Annotated ruleset

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This is an annotated version of an (in some places out of date) copy of the Core and Appendix sections, intended to help find answers to the occasional Chesterton's Gate questions of "why is this here?", and to flag anything where the answer may be unclear. This is not the current ruleset and may not accurately reflect the latest core rules.

Feel free to add new annotations, and corrections or expansions to existing ones.

A green-bordered box is a regular annotation; an orange border signifies something that we might want to look at.

Core Rules

Ruleset and Gamestate

This is the Ruleset for BlogNomic; all Players shall obey it.

It comprises four Sections: 1) the “core rules” of BlogNomic, covering the essential elements of gameplay; 2) the rules of the current Dynasty; 3) rules which apply in special cases; and 4) the appendix, which complements and clarifies the Ruleset.

The Ruleset and Gamestate can only be altered in manners specified by the Ruleset.

If the Ruleset does not properly reflect all legal changes that have been made to it, any Player may update it to do so.

🡅 This last paragraph was added in 2016, in response to a couple of CfJs that corrected incomplete enactments. (Isn't this covered by "Representations of the Gamestate", though?)

Players

Any human may apply to join BlogNomic (if they are not already a Player) by registering at http://blognomic.com via the Register link in the sidebar, and then making a post making clear their wish to be an Player (plural form Players). An Admin shall add them to the roster in the sidebar, at which moment they become a Player.

A Player may only change their name as a result of a Proposal approving the change.

🡅 This was added in 2006: previously players could change names at will, which allowed Bucky to "become" the Captain during a dynasty where that was a keyword.

Some Players are Admins, responsible for updating the site and the Ruleset, and are signified as such in the sidebar. Players who wish to become Admins may sign up with a username for the Ruleset Wiki, and submit a Proposal to make themselves Admins. Existing Admins may be removed from their posts by Proposal, CfJ, or voluntary resignation.

Idle Players

If a Player is Idle, this is tracked by their name being removed or concealed in the list of currently active Players in the Sidebar. For the purposes of all Gamestate and the Ruleset, excluding Rules “Ruleset and Gamestate”, “Players”, “Dynasties”, “Fair Play”, "Mentors" and any of those Rules’ subrules, Idle Players are not counted as Players.

If a Proposal contains a provision that targets a specifically named Idle Player, then that Idle Player is considered to be Unidle solely for the purposes of enacting that specific provision.

🡅 This prevents a player from being able to dodge a punitive proposal or CfJ by idling.

When a Player is unidled, if they went Idle in the same Dynasty, their personal gamestate retains the last legally endowed values it had, if they are still valid. Otherwise (including if a value is invalid, does not exist, or the Player Idled in a different Dynasty), the Player is given the default value for new Players, if such a value exists.

An Admin may render a Player Idle if that Player has asked to become Idle in an entry or comment from the past four days, or if that Player has not posted an entry or comment in the last seven days. In the latter case, the Admin must announce the idling in a blog post. Admins may render themselves Idle at any time, but should announce it in a post or comment when they do so. An Admin may Unidle a Player if that Player is Idle and has asked to become Unidle in an entry or comment from the past four days, and Idle Admins may Unidle themselves at any time, unless the Player who would be Unidled asked to become (or rendered themselves) Idle within the previous four days, and within the current Dynasty.

🡅 The four-day window between voluntarily idling and unidling again is to reduce the scope for brief, tactical idling to avoid some game impact from affecting you. Four days is enough for the remaining players to address the attempt through a proposal.

Admins who are unidling themselves should, in their first vote following each unidling, highlight their changed idle status and any changes to Quorum to have come about as a result of it.

Idle Admins can enact and fail Votable Matters.

Dynasties

BlogNomic is divided into a number of Dynasties. Each Dynasty may be headed by a single Player, known as the Emperor. If there is no Emperor, the Dynasty is a Metadynasty.

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.

Votable Matters

A Votable Matter is a post which Players may cast Votes on, such as a Proposal, a Call for Judgement or a Declaration of Victory.

Votes

Each Player may cast one Vote on a Votable Matter by making a comment to the Official Post that comprises that Votable Matter using a voting icon of FOR, AGAINST, or DEFERENTIAL. Additional voting icons may be permitted in some cases by other rules. A valid Vote is, except when otherwise specified, a Vote of FOR or AGAINST. A Player’s Vote on a Votable Matter is the last valid voting icon that they have used in any comment on that Votable Matter. Additionally, if the author of a Votable Matter has not used a valid voting icon in a comment to the post, then the author’s Vote is FOR. A non-Player never has a Vote, even if they were a Player previously and had cast a valid Vote.

If a Player other than the Emperor casts a vote of DEFERENTIAL, then the Vote of DEFERENTIAL is an indication of confidence in the Emperor. When the Emperor has a valid Vote other than VETO on a Votable Matter, then all votes of DEFERENTIAL on that Votable Matter are instead considered to be valid and the same as the Emperor’s Vote for the purposes of other rules unless otherwise specified.

A Votable Matter is Popular if any of the following are true:

  • It has a number of FOR Votes that exceed or equal Quorum.
  • It has been open for voting for at least 48 hours, it has more than 1 valid Vote cast on it, and more valid Votes cast on it are FOR than are AGAINST.

