4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Balerion » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:05 pm

We have very different understandings of that scene. Too big a difference to hash out here, though we could start another thread if you are interested in having that discussion. Past experience tells me it wouldn't be productive for either of us, especially since we are going to be putting forth personal interpretation with no possibility of actually proving anything, but I am game if you are. And those differences in understanding are what is fueling the disconnect here.

Let me just say that in how I read the scene, there is Luckamancy occurring through Fate. I don't think any of those outcomes violated what Clay has said either. But I don't think either of us will convince the other here.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:45 pm

Whose Fate? Artemis? She's fated to die uselessly? No need for Fate to guide that. Wanda has Fate, but she's elsewhere.

Book 0 Ep 24 wrote:Delphie shrugged. "Choice is the path you pick to your Fate. Luck is mainly about how hard or easy you have it along the way."

Which is just what Clay had said, and Wanda didn't like it any better coming from Delphie's mouth.


I don't think Predictamancy agrees with you.

same wrote:"It was [Tommy's] end, Lady," said Delphie. She looked pained. "Clay would say, his 'final outcome.' It was never his Fate. It could have been avoided. If we'd only signed the treaty and sent you to Haffaton, Tommy would probably be alive now."
...
Delphie kept sobbing into her lap. Her words were muffled by her hands. "No. I can't. Fate doesn't care about us. That's the terror of it; we have no Fate. The world doesn't care if we live or not. Only about you."


Not everyone that dies is Fated. Not everyone that lives is Fated. Not everyone that has Luck, good or bad, has Fate. Fate cares about few, and in Spacerock we can only say with certainty that it cares about Wanda, who was far from this event.

You can invent Fate for whomever you want, and maybe that satisfies you and explains everything in a simple, causal package, but the concept is totally unsupported by what we know of Luckamancy and Predictamancy, from the experts teaching Wanda. And I doubt you can put your hope in mathamancy, given its nature and reliance on random chance.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:53 am

I fail to see how this discussion could be settled on the presently available evidence. Yes it is reasonable to notice that not all weird things that happen are Fate, nor do they happen for any particular deeper reason; someone's pretty much got to win the lottery at some point; it's also reasonable to expect, story logic being what it is*, that there is more to what looks like a seriously aberrant event than chance.

*: in this case, that particular bit of "story logic" that dictates that coincidences need to be kept low, and salient details meaningful. Like all story logic, it's not a hard-and-fast rule, but on the whole is obeyed.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby drachefly » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:01 am

Even without story logic, those misses by Artemis are sufficiently unlikely that it overwhelms the prior improbability of outside influence.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:07 pm

drachefly wrote:Even without story logic, those misses by Artemis are sufficiently unlikely that it overwhelms the prior improbability of outside influence.


I don't deny that, do I? I just deny a connection between her misses and others' hits.

I don't know if Rob played P&P RPG's, but those of us that do are very familiar with some people's claimed lack of luck. Some pessimists are convinced that they always roll badly in critical situations. Artemis may be an homage to those people. In truth, they only remember the bad rolls, and forget the good. I solved this problem by offering htis solution:

1) On day 1, play as normal and record all rolls by the complaining player.
2) Invert and randomize the results. (From a D20, a 1<->20, 10<->11.)
3) On day 2, player does not roll but gets result off my list, ensuring he gets the opposite luck from the previous week.

No one ever took me up on it, but the bad luck seemed to go away. Complaints oddly vanished, and the poor rolls in critical situations stopped.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Housellama » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:05 pm

Kreistor wrote:
drachefly wrote:Even without story logic, those misses by Artemis are sufficiently unlikely that it overwhelms the prior improbability of outside influence.


I don't deny that, do I? I just deny a connection between her misses and others' hits.

I don't know if Rob played P&P RPG's, but those of us that do are very familiar with some people's claimed lack of luck. Some pessimists are convinced that they always roll badly in critical situations. Artemis may be an homage to those people. In truth, they only remember the bad rolls, and forget the good. I solved this problem by offering htis solution:

1) On day 1, play as normal and record all rolls by the complaining player.
2) Invert and randomize the results. (From a D20, a 1<->20, 10<->11.)
3) On day 2, player does not roll but gets result off my list, ensuring he gets the opposite luck from the previous week.

