From BlogNomic Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search



What is BlogNomic?

An example proposal from The Third Dynasty of Misty. The blog post suggests an edit to an existing rule, and players discuss it and cast votes in the comments below.

It's a Nomic - a game whose rules are changed by the players as the game progresses. Using weblog posts, players submit proposed changes to the game, suggesting whatever they like, and the other players cast votes in comments to that post. If enough vote in favour of a change, we update the rules (which are kept on this wiki page) and carry on playing. Whenever anyone wins the game, we reset the rules, pick a new theme and start again.

For a general overview of how the day-to-day game works, read our New Player Guide.

Can I join in?

Yes, the game is always open to new players. You don't have to wait for a new round to start, you can jump in halfway through one. Here's what to do:-

  1. Fill in this form to let us know the username and email address you want to play the game under. When your account has been created, you'll receive an email and will be able to post to the blog.
  2. Make a post to the blog announcing your arrival and your formal intention to become a player.
  3. Have a read of the New Player Guide while you're waiting for an Admin to take your request and process it.
  4. When you've been added to the list of active players in the sidebar, you can start casting votes, making proposals and playing!

(Yes, this process is a bit clunky - we've had to deal with a large number of spammers who created accounts and immediately started posting spam, in the past, so we added a manual verification step.)

Do I need to have my own blog?

No. Players were required to have a blog in the early days of the game back in 2003, but that rule was repealed after a few months. BlogNomic is just a nomic that happens to be run within a blog.

The ruleset seems very daunting - is it always like this?

No, the game restarts periodically. Whenever anyone wins a round (known as a "dynasty"), the ruleset gets cut back to the very basic proposal-making rules, and the winner gets to pick a theme for the next dynasty. Each round lasts about a month, on average.

How much time does the game require to play?

It can vary from dynasty to dynasty, and from player to player. Regular players usually check in at least once a day, but it's possible to play just checking in every few days. The core game broadly assumes that players will check the blog at least once every two days (being the time beyond which proposals "time out" and can enact without reaching quorum), but generally the game respects less active players - proposals usually only enact if more than half of players are in favour, so if somebody missed the vote then they would have been in a minority even if they objected.

How much time you give to the game depends on what you want to do. If you're just voting on proposals and taking a few game actions, that can be ten minutes a day, either checking in once a day to catch up, or quickly responding to new posts as they are announced in the BlogNomic Twitter feed. If you want to discuss proposals in detail and write your own, that can take as long as you like.

And each dynasty has its own rules for whatever gameplay is going on, which will reward different levels of activity. Being a Nomic, that aspect of gameplay is naturally as quick or as complex as its players want it to be. If a particular dynasty seems a little too fast-paced, you can always propose to slow it down, to see if any other players agree with you.

How will I know when the next dynasty starts?

Subscribe to whatever of the following works for you:-

How long does each dynasty tend to last?

About a month.

How do I leave the game?

If the game is looking overwhelming, boring or you just haven't got time to play it right now, you can ask in a comment or post to become "idle" - this will remove you from the game, and let you come back at some point in the future by asking to be unidled. Players idle out automatically if they don't do anything for seven whole days, but if you know you're not going to be playing any more, it's polite to let the other players know, so that the voting mechanisms aren't counting your presence towards quorum.

If you ever want to retire from the game permanently, you can make a formal proposal to that effect (or informally ask someone else to make such a proposal on your behalf). But we won't mind if you just idle out; BlogNomic has had hundreds of "idle" players over the years who left and never came back.

How do I become an in-game admin?

A player who wants to become an admin can just make a proposal to that effect.

Rule 1.2 requires you to have a wiki account so that you can update the game as required. Players will also probably expect you to have played at least one full dynasty, and to have shown that you generally understand how the game of BlogNomic works and how to apply its rules correctly.


I'm having trouble registering. Help!

Have a look at the list of users on the BlogNomic front page - pick an admin and try to contact them by some other means (some will have profile links that click through to their web pages) to let them know that there's a problem.

