Daniel Lepage on 30 Jul 2003 04:40:48 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] vSET

On Tuesday, July 29, 2003, at 10:46  PM, Glotmorf wrote:

I was just perusing vSET's charter, and came up with a question that I can't remember having been answered before (though it may well have been)...

Is Dave a public forum?


He hasn't designated himself as such, which I think is the deciding factor, but vSET would require him (or some minister) to be one, since, according to r17, "Actions occur upon reaching the appropriate Fora." Therefore, for vSET to have its secret membership, which by definition is part of the gamestate, actions would have to be specifically emailed to Dave, who would recognize them and maintain his record of the gamestate.

But since Dave isn't a designated public forum, actions sent to him can't be officially recognized by him, and therefore vSET's secret membership can't be maintained.


Which leads to a followup question...

Should Dave be a public forum?

Is there an actual genuine need for a GM with a GM screen, to whom notes can be passed for actions to be taken that may well have publicly visible consequences but not necessarily publicly visible causes? Do we anticipate any sort of large-scale need for hidden actions?

The ugly thing about hidden actions is that they often have costs. One of the problems with, say, Force Absorption (pay some amount of Force *in a note to the admin*, and the next anti-you Force move gets countered) was that either the Force Minister wasn't told, and we'd just have to trust that after spending all eir force on Absorption, a player wouldn't then try to use Destruction with the Force we didn't know e'd lost; or to tell whoever ran the records (which would have to be Dave if it worked like this), and have Dave note that e's absorbent and also surreptitiously alter the Force records to show the decrease in Force, and hope that nobody noticed the change.

So a lot of hidden action things are too much of a hassle to be worth putting in the game at all.

On the other hand, things like private voting (and here I'm really thinking about Bidding for Super Powers) could profit greatly from, say, a little mailing program that gathers messages sent to it, then releases them all when somebody sends the right one. So, for example, we'd all submit msgs with some tag on the top, perhaps something like

{Secret Class="SuperPower_GnashyClaws Text = "I, Wonko, bid 30 points on the Big Gnashy Claws."}

Then, when the auction ended, the Guardian would send it a msg with something like

{Release Class="SuperPower_GnashyClaws"}

and it would mail to s-b a list of all the 'Text' fields it recieved.

Something like that could also be used to make a trustworthy and easy-to-use random number generator; send it {Random Choice('Rain', 'Hail', 'Gnomes', 'Sulphur')} and it s-b's one of those at random.

I could even write the program to process such things pretty easily.

However, I have absolutely no knowledge about the 'mail' portion of it, i.e., setting it up to call a program on the text of each incoming message (I do know how to make python send mail back); perhaps what I've just described is easily done by someone with the requisite knowledge, or perhaps it would require much more work than I'd expect.

Anyone know anything about it?

I suppose Dave wouldn't want the additional work, though even if we set up a minister for this any action involving said minister would probably have to cc: Dave, in case said minister DOFOEs (Drops Off Face Of Earth) and Dave has to reconcile the current hidden gamestate.

Dave could have access to all the secret msgs stored by the program.

Personally I think the only practical way to do hidden actions is a separate email address with a procmail handler, or a webform, that updates a database that Dave, in a DOFOE situation, has access to. Is there interest at this time in a general-purpose database-logged hidden-action submission webform?

Uh... that sounds like it might be what I said, but with a side of technical knowledge. What's a 'procmail handler'?


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