The Rules of Ackanomic: Games & Contests

Rule 1250/0
Games & Contests Rule Suite
Niccolo Flychuck (Uri Bruck)

[This is the head of the Games & Contests Rule Suite. Games & Contests include sub games and gaming equipment that can be used in subgames. Some of them are maintained on a separate web page, others are in the rule suite]

[Rules for sub games and gaming equipment]

Rule 1250.1/17
Games & Contests
Niccolo Flychuck (Uri Bruck)

I. Games & Contests

There exists a class of entities known as Games & Contests, hereafter, for the purposes of the rules in this Rule Suite, known as "Games" (Game).

II. General Equipment

a. The rules in this rule suite may define entities to be used as General Equipment in the games in this rule suite. Unless otherwise specified, these entities have no influence outside the instance of the Game in which they are being used. The term 'General Equipment', as used elsewhere in this rule suite, shall be construed to mean instances of any or all of these defined entities, as appropriate.

III. Game Descriptions

a. Unless otherwise specified, the name of a Game is the name of the rule that defines it. Any rule in this suite that defines more than one game is void. A rule in this rule suite defines a Game if and only if it specifies all the information as detailed below (b thru h) (even if the specification for a particular piece of information is the word 'none'). This rule does not define a Game:

b. General Equipment to be used in the Game.

c. Upper and lower limits on the number of participants in the specific Game. The minimum for the lower limit is 2. The lower limit may not be specified to exceed the upper limit. Either limit may be specified as an integer or or an expression such as "the number of active players when an instance of the game is instantiated", so long as the previous conditions of this sub-section are not violated. If a limit is specified as an expression, it shall be evaluated when the Game is instantiated, and shall not "float" while the Game is in progress, unless the Game's rules specify otherwise. If the expression cannot be evaluated unambiguously, an instance of the game cannot start.

d. The Rules for the Game.

e. The number of referees, and how those referees are to be chosen. This must be a non-negative integer. Referees may not play or win the instance of the Game they are refereeing, nor may they be penalized as a result of participation in an instance of the Game, unless the rules of the Game explicitly say the referee may participate as a player. They may receive no rewards other than A$, and such rewards may not exceed A$10 per Game instance.

f. Conditions for winning the Game.

g. Any additional information necessary to play that specific Game.

h. Any Trophies (or type of Trophy) to be awarded or transferred to the winner of the Game. If the Trophy is specified as "standard", a Jade Grapefruit is awarded. [Trophies are described in rule 1250.2.]

IV. Scope and Precedence

a. Games may not manipulate any Ackanomic entity outside this rule suite, except as defined in this Rule, and with the following specific exceptions:

b. Games may specify transfer of currency between participants in the specific Game, as entry fees, rewards or penalties, subject to restrictions elsewhere in this rule suite.

c. Games may specify a transfer of currency from the Treasury to the Game (or a participant or referee therein), with an upper of limit of A$50 per instance of a Game or a Contest. A player may receive no more than A$100 from the Treasury per calendar month as a result of participation in the same class of Game ("class" being defined as the definition of a particular Game). Any excess that would have been received is disregarded.

d. Games may add or subtract points from the score of a participating player. The maximum number of points added or subtracted in any specific instance of a Game is 8. A player may receive no more than 20 points per calendar month as a result of participation in the same class of game. Any excess that would have been received is disregarded.

e. All rules in this rule suite defer precedence to all those external to it, unless otherwise specified. This rule has precedence over all others in this rule suite.

V. Adding Games

a. Games and General Equipment may be added to this rule suite via the following procedure (in addition to any other procedures that are defined in the rules for creating rules). A non-accepted Game or General Equipment Submission has no authority to manipulate Acka entities in any way.

b. A description of the Game or General Equipment is posted as a public message, clearly labelled as such. This is called a Game or General Equipment Submission (Submission), as appropriate, and if it is a Game Submission, it must contain all sections as detailed in section III or it is void and rejected.

c. The Speaker, President, or Senate may veto the Submission as a public action prior to its acceptance. Such action should be accompanied by a brief explanation as to why. This act ends the procedure, and the Submission is rejected.

d. If at least 4 Active Players other than the player who posted the Submission, or 10% of the Active Players, whichever is greater, publically endorse the Submission within 7 days of its posting, it is approved (as opposed to accepted), otherwise it is rejected at the expiration of the 7 day period.

e. An approved Submission is accepted at the time it is approved, or 3 days after the Submission was posted, whichever is later. Upon the acceptance of a Submission, the text of the Submission is added

(i) as a rule to this rule suite, in the case of a Game Submission, or
(ii) as a new section, labelled with the lowest cardinal Roman numeral as yet not present in Rule 1250.3, appended to Rule 1250.3.

VI. Starting an Instance of a Game

a. An instance of a Game may only be started in accordance with its rules for doing so. If its rules are silent on the matter, however, (or refer to this section) it is started when one of its referees announces its start, the names of all its players and referees, and all other necessary particulars of the Game instance. If the Game has no referees, it starts when one of its players performs the above functions. Other rules [e.g. Duels], may define conditions under which an instance of a Game may start, and an alternate procedure for doing so. A Game may not start without the required number of players and referees.

b. A player may not join an instance of a Game in progress, except as specified in its rules. Games should be designed in such a way as to handle the contingency of any of its players or referees quitting it at any time.

c) Unless the Rules for a game specify otherwise, players going absent may name another player (of Ackanomic) to be their Substitute Player (in the subgame). The Substitute Player may not have been a player of the instance of the Game or Contest in which e is substituting at any time in the past, and e must agree to be a Substitute. All responsibilities and privileges of the departed player for the Game or Contest fall to the Substitute Player [if the Substitute Player wins the subgame, the Trophy goes to em]. If the original player returns, e resumes playing for emself. It is considered good form for em to give the Substitute Player some recompense for eir services. Participants in Duels may not have Substitute Players for the Duel.

d) If a game has a Referee, a player in a particular instance of that game may, if the Referee of that instance has not responded in more than a week, point out this fact in a public message. The Speaker shall then send email to the Referee in question asking em if e wishes to continue as Referee, or resign. If no response is received within three days, it shall be assumed that the Referee has resigned.

e) If the game has a referee, the referee may appoint another willing player not already involved in the game to play in eir place for any time that e is absent. If the referee becomes absent without making such an appointment, the Speaker may appoint a referee, otherwise the game is suspended until the previous referee returns. This paragraph defers precedence to all other rules in this rule suite.

f) When a player leaves Ackanomic, they are deemed to have forfeited any games they playing in.

VII. Exhibitions

a. The Speaker, President, or Senate may declare an instance of a game an "exhibition" as a public action, even while it is in progress. In this case, no points or currency shall be awarded or transferred to, or among, the participants (but Trophies shall be, as appropriate). This declaration is discouraged, and should do so only under conditions of abuse or other problems.

b. A Referee of any game may declare the game to be an Internomic Exhibition, provided e makes the declaration prior to the first move in that game, and at a stage when players can still join the game. When a game has been declared as an Internomic Exhibition, any person who is a player of a nomic which a member of Internomic may join as a player, provided e abides by the rules of the specific game. When a game is declared to be an Internomic Exhibition, no point,currency or trophies are transferred to, from or between players.

VIII. Random Determination

a. If the rules of a Game call for a random determination, either explicitly or implicitly, a referee of that game is responsible for making this determination unless the Game's rules specify otherwise.

IX. Freedom of Participation

a. Participation in Games is voluntary. No player may be forced to take part in a Game or a Contest, or be forced to be a referee in one. A player may leave a Game they are participating in at any time. This section has precedence over all other rules.

X. Disputes

If a dispute arises in a Game in which there is no referee, or the referee is unable to resolve the dispute for some reason, it shall be adjudicated by the Speaker, or someone appointed by the Speaker, who shall render judgement as objectively as possible. If a player is dissatisfied with the decision, a CFJ is their only recourse. Calling a CFJ is bad form, however, as it is only a game. Play is suspended for the duration of any adjudication.

XI. No Loophole Surfing

a. Games and Contests are meant to be fun and to enhance Acka. Using Games and Contests to loophole surf, scam, or otherwise abuse the spirit and intent of this structure is in bad taste, and players are permitted to sneer at this behaviour. Paradoxes arising wholly within rules in this rule suite do not qualify as paradoxes for the purposes of satisfying the winning condition described in rule 601; this clause has precedence over rule 601.

XII. Moribund Games

a. A Referee may declare a game they are refereeing moribund, as a public action. That game will be terminated without a winner 3 days following such a declaration unless at least 33% of its players publically object before the 3 days elapse.

XIII. Additional Game Rewards

a. A Referee for a game may, at most once in any calendar week regardless of how many games they are currently refereeing, specify a player of a game which they are refereeing to receive a FairPlay Award. FairPlay Awards are nontradeable entities. Whenever the ChessUmpire awards Swingpoints, all FairPlay Awards decompose into 2 Swingpoints each. Specification of a player to receive a FairPlay Award is a public action.

XIV. Games on IRC

A particular IRC server is a valid forum for playing Games and Contests provided all of the following are true with respect to the server, the game, and its participants, as appropriate:

a. The game lists in its General Equipment section: 'Optionally, an Ackanomic IRC server', or words to that effect.

b. The following information is announced at least 24 hours prior to the start of the game in the main forum: The URL of the particular server that the game will be played on, and the start time of the game.

c. The specified server is defined as General Equipment [in rule 1250.3].

d. All players and referees (participants) consent to participate in the game on the specified server. The game or contest does not require, in general, non-participant Acka players to be played normally. [e.g. Limerick Contest].

e. At least one referee, (or one player in the absence of a referee), has client software capable of logging sessions on the specified server, and that person volunteers to log the particular game in its entirety.

The results of a game on IRC are considered publicly knowable when the volunteer per subsection e posts the entire log file via e-mail to the customary Games list, (or posts the URL of the log file via e-mail to the customary Games list, in the case of large log files).

Rule 1250.2/2
Malenkai (Randy Hall)

A class of non-Tradeable entities known as Trophies exist.

Upon a single winner being declared in an instance of a Game that had 3 or more players when it started, the Trophy or type of Trophy specified for that game is awarded or transferred to the winner of the Game.

If the Trophy is defined in the rules to be a unique entity, it is transferred from where ever it is to the winner, otherwise a new instance of that type of Trophy is created and awarded to the winner.

The following (types) of Trophies exist:

A. The Jade Grapefruit is a nameless entity.

B. The Golden Knife is a unique Trophy. It has a hilt wrapped in leather, with ornate wrist guards. Its blade is gold plated, very sharp, and has a channel in the center to allow blood to run off.

It is the responsibility of the player who possesses The Golden Knife to wipe all blood off of it, that may have resulted from stabbing eir allies.

C. The Scientist's Handbook is a nameless entity.

Rule 1250.3/6
General Equipment
Malenkai (Randy Hall)

All entities described in this rule are General Equipment.

I. Ackanomic Magic Dice

The Ackanomic Magic Dice will roll 1 to 1000 multi-sided die up to 1000 rolls per request. Sides may be from 2-1000 sides.

