(For Easier Fun)
A Game of Nomic

Nomic, Definition of The central idea of Nomic is to vote to add to or change the rules of the game, for whatever purpose. Over time, this tends to generate orderly behavior.

There is currently a moratorium on new players in this game. But you can ask politely if you'd like.
MEGA-ULTRA PLUS This particular game of Nomic does not focus on rules so much as creating a somewhat-functional, gamelike world.
Links For more Nomic information, you could view the FAQ; Appendix 3 from The Paradox of Self-Amendment: A Study of Law, Logic, Omnipotence, and Change, wherein Peter Suber describes the game he created; Suber's Nomic page; or, possibly, The Net Nomic Database, a somewhat-useful listing of games and their rules.

MUP has a page devoted to proposals, a so-called proving grounds and waiting list for proposals of all colors.

J. McIntosh, jack-of-all-geek-trades, started Minty Nomic around two weeks before this game began. D. is active in both games.
1 October 1999 Hibernating nicely.
06 July 1999 The game is paused until the passage of time in it means anything. Obedience revised: "players" -> "game elements".
28 June 1999 Nineteen days of no updates now officially ended. Proposals page now available.
2 June 1999 Weather updated to 3.0r2. Flying Mantas introduced. Rumors of the webpage being broken into a group of pages, to simplify viewing things, are flying all over the place.
1 June 1999 Trees no longer prohibited from existing in water.
28 May 1999 Durability and refining explained.
26 May 1999 Weather now checked whenever we feel like it, up to a point.
25 May 1999 Weather updated to 3.0r1, the difference being instead of 2d6 for things, 1d11+1 is now used. Terrain, raw materials, and weather in their own categories. News item order reversed. On the docket: refining raw materials, defining durability, and references to Golden Axe (and its sequel). This page works under lynx, though not very prettily. The perils of using tables....
18, 19, 20 May 1999 Weather 3.0 in. Related additions: general areas, terrain and weather, clouds. Inaction Points defined but not fully installed. Rules checked for measurement-unit consistency. Raw material types added.
17 May 1999 Weather updated to reflect both today's and the previous weather-checks. Upcoming: modified weather-determining charts, and a system of geographical mapping.
2 May 1999 Talking Stomachs and Giant Ants have been introduced.
1 May 1999 Finals are now over. Weather checked... anyone else notice that it's been night for at least a week so far? So it goes.
23 April 1999 "Speed" renamed to "Action Points". Players and Agents now have scores for Action Points. Vicinity Dibble added. Raw materials allowed. Weather checked.
21 April 1999 Zero Point remodeled (now with more floor space!). Definitions of a circuit and a league. World's dimensions elaborated upon.
19 April 1999 Webwork completed. Minor rules editing. Minor recategorization.

OTR has tests this week, delaying any proposals. The weather, however, will continue to operate.
16 April 1999 New webpage design.
Player Status
D. He is active.
He has five sowi.
He has yet to sort out what he generated with his new Vicinity Dibble, but whatever he ended up with, he's in front of the Zero Point with it.
K. He is inactive.
He has ten sowi.
He is presumably inside the pyramid.
OTR He is active.
He has nine sowi.
He has a lantern in his possession.
He is wandering around the base of the pyramid.
Paused Primary weather scores:
  • It is night. (to be checked again when the game is unpaused)
  • Temperature: 9
  • Pressure: 6
  • Humidity: 9
Derived weather scores:
  • Condensation/Cloud Cover: 3/10
  • Wind: 1/10
Overall: it's a calm evening, with puffy little clouds overhead.

Basic Rules
Obedience All game elements must obey the rules. (Immutable.)
Rule Naming Rules must have brief, descriptive names.

[Lifted from Wunderland Nomic Game 3.]
Footnote Text Text delimited by brackets, e.g. [this] is footnote text, except in this sentence. Footnote text is treated as if it were not there, and can have no effect on the rules; it is merely an editorial comment.

[Lifted from Ackanomic.]
Self-Deleting Text Text delimited by curly braces, e.g. {this} is self-deleting text, except in this sentence. Self-deleting text is applied once, in the order it appears in the document, then it is deleted. Rules whose text section consists of nothing but self-deleting text and whitespace, are called "Self-Deleting Rules", and such rules are repealed after their self-deleting text is applied.

[Lifted from Ackanomic.]
Rule Changes
Definition A rule-change is any of the following: the enactment, repeal, or modification of a mutable rule, or the transmutation of an immutable rule into a mutable rule or vice versa. (Immutable.)

