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Pai Sho Rule Set - Comments Page (redirected from Pai Sho V1_0 Comments Page)

Page history last edited by Osuji 8 years ago

Cyril: This is a page for comments on our 1.0 ruleset. If you wish to post something, please do so, but not on the Rules Page itself as it's big enough anyway. I have removed all comments there so far and added them here.

Ofek Nagar, I moved your comment to the bottom of the page. You see, these are in chronological order ;-) Cy



Cyril: This is good! However, passing is so far not an official option as a turn. I deleted the paragraph here, but I have it, so it can be put in later.
This reminds me that there are some open questions concerning passing, I'll open a page for that.
Also, I reckon a ruleset doesn't have to contain information about recording games. Of course it's important, but I'd put in a link rather than writing the whole thing again. What do you think?


Osuji Oh I thought the bit I read in one of the discussions about forfeiting was about passing for some reason. I'll add a section on resigning. I'm afraid I have to disagree with you about recording games. First there should be a standard about who moves first and how to format a game record and second there should be some instruction about notation because the symbols and abbreviations could easily change as the rules evolve.

Osuji: And the other change about winning by harmony ring... I was thinking that detail would be included under scoring Harmony ring = twice the value of all harmonies scored by all players during a game. That way it's still a win but its the score that determines the victory (Like in Quidich) ;-7

Cyril: Yeah, I like the Quiditch version better ^^ About recording games, it's true that there should be clarity on how to do it, so maybe having a section on it in the rules is good.

Cyril: Now about this new version of the game notation of yours. I find it very good, but have some questions:
-the space counting is effectively the same as the old system, isn't it? Or did I overread something?
-the tiles' abbreviations: I was thinking about some that don't leave space for mistakes like W <-> WJ, but anyway, these are good (this was not a question; I know)
-the symbol for bending effectively means an Element's ability, doesn't it? I guess bending is the better way to say it ^^
-About this record sheet; in games like chess, the moves are recorded like this (with the complete first round being named "1." ), whereas most Asian games, like Shogi and as far as I know also Go, use separate numbers for all moves (like I used at "Exampary: Various concepts of capture"). I admit the "western" system is better for games with more than 2 players, but I reckon our Pai Sho will mostly be played by two, so I'd tend to use the "Eastern" system.

Osuji: I agree that many Asian games simply list the move number. I considered keeping it for that reason. However Pai Sho can be played as a 4 person game, so any system of notation should function the same way for any number of players. And if that is the case we need one that is easy to use and understand no matter the number of players. This is why I chose to compromise and use a more western system. Form follows function after all.

The abbreviation problem is a common one. too many "w's" and "r's". The best option is to change the names but that will come in later versions of the game.

Cyril: Ok, agreed. Am I wrong or is there no rule about red flowers only moving to red gardens (or fences or yellow) etc? I'm not sure how we currently stand to this matter, and I don't know how to define a respective rule, so I didn't change it but commented. Should I open a discussion page on this matter? It seems quite complicated to me whether we should keep that rule or not.

Osuji: And any omissions to the 1.0 flaws and we can get to it when we get to it. nice catch btw. It's a good practice to periodically review the entire rule set and add issues to the flaws page. Glad to see you are doing that. Unfortunately I don't have time to get to them all at once so I'm prioritizing based on what I've started, namely flower design and harmony systems, notation system and related graphics, and test game analysis.

Cyril: I wondered, since when are flower tiles allowed to move less than their maximum moving length? I think we decided on not doing that. BUT don't change it, I had some test games and not allowing tiles to move less steps makes the game awfully static, so please keep the rule. We can use the idea later, though.

The changes you made seem natural to me, especially te definitions about board areas are good and may be used in the glossary as well.
For the parts you marked as questionable, they are unclear, that's true. I'll open a discussion on those topics.

Cyril: @Osuji: You requested review on your capturing rule, here it is: I realize that the current phrasing permits Elemental tiles to be drop-captured immediately, for the first-turn-protection only applies to flower tiles. This is in itself not a problem, but may become one if we change the dropping rules to "flowers into neutral, and they access the gardens through Torii" (currently under discussion). So it's not an issue yet, but we should keep it in mind.
It also means that Wheels cannot be dropped into Torii, because they are drop-captured at once. But that's the Wheel's problem and not ours ^^
No seriously, the current phrasing is good. I see no real problems in it, except for a little unclarity for suicide capture. Firstly, I don't find that name very good (but that's irrelevant and we can change it later), and secondly, the current rule says:

"A capture that results in the THE TILE MAKING THE CAPTURE itself being captured at the end of its move, either when a flower tile captures an element tile or when a flower tile end's its turn in an unnatural garden."

If a flower is rotated/pushed into its unnatural garden, it's not exactly a "Tile making the capture", but just a innocent little tile standing too near to Wheel or Boat. 

Osuji: Good point about the expanded area making drop capture more powerful against element tiles but in that case (1.5 I expect) drop captures would be eliminated, because it's only needed to deal with the Torii guarding problem. The expanded drop area would solve this so no more drop captures at that point. If not Suicide capture how about Kamikaze Capture? Amounts to the same thing. Tile A captures Tile B and then dies as a result. Either one makes clear that making this move will result in your own tile being removed too. I don't think the wheel or boat issue is a problem since in those examples neither is subject to the unnatural garden restriction and so can't make a suicide capture. Captures by bending another tile into an unnatural garden are not suicide captures so it's not an issue. And the unnatural garden effect is dealt with under the flower tiles section so the rule is clear and in place.

Cyril: Well, Kamikaze capture at least sounds more "Asian" to me ^^ Not because of the historical meaning, but of the sound. It is Japanese after all, so I like that better.

BTW, these images are very good. Nice to have them here.

Arnold13: Yes i also like the new graphics... Good job Osuji.

Cyril: Osuji, you're doing a good job. Concerning the things you marked as "need discussion", I have some of those myself and will open up another Random topics discussion as soon as possible. As for the Glossary thing: I could mark all terms in the discussions like you suggested, but I guess my limited English skills prevent me from writing the glossary (same thing like writing here on the rules page). I will start marking the words and adding them to the page soon.

Osuji: Please don't call them random topics! that leads to postings on every subject. More (perhaps shorter) discussions on tightly defined topics tend to be more productive (IMHO).

When i started looking at possible glossary inclusions I realized that many words can only be found in the comments. if or when we srape the highlighted text we will need to scrape all comments too...

Cyril: Osuji, here in the rules it says that a natural garden is defined by having the same color like the background of a tile. What's with that? Is it a mistake, or how should it be interpreted? I wasn't sure so I kept it, but please REMOVE if wrong ^^

Osuji: I'm not sure what you are referring to here. I thought the natural garden rule was an accepted idea, in fact I recall it being discussed. I'm not in favor of the rule per se but it has some history here. I looked for the word "background", but don't see it using the find feature. Please highlight it in yellow so I can see what you are seeing. My original idea was to visually support the natural garden idea by making the background color of the red flowers the same as the red gardens, and the same for the white flowers. But then we decided to keep the WPS tile colors for now which lead to a slightly different color scheme, so I didn't think it made it into the rules.

Cyril: I marked the area in pink. Actually, I'm not requesting the rule to be changed, I'm fine with natural gardens. Point is, in the tile images you uploaded this "background color" rule does not seem to be applied. I figure it is just a mistake, and I would just remove the marked sentence from the rules, as it only produces confusion right now.
The idea of using the "color of a flower" as its background color for clarity seems nice to me, but I don't find it specifically necessary.

