Pen Rules

Rule 101 - Initial Set and Rule Bindingness

All players must always abide by all the rules then in effect, in the form in which they are then in effect. The rules in the Initial Set are in effect whenever a game begins. The Initial Set consists of Rules 101-116 (pen) and 201-212 (pencil).

Rule 102 - Rule Erasability

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

Rule 103 - Rule Changes Defined

A rule-change is any of the following:

  1. the enactment of a pencil rule;
  2. the enactment, repeal, or amendment of a rule;
  3. the enactment, repeal, or amendment of an amendment of a rule;
  4. or
  5. the transmutation of a pen rule into a pencil rule or vice versa

(Note: This definition implies that, at least initially, all new rules are pencil rules.)

Rule 104 - Rule Change Proposals

All rule-changes proposed in the proper way shall be voted on. They will be adopted if and only if they receive the required number of votes.

Rule 105 - Voter Eligibility and Compulsory Voting

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

Rule 106 - Procedure for Introducing a Rule-Change Proposal

All proposed rule-changes shall be written down before they are voted on. If they are adopted, they shall guide play in the form in which they were voted on.

Rule 107 - Rule Change Timing of Effect

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

Rule 108 - Rule Change Proposal Enumeration

Each proposed rule-change shall be given a number for reference. The numbers shall begin with 301, and each rule-change proposed in the proper way shall receive the next successive integer, whether or not the proposal is adopted.

If a rule is repealed and reenacted, it receives the number of the proposal to reenact it. If a rule is amended or transmuted, it receives the number of the proposal to amend or transmute it. If an amendment is amended or repealed, the entire rule of which it is a part receives the number of the proposal to amend or repeal the amendment.

Rule 109 - Altering Pen Rules

Rule-changes that (1) repeal or amend a pen rule or (2) transmute pen rules into pencil rules may be adopted if and only if the vote is unanimous among the eligible voters. Transmutation shall not be implied, but must be stated explicitly in a proposal to take effect.

Rule 110 - Pen Rule Priority

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

Rule 111 - Rule Change Debate

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

Rule 113 - Forfeiting

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

Rule 114 - Guaranteed Legality of Changing the Rules

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

Rule 115 - Mutability of Rule Change Procedures and Rule Self-Reference

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

Rule 116 - Freedom Beyond the Rules

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

Pencil Rules

Rule 201 - Turn Order

Players shall alternate in alphabetical order by surname, taking one whole turn apiece. Turns may not be skipped or passed, and parts of turns may not be omitted. All players begin with zero points.

Rule 202 - Turn Makeup

One turn consists of two parts in this order:

  1. proposing one rule-change and having it voted on,
  2. and
  3. updating the player's score according to the vote.

Players subtract 291 from the ordinal number of their proposal and multiply the result by the fraction of favorable votes it received, rounded to the nearest integer. (This yields a number between 0 and 10 for the first player, with the upper limit increasing by one each turn; more points are awarded for more popular proposals.)

Rule 203 - Threshold for Accepting Rule Changes

A rule-change is adopted if and only if the vote is unanimous among the eligible voters. If this rule is not amended by the end of the second complete circuit of turns, it automatically changes to require only a simple majority.

Rule 204 - Reward for Dissent

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

Rule 205 - Timing of Rule Changes

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

Rule 206 - Penalty for Defeated Proposals

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

Rule 207 - Votes Per Player

Each player always has exactly one vote.

Rule 209 - Maximum Mutable Rules

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

Rule 210 - Rule Conflict Resolution

If two or more pencil rules conflict with one another, or if two or more pen rules conflict with one another, then the rule with the lowest ordinal number takes precedence.

If at least one of the rules in conflict explicitly says of itself that it defers to another rule (or type of rule) or takes precedence over another rule (or type of rule), then such provisions shall supersede the numerical method for determining precedence.

If two or more rules claim to take precedence over one another or to defer to one another, then the numerical method again governs.

Rule 211 - Resolving Rule Interpretation Conflicts

If players disagree about the legality of a move or the interpretation or application of a rule, then the player preceding the one moving is to be the Judge and decide the question. Disagreement for the purposes of this rule may be created by the insistence of any player. This process is called invoking Judgment.

When Judgment has been invoked, the next player may not begin his or her turn without the consent of a majority of the other players.

