Book 2 – Text Updates 048

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby coyotenose » Sat May 14, 2011 2:30 pm

drachefly wrote:It does make me wonder, what's the shortest stretch of time in a webcomic that's been stretched out over a period of real time as long as this has?


The anthro superhero webcomic "Zodiac" is about 203 full pages in now. IIRC, the heroes started meeting morning or midday, and are now in the middle of a night out on the town on the same day.

Zodiac has some great genre ideas, but good lord, introducing twelve heroes, a group of shadowy benefactors, and then twelve supervillains is TOO MUCH. It was a fun read, but now it's frustrating.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Zeku » Sat May 14, 2011 2:41 pm

True-ish, but entirely hypocritical; this tangent had soundly left the subject of Erfworld with the post I responded to. No amount of gentle wording changes that "attempting to increase the exposure of your perspective" describes perfectly what you were doing - what you, in fact, stated in virtually those same words as your intention with its last sentence.


I don't know, or care about the specifics of why a political discussion began.

You are responsible for making on topic and respectful posts, even if others are not doing that.

I do not have a perspective in this case, I am reminding you of how you are expected to behave: the kind of behavior that a search through the forum will consistently reveal.

As far as hypocrisy goes: you stated you don't believe in hierarchies, to paraphrase. That's wonderful. Lets avoid both hypocrisy and hierarchies completely, by having a conversation about Erfworld, as equals.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby boegiboe » Sat May 14, 2011 4:08 pm

Zeku wrote:
True-ish, but entirely hypocritical; this tangent had soundly left the subject of Erfworld with the post I responded to. No amount of gentle wording changes that "attempting to increase the exposure of your perspective" describes perfectly what you were doing - what you, in fact, stated in virtually those same words as your intention with its last sentence.


I don't know, or care about the specifics of why a political discussion began.

You are responsible for making on topic and respectful posts, even if others are not doing that.

I do not have a perspective in this case, I am reminding you of how you are expected to behave: the kind of behavior that a search through the forum will consistently reveal.

As far as hypocrisy goes: you stated you don't believe in hierarchies, to paraphrase. That's wonderful. Lets avoid both hypocrisy and hierarchies completely, by having a conversation about Erfworld, as equals.


Zeku, you started the "political discussion" with your completely non-comic-mentioning comment about some abstract political theory relating to nobles ruling the world or some such (went back and looked it up: the Almond-Lippmann Consensus). Claiming Raza's direct response to you was off-topic was an unfair attempt to quash his point of view that had every bit as much right (which may not be much) to be stated as your comment.

Did someone else make that post using your account, so that you really didn't know you started the political discussion?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Sylvan » Sat May 14, 2011 8:19 pm

joosy wrote:
Close, but the bonus only increases on units in the same hex. Extra bonus for those in his own stack.
Currently Ossomer and the archons are NOT considered to be in the same hex until Gobwin Knob takes the garrison and thus controls the city.
Also, Parson is only a level 2 so his bonus won't be that much.


Doh, right different parts of a city you don't currently control, different hexes. Forgot about that for a moment.

And yes, the bonus is small, but my point still remains that if it applied it might be enough to turn an already close battle. The casters on the tower are already saying they think they have either not enough or just barely enough to take out the Archons, so suddenly adding any bonus to them would be significant. If Parson's bonus would reach, which it wouldn't.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Masennus » Sat May 14, 2011 8:29 pm

I am surprised no discussion has started around the first paragraph.

Slately's justification for disobeying is interesting. How would you folks explain the Duty or Loyalty or Natural Thinkamancy questions raised by a ruler ignoring an order from his Chief Warlord? I would think that pain of disbanding does not apply.

The justification itself is weak (not good at obeying, having little practice) but the fact there is any justification speaks volumes. How does CW gain precedence in chain of command over the ruler? Is it because the situation is tactical rather than strategic?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby drachefly » Sat May 14, 2011 9:30 pm

Sylvan wrote:Doh, right different parts of a city you don't currently control, different hexes. Forgot about that for a moment.


