Sunday, February 09, 2020

Proposal: Long Live The King [Special Case]

Fewer than a quorum not voting against, failed 2 votes to 6 with (ironically) one unresolved DEF. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 10 Feb 2020 08:55:19 UTC

Rename “Imperial Deferentials” to “Imperial Styles”, and reword it from

If the Liaison has voted DEFERENTIAL on a Proposal, that vote is instead considered to be valid and either FOR (if more Scientists have voted FOR the Proposal than have voted AGAINST it) or AGAINST (in all other cases).


The Liaison’s Imperial Style is one of the values in this list, with descriptions and effects as listed:

* Laissez-Faire: A Laissez-Faire Liaison leaves a dynasty to its players and will usually only cast votes on non-dynastic proposals. Laissez-Faire Liaisons are said to Defer to the Majority. Scientists’ votes of DEFERENTIAL are never considered to be valid while the Liaison is Laissez-Faire.
* Protective: A Protective Liaison leaves gamestate-modifying proposals to its players but will cast votes on dynastic proposals according to how well they serve the game and its current and future players as a whole. Protective Liaisons are said to Defer to the Majority.
* Populist: A Populist Liaison will vote as they wish and is likely to deactivate the Dynastic Distance rule to play alongside the Scientists. A Populist Liaison’s votes of DEFERENTIAL are not considered to be valid.
* Draconian: A Draconian Liaison will vote as they wish, and is likely to veto unwanted proposals. A Draconian Liaison’s votes of DEFERENTIAL are not considered to be valid.

If a Liaison has voted DEFERENTIAL on a Proposal and is said to Defer to the Majority, then that vote is instead considered to be valid and either FOR (if more Scientists have voted FOR the Proposal than have voted AGAINST it) or AGAINST (in all other cases).

The Liaison’s Imperial Style is tracked in this sentence, and is Protective. The Liaison may change their Imperial Style no more than once per dynasty, and no more than one week after the beginning of that dynasty.

Trying an idea that came out of a discussion of Imperial Deferentials with the Duke on Slack, and Josh’s Where You Lead (which becomes Laissez-Faire, here): a selection of explicit Imperial styles, rather than just a yes/no on Imp Defs. All of them give players some guidance on how the Emperor is likely to behave, and how DEFs will resolve. The list of types is only off the top of my head, but it feels like we’re probably in one of the first two right now.


Josh: he/they

09-02-2020 00:27:00 UTC

Hrm, I like this.

The last sentence bothers me though as it seems to sit in a weird no-man’s land where it is either a) unenforceable, and thus meaningless, or b) enforceable, and thus restrictive. I think that Dynastic Distance can and should be enforceable, and I think that Imperial Styles as here should be tracked, but I don’t see a convincing case why an Emperor shouldn’t be able to switch styles mid-dynasty if they wish, or if they have to (if, say, Agora decide to invade again and the Emperor needs to go on a veto spree, but oh no, all of Agora’s proposals are just sufficiently dressed to look like dynastic proposals and the Emperor is Laissez-Faire).

I also think that there should be room for Emperors to chose not to follow any of these archetypes, or set out their own in a non-ruleset document. Thwere’s some bundling here (the concatenation of only casting votes on non-dynastic proposals and turning off the Imperial DEF, for example) that future Emperors may want to unpick, or would feel constrained by.

In short - I like the idea of archetypes that clearly set out expectations. I’m not sure about making them restricted.

Tantusar: he/they

09-02-2020 00:45:01 UTC

It might be better to require that the Emperor inform the players if their Style changes instead of restricting it like this.

As far as additional Styles go, we have access to Proposals, we can sort it out.

Kevan: City he/him

09-02-2020 00:51:42 UTC

Oh, the intention is that the restrictions on behaviour are all very mild, and if I’ve gone beyond that then it’s a mistake: a Laissez-Faire Emperor can, I hope, still vote against things and veto under this rule.

It’s mostly just about setting the tone so that other players know what their DEF vote will mean, and that its easier for players to see the consequences; if a fellow player casts an amiable DEF vote on a proposal to put me into prison, I might point out with alarm that since the Emperor is Laissez-Faire this is leaving me to the mob. Which is partly why a mid-dynasty gear change seemed inappropriate - I don’t want to cast a bunch of DEF votes in the endgame of a Draconian Emperor’s dynasty, only to wake up the next day to find that they decided to go Laissez-Faire and now an angry crowd is at my door.

