Book 2 – Text Updates 015

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby MonteCristo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:38 pm

ftl wrote:1) Don King seems to be an experienced and effective ruler, he must therefore be high-level (natural signomancy and all that)

Things is though, why must he be high level to be an experienced and effective ruler?
When it comes down to it, he has been using his spy bats to see other parts of the world, other sides and watch battles... This could give him all the knowledge he needs to be an effective ruler. why does he need a high level? So far i think the only thing we know is that level would effect his ability in combat and raise any leadership bonus's he provides... but if the city does get attacked often or if he has good warlord's to make up for his subpar bonus, then his level does not seem to be important
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby ftl » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:54 pm

MonteCristo wrote:
ftl wrote:1) Don King seems to be an experienced and effective ruler, he must therefore be high-level (natural signomancy and all that)

Things is though, why must he be high level to be an experienced and effective ruler?
When it comes down to it, he has been using his spy bats to see other parts of the world, other sides and watch battles... This could give him all the knowledge he needs to be an effective ruler. why does he need a high level? So far i think the only thing we know is that level would effect his ability in combat and raise any leadership bonus's he provides... but if the city does get attacked often or if he has good warlord's to make up for his subpar bonus, then his level does not seem to be important


Well, because level seems to be more than just combat ability or leadership bonus - it's a single number representing your quality as a ____ (whatever you are). It feels like that's how it's treated by everybody - for casters, and warlords, and whatever. That's how it is in most games - a high-level Unit is good at whatever that Unit is, and it's not limited to combat ability. To me, it feels like it would be very much "against the grain" of Erfworld for a low-level character to nevertheless be very effective at what they do, except in exceptional circumstances. If Don King used his bats to become good at being a ruler, I would expect that to be reflected in the fact that he gains XP for the bat use and then levels. The level would then keep pace with being an accurate indicator of how good he is at whatever.

And Don King doesn't seem like exceptional circumstances. There's plenty of rulers and casters in erfworld, and (depending on the caster) both of those are the sort of units that might never see direct combat action.

Again, this is completely a judgement call - what do you think "fits more" with Erfworld -

1) It's possible to level without being in combat.
or
2) It's possible to be very good at what you do without being high-level.

To me, it seems that (1) is much more likely than (2) - but, as mentioned, it's completely a judgement call, as this is not an issue that was ever directly addressed in the comic.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby Retconjurer » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:10 am

You know, I like Trammenis now. I really, really disliked him at first (I was the first to say I thought Trammenis irritating when he first appeared in the Comic, if I recall right). But it seems he is serious and his levity is what he does to deal with that.

Also, it seems for all his arrogance that Slately has raised three good sons.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby CorrTerek » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:17 am

There isn't any evidence in the story that loyalty spells can't be broken by mundane methods.


Sure there is -- the fact that they specifically brought a Turnamancer to break the spells, as opposed to any other caster or, y'know, any random person. If breaking the spell can be done by mundane methods, then anyone with the right knowledge could do it.

Also, the methods used to force someone to change sides look like they can be pretty drastic and time consuming. So it might be in the targets best interest to use a turnamancer to cut down on the amount of torture the target takes and cut down on th expense of having a skilled person torture them for a million turns.


I'm with you so far, except to point out that Vanna didn't just decrease the number of turns used to turn Duncan, she actively took part in his torture. Why else would Jillian comment that Vanna didn't play right if she hadn't been able to observe that fact for herself? There's no relationship between Vanna and Jillian that we know of, so I highly doubt Jillian was the one being worked over.

Actually in order for Wanda to agree to have the loyalty spells broken would indicate that she has at least partially changed sides already and in the case we are talking about, she did it without a turnamancer. Charlie tried to get Parson to change sides as well, also without the aid of a turnamancer. Jillian tried to get Jack to change sides without a turnamancer. So there is a lot of evidence that a turnamancer is not required to get a unit to change sides.


Of course they're not. Whoever said they were? What I am talking about -- and I suspect most others are as well -- is the conversion of units. Kind of like the priests in the Age of Empires games, turning someone against their will -- or at least without asking first. Nothing in the story so far contradicts this interpretation of their abilities.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:23 am

Retconjurer wrote:You know, I like Trammenis now. I really, really disliked him at first (I was the first to say I thought Trammenis irritating when he first appeared in the Comic, if I recall right). But it seems he is serious and his levity is what he does to deal with that. Also, it seems for all his arrogance that Slately has raised three good sons.


Well, that's two of us. In England, that means there's enough to start a club, as the ol' joke goes.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:57 am

MonteCristo wrote:Things is though, why must he be high level to be an experienced and effective ruler?


I think the only real example might be seen in one of the summer updates where Vinny notes how one of Jillian's low level warlords was totally out of his depth with what Jillian was talking to him about - but that could have been youth as well as low lv.

