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  • Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Management of the simulation and out-of-character discussion

    Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Scott Alexander » Sun May 22, 2011 9:26 pm

    1. Our new statelets this week are Kennerixt, Aulaur, Malitiiki, Colony, and Frosthelm. Welcome to them.

    2. Many of the excellent stories from last week continue, and interesting new stories include an execution in Istakadeqan, a meeting in Merveilles, a trial in Kennerixt, and a change of power in Dromosker.

    3. There's also lots of new information on Aryasht, Mevwan, and several other places.

    4. I've been told I'm playing a dangerous game with expansion credits, or that there should at least be an alternative for people who don't want to expand. Harvey had some interesting ideas about an "artifact system", in which the Autokrator or Speaker could award "artifacts" for certain accomplishments. These could then go as little icons in your forum description or signature, as larger icons in a "treasury" post in your statelet, or be traded in for various uses. These might include trading certain combos of artifacts for expansion credits, for recwar advantage (like the "gold stars") in the old SNARL system) for a temporary extra vote in the Senate, or other advantages. I haven't really thought this out much, but I'd like to hear other people's ideas about how such a system might work and whether it's desirable.

    5. Speaking of expansion credits, they now have a new use. Currently, the only city shown in each statelet is its capital. A statelet which wishes to have more cities on the map may trade 1000 ECs per extra city. This is to compensate me for having to add in the icon and to prevent mass proliferation of cities a la Micras.

    6. There has been some discussion lately about using other people's characters. The current policy on this is that it is by default okay to make minor decisions for other people's characters (ie hold conversations with them that don't commit them to anything hugely important or go against their revealed personalities), but that people who don't want this may opt-out.

    Alicorn and Kallinn have opted out; Alicorn has given further information about her policy. I urge everyone else not to opt-out and to allow some basic sharing of characters to encourage interaction and prevent barriers to storytelling.

    7. Mevwan has three citizens and all other statelets have one. This provides them with a significant advantage in contests where there is voting, aside from and in addition to its significant advantage of being really really good at stuff :) I think it would be a bit unfair to ban Mewvan's two non-Senators from voting, but I may change contest voting rules to say you may not vote for your own statelet, or that only Senators may vote for their own statelet, or something like that. Let me know your preferences in this matter, especially if you are from Mevwan.

    8. We now have twenty statelets. It's getting to be a bit of a task to see the ones at the bottom. If our statelets continue to grow, the problem will get worse. One option is to leave it like this and just deal with the scrolling. Another is to rearrange statelets so the most active are on top - but that could create a bit of a ghetto in the bottom of the screen. Another is to "sell" ability to move your forum higher as a scarce resource - for ECs or artifacts or something. And a final option is to replace the statelet forums with four continent forums with the statelets as subforums - ie the main board would have a "Neroles" forum, with Drachumve, Merveilles, Resplendence, Dromosker, and Safiria as subforums. This could also help build intra-continental unity. But it would make it harder to see individual statelets.

    9. The candidates for Speaker of the Senate are Dorji Támsáng (Long Island), Iriwande (Mevwan), Chief Barowa (Dromosker), and Syr-to-Yll (Aulaur). New candidates will no longer be accepted unless they ask really nicely. I will give everyone a few days to campaign (I suggest campaigning at least a little out of character so we know your plans and what you stand for) and then start the vote.

    10. Old contest over, two new contests have started in the Center of the World. Check them out.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Aryeztur » Sun May 22, 2011 9:36 pm

    Re the map: I don't want to create another MCS situation, but it might be prudent to get a couple of people to form a map council with you so you don't have to do all the map updates yourself.

    Re the forum: leave it as it is. Lets not group statelets together in subforums.

    Also you didn't mention this but I wanted to point out something you mentioned earlier: the backstories can only go back 200 years you said. I think you should push it back 1000 years, so people have more leeway. It also makes more sense. If the Apocalypse happened 200 years ago, that's not enough time for completely new societies to emerge with no knowledge of the past.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Aryeztur » Sun May 22, 2011 9:38 pm

    Also does anyone else thing that maybe we should slow the pace of the years down? We moved from 1 to 13 pretty fast.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 9:43 pm

    4: I think credits make more sense as long as (a) people are willing to use them as currency and (b) they leave the system sometimes so they don't inflate forever and always. (For example, I might pay someone in credits to make fonts for my conlangs when I have the alphabets developed; people could destroy instead of giving credits for certain privileges.)