The Judge's Judgment may be overruled only by a unanimous vote of the other players taken before the next turn is begun. If a Judge's Judgment is overruled, then the player preceding the Judge in the playing order becomes the new Judge for the question, and so on, except that no player is to be Judge during his or her own turn or during the turn of a team-mate.

Unless a Judge is overruled, one Judge settles all questions arising from the game until the next turn is begun, including questions as to his or her own legitimacy and jurisdiction as Judge.

New Judges are not bound by the decisions of old Judges. New Judges may, however, settle only those questions on which the players currently disagree and that affect the completion of the turn in which Judgment was invoked. All decisions by Judges shall be in accordance with all the rules then in effect; but when the rules are silent, inconsistent, or unclear on the point at issue, then the Judge shall consider game-custom and the spirit of the game before applying other standards.

Rule 212 - Stalemate

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

This rule takes precedence over every other rule determining the winner.

Rule 302 - Post-Circuit Voice Chats

Article I - Definitions

The Active Players are all players who have not yet forfeited. An elderitch Personality is a charater roleplayed by a particular Active Player. In this rule, "attendee" or "attendees" refers exclusively to Active Payers in attendance; those present who are not Active Players are not "attendees."

Article II - Timing and Content

A voice chat session will be scheduled and held following every complete circuit of turns and before the next circuit begins. Attendance is not mandatory, but the voice chat session must be explicitly scheduled.

If desired, any attendee may propose to ignore or supersede any part of the meeting structure described in this rule. This proposal may be accepted by a simple majority vote between all attendees. If no such proposal passes a vote, default to the structure and content described here.

There will be two distinct components to each voice chat session:

  1. the Preamble,
  2. and
  3. the Eldritch Assembly.

There is no required length for the Post-Circuit Voice Chat, but a guideline is 10 minutes plus 5 minutes per attendee. Typically 5 minutes will be allotted to the Preamble, 5 to conclude the Eldritch Assembly, and 5 minutes allotted to each attendee for speeches, roleplay, etc. It is expected (though not strictly required) that all attendees will say at least a few words.

Article III - The Preamble

Article III-A - Purposes of the Preamble

The Preamble of the voice chat session will serve three purposes:

(1) To commemorate and reflect upon the overall player experience of the previous curcuit of turns,

(2) To generally discuss Nomic (including, but not limited to, clarifications and personal opinions) and its manifestation in the world of TNS,

(3) To discuss the current legislative process, its effectiveness, clarity, and fun, and possible revisions which might be made to improve player enjoyment.

Article III-B - Preamble Conduct and Priority

The Preamble is designed to solicit player feedback and keep things fun for everyone. Accordingly attendees are expected to participate out of character, and not as their Eldritch Personalities.

When time is a concern, the Preamble has priority over the Eldritch Assembly. If it is necessary to extend the Preamble, but the meeting has a limited duration, the necessary time will be taken from the Eldritch Assembly.

Article IV - The Eldritch Assembly

The Eldritch Assembly is deticated to roleplay, in-character speeches, etc. This is an opportunity for players to air in-character grievances, celebrate in-character victories, gain a greater understanding of their Eldritch Personalities, and strengthen the attendees' confidence in roleplay for the upcoming circuit of turns.

The Eldritch Assembly is, in-universe assumed to take place within some sort of building or other meeting space. Eldritch Personalities are not permitted to leave this space during the assembly. Furthermore, the Eldritch Personalities are assumed to be the only significant characters in the room; players may not improvise the presence of other important characters. Likewise, players should avoid referencing events which would significantly affect the game's universe, if such events are not already an established part of the lore.

Rule 303 - Political Flavor

Article I - Definitions

The Active Players are all players who have not yet forfeited. "Political Flavor" refers to a quantifiable resource distinct from the "Points" outlined in various rules. As such, Political Flavor is not applicable to Rules that explicitly define "Points" as the relevant resource.

Article II - Timing and Content

At the end of every circuit of turns, the Active Players will select an eligible Active Player to receive 1 Political Flavor through a roll-off majority vote. An Active Player is eligible if they have proposed a successfully ratified Rule Change Proposal during that circuit. Players may not vote for themselves.

Article III - The Roll-off Vote

The "roll-off vote" is distinct from the "simple majority" or "unanimous" vote types as described elsewhere. A roll-off vote is comprised of any number of rounds of voting necessary to determine a singular winner.

At the end of a round of voting, if a player has a majority of the vote, they are the winner of the election, and no further rounds of voting are held. Otherwise, the candidate (or candidates, in the event of a tie) with the lowest vote count is removed from the candidate pool, and another round of voting proceeds with the remaining candidates. This process is repeated until someone receives a majority of votes.