Then we have guys like Stanley who it is hard to imagine getting better at being a ruler just by getting more levels (though he does seem to have gotten "better" following the events of TBfGK) and Don king seemed to think his former heirs weren't up to chop either, and it didn't sound like something they could lv out of.

While their isn't a visible intelligence/wisdom stat I think it just comes down to the individual in question. Someone of high level could be a good or bad ruler, someone of lower level could be a good or bad ruler and their quality as a ruler probably improves over time with experience/observation - like Don king watching the world through the eyes of a bat. Lv could have some effect, but the quality of the ruler would probably depend on more then just that.

CorrTerek wrote:Sure there is -- the fact that they specifically brought a Turnamancer to break the spells, as opposed to any other caster or, y'know, any random person. If breaking the spell can be done by mundane methods, then anyone with the right knowledge could do it.


Well, a Turnamancer might be able to break it quicker/better then if someone else did it. If I remember rightly one of the Hobgobwins from book one was saying how watching Wanda in the Dungeons was very educational or something. Of course at the time they weren't trying to turn Jillian, but it seemed to suggest non-casters can do dungeon work.

ftl wrote:To me, it seems that (1) is much more likely than (2) - but, as mentioned, it's completely a judgement call, as this is not an issue that was ever directly addressed in the comic.


I think being able to gain lvs without having to fight constantly seems likely for some classes (especially casters) but I also think being "good" at it might also exist outside of stat systems somewhat. Like how Sizemore studies, since being a good ruler is about what you know, and how you use it.

And of course there are the three Jetstone princes. I always imagined Ansom and Oss being of higher level then Trem, yet Oss seems like the least suitable of the three to be ruler, and it just seems like no matter what lv he was Oss would be Oss.

gazes_also wrote:He's a likeable character, but why wasn't he heir before this if he is the oldest?


I always assumed Slately had popped him as a royal heir, wasn't satisfied with the result so popped Ansom/Oss. Now that Trem has talked about being long lived for a Jetstone prince it makes me think Jetstone popped/pops a number of royal heirs over the kings life, they lead from the front, and thus have a higher mortality rate.

Trem doesn't fit the mighty jaw image of Jetstone, so he got passed over. Of course Slately also doesn't fit the look... he definitely supports the image, but he himself doesn't fit it. He might of been the Trem of his generation - outliving his more combat capable brothers.

Of course I think it is possible he was heir at some point. Assuming he was the very first heir popped to Slately he would have been heir until the next one came along.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby SteveMB » Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:45 am

CorrTerek wrote:
There isn't any evidence in the story that loyalty spells can't be broken by mundane methods.


Sure there is -- the fact that they specifically brought a Turnamancer to break the spells, as opposed to any other caster or, y'know, any random person. If breaking the spell can be done by mundane methods, then anyone with the right knowledge could do it.


Jillian has attempted to turn Wanda by mundane persuasion, while she was under the impression that Wanda was bound to Stanley by a loyalty spell. That implies that mundane persuasion has some possibility of working -- Jillian has a big blind spot when it comes to Wanda, but she's not an idiot.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby Donoterase » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:51 pm

The levels and rulers seems to have a similar argument as levels and caster classes. It may be possible that "level" is physical survivability, while ruling capabilities are based on other factors. So it could be possible to have a "master class" ruler who's not all that high of level, in the same sense that it's speculated there are master-class casters that aren't that high of level.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby CorrTerek » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:40 pm

Well, a Turnamancer might be able to break it quicker/better then if someone else did it. If I remember rightly one of the Hobgobwins from book one was saying how watching Wanda in the Dungeons was very educational or something. Of course at the time they weren't trying to turn Jillian, but it seemed to suggest non-casters can do dungeon work.


I'm not saying they can't. I'm just pointing out that The Turnamancer was brought, according to Jillian, to do something specific that they obviously felt couldn't be done without her. This, to me, suggests that a Turnamancer can somehow directly affect the turning of units -- as opposed to indirectly doing so by decreasing the amount of turns used.

Jillian has attempted to turn Wanda by mundane persuasion, while she was under the impression that Wanda was bound to Stanley by a loyalty spell. That implies that mundane persuasion has some possibility of working -- Jillian has a big blind spot when it comes to Wanda, but she's not an idiot.


And when mundane methods didn't work, she brought a Turnamancer, as opposed to, say, a Thinkamancer. Also, Jillian wouldn't be the first person in fiction (or the only one in Erfworld) to try to talk someone out of being mind-controlled, even if there was little to no chance of success. Doesn't make her an idiot, just naive.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby splintermute » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:35 pm

CorrTerek wrote:And when mundane methods didn't work, she brought a Turnamancer, as opposed to, say, a Thinkamancer. Also, Jillian wouldn't be the first person in fiction (or the only one in Erfworld) to try to talk someone out of being mind-controlled, even if there was little to no chance of success. Doesn't make her an idiot, just naive.

