Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby wrecan » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:12 pm

effataigus wrote:This makes me wonder what has been predicted to happen that can only happen if Olive doesn't make it out of the hex... i.e. why are Wanda and Marie so confident that fate wants them to win? I can't see how any of the prophecies we know are incompatible with Olive escaping right now... so perhaps it is something we don't know.

I get the impression that when a Prediction is revealed, Fate wants that Prediciton satisfied as quickly as possible and conspires to make it so. The Prediction that Jillian will kill the ruler of Haffaton is fated. Now Maria and Wanda are working to make that happen sooner rather than later and Fate is working to make that happen.

Jillian chose the hard way by not killing Judy and she suffered a long time for it. Now she's going to enjoy the easy way to kill Olive.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby tgriff02 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:07 pm

wrecan wrote:I get the impression that when a Prediction is revealed, Fate wants that Prediciton satisfied as quickly as possible and conspires to make it so. The Prediction that Jillian will kill the ruler of Haffaton is fated. Now Maria and Wanda are working to make that happen sooner rather than later and Fate is working to make that happen.

Jillian chose the hard way by not killing Judy and she suffered a long time for it. Now she's going to enjoy the easy way to kill Olive.


I think that you are right except that I *THINK* based on the exchanges between Wanda and Olive that the original Prediction clearly indicated that Jillian was meant to croak Olive (as the Ruler de Facto of Haffaton), and Olive went above and beyond to interpret it as croaking Judy (the Literal Ruler of Haffaton) to save her own skin, thus dragging EVERYONE involved along the Hard way. Then her decision to have Jillian croaked if she wouldn't turn regardless of the Prediction forced the Very Hard Way; I just wonder if Jillian had listened to her inner sense of self and croaked Judy, would that have triggard the discovery of the VERY, Very hard way.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby arkerpay » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:19 pm

This is an entertaining prequel to a web comic about a guy seemingly trapped in a game, but some posters (not just in this episode) are really twisting themselves in knots over some issues. Some of you are noticing what seem to be logical inconsistencies in rules and magic. I think Rob is a genius and an evil genius for being silent on these issues. A few of my observations.

First Observation. You can't have true Predictamancy in a game. If you do, it ceases to become a game. Let's say the game you are modeling is a baseball simulation. A short-term, harmless "prediction" is that a pitcher is fated to throw a strike on his next pitch. Rare predictions like this (that always come true) do not harm the game aspect of the simulation. It would be akin to changing the results of a single dice roll. A long-term prediction (that is destined to become true), made on April 1st, such as "The Cleveland Indians will win the World Series", makes every game played the entire season pointless. So it ceases to be a game anymore. It's not fun and there is no point in playing.

Second Observation. You can't have coexistence of Luckamancy and Predictamancy. If Luckamancy has no chance of changing the outcome, it isn't Luckamancy. If a Prediction can be changed by luck, it isn't Predictamancy. Try to twist it anyway you want, you can't have both.

Third Observation. You can't have Free Will and Fate. Oh never mind...don't think we will solve this one on a forum for a web comic...well you know.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby bladestorm » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:04 pm

arkerpay wrote:This is an entertaining prequel to a web comic about a guy seemingly trapped in a game, but some posters (not just in this episode) are really twisting themselves in knots over some issues. Some of you are noticing what seem to be logical inconsistencies in rules and magic. I think Rob is a genius and an evil genius for being silent on these issues. A few of my observations.

First Observation. You can't have true Predictamancy in a game. If you do, it ceases to become a game. Let's say the game you are modeling is a baseball simulation. A short-term, harmless "prediction" is that a pitcher is fated to throw a strike on his next pitch. Rare predictions like this (that always come true) do not harm the game aspect of the simulation. It would be akin to changing the results of a single dice roll. A long-term prediction (that is destined to become true), made on April 1st, such as "The Cleveland Indians will win the World Series", makes every game played the entire season pointless. So it ceases to be a game anymore. It's not fun and there is no point in playing.

