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Author Topic: Foreman's Dillemma  (Read 5277 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« on: 06 April 2009, 01:44:35 »

Game Name
The Foreman's Dilemma, The Banker's Stack, The Librarian's Problem is a game of intellect played by scholars, philosophers and similarly inclined people, though originating in Nybelmar it can be found occasionally among traders or intellectuals on Sarvonia.

History
The Foreman's Dilemma is commonly thought to have originated with the Tarshiinites of Nybelmar. The story told to explain it's origins is as follows:
A foreman overseeing a warehouse had several dozen crates, of varying size, but no idea how to stack them so that he could fit as many as possible. Thinking that it may take weeks to sort the crates into meaningful piles using only the few men on duty and a single crane, the foreman consulted a scholar, known for his learning in such puzzles. The scholar directed the foreman's men to move the crates from where they had been stacked before in a particular order so that the crate on the bottom, being the largest) might be moved into place.
There being only enough space for so many crates of such a size, and only so much height in the warehouse, several stacks of crates, from largest to smallest, soon formed in the warehouse, and the foreman thanked the scholar. The scholar, being a of that sort, took the entire thing as an exercise in logic and wit, and soon brought the Dilemma back to his fellows, where they challenged each other by adding greater levels of difficulty to the game, either in the form of more objects or fewer places to move them, keeping in mind the rules that the first scholar had to abide by.

Similar stories are told, depending on the region and name of the game in that area, most are similar, one involving a banker attempting to stack bars in a rather full vault, another involving a librarian with several rather delicate books and only so much space to place them.


The monks of the Monastery of Dawn tell a story of the neophyte Sasarta assigned to stack the books within the library, while the people of the city of Kimkatee speak of a banker with a vault overflowing with gold bars and still more to put in it.

The game later fell out of favor, as more complex methods of play grew too difficult to solve and less complex methods were too easy.

An impatient mathematician of some cunning was presented with a student, an indolent wealthy boy, foisted on him for money from his family. The boy, being somewhat bright but lazy and his master being too enamored with the money set about finding away to keep the boy out of his hair. He happened across the game, and presented it to the boy to play. The boy, who brought the game home, later used it to distract his siblings, and so the game spread to other teachers with similar students.

Equipment
The game may be played with any set of objects of varying sizes though most commonly, a set of wooden cubes or rings is used on a board with bits of doweling to place them on, though some omit this when the game becomes more complex than the usual style of play. Anything may be used to play the game as long it can be stacked and differentiated. Things like coins, books and even stones are pressed into service when necessary
Some include a roll of paper and quill to write down the movements on.

Game Setup
To set up the game the player simply decides which configuration to play by, though they number well into the dozens though the simplest involves three pegs and four rings called Savant Korotsa's Game or simply Korosta's Game in honor of the mathematician who popularized it,  places the rings on any one of the pegs, most commonly the leftmost, and then proceeds to play.

Rules
Only one object may be moved at a time. It must be placed before another object can be moved.
An object must be moved from the top of the pile to another pile. Objects cannot be taken from the middle or bottom of the pile.
No larger object may be placed on a smaller object
--------
I think I might eventually have to doodle up a diagram in photoshop for this, but I've left it out for now. I'll figure out where to place it as soon as I can find the correct person to ask questions of.
« Last Edit: 25 April 2009, 21:16:49 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #1 on: 06 April 2009, 08:54:57 »

Looks interesting, Valan!  Though I think a diagram might help for visualization purposes.

We could use more games here, so your contribution is definitely worth developing!  I love logic games and puzzles myself, BTW.  thumbup

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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #2 on: 06 April 2009, 09:57:05 »

I could maybe draw something simple, but I'm no good and I've got nothing for input other than a mouse and keyboard. Any diagram I make would be... MS Paint quality. Poorly done MS paint quality.
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« Reply #3 on: 06 April 2009, 22:43:09 »

MS Paint is, agreed, not the most sophisticated art program out there.  But it serves to give an idea...

