Sunday, May 19, 2024

Proposal: Punt Kick

Timed out 0 votes to 2 with an unresolved DEF. Failed by Kevan.

Adminned at 21 May 2024 09:08:01 UTC

In the rule “Distribution”, remove every sentence and bullet point that contains the term “punt”.

Having seen this run for a while and time out some conversations that would have gone somewhere, with some players agreeing to whatever was on the table because they didn’t want to be blamed for causing a punt, I think it may be worth going back to requiring the group to reach an actual agreement for each Haul.


JonathanDark: Publisher he/him

19-05-2024 15:23:14 UTC

Yeah, the ideal rule would be able to distinguish an intractable discussion from an ongoing one, but that takes some thought that’s probably discussion dependent. I’d say that, as a neutral party, the City should be able to Punt if Kevan judges that a Haul is just not going to be resolved otherwise.

JonathanDark: Publisher he/him

19-05-2024 15:24:02 UTC

That said, I’m willing to for until we can come up with something better.

Nad: he/him

19-05-2024 15:55:26 UTC

I fear a stalled haul lasting for a long time with no mechanism to move on.  Perhaps lengthen the punt time?

Kevan: he/him

19-05-2024 16:22:27 UTC

I don’t think we’re ever going to see a truly intractable discussion. The closest we’ve come is the Merchant Haul where some strongly-held positions were undercut by a jokey “deliberately stupid proposition” to hand everything to one player, which got some traction. Staunch holdouts always run the risk of being outflanked by a quorum who are more willing to compromise with each other.

I think it’s more interesting to lean into all that and force difficult decisions, than to have a rule that automatically shuts discussions down whenever it seems like people care too much.

Nad: he/him

19-05-2024 17:42:18 UTC

I don’t share your optimism :) 

Nad: he/him

19-05-2024 17:51:21 UTC

I think at this point in the game a punt will also increase the police presence and put pressure on the end game.  That might be better than lengthy haul discussions.  <shrug>

Clucky: he/him

19-05-2024 18:13:03 UTC

I do wonder, without punts, what happens if say we get down to just two free thieves? The punt rule would encourage them to still split something as otherwise police presence goes up and then get nothing.

JonathanDark: Publisher he/him

19-05-2024 18:46:04 UTC

Clucky and NadNavillus have convinced me to change my mind. We need the punt rule to put pressure on Thieves to come to an agreement.


Kevan: he/him

19-05-2024 19:10:18 UTC

I don’t know, I feel like the social pressure of playing a game together should be doing that, the same way it does in any boardgame. Catan doesn’t need an “if a player deliberately stalls for more than five minutes refusing to start their turn, production dice are rolled anyway and the rest of their turn is skipped” clause printed in the rulebook.

If - with no Punt rule - these two free Thieves lean back and openly refuse to advance the dynastic game, the reaction that would get from the rest of the table feels very significant. And given that we’re playing Nomic, that majority can just propose to progress the Haul in some other way anyway, if the game is clearly blocked.

JonathanDark: Publisher he/him

19-05-2024 19:32:58 UTC

This is a little more social than most board games. It’s not too hard to reach a deadlock where each side has argued their point and no further progress can be made without some other lever. Witness the current discussion in Discord as an example. The debate is going in circles, and only the pressure of time is going to force people to pick sides and move things forward. The debate will otherwise circle the drain endlessly or the main participants will obstinately retreat to their respective corners.


19-05-2024 20:14:54 UTC

imperial I am probably going to be the cause of a lot of punting; I have not been checking in every day, but that’s fine with me.

Nad: he/him

20-05-2024 02:50:01 UTC


Kevan: he/him

20-05-2024 09:06:18 UTC

[JonathanDark] Big social discussions happen in a lot of games, though. In Werewolf, the players understand that they need to agree on some course of action to progress the game from the day phase, without needing a timer. A flat rule of “after 5:00 minutes the day phase ends with no execution” would focus everyone’s minds - but it would also cause frustration whenever it cut an interesting conversation short, and it’d incentivise the werewolves to subtly encourage more drain-circling in the hope of running the clock down.

imperial Recusing myself under the new Imperial DEF rule, anyway.