Article IV - Transactions

Active Players may exchange Political Flavor freely in "transactions." At any time, a player possessing a Political Flavor (the "Proposer") may propose a transaction with any other Active Player besides themselves (the "Recipient"). This transaction is a binding agreement and may consist of any conditions or requirements allowable under the rules. It must also include the transfer of exactly one (1) Political Flavor from the Proposer to the Recipient; a transaction may not transfer any more or less than exactly one Political Flavor. If the Recipient agrees to the terms of the transaction, the Proposer and Recipient will jointly announce to the other players that they have completed a transaction, at which point the transaction immediately takes effect as a binding agreement and the scoreboard is updated. Otherwise, the transaction is not completed and is dropped. Neither party has to reveal the terms of the transaction until it is entirely fulfilled, but they must keep documentation of their agreement and of the exact specifications of the transaction. Once the terms of the transaction have been fulfilled, the Proposer and Recipient must announce the full details to all players.

Neither the Proposer nor the Recipient may withdraw from the transaction once it has been announced. They may, however, jointly announce an agreement to nullify all unfulfilled conditions of the transaction. In this case, the Recipient still receives the Political Flavor. In this situation, both parties are required only to publicly disclose the specifications of the transactions that were successfully fulfilled prior to the announcement.

Rule 304 - Expending Points for Additional Votes

This rule is an exception to Rule 207.

At any time during the voting phase for an officially-recognized rule change proposal, a player may elect to expend a multiple of 100 points from their score and receive one additional vote per 100 points spent, that they may allocate as they see fit. These additional votes may not be purchased in situations where the vote must unanimously pass to be ratified. Once these points have been expended, they may not be recovered or refunded, except by the normal ways of earning points. A player's point balance must equal or exceed 100 points before any points may be exchanged for votes.

Rule 305 - The King of Games

Article I - Definitions

The "King of Games" is a label awarded to the winner of a set of competitive events within a given circuit of turns. The set of competitive events to determine the King of Games is known as a "Tournament." All Active Players who have explicitly expressed their interest in the Tournament will be known as "Participants."

Articles II - Timing and Content

A Tournament may be scheduled at any time that is convenient for the majority of Participants. An Active Player who is not already a Participant may freely express their intention to participate at any point prior to the commencement of the Tournament. Likewise, a Participant may withdraw from the Tournament at any point, even after it has commenced. In a situation where a Participant withdraws from the Tournament after it has started, they forfeit any awards they might otherwise have received by being in the Tournament.

The King of Games has explicit authority to determine the specifications of a Tournament. As such, The King of Games may decide the number of events, the complexity of said events, and the time frame in which said events take place as long as there is at least one Participant who is not the King of Games and is willing to abide by all the terms that specify said Tournament. In most cases, Tournaments are encouraged to be held either entirely in the context of a single session or with each event occupying its own session.

In this rule, unless amended, all events determined by the King of Games must be available to the entire body of Active Players, regardless of whether or not they have expressed their desire to participate.

Article III - The Nature of Games

A Tournament may be considered valid if the set of events comprising it enables the determination of a discernable and uncontested winner. However, this is not to say that a given Tournament must be comprised of purely competitive games in which no Participant is allied with another Participant for the sake of a given game. In situations where a Tournament is comprised purely of team-based games, then The King of Games must include stipulations specific to that Tournament that enable the determination of a winner.

The standing King of Games may not include any games that were featured in the previous Tournament's set, even if the holder of the title of King of Games changes between Tournaments. Likewise, for any Tournament proposed by the King of Games, there must be a reasonable chance that any Participant may win the Tournament. At any time during the competition, a Participant that is not the King of Games may motion for the specifications of a singular event to be changed and such a motion must receive a majority vote in favor of it for it to become official.

The standing King of Games may also propose alternative prizes that the winner may receive but such a proposal must receive a unanimous vote from the Participants and may not create, alter, or otherwise override existing systems or resources as contained within the rule set.

Article IV - Winning the Tournament

After the completion of a given Tournament, the winner of the Tournament inherits the title of "The King of Games" for as long as another Participant does not win a future Tournament. The Prize for winning the Tournament, regardless of title, is 25 Points. In addition, the winner must select at least one and up to three other Participants to receive 10 Points each. Alternatively, the King of Games may decide to award all Participants 5 Points for their involvement in the Tournament.

