Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby ftl » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:55 pm

Was Transylvito around before FAQ? I thought that FAQ was the oldest side we know of besides Charlescomm. Maybe TV too then.

Pretty sure not Jestone; I think Jetstone would have to be a post-haffaton side, not pre-haffaton?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby El_Chupacabra » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:56 pm

multilis wrote:"In Erf, we lack a mechanic that would allow a "level restart""

Do we? If it was restarted, those involved would not know of previous runs.

Possible fate simple rewinds the game to a save point as soon as goals are not met. I do that if playing a game and a key character dies that will be needed later.


Hm.. I would think there would be evidence -- much like the "Deja Vu" in the Matrix movies. Rob may at one point hint at that, but I've not seen that.

Also, that might be workable in a scenario where it's conceivable to "reload the turn". But what about scenarios where your decision that causes a "Fated" to fail occurred dozens of turns ago? Think of early adventure games where you had to have an item from real early on in the game and there was no way to go pick up the item after a dozen turns or so -- Occam's Razor would suggest that it's simply easier to tweak Luckomancy to "Fudge Rolls" rather than roll back a thousand turns.

Real-Erf Scenario: Assume Stanley was fated to get the Arkenhammer, but Saline made some extremely bad tactical decisions as well -- sent Stanley to fight Charlie, for example, and wasted a lot of his forces and treasury in doing so and delaying Stanley from finding the Arkenhammer until much later. Assuming all else went the same, except that Stanley lacked the funds from that earlier bad decision so no Perfect Warlord in time for the Battle for Gobwin Knob, in addition to having less forces for his retreat to Faq. Would it be easier to:

1: Have Luckomancy fudge rolls such that Stanley still escapes Transylvito, possibly barely? Then have Stanley survive until he rebuilds and summons Parson -- or have someone else summon Parson and eventually have Parson captured by Stanley/Wanda?
2. Restart the world about a hundred turns ago, when Saline was still King and could make better decisions?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby El_Chupacabra » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:22 pm

Hm... additional thoughts....

In StupidWorld, we have the ability to save a "state" on our drive -- so save game reloads are fairly trivial, even from turn 1. However, it would be a PITA to repeat from such an earlier state in the sense that you'd have to start over.

Paradoxically, a "Luckomancy fudge" rule would be technically easier for StupidWorld. However, plot armor would make most games lame as we'd just throw our "fated" in the front lines and watch as even nukes would be survivable and they could just "punch" the adversary to death. So that's why we have Save States in StupidWorld games as opposed to "Ok, General Jones must make it to next level so he can't die, and he must have the ability to kill, otherwise we could reach a state where General Jones is the only survivor and cannot hurt the enemy, therefore the level never ends."

In Erf, as long as we assume that Titans did create the world (ie, definite Gods as opposed to a mythology built around a very strange set of physics rules), and there is no "active" Titan intervention -- the world rules and Fate were pre-programmed and there is not someone out there with an active interest in the state of the system -- then a "rollback" option does not seem feasible, or nowhere near as feasible as a "Luckomancy Fudge" option where the physics of the world forces certain rolls onto the "Fated" when necessary and forces their bad rolls onto "non-fated".

We can suspect no Titan intervention active in the fact that this has been repeatedly described as "NOT a game, but a universe with physics strongly resembling StupidWorld Turn-Based Games". Ergo.... No Save states.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Glome » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:27 pm

El_Chupacabra wrote:Also, that might be workable in a scenario where it's conceivable to "reload the turn". But what about scenarios where your decision that causes a "Fated" to fail occurred dozens of turns ago? Think of early adventure games where you had to have an item from real early on in the game and there was no way to go pick up the item after a dozen turns or so -- Occam's Razor would suggest that it's simply easier to tweak Luckomancy to "Fudge Rolls" rather than roll back a thousand turns.