How do I get the blog to recognize my posts as being proposals?

When you're writing or editing the post, select the "Categories" tab and choose the "Proposal" category. Your post will then gain the appropriate formatting and appear in the pending list in the sidebar. It is not necessary to type "Proposal:" in front of your subject, the blog software will add it automatically if it is in the correct category.

How do I get the name on my posts to match my BlogNomic name?

Change your screen name in your profile. Click My Account at the top of the page while logged in to edit your profile. Note that once you're a player, you can (at least at the time of writing) only change your name legally via proposal.

How do I get the boxes around text in proposals?

It's a convention at BlogNomic to put quoted rule text in a box, when proposing to amend or enact a new rule. This makes proposals easier to read, and removes any ambiguity about what a proposal means if it talks about "the following text", then goes on to say something else afterwards.

To put a box around text, just type a <blockquote> tag before it, and a </blockquote> tag after it.

Is there a BlogNomic RSS feed?

Yes. There's an Atom feed and an RSS feed. There's also an RSS feed purely of Ascension Addresses, should that be more to your taste. Or another one composed exclusively of comments.

Twitter users can follow @blognomic to see a tweet for each new blog entry.

If you're using LiveJournal, you can add the (possibly sporadically functional?) LJ feed to your friends page.

Are there any quirks I should know about?

  • Blog posts are timestamped to the time at which you started writing that post: if you click "Make a New Post" at 12:00pm and spend half an hour crafting a proposal and submitting it, it will appear on the blog timestamped as 12:00pm rather than 12:30pm. So if you're taking your time over a proposal, it's best to write it in another window or a text editor and paste it across when posting. Alternatively, the timestamp can be manually corrected just before submission, in the "Date" tab (note that it's UTC).
  • When you're writing a new blog post, the "Quick Save" option doesn't save your post for future publishing, it posts it for everyone to see. If you're writing any sort of gamestate post (like a proposal or CfJ), you shouldn't use the "Quick Save" button, as it means your half-written version will be posted and reacted to.
  • The "Alert me when a new dynasty begins" profile setting hasn't ever worked.
  • The Private Message "Sent" folder only stores messages where you've ticked the "Store a copy in the Sent messages folder?" box when sending them.
  • There is a config setting ("Log Email Console Messages") that allows email sent through ExpressionEngine to be read by users with admin privileges. This is normally turned off (and dynasties with private communications tend to use Private Messages instead, which aren't logged in the same way), but players should be aware that it could be turned back on. A message on the email box warns that emails may be read by admin, even if the setting is turned off.
  • The blog will often freeze for a few seconds when a new post is made, presumably because ExpressionEngine is recreating many thousands of past pages to ensure the sidebars are up to date.

Why has my "sticky" post disappeared?

Posts can be marked as "sticky" if a player wants them to remain at the top of the blog, rather than being bumped down by later posts. Strictly speaking from the perspective of ExpressionEngine, though, "sticky" just means "if this would show up on a page, put it at the top" - if your post is more than a week old, it will have dropped off of the front page, and won't show up any more. (Rule 1.10 will usually prevent you from just changing the timestamp to bring it back, but a legal solution is just to make a new sticky post that links to the old one.)

How do I delete posts?

To delete your own posts, you can go to https://blognomic.com/update/index.php?/cp/content_edit and tick the box of the post you want to delete, then opt for "Delete selected" at the bottom. Removing official posts (such as proposals) may be against the rules, depending on what the rules are when you're reading this: check Ruleset#Gamestate Tracking. Chances are you're probably fine to delete a non-game post, but shouldn't delete an official post such as a proposal.

(Note that under the current blog settings, admins cannot delete other users' posts, although EE-level superadmins can.)

What does the "arrow" voting icon mean?