Second Observation. You can't have coexistence of Luckamancy and Predictamancy. If Luckamancy has no chance of changing the outcome, it isn't Luckamancy. If a Prediction can be changed by luck, it isn't Predictamancy. Try to twist it anyway you want, you can't have both.

Third Observation. You can't have Free Will and Fate. Oh never mind...don't think we will solve this one on a forum for a web comic...well you know.

First Observation -- Yes you can. Your first prediction is more Luckamancy than Predictamancy, unless you are using the predictamancy from the pitcher's point of view to determine where the batter is predicted to swing, regardless of where you throw the ball, then throw the ball where you know the bat will not be. Your Prediction of "The Cleveland Indians will win the World Series" was not framed in time. They may well win the World Series of 2026, or they may win it because the opposing team was mauled by a pack of werewolves that broke into the stadium. Neither case makes any of the current games obsolete or pointless. The Indians could win this year by default by having the last remaining player on the field when the entire stadium floods and kills everyone else. A team of 1 will win against a team of 0. Just because you have a limited view of predictions doesn't mean Fate can't toy with you. Or the Indians do win this year, but that win is overruled due to every single member of the team being disqualified afterwards due to failing the steroid test. Or they can win, and on their flight home, the plane crashes and wipes out everyone aboard.

Second observation -- Yes you can. Predictamancy may force you to eat late tonight. Luckamancy may not be able to change that, but it can change why you eat late, or what you eat. Side A is predicted to win the battle, but Luckamancy on Side B can mean the difference between being completely annihilated, barely surviving, making Side A a Pyrrhic victory at best, or just being absorbed with no real losses. Taking Jillian's example of how Predictamancy is useless and applying Luckamancy -- She was Fated to be ambushed. Predictamancy forced that event to happen. Luckamancy softened the blows of the attackers, and boosted the defenders. It maybe even made it so that someone in Jillian's group spotted the ambush at the last second and they were able to warn the others. Jillian's group came out unscathed, but the Prediction still held.

Third observation -- Again, yes you can. Easy way, Hard Way, or Very Hard Way. We are dealing with a world where unled stacks autoattack opposing sides, commanders can force obedience in subordinates, Duty, Loyalty, and units whose sole purpose is to serve a very specific role.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby bladestorm » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:20 pm

wrecan wrote:
effataigus wrote:This makes me wonder what has been predicted to happen that can only happen if Olive doesn't make it out of the hex... i.e. why are Wanda and Marie so confident that fate wants them to win? I can't see how any of the prophecies we know are incompatible with Olive escaping right now... so perhaps it is something we don't know.

I get the impression that when a Prediction is revealed, Fate wants that Prediction satisfied as quickly as possible and conspires to make it so. The Prediction that Jillian will kill the ruler of Haffaton is fated. Now Maria and Wanda are working to make that happen sooner rather than later and Fate is working to make that happen.

Jillian chose the hard way by not killing Judy and she suffered a long time for it. Now she's going to enjoy the easy way to kill Olive.

If Fate wants predictions satisfied as quickly and easily as possible, then why is Wanda not attuned to the Hammer? Or why did she not Attune any of the times she got close to the Pliers before the volcano uncroaking? There is more at work than the fastest and easiest solution to fulfill the prediction. There may be other Predictions that must also be met. If Stanley was predicted to unite the four arkentools, then he couldn't do so if he lost at Faq and Wanda attuned to the Hammer.

There may be some predictions left on Olive that haven't been revealed to Wanda. If Olive is Predicted to pop an heir that will strike down the entire Plaid Tribe, then she ain't croaking this Turn unless that heir has already been popped. Jillian's kill-the-overlady prediction may still be in effect, and we see it fulfilled in Book 3.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby wrecan » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:19 am

bladestorm wrote:If Fate wants predictions satisfied as quickly and easily as possible, then why is Wanda not attuned to the Hammer? Or why did she not Attune any of the times she got close to the Pliers before the volcano uncroaking?