Real-Erf Scenario: Assume Stanley was fated to get the Arkenhammer, but Saline made some extremely bad tactical decisions as well -- sent Stanley to fight Charlie, for example, and wasted a lot of his forces and treasury in doing so and delaying Stanley from finding the Arkenhammer until much later. Assuming all else went the same, except that Stanley lacked the funds from that earlier bad decision so no Perfect Warlord in time for the Battle for Gobwin Knob, in addition to having less forces for his retreat to Faq. Would it be easier to:

1: Have Luckomancy fudge rolls such that Stanley still escapes Transylvito, possibly barely? Then have Stanley survive until he rebuilds and summons Parson -- or have someone else summon Parson and eventually have Parson captured by Stanley/Wanda?
2. Restart the world about a hundred turns ago, when Saline was still King and could make better decisions?


I know you are just using this as an example against save points, but the real answer to that scenario is that there was a conspiracy of different groups working together to bring Parson (or the perfect warlord) into Erfworld. One of those groups were predictamancers. If Parson's fate is intertwined with Wanda/Stanley, then the predictamancers would have made that prediction come to pass the easiest way they could, even if it meant that the summoned spell ended up being payed for by a "mysterious benefactor". And when Stanley fled to Faq with less forces, Translyvito might have sent less forces to capture figuring Stanley wasn't much of a threat. Anyway, the point is that even before accounting for luckamancy, changes in how people respond to differing events can still lead you to the same fate.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby El_Chupacabra » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:36 pm

Glome wrote:
El_Chupacabra wrote:Also, that might be workable in a scenario where it's conceivable to "reload the turn". But what about scenarios where your decision that causes a "Fated" to fail occurred dozens of turns ago? Think of early adventure games where you had to have an item from real early on in the game and there was no way to go pick up the item after a dozen turns or so -- Occam's Razor would suggest that it's simply easier to tweak Luckomancy to "Fudge Rolls" rather than roll back a thousand turns.

Real-Erf Scenario: Assume Stanley was fated to get the Arkenhammer, but Saline made some extremely bad tactical decisions as well -- sent Stanley to fight Charlie, for example, and wasted a lot of his forces and treasury in doing so and delaying Stanley from finding the Arkenhammer until much later. Assuming all else went the same, except that Stanley lacked the funds from that earlier bad decision so no Perfect Warlord in time for the Battle for Gobwin Knob, in addition to having less forces for his retreat to Faq. Would it be easier to:

1: Have Luckomancy fudge rolls such that Stanley still escapes Transylvito, possibly barely? Then have Stanley survive until he rebuilds and summons Parson -- or have someone else summon Parson and eventually have Parson captured by Stanley/Wanda?
2. Restart the world about a hundred turns ago, when Saline was still King and could make better decisions?


I know you are just using this as an example against save points, but the real answer to that scenario is that there was a conspiracy of different groups working together to bring Parson (or the perfect warlord) into Erfworld. One of those groups were predictamancers. If Parson's fate is intertwined with Wanda/Stanley, then the predictamancers would have made that prediction come to pass the easiest way they could, even if it meant that the summoned spell ended up being payed for by a "mysterious benefactor". And when Stanley fled to Faq with less forces, Translyvito might have sent less forces to capture figuring Stanley wasn't much of a threat. Anyway, the point is that even before accounting for luckamancy, changes in how people respond to differing events can still lead you to the same fate.


Agreed -- couldn't think of a better example off the top of my head. Or at least that example would have to have some serious incompetence from the Conspirators, or some serious intervention from Charlie that blocked their efforts.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby arkerpay » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:46 pm

Zeku wrote:Predictamancy is so hokey, it's my least favorite aspect of Erfworld. Once predictamancy has manifested itself, it destroys anyone who strays from it's path, like an iron maiden.

At the same time, it's exactly the kind of uncompromising storytelling I've come to expect and enjoy from Erfworld. Just as we get caught into seemingly unbreakable ruts in life, the same thing happens in Erf, just in a slightly more magical way.

With that having been said, I want Parson to annihilate predictamancy. I want a TPK on predictamancy. I want him to break the back of whatever force believes itself to be inevitable.


