Digdoug - Episode 19

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Massively Disappointed ...

Postby Roszlishan » Sat May 10, 2014 1:46 pm

I have a great dislike for this sort of wrenching dislocation of narrative. One moment, DigDoug is heroically defending the Capital of Homekey, the next, he's in a Carnyvale wagon in the Magic Kingdom. I probably would have been less put out if Dove hadn't been present, and discovering how he (DigDoug) reached that point was a plot element -- but as it is, it just seems like the author decided that the transition was to difficult for him to show -- so he told it, instead. I believe that's untrue (perhaps I have a higher estimation of Rob's writing mojo than he does). Regardless, I could wish the text hadn't taken this shortcut.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Free Radical » Sat May 10, 2014 2:31 pm

kiyote wrote:We're assuming that Parson is saying that when a side falls, all field units immediately disband. Led units and commanders may disband at the start of the next turn, but with no side with a treasury, no purse, being off-turn and no move to forage, their outcome is probably pretty bleak, unless you a caster and the hex you're in is the Magic Kingdom.

According to Ossomer, disbanding of field units including commanders and casters isn't delayed until next turn.
Croaking Father in the tower would then cause Jetstone's field units to disband, and allow Ansom to advance Gobwin Knob's significant ground forces to defend the city against Haggar's column.

But it seemed a waste. A terrible waste. Nearly six thousand units would disband, including Prince Tramennis, three Casters, and forty-eight Warlords.

If they didn't disband this turn, their disbanding wouldn't "allow Ansom to advance Gobwin Knob's ground forces" this turn.

I think the only way it would be possible for field units to still exist when the side fell would be if there is a third possible state between Capital Side and Barbarian for the side to fall to - for instance, if Faq was acting as a Non-Capital Side during part of Book 0, and if capturing Homekey's capital but having the King escape would leave them still controlling the rest of their side (including field units) as a Non-Capital Side. Since that would close the portal to the magic kingdom, it would possibly even fit with DigDoug turning Barbarian.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ » Sat May 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Roszlishan wrote:
arkerpay wrote:A desperate barbarian caster in Digdoug's position could just take his chances and enter a portal. Better option than disbanding. I think most sides would welcome another caster, especially a Dirtamancer.


Oddly enough ... not so. Dirtamancers get respect in the Magic Kingdom -- but from what Rob's depicted with both Sizemore and DigDoug, not outside. Posbrake's attitude cannot be taken as common, simply because he was experimenting with so many other different conceptualizations; instead, consider Follywood's and Creen's attitude towards a dirtamancer -- trade him for a warlord, and dismissive in the extreme.

I'm not sure I understand the extreme prejudices towards certain casters ... it certainly isn't affected by their usefulness to their side.


Wouldn't it be great to see a Royal dirtamancer? Heir of his side and all that crap, but the lowest kind of caster... how would other character treat such a freakish contradiction?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Omnimancer » Sat May 10, 2014 3:40 pm

Roszlishan wrote:
arkerpay wrote:A desperate barbarian caster in Digdoug's position could just take his chances and enter a portal. Better option than disbanding. I think most sides would welcome another caster, especially a Dirtamancer.


Oddly enough ... not so. Dirtamancers get respect in the Magic Kingdom -- but from what Rob's depicted with both Sizemore and DigDoug, not outside. Posbrake's attitude cannot be taken as common, simply because he was experimenting with so many other different conceptualizations; instead, consider Follywood's and Creen's attitude towards a dirtamancer -- trade him for a warlord, and dismissive in the extreme.

I'm not sure I understand the extreme prejudices towards certain casters ... it certainly isn't affected by their usefulness to their side.


They were offended by him trading away his royal prince and heir. For a side that views creating heirs and continuing the chain of royalty as a titanic mandate, that's goes directly against everything they believe in. They would have been offended no matter what Posbrake traded his son for. It being a dirtamancer was just adding insult to injury.

So why do sides dislike Dirtamancers? I think there are a few reasons.

"Vertical" sides are less reliant on dirtamancers to improve their cities. The extra traps and defenses are nice, but aren't as important if you're going to spend money to level them up anyway. Posbrake absolutely needed a dirtamancer because he was upgrading his cities with magic instead of shmuckers.