There could be many reasons...
1) Other Predicitions prevented her Prediction from manifesting this way. (For instance, we might learn that Stanley was also fated to attune to an Arkentool and destroy FAQ.)
2) Someone may have interfered in her Prediction and chosen the Hard Way.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Whispri » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:47 pm

wrecan wrote:
bladestorm wrote:If Fate wants predictions satisfied as quickly and easily as possible, then why is Wanda not attuned to the Hammer? Or why did she not Attune any of the times she got close to the Pliers before the volcano uncroaking?

There could be many reasons...
1) Other Predicitions prevented her Prediction from manifesting this way. (For instance, we might learn that Stanley was also fated to attune to an Arkentool and destroy FAQ.)
2) Someone may have interfered in her Prediction and chosen the Hard Way.

Those Dwagons Stanley tamed on the way in didn't pop themselves, either someone (i.e. Charlie) used magick to try and stop Wanda from accomplishing whatever it is she was trying to accomplish or he's right about someone up there liking him.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:02 am

You know, I wonder if GK is not finding gobwins due to all the dragons found earlier.

Bleh, we just don't know enough.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby ftl » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:09 am

Seems like they're too far apart in time for that to be related. The dwagons were a long, long time ago. Before the fall of FAQ. Before Stanley was overlord. Before TBfGK.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Zeku » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:17 am

Kind of repeating myself here, but Fate discussions (and Fate comics) are always my least favorite.

I don't understand how Fate or Predictions can exist, without a will or a mind implementing them. Thus, only the will or mind matters. The Fate and Predictions are just the intermediate step: "This is what I'm going to do later." The way Rob is expressing these F/Ps are in terms of numbers. A zero-sum equation. But who is writing the equation?

I can see this panning out two ways. The first is a layered narrative involving god-like entities. This only works if you've got a good long-term story in mind.

The second is a closed self-referential system. Fate affects Numbers affects Logistics. What affects Fate?

1. Unknown gameworld rules, which could in turn be:
2. System imbalances (anisotropy)
3. Self-feedback loops (chaos theory)
4. #2 reflected as unit preference (like Orks, things become true if everyone wants it)
5. Fate is a symptom of some unknown factor existing outside the world. This would require that Erfworld be a kind of pocket universe, within another.
6. Fate is a product of each unit's mind, and in fact is simply the individual unit's perception that their beliefs and external events are correlated.

Fate, "just because" stinks. At the same time, if there is an explanation for it, I wouldn't want it revealed suddenly.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby arkerpay » Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:42 am

Zeku wrote:Kind of repeating myself here, but Fate discussions (and Fate comics) are always my least favorite.

I don't understand how Fate or Predictions can exist, without a will or a mind implementing them. Thus, only the will or mind matters. The Fate and Predictions are just the intermediate step: "This is what I'm going to do later." The way Rob is expressing these F/Ps are in terms of numbers. A zero-sum equation. But who is writing the equation?

I can see this panning out two ways. The first is a layered narrative involving god-like entities. This only works if you've got a good long-term story in mind.

The second is a closed self-referential system. Fate affects Numbers affects Logistics. What affects Fate?

1. Unknown gameworld rules, which could in turn be:
2. System imbalances (anisotropy)
3. Self-feedback loops (chaos theory)
4. #2 reflected as unit preference (like Orks, things become true if everyone wants it)
5. Fate is a symptom of some unknown factor existing outside the world. This would require that Erfworld be a kind of pocket universe, within another.
6. Fate is a product of each unit's mind, and in fact is simply the individual unit's perception that their beliefs and external events are correlated.

Fate, "just because" stinks. At the same time, if there is an explanation for it, I wouldn't want it revealed suddenly.


