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Contracts

GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
It would be awesome to have a formal way to sign contracts between people. 

I propose that we be able to purchase contracts from denizens that can be signed by 1 or more people. Anyone would be able to edit the contract until the first signature was placed upon it. This would get rid of a lot of he-said-she-said nonsense and allow people to make binding agreements with penalties written in. For instance one could make an agreement to provide a certain amount of herbs within 1 year of the signing and it be written in that if the herbs aren't delivered within 1 year there is a 10% increase in the amount to be delivered and if the contract is broken they will be hired upon by a mark. There would be no issuing because the contract was agreed upon and signed by both parties.

I personally would love to be able to make promises to people and back it up with more than just my word. Would be wonderful for shop rental agreements, agreements between clans/houses/cities, even marriage certificates and adoption papers. They could be preserved for 10k and copies could be made by one of the people who signed the contract.

It could even be an artifact or SoW item like a letter kit, allowing adventurers to take on a more "legal" role by selling their officiating/licensing/mitigation talents.
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Comments

  • TahquilTahquil Member Posts: 4,122 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Signet Ring: 50 credits
       - Allows you to SEAL <letter> WITH <ring> (after it has been emblazoned with your personal arms by an Herald).
       - Allows you to SIGN <letter|manuscript|scroll> WITH <ring> (after it has been emblazoned with your personal arms by an Herald).
         NOTE: a signet ring may ONLY bear personal, not organisational arms.
    You can already replicate the official signing of a document. I'm not sure if you can have multiple people sign the same letter. 
    TaelJhaeliAereidhna
  • JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,649 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    On a somewhat related note, I'd love it if organisational arms could have more uses.

    I realise that they're somewhat limited at the moment to prevent abuse, but I would love letters marked with the coat of arms of my city or organisation as a way to make them 'official'. I mean, it seems somewhat peculiar that I can't even sign letters with the COA of my organisation if I'm a leader of any sort in it (since that's primarily what COAs were used for, army-related matters aside).
    If you like my stories, you can find them here:
    Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

    ArditiShirszaeSiduri
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Can you wear a ring with the CoA of another person? If so couldn't you just have someone else's CoA emblazoned on a ring and then make forgeries with it?

    I also would love to be able to sign letters with organizational CoA, especially clans. It would be amazing to have official family documents with the family CoA on it, I actually purchased a signet ring and was about to drop a LOT of money on a organizational CoA because I believed this was possible. If this went in it could be restricted to the organizational leader or even be an investible power, perhaps even put the name of the person who put the seal on the letter/manuscript/contract/scroll if more than one person has the ability to use that organization's CoA.

    If you have a secret organization and want to send out official letters without giving away the identity of the members of the clan the most ideal way for people to know it is legitimately from that organization would be to have a CoA of the organization on the letter.
  • KyrraKyrra Sanctum of the SkyMember Posts: 4,796 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Grandue said:
    Can you wear a ring with the CoA of another person? If so couldn't you just have someone else's CoA emblazoned on a ring and then make forgeries with it?

    I might be mistaken with this, but I believe the person with the signet that needs emblazoning needs to be in the room with you in order to emblazon it. It's got a different syntax than the usual for emblazoning everything else. I'm thinking it's intentional for that reason though, and the TAHA has some pretty hefty laws about not using other's CoA without their permission or abusing them in any fashion.
    (D.M.A.): Cooper says, "Kyrra is either the most innocent person in the world, or the girl who uses the most innuendo seemingly unintentionally but really on purpose."

  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Trevize said:

    I've always thought that orgs should be able to have desks (with seals on th desk) at which you can seal a letter with the org's CoA. This way offices have a very nice use - signing official documents!
    This would be awesome, especially if the CoA would sign it with the addendum of which office it came from. So it would bear the seal of the Ministry of Security of Ashtan, Seat of Chaos.
    AerekTrevizeJhaeli
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Grandue said:
    Trevize said:

    I've always thought that orgs should be able to have desks (with seals on th desk) at which you can seal a letter with the org's CoA. This way offices have a very nice use - signing official documents!
    This would be awesome, especially if the CoA would sign it with the addendum of which office it came from. So it would bear the seal of the Ministry of Security of Ashtan, Seat of Chaos.
    These are both pretty great ideas.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Could even set up contract books in cities and Delos where contracts could be pasted in for public viewing. So if Cyrene and Targossas has a trade agreement they could post it publicly so all citizens could read it whenever they want and go through and read the history of all the city contracts. 
    ShirszaeAereidhna
  • DaeirDaeir AustraliaMember Posts: 6,276 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Pretty spectacular idea. Plz do this.
  • AlaskarAlaskar Member Posts: 393 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I like it

  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

    @Sarapis ;,  like 8 people have said they want this, that basically means you have to make it happen now, right?
  • RispokRispok Member Posts: 707 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    One could always contact a local Delos institution for contracts.

