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Author Topic: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?  (Read 2568 times)

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DooWopDJ

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2019, 01:20:46 pm »
0

Another 'trick' that I have used is to move my Reserve playmat into my play area so that I will 'remember' that I have the option to play them at the start of my next hand.  Another I have done is putting my Coffer/Village mat there.  It just hard to remember everything in some of the games, so a 'reminder' could be used in our games.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2019, 01:41:54 pm »
+1

Another 'trick' that I have used is to move my Reserve playmat into my play area so that I will 'remember' that I have the option to play them at the start of my next hand.  Another I have done is putting my Coffer/Village mat there.  It just hard to remember everything in some of the games, so a 'reminder' could be used in our games.

I'm not sure the rules go into anything about where, physically, the mats should be kept. They're on the table, in front of you, just like the cards you are playing are. So they should always be generally "in your play area" (though important to not consider them "in play" for things that care about what's in play).
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JudahH

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2019, 11:22:22 am »
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Found it:

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=876.0

Also here:

We finally have an official ruling on the legallity of an automatic point counter?
A point counter is for sure a game variant, not allowed by the rules.

I encourage people to play whatever game variants they want, provided they comply with local laws and are agreed upon by all players.
With all due respect to the creator of this brilliant game, I have never agreed with this particular view of his. The thing is that he did not put the prohibition on taking notes in the rules, but considers it something that is disallowed by convention in any game until specifically allowed by the rules of that game. It follows that if you disagree with Mr. Vaccarino about the general convention (i.e., you would not apply it to a game that he had not designed), you equally disagree about its applicability to Dominion, since this is not one of Dominion's rules.

Analogously, it's almost certainly an unwritten rule for most players that you may not take 6 hours on your turn, but if you play a long-term game of Dominion where everyone thinks for hours, you are not playing a Dominion variant. Rather, if you're playing with a variant, it's of the usual conventions applying to the playing of games in general. And, of course, if you and your group happen to play games that way most of the time, you're not playing a variant at all.

In any case, while all this may have some philosophical ramifications, it does not seem to have many practical ramifications, if any, since, regardless of where the rules come from, the critical thing is that all players know them and agree to them. I presume that I could happily play a game of Dominion-with-note-taking with GendoIkari: he would consider our game a "Dominion variant", whilst I would consider it a standard game of Dominion with unusual conventions of play; potayto, potahto.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:24:11 am by JudahH »
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Donald X.

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2019, 11:40:32 am »
+1

With all due respect to the creator of this brilliant game, I have never agreed with this particular view of his. The thing is that he did not put the prohibition on taking notes in the rules, but considers it something that is disallowed by convention in any game until specifically allowed by the rules of that game. It follows that if you disagree with Mr. Vaccarino about the general convention (i.e., you would not apply it to a game that he had not designed), you equally disagree about its applicability to Dominion, since this is not one of Dominion's rules.
Rules, for all games, say what you are allowed to do within game contexts; they don't say what you aren't allowed to do, because that would be endless. Yes sometimes rules note a particular thing you aren't allowed to do because it's a common question.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2019, 12:17:23 pm »
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In any case, while all this may have some philosophical ramifications, it does not seem to have many practical ramifications, if any, since, regardless of where the rules come from, the critical thing is that all players know them and agree to them. I presume that I could happily play a game of Dominion-with-note-taking with GendoIkari: he would consider our game a "Dominion variant", whilst I would consider it a standard game of Dominion with unusual conventions of play; potayto, potahto.