A Votable Matter is Unpopular if any of the following are true:

  • The number of Players who are not voting AGAINST it is less than Quorum.
  • It has been open for voting for at least 48 hours and it is not Popular.

Enacting and Failing

Votable Matters can either be Pending, Enacted, or Failed. When a Votable Matter is first put forward, it is considered Pending.

Whenever an Admin Resolves a Votable Matter, they should mark their name, and are highly encouraged to report the final tally of Votes (or the fact that it was self-killed or vetoed). Comments cannot be made on Enacted or Failed Votable Matters.

This rule cannot be overruled by Dynastic Rules in its application to Calls for Judgement or Declarations of Victory.

Tags

Votable Matters have zero or more tags. Tags are represented in the title of a Votable Matter with the format “[X]” (e.g. “[Core] Wording Fix”, where “[Core]” is the tag). Votable Matters require the “[Core]” tag in order to make changes to the Core Rules, the “[Special Case]” tag in order to make changes to the Special Case Rules and the “[Appendix]” tag in order to make changes to the Appendix Rules. Votable Matters other than DoVs require the “[Victory]” tag in order to grant victory to a Player.

🡅 Tags were introduced by Card in May 2017, after a scam by Cuddlebeam attempted to break the Core rules by having an innocuous "replace hyphens with bullets" clause at the end of a proposal apply by default to the entire ruleset. The main effect of Tags is to say that proposals can only edit Core/Appendix/Special-Case sections when they explicitly announce this. They're also seen as a way to flag such proposals for greater scrutiny, or input from idle players.

🡅 Similarly, the Victory tag prevents a proposal from directly assigning victory in an opaque way, which the voters may have overlooked.

If a Votable Matter would make a modification to the rules and it does not have the tag to make that modification, that Votable Matter will still be able to make that specific modification if any of the following on the following list are true:

  • The modification is preceded or followed immediately by an unambiguous statement of which section of the ruleset it takes place.
  • The modification specifically states a rule using its number or the name of the stated rule only occurs once in the ruleset.

🡅 Since forgetting to add a Tag can be frustrating, this clause was added in September 2020 to cover situations where it was "obvious" that a proposal was trying to amend a non-dynastic rule.

Proposals

Any Player may submit a Proposal to change the Ruleset or Gamestate, by posting an entry in the “Proposal” category that describes those changes (unless the Player already has 2 Proposals pending, or has already made 3 Proposals that day).

🡅 Proposals are capped at two pending so that everyone gets an equal chance to shape the game. The three-per-day limit removes any temptation to keep self-killing and reproposing ideas when the queue is empty.

Special Proposal Voting

When a Player casts a vote AGAINST their own Proposal (which is not in the form of a DEFERENTIAL vote), this renders the Proposal Self-Killed, even if the author later changes their Vote. The Emperor may use VETO as a voting icon to cast a Vote on a Proposal; when the Emperor casts a vote of VETO on a Proposal, this renders the Proposal Vetoed, even if the Emperor later changes their Vote.

🡅 Self-killing and vetoing are irreversible, so that everyone else knows they can stop voting: the proposal will fail and cannot possibly be enacted.

Resolution of Proposals

The oldest Pending Proposal may be Enacted by any Admin (by updating the Ruleset and/or Gamestate to include the specified effects of that Proposal, and then setting that Proposal’s status to Enacted) if all of the following are true:

  • It is Popular.
  • It has been open for voting for at least 12 hours.
  • It has not been Vetoed or Self-Killed.

🡅 Proposals stay open for at least 12 hours so that all players theoretically get a chance to read it and give their input, whatever their timezone.

The oldest Pending Proposal may be Failed by any Admin, if any of the following are true:

  • It is Unpopular.
  • It has been Vetoed or Self-Killed.

If a Proposal somehow ends up being pending for more than 7 days, it is ignored for the purpose of calculating the oldest pending Proposal, and can be failed by any Admin.

🡅 Because proposals have to be resolved in order, if something goes wrong enacting/failing a proposal (e.g. it accidentally gets enacted too early), this would cause all future attempts to resolve proposals to also fail. The 7-day limit automatically cleans up old proposals that were never legally failed, helping to avoid this scenario.

Calls for Judgement

If two or more Players actively disagree as to the interpretation of the Ruleset, or if a Player feels that an aspect of the game needs urgent attention, then any Player may raise a Call for Judgement (abbreviated “CfJ”) by posting an entry in the “Call for Judgement” category.

A Pending CfJ may be Enacted by any Admin if all of the following are true:

  • It is Popular.

A Pending CfJ may be Failed by any Admin if any of the following are true:

  • It is Unpopular.
  • It specifies neither changes to the Gamestate or Ruleset nor corrections to any gamestate-tracking entities.

🡅 Note that CfJs can't be self-killed or vetoed. The former is so that if a CfJ is fixing something and a quorum agree, the original poster can't retract it tactically at the last minute (the way that they could with a proposal, which is a valid if sneaky manoeuvre). The latter is to ensure that it's always possible to amend the ruleset, irrespective of the Imperial veto.