    The Merchants...
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Rispok said:
    One could always contact a local Delos institution for contracts.

    The Merchants...
    Yeah... I would rather be able to do it myself and have it hardcoded. 
  • RispokRispok Member Posts: 707 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Grandue said:
    Rispok said:
    One could always contact a local Delos institution for contracts.

    The Merchants...
    Yeah... I would rather be able to do it myself and have it hardcoded. 
    When you decide to leave your single player game, give the Merchants a call.
    ShirszaePraxides
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Rispok said:
    Grandue said:
    Rispok said:
    One could always contact a local Delos institution for contracts.

    The Merchants...
    Yeah... I would rather be able to do it myself and have it hardcoded. 
    When you decide to leave your single player game, give the Merchants a call.
    Lol, the whole idea of contracts is to promote role play between organizations and to create a whole aspect of interaction between people. By its very definition it is the exact opposite of single player. Nice attempt to create a monopoly, not falling for it. 
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited September 2015
    I'm not sure when or why I "liked" the OP here, but I don't think this is a very good idea.

    This seems like a perfect example of a thing that the game already supports via a more general mechanism.

    The way you make a contract is you take something you can write on and you both sign it. The game already has documents that can have multiple authors, and you don't even really need one of those - just RP it as both of you signing it (emote the signing or whatever) and have one person actually write the other person's signature onto the letter or whatever. If you want to sign it with a symbol for the sake of anonymity, do what people have been doing for literally more than a decade and put something in it like "[A wax seal appears at the bottom: Argent, a raven displayed Sable within a tressure of the second.]", or any of the various other established ways that people have described non-text things in text documents.

    Yes, there's the he-said-she-said thing with contracts. Just like real life. If you want more security against that, get witnesses and/or create some formal system to record contracts (the Merchants might be a good place for such a system/service). If you want it to be "binding" in some enforceable sense, build in-game organisational rules and laws that can act as repercussions for breaching contracts.

    Having a sort of magical contract that is magically unbreakable and magically or divinely enforced is weird and, I think, probably detracts from roleplaying opportunities.

    And more generally, I think it's almost always bad for immersion when you offer a more specific mechanic in addition to a more general one already exists. It's more immersive to just have paper you can write on, and then people can use it however they want - for a letter or a contract or whatever. It's more immersive, to me at least, to divide items by their physical properties, and not have the same physical objects appear as different item types with different mechanics because they're intended to be used for different purposes (put the other way: it is less immersive to me if there are two item types that are both fundamentally "pieces of paper you can write on", but one of them is a "contract" and the other is a "letter" - the item should just be a piece of paper, whether it's a contract or a letter should just be a function of what the author chose to write on the paper). That might just be me though.

    I'm also not sure how these would be enforceable without effectively asking the admin to be willing to review and intervene, which I really can't see happening. Even a license to create contracts like a tradeskill seems like a ton of work - you're not just asking admin to read over and approve a design, you're effectively asking them to actually investigate claims of contract breaches.

    It seems like the thing to do would be to see if you could get some more formalised contracting system established in-game. And the Merchants seem like the place for that to happen. I can definitely envision the Merchants acting as a sort of "trust broker", allowing people to register contracts, investigating breaches, and keeping records of which adventurers honour their contracts and which do not (and making that information available when people are considering signing a contract together). If you really got something like that going, they could even form agreements of various kinds with houses and clans and city-states to increase their ability to mete out punishments for breaches. Edit: Basically, the Merchants working as an Achaean credit bureau.
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't think he wants something "magic" or "unbreakable", he just wants a mechanical way to have two people sign a document that isn't trivially easy to forge or edit. Yes, there are ways you could conceivably half-ass this right now, but what's the harm in having a denizen or hard-coded way to do so? It's a neat mechanic with practical application, and with no drawback.

    Player organizations with little to no oversight in a multiplayer game can never be trusted to act as legal or financial entities with any serious credibility or responsibility. Just ask Eve.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
    Shirszae
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited September 2015
    a mechanical way to have two people sign a document that isn't trivially easy to forge or edit. Yes, there are ways you could conceivably half-ass this right now
    How is using a letter half-assing it? You can't edit them. And while you can forge them...you can forge signatures in real life too. It's trivially easy to forge or edit documents in real life. Dealing with potential forgery adds to the potential for RP. And it's not a particularly hard problem to solve - bring witnesses and/or register the contract somewhere. Exactly like in real life.