This is a fair point. I was too harsh when I said "so long as you recognize that you are playing a variant." Really, this only matters in discussions when one player is taking notes without the other player being aware of it (which could happen more easily in online play). At this point, taking notes is actually cheating, if you do not reveal to the other person that you are doing so. But indeed, the difference is only philosophical if we are discussing taking notes when both players agree that it's ok to do so.
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JudahH

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2019, 01:37:36 pm »
+2

With all due respect to the creator of this brilliant game, I have never agreed with this particular view of his. The thing is that he did not put the prohibition on taking notes in the rules, but considers it something that is disallowed by convention in any game until specifically allowed by the rules of that game. It follows that if you disagree with Mr. Vaccarino about the general convention (i.e., you would not apply it to a game that he had not designed), you equally disagree about its applicability to Dominion, since this is not one of Dominion's rules.
Rules, for all games, say what you are allowed to do within game contexts; they don't say what you aren't allowed to do, because that would be endless. Yes sometimes rules note a particular thing you aren't allowed to do because it's a common question.
I don't believe it's possible to use the prescription, "Do only what the rules explicitly allow" [hence, DOWREA] without at least implicitly referring to unwritten conventions. Tracking the game state is a case in point, as the very strictest application of DOWREA would imply that you can't even track the game state in your head (or, for that matter, even think about the game at all), since the rules have not explicitly provided for this. This is reductio ad absurdum, but I think it makes the point that DOWREA is not sufficient guidance on its own to settle questions like this. We reject the proposed restriction because of its absurdity—that is, its incompatibility with our shared norms—despite that it's not addressed in the written rules. Conversely, it's not addressed in those rules because it's a commonplace, not because it's something you're not allowed to do.

If you don't find the reductio compelling, consider more physical methods of tracking the game state, such as ticking things off on your fingers or muttering under your breath, or, for that matter, adjusting the position of a play mat, as the OP described in this thread. As far as I know, there is no controversy about doing such things, yet I can't see an objective reason to distinguish them from tracking things on a notepad on the basis of the rulebook. The rulebook says nothing about tracking the state in any way. If this silence means that, by definition, you are not allowed to track the state, it should mean that by definition, you are not able to track it in any way. I can't see where the distinction between a notepad and a muttered count emerges from the rules without reliance on implicit conventions.
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Donald X.

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2019, 02:51:59 pm »
0

Here's the thread where I convinced guided. GL on it working for you. It is not the kind of discussion worth having as many times as I have.

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=876.0
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JudahH

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2019, 04:51:06 pm »
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Here's the thread where I convinced guided. GL on it working for you. It is not the kind of discussion worth having as many times as I have.

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=876.0
I understand that. I didn't expect you to respond to my post in the first place. Since you cite your argument in that thread, I'll address why it doesn't convince me, but I don't expect you to necessarily respond again.

The argument that convinced guided was:
Quote from: Donald X.
Dominion does have a memory element though. It is not a pure memory game, but there is a memory element. This mostly comes up with scoring, but is called out specifically by cards like Wishing Well.
It doesn't convince me because I think it begs the question: we agree that for anyone using a notepad or the like to track all the information he needs, the game does not have a memory element, while for anyone not using such an external tracker, it does, so the question of whether memory is an inherent element of the game is equivalent to the question of whether using a notepad vel sim. is allowed*. You can't support your answer by assuming it as a premise!

In any case, given that the officially licensed online implementation of Dominion, complete with score tracker and game log, is a "Dominion variant" by your definition, I can't quite understand your position. The site is not called playadominionvariantonline, after all. I should think endorsing its version of the game as the official implementation of Dominion™ would give that version at least equal status to any derived by inference from the rulebook that didn't bark in the night.
___
*As far as I know, everything else about the game, if tracking information is permitted, remains perfectly sound, including Wishing Well. Even if you know the exact composition of your remaining deck, the choice of card to wish for is not always trivial.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 04:52:23 pm by JudahH »
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crj

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2019, 08:47:19 pm »
+1

I'd tend to concur that starting with the premise that Dominion is a game with a memory component is putting the cart before the horse, logically. The memory component does, indeed, exist because you can't take notes.

