Thursday, July 04, 2019

Proposal: The Weremafioso [Special Case]

Reached quorum 8 votes to 0. Enacted by Kevan.

Adminned at 06 Jul 2019 07:16:31 UTC

Enact a new Special Case rule, “The Traitor”:-

The Traitor for a particular dynasty may be a Wizard (including an idle one), or may be nobody, and it defaults to being nobody. The Traitor’s identity in the current dynasty is tracked privately by the King.

If there is no Traitor for the current dynasty, the King may secretly randomly select a Wizard and privately inform them that they are the Traitor for the current dynasty.

A Traitor is under no obligation to honour any informal promises they have made with other Wizards, nor to tell the truth to them, and is encouraged to betray other Wizards in order to achieve victory.

Per Slack thoughts (which would be better discussed and recorded in a public blog entry anyway), an attempt to break up the default metagame trust and to discourage - or at least add a frisson of danger to - otherwise bland “pooling” victories, where a group agree to share their resources and roll a die to see who takes the win.

It’s long been said that BlogNomic players are generally very trustworthy because a dramatic betrayal would have a lasting impact on the support they’d get in future dynasties, and isn’t worth it. I think that being able to take that for granted means that we’re missing out on a lot of interesting negotiation and gameplay (eg. we tend to avoid trading mechanics). If a player who was dealt the “traitor” card can pull off their rubber mask after accepting their accomplices’ pooled diamonds, refuse to roll randomly to assign the victory, and take the podium themselves, to respectful applause, that might shake things up.

Comments

ubq323:

04-07-2019 10:19:36 UTC

for

Farsight:

04-07-2019 12:03:27 UTC

I agree with this up to a point, but I do like the generally sportsman-like atmosphere here on Blognomic (for example in the previous dynasty, we were all too polite at first to alter each other’s moon bases). On the other hand, I agree that a Traitor mechanic would be a fun addition to the game.

What if we made the Traitor mechanic which can be turned on or off by making a blog post stating so? Then when someone wins and becomes King, they can decide if they want it on or off for their new dynasty?

Farsight:

04-07-2019 12:03:52 UTC

I think I’ll propose that when I get time.

Kevan: City he/him

04-07-2019 12:29:34 UTC

Ah, no need, that’s already there: this is creating a Special Case rule, and “When a new dynasty is started, the Ascension Address may state any existing Special Case Rules that are set to inactive”. The Emperor also has the option of having it active but just never picking a Traitor.

I don’t think it’d affect the sportsmanship: if anything it might increase it, as players (both Traitor and non) try to look helpful and trustworthy. It should only really come into play when players are making backroom deals and warily deciding who should carry all the diamonds.

Farsight:

04-07-2019 12:37:14 UTC

Ah I missed that rule you quoted, ah well, just ignore the proposal I made then hehe!

derrick: he/him

04-07-2019 19:20:22 UTC

for

card:

04-07-2019 20:10:45 UTC

for

Farsight:

04-07-2019 21:31:24 UTC

for

TyGuy6:

04-07-2019 21:33:25 UTC

I feel like this could backfire. The psychology of knowing there could be an uninhibited traitor will likely lead to more traitor-proofing, i.e. making otherwise interesting traitor moves impossible, and slowing down the game in doing so, whilst the traitors may often find no advantage to take. I leave this to the more experienced players, who might more easily weigh this against the benefits of disuading otherwise fully trusting teamup plays.

Abstain with no vote.

card:

04-07-2019 21:54:55 UTC

I’m not so certain. Plenty of victories where people won by pooling were done so in between players already in the lead, who didn’t necessarily use mechanics of the game to trade resources.

TyGuy6:

04-07-2019 22:18:45 UTC

So (to be clear) you are saying it is worth it if it keeps those lead players duking it out, rather than teaming up? (Or if they do team up, to have to do something to traitorproof it?)

Kevan: City he/him

05-07-2019 08:07:41 UTC

[TyGuy6] It’s worth seeing what happens, but I don’t expect there’d be any countermeasures. The traitor’s only move is lying, which we can all do already (albeit tending more towards ambiguity or feigned ignorance), and which we rarely bother to legislate around.

In a secret information dynasty people will sometimes propose that the Emperor must privately confirm or deny facts, so that a private claim or rumour can be checked, but from memory these tend to be voted down by other players, probably because most players don’t have any information they need checking at that point and see no reason to help the proposer.

derrick: he/him

05-07-2019 14:19:35 UTC

for

Conspiracy ending are common in blognomic in general. Making it harder to be betrayed usually makes it harder to conspire in the first place.

Kevan: City he/him

05-07-2019 14:36:32 UTC

Straight coin-flip victories actually seem to be less common than it sometimes feels.

derrick: he/him

05-07-2019 15:32:40 UTC

Just tweaked that list to cover two occasions in which two players collaborated to end the game and decided on a winner privately. I won the untamed wilds with some major assistance from card, who graciously let me claim victory (I offered him a 30% chance).

The wizard cities dynasty ended with a team play by card and Brendan. Brendan claimed victory, and then handed over the dynastic control to card, presumably because Brendan had a lot of dynasties already and card had none.

Kaia:

05-07-2019 17:15:06 UTC

for

Brendan: he/him

05-07-2019 22:55:02 UTC

for