But is it, for this purpose?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Jorgath » Sat May 14, 2011 10:27 pm

drachefly wrote:
Sylvan wrote:Doh, right different parts of a city you don't currently control, different hexes. Forgot about that for a moment.


But is it, for this purpose?


I doubt it. No matter what, it's still the same hex, which is subdivided into different zones. In a city you don't control, it requires Move > 0 to, well, move between zones. But the zones are all the same hex, it's just that moving around between them isn't free. So I'd be prepared to bet that for all other effects, such as Chief-Warlord-in-hex bonus, it doesn't matter what zone each is in.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Atomic » Sun May 15, 2011 12:25 am

Masennus wrote:I am surprised no discussion has started around the first paragraph.

Slately's justification for disobeying is interesting. How would you folks explain the Duty or Loyalty or Natural Thinkamancy questions raised by a ruler ignoring an order from his Chief Warlord? I would think that pain of disbanding does not apply.

The justification itself is weak (not good at obeying, having little practice) but the fact there is any justification speaks volumes. How does CW gain precedence in chain of command over the ruler? Is it because the situation is tactical rather than strategic?

In Slately's mind? Yes, it's 'disobeying'...but as far as mechanics? Not really.

As explained in one of the text updates I'm far too lazy to find, Slately takes a very laid-back approach to ruling. Up until now, he's choosen to leave all tactical decisions (except the use of casters in the field...Oohoho. Zing.) up to his Chief Warlord. Slately allows whomever the current Chief Warlord is (Tramennis) have free-reign over all military operations, while he just manages the little things on the side. That's why we've seen him allowing Trammenis to do all those thing he doesn't agree with, such as talking to Charlie/ Ossomer/ etc.

There's nothing binding him, but it's been tradition for the 3,000 turns he's ruled...so in a way, it is disobedience. Just not in an enforceable way. Slately's Duty is to the continuation of his side, and his loyalty (lowercase 'L') should fall in line with that... As far as Loyalty (uppercase 'L'), I don't believe he has any. I mean, if he's Loyal to anyone else, he sort of stops being the one who rules the kingdom. Natural Thinkamancy should, likewise, enforce his Duty for the preservation of his side...in a way much similar to the Summon Perfect Warlord-spell, I imagine that Slately was popped to rule. So that's exactly what his Duty compels him to do.

That make sense? I hope so. I'm sleepy.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Sygerrik » Sun May 15, 2011 1:07 am

Zeku wrote:Telling us what you personally believe is off topic unless you can tie it informatively and respectfully into something happening in the comic.

Offering your opinion about anything is an attempt to increase the exposure of your perspective. This is a very pure manifestation of power-mongering: the demagogue. Just as you have no love for upstart overlords, neither do we.


Seriously? After bringing up the ALC, you then claim that some kind of forum etiquette (an extrinsic power structure, if ever there was one) prevent debate? Here's a point to ponder: forum threads are called "threads" for a reason. They twist and turn and proceed linearly, like conversations, and replying to anything being discussed is "on topic." We've had divergences in the past to argue all manner of things. And while we're at it, maybe look at some of the more recent CCGA studies that poke serious holes in the Consensus (which I've always thought was a rather pompous and self-assured name for such an abstract and unprovable theory).

Meanwhile, the permanent existence of nobility, far from being a settled question in our world, is extremely germane to any discussion of Erfworld. After all, Nobility and Royalty are concrete concepts there, not only as part of the "rules" but also embedded in the social fabric of Erf. And yet the Toolist philosophy, and Parson's own comments in Book 1, challenge that orthodoxy. Thinking about the presence or necessity of Nobles is problematic in Erfworld because they are not only conceptual but readily recognizable. I would argue that whether or not we believe that royalty will always exist in the real world depends heavily on one's definition of "royal" and is tied up in questions of divine mandate, the importance of bloodline, and the origin and localization of power.

