Gnomic Ruleset

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101 102 103 104 105 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119
204 205 206 207 209 211 212 213
302 303 304 310 314 322 324 325 327 329

Rule 0

Administrative crap.

All official play of Gnomic will be conducted via the Web entity known as the Message Board. The Message Board is the web page located at All posts to the Message Board must include the player's name or other identification. This rule cannot be changed except by divine fiat of Magic Elf.

initial rule.

Rule 101

Follow the rules.

All players must always abide by all the rules then in effect, in the form in which they are then in effect. The rules in the Initial Set are in effect whenever a game begins. The Initial Set consists of Rule 0 (sacred), Rules 101-119 (immutable) and 201-213 (mutable).

initial rule.

Rule 102

Initial mutability of rules.

Initially rules in the 100's are immutable and rules in the 200's are mutable. Rules subsequently enacted or transmuted (that is, changed from immutable to mutable or vice versa) may be immutable or mutable regardless of their numbers, and rules in the Initial Set, with the exception of Rule 0, may be transmuted regardless of their numbers.

initial rule.

Rule 103

Definition of rule changes.

A rule-change is any of the following: (1) the enactment, repeal, or amendment of a mutable rule; (2) the enactment, repeal, or amendment of an amendment of a mutable rule; or (3) the transmutation of an immutable rule into a mutable rule or vice versa. [Note: This definition implies that, at least initially, all new rules are mutable; immutable rules, as long as they are immutable, may not be amended or repealed; mutable rules, as long as they are mutable, may be amended or repealed; any rule of any status may be transmuted; no rule is absolutely immune to change.]

initial rule.

Rule 104

Two decks of cards.

All rule-changes proposed in the proper way shall be voted on. They will be adopted if and only if they receive the required number of votes. [Yes, the second sentence of this rule may seem self-evident. But what if it wasn't that way?]

initial rule.

Rule 105

Eligible voters.

Every player is an eligible voter. Every eligible voter must participate in every vote on rule changes

initial rule.

Rule 107

No retroactive rules.

No rule change may take effect earlier than the moment of the completion of the vote that adopted it, even if its wording explicitly states otherwise. No rule change may have retroactive application.

initial rule.

Rule 108

Numbering scheme.

Each proposed rule change shall be given a rank-order number (ordinal number) for reference. The numbers shall begin with 301, and each rule change proposed in the proper way shall receive the next successive integer, whether or not the proposal is adopted. If a rule is repealed and then re-enacted, it receives the ordinal number of the proposal to re-enact it. If a rule is amended or transmuted, it receives the ordinal number of the proposal to amend or transmute it. If an amendment is amended or repealed, the entire rule of which it is a part receives the ordinal number of the proposal to amend or repeal the amendment. Also, each rule shall be given a name. [Note: the name of a rule does not necessarily relate to the rule. For example, Rule 104 in this game is named "Two decks of cards", which only relates to the number 104.]

initial rule.

Rule 109


Rule-changes that transmute immutable rules into mutable rules may be adopted if and only if the vote is unanimous among the eligible voters. Transmutation shall not be implied, but must be stated explicitly in a proposal to take effect.

initial rule.

Rule 110

Resolution of rules in conflict by mutability.

In a conflict between a mutable and an immutable rule, the immutable rule takes precedence and the mutable rule shall be entirely void. For the purposes of this rule a proposal to transmute an immutable rule does not "conflict" with that immutable rule.

initial rule.

Rule 111


If a rule-change as proposed is unclear, ambiguous, paradoxical, or destructive of play, or if it arguably consists of two or more rule-changes compounded or is an amendment that makes no difference, or if it is otherwise of questionable value, then the other players may suggest amendments or argue against the proposal before the vote. A reasonable time must be allowed for this debate. The proponent decides the final form in which the proposal is to be voted on and, unless the Judge has been asked to do so, also decides the time to end debate and vote.

initial rule.

Rule 112

Winning ways.

The state of affairs that constitutes winning may not be altered from achieving n points to any other state of affairs. The magnitude of n and the means of earning points may be changed, and rules that establish a winner when play cannot continue may be enacted and (while they are mutable) be amended or repealed.

initial rule.

