Thursday, November 25, 2021

Declaration of Victory: Snatched from Defeat

Unpopular after 12 hours, 2 votes to 7. Josh

Adminned at 25 Nov 2021 21:32:11 UTC

As per rule “Showdown” I have achieved Victory. (I am the leader of the team “with the most total Contribution”.)


Kevan: he/him

25-11-2021 09:30:29 UTC

against “(The names of teams are flavour text.)”


25-11-2021 09:40:52 UTC

To quote Trapdoorspyder, “Just because it’s flavor text doesn’t mean that the name isn’t useless: in past dynasties, we’ve had items with names that were counted as flavor text (pretty sure at least), and those names (which were flavor text) were still used to reference those items.”

Flavor text is defined in the Appendix, but I think it just means you can’t put rules inside, not that the name can’t be used as a reference elsewhere.

lemon: she/her

25-11-2021 09:46:52 UTC

against re: referencing items named after flavour text, there’s a clear difference between “the thing called X” and “the X”; the two can be conflated a lot, but i *dont* think that its reasonable to conflate them when we’re dealing with names that are explicitly flavour text


25-11-2021 09:52:28 UTC

“The names of rules are ... flavour text.”—Appendix

So if we refer to rules in proposals, why not my team’s name in a rule?

The rule that says “the team <teamname>” is awfully similar to the proposal that says “the rule <rulename>” to refer to a rule by it’s flavour text.

Josh: he/him

25-11-2021 09:56:22 UTC

This is neat, and will require us to strengthen the name-referent rule in the appendix next dynasty.

The Flavour Text appendix item says “If a part of the ruleset or gamestate is defined as being “flavour text”, it retains its context, but is not considered to have any meaning beyond being a string of characters.” The name of the team is flavour text, and therefore ‘retains its context’ but has no meaning beyond being a string of characters. For the purposes of this scam to work, the team name needs to keep its context, but doesn’t need its meaning; it just needs to be a string of characters that matches what the ruleset says. So from that perspective it actually checks out, I think.

I think we may have been counting on ‘flavour text’ to protect us in situations where it actually doesn’t.

The query I have is whether this is in fact therefore a very mild fair play violation. It rests on an exploitation of a loophole in the definition of Flavour Text, and arguably another one in the rule Names, both of which are appendix rules, and Fair Play says “A Realtor should not use a core, special case or appendix rules scam to directly or indirectly cause a Realtor to achieve victory.” I don’t think it’s, like, a disciplinary offence or anything but it’s nudging me more towards an AGAINST than a FOR.

I’m going to hold off on voting until Brendan has his DoV up; both players achieved Victory at the same time and I don’t think that it makes sense for this to be a rushed timing race, we can discuss the merits of both DoVs side by side.

redtara: they/them

25-11-2021 10:01:11 UTC

against nop. “The team with the most total contribution” has had a very clear, sensible interpretation that is internally consistent with the mechanics and rules of this dynasty for quite a while now. Suddenly reinterpreting that to refer to a proper noun strains credulity.


25-11-2021 10:08:48 UTC

@Josh That seems reasonable. I was focused on the rule that actually awarded victory, but it’s an interaction with other rules, too. I didn’t think of that.

Also, I was kind of counting on a first-in, first-out ordering of DoVs. But I guess there’s nothing stopping a different DoV from being raised and resolved first, is there, seeing how we both might have achieved victory, by this point.


25-11-2021 11:23:55 UTC

I idle; quorum falls to 7.

Brendan: Dark One he/him

25-11-2021 13:31:20 UTC


Clucky: he/him

25-11-2021 13:35:10 UTC



Josh: he/him

25-11-2021 13:51:56 UTC

against on the slightly crappy fair play ground, although this incident will convince me that we might need to reword bits of fair play if they’re blocking what appears to me to be a totally legitimate scam.

