Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Proposal: Things Are Still Broken [Core][Appendix]

Reached quourm and enacted, 5-2. Josh

Adminned at 02 Apr 2021 09:09:09 UTC

In the rule Victory and Ascension, change

When a DoV is Enacted, all other pending DoVs are Failed, and a new Dynasty begins in which the Player who made the DoV becomes the Dealer.

The new Dealer will make an Ascension Address by posting an entry in the “Ascension Address” category. This should specify the Dealer’s chosen theme for the new Dynasty, and it may optionally specify that the terms “Player” and “Dealer” will be replaced with theme-specific terms throughout the entire Ruleset (where the replacement terms are different, and neither includes any words in a form in which they already appear in the non-dynastic Ruleset), and/or list a number of dynastic rules to keep. When such an Ascension Address is posted, the Ruleset is updated to reflect any changed terms, and any dynastic rules which were not listed to be kept are repealed. Between the enactment of the DoV and the completion of any changes to the ruleset and gamestate mandated in the Ascension Address, no new DoV may be made and BlogNomic is on Hiatus.

Before an Ascension Address has been posted for a new Dynasty, the Dealer may pass the role of Dealer to another Player by making a post to that effect.


When a DoV is Enacted, all other pending DoVs are Failed, the Player who posted the DoV becomes Dealer, and the game enters an Interregnum. When a DoV is enacted then all game actions that led up to it are considered to be upheld.

If the game is in an Interregnum then the new Dealer must either Pass the Mantle, by making a post naming another Player - in which case the Dealer ceases to be the Dealer and the Player so named becomes the Dealer - or start a new dynasty by completing the following Atomic Action:

* Make an Ascension Address by posting an entry in the “Ascension Address” category. This should specify the Dealer’s chosen theme for the new Dynasty, and it may optionally specify that dynasty-specific terms for “Player” and “Dealer” will be used in the Ruleset, and/or list a number of dynastic rules to keep (if none are specifed then the entire Dynastic Ruleset is repealed).
* Update the Ruleset to reflect any changed terms, and any dynastic rules which were not listed to be kept are repealed.

Once this Atomic Action has been completed the Interregnum ends and the new dynasty begins.

Add the following to the end of the rule Dynasties:

An Interregnum is the period between dynasties, after a DoV has been enacted and before an Ascension Address has been posted. During an Interregnum the game is in hiatus; additionally, no DoVs may be made, and no Player may achieve Victory. However, dynastic actions that are specifically permitted to be carried out during an Interregnum may be carried out.

In the Appendix’s Glossary entry for Hiatus, remove “or after a DoV’s creation or enactment”.

Trying again to fix the transition between dynasties, which is currently a little broken.


Brendan: he/him

31-03-2021 14:59:53 UTC


Kevan: he/him

31-03-2021 15:13:15 UTC

Not convinced “Interregnum” needs a paragraph in Core, when it’s an obscure part of the game and the Appendix could cover it.

I also don’t think “all game actions that led up to it are considered to be upheld” does what you think it’s doing (or does anything at all) - if I illegally typo Brendan’s Magistrelli as 31 instead of 21, do we really consider that to have been a “game action”? I’d have said that the game actions of BlogNomic were the moves taken legally under the rules, which there is no need to uphold, as they were legal. What you’d want to be upholding were any things we may have mistakenly thought to be game actions, but which were just meaningless blog entries or wiki edits.


Clucky: he/him

31-03-2021 15:18:34 UTC

“When a DoV is enacted then all game actions that led up to it are considered to be upheld.”

I’m worried about that. Would this maybe mean that if a rogue admin incorrectly enacts a DoV, the enactment is still upheld?

Josh: he/they

31-03-2021 16:13:56 UTC

@Clucky No, as it’s only the actions that led up to it that are upheld - not the DoV or the enactment of it itself.

@Kevan Based on what your saying, it would be the case that “Upheld” never means anything, in which case why do we have it in the ruleset?