Rulers have natural dirtamancy when they build and design cities. So in their mind, a dirtamancer may just be doing more of what they can already do themselves. Even if they acknowledge that a dirtamancer can do it better and cheaper, it might seem less useful than a caster that can do something nobody else can do. We've seen how powerful dirtamancy is, but rulers might prefer something like a foolamancer or healomancer that radically changes what your side is now capable of, as opposed to defense and production bonuses.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby arbo » Sat May 10, 2014 6:13 pm

╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:[...] a Royal dirtamancer? Heir of his side and all that crap [...]


Hehe. I see what you did, there.
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Re: Massively Disappointed ...

Postby Lilwik » Sat May 10, 2014 7:58 pm

Roszlishan wrote:One moment, Digdoug is heroically defending the Capital of Homekey, the next, he's in a Carnyvale wagon in the Magic Kingdom. I probably would have been less put out if Dove hadn't been present, and discovering how he (Digdoug) reached that point was a plot element -- but as it is, it just seems like the author decided that the transition was to difficult for him to show -- so he told it, instead.
Being an author requires endless decisions about what to show, what to tell, and what to ignore. In this case we weren't shown what happened to Digdoug after his fall for very good reasons. It improved the pace of the story by skipping over a tedious bit. Why would we want to see an unconscious Digdoug being carried through the portal and the hiring of the Healomancer? Surely no one would think it was an improvement if an episode had been wasted with that stuff.

What I want to know is what happened in Homekey after Digdoug went through the portal, but Rob Balder is clearly leaving us in the dark about that deliberately. This whole story is building mystery upon mystery. It started with the mystery of why Digdoug was recalled from Weatherbug. That one was resolved quickly, but it was just to ease us into the real mysteries and show us that Posbrake is a very need-to-know kind of ruler. What is Dove hiding about the nature of Carnymancy? Why did Posbrake agree to this plan that seems so terrible? And now, what happened to Homekey after Digdoug left? We keep missing important things because Digdoug is the focus of the story and he is left out of the loop. He arrives late to meetings and leaves early, and sometimes skips meetings completely. I'm sure this is a thoughtful choice to keep us guessing about what is really going on. If Posbrake were the story's protagonist, there would be no mystery.

There's a rumor that the next episode will be the final episode. I am terribly excited that it will be a huge revelation that explains everything, but at the same time I very afraid that Digdoug is one of those stories that creates mysteries without having any intention of ever revealing the answers.
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Re: Massively Disappointed ...

Postby Lipkin » Sat May 10, 2014 9:03 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Roszlishan wrote:One moment, Digdoug is heroically defending the Capital of Homekey, the next, he's in a Carnyvale wagon in the Magic Kingdom. I probably would have been less put out if Dove hadn't been present, and discovering how he (Digdoug) reached that point was a plot element -- but as it is, it just seems like the author decided that the transition was to difficult for him to show -- so he told it, instead.
Being an author requires endless decisions about what to show, what to tell, and what to ignore. In this case we weren't shown what happened to Digdoug after his fall for very good reasons. It improved the pace of the story by skipping over a tedious bit. Why would we want to see an unconscious Digdoug being carried through the portal and the hiring of the Healomancer? Surely no one would think it was an improvement if an episode had been wasted with that stuff.

What I want to know is what happened in Homekey after Digdoug went through the portal, but Rob Balder is clearly leaving us in the dark about that deliberately. This whole story is building mystery upon mystery. It started with the mystery of why Digdoug was recalled from Weatherbug. That one was resolved quickly, but it was just to ease us into the real mysteries and show us that Posbrake is a very need-to-know kind of ruler. What is Dove hiding about the nature of Carnymancy? Why did Posbrake agree to this plan that seems so terrible? And now, what happened to Homekey after Digdoug left? We keep missing important things because Digdoug is the focus of the story and he is left out of the loop. He arrives late to meetings and leaves early, and sometimes skips meetings completely. I'm sure this is a thoughtful choice to keep us guessing about what is really going on. If Posbrake were the story's protagonist, there would be no mystery.

There's a rumor that the next episode will be the final episode. I am terribly excited that it will be a huge revelation that explains everything, but at the same time I very afraid that Digdoug is one of those stories that creates mysteries without having any intention of ever revealing the answers.
This is only the end of Digdoug Part 1. The backer paid for another story of similar length. So even if this story ends with some mysteries, that doesn't mean they won't be answered.
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Re: Massively Disappointed ...

Postby Roszlishan » Sun May 11, 2014 3:37 am

Lilwik wrote:Being an author requires endless decisions about what to show, what to tell, and what to ignore. In this case we weren't shown what happened to Digdoug after his fall for very good reasons. It improved the pace of the story by skipping over a tedious bit. Why would we want to see an unconscious Digdoug being carried through the portal and the hiring of the Healomancer? Surely no one would think it was an improvement if an episode had been wasted with that stuff.


