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Author Topic: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"  (Read 889 times)

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greybirdofprey

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"no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« on: July 12, 2018, 06:00:58 am »
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I was wondering: are all rules that are not explicitly stated on the cards or in the rulebooks (and possibly by DXV himself) excluded from the Dominion rules? Basically, is anything that is not mentioned yet not contradictory to the rules still not a rule?
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 09:12:07 am »
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Not clear what you mean.

There are cases where the written rules are more general, and as such there is a specific thing that you are allowed to do, which could be considered a rule, even though it isn't mentioned in the rulebook. For example, I don't think anything in the rulebook tells you that if your opponent plays a Militia, you are allowed to discard a Victory card instead of a card that you want to use on your turn. Instead, the rules just tell you that you have to discard cards in general (via the rule that says that you do what the cards tell you to do when played).
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werothegreat

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 09:46:32 am »
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Not clear what you mean.

There are cases where the written rules are more general, and as such there is a specific thing that you are allowed to do, which could be considered a rule, even though it isn't mentioned in the rulebook. For example, I don't think anything in the rulebook tells you that if your opponent plays a Militia, you are allowed to discard a Victory card instead of a card that you want to use on your turn. Instead, the rules just tell you that you have to discard cards in general (via the rule that says that you do what the cards tell you to do when played).

I don't think this is a good example.  Victory cards are still cards, which is what Militia tells you to discard.

Technically, you are not allowed to do anything not specifically allowed in the rules.  You're not allowed to track your deck contents on a piece of paper, for example.  In that sense, Dominion Online is actually a variant, as it allows a VP tracker.  However, IRL, there isn't a Dominion police, so you can do whatever you want.  For instance, I've often tracked VP tokens on a piece of paper when there weren't enough physical tokens.  It really comes down to common sense.  Clearly, even though breathing is not mentioned in the rulebook, you're still allowed to breathe during the game.  However, peeking at another player's hand, or sliding extra cards into your deck when they're not looking would certainly be cheating.
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greybirdofprey

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 10:11:25 am »
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Not clear what you mean.

There are cases where the written rules are more general, and as such there is a specific thing that you are allowed to do, which could be considered a rule, even though it isn't mentioned in the rulebook. For example, I don't think anything in the rulebook tells you that if your opponent plays a Militia, you are allowed to discard a Victory card instead of a card that you want to use on your turn. Instead, the rules just tell you that you have to discard cards in general (via the rule that says that you do what the cards tell you to do when played).

Think defining well-formed formulas in formal logic, where you have to end with 'no other formula is a well-formed formula' to complete your formal definition.

I assume 'doing things that don't pertain to the game' is always allowed.

An example of the rules on what you can look at:

Quote
You can count the number of cards in your deck at any time (without looking at the card fronts),
but cannot look through or count your discard pile or another player's deck or discard pile. The
number of cards in each player's hand is public, as is the top card of each discard pile. All cards in
play are public; set aside cards are normally public but are sometimes face down. Players can look
through the Trash pile at any time.

They never explicitly state that you can or can't look at another player's hand. Or that you can't randomly discard a card from your hand at any moment, et cetera. However, I assume they are not allowed, because I assume that anything that is not mentioned in the rules (or by DXV) that pertains to the game (i.e. - affects the gameplay) is simply not allowed / not part of the rules.
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 10:44:30 am »
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Not clear what you mean.

There are cases where the written rules are more general, and as such there is a specific thing that you are allowed to do, which could be considered a rule, even though it isn't mentioned in the rulebook. For example, I don't think anything in the rulebook tells you that if your opponent plays a Militia, you are allowed to discard a Victory card instead of a card that you want to use on your turn. Instead, the rules just tell you that you have to discard cards in general (via the rule that says that you do what the cards tell you to do when played).

I don't think this is a good example.  Victory cards are still cards, which is what Militia tells you to discard.


That was my whole point though. It might not be a good example of what the OP means (because I'm not sure what he means), but it's definitely a good example of what I meant. The rules don't need to tell you that you can discard victory cards, because they tell you that you discard cards. You infer the specific from the general.
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Screwyioux

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 10:50:47 am »
+1

Most instances where this can be applied (to any game) are answered by a fundamental principle of game rules:

They tell you what you CAN do, not what you can't.

Game rules may lay out some notable exclusions, but there are infinite things you're not allowed to do in the confines of the game, such as grab your opponent's deck and shuffle it into your own, or put all the VP tokens in your mouth so no one else wants to gain them.

Those aren't in the rules, because game rules are prescriptive, not proscriptive.
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Screwyioux

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 10:55:45 am »
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Found it: this Team Covenant article pretty well lays out the concept:

https://teamcovenant.com/star-wars-x-wing/prescriptive-vs-proscriptive
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crj

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 11:45:04 am »
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There are also a bunch of unwritten rules common to most games. Some day, a pedant might codify them.