She brought her only caster, who happened to be a turnamancer. That doesn't mean a thinkamancer wouldn't have been just as effective. Of course, as one of Charlie's allies, Faq doesn't have to hire thinkamancers.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby Lord Kasavin » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:48 pm

ftl wrote:Again, this is completely a judgement call - what do you think "fits more" with Erfworld -

1) It's possible to level without being in combat.
or
2) It's possible to be very good at what you do without being high-level.

To me, it seems that (1) is much more likely than (2) - but, as mentioned, it's completely a judgement call, as this is not an issue that was ever directly addressed in the comic.


Another way to think about it is the difference between "players" and "gamepieces." Rulers' primary function is that of a player. There is a gamepiece that is "him," but his real influence is through the natural thinkamancy he has with his dominion and the loyalty that his subjects owe him. Level represents "gamepiece" status, but player is removed from that.

Or, to give strong evidence for #2, Parson is level 2 (Not high at all) and most Erfworlders who know him think he's the greatest Warlord they've ever witnessed.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby ftl » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:01 pm

Ooh, good note. Player/gamepiece. I hadn't thought of it that way. That makes sense.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:14 pm

I suppose chess would also be a similar situation. Your most important unit isn't that powerful really; but it's supposed to be you.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby Kanki-chan » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:54 pm

Another way of thinking about this could be something recently (as in the past five years or so) added to the card game Magic the Gathering: the "Planeswalker" card. Planeswalkers have been part of MtG literature for quite a while, but it's just now that they've become an actual class of cards (between creature cards, spells, artifacts, and lands). Planeswalker cards (besides being somewhat rare) are seen as a separate "player" when put onto the field. They have a certain amount of life, and can do things that either increase or decrease their life counter. Your opponent can attack that particular card directly as opposed to attacking you, and I'm thinking that's what Don King (and other rulers) could be similar to.

In other words, rulers are "players" that while independent of you, aren't able to "think" out of a particular mindset, but should have more to do than your "normal" creatures, spells, or weapons. That could explain why Don King is level 1 but considered a good ruler: he doesn't do much in the combative sense, but maybe his leadership or intellect makes him a very powerful ruler.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby CelebrenIthil » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:59 pm

splintermute wrote:What if the pink dwagon goo is contagious, and it roots the target and anyone who comes in contact with him? That might explain why no-one tried to help him.


Just mentionning that there can be safe contact with the rooted character and another or else Trammenis wouldn't have asked the royal messenger to scratch his nose for him then go on his way. But I'm fairly certain that touching the goo itself is not safe at all.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby multilis » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:22 am

Some games have spells/abilities such "entanglement", "Spider web", freeze, shock that prevent movement. If you fail to resist the effect, then you are unable to move for 1 or more rounds. In such games it is *impossible* for an ordinary allied unit to help you get out quicker, a *few* units have ability/spell "dispel magic" that *might* free you earlier if lucky.

Possible that everyone else knows they can't do anything to help T, just as they naturally know they can't move out of a hex when not their turn.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby CorrTerek » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:16 am

She brought her only caster, who happened to be a turnamancer. That doesn't mean a thinkamancer wouldn't have been just as effective. Of course, as one of Charlie's allies, Faq doesn't have to hire thinkamancers.


Quite right. Since FAQ already had access to a Thinkamancer, or at least someone with unrivaled powers in Thinkamancy, one would assume Jillian would have went with that option if a Thinkamancer could do just as well as a Turnamancer.

Again, the comic and text updates imply that Turnamancers have a more direct affect on turning units than just decreasing the amount of turns used. Consider also that Jillian was obviously expecting Wanda to turn and be useful immediately. Her offer, after all, was "turn to me and we'll take Spacerock right now". The offer didn't change after Wanda's initial refusal, since it seems Jillian believed that refusal was due to Loyalty spells, which a Turnamancer could evidently remove immediately, with no extra turns required to help someone else turn Wanda and with no access to a convenient dungeon (Spacerock certainly wouldn't let them use theirs).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby gazes_also » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:18 pm

CorrTerek wrote:
She brought her only caster, who happened to be a turnamancer. That doesn't mean a thinkamancer wouldn't have been just as effective. Of course, as one of Charlie's allies, Faq doesn't have to hire thinkamancers.


Quite right. Since FAQ already had access to a Thinkamancer, or at least someone with unrivaled powers in Thinkamancy, one would assume Jillian would have went with that option if a Thinkamancer could do just as well as a Turnamancer.

Again, the comic and text updates imply that Turnamancers have a more direct affect on turning units than just decreasing the amount of turns used. Consider also that Jillian was obviously expecting Wanda to turn and be useful immediately. Her offer, after all, was "turn to me and we'll take Spacerock right now". The offer didn't change after Wanda's initial refusal, since it seems Jillian believed that refusal was due to Loyalty spells, which a Turnamancer could evidently remove immediately, with no extra turns required to help someone else turn Wanda and with no access to a convenient dungeon (Spacerock certainly wouldn't let them use theirs).


