 UTC


To me, this solves a problem that doesn’t exist. We’ve had nearly 200 dynasties, and this has never been a problem. Meanwhile, “pass the mantle back to the old emperor” has been something we’ve done for legit purposes. So I don’t agree with the need for the change.

No. An Emperor shouldn’t cabal to win their own dynasty. If we feel we need to outlaw that, lets codify it in the rules in a way that also rules out “Hey Josh I’ll use my emperor powers to help you win this dynasty, then you do it in return to help me win the next dynasty!”

Kevan: he/him

01-10-2021 08:28:58 UTC

The issue existed last week: Josh said on Discord that he’d considered using Imperial powers to attempt to kingmake Brendan, but would “only have done it if I’d got victory share out of it”, and “thought it was across the line to suggest it to him myself”.

So that’s setting a clear precedent that the next time Josh (or any Emperor) announces an adversarial style, we can privately contact them and try to get some DEF/veto/action favours in exchange for mantle pass - we now know this does not cross Josh’s line on adversarial Emperor behavior. (And I’ve only declared Laissez-Faire for this dynasty, so maybe it’s worth dropping me a line right now.)

We can stop that being an issue by just removing the “Emperor wins as a team” button. That long-game interdynastic favours are a much harder problem to solve doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bother with one easier change.

I really don’t see that “Emperor can’t win their own dynasty solo, but can win it as part of a team” is a fundamentally better rule than “Emperor can never win own dynasty”. (With or without your suggested and unwritten “but the Emperor shouldn’t do this!” coda which it would be in spirit for an adversarial Emperor to ignore.) Yes, one time in the game’s history, eleven years ago, it was useful for being able to quickly fix an unwanted situation, but that could also have been cleaned up with a one-sentence “change the Emperor” CfJ.

Josh: he/they

01-10-2021 08:34:39 UTC

Okay, please don’t use my chatty comments in Discord as a complete statement of intent. I am not decided on whether I would have done it; I am not decided on whether it would have been okay for me to do it; I have not decided whether I would support someone else doing something similar; I don’t appreciate my throwaway comment on a chatroom being wheeled out as a precedent, of all things.

Josh: he/they

01-10-2021 08:38:12 UTC

We might have to have a serious conversation about what constitutes a precedent on BlogNomic, because it seems to happen a lot that the spectre of precedent is raised in ways that don’t appear to actually have any weight.

A precedent is something that was enacted with a vote that reached quorum, and even then it is a dead precedent once the player base has shifted enough that those voters could no longer constitute quorum.

A justification on a vote might be precedent for that individual but there is no requirement in this game or any other for consistency, so players should be free to define for themselves what their consistent red lines are.

An idle statement in a Discord server is not a precedent for anything.

Josh: he/they

01-10-2021 08:45:49 UTC

In case it was unclear, I am very unwilling to be wheeled out as a cautionary tale, here, and very uncomfortable at the thought that my every statement on the discord might be being parsed to push through core rule changes that I strongly disagree with.

If it offers any comfort: I will be equally dismayed if my off-the-cuff Discord chat is later used to justify a game action.

Kevan: he/him

01-10-2021 08:57:13 UTC

Oh, I don’t mean to conjure up any spectres there, I don’t think BlogNomic should have binding unwritten precedents either.

I just mean the behavioural precedent of “a thing that has happened”, and how as a player I can apply that to similar situations with the same players in future dynasties. “We now know” was a bit strong, but in your next dynasty I would obviously have a private chat about how you felt about mantle passes at that time, if this rule was left as “Emperor can always win own dynasty as a team”.

I don’t think any future mantle passes would need justification. Mantle passing to the Emperor is 100% legal under the ruleset, there’s only a mild and implicit unwritten precedent that players never have two dynasties in a row. I wouldn’t object or vote to overturn such a pass if it happened.

Chiiika: she/her

01-10-2021 12:32:22 UTC


Clucky: he/him

01-10-2021 18:20:52 UTC

@Kevan my point is, even if this rule was in place, an adversarial emperor could still deal in favors for future dynasties.

To me, the crux of the problem is adversarial emperors operating out of the scope of the dynasty they are in. So if we’re worried about that problem, we should add rules in place to prevent that problem rather than fixing a symptom of that problem

Kevan: he/him

01-10-2021 18:55:20 UTC

The crux for me is that it’s weird for the rules of BlogNomic to be “Emperors can’t win their own dynasties solo, but they can win them as a team”. Why one but not the other?

If we’re happy with an Emperor winning their own dynasty, why not just allow it outright? If we’re not happy with an Emperor winning their own dynasty, why have a mechanic that unambiguously allows them to do it?


02-10-2021 00:37:51 UTC



02-10-2021 02:08:10 UTC