See? You're not the only one who's taken a first-year political theory class :D
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Hiai » Sun May 15, 2011 7:50 am

I'm surprised any of you would try to tie Earth politics to Erf politics so glibly. I take that back, I am not at all surprised, just somewhat bemused that after this long, with so many insanely long threads devoted to such topics as political power struggles, anyone would have the temerity to bring up abstract political concepts in reference to Erf's power struggles.

Not, mind you, that they are not applicable...merely that they are so blatant and obvious to all, I wouldn't consider them worthy of debate at all. Rob's points are much more subtle than that, so discussing the nature of nobility/royalty and whether it is justified sort of misses the whole point of the contrast he draws. It's like looking at a Van Gogh and exclaiming "look, he uses lots of blue paint!"...which is to say, you may be correct, but you have no real point to make.

In fact, I've noticed Rob tends to do this often-- take an oft-debated sociopolitical stance from Earth and turn it into a static state on Erf. Royalty have higher stats, warlords give bonuses, etc...because if the social phenomenon of Earth has a physical stat on Erf, then we can move past the political debates about whether "it's the right way" or "it's inevitable" or such hogwash, and get into the real meat of social interaction and relations, unfettered by the inconsequential political debates.

In other words.... can we please stop being silly before we have to start getting into "which political party has driven us to ruin/is going to save us" type of debates, as so very many other forums tend to do everywhere I turn, lately?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Masennus » Sun May 15, 2011 10:09 am

Atomic wrote:In Slately's mind? Yes, it's 'disobeying'...but as far as mechanics? Not really.

As explained in one of the text updates I'm far too lazy to find, Slately takes a very laid-back approach to ruling. Up until now, he's choosen to leave all tactical decisions (except the use of casters in the field...Oohoho. Zing.) up to his Chief Warlord. Slately allows whomever the current Chief Warlord is (Tramennis) have free-reign over all military operations, while he just manages the little things on the side. That's why we've seen him allowing Trammenis to do all those thing he doesn't agree with, such as talking to Charlie/ Ossomer/ etc.

There's nothing binding him, but it's been tradition for the 3,000 turns he's ruled...so in a way, it is disobedience. Just not in an enforceable way. Slately's Duty is to the continuation of his side, and his loyalty (lowercase 'L') should fall in line with that... As far as Loyalty (uppercase 'L'), I don't believe he has any. I mean, if he's Loyal to anyone else, he sort of stops being the one who rules the kingdom. Natural Thinkamancy should, likewise, enforce his Duty for the preservation of his side...in a way much similar to the Summon Perfect Warlord-spell, I imagine that Slately was popped to rule. So that's exactly what his Duty compels him to do.

That make sense? I hope so. I'm sleepy.


Maybe I'm getting a little too tinfoil hat. Maybe I'm seeing mechanics where I should be seeing character development. Maybe I'm being nitpicky.

It seems that if Slately were truly in charge, his justification would call on that fact. It would be a little more, "I'm the one who's really in charge here, afterall," and a little less, "I'm just bad at taking orders."

I agree that Duty compels him to preserve the side as best he sees fit, but that's not how he justifies not following orders.
I agree that his Loyalty is to himself or to the Side, but that's not how he justifies disobeying.

I am left thinking that some technicality is in place here, and that Natural Thinkamancy demands a justification before orders are broken. The simplest one would be, "Ha, I LET Tram give me orders, but I don't HAVE to follow them, I'm the ruler." That's not what he says, which leads me to believe part of that is incorrect. Perhaps by ordering Tram to be in charge, Slately has given up his position, and altered chain of command for this particular conflict? (At least until he changes the order and officially reasserts his right.)