However, it makes complete sense that you're not allowed to take notes because it's an issue relevant to gameplay and nothing in the rules says you can. That seems entirely obvious. Next, people will be asking if they're allowed to use the Zarrow shuffle, a matter on which the rulebook is equally silent!
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JudahH

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2019, 11:43:29 pm »
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However, it makes complete sense that you're not allowed to take notes because it's an issue relevant to gameplay and nothing in the rules says you can. That seems entirely obvious. Next, people will be asking if they're allowed to use the Zarrow shuffle, a matter on which the rulebook is equally silent!
But again, nothing in the rules says you can count things up out loud, or on your fingers—issues just as relevant to gameplay—yet the general consensus about those, unlike note-taking, seems to be that they're fine. Since the rulebook treats these two cases in exactly the same way, the distinction between them must follow not from the rulebook, but from common notions of the "default" rules applying to games. If games are considered by common custom to allow tabulation on the fingers unless specifically forbidden, but disallow note-taking unless specifically permitted, I understand how the silence of the rule book on these points can be interpreted in two opposite ways. Without reference to common custom or convention, I'm not sure how you would justify that*.

If the convention that note-taking is disallowed by default were truly universal, it would indeed seem to follow that a game of Dominion that lifts that restriction would have to be classified as a variant. There seem to be enough dissenters to this rule that I do not personally consider it one that truly goes without saying. Nonetheless, given that the game designer intended it to be a rule of his game regardless of one's conventions for other games, and has made these intentions clear, I'm coming around after all to the view that it should be considered a canonical rule of the game. I still don't know how to reconcile that with the official website billing the "variant" as "Dominion Online", however.

___
*The exclusion of the Zarrow shuffle can be justified by appeal to common sense—we all know what the purpose of shuffling in games is, and that this purpose is not served by a false shuffle—but I don't think that the same can be said of the note-taking question, since either style of play results in a perfectly sensible game. I think it speaks well of Dominion that it doesn't need a memory aspect to make it interesting, even if it has one.
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Rabid

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2019, 06:50:26 am »
+3

IMO it is the difference "Dominion Online" vs "Dominion Real Life Simulator".

Dominion Online -- Dominion adapted to be a fun digital game.

Dominion RL Simulator -- See Table Top simulator

Some of the RL rules are to make the game more fun in RL.
If the rules need changing for digital play to make it possible or more fun, then change them.
I think that goal should not be "replicate RL play as closely as possible", but rather "create a fun digital game".
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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2019, 07:04:53 am »
+2

*looks on and compares notes with respect to the differences between competitive OTB chess and competitive online chess*
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Polk5440

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2019, 12:05:42 pm »
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But again, nothing in the rules says you can count things up out loud, or on your fingers—issues just as relevant to gameplay—yet the general consensus about those, unlike note-taking, seems to be that they're fine.

Saying the number of actions remaining out loud, describing what you are doing, etc. helps everyone adhere to the rules. Dominion (esp with its expansions) is actually pretty easy to accidentally break rules in person if you don't do this (e.g. playing an extra action when you don't have any left, forgetting to take two Curses when someone Throne Rooms a Witch, misplaying complex cards, etc.). Maybe saying things out loud helps you play better strategically and aids memory related to strategy, too? But the primary purpose of doing this is so everyone can actually play Dominion correctly.

I can certainly imagine a very competitive tournament environment where this talking would not be allowed, either, but there probably would have to be a ref at every table monitoring so players don't have to be tracking their opponents' turns for rule violations. High level Bridge tournaments are very strict on outlawing aids to memory and laying out exactly how communication and bidding happens. Maybe this is a better analogy than chess.

Dominion is not at this level, yet.

Taking side notes does not usually have this primary function of helping people play by the rules which is why it is usually frowned upon.

Quote
The exclusion of the Zarrow shuffle can be justified by appeal to common sense—we all know what the purpose of shuffling in games is, and that this purpose is not served by a false shuffle—but I don't think that the same can be said of the note-taking question, since either style of play results in a perfectly sensible game.

This is actually not a footnote. The couple of Dominion tournaments I have been to have included at least a passing mention of what is an acceptable shuffle because people have problems with this! In casual games, I have had to remind people to shuffle thoroughly. If you are not ok with me cutting your deck because you may have shuffled some good cards to the top or nicely distributed your Smithies by shuffling separate piles, then that's a problem (actually have seen both of these things happen and people think it's an allowed part of the game).

Note taking changes the game by reducing the memory element, just like fake shuffling changes the game by reducing the luck element.