I don't see loyalty, duty, control spells whatever as being total mind control, but rather as parameters within which the subject can act and think freely unless they try to act against the interests of the controller and are blocked, or face a choice where they will automatically act in favour of the controller. For example, Wanda could quite easily join Jillian in attacking Spacerock without conflicting with duty/loyalty - it's what she was there to do anyway - but she would have to be 'turned'; have blocks removed; before she could act against Stanley.

In book 1 Jillian was able to break from Wanda's influence and choose to act against her by a conscious act of will, so it is possible to break a hold without a turnamancer. So it maybe be possible for a person to choose to change sides but be unable to act against their old overlord because of pre-existing loyalty bonds (these may weaken over time as loyalty to a new overlord develops so that might be accelerated by a turnamancer).

In a case like Duncan, if you have gained a new warlord it would be important to locate and remove all blocks to him acting with less that 100% loyalty to you if you want to trust his judgement and use him as soon as possible, and Jillian needed an experienced Warlord (here's a thought - that might have been the primary objective in attacking Jitterati). It looked from the earlier text update as if Duncan had had all of the Jitterati characteristics removed from him and these perhaps caused him to identify with them and be loyal. He seemed pretty happy with his new mental state so I don't necessarily see 'dungeon' as synonymous with 'torture chamber', just a prison to lock up potentially useful units until their loyalty can be assured. Vanna looks more like a parole office than a torturer,so maybe she talked Duncan into letting her do the 'attitude adjustment' without resistance. That might be something Jillian would admire and consider 'good work', as finesse and subtlety are things she lacks but appears to be trying to develop.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby splintermute » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:46 pm

CorrTerek wrote:
She brought her only caster, who happened to be a turnamancer. That doesn't mean a thinkamancer wouldn't have been just as effective. Of course, as one of Charlie's allies, Faq doesn't have to hire thinkamancers.


Quite right. Since FAQ already had access to a Thinkamancer, or at least someone with unrivaled powers in Thinkamancy, one would assume Jillian would have went with that option if a Thinkamancer could do just as well as a Turnamancer.

She wouldn't have gone with that option, since it would have meant disclosing her alliance with Charlie, which she wasn't prepared to do at that point, for some reason.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 015

Postby jabbersocky » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:03 pm

gazes_also wrote:I like this one, a change of scene and pace from the last few pages.
Rob subtly sticks a couple of points in here that answer the fury on the forum over the last page.
GK's turn is definitely over, the effects of the goo attack has disappeared, it's not frozen or reordered - it's over.
Tram philosophizes that Maybe the rules are not what they appear to be or what we assume they are, they are not as fixed as we think and that the world can be changed and should be changed.

I think he is just rallying the troops at the end, I think he's too smart to go charging over the bridge without checking with Slately to ask 'what the heck just happened?' In fact, I think he may even make the offer again to Ansom to change sides now that the balance of power has shifted. I have this crazy idea that in Book 2 there may not be a large scale battle and aside from the odd skirmish or character fight conflicts are dealt with by negotiation between characters on different sides who really don't want to fight each other - now that would be different for Erfworld ( and would fit with the title).

He's a likeable character, but why wasn't he heir before this if he is the oldest?
My theory is that in a highly dynastic kingdom like Jetstone the chief warlord and senior warlords are always princes, this tends to lead to a fair bit of princely attrition ( as mentioned by T, he's lived a long time for a Jetstone Prince), and the need to have several available at anyone time. If three is the optimum number which is usually maintained there would develop a degree of specialization in type of prince, with each suited to different roles. Ansom Ossomer and Tramennis are just the latest iterations of those types. Ansoms are flamboyant and charismatic, Ossomers are grim, implacable and vicious and Tramennises are cunning and devious. The natural order of things would put a dominant 'O' type as first choice when an heir croaks, 'A' type next and 'T' type last, so it tends to alternate between Os and As. Tram has seen at least one set of older siblings perish and be replaced by the younger ones. This has given him his rather world-weary view on life. So why are the cunning princes never in direct line for the throne? Maybe someone that smart and devious is more likely to make a move to overthrow the king, but he's handy to have around because if, as in the current situation, both other heir types have fallen then the situation is so desperate military skill won't be enough to save the kingdom, it's going to take guile, cunning and imagination.


I think the choice of Ossomers and Ansom were mainly to do with Slately's view of what a king should be.

The strong, shining crown was the ideal, and the little fat man the real.


Despite Trems smarts he simply dosn't look like Slatley's ideal vision of a king. So more then anything the apointed heir is probably the son Slately wishes he was the most.
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