    Yes, you do have to have one person write in the other person's signature, but I hardly think that's an entire half an ass. It's more like 95% of an ass. Have them emote signing it and be done with it.

    And if you want a signature that can't be easily forged, then you have the signet ring thing (I'm still unsure whether multiple people can sign the same document that way - that should definitely be a thing, as should a way for orgs to apply their seals to letters).

    And, in terms of immersion, why would a signature that is ultimately just more text be treated as mechanically distinct from the other text? It feels like an extremely artificial solution to the forgery problem, which seems unnecessary when naturalistic solutions are very much possible.
    Player organizations with little to no oversight in a multiplayer game can never be trusted to act as legal or financial entities with any serious credibility or responsibility. Just ask Eve.
    EVE is very, very unlike Achaea. In this particular case, I don't think the comparison is very apt.

    In Achaea, the playerbase is small enough that it would be very easy for one org to track all contracts submitted to them. People have more investment in individual characters, so maintaining a good reputation (which could, again, easily be tracked formally by an org) is relatively doable. And cities and houses and clans have substantial power to affect characters in meaningful ways, so it's much more possible to have repercussions for breach of contract.

    If Aerek breaks a big contract, you're not going to just make a new account (and if you did, it would be a while before it had the level of reputation of Aerek, and, most importantly, you can't transfer items from Aerek to the new account), and it's much more reasonable for a bad reputation to become known and people not to deal with him when there are only a few thousand players (and only a few hundred you're likely to deal with) rather than tens or hundreds of thousands.

    Might there still be corruption at some point in that record-keeping org? Sure. And good! That sounds like a great recipe for RP! But they have a strong incentive not to manipulate their records if they want people to keep using the service, so it's unlikely that it would happen often (and if it did, people could just turn to some other org).

    TL;DR: I don't think turning social agreements into actual mechanics is probably good for RP or necessary to do the kinds of things people want to do with them.
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Tael said:
    I'm not sure when or why I "liked" the OP here, but I don't think this is a very good idea.

    This seems like a perfect example of a thing that the game already supports via a more general mechanism.

    The way you make a contract is you take something you can write on and you both sign it. The game already has documents that can have multiple authors, and you don't even really need one of those - just RP it as both of you signing it (emote the signing or whatever) and have one person actually write the other person's signature onto the letter or whatever. If you want to sign it with a symbol for the sake of anonymity, do what people have been doing for literally more than a decade and put something in it like "[A wax seal appears at the bottom: Argent, a raven displayed Sable within a tressure of the second.]", or any of the various other established ways that people have described non-text things in text documents.

    Yes, there's the he-said-she-said thing with contracts. Just like real life. If you want more security against that, get witnesses and/or create some formal system to record contracts (the Merchants might be a good place for such a system/service). If you want it to be "binding" in some enforceable sense, build in-game organisational rules and laws that can act as repercussions for breaching contracts.

    Having a sort of magical contract that is magically unbreakable and magically or divinely enforced is weird and, I think, probably detracts from roleplaying opportunities.

    And more generally, I think it's almost always bad for immersion when you offer a more specific mechanic in addition to a more general one already exists. It's more immersive to just have paper you can write on, and then people can use it however they want - for a letter or a contract or whatever. It's more immersive, to me at least, to divide items by their physical properties, and not have the same physical objects appear as different item types with different mechanics because they're intended to be used for different purposes (put the other way: it is less immersive to me if there are two item types that are both fundamentally "pieces of paper you can write on", but one of them is a "contract" and the other is a "letter" - the item should just be a piece of paper, whether it's a contract or a letter should just be a function of what the author chose to write on the paper). That might just be me though.

    I'm also not sure how these would be enforceable without effectively asking the admin to be willing to review and intervene, which I really can't see happening. Even a license to create contracts like a tradeskill seems like a ton of work - you're not just asking admin to read over and approve a design, you're effectively asking them to actually investigate claims of contract breaches.

    It seems like the thing to do would be to see if you could get some more formalised contracting system established in-game. And the Merchants seem like the place for that to happen. I can definitely envision the Merchants acting as a sort of "trust broker", allowing people to register contracts, investigating breaches, and keeping records of which adventurers honour their contracts and which do not (and making that information available when people are considering signing a contract together). If you really got something like that going, they could even form agreements of various kinds with houses and clans and city-states to increase their ability to mete out punishments for breaches. Edit: Basically, the Merchants working as an Achaean credit bureau.
    The two don't need to be mutually exclusive. I'm not wanting to do away with the Merchants so we can have contracts and you don't need to do away with contracts so you can have the Merchants.

