Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Abnaxis » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:11 pm

Denar wrote:Why were they all glowing red? Has Charlie managed to learn from studying the captured Archon how to make his own Decrypted units, using some weird carnymancy with his Arkentool?

EDIT: After all, he's managed to mimic the effects of a certain pair of red ArkenShoes into a scroll...

If so, he now has his own, upkeep-less army (which would have huge ramifications for the rest of the world - Charlie does all the mercenary work to support the cost of having only Archons on his side - what wouuld he do afterwards?) which is immune to decryption by GK, so Wanda won't get her wish of getting any more.

Or are a higher tier of Archon, the "elite" guard that Charlie used to have around himself, that he's begun popping in huge quantities getting ready for this?

Or maybe it was a little continuity error.


Dude! Duuuude...

I was kind of surprised at the red archons in the image before I came to this thread, thinking they look Decrypted but "it must have been an art choice." I completely forgot about the scroll.

If he's able to duplicate the effects of the arkenshoes and the arkenpliers, Charlie doesn't only have a massive decrypted archon army--he has a massive decrypted archon army with infinite move.

:shock:
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Kaed » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:18 pm

Abnaxis wrote:
Denar wrote:Why were they all glowing red? Has Charlie managed to learn from studying the captured Archon how to make his own Decrypted units, using some weird carnymancy with his Arkentool?

EDIT: After all, he's managed to mimic the effects of a certain pair of red ArkenShoes into a scroll...

If so, he now has his own, upkeep-less army (which would have huge ramifications for the rest of the world - Charlie does all the mercenary work to support the cost of having only Archons on his side - what wouuld he do afterwards?) which is immune to decryption by GK, so Wanda won't get her wish of getting any more.

Or are a higher tier of Archon, the "elite" guard that Charlie used to have around himself, that he's begun popping in huge quantities getting ready for this?

Or maybe it was a little continuity error.


Dude! Duuuude...

I was kind of surprised at the red archons in the image before I came to this thread, thinking they look Decrypted but "it must have been an art choice." I completely forgot about the scroll.

If he's able to duplicate the effects of the arkenshoes and the arkenpliers, Charlie doesn't only have a massive decrypted archon army--he has a massive decrypted archon army with infinite move.

:shock:


Oh my god, so many no's I have to this.

He did not 'duplicate the effects' of ANY arkentool, it's well established that NO ONE MORTAL CAN. In fact, that scroll didn't even do the same thing as the Shoes, it was simply based loosely off the concept - the Shoes send you 'home'. The scroll breaks the summon spell and returns Parson to his previous world. I'm not sure Parson even actually considers Earth to be his home entirely anymore. The scroll is not giving him a choice of where to go based on his feelings, it is simply undoing the work of another spell.
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Krennson » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:21 pm

my first reaction on seeing the last image of that update was total suprise, fear, and total awe at the powers Charlie will unleash on this world.


I think everyone on this thread is underestimating the effect of what we just saw.

Look at it this way: remember every possible toy people have wanted to to see parson invent? And every possible theory about how parson can use that toy to alter the balance of power? We now have clear evidence that Charlie has been secretly developing and stockpiling exactly those toys for DECADES, and they will probably work almost as well as we had hoped for.

From that final image, they have synthetic stock rifles, m16-style sight apertures, and multi-barrel anti-aircraft guns. if we assume that Charlie created those toys while in links with other casters, using images he was familiar with from earth, that means that Charlie has memories of earth as recent as 1960.

And looking at those rifles, they clearly have magazine wells designed to host detachable box magazines.

From this update: http://www.erfworld.com/summer-update-2 ... ration.png , we know that charlie frequently hires casters from the magic kingdom for specific work, and has an excellent reputation there.

We also know that Charlie has 'Golems of various types, mostly cloth". And that the Archons who spoke to Parson apparently did NOT know about a massive stock of dollamancy items such as rifles or AA-guns, or they would have told him that. Which means Charley has been keeping very large secrets from his own archons.