The standing King of Games is eligible to win any given Tournament as long as they fully abide by the specifications of the Tournament that has been proposed.

Article V - Hieratum's Profit

In the event that this rule is successfully ratified by a unanimous vote, Hieratum immediately receives the title of "The King of Games." The exact specifications of the first Tournament are to be decided by a majority vote held during the Eldritch Assembly after the end of the current circuit of turns. After which, this article becomes void and is immediately removed from the content of this rule.

Rule 306 - Contempt of the Courts

Article I - Definitions

"Contempt of the Courts" refers to the entire system described in this Rule. A "Participant" refers to any Active Player who has explicitly requested to participate in any aspect of the system.

Article II - Timing and Content

Contempt of the Courts is a kitchen-sink system designed to enable Eldritch Personalities to collaboratively construct threads of internal plot which may or may not contribute to the shared vision of the Eldritch Assembly and its surrounding context, in line with the preferences and playstyles of each of the Eldritch Personalities.

Contempt of the Courts is typically divided into periods of thematically consistent plot threads, called Seasons. These are created either consciously by Participants, or develop organically out of roleplay. A Season consists of all Nomic-related roleplay within organized Nomic roleplay events, as well as special, in-person events relating to the plot of a given season, called Occasions. Occasions may feature unique rules.

An Active Player may become a Participant by announcing their desire to do so, prior to the beginning of a new Season. Likewise, a Participant may withdraw from Contempt of the Courts at any time; however, in doing so, they forfeit any awards they would have otherwise received.

Article III - Seasons

The exact details of a Season, including its duration, plot, stakes, context, participants, and all other properties are determined entirely by collaboration between Participants. However, Lupin Yngling (David Goforth), as Storymaster of TNS, may supersede aspects of the Season in the interest of consistency with TNS lore. These decisions may be vetoed by a unanimous vote from all Participants besides Lupin.

Any Participant may propose to ignore or supersede any part of the structure defined in this Rule; this proposal is put to a vote between Participants, requiring unanimous agreement to adopt. Otherwise, the structure defined in this rule holds.

A Season should last, at minimum, two entire circuits of turns. A Season may officially end or commence at the end of the Post-Circuit Voice Chat. It is suggested that Participants determine at least one major thread and one to three minor threads which may eventually become the central plot of a Season. Furthermore, these threads should be associated with an Eldritch Personality, called the Benefactor, who holds some strong stake in a particular resolution for the thread. If a thread lacks an obvious Benefactor, one is chosen at random.

If Participants identify more possible threads than needed, they may agree (no vote required, unless the Participants want one) to table certain threads for a future Season. If agreement cannot be reached, a simple majority vote will select which major and minor threads are prioritized in the current Season.

If, at any point, the outcome of a thread causes a significant change to an Eldritch Personality ("significance" being determined by the Participant who plays that Personality), the outcome may be immediately amended or vetoed by the Participant playing that Personality without discussion.

If, at any point, the number of major or minor threads drops to zero, Lupin Yngling may propose some additional major or minor threads, allowing the Season to continue. These threads may be accepted by a simple majority vote. Similarly, if there is a dispute between Participants regarding any aspect of a thread following its acceptance, Lupin Yngling may intervene and alter the canon of the thread without a vote, provided that there is no reasonable doubt that his decision was made to preserve the interest of the Participants.

Article IV - Benefactors and Occasions

An Occasion is an event which has significant importance and influence on a major or minor thread. Occasions encompass unique circumstances with defined conditions for success or failure, known as the Primary Mission. The Primary Mission should consist of a problem or challenge large enough to facilitate competition or cooperation between all Participants. If at any point, the thread influenced by the Occasion is considered too small in scope to ensure engagement, the Benefactor may introduce details or clarifications in order to involve additional Participants. A thread's Benefactor may elevate any event within that thread to an Occasion, either at will or at the request of another Participant. The other Participants may veto a Benefactor's decision to elevate or to not elevate an Occasion by a simple majority vote.

The Benefactor effectively acts as "gamemaster" for the Occasion in question. They are responsible to determine the date of commencement, setting, details, non-player characters, limitations, freedoms, the list of Objectives necessary to advance the Primary Mission, and real-time improvisational decisions necessary to facilitate an enjoyable and engaging experience for the other Participants. At any time, the Benefactor may resign from their role as Benefactor. If this occurs a reasonable amount of time prior to the commencement of the Occasion, a new Benefactor may be selected, either by volunteer, vote, or at random. Otherwise, Lupin Yngling becomes Benefactor, and may choose to postpone or alter the circumstances of the Occasion as he sees fit.