Kevan: he/him

31-03-2021 16:35:56 UTC

The Uphold keyword is to change attempted (but failed) actions from mere wiki or blog edits into legally performed actions. (“To Uphold an illegal action is to retroactively declare the attempt to take it to have been successful…”)

against Tilting to a cautious against for now if the upholding actually changes anything, as Clucky may have a point. What happens if I (illegally) write “Kevan has achieved victory and can enact DoVs at will” in the ruleset, then immediately make and enact a DoV?

Josh: he/they

31-03-2021 16:50:20 UTC

Oh for goodness sake! This is why things never change around here.

You can *never* prevent someone from fully cheating, but I already addressed Clucky’s point! The text says:

When a DoV is enacted then all game actions that led up to it are considered to be upheld


“That led up to” clearly does not include the posting of the DoV itself or anything that happened after that, including the enactment, in the same way that a road that leads up to a house is not a part of the house.

The scenario you’re outlining a) is absurd - if anyone did that then the reaction amoungst the other players wouldn’t be a polite round of applause, it would be a swift reversion, judicial or otherwise - but b) would be rendered neither more nor less legal by this change, as an illegal administration of a DoV would still be illegal, would still be immediately dismissed by a CfJ.

Honestly, trying to change stuff around here is Sysiphean sometimes.

Josh: he/they

31-03-2021 16:54:50 UTC

I’ll also point out that attempting to construct a circular loop in the way that Kevan describes would absolutely definitely be a core rules scam, and would thus be dismissed as a whole under Fair Play.

I’ll also point out that all of this absurd hypothetical, even if even vaguely plausible, is still a lesser danger than the bit where every new dynasty starts with a period in which the entire ruleset and gamestate of the preceding dynasty is still in effect, and DoVs can still be posted.

Clucky: he/him

31-03-2021 17:04:56 UTC

I think the rest of the rule change is definitely good. I just think the “When a DoV is enacted then all game actions that led up to it are considered to be upheld.” line is a bit risky. But its probably okay to pass and fix, so tentative for

Kevan: he/him

31-03-2021 17:26:15 UTC

I think you tend to make these boulders heavier than they need to be by attaching other, equally heavy boulders to them. We need an ascension fix, but it doesn’t need to tackle codifying our what’s-done-is-done stance to past dynasties at the same time. (Your last attempt also rolled in a third ambitious boulder of rewording Emperor/Player as Core keywords, and I think would have passed if it had been just the Ascension fix.)

It’s a significant Rubicon, taking BlogNomic from an informal “never go back and challenge past dynasties” attitude to a formal “past wiki edits become legal actions if they could be said to have led up to a passed DoV”. We should talk it through and check the angles of what that changes, rather than just tacking it on as a quick bonus edit when fixing an Ascension issue. Does BlogNomic change if an accidental gamestate error can legally win you the game, if you knowingly keep quiet about it and nobody notices until after your Ascension?

Josh: he/they

31-03-2021 18:13:51 UTC

And I think you have a tendency to catastrophise about even mid-sized structural changes to the game. A proposal like this one, which on the whole does nothing except formalise the way that the game is de facto played anyway, of course still needs examination and discussion, but it is way too often the case that proposals like this get voted down on very marginal concerns - and proposals like this only get reproposed so often, before the authors get discouraged and lose interest.

To be clear, I don’t believe that anything in this proposal changes the way that the game is played. I think it just formalises the current de facto approach.

The cost of voting proposals like this down should also be factored in to the cost-benefit analysis of a vote. Having a noticeable gap between the ruleset and the way that the game is bad; it is exclusionary, and it leaves the constant threat of issues that have intuitively been dealt with coming back, like the issue of last dynasty’s story posts. It also creates a culture of ossification sound the core ruleset in a way that is honestly very peculiar for a game whose ISP is the availability of change.

Getting past the fear of overwhelming but extremely unlikely edge cases is occasionally necessary.

Kevan: he/him

31-03-2021 19:05:19 UTC

I think the process we’re formalising needs to go under the microscope a bit more before we can say confidently that “uphold all gamestate edits, never go back” is an accurate formalisation of it.