Put it together, and we begin to see a VERY big problem.
Figure that the projectile from any crew-served weapon is equivalent to a magic blast. And based on King Slately's final air duel with the archons above jetstone, projectiles from personal weapons CAN be equivalent to low-level magic blasts, if they're designed that way.

I think we have to assume that every round of ammunition possessed by Charlie contains some form of magic 'juice', and has corresponding advantages in power, accuracy, or both.

The fundamental advantage of detachable magazines is that they are a STOCKABLE, DISPOSABLE, and EXCHANGABLE method to STORE ENERGY. Previously, casters were limited in what juice they could bring to a battlefield. individual casters had their personal juice for a turn, and that was it. Turnamancers could use two turns of juice at once. City towers could store multi-turn juice to use in air defense, but those were fixed defenses, and since casters weren't required to always spend leftover juice on strengthening the tower, there was probably an upper limit on how much juice a tower could hold.

Now, with detachable magazines, a single archon can theoretically fire a hundred turn's worth of juice in a single engagement. And if those firearms grant the archery special, she can probably fire across hexes.


At this point, I'm willing to argue that Charlie has almost certainly been hiring dollamancers and dirtamancers every day he could afford them, for at least a decade. He's probably been binding them to confidentiality agreements, then having them craft enough weapons to outfit his entire force... plus ammo. Decades of ammo. rechargable, transportable, exchangable, and storable ammo. Ammo bunkers that can store a thousand turn's worth of juice from a dollamancer, and be shipped to any combat front when needed.

Charlie could very easily have tanks, made from linkups with shockamancers+Dollamancers, with those same ammo advantages. He might have invented FUEL, allowing for unheard of ranges for self-propelled vehicles.

I'd say Parson is about to go from early-renaissance warfare to at LEAST WW1 warfare, in under a month. The existence of a fuel and ammo supply train could easily be an advantage sufficient to defeat wanda's decryption abilities. Anyone wanda turns is limited to whatever fuel and ammunition they were carrying when they were defeated: they instantly lose access to the supply train charlie has built up.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby the_tick_rules » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:22 pm

I dunno how scary the archon's are gonna be anymore really. Jetstone, despite their heavy losses, took it to them pretty good in the air battle. Or is this the classic the uber baddie once it joins your side ain't so uber anymore?
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Jatopian » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:23 pm

Tanaar wrote:I've been with you since Manpower tasted key lime pie, and this was one of my absolute favorite updates. The people who are saying that it would have been as good or better in standard format are straight up wrong. DO NOT post the text-and-pictures version to the front page or the main archive. Have it linked under the video, for sure, but the video is the exact right way to view this.
Please stop. The people saying they like videos are one thing - some people like videos, even with jarring sound effects and the same voice for different characters. Maybe they're not fast readers or whatever. And that's fine. I hope this two-format experiment makes them happy.

But to purposefully encourage making text and imagery still format the barely-supported second-class option, on a site that already has some web design issues with navigation? That's too far. That's a slap in the face to lots of people, from most mobile users, to the unfortunate rural folks stuck with dial-up, to the people who just want to read things in their own time rather than letting someone else set the size of their contiguous time commitments. Image and text formats just work better for more people most of the time.

As for effect, all this really needs to work in still format is to split it in two pages. Have the ending image be a pretty good sized splash page unto itself, so the size paired with content achieves a similar "whoa" effect to the pan-out-with-ominous-music.

And I too have been a reader since the beginning, if that's something we wave around these days like it makes us authoritative.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby shamelessmerc » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:32 pm

Tanaar wrote:@Balder and team: ignore the haters who have been trashing the video format of 25. Half of them straight-up admitted that they didn't bother viewing it as intended.


I want to make one thing ABSOLUTELY clear.

NO ONE IS HATING ON THE VIDEO FORMAT

No one.

We are objecting to having the option of reading taken away from us.