No one ever took me up on it, but the bad luck seemed to go away. Complaints oddly vanished, and the poor rolls in critical situations stopped.


Interesting system. It's a good idea. I'm sure that none of your players ever took you up on it. I'm also pretty sure that the complaints vanished. You are right that humans as a group tend to place more weight in memory to failures than to successes. That's evolutionary. Successes are much less likely to kill you, while repeated mistakes very easily could. Hence a tendency to remember failures is something that was probably selected for.

However, I doubt that the 'poor roll in critical situations' stopped, unless some other factor came into play. Dice are dice and probability is probability. For multiple people to somehow just stop rolling badly in certain situation at a certain point in time is... Well, the odds are against it to say the least. Perhaps your memory is interpreting the 'success' as less important than the failures of earlier.

As far as Artemis, I think that this was most certainly the intervention of some outside force. Call it Fate, call it Luck, call it the author, but her reactions in that scene pointed to the fact that she was absolutely flabbergasted by the way Scarlet and her stack performed, and the random events that went on during the fight. Alright, maybe she had bad rolls, but that's just as likely as an entire group of your gamers rolling failures and crit failures during an entire encounter. Sure it's possible, but the odds are against it. Plus, meta-logic states that Rob wouldn't have put it in there if it wasn't relevant. The readers cannot see random bad dice rolls. We can, however, see the influence of Fate and/or Luck. Authors shouldn't put random things in at critical moments that don't have some effect on the story. Is there a good reason why Artemis rolled badly? Well, if it's Fate then yes. If it's the influence of some 'mancy, sure. Random bad luck? No. It's an invisible factor that adds nothing to the story. If it's in the scene, which it most definitely is, then she 'rolled badly' for a very good reason.

Personally, I'm thinking it's Fate. Sylvia's had that ongoing 'game' with Oblivion for the whole turn. This is just a logical extension of that. In fact, in my mind it's the only logical extension. Rob went to great lengths to talk about Sylvia's game. Tossing in a completely unrelated random factor at the last minute? Not a chance.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Housellama » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:45 pm

Re: the 4th Arkentool...

I'm not sure that Signamancy is the only option here. The two confirmed tools thus far (The Arkenpliers and the Arkendish) both have primary effects from the Fate axis. We theorize that the primary effect of the Hammer is Carneymancy, however we have also seen Rhyme-o-mancy (presuming Dance Fighting/Rocking Out are part of that.) I propose that the 'dish also has powers of Lookamancy, based on Isaac's comments about it being the greatest instrument for studying natural philosophy.

When taking those two theories together, I notice that both Lookamancy and Rhyme-o-Mancy are all part of the same Class of magic as their primary powers (ie, Thinkamancy and Carneymancy.) We cannot confirm any other effects from the 'pliers, however Naughtymancy also contains Shockamancy. While destroying Uncroaked with a single blow could easily be an extension of Croakamancy, it could also easily be Shockamancy. The 'Hammer's Van de Graph effect could, if you seriously stretch it, be considered Hat Magic. The logic being that Hat Magic appears to create things from nothing. A Van de Graff generator produces large amounts of static from 'nothing'. It could be that he's simply bringing lightning to life and allowing it to strike its targets, rather than it being a Shockamancy effect. That continues the internal consistency of the other 'tools.

Now about the 4th 'tool. Personally, I like the Signamancy/Hippymancy idea, but in the interest of sparking discussion, I also propose that it could be Predictamancy/Hocus Pocus. Predictamancy has played a very large role thus far. It could very easily be part of a 'Tool. If you look at the other 'mancies in Hocus Pocus, all of them are extremely useful. Including Mathamancy, which has been alluded to. The Arkencrystal (or the Arkenball) seems a plausible alternative. As to why it hasn't been mentioned, if it's Predictamancy-based then Fate could be protecting it. Alternatively, the Predictamancers have it hidden.

