Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Post-dynastic discussion

A post for discussion of the dynasty that has just ended: what worked and what didn’t, why people did the things that happened in the dynasty and didn’t do the things that didn’t, and what future generations can learn from it.


Josh: he/they

18-05-2022 08:39:21 UTC

Of the dynasties for which I have been emperor, I think only Josh 2 bombed harder

Kevan: City he/him

18-05-2022 10:35:14 UTC

Like Brendan IX this was a dynasty overshadowed by multiple players eyeing variations on a scam, with no other gameplay or victory mechanism to fall back on when those scams failed. Maybe the lesson there is to always establish an early, conventional route to victory (even if not quite plugged in to a victory condition yet), so that there’s something to turn back to if the scams fail.

The dynasty did seem like it was strongly expecting to be won by a scam, with the lack of mantle pass making pooling more difficult, and the tempting opening rule that Arguments (like proposals, but much less regulated) “must be accepted as true by all Memories of Atlantis”. That made it feel to me like it wasn’t worth getting too invested in proposing or pursuing any detailed dynastic gameplay, except as cover.

I was planning something around the fact that a rejected Argument “must be accepted as untrue by all Memories of Atlantis”: if I argued that a glyph meant I had never achieved victory, rejecting it might mean that I had. I deliberately left that open when deciding how to close MadisonSilver’s scam, and was going to try it with the mysterious Secrets of Atlantis argument (or a plainer “if this enacted then it means X, if it failed it means Y” version), but in the end wasn’t sufficiently convinced that it would work.

Kevan: City he/him

18-05-2022 10:40:49 UTC

Also, I was the only player at the end of the first act who had the Translocation Fate (the other two members of the group having idled out), which I probably should have tried to get some leverage out of.


18-05-2022 18:56:56 UTC

I think last Bucky’s Rule of Two proved itself right again; the language mechanic was interesting, but there wasn’t really anything to do with it, and I think the process of creating a rule in Atlantean Text and then needing someone else to write Arguments to determine its meaning made it difficult for anyone to propose any other mechanics while still retaining the theme of the dynasty.  I think the dynasty would have worked better if it had a stronger structure at the start; either some form of gameplay or victory condition (like Kevan suggested) or a starting dictionary of Atlantean Text.

(One scam I was considering was making a comically large image which contained some form of “MadisonSilver wins” text in the tiniest font possible, then arguing that it was legal because I had my browser set to 10000% zoom, but that didn’t end up happening for obvious reasons.)

Kevan: City he/him

18-05-2022 19:13:29 UTC

What is Bucky’s Rule of Two?

The language mechanic was a nice one, but I didn’t ever feel enough of a conventional-play pull to start creating content for it: if anything the “may not create an Argument for a specific symbol if they are the original creator of that symbol” was a slight negative pressure, as creating new symbols would be giving my opponents more options for Arguments. (I switched to creating stuff in Act Two partly to chivvy things along, and partly with the awareness that if nobody else joined in I’d be in a good position to take the victory as Only Active Player.)


18-05-2022 19:51:08 UTC

From the MadisonSilver 1 Discussion (

“One of my longstanding theories of dynastic success is that a single mechanical idea does not make a dynasty; in order for it to take off, you need two different good ideas that play off each other. This being nomic, the ideas don’t both need to come from the Emperor, and can be gradually stitched together.” -Bucky

SingularByte: he/him

19-05-2022 04:49:55 UTC

When I’d created the rule to stop you from using arguments for your own symbols, the whole intent had been to just stop the language from becoming too obvious with the writer being able to just declare the meaning of a rule and having it being accepted with near certain consensus.

That did end up being a mistake though, since other than the rules I was creating, there was only a single atlantean rule remaining that I could make arguments for, so I ended up locked out of the main dynastic gameplay (at least, in Act 1, which is when I kinda drifted away).

@Madison, I’m not sure that scam would have worked since the rules specifically disallowed you from interpreting English text as English text. Or was this before that rule change that you’d been considering it?

SingularByte: he/him

19-05-2022 04:54:14 UTC

Incidentally for anyone curious, when my atlantean rules had been created, their intended meanings from top to bottom were:
1: Written and spoken language in the “temple” format are ordered and structured.
2: Written and spoken language in the “non-temple/common” format are unordered and chaotic.
3: Atlantean text which states a fact is true.
4: Minoan text which states a fact is false.
5: Text of unknown origin which states a fact is of unknown truthfulness.


19-05-2022 05:31:24 UTC

@SingularByte My plan was to create a phrase that uniquely identifies myself (or just means “anyone”) and then add a “achieves victory” symbol after it.  The issue is that nobody proposed an Argument defining an “achieves victory” symbol so I couldn’t try to use it in an argument.

SingularByte: he/him

19-05-2022 07:06:01 UTC

Ah, got you, that makes more sense. It might have fallen afoul of being classed as “reasonably seen” though, but I could see there being a debate on it.