When a CfJ is Enacted, the Admin Enacting it shall update the Gamestate and Ruleset, and correct any gamestate-tracking entities, as specified in the CfJ.

This Rule may not be overruled by Dynastic Rules.

Victory and Ascension

If a Player (other than the Emperor) believes that they have achieved victory in the current Dynasty, they may make a Declaration of Victory (abbreviated “DoV”) detailing this, by posting an entry in the “Declaration of Victory” category.

Every Player may cast Votes on that DoV to indicate agreement or disagreement with the proposition that the poster has achieved victory in the current Dynasty. If there is at least one pending DoV, BlogNomic is on Hiatus.

A Pending DoV may be Enacted by any Admin if any of the following are true:

  • It is Popular, it has been open for at least 12 hours, and either the Emperor has Voted FOR it or it has no AGAINST Votes.
  • It is Popular, and it has been open for at least 24 hours.

A Pending DoV may be Failed by any Admin if any of the following are true:

  • It is Unpopular, and it has been open for at least 12 hours.

If a DoV is Failed and it had at least one AGAINST vote, the Player who posted it cannot make another DoV until after 120 hours (5 days) have passed since the time their DoV was Failed.

When a DoV is Enacted, all other pending DoVs are Failed, the Player who posted the DoV becomes Emperor, 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 Emperor must either Pass the Mantle, by making a post naming another Player - in which case the Emperor ceases to be the Emperor and the Player so named becomes the Emperor - 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 Emperor’s chosen theme for the new Dynasty, and it may optionally specify that dynasty-specific terms for “Player” and “Emperor” 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.

Fair Play

The following are BlogNomic’s rules of fair play. If any of these rules are found to have been broken, or if a Player’s behaviour or actions are otherwise deemed unacceptable (socially or otherwise), a Proposal or CfJ may be made to reprimand or punish the perpetrator or, in cases of extreme or repeated violations, remove them from the game and bar them from rejoining. Players should vote against any DoV that relies on having broken a fair play rule.

  • A single person should not control more than one non-Idle Player within BlogNomic, and should announce publicly if they control both a non-Idle Player and any Idle Players.
  • A Player should not “spam” the BlogNomic blog. What counts as spamming is subjective, but would typically include posting more than ten blog entries in a day, more than ten blog comments in a row, or posting a blog entry of more than 1000 words.
  • A Player should not deliberately exploit bugs or unexpected behaviours in the software running the game (ExpressionEngine, MediaWiki or other blognomic.com scripts).
  • A Player should not edit their own blog comments once posted, nor those of any other Player.
  • A Player should not edit the “Entry Date” field of a blog post.
  • A Player should not make a DoV primarily to delay the game by putting it into Hiatus.
  • A Player should not do any action meant to make the game unplayable (for example, changing multiple keywords to the same word in an Ascension Address).
  • A Player should not roll dice that are clearly associated with a particular action in the Ruleset, but with the intention to not use these rolled values to the best of their ability to resolve that action. A Player must use their own name in the Dice Roller, when rolling dice.
  • A Player should not deliberately and unreasonably prolong the performance of a game action once they have started it.
  • A Player should not use a core, special case or appendix rules scam to directly or indirectly achieve victory.

Dynastic Rules


Special Case

Special Case Rules can be Active or Inactive. If the title of a Special Case Rule includes "[X]", where X is either Active or Inactive, then its status is X. Otherwise, its status is its Default Status.

Special Case Rules have a Default Status, which can be Active or Inactive. If the title of a Special Case Rule includes "[Rare]", its Default Status is Inactive its Default Status is Inactive, otherwise, its Default Status is Active.

When a new Dynasty is started, the Ascension Address may list any number of existing Special Case Rules to be set to a status other than their respective Default Status. All other Special Case Rules are set to their respective Default Status.

The text of a Special Case Rule that is Inactive is flavour text.

Seasonal Downtime [Active]

On the 24th, 25th and 26th of December, BlogNomic is on Hiatus. In addition, game actions defined by the rules titled “Players” and “Victory and Ascension” (with the exception of Voting in DoVs) may not be taken.

🡅 Straightforwardly pauses the game over Christmas, when players are likely to be offline. It began as a core rule in December 2010 - "BlogNomic does not formally observe any seasonal or religious holiday but can accommodate predictable downswings in activity" - and became a Special Case rule in September 2017.

Dormancy [Active]

If there are fewer than five Players, BlogNomic is on Hiatus.

🡅 Pausing the game at low player counts removes any incentive to try to win a dynasty by encouraging silence and waiting for other players to get bored or idle out. Without this, quiet dynasties have tended to get quieter and quieter until somebody proposes to end it (with "I win" if they're arguably in the strongest position or "random player wins" if not); Dormancy instead encourages players to recruit friends or wake up idle players. In practice, Dormancy usually sees enough players joining the game within a day or two.

Initially road-tested in December 2016, this became a Special Case rule in September 2017.

Imperial Deferentials [Active]

If the Emperor has voted DEFERENTIAL on a Proposal, that vote is instead considered to be valid and either FOR (if more Players have voted FOR the Proposal than have voted AGAINST it) or AGAINST (in all other cases). However, in either case, votes of DEFERENTIAL made by other Players on the same Proposal are not considered be valid.