    You talk about the fact that there would be two kinds of papers and that would break your immersion. How does that break your immersion more than having someone write a formal document on a flimsy piece of letter paper that the other person signs for you and you have to emote signing it? It would be wonderful if you could purchase thick, gilt-edged, official contract/document paper from a bookmaker or law office or courthouse and have both parties sign it. 

    Also, the he-said-she-said thing with contracts isn't like real life, thats why contracts exist to begin with, to see EXACTLY what each party agreed to and you know they agreed to it because they signed it.

    And more generally, I think it's almost always bad for immersion when you offer a more specific mechanic in addition to a more general one already exists.
    You could emote beheading people, you could emote being married or buy commodities from a market and emote like you're mining them yourself, you could do any number of things with no specific mechanic that has been added. Generally when you have a lot of people doing half-assed work-arounds to things it is time to add in a mechanic to make it more believable and easy to role-play those aspects of the game.

    Honestly, until contracts are formalized I wouldn't trust the Merchants to handle my contracts. Perhaps hire them to write them if you're bad at it, maybe store them in case I'm afraid of losing them, but trust them to give me a fair ruling in a dispute? Trust them to work with my city/house to mete out punishments if I break a contract? Wouldn't ever happen and I doubt a city/house would trust the Merchants because they could so easily forge the contract. If I sign a contract with someone I have no clue how close their relationships are to people in the Merchants. They could be best friends with 5 of the people who sit on the "ruling council" or could bribe someone to edit the contract. There is also the secrecy aspect of it. What if I don't want anyone in the Merchants to know about the contract I'm writing? What about inter-city contracts where non-citizens shouldn't know about the deal being worked out? The Merchants handling all the contracts just seems like a good way for the Merchants to be in everyone's business. There should exist a way for two people to officially sign a contract between just the two of them and should the contract be broken have a way to prove what was originally agreed upon. 

    An no, I don't think the admin would have to review contracts and intervene. The whole point is that you'll have written, undeniable proof of what was agreed upon and you can take that proof to their city/house/family/friends or some third party you outline in the contract to handle disputes. You sign a contract with a city mate you'll probably write in that the ruling council of your city would handle any disputes or breach of contract. Contracts are already being written on letters and I don't imagine the admin are having to intervene right now, it wouldn't change if official contracts were introduced. All it would take is the Divine saying, "We will not be handling disputes over contracts" and people will turn to third parties to handle any disputes (like they currently do).

  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited September 2015
    Grandue said:
    You talk about the fact that there would be two kinds of papers and that would break your immersion.
    You misunderstand. I have absolutely no problem with there being two pieces of paper. If you want to introduce some heavier paper, some nicer document class, that's fine.

    What breaks immersion, at least for me, is having paper that behaves mechanically different from other paper. Why am I mysteriously allowed to "sign" this paper (in a way that is different than just writing my signature in normally), and not this other paper? That's weird.

    Grandue said:
    Also, the he-said-she-said thing with contracts isn't like real life, thats why contracts exist to begin with, to see EXACTLY what each party agreed to and you know they agreed to it because they signed it.
    It is exactly like real life. A contract is just a piece of paper with writing on it and a signature. Nothing whatsoever stops me from writing up an official-looking document and forging a signature on it. It's not somehow physically impossible like this implements a mechanical impossibility.