[This definition implies that, at least initially, all new rules are mutable; immutable rules, as long as they are immutable, may not be amended or repealed; mutable rules, as long as they are mutable, may be amended or repealed; any rule of any status may be transmuted; no rule is absolutely immune to change.]
Success A rule-change must recieve a simple majority of votes cast for it to come into effect. (Immutable.)
No Abrupt Endings A rule-change may not bring about an immediate end to the game. (Immutable.)
Guarantee of Fun If it has been determined that a crisis exists which might make the game Not Fun, the crisis can be expediently eliminated if the currently active Players vote unanimously to do so. (Immutable.)

[Also known as "the emergency eject switch".]
Eligibility Every player is an eligible voter. Every eligible voter who is also an active player must participate in every vote on rule-changes. (Immutable.)
Averages Whenever an average is refered to within the rules it shall be taken to mean the unweighted arithmetic mean.

[I.e., the sum of all the things to be averaged divided by the number of the things.]
Randomness Whenever the rules call for a random determination to be made among a finite number of possibilities, each of the alternatives shall be assigned the same probability. [I.e. use uniform weights.] This rule defers to any rule that specifies an alternative weighting scheme.

Whenever the rules call for a unique entity to be given or transferred to a random player, the player who currently has that entity (if any) is excluded from the pool from which the random selection is made.

[Lifted from Ackanomic.]
Boots The 'boot' (pl. 'boots') is a unit of various types of measurement.

For measurements of length or distance, one boot is the distance from heel to toe of a Hobnail Boot.

For measurements of volume, one boot is the amount of a substance that can be kept inside a Hobnail Boot.

For measurements of weight, one boot is the weight of a Hobnail Boot.

A freshly-purchased Automat Hobnail Boot is considered the archetypal Hobnail Boot.
Circuits The 'circuit' (pl. 'circuits') is a unit of distance measurement. It is equivalent to 1,000 boots in length [which is, ideally, the measurement around the Zero Point at its base].

It takes one action to move one circuit.
Leagues The 'league' (pl. 'leagues') is a unit of distance measurement equivalent to twenty circuits [which is 20,000 boots of distance total].
Time A bloob is one-tenth of a day [or, 144 minutes].

A bleeb is one-twelfth of a bloob [or, 12 minutes].
Z-rays Z-rays' travel is near-instantaneous, that is to say, there is a measurable but minute amount of travel time from a Z-ray's source to any given destination.
Actions & Tasks An action is the amount of effort required to complete a simple task.

Tasks that are more complex may require more than one action to complete.

A task's difficulty [or, the number of actions required to complete it] is defined via unanimous decision among active Players.
Action Points A game element may perform a number of actions worth of physical exertion per bleeb equal to its Action Points score.

Action Points are measured in positive integers.
Inaction Points A game element may perform a number of actions worth of non-physical exertion per bleeb equal to its Inaction Points score.

Inaction Points are measured in positive integers.
Definition A player is considered a unique entity who is playing the game. A player may voluntarily declare himself inactive, and may also be declared inactive due to an inability to play the game, by a majority vote, when deemed appropriate. Inactive players are ignored by the rules and the game in general until such time as the inactive player voluntarily declares himself active. Active players may (and, indeed, must) vote.

Players have 4 Action Points.
Names Players will be known by the three-character 'name' that they enter when they get a high score on a video game that uses three-character records. Characters may be anything allowed both in ordinary ascii and common videogame character sets. All letters must be uppercase. Special characters, including but not limited to hearts, may be prohibited.
Definition Certain game elements are referred to as objects. Unless otherwise specified, an object in a player's possession is carried. A player may give any object they are carrying to another player unless otherwise specified; upon doing so, the object is immediately removed from the giving player's possession and awarded to the recipient.
Abilities Objects are considered to be inert, in that in and of themselves they cannot directly affect the game. Objects may modify the way a player affects the game but have no power in and of themselves. Objects may not vote.
Lanterns There exists a type of object known as a Lantern. A lantern provides illumination for a single player. Lanterns cost three sowi to produce and require one sowi to be expended for each day the lantern is in use, with all fractions of days rounded up to the nearest whole number.
Hobnail Boots There exists a type of object known as Hobnail Boots. They occur in matching pairs and are resolutely blocky, scuffed and black in appearance. They cost two sowi to produce from the Automat.
Parabolas Parabolas [which are a type of object] are small, silver amulets etched with mathematical functions. They cost thirty sowi to produce from the Automat. With a Parabola, a Player can generate a single Fetch and gain its loyalty.
Useful Items There is an object known as a Useful Item. It is available from the Automat at a cost of 5 sowi.

