The Twenty-Ninth Dynasty of Kevan
24 September - 19 October 2021
Angling and zooming the cameras up from the shapeless white glow of the palace, the infrared glare balanced out and Comms Director Alger could see further packs of drones swarming through the smoke clouds.
Hillman didn’t look up from the service panel. “So is this an attack or a liberation?”
Alger switched the camera feed. “Unclear.” Military drones were skimming over the city towards Earthlink Tower. Their callsigns had all been scrambled, but the silhouettes were unmistakable. Rangefinder numbers span down on Alger’s monitor, a few turning green as she watched. “Barrels aren’t hot. But they’re not in weapons range yet. Maybe five minutes.”
“Defence control is only three floors up.” said Hillman, “If the grid isn’t up already, I can bring it online.”
Hillman closed up the panel and stood back. With a melodious ping, the executive elevator doors slid open, revealing a plushly carpeted chamber that was only three feet lower than it should have been. “See, I told you they—”
And all the lights went out.
Change the term “Cell” to “Citizen” and “Ministry of Information” to “Drone”. Change the dynastic tracking page to “Earthlink Tower”.
The flavour text set out the intention of the dynasty as trying out "a round where most or all of the game actions happen through proposals (where if you want to go up three floors, you have to convince the group to vote for a proposal that includes that outcome)."
The following players were active at the beginning of the dynasty:
Brendan*, Chiiika, Clucky*, Cuddlebeam*, Darknight*, Ienpw III*, Josh*, Jumble*, Kevan*, lemonfanta, pokes*, Raven1207, SupernovaStarbright, Trapdoorspyder, utina, Zack.
The following players were active at the end of the dynasty:
Brendan*, Chiiika, Clucky*, Cuddlebeam*, Josh*, Kevan*, lemon, Raven1207. redtara*, SupernovaStarbright, Trapdoorspyder, TyGuy6, Zack.
Posts of Interest
- Ascension Address: The Uprising: On Sept 14, 2021, Kevan rose to power as the "Drone" of the Earthlink Tower.
- In at the Ground Floor and Gamestate is Gamestate created Earthlink Tower, a 72 floor structure, with each dynastic rule corresponding to an equally-sized Zone of Floors. Thus, as rules and subrules were created throughout the dynasty, the floors representing in the zones shifted in number and location.
- Time to Crate: Creation of the Clock rule. Over time, "Advance Time" grew into a complex admin undertaking that was triggered each time any proposal had those words.
- Squabble Board: Allowed players to veto proposals made by those on the same floor as them. This was (I think?) never used.
- Some Zone Rules: Added Copbots, who would pursue anyone with a heat signature and block access to that floor. Heat signatures were acquired by visiting the Zoning zone.
- A Faithful Recording: Allowed players to make Camera Feed posts summarising game events since the last post, for no reward. It was never used and later repealed.
- Supply Requisitions or Bust / Bucket List: Allowed players to say which items or floors they were hoping to acquire or reach, so that other players could bear that in mind when proposing handouts (rather than, as had been happening, making "move players to the floor specified in their EVC", which meant that voters weren't sure what they would end up voting on).
- All Aboard! / Automated Deliveries / Gearing Up (failed) / Automated Deliveries II: Many proposals over the course of the dynasty directly offered subsets of players something they ostensibly wanted, such as movement to a floor or an item.
- Twosufruct: The text I have writ: Allowed players to effectively veto a proposal if it would amend the rule that their current Floor corresponded to. TyGuy used this towards endgame to fail proposals that would have restricted the free movement of items.
- Danger and Harm: Forced players to flee from dangerous situations, and take wounds if they couldn't. Although players would be moved around by the former, no wounds were taken during the dynasty.
- Master of Drone: Forced the Emperor to vote for proposals issuing from players located in Defence Control: Josh would invoke this twice, but with little effect.
- Punk-Neo-Mutually Assured Destruction: Creation of Katelyn Dubose, an NPC who climbed the Tower whenever an Advancing Time action happened: if she reached the top, all players there with the right objects would achieve victory. She never made it past floor 5, for various reasons.
Come out to the coast: A proposal from Josh that was cancelled by TyGuy voting against it from a relevant Floor. It could have caused Katelyn to jump from a low floor to Earthlink Zone and trigger the victory condition.
- Roborally: Added Antimatter Cables to the lowest Floor of each Zone, with a victory condition based on collecting them.
- The Dirac-Anderson Summit: The last step in the TyGuy6-Cuddlebeam-Trapdoorspyder-redtara cabal's path to victory. It was Vetoed by emperor Kevan.
- Petition to the People of Blognomic: A failed Declaration of Victory by TyGuy6. Though he admitted in the comments that he didn't believe he had achieved victory, and therefore the DoV was illegal, the dramatic response to Kevan's Veto sparked a rousing debate in both Discord and on the Blog.
- Imperial March: Clarification on validity of other votes in regard to their effect on Imperial DEF votes.
- Slunping: Changed "self-killed" to the milder "withdrawn". Cosmetic only.
Dismantling:Proposed ruling out passing the mantle back to the Emperor, after there had been some discussion of this being an unusual but ruleset-legal situation. The proposal failed. Remantling:Proposed allowing the group to vote on whether to permit the mantle to be passed back to the Emperor, after a dynasty was over. The proposal failed.
