As I am assembling classes to implement the behaviors of people acting in the roles of a group, I'm finding myself having to answer basic questions about how information flows inside of an organization.

I'm going to fall back on my experience with a project I worked on implementing an expert system for Naval damage control. In that system we had a concept they each actor in our system had its own database of knowledge about itself, the vessel, and the other actors in the simulation. In that model, knowledge was acquired by the senses, and passed on via communication. An actor walking into a room, and discovering smoke, would change their picture of the world to now include the knowledge that there was smoke in a compartment. That knowledge of smoke would be tagged with a level of importance from ignore to raise an alarm. We call that entropy. The entropy of a bit can:

That bit of data that there was smoke in the compartment is fairly high on the entropy scale. The actor would be compare its knowledge that there is smoke to the overall group's knowledge of that same bit of information. If the actor knew the group didn't know about the smoke, it would then start a mission to deliver that new piece of information to the decision makers of the group.

When the knowledge reached the top, the decision makers would then formulate a plan for how to investigate the source of the smoke. Unless, of course, this information arrived after the organization decided to start forming fire attack teams and battle flames observed somewhere else.

In the damage control scenario, everyone was on the same team. For Gilgamesh, I have to expand this concept to include adversarial parties. I don't think that is radically going to change matters. I am just going to have to tag information with what group it was intended for as it enters an actor's mind. If the actor is a foot soldier in an army, the group is the army. If the actor is a member of a party, the group is that party. If the leader of that party is a member of a trade syndicate... well there I have to put in some plumbing to govern how information leaps the gap from one group to another group inside of an actor with multiple allegiances.

I've identified seven different constituencies that an actor may be a part of, more or less simultaneously:


A party is a group of adventurers out on a mission. They share tactical information about the current mission, and they coordinate with each other on logistics.


Cults are religious orders. Individuals in this society may belong to one, more, or none of the cults that worship a particular diety. Some of these cults have an obligation to share privileged information.


Clans are familial groups that members are born into. Clans tend to know very personal details about their members, but what happens in the Clan stays in the clan. However if outside information is pertinent to a fellow clan member, there is an obligation to share.


Networks are loose affiliations of people who share inside knowledge. These could be trade groups, or professional organizations. Members tend to look out for one another in the same way a clan, but the ties are much looser.


Syndicates are organizations that protect the interests of its members through intimidation and violence. An individual who is part of a syndicate can count on a certain level of material support from the group. And in return they expect a certain amount of insider knowledge the actor may have from other endeavors.


Armies are martial organizations devoted to the defense of the state. They share very detailed tactical and logistical plans, in compartmentalized sub-units. Information is disseminated on a need to know basis, but it is the duty of every member to report tactical information as it is know to them.


The state is more or less a syndicate with an army and a fixed address. Citizens of the state can count on the state to defend them from danger. Sharing privileged information with members of another state is considered Treason. Members who discover information about a crime or sign of invasion or other public danger are encouraged to report those to authorities. That encouragement is less than a duty, however.
All organizations can commission a spies and scouts to go out and discover information from other organizations. A scout simply works behind opposing lines to observe public information about troop movements, commodity prices, and infrastructure. A spy actively infiltrates and organization, or tries to use leverage on insiders on the other organization to divulge privileged data.

And of course, with spies, there is always the challenge of the double agent. But... baby steps.