Even if we're not talking Erfworld mechanics, and we're just talking character development, the paragraph in question is telling. Slately realizes he makes poor decisions. He realizes Tram is a better leader. He puts Tram in charge. And despite what his logical mind tells him, he can't help but keep leading. He is too accustomed to power and can't help but make his own decisions and form his own plans. His ease with dismissing his inner conflict definitely speaks to 3000 turns of Head Honcho Habit. That's hard to overcome in a day, but it seems he's hardly trying!

Of course, I am willing to admit that I am reading between the lines too much. Or not enough.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby cheeseaholic » Sun May 15, 2011 12:14 pm

Masennus wrote:I am surprised no discussion has started around the first paragraph.

Slately's justification for disobeying is interesting. How would you folks explain the Duty or Loyalty or Natural Thinkamancy questions raised by a ruler ignoring an order from his Chief Warlord? I would think that pain of disbanding does not apply.

The justification itself is weak (not good at obeying, having little practice) but the fact there is any justification speaks volumes. How does CW gain precedence in chain of command over the ruler? Is it because the situation is tactical rather than strategic?


It could be low Loyalty, Duty, or Obedience. We don't know enough about the rules. Obedience would depend on if the power structure isn't linear, and situations or different orders can be higher depending on the situation. He is doing something stupid, but I'm not willing to say that he's double crossing his side, so I'd say that he's not being disloyal; he honestly believes that the best chance their side has is to promote Trem heir. Duty is an odd one, as he's conspiring against himself to fulfill his own wishes. A week's worth of argument could go into Duty with no new insights gained, I suspect.

Now Bea would be an example of a ruler with an abysmally low Loyalty stat.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Masennus » Sun May 15, 2011 1:54 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:It could be low Loyalty, Duty, or Obedience. We don't know enough about the rules. Obedience would depend on if the power structure isn't linear, and situations or different orders can be higher depending on the situation. He is doing something stupid, but I'm not willing to say that he's double crossing his side, so I'd say that he's not being disloyal; he honestly believes that the best chance their side has is to promote Trem heir. Duty is an odd one, as he's conspiring against himself to fulfill his own wishes. A week's worth of argument could go into Duty with no new insights gained, I suspect.

Now Bea would be an example of a ruler with an abysmally low Loyalty stat.


I don't think it is necessarily true that Bea had low Loyalty. Remember that Loyalty measures a Unit's propensity to Turn. I think Bea's Loyalty to Royalty, her alliance, and her friends was quite high.

She was faced with three options:

1. Surrender (in effect, Turn the whole Side from Royalty to Toolism).
2. Fight to the end. Side ends. Toolists gain a sizable army.
3. End the fight. Side ends. Toolists gain nothing.

If her Loyalty to her own life were high, she'd pick option 1.

Her Loyalty was to her ideals (Royalty, Alliance, Friendship) instead, meaning that option 1 is out of the question. This makes option 3 the clear, Loyal choice.

Back to the topic of obedience (which I don't think we've seen characters discuss as a capitalized Erfworld stat or attribute.) Characters with high Duty are more likely to be disobedient. They do what they think is best for their Ruler and Side, whether or not the unit giving them orders agrees. A character with low Duty wouldn't bother questioning orders or thinking for themselves.

I don't see Duty as a purely positive stat. That is, if I were a Ruler in Erfworld, I would prefer units with high intelligence and good tactical and strategic skills to have high Duty. I would want the idiots around me to have high Loyalty, and the lowest Duty stat they possibly could have. Follow orders. Stop making idiot mistakes with the "I meant well" excuse.

The question raised by Slately's actions is still an interesting one. He has promoted Tram, likely out of Duty, as he sees that Tram is best suited to lead Jetstone. Slately's clear duty is to choose the most effective Chief Warlord that he can. Tram was not chosen for his bonus, nor for his fighting prowess. He was chosen by the new Parson paradigm. His job is to make smart decisions and give good orders.