[The AMD will display results automatically to the mail list, or to as many as ten private addresses. To use the AMD, a Player sends an e-mail message to "" omitting the quotation marks. In the body of the message, use the following format:

#P (up to 10 #P lines allowed)
#S (up to 1000 sides allowed)
#D (up to 1000 dice allowed)
#R (up to 1000 total rolls)
#L (up to 20 rolls per line)
#C (up to 100 #C lines allowed)


#S 20
#D 1
#R 1
#L 1
#T Acka: Hit determination
#C I am using the dice server roll a d20 to see if I hit

Complete instructions and examples of use may be found at the Dice Server Web site:]

II. Gamepoints

Gamepoints are chits used to keep score in Games and Contests. A player in a Game may possess a negative number of Gamepoints. Gamepoints are awarded and forfeited as described in the rules of the particular Game.

III. Word Validating Dictionaries

a) The Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary (OSPD), as defined by the URL: telnet://

b) Unabr.dict.Z (but used in uncompressed format), as defined by the URL:

c) The Official Dictionary as defined by the rules of Acka.

IV. Definition Lookup Dictionaries
a) URL:
b) URL:
c) URL:

V. Movie Database

a) URL:

VI. Ackanomic IRC servers:

a), port 9942

b), port 9942

VII. Music Database


Rule 1250.4/6
Decks of Playing Cards
/dev/joe (Joseph DeVincentis)

A Deck of Playing Cards (or Deck) is an entity which consists of some number of elements called Playing Cards (or simply Cards). Cards are nontradeable entities. Cards may not be exchanged between Decks.

Unless the rules state otherwise, each Card in a Deck has two attributes, which are normally called suit and rank, and a Deck consists of one card for each combination of suit and rank; these are called the Normal Cards.

The order that the ranks and suits are listed in the definition of a particular deck defines the order of those ranks and suits in any game that cares about the order, unless a different order is specified for that game.

Standard symbols or abbreviations for the suits and ranks can and should be defined in the definition of a deck, to make it easier to write the contents of a player's hand that might contain many cards.

The definition of a particular deck may specify none, some, but not all, of its cards as optional. Upon instantiation, the Acka Rule or Games and Contest rule which is creating the deck may specify the exclusion of any or all of the optional cards in a deck. If no such specification is made, the optional cards are said to be included in that instance of the deck.

Decks may be used to play card games defined in the Acka Rules, or rules for a Game or Contest, or other Ackanomic document which has the legal authority to instantiate a deck, as the relevant rules specify. Decks may not be instantiated by any document which has not been given explicit authority from the Rules to do so. Decks of Playing Cards are General Equipment.

Players may hold individual Cards while playing a card game but they do not own those cards while doing so. While a Deck is being used to play a card game, that deck may not be used in another card game.

A Deck is unownable, unless the instantiating document specifies an owner for it, in which case it is tradeable.

Any rule which defines a Deck of Playing Cards must have a title of the form: "Description of a <name> Deck", where name is replaced by a legal Ackanomic name.

Rule 1250.5/4
Description of a Standard Deck
Niccolo Flychuck (Uri Bruck)

A Standard Deck of Cards has four suits: Spades (S), Hearts (H), Diamonds (D), and Clubs (C), and 13 ranks: Ace (A), King (K), Queen (Q), Jack (J), 10, 9, 8,7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2. Spades and Clubs are black. Hearts and Diamonds are red.

There are also two Jokers in this Deck (?1, ?2). Jokers have no suit, rank or color. Jokers are optional.

Rule 1250.6/5
Description of an Eleusis Deck
Malenkai (Randy Hall)

An Eleusis Deck has 8 suits: Wands (!), Strudels (@), Pounds (#), Dollars ($), Maces (%), Spears (^), Daemons (&), and Stars (*), and 15 ranks: Suber (S), Nomic (N), Monarch (M), Knave (K), Page (P), 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace (A). In addition to the Normal Cards, there are four indistinguishable Wild cards (W) in this Deck which have neither suit nor rank nor color. The Wild cards are optional. In this deck, Wands and Strudels are blue, Pounds and Dollars are green, Maces and Spears are black, and Daemons and Stars are red. Blue and green may be grouped together as cool colours, while red and black are warm colours. Red and green may be grouped as live colours, and blue and black as dead colours. Red and blue may be grouped together as sky colours, and black and green as earth colours.

Rule 1250.7/0
Game of Pure Skill
Malenkai (Randy Hall)

[The gist of the Game of Pure Skill is that each of 3 players are given a suit in a deck of cards, and the referee is given the remaining suit. Cards are flipped at random from the referee's suit, and players bid on them from the cards in their pack. The object is to win the highest point total (not quantity) of cards, through strategic bidding. This game has also been called "How much would you bid for the Three of Spades?"]

1) General Equipment:

The game uses one Standard Deck (deck) without the optional cards.

2) Number of Players:

The game has exactly 3 players and 1 referee.

3) Starting an instance of the game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

4) Rules of the game:

4a) The deck is divided into its 4 suits. The spades are given to the referee, and each player receives one of the other suits. Each of these is called a "pack".

4b) Each card has a value, independent of suit. The value of an Ace is 1, a King is 13, a Queen is 12, a Jack is 11, and all other cards' values are their numeric values.

4c) A game consists of 13 rounds. A round lasts for 3 days or until all players have submitted their moves to the referee, whichever comes first.

4d) A round starts by the referee choosing a random card from his pack of spades, and announcing the card chosen to each player. This card is called the "prize" for that round.

4e) Each player then submits a "bid" of one card from their pack, by announcing their choice privately to the referee. If a player fails to submit a bid by the end of the round, the referee chooses a card randomly from their pack as their bid. Players are discouraged from failing to bid. The value of a bid is the value of the card used to make the bid.

4f) The referee resolves the round as follows. If a single bid submitted is higher than the other bids, the player who submitted the bid receives the round's prize for his "take" pile. If no single bid is highest, the prize card is discarded and removed from play. Regardless of the outcome of the bidding, all cards used for bidding are discarded and removed from play.

4g) The referee announces the results of the round to all players, and announces all cards used as bids. This ends the current round. The next round can then start in accordance with 4d), unless the 13th round has ended, in which case the game ends.

4h) Upon the game ending, the value of the cards in each player's take pile is totaled. The single player with the highest total is the winner of the game. If there is no single player with a highest total, then the game has no winner. If a player has no cards in their take pile, their total value is zero.

5) Upon a winning condition being met and a winner being declared, the winner receives 8 points, and the referee receives A$8. The winner receives a standard Trophy.

6) The referee should, but is not required to, keep a web page of the state of the game, and the history of each move.

7) Players may not discuss or collude on strategy or bids.

8) If a player leaves this game, or the game of Ackanomic, while this game is in progress, they will be replaced by a bot who plays randomly, as managed by the referee. Any bots are not considered players for the purposes of clause 4h)

Rule 1250.8/0
Limerick Contest
Niccolo Flychuck (Uri Bruck)

1) General Equipment:

Ackanomic Magic Dice

2) Number of Players:

Exactly 2, with Count Tabula as a referee. It is Permissible for Count Tabula to be both a player and referee at the same time.

3) Starting an instance of the contest

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

4) Rules of the contest:

Each of the players in the contest writes a limerick about the other player. The limerick may be silly, funny, and even ridicule the other participant in a good-humored manner, as long as it is not offensive. The limericks must be posted within 3 days of the start of the contest. If one of the participants fails to post a limerick, then the other wins by default. If neither post, the referee chooses a winner at random using the AMD.

Once both limericks have been posted, there is a 3 day voting period. During the voting period all Ackanomic players may send their vote to the referee, indicating which limerick is the better one,

with an extra caveat, quoth here. The Poet Laureate (if there is one) Shall, with his learned art gained quite so dear, Attempt to share and increase the fun When the Poet's vote is count'd at the end, His one vote shall instead be counted twice. The Poet may, if e does wish, then send A public message, hopefully quite nice To praise the Duelist which had won his vote Explaining why the Poet liked what e wrote.

The participant whose limerick got the most votes wins the contest. In case of a tie, the participant whose limerick was posted first wins the contest. In the case that that does not determine a winner, the referee determines a winner at random, using the AMD. If the winner is chosen at random, both players shall be eligible, even if one or both are non-active.

No Trophy is awarded to the winner of this contest.

Rule 1250.9/1
Guy Fawkes (Robert Shimmin)

1.General Equipment: Official Dictionary

2. Players: minimum -- 2; maximum -- the number of active players when an instance of Ghost is initiated less 1; Referees -- one

When the rules specify that a player is removed from the game, it means that he is no longer a player in that instance of Ghost. It is not necessarily a resignation, although a resignation does cause a player's removal from the game.

3. Beginning of game

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

4. Rules

The referee shall randomly assign each player a different integer ranging from 1 to N, where N is the number of players in the game. Player 1 shall play first, and after that, play shall proceed in order of increasing number. Player 1 plays again just after the turn of the player with the highest number. Each player's turn begins when the previous player's ends, unless that player's play was a protest, in which case it begins when the protest is resolved. Each player's turn shall last the lesser of three days or until that player plays.

At any time prior to the first turn of the player assigned the highest number, players may be added to the game. One wishing to be added to the game should inform the referee of their desire to do so; the referee shall then inform all current players of the addition. The new player will be assigned the number one greater than the highest number already assigned to a player in the game. Before the beginning of the new player's first turn, or three days after their addition, whichever comes first, the new player may be removed from the game if any player already in the game protests their addition. Players may not be added to instances of Ghost being played as a Duel.

Players in a game of Ghost are forbidden from using dictionaries or other reference books to aid their play. They may use these references for other purposes.

In his turn, each player shall do one of the following: (1) begin a new ghost word; (2) continue an existing ghost word; (3) protest the ghost word; (4) resign. Plays shall be made by sending a message describing the play to all players and the referee.

(1) A player may only begin a new ghost word when there is no existing ghost word. He shall do so by naming any letter of the alphabet.

(2) A player may continue an existing ghost word only when there is an existing ghost word. He shall do so by posting a string of letters identical to the existing ghost word except for the addition of one letter at either the beginning or the end of the ghost word. This string then becomes the new ghost word.

(3) A player who protests the ghost word shall do so by either by stating that the ghost word is a word of four or more letters in the official dictionary, or by stating that the ghost word cannot be found within any word in the official dictionary. ("uperso" can be found within "supersonic"; "spronc" cannot.) A protest is said to be made against the player whose turn caused the ghost word to be changed to its present form.

When a player protests the ghost word, play is suspended until the protest is resolved. If the protest was on the grounds that the ghost word is a word of four or more letters in the official dictionary, the referee shall attempt to locate it therein and report his findings. If the ghost word is a word of four or more letters in the official dictionary, the protest is valid; otherwise it is invalid. Either way, when the referee reports the validity or lack thereof of the protest, it is considered resolved; if the protest was valid, the ghost word is destroyed.

If the protest was on the grounds that the ghost word cannot be found within any word in the official dictionary, the player against whom the protest was made has three days to post a word containing the ghost word. If he does not, the protest is resolved as valid. If he does, the referee shall attempt to locate that word in the official dictionary, and shall report his findings. If the named word is a word in the official dictionary, the protest is invalid; otherwise, it is valid. Upon the referee reporting on the validity or lack thereof of the protest, it is considered resolved; at the resolution of any protest of this sort, the ghost word is destroyed.