    If you and I have a contract that you claim we signed with no witnesses that was never registered in any way, it's largely a he-said-she-said issue in real life too. You can try to enforce it on the basis of analysis of the signature, but duplication and forgery are not impossible and it's not at all as clear-cut as what you're proposing. There are disputes over the legitimacy of contracts all the time. The thing that prevents it being a he-said-she-said thing in real life isn't some magical property of signatures that renders them completely unimpeachable, it's that there are ways to archive contracts that ensures they're not novel or edited, there are witnessed signatures, and there are ways to enforce contracts and punish people for breaching them.
    Grandue said:
    You could emote beheading people, you could emote being married or buy commodities from a market and emote like you're mining them yourself, you could do any number of things with no specific mechanic that has been added.
    This is just being silly. It's ridiculous to compare the idea of beheading someone via an emote (and presumably killing them some other way) to one person having to write both names onto a letter, and emoting them. In the first case, the person doesn't die when you do the emote. And if you want to kill them, you have to do some other visible thing - in the second one person has to write in a couple of extra words and, as far as onlookers can see, it looks for all the world like they did both sign it, there's no inconsistency. And it's similarly pretty ludicrous to compare it to mining, which is an entire gameplay system and not just a reskin of buying commodities - prior to the addition of mining, I don't think it would have been reasonable for people to demand a way to buy commodities from the market in such a way that they looked like they were mining, and I do think the right response to someone asking for that would have been to tell them to just use emotes.
    Grandue said:
    Honestly, until contracts are formalized I wouldn't trust the Merchants to handle my contracts. Perhaps hire them to write them if you're bad at it, maybe store them in case I'm afraid of losing them, but trust them to give me a fair ruling in a dispute? Trust them to work with my city/house to mete out punishments if I break a contract? Wouldn't ever happen and I doubt a city/house would trust the Merchants because they could so easily forge the contract. If I sign a contract with someone I have no clue how close their relationships are to people in the Merchants. They could be best friends with 5 of the people who sit on the "ruling council" or could bribe someone to edit the contract. There is also the secrecy aspect of it. What if I don't want anyone in the Merchants to know about the contract I'm writing? What about inter-city contracts where non-citizens shouldn't know about the deal being worked out? The Merchants handling all the contracts just seems like a good way for the Merchants to be in everyone's business. There should exist a way for two people to officially sign a contract between just the two of them and should the contract be broken have a way to prove what was originally agreed upon. 
    Personally, the situation you are describing is very enticing to me, so I suppose that's where we'll have to agree to disagree. The Merchants being in everyone's business sounds awesome. Intrigue like that sounds interesting - though again, if things like that kept happening, people would lose trust in the Merchants and the problem sort of solves itself, which is to say that the Merchants have a much larger incentive than I think you're recognising here not to do those things regularly or conspicuously at all. It's not as if it'd be hard to catch them altering contracts - all you'd need to do is keep a copy. And with letters, they can't be changed anyway. And as soon as a few people claimed the Merchants provided fake or altered contracts or information about private contracts was leaked a few times, no one would use the Merchants anymore, so it's not like they'd be manipulating things constantly behind the scenes.

    As for your last sentence - why should there be a way for two people to officially agree to something and prove what was originally agreed upon? Again, no such thing exists in real life. A secret contract between two people with no witnesses being brought up only in the case of a breach is very much challengeable. Not every challenge succeeds, but contracts aren't absolutely self-authenticating like this.

    Ultimately, I can see why people might want this, but I'm not one of those people. Mechanising social/economic/political agreements like this dumbs them down and makes them less interesting. Unimpeachable reliability is desirable from an IC standpoint - if your goals involve agreements, obviously you'd want iron-clad mechanical agreements - but I don't think you necessarily want that from an OOC standpoint. The potential for fraud, people committing fraud, and the various ways you can create IC structures to prevent fraud are all really compelling potential avenues for RP. And from an immersion standpoint, I don't like the idea for largely the same reason that I don't like the idea of a TRADE command rather than just proposing and agreeing upon trades uing normal communication and handing the things over manually - I'd rather have the tools to perform physical actions (like documents you can write things on) and leave their application to the players than have tools that implement specific social exchanges (like mechanical contracts that prove beyond any doubt that someone agreed and can't possibly be forged).

    At the very least though, I'd hope to see something like this implemented like heraldry signing rather than implemented as a new "type" of document.
  • AlaskarAlaskar Member Posts: 393 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    So we can have people who turn into dragons, summon chaos lords, and priests who tear the souls from their foes, but a magical piece of paper that only accepts a person's true signature stretches the limits of what's believable?

    Also, re: real-life signatures and forgery- Finger/thumbprints.

  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Except that scams are prohibited by the Administration, and "fraud RP" runs pretty close to that line. You're really playing devil's advocate here, catering to the 1% of the time where lying to, cheating, stealing from, or being generally dishonest to another player might be considered "interesting", while the rest of us are looking at the other 99% of the time where the ability to make "legally notarized" documents or agreements would be neat or convenient for any number of reasons.

    It wouldn't even be complicated. Frankly, it'd be as easy as letting multiple people "seal" a letter with a signet ring. (And letting orgs own a signet ring, or some other way of sealing a letter with org arms) One person writes it, two or more people seal it. Bam, reasonable proof that Bob and Dave did in fact agree on this, and still has the opportunity for the forgery you're so fond of. But it would be more accessible if there was some Delosian denizen that could facilitate it, like Mydoin offers journal-sealing services.

    If it was a Merchants' House denizen, that could be interesting. They could play the role of a public notary and charge for the service, without having to keep meticulous records that turn a game into a job. They'd just have to not be dicks with the monopoly, and players don't exactly have a good track record with monopolies.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
    Shirszae
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited September 2015
    As for "stretching the limits of what's believable", no one said contracts weren't believable. I just don't think they're necessary and I don't like turning social things that can already be done with existing tools into abstracted game mechanics.