Now Slately is disobeying Tram's orders, indicating that his Duty is telling him that he knows what should be done better than Tram does. So, the question is begged. Which is it? Is Tram CWL for his bonus, or for his brains?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby cheeseaholic » Sun May 15, 2011 2:05 pm

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F084a.jpg

Obedience is being compelled to obey orders. Low Obedience may thus lead to disobeying orders, such as Benny disobeying Don.

Loyalty is how likely someone is to betray or double-deal. Wanda and Don's courtiers would be good examples of low Loyalty. The courtiers who didn't croak turned, and Wanda certainly did some double-dealing.

Duty requires initiative. Ossomer has low Duty, since he isn't trying to prevent while Parson has high Duty, since he couldn't order his casters into the MK without blowing up a volcano first.


Rereading that update, it appears that there are other Natural Thinkamancies that aren't listed, so there's going to be some unknowns going on and more interactions. Perhaps Ruthlessness, Nobility, Love, or some inborn desire for violence. But I don't think that we have any solid proof for anything, even if there's some evidence. Could be used to make some nice tinfoil hat theories though.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby ryanroyce » Sun May 15, 2011 8:28 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:Loyalty is how likely someone is to betray or double-deal. Wanda and Don's courtiers would be good examples of low Loyalty. The courtiers who didn't croak turned, and Wanda certainly did some double-dealing.

Duty requires initiative. Ossomer has low Duty, since he isn't trying to prevent while Parson has high Duty, since he couldn't order his casters into the MK without blowing up a volcano first.

Rereading that update, it appears that there are other Natural Thinkamancies that aren't listed, so there's going to be some unknowns going on and more interactions. Perhaps Ruthlessness, Nobility, Love, or some inborn desire for violence. But I don't think that we have any solid proof for anything, even if there's some evidence. Could be used to make some nice tinfoil hat theories though.

I am of the opinion that there is no actual Loyalty stat (hence it being unknowable), but Erfworlders treat the concept as a Stat or a Natural Thinkamancy because framing it in such a way helps them comprehend it. Love is kinda the same way. They ask "what kind of Stat is Love?" without realizing the assumption inherent to such a question.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Masennus » Sun May 15, 2011 9:07 pm

Thanks for the link. As I look at that, I'm thinking that Duty and Obedience aren't stats at all. They are described like Natural Thinkamancy effects.

I don't think we could have Warlord A with Obedience 1 and Warlord B with Obedience 7. I read that to mean that every unit is programmed with the Obedience Natural Thinkamancy special (since it's universal it isn't listed in unit stats.) The special automatically functions when they are given orders by their superiors. An order comes in, and because of Obedience the unit is given two options: obey or disband. It seems the disband function can be overridden by some strong Justification, which I'm facetiously capitalizing. From story moments I'd guess that units don't always know if their Justification is strong enough. An interesting example is when Parson ignores the order to manage the city because he doesn't know how it works. His Justification was sufficiently powerful, apparently.

I interpret that definition of Duty as an effect too. It has a stronger effect on Warlords based on their rank, not their personality, or some innate stat. Duty is just a thing that Commanders do, because they're Commanders. I am no longer thinking that Duty has anything to do with ignoring orders. Rather, I'm now interpreting Duty as what allows Commanders to act without orders. It almost sounds like Duty is the special which allows them to not simply auto-attack, among other things.

Perhaps Ossomer would act, if he were still Chief Warlord, since Duty would act on him more strongly. Maybe there's a Depression or Disillusionment or Existential Crisis Natural Thinkamancy that dampens other Thinkamancy compulsions.

Slately doesn't seem to be worried about disbanding. Maybe he's just musing that it's funny he's been given an order at all, since Obedience only works up the chain of command. All of my wondering was just tinfoil hattery!
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Fabo » Sun May 15, 2011 10:23 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:Loyalty is how likely someone is to betray or double-deal. Wanda and Don's courtiers would be good examples of low Loyalty. The courtiers who didn't croak turned, and Wanda certainly did some double-dealing.