If you love the videos, fine, I'm happy for you, and I'm happy for all the other people that are loving the videos. And I'm happy for Rob to keep making them.

Just have a little consideration for those of us that still prefer to read, and let us enjoy the format that WE love.

To make an analogy: it's as if someone stole my favourite book, and replaced it with a DVD of the film version, and when I complain about my book being gone, you are all like: "Whoa man! What's with the hate for the movie? Hatrz gonna hate I suppose... trolololo..".

I don't mind having the film, I just want the book AS WELL.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby shamelessmerc » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:34 pm

Jatopian wrote:And I too have been a reader since the beginning, if that's something we wave around these days like it makes us authoritative.


To be fair to Tanaar, that was my fault, I started that.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby multilis » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:39 pm

Jatopian wrote:Please stop.

If it is not something nasty then I don't think "please stop" is appropriate. Everyone should feel free to give their opinions. (I personally tend to prefer writing and pictures to video, but think good to hear how many like each option and how everyone wants comic presented in future)

...

As far as power of guns, too much is unknown to judge. But archons were already deadly... fast move, flyers, ranged attack on ground troops. That means they can swarm in, kill the ranged guys on ground, then take their time mopping up the rest with no return fire possible, only attacking whatever areas are easy kills for them.

Enemy can't cost effectively defend everything against a large army so whatever is not defended Charlie can come in and raze.

Charlie now has much larger than 200 archon army at home, so looks like he is about to play total war.

(In games, once I get a few stacks of flying units with ranged attack, tends to be game over for stupid AI opponents with large armies, so easy to hit and run wipe them out, end turn on mountain, over water, etc so he can't strike back with enough force. In contrast, when AI has stacks of flying units is scary, very hard to catch them as ground based ranged units tend to be slower)
Last edited by multilis on Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Kaed » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:42 pm

shamelessmerc wrote:
Jatopian wrote:And I too have been a reader since the beginning, if that's something we wave around these days like it makes us authoritative.


To be fair to Tanaar, that was my fault, I started that.


I've been reading Erfworld since I started breaking into Rob's house to read his concept notes before he even met Jamie and started book one. :ugeek:

I mean. uh....
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby IronBear » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:48 pm

Tanaar wrote:@Balder and team: ignore the haters who have been trashing the video format of 25. Half of them straight-up admitted that they didn't bother viewing it as intended.

I've been with you since Manpower tasted key lime pie, and this was one of my absolute favorite updates. The people who are saying that it would have been as good or better in standard format are straight up wrong. DO NOT post the text-and-pictures version to the front page or the main archive. Have it linked under the video, for sure, but the video is the exact right way to view this.

That said, video was exactly the wrong way to view most of the other Epilogue updates. Deadpan worked for the eye book communication, and zooming out from the courtyard of Charlie's Erf-bound Death Star gave me chills. It didn't work for any of the other updates, except maybe the mental Thinkamancer conversations.

Eager for the next book


I like the video also. I also think you handled the video so as to maximize impact. There is no way an all-at-once comic page or text could have delivered that impact.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby shamelessmerc » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:49 pm

Kaed wrote:I've been reading Erfworld since I started breaking into Rob's house to read his concept notes before he even met Jamie and started book one. :ugeek:

I mean. uh....


Lol!

That has improved a miserable day quite a lot :-)
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Althernai » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:09 pm

No one in particular wrote:
Spoiler: show
Charlie knows about a world outside of Erf. He knows about a world where there are no Turns, no Duty, no RULES... and he wants to be a part of it.

Charlie wants off the Game Grid. Charlie wants OUT.

Why conquer Erfworld when he can conquer Stupidworld?

