Tramennis

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Re: Tramennis

Postby ftl » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:34 pm

If signamancy could raise leadership scores, why wouldn't it be able to raise (or lower) other things? Hits, attack, defense, move, etc. Or economic indicators back at home, and so on.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:52 pm

ftl wrote:If signamancy could raise leadership scores, why wouldn't it be able to raise (or lower) other things? Hits, attack, defense, move, etc.
Leadership is partly how well you inspire the morale and fighting spirit of the people you command, which is partly based on how impressive you look. I don't think that Stanley was completely oblivious to reality when he wanted a handsome chief warlord. But unless you can make your enemies weaker by pure intimidation, Signamancy really shouldn't make you stronger in personal combat.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:02 am

Is that conjecture or has it been said somewhere that Leadership is more than Thinkamancy?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lipkin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:43 am

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:
So, that's the first kind of Signamancy, the second is the kind employed by Signamancers. Besides being able to read Signamancy far more accurately than others as a matter of course, and having spells no doubt related to the reading of Signamancy such as tracking by noticing the signs of people passing, etc. But, based on the war paint Signamancy, and some of the general things said about Brother Labeler, I believe there is also the ability of Signamancers to change someone's Signamancy... and have that change the truth of them, at least temporarily. So a Signamancer could change someone's signamancy to make them look strong... and it would actually make them strong. Just like the war paint makes Slately look fierce, so he is fierce.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

So then, if Parson is a Signamancer, and he's fated to change the world, it may just be as simple as changing the way it appears?

I think signamancy could be about altering perceptions. Changing the way people see things, and then having those things change based upon the new way they are perceived. Sort of a like a "be the change you want to see" sort of thing. It can also be about making changes in other ways.

Rob said about Signamancy "Signamancy. Like the Peace sign, man. Like the protest sign, man. Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Far out."

If a signamancer were to make a protest sign demanding change, it could possibly change the way that the people seeing the sign felt and thought about the issue. Parson starting a smear campaign against Charlie would be signamancy.

If signamancy reflects the nature of the world, and the nature of the world changes with it's signamancy, then the best way to change the world is to change how people view it. Change the way people feel about the world, and the world will change to reflect it. Seems very Hippydippy to me.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby mantimeforgot » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:52 am

Now see that is what I am talking about:

If Signamancy at the higher levels (obviously Novices should not be allowed to manipulate Signs) can cause ACTUAL effects either a change in behavior or a boost to some value (doesn't have to be combat; if Cities that are kept orderly have some sort of production bonus, then this is understandably useful), then I can and do recognize the value of Signamancy and the expenditure of Juice.

That said: We should consider that things like Tracking can be done via a Findamancer and probably done faster and more accurately (no chance you misread the signs and you get an exact location), so I am left wondering just how much room for Juice expenditure based effect there is. I do not want Signamancy to be reduced to non-juice expenditure effects of things that can be duplicated via other disiciplines.

I would be all for an Ad-campaign: If spending juice from a Signamancer can create a billboard that said "My bologna has a name: its G-O-B-W-I-N K-N-O-B" and that causes the other sides to want to purchase meat rations from GK, then that would make Signamancy a useful discipline and one worth spending the juice on.

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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lipkin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:20 am

Now I'm thinking about what a "Trespassers will be shot" or a "Beware of Dwagon" sign would do.

Would putting a "Dwagon Crossing" sign up near a road cause Dwagons to pop there more often?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:44 am

Could he paint a tunnel on the wall and wait for a train to come out and squish Ansom?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lipkin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:57 am

Shai_hulud wrote:Could he paint a tunnel on the wall and wait for a train to come out and squish Ansom?

No, but I bet he could design train blueprints.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:04 am

Was a joke reference to his klogs in book 1
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lipkin » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:12 am

Shai_hulud wrote:Was a joke reference to his klogs in book 1

Oh. I remember now. Thought you were just talking Loony Toons.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lilwik » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:40 am

Shai_hulud wrote:Is that conjecture or has it been said somewhere that Leadership is more than Thinkamancy?
It's conjecture, since I have no evidence to suggest that leadership in Erfworld isn't some form of natural magic, but on the other hand when has leadership ever been associated with Thinkamancy? Orders are Thinkamancy, that's beyond doubt, but this idea that Leadership is connected to Thinkamancy doesn't seem to have any basis in the story that I can recall. Unless there's some evidence to the contrary, we should probably assume that Erfworld Leadership is mostly the same as Stupidworld leadership, with a number assigned to it based upon its quality, and therefore it is clearly susceptible to Signamancy.

mantimeforgot wrote:If Signamancy at the higher levels (obviously Novices should not be allowed to manipulate Signs) can cause ACTUAL effects either a change in behavior or a boost to some value (doesn't have to be combat; if Cities that are kept orderly have some sort of production bonus, then this is understandably useful), then I can and do recognize the value of Signamancy and the expenditure of Juice.
Changing the appearance of things can have real effects, but it wouldn't make sense for reality to change to match the appearances by magic. If reality would magically change to match any change in appearance caused by a high level Signamancer, then that's gone far beyond changing appearances to become a full reality warping. That sort of Signamancer would be like a Titan, just changing the world directly without any pretense of being restricted by a certain discipline, and certainly there would be no real connection to signs anymore.

