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Botanists for Social Justice Messages in this topic - RSS

Flyte
Flyte
Administrator
Posts: 672

6/20/2013
Botanists for Social Justice: Rigging the Tournament of Lilies

Ladies, gentlemen, and delicious persons who do not conform to simplistic binary conceptions of gender,

Those of you who have had occasion to engage in Botany for any length of time will doubtless have uncovered this Appalling Secret: whether one wins a Contest of Strength or Blood or Beauty is determined almost entirely by whether one is the challenger, and barely at all by how many vicars one's plant has supped on lately.

What should be an honourable contest of luck and skill is, in truth, more a matter of ill-mannered shoving. Which has its place, to be sure. But here -- here, I say it is ungentlemanly.

Well, delicious friends, acquaintances, and persons who occasionally send me heavily armed rodents, I say that we are Londoners. And if Londoners know anything, we know how to queue. Even if, as on this occasion, orderly queuing requires a modicum of Mathematics.

My proposal: by adopting a spirit of scientific collaboration and postlapsarian amity, every one of us can win the Tournament. For this to be possible, we will need at least seven botanists (a propitious number in the Neath, to be sure). I estimate that to achieve this, each of us will need to take around 48 actions with an average profit of one echo or more per action.

Edit: the Tournament has been fixed, or at least changed so that challengers no longer have a significant advantage. So Queuing is no longer feasible, or indeed necessary. As such, I've canceled the second Queue, which fortunately, as it turns out, had not yet begun. The first Queue will, if my proposal meets with general consent, continue in the form of a free-for-all for another month to improve Tyler and Katarina's chances of obtaining Rosettes.
edited by Flyte on 7/24/2013
+3 link
Tyler
Tyler
Posts: 50

6/20/2013
Hear, Hear!
edited by Tyler on 6/20/2013

--
Very interested in boxing cats!
@sunshinecult
was john smith on fallen london now Sweeny Todd
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/jonathan~smithsonian
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Flipz
Flipz
Posts: 177

6/20/2013
If and when I ever get my "Attending to the needs" to the requisite level (stupid luck checks at level 2), you have my support.

--
Profile Link

Happy to accept all Second Chance, Menace reduction, and Affluent Photographer requests. No boxed cats or SMEN, please.

0/50 Bazaar Permit (New counters coming soon!)
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Doomlewa
Doomlewa
Posts: 60

6/20/2013
I'm willing to aid you in this endeavour.

--
The same on twitter https://twitter.com/Doomlewa
http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Matt~Goerwell My Mantelpiece
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Evariste S. Crumbledon
Evariste S. Crumbledon
Posts: 138

6/20/2013
Please do count me in. After having lost four rounds in a row when challenged, my little companion is looking for mysteries that nobody seem to have... But enough whining. Science shall prevail!

--
Evariste S. Crumbledon
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Flyte
Flyte
Administrator
Posts: 672

6/21/2013
This seems promising. I forgot to mention that since we will on average lose as many Contests as we win, it may also be necessary to use some actions and items on Attending to the Needs of our Singular Plants. This is much cheaper once you have that quality at 12 or above. Obviously, 10 is the minimum requirement to participate in the competition. Mine's currently 15 -- Doomlewa, Tyler, Evariste, it would be helpful to know yours, or at least to get confirmation that you're comfortably above 10. (So far as I know, no one can use the information against you -- that, after all, is why this thread exists.)

It looks like we may find enough participants. We're going to need a lot of Morelways, so it would be best to stock up on wine if you're short. We'll all need a few Aeolian Screams and Extraordinary Implications, too, but we'll earn them back over the course of the Tournament, and end up with rather more Screams than we started with. (The profit will mostly be in Whispered Secrets and Storm Threnodies, along with the prize at the end.)

Flipz, I wish you luck. I seem to remember that when I was starting out, the Orchid-Grower gave me a great deal of terrible advice. Well, that's what one gets for asking an Orchid-Grower about lilies, I suppose...
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Doomlewa
Doomlewa
Posts: 60

6/21/2013
Fow what it is worth, My plant is currently at 17, and If I recall correctly, not too far from 18 either.

--
The same on twitter https://twitter.com/Doomlewa
http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Matt~Goerwell My Mantelpiece
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Evariste S. Crumbledon
Evariste S. Crumbledon
Posts: 138

6/21/2013
My little companion is at 18, close to 19. She had a bout of allergy towards wine. Asking for official advices came up quite expensive, at 4F the consultation...


  • Edited: It's now at 19.
    edited by Evariste S. Crumbledon on 6/22/2013

    --
    Evariste S. Crumbledon
  • 0 link
    Jack Vaux-Harrowden
    Jack Vaux-Harrowden
    Posts: 245

    6/21/2013
    Count me in, I think.
    0 link
    Flyte
    Flyte
    Administrator
    Posts: 672

    6/21/2013
    I'm going to use this post to draft a set of rules and explanatory notes on what I shall call the Queue of Lilies. Please feel free to suggest changes and additions -- it's important for it to be something we all agree is sensible and fair. For the same reason, please let me know if anything's hard to understand or makes no sense.