The way you do that is create a situation that makes two predictamancy predictions mutually exclusive. If only one prediction can be right, then predictamancy fails. It can be defeated like a semi-damaged alien computer or Harvey's fembots; Parson needs to channel his inner Captain Kirk!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Jinren » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:57 pm

Zeku wrote:If only one prediction can be right, then predictamancy fails.


Or it's the higher-level predictamancer that gets to be right.

After all, if a character is (bear with me, I'm not up to date on my casting theory) wearing enchanted armour that resists magic damage, that wouldn't invalidate the entire discipline of Shockamancy. It would merely mean that the caster's not powerful enough to get the job done.

Otherwise predictamancy would have a 0% failure rate, which... I guess is possible? But seems inconsistent. Regular spells have variable quality and can fail (http://www.erfworld.com/2011/12/inner-p ... isode-018/ , probably not the best reference but it's there): since prediction doesn't seem to even involve doing very much it would be grossly overpowered if it also never failed.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Mogster2 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:53 pm

joosy wrote:
Mogster2 wrote:Heh, nice Hitchhiker's reference.


Zaphod's just this guy, you know? :)

Yeah, seems like Jillian could use a brain care specialist right about now. :shock:

elynne wrote:
goldenboy wrote:Also, I'm curious what a "cold turkey" would look like in this comic. Can't wait to see one! That also makes me wonder if we'll see another Beatle! It would be so fitting at the moment :D


Or four of them? And perhaps Wanda appearing in one of Jillian's "dreams" as a starry figure in the sky...

Lucy, you got some splainin' to do! (Or narrating, or expositing, or something.)
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby multilis » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:10 pm

Jinren wrote:
Zeku wrote:If only one prediction can be right, then predictamancy fails.


Or it's the higher-level predictamancer that gets to be right.

After all, if a character is (bear with me, I'm not up to date on my casting theory) wearing enchanted armour that resists magic damage, that wouldn't invalidate the entire discipline of Shockamancy. It would merely mean that the caster's not powerful enough to get the job done.

Otherwise predictamancy would have a 0% failure rate, which... I guess is possible? But seems inconsistent. Regular spells have variable quality and can fail (http://www.erfworld.com/2011/12/inner-p ... isode-018/ , probably not the best reference but it's there): since prediction doesn't seem to even involve doing very much it would be grossly overpowered if it also never failed.

It is possible that predictomancy has "variable quality " in usefulness. Example: A low level prediction is so vague that it doesn't help much, such as enemy will fire arrows in direction of your stack. A high level prediction would let you know which way to dodge the arrows.

So far the pliers seem to have a 0% failure rate at decrypting. In games some spells have 100% chance of success for example some buff spells.

I think it is case of not enough data to know yet, and our theories are no better than the casters theories in magic kingdom that aren't based on experimentation but only on what they want to believe.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby bladestorm » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:50 pm

ftl wrote:Was Transylvito around before FAQ? I thought that FAQ was the oldest side we know of besides Charlescomm. Maybe TV too then.

Pretty sure not Jestone; I think Jetstone would have to be a post-haffaton side, not pre-haffaton?

Jillian lied to Olive and said that Faq would have gone south to Transylvito. for Haffaton, that places a frame of reference for where Faq is. For us, the frame is for when TV was.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby bladestorm » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:53 pm

multilis wrote:
Jinren wrote:
Zeku wrote:If only one prediction can be right, then predictamancy fails.


Or it's the higher-level predictamancer that gets to be right.

After all, if a character is (bear with me, I'm not up to date on my casting theory) wearing enchanted armour that resists magic damage, that wouldn't invalidate the entire discipline of Shockamancy. It would merely mean that the caster's not powerful enough to get the job done.

Otherwise predictamancy would have a 0% failure rate, which... I guess is possible? But seems inconsistent. Regular spells have variable quality and can fail (http://www.erfworld.com/2011/12/inner-p ... isode-018/ , probably not the best reference but it's there): since prediction doesn't seem to even involve doing very much it would be grossly overpowered if it also never failed.

