Sunday, December 12, 2021

Interregnum chat

A thread for chatting about Brendan 8/9 part 1.


Josh: he/him

12-12-2021 12:18:14 UTC

So the very foremost response I have is: Malign Emperors is clearly working in a new possibility space but it is a little annoying to be working on a victory plan and have it dissolve because the Emperor chose to hand victory to a confederate forward-slash themselves!

That’s not a critique of the Emperor, his confederate or their victory - in fact, it’s probably only a criticism of me, personally, as the person who wrote the VC that allowed them to do it - but it is a note to posterity: when malign emperors is on there has to be a step-change in the way VCs are constructed to deny the emperor an advantage.

Kevan: he/him

12-12-2021 12:44:18 UTC

For posterity: this dynasty was won by the Dark One simply telling me through private communication what Weakness they had chosen, so that I could pick it up, attack them with it and win. Since I was a Dark Soul I could then pass the mantle to them - if the Cast Down and Smote patch had enacted, that option would have been closed to me, as the attack action would leave me Mortal.

I was surprised that Amulet of Yendor reached quorum, and was waiting for TyGuy to rally the Mortals to vote it down. I was also treading a little carefully in case it was a trap from Josh to force the hand of an unknown vizier: I realised, minutes too late, that I should have made the Assault post with a decoy weapon to see if anything happened in response (since I could still have swapped out for an Arrow before Brendan verified the assault, the verification checking the current rather than historical inventory of the attacker).

Genuinely disappointed that the victory proposal being titled “Amulet of Yendor” wasn’t a Keyser Soze setup for Josh being ready to assassinate Brendan with an athame.

Was anyone analysing past rulesets exhaustively to look for A-weapons? I did realise, too late, that there actually probably weren’t very many (my skimming suggested AXE, ARROW and tenuously ASHTRAY), and that it would be trivial to just pull out every word beginning with A, remove duplicates, and skim-read that list for nouns that could be tools or weapons.

Josh: he/him

12-12-2021 12:47:00 UTC

@Kevan Yes, I had a list of first-dynasty A-nouns. I admit to getting a bit stuck on amulet, though; I was VERY confident with my confederate that Derrick 1 was the correct answer, as it was a) a dynasty with an amulet in the ruleset and b) a dynasty that Brendan won but passed the mantle on.

Brendan: he/him

12-12-2021 13:21:32 UTC

Man, that would have been really good. The arrow I chose was specifically the Arrow of Time from Hix I, which seemed thematic.

Obviously the big takeaway story from this dynasty is going to be the golden apple that Arthexis tossed to the banquet, and all the consequences that arose out of the weekend that followed. But I started out the dynasty just intending to test the limits of how far a Malign Emperor could get with No Collaborations enabled, and the answer is… pretty far! Malign Emperors probably should not at all be extended the usual grace and deference that a normal emperor gets, and maybe it should not be legal to enable both rules at once. That said, the no-dynastic-vetoes provision of Malign Emperors really is a good backstop.

I think an element that would be easy to overlook here is that the dynasty was too short for many players to idle out. Voting engagement was pretty low, a number of proposals timed out with few votes, and I have a hypothesis that quorum would have dropped significantly in another ten days or so. That’s something I consider a poor showing on my part. Keeping players interested and engaged should be a veteran emperor’s responsibility, malign or not.

Josh: he/him

12-12-2021 13:28:04 UTC

I don’t think you can take any responsibility for that, Brendan; there’s a natural ebb and flow when it comes to player numbers but the question for a dynasty isn’t “what’s quorum” or “how many players are currently not idle”, it’s “who many people are actively playing” - and on that metric, three separate cabals all (publicly) moving toward victory at the same time, maybe more covertly, and a handful of other players having engaged with the dynastic mechanics somewhat - that’s an excellent result, I think.

The arthexisbomb did derail conventional play a tad, too.

Josh: he/him

12-12-2021 13:28:28 UTC

*how many players

redtara: they/them

12-12-2021 20:38:41 UTC

*slowly puts scam back in pocket*

Kevan: he/him

13-12-2021 10:16:12 UTC

Noting also that nobody contacted Brendan to negotiate becoming the Favored Soul, which surprised me: I was expecting to have to fight to keep that role after I got it, and for the endgame to be a private auction of how little mantle a vizier would accept.