Daniel Lepage on Sun, 6 Nov 2005 20:57:51 -0600 (CST)

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[s-d] Re: [s-b] [auto] Peter submits p280

On Nov 6, 2005, at 5:29 PM, automailer@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Peter has submitted a new Motion, p280.

Motion 280/0: Grand Reunification Of All Nomic Game Objects
A Proposal by Peter
Last modified on nweek 99, nday 9

[[Acronym: GROAN GO]]

This makes all Game Objects into basically what are now tools. We have
talismans and rooms affecting the game, but the precedence and
ordering between them and the rules seems poorly defined at times. It
seems to me that this prop unifies everything and makes everything
clearer. But maybe it's just me.

I'd love to see that done, though my past attempts to define such things have always failed.

Eventually, I'd also like to change all Game Actions to be activated
abilities. We can have voting just be an activated ability on a prop,
for example. We could have the Game holding the House, which holds
Rooms, which holds players, and the picking-up and using objects in
the house just becomes an inherent part of the game. Or something like

Confusion arises when one object can be held by multiple objects. For example, two subgames each hold a player.

Please provide feedback on what you like and don't like about this
proposal. In particular, I'm not sure exactly how the precedence stuff
should work. (But I'm not sure how it currently works with non-rule
objects affecting the game, so I suspect that this attempt to define
it will be an improvement.)

I think the historical precedent is that in the case of a conflict involving non-rule documents, the non-rule documents are treated as though they had the same precedence as the sentence in the rules specifying what they do. Conflicts between non-rules are usually settled in a "general defers to specific" manner unless some document provides a better method. Seeing that standardized would be nice.

Then again, this may horribly and irreparably break the game. :)

Always a plus :D


Delete Rule 9-10.

Change Rule 1-2 to have the following text:
=== Game Objects ===

The game of B Nomic consists entirely of Game Objects, which may be
known simply as Objects. Anything that exists in the game is an
Object, and anything that is not an Object is not in the game.

Can it be an Object without existing in the game? The two clauses here are each others' contrapositives.

Each Object has a name.

This doesn't require uniqueness, but does require me to name each of my Genechips. So I could name each of my Genechips "A Tweak", and by r0-0 every one would be a Motion.

=== Outsiders ===

An External Force is anything which exists independently of the
game. That is, it would still exist if the game stopped existing, and
would still exist if the game never started existing.

I think that should be "would still exist if the game *had* never started existing". As it stands, it implies that "never starting to exist" is something the game might still do.

Which actually might be possible, who knows?

An Outsider is an External Force which is also an Object. [[ i.e.,
something that exists outside of the game but is also acknowledged by
the rules as influencing the state of the game, and thus exists within
the game as well, such as a player.]]

=== Game Documents ===

Some objects are known as Game Documents. Game Documents include a
body of text.

Game Documents include bodies of text, or each Game Document includes a body of text, but not one body of text for all Game Documents.

In a Game Document, with the exception of this paragraph, text between
doubled square brackets (that is, text between "[[" and "]]") shall be
deemed Comment Text. Comment Text has no direct effect on the state of
the game, although Game Objects can read it. Comment Text in a rule
shall not be considered a part of that rule.

I'd say "In every Game Document"; also, "with the exception of this paragraph" implies that the paragraph is a Game Document, which I don't believe is the case. Also, a block of comment text is still part of the rule; otherwise it's not part of anything, which violates the first rule's claim that "anything that exists in the Game is an Object".

=== Possessions ===

Each object has a set of objects that it is said to hold.

=== Abilities ===

Each object has a set of abilities. There are three types of
abilities, which are triggered, activated, and static.

The use of the 2nd person (i.e., 'You', 'Yourself', 'Your', etc.) in
an ability is assumed to refer to the entity which holds that object,
except when describing activated effects, in which case it refers to
the object which activated the effect.

==== Triggered Abilities ====

Triggered abilities start with the word "when" or "whenever", in the
format "When X happens, Y happens". A triggered ability continually
watches the game, and causes Y to happen whenever X does.

==== Activated Abilities ====

Activated abilities are in the format "{cost}: {effect}". An object
allowed to play an activated ability does so as a Game Action by
paying {cost} to cause {effect} to happen. A {cost} may include one or
more Objects, and paying the cost means that those Objects are
destroyed unless otherwise stated. A {cost} could be 0, in which case
there is no cost to perform the action.

It'd be better to say "may do so" instead of "does so" on the second line of this paragraph; otherwise, a room holding a Talisman will constantly activate its abilities.

An object which holds an object with an activated ability is allowed
to play that ability.

