Monday, September 04, 2023

New Dead City

A post-dynastic discussion thread.


Josh: he/they

04-09-2023 08:28:41 UTC

I really liked this dynasty.

The pace of it was a bit tricky to wrap my head around but it was nice to have a steady hum of activity to engage with, even if not all of it was meaningful minute-to-minute.

No scams from me this time around, it was a pretty straight (meta-)conventional win oriented around proposing away mechanics that didn’t suit me and proposing in mechanics that did. The Anointed Ones, The People’s Front of Judea and Well Moot By Meenlight were the main agenda-advancers, eliminating the Storm (which would absolutely have resulted in lemon or JonathanDark winning, tilted as they were towards Innovations) and setting up Factions as a yield mechanic that benefited me - although the extent to which it benefited me and only was a very lucky surprise.

No cabaling either, although I did persuade lendunistus to vote with me on the Conclave by pointing out that the Storm was as disadvantageous to me as it was to him.

Josh: he/they

04-09-2023 08:34:24 UTC

Oh, one little nugget: I worked out how many Upsides-over-Downsides we each earned.

JonathanDark - 20
Josh - 49.3
lemon - 14
lendunistus - 26
Rafter - -2

Kevan: City he/him

04-09-2023 09:40:47 UTC

The different attitudes to reaction speeds were interesting, with some players responding fairly quickly to Dilemmas and others waiting for the next day’s to go up so that they’d have more information (and the latter being enough for Bucky to consider the game to be a check-in-daily one, and retire from it). I think it ran pretty well in the “simple game loop from day one” style - and that that’s enough for a decent dynasty, that it doesn’t take long to get to the point where the long-term outcome of a move or a rule change isn’t immediately obvious.

It was good to see some serious proposal game, and kudos to Josh for playing it well. Also for persuading a quorum to round up a very high chance of winning to the full 100%. (I didn’t follow Lemon’s point on Discord about Josh’s win being inevitable “because the rest of us weren’t coordinating all into one” - couldn’t some players have agreed to start coordinating their Plenary bids, at that point?)

As Emperor I concluded mid-dynasty that Designer + Scam Neutral doesn’t really work in practice: there were a few things I wanted to step in and add some game design polish to (drawbacks for Factions, simpler Consequences, restoring the endgame unidling restriction that was lost when the Storm became the Conclave) but was aware I’d be treading on the toes of any players who were relying on these things not being fixed, if they fed into a good scam, so let them run.

I also didn’t think the game needed so many output-random die rolls, but people seemed to be enjoying them even when they went really badly, so I didn’t move to replace them.

Josh: he/they

04-09-2023 09:56:19 UTC

I understand that there was some backchannel chat on coordination but they couldn’t come to a agreement - I’d love to know more about the details on that. (fwiw I don’t think even full coordination would have resulted in a more than 1% chance of panning out)

lendunistus: he/him

04-09-2023 10:15:55 UTC

@Josh my “coordination” with lemon pretty much went like this
“hey, josh is pretty close to winning. team up?”
“hey let’s agree on something before the first session begins”
“hey the first plenary session began”

not sure what lemon’s discussion with JD contained

JonathanDark: he/him

04-09-2023 15:29:57 UTC

No one ever contacted me. Queue up the sad lonely music.

To be fair, I wasn’t thinking about coordinating and I didn’t contact anyone about it. I was concentrating on where the proposals were going and judging my chances as things progressed.

Josh: he/they

04-09-2023 15:42:54 UTC

Oh how interesting!

I think you could have pooled behind lemon, if you’d been lucky. She beats me in Progress and Contentment, but, eh, even then you need her to win Abundance so it’s a race to see which of the Agendas fails to come up in time. She’d have to win Abundance without spending the Food she’s need in Contentment, but I could spend my food freely in Abundance, so it would be a tough pull. Also I could peel off one of you presumably at any time by making a better offer, if you were 1/3 splits, by making a 1/2 split… Someone would have taken it…

Oh, but mantle passing was off anyway, so I suppose it’s academic. I don’t think you could pool behind JD or Lendun and hope to win.

JonathanDark: he/him

04-09-2023 15:46:02 UTC

Overall this was a really fun dynasty. Kevan, thank you for providing the narration in every Dilemma. I enjoyed that bit a lot.

I do have some regrets on supporting the Conclave over the Storm. My only defense is that I was feeling risk-adverse, notwithstanding my investment in Innovations to offset some of the Downsides, and I was lured by the siren song of Josh’s proposal to offer some measure of control over the final outcomes.

I do still feel like if the Factions and Moot hadn’t been only a benefit for Josh, the chances of any of the rest of us winning would have been decent enough. I think that’s what really drew me in: I didn’t find the randomness of punishment from the Storm to be as interesting as closed-fist bidding (thematic fit aside).

Josh: he/they

04-09-2023 16:10:07 UTC

There is a part of me that is sad that we didn’t get to do the closed fist auction, as that was genuinely interesting to me. That sadness is, for me, tempered by winning… But worth revisiting as a mechanic again later for sure.