If Signamancy is to really be about signs, then any effect upon reality from changing the appearance of things would need to be a natural side-effect of the magical sign change.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby ftl » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:56 am

Lilwik wrote:
ftl wrote:If signamancy could raise leadership scores, why wouldn't it be able to raise (or lower) other things? Hits, attack, defense, move, etc.
Leadership is partly how well you inspire the morale and fighting spirit of the people you command, which is partly based on how impressive you look. I don't think that Stanley was completely oblivious to reality when he wanted a handsome chief warlord. But unless you can make your enemies weaker by pure intimidation, Signamancy really shouldn't make you stronger in personal combat.


Right, but in Erfworld, Leadership is a stat with a definite number. What does it matter what it corresponds to in Stupidworld? (morale, inspiration, etc).

I mean, if Signamancy can make the people in your hex and stack stronger (by changing your Leadership stat) why wouldn't it also be able to make you stronger (by changing some other stat?)

Your answer to that is, I think, "because on Earth, what that stat corresponds to is the sort of thing that appearances matter for". But I don't think that's directly applicable to Erfworld. A stat is a stat.

Lilwik wrote:If reality would magically change to match any change in appearance caused by a high level Signamancer, then that's gone far beyond changing appearances to become a full reality warping. That sort of Signamancer would be like a Titan, just changing the world directly without any pretense of being restricted by a certain discipline, and certainly there would be no real connection to signs anymore.


There's a whole lot of range between "a signamancer can do anything" and "a signamancer can't change reality at all". Presumably, the bigger the change, the more juice it would take. Nearly any discipline seems like it would be all-powerful if you take it to an extreme, but there always turn out to be limitations (except when Arkentools are involved).
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lilwik » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:21 am

ftl wrote:Your answer to that is, I think, "because on Earth, what that stat corresponds to is the sort of thing that appearances matter for". But I don't think that's directly applicable to Erfworld. A stat is a stat.
Yes, you have my answer correct, but on what basis do you say that a stat is a stat? To me stats seem like they might be some sort of Natural Mathamancy. Mathamancy tells you the odds of something happening; it doesn't set those odds, and similarly your stats show people how good you are at things; they don't make you good. I'm pretty sure about that because battles in Erfworld play out a lot like Stupidworld battles, with real blows and real injuries. It's not at all like rolling dice; they don't take turns; they don't let some number decide if they are going to connect or miss; they just take their weapons and bash away. The numbers describe Erfworld; they don't control it.

ftl wrote:There's a whole lot of range between "a signamancer can do anything" and "a signamancer can't change reality at all". Presumably, the bigger the change, the more juice it would take. Nearly any discipline seems like it would be all-powerful if you take it to an extreme, but there always turn out to be limitations (except when Arkentools are involved).
There's a difference between being very powerful and being all-powerful. Wanda is very powerful with her decryption thanks to her pliers, but she's still doing something recognizable as Croakamancy; she can't exercise that power in all the crazy ways that she might imagine like turning people into frogs or causing them to float up into the clouds and disappear. No matter how powerful her Croakamancy gets, she'll never be able to use it to do those things. There should be some sort of theme and unifying idea to a discipline.

What I suggest is that Signamancers are probably limited to only changing the Signamancy of things, and if they want to magically change all other aspects of reality they need to learn the appropriate discipline just like any other caster. I really hope that Signamancy isn't a do-anything discipline, even if the things they do is highly limited by high cost in juice. If Signamancy can cause a unit to turn by changing the unit's livery then I'm going to declare Signamancy both inappropriately named and brutally overpowered, and I don't care how much juice that spell costs.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby mantimeforgot » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:40 am

@ Lilwik

I don't think Signamancy would be quite as potent as you seem to think it would be given Signamancy having actual effects concordant with their use or change. For one thing a Time Frame is not established; If keeping a city organized and clean grants a +1 Schmucker per turn bonus, but you have to maintain this for 20 turns in a row, then most rulers won't view the use of a caster's juice as justified since you can get more than a 1 Schmucker per turn bonus for less juice and far quicker than 20 turns given other casters.

And the Signamancer still has to know an appropriate Sign for the occasion given the effect they wish to duplicate. So if you want to stop a bunch Hippiemancers who are flaking, then create a Double Rainbow Sign and suddenly they all stop everything in order to stand there gawking "Double Rainbow... What does it mean??" But if you tried the same thing on a stack of Stabbers, then they ignore your Sign and proceed to stab you to croaked. (With this in mind I am further convinced that there is a Signamancy component to Janis' Time Out: She is an angry mother putting children in Time Out. What does "Time Out" represent in the real world? Well mom is pissed at what you are doing and you stop everything you are doing and maybe go stand in a corner. Janis can pull this off because she is a well respected maternal figure in the Magic Kingdom. That is not to say that I think "Time Out" was entirely Signamancy, but rather that the Signamancy accompanying the effect almost certainly enhanced the effect (perhaps in a similar way that Rhyme-a-mancy can be used to enhance casting).

Signs are everywhere and do seem to form a fundamental basis for Erfworld (Signs and Rhymes speak to the cultural/literary basis for the reality), but this does not mean that a Signamancer becomes Titanic even if they have the proper knowledge (master class knowledge of relationships and explored all over the place to meet people and try things) and could do things in a relatively short time frame. It is as I recall canon that structures and terrain will return to its original state (post mining or other forms of meddling) given time, so even if Signamancers could create large-scale effects they would inexorably be temporary. I suppose it is possible that a Signamancer might spend their juice maintaining a given effect each and every turn, but that doesn't seem all that different to me than say a Dollamancer spending every turn creating land mines and placing them around their city (eventually you just can't mess with that city by ground and that is an area effect).

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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:57 am

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