Osuji: I removed it for now. I think it's a good idea but the redesign of the tiles is a future topic it seems to me. Nice catch. I thought I had already removed this from the rules prior to the WPS tile uploads.

Pianguy: hi there, I'm new here at lotusgambit, but wasn't there a "white lotus piece"? I noticed that you have a "lotus" piece, but the design is different from the one depicted in "Sokka's Master" as the white lotus tile. No offense intended to anyone, jst wondering if there was a difference or it as either overlooked or ignored.

Osuji: Welcome aboard Pianguy! Nice to see you are looking at the details. The Lotus tile is "The White Lotus" It is based on the same tile seen in ATLA. The colors may seem a little different because they were based on the tile palette use in WPS on the PSP site, with the addition of a light and dark ring on the outside to help distinguish which player is using which tiles. But I'm pretty sure I stayed pretty close to the ATLA design. I did make an effort for these designs to draw directly from real flower images rather than rely on the stylized versions alone. That way what the image is doesn't separate too much from what the image was meant to be (if that makes any kind of sense) The reason we changed the name from the white lotus to just lotus was to make the system of names more sensible. After all if players are using black and white tiles or red and white do both players have a white lotus tile or does one have a red lotus, and if blacks lotus is white how do you tell them apart? Also in the notations system we were having to use WL and WJ and WH. That is too many tiles with the same first letter for an abbreviation. Finally it creates confusion with the white flower tiles only one of which was called white! So while the name and tile are slightly different they are still the same ideas from ATLA. Also in the episode you mention look closely at the background. the door has a 10 or 12 petaled lotus but the tile has only 8. It would seem that the Lotus as a symbol is more flexible than we might be accustomed to think. Hope that clears things up.

Sorry we don't have the Glossary complete yet. We are working on it but there are still a dozen or so pages to be reread and scraped for words to be added. Once we have that chore in hand it will be a lot easier for new members to sort out what is going on some of the deeper discussions.

Frank Hribal: i don't know the next time ill be on...
i like the notation system, although i think that the old quadrant system was a little better. i have personally played a three player game without four sets of tiles and it works perfectly fine. i think it should be kept as dragon instead of orchid, but that doesn't matter as much. i think that foreign harmonies should be avoided since that would be like that tile defected to the other team if it were real life... i think you should consider how a knotweed would react to another knotweed. would they still work and the two layers over lap, or they kill each other? i think thats it.

Osuji: See the discussions on notation to see why we opted for this system. Hopefully we will be able to support multiple systems in the future but for now this seems like the best compromise. It's not that you can't play with 3 players without the details described here. it's that there is a basic problem with 3 and 4 hand games that is difficult to overcome, namely the "gang up on the leader problem". You can google the problems with 3 and 4 handed board games for more details. Yes foreign harmonies would create that Traitorous" situation and that is the idea. In ATLA Zuko changes sides as do other characters. It also leads to more player interaction. The Knotweed question is an interesting one. I'd suggest N's on the same side do not effect each other but N's on different sides should cancel each other out. But then that would eliminate their use altogether. This would need a separate discussion page to do it full justice. Though I think the N may evolve into something else, Like a Chi Blocker perhaps?

Frank Hribal: Ive never had a "gang up on the leader" problem with my games. I really do think that most pai sho rules out there are based on a persons strategy. This is a big reason why i kept mine simpler. The foreign harmonies make it extremely easy to get points. Just like using disharmonies made it hard to get points. That's why i left nothing out of mine. And for the points shown in the game in reference to my edit on haridu's page: a point system does not need to be actual numbers. It is just a way to show who i s winning. Obviously harmony is the point system in pai sho. Without it, the game would have no need for ikebana and would form into only a simple moving game. Harmony is proven in the series by iroh and monk gyatso. Iroh in the desert arranging tiles to form a harmony to "win" the game. Monk gyatso by switching the tiles in "the storm" with aang's.

[Osuji: moved Pai Sho Programmer's comment from here to the chat 3 general discussion for more complete response.]

SeafaringPanda: I am an Avatar fan, and Legend of Korra fan as well, but I have not, until recently, given much thought to whether or not Pai Sho could be created. I am happy to have found this place, but some things seem to be missing from the rules. For example, before you explain what tiles do, shouldn't you explain how many of what tiles each person gets, and what the overall purpose of the game is? For example, if I was explaining Go I would say, there are two players, one takes black one takes white. The way to win the game is by controlling the most territory on the board. The way to do this is by... etc.
I read that certain tiles get harmonies together, but why do I need harmonies... for someone who has no serious knowledge of Pai Sho, these rules are very confusing.
You explain the board, and you explain the individual tiles, but i have no clue what I am doing with these tiles. It is like you told me how to move chess pieces, but not why I'm moving them or which ones are even mine. It is a struggle to understand. Sorry for the long comment. I'm not even sure it is in the correct place. :p

Cyril: I do understand how you feel ^_^ The problem lies in the fact that this page isn't meant as a tutorial, but an exact dictionary-like explanation the address every possible problem. In fact, all rules are stated here on the page (for example, the number of tiles is stated for every tile each in their respective paragraphs), but to get an overview will certainly be very difficult. Please try to understand as good as possible, and as soon as you have questions I can answer them directly.
Btw, no stress. It's the correct place and a reasonable comment ^_^
Now, under "Winning conditions" you find all rules as to how to win etc. As you can see, players need to collect points, which they can get from either forming harmonies or harmony rings. As to which tile harmonizes with which, you can easily memorize as soon as you draw a diagram-like image linking harmonious flowers: They form a "chain of harmonies" (Jasmin-Lily-Jade-Rose-Chrys-Rhod-Jasmin...etc) in which all neighbors are harmonious to each other.
With these hints, I hope you get an overall impression. If you have a board, I figure it will greatly help to replay one of our test games (however they are played with older rules, so you should perhaps wait for the next game; there should be one up during the next days). If you have an AIM account and we get a stable connection (not that simple), feel free to ask me via IM ^_^

Frank Hribal: i rather like this version, although i would have to deal with new tile movements, but i like it. concerning the harmonies, if a lily is 2 spaces forward and one to the side of a jasmine, is that a harmony even though it is a 45 degree angle?

Harindu: Well Frank as i read above post today i guess the movement style is bonded with harmony. So harmonies wouldn't depend on horizontal and vertical lines but on the tiles movement ability.

Cyril: Thanks for commenting, Frank! I'm glad to hear you like this new system. About your question, I'm not sure I understand correctly, but if a Lily is one knight-step away from a Jasmin, it's harmony at first sight ^_^ But what do you mean by 45 angle? Diagonal..?

Osuji: Wow, I consider this high praise Frank. I'm glad you are still keeping an eye on our progress here. Let me expand a bit on the previous answers to your question. The Knight's move currently does not jump but moves one forward (horizontally or vertically) and then one forward-diagonally to either side. This adds a number of subtle features. It makes the knight moving tiles weaker because they can't jump, but the diagonal step limits the number of blocking points to 4 and requires enemy tiles to come quite close if they want to block the flow of harmony. Blocking harmony has been a core concept in Pai Sho for so long I didn't want to just give a tile the ability to skip over it (if you forgive the pun). So as Harindu mentions it's harmony because the Jasmine can move to the Lily, we don't limit harmony to the horizontal and vertical lines on the board in this version. Since you seem to find this version interesting would you consider playing a test game with one of us? Perhaps Cyril or Harindu? I think your outside point of view would be useful in the play testing process. I would offer to play myself but I'm still catching up with neglected responsibilities after the holidays. What do you say?