I very much doubt it. Earth has rules, it's just not the same rules. For example, a significant part of warfare is just keeping your army fed (unlike Erfworld where money is converted directly to rations for every unit). Other examples are the need for medical technology (no fully healing every day at dawn here) and for propaganda for the rank and file (the replacement of Duty and Loyalty). And he doesn't have nearly enough units -- even the original RCC (which was believed to be massive) had fewer than 10000 units, most of them probably low-level infantry. The scale of Earth is much greater than that of Erfworld.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Abnaxis » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:15 pm

Kaed wrote:Oh my god, so many no's I have to this.

He did not 'duplicate the effects' of ANY arkentool, it's well established that NO ONE MORTAL CAN. In fact, that scroll didn't even do the same thing as the Shoes, it was simply based loosely off the concept - the Shoes send you 'home'. The scroll breaks the summon spell and returns Parson to his previous world. I'm not sure Parson even actually considers Earth to be his home entirely anymore. The scroll is not giving him a choice of where to go based on his feelings, it is simply undoing the work of another spell.


No mortal could bring back Decrypted either, until Wanda could. It's pretty well established that there are ways for mortals to get around the "no mortal has the capability to do this" limitations on Erf, and Charlie is definitely capable of things that most other mortals cannot comprehend.

Maybe Charlie has a Tool that can do it. Maybe the Arkendish isn't actually be the Arkentool he is attuned to, he just uses his own Tool to ape the Dish's abilities. I always thought it was weird for a Carny to attune to what is clearly a Thinkamancy artifact anyway.

Whatever capabilities Charlie has, they are massive. Massive enough to strike fear into the Great Minds, and for the entire plot that brought about Parson's summoning to be hatched. Massive enough that the Great Minds debate on whether having two Arkentools attuned on the same side is going too far or not far enough to bring Charlie down.

Between the red archons and the return home scroll, that's twice we've seen something that might, maybe draw a connection between the other Arkentools and Charlie. Charlie with access to multiple Arkentool powers ranks at about the right scale of massive.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby splexis » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:19 pm

Nargrakhan wrote:I hate the video updates with an extreme passion, and it's never been an issue until now because it was always optional. You've made it mandatory until the non-video post.


You mean you have to wait to read an update to a free as in beer web comic, that you would otherwise have to… um… wait for anyway? Boo hoo!

Why should people who enjoy the video format of this update have to wait for a format you find enjoyable?
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Lamech » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:26 pm

cheeseaholic wrote:
Are they practicing with the guns to get used to them, or for normal training xp? I've never been able to figure out if practice is helpful for combat outside of xp.

I believe Wanda mentioning in the early books that she wished she practiced more with the staff. If that has any affect beyond making her more self-assured we don't know. We also heard about classes of knights and training up to knight hood. That seems like its different from levels and more like caster classes. We also know Stanley is going to try practicing with the Arkenhammer to get better at it. On the other hand Slately had no problem using his gun from the start.

So I think there is some effect, if only on morale. And it might allow getting something that isn't technically a level, but is a similar form of improvement.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby TomFoolery » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:38 pm

Abnaxis wrote:
Kaed wrote:Oh my god, so many no's I have to this.

He did not 'duplicate the effects' of ANY arkentool, it's well established that NO ONE MORTAL CAN. In fact, that scroll didn't even do the same thing as the Shoes, it was simply based loosely off the concept - the Shoes send you 'home'. The scroll breaks the summon spell and returns Parson to his previous world. I'm not sure Parson even actually considers Earth to be his home entirely anymore. The scroll is not giving him a choice of where to go based on his feelings, it is simply undoing the work of another spell.


No mortal could bring back Decrypted either, until Wanda could. It's pretty well established that there are ways for mortals to get around the "no mortal has the capability to do this" limitations on Erf, and Charlie is definitely capable of things that most other mortals cannot comprehend.

Well... she could with the use of an attuned Arkentool... I'm not sure this is really the soundest counter argument for Kaed's point. Besides, everything we know about the scroll points to it being a dispel rather than acting like the shoes; as far as we know, only the consequences of "dispelling" Parson are unknown.

