Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Proposal: Ninety Pine Chests

Timed out 1 vote to 2. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 25 Nov 2022 14:47:32 UTC

Add a new entry to the ‘Other’ list of Keywords in the Appendix, in the correct alphabetical position as follows:

NPC stands for Non-Player Character. NPCs can only exist as defined by dynastic rules, and while they can be more tightly defined within those rules, they must as a minimum standard be game entities that possess some (but not necessarily all) of the characteristics of a Group, but which are not under the ownership (where ‘ownership’ is defined as ongoing direct control) of a single, specific, named Group (although they may be under the ownership of the Proprietor).

We keep using the term “NPC” in dynasties without regard for the fact that the ruleset doesn’t know what that is, and yes, it does occasionally lead to a scammy win. It’s been my laundry list of things to pin down for a while, so here’s a first attempt.


Benbot: he/him

23-11-2022 15:21:30 UTC

Do Do, Do Do, I really like this and would vote if it wasn’t in edit period RN, Can we define NPC wins?

JonathanDark: he/him

23-11-2022 16:01:53 UTC

Is “ongoing direct control” sufficient or would it be better to use a phrase like “permanent direct control”? For dynasties that have mechanics that allow a Group to control an NPC for an extended period of time, I worry that “ongoing” might still not be enough.

Josh: he/they

23-11-2022 16:18:10 UTC

Permanent is v tricky because, you know, dynasties end; arguably nothing is permanent in a game that resets itself once a month

JonathanDark: he/him

23-11-2022 16:25:06 UTC

Ok, how about “direct control for the entire dynasty”? I know that’s more words (and we all like to be succinct here), but if this proposal is intended to plug up a scammy win, let’s do it right and prevent a scammy win by twisting what “ongoing” means.

Josh: he/they

23-11-2022 16:33:36 UTC

I recognise the concern, and I’m not arguing against to be obstructive, but “direct control for the entire dynasty” can’t be assessed until the end of the dynasty, and could be avoided by eg going idle.

Kevan: he/him

23-11-2022 16:39:10 UTC

This term probably is worth a core definition, but I’d want it to be up there with stuff like “weekly action” or “flavour text” as a solid game concept that would do something when invoked in its most simplest form, rather than a broader creative prompt. That a rule declaring “Mickey Mouse is an NPC” should be enough for something to happen.

Perhaps it’s worth a look back over the functional NPCs of yore to see how we defined them, and what people expected them to be able to do (and not do). My instinct would be that an NPC should just be defined as a game entity that counts as a player and has all the qualities of one, but is only considered to be a player for dynastic rules - so (unless the rule defining them went further) they wouldn’t count towards quorum, couldn’t vote, would never go idle, etc.

Josh: he/they

23-11-2022 16:48:50 UTC

@Kevan That would go against the definition of NPC used in this dynasty already, no?

Kevan: he/him

23-11-2022 17:19:31 UTC

Sure. This dynasty is about players manipulating various playing pieces which each have their own stats. If we’d established a core definition of NPC as “very much like a human player, but not one”, we wouldn’t and shouldn’t be using it to describe an unusual playing piece that could change ownership.

As Rebooting the Bot suggests, I don’t think we really need to define the Bot as being a special kind of Visitor at all: it works to say that it’s a regular Visitor with a special ownership manipulation rule. If your proposed definition of NPC was in place, it wouldn’t make any difference whether we declared that Bucky Bot was an NPC.


23-11-2022 17:30:05 UTC

This definition does not apply at all to Bucky Bot, which has none of the characteristics of a Group.

Josh: he/they

23-11-2022 17:51:25 UTC

@Kevan I think it would, as this definition includes “must"s and the alternative would take priority over the dynastic rules, giving us an awkward issue.

This probably needs to be withdrawn on that basis alone; I’ll leave it up a while for further comments

Kevan: he/him

23-11-2022 18:00:28 UTC

There are maybe two basic definitions of NPC - “very much like a human player but not one” (like in a tabletop roleplaying game or a sandbox video game, where they automatically inherit all of the same stats and possible game world interactions) and “any character in a game who is not a human player” (like an advisor in Civilisation or a voice on a radio, where they might have nothing in common with the player in terms of tracked stats and gameplay possibilities).

I think the former is well suited to BlogNomic, and is the thing that we’ve done or tried to do in the past, with occasional mistakes in how we’ve defined it. We haven’t, I think, felt any need to clarify that all of this dynasty’s Visitors are in fact NPCs, or the same for previous dynasties’ Human Kings, House Bots, vampire hunters, Greek gods, etc.

[Bucky] Bucky Bot has a name!


23-11-2022 22:15:59 UTC


Kevan: he/him

24-11-2022 09:08:19 UTC

against but would support some kind of “is considered to be a player except” definition that would give us a simple generic version of past NPCs like the Alien, the Kaiju Military, Schwingrasen and the Attendant.