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The Hierarchy of Magic


governing the second Epoch of the World of ElementalOblivion

In general, only the Keeper of the Records should edit this page.  Minor edits which cannot be viewed as changing the sense of the rules are permitted by all Mages.  See the /PublishingGuidelines for more information.

  1. And it is written, "At the beginning of all beginnings the Creator did weave from the Elements a World, and over this World and over the very Rules of creation themselves the Creator did set Mages to Meet and Determine all that should be carried out.  And so from Epoch to Epoch, as the Heart of the World doth beat, do these Mages, through calling on their inner elemental alignings, strive to balance the Strengths of the Elements as they think shall best benefit the World." [This shall be known as The Story]
  2. And none who would be Mages shall alter the Rules in such as way as they cannot make a case that their rule change will not send the World unto Oblivion.  [i.e. It is not in the Spirit of the game to make rule changes designed to decrease the playability of the game or majorly conflict with The Story. Introducing a 5th element of "fluffy penguin" is right out, as is changing the heartbeat period to 53 years.  Play nice and everyone will have fun.]
  3. It is against the Spirit of the World for Mages to make Formal Claims that they believe to be untrue.
  4. Stating whether a rules change was primarily intended to decrease playability of the game is a Formal Claim. [i.e. Don't try to ruin the game, and don't try to sneak through a way to ruin the game while claiming not to]
  5. Publishing the results of a Meeting is a Formal Claim. [i.e. Don't misrepresent who was present or what was agreed at a meeting when writing it up]
  6. Statements made about your current elemental alignment are Formal Claims. [i.e. Don't lie about what pawns you have]
  7. If a rule is broken [for example, if a Mage takes an action as Master of Primus by mis-remembering how many pawns they have, or does something that clearly violates the Spirit of this World such as raise the wrong element's strength on the wiki page] then ideally the action will be backed out, and the consequences nullified [eg re-edit the wiki page to raise the correct element, nullify actions made on the wrong basis at Meetings].  Where this is too difficult or ambiguous, a proposal shall be raised and voted on under Primus as how best to rectify the state of the world and the Hierarchy of magic, in a way that is fairest to all Mages affected by the error.
  8. Specific Agreements made between Mages at a meeting, affecting support at the Meeting, are binding. [For instance, if Mages X and Y agree that X will support Y's Quartus transfer from Z and Y will support the Secundus rule change proposal X is making at that same Meeting, then that would be binding.]
  9. If at the start of a heartbeat a Mage satisfies all Winning Conditions applicable, they become a winner of the current epoch, which then ends.
  10. No rule change may be passed which would immediately cause one or more players to win; nor shall any rule change be passed which renders further changes to the rules impossible, for it is in the nature of the World that magic remain able to alter the Hierarchy of magic. [Mages may only win as a result of alterations or exchanges at Meetings.]
  11. The Hierarchy is an ethereal grid of cells, labelled with consecutive natural numbers starting from 1, indicating the highest priority.  Each cell of the Hierarchy may contain a rule of the game, and all rules of the game are contained in the Hierarchy.
  12. Rules higher in the Hierarchy (that is, with a smaller number) have priority over rules lower in the Hierarchy in case of contradictions.
  13. A Quarter of the Hierarchy is a set of cells equal to one quarter of the Hierarchy's Maximum Size.  The Maximum Size must be a finite natural number greater than three that is divisable without remainder by four.  The Maximum Size may not be reduced to lower than the current number of rules.
  14. Rules may not be added above existing rules.  Rules added by a Secundus proposal are added into the highest currently vacant cell in the Hierarchy which is below all filled cells, unless that would increase the number of rules beyond the Maximum Size.
  15. Rules may not be deleted from the top three Quarters of the Hierarchy.  They may be deleted from the bottom Quarter, by Secundus proposal, in which case all rules (if any) below the deleted rule are raised by one to keep the numbering consecutive positive integers.
  16. No wording changes of any sort may be made to rules in the highest two Quarters of the Hierarchy. Rules in the lowest Quarter of the Hierarchy may have wording changes of any sort made to them. Rules in the 3rd lowest Quarter of the Hierarchy may only have their wording changed by modifying numerical values within the rule by up to 20% rounded up, and correction of grammar associated with such numerical modifications. [The number 10 could be changed to anything between 8 and 12 inclusive.  The number 1 could be changed to anything between 0 and 2 inclusive.  The phrase "1 time" could be changed to "2 times" or vice versa.]
  17. The highest Quarter of the Hierarchy may not be raised or lowered, nor may other rules be raised above any of them. The lower three Quarters may only have rules in them raised or lowered by the normal Primus process. [If the maximum is 64, then the top 16 may not be raised or lowered.]
  18. Every Element shall have a Strength.  The total of the strengths of all the elements shall be constant through out an Epoch. [This is known as the Law of Balance.]
