Saturday, March 11, 2017

Names for different kinds of plays?

For example, you’ve got your “Hail Mary passes” in football, your “Sicilian Defense” in chess, etc. Are there names for common/popular plays in Blognomic?

I suppose a “scam” is a type of play, but there are way more plays than “scams”. One that I keep on seeing often is one that in my head I call “Defecting a Minority”, where via a proposal, you give a benefit to yourself + a majority, and/or defect a minority which doesn’t include yourself (in relative terms, its the same thing really). For example, “Everyone with a name that starts with a consonant gains 10 points”, or more elegant variants.

I understand that Nomic is an incredibly varied game, and that a lot of “plays” are very unique, but I believe that some kind of coarse classification for a couple could be done and could be super interesting to have because we could better see and analyze how everything has played out. Let me know what you think! What kind of plays do you believe merit a name of its own?

A lot of proposals that I see when the game is about to end are “Hail Mary” plays, for example.



03-11-2017 07:12:16 UTC

Spring Cleanup: the proposal doesn’t change the effect of any of the rules, but redefines them in a way that is more comprehensible and takes up less space to write.

Saw that at least once in the last Dynasty.


03-11-2017 11:59:54 UTC

Interesting thought. Jargon can be a bit alienating, but I suppose it’s good to have an easy way to talk and to warn about specific behaviours. I can’t think of any named ones from the past offhand, but some recurring tricks and mistakes off the top of my head would be:-

Chaff: Making deliberately flawed or controversial proposals to move the focus away from others in the queue, or from game actions you’re taking.

Air keyboarding: Making complex proposals when you’re about to win, to make it look as if you think the game is ongoing.

Doublespeak: Deliberately giving an action or variable a misleading name or a hard-to-understand metaphor, so that players either use it against their best interests (eg. collecting a resource that has a positive-sounding name but is largely detrimental), or forget how it works.

Coin-on-a-string: Humbly making a proposal to remove an advantage in your favour, but self-killing it before it enacts so that players will have to start the fix process from scratch again.

Puppetry: Privately asking an idle player to unidle and perform a few simple actions (typically which would allow the asking player to win immediately).

Fool’s Gold: A resource which is stockpiled by a minority of players before any use is proposed for it, meaning that the majority will probably never want to give it a use.


03-11-2017 12:10:38 UTC

I’m also interested in discussing types of players, it seems to me like each person’s goals are some balance of:

(a) Winning. Pretty straightforward.

(b) Collective storytelling/worldbuilding. Playing the game like it’s spinning up a tabletop RPG from scratch, with an emphasis less on winning. Never met an (on-theme) proposal they don’t like.

(c) Observing (or also deliberately trying to produce) interesting legalese intersections of logic and English syntax. Scammers intersect here with (a). Never met a CfJ they don’t like.

But there are surely motivations I’m missing, if anyone wants to expand on theirs.


03-11-2017 16:38:44 UTC

d) game theory. I like to see what interesting mechanics are possible and arise. Its similar to world-building, but mechanically oriented.


03-11-2017 17:41:56 UTC

Stubbing: making a mechanism that does nothing, so that you or others can attatch things to it later.


03-11-2017 18:49:52 UTC

E) Minimalist. Likes to observe systems and nudge them along certain paths.


03-11-2017 19:53:03 UTC

Oh, one strategy that’s actually been namechecked a few times, and worth bearing in mind when writing victory conditions:

Coin-flip victory: Two or more players agreeing to assist one of their number to victory, in exchange for that player promising to randomly select a member of the group to pass the victory mantle to. (If two players both feel that they have a lower-than-50% chance of winning alone, working together for an exactly 50% chance of victory can make some sense.)


03-11-2017 20:01:05 UTC

And ah, there’s a wiki page now.


03-11-2017 23:16:45 UTC

Still WIP and feel free to edit \o/


03-13-2017 16:30:10 UTC

Provking: The making of an absurd proposal to highlight an issue in the game. The idea is to get someone else to make a rule change.

I know I did that a lot last dynasty, and I think cuddlebeam is doing a lot of it this game.


03-13-2017 23:59:28 UTC

Testing link