    7: I would need to get someone to do math for me to be sure, but I think that having three citizens would put me at a disadvantage if we weren't allowed to vote for ourselves (all else being equal, that is; I'd probably still win stuff 'cause I'm awesome) - everybody but one person would be allowed to vote for each solo statelet, and everybody but *three* people would be allowed to vote for Mevwan. I think this holds if Senators remain allowed to vote for themselves.

    8: I will support either of: continent division; or most recently posting statelets bumping to the top the way topics within a forum do if that's software-tractable.

    I support the motion to slow the passage of time. (Wow, that sounded weirdly dramatic.)
    Last edited by Alicorn on Sun May 22, 2011 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Adelene » Sun May 22, 2011 9:44 pm

    Scott Alexander wrote:7. Mevwan has three citizens and all other statelets have one. This provides them with a significant advantage in contests where there is voting, aside from and in addition to its significant advantage of being really really good at stuff :) I think it would be a bit unfair to ban Mewvan's two non-Senators from voting, but I may change contest voting rules to say you may not vote for your own statelet, or that only Senators may vote for their own statelet, or something like that. Let me know your preferences in this matter, especially if you are from Mevwan.


    I'm from Mevwan. I'm also entirely new to conworlding and unlikely to vote on anything of significance anytime soon - I'm still figuring out what this is all about.

    I expect that I won't mind if my voting is restricted compared to that of more leaderish types, but that's purely based on personal inclination on my part and should probably not be considered significant when deciding on policies - it's entirely possible that I should care, and don't know enough about how things work to know that yet.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Adelene » Sun May 22, 2011 9:48 pm

    Aryeztur wrote:Also does anyone else thing that maybe we should slow the pace of the years down? We moved from 1 to 13 pretty fast.


    I very much support this.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Emir of Raspur » Sun May 22, 2011 9:51 pm

    I agree - we don't have to progress as fast as regular Micras, and even a rate of advancement of a week a year would be sufficient for our characters to have useful 'shelf-lives'.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Scott Alexander » Sun May 22, 2011 10:11 pm

    I disagree.

    At some point (big reveal) I want to destroy Drachumve and start over with the survivors building a new civilization. This could work on a year-per-day timescale; after three RT months, the new civilization will be about a century old, well-established, and able to operate on an equal footing with everyone else. On a year-per-week, after three RT months the new civilization will only be about a decade old - ie people will still be living in shelters, the new generation of survivors won't even be born, and it will still be desperately dependent on foreign aid from the rest of the world. I don't want to have to wait three RT years before I can do anything interesting with the new civilization. I don't even expect Archipelago to last three RT years.

    This isn't just about me, though. It's about people's ability to have projects on an interesting timescale. Let's say someone wants to build a cathedral. Even if it's the fastest cathedral ever and gets built in twenty years, that's still five months real-time over year-a-week. Want to colonize a new island (after getting the necessary ECs, of course). It must've taken about sixty years for British colonies in the New World to be at all established - that means it'll take you more than a year real-time just to get your new island.

    It also limits your ability to change. Back on Micras, every so often I'd have a different idea for how I wanted the Raikothin military to work. So about every three months I'd update it, and that makes sense, since it'd be a century and the old ways would be obsolete. I can't change the military every decade. It'd just be silly. And it is easier for people who don't want to change something to say "My country is unusually stable over time" than for people who do want to say something to say "My country changes its character completely every five years." A year-per-week would seriously limit the ability to portray an evolving society on Archipelago, unless you were prepared to wait realtime years. And portraying how societies evolve is part of the fun for me - some of you will remember how Raikoth very gradually changed from a bland isolationist theocracy to a Shirerithian colony to an imperialist power to a crusading army to a philosophical utopia to the unwilling custodian of Elw territories. To me, that was what gave it history and character.

