Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Call for Judgment: Lamarck of Cain

Reached quorum 3 votes to 1. Enacted by Kevan.

Adminned at 21 Sep 2018 09:08:38 UTC

Remove “This “Gene” slot defaults to No and can never be passed down to future generations.” from the “Genes” rule.

After the “The Food, LA and Battle Status of each Ape are set to default.” bullet point in the NGE list, add:-

Set the non-inherited traits of all Apes to “Nothing”.

Set Josh’s non-inherited trait to “Nothing”, and then retroactively consider these rule changes to have been in effect for the application of this NGE, and for Josh to have set his own non-inherited trait to “Nothing” during that action.

Per comments on the most recent NGE, Josh processed it interpreting the “can never be passed down to future generations” to mean only that non-inherited traits aren’t “passed down” to other Apes when Progenitor Genes are Spliced; if an Ape has a non-inherited trait themselves, that player keeps it in the next generation.

But my reading (and I think the thematic intention behind the rule) is broader than that: any effect that causes a non-inherited trait to persist in an Ape from one generation to the next is ruled out, whether that’s through Splicing or through unchanged gamestate. If the only reason I have a Speed trait during the third generation is because I had it during the second generation, then that trait has been “passed down” to me from a past generation, breaking the rule that traits “can never be passed down”.

Under that reading, the most recent NGE was an illegal action, as it broke the rule. This proposed amendment makes it explicit that non-inherited traits are blanked at the start of each generation, and applies it retroactively to the last NGE.


Josh: HE/HIM

09-19-2018 11:17:50 UTC

against Partly because I find my interpretation to be more interesting in terms of future gameplay.

But more importantly, this soft-keywording of the term “generation” is lousy precedent. The term isn’t defined in the ruleset, and declaring an action to be illegal on the basis of an un- or poorly-defined term opens up a huge can of worms. Author intentionality is irrelevant; the ruleset needs to be a precise document, and if it is not then the way around it is not to handwave the problem away with “this is what I subjectively reckon it should mean”.

In short, I disagree with the fixes, think that this should be a proposal not a cfj, and do not think that reverting an action that was a reasonable reading of the ruleset as it was written is anything other than punative.

Kevan: HE/HIM

09-19-2018 12:37:15 UTC

Ah, precision varies from dynasty to dynasty and group to group, which I think is okay. Some groups scrupulously spell out relatively obvious things like “a Lizard is said to be ‘carrying’ a Parcel if it is listed in their inventory”, others write their rules more casually. This dynasty has worded some things a little on the casual side, and nobody has minded enough to object during voting.

I think the rules are solid enough in implying what a “Generation” is - we have “The first time each generation that an Ape Investigates strangely glowing pond” ... “You cannot use the Push Action on the same Target multiple times in one generation.” ... “the same Gene slot as it was last Generation”, plus a periodic action called a “New Generation Event”. A Generation looks a lot like being the period between two NGEs.

“Passed down” is the sticking point here. You’re reading it with the common-language “inherited from your genetic parents” interpretation, I’m reading it as the equally common “inherited in any way from someone older”. You’re (I assume) reading it as a simple reiteration of the NGE explicitly saying to “ignore all Apes’ non-inherited traits” when splicing Genes together; I’m reading it as a broader, additional restriction to that rule.

I only bring up authorial intent to show that I don’t feel this is a perverse reading of the rule, and that I’d expect a majority to feel that way too. I thought when voting on the rule that it was a way of modelling non-genetic changes during a creature’s lifetime - if you spend time working out then you’re allowed to act for most intents and purposes as if you’d had a Brawn Gene from birth; you just lose that bonus when you’re replaced by a blank-slate offspring of whichever Progenitors, in the next generation. If the proposer had intended non-inherited traits to be some persistent spiritual or tool-use mechanic where a genetically fresh Ape can pick up something an earlier Ape once knew, that isn’t really in the text, and seems actively contradicted by some of the building we’ve done on top of it (that you gain Brawn by eating, and Beauty by dancing).

Brendan: HE/HIM

09-19-2018 13:45:37 UTC

This is an incredible post title.


09-20-2018 15:37:09 UTC

for since that is what I thought it should have done. I don’t really care whether the traits are reset and the last generation is redone but since this is the fix closest to pass I’ll vote for it.


09-21-2018 03:51:09 UTC

for I like the rule clean up; this was my original intent with appending /No to Genes, though in retrospect that changed tracking but not Gamestate. I was debating as to retroactively changing a specific Ape’s Gene slot, but I suppose that’s not relevant now.