Saturday, December 30, 2023

Proposal: Stars Maligned

Timed out and failed, 3-3. Josh

Adminned at 01 Jan 2024 22:15:50 UTC

Remove the Malign Emperors Special Case rule (if it exists). Also remove it from the Building Blocks page (if it exists)

This rule has been used exactly once, in Dynasty 196

I think its healthy to keep rules that are very rarely used simply in a “hey here is a concept you can add to a dynasty” folder rather than be stuff that can actually be added to the ruleset for free at some point. As the ruleset evolves, it increases the possibility that some ruleset change has an adverse interaction with an rarely used special case/building block rule and because that rule is rarely used, the interaction doesn’t get spotted only to be switched on at a later point when there is no vote to guard against the interaction.

If someone wants to still run a malign emperor dynasty, they can easily include the same/similar text in an opening proposal


JonathanDark: he/him

30-12-2023 21:55:17 UTC

I’d make “Also removing it” into a more active instruction: “Also remove it”

JonathanDark: he/him

31-12-2023 07:14:40 UTC



31-12-2023 07:58:41 UTC


Josh: Observer he/they

31-12-2023 09:27:21 UTC

against I like Malign Emps. It hasn’t been used much yet but it’s a fertile creative space and a lot can be built off of it.

Kevan: he/him

31-12-2023 09:56:40 UTC

against Isn’t part of the point of Building Blocks to give us more freedom to have rules like this which might only get used “exactly once”? In this case it’s very much the kind of rule that would be good to have in place on day one of a dynasty, rather than something that the new Emperor has to craft by hand and convince the group to vote for.

Clucky: he/him

31-12-2023 12:51:34 UTC

@Kevan they don’t need to craft it by hand. We can keep stuff like Malign Emperors or Bounties or Events in a list of concepts that people can insert into their dynasties

Meanwhile, bypassing player voting seems a bit antithetical to the concept of a nomic as a whole.

It does have its uses, but I’d rather we have less building blocks as that means more player agency and means we have to do less overall maintenance.

Right now, if someone makes a change to the core rules that breaks Malign Emperors then a few things can happen

1) The change is caught and the proposal is shot down because of it

2) The change is caught and a patch proposal has to be put in

3) The change is not caught until Malign Emperors is turned on in a dynasty, potentially with negative ramifications

None of these are great. 3 is very bad. 2 is probably the best, but you’re still spending time patching it.

If instead, Malign Emperors was a templated rule and this happens, then even if no one realizes how the rule change interacts with Malign Emperors when the core rule change goes into effect, it would hopefully be caught in the voting process

Josh: Observer he/they

31-12-2023 13:01:34 UTC

“bypassing player voting seems a bit antithetical to the concept of a nomic as a whole”

Does that mean you object to the idea of Special Case rules more generally? I think we have always understood the Emperor to have certain powers when it comes to setting theme and core mechanics of a dynasty - setting themselves up as the villain seems within that space, to me.

Clucky: he/him

31-12-2023 13:39:47 UTC

“It does have its uses, but I’d rather we have less building blocks as that means more player agency and means we have to do less overall maintenance.”

Some powers are fine. Some of the rules around teamwork and alliances are especially useful for special case rules because otherwise people can skirt the rules by getting deals in place before those rules go into effect. And then also if rules are used often enough, it can be useful to just let emperors turn them on right away rather than bogging down their opening proposal

But I do think we probably try to be a bit more cautious around special case / building blocks

lendunistus: he/him

31-12-2023 13:51:23 UTC

against because I wanted to do a dynasty with this at some point and still have that idea in my back pocket

(although I’d also have to add a dynastic rule that allows the emperor to just straight out achieve victory instead of being passed the mantle)

Clucky: he/him

31-12-2023 13:56:15 UTC

@lendun: fun fact—if you want these mechanics in a dynasty in the future you can write a proposal to add them! And then everyone can vote on that proposal!

Kevan: he/him

31-12-2023 14:31:18 UTC

It’s a fair point that if Building Blocks become a bigger toolbox of niche mechanics, we won’t be scrupulously keeping all of them up to date.

If the “make a post to the blog disclosing what information was discussed” of Private Comms was redefined to be retroactive to the start of the dynasty, we could shift to a culture of Building Blocks being proposed as part of the opening proposal from the new Emperor, rather than declared outright in the Ascension Address.

Clucky: he/him

31-12-2023 14:36:33 UTC

I’m also wondering if we can introduce the concept of a “building block proposal” that just turns on building blocks and doesn’t count against proposal slots. that way opening proposals don’t get overly long

JonathanDark: he/him

31-12-2023 17:28:15 UTC

Just poking around the admin interface, it looks like it might be doable to edit the backend to add a new category called “Building Block” if we wanted to do what Clucky suggested. The templates expose the PHP necessary to filter by category and add a new section to the “pending list”.

Kevan: he/him

31-12-2023 18:08:40 UTC

Both the Block choice and opening proposal are likely to meet the approval of the group - combining them also makes the context clearer that players aren’t really being asked their opinion on the suggested Building Blocks, they’re just being asked to rubber stamp them. They’d only be voted down in the case of some bug meaning that they clash fatally with each other or with core (the same way that we might but usually don’t vote down an Emperor’s opening proposal).