A player who makes an invalid protest is removed from the game; a player who has a valid protest made against him is removed from the game.

(4) A player who resigns is removed from the game. A player who does not make a move within his turn is assumed to have resigned. When a player resigns, the ghost word is destroyed.

A player may remove themselves from an instance of the game at any time by posting a message to that effect. If it was their turn, they are assumed to have resigned. If they leave Ackanomic, they are assumed to have posted such a message.

5. Winning

If exactly one player remains in the game, that player wins. There are no other winning conditions. The winner receives a standard Trophy.

When a winner is found, the referee shall receive 8 A$. If this game took place as a Duel, the winner shall receive no additional compensation. If it was not a Duel and fewer than four players began the game, the winner receives four points. If from four to eight players began the game, the winner receives points equal to the number of players that began the game. If more than eight players began the game, the winner receives 8 points.

6. The Referee

Upon request, the referee must provide the following information: the players in the game and their order of play, whose turn it is, the current ghost word, and a history of the game in progress. He may, but is not required to, keep a web page with this information.

If the referee resigns his position, becomes absent, he is no longer the referee. In this event, any player of Ackanomic who is not a player of that instance of Ghost may become referee by publically expressing his desire to do so. While there is no referee, the game is suspended.

Rule 1250.10/5
Malenkai (Randy Hall)

[Gist: A player chooses an obscure word from a dictionary that hopefully no one knows the definition of. All other players anonymously submit bogus definitions of the word. All submissions are mixed in with the real definition, and players vote on which definition is correct. Scoring is based on voting for the correct definition among all the chaff, or enticing others vote for your bogus definition.]

I. General Equipment:

Gamepoints as needed
Official Dictionary
All English Definition Lookup dictionaries defined as General Equipment

II. Number of Players:

minimum: 5; maximum: the number of active players when an instance of Fictionary is initiated. Referees: none.

III. Starting an instance of the Game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI. Additionally, the player announcing the start of the Game shall randomly assign each player a different integer ranging from 1 to N, where N is the number of players in the game. All players shall be randomly assigned numbers in this way, including non-active ones.

IV. Rules of the game:

The game is composed of rounds; each round shall have one "Brainiac". All players who are not the Brainiac shall be known as "Bluffers". The game shall be scored in Gamepoints.

Player 1 shall be the Brainiac of the first round, and after that, Brainiac duty shall be assigned in order of increasing player number at the completion of each round. Player 1 again assumes the duty just after the completion of the round where the player with the highest number was Brainiac.

A round is composed of the following steps, in order. All steps shall be completed within 3 days of the completion of the previous step (or the start of the round in the case of the first step). If a player(s) fails to perform the designated action by the end of this time limit, the listed default action is deemed to have been performed, and they lose 1 Gamepoint.

Steps (1 thru 5) of a Round:

1) The Brainiac shall choose a word whose definition is available in one of the Definition Lookup Dictionaries (Dictionaries), and publically post the word. The Ing Word should be as obscure as possible. Words with Harfy definitions are encouraged.

The Brainiac shall also privately note the definition of the Ing Word. This definition shall be a verbatim transcription of any of the definitions provided by any of the Dictionaries. (Part of speech and similar details should not be transcribed). This shall be known as the "Actual Definition".

This step ends when the Ing Word has been publically posted.

Default Ing Word: "ing"; Actual Definition: "A pasture or meadow; generally one lying low, near a river."

2) All Bluffers shall submit a definition for the Ing Word to the Brainiac via private e-mail. Default: "" is submitted.

3) The Brainiac shall compare the submitted definitions with the Actual Definition and any other definitions in the Dictionaries (On-line Definitions), and report how play proceeds based on the following cases:

3a) 2 or more Bluffers submitted a definition that is substantially similar to an On-line Definition. In this case, each such Bluffer receives 3 Gamepoints, the Brainiac is sneered at for picking an easy word, and the round ends.

3b) Exactly one Bluffer submitted a definition that is substantially similar to an On-line Definition. In this case, that Bluffer receives 4 Gamepoints, and their submitted definition is removed from play. The Brainiac publically announces that this has occurred, and play proceeds without the submission as if case 3c) or case 3d), as appropriate, occurred, except that the correct Bluffer does not participate.

3c) No Bluffer submitted a definition that is substantially similar to an On-line Definition, and every Bluffer submitted a unique definition. In this case, the Brainiac randomly sorts the submitted definitions and the Actual Definition into a numbered list (without the names of the associated Bluffers), and publically posts the list for Bluffer voting. This posting ends this step.

3d) No Bluffer submitted a definition that is substantially similar to an On-line Definition, and two or more Bluffers submitted substantially similar definitions. In this case, The Brainiac randomly selects one of the definitions that are substantially similar and removes it from consideration. The other substantially similar definition or definitions are discarded, the Brainiac randomly sorts the remaining definitions and the Actual Definition into a numbered list (without the names of the associated Bluffers), and publically posts the list for Bluffer voting. He also must publicly announce that there were duplicate submissions. This posting ends this step.

3e) Default: The Brainiac loses 4 Gamepoints, no other scoring occurs this round, and play proceeds to the next round. This default section is applied even if a list of definitions as described in sections 3c or 3d is posted, if the list does not include a legitimate Actual Definition, or modifies any of the submitted definitions in a manner not explicitly allowed above.

4) All Bluffers shall vote for one of the definitions on the list, and publically post their vote. Voting for the Bluffer's own definition is permissible (and is called "sheeping"). It is good form to quote the definition being voted for in this post. This step ends when all bluffers have voted. Default: A Bluffer who did not vote is deemed to have sheeped.

5a) The Brainiac shall score the voting and post this information, the cumulative scoring for the game, and the actual definition. Scoring is as follows (in addition to any from section 3):

i) Each Bluffer receives 1 Gamepoint for every player other than himself who voted for his definition. If a Bluffer's definition was removed for being the same as another submitted definition, all Bluffers who submitted that definition receive points for other players voting for that definition. However, they do not get points for the other Bluffer or Bluffers sheeping this definition.

ii) A Bluffer receives 2 Gamepoints if he voted for the Actual Definition.

iii) If no one voted for the Actual Definition, the Brainiac receives 2 Gamepoints.

5b) The game shall end when all players have been Brainiac the same number of times, and one or more players has 25 or more Gamepoints. The single player with the most Gamepoints wins, and receives 1 A$ for each Gamepoint they have. If there is no such player, all players who are tied with the most Gamepoints receive A$12. There is no winner declared, however. The winner also receives a standard Trophy.

5c) If the game does not end at this step, play continues to the next round with a new Brainiac at step 1.

5d) Default: The Scorekeeper or Acting Scorekeeper becomes acting Brainiac to adjudicate step 5. If there is no such officer, the game ends with no winner and no payoff.

5e) Players are permitted to ridicule any definition that is not the same part of speech as the Ing Word.

V. Errata

1) Vacationing players are replaced by bots who perform the default actions in their stead (but the players receive all scoring as a result of the bot's play).

2) Players may resign at any time, although this is considered bad form. Any player who resigns or leaves Acka is replaced by a bot until the end of the round in which they resigned (unless they resigned after the completion of step 5, and before the completion of step 1 in the next round). After that, their "spot" is removed from the game.

3) Players may not look up the Ing Word (or any of the definitions) in any dictionary, nor by any other means, except gameplay, attempt to find such a thing [e.g. by asking other people], until its definition is disclosed, or until adjudication of step 5 is required.

Rule 1250.11/1
Tromino Go
/dev/joe (Joseph DeVincentis)

[Credits: Original game by Sid Sackson; published in the June 1994 issue of Games magazine. Adapted for e-mail play by /dev/joe.]

General Equipment: Gamepoints as needed

Players: exactly two players and one referee are required, no more, no less.


A tromino, or "piece", is an L-shaped group of three like letters, such as any of these examples:


A unit of edge is a length equal to the height or width of one letter on any edge of a tromino. Each tromino has four 1-unit edges and two 2-unit edges.

Adjacent (or "touching"), in this game, means bordering on one or more units of edge. Trominoes which touch only diagonally are not considered adjacent.

A group of trominoes is any single tromino not adjacent to another tromino belonging to the same player, or any set of two or more trominoes which belong to the same player such that a path can be made from any one to any other tromino in the set by moving only between adjacent trominoes, but no tromino in the set is adjacent to a tromino belonging to that player but not in the set.

A No Man's Land is any area of empty space completely surrounded by trominoes.

Outside edge is any edge or portion of an edge of a tromino which does not have another tromino or a No Man's Land adjacent to it.

A group of trominoes is surrounded if no tromino in the group has any outside edge.

Beginning the game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI. Additionally, the referee shall randomly select one of the players to go first in the first round; this begins the first round.


1. General play rules

The player who loses each round starts the next round, if there is one; if a round ends in a tie then the player who played second plays first in the next round. The player who plays first in a round always plays using capital letters, and the other player uses lower case. The plays in each round always cycle through the letters A, B, and C, and the players always alternate making plays, so the first six plays in a round will always be A, b, C, a, B, and c, and then the sequence repeats.

2. The first four plays in a round

The first player begins by placing an A tromino in an otherwise empty grid. (Note that there is no limit to the grid; plays may always expand in any direction, within the other restrictions of the rules.)

The second player then plays a b tromino so that it touches at least two units of edge (which may be part of the same edge or different edges) of the first tromino. Some possible configurations after the second play are:

 AAb AA bbAA  AA
 Abb Abb bA  bA 
       b     bb 

The first player then plays a C tromino so that it touches the b tromino along at least two units of edge, but it does not touch the A tromino.

Then the second player plays an a tromino so that it touches at least two units of edge of the C tromino, but does not touch the b tromino.

3. Plays Five to Thirty

After the first four plays in a round, until 30 trominoes have been played, each player in turn plays a tromino of the next letter in the sequence in accordance with these three rules:

i. It may not touch any other tromino of the same letter, regardless who played it (so an A tromino may not touch any other A or a trominoes, for instance).

ii. It must touch at least one tromino played by the opponent along at least one unit of edge.

iii. It must touch at least two units of edge of any trominoes already played (including the one unit required by rule ii).

4. Moving Trominoes

If 30 trominoes have been played without ending the round, then instead of adding additional trominoes, each player moves one of his trominoes of the appropriate letter to a new location. Only trominoes with some outside edge may be moved; a tromino which will split the grid into two pieces if removed may not be moved. The tromino's new position must follow the rules in section 3 for playing new trominoes. When a round which has progressed to this phase ends, the player who wins scores double the Gamepoints he would normally score.

5. Handling a Stalemate

In any of the phases of play (rules 2 through 4 above), if a player cannot make any other legal play, he may pass, leaving the grid unchanged but advancing to the next letter in sequence and to the other player's turn. [This isn't commented on in the original rules, and I don't even know if it's possible, but just in case, I've put this here.]