A Useful Item is a hand-held object weighing a little less than one boot. It is made of tetraniblobium, a non-metallic material that is nonetheless very similar to metal, only more rubbery.

A Useful Item can:
  • Recieve Z-ray transmissions
  • Record Z-ray transmissions
Vicinity Dibbles The Vicinity Dibble is a type of object, available from the Automat at a cost of 5 sowi, that can be used to produce natural resources common to its immediate environment.

While having disparate appearances, Vicinity Dibbles retain a few common characteristics: they weigh five boots, they have a simple physical mechanism which must be manipulated to cause it to function, and they cannot be used when it is dark.

When operated via the simple physical mechanism (an effort that takes two actions) a Vicinity Dibble will produce one boot-weight of raw material. An entity may only operate one Dibble at any given time.

The type of raw material produced is random, and is only influenced by a Dibble's immediate environment. A Dibble may not produce living material, but may produce organic material previously alive.
Trees There exists a type of object known as a Tree. The size, appearance and behavior of trees varies from one type to another, save for certain constants: Trees are plants; Trees follow a basic template of a bark-covered trunk supporting branches with some sort of foliage.
The Automat There exists a type of object known as the Automat. The Automat is a stone cylinder that measures seven feet in height and four in diameter. The Automat is incapable of movement and is located in a brambly thicket near the Zero Point. The Automat is featureless, save for a steel plate on which there is a simple microphone and a port of sufficient width to accept sowi. An alcove with the dimensions of three cubic feet is located next to the microphone and is where objects are dispensed after they are purchased.

To generate an object, a Player or Agent must be located in front of the microphone and request an object from a list of objects the Automat can generate. Prior to receiving the object, a Player or Agent must provide the Automat with the proper amount of sowi.

The Automat is capable of generating the following objects:
  • Lantern
  • Hobnail Boots
  • Parabola
  • Useful Item
  • Vicinity Dibble
The Sun There exists an object known as 'the Sun'. The Sun is a golden dodecahedron four boots in diameter, set atop a stone tower that is four-hundred boots in height and twenty-seven boots in diameter. The tower is located on an island that is six circuits in diameter, set in the center of a sea which encompasses the entirety of one rounded end of the world; which is to say that the sea has a radius of seventy-five leagues. The illumination provided by the Sun is equal to bright daylight throughout the world.
Definition An Agent is considered any element in the game that is not a player, and also directly affects the game. Agents may not modify the way a player affects or interacts with the game, but may themselves affect or interact with the game. An Agent, be it controlled by a player directly or indirectly, or behaving autonomously, may not vote.
Abilities Unless otherwise stated, an Agent's characteristics are: it can carry a burden no greater than its weight, can move on the ground without penalty, cannot breathe water, can speak, and can see.
Fetch Fetch are spindly anthropomorphic canids with dark brown fur and pale lantern eyes. Fetch weigh 150 boots and are eight to ten boots in height.

A Fetch can:
  • Carry a burden lighter than itself
  • Exist comfortably in temperatures between 2 and 9
  • See in the dark
  • Drive off the Weeping Crone by howling
A Fetch cannot:
  • Exist in temperatures of 10 or above for more than a day
  • Disobey a Player to whom it is loyal
  • Read
A Fetch under the control of a Player can be named and described by the Player, to the extent that the description, including height and weight, remains within the boundaries of a Fetch's capabilities.

A Fetch has 6 Action Points.
The Weeping Crone The Weeping Crone resembles an old, bent-over woman with tattered rags for clothes. Resembles, for the Weeping Crone is made entirely of rusted iron.

The Weeping Crone can:
  • Make the temperature for one and a half leagues around it 4
  • Rust metal
The Weeping Crone cannot:
  • Enter the Zero Point
  • Remain within one and a half leagues of a howling Fetch
The Weeping Crone has 1 Action Point.
Tree Dwarves Tree Dwarves are very short and stocky, and tend to live in trees. They are not bald, but their preference for wearing large, leaf-covered hats conceals this. Tree Dwarves are generally four to five boots tall, and weigh seventy to one-hundred boots.

Tree Dwarves can:
  • Climb very well
  • Hide in foliage
Tree Dwarves cannot:
  • Swim
  • Tell a lie
Tree Dwarves have 3 Action Points.
Giant Ants Giant Ants are eight boots long and weigh four-hundred pounds. They are typically black, although red Ants are also known. While they are not sapient, Giant Ants can be tamed and trained to do simple tasks.

Giant Ants can:
  • Carry five times their weight, and pull ten
  • Dig
Giant Ants cannot:
  • Swim
  • Exist in temperatures under 5 for more than a day
  • Read
  • Speak
Giant Ants have 4 Action Points.
Flying Mantas Flying Mantas are large, black manta rays, with a wingspan of eight boots and a weight of thirty boots.