Harindu: Heyy Cyril "The path of movement by which one tile may move to the other does not cross a garden wall". If this is true how should the first example create a harmony ring?

Cyril: Both are correct harmony rings: What you mean with "garden walls" are only the borders between a central garden and the neutral area (that means the diagonal ones). The borders between two central gardens are (if I'm not mistaken) called "Paths" and don't need to be bridged.
The idea is that the precious garden in the middle of the desert is protected on the outside by a wall, so tiles that enter without using a gate (Torii) need to jump over the wall which costs time ^_^ Inside the garden, there is no wall between the patches, only paths, so no bridging needed.
This whole explanation has nothing to do with gameplay and might seem questionable at first, but be assured that bridging as a concept is good; I'm currently playing a test game (see Test Game 006) where you can see that rule "in action" ^_^

Harindu: Thank you Cyril for your explanation. I misunderstood paths as bridges.

Cyril: No problem. That's my job ^_^

The White Lotus: I'm not sure if this is the right place to say this, but it always seemed that Pai Sho was a game of simple rules and complex logic. The rules seems really playable and legitimate, but not what I thought of Pai Sho. Once again, if this is the wrong place, just tell.

Osuji: This is the right place to comment on the rules. Please keep in mind, that despite what you may remember from ATLA or LOK, there never were any rules provided through either series. And in many cases what was shown in one scene was contradicted in the next scene or in the next episode where Pai Sho was featured. We have often found that what fans think of as Pai Sho is not based on all available data but instead based on only one or two scenes rather than the whole body of work. We also have to consider what is playable. Even if there were some set of rules that could be divined solely from series materials alone those rules might not work well or make sense. We have the long history of Chess, Go, Shogi, Xiang Xi, and Mahjong etc in which we can see them evolving and being refined. This is the nature of all board games. When you buy a new game, what you get in a box at the store is the end result of constant play testing and refinement carried on in private prior to publication. Here that process is public and invites the community to test the current rules, comment on their functionality, style, design, etc, and offer suggestions of their own. What we have is not complete. It is just the latest set of refinements made over time. We took as a starting point earlier ideas based on Ikebana, much of which was not deeply connected to ATLA, and contained inconsistencies of their own. We continue to test, refine, and improve as we discover problems. We also continue to experiment with new ideas in test games, and periodically step back and review what we have in light of ATLA, and previous ideas. I'm sure we are all curious to hear what you think of as Pai Sho. You say what we have is not what you thought. Well what was it you thought? We don't claim to have a monopoly on ideas. Lets hear yours.

The White Lotus: I'm not going off ATLA or LOK. That would be, like you said, contradict itself. I felt like Pai Sho was more of a simple game with complex strategies. I think it would be nice to have a wider range to drop flowers on then the neutral gardens and the Torii. It would be good if you could drop a flower into its natural garden closest to your Torii. I feel the flowers movements should be more widespread. And I don't like the fact that you can capture pieces so easily. I find myself constantly looking back at the rules because of the rules complexity. I find it hard for roses and jasmines to get around, making me not want to move them much. I feel like it is very hard to start forming harmonies, and the one player who starts forming harmonies first, gets the major advantage. I don't hate the rules you have, they are very good. I just find certain things that would make the game a little more... nice, for lack of a better word.

Osuji: For a feel of how the current rules meet your expectations please refer to the test game currently under review: LGPS v1_0 Test Game 006 (2 Player). I think you may be pleasantly surprised by the complex strategies at play.


Longer movement ranges for tiles and wider areas for tile drops actually work in opposition to each other. That is if you can drop in a wider area the need to move is reduced, but if you can move a great distance there is no need to drop in a wider area. So the current design is a sort of compromise between the two ideas. Personally I think we should rework movement so that flowers can only be moved by bending by element tiles but can be dropped anywhere, while element drops should be limited but their range should be increased. But these ideas would need to be written into the rules and then play tested. And since our current rules are still being tested and evaluated it we will have to wait. In the past we have discussed ideas similar to these but were unable to reach consensus because we never actually tested. Now however we only accept changes after testing and discussing the results.


Capture has long been an issue. The idea of creating harmonies is at odds with the idea of capture and the point limit creates a race for points rather than having an open ended score. We are aware of the problems and there are discussions about these issues in which various solutions have been suggested. We have not implemented them because while there has been much discussion there has been much less play testing.


I feel that the rules seem complex because they are not intuitive and we have not made any effort at providing illustrative examples for many of the ideas described. Again we understand but we face multiple issues that have limited our efforts. We don't want to create a tutorial for rules that are being changed because then the work will have to be repeated after every change, and some will think the tutorial is for the finished rules, learn a flawed or broken system and never look back. We don't want that.


Roses and Jasmine do have constrained movements but they do get moved around a bit, again see the current test game linked above. On the other hand we know that harmony discourages movement so you may not want to move a tile once it is creating harmony, unless you need to avoid a threat or have an opportunity to create more harmony as a result of moving. Harmonies are not as hard to create as they are hard to keep.


I have found that for ever system of rules we try there are emergent strategies that never come to light because we don't deeply test or study the possibilities. What happens instead is players use the most obvious strategies first and when one of them gets ahead they feel that means they have discovered the winning strategy. The losing player often assumes there is no solution and gives up playing the game because it seems the first player has an advantage. But this has been true for every two dimensional board game since the beginning of time. The first player does get an advantage. There are a number of ways this has been addressed in the past. Among the possible solutions are playing at a handicap, and giving the second player strategic tools that cost the first player time. The first requires many games to determine what the handicap should be and often must take into account the number of strategic options available. The second option also requires many games to develop deeper strategic ideas. This comes down to the same thing. We have to play a lot of games to test each rule system. That is where we have been rather lax in the past.


Keeping the rules organized has been a challenge. In the past the rules were not maintained at all. And now that we do maintain them we find a different problem, language. Because the rules were not written down everyone kind of thought they knew what was legal and what was not, and played within those limits. Then during play if there was a conflict the players would resolve between themselves what would be allowed. But those resolutions were never rigorously written down. Not all players agreed on the fine details and may not have known what other agreements had been reached. This also left a lot of holes in rule design because no one was looking at the rules to find tactics that were not forbidden, but perhaps should be changed to keep the game fair. Often the rules need to be rewritten to eliminate loopholes and that leads to more complex language. Some may think this is not the case in Chess, or in Go, or in some other similar board game but that is usually because they have not actually looked at the official rules. The "official" internationally accepted rules for Chess are indeed very complex. But because most players don't use all the rules and were taught only the most commonly used ones, many think they are very simple or at least much simpler than they really are. The rules concerning draws, castling, repeated board positions, adjournments, tournament play etc., are mind numbing in their specificity. One need only acquire a copy of the Harkness Blue book for an example. It's 377 pages in length with diagrams and pictures too. and within this great tome the official rules just for playing are some 45 pages long. On top of that there is the issue of understanding the rules if you can't see them. If you look at the chess variants website you will find a request that any proposed variant rules NOT rely on diagrams but be expressed in words only so that even if you are blind you can still grasp how to play. Our current version tries to describe everything in words rather than rely on diagrams. While it doesn't always succeed, the effort probably makes it wordier that it might need to be if we relied more on example pictures.