6. Winning a Round

A round ends when one or more groups of trominoes are surrounded. At the end of a round, the player with the fewer surrounded trominoes wins the round, and scores Gamepoints equal to the number of his opponent's surrounded trominoes minus the number of his own surrounded trominoes. If the two players have the same number of surrounded trominoes then the round is a tie and nobody scores.

A player may cause his own trominoes to be surrounded by forming a No Man's Land. (A player may wish to do this intentionally to prevent his opponent from surrounding a larger group of trominoes, or because it simultaneously surrounds a group of his opponent's trominoes.)

7. Concessions

At any time either player may post a public message conceding the current round of Tromino Go, along with a number of Gamepoints they are conceding. This does not end the round, and is not a play; the round continues as usual until it ends normally, or a concession is accepted.

A player may accept any concession made by their opponent during the current round of Tromino Go by stating so in a public message; if e does so, the current round ends and e scores the indicated number of Gamepoints.

8. Winning the Game

When a player has scored 7 or more Gamepoints in a game of Tromino Go, e wins that game. A player may also win the game if his opponent fails to make a play within the 3 day time limit. These are the only ways to win the game.

When a player wins an instance of Tromino Go which was not played for a Duel, an amount of A$ is transferred to that player from the treasury as follows: If e won by scoring 7 or more Gamepoints, then e gets 2 times the difference between his score in Gamepoints and his opponent's score in Gamepoints. Otherwise, e gets 14 minus twice eir opponent's score in Gamepoints. In addition, at the end of any instance of Tromino Go, the referee gets A$1 from the treasury for each round completed, to a maximum of A$10. No Trophies are awarded for winning this game.

9. How Plays are Made

Players should play by reposting the previous grid, with their new play added/moved as appropriate, in a public message. Players need not wait for the referee to comment on a play before making the next play; the referee should watch for illegal plays, but need not make any comment unless an illegal play is discovered, or a play has been questioned, or a round has ended.

Each player has 3 days from the time of the previous play (or from the beginning of the round, for the case of the first play) to make a play when it is his turn, or else e loses the game.

10. Handling Illegal Plays and the End of a Round

If a player believes an illegal play has been made, he may post so publicly, and the referee should post publicly either that all plays are legal, or indicate the first illegal play which has been made. - If all plays are legal, then play continues where it left off; no time between the the public request to verify the plays and the referee's response counts toward the 3 days a player has to make a play.

- If the referee determines that an illegal play has been made, then that play and all plays since that are ignored, and play continues with the player who made the illegal play making a new play. No time between the initial post of the illegal play and the referee's post indicating the illegal play shall count against the 3 days the player has to make a play. If the referee finds that an illegal play has been made, he may post so publicly without any request to do so, and the same corrections as in the preceding section shall be applied.

If the referee posts that a round has ended, e should include with this message the winner of the round, the Gamepoints scored, and the total Gamepoints each player has. If this does not end the game, the next round begins at the time of this post. If it does end the game, the referee should post the final score, who won, and the A$ transfers resulting from it.

Rule 1250.12/1
Double Crash
Guy Fawkes (Robert Shimmin)

I. General Equipment:

Official Dictionary

II. Players

minimum: 2; maximum 2

III. Starting an instance of Double Crash

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

IV. Rules of the Games

Throughout these rules, an N-round Salvo is a public post taking the form of a numbered list of N five-letter words from the Official Dictionary. The numbering convention and format should be:

1) [five-letter word]
2) [another one]
... and so on, up to ...
N) [the last one]

A Reply to a Salvo is a reposting of the Salvo being replied to, with the addition of a number from 1-5 to the right of each five-letter word. This number is the number of "crashes" as defined below, of that word with the Replying player's Target Word. The format should be

1) [five-letter word]2[actual number will vary]
2) [another one]     3
... and so on, up to ...
N) [the last one]    1

Two words crash once for each letter that occupies the same position in each word. (ie, if they have the same first letter, they crash once; if they have the same third letter, they crash again. HEART crashes once with SPADE (for the A). STAFF crashes three times with CHAFF. SWORD does not crash with WORDY. A five-letter word crashes five times with itself.)

The game consists of several rounds, each of which lasts three days or until all actions required of players in that round, whichever comes first. If ever a player fails to complete all required actions before the end of a round, his opponent wins. If both players so fail, and the game is being held as a Duel, the challenged player wins. If both players so fail, and the game is not being played as a Duel, neither player wins, and the game is over. Each round begins immediately upon the end of the previous one.

Round 1) Each player selects a five-letter word from the Official Dictionary. This is his Target Word, and should be kept secret. Also, each player posts a 6-round Salvo.
Round 2) Each player Replies to the other's 6-round Salvo.
Round 3) Each player posts a 5-round Salvo.
Round 4) Each player Replies to the other's 5-round Salvo.
Round 5) Each player posts a 4-round Salvo.
Round 6) Each player Replies to the other's 4-round Salvo.
Round 7) Each player posts a 3-round Salvo.
Round 8) Each player Replies to the other's 3-round Salvo.

Hereafter, each odd-numbered round consists of each player posting a 3-round Salvo; each even-numbered round consists of each player Replying to the Salvo the other posted the previous round.

If a player improperly reports the number of crashes any word in any Salvo has with his Target Word, or if a player selects as his Target Word a word other than a five-letter word from the Official Dictionary, his opponent wins as soon as the error is discovered.

The rounds continue until upon the end of a round of Replies, one or both Replies indicates that some word in the previous Salvo crashed five times with the Replying players Target Word. If only one-player posted a Salvo which included a five-crash word, that player is the tentative winner. If both players posted such a Salvo, the player who posted a five-crash word higher in the Salvo's list is the tentative winner, if such a player can be uniquely defined. (ie, a five-crash word at the #1 slot in a Salvo beats one at #2.) If the two five-crash words occupy the same position in their respective Salvos, the player who posted their Salvo first is the tentative winner.

Once a tentative winner is found, the two players shall reveal their respective Target Words. The players may then examine each others' plays for errors. If no actual errors are found within three days, the tentative winner wins the game.

Upon a player winning the game, it ends. If the game was not being played as a Duel, the winner receives A$25 from the Treasury. No Trophy is awarded to the winner of the game.

Rule 1250.13/2
Single Capture Go
Guy Fawkes (Robert Shimmin)

I. General Equipment: none

II. Participants:

minimum players: 3; maximum players: 12; one referee

III. Starting an instance of the game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

Additionally, at the beginning of the game, the referee assigns each player a different capital Letter of the alphabet.

IV. Rules of play

The game is played on an N by N grid, where N is the smallest integer such that N^2 is equal to or greater than 12*(the number of players who begin the game.

The grid is labeled according the following convention:


Each square in the grid may be occupied by exactly one Letter or by the @ character.

A round begins when the referee announces the beginning of a round. For all rounds but the first, he should include in this announcement a depiction of the grid, showing all Letters upon it, as well as a summary of the any moves made or attempted in the last round and the players remaining in the game. A round lasts three days after this announcement or until all players have submitted a move, whichever is sooner.

During the course of a round, each player may privately mail the referee their play, which shall consist of naming exactly one square on the grid not occupied by a Letter at the beginning of the round. (ie, e7, assuming e7 was unoccupied at the beginning of the present round.) If a player sends the referee two valid moves, only the latter one shall count.

At the end of a round, the referee shall determine its results as follows. 1) If exactly one player legally played a given grid square that round, the referee shall place the Letter assigned to that player on that grid square.

2) If more than one player legally played a given grid square that round, the referee shall place a @ character on that grid square. The players who played that square are still counted as having moved that round.

3) A Group is a set of identical Letters occupying squares on the grid, such that each member of the Group occupies a square orthogonally adjacent to one occupied by at least one other member of the Group. The exception to this definition is that a single Letter, not so adjacent to any identical Letters, is considered a Group of one member.

A Group has Liberty as long as at least one of its members is orthogonally adjacent to an unoccupied grid square.

At this point, if any Group does not have Liberty, the player corresponding to that Group's Letter is doomed. Any player who did not play in the most recent round is also doomed.

4) Any Letters on the grid corresponding to a doomed player are transformed into @ characters.

5) If exactly one non-doomed player remains in the game, that player wins. If no non-doomed players remain, the player who had the most corresponding Letters on the grid prior to the most recent transformation into @ characters wins. There are no other winning conditions. The winner receives a standard Trophy.

6) All doomed players are removed from the game. If more than one player remains, the referee announces the start of a new round, as described above. Otherwise, the game ends.

Rule 1250.14/1
Malenkai (Randy Hall)

I. General Equipment: None.

II. Number of Players:

Minimum 2, maximum: Number of Ackanomic players less 1. Referees: 1

III. Starting an instance of the game:

The game is started upon the completion of the following ordered list of steps:

A. A player announces their intent to be a referee for a game of Diplomacy. For the purposes of this section, they will be referred to as the "Referee", although they do not become so until the game actually starts. They may abort this procedure at any time before step F occurs, by publically announcing this action, in which case no instance of a game occurs.

B. The Referee announces the following information:

1) The minimum and maximum number of players in the game.

2) Any variations to the Rules of Standard Diplomacy. Such variations may not scope beyond the game of Diplomacy. For the purposes of this game, "Rules of Standard Diplomacy" means the document entitled "Rules for Diplomacy", copyright 1976, as published by The Avalon Hill Game Co. The variant must at least be recognizable as form of the game of Diplomacy.

3) If the variant uses countries, the method in which countries shall be assigned.

4) If the variant uses orders or moves, and turns, the time limit by which orders or moves must be submitted from the announced start of a turn. If multiple types of turns exist [eg, "move" and "build"], different time limits may be specified for each type. For the purposes of these rules, "moves" should be construed as any possible game action that requires notifying the referee.

5) The method of adjudication. The valid methods are "manual" and "automated". If manual adjudication is specified, the form of all valid moves in the game and the manner of communication with the referee must be specified. If automated adjudication is specified, the referee must specify instructions on how to use the "judge", or provide a pointer to a suitable set of instructions. In either case, it should be such that a player may play the game with e-mail only access to the Internet.

6) The default action for all late, ambiguous, or otherwise invalid orders or moves, and some sort of discussion of what constitutes a late, ambiguous, or invalid move.

7) The conditions, if any, under which the game will be terminated prematurely [e.g., after the Autumn 1930 move], and the method for determining a winner or winners in such a case. It is not required that a winner be determined in this case.

8) The actions of any bots playing in the game, as per section V. Bots can replace players who are absent. [e.g, bots always submit unambiguous hold orders for all their units, and never submit build orders.]

C. The referee announces open enrollment in the game, and the deadline by which open enrollment shall end.

D. Ackanomic players other than the referee who wish to play shall e-mail the referee stating this intention. This step shall end upon the occurrence of either of the following 2 events: The open enrollment deadline occurs, or, the maximum number of players for this instance of the game have signed up.

E. Upon the former event occurring, the game cannot start unless at least the minimum number of players enrolled, and, in this case, this procedure is aborted with no game instance occurring.

F. The referee announces the start of the game, the names and e-mail addresses of all the players, and any necessary initial data [e.g. country assignments].

IV. Rules of the Game:

Standard Diplomacy shall be played, except as modified by the details announced per section III, and except that no physical board and pieces shall be used (although it is permissible, but not required, for a web page to be maintained that simulates such), and except that a referee shall adjudicate all game moves and maintain the game state. The decisions of the referee are final.