I can not recall where it was that Dons courtiers were not loyal to him, but I feel compelled to point out, that while Wanda isnt too loyal to Stanley according to your observations, there seems no reason she should be, as she repeatedly stated that she was loyal to Fate. For what is it worth, I believe, that Wanda might conclude, that as long as she has her Arkentool, she can just leave Stanley be, and, for example, flee to Faq and join Jillian.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon May 16, 2011 7:28 am

abb3w wrote:Or more exactly: if the side doesn't have a leader who tends to make choices that result in the side continuing to exist, the side tends to discontinue existing.


Yeah, pretty much that is the basis for the is-ought bridge, despite

abb3w wrote:whether such persistence is "good" is at least potentially debatable if you find an annoying enough philosopher


yeah, anything can be questioned. At some point though it just gets either silly, or rather inconsequential. The silliness coming from a philosophical tendency to expect things like a potential is/ought bridge to function regardless of conditions/context (and when said bridge inevitably fails, it is deemed to have not ever been a proper bridge at all).

abb3w wrote:there's a small can of worms shaped like the Ship of Theseus hiding there


Truly a small can, yes ;)


abb3w wrote:...mass producing those {goggles} WOULD have interesting impact on RealWorld politics, wouldn't it?


Only if you put them on.

Put on the goggles, abb3w!

MarbitChow wrote:
Raza wrote:Sorry; anarchist here. Positions of great (or any) power are something to be avoided in any ethically structured society, AFAIC. {snip}


As with any solution, the Anarchist solution is elegant, simple, and wrong. {snip} it requires that 100% of the world will behave the way 1% wishes it would.


Nice short, sharp exchange this.

I41 have a lot of sympathy for Alan Moore and his anarchism, but even he must admit in his heart of hearts that we need an "administration". You can take care of your own house (and should), but you alone cannot, for example, maintain a public transport system.

There's many things in our modern world that require a lot of people to coordinate themselves and deliver a service that we may live without, but really why bother? Good schools, public transport, health care, trash collection, (and though sometimes controversial) defense, insurance, banks ... These things require leadership, and leadership requires some kind of authority/power to be bestowed upon the leader.

Hiai wrote:{I am bemused that} anyone would have the temerity to bring up abstract political concepts in reference to Erf's power struggles.

Not, mind you, that they are not applicable...merely that they are so blatant and obvious to all, I wouldn't consider them worthy of debate at all. Rob's points are much more subtle than that, so discussing the nature of nobility/royalty and whether it is justified sort of misses the whole point of the contrast he draws.


Ok. Then what would YOU have us discuss? I saw some bait ("natural leadership", "anarchy") and bit, now what's that you're putting forth? Specifically, what are the subtle points that you would rather have us discuss?

gameboy1234 wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:Then wouldn't you agree that debating whether Erfworld is a game or not is kind of a nitpick and inconsequential to CaptC's point



I don't think so, no, it's not picking at nits. Rob was pretty specific about that, and I think it going to be important plot-wise. I think it's going to be super-duper important, actually, so we all should keep in mind if we want to follow along and understand what's going on.


Look, CaptC's point stands whether Erfworld is a "game" or a "story in a game-like world". So call what you did what you will, I'll call it nitpick, and we'll both live on peacefully in our bubbles.

ftl wrote:"royalty" tends to mean more than just "a leadership position" - it means a leadership position which is inherited by birth. I wouldn't argue that groups need leaders, but I am not at all convinced that said leadership needs to be hereditary.


Especially with all that in-breeding going on.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby fehler » Mon May 16, 2011 9:41 am

I'm just happy that Don King's weeping reply wasn't stretched out to its own update. And now that their narrative purpose is done, hopefully we won't see Translvyto until they survey the smoking ruins of what was left of Spacerock.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby the_tick_rules » Mon May 16, 2011 1:00 pm

who says that talk won't happen from the point of view of someone watching them?
I would be a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
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