Something like this, with cute little miniature boxes and crates, would doubtless be an appealing rendition of the game, and simple to make from chunks of wood with a bit of decorative carving.  Even simpler than making rings, or drilling them...

If people like this, I could certainly take a couple of hours and do a proper Photoshop version, with colour and texture....


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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #4 on: 07 April 2009, 04:07:37 »

That's a variation of a rather common game methinks, something with pyramids, eh? So it's not entirely new, but nicely described, Valan... - Personally I wonder why it's also called The Banker's Stack or The Librarian's Problem...  huh

@Judy: Picture are always great - and this might not be that difficult to do if you have various food textures. BTW: Re-discovered your hobbit garden picture recently, where the door know wasn't entirely right. The pathway transition to the grass seems a bit crude there, but this could be a picture that can be easily fixed if you've got some time!
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #5 on: 07 April 2009, 04:14:19 »

The game described is a rather old game from reality called the Towers of Hanoi. It has a wikipedia page if anyone would like to check it out. I've imported the rules and equipment directly, but the later is twisted and the game's name was changed as was it's history.

As for the other names, I got thinking of other profession's that might involve stacking and other things that were easily stacked, books and coins in this instance became Librarians and Bankers.
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« Reply #6 on: 07 April 2009, 04:15:54 »

I see... maybe make that connection a bit clearer then in the entry ;)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #7 on: 07 April 2009, 04:34:57 »

The picture is brilliant by the way, Bard Judith. Much better than anything I could have managed.
@Artimidor: I did think that the idea was to not make exact copies of things from Earth but to integrate them properly. If no one can recognize it's origins, isn't the goal properly accomplished to one degree or another?
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #8 on: 07 April 2009, 04:39:15 »

With "making the connection a bit clearer" I meant the name thingy with the Banker and the Librarian...
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #9 on: 08 April 2009, 04:13:17 »

Added connections to the other two names (pending some questioning of Miraran/Darbul or Decipher as to where these other names might originate.
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« Reply #10 on: 08 April 2009, 04:55:46 »

Yup, very nice :) Also marked so that the changes can be easily spotted - I see you know how to handle things here in Santharia. Plus, you know that when someone asks for blarrowing this isn't something violent - so I'd say we can do that already with this entry :)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #11 on: 08 April 2009, 05:12:39 »

There's a few things I need to check with Decipher and Miraran since I know nothing of Nybelmar, so hopefully they can finish that off before it needs to go onto the site.
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« Reply #12 on: 08 April 2009, 21:41:43 »

His title would probably be 'Savant' plus common Tarshiinite (male) first names follow the format:

Vowel- Consonent-Vowel-Consonent-Vowel-Vowel

With last two vowels always being the same

So something like:

Uragii
Akajuu
Idabee
Otapii

Additionally, last names follow the format:

Consonent- Vowel- Consonent-Vowel-Consonent-Conosnent-Vowel

e.g.

Sasarta
Jigetta
Korotsa

You can use any of those or make up one of your own, but the title is important (Titles are very important to the Tarshiinites!)

So if you went with 'Akajuu Jigetta' his name would be 'Savant Jigetta' (though he would probably formally introduce himself as 'Akajuu Jigetta, Savant of Mathematics').

Any help?

Deci
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« Reply #13 on: 08 April 2009, 21:44:03 »

Quote
The Foreman's Dilemma is commonly thought to have originated with the Tarshiinite of Nybelmar

Should be Tarshiinites or Tarshiinite Men  grin

Also, if you wanted contextual value, you could say the warehouse was located in the Cities of Jirai or Goshuntee
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« Reply #14 on: 08 April 2009, 23:54:19 »

Oooh this game... I played it before and I really like it. When I first read the entry - couldn't quite place it and then I saw the Bard's picture.  grin

I love logic games and puzzles.
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