🡅 This tends to be used when an Emperor wants to effectively abstain on dynastic-gameplay-level proposals, but without slowing the queue down. Added by Card in September 2018, and weakened by switching off player DEFs in March 2021.

Dynastic Distance [Active]

For the purposes of dynastic rules which do not deal with voting, the Emperor is not a Player.

🡅 Means that the Emperor doesn't count as a Player, in dynasties (particularly those where the Emperor holds secret information, or has significant influence over the gamestate) where it would be unfair for the Emperor to compete alongside the other players. If this is set to inactive, the Emperor is sometimes given some other game-ending effect for achieving the victory condition, since they are not allowed to declare victory in their own dynasty.

Added in August 2018 by Derrick, building on the long tradition of ad-hoc dynastic "G-Man" rules to this effect, since at least 2004.

Dynastic Tracking [Active]

The gamestate tracking page for this dynasty is the The Card Table page of the wiki. Unless otherwise stated, all publicly tracked gamestate information is tracked on it. an Emperor may change the wiki page referred to in this rule to a different page as part of their Ascension Address.

No Collaboration [Inactive] [Rare]

If “Dynastic Distance” is also active, the Dealer is not considered a Player for the purposes of this rule.

Players may not privately communicate with each other about dynastic gameplay and strategy, including actions during the dynasty the Players have taken or plan to take, or private declarations of alliance or support. Private communications are considered to be anything that another average player could reasonably be privy to, and include any discussion on platforms other than the wiki, blog, or slack; discussions on those platforms that are obscured (such as an old blog thread, or a slack channel other than #currentdynasty or #general); or any form of private communication. Players may not use third party proxies to facilitate communication. Idle Players (or people who are not yet Players) also face the same restrictions if they intend to become a active Player during the course of the dynasty. Voteable matters which change non-dynastic rules are not privy to this rule, and players may private discuss their merits so long as the discussion is not about the dynasty specifics.

If “The Traitor” is also active, the Dealer informing a Player that they are the Traitor is still allowed.

A mentor and mentee may still privately converse with each other, but should keep their conservations away from discussion specific gameplay strategy.

If information which was not allowed to be discussed is still privately discussed, the players who were part of the conversation should make a post to the blog disclosing what information was discussed as their earliest convenience.

🡅 Added by Clucky in April 2021 after some players felt that secret cabals making deals behind the scenes had become the default.


Appendix

Keywords

A keyword defined by a rule supersedes the normal English usage of the word. A keyword defined in this glossary supersedes that defined by a rule. (e.g. A rule specifying “bananas are blue” cannot be overruled by posting a dictionary definition or a photo of a banana, and a rule specifying “every day is Sunday” will be overruled by the glossary entry below.)

Imperatives

Can
“is able to”
Shall
“is required to”
Should
“is recommended that”

Time

Daily Action
If a game action is a Daily Action, each Player able to perform it may take that action once each day, but not more than once every ten hours.
Daily Communal Action
A Daily Communal Action is a Daily Action that can only be performed by one Player per day.
Day
References to a “day” as an entity rather than as a duration (e.g. “Sunday”, “The day after performing this action”, or “August 2nd”), unless otherwise stated, refer to a day beginning at and including 00:00:00 UTC, ending when the next day begins. It can never be 2 different days at the same instant.
Week
References to a week as an entity rather than as a duration (e.g. “At the beginning of each week”, or “already happened this week”), unless otherwise stated, refer to a period of time between the beginning of a Monday and the end of the following Sunday.
Weekly Action
If a game action is a Weekly Action, each Player able to perform it may take that action once each week, but not more than once every twenty-four hours.
Weekly Communal Action
A Weekly Communal action is a Weekly Action that can only be performed by one Player per week.