Darknight: he/him

25-11-2021 14:01:33 UTC


Kevan: he/him

25-11-2021 16:28:58 UTC

I think Fair Play comes down to whether:

* players generally understand “flavour text” to mean “can’t be binding ruletext itself but can be referred to by ruletext”, in which case the Teams rule introduced a loophole and the scam is Dynastic
* players generally understand “flavour text” to mean “can’t be referred to by ruletext”; in which case the Teams rule was solid, the victory relies on a surprising interpretation of the appendix, and the scam is Core

I can’t tell which reading TyGuy is saying they’ve always interpreted it as, but it comes down to the majority consensus: if most people thought a core rule worked a certain way, then surprising them by showing that it doesn’t is a core scam, whatever the belief of the scammer.

But really I think this falls earlier at the “not considered to have any meaning beyond being a string of characters” step - a victory would only be possible if the rule was explicitly comparing the string to something else in terms of its characters somehow; if it’s requiring the entire phrase to have a meaning, it fails.

[Josh] I’m not sure whether your mulling covered it, but the Fair Play does also explicitly say that “Realtors should vote against any DoV that relies on having broken a fair play rule”, to spare us from overthinking (as voters or as scammers) whether it would be an unreasonable punishment to vote down just a mild one.

Clucky: he/him

25-11-2021 16:55:46 UTC

@Kevan “ The names of rules and wiki pages (other than the Ruleset) are flavour text.” — I think this statement coupled with the fact that we often will reference “the rule xxxx” indicates it’s the first interpretation

lemon: she/her

25-11-2021 17:04:04 UTC

i don’t necessarily think this surprising interpretation of the rule is a core scam, & i feel like it has legs, but not very strong ones. i might have voted FOR on this DoV if it wasn’t parallel to a much more clear-cut & unambigious competing claim to victory

Kevan: he/him

25-11-2021 17:30:43 UTC

[Clucky] We usually write “the rule ‘Xxxx’” rather than “the rule xxxx”, which is probably close enough to “the rule with this quoted name” to have it be considered a string of characters. If it isn’t then I’d say we have broken that rule.

And precedence goes both ways: there are also all the cases where we deliberately defined an editable gamestate variable as being flavour text, and nobody attempted to scam a victory from it.

Kevan: he/him

25-11-2021 17:37:51 UTC

[lemon] The rules ask you to “indicate agreement or disagreement with the proposition that the poster has achieved victory in the current Dynasty”: if you think TyGuy’s declared belief about victory is correct, you should vote in favour of the DoV, even if there are other, stronger DoVs alongside it.

I’d say whether it’s a core scam depends on what you were surprised by. If you were surprised that the dynastic rules allowed Team Names to be changed like that, with that outcome, it’s a dynastic scam. If you were surprised that flavour text doesn’t work the way you assumed it did, it’s a core scam.

lemon: she/her

25-11-2021 18:50:32 UTC

@kevan i was personally surprised by the latter, i just figured i may have been mistaken w/ my previous interpretation. that said… i think i’ll stick to my current vote


25-11-2021 19:19:57 UTC

I was/am convinced by Trap’s arguments that flavour text does in fact allow reference, just not internal meaning. Maybe I haven’t been around at key moments to otherwise develop assumptions. So I wouldn’t call it a Fair Play violation. If it had been otherwise I would have to vote against the DoV, myself, at this point. (This is a step better than my DoV attempt two dynasties ago, which I agreed was illegitimate!)


25-11-2021 19:34:29 UTC

Sorry, but you are the leader of “Team with the most total Contribution” not THE Team with the most total Contribution. Even if I thought names counted I would probably still vote this down.


25-11-2021 19:34:41 UTC


Kevan: he/him

25-11-2021 19:52:12 UTC

[TyGuy] The Fair Play Core Scam violation is about how the group expects a core rule to work, not whether the scammer thinks the scam was legitimate. A completely legitimate core move that took everyone else by surprise because they’d never read the rule that way and didn’t think it worked like that would be classed a scam, and therefore a Fair Play violation.