    So far, we've had a dozen new statelets make contact with the Senate, Omi's condition deteriorate markedly, the Colony arrive and throw everyone into confusion and start making plots against it, a change of power in Dromosker, the Aryashti launch an expedition, create trade routes, and double their territory, and several other things. It would be really tough to fit all of this history into two years - but as part of a decade, it makes sense. And if we want Pelagia itself to eventually have a rich history, we've got to give it the time to make one.

    I want to avoid forcing people who want to do interesting things to sit around for two weeks while enough time passes to make them plausible. And it is easier for people who want to do things on a more leisurely scale to just back-date them - say "This RP might take several months, but it all happened back in Year Twenty" - than for people who want to do things more quickly to deal with a slow time-change: there's no way the Drachumvelin can plausibly create a whole new civilization in two in-game years. And on Micras, for some reason RPs were never a problem even at the year-per-day scale.

    That having been said, we could compromise by making time "weird" in some way; for example, we can say that Pelagian humans live longer than Earth humans, which will make the characters work out right.

    And I'm up for saying it's been a longer period of time since the Apocalypse. A thousand years seems a bit long, but maybe five hundred?
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Alicorn » Sun May 22, 2011 10:25 pm

    How about some compromise rate - neither a year per day nor week, but maybe a year per two days? Or five years per week?
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Scott Alexander » Sun May 22, 2011 10:39 pm

    Well, I would agree to five years a week, but it seems so close to seven years per week that I feel like all it would change would be to make the calculations to figure out what year something happened in based on RT dates more annoying.

    The way we solved this on Micras was, to be honest, not worrying about the passage of time too much as things happened, and just dating things back later when doing histories. So no one really cared that a border skirmish might take thirty years to complete, or that a massive infrastructure project might be only a year between inititation and completion - we'd just realize that Real Life forced things to happen that way. But later on, we would say things like "Revive Audentior? But Audentior has been dead for over three hundred years!" and it would make sense in context.

    I am seriously in favor of ignoring the passage of time until we need it, so that you can do your thing and I can do my thing and neither of us has to come up with reasons why it's taking much longer or shorter than expected. If you want, I'll stop using phrases like "Autokrator's Address For Year Thirteen"
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Orion » Sun May 22, 2011 11:09 pm

    With Micras I've always taken the unwritten rule of being one real year = one Micran century. Thus, Y2K, birth of the Apollo Sector, was 1100 years ago. This rate of time has always just "felt" right and works well for when I want to write about events long ago.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Carl Jackson » Sun May 22, 2011 11:33 pm

    I always went by one day = one year on Micras. Back in Mock Parliament, it was one week = one year, as there were elections every month (i.e. four years).
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Winged One » Mon May 23, 2011 12:55 am

    Alicorn wrote:4: I think credits make more sense as long as (a) people are willing to use them as currency and (b) they leave the system sometimes so they don't inflate forever and always. (For example, I might pay someone in credits to make fonts for my conlangs when I have the alphabets developed; people could destroy instead of giving credits for certain privileges.)

    7: I would need to get someone to do math for me to be sure, but I think that having three citizens would put me at a disadvantage if we weren't allowed to vote for ourselves (all else being equal, that is; I'd probably still win stuff 'cause I'm awesome) - everybody but one person would be allowed to vote for each solo statelet, and everybody but *three* people would be allowed to vote for Mevwan. I think this holds if Senators remain allowed to vote for themselves.

    8: I will support either of: continent division; or most recently posting statelets bumping to the top the way topics within a forum do if that's software-tractable.

    I support the motion to slow the passage of time. (Wow, that sounded weirdly dramatic.)

    4: Aren't they already destroyed to get more land?
    7: surprise surprise, I agree with Alicorn here. Maybe citizen votes could count for less than senator votes? I'd thought that the more citizens=more votes thing was intended to encourage recruitment of citizens, to be honest.

    Also, I support the RENDING OF THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Kallinn Ynnetrrr » Mon May 23, 2011 2:51 am

    Yeah, first off, I didn't necessarily opt-out of letting people speak for my characters, I just will stick to stepping into such situations I'm comfortable with.