- Freemantle: Given the previous two proposals had failed and the ruleset still allowed the mantle to be passed to the Emperor, this added a parenthetical to explicitly confirm that it was legal. Passed 8:0, with one DEF vote. Upon its enactment Kevan posted "Fair warning to all that I'm taking the enactment of Freemantle as meaning there would be no social objection to a player passing the mantle back to me at the end of this dynasty, if [...] I'd pulled some strings to help them win [...]" to the Discord.
- (Post-dynasty) This Campsite Is In Tents: Removed the above clarification and created the Malign Emperors [Rare] Special Case rule, set to Inactive.
TyGuy posted an auto-popular movement proposal to relocate Trapdoorspyder, Cuddlebeam and themselves to Floor 50, which would allow the group to pool Antimatter Cables at will and win the dynasty upon its enactment. Emperor Kevan chose to veto the proposal before it could enact, having arranged a mantle pass deal with a player who was not in this group.
TyGuy made a "Petition to the People of Blognomic" DoV asserting that the Emperor's veto had been made in bad faith, and victory should be awarded to TyGuy as "a return to sanity". Kevan responded saying he believed such a veto to be valid gameplay, there having been a vote (and much discussion) explicitly allowing players to pass the mantle back to the Emperor, and that his declared Imperial Styles of Laissez-Faire ("will not consider fairness when [taking game actions]") and Scam-Neutral ("may assist a scam if the rules allow them to") supported such a tactical, surprising action.
The post was declared invalid, under the reasoning that DoVs require the posting player to believe that they have legally won, and that they can't be raised for other reasons.
Chiiika, a player not in TyGuy's pool, raised a CfJ (Winning, Status Quo Part 2) to end the dynasty by directly and unveto-ably giving Trapdoorspyder victory, arguing that this was the "status quo". It gained support from two other players outside of the pooling group and passed.
Trapdoorspyder's DoV Reality Shatters was enacted and rolled a die to pick a member of the pool to lead the next dynasty: their own number came up. (Redtara was also part of the group, but declined their 25% share of the roll.)
My votes were initially bound to Trapdoorspyder by agreement (they got to choose what I voted for, which was abbreviated into just having me imitate all of Trap's votes) in exchange for favors on Agora nomic. Once that was over mid-dynasty, I still didn't have enough stamina or time to play the dynasty seriously, so I sold my player self to TyGuy in exchange for 30% of their mantle - they would control all of my actions, for payment. We agreed on having me default to voting the same as whatever they voted. Later on, as the endgame approached, I started to 'wake up' gradually and take more initiative in the game. Me and Ty agreed to trying to assemble a 4-person cabal, and I suggested Trap, and later redtara was added too. I initially wanted to add Brendan and Josh, because I had been added to a now-stray Discord group with them that had been formed early on, and discussion about making an alliance between us started, but I didn't manage to convince TyGuy to renegotiate my agreement with him to allow it. At the time, I would have preferred to join Josh and Brendan because they had a defined plan at the time, even if it wasn't all that great (to Advance Time until Brendan won), and I was offered 20% of the mantle for my help (I pointed out a late-reveal scam that could have screwed the whole thing, which I suppose was helpful). But yeah. I couldn't do it, because I was stuck with TyGuy. I'm committed to my deals.
It's interesting to compare Josh and TyGuy. I was initially going to offer selling my player self to Josh, but I felt guilty about not giving less veteran players a chance, so I went with TyGuy instead. Both seemed to have a leader role of their respective cabals, but they had pretty contrasting surface personalities. Josh is more confident, brazen, sometimes too aggressive, while TyGuy is more diplomatic, adaptable but sometimes too meek. I suspect that some volume of those traits is due to player experience - Josh is just way more veteran than TyGuy is.
In the end, that scam that let me pick up an Antimatter Cable was just coincidence that I caught on the fly. I didn't intend to have "Jerry, the Myth (...)" allow me to do it, I was just lucky enough to decide to read the Item rules and realize that I could do that before it enacted.
Once Kevan started vetoing I was admittedly very surprised, and pissed. But, in dire situations I just have to try to make the best of things, so I offered Kevan 25% of the mantle in exchange for having them veto on our side instead. It didn't work out.
Overall, it was great, up until that shitshow at the end which caught me by surprise. I interacted the most with TyGuy and they're honestly a great guy, and they were the mastermind behind the Antimatter thing in the first place. Trap and redtara were swell too.
I've had way too much free time, lately, and so I've put a lot of time and energy into this game. Cuddlebeam had several good ideas that I played off of. He offered his servitude, (which I guess is fun,) and that gave us a start toward forming a cabal. His Jerry...Legend proposal conveniently got us moved around so we could pick up the 3rd and 4th Cables. I'm glad the die roll didn't fall to me, as I still don't feel creative enough to be an emperor, again.
Lessons from previous dynasties taught me that pooling is a strong strategy, and you want to have your group be as small as can still probably win. The game has a boom and bust cycle for rule creation and activity. The rules/gamestate got very complex, and voters were down, and that swung things in our favor. Seems like there's always something that comes out of left field in the endgame. I think I overreacted with the instant DoV response; sometimes it's best to just ride it out.