It is possible that predictomancy has "variable quality " in usefulness. Example: A low level prediction is so vague that it doesn't help much, such as enemy will fire arrows in direction of your stack. A high level prediction would let you know which way to dodge the arrows.

So far the pliers seem to have a 0% failure rate at decrypting. In games some spells have 100% chance of success for example some buff spells.

I think it is case of not enough data to know yet, and our theories are no better than the casters theories in magic kingdom that aren't based on experimentation but only on what they want to believe.

Or the required character failed to make it to the required portion of the plot, someone hit the do-over button, and predictamancers are able to see sideways into the previous plot, mistaking what happened last time as something that will happen in the future. Or maybe they just see the cut scenes where the graphics get much better, but all of the special mods you've done to the appearance of your characters gets undone for that scene.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby ftl » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:57 pm

Jinren wrote:
Zeku wrote:If only one prediction can be right, then predictamancy fails.


Or it's the higher-level predictamancer that gets to be right.

After all, if a character is (bear with me, I'm not up to date on my casting theory) wearing enchanted armour that resists magic damage, that wouldn't invalidate the entire discipline of Shockamancy. It would merely mean that the caster's not powerful enough to get the job done.

Otherwise predictamancy would have a 0% failure rate, which... I guess is possible? But seems inconsistent. Regular spells have variable quality and can fail (http://www.erfworld.com/2011/12/inner-p ... isode-018/ , probably not the best reference but it's there): since prediction doesn't seem to even involve doing very much it would be grossly overpowered if it also never failed.


So far all of predictamancy that we've seen is based on one thing - that which is Predicted WILL happen. That's been the case for every single prediction - if it's Predicted, it happens. How exactly it happens is up for grabs, but I doubt that as Predictamancers level up their predictions go up in "accuracy"; I just don't see what a predictamancer could possibly do if any prediction might turn out to have been wrong after all. I think predictamancy having a 100% success rate is the only thing that makes the discipline make sense!

I think it would make a lot more sense if, as predictamancers leveled up, their predictions could just get more specific (Level 1: "you will be ambushed." Level 5: "...by a stack of 8 Gobwins" , Level 10: "...and they will all be level 2, led by a level 3 Warlord with the Archery special"). Or maybe they get more control over their predictions (Level 1: "I Predict that a feral dwagon will pop 10 hexes south of us. What, you wanted to know about whether you'll be ambushed? Sorry, can't help." Level 5: "You want to know whether you'll be ambushed this turn? ...I Predict someone on our side will encounter a non-friendly unit. Can't tell you whether you'll be the one to have the encounter, though. " Level 10: "You want to know whether you'll be ambushed this turn? ...you will be ambushed, I Predict it. And here's the troop composition you'll run into."

bladestorm wrote:
ftl wrote:Was Transylvito around before FAQ? I thought that FAQ was the oldest side we know of besides Charlescomm. Maybe TV too then.

Pretty sure not Jestone; I think Jetstone would have to be a post-haffaton side, not pre-haffaton?

Jillian lied to Olive and said that Faq would have gone south to Transylvito. for Haffaton, that places a frame of reference for where Faq is. For us, the frame is for when TV was.


It still seems they'd have to be younger than FAQ - otherwise they'd know FAQ's location from before FAQ went hidden, right? Because I think I remember that FAQ "went hidden", it was before Jillian's time of course but she talks about it? But yeah, Transylvito's been around for a while.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Zeku » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:12 am

The narrative seems to imply that predictamancy is inherently lacking in all specificity. In fact, the one power the 'victim' of predictamancy has, is to alter the timing, nature, or precise form of the outcome. The only thing they can't alter is the outcome.

So a higher level predictamancer might be limited to seeing more types of Fates, or Fates further into the future. I don't personally how Fate can exist without an entity specifying what that Fate is, and the existence or absence of Titans has not been confirmed either way. This is why I believed for a long time that Predictamancers were choosing Fates, rather than perceiving them. Like Leto II or Paul Atreides, they desired a specific future, and were willing to twist events to reach that destination. But Erfworld doesn't seem to be heading in that direction, so it's Titans or ????