Winning the game: Unless specified otherwise in the details announced per section III, the first single player to achieve the winning conditions of Standard Diplomacy shall win the game. Also, unless countermanded as per section III, 2 or more players may claim a win by, as a group, controlling enough of the game space such that if said control were achieved by a single player, that player would win, provided all players involved acknowledge this claim separately to the referee. [e.g, if 2 or more players control 18 sc's between themselves, they can announce a co-win].

Upon a winning condition being achieved, the game ends. All winners split 8 points evenly. If the number of winners does not divide evenly into 8, however, the number of points split is the greatest positive multiple of the number of winners that is less than 8. If no such number exists, no points are awarded. The Golden Knife is awarded as a Trophy.

If the game ends without a winner or winners being declared, however, no points are awarded.

Upon the end of a game, the referee receives A$10.

V. Errata

Upon a player or referee of Diplomacy becoming no longer an active Ackanomic player, the game is paused until a replacement is found, and such replacement is acknowledged by the referee, or the Speaker in the cases where there is no referee, or the player in question is replacing the referee. The game becomes unpaused upon all non-active players being replaced, or upon being in a paused state for 3 consecutive days, whichever occurs first. The replacement shall play in the former players stead until that player once again achieves active status in Ackanomic.

A player may resign from Diplomacy, in which case they are treated as a non-active player as above, except they may never participate in that instance of Diplomacy again.

No game play shall occur while the game is in a state of pause, and no time in a state of pause shall count towards any durations in the game, except for counting towards the pause duration, of course.

If no replacement player is found by the time the game becomes unpaused, a bot shall play in their stead, as specified in section III. If the individual in question is the referee, however, the game ends without a winner upon it becoming un-paused, if no replacement referee has been found.

An active Ackanomic player may always replace a bot with the approval of the referee, provided that player has not previously participated in that instance of Diplomacy.

Rule 1250.15/6
/dev/joe (Joseph DeVincentis)

General Equipment:

1 standard deck without the optional cards
Gamepoints as needed
Optionally, an Ackanomic IRC Server

Number of Players:

exactly 4 players and 1 referee are needed.

Beginning the game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

Additionally, the referee begins the game by randomly assigning the players into a playing order (ensuring that members of the same team do not occupy adjacent positions if teams are already chosen), and publicly posting this playing order and announcing that the spades game is beginning. Players 1 and 3 shall be team 1; players 2 and 4 shall be team 2. Throughout the game, play will rotate through this order, returning to player 1 after player 4.

Add to the end of Rule 5, "Winning the Game", the following:

When either side wins by any of these methods, the referee shall publicly post the results of the game, including the final scores.


1. Dealing

At the beginning of each round, the referee collects and shuffles into a random order all of the cards in the deck (except the Jokers, which are not used), and deals 13 cards to each player, sending each player eir cards by a private message, except that those players eligible to bid Blind Nil shall not be sent their cards until they ask for them or the bidding is completed..

2. Bidding

In the first round, player 1 has the first bid; in each later round, the next player in the sequence has the first bid. After the deal, the first bidder (and each other bidder after him) makes a bid. The valid bids are 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

Players on a team which is behind by 200 or more points at the start of the round are also eligible to bid Blind Nil. Such a player will not initially be sent eir cards, and when it is eir turn to bid, e may either bid Blind Nil or ask to be shown eir cards. If e chooses to be shown eir cards, the referee shall send em eir cards and then e shall make one of the other allowed bids besides Blind Nil. After the bidding completes, if one player bid Blind Nil, the referee shall send em eir cards and e must then choose one card in eir hand to give to eir teammate, and send this card privately to the referee and eir teammate. The teammate then similarly chooses a card in eir hand to be given to the Blind Nil bidder. [This ensures that one out of 4 Blind Nils don't automatically fail by having the ace of spades.] If both players on a team are daring enough to bid Blind Nil, no such exchange occurs. Once this has completed the referee should announce that it is completed and the first trick begins, though if the opening lead belongs to a member of the Blind Nil team, e need not wait for this signal to begin play.

3. Trick Play

The main part of a round consists of 13 tricks. In each trick each player shall play one card from his hand; these cards are then removed from play for the rest of that round. The player who made the highest bid (the first player who made it, in case of a tie) leads to the first trick; for later tricks, the player who won the previous trick leads. The player who leads a trick begins it by playing any card from eir hand (called the card led). However, e may not lead a spade unless a spade has been played to an earlier trick that round, or all the cards in eir hand are spades. The other players follow in order; each player must play a card from eir hand of the same suit as the card led, if e has one; if not, e may play any card from eir hand. The player who played the highest Spade played to a trick wins the trick, if any Spade was played; otherwise the player who played the highest card of the suit led wins the trick.

Whenever there is no doubt who will win each of the remaining tricks, the referee may interrupt play, announcing this fact as well as the remaining plays which would have otherwise occurred, in order to speed the game along a little faster. [Certainly, he can at least do so for the last trick in each hand, and sometimes more, such as if one player has the top three spades remaining with three tricks left to play.] Those tricks are treated as if they were played as indicated by the referee.

4. Scoring

Each team has a Spadescore in Gamepoints, to which Gamepoints are added to and subtracted as appropriate; all scoring is in Gamepoints.

After the 13th trick in a round is completed, each team scores as follows:

The bids the two players won are added together, as are the number of tricks taken by the two players. If they took fewer tricks than their bid, they score -10 times the bid (-20 times the bid if the bid was 10 or more); otherwise they score 10 times the bid (20 times the bid if it was 10 or more), and in addition, they score 1 and get one sandbag for each trick in excess of their bid.

For each player on the team who bid 0, the team scores 100 if e took no tricks, or -100 if e took at least one trick. For each player on the team who bid Blind Nil, the team scores 200 if e took no tricks, or -200 if e took at least one trick.

When a team receives their 10th, 20th, 30th, etc. sandbag, they score -100.

5. Winning the Game

After the scoring for a round, if at least one team has a Spadescore of greater than or equal to 500, and the teams aren't tied, or one team has a Spadescore 500 points more than the other team, the team with the greater score wins; otherwise, the referee shall begin another round. If both players on a team post a concession publicly, the other team wins the game. If either team forfeits their opponents win. There are no other ways to win the game. No Trophies are awarded for winning.

6. Miscellaneous

Bids and plays of cards may be made either by posting them in a public message or sending them in a message to the referee and all other players.

Nobody is allowed to reveal to anybody what cards any player has except as explicitly stated in these rules.

If a player misplays (plays a card not matching the suit of the card led when e has a card in eir hand matching the suit of the card led, or attempts to play a card not in eir hand), the referee should intervene as quickly as possible, voiding all plays since (and including) the misplay, and the misplaying player's team scores -100. If players on one team misplay twice in one hand or three times in a game, that team forfeits. Any misplays voided due to an earlier misplay do not count and are not penalized.

7. Time Limit

Whenever action is expected of any player and they fail to act for 3 days, the referee shall intervene by choosing a valid action for that player, as follows:

If it occurs when a player is deciding whether or not to bid Blind Nil, e is considered to have chosen to look at eir hand.

If it occurs during the bidding, a bid of 2 is made.

If it occurs during the trick play, the referee chooses a card at random from among the cards the player could legally play, and it is played.

If one player misses the time limit on 3 consecutive actions [such as his play to three consecutive tricks, or his play to the last trick fully played in one hand and his bid and first play to the next hand] eir team forfeits. If the players on one team miss the time limit 7 times over the course of a match, eir team forfeits.

Rule 1250.16/4
/dev/joe (Joseph DeVincentis)

[Gist: Viruses is a multiplayer game based on John Conway's "game" of Life. The multiplayer aspect is grafted on by way of "viruses" -- each cell can either be clean or infected by any one player's virus; when a new cell is born near cells infected with just one virus, the new cell is also infected. Moves are simultaneous and secret.]

General Equipment: Gamepoints as needed

Players: minimum 2, maximum 20

Referees: 1, a volunteer who may not also be a player in the game. The referee receives A$10 at the conclusion of the game for his services.

Starting the game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

Winning the game: To win, accumulate 10 Gamepoints, or be the only player left in the game. See rule 8, below.

The Rules of Viruses:

1. Getting Started

After agreeing on a set of players, the Referee chooses 20 different squares at random on a grid of 10 by 10 squares (exception: if there are more than 10 players, then the initial grid is made the smallest square region such that the number of squares is at least 10 times the number of players, and the number of randomly chosen squares is 2 times the number of players) and assigns each player an ASCII character besides '.' and '@' to be used to mark cells infected with his virus. The randomly chosen squares are initially filled by clean cells (not infected by a virus), marked by '@'except that for each of the starting players, one such cell, selected at random, is infected with eir virus. All other squares are empty, marked by '.'. The referee also chooses a numbering system for the rows and the columns, and should post this numbering system in some reasonable format whenever he posts the grid. After the adjustment described in rule 2, this grid becomes the turn 0 state, and the referee shall post this grid publicly to begin the first turn.

2. Active Area

Just after the initial random cells are placed on the grid, and after each generation, the active area of the grid is reset to be the smallest rectangle such that all the cells are contained in it and none of them lie in the outermost two rings of squares. (So, if there was a 2x2 block of cells and no other cells, the active area would be a 6x6 area with the 2x2 block at the center.) If there are no cells when the active area is to be determined, a 2x2 block of clean cells is created and the active area is a 6x6 block with those cells at the center. [Preserve a minimal interesting framework to play from if all the cells die out.]

3. Adjacency

Adjacent squares, for all the rules of this game, are any of the 8 squares which touch a square either along an edge or a corner. An adjacent cell is an adjacent square containing a cell.

4. Turns

Each turn lasts 3 days from the time the referee posted the state of the grid before that turn, unless at some earlier time all players have submitted the maximum number of valid moves they are allowed for that turn, in which case the turn ends immediately.

Each turn except the first turn, each player may make one move from the allowable types. The first turn, each player may make three "Place" or "Infect" moves. All moves are made by private messages to the referee. The referee shall not reveal any move to any player other than the one who made it until the end of that turn.

5. Allowable Moves

The following types of moves are allowed:

a. Place - a player may place one new cell infected with his virus in any empty square.
b. Infect - a player may infect any clean cell with his virus.
c. Step - a player may move a cell infected with his virus cells to any adjacent empty square.
d. Destroy - a player may destroy a cell infected with his virus.
e. Uninfect - a player may uninfect a cell infected with his virus (turning it into a clean cell).

In each case, the square(s) associated with a move must be given in order to fully specify the move; these should be specified by column and row according to the numbering system imposed by the referee. Any move which does not specify square(s) in the active area meeting the descriptions above or which is not of one of these types of moves is invalid. Two moves conflict if they attempt to step and/or place cells into the same square or try to infect the same clean cell.

6. Resolving Moves

At the end of a turn, the referee examines all the submitted moves. First, the referee removes from consideration all invalid moves. Then, if any player(s) submitted too many moves, only the first one(s) (up to the allowed limit) for each such player are kept. Then, the referee removes from consideration all moves which conflict with one or more other remaining moves. Finally, all the moves still under consideration are applied to the current grid. [This allows players to "change" their move only if they previously submitted one which is invalid.]