    And it's not so much that I think fraud is interesting RP (though I do think there's potential there, you're absolutely right that it's a very small proportion of RP generated by something like contracts), as that I think the RP of providing services to prevent it is interesting. And I think it would work particularly well for the Merchants. In particular, it gives them a reason to be more of an influential economic institution in the rest of the world instead of just a sort of professional organisation of independent merchants - more Iron Bank and less random Chamber of Commerce. And I especially like it as a service that they set up and actually provide by themselves rather than just adding a denizen that implements it or some other mechanic. The game is more interesting when people do things with the tools that are there rather than just tacking on a new mechanic every time you want to do something that isn't immediately supported by a purpose-built mechanic for it.

    And it doesn't have to be the Merchants. Anyone could provide a service registering and authenticating contracts. That's the beauty of not making it a purpose-built mechanic via a denizen or the like. If the Merchants start a program like that and abuse the power it grants them, someone else can provide the service. And only an honest one is going to survive because no one is going to use a trust broker with a record of untrustworthiness.

    Finally, I'm definitely not playing devil's advocate. Everything I wrote was very much sincere.
    Praxides
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited September 2015
    When it comes to contracts that can SO EASILY be forged, people will almost always side with whomever they are closer to. If I have a contract with Aerek and he breaks the contract, all he would have to do is rewrite the contract, sign both our names and then tell his city/house/order that I was the one who forged the contract and my city will believe me and his city will believe him and the only way around that is to have some third party be all up in our business and know every single line of the contract between us? No, absolutely not. I don't want someone else knowing all the personal details of the contract between me an Aerek and it isn't any of their business. 

    Your arguments don't really make sense. The two aren't mutually exclusive. Sure, if the Merchants want to write contracts and keep copies and maybe offer services to handle disputes it would make their job a lot easier with real contracts. I don't understand your viewpoint that if you "can" use existing mechanics in some work-around way that no mechanic should be introduce to make it less duct-taped together. So you're saying you are against parcels? It used to be you could send 10 letters back to back with 5 items in them in order to deliver a large number of things in the mail. They introduced parcels so you could put all your stuff into one package and mail it at one time, so you most assuredly are against this, using your own logic. 
  • TrevizeTrevize Member Posts: 1,517 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited September 2015
    Going back to the whole 'makes no sense not to be able to forge' - signet rings offer this already.

    All I'd like is an item type called contract that can be modified repeatedly until someone signs it with a signet ring. Once signed, it can't be modified, but accepts further signatures.

    edit: if possible, I would also like a 'seal' where it can be sealed to no longer accept signatures. And a way to copy them once sealed.
    Current scripts: GoldTracker 1.2, mData 1.1
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    Latest update: 9/26/2015 better character name handling in GoldTracker, separation of script and settings, addition of gold report and gold distribute aliases.
  • TaelTael Member Posts: 1,197 @ - Epic Achaean
    edited September 2015
    Grandue said:
    When it comes to contracts that can SO EASILY be forged, people will almost always side with whomever they are closer to. If I have a contract with Aerek and he breaks the contract, all he would have to do is rewrite the contract, sign both our names and then tell his city/house/order that I was the one who forged the contract and my city will believe me and his city will believe him and the only way around that is to have some third party be all up in our business and know every single line of the contract between us? No, absolutely not. I don't want someone else knowing all the personal details of the contract between me an Aerek and it isn't any of their business. 
    This is where we differ pretty markedly I think. I find the idea of having to have a third-party all up in everyone's business to very stuff like this to be really compelling. Less convenient, but much more interesting. More opportunity for interesting stuff all around. A third-party (and if it were the Merchants, a cityless one at that!) that has access to everyone's contracts, but has an incentive to keep quiet about them (else they won't have access to people's future contracts) sounds awesome.

    I feel like you are somewhat conflating IC and OOC desires here. Should a character want a third-party all up in their business? Of course not. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't want that as a player - it isn't a strong argument that it would be worse for the game. The character Tael doesn't want anyone knowing about his business, certainly not an unaffiliated third party, but as a player I think it would be great if he didn't have a choice in the matter.
    Grandue said:
    Your arguments don't really make sense. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
    If there are contracts that can't be altered and are self-authenticating, then no one would ever use a third-party to authenticate them (why let a third-party get all up in your business if you don't actually need them to do anything for you?). That seems pretty obvious. They absolutely are mutually exclusive. I'm not really sure how you're suggesting that they aren't.

    You're right that they could still mediate disputes and all that though (edit: so if that's what you meant, I guess I don't disagree). But involving the Merchants isn't really the main issue I was trying to bring up - that's just a nice bonus. The main issue is mechanical abstraction of social customs.
    Grandue said:
    I don't understand your viewpoint that if you "can" use existing mechanics in some work-around way that no mechanic should be introduce to make it less duct-taped together. So you're saying you are against parcels? It used to be you could send 10 letters back to back with 5 items in them in order to deliver a large number of things in the mail. They introduced parcels so you could put all your stuff into one package and mail it at one time, so you most assuredly are against this, using your own logic. 
    Of course not. Parcels let you do a thing that was wildly inconvenient before. Having to send ten letters was silly. I don't object to convenience at all.