    Second, on the passage of time, I like the general disregard for passage of time in the moment and timelines being constructed after the fact. Honestly, I kinda got lost here because my grandmother died a few days ago and I've been busy with the associated formalities, so I haven't had time to really get Swnndyrrân Hallatekrrr set up and properly founded. On the other hand, many things I intend to do involve many years IC development to make sense (face it, going from post-apocalypse to potentially space-faring isn't a quick process, and even a century is pushing the boundaries of feasibility). I do admit bending time in the past, though. King Liam I ruled Toketi for about 600-700 years, then lived for another 200-300, but towards the end of his mortal life I generally gave his age as around 130, so I may completely disregard actual time passage entirely XD
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Octavius » Mon May 23, 2011 3:15 am

    We already have a mysterious force to maintain technological discontinuity. Why not allow for temporal discontinuity?
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby ari » Mon May 23, 2011 4:34 am

    Because it's at least sort of possible to understand what happens when you pass over from one domain with one level/kind of technology to another. I can deal with pretty much any level of global time compression and Lant has a deliberately truncated history so it won't have to change regardless of what decision we come to regarding how long ago the Apocalypse was.. but I don't want to deal with time itself passing at a different speed in different statelets. It just breaks reality too much. If I have Maxine visit Drachumve for a couple of months, I don't want her to come back to find out that a year in Lant is a day in Drachumve and all her friends are dead. And how would the Colony's trains manage timetables :P?

    It took me a while, but I think I've internalised by now that the best way to handle the world's rules being imperfect for what you'd prefer is to just take it as a constraint to get the creative juices flowing. For instance, if you need a character to stick around for a while, well, there are several methods of immortality. There's the Brrapa Lu Eraro school (being a divine prophet, i.e. magical immortality in general), there's the Sai'Kar Lum'Eth school (being naturally immortal or extremely long-lived), there's the Maria Morimoto school (clinical immortality by fortuitous lab accident), and yes, even the Dante McCallavre school (training some smart kid to resume your identity once you're dead). And that's not counting the Gaelen III school (spending a couple of millennia frozen whenever the world doesn't really need you), just having the characters inspire their grandchildren to resume the same quirks and personalities (convenient, if confusing, if you only refer to them by family name), Portals Into The Future, the twin paradox, etc.. And, naturally, you can fudge things a bit so that all the important characters turn out to be have been younger than expected in their early adventures, and unusually youthful and vigorous even into their old age, and most importantly of all - backdate.

    /me kind of wants to rewatch The Man From Earth now
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Shyriath » Mon May 23, 2011 12:31 pm

    I'd be okay with extending the period since the Apocalypse to 500 years.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Kallinn Ynnetrrr » Mon May 23, 2011 5:04 pm

    I might be cool with a "locally slow, globally fast" set-up. For the purpose of story, time isn't passing at the accepted "one RL day - one IC year", mostly for the sake of continuity. So, say, in Ari's case, Maxine is currently in Drachumphan working on the Omi thing in the associated story, but on the larger scale, she's back in Resplendance doing whatever she's doing.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Sammy J McMillan » Mon May 23, 2011 6:26 pm

    I, for one, am going to go along with Chris' suggestion and ignore other people's sense of time except for real-time events like combat, diplomacy etc. Colish development will be much slower than elsewhere. If you guys want a way to deal with that, I suggest Col is backward industrially and economically, war-weary and focused on that conflict, and generally the trappings of communist bureaucracy are halting progress where it can happen. All these things will eb covered in RP stories.
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    Re: Autokrator's Sunday Address, Year 13

    Postby Scott Alexander » Mon May 23, 2011 7:46 pm

    How aboooout...we say that there's no necessary link between a Pelagian year and an Earth year, or even a Micras year? Different orbital periods. We can even call it something other than a "year", maybe a "cycle" or something. And we leave the conversion factor between Pelagian years and Earth years undefined...for all we know we could be on one of those new planets they've found that circles its parent star in five days (though it'd have to be a pretty cool star, to keep it habitable).

    And then we can keep the simple numbering system in order to make timelines and say that such-and-such happened in Year 53 but such-and-such happened in Year 67...but it doesn't necessarily imply much about the exact amount of time that happened in between.
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