I don't understand this reasoning. We quite literally can't see that, as the POV character is DigDoug. Note that the POV characters absence or presence is an authorial decision, and what I object to is not any particular event, action, or story element, but what was to me (and was noted as a personal dislike) a disruption of the narrative flow sufficient to shake my interest in the story.

Lilwik wrote:What I want to know is what happened in Homekey after Digdoug went through the portal, but Rob Balder is clearly leaving us in the dark about that deliberately.


Given that Lady Dove narrates the events DigDoug missed ... I fail to see how we're "in the dark". At the very paranoid worst, there's a false light shed on them (and that is quite paranoid).

Lilwik wrote:This whole story is building mystery upon mystery...


This is entirely true, but it's not germane to my commentary; perhaps I did not phrase it well. The issue is not building mysteries, the issue is how the author resolved the cliffhanger. The problem is that it was shown as resolved without actually going through the process of resolution. As a reader, I feel cheated. Something the story buildup promised to me ... wasn't delivered.

Perhaps that's clearer. Perhaps not ...
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Dystopianman » Sun May 11, 2014 4:05 am

Charlie got paid to turn this into a no lose scenario. If the Carny plays her cards right, he'll even get a new contact with a freshly minted barbarian Dirtmancer who has some skill at traps as a bonus.

What a douchebag.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Suitesned » Sun May 11, 2014 4:20 am

I suspect this is the result of a betrayal by Bucky. We've seen examples of love getting in the way of duty. What if she could see that Dove would stay and likely become the Chief Caster and the Kings permanent lover and thought, "If I can't have him, no one can."
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Re: Massively Disappointed ...

Postby Lilwik » Sun May 11, 2014 4:32 am

Roszlishan wrote:Note that the POV characters absence or presence is an authorial decision
That's not true. The presence or absence of Digdoug in any situation is determined by Rob Balder, but not usually as a decision. Instead it is determined based on the nature of the situation and the previous events of the story. For example, Digdoug could never be on the front line of the battle fencing with Delkey stabbers. Digdoug is a caster, not a warlord, so even if he hadn't been incapacitated in the fall he would never have seen any more action because he doesn't know how to fight and has run out of golems. He would probably be sent to the dungeon to hide and wait for the battle to be resolved.

Roszlishan wrote:Given that Lady Dove narrates the events Digdoug missed ... I fail to see how we're "in the dark". At the very paranoid worst, there's a false light shed on them (and that is quite paranoid).
Unless Dove is hiding something, she doesn't know what happened any better than we do. The only things that are worth hearing about happened sometime after Dove left Homekey with Digdoug. The only way Dove could know what happened would be if she were part of making it happen, either as a conspirator or by magic.

I hope that Dove knows, because unless she can tell us I don't know how we could ever find out what happened.

Roszlishan wrote:The issue is not building mysteries, the issue is how the author resolved the cliffhanger. The problem is that it was shown as resolved without actually going through the process of resolution. As a reader, I feel cheated. Something the story buildup promised to me ... wasn't delivered.
It is premature to evaluate how the cliffhanger is resolved when we haven't yet seen its resolution. This episode seems to be a carefully calculated move to delay that resolution. Perhaps in the next episode we will somehow discover what happened to Homekey, and then we can fairly evaluate the resolution. Or perhaps Homekey's fate will be left hanging forever, in which case I will also feel cheated.

As things seem to be going, I can easily see us never finding out what happened to Homekey. This story could end with Digdoug finding a new life in the Magic Kingdom, and the next Digdoug story could be about one of his adventures there. There's going to need to be some sort of major twist if the answers to the mysteries of this story are ever going to be resolved. I have no reason to expect a twist based on the events of the story, but I seriously doubt that Rob Balder would allow this story to end without resolving at least some of the loose threads that he has left dangling.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby jeffseadot » Sun May 11, 2014 9:29 am

So it sounds like we're ruling out any sort of stagemancy as an explanation for this update?

Boop it, I'm putting all my rands on this being stagemancy. Or at the very least, a very complicated and twisty "think like a carnymancer" sort of plan. I've speculated in the past that a carny should be able to cast some sort of "this unit is now an heir" spell; I can still see that coming into play: Dove heirs Digdug, then they go to the old capitol and reclaim it for New Homekey. Digdug is ruler, Dove is Chief Carnymancer. I'd wager the city would be meagerly defended, since it's assumed that a) there is no further threat to this particular city and b) that there was no Homekey heir who would be inclined to make a move on it.