Rule 113

Losing ways.

A player always has the option to forfeit the game rather than continue to play or incur a game penalty. No penalty worse than losing, in the judgment of the player to incur it, may be imposed.

initial rule.

Rule 114

It can't end like this!

There must always be at least one mutable rule. The adoption of rule-changes must never become completely impermissible.

initial rule.

Rule 115

Changing the rules that change the rules that change the rules...

Rule-changes that affect rules needed to allow or apply rule-changes are as permissible as other rule-changes. Even rule-changes that amend or repeal their own authority are permissible. No rule-change or type of move is impermissible solely on account of the self-reference or self-application of a rule.

initial rule.

Rule 116

These are ALL the rules.

Whatever is not prohibited or regulated by a rule is permitted and unregulated, with the sole exception of changing the rules, which is permitted only when a rule or set of rules explicitly or implicitly permits it.

initial rule.

Rule 117

How to get in.

In order to join this Nomic, a player must: Post a message to the Message Board declaring himself or herself a member of this game. [This message must include a name by which the player would like to be known.]

initial rule.

Rule 118

How to get out.

In order to leave this Nomic, a player must post a message to the Message Board to that effect.

initial rule.

Rule 119

Name of this Nomic.

The name of this Nomic is "Gnomic".

initial rule.

Rule 204

Voting against proposals.

If and when rule-changes can be adopted without unanimity, the players who vote against winning proposals shall receive 10 points each.

initial rule.

Rule 205

When rules take effect.

An adopted rule-change takes full effect at the moment of the completion of the vote that adopted it.

initial rule.

Rule 206

I didn't want to lose, Mommy!

When a proposed rule-change is defeated, the player who proposed it loses 10 points.

initial rule.

Rule 207

Now, hold up one finger...

Each player always has exactly one vote. [Can we use the word "always" here? After all, it could change... ]

initial rule.

Rule 209

Now hold up all your fingers, all your toes, and that other guy's left hand...

At no time may there be more than 25 mutable rules.

initial rule.

Rule 211

No more numbers, please!

If two or more mutable rules conflict with one another, or if two or more immutable rules conflict with one another, then the rule with the lowest ordinal number takes precedence. If at least one of the rules in conflict explicitly says of itself that it defers to another rule (or type of rule) or takes precedence over another rule (or type of rule), then such provisions shall supersede the numerical method for determining precedence. If two or more rules claim to take precedence over one another or to defer to one another, then the numerical method again governs.

initial rule.

Rule 212


If players disagree about the legality of a move or the interpretation or application of a rule, then the player preceding the one moving is to be the Judge and decide the question. Disagreement for the purposes of this rule may be created by the insistence of any player. This process is called invoking Judgment. When Judgment has been invoked, the next player may not begin his or her turn without the consent of a majority of the other players. The Judge's Judgment may be overruled only by a unanimous vote of the other players taken before the next turn is begun. If a Judge's Judgment is overruled, then the player preceding the Judge in the playing order becomes the new Judge for the question, and so on, except that no player is to be Judge during his or her own turn or during the turn of a team-mate. Unless a Judge is overruled, one Judge settles all questions arising from the game until the next turn is begun, including questions as to his or her own legitimacy and jurisdiction as Judge. New Judges are not bound by the decisions of old Judges. New Judges may, however, settle only those questions on which the players currently disagree and that affect the completion of the turn in which Judgment was invoked. All decisions by Judges shall be in accordance with all the rules then in effect; but when the rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear on the point at issue, then the Judge shall consider game-custom and the spirit of the game before applying other standards.

initial rule.

Rule 213

Another way to win.

If the rules are changed so that further play is impossible, or if the legality of a move cannot be determined with finality, or if by the Judge's best reasoning, not overruled, a move appears equally legal and illegal, then the first player unable to complete a turn is the winner. This rule takes precedence over every other rule determining the winner.

initial rule.

Rule 302


Any proposed rule change must be posted to the Message Board before it is voted on. If adopted, it must guide play in the form in which it was voted on.

Transmuted from Rule 106, 24 Jun 1999, by Mike.