==== Static Abilities ====

All other abilities are static abilities. Static abilities describe
how they affect the game.

=== Other Attributes ===

Objects may also have other attributes, as described in the definition
of each object.

Change the text of rule 1-4 to be
A Forum is any External Force that allows Outsiders to
communicate. Each forum may be designated as one of the terms Private,
Public, or Discussion. All Fora are initially Private.

Change the text of rule 2-1 to be
There is a Game Object named the Ruleset. The Ruleset holds Game
Objects which are named "Section". Each section holds Game Objects
which are named "Rule".

Each section has a uniquely identifying Roman Numeral. If a section is
created that does not have such a Numeral, it is assigned the Roman
Numeral one higher than the current highest such Numeral. Each section
may also have a title.

I'd rather say each section has a number; whether we choose to represent that number as a Roman Numeral is up to us.

Each rule has a number given by the number of the section which holds
it (converted to a normal Arabic numeral), a hyphen, and a number
which is unique within its section. If a rule is created that does not
have such a unique number, it is assigned the number one higher than
the current highest number in the section which it is in, or 1 if
there are no others. Each rule may also have a title.

Likewise, I don't think the hyphen format should be explicitly put in the rules, since it's a form issue, not a content issue.

Rules are Revisable Game Documents. The text of each rule defines that
rule's abilities. [[Most rules consist entirely of static abilities
that define how the game is played.]]

Change the text of rule 2-2 to be
Should it happen that the text of one ability contradicts or otherwise
invalidates the text of another, the two abilities are considered to
be in conflict. If one of the abilities explicitly states that it
takes precedence over or defers to the other, and the other does not
make a contrary claim, these claims are used to determine which shall
take precedence.

If this is not the case, then:

* If both of the abilities are on the same object, then the one defined
   by later text will take precedence over the earlier text.

What about objects with multiple text fields? I could create an object type called an "Enchanted Amulet"; each object of the type has two fields, called the Aura and the Power, which define different abilities. If, due to poor wording on my part, I create an Amulet whose Aura and Power conflict, there's no notion of "later text" or "earlier text", they're just two different texts of the same object.

 * If one of the abilities is on a Rule, and the other is not, then
   the one that is not on a Rule takes precedence.

 * If both of the abilities are on a Rule, and those Rules are held by
   the same Section, then the Rule with the lower unique number within
   that section takes precedence over the Rule with the higher number.

 * If both of the abilities are on a Rule, and those Rules are held by
   different Sections, then the Rule within the section with the lower
   section number takes precedence over the other.

 * If neither of the abilities is on a Rule, then the object created
   later has precedence over the other.

And if both were created at once?

The abilities of this rule take precedence over all other abilities.

In rule 2-5, change "rules" to "abilities" and "rule" to "ability".

[[How we could start changing things into activated abilities:]]
In rule 3-15 change
A player who has a Clock Key may as a Game Action change eir Clock
Key's value from Off to On or from On to Off. This Game Action may be
performed regardless of the Clock state.
Clock Keys have the ability {{0: Change this Clock Key's value from
Off to On or from On to Off. This ability may be played regardless of
the state of the Clock.}}.

Change the text of rule 9-13 to
Certain objects may be designated as Tools. Each Tool has a body of
text associated with it which define its abilities.

Each Tool also has a Game Document associated with it called its
Appearance; this may be an empty text (and is if no Appearance has
been specified for that Tool), but in general it should be a
description of what the Tool looks like, either in plain text or via a
link to an existing image outside of the game (such as the url of a
gif or some such thing).

Don't you need to specify that the Appearance has no effect on the gamestate? Or is that implicit in something I missed earlier?

No Tool may ever be created that has the same name as an existing Tool
but a different Effects field (however, this does not limit the number
of identical copies of a given Tool that may exist).

Also, you can't refer to the Effects field here, because you just repealed it two paragraphs earlier.

Overall, I like this, but I think there are some wording issues that very much need to be worked out before it'll be safe to pass this.

What would be *really* cool would be an integrated system for storing Objects and their abilities in a database, automatically linking titles of objects to description pages, and stuff like that. That'd be pretty awesome. Then Clock Keys, for example, could just be a type of object, not defined explicitly by the rules, though the rules would determine how they get distributed amongst the players, and it'd be easy to read because the rule would automatically link to the definition of a Clock Key.

This also makes me think of something Glotmorf suggested years ago, where the game is set in a city and each rule exists somewhere in the city; in order to change a rule, you have to hunt it down, possibly fighting your way through guards and/or other players to get it. We dismissed it as a good idea, but one that didn't fit with the way B Nomic was working... but maybe with this we could actually do it...


This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.
     -Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

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