So to sum up. Some of your comments (capture, drop area, harmony options and range) we already plan to address but need more play testing to get there. Some of your concerns (complexity and first move advantage) are probably unavoidable given the nature of all board games and our goals (even a blind man can play). Some issues (simple tutorials, and intuitive diagrams) will have to wait until after we have settled on a final rule system before they can be addressed. I'm actually pleased to find your assessment is so close to what we have already been discussing. It means we are on the right track. From the above I'm sure you can see what we need more than anything else is a lot more play testing. I hope you will be able to assist in that area too. We are working on an online solution for those players who don't have their own board. There have been promising recent developments that we are not ready to reveal as yet. We hope to be able to share them soon because it will make playing and play testing a lot easier for the whole community. In the mean time I'd like to ask you and the rest of the community to please review, replay, and analyze the latest test game. Please also offer your assistance in play testing and posting your games using the current rules. I know Cyril would be willing to play if you have a board, and I'm sure there are others too.

The White Lotus: Wow. You're really specific. Firstly, thank you, that really explained a lot for me. Secondly, I'm trying to make a simple CSS file that renders simple board positions. Does the wiki support JavaScript? 


Also, I'd love to play some Pai Sho. I made this really cool table to help me with some rules:


WhiteJasm   Y   N   Y Y N As a Knight
Lily Y   Y   N   Y N 1 Orth 3 diag
Jade   Y   Y   N Y N 3 Orth
RedRose N   Y   Y   Y N As a Knight
Crys   N   Y   Y Y N 1 Orth 3 diag
Rhod Y   N   Y   Y N 3 Orth
SpecialLotu Y Y Y Y Y Y Y? 2 Orth or Diag
Orch N N N N N N N? 6 Orth or Diag

I think it could help if you're not allowed to capture pieces if you captured one up to two moves ago. This would partially fix the capture problem while throwing in some strategy. A simple board renderer would also make it possible for tutorials, now. You could change the board very easily.


I think this project is very good, so far. You are a very nice person, thank you for all the help.

Osuji: PB works does allow some scripting but you need admin level access to add it. Even then there are some limits. We can certainly try what you have after some review. Just contact Cyril or myself when you are ready. Harindu also has some experience in this area. You may want to check with him too. We can set up a test page to try it out. We can already render board positions from the Corel board image we use. One of the reasons we don't do this more often are space considerations on each page. The rules page is quite large as it is and images will only extend it further. We just moved all of the comments from that page to here for the same reason.


We have a tutorial page set up on our blog, and started with some basic details, but when we realized the rules while stable still needed changes and refinements we paused our efforts because we don't want to add endless versions to cyberspace. We want to build the tutorial around our final product. So any tutorial we produce until then must remain very generic and not deal with rule specifics. We are not very active with the blogosphere as a result of this delay.


Nice table! I'm sure it will help those who think in terms of tables. I'd like to give you an easier, more intuitive way (IMO). Keep in mind this may change in the future but for now I think it will help your remember.


If you have some flower tiles handy do this:

  1. Line up one player's flower tiles in this order left to right one flower tile of each type Js, Ly, Jd, Rs, C, Rd (this is the same order from your table reading down in the flower name column)
  2. Pretend these flowers are linked together (in that order) in a chain or on a string
  3. Connect the ends of the string so the tiles form a circle or hexagon shape
  4. Now place a Lt tile in the center of the hexagon
  5. Finally put an O off to the side of the hexagon but not touching it. 


Look carefully at the tiles. What you are looking at is the "Ring of Harmony" (this is not the same thing as "a harmony ring" so don't get confused). If you look at the tiles in the ring you will notice that the tiles on opposite points of the hexagon have the same movement. Tiles on opposite points of the hexagon are also disharmonious. If you pick any tile on any point of the hexagon it will be harmonious with the next tile in line as you travel around the the hexagon in either direction. The Lt is in the middle because it harmonizes with every thing, (all flowers), and the O is on the outside because it disharmonizes with everything. So all you really need to remember is this order for the flowers Js, Ly, Jd, Rs, C, Rd. This also helps you remember the movement rules because the order follows the strength of the chess pieces of the same movement. Knight, Bishop, Rook, Knight, Bishop, Rook. weakest to strongest (from a chess player's frame of reference at least. technically the Ly and C are strongest of the ordinary flowers).


This arrangement of harmony and movement was planned to provide this intuitive way of remembering what the flower tiles do. Verbally you can remember them with this mnemonic "Jazzy-Jade, Rosy-Road"="JsLy-Jd, RsC-Rd". Again we may reevaluate this arrangement in time but for the moment this will help you remember without needing to look at a table. If we do make any future changes to harmony and movement we will try to incorporate a similar system that makes it easy to remember.


Your suggestion that captures only be allowed every third move is interesting. I think we should create a general discussion about this, as I think there may be some unintended consequences to this idea. I will set one up shortly (perhaps by the weekend) and you should get the notification via Email.


I'm glad to hear you think I'm so nice. I work hard to keep my sheep's clothing arranged so convincingly on my wolfish exterior. ;-7

The White Lotus: Here is a harmony ring table:




   /  \
Lily     | Rhod
  |   > Lotus  <  |   
Jade     | Chrys




It's kinda choppy because the wiki formatting, but it works.

I can see that there might be consequences to the three move delay capture thing, you might need to point them out though...

I get the thing your talking about with the sheep-wolf thing. I'm kinda really like that. I've heard of the harmony ring before, but not the verbal mnemonic. 

Osuji: Corrected one of the Js to Rs in your table example. Corrected minor spelling issues. Simplified your connection lines and added color to them. You haven't seen the mnemonic before because I just coined it while reviewing my own comments prior to saving them.

The White Lotus: Ohhh... sorry, I'm kinda really bad at spelling. Your table looks better too. Mine looked good when there was no boarder, but the wiki doesn't allow that. You also can put the pictures anchored on the left to take up less space.

Cyril: Why is this the first time I hear this mnemonic? Very cool. I have to agree that the visual chain arrangement is easier to remember than a table with Y or N (which was also the way the harmonic relations were presented on PSP).

I do plan to open discussions on various topics, possibly during the weekend, but there are some ongoing (but dead) discussions still open, and I'll try not to give too much material to review at one time. To bring those ongoing discussions to a conclusion has been our plan recently, but the topics are a bit general so there's not much concrete idea so far.

What Osuji did mention and what is very important to realize about the current rule set (understanding this will greatly help to see where changes are necessary and why the rules are somewhat unbalanced) is that there are multiple mechanisms implemented that actually work against each other, most notably harmonies-vs-moving and harmony-vs-capture, but also pointsrace-vs-strategy. To bring those to a state where they don't contradict each other should be our middle-term goal.

And BTW, welcome White Lotus. I've already welcomed you in my introduction mail, but it's very impressive to see you're that active already ^_^

The White lotus: Yeah, I like ALTA so much, and there is not a lot of abstract strategy games around, so... I have an idea that the Ly/C should be able to move 3 spaces diagonally like normal, but only be able to move one space horizontally and vertically, but not capture or form harmonies. This makes the Ly/C less powerful. Also, I found it very annoy that the Ly/C can go one space orthogonally, when most of the other pieces move in a single way.