Other

Comment
A blog comment published to the BlogNomic weblog at blognomic.com
Core Proposal
A Proposal which mandates changes that, even if conditionally, are limited to the creation, deletion, and/or amendment of core rules and/or the glossary, and/or renaming, banning, and/or the granting or removing of Admin status from one or more Players.
Dice
References to “DICEX” or “YDICEX” refer to X-sided dice and Y amount of X-sided dice, rolled using the Dice Roller.
Dynastic Action
An action that is defined in the Dynastic rules.
Dynastic Proposal
A Proposal which mandates changes that, even if conditionally, are limited to the creation, deletion, and/or amendment of dynastic rules and/or gamestate defined by dynastic rules.
Effective Vote Comment (EVC)
A Player’s Effective Vote Comment with respect to a given Votable Matter is that Player’s Comment to that Votable Matter, if any, that contains that Player’s Vote on that Votable Matter.
Commentary
When posting a blog entry, a Player may use the “Commentary or flavour text” field of the blog publishing form to add their own comments or description of their post. For the purposes of all other rules, such text is not considered to be part of the post.
Flavour Text
If a part of the ruleset is defined as being “flavour text”, it is gamestate and remains part of the ruleset document, but is not considered to have any meaning beyond being a string of characters. Players are not required to obey flavour text and may not perform any action defined by it, and any statements that flavour text makes about gamestate are ignored.
Gamestate
Any information which the Ruleset regulates the alteration of. All wiki pages that the Dynastic Rules explicitly mention (except for dynastic histories and discussion pages) and any images or Templates contained within those Wiki Pages are assumed to be Gamestate.
Hiatus
If BlogNomic is on Hiatus, Dynastic Actions may not be taken (except where the rule defining the action explicitly requires it to be taken during Hiatus), and Proposals may not be submitted or Resolved. If multiple rules require BlogNomic to be on Hiatus at any given time, BlogNomic will continue to be on Hiatus until no rules require it.
Post
A blog post published to the BlogNomic weblog at blognomic.com
Private Message
A message sent via BlogNomic’s Private Messages system at blognomic.com.
Quorum
Quorum of a subset of Players is half the number of Players in that subset, rounded down, plus one. If the word Quorum is used without qualifying which subset of Players it is referring to, it is referring to a Quorum of all Players.
Resolve/Resolution
If used in a context of a Votable Matter, the word “Resolve” means to perform the act, as an Admin, of enacting or failing a Votable Matter. The world “Resolution” means then the act of doing so. If used in any other context, the meaning of both “Resolve” and “Resolution” is the standard English meaning of these words.
Rule
Each individually numbered section of the Ruleset is a rule, including sections that are subrules of other rules.
Slack
The BlogNomic Slack is located at blognomic.slack.com. Players may request an invite to the Slack while logged in by clicking the button in the sidebar.
Slack Channel
A Slack Channel is any channel on the BlogNomic Slack. To reference a Slack Channel, use a hash (#) followed by the name of that channel (e.g. #random).
Story Post
A Story Post is an entry in the “Story Post” category.
Subject
The “subject” of a blog entry is the part of the Title of an entry which is after the first colon. If the Title does not contain a colon, then the whole Title is the subject. Any entry whose subject is “” (i.e. an empty string) is not valid.
Subrule
A subrule is a type of rule that is nested within another rule. A Proposal that specifically affects a rule affects all of its subrules; a Proposal that specifically affects a subrule does not affect its parent rule or any other subrule of that rule, unless they are also explicitly cited as being affected by that Proposal.
Table of Contents
The directory of section headings that is generated by the MediaWiki software for most pages in the wiki.
Uphold
To Uphold an illegal action is to retroactively declare the attempt to take it to have been successful, and to declare that all attempted game actions taken after it were attempted as if the Upheld action had been successful.
Vote
The word “Vote”, used as a noun, means a Vote that is cast in accordance with Rule “Votable Matters”. The word “Vote”, used as a verb, means the act of casting such a Vote.
Voting Icons
For use in voting, a check box http://blognomic.com/images/vote/for.gif shall represent a Vote FOR, an X http://blognomic.com/images/vote/against.gif shall represent a Vote AGAINST, a DEF http://blognomic.com/images/vote/imperial.gif shall represent a Vote of DEFERENTIAL, and a crossed-out circle http://blognomic.com/images/vote/seal.gif shall represent a vote to VETO.
Wiki
The BlogNomic Wiki at http://wiki.blognomic.com

Gamestate Tracking

Official Posts

Votable Matters and other official posts, as well as specific gamestate information, shall be tracked by the BlogNomic blog at http://blognomic.com. Any Player may post to the blog at any time, but may only make official posts to the blog when the Ruleset allows it. Posts following the format specified by a rule are considered official posts. Any single official post cannot be of two different types of official post unless a rule explicitly states otherwise.

An official post may only be removed as allowed by the Ruleset. An official post may be altered by its author if it is less than 4 hours old and either no Player has commented on it or (if it is a Votable Matter) if all comments on it contain no voting icons; otherwise this can only be done as allowed by the Ruleset. However, despite this, official posts can never be changed from one category to another, or changed to be a different sort of official post, if they have been posted for more than fifteen minutes. The Admin processing an official post is allowed to append to the post to reflect its new status. Anything appended to a post in this way must be placed in the Admin field of the post, and the post’s Status must be changed to reflect its status. An official blog post that has the status of Enacted or Failed cannot change categories. An official blog post’s status may never be altered except in accordance with the rules that define that official post.

🡅 The current four-hour window on editing your own proposals was added in July 2021. The history of proposal editing in BlogNomic is:

  • When BlogNomic started, you couldn’t edit proposals at all.
  • At some point, you could edit until someone posted any kind of comment.
  • From August 2014, you could edit until someone made a comment that didn’t start with “Note:”
  • From March 2017, you could edit for six hours or until someone voted.
  • From May 2018, that became two hours.
  • From June 2021 it became eight.
  • From July 2021 it became four.

A non-official post may not, through editing of the blog or otherwise, be changed into an official post, with the following two exceptions: Firstly, whilst a non-official post has been posted for less than fifteen minutes and has no comments, the author may change the categories as they wish. Secondly, if a post by a New Player is not in any category but follows the wording of a Proposal, in that it has written changes the gamestate and or Ruleset, and if it has been posted for less than six hours, then any Admin may change it to be in the Proposal category. A New Player is defined as a Player who has been a Player for fewer than seven days or a Player that has unidled in the past seven days after being idle for at least 3 months.