The arrow icon, represented as http://blognomic.com/images/vote/arrow.gif, was used in the ruleset of a couple of dynasties in 2009 - it was a supplementary vote that meant "this proposal has good flavour text or theme", and the then-ruleset awarded points for arrowed proposals. Although most dynasties do not use the arrow icon, one or two players still use it as a shorthand for "good flavour". You can use this icon by typing :ARROW: in a comment or post you submit.

What does [unfamiliar phrase] mean?

Some players use terms which aren't explicitly defined by the ruleset, such as "withdrawn" or "CoV". Some of these are explained on the Blognomic Jargon page.

How do I see the times a post was edited

When editing a blog post, there will be a revisions tab which will declare which players edited a post. These revisions will include (but are not limited to) the initial creation of the post, the later edits during the edit window, and the resolution(s) of the post. Each of these has a timestamp in your local timezone (rather than the default UTC), and are accurate down to the minute.

To view the timestamps down to the second, you'll need to go to your profile's localization settings at https://blognomic.com/member/edit_localization and set Include Seconds in the Time Format to Yes.


How do I register to edit the Wiki?

Click the Create account link. To keep spammers out, the registration process asks you for the "wiki signup password" - if you're a logged in user whose blog account has been approved, this password is visible on every page of the BlogNomic blog, at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar (or at the very bottom of the page, on mobile).

The wiki isn't reflecting changes, what should I do?

  • Double-clicking the refresh button should solve your problem (in Mozilla or IE).
  • If you are registered and logged on, click on the Preferences link at the top of any page in the Wiki, then select "Misc Settings" and check the box before "Disable page caching". Save your settings.

How do I track changes in the Wiki?

At each page you want to track changes for, click on the watch link, usually on the top of the page. Alternatively, when you edit a page, you can check the Watch this page box, near the Save page button. That will mark that page for tracking.

Afterwards, the my watchlist link will keep track of changes in those specific pages.

How do I create a new page?

The easiest way is to search for your desired page title in the search box - if the page doesn't already exist, the search results will start with an invitation to create such a page. (eg. "Create the page "Hello world" on this wiki!") Click the red link in that text to create the page.

I've updated an image but the thumbnail on a page hasn't changed. What's up?

Try adding &action=purge to the end of the URL (eg. https://wiki.blognomic.com/index.php?title=File:Newganymede.jpg&action=purge) to force a refresh of the cached image.

How do I see the times a page was edited

Clicking View History at the top of a page will show you all edits that the page has received, down to the minute.

To view the timestamps down to the second, you'll need to change your profile's appearance preference settings at https://wiki.blognomic.com/index.php?title=Special:Preferences in the Date Format section of the Appearance tab.

Note that all timestamps are given in your own local time, as opposed to the UTC time that the rest of the site uses.


How do I... do stuff?

Part of the wiki gamestate from the The First Dynasty of Habanero. When players wanted to pay an amount of Time and Heat to change their Location, they updated those values on the page directly.

The "game pieces" of BlogNomic are known as gamestate, and the relevant rule is that "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."

If we're tracking your game Money on a wiki page and you want to take an action that's described as "once per week, a player may gain £100", you can just update the wiki page to set your Money to its new value.

I withdrew my proposal. Why is nobody closing it?

Per Rule 1.5.2, only the oldest pending proposal can be closed. Withdrawing a proposal means that it is guaranteed to fail when it is closed, but it still has to wait for the queue to get to it, like all the other proposals.

Why not have withdrawn/vetoed proposals failable immediately?

This comes up occasionally, and is a contentious issue. Arguments in favour are that it would speed the game up, letting people fix their own ideas quickly or move on to other proposals, and allow new proposals to be made even if the oldest proposal in the queue was holding things up. Arguments against are that it would give players less incentive to proofread their own work, would allow admins to withdraw and repropose more easily than non-admins, and that iterated reproposals of failed ideas would split feedback across multiple posts, making it harder for voters to follow discussions, as well as taking up a lot of space on the blog.