Also, if your lily can go diagonally and a piece has to stop on the wall always, what happens when your Ly/C goes through a wall going through the center of the square? would it stop in the center of the square? or would it just pass through? their is the same problem with the Js/R

Osuji: That is the point of a wall. You can't go through it. And that is why Ly/C must be able to move orthogonally.  If they couldn't some tiles might get stranded in the yellow gardens and never be able to enter the central gardens. It would also mean half the intersections on the Pai Sho ban would be unreachable even if you could go through walls. So the current design is intentional and solves the other problems your suggested change would create while still letting walls be walls. Separating movement from harmony and capture is not as intuitive as making them the same thing. One should also note that this is the same as a promoted B in Shogi just with a shorter diagonal range.

The White Lotus: Well, a pawn in chess can move forward, but not capture forward. This is like the pawn. The point of the movement orthogonally is to switch intersections, and the point of the diagonal movement is to have the weakness of orthogonal movement, so if the Ly/C can capture or harmonize even one step orthogonally it ruins the whole point. Just a thought.

Osuji: True a pawn in chess does move one way and capture in another. But in my experience that is one of the things that makes the pawn harder to understand. It has so many exceptions beginners often forget what it can do.


I don't agree that enabling one step orthogonally ruins the whole point of providing Orthogonal Weakness, (though I'm pleased you have been following that innovation). The fact is that the one step orthogonal move and capture still provides both diagonal and Knight's move weaknesses to the C/Ly tiles. And while I'm not saying we won't consider eliminating the capture ability along orthogonal lines for the C/Ly tiles I'm not sure I've seen any game play reasons to do so. If in play testing we can show that it causes a problem in the mechanics then that is another matter. But without play testing, and defining the negative effects to game play, I'd say we have other more pressing problems to address. I have no objection to returning to this issue at a later date if you find something compelling. But I expect we will create a separate discussion for it after reviewing the test games that demonstrate the problem.


Just to clarify my earlier comments which were made in some haste. No tile may cross a wall without stopping on an intersection on that wall for one turn. So if you had a Ly on 7e it could not cross the wall by diagonal movement because it can't move diagonally to any intersection on any wall.


I'd also like to make sure we are clear about what you meant by "be unable to form harmonies". The current rules say if one tile is harmonious with another and either tile can be moved to the other it forms harmony. So this would mean that even if we adopt your suggestion in the future and everything else remains the same a C could still form a harmony with a Rd that is Orthogonally adjacent. It just won't count as two harmonies the way it does now.

The White Lotus: I was just a suggestion. Its always my favorite move to put a piece adjacent to another piece, without it being able to capture it. I like annoying my opponents that way. XP


Also, would a Lotus form a harmony with another lotus? Can a Orchid disharmonize with another orchid?

Osuji: We try to seriously entertain all suggestions in case they might produce useful results. Your style of play is often useful. Frustrating an opponent can anger them into rushing or making a mistake. Yes a lotus forms harmony with all flower tiles except the O, and an O forms disharmony with all other flowers including O. However this would be extremely rare and very temporary because it would produce mutual disharmony and so no net advantage, and would also result in a mutual threat leading at best to an exchange. Your O's do not form disharmony with your own tiles so you also would never encounter double disharmony between two of your own O's.

The White Lotus: Hey, so, does someone want to set up strategy pages. This would be openings, harmony structures, simple structures, developing advice, etc. . It would be great to get some help on this.

Osuji: You probably saw the axiom page I had started. That was as close as we have come in the opening and strategy department. The real problem is we are still changing the rules. So for instance many of the things you can do with elements today are likely to change in the near future. But for R113-R119 I'd suggest O*10e or O*10f as possible opening moves. Both are difficult to attack without losses or wasted time.

The White Lotus: So, can I play a test game with someone? And, how does this work?

Osuji: Sure you can play but there are a few things you may want to consider. First lets move this question to the current Chat Page (Chat 4)

Cyril: With v120+ being just finished on the rules page, I would like to comment here and again express how much this could mean to our progress. The new rules are fundamentally different in gameplay than the old system and I certainly think that we've taken a step forward.

All member should re-read and comprehend the Rules Page in order to get a grasp on the new system while plans for systematic playtesting are devised. I look forward to conduct test games with you (especially Riani; we didn't get to play last time)!

Osuji: Just to be clear I'm still making some updates so what you read as of today will not be complete. I will add a note when  I'm finished with revisions from the 50th discussion.

Osuji: While the latest changes to the rules page are not yet complete and will need minor revisions as we discover conflicts; they are basically ready for review and play testing. Right now we need members to review the rules looking for conflicts, omissions, and areas of confusion. Please point these out here on the comments page so we can make any needed corrections.

PS-Prog: I only see 2 different tiles per type, so only two player colors. What are the other colors? Just Yellow and Green etc.?

Osuji: The colors represented are Red and Yellow. These are the colors we would use in a two player game. In a 4 player game (which to my knowledge is untested and likely to be rarely played) we would add Green and Blue tiles in the same numbers or perhaps reducing the number of flower tiles. I didn't redo the tiles for all 4 colors because I expected it to be rare that we would play a 4 player game. In fact the 3 and 4 player rules are basically included only for the sake of completeness, in case players want to experiment with more than two players at a time.

PS-Prog: I have a question about dropping tiles. The rules page says it can be dropped onto any neutral garden or torii, but does that mean you can drop your tiles in your opponent's torii's?

 Osuji: No player actually owns a torii, though the one closest to where a player sits is commonly called his torii this is not a term of possession rather it is about proximity. a player may also control a torii but that isn't ownership either. so the answer to your question is yes.

PS-Prog: OK, I needed that information for my app. :P

Riani: In looking at the rules, I noticed that the movements of W and E are opposite as are A and F (in terms of weaknesses). Wouldn't it be more intuitive to trade the current Air and Water move assignments and make the weaknesses and relationships align more closely with traditional elemental oppositional pairs?

Cyril: You are right, that would be an idea. But the way it is now makes more sense in terms of movement range (not that much for the A, but very much for the W, you know: Slipping through everything etc.). If you switched them you'd get a diagonal-moving Air tile which is no  big problem, but an Asian-Knight-Water tile that has no real symbolic explanation. Maybe Osuji can explain better.

Riani: Thanks for the explanation Cyril, now I can put that nagging voice in my head to rest :)