Admittedly this one is a stretch, but it's something to talk about.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:08 pm

Hm interesting idea Housellama with Predictamancy. I'll have to look things over a bit later....one of the aspects I really liked about Signamancy was that it creates a symmetry not only along the Fate Axis, but also in the Elements of magic used as well. I'll have to see if similar symmetry could be possible with Predictamancy too.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Housellama » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:21 pm

0beron wrote:Hm interesting idea Housellama with Predictamancy. I'll have to look things over a bit later....one of the aspects I really liked about Signamancy was that it creates a symmetry not only along the Fate Axis, but also in the Elements of magic used as well. I'll have to see if similar symmetry could be possible with Predictamancy too.


I couldn't find a way to make Predictamancy fit with the current symmetry. Hence why I'm not really pushing the idea.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Lamech » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:06 pm

I've also seen an argument that the hammer is wierdomancy. It lets Stanley fly. You know what does that? The flight ability. It lets Stanley shoot lighting? You know what else lets people shoot lighting? The lighting special. It lets Stanley tame stuff? You know what that is? An ability that some warlords have. Indeed things that fall under specials include casting a.k.a. all forms of magic. You know what grants abilities? Wierdomancy. If you have extreme levels of wierdomancy you can pretty much get away with faking anything else.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:27 pm

Oh, please. You just shoved every school of magic into Weirdomancy. We now have the All Mighty Uber School -- Weirdomancy!
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Lamech » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:46 pm

That was sort of the point. Now presumably, a wierdomancer can't grant themselves dirtamancy and cast as well as a dirtamancer. But think of what other arkentools do: Croakamancy, normally it can mass animate dead units, as a pale imitation of there former selves and decay in a few turn, or animate one unit at close to full capacity and last for dozens of turns, especially if enhanced with rhyme-o-mancy. Arkenplier croakamancy can mass animate units at full capacity with no decay, and restore their minds.
Think of what a wierdomancy tool could do. If it could grant specials or even a large fraction of them, it could look like it was doing an awful lot of things when it really wasn't.


P.S. I don't think the dish has lookamancy. Charlie needs to send his archons out to gather info. During the summer updates Charlie lost a few of these archons to GK, and in book two archons were needed to scout Haggar. No lookamancy for Charlie.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Jallorn » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:39 pm

Weirdomancy could be kinda like Shadow Magic from DnD. Only partly real.

Anyway, I had a new theory: What if each tool doesn't cover a specific school, but instead covers the three elements? This would permit, say, Croakamancy to be cast with the Life element, resulting in the Decrypted. Not sure there's much evidence for this yet, but it's an interesting idea.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:49 pm

Well actually that ties in to my theory.
Casters feel that Wanda's use of the 'Pliers expands Croakamancy onto the Life element it normally can't use. And Charlie's use of Archons could be said to represent an extension of Thinkamancy into Stuff.
If the 4th 'Tool was "centered" around Signamancy, it would extend it into Motion.
The 'Hammer, which some feel seems to deal with Carynmancy (a school which already covers all three elements) exhibits traits of other Stage-Magic. Rocking Out might fall under Rhyme-o-mancy like Dance-Fighting does, and the transformation of matter (Pigeons into nuts) might be similar to the "conjuration"-like effects of Hat Magic.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:45 pm

Something just occurred to me that doesn't really contain any "evidence" persay about what the fourth 'Tool is aligned to, but it's an interesting speculation anyway I think.
What if Haffaton has the 4th 'Tool?
Think about it...the more we see about Haffaton, the more incredible it becomes that NOBODY in the present day seems to know about them besides the 5 characters who are that old (Charlie, Wanda, Jillian, Marie, Jack) and even those 5 have never MENTIONED it. Similar thing for the 4 'Tool....everyone seems to know it exists but nobody ever mentions what it is.
If the 4 'Tool really is Signamancy, maybe it could have been used to erase both itself and Haffaton from Erfworld's memory? Or somehow manipulate perception to achieve a similar effect? Maybe GK and Jetstone and all the other sides (besides Transylvito) ARE Haffaton, broken into pieces and remade by Signamancy into something new?
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Whispri » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:43 pm

It could well be that something unfortunately magical happened to Haffaton. And it would pretty funny if Royal Sides like Jetston turned out to be descended from some Caster's moment of 'oops' rather than the people the Titan's left in charge as they like to think.