Maybe Charlie has a Tool that can do it. Maybe the Arkendish isn't actually be the Arkentool he is attuned to, he just uses his own Tool to ape the Dish's abilities. I always thought it was weird for a Carny to attune to what is clearly a Thinkamancy artifact anyway.

I'm not sure it's so weird. The Great Minds stated that they had debated Charlie's casting type, so even with their intimate knowledge of magic it's clearly not so cut-and-dry. Additionally, Stagemancy and Eyemancy overlap quite a bit, and Carnymancy and Thinkamancy are both on the Fate axis, so Carnymancy may not be that far off from Thinkamancy to begin with (and might explain why some Thinkamancers hate it). Also Stanely, as a non-magical warlord, was able to attune to the hammer so an Arkentool's attuned powers don't necessarily have to mesh up with user's natural/innate abilities or type.

Edit: and despite how cool it would be to have a tool that conquers tools, one would think Charlie would have made more of an attempt to capture the Hammer from Stanely or even the Pliers (while Jetstone bandied them about unattuned) if that was the case.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby youngstormlord » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:48 pm

Holly boop, that's a lot of archons. All of them shining red and all of them armed. And there are AA guns too! Wow, Charlie, you're one scarry carny!
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby gadorcha » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:59 pm

Nice closing. I liked the video format this time, it was appropriate and well done.

So Charlie gets his "you would be dead if it wasn't for me" card to play on Tramennis, since Parson would have totally wrecked Jetstone without Faq's spell. Not much happening after that aside from Charlie threatening Parson.
The final image is awesome and promises a lot. Did anyone else notice the two archons firing at a disc shot by a third?

I love this, and now I'm sad I have to wait to know how it continues.
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby Falcon X » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:11 pm

Hey, long time lurker. Glad to join the convo.

So, what if Charlie is still just an Illusionist. Like in the Wizard of Oz, Charlie isn't a Carnymancer. That's just his Signamancy. But much like Parson, he gained magic-like abilities (mathamancy bracer). Once he had REAL power, he used it and abused it.

But what if he STILL thinks the same way he used to. What if he is preparing a big giant illusion of a head for Parson (or the world) to get scared by. What if he knows exactly what will scare Parson the most, and is creating it, or at least the illusion of it.

Now, Parson's signamancy is that of a cliche RPG game master. So what would terrify a game master?
I think it's Stupidworld. GMs love having a world they control. It's safe.
Just by showing Parson that he has guns, Charlie has Parson thinking that he has access to the outside world.

Obviously that would only be part of the master plan...
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Re: Epilogue 25 - Parson and Charlie

Postby TomFoolery » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:55 pm

Falcon X wrote:Charlie has Parson thinking that he has access to the outside world.


This is actually a neat idea because we know he does, at least kinda-sorta.

Charlie has a lot of knowledge about other worlds, and he's certainly familiar with Parson's slang and memes in a way no other Erfworlder is. Charlie may have been from Parson's world or a world like it, which would be one way he has "access" to that world. But what I think is more likely from what we know of him is that he has a kind of access through the summoning spell that he himself created.

His spell summoned Judy earlier, and Charlie was allied with Judy's side to begin with. It would seem just like Charlie to spend a good deal of time questioning her about her world, and as we've seen from book 0, he can even enter peoples minds and directly tinker with their memories and experiences. It's also Charlie's spell, so I wouldn't be shocked to hear that he's been summoning warlords in secret this whole time (and dismissing them later); after all, wouldn't it sound like Charlie to want to learn about the worlds all these "perfect warlords" are coming from? We also know from book 0 that shortly after the (first) summoning, Charlie gave up interest in "traditional" Erf-world war.

So I think I take a view opposite of some of the posters. I don't think Charlie is planning to get out to Stupidworld or invade it. What if Charlie is bringing parts of it to Erf? If Charlie can make the spell to summon warlords, surely it's believable that he could tweak it summon armaments from their worlds too. I wonder what happens when you equip your army of Archons with modern Stupidworld military gear?
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