Flying Mantas can:
  • Fly
  • Exist without visible means of sustenance
  • Sing
They cannot:
  • Avoid a place where a disaster is about to occur
  • Fly in winds over 5
  • Carry anything
Flying Mantas have 3 Action Points.
Talking Stomachs Talking Stomachs are, in appearance, stomachs with small arms and legs, and a face. Roughly two boots in height and four boots in weight, a Talking Stomach tends to talk... a great deal. They hibernate during times of darkness.

Talking Stomachs can:
  • Speak
  • Read
  • Float on water
  • Carry up to three boots of cargo inside themselves
  • Digest things inside of themselves at a cost of one action per boot-weight (or fraction thereof), per object (determined randomly if applicable)
Talking Stomachs cannot:
  • Do anything other than sleep while in darkness
Talking Stomachs have 3 Action Points.
The Zero Point Players begin the game in a stone pyramid. The pyramid is two hundred fifty boots on a side at its base, and two hundred fifty boots tall. It contains a single room, at the center of which is a round stone table. The pyramid is known as the Zero Point and is located on the opposite end of the world from the Sun.

There are several environmental constants within the Zero Point: It is always daylight, and wind, temperature, and moisture are always at 0.

The Zero Point emits Z-rays at certain intervals. The entire world is within broadcast range of the Zero Point.

Every bleeb, the Zero Point broadcasts a unique signal via Z-rays. As well, every bloob, the Zero Point broadcasts a different unique signal. As well, every ten bloobs, the Zero Point emits a third unique signal.

It is possible to determine the time, one's orientation with regard to the Zero Point, and one's distance from the Zero Point by analysis of these Z-ray transmissions [such as via a Useful Object].
Definition A currency is a convertible unit of trade. Players and Agents may use currency. Unless otherwise specified, currency may not be destroyed, but may be exchanged for goods, services, or another currency. A single unit of any currency, regardless of denomination, must be able to fit, undamaged, within an imaginary cube four inches on a side.
Use A player may only trade currency for goods, services, or another currency.
Sowi There is a universally-traded currency archaically known as the "Spool Of Wire", or the "sowi" (singular and plural). This currency is (as implied) a spool of silvery wire, which may be pulled apart into pieces of one-inch increments and put back together again into a contiguous length without any rational physical explanation.

In common parlance, the term "sowi" has come to mean a one-inch piece of this wire, i.e. one sowi is one inch of wire, three sowi is a three-inch piece, and so on.

Sowi may only be traded in increments of whole sowi, and not fractional amounts.

Each player begins with an allowance of ten sowi.
The World
Description The world is a hollow cylinder with hemispherical ends. The world can be considered three contiguous parts: the Zero-Point End, the cylinder or body of the world, and the Sun End.

[The two ends are hemispherical 'bowls', effectively. The Zero Point and the Sun are in the bottom center of these bowls, directly opposite each other. Both the Zero Point and the Sun are centered on an imaginary line running through the center of the cylinder, lengthwise.]

The cylinder is three hundred leagues long and three hundred leagues in circumference. The shortest ground path from the center of one of the ends to the border of that end and the cylinder is 75 leagues. [The radius of the world is about 47.75 leagues.] (Immutable.)
Within-ness All Players, objects and other game elements exist within the world. (Immutable.)
Terrain The surface terrain of the world is arrayed as follows:
  • 30% shallow ocean (less than 200 ft. in depth)
  • 30% forested lowlands
  • 20% mountains
  • 10% plains
General Areas A 'general area' is the term for a loosely-defined region consisting of a geographical location, or a geographical location and its immediate environs.
Availability Any given type of terrain has no fewer than ten possible types of raw material common to it.
Types These are the types of raw materials common to the various types of terrain. Air, while not technically terrain, is included for sake of completeness.

  • water (x3)
  • silt
  • ocean creature
  • ocean plant
  • wood (x3)
  • dirt (x3)
  • forest creature
  • forest plant (non-tree)
  • stone (x6)
  • soil
  • mountain creature
  • mountain plant
  • valuable minerals
  • plains plant (x3)
  • dirt
  • pebbles
  • plains creature
  • air (x9)
  • air creature
Definition Objects have a value known as durability. It is measured in values of positive integers. [The lower the score, the tougher the material. More or less.] This durability is used to determine an object's resistance to physical stress.

Durability is dependent, for the most part, on the type of material involved.