I don’t recall that we’ve ever actually rolled back a DoV or stripped anyone of a dynasty, but are there any situations where we obviously would, and which never occur because it’s obvious that we would? Would any of those be endorsed by an “uphold all gamestate” DoV step, or are they already stopped by other rules?

There’s outright cheating, where a player doctors some gamestate and DoVs, hoping that nobody catches them out - which is probably covered by DoVs requiring the declarer to “believe” that they’ve genuinely achieved victory, and (maybe?) 1.1 ordering us to obey the rules.

But if I accidentally give myself way too much gold in week 2, DoV for “most gold” much later, realise my mistake during the DoV while nobody else does, and consciously decide to keep quiet until the post-game discussion - would I get applause or pitchforks for that? If we’re enacting this rule to say “definitely applause”, would that create any unwanted incentives to play the game less carefully?

Josh: he/they

31-03-2021 19:27:01 UTC

How does the scenario that you’re describing change based on this proposal?

Cheating is cheating, not just as a matter of the ruleset - but as a moral absolute. I also don’t see the distinction between the scenarios you’re spelling out - both look like cheating to me, and the doublethink of “oh, I’ll just not look too closely at my actions and hope they help me achieve victory later” as a systemic approach to the game is such a wild mindset that I can’t even conceive of anyone seriously holding it, let alone evaluate it as something other than having a mens rea of cheating.

But even that aside, I just don’t see how this change to the ruleset draws the sting from that. Because there’s already a process that de facto legitimises cheating; it’s called “keeping quiet”, and if you’ve already considered cheating then I’m not sure that knowing that you can come clean about it three weeks later to mere social approbrium rather than explicit ruleset concequences is all that big of a hurdle. If you’d get to “I’ll just be mentally sloppy and hope no-one notices” (with this group of people????) then you’re not going to need to come forward at any point.

And even then: if it does happen then nothing in this rule prevents anybody from raising a CfJ and rolling it back anyway. CfJs can revert legal actions, can take away dynasties and can retroactively delegitimise DoVs.

Lulu: she/her

31-03-2021 21:05:02 UTC


lemon: she/her

31-03-2021 22:11:38 UTC

this core rules stuff is beyond me atm, so i’m gonna imperial for now– maybe in the future i’ll have more experience to participate in the more fundamental rule-building!

Kevan: he/him

01-04-2021 09:03:04 UTC

Sure, I think actual cheating is covered by Rule 1.1 and the wider magic circle of playing a game together. (I sometimes wonder whether we should make “knowingly breaking the rules” against fair play, to be absolutely clear, but we probably don’t need to.)

I don’t know whether the accidental error situation changes if we enact this proposal, because I don’t know what the current social norm for it is. What happens right now if a player realises, immediately after DoVing, that they were basing it on their own typo? Are they expected to immediately put their hands up and apologise, or would we respect the win if they chose to tiptoe offline for twelve hours in the hope that the DoV might go through with nobody catching it?

My gut feeling is that we’d allow an accidentally-invalid DoV to stand if the player themselves didn’t realise, and someone else pointed it out in post-DoV washup. But I genuinely don’t know how we’d react to a player cheerfully admitting post-DoV that they saw their own mistake and chose to keep quiet while the DoV resolved. Enacting a rule of “past actions become legal” would, to me, be saying that we wouldn’t overturn this.

Josh: he/they

01-04-2021 10:33:00 UTC

Honestly, at the moment I think we’d allow it, provided that we were satisfied that it was an honest mistake.

I mean, I don’t think this is even hypothetical, as there’s a few dynasties on the books that should not have been won on an objective assessment of the premise.

We really do have a culture that accepts that once a DoV is enacted most matters are settled; flagrant cheating might change that but it’s hard to see what else would.


01-04-2021 16:46:10 UTC


lemon: she/her

02-04-2021 00:36:13 UTC

changing to for because that’s where it seems the actual majority lies atm ? and from what i’ve been able to wrap my head around, clarifying the fuzzy area between dynasties is worth having to patch the rules again 2 remove a slight risk. it was one of the things that was hard to get a grasp on when i was reading the rules for the first time