Any post that is or is made illegal as a result of an infraction against any of the prohibitions set out in this rule continues to be an Official Post but may no longer have any effect on the ruleset or the gamestate. If it is a Votable Matter then it is Unpopular, regardless of any other performance against criteria set out in the core rules. When it is resolved it may be marked as Illegal by the resolving admin. A post that is illegal in this manner cannot subsequently be made legal by any means.

🡅 This last paragraph was added as a minor fix during the Parallel Universe dynasty. History does not relate why.

Representations of the Gamestate

For gamestate which is tracked in a specific place (such as a wiki page), any alteration of that gamestate as a result of a Player’s action is (and can only be) applied by editing that data in that place. One wiki update may contain one or more alterations, or one alteration may be split over multiple updates, as long as it is clear what is happening and the alterations are otherwise legal. The wiki merely represents the Gamestate tracked there, and is not the same thing. In the event that the Gamestate and its representations are different, any Player may correct the representations to comply with the Gamestate.

If a Player feels that a representation of the gamestate (such as a wiki page) does not match the gamestate, they may either:

  • Undo the effects of any alteration that led to it, if that alteration did not follow the rules at the time it was made.
  • Alter the representation to match what they believe to be the correct application of an incorrectly-applied alteration. This may include completing incomplete actions on behalf of the original Player, if doing so would not require the correcting Player to make any decisions on behalf of the original Player.

Instead of repeatedly reverting and re-reverting a disputed alteration, however, Players are encouraged to raise a Call for Judgement.

The historical fact of the occurrence of a defined game action is itself considered to be gamestate, tracked in the history of whatever resource is used to track the gamestate modified by that action, where possible, or in the wiki page Gamestate Modifications if this is not possible.

Orphan Variables

🡅 This rule avoids problems where a game variable is untracked, and could have been set or updated secretly. In these cases it's safer to ban any usage of that variable, than to allow players to act upon it.

The rule was originally written by Cuddlebeam in 2017, for use a month later in a scam that otherwise needed admin privileges. It was immediately repealed, before being added back with some alterations by Pokes.

An Orphan Variable is a dynastic gamestate variable which has neither a location in which it’s tracked, nor a reasonable manner in which it can be determined from other gamestate variables, specified in the Ruleset.

A Player may not take any dynastic actions that are contingent on the specific value of an Orphan Variable.

Random Generators

The Dice Roller at https://blognomic.com/dice/roll.php can be used to generate random results.

  • The DICEN command can be used to generate a random number between 1 and N.
  • The FRUIT command will return a random result from the following options: Lemon, Orange, Kiwi, Grape, Cherry, Tangelo.
  • The COLOUR (or COLOR) command will return a random result from the following: White, Red, Green, Silver, Yellow, Turquoise, Magenta, Orange, Purple, Black.
  • The CARD command will return a card with a random suit (either Hearts, Diamonds, Spades or Clubs) and a random value (either Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King). A card with a value that is either Jack, Queen or King is a face card.
  • A list of comma-separated values in curly brackets (eg {x,y}) will return one of the values at random.

Any changes to the potential outcomes of the Dice Roller’s random result commands must be made by Proposal.

If a Proposal proposes a change to this rule that would require server-level access to the BlogNomic site to fully enact its effects, that Proposal must name a Player with such access. Only a Player with such access may Enact that Proposal. If that Proposal does not name a Player with such access, that Proposal is Illegal.

If a number or other game variable is selected “at random” or “randomly” from a range of possible values, its value shall always be taken from a uniform probability distribution over the entire range of possible values, unless otherwise specified. This value must be determined by an appropriate roll in the Dice Roller, unless otherwise specified. If a selection is explicitly specified as being “secretly” random, the Player making this determination may do so using a private method of their choosing, instead of the Dice Roller.

Atomic Actions

🡅 Introduced by Brendan in September 2016. Sequences of "this, then this, then this" actions have often appeared in the game, but the rules were previously silent on how to handle accidental or deliberate deviations from those sequences.

After a scam in which atomic actions were started and then abandoned to time out if die rolls were unfavorable, the rule was expanded by card in May 2017. Then rewritten by the Duke of Waltham in February 2020.

An Atomic Action combines otherwise separate game actions into a single action.

  • All steps of an Atomic Action are considered one action, including the steps of an Atomic Action that is itself a step of a parent Atomic Action.
  • When a Player performs an Atomic Action, they must complete all its steps; they must complete them in order; and they may not take any other dynastic action, or achieve victory, until all the steps are complete.
  • An Atomic Action may direct the Player performing it to skip some of its steps, which the Player must do and in which case the skipped steps are considered completed for this rule.
  • If a Player arrives at a step in an Atomic Action and they cannot perform that step, they undo all the steps they have performed of that Action and are considered never to have performed that Action.
  • If one or more steps of an Atomic Action were done incorrectly, the Player must redo the Atomic Action; for that purpose, the Player uses any legal steps that have already been completed in the illegal Atomic Action and only redoes the illegal ones. (For example, if an Atomic Action consists of rolling a dice and then doing steps based upon its result, the Player would have to reroll the dice only if they rolled the wrong one in the first place, and would then have to repeat any steps that depended upon the result of that dice; however, if they rolled the dice correctly but took an illegal step later on, the result of the original dice roll would still be used in the redone step.)
  • For the purposes of determining the ordering or legality of game actions, the time of an Atomic Action shall be the time that it is completed. For Atomic Actions that are redone, the time of completion is the last redone step.