Of course, we know that the creators of the strip are the actual 'Titans,' but I was hoping that the explanation was a little more complex than this.

frei wrote:I don't totally get it. It seems like in a world where predictamancy is a real thing, people would have better adapted by now.



This seems very much like Stupidworld to me. The only people who 'believe' in Stupidworld Predictamancy here are those who are dissatisfied with the current rules of existence, and want some new rules that benefit them more, personally.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby ftl » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:46 am

Zeku wrote:The narrative seems to imply that predictamancy is inherently lacking in all specificity.


Not always. The obvious counterexample being FAQ's Predictamancy/Lookamancy/Foolamancy successfully keeping them secret - yes, Marie could Predict which city would need to be veiled and when. That's specifics.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Sieggy » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:02 am

You have to bear in mind that Predictamancy inherently contains elements of ambiguity and irony, else it lacks the Titanic humor and tragedy demanded of units who try to wriggle their way around it. The Python at Delphi was especially notorious for that . . . give you prophecies which you misinterpreted to your doom while the Gods laughed. Remember, fate is a fickle bitch with a nasty sense of humor.

You can argue mechanics all you like, but accepting or resisting your fate simply determines how many fingers you get up your bunghole.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby splintermute » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:28 am

The luck-fudging vs. world-resetting argument is interesting, except it's already been explicitly established that there is a type of magic that can operate as a reset button - one that only the Titans are allowed to wield. That's the whole point of retconjuration - the magic so powerful that it retconjured itself.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Vreejack » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:55 am

I do not believe that Erf goes through reloads if something goes off-track, but there is not really anything wrong with the idea if you assume that reloads are completely free of cost of any resources, especially time. What does it matter if time has to reset three thousand turns five billion times if nobody is watching the clock? The inhabitants of Erf do not notice. Only the Titans could care, and I am not sure they do.

On a different note, fate magic is very strange. Wanda once asked Delphie what would happen if she lept out of the window, and Delphie pointed out that she was not going to, which was true. But what if Wanda forced the issue? She would probably survive the fall, and perhaps someone else would run out of luck. What if she jumped into lava? Then I suspect she would find the arkenpliers there and would somehow decrypt herself. There was no way Delphie's Prediction was going to be circumvented. This is the only aspect of Erf that makes it unplayable as a table-top game.
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A Prediction is what would have happened had there been no Prediction. What is scary is that they are also what will happen in spite of the Prediction.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby gobe » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:01 am

ftl wrote:
Zeku wrote:The narrative seems to imply that predictamancy is inherently lacking in all specificity.


Not always. The obvious counterexample being FAQ's Predictamancy/Lookamancy/Foolamancy successfully keeping them secret - yes, Marie could Predict which city would need to be veiled and when. That's specifics.


Another obvious one is that Predictamancy can be used in combat, for very specific, down-to-erf, and immediate consequences.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Housellama » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:43 pm

Wanda wrote:Trust me. The box was the greater kindness.

Olive's a clever, evil woman. As much as Wanda knew about coercion, she is but an apprentice before the master. Once again Rob is proving to be scary in his knowledge of human nature and emotional manipulation. Loss aversion is the tendency of people to view losses more than gains. That's why pleasure is harder to resist than pain. The gain of painlessness is comparatively less valuable than the loss of enjoyment.

It's much the same with emotion. The loss of the small moments of tenderness in the aftermath of abuse weigh more heavily than the greater moments of the abuse itself. Sucker them in with pleasure and kindness. By the time they realize the true nature of things, the strings are tied on too tightly and there's nothing they can do but take the abuse and hope that they can get their fix one more time. Millions of pimps and dealers the world around can't be wrong...

You are frighteningly good with this sometimes, Rob.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 053

Postby Shai_hulud » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:17 pm

The Sky wrote:“You are thirsty,” said the pale sky. “I can see it in your body. I’ll get you some water.”

She can see inside her body. Does anyone suppose that's croakamancy? Sense current anatomical/biological state?
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