Gnomic Ruleset

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101 102 103 104 105 107 108 109 110 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119
204 205 211 212 213
302 303 304 310 314 322 324 325 327 329 332 334 335 336 342 347 349 359 364 366 369 370 371 372 373 377 379 381 382 383

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at least initially, all new rules are mutable; immutable rules, as long as they are immutable, may not be amended or repealed; mutable rules, as long as they are mutable, may be amended or repealed; any rule of any status may be transmuted; no rule is absolutely immune to change.]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 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 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.

Rule 332

See that deck of cards over there?

At no time shall there be more than 52 mutable rules.

Amended by Mike.

Rule 334

(void: conflicting rule)


When any player wins the game as defined in the rules, all players shall have their scores reset to zero and a new game will begin. When the game is reset in this fashion, the ruleset shall remain the same.
If the game has been won because it was unplayable with the current ruleset, or if a new game would be unplayable with the current ruleset, or if the new game would not allow the possibility of an infinite gameplay, the players of the new game may agree to start it with any of the previous rulesets.

Enacted as Rule 331 by Mike and meta-amended to Rule 334 by Thomas.

Rule 335

Secrecy of voting

The player who made the original proposal or meta-amendment must immediatly vote by posting a message on the board. All other players shall be required to send their vote by e-mail to the player who made a given proposal or meta-amendment. After all players have voted or 72 hours have passed, the proponent shall post the votes to the message board. The votes will then be counted.
For that purpose, every player shall be required to post an email address with his game name. In order to avoid the recognition by spamming bots, this address may contain artefact strings.
[Example: I usually post mine as thomas[at]hirsch[dot]org]

Proposed as Proposal 330 by Mike, meta-amended to 333 by Thomas and to 335 by Zagarna.

Rule 336

Now, hold up one finger...

If not defined otherwise, each player has exactly one vote per turn and proposal.

Amended from Rule 207 by Thomas.

Rule 342

The 12(0) second rule.

While the game is in web mode, players shall not be allowed to vote on any "root" proposal within two minutes of its initial posting to the message board. If a player does vote within this period, their vote shall be ignored. Meta-amendments may not be voted on within 12 seconds of their posting, and the same penalties apply.

Enacted by Mike 20/21 July 1999.

Rule 347

Chat & eMail.

At any time, the players may decide to move the action of the game from the Message Board to a chat room or eMail communication. The action will move to a chat room or e-mail if and only if all active players make a post to the message board affirming that they would like to move the game to the specified medium.
The web, chat, and eMail-based states shall be referred to as respectively "web mode", "chat mode", and "e-mail mode."
When the game is in "chat mode", the following rules shall apply:
Secrecy in voting is inactive for the duration of chat mode.
A turn shall occur as follows:
The player whose turn it is posts his proposals to the medium.
A general discussion period of reasonable length is held to discuss these proposals.
Voting takes place on each proposal in turn. If a player wishes to propose a meta-amendment, they may do so during the voting for a given proposal or within a reasonable time after the completion of all votes.
If at any time not all of the game's players are present in chat mode, chat mode shall automatically switch back to "web mode". A player may declare himself "inactive" in chat mode if he wants to leave the chat for a while. In this case, the game will not revert to web mode.
Chat mode shall also automatically end if no player has made any statements related to the game for a period of fifteen minutes. In this case, the game shall revert to web mode.

When the game is in "eMail mode", the following rules shall apply:
All messages that would be posted to the message board in "web mode" are to be posted to all active players. After the completion of the turn, relevant changes have to be posted to the message board or the current ruleset.
E-mail mode shall end if any player posts a message to the other active players stating that he would like to return to web mode.

Enacted and amended several times by Mike and Thomas, 20/21 July 1999

Rule 349

What is e-mail?

In any case where the rules refer to eMail, e-mail, electronic mail, or any other abbreviation for electronic
mail as an acceptable method of communications, this means any tool, software, or module of
communication that allows to be recorded and subsequently posted to the messageboard. Posting, also via
eMail, shall be declared as the act of communication to all concerned players. The only exception is when
the rules refer to "e-mail mode" or "chat mode", which are not interchangeable.
A specific eMail module may only be used for secret voting or other actions requiring secrecy, if no other
player is able to intercept and read the postings.

[Secrecy is not required in chat mode]

Rule 359

Contingency trees

359. Contingency trees. (amends 356)
Players may designate that a given proposal will only take effect if a given other proposal is accepted or rejected. If the condition placed on the first proposal is not acheived, the player receives no points for these proposals. Players may make as many proposals as they wish, provided that no combination of votes on these proposals could cause more than the number of proposals allowed by Rule 304 to pass.

Proposed by Mike as P353, amended by Thomas to 356 and Mike to 359, 28 July 1999.