Osuji: @Riani This is what I like to call the Philosopher's Trap, or the Alchemist's Trap if you prefer. It is very easy to get caught up in the elemental symbolism and systems as devised by occultists and practitioners of "Elemental Magik" (note the "K" is intentional and not a typo). But those systems while interesting and informative in their way were not designed for use in a board game (though oddly the Golden Dawn did have a 4 handed elemental chess game that the initiated could apparently use for the purposes of divination. The rules however are unknown outside that magical circle as is the level an adept was required to obtain before he/she was permitted to play). But I digress. The point is that if we try to stick to any one system of elemental order and associations (of which there are several depending on the number of elements used and which philosophy you follow), we run into certain mathematical limits. There are really only 3 ways to move on a chess board but based on ATLA there are 4 or 5 elements if you choose include spirit. Then there are the elemental strengths and weaknesses to consider and color schemes and which elements should be able to defeat which elements, and which elements should make other elements stronger or weaker. etc etc. Bottom line for this design and really any design is the Elemental symbols used on a tile should remind the player of what it does in the game before all other things. Elemental philosophy doesn't really enter into it and can't if you want a game that isn't based on an RPG mechanic.What we can do is choose the symbolic systems that work best within the ATLA / LOK Pai Sho framework to give the players hints and reminders about the rules of the game. In this system we expect players will probably be familiar with ATLA and or LOK and will know about the relative locations of the 4 nations and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the bending abilities. From those two details they will naturally understand that the Knight like the Air element is the weakest and the Queen like the Fire nation is the strongest. That leaves us with Earth and water orthogonal vs diagonal. Square shapes and movements are clearly an earth association. Which means water has to take the diagonals. This method of deductive association for the elements and other ideas is often used in occult systems to divine the true (or what the practitioners believe to be true) majikal system. But is that what they teach the new initiate? NO! instead they use other systems to create what is called a blind. It seems to show a set of associations that work but which actually obscure the real symbols being used so the uninitiated outsiders and those who might try to infiltrate their secret societies will not come away with everything the first day after they join. Silly isn't it? And that's also why it is a trap. You get so caught up in all that elemental nonsense you forget about why any of it is important in the first place. It becomes a way of believing rather than understanding. and from there on you can't change until the inner circles need to elevate someone from the outer circles etc. Anyway the systems we use were clearly discussed and documented on the site here somewhere if you want more reading on these topics as they apply to Pai Sho design. But you don't need them. The clues to what the tiles do are built into the tile design but they don't come out and stab you in the eye either which is the way it should be. (Though perhaps the flower tiles could be clearer) But we don't use any of it for any magical or magikal purpose. I just happen to know about that stuff because well... look at the image I use here and you will get the hint I should hope... But if not lets just say I'm very curious about pretty much everything. Which is the truth as I my friends will attest. ;-7

Cyril: After an extensive discussion I had with Osuji yesterday, two properties of the current ruleset struck us as unstable and probable to reveal balance issues in the future:

Firstly, the ratio at which harmony melds and bonus points from capture are scored is currently 1:1. It might be necessary to adjust this, if the current concept of melds is kept. More generally speaking, if captured tiles score additional points (provided that there is capture in the game in the first place), the relation between points from capture and points from melds must be carefully adjusted, otherwise one of them will be a superior strategy,

Secondly, Osuji mentioned an important aspect of competitive games, which is the ability of both players to create imbalances in the game situation, out of which the advantage for one player emerges. If the game is poorly designed, there might be ways to counter or nullify any strategem that a player might try, leading to very even games and many draws. This is not the case at the present time because we are not familiar enough (or skilled enough) with the current new ruleset, but on a high-skill level it might happen and is something that I have seen bits of in past test games. In light of this, it might be necessary to modify the way in which melds are created and scored, and tinker with other gameplay mechanics as well.

Ofek Nagar: Hey I'm new here (started today) and I have a question about this rule set: where are all the action tiles? you know, wheel, boat, knotweed, rock. what happened?

Cyril: Welcome, first of all. You will find that currently we're "alone in the room", so to speak, but I believe Osuji will join us soon. About tiles, the current r138 ruleset uses exclusively the six flower tiles. This is because while the other two groups (elementals and specials) are supposed to have some part in the game, they're not currently implemented in any specific way. The plan (at least, Osuji's plan) is to include those tiles at some point, but for now we haven't decided on what that might be in detail. In general, you will find that the game is fantastic even without them (what we would call the "vanilla tileset", that is: only the six flower type tiles), so make sure to try it.

Ideas on elements and their function are always welcome, of course, but you will find out quickly that everything is not as simple as it looks from a newcomer's perspective. But I'm looking forward to ideas, naturally.



Well, 6 months ago I made a temporarily Pai Sho board - made of paper, 18 cm diameter (really small), and I made tiny 1 cm diameter tiles (paper too), just so I could test the Wiki Pai Sho rule set from PSP. I found the elemental tiles very useful.. Of course I found many problems, so I have some suggestions about the elemental tiles:


1. Wheel - the player can choose whether to spin the tiles in the adjacent box, or the tiles in the 2 intersections distance box, or the tiles in the 3 intersections distance box.

like this: 

2. boat - a boat can't move over other boats and it can't move over rock

3. knotweed - drains the tiles in the first, second AND third boxes, BUT it doesn't block harmonies  between tiles that are not in those boxes.


also, I think we should make a starting setting - like they show in Korra. some starting structure of the tiles - I think it would improve the beginning of the game.

Cyril: Nice graphics. I had a quick chat with Osuji on AIM about your post. I would write the results here, but if you're online anyways we might as well do that over chat on AIM, given of course that you have it set up. Otherwise we will continue on here.

Ofek: Continue here, I still don't have this AIM you keep talking about. Frankly, I still need to check out what it is :P Don't worry, i'll google it..

Cyril: Basically he would like me to report, and I agree with him, that the graphic you did shows an interesting new interpretation of tile movement, in a very abstract sense. You're probably not quite understanding correctly what is so great about it and why, but that's completely fine. Good job, that's very useful material!

Picking up from there, our ruleset evolved in a specific way, and for most of its more recent history there were no elemental tiles. Now, on one hand, this really makes you realize that you might not need them. On the other hand, the ideas concerning those tiles are left behind, so to say. If you want to read up on how this came to pass and the reasons behind it, you'll be able to do so easily, because we discussed all of this extensively on some of the (now closed) discussion pages. Just use the search function to find those relevant articles.

But in general, there is one thing that I would like to comment on most of all: The point where you said "I found the elemental tiles very useful.". Emphasis on useful. That's interesting to me, because if you think about the question whether or not to include those elements and how they would work, the point I notice most is: Is it really about usefulness? ;-) Food for thought.

I really recommend you set up this AIM client. In any case, Osuji also noticed that you mentioned Legend of Korra, and in that context I have to say that we will focus promarily on the original series for inspiration about what the game should look like. That's because the two series have very different conceptions about Pai Sho, and it's probably not possible to combine both. Inspiration can be drawn from both series, but in the end you'll find that they contradict each other.


about the elemental tiles - as I said, I used to play pai sho (with this mini board & tiles), and the Wheel and Boat tiles especially were part of my tactic. those tiles let me do things that no other tile did. I found myself using the wheel and boat all the time - so yeah, it's partly about useful.

about the korra thing - trust me, I absolutely prefer pai sho to be based on the original series (a part of me HATES avatar korra), and those are good news to me, so in that case I have another thing to say:

Iroh always says that "Pai Sho is more than just a game". well, I would really like to revive his words. I think about AVATAR and a lot of messages come into my mind:

About how we are all the same, but we act like we are different;

about how the four elements are just four parts of the same, harmonious whole;

about how you can choose your own destiny;

about second chances;

about redemption and honor;

about non-violence themes;

about nature... etc.

Anyway, I would like to try and put some of these ideas in the ruleset. So Pai Sho would REALLY be more than just a game.

What do you say?

Ofek: I accidently pressed "Steal Lock"...... :| did it do something?? If it did, sorry...

Cyril: That's right, it destroyed my comment while I was writing it. I could save it in time, but please be careful about that Steal Lock Button.

What I was trying to say is this: 

In response to the things you listed (that Pai Sho should have a meaning concerning various ideas and concepts): I do feel this way about the current ruleset here on LG, and especially about many of the older rulesets as well. You might think that's contradictory, but it really isn't. In fact, I feel that almost every game, be it board, digital, or in fact any phenomenon in general is a metaphor for almost any concept, including the ones that you've listed. Let me try to illustrate this. I myself, for example, have learned a lot about the "real" meaning of balance by playing computer games (surprisingly). I've learned about what "rival" and "superiority" can mean by playing chess. Really, every game is "more than a game", and you find that out by playing it. And this doesn't only apply to games. Generally, engaging in any activity will make you notice that this activity is a metaphor for a surprisingly broad range of ideas, and that you can understand things by doing this activity that really seem to have anything to do with each other. 