It's a long shot, but Posbrake loved him some long shots. And doing something as unprecedented and utterly crazy as letting himself get croaked, and letting his side fall, just so that a secret heir could reclaim it later is exactly the kind of desperate move I'd expect of him. Posbrake said the side exists to prove a point, and he seemed to have enough conviction in that idea to give his own life for it.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby spriteless » Sun May 11, 2014 12:07 pm

Huh. I should have figured this was a story about survivor's guilt after Alison Chains. The strategery was a red herring!
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Godzfirefly » Sun May 11, 2014 1:33 pm

jeffseadot wrote:So it sounds like we're ruling out any sort of stagemancy as an explanation for this update?


I think it is reasonable to say that the people in this forum never truly rule our stagemancy as an explanation for anything. But, after saying "it's all a trick" and throwing out a few reasons to believe a particular person might be performing the trick, it's hard to discuss stagemancy options. So, they tend to die down in a given thread after a few pages as we discuss tactics and options of the people who probably aren't using Stagemancy as their primary method of advancing their interests.

That said, lack of discussion does not equate to lack of belief.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Prodigial_Knight » Sun May 11, 2014 3:13 pm

Mithiwithi wrote:
Mithiwithi wrote:
Lipkin wrote:The only question is, how would they get the message to them? Charlie is all set to attack, I doubt he'd be accommodating.


Charlie has their own contract with Delkey, yes - "to assure an orderly transfer of power" - but how that affects Charlie's cost/benefit calculation depends vitally on what the terms of that contract are. And to sweeten the deal, Numloch still has the funds on hand for the bounty they have on Posbrake. And Charlie's broken a contract before, when he thinks he stands to gain more from it than paying out the forfeiture clause...

Incidentally, my scenario still includes plenty of fodder for character conflict. How do you think Digdoug is going to react when a representative from Numloch comes to offer him a job? How much would they tell him about why they wanted to hire him - and how much would he believe?


Ohh... I just had another thought. It's a bit far-fetched, but since my original speculation was mostly "hoping for a good end" excessive optimism in the first place...

Best end for everyone of Homekey: The best that Posbrake can get in his surrender deal to Numloch is that he, Bucky, and other key units already in Homekey were not to be disbanded for X turns - he didn't have enough pull to get Numloch to agree to a Dirtamancer's upkeep as well. Digdoug is left as a barbarian Dirtamancer, and over the tens or even hundreds of turns, he stops blaming Dove for Homekey's fall and they eventually fall in love.

Only then do they get a representative of Numloch come to them and say he's been asked to offer them a permanent job, and the new Chief Warlord asked for them by name. You see, it took that long for Posbrake's brilliant but unconventional strategic mind to work his way up the Numloch ranks to the point where he could authorize the budget for hiring casters... and perhaps almost as long for Bucky's feelings to finally get through to him.

Perhaps a little too tidy, but...


About DigDove, which is oviously the name their pairing should be called :mrgreen: , it wouldn't surprise me if something does go down between the two of them it's been established DigDoug is a virgin and while the Alice Chains subplot was resolved it could come up again it would be very dramatic if Dig's first was the lady caster who he is so sure is an enemy, rob could really milk the drama with that.

On Dove's side either the last lines of the update were about her having her arms around Digdoug' back and whispering words of comfort, so either she was with Charlie coning Homekey from the start and she wants to get her hooks into a very usefull caster or she really did try her best to save Homekey but Fate was too determined to end the side and sharing a side with Digdoug is her honestly wanting to do it (maybe to help with survivor's guilt for the both of them).


╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:
Wouldn't it be great to see a Royal dirtamancer? Heir of his side and all that crap, but the lowest kind of caster... how would other character treat such a freakish contradiction?


Have we ever seen a Caster who was explicitly Royal/Noble I remember being some discussion about this when we had Wanda's origin but given that her father was a Overlord nothing came out of that.

Imho stacking the Royal template on a Caster wouldn't make them much more powerfull than a normal Caster, they probably would get traction only from the level up slightly faster part as their stats would be too low even with the bonus to go into combat.