    The thing that I don't like here is how this is a mechanic to instantiate something social. The significance of a contract isn't something inherent to the document, it's something that has significance because we all agree to give it significance and build customs around its enforcement - it's a social thing. Contracts aren't physically impossible to forge or to edit - we just have social structures in place that make doing those things difficult. And the game offers the tools needed for players to create those same social structures, and I'd prefer leaving the social function up to the players. I'd love to see people setting that up, codifying it, etc. For me at least, that sort of social stuff - the decision to largely avoid abstracting over social customs and interactions - if a huge part of what makes the game so special.

    I don't like the idea for the same reason that I wouldn't want to see a TRADE command put in. Because ultimately trading is a social custom that's made up of agreements to trade and then a physical action of handing things over. I like that we don't have a mechanical abstraction for it. I think it's a lot more immersive without that level of mechanical abstraction. I don't think the fact that we have to "duct-tape together" trading out of communication mechanics and GIVE is an indication that we should have a TRADE command.

    And that's the same way I feel about mechanical contracts. I'd rather see players lend contracts their significance using the tools that are there and by putting actual social structures in place rather than see a mechanical abstraction for it that does away with any need for that social structure.

    Parcels aren't implementing any kind of abstraction over a social custom - they just let you send more items at one time.

    This is a lot of ink spilled over what is ultimately not that huge a deal either way, but I hope at least the opinion I was trying to give is relatively clear now.
  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Can you not use a scroll for this, and then seal it in Thera, so it can't be changed? I think they can be sealed. Maybe.
    Huh. Neat.
  • GrandueGrandue Member Posts: 382 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Tael said:
    Grandue said:
    When it comes to contracts that can SO EASILY be forged, people will almost always side with whomever they are closer to. If I have a contract with Aerek and he breaks the contract, all he would have to do is rewrite the contract, sign both our names and then tell his city/house/order that I was the one who forged the contract and my city will believe me and his city will believe him and the only way around that is to have some third party be all up in our business and know every single line of the contract between us? No, absolutely not. I don't want someone else knowing all the personal details of the contract between me an Aerek and it isn't any of their business. 
    This is where we differ pretty markedly I think. I find the idea of having to have a third-party all up in everyone's business to very stuff like this to be really compelling. Less convenient, but much more interesting. More opportunity for interesting stuff all around. A third-party (and if it were the Merchants, a cityless one at that!) that has access to everyone's contracts, but has an incentive to keep quiet about them (else they won't have access to people's future contracts) sounds awesome.

    I feel like you are somewhat conflating IC and OOC desires here. Should a character want a third-party all up in their business? Of course not. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't want that as a player - it isn't a strong argument that it would be worse for the game. The character Tael doesn't want anyone knowing about his business, certainly not an unaffiliated third party, but as a player I think it would be great if he didn't have a choice in the matter.
    Grandue said:
    Your arguments don't really make sense. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
    If there are contracts that can't be altered and are self-authenticating, then no one would ever use a third-party to authenticate them (why let a third-party get all up in your business if you don't actually need them to do anything for you?). That seems pretty obvious. They absolutely are mutually exclusive. I'm not really sure how you're suggesting that they aren't.

    You're right that they could still mediate disputes and all that though (edit: so if that's what you meant, I guess I don't disagree). But involving the Merchants isn't really the main issue I was trying to bring up - that's just a nice bonus. The main issue is mechanical abstraction of social customs.
    Grandue said:
    I don't understand your viewpoint that if you "can" use existing mechanics in some work-around way that no mechanic should be introduce to make it less duct-taped together. So you're saying you are against parcels? It used to be you could send 10 letters back to back with 5 items in them in order to deliver a large number of things in the mail. They introduced parcels so you could put all your stuff into one package and mail it at one time, so you most assuredly are against this, using your own logic. 
    Of course not. Parcels let you do a thing that was wildly inconvenient before. Having to send ten letters was silly. I don't object to convenience at all.

    The thing that I don't like here is how this is a mechanic to instantiate something social. The significance of a contract isn't something inherent to the document, it's something that has significance because we all agree to give it significance and build customs around its enforcement - it's a social thing. Contracts aren't physically impossible to forge or to edit - we just have social structures in place that make doing those things difficult. And the game offers the tools needed for players to create those same social structures, and I'd prefer leaving the social function up to the players. I'd love to see people setting that up, codifying it, etc. For me at least, that sort of social stuff - the decision to largely avoid abstracting over social customs and interactions - if a huge part of what makes the game so special.