In a similar way, all of the concepts you mentioned, like destiny, honor, decisions, nature, order, balance, change, etc., are reflected directly in any game of Pai Sho, of any ruleset. You only have to find the point where they appear, and part of the way to this is getting better at the game and understanding it on a more basic level, but (to give another eample) even as a beginner of the game of GO, I and probably anybody can see how the game describes complex ideas like territory, control, influence, etc., and helps people understand these by playing the game. 

So, the thing that you what you want Pai Sho to be - a powerful tool that can help people understand themselves, others, and the world; I think this is already the case, and it is the case with almost any game or other activity.

The following is a response by Osuji which I am adding to this discussion based on his instructions. Cy

Osuji: Well, the reason we abandoned the boat and knotweed tiles was because they were not actually in the ATLA cannon, and the reason we changed the nature of the Wheel and the Rock were so that they would better fit into an element based metaphor. But when we again changed base concepts from Chess to Go and later from Go to MahJong, the nature of the tiles were adapted to suit the needs of those base concepts.


What you haven't yet had time to realize, but which will become clear to you later, is that what you learned about Pai Sho on PSP is now completely out of date, at least from the perspective of our own project. 

We didn't make these changes lightly. We playtested prior versions until we felt we needed to do something to eliminate the weaknesses in the game.


The results are different moves and different objectives. Right now you are probably making a lot of assumptions based on your prior experience with Pai Sho on PSP. But for you to be able to get the most out of LG you should start by forgetting what you know about Pai Sho [which is actually what you always do first when you start to "really" study something. Forget everything you heard about it so far. Cy]. Start from scratch and look at what we have now and what we are planning to test. If you have questions about why we changed something ask specifically about a particular change so we can make it clear for you.

Ofek: I'm very sorry about the "Steal lock" thing... :| it was an accident and it won't happen again.

I still have something to say about the tiles topic, but I have aim now, so Cyril, what is your username?

Cyril: I assume you're using the same email address that you're using here? In that case it's strange because I can't find your account. Make sure to have the actual AIM client installed (instead of the web version) and stay online while I try some other stuff here to get it working. I would just post my own address, but that is of course confidential material.


Few quick questions. First, if something on the rule page is in grey, does that mean the rule is being revised or removed? I know some of them are labeled as in active revision, but I was wondering if I should be worried about rules like bending at the moment. Second, could you possibly explain how the special flowers work in their current state. I know they are under active revision, but I'm trying to wrap my mind around how they (specifically the orchid) are useful to a player.


On another note, I had a thought about the point system and capture discussion. What if instead of the game ending when a player reached the point limit, it ended when a predetermined number of tiles were captured in total during the game? Once the game ends, points are tallied based on how many valid harmonies are present on the board for each player and the player with the most points wins. There could be an added part where the player who captured the most tiles receives points for the amount of tiles personally captured divided by the amount of players. The issue with this is it would create fractional point values, but it would give some reason to capture tiles while also not making it impossible for the person who captured fewer tiles to still win the game. 

Cyril: Yes, grey color indicates that this area of the rules was implemented in the past or was suggested by a member, but is not currently considered "stable enough" to be used in the rule system. That means that in terms of the "current" ruleset you should ignore these passages.


The special tiles are one case of this. Lotus and Orchid as they are described on the Rules Page are technically a part of the current set, but they are in a sort of "limbo" state since when I normally play I don't use them, and in the recent past nobody else has been uploading games, so that's the standard set we're using. However, the two tiles are technically fine and can be used. 

As to what their properties are, the Orchid is used to produce disharmony on enemy flowers: Since it is in disharmony with all types of flowers, it can send disharmony easily to enemy tiles, which is made even more simple by the fact that its reach is massive (6 tiles in all directions).


Concerning the idea of captured tiles as a winning/ending condition: I'm pretty sure that precisely this idea was discussed some months ago, but I can't quite remember the precise argument against it. Basically, your idea has two parts:

What if instead of the game ending when a player reached the point limit, it ended when a predetermined number of tiles were captured in total during the game? Once the game ends, points are tallied based on how many valid harmonies are present on the board for each player and the player with the most points wins.

This is very similar to the idea of a point limit itself. In fact, there is not much difference. The important part is that at a certain point in the game, players can choose to end the game by performing a specific action. That sounds good at first (and I am a big supporter of the point limit so I can agree with this as well), but many people feel that such an end to the game is artificial and pretentious. 

Another problem that I see is that you can end the game by capture, but capture is not the thing that makes you win. Harmonies decide the score. If I have less harmonies than my opponent, I would never capture "the last" tile to end, which means I can't capture at all as long as I am at the disadvantage (during the late stage of the game, of course). My opponent needs only to capture a single piece. This situation encourages early advantages, which is a good thing, but in general it will suffer from even worse problems than a point limit. 

However, I need to make clear that this part of your suggestion is very nice, there is potential in the idea. It just needs to be implemented in a certain way, which is the hard part.

 There could be an added part where the player who captured the most tiles receives points for the amount of tiles personally captured divided by the amount of players. The issue with this is it would create fractional point values, but it would give some reason to capture tiles while also not making it impossible for the person who captured fewer tiles to still win the game. 

Fractured scores are not a real problem. What I notice is that this means "More capture --> More points", which is an idea that sounds bad, but is present in the current ruleset as well and I think it works very well (on a limited scale. As soon as capture becomes too important, the game will break).

So, to summarize:

  • Players score based on harmonies present at game end plus captures/2
  • Game end is activated by capture
  • No melding

Sounds very promising to me. I would like to see a test sequence of this, or have it explored in more detail.

Chanvrerie: I'm about half way through building my on board, and I have several friends who have volunteered to play test games with me so I'll try exploring the idea and hopefully have something to report.

Xanthan: If you guys need me, let me know. My schedule is absolutely packed, but there is some room for maneuvering if need be. :)

Osuji: The issue with capture mechanics is that they compete with harmony mechanics. This is why melding rules were introduced, so that a meld could be created using harmony, and then removed from the board as if captured by the creator. Without this, players could adopt a capture centric strategy that would eliminate the need for harmony as a scoring mechanic. Too much capture makes harmony pointless.

Kutai: Hello again, friends! Curiosity has gotten the better of me, and I wandered over to see how you guys have been progressing. I'll be honest, as someone who hasn't been involved in a while it's a little hard to drop in and understand what's going on - everything refers to version numbers I wasn't around for and there are over 70 discussion pages to catch up on - so if anyone would like to summarise (as summarily as possible) what's been changing, I'd love to hear how it's going.

Cyril: It comes as a big surprise to us that you so suddenly appear here, although of course a pleasant one. To quickly summarize our situation, we have a kind of unintentional duality of rulesets right now, on one hand the current rules page and on the other hand a constellation of rule suggestions by Osuji that are not yet implemented, but could possibly replace the current set at some point. Key features include:


Current Set:

-Chess-based movement

-melding (basically you capture your own tiles by forming harmony rings, removing them as points just like captured enemy tiles)

-point limit based on captures and melds


Osuji suggested constellation:

-hidden information

-expanded tileset, various "suits" (compare Kutai Pai Sho now that you mention it)

-bluffing and wagering options

Osuji: Welcome back. It's certainly been a while. So much has changed since last you were here that a summary on this page would be too long. Please ping me on aim and I can give you a more complete review. I alreday tried to send you a message on aim but you aren't set up for offline notifications.