And as a link with Stupidworld history, there were large epochs when public education was just not a thing discoveries were still made but the men and women who did them had to have come from the priviliged classes so to have time to study and create.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Lilwik » Sun May 11, 2014 4:27 pm

jeffseadot wrote:So it sounds like we're ruling out any sort of stagemancy as an explanation for this update?
I want it to be Stagemancy more than I've ever wanted anything and it's always possible, but it doesn't look that way. It looks like this episode is being played completely straight and Homekey is gone and Digdoug will never know why or who survived because he is going to spend the rest of his life in the Magic Kingdom. If so then we'll never get the answers to any of our questions.

On the other hand, if there is some Carnymancy trick hanging over this story that has yet to be revealed, then that whole outcome could be flipped around. Next episode we can learn what happened to Homekey. Maybe it hasn't even fallen. Maybe seeming like it fell was part of the plan all along for some reason I can't imagine. We can learn the real plan, the plan that Posbrake was actually working from, because obviously the plan we knew about was not Posbrake's style. Most of all, we'll be witness to a major example of Carnymancy that finally answers all of our questions about that discipline, and tells us exactly what Dove didn't want to tell Digdoug in episode 11. It would be amazing.
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Re: Massively Disappointed ...

Postby Roszlishan » Sun May 11, 2014 4:55 pm

Lilwik wrote:That's not true. The presence or absence of Digdoug in any situation is determined by Rob Balder, but not usually as a decision. Instead it is determined based on the nature of the situation and the previous events of the story. For example, Digdoug could never be on the front line of the battle fencing with Delkey stabbers. Digdoug is a caster, not a warlord, so even if he hadn't been incapacitated in the fall he would never have seen any more action because he doesn't know how to fight and has run out of golems. He would probably be sent to the dungeon to hide and wait for the battle to be resolved.


Author is a somewhat different profession than historian. If an author needs X in a scene, than that scene will contain X. A story is not independent of its author, but constructed by her (or, as in this case, him).
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby Lamech » Sun May 11, 2014 6:10 pm

Omnimancer wrote:Rulers have natural dirtamancy when they build and design cities. So in their mind, a dirtamancer may just be doing more of what they can already do themselves. Even if they acknowledge that a dirtamancer can do it better and cheaper, it might seem less useful than a caster that can do something nobody else can do. We've seen how powerful dirtamancy is, but rulers might prefer something like a foolamancer or healomancer that radically changes what your side is now capable of, as opposed to defense and production bonuses.

This is probably it. Dirtamancy is basically a super-charged caster type. There is a reason why they are so precious in the MK and its not golem building. (The main use for dirtamancers outside the MK.) Dirtamancers can build. They can build you farms. (As seen in the MK by Sizemore.) They can more or less endlessly stack up city fortifications. They can possibly even add specialty buildings (such as libraries) to cities at no cost except for Juice. And of course they can add devastating traps.

Even better all these changes are durable. With either no cost besides the casters juice or even lowering the cost of units.

However its a totally different mindset than rulers have. Without magical assistance Erfworld is all about taking city sites. They look at things in the short term. A dirtamancer however, does best for long term improvements. Say adding a bunch of engines for siege defense, making sure every archer has a pillbox to shoot from, and topping out the bonus from the both the garrison walls, the outer walls, and the tower. Then filling everything with traps.

Basically dirtamancy unlocks buildings in a game of Risk.
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Re: Massively Disappointed ...

Postby themysticalone » Mon May 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Roszlishan wrote:Author is a somewhat different profession than historian. If an author needs X in a scene, than that scene will contain X. A story is not independent of its author, but constructed by her (or, as in this case, him).


Yes, but if author needs X in a scene and X makes no good sense given the context, then putting X in that scene is a poor writing decision.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 19

Postby ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ » Mon May 12, 2014 5:01 pm

Prodigial_Knight wrote:
╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:
Wouldn't it be great to see a Royal dirtamancer? Heir of his side and all that crap, but the lowest kind of caster... how would other character treat such a freakish contradiction?


Have we ever seen a Caster who was explicitly Royal/Noble I remember being some discussion about this when we had Wanda's origin but given that her father was a Overlord nothing came out of that.

Imho stacking the Royal template on a Caster wouldn't make them much more powerfull than a normal Caster, they probably would get traction only from the level up slightly faster part as their stats would be too low even with the bonus to go into combat.

And as a link with Stupidworld history, there were large epochs when public education was just not a thing discoveries were still made but the men and women who did them had to have come from the priviliged classes so to have time to study and create.



Empress Saltina?

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Noble
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