Clarifications

Numbers and Variables

  • If a set of valid values is not specified in their definition, game variables defined to hold numeric values can hold only non-negative integers. Any action that would set those values below zero is an illegal action unless explicitly otherwise stated in the Ruleset.
  • Any situation which would require a roll of DiceX when X is zero or lower always yields a value of 0 unless stated otherwise.
  • All numbers, unless stated otherwise by a rule, are in base ten.
  • Unless otherwise specified, to “spend” or “lose” an amount X of a numeric value “V” means to subtract X from V; to “gain” X of a numeric value “V” means to add X to V; and to “transfer” X of a numeric value “V” from A to B means to subtract X from A’s V and add X to B’s V. Unless otherwise specified, only positive amounts can be spent, lost, gained, or transferred, a Player can spend only their own values, and a rule that allows Players to transfer a numeric value only allows them to transfer that value from themselves to another Player (of their choice unless otherwise stated).
  • A Player who has a choice in whether to take an action defined by a dynastic rule may not take that action if both of the following conditions are true: a) the action’s effects are limited to changing values tracked in gamestate-tracking entities (such as a wiki page), and b) the action would change one or more of those values to an illegal value.
  • If a rule implies that the result of any calculation should be an integer (for instance, by attempting to store that result in, or add it to, a gamestate variable that can only hold integers), the result of the calculation is instead the result rounded towards 0.
  • If a game variable has a default value but no defined starting value, then its default value should also be considered a starting value. If a game variable has neither a default value nor a starting value, then both may be considered to be the nearest legal value to zero that it may take (for numerical variables, defaulting to positive if tied), blank (for a text string or list that may be blank), the alphabetically earliest legal text string it may take (for a text string which may not be blank, with the digits 0 through 9 considered to precede “A”), or the list which is alphabetically earliest from the set of lists with the fewest elements (for lists which may not be blank, and considering each list to be a single unpunctuated text string, with the digits 0 through 9 considered to precede “A”).
  • If the rules that define a game variable are amended, and some previously valid values become invalid as a consequence, any existing variables whose current values would become invalid are instead set to their starting value.
  • Invalid values for game variables can never be used, even if the values stored in a gamestate-tracking entity remain valid. (for example, if X appears in a formula referring to a value that is a non-negative integer, X must be used as a non-negative integer)
  • DICEN cannot be rolled in the Dice Roller if N is greater than one million.

Rules and Proposals

  • If a new rule is created by a Proposal and its location is not noted in that Proposal, that new rule is to be placed in the Dynastic Rules.
  • If a wiki page becomes gamestate as a result of a Proposal enacting, that page shall – unless otherwise specified – be reverted to whatever state it was in at the time of that Proposal’s submission (and if the page did not exist at that time, it shall be blanked).
  • Where a Proposal would amend the effects of Proposal Enactment, this does not apply to its own enactment unless explicitly stated (e.g. a Proposal proposing that enacted Proposals earn their author a banana when enacted would not earn a banana for its own author, when enacted).
  • Rules which trigger upon the Resolution of a Votable Matter are the responsibility of the Admin who Resolves it.
  • Unless otherwise specified, a new Dynastic rule shall be placed at the end of the Dynastic Rules.
  • If the Admin enacting a Proposal reaches a step which cannot be applied immediately (e.g. “two days after this Proposal enacts, Player A gains 1 point”), that step is ignored for the purposes of enactment. Once a Proposal has been enacted, it can have no further direct effect on the gamestate.

🡅 This clarifies that the game of BlogNomic is only ever its current ruleset plus tracked gamestate: there can be no secret invisible rules hanging around from earlier proposals. Although this makes some game fixes more elaborate by requiring players to write "two days after" as a self-repealing rule, it makes the game clearer and avoids long-con scams of "five years after this Proposal enacts, I win whatever dynasty is happening".

  • If a dynastic rule has no text and no subrules, any Player may delete it from the ruleset.
  • A rule may be accompanied by one or more illustrations, and an illustration may have a caption. In all situations, unless otherwise explicitly stated, an illustration and a caption to an illustration must be treated as flavour text.

Time

  • For the purpose of all rules, time in BlogNomic is in UTC.
  • All references to time must be either specific or defined within the Ruleset to be considered achievable in the gamestate. Abstract concepts of time (e.g. “dinnertime”, “twilight”) cannot be achieved until they fulfil one of these criteria.
  • Where the month, day and/or year of a calendar date are ambiguous (e.g. “04/10/09”), it shall be assumed that the date is in a day/month/year format.
  • A Player may not take more than one dynastic game action at the same time (excluding any actions which have been ongoing for more than three hours).

Spelling

  • Superficial differences between the spelling of geographic versions of English, e.g. British English, American English and Australian English shall be construed as irrelevant for the purposes of play.
  • Players may correct obvious spelling and typographical mistakes in the Ruleset and their own Pending Proposals at any time, including replacing Spivak and gender-specific pronouns with the singular “they”.