7. Generations

After applying a set of moves, a generation occurs. The grid is altered according to these rules (both rules are applied simultaneously to all appropriate squares in the grid):

a. All cells which have 0, 1, or 4 or more adjacent cells are destroyed.
b. A new cell is created in each empty square which has exactly 3 adjacent cells. If the adjacent cells are all clean, or there are adjacent cells infected by two or more different viruses, the new cell is clean. Otherwise, it is infected with the one virus which infects one or more of the adjacent cells.

8. Gamepoints; Winning the Game of Viruses

After each generation, the player whose virus then infects the most cells scores one Gamepoint, but if there is a tie for most cells, no Gamepoint is scored. When a player has 10 Gamepoints he wins the game. If only one player remains in the game, that player wins the game. If there is ever a time when no player is left in the game, then one of the players who was in the game the last time there were any players in the game is chosen at random to be the winner of the game. A standard Trophy is awarded to the winner.

9. End-of-turn Information

After applying a set of moves and a generation to the grid, as well as the size adjustment in rule 2, the referee shall post the current state of the grid publicly, as well as the list of all valid moves submitted by players for that turn (except those ignored because a player submitted too many moves), indicating which ones were conflicting, and also the adjustment in the size/position of the active area of the grid caused by rule 2, and the scoring for the round and the total scores.

10. Joining or Leaving a Game in Progress

During the first ten turns, new players may join the game by publicly announcing their intent, if they have not played in this instance of Viruses before; each new player gets three Place or Infect moves in his first turn instead of the usual one move. If a player retires from the game or leaves Ackanomic, while there still exist cells infected with that player's virus, a new player may join and take that player's virus as his own instead of the usual method of starting (but any new player doing so gets only one move of any allowed type in his first turn). Despite all the above, if a game of Viruses has the maximum number of players or is being played as a Duel then no additional players may join.

If a player retires from the game or leaves Ackanomic and nobody takes over his virus by the end of the turn after the one during which he retired, all cells infected by his virus are uninfected just before the moves are evaluated.

If the referee retires for any reason, the game is put on hold until a new referee is chosen. The new referee must not be a current player of the Viruses game, but may be a former player; any Ackanomic player who meets this guideline may volunteer by announcing so publically. When a new referee is publicly knowable, the current turn restarts with a full 3-day limit; all moves for this turn sent to the former referee are ignored. The current referee may not be a player in the Viruses game, nor may any player who has been referee within the last two turns.

11. Genocide

When the grid is posted at the end of turn 11 or a later turn, any player whose virus infects no cells is eliminated from the game, unless this would eliminate all the players.

Rule 1250.17/2
Guy Fawkes (Robert Shimmin)

[Gist: Mediocrity is a psychological game won by guessing the "middle" number -- but not too often! This game was created by Douglas Hofstadter, and first published in his column "Metamagical Themas", in Scientific American]

General equipment: Gamepoints as needed.

Players: minimum 3, maximum: the number of players in the game of Ackanomic at the inception of a game of Mediocrity, less one

Referees: one

The Rules of Mediocrity:

Starting an instance of the game: Via the method described in rule 1250.1, section VI a).

Mediocrity: For a given set of numbers, the most Mediocre one is determined as follows:

1) The numbers are listed in increasing order: the first member is the smallest number in the set, each succeeding member is equal to or greater than the previous one.

2) If the set has an odd number N of members, the (N+1)/2 member is near-Mediocre; if the set has an even number of members, the N/2 member is near-Mediocre.

3) If the value of the near-Mediocre member is unique in that set, it is the most Mediocre number in the set.

4) If the value of the near-Mediocre member is not unique in the set, all instances of the near-Mediocre number are removed from the set, and steps 1-3 are applied to the remaining members.

5) If no member of the set can be found to be the most Mediocre member, then the set has no most Mediocre member.

Play: Play consists of rounds. A round begins when the Referee announces the beginning of that round; it ends when the Referee announces the result of that round, or after six days. A round must last at least three days, or at least until all players other than the Referee have submitted a legitimate number to the Referee, whichever comes first..

During a round, each player other than the Referee sends the Referee a positive integer in the range of 1 to 2n, where n is the number of players other than the Referee in the game. If any player(s) fail to do so, the Referee shall randomly determine which integer in this range each of these players chose.

To end a round by announcing its results, the Referee posts the following: the number selected by each player, the player (if any) who selected the most Mediocre number of those selected, and the current score of the game. (Each player's score is the number of Gamepoints e currently has for that instance of Mediocrity. All players begin the game with zero Gamepoints; a player gains one Gamepoint whenever e selects the most Mediocre number in a round.)

A player may also be removed from the player list by announcing eir resignation from either the game of Mediocrity or the game of Ackanomic, or by being removed involuntarily from the game of Ackanomic.

Winning the Game: If at the end of a round, the sum of the scores of all players is greater than or equal to twice the number of players, and there exists a most Mediocre score from the set of player scores, the player with the most Mediocre score wins, and the game ends.

Trophy: the winner of the game shall receive a standard Trophy, and a rather Mediocre example of one at that. The winner is encouraged to complain (albeit in a rather nonplussed manner) about the Mediocre nature of the Trophy.

Rule 1250.18/11
Ye Olde Rusty Lantern
Mohammed (Jason Orendorff)

"Ye Olde Rusty Lantern" (a storytelling game)

[Synopsis: the players (called Bards) are dealt a hand of cards. Each card bears a word or phrase describing a possible story element. The Bards take turns telling parts of a tale, playing cards by bringing the corresponding story elements into the yarn. When a Bard finishes the story by tying off all the loose ends and playing eir last card, e wins.]


some cards (to be provided by the Barkeep)
Ale (generated as needed)
a solid wooden table and benches
a brass pot

The Barkeep

The Barkeep is the person who started the game. When e goes on Vacation, the tale is suspended until e returns. If e should quit Ackanomic, the tale unceremoniously ends.

At the beginning of the tale, the Barkeep shall announce the number of benches and the names of the Bards who will start the tale. If the game is being played as a Duel, there may be only two benches.

(The Barkeep is considered the referee of the game.)


The Barkeep may not be a Bard. Anyone else may join (becoming a Bard) at any time, unless there are already as many players as benches. Any Bard may leave at any time. If it is a Bard's turn when e leaves, e is considered to have passed. The Bards are all imagined to sit around a table in the Barkeep's tavern, so whenever someone joins, the Barkeep shall choose a place around the table for em to sit.

There must be at least two Bards for a tale to proceed, and no more Bards than benches; any time this is not the case for a particular instance of Ye Olde Rusty Lantern, that tale is suspended until the requirements are both met. (In the meantime, Bards are free to join or leave, but no cards may be played.)

If, in starting the game, the Barkeep announced that the game would be played for ante, and announced the entities required as ante, then a Bard joining the game must pay an entry fee including a set of entities that meets the Barkeep's requirements. All these entities are placed in the brass pot for the duration of the tale.


The Barkeep shall privately make (or obtain) a long list of story elements before starting the game. Each story element is represented by one card. During the game, each card is either in the deck, held by one of the Bards, on the table, or burned. They all start out in the deck. The Barkeep keeps track of the cards. Each time the Barkeep posts a public update of the game, he should post the number of cards held by each Bard (but not which cards are held by whom), list the cards lying on the table, and tell whose turn it is. Each Bard receives seven cards upon joining. When a Bard leaves, eir cards return to the deck.

When a Bard receives cards, the Barkeep chooses them randomly from the deck and sends them to that Bard via private mail. If there are not enough cards in the deck, the Barkeep shall either end the tale (lamely) or add story elements to his list of cards. A card is added to the deck for each new story element. The cards are then handed out as needed, and the tale goes on.


As soon as the Barkeep is ready to begin, e chooses a Bard to go first and names em publicly. It is that Bard's turn.

On eir turn, a Bard either tries to make a play, or passes. If e successfully makes a play, it is still eir turn. When a play is denied (which happens, alas, to the best Bards from time to time) or the Bard passes, play goes to the next Bard, clockwise around the table.


A Bard may pass explicitly. Also, when the Barkeep notices that a Bard is asleep (i.e. it has been eir turn continuously for three days or more, and e has not tried a play in all that time) and posts a message to that effect, that Bard is considered to have passed. When a Bard passes, e receives a card. If it is ever a Bard's turn while that Bard is vacationing with an expected return 3 or more days away, or while he is On Ice, the Barkeep may declare that player Asleep and consider him to have Passed without waiting 3 days.

If a Bard is asleep(i.e. passes by default)for three of eir turns in a row(or more), then the Barkeep may announce, at the same time as announcing that e is asleep, that that Bard has gone Under The Table. At this point the Bard is removed from the game, and eir bench is considered empty. The next time that Bard rejoins that game, e need not pay ante to do so.

When a Bard passes explicitly, e may announce that e is discarding one of the cards from eir hand, naming the card. That card is burned.


A Bard attempts a play by sending a public message with the word "Lantern" (or "YORL") in the subject header. The text of the message should be a reasonable amount of suitable prose to add to (or start) the tale (150 to 300 words, or the length of previous segments, are good guidelines). If the Bard has any cards, the last line of the message should specify one of them.

The Barkeep shall then reply, either verifying that the play was successful, or denying it. E may, in addition to verifying the play, announce that the card thus played is a new Loose End. This is done when, in the Barkeep's opinion, an interesting element is added to the game and isn't resolved right away: a villain is introduced; a map is found; a prophecy is made. When a card becomes a Loose End, it goes on the table, face up. When a card is successfully played, but doesn't become a Loose End, it is burned. [The tale isn't complete until all the Loose Ends have been tied off.] When a Bard attempts to play a card but is denied, the card is burned, and the Bard receives two cards to replace it.

The Barkeep may deny a play for any of the following reasons: it is incomprehensible; it is a non sequitur from the previous bit of the story; it is not in the spirit of the game [e.g. the Bard is blatantly and rudely playing to get rid of cards rather than for the fun of the story]; it is too long or too short; the Bard has cards, but none of them is specified; no card was specified, and no Loose Ends were tied off; the play was attempted more than three days after the beginning of the Bard's turn; or a card was specified, but the text didn't bring it into the tale.

That last reason begs some explanation. The text of a play is required to bring into the story the ideas specified on the card. [e.g. If a card bears the word "disguise", the Bard may play it only if he works a disguise into the story.] It's a matter of taste how central an idea must be in order to qualify. Generally, it is insufficient simply to discuss an item (it must be present), to mention the possibility of an event (it must take place), or to have a character talk about another character in dialogue (he must actually be introduced.) In any case, the Barkeep's reply is final.

The Barkeep may, in addition to verifying the play, announce that one or more of the Loose Ends on the table have been resolved. This means that the most recent play has tied off those parts of the story. A Bard receives one Ale for each Loose End tied off by eir play. Upon being awarded an Ale, a player also receives a FairPlay Award.