Rule 364


The official language of Gnomic shall be US english.
Typing and syntax errors are allowed, as long as they do not seriously affect the gameplay or the understanding of a rule.
[La langue officielle de Gnomic soit l'anglais américain. Die offizielle Amtssprache von Gnomic sei US Englisch]

Enacted by Thomas, Wednesday, 28-Jul-1999 19:23:30 ET

Rule 366

(void: conflicting rule)


Voting Gnome is not allowed to do anything but to vote. This rule is superior to all rules defining the rights of a player.

Enacted by Thomas, Wednesday, 28-Jul-1999 19:23:30

Rule 369

As if the ruleset hadn't been complex enough...

New proposals may also recieve a number 291+ai, where a is the smallest positive integer >0 not yet so assigned and i is the imaginary number sqrt[-1]. The rule shall then be called a complex rule.
When proposing a rule, the proponent may choose freely if his rule is intended to be a regular or a complex rule.
No player is allowed to follow a complex rule.
This rule overrides partially rule 101 and amendments.
For the purpose of comparing the scores of players, the scores shall be converted to real numbers using the following procedure:
Let the player's score be a+bi. Then the player's "real score" is sqrt((a^3)/abs(a) + (b^3)/abs(b)). If the number in the square root is negative, the player's score shall be zero. [This formula is used so that a large negative score can't win. Notice that a player will earn complex points when posting a complex rule.]

Enacted by Thomas and amended several times by Thomas and Mike. 28-Jul-1999 19:45:19 ET

Rule 370

(void: conflicting rule)

Oppression, II.

The Voting Gnome always has a score of zero.

Enacted by Mike, 28 July 1999.

Rule 371

Redundant department of redundancy.

A player may not make more than one proposal in a given turn that is "the same". By "the same" it is meant that the two proposals, if both accepted, would be redundant with respect to each other. A player also may not make more than one proposal in a turn that is a direct amendment of the same rule.

Enacted by Mike, 28 July 1999.

Rule 372

Vowels, shmowels...

The shortest proposal (in total number of characters) that a Player makes in any given turn shall be counted to determine the number of each vowel that it contains. Define the maximum of these six numbers to be V, and the number of points that the proposal received P. If P/2 < V < P, the player shall receive a bonus of P - V points. If V < P/2, the player shall receive a bonus of 2(P - V) points. Proposals that simply repeal or transmute rules are not counted for the purpose of this rule.

Enacted by Mike, 28 July 1999, as amendment to Rule 353.

Rule 373

Judgement fees.

A player who wants to invoke Judgement will instantly lose 20 points. The player may then accuse or not any other player and argue his opinion as defined in rule 212. If the Judge agrees with him, the player will earn 30 points. If he accused a player, this player will lose 30 points.
None of these losses will apply if the player has got less than 30 points or if the loss would cause any other player to win the game.

Enacted by Thomas, Wednesday, 28-Jul-1999 20:01:40 ET

Rule 377


When a proposal fails, the player who proposed it shall lose (P-291) * (A/N) points, where P is the number of the proposal, A is the number of voters voting against the proposal, and N is the total number of voters.

Rule 379

Define people.

People (singular: Person) are a type of entity corresponding one-to-one to intelligent mental entities. Players are entities who have been declared Players according to the rules of Gnomic. Players come into existence by fiat of People, and go out of existence in the same manner. Players, and only Players, may make or vote on proposals or participate in other business of the game.
The only exception to this rule are bot players. A bot player is any player who joins the game by application of a rule.

Enacted by Mike and meta-amended by Thomas, 29 July 1999.

Rule 381

(void: conflicting rule)

The voting gnome

If there are not enough active players in the game, a player known as the Voting Gnome automatically joins the game.
He will vote as last player as follows:
1) Post all votes on the message board in a single posting per proposal.
2) Add all digits in the time-stamp of that posting.
3) Take this number modulo 9.
4) If the result is odd, the Gnome votes for the proposal. If the result is 8, the Voting Gnome abstains. Else, the Gnome votes against.
This rule takes precedence over Rules 303, 335 and amendments.

Amended from 363 by Thomas

Rule 382

(void: conflicting rule)


The Voting Gnome is only active during web-mode.

Enacted by Thomas

Rule 383

The true meaning of unruleworthyness.

Players are allowed to shout "UNRULEWORTHY!!!" at any current proposal, if this proposal would cause any player to win the game within two turns, or if this proposal is redundant with any existing or proposed rule except himself, or if it contradicts any of the current rules, or if it contradicts itself, or if is seriously unclear, or if would cause a major disadvantage to a certain player or group of players, or if could offend a certain group of players, or if it does not bring any new aspect to the gameplay. [Feel free to complete this list]
The proposal will then be repealed instantaneously.

Enacted by Thomas

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Comments on Gnomic: Mike
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