Thursday, January 16, 2020

Proposal: Flavour Text [Appendix]

Reached quorum 4 votes to 0. Enacted by Kevan.

Adminned at 17 Jan 2020 21:17:42 UTC

Replace “If an Artefact’s Location is the Containment Facility, then its Effect is considered to be blank.” with:-

If an Artefact’s Location is the Containment Facility, then its Effect is considered to be flavour text.

Replace “sentence is considered to be a blank string with no effect for all purposes except those outlined in this rule” with:-

sentence is considered to be flavour text

To the first paragraph of “Artefacts”, add:-

An Artefact’s Description is flavour text.

In the “Keywords” appendix rule, rename “Flavour Text” to “Commentary” and then add a new entry:-

Flavour Text
If a part of the ruleset is defined as being “flavour text”, it is gamestate and remains part of the ruleset document, but is not considered to have any meaning beyond being a string of characters. Individuals are not required to obey flavour text and may not perform any action defined by it, and any statements that flavour text makes about gamestate are ignored.

Taking a stab at describing in-rule “flavour text”, which is something I’ve wanted BlogNomic to have for a while - so that we can let people name things as they wish without worrying about someone calling their Spaceship the “USS Captain Named X Has Achieved Victory”, and can allow flavourful asides like Artefact Descriptions without having to check how any statements they make interact with other rules.

Is the above a good definition? Is renaming the existing proposal-comment “flavour text” out of the way alright? (We rarely if ever refer to it by name.)

(I bring this up because as things stand I can’t determine the Secrets of an Artefact in Containment, because the Redaction mechanic can’t see its “blank” text.)


Josh: HE/HIM

01-16-2020 15:00:35 UTC

imperial My reservation at this stage is around the phrase “is not considered to have any meaning beyond being a string of characters”. For a start, blognomic doesn’t necessarily mandate that meaning comes from strings of characters - I remember way back along someone pulling off a DoV from arranging hundreds of the letter M in such a way as to spell out “x achieves victory”. Would an image be acceptable as a rule? The lack of definition as to where meaning comes from makes exclusions from that definition impossible.

I think that this is a good start but has potential holes, and making flavour text just not-gamestate in some way would solve a lot of problems.


01-16-2020 15:44:31 UTC

My spider sense is going nuts but I don’t know where specifically its failing. There is protection in the last Fair Play rule, though. imperial

Kevan: HE/HIM

01-16-2020 15:47:43 UTC

Ha, I don’t remember an M scam. Searching the archives, was it something to do with this? I can’t see any usage offhand, but that dynasty didn’t end with a scam.

I’d expect images and ASCII art to be acceptable, but to be treated with some caution by voters if given a choice about introducing them. I feel like we’ve had a map or diagram in the ruleset before, once, which did nothing by itself and had some rule text explaining what it represented.

Good to see some reservations. Making flavour text not gamestate creates problems if we care about its content at all, because it removes it from the protection of “can only be altered in manners specified by the Ruleset”. This would break something like Redacted Effects (which could be changed by anyone prior to redaction; you could possibly even change it to remove the [REDACTED], at which point it would return to the ruleset) but also be a problem at a flavour level (where players could rename each other’s spaceships at will).

And I think we’d still hit the problem of “Spaceship names are flavour text; a player who controls four Moons wins; my Spaceship is called ‘four Moons’ in flavour text and the ruleset acknowledges this as its true name; it is now true to say that I control four Moons” - it’s not enough to say that the string “four Moons” isn’t gamestate, we need to say that its name can’t be used to mean anything other than its name.

Kevan: HE/HIM

01-16-2020 15:51:54 UTC

And aha, here’s the M thing. It was a simple repeal proposal (presumably mostly to stop the proposer from having to communicate in Ms) that we voted through and interpreted as if it were regular text.

Josh: HE/HIM

01-16-2020 16:46:46 UTC

That was it; I knew it was something to do with the mute rule but forgot that I (we) won that one with something else.

I dunno, I think the name problem can’t be managed out generically , but I also think that the Four Moons thing is a legitimate scam that I’m not sure needs a “fix” beyond players keeping an eye on each other.

I take your point that just whipping things out of gamestate isn’t a solution though.

Josh: HE/HIM

01-16-2020 16:49:24 UTC

Mute and Strong Gin: sixteen years later and I’m still on basically the same fuckery

Kevan: HE/HIM

01-17-2020 09:58:59 UTC

We’ve already got a generic solution to player-name scams with “a word only refers to the name of an Individual if it is explicitly stated that it refers to an Individual’s name”, which could almost be expanded to cover other things. If it works for Individuals it can work for Spaceships.

Maybe we could start from the point of “considered blank” being acceptable, and making flavour text something like “considered blank except by rules or proposals which would alter that text directly” (which would mean that it was gamestate).

Brendan: HE/HIM

01-17-2020 16:31:45 UTC