Kutai: Understandable. I've lost access to my old AIM account, but as my internet access is almost exclusively mobile at this point, I'm not sure it would do me much good even if I hadn't. I suppose I can still try to stop in occasionally and see if I have anything to contribute, but we'll see.

Osuji: Well even if you can't recover it via AIM, you should know that it is a mobile app. I switch back and forth all day long be teen my phone and my laptops.


If you are interested in the hidden information system I've proposed you should start at discussion 58 or 59 through to the present. I think you said you have some experience with hidden information games so I'd love to hear your thoughts on the mechanics and the melds. I'm not sure my math was right on the probabilities.


Comments (16)

Frank said

at 4:27 am on Jan 5, 2013

My browser doesnt such rich web editing apparently so i have to add my comment here. Harindu answered my question. I realised the movement of the lily isnt like a knights move, i was just explaining placement of the tiles in relation to each other. The diagonal turn in the jasmines movement is a good choice for making the tiles have their own strengths.
I would enjoy a test game, but i dont know how often i would be able to make a move. When i'm home i can definitely play, but my opponent would also need to be free to make his move.
The concept of walls and bridges seems good in thought. We'll see how it turns out in gameplay.

Jack said

at 1:06 pm on Feb 13, 2013

So does the tile have to move its entire number of spaces to capture a tile or can it just run into it on its path and captuure sorry im new

Cyril said

at 2:20 pm on Feb 13, 2013

In general, complete movement is not obligatory. Instead of moving three steps, you can do two just as well. As a result you also don't have to move the complete number of possible steps when capturing.
It's no problem if you have questions. That's what this page is for. But feel free to edit the article directly and add your comment there. In this way you'll be able to correct it later (if necessary) etc ^_^

Cyril said

at 2:21 pm on Feb 13, 2013

And by the way, I already said that in the introduction mail, but welcome to LG!

Nikpie7 said

at 7:51 pm on Oct 16, 2014

I have some questions about the rules, when making harmonies can you make harmonies with your own pieces, the opponents pieces, or both? Also, I am really confused how the game starts and ends. Please help me out.

Cyril said

at 9:04 pm on Oct 16, 2014

Welcome to LG. Feel free to post this kind of question directly into the page.

About harmony, there are friendly harmonies (between your own tiles) and foreign ones (between tiles of different players). These foreign harmonies function just as well as friendly ones, and are very important tactically. For example, if you have a Chrys tile positioned in a white garden, it would be at natural disharmony and vulnerable to attacks. However if you position it so that it receives harmony from another tile, say a Jade, it becomes neutral and therefore protected. And for that to happen it doesn't matter which players owns the Jade. It harmonizes the Chrys anyways.

About starting and ending. The game starts on an empty board with Sente (the first player) dropping the first tile. If you want to get an impression of how an early game can look like, refer to one of the recent test game records (014, 015 or 016). As far as ending is concerned, I'd say you hit the exact point in question. The current ruleset ends by one player reaching the point limit. That however is a rather artificial rule and might change in the near future. However all the more recent games (again take a look at games 014 or 016 for examples) use this point limit as an ending condition.

Nikpie7 said

at 2:41 am on Oct 17, 2014

Thanks for answering my questions, but I have a couple more. Can harmonies/disharmonies be created by dropping two tiles correctly next to each other, or is it only created by moving a tile into that space. Also, is there anywhere were it says what the wheel, boat, rock, and knock weed does? Another question, when scoring harmonies, for each harmony is it +1 point per turn or is it a one time deal until you get another harmony/disharmony? Lastly, can you move a tile while its in harmony with another tile (without any disharmonies on it)? Much appreciated if you can answer all of these because I just made myself a board and all the tiles for it ^-^

Inferno_Master said

at 3:01 am on Oct 17, 2014

Very cool how did you make your board? Did you paint it? How did you make your tiles?

Nikpie7 said

at 3:30 am on Oct 17, 2014

I just used a bunch of paper and made it 18 inches in diameter, and for the tiles I printed each one out, then glued it on to the corresponding color. Took me about 3 - 4 hours :3

Cyril said

at 2:58 pm on Oct 17, 2014

I have to answer your questions in two comments as its a 2000 letter maximum.
Concerning harmonies, when you drop two suitable tiles they immediately from a harmony. That means that you can (for example), when one of your tiles is attacked, drop another (suitable) tile to harmonize it and therefore protect it from the capture.
However, you have to consider that while harmony works immediately, tiles have to be inside the central diamond area to form melds (and of course they can only be dropped outside that shape). So in terms of melds, you are right that you will have to move your tiles at least once before they can form meld-relevant harmonies. But the part about protecting each other (or, on that note, attacking as well) applies always and immediately after the drop.

About special tiles, that is Boat, Wheel, etc., you'll be disappointed to hear that they are not currently part of the ruleset. For your information here is a short overview over relevant Pai Sho tile history:
There are the flower tiles that have been (so far) essential in all rulesets. Additionally, there are Boat, Knotweed, Rock/Coin, and Wheel as elemental tiles, which were part of older rulesets and have seen some attention recently, but they are not really featured at the moment.

Cyril said

at 2:58 pm on Oct 17, 2014

Similar to this, there are four element tiles (Water, Fire, Earth, Air) that originally replaced the Boat, Rock etc. But those are also not in use currently. Finally you have Orchid (also called Dragon) and Lotus which are agreed to be important, but their specific abilities are heavily discussed. So if you see a recent test game, it will only feature what we call the "vanilla tileset", that is, only the six flower tiles.

About scoring harmonies, I think there is a misunderstanding. If you read the "concepts" section of the rules carefully you'll see that currently harmonies themselves are not scored at all. You're right that in the past they used to score one point once or each turn (as you mentioned) but at the moment they function only as a method to connect flowers for melds. In fact, you'll be surprised to hear that the difference is very small. But I think that all of this will get much clearer when you take a look at a game record. Actually if you want we can do a session and I join (and maybe some other members?) for analysis. Tell me if you want to do that

As for moving, yes you can. You can always move tiles, whether they are not interacting with other tiles at all, or in harmony, or in disharmony, etc.

Nikpie7 said

at 8:29 pm on Oct 17, 2014

Thanks for helping me get a better understanding of the game. And sure, I'll be happy to a test game with out - and help me get some hands on expirence. Is there a specific program we use though? Ive tried out already some of them. Just tell me a time and I'll try to get it planned out :)

Inferno_Master said

at 8:34 pm on Oct 16, 2014

I agree. There are some parts that are confusing. Also, Cyril did you get me email? (it was a reply to another email, sent about 1 month 6 days ago)

Cyril said

at 8:55 pm on Oct 16, 2014

Why didn't you say something earlier! Are you referring to the one with the tiff file attached? I got that one. If you want please go ahead and open a page for your tutorial; put it in the Resources folder. I don't think I'll be trying my hand at lasercutting anytime soon, but maybe some other members have the means. The method seems to be rather common in the US.

Inferno_Master said

at 9:01 pm on Oct 16, 2014

Yep. That is the one. I'll work on a tutorial, I first have to find a good alternative to adobe illustrator for those who don't have access, but as soon as I have found one then I'll write it all up.

darkmag07 said

at 4:03 am on Oct 17, 2014

I hear Inkscape is a pretty popular open-source vector graphics program.

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