A Bard may try to interrupt any play attempted by another Bard, either before or after the Barkeep replies to it, by announcing the interruption, along with the play being interrupted and the name of a card the interrupting Bard holds. [The idea is that the story element on this card is, by coincidence, a part of the story that the current Bard is telling; the interrupting Bard now takes over the tale.]

An interruption never causes any of the tale to be discarded. Neither does it have any effect on the success or denial of any play currently being attempted. When a play and an interruption are both being attempted, the Barkeep must reply to the play first (regardless of which message e received first).

The Barkeep shall reply to each interruption, either verifying that it was successful, or denying it. If the interruption is successful, then it is immediately the interrupting Bard's turn, and the Bard who was interrupted receives a card.

The Barkeep shall deny an interruption if the card specified is not one the interrupting Bard has. In this case, one card is dealt to the interrupting Bard, as a penalty.

The Barkeep shall deny an interruption if the story element on the specified card was not sufficiently mentioned in the interrupted play. In this case, the card is burned, and the interrupting Bard receives two cards to replace it, as a penalty. Again, what qualifies as a sufficient mention is up to the Barkeep, but in this case e is encouraged to be lenient.

If an interruption is not denied for either of the above reasons, the Barkeep shall deny it if it comes too late-- that is, either the interrupted play was attempted more than three days ago, or it has already been successfully interrupted with a different card. In this case, the card is burned, and the Bard who attempted the interrupt is dealt one card to replace it.


A Bard wins when all of the following are true: e has no cards, e was the last to make a successful play, there are no Loose Ends, and there are no unprocessed Interrupts. If the story isn't quite "done" yet, the winning Bard may finish it however e pleases. Once that's done, the tale ends.

If the game was played for ante, the winner gets all the entities in the pot, and no trophy is made. Otherwise, a standard Trophy is awarded to the winner.

Rule 1250.19/4
Word un-association
The Gingham Wearer (Tom Walmsley)

I. Equipment needed:

Gamepoints as necessary.

II. Number of players:

minimum: 2; maximum: the number of active players when an instance of Word Un-Association is initiated minus one. Referees: one.

III. Starting an instance of the Game:

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI. Additionally, the player announcing the start of the Game shall randomly assign each player a different integer ranging from 1 to N, where N is the number of players in the game. All players shall be randomly assigned numbers in this way, including non-active ones.

IV. Rules of the game:

The game is composed of rounds; each round shall have one "Linker". All players who are not the Linker shall be known as "Confused". The game shall be scored in Gamepoints.

Player 1 shall be the Linker of the first round, and after that, Linker duty shall be assigned in order of increasing player number at the completion of each round. Player 1 again assumes the duty just after the completion of the round where the player with the highest number was Linker.

The referee picks a word from the official dictionary [it is encouraged to be fairly common, but not too simple (i.e. not "the" or "at", etc.)]. The Linker then publicly posts a word. This word, called the "uh? word", must have a common "link word" with the original word, but must not be itself linked to the original word [i.e. blue --> wine is allowed (via bottle), as is school --> eye (via pupil) but school --> teacher is not (even though pupil would be a valid link word it is not allowed since school and teacher are themselves connected]. If e fails to do so within three days of the start of the round (that is, when the referee announces the results of the previous round) then e loses three gamepoints and the round ends immediately.

All Confused must then try to find a word to link the original word and the announced word and post it to the referee. Any Confused that manages it gains one game point. If no other Confused has the same link word e gains one additional game point (unless the game has only two players). If no-one finds a link word then the Linker gains N-1 gamepoints, provided e can announce a word to link the two words e was thinking of. Any Confused who do not post any proposed link word within three days of the Linker publicly posting the uh? word is deemed to have failed to come up with a link word. If no Confused player submitted an acceptable link, and the Linker does not come up with a word to link the two words e was thinking of (acceptable to the referee) within 6 days of submitting the word, then the Linker shall lose 3 points.

This word announced by the Confused does not have to be the same as the one the Linker was thinking of to gain points. If ever there is a disagreement about whether two words are linked then the referee's decision is final. Play then continues with the player who was assigned the next integer publicly announcing a word which shares a common link word with the uh? word announced by the first player. Play continues in this way until at least one player has 5N, or 30, gamepoints, whichever is lower, and all players have been the Linker the same number of times. At this point, if one player has more gamepoints than anyone else, then e wins. Otherwise, play continues, in the same way as before.

If a Vacationing player fails to post an uh? word then e does not lose the points as specified above.

V. Trophy:

A standard trophy is awarded.

Rule 1250.21/2
Abstract Crescent
Slakko (Duncan Richer)

[a. A game for as many players as are interested. This converts the original concept of Mornington Crescent, as developed by Conway, into a purely mathematical notation so that people not familiar with the London Underground will not be at a disadvantage.

The aim of the game is to win rounds by picking the smallest number. But the score you get in each round depends upon what numbers other players picked - the ideal situation is when a player wins when someone else is just about to win (i.e. you pick 7 and they pick 8).]

a. Instances of the game are started as described in 1250.1, section VI.

b. General Equipment: Gamepoints as needed.

c. Minimum Players, 2: Maximum Players, 100. One referee is also required. The referee is the player who started the instance of the game, and shall receive A$5 reward at the conclusion of the game, provided 5 or more players are involved at some stage during the game

d. Once the Game has commenced, the referee shall randomly assign each player a number between 0 and n-1, where n players are starting the game. E shall then announce the start of the first round. All players start with a score of 0 Gamepoints.

A round proceeds as follows:

1. Each player has 3 days to send the referee their play for the given round. A player's play is a positive integer congruent to their current player number modulo n (where n is the current number of players). For example, in an 8 player game, player 6 can make plays of 6,14,22,30,etc.

2. The playing section of the Round is complete after either three days have passed since the Round was announced, or sufficient players have emailed their plays to the Referee to determine the result of the Round, whichever comes first. After the playing section is complete, the Referee shall post the results of the Round, including scoring as described below.

3. When a player leaves an instance of Abstract Crescent, the Referee removes them from the list at the end of the round. The numbering is then modified so that all players who had a number higher than that of the leaving player have their number reduced by one. The referee may also add players after this has occurred, each new player receiving the smallest positive integer currently not in use by another player (including any other new players who were dealt with first).

Each player's number is then increased by one (modulo n), and the next Round is announced by the Referee, unless at least one player's score exceeds 5n points, where n is the current number of players. If the latter is the case, then all players whose score exceeds 5n and who have no-one exceeding their score are declared Winners. Each Winner receives a Standard Trophy.

4. Scoring

The winner of a Round is the player who played the lowest number. They receive (2n+k-l) Gamepoints, where n is the current number of players, k is the number they played, and l is the smallest number played by any other player that Round. If only one player should submit a number in any given round, then that player shall win the Round and gain 2*n Gamepoints, where n is the current number of players.

5. Leaving and Re-joining

When a player leaves a game of Abstract Crescent, any positive Gamepoints they had earned in that game are lost. Should they rejoin that game at a later date, their score upon rejoining will be the lower of the score they had when they last left the game and 0.

If a player fails to submit a number in 3 consecutive rounds, then the Referee may declare them to have left at the end of the third such round. Such a declaration is equivalent to the player consenting to leave the game.

Rule 1250.22/1
Alfvaen (Aaron Humphrey)

[ Bacon is a game inspired by the book "Seven Steps To Kevin Bacon", or a game known as "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", illustrating the ubiquity of the actor Kevin Bacon. Consider it an exercise in graph theory. ]

General Equipment: Movie Database, Gamepoints as needed

Number of Participants: 2; Referees: 1


The game consists of a series of rounds. At the start of each round, each player must privately email the name of an actor or actress (hereafter referred to as an actron), who has appeared in at least one movie as specified in the Movie Database. This naming period is over when both players have named an actron, or three days have passed since the referee announced the start of the round, whichever comes first; in the latter case, if one player named an actron and the other did not, then the first player wins the round, and if neither named an actron then the round is a draw.

The referee then posts the names of both actrons. The players have three days to either object to each others' selection, or to state that they are satisfied with it. If the three days pass with no objections, or both players state that they are satisfied, then the actrons are deemed to be accepted. If one or both players object, then the referee must rule on each actron thus objected to. If the referee rules that the actron is too obscure, then the player who selected that actron loses one Gamepoint. If the referee rules that the actron is not too obscure, then the player who objected loses one Gamepoint. If one or both actrons is rules to be too obscure, then the naming period begins again (and both players must email the name of another actron to the referee), otherwise play proceeds.

After the actrons are accepted, each player must attempt to construct a "Bacon chain" between the two of them. A Bacon chain consists of a series of links; each link must consist of the name of a movie and the names of two actrons who were in the movie. For a chain to be valid, adjacent links must have at least one actron in common. [Thus, the link "Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton" followed by the link "Twins: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny De Vito" would be a valid chain; the first link above followed by the link "Wayne's World: Dana Carvey, Tia Carrere" would not.] (If there is ambiguity between two movies or actrons with identical names, it is up to the referee to determine which is meant in each case, and to make this information available to both players.)

Each player has three days from the time the actrons are accepted to send such a chain to the referee. After this period ends or Bacon chains are received from each player, the referee shall post both chains.

If one player thinks that the other player's chain is invalid, then e may challenge it up to three days after the chains are posted. The referee will check each link in the Movie Database, and determine whether the chain is valid. Otherwise, a chain will be assumed to valid if it goes unchallenged for the three days. (If a player did not submit a Bacon chain for that round, then eir chain is considered invalid.)

If one player's chain is valid and the other's is invalid, then the first player wins the round. If both chains are valid and one player's chain is shorter than the other(contains fewer links), then e wins the round. If neither chain is valid, or both chains are valid and of equal length, then neither player wins the round.

The winner of a round receives 2 Gamepoints.

Winning: The winner of the game shall be the first player to obtain 10 Gamepoints. The winner shall receive a standard Trophy. The referee shall receive A$8 from the Treasury upon conclusion of the game. If one player leaves the game, then the remaining player will win the game immediately by forfeit.

Cheating: Players may not consult the Movie Database themselves during the course of a round.

Rule 1250.23/10
JT (JT Traub)

[This describes a minor adaptation of the game commonly known as Eleusis. The standard rules for this game can be found at

The rules below are an adaptation to work within the framework of Ackanomic and email.]

1) General Equipment

a) This game uses either one Eleusis Deck with the optional Wild cards or two Standard decks combined into one larger deck, again with optional Wild cards. If the deck runs out of cards during a round, then the Referee(or Deus if there is none)may add another shuffled deck of the same kind.

b) Gamepoints as needed.

c) Optionally, an Ackanomic IRC Server

2) Number of players.

a) This game is played by 4-8 players and one optional Referee.

b) This game can have an optional Referee as defined in section 10.

c) New players may *not* join during the run of an existing game except as defined under section 8.

3) How to start an instance of the game

As described in rule 1250.1, section VI.