  19. There are 4 Elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) which have respectively and uniquely, in order of decreasing Strength, one (and only one) of the 4 Powers (Primus, Secundus, Tertius and Quartus). [Thus if the elements currently have the current strengths E=10, A=11, F=12, W=7 then Primus is Fire, Secundus is Air, Tertius is Earth and Quartus is Water.]
  20. The amount a particular Mage's skills and affinities are aligned towards a particular element is measured in pawns.  Each Mage has 8 pawns, each of which is of 1 element.
  21. A Meeting is an interaction between two or more Mages, in real time or near real time, that is mutually agreed to be a Meeting.
  22. In any Meeting, the Masters of a Power are the group of Mages present who reach accord on that Power's Action for that Meeting, and who control more pawns of the element with that Power at the beginning of that Meeting than any other such group.
  23. It is a Winning Condition that a Mage have a mana score of 108 points or more at the start of a heartbeat.  [Thus the average elemental score of their pawns will need to be 13.5.]
  24. A power of Primus is to arbitrate disputes and to settle ties: at any Meeting where the interpretation of the rules is in question, or any situation where determining the Mage with majority of an element results in a tie, the Masters of Primus decide.
  25. A power of Primus is also to raise and lower rules in the Hierarchy.  Planned raise(s) or lowering(s) may be Proposed at a meeting by the Masters of Primus, and are then voted on under Primus.
  26. A power of Secundus is to propose changes to the rules.  Rule changes may be proposed at each Meeting, by the Masters of Secundus for that Meeting.  Rule change Proposals are voted on under Secundus.
  27. A power of Tertius is to alter the balance of elemental strengths.  In any meeting the Masters of Tertius may determine a transfer of one point of strength from one element to another to be carried out.
  28. A power of Tertius is to select the holder of the post "Keeper of Records", by the process of proposing at a Meeting who the Keeper should be, then deciding on the proposal by vote under Tertius.
  29. A power of Quartus is to alter the elemental allegiance of Mages by decreeing trades of pawns between Mages.  Such trades consist of exchanging 1 pawn of one Mage present at the Meeting for 1 pawn (of a different element) of another Mage present at the Meeting.  At any meeting, the Masters of Quartus may agree upon such an exchange to be carried out, which shall have effect from the end of that Meeting.
  30. Actions which require voting are Published. The period between the time of Publication and the start of the next heartbeat is know as the Time For Modification.  The Time For Modification may be extended as specified in the rules. Once the Time For Modification ends, the text is frozen and Mages vote for or against the proposal.  At the conclusion of the voting heartbeat, if the total pawns of the relevant Power voting for the Proposal is greater than that against, the Action is determined to be carried out.
  31. Mages' mana score is equal to the number of pawns they have invested in each element multiplied by its elemental strength, summed over all elements.
  32. The means of Publishing shall be as stated by the Keeper of the Records in the /PublishingGuidelines. All Mages are required to follow these to the extent that the Guidelines shall cover the mechanics of keeping the Records straight and making information available in a fair and timely fashion.  On questions of record keeping, the Keeper may seek advice through proposals to be voted upon under Tertius.  On matters where interpretation of the rules may be unclear (such as what to do if two rule changes potentially conflict) the Keeper is bound to seek the guidance of Primus.
  33. During the Time for Modification, the originating Masters of a proposal may, by unanimous consensus amongst themselves, amend or withdraw it as they choose.  They may extend the Time For Modification by 1 heartbeat, but only 1 time for each proposal.
  34. No rule may be raised or lowered more than 1 time in a heartbeat.  No rule may be modified more than 1 time in a heartbeat.
  35. No single proposed change to the rules may affect more than 1 rule, unless all the rules it affects are in the bottom quarter of the potential ruleset, in which case it may affect a maximum of 2 rules: either splitting 1 into 2 or combining 2 into 1.
  36. Once they are determined to be carried out, Actions other than pawn exchanges take effect at the midnight following the end of the current heartbeat.
  37. A Mage shall be deemed to have departed the World if they have Met no other Mages for 10 consecutive Heartbeats, and shall require re-sponsorship before they can again Meet or Vote.
  38. The Maximum Size of the Hierarchy shall be 76.
  39. A planned raise or lower of a rule may be of up to 8 positions in the Hierarchy.
  40. When an Epoch ends, a new one starts.
  41. At the start of an Epoch, each Element starts off with a Strength of 10.  Elements' strengths cannot rise above 15 or fall below 5.
  42. The Powers default to the order Air = Primus, Fire = Secundus, Earth = Tertius, Water = Quartus.
  43. For an element to have its strength changed at a meeting, there must be at least one pawn of that element present at the meeting.
  44. Element X may not be increased in strength at the expense of element Y by a Meeting unless there are more pawns of X than Y present at the Meeting.
  45. A change in Power only occurs if one element overtakes another one in strength. No change of Power occurs if two elements arrive at the same strength.
  46. New Mages entering the World must choose their pawns in such a way that they do not start with more than 4 pawns of a single element, and so that the total number of pawns of each element is equal after they join. If this is not possible, new Mages must choose their pawns to follow this as closely as possible. [So if three players want to join at the same time, they may choose alignments AAAAFFFF, EEEWWWFF, EEEWWWAA.]