🡅 As is somewhat traditional in online Nomic, BlogNomic initially used (and required the use of) Spivak pronouns, before repealing this rule in 2007. In 2008 it became permissible to replace Spivak with the singular they under "typo correction", and in 2010 that was extended to replacing gendered pronouns.

Names

  • Within the Ruleset, a word only refers to the name of a Player if it is explicitly stated that it refers to a Player’s name.
  • If a rule would ever have no name, it is instead given the name of the proposal that created it, or (if this is not possible) the name “Unnamed Rule”.
  • The names of rules and wiki pages (other than the Ruleset) are flavour text.
  • Subrules can be referred to by a name which incorporates name of the rule they are a subrule of. Example: a subrule of the rule “Gin” is a “Gin Rule”, however the rule “Gin” is not a “Gin Rule” because it’s not a subrule of the rule “Gin”.
  • When referring to a Proposal, the name used in reference to a specific Proposal may be simplified by not including braces and any text between the opening and closing braces. i.e. a Proposal named “Changes [Core]” could instead be referred to by the name “Changes”.
  • When referring to a Rule, the name used in reference to a specific Rule may be simplified by not including braces, any text between a pair of opening and closing braces, and, in the case of Special Case Rules, any asterisks, as long as such a reference would be unambiguous.
  • Where a proposal refers to a second proposal by name, it is assumed to refer to the most recently posted proposal of that name which pre-dates the first proposal.

Prioritisation

  • If two parts of the Ruleset contradict each other, precedence shall be construed in the following order:
  1. The Appendix has precedence over any other Rule;
  2. A Dynastic Rule has precedence over a Core Rule, unless that Core Rule explicitly says it can’t be overruled by a Dynastic Rule;
  3. A Special Case Rule has equal precedence as a Dynastic Rule, unless that Special Case Rule explicitly says it can’t be overruled by a Dynastic Rule;
  4. If two contradicting parts have equal precedence, the part with more limited scope applies (e.g. if the rules “Players may Kick each other” and “Players may not Kick each other on Tuesdays” exist, and it is Tuesday, Players may not Kick each other);
  5. If two contradicting parts have the same scope, the negative rule applies (e.g. with “Players may Punch a Spaceman on Friday” and “Players may not Punch Spacemen on Friday”, then Players may not Punch Spacemen on Friday).

Mentors

🡅 Introduced by Josh in February 2020, to address the common problem of new players sometimes silently abandoning the game, never to return.

A Player may have another Player as a Mentor. Players who are willing to act as a Mentor are listed on the Mentorships wiki page, and are said to be “Tenured”. A Player may add or remove their own name from this list at any time.

If an unmentored Player requests a Mentor, or a new Player has joined the game and has no Mentor, the Emperor should select a Tenured Player and ask them to take that Player on as a Mentee; if they accept, then such a Mentorship is established. The Emperor should take care to consider game balance when selecting a potential mentor.

A relationship between a mentor and a mentee is a Mentorship. The members and starting dates of all active Mentorships are tracked on the Mentorships wiki page, and whenever a new Mentorship is established, the Emperor should announce it in a blog post. A Player may dissolve a Mentorship they are part of at any time, by announcing this in a blog post.

If there is no Emperor, any Player who has been active in at least three previous dynasties may act as Emperor for the purposes of this rule.

Things that a mentor must do

A mentor must do the following:

  • Make pro-active contact with their mentee when appointed, and explain the dynamics of the Mentorship system;
  • Be available to answer any questions that their mentee may have about the game, including explaining the rules, common standards and etiquette of play, proofreading posts and clarifying game events;
  • Introduce their mentee to the various platforms of the game, including the wiki, Slack, and end-of-dynasty notifications through the Facebook group or Twitter;
  • If possible, give their mentee a nudge if it appears that they are at risk of becoming Idle;
  • If they themselves go idle, communicate with their mentee to either continue to support them as an idle Player or arrange a handover to another mentor if requested.

Things that a mentor should do

The following sets out suggested best practice for Mentorship relationships:

  • The Mentorship lasts for four weeks or until the next Ascension Address, whichever occurs latest. It can continue informally for longer but after this threshold the mentor is no longer bound by any of the conditions set out in the parent rule to this rule, or any of its subrules.
  • The mentor can and should advise the mentee on how to proceed in the mentee’s own best interests. This can include making connections with other Players.
  • The mentor should consider copying the mentee in on private, game-related communications, where it does not unfairly prejudice their own interests. The mentee should keep this information private without explicit consent from the mentor.
  • The mentor and mentee may work together to achieve victory. If a mentor achieves victory with support of their mentee then they should, if the mentee wishes it, pass the baton to the mentee.

Things that a mentor should not do

The following sets out a list of things that a mentor should not do in their relationship with their mentee. All of these are considered to be Fair Play rules, as per the rule Fair Play.

  • The mentor should not sock-puppet, bully, coerce or otherwise manipulate the mentee into performing any game actions.
  • The mentor should not seek to dissuade the mentee from pursuing other alliances.
  • A former mentor should not seek to use the fact of a prior Mentorship to influence the former mentee on an ongoing basis.