You are correct that taking notes results in a perfectly sensible game (Online Dominion is basically this variant). But so does not shuffling randomly or starting the game by choosing your opening split (which is not even shuffling at all!). These are variants. Playing chess with notes is a variant. Playing chess with a computer aid is a variant. All of these are reasonable (and fun!) games, but they are different games, variants, and you should be aware that some people may not want to play them with you even if you prefer them.
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Donald X.

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2019, 12:13:53 pm »
+1

It doesn't convince me because I think it begs the question: we agree that for anyone using a notepad or the like to track all the information he needs, the game does not have a memory element, while for anyone not using such an external tracker, it does, so the question of whether memory is an inherent element of the game is equivalent to the question of whether using a notepad vel sim. is allowed*. You can't support your answer by assuming it as a premise!
When I said to guided that the game had a memory element, he knew what I meant; I had communicated successfully with him. He understood what it meant for a game to have a memory element, and that the point of the notebook was to get around the memory element. There was no faulty rhetorical technique employed; I didn't trick him.

The game doesn't let you use a notebook because the rulebook doesn't specifically allow it. In all games, within game contexts, you may only do things specifically permitted by the rules; this is what it means to have rules. If you disagree with this then I mean you're someone to avoid playing games with.

This isn't something that only comes up with notebooks. People will decide that flavorwise they should be able to do something, and then demand that you find the place in the rulebook where it says they can't, even though the rules in no way let them do what they want to do. For example, they're playing Netrunner, they played a resource with a penalty that they no longer want, they say "I'm throwing this away" and move it to the trash. That dates back to when I was trying to work this out. There is one answer to rule them all: the rulebook has to specifically let you do things. If you don't agree to this, there will be an endless number of things you can try to do that the rulebook won't cover; you have switched to playing Calvinball.

I think it's fair to note that I have not sufficiently argued the case of the difference between counting out loud and using a notebook. I will not be doing so today either.

For people who like to argue about this, there is also an official ruling, that you cannot use a notebook. If this question were ubiquitous enough then it would be worth including in rulebooks even though it would be redundant.

In any case, given that the officially licensed online implementation of Dominion, complete with score tracker and game log, is a "Dominion variant" by your definition, I can't quite understand your position. The site is not called playadominionvariantonline, after all. I should think endorsing its version of the game as the official implementation of Dominion™ would give that version at least equal status to any derived by inference from the rulebook that didn't bark in the night.
If you think about it, really think about it, maybe you will find a plausible path by which the website got its name. You will also be able to find other games where there is a similar difference between online and physical versions and yet they don't call their game A Magic Variant Duels or what have you, for some reason, despite only being able to play with one of each mythic and having your Liliana zombie tokens max out and so on, and playing the physical game doesn't entitle you to play by the online version's variant, for some reason.
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crj

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2019, 01:04:50 pm »
0

But again, nothing in the rules says you can count things up out loud, or on your fingers—issues just as relevant to gameplay—yet the general consensus about those, unlike note-taking, seems to be that they're fine.
Firstly, I'll reiterate my earlier point:
To me, at least, things that help you keep to the rules are very different from things that help you play better.
Using fingers, counting out loud, etc. as an aid to playing legally is obviously fine.

Is it legal for a player to keep muttering under their breath "12 cards in my discard pile; 12 cards in my discard pile ... 15 cards in my discard pile; 15 cards in my discard pile" the entire time because they're not allowed to count their discard pile, or must they actually memorise that information if they want to use it? While it's obviously not legal to keep tally on a sheet of notepaper, to me that's more of a grey area. My tendency would be to hope it's illegal merely because of how bloody annoying it would get. (-8
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2019, 10:55:15 pm »
+2

I'm now imagining what might simultaneously be the best and worst game of Dominion, in which one player continuously sings aloud an improvised song detailing the contents of each player's deck.
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ConMan

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Re: Taking Notes - Against the Rules?
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2019, 12:06:34 am »
+11

If someone did that while I was playing Dominion, I would make sure they're bard from all future games.
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