    Background: The Tournament of Lilies

    1) To enter the Tournament, your Attending to the Needs of a Singular Plant story quality ('Plant quality') must be 10 or more.

    2) The Tournament consists of a series of six Contests. In each Contest, two players pit their plants against each other. They are as follows:
    • The Contest of Strength;
    • The Contest of Cunning;
    • The Contest of Blood;
    • The Contest of Mysteries;
    • The Contest of Voices; and
    • The Contest of Beauty.
    3) The winner moves on to the next Contest. The loser suffers a small penalty to their Plant quality, and is sent back to the previous Contest (unless of course they are still in the first round, a Contest of Strength). The winner of the Contest of Beauty receives a Cryptobotanical Rosette and a prize worth 11 echoes.

    4) You must pay a price to participate in each Contest after the Contest of Strength, and the winner receives a prize. The stakes and prizes are as follows.
    • Cunning: 10 Whispered Secrets; 150 Whispered Secrets;
    • Blood: 10 Morelways; 1 Extraordinary Implication;
    • Mysteries: 1 Extraordinary Implication; 2 Aeolian Screams;
    • Voices: 1 Aeolian Scream: 1 Storm-Threnody;
    • Beauty: 1 Confident Smile; a Rosette and prize.
    5) Unsportingly, the person who challenges another to a Contest almost always wins. This is why the Queue of Lilies exists.

    The Queue of Lilies

    6) The idea behind the Queue of Lilies is simple. Instead of engaging in undignified jostling and exploiting the naivete of fledgling botanists, we will work together and take it in turns so that we all reach the top. We can do this by exploiting the very rule which makes the Tournament so unsatisfactory as a Competition: the rule that the challenger almost always defeats the person challenged.

    7) This can only be done through the collaboration of seven or more botanists.

    8) The positions of botanists in the queue will be determined at the outset in accordance with my personal prejudices. Umm, I mean, randomly. If another botanist wishes to generate the list themselves, that's fine: I ask only that:
    • You do so using a random number generator; and
    • You discard the results until your name is neither first nor second on the list.
    I'll adhere to these rules myself. The purpose of the second rule is not so much to prevent unfairness -- we are all gentlemen or the appropriately gendered equivalent, I trust -- as to prevent the appearance of unfairness. Queues, like judges, must be seen to be fair.

    9) I could post an optimised sequence of challenges, but that would be tedious for us all and would run into trouble if somehow a challenger lost a Contest. So instead I propose to simply publish an ordered list of names, which we will then act upon in accordance with the next section.

    10) Here, 'beneath you', 'most exalted', and other such phrases are short for 'below you on the list', 'highest on the list', and so on, rather than 'your social inferior', 'person of greatest spiritual merit', and other similarly dubious things. I felt this made the algorithm less tiresome (and reduced my urge to attempt a King James Bible pastiche), but if anyone finds the effect more offensive than amusing, let me know publicly or privately and I'll recast it in neutral terms.
    1. Accept any challenge you receive from someone above you.
    2. If you receive challenges from more than one person, accept the challenge of the most exalted.
    3. Never challenge anyone above you, and don't challenge anyone if you are waiting for someone to respond to your challenge. If they're taking ages, contact them or contact me or denounce them (nicely!) in this thread.
    4. If you are ready for a Contest of Mysteries, Voices or Beauty, and are able to challenge someone more exalted, don't challenge anyone at all. Wait until either they challenge you, or you can no longer challenge them.
    5. If the above rules aren't applicable, challenge someone beneath you. If there is more than one such person, challenge the most exalted of them.
    6. If you win the Tournament, congratulations! Post about it here so we can consign you to the depths (of the list).
    11) [Reflections on the perfidy of ceasing to participate partway through. Public shaming, stomach upsets, the lamentations of my kitten.]

    Advice, Invitations and Explanations

    12) If your Plant quality is more than seven and less than 12, it costs two echoes to raise your it by one change point. Since losing a Contest will reduce it by two change points or maybe more, keeping it above ten could get expensive. Fortunately, if it is 12 or higher, it can be increased rather cheaply. It's therefore advisable to enter the queue with a Plant quality of at least 13, and preferably somewhat more.

    13) [Rough cost-benefit analysis of participation. Will get round to this in the next few days.]

