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o Trying a new system - Transience Divine
June 5th, 2014
08:20 pm

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o Trying a new system

Sometimes I think the Catholic church is right to fear Dungeons and Dragons.  There are pearls of wisdom there that threaten society's core.  Today, for me, it's dice.

Many people worship randomness-- from horoscopes to sports to stocks-- and find great strengths in it.  The trick to building a divine system of randomness is to ensure long tails: that unlikely events still happen.  In D&D, it's called a critical hit.  Usually, success is determined by a 20-sided die, and good things happen if you roll high.  If you roll a 20, great things might happen: to find out, you roll again (and again, as needed).

I'm making a system of randomness not as a solution, but to learn from the long tail.  The general rules are simple:


  • Every day, I must flip at least one coin (I have a coin labeled '1'), which determines one deliverable for that day.  H means, "Do for yourself or community"; T means, "Do for the world or the future."

  • I can ask any binary question by flipping a coin.  H means, "The answer is routine"; T means, "The answer is different".

  • If I flip tails, the degree to which the answer is different can be determined by more flips, with each successive T representing a departure of about the same magnitude.

  • I am generally not compelled to continue asking questions, but if I engage in the same sequence of flips twice, I must either come up with a new interpretation or do additional flips.

  • To make it easier to get my fortune for the day, I can assign meaning to each of several coins, and flip them all at once.

All the other rules grow organically.

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