Rule 303

(void: conflicting rule)

May they wait until they're dead.

A player may declare himself as "inactive" by posting a message on that purpose. An inactive player is dispensed of all actions as voting, earning points etc. He is not allowed to act as a player before redeclaring himself "active" by posting a message. When there are less than the needed number of active players in a game, the game will be interrupted in its current state until the needed number of players is recovered. The initial needed number of active players is three.

Enacted by Thomas, 24 Jun 1999.

Rule 304

A turn.

One turn consists of two parts in this order: (1) proposing between one and three rule changes and having them voted on, and (2) subtracting 291 from the ordinal number of each proposal and multiplying the result by the fraction of favorable votes it received, rounded to the nearest integer, and adding this number to the proponent's score. (This yields a number between 0 and 10 for the first player, with the upper limit increasing by one each turn; more points are awarded for more popular proposals.) All a player?s proposals for a given turn must be stated initially in a single post to the web-board. [This rule shall take effect in its amended form at the start of the next new turn circuit.]"

Enacted as amendment to Rule 202, 25 Jun 1999, by Barnaby.

Rule 310

Winning thresholds

The value of number the n shall be 100 or 2/p times the sum of the score of all the active players in the game, where p is the number of active players. Negative scores are considered zero.

Enacted by Mike as an amendment to rule 307.

Rule 314


When voting, a player may immediately propose an amendment on one of the current proposals. All players will then have to vote on that meta-amendment as if it were an actual amendment.
The meta-amendment will take effect instead of the original amendment if both the meta-amendment and the amendment it is about are adopted. Meta-amendments on meta-amendments and several meta-amendments on a single rule are allowed.
A player may not vote favorable on more than one meta-amendment of a certain rule or meta-amendment.
A rule won't take effect until all of its meta-amendments are voted on.
The player whose meta-amendment is adopted will recieve half of the points (rounded up to next integer) that are distributed to the player who proposed the amended rule. [No points will be subtracted from that players score]

Enacted by Thomas.

Rule 322

Rule 322

It is permissible for players to abstain from a particular vote. Any player can do this by stating that they abstain in the same way they would vote for or against a proposal. If a player does not state their abstention within a 72-hour period (as stated within rule 315), all calculations shall be made as if the player had abstained, but they will still receive any applicable penalties for not voting.
A rule-change is adopted only if the majority of non-abstaining eligible voters vote in its favour.

Rule 324

(void: conflicting rule)

We don't have forever

Players shall be required to vote on all proposals within 72 hours of their initial posting to the message board. If a player does not vote within this time, he will receive a one-time penalty of 10 points. Furthermore, he will be declared as "inactive".
If a player is active when a proposal is made, and then becomes inactive within the 72-hour period, then timing stops when they become inactive and begins again when they reactivate themselves.

Amended by Mike from Rule 315.

Rule 325

A turn

Players shall alternate in alphabetical order by their 'name' as declared upon joining the game, taking one whole turn apiece. Turns may not be skipped or passed, and parts of turns may not be omitted. All players present at the beginning of a game begin with zero points.
If a player joins the game while it is in progress, they shall begin play with one-half the average score of the players in the game at that time, unless this would give them more than 80% of the current minimum score. In this case, they will receive 80% of the minimum score. If the previous two sentences yield a score of less than zero, the player shall begin with zero points. All scores will be rounded to next integer.

Amended to Prop. 325 by Mike and meta-amended to Rule 326 by Thomas.

Rule 327

Precedent cases.

The decision of a judge shall be posted and declared as a new rule or as an amendment to the rule that is disputed upon. That rule will take effect after the completion of the judgement.

Enacted by Thomas, July, 20th 1999.

Rule 329

My loss is the game's life

A player may during his turn choose to lose lambda points by stating:"I sacrifice lambda points for the well-being of the game".
A player may during his turn make mu proposals, where mu is (1+lambda/10) rounded down to
the nearest integer.
Lambda may not be higher than the total points of that player.
Mu may not be higher than 3 regardless of the number of points sacrificed.

Created by Zagarna, 20 July 1999.

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Comments on Gnomic: Mike
Comments on this page: Thomas

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