    14) If you aren't interested in a Cryptobotanical Rosette but would be willing to assist those who are in exchange for a brace of Starveling Cats or some other benefit, feel free to post your proposal here.
    edited by Flyte on 6/21/2013
    +1 link
    Tyler
    Tyler
    Posts: 50

    6/21/2013
    Currently Seeking a contest of blood lv3
    and
    attending 12 Budding in the pantry (on the cusp of 13)

    Flyte wrote:
    This seems promising. I forgot to mention that since we will on average lose as many Contests as we win, it may also be necessary to use some actions and items on Attending to the Needs of our Singular Plants. This is much cheaper once you have that quality at 12 or above. Obviously, 10 is the minimum requirement to participate in the competition. Mine's currently 15 -- Doomlewa, Tyler, Evariste, it would be helpful to know yours, or at least to get confirmation that you're comfortably above 10. (So far as I know, no one can use the information against you -- that, after all, is why this thread exists.)

    It looks like we may find enough participants. We're going to need a lot of Morelways, so it would be best to stock up on wine if you're short. We'll all need a few Aeolian Screams and Extraordinary Implications, too, but we'll earn them back over the course of the Tournament, and end up with rather more Screams than we started with. (The profit will mostly be in Whispered Secrets and Storm Threnodies, along with the prize at the end.)

    Flipz, I wish you luck. I seem to remember that when I was starting out, the Orchid-Grower gave me a great deal of terrible advice. Well, that's what one gets for asking an Orchid-Grower about lilies, I suppose...


    --
    Very interested in boxing cats!
    @sunshinecult
    was john smith on fallen london now Sweeny Todd
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/jonathan~smithsonian
    0 link
    Erik Vimes
    Erik Vimes
    Posts: 182

    6/23/2013
    I would join the melee if I didn't already have my trophy. I'd be interested in participating as a stepping stone if there was some kind barter in exchange (like Flyte mentioned, but not with cats).

    --
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Eric~Vimes
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    Flyte
    Flyte
    Administrator
    Posts: 672

    6/23/2013
    Hmm... what do you offer a man with an Overgoat? Not jewels or Rats, not Second Chances nor Starveling Cats... and I guess doggerel's no good, either.

    Would you be interested in consignments of First City Coins, someone to betray, or a lot of menace reduction? I can't think of anything else right now, but I don't often use social actions, so let me know if I'm missing something more appealing.
    edited by Flyte on 6/23/2013
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    Shadowcthuhlu
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Posts: 1558

    6/24/2013
    I'm willing to join in. Where is the list of Exalted we shoulc consult?

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Dirae%20Erinyes. Closed to calling cards, but open for all other social action. I also love to roleplay.
    -1 link
    Tyler
    Tyler
    Posts: 50

    6/24/2013
    ^^^ if a list of people and their tier is made, I can easily create brackets.

    --
    Very interested in boxing cats!
    @sunshinecult
    was john smith on fallen london now Sweeny Todd
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/jonathan~smithsonian
    0 link
    Flyte
    Flyte
    Administrator
    Posts: 672

    6/24/2013
    Shadowcthuhlu wrote:
    I'm willing to join in. Where is the list of Exalted we shoulc consult?
    I haven't generated a list yet, because we need a minimum of seven botanists, and you're the sixth to sign up. Are you doing this for a Cryptobotanical Rosette, or do you want someone to accept a betrayal instead, in accordance with the offer I made in the Seekers' thread?

    When we get one more person, I'll ask everyone to confirm they're on board and then generate the list.
    0 link
    Tyler
    Tyler
    Posts: 50

    6/24/2013
    I should also note there does seem to be <5% chance to win when you've accepted a challenge from someone else.

    --
    Very interested in boxing cats!
    @sunshinecult
    was john smith on fallen london now Sweeny Todd
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/jonathan~smithsonian
    0 link
    Erik Vimes
    Erik Vimes
    Posts: 182

    6/24/2013
    Flyte wrote:
    Hmm... what do you offer a man with an Overgoat? Not jewels or Rats, not Second Chances nor Starveling Cats... and I guess doggerel's no good, either.

    Would you be interested in consignments of First City Coins, someone to betray, or a lot of menace reduction? I can't think of anything else right now, but I don't often use social actions, so let me know if I'm missing something more appealing.
    edited by Flyte on 6/23/2013



  • I'd be content to join as the bottom stepping stone (perpetually losing the 1st contest) in exchange for a person to betray as initiation and a game of chess (to get Sudden Insights) sent with every contest.

    --
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Eric~Vimes
  • 0 link
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Posts: 1558

    6/25/2013
    Accept a betrayel, though a rosette at some point would be nice. But betrayel first.

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Dirae%20Erinyes. Closed to calling cards, but open for all other social action. I also love to roleplay.
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    KatarinaNavane
    KatarinaNavane
    Posts: 462

    6/25/2013
    I would like to get in this queue if it is still possible to do so.

    --
    Storynexus sn Katarina Navane.

    My art page (much of which is dark, Victorian, and/or full of tentacles): http://www.facebook.com/demonkittydesigns
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