Durability is determined thusly: an object made of one boot of material has a durability value of up to 10. When subjected to notable physical stress, the object in question has a (durability score) in 10 chance of being damaged. If it is damaged, its durability score goes up by one. If the object's durability score exceeds 10, it is considered ruined and useless.

A durability score of 10 signify that the object will be rendered useless the first time it is subjected to significant physical stress.

[A durability score of 0, hypothetically, would mean that an object would be treated as special: it would either be indestructible, or otherwise beyond normal wear and tear.]

Some materials or objects have a durability score of "n/a", meaning exactly that--durability is not applicable to them under ordinary circumstances.

The ordinary value of a material is known as that material's common value.

The durability of a material increases as the total amount of material in the object in question increases. This is measured by the formula "difference between desired value and common value, plus one, squared, equals the multiplier for amount required to achieve the desired value".

[For example: an object made of one boot of a material would have a durability equal to the material's common value; a durability of one point below the material's common value could be achieved by four boots of material; two points below, nine boots of material; three points below, sixteen boots of material, and so on.]

A durability value of 1 is the lowest score achievable under ordinary circumstances.
Values Durability values for various inanimate materials:
  • air: n/a
  • water, pebbles: n/a
  • comfy cloth: 10
  • paper: 10
  • ice: 9
  • heavy cloth: 9
  • silt/soil/dirt (packed): 8
  • plant: 8
  • wood: 7
  • stone: 5
  • valuable minerals: 5
  • tetraniblobium: 1
Refining Some materials may be worked, refined, or treated in some fashion to produce new materials. Here are possible conversions, their ratios, and effort required:

water -> ice (1:1)
When cooled to a temperature of 4 or less, water becomes ice.

stone -> pebbles (1:1)
When a stone item is physically abused enough to become "useless", it is reduced to pebbles.

plants -> comfy cloth (10:1)
plants -> heavy cloth (20:1)
With the some knowledge, plant fibers may be refined in such a fashion as to be good for the creation of fabric. This task requires 10 actions of effort for comfy cloth, and 20 actions of effort for heavy cloth.

plants -> paper (5:1; requires boot-volumes of water equal in number to boot-weights of plants started with)
Using a simpler process different from cloth-making, plants can be transmogrified into paper. The task requires five actions of work.
Weather, Changes in Weather changes are to be determined whenever it sounds like a good idea, per general area. The weather may not be checked for changes more than twice a day.
Weather, Terrain and Terrain can affect weather scores.
Weather 3.0r2 Weather is simplified into three primary characteristics: temperature, pressure, and humidity.

All three are measured on a scale of 2 to 12, with 7 being 'neutral' or 'average'.

The values of the three weather characteristics are determined thusly: one eleven-sided die plus one point [1d11+1] is rolled for each characteristic. The roll is doubled, then averaged with the characteristic's existing score, rounding to the nearest integer and rounding toward 7.

There are two secondary weather characteristics: condensation and wind, measured from 0 to 10 inclusive. Calculations that would set the value of either below 0 are treated as a result of 0; likewise, calculations that would set the value of either beyond 10 are treated as a result of 10.

A value of 0 is a complete lack of that secondary characteristic; a value of 1 or 2 is a small amount; and so on up to a value of 10, which is a catastrophic amount [of condensation or wind, presumably in a torrential rainstorm or blizzard, or a tornado or hurricane or the like].

The secondary characteristics are determined from the newly-averaged primary characteristic scores.

If humidity is greater than pressure, and the difference is greater than the current condensation score, two points are added to the condensation score. If humidity is greater than pressure, but the difference is less than the current condensation score, one point is added to the condensation score.

If humidity is lower than pressure, one point is subtracted from the condensation score.

If pressure is greater than temperature, and the difference is greater than the current wind score, two points are added to the wind score. If pressure is greater than temperature, but the difference is less than the current wind score, one point is added to the wind score.

If pressure is less than temperature, one point is subtracted from the wind score.

If the condensation score is greater than pressure's value, there will be precipitation. If the temperature is 3 or less, there will be snow; at a temperature of 4 or 5, sleet and freezing rain; and 6 or greater, rain.
Weather, Clouds and Cloud cover over a general area is a value equal to that general area's condensation score, multiplied by ten, and expressed as a percentage.

[IE, a condensation score of 4 means forty percent cloud coverage, whether or not there's precipitation; and a condensation score of 10 means 100% occlusion, which one would think would be more common, but since the weather system's just a hack in general the difficulty in getting high degrees of cloud cover can be counted as an undocumented feature.]

Javascript Dice-Rollers There are a few out there. D. finds one specific example to be acceptable for his own use in handling random game elements. No guarantees are expressed or implied.
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