  47. And the name of this World shalt be "Elemental Oblivion".
  48. If a new Epoch would start and the total number of pawns of each element is not equal, pawns of an element more common than the average are reallocated in a series of rounds until the total number of pawns of each element is equal.  A reallocation round starts with the player with the most pawns of each element more common than the average. Each pawn of that element of that player has a chance of decaying equal to (the total number of pawns of that element) minus (the average number of pawns of each element), divided by (the total number of pawns of that element). [So for example, if there are 4 players: Peter EEEEFFWW, Susan EEEAAFWW, Edmund EEAAFFWW, Lucy EAAFFWWW then there are 10 E, 9 W, 7 F, 6 A.  Average should be 8 so there is an excess of E and W.  10 - 8 = 2, so there is a 2 in 10 chance of each of Peter's Earth pawns decaying to A or F.  We take them one at a time.  Miss. Miss. Miss. Hit. His 4th E pawn decays.  Rolling a D6 we find it goes to F.  Peter is now EEEFFFWW, there is still an imbalance so we proceed to check Susan (as next most earth strong) and Lucy (most water strong), and carry on untill all imbalances are gone.]
  49. A player may join the World as a Mage at the start of an Epoch by issuing a public Formal Claim that they desire so to do. A Mage may only join the World other than at the start of an Epoch if sponsored by 2 Valid Sponsors, who undertake to introduce the new Mage to the World and the other Mages.
  50. No more than 1 Action of each distinct type of each Power may be taken at any given Meeting, with the exception of rulings and arbitrations under Primus; while these are Actions, any number may be taken in any Meeting.
  51. A Mage who has been in the World since the start of the Epoch is a Valid Sponsor.
  52. A Mage who has been in the World for 10 or more Heartbeats is a Valid Sponsor.
  53. In any one Epoch, no more than one Mage may be sponsored by the same combination of Sponsors.
  54. In the event of a meeting comprising strictly more than 2/3 of the number of mages within the world, each mage present shall have no restrictions upon them joining their next meeting.
  55. The exact same combination of Mages may meet a maximum of 1 time in a single heartbeat.
  56. It is against the Spirit of the World for Mages to discuss at length possible actions that could happen during a potential Meeting not yet started.  [It's OK to suggest a basis for a meeting and/or a condition for a meeting. Discussion back and forth of precisely what actions should be taken is "in detail" and against the Spirit - it should be done inside the Meeting.]
  57. If, at the end of an Epoch, no-one has fulfilled the Winning Conditions then the Mage with the greatest Mana (after adjustment) is deemed to have won the Epoch.
  58. At the start of each heartbeat, each mage receives an amount of HeartBeatMana? equal to their Mana score at that time. This may be used during the Heartbeat for Purposes. Any unused HeartBeatMana? is discarded at the end of the Heartbeat.
  59. The law of /TheProphecies - The Epoch comes to a close at the end of a Heartbeat if at least half (minimum three) of /TheProphecies are fulfilled.  In the manner of prophecies everywhere, future events may be described; the prophecy is only fulfilled when those events have come to pass.
  60. At a Meeting any Mage may, as an Action, make a single prophecy for addition to /TheProphecies if they have not already done so this /HeartBeat. They may use an amount of HeartBeatMana? for the Purpose of assigning this prophecy a strength equal to the amount of mana they invest. If at any time the strength of a Prophecy is zero or less, the Prophecy is considered Disproved, and is forgotten within the World.  At a Meeting a Mage may use an amount of his/her HeartBeatMana? for the Purpose of, at the end of that Meeting, increasing or decreasing the strength of one of /TheProphecies by that amount.
  61. The Heart of the World beats at 23:59 on each of Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
  62. Votes, once cast, may not be rescinded or changed within 6 hours of the conclusion of that vote.
  63. In a Meeting where no Master of Primus is present, no provision is made for the breaking of ties [Mages should reach accord or agree to reach no accord]; however, interpretation of rules shall fall to the Mage with the highest mana.  Issues of interpretation of rules (arising outside of a Meeting) may be dealt with by raising a proposed clarificational ruling as an Action of Primus inside a Meeting, which shall then be voted on under Primus.
  64. There shall be a 48 hour break between Epochs during which period no heartbeat shall be counted, though Hierarchy rules 1-6 should still apply. During the first 24 hours of this gap, Mages may propose arbitrary changes to /TheHierarchy.  During the second 24 hours, Mages may cast a veto against any of these proposed changes. Any changes which are not vetoed by more than one Mage will be made to the Hierarchy for the start of the new Epoch. ''[It is suggested that these changes be agreed by a Meeting rather than individual mages acting. The idea is that such changes are for the good of the World rather than of any individual mage, and hence unanimously agreeable.]
  65. When a power is voted under, the relevant element is the one that has that power after the pending changes from that heartbeat have been applied to the /WorldState.
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