4) General Rules of the game

a) If there is a Referee, the Referee assigns a cardinal number from 1 to N, where N is the number of players, to each player. If there is no Referee, then the player calling the game shall be cardinal number 1 and all other players shall be assigned a number from 2 to N where N is the total number of players including the player who called the game.

b) Player number 1 shall be named the Deus for the first round.

c) All player other than Deus are considered to be Scientists for that round.

d) The round is played as specified in section 5.

e) At the end of the round, the Deus from the previous round will announce the rule from that round, and all other players have a 3 day period to announce an error in the game play. Play on the next round can proceed during this error determination since the results of one round do not affect the next round. If at least one player declared there to be an error, handle it as in Section 11.

f) At the end of a round, the next higher numbered player is named the new Deus and a new round begins.

g) The game ends when each player has been Deus exactly once, and the game is scored as described in section 7.

5) The play of a round

a) Deus creates a private rule which specifies how a valid play is to be determined. This rule may only depend upon cards which have already been correctly played, not upon incorrectly played cards, or the contents of any players hand.

b) Deus announces publicly which of the two decks is being used for that round, whether the Wild cards are included in the deck. The ranking of the cards [IE, the order of importance of the cards within the suits], the value of any cards which are different than their standard face value [IE all face cards are 10 or J=11, Q=12, K=13], the ranking and value of suits if that is pertinent, and the ranking/value of wild cards if they are in use.

c) Deus (or the Referee) privately communicates to each player their hand of 14 starting cards.

d) Deus (or the Referee) publicly communicates the face-up starter card.

e) The round is now open for play and play proceeds in numerical order starting with the player in numerical order after the Deus for the current round

f) The current player chooses a series of between 1 and 4 cards from their hand and announces them in the order they wish to play them. The player may also choose a call of 'No Play' if they believe no card in their current hand is a valid card to play in the current sequence. A sequence of cards is only correct if every card in the sequence in order is correct. If a player doesn't publically submit a play within 3 days of it becoming their turn, the Deus (or Referee) will choose a card from their hand at random and play it for the delinquent player.

g) Upon calling 'No Play' the player must reveal at that time all the cards held in their hand.

h) If there is currently no prophet, and the current player has not already been prophet this round and there are more than two remaining Scientists the player may declare themselves prophet regardless of whether their play was correct or incorrect. To save time, the player should include this declaration with their play. The card played when a prophet is declared is marked with a '!'.

i) If there is a prophet:

1) The prophet publicly decrees whether the play is correct or not. If the prophet fails to make a call within 3 days, the prophet shall be deemed to have judged the play as correct.

2) The Deus publicly declares whether they approve of the prophets call or not.

3) If the Deus doesn't approve of the prophets call then the Scientist who played the card(s) is not penalized, the prophet is dealt 5 penalty cards by the Deus or the Referee, and resumes play as a Scientist.

4) If the Deus approves of the prophets call and the player played an incorrect sequence, then the Deus (or Referee) deals the player 2 cards for each card in the sequence or five cards if the incorrect call was 'No Play'. In the case of 'No Play' the prophet must choose a card from the current players hand before the penalty cards are dealt that would have been a correct play and play it. If the prophet chooses a card that isn't correct at this point then the card is returned to the players hand, and the player receives no penalty cards, instead causing the prophet to be overturned as in part 3 above. If the round is in 'sudden death' then the current player is expelled from the round after the dealing of the penalty cards.

5) If the play of 'No Play' was deemed correct then the player will be privately dealt a new hand of cards with four fewer cards than in their previous hand. Since there was no correct play, the number of cards played in the round or during the current prophets tenure remains unchanged.

j) If there is no prophet, Deus judges the play as correct or not with the penalties to the player being the same as in step 'i' part 4 above. In the case of 'No Play' Deus must choose a correct card from the calling players hand and play it. If the Deus judges a 'No Play' call to be correct, then the effect of step 'i' part 5 above occurs.

k) If there is no prophet, mark every 10th card played with a '*'. After forty cards, (4 '*') the round enters 'sudden death'. This count is suspended while there is a Prophet.

l) If there is a prophet, mark every 10th card since they became the prophet with a '!'. After 30 cards (3 '!') the round enters sudden death. This count is reset whenever a new Scientist becomes Prophet.

m) If the current player has 0 cards or there are no Scientists left, then the round is over and is scored as in section 6.

n) The player next in numerical order becomes the current player. The player after the highest numbered player is player 1.

o) If the current player is either the prophet or Deus, go to step 'n'.

p) go to step 'f'

6) Scoring a round

a) A player is considered the 'True Prophet' if they were the prophet when the round ended.

b) The high-count is the largest number of cards in any players hand (prophet included). Call this number H.

c) Every player except Deus gets Gamepoints equal to H - the number of cards in their hand.

d) Any player with 0 cards gets 4 Gamepoints as a bonus.

e) The 'True Prophet' gains 1 Gamepoint for each correct play and 2 Gamepoints for each incorrect play after they became prophet.

f) Deus gains Gamepoints equal to the smaller of

1) the highest players score

2) twice the total number of cards played since the true prophet became prophet.

7) Scoring the game

After all rounds are completed, the winner is the player with the most Gamepoints. All other players are ranked in descending order by Gamepoints.

Let N be the number of players in the game.

The highest ranked player gains a trophy, "The Scientist's Handbook" and 2(N-1) points. Each player in decreasing order gets two less points than the preceding player. If two players have the same number of game points but the next lower player with a different number of game points receives points as if they weren't tied. Last place will score 0 points. [Frex. in a game of 5 players with final game points of 20, 14 8, 8 and 4, the players would receive in order 8, 6, 4, 4 and 0 points]

8) Joining and Leaving the game.

When a player goes on vacation or leaves the game, they may appoint another player as their substitute in the game with the substitute's consent. If a player goes on vacation or leaves the game without appointing a substitute then they will make be replaced by a bot [provided by the Ackanomic Institute of Genetic Replication] which will make the default moves as defined above [playing a random card and in the case of the prophet calling a play correct]. If the player is the Deus and they didn't appoint a substitue and there is a Referree then the Referree shall be the substitute for the player. If the player going on vacation is the Deus, they must notify their substitute of the secret rule before they go on vacation. If the Deus fails to notify their substitute of the rule or if there is no substitute then the round ends and players will be scored as if the round had ended by normal means.

When a player is being played by a bot, any other active player of Ackanomic may take their place within the Eleusis game provided that the new player is not already a player in that Eleusis game.

9) Duties of Deus and the Prophet

The Deus and Prophet are necessary for the game to proceed smoothly and so are encouraged to respond to plays as quickly as possible. It is unfortunately not possible to impose a 3 day timeout on Deus, however if the Prophet fails to respond to a move within 3 days then that player is removed as a prophet as if they had made an incorrect call on a play. If there is no Referee, the Deus for each round assumes the responsibilities of the Referee.

The Deus may award a FairPlay point to a player if there is no Referee. For purposes of this paragraph, the Deus is treated as if they were the Referee of the game and thus are restricted as per rule 1250.1 Section XIII on the number of FairPlay Awards they may award. This paragraph takes precedence over rule 1250.1 if there is a conflict.

The Deus may during the round give up to three hints to the Scientists. These hints may be given at any time during the round, but no more than three may be given. If a Deus gives more than 3 hints in a round, he is penalized 2 Gamepoints for each hint above 3.

10) Duties of the Referee

The Referee (or Deus for each round if there is no Referee) must track the game state including which player has which cards, must simulate shuffling the cards at the start of a round and dealing cards as demanded by the round. They must also post the current game state including all played cards with a reasonable amount of frequency (at least once every other day would be recommended, and after each players play would be best). If there is an actual Referee, that player is paid $A10 when the game is concluded for providing their services.

11) Handling of errors.

a) If a player believes there to have been an error, then if there is a Referee, the Referee decides if the error in fact occurred. Otherwise a vote among the current players occurs. The voting period lasts 3 days and a player who doesn't respond is considered to have voted 'No' meaning that there was no error. If all votes are in before the 3 day period, then the voting period ends immediately.

b) If there was a vote, and a majority of the players voted that 'Yes' there was an error, then there was an error.

c) If there was an error, Deus for the round which contained the error loses 20 Gamepoints.

d) If there is more than one error in a round, the Deus is only penalized once.

Rule 1250.24/0
Acka Role Playing
/dev/joe (Joseph DeVincentis)

[This defines a generic super-structure for running Fantasy (or other) Role-Playing games as Acka Sub-games. Most of the details are left to the GM, though certain systems may become standard, or at least standard for a specific GM.]

1) General Equipment

Optionally, an Ackanomic IRC server.

No standard equipment is required, but any other standard equipment appropriate for a specific game may be used. The Ackanomic Magic Dice may be used as a randomizing mechanism, but GMs may find it more convenient to roll their own dice.

2) Number of Players

At least 2 players are required. The maximum number of players is the number of players in Ackanomic.

3) Number of referees

At least one referee (also called the Game Master or GM) is required. Normally, there will be just the one referee, but additional players of Ackanomic may become referees with the GM's consent. If there are additional referees, at all times there shall be one head referee (who shall be referred to as the Game Master or GM); with mutual consent, this role may change during a game, but such change should be posted publicly. The maximum number of referees is the number of players in Ackanomic. Normally, referees should not also be players, but with the GM's consent, referees may play at any time they are not acting in the GM role.

4) Starting the game

The game begins when the GM posts publicly that it is beginning, and who the initial players are. No other public posts are typically necessary until a game ends, but see the 'Number of Referees' and 'Ending the Game' sections for exceptions.

5) Joining and Leaving a Game in Progress

Players may join games in progress at the GM's discretion. When a player leaves the game, the GM should make an effort to work his departure into the story line of the game (which may or may not involve killing the character). Players who have previously played and left may rejoin at the GM's discretion, and it is also at the GM's discretion whether the player returns in state he left the game, as a new character, or otherwise.

6) Rules

The rules of the game are left up to the discretion of the GM, and he is free to tell players as much or little of the rules as he wishes. The GM may draw from established gaming systems, combine systems, and/or make stuff up as he goes along, though having some reasonable amount of pre-established structure is recommended. The GM is encouraged to use a player's Ackan statistics at least in part in generating new characters, and to incorporate changes in a player's Ackan stats into his character's stats. The GM is, however, free to ignore the Ackan stats for any reason (including, but not limited to the Ackan stats not fitting the gaming system chosen). Any changes in a characters stats during a game do not cause changes in the player's Ackan stats. A GM may allow a player to begin with a character partially or completely in the state he concluded a previous game, but otherwise should attempt to give players a reasonably equal starting ground.

7) Other information needed to play

The GM is free to tell players as much or little about the particular game as he likes, but there is no hard-set framework the game must adhere to. The GM should, however, tell the players enough to make the game fun and interesting.

8) Conditions for winning the game

Normally, the game ends with no winner, but a player wins if and only if the GM posts that a player has won when he posts that the game has ended.

9) Trophies

If there is a winner, he receives a standard trophy.

10) Ending the game

It is recommended that the GM post a summary of extended FRP games periodically; after each gaming session if possible. The game ends when the GM posts that it has ended; he may name a winner at this time, but typically the game will end without a winner. If at any time the game has been in progress for 30 days or more, and the GM has not publicly posted an update on the status of the game in the last 30 days, the game is considered to have ended without a winner, and all the characters are assumed to have disappeared, never to be heard from again. Updates may simply consist of a URL of a game log from an IRC server, if this is available.

Timestamp: Fri 02 Oct 1998 08:14 EDT

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