The cause being the fourth Arkentool, that they or their remnants still possess is a fine one.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Nnelg » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:53 am

0beron wrote:Something just occurred to me that doesn't really contain any "evidence" persay about what the fourth 'Tool is aligned to, but it's an interesting speculation anyway I think.
What if Haffaton has the 4th 'Tool?
Think about it...the more we see about Haffaton, the more incredible it becomes that NOBODY in the present day seems to know about them besides the 5 characters who are that old (Charlie, Wanda, Jillian, Marie, Jack) and even those 5 have never MENTIONED it. Similar thing for the 4 'Tool....everyone seems to know it exists but nobody ever mentions what it is.
If the 4 'Tool really is Signamancy, maybe it could have been used to erase both itself and Haffaton from Erfworld's memory? Or somehow manipulate perception to achieve a similar effect? Maybe GK and Jetstone and all the other sides (besides Transylvito) ARE Haffaton, broken into pieces and remade by Signamancy into something new?

An interesting concept, but I think the lack of mention of Haffaton is merely because Erfworlders tend to "live in the moment". There's not really much call for the recording of history and telling of tales. Besides, we wouldn't see much of it on-screen anyways because it'd be redundant, what with the text updates already telling us readers the tale from an objective point of view.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Whispri » Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:06 am

Nnelg wrote:An interesting concept, but I think the lack of mention of Haffaton is merely because Erfworlders tend to "live in the moment". There's not really much call for the recording of history and telling of tales. Besides, we wouldn't see much of it on-screen anyways because it'd be redundant, what with the text updates already telling us readers the tale from an objective point of view.

There have been quite a few instances of Erfians lookking back on the past. I recall a mention of the 'historic Spacerock the Battle' for example. Thing is, none of these recollection, despite being from people like Artemis (who is eighteen hundred or so Turns old) and Slately (who has ruled for three thousand odd Turns iirc) have any mention of Haffaton or indeed, the famous Croakamancer who fought for them. Jillian is Level 7 as things stand in Book 0. At TBfGK she'll only be Level 9. Ansom reached Level !0 from Level 2 in less than five hundred Turns. So we have a state of affairs in which people who've lived near Haffaton's old borders for years don't seem to have heard of them, yet in which Jillian's only found the time to Level twice. This is a bit odd. The vanishment of Haffaton being due to magic could explain those discrepancies.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Nnelg » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:47 am

True, there could be some massive coverup involved with Haffaton, but I think the simpler explanation is that it never comes up for meta-comic reasons.

  • First off, having a character look back on the fall of Haffaton would be take up a timeslot, and Rob would rather just put up another Book 0 update.
  • Secondly, there's a limited number of spots in the story where an interlude wouldn't be jarring, and other things have priority (like Stanley looking back on the fall of Faq).
  • Third, the characters would doubtlessly know a lot more than what we've seen so far, so they can't really do much reflection without giving away spoilers (like, say if Haffaton didn't fall [but was significantly reduced], and also happens to be the side with the fourth arkentool).
  • Fourth, Rob might not want to tie his hands with the details, as anything the characters happen to mention could potentially conflict with what he wants to do with Book 0 later (like if someone mentioned a siege of Haffaton's capitol, but then later Rob changes his mind and decides it'd be cooler to have Jillian take out their ruler in a lightning raid).
  • Fifth, Haffaton isn't relevant to Book 2's plot at all, so any text update mentioning them would look weird and out of context when compiled in the paper version (as in, separate from the Book 0 text updates).

The list goes on. It just goes to show that we can't assume we've seen even 10% of what the characters know, because anything not relevant (enough) to the story won't make it into the strip. (Especially given that it's being covered elsewhere...)
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Whispri » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:54 pm

There may well be meta reasons involved, but nevertheless, there must be in-Universe reasons for the silence. Wanda's reputation is particularly relevant to the matters staring the Jetstone in the face, i.e. Wanda and her army.
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