The details of the Primary Mission are at the discretion of the Benefactor; however, its success and failure conditions must be kept as fair as possible for all participants. These conditions must have clear, measurable consequences, which may include the loss or gain of Points or Political Flavor and other gameplay consequences. Story-based consequences, however, may not significantly affect an Eldritch Personality without the consent of the player controlling the Personality. The Primary Mission ought to consist of several Objectives, each achievable by any Participant, and with reasonable efficiency.

Objectives must have obvious paths to completion and must clearly influence the progression of the Primary Mission. The Benefactor may determine how Objectives contribute to the completion of the Primary Mission. Any structure is possible, as long as it is understood by all Participants, but two recommended structures are Discrete and Compounding. Discrete Missions are completed when a single Participant has completed every Objective; each Participant works separately, and may have more or less progress than another Participant. Compounding missions are completed when every Objective has been completed at least once by any Participant; Participants share progress, and need not complete every Objective themselves.

Rule 307 - The Establishment of Currency

Article I - Definition of Fiat Currency

Currency is anything that may be exchanged for a commodity or service of equal value. The term "fiat currency" shall apply to currencies already established by the Eldritch Assembly to be used by Active Players within the Eldritch Assembly. Examples of fiat currency would be Points, Political Flavor, and Votes. Fiat currency may not be backed by any physical commodity, and the value of fiat currency is created and maintained by the Active Players by the Eldritch Assembly.

Article II – The Establishment of Commodity Currency

The term "commodity currency" shall apply to currency whose value is created by the commodity from which it is made. The purpose of commodity currency will be to trade for food, water, and hard to obtain resources, such as other commodity currencies, from the Material Plane. The first commodity to be turned into currency shall be the gemstone Onyx, a commonly found commodity in The Shadowfells with value as a commodity in other Planes of Existence. The Eldritch Assembly shall also recognize the commodity gold, and all currencies derived from it, from the Material Plane as a valid commodity currency to be distributed within the Shadowfells. Commodity currency may not be used in place of fiat currency amongst the Active Players of the Eldritch Assembly.

Article III - The Currency Conversion Rate and Onyx Standard

As Dwarven gold has the highest gold percentage within any coin used in the Material Plane, the conversion rate of Onyx shall be set to 300 Dwarven gold pieces per 1 onyx gemstone (weighing 1 gram per gemstone). This article does not set in stone what the conversion rate will always be, but provide a guideline for residences of the Shadowfells to provide fair transactions. The amount of gold within the gold pieces shall change the conversion rates of gold to onyx.

Article IV – The Establishment of the Treasury

The responsibility of creating and distributing a standardized form of onyx currency shall fall to the Department of Treasury for the Eldritch Assembly. The Department of Treasury shall be headed by an elected official, known as the "Treasurer", and the election for the position shall be held at the beginning of a new circuit of turns. The Treasurer will be responsible for creating Rule Change Proposals for possible projects to be funded by the Eldritch Assembly. As a countermeasure against misuse, the Treasurer may not propose any Rule Change Proposal other than what the Treasury may be used for with the consent of the Eldritch Assembly; in turn, unless an Active Player holds the position of Treasurer, they may not propose a Rule Change Proposal concerning the use of the Treasury. The Treasurer may not hold any other offices, such as the "King of Games", etc. If a Treasurer is elected with a title, they forfeit the current title and become the new Treasurer. The Treasurer is also prohibited from receiving Political Flavor or any forms of Fiat currency other than the Points awarded by the successful vote of a Rule Change Proposal into a Pencil Rule.

Article V – The Collection and Distribution of Commodity Currency

A collection of 10,000 gold pieces worth of commodity currency shall be collected after the end of a complete circuit. 800 of the gold pieces will be distributed to each Active Participant in the Eldritch Assembly. 2,000 of the gold pieces collected shall be held by the Treasury detailed in Article IV. The commodity currency collected will be onyx or gold depending on the availability of either currency in circulation at the time of collection.

Article VI – Implementation of the Treasury

If this rule is successfully ratified by unanimous vote, Ise Olrora shall undertake the responsibilities of Treasurer until the beginning of the next circuit. After the first election proper of a new Treasurer, this Article shall become null and void.