An argument for fast-failing vetoes is that it allows the Emperor to return slots to players for the good of the dynasty. In June 2010, a proposal passed which allowed vetoes to be failed immediately if the Emperor included the word "procedural" with their vote. It was repealed five months later, after it was found in practice that players were expecting any failing or withdrawn proposal to get a quick procedural veto, and complaining when they didn't get it.

Do conditional clauses work?

Sort of, but not as fairly as some players expect them to. Players sometimes make proposals with conditional voting subclauses, such as:-

Repeal the rule "Swords". If a majority of players who voted on this proposal also made a comment of "REFUND", give a ploughshare to any player who lost a sword in this way.

The usual intention is that it's a straw poll for a knock-on effect which people may or may not like: the subclause isn't a safe enough no-brainer to have it happen automatically as part of the main proposal, but neither is it weighty enough to merit an entire follow-up proposal. The clause is a bit like having a secondary proposal, without having to make one.

Mathematically, though, this secondary clause could enact with only a small minority of players being in favour of it. If there are 9 players, then quorum is 5. If the above proposal attracted 5 FOR votes, it could be enacted - at which point the "majority of players" subclause would only require 3 players to have approved it. So the secondary clause could be enacted if 3 players were in favour and 6 were opposed.

These subclauses are generally accepted for very trivial rule changes, but risk having their whole proposal voted down for anything larger: players can't be sure what the outcome of the final proposal will be, and will vote according to how they judge the worst case.

(These will function more like secondary proposals if worded as "if a quorum of players also made a comment of...", but you risk the clause not triggering at all - even if a quorum of players would have wanted it - if proposal times out or reaches its own quorum before getting a quorum of subclause comments.)

How does dice rolling work?

The BlogNomic Dice Roller allows players to make random die rolls, either because the ruleset requires it, or because they want a random number for some other reason.

If you post a comment there that includes the uppercase word DICE followed by a number (eg. "I roll DICE6 to dodge"), the DICEX string gets permanently replaced with a random roll of a die with that many sides, in your comment (eg. "I roll [DICE6:4] to dodge"). To roll multiple dice, put a number in front like 2DICE8 - you can hover over the result with your cursor if you want to check the individual die rolls.

If you want to pick something randomly from a list, include that list in curly braces - eg. {Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday} to select a random weekday.

The border around the roll shows that it's genuine. You can include as many rolls as you like in the comment.

See the current ruleset for any limitations on die sizes, and other rollable objects.

What issues do the Building Block rules address?

For a more up to date list, see Annotated ruleset#Special Case
The Building Block rules switches are similar to the match settings menu of a competitive video game. They are switches which are common enough to merit a permanent place in the rules for convenience and setting up dynasties.
Prevents gameplay if participation drops below five players (including the Emperor). This 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.
Imperial Deferentials
Allows the Emperor to cast a vote of DEF and have it defer to the majority of players. This tends to be used in situations where the Emperor feels that a proposal is more of a gameplay move (eg. one that simply amends some gamestate) which isn't an inherently good or bad proposal idea, and is left up to the players whether it enacts.
Dynastic Distance
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.

If a player votes before unidling, does that vote count?

At the time of writing, yes. The Votes rule says that:

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.

This means that it's only checking for the presence of icons posted by a person in an earlier comment - it doesn't matter whether that person was a player of the game at the time of posting it. (The same goes for a new player posting vote icons before an admin adds them to the game.)

Talking to other players

How can I contact other players privately?

If you click on a player's name in the sidebar or at the top of a comment or the bottom of a blog post, you can send them an email (if they have not opted out of receiving email from players), or a "private message" sent through the ExpressionEngine blog system. Some dynasties use the private message system to communicate secrets between players and the Emperor.

Note that it is possible for blog admins to read emails (but not private messages) sent in this way. This option is usually switched off, however.

How can I join the Discord?

Since 2020, some players have been using Discord to discuss the game. An invite can be found at https://discord.gg/J7kP9KuHQK, and non-players are welcome.