    I don't like the idea for the same reason that I wouldn't want to see a TRADE command put in. Because ultimately trading is a social custom that's made up of agreements to trade and then a physical action of handing things over. I like that we don't have a mechanical abstraction for it. I think it's a lot more immersive without that level of mechanical abstraction. I don't think the fact that we have to "duct-tape together" trading out of communication mechanics and GIVE is an indication that we should have a TRADE command.

    And that's the same way I feel about mechanical contracts. I'd rather see players lend contracts their significance using the tools that are there and by putting actual social structures in place rather than see a mechanical abstraction for it that does away with any need for that social structure.

    Parcels aren't implementing any kind of abstraction over a social custom - they just let you send more items at one time.

    This is a lot of ink spilled over what is ultimately not that huge a deal either way, but I hope at least the opinion I was trying to give is relatively clear now.
    The viewpoint is clear but no more rational. 

    The the cons to having some unmonitored, player driven organization in charge of all contracts far outweighs the pros. Seriously. The Merchants wouldn't work. Sure, they are a city less house but their members (and thus the house, in reality) are members of every city. If Mhaldor and Ashtan want to sign a contract to steal all the flowers from Hashan together they could never go through the Merchants to get a contract done because there are members of the Merchant house who are citizens of Hashan and would find out immediately and go put all their flower pots inside. Or what if Aerek and I want to sign a contract to assault all the mines belonging to rogues... The very person in the Merchant house who handles our contract could be a rogue miner who would now know.

    secrecy and privacy is WAY more enticing to me as both a player and a character than the 1% of the time that having some third party all up in my business would provide some kind of interesting RP. I just don't think people would use it. I didn't even hear of the Merchants trying to handle contracts until after I made this post, for hundreds of years we've had no contracts and no organization has made any kind of reptutation for handling contracts and I think that is because no one would use them because no one would ever find it worth it. 

    And there are ways to have contracts that are impossible to forge. All you have to do is have that person send you a message containing the contract and you preserve it. You could always forward that message to a judge or whoever is handling a dispute and it will show the name, date, and contract terms and is 100% completely impossible to forge. This is a stupid work-around but it is absolutely what people would do instead of putting their private info into the hands of an organization that has members of every city in it. 

    And to take the parcel example to the extreme, they shouldn't exist because there is the possibility of an organization (maybe the Merchants) who could hand deliver the shipment to the person when they are next in the realm so you don't have to send 10 letters. Yes, going through a third party that may or may not have someone logged in when I need to have the contract written/saved/signed/disputed/ect. that may or may not use the information for their own benefit, that may or may not alter the document, that may or may not share the information with their spouse or others who shouldn't know about it... Yeah, that is wildly inconvenient and easily fixed by a very simple mechanic that already has another fool proof workaround in place. 

    Also... There is always the option of you not using them if they ever come out. You can always do it the old fashioned way and use a letter and emote yourself signing it even though you both know you didn't and find a third party that is logged in and pay them to hold onto a copy of it.

    i love the idea of a trade mechanic. Scams are completely illegal and all you have to do is issue the person and the admin will look into it and return your stuff. Just because it is illegal doesn't mean it doesn't still happen.  The trade command just prevents what is 100% illegal (which means it should encourage no RP). It would, however, be awesome if you could use the command within an emote.
    So instead of: Grandue offers to give you 100 irid moss in exchange for 100 potash. Type AGREE to accept this trade. 

    You could emote something like:
    Hesitantly, Grandue slides a pile of 100 irid moss across an ornate wooden desk, offering to part with the moss if you'll AGREE to pay a sum of 100 potash. 

    That way it doesn't break immersion, is customizable so you don't have to be so faceless and stoic in your trades, and still prevents lol-Alts from being dicks. 

  • CaladbolgCaladbolg Campbell County TNMember Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Personally I think it's a cool idea.

    But I think most of it could just be done in letter's and such. and big arrangements could be handled by news posts.

    Praxides
  • SenaSena Member Posts: 3,954 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Grandue said:
    And there are ways to have contracts that are impossible to forge. All you have to do is have that person send you a message containing the contract and you preserve it. You could always forward that message to a judge or whoever is handling a dispute and it will show the name, date, and contract terms and is 100% completely impossible to forge.
    Forwarded messages are easy to forge, even easier than a contract on an unsealed letter/scroll. There's nothing special about a forwarded message that distinguishes it from an ordinary message, it just automatically adds some text. So you can just manually add the "Forwarded message originally from <person> on <date/time>:" part to whatever you want, and it's identical to a forwarded message.
    Trevize
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