Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Nomic» Forums » Variants

Subject: Proposed "Lite" variant - would this work? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Erik van der Weide
Netherlands
Ede
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a proposal for a lite variant on Nomic, with more emphasis on fast game play and less on legalese talk and democratic processes. However, I'm not sure if this would work, be playable or even interesting, so any feedback is appreciated.

The aim for this variant is to eliminate downtime, change rules fast by having one proposal accepted each round, and force some speed into the game by using a timer. Voting is simplified by giving each player a number of tokens each turn that he can save to increase his score, or can use as votes for specific proposals.

Initial setup (not part of the rules)
* Each player receives a sheet with boxes drawn on them, one for each player and marked with that players name. They also receive a screen to hide their sheet, and a pen.
* Have a bank with a lot of tokens available, and lots of not too large strips of writable paper.
* Designate part of the table as "list of current rules" (LOCR), for example by laying down a marked sheet of paper. Put the initial set of rules (on individual strips of paper) in the LOCR.
* Likewise designate an area for "current round actions" (CRA). Put the initial set of round actions in the CRA.
* Last things you need are a die and a (preferred digital) timer (or two).

Initial rules (in the LOCR)
1. All players have to obey all of the rules in the LOCR.
2. Each rule and action has a number identifying it, called "ID".
3. Each round the actions in the CRA are executed in the order of their IDs. Rounds follow each other until the game has ended.
4. Actions starting with "Timed" are timed actions. This means that the timer is started when starting the execution of that action, and any player not finished with his part of the action when the timer runs out, receives a Timer Penalty.
5. The Timer Penalty is: the player loses 2 tokens.
6. A "proposal" is a proposed new rule, a rule amendment, a new round action, or a round action amendment. It has an ID, and either "LOCR" or "CRA" to make clear whether it is a rule proposal or a round action proposal.
7. The games ends when the LOCR contains contradicting or paradoxical rules, or the next round action on the CRA cannot be executed.
8. When the game has ended, the player(s) with the highest number of tokens is the winner.

Initial round actions (in the CRA):
10. Each player receives 4 tokens from the bank.
20. Timed (2 minutes): Each player takes an empty strip of paper and writes a proposal on it - OR - selects a yet unaccepted proposal they wrote in an earlier round.
30. Each player reveals their proposal. They can clarify it verbally, but only what is written on the paper will be binding.
40. Timed (30 seconds): Hidden by their screen, each player places any number of his tokens on any number of the player boxes to vote for the proposal from that player. Each player has to place at least one token.
50. The votes are revealed and summed for each proposal.
60. The proposal with the highest number of tokens wins. If there is a tie, the proposal with the least letters on the strip wins. If there is still a tie, players use a die to determine the winning proposal.
70. The winning proposal is added to the LOCR or the CRA (determined by the proposal). If there is already a rule or round action with the same ID there, the proposal replaces or amends it. Replaced rules are discarded.
80. All proposals that did not win this round are returned to the player that wrote them.
90. All tokens used for voting are returned to the bank.
100. The players check whether the game has ended by fulfilling one or more of its ending conditions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
marc lecours
Canada
ottawa
ontario
flag msg tools
mbmb
The extremely light version of nomic is of course democrazy. To keep the game flowing really fast democrazy has eliminated writing laws and has reduced the game to voting on prewritten laws.

I am guessing that what you want is something in between Nomic and Democrazy. Your proposal is not too bad. Good work.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik van der Weide
Netherlands
Ede
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Indeed, I wanted to keep the "any rule is possible" aspect, as this is what defines Nomic. Besides, as you mention, there are already games out there that pick rules from a fixed rule set (Fluxx is another one).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken H.
United States
Amherst
Ohio
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

It looks pretty good. I like the voting rules -- they guarantee that something will be passed every turn, and also give you some tactical options on whether to vote or hoard.

I also appreciate the fact that players write their proposals at the same time. That's definitely an improvement. I'm not sure if 2 minutes is enough though. I guess it depends on the group. Players will just have to adapt to it, and of course can change it if there is agreement.

Eliminating the distinction between mutable and immutable rules is probably okay. I never saw much point in that part of the original rules anyway.

No rules for resolving disputes? No rule on which rules take priority over other rules? No calling for judges? To me, these are hallmarks of Nomic. It's hard to call a game a Nomic variant without some type of process for resolving disputes or dealing with badly written rules (especially when players don't realize a rule was bad until an hour later). I think that's the only weakness of your light version. I know why you did it though -- judging rules are almost impossible to "slim down".

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik van der Weide
Netherlands
Ede
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the compliments.

The 2 minutes can be adjusted, of course, and it does depend on the group. You'd need something short enough to keep the game moving, and rules simple, yet long enough to be able to think about where you want the game to go. Maybe a mechanic used by several other games would work here too: the first (or, alternatively, the penultimate) player to finish writing starts a short timer.

I saw the sense behind immutable rules (more stability), but they make the game last considerably longer, and make it less suitable for players just wanting to have fun with an ever-changing evolving rule set.

Rules taking priority over other rules should not be necessary in a game which ends as soon as two rules are contradictory. Besides, half the rules are transposed to the CRA, which has a chronological rather than a priority order, which simplifies things.

I agree that rules for disputes or judges should be added. And indeed, it's hard to add those without making the game unnecessarily heavy again. I might consider something like:
* When two or more players disagree on the interpretation of a rule, they all write a new version of the rule. a voting round is held (uses tokens, and if necessary letter count or dice), The winning new, improved rule replaces the current one.

Something like this would keep it simple and consistent, but would require revising some of the original rules, as it uses a voting round, which in itself is not defined clearly, and might change during the game. However, should the dispute be over how voting itself should be carried out, the game would end, of course, being caught in a paradox.

Hmmm... Maybe I should revise the game ending conditions too. It might be too easy to abuse the system and end the game when you're ahead in tokens, by simply disputing the voting rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Franklin
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps something as easy as saying the person to your left would be the judge might be a way to inject rulings into the game. While this may seem somewhat arbitrary, it would also increase the amount of player interaction into the game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.