For example, you can't change position around the table during the game. You can't enter or leave the game while it is in progress. Players sit in an identifiable order around the table - there's not a player sitting in the hole in the middle of an O-shaped table, sitting under the table, hanging from the chandelier or whatever. When you shuffle cards, you try to mix them into a random order you neither choose nor know. And so on.
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 11:50:57 am »
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There are also a bunch of unwritten rules common to most games. Some day, a pedant might codify them.

For example, you can't change position around the table during the game. You can't enter or leave the game while it is in progress. Players sit in an identifiable order around the table - there's not a player sitting in the hole in the middle of an O-shaped table, sitting under the table, hanging from the chandelier or whatever. When you shuffle cards, you try to mix them into a random order you neither choose nor know. And so on.

Though MTG actually does have ridiculously specific rules to allow things such as resigning at any time (even if your decisions are being controlled by an opponent or when you do not have priority to act).
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greybirdofprey

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 12:00:38 pm »
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So 'yes'?
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crj

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 12:16:40 pm »
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Though MTG actually does have ridiculously specific rules to allow things such as resigning at any time (even if your decisions are being controlled by an opponent or when you do not have priority to act).
There's a difference between the level of precision needed in the rules for tournament play and the bog-standard rulebook.
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Donald X.

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 02:44:18 pm »
+1

In game contexts, you can only do things specifically allowed by the rules.
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 03:16:48 pm »
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Though MTG actually does have ridiculously specific rules to allow things such as resigning at any time (even if your decisions are being controlled by an opponent or when you do not have priority to act).
There's a difference between the level of precision needed in the rules for tournament play and the bog-standard rulebook.

Ah, but MTG has a separate set of tournament rules on top of the regular rulebook. The bit about being allowed to resign at any time is in the regular rules, not the tournament rules.
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Jimmmmm

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 05:28:47 pm »
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To answer this question I think you need to define precisely what constitutes the "game state":

-player order
-location of each card
-how many actions/tokens/etc each player has
-what information is available to each player
-which player gets to make which decisions
-etc

The rules of Dominion define how you can affect the game state. Any change to the game state that is not permitted by the rules is forbidden. The rules make no comment on anything outside the game state, such as are you allowed to breathe or are you allowed to murder other players.
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DG

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 07:00:41 pm »
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As a general answer, I don't think the Dominion rulebook omits assumed rules that players generally don't know about. Players know what a card game is like and don't need to be told that they shouldn't write on the cards.

As a theoretical answer, any concise rulebook in plain English is going to be open to the bending of the rules without breaking the written rules. If a rulebook tells you that you can't write on the cards, maybe you can train your dog to write on the cards for you.
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crj

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 08:18:24 pm »
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The bit about being allowed to resign at any time is in the regular rules, not the tournament rules.
Really?

Boggle. I wonder why. I mean, outside of a tournament setting where sanctions might be applied, I'd like to see you try to stop me walking away from any game I want to.
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2018, 10:35:10 am »
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The bit about being allowed to resign at any time is in the regular rules, not the tournament rules.
Really?

Boggle. I wonder why. I mean, outside of a tournament setting where sanctions might be applied, I'd like to see you try to stop me walking away from any game I want to.

Exactly. It's a rule that's implicitly written in every rulebook for every game, but MTG felt the need to spell it out. I suppose you could say it changes the reasonable expectations of a game... in most games, if a player who was losing simply gave up and left, it may be considered rude. People do it in Online Dominion all the time, but it doesn't generally happen in IRL Dominion.

In a 3 or more player game, leaving in the middle of the game would generally just be unfair to the other players; having their game ruined because they can't necessarily complete it. MTG provides specific rules about the right way to handle that situation, and makes it so that a player quitting in the middle isn't considered rude or harmful to the game.

*Edit* After more thinking about it, I do think the rule is meaningful, even in a 2 player game. In other games, "resigning" is not allowed. Walking away from the table and preventing the game from ever ending properly is. So if you walk away in the middle of a game of Dominion, there's no rule that says that you lost that game. Most people will reasonably agree that you did in fact lose, but it will depend on the circumstances. The game never finished, you can't really say who it is that won the game. In Dominion Online, they reasonably use a house-rule that says that when a player leaves the game, they lose that game. But MTG makes it so that leaving the game is an in-game action you are allowed to take, with an in-game rule for how to deal with it (you lose the game. If there is still more than 1 player left, the game continues).
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 10:43:54 am by GendoIkari »
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greybirdofprey

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2018, 11:17:32 am »
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In game contexts, you can only do things specifically allowed by the rules.

Thanks Donald.
Does this also hold for denominations? For example, I play a Pawn and say I use it to get "+1 action, +1 purchase" instead of "+1 action, +1 buy". Humans will know what I mean, but is it technically correct? Similarly, the rules only say that the player with the most VP wins (or tied with fewer turns, or tied). Does that mean there is no 'official' second place?

Exactly. It's a rule that's implicitly written in every rulebook for every game, but MTG felt the need to spell it out. I suppose you could say it changes the reasonable expectations of a game... in most games, if a player who was losing simply gave up and left, it may be considered rude. People do it in Online Dominion all the time, but it doesn't generally happen in IRL Dominion.

Yes, resigning would be a good example of what I'm talking about.