Josh: he/they

09-02-2020 07:44:48 UTC

I think against for the time being, but I’d really like a redraft of this that has stronger advisory notices and which removes the prohobition on changing styles. (You point is taken about expectations and changing styles, but in 175 odd dynasties when has that ever been an actual problem?)


09-02-2020 08:28:26 UTC

I like it. A lot. But not as a Ruleset thing.  against

Tantusar: he/they

09-02-2020 08:37:03 UTC

against per Josh

The Duke of Waltham: he/him

09-02-2020 09:57:44 UTC

“The list of types is only off the top of my head, but it feels like we’re probably in one of the first two right now.” That’s what it feels like for me as well: I haven’t voted on dynastic proposals so far (except for my own by default, obviously), but I might do so if I feel strongly about them. I suppose that is the first type, since it says “usually”.

Like the others who’ve commented and voted above, I like this codification of imperial styles, and I agree that it’s useful to manage expectations. I’m not sure about having it in the ruleset… Though it’s worth noting that, unless we move it elsewhere, it’s still a Special Case rule and can be turned off.


09-02-2020 10:53:04 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

09-02-2020 11:02:25 UTC

Where else would it be, and how would players be expected to find it? It would be unfair and unwelcoming if all the veterans knew the Emperor style, while a new player or outsider couldn’t see it.

[Josh] There was an adjacent problem just last dynasty, where Cuddlebeam objected to me voting in what they saw as an inconsistent manner on two similar proposals - me replying by announcing that I’d changed my Emperor style between the two votes (not that I had, there) wouldn’t have helped. If people expect the Emperor to vote in a certain way (and this rule would increase that expectation) we should be careful about undermining that. Changing the style by proposal would be fine, but by instant announcement halfway through voting on something, or between tactical proposals, seems like it messes with players’ decisions about how to vote and which cases to argue.

Darknight: he/him

09-02-2020 15:56:35 UTC


Brendan: he/him

09-02-2020 16:06:15 UTC

for  I twigged to the one-week limit too, but this seems promising and patchable.


09-02-2020 16:41:07 UTC

I feel like this would be better as informal taxonomy on some wikipage.

Sure, a newb wont know it immediately, but we need to think of things more pedagogically imo. Its like hunting birds - do new people NEED to know the species of bird they are hunting, which is technique-wise very important to vets, or do we want to get them into the fun of shooting and they can learn more from there?

Getting into this game is very very steep as it is, and I’d rather sacrifice a commodity that mostly only vets appreciate than sacrifice newbie accessibility for my own gain

Kevan: City he/him

09-02-2020 16:48:17 UTC

Who the Emperor is and what their vote is based on seems a big thing that you’d want to know when voting DEF, as a new player, and something that we’ve largely muddled through before.


09-02-2020 16:57:58 UTC

I don’t think it’s necessary to fully intellectually equip players for the game from the very start and its more important to just get them playing and having fun with the little competence they’d have the patience to gain at the beginning.

We’ve played so many dynasties without it too. I think it would be OK.

Josh: he/they

09-02-2020 17:04:15 UTC

I sort of agree with CB but I also don’t get this ruleset purism. It’s fine for the ruleset to be one document that contains a lot of the stuff that a new player needs to know; it’s arguably much better than fifteen different pages, all of which contain sightly different information in a slightly different format, informally.

We can always build other pages for interpretation of the ruleset, but a comprehensive single point of authority isn’t something we need to be afraid of.


09-02-2020 17:20:52 UTC

The focus on the Ruleset is mostly because its the central element of the game which I believe new players will try to pay the most attention to and/or pay attention to first, so I’d prefer that its the most newbie friendly.


09-02-2020 17:42:31 UTC


Lulu: she/her

09-02-2020 18:09:46 UTC


Kevan: City he/him

09-02-2020 19:26:36 UTC

We could have a floaty essay on another wiki page about this, but putting it in the ruleset shows that the playerbase agreed on its wording and hasn’t repealed it as obsolete, and tells every Emperor that we’d like them to pick and announce a style. If how the Emperor votes is a part of the game, we should show it rather than leaving it implicit in a way that veterans will leverage while newbies innocently vote “I defer to the wisdom of the person running the game!” even when this means “I defer to the large faction that I am not in” (something I fear was happening a bit last dynasty).

Making the system ruletext also communicates to a new player that they’re allowed to propose a change to it, that it’s on the same level as any other part of the gameplay and isn’t a cliqueily unamendable piece of veteran tradition.

If we think some sections of the rules aren’t “necessary to fully intellectually equip players for the game”, we can make a fifth section called “Metagame” or something and explain that at the top of it.