There is no rule on resigning in Dominion (IRL). So technically the game would stall once the player who 'left' has a turn.
But perhaps, within the rules, you could 'resign' by saying that on every turn, you do absolutely nothing. Then tell the other players what they should do with your cards when an interaction/attack is played (e.g. 'If someone plays a Torturer, always discard the leftmost two cards'). By doing this, the other players can keep playing, and simply perform your turns by only doing your clean-ups (I assume that players are allowed to do stuff with your cards if formal consent is given, such as shuffling your discard while you visit the bathroom).

Or you can use house rules for resigning. (of course you could quit mid-game because humans are playing it and not robots - I'm taking a formal approach here)
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2018, 12:27:49 pm »
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Similarly, the rules only say that the player with the most VP wins (or tied with fewer turns, or tied). Does that mean there is no 'official' second place?

Almost no games have official rules for second place; tournament organizers will often add such rules to their tournament rules for the purposes if caring about such things.

For games where the winner is the player with the most points, players generally declare second place based on having the second-most points. For games that are more race-style, second place is generally declared by the player who would have finished the race next if the game continued (often that is obvious to tell; sometimes it isn't).

This doesn't work quite as well in Dominion; because of how points scale so non-linearly... player B may have fewer points than player C when player A ends the game and wins; but player B may have been 1 turn away from popping off his megaturn and gaining all the Provinces, while player C had no chance of ever winning. It would seem weird to declare player C the second-place winner in that case. Dominion can also be seen as a race-style game (first player to achieve the goal of ending the game while having the most points); and in that case player B could legitimately declare second place based on the fact that he would have been next in line to win if player A hadn't.

The point is that there's no official second place in almost any game; and in Dominion specifically there's no a great way to house-rule a determination of second place.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2018, 02:25:33 pm »
+1

Resignation is officially allowed in chess as well (and, in fact, is commoner than checkmate - I had eight decisive games in my last tournament, with seven ending by resignation and one by checkmate).
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GendoIkari

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2018, 02:39:55 pm »
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Resignation is officially allowed in chess as well (and, in fact, is commoner than checkmate - I had eight decisive games in my last tournament, with seven ending by resignation and one by checkmate).

Yup. Of course one big difference is that Chess doesn't need to worry about the proper way to continue a game after a player resigns. But I think that the commonality between Chess and MTG there is the seriousness of the game; both are played in money-making tournaments.
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greybirdofprey

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2018, 03:15:17 pm »
+1

Resignation is officially allowed in chess as well (and, in fact, is commoner than checkmate - I had eight decisive games in my last tournament, with seven ending by resignation and one by checkmate).

Yup. Of course one big difference is that Chess doesn't need to worry about the proper way to continue a game after a player resigns. But I think that the commonality between Chess and MTG there is the seriousness of the game; both are played in money-making tournaments.

Thinking of 1 v 1 games where resignation would matter - in snooker players not only compete for the title, but a cash price is also awarded to the player with the highest break in a tournament (I may be wrong in some details), so if resignation was allowed it could be used to shut others off from it.
But I can't think of a tabletop game where resignation would matter in such a way.

The point is that there's no official second place in almost any game; and in Dominion specifically there's no a great way to house-rule a determination of second place.

I agree with 'counting current points' not making sense, for the reasons you specify. Also, when the game ends is decided by the players, so the game's 'endpoint' is not really a 'fair measuring point' - if A hadn't ended the game, it might have taken C much longer to end the game, allowing B to piledrive the Provinces. But player A is there, and the game is ended. There is no 'secondary ending point' you could use to measure who would have won 'next'.

Mandatory edge case mention: the Formula D rules state "The race ends when all cars have crossed the finishing line, in order to enable ranking." from which I assume that second etc. place exist.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 03:22:11 pm by greybirdofprey »
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Jack Rudd

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2018, 03:39:03 pm »
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Players do resign in snooker, but not during a break that could potentially be a century, and usually only when their only chance of winning lies in the opponent's committing a foul.
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Donald X.

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2018, 03:48:59 pm »
+8

Does this also hold for denominations? For example, I play a Pawn and say I use it to get "+1 action, +1 purchase" instead of "+1 action, +1 buy". Humans will know what I mean, but is it technically correct? Similarly, the rules only say that the player with the most VP wins (or tied with fewer turns, or tied). Does that mean there is no 'official' second place?
These seem like things that you will need to find your own personal peace with; a mere game designer cannot help you sufficiently.
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crj

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Re: "no other rule is a Dominion rule"
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2018, 09:09:41 pm »
+1

in most games, if a player who was losing simply gave up and left, it may be considered rude. People do it in Online Dominion all the time, but it doesn't generally happen in IRL Dominion
As a data point, BGG indicates I've walked away from only 2 of the last 1,000 games I've played IRL. A few more were abandoned by universal consent, but I think people I play with know my walking away has a heck of a lot more to do with how tediously stagnant the game is than whether or not I'm winning.

Maybe those two occasions seemed rude, but when things get that bad I'll take the hit. It's not like I shipped someone a bobcat instead of an office chair, or anything...
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