We seem to be in agreement on the role of "Fate" in story-telling, but I am holding out that Rob is just having fun with the paradigm. Missing from your ideas is the role of Free Willed entities in ErfWorld. Knowing a Prediction affects decisions free-willed entities make. We could come up with as many paradoxes with that as with the concept of time travel.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby cheeseaholic » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:16 pm

ftl wrote:Seems like they're too far apart in time for that to be related. The dwagons were a long, long time ago. Before the fall of FAQ. Before Stanley was overlord. Before TBfGK.


Unless the Numbers are tied to the side's finding random spawns. If it's tied to the spawns themselves or the world it doesn't seem likely, since even if turn doesn't matter (and approximate location does) there's just too many turns for it to be happening right when GK needs it. Unless need is a part of the equation as well.

There's a million ways that things could go, especially if you throw in Fate. And the possibility of deities messing about.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Zeku » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:24 pm

arkerpay wrote:Missing from your ideas is the role of Free Willed entities in ErfWorld. Knowing a Prediction affects decisions free-willed entities make.


I guess I did omit that, but wouldn't everyone have to be familiar with the prediction for their behavior to be affected?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby vintermann » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:13 am

arkerpay, have you ever played a role-playing game?

Fate, die rolls and free will can coexist perfectly well seen from the inside of a role-playing game.

* "Fate" is the events that the game master has decided will happen, no matter what.

Even the best of GMs will occasionally railroad the players if they care about the story they are telling. He may even reveal the "fated" events to the players beforehand via predictamancy, prophetic dreams, etc.

* Free will is what the players decide to do.

They really are free agents in the game universe. In general, they decide what to do, and that influences the direction the story takes, apart from the aforementioned scripted events. However, the GM may overrule a player, for instance saying "Jillian would never do that" if her player said she should fall on her sword just to spite fate.

* Chance is also consistent with both in-game free will and predetermined events. Quite possibly Balder rolls actual dice to determine certain outcomes, then writes the story around them. As long as two outcomes can equally well be reconciled with the story, why shouldn't he? If they would, he could just fudge the dice (perhaps even with a self-imposed restraint, such as the "stealing good rolls from the future" mechanic of luckamancy. It would really be a trivial mechanic to implement in an RPG).
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby effataigus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:29 am

vintermann wrote:However, the GM may overrule a player, for instance saying "Jillian would never do that" if her player said she should fall on her sword just to spite fate.
Not to derail a topic, but I object to this idea (and you're not alone in having it). Player characters decisions and motivations are the one aspect of a RPG that a GM has no say over. Change that, and the GM should just sit in his/her room and tell him/herself stories!

In the case you have cited, it is clear that the GM has misunderstood the character. You could argue that a player is playing a character inconsistently, but that's another battle.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby bladestorm » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:09 pm

effataigus wrote:
vintermann wrote:However, the GM may overrule a player, for instance saying "Jillian would never do that" if her player said she should fall on her sword just to spite fate.
Not to derail a topic, but I object to this idea (and you're not alone in having it). Player characters decisions and motivations are the one aspect of a RPG that a GM has no say over. Change that, and the GM should just sit in his/her room and tell him/herself stories!

In the case you have cited, it is clear that the GM has misunderstood the character. You could argue that a player is playing a character inconsistently, but that's another battle.

There's a difference between Player Characters and characters that the GM has designed and is allowing the players to control. A creative GM can get around player outbursts that try to derail the plot without railroading everyone else or restricting actions.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Kreistor » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:09 pm

vintermann wrote:* "Fate" is the events that the game master has decided will happen, no matter what.


Only the poorest GM's do that. You lose players this way.

Even the best of GMs will occasionally railroad the players if they care about the story they are telling. He may even reveal the "fated" events to the players beforehand via predictamancy, prophetic dreams, etc.


Prophecy in RPG's is very difficult to arrange. Good GM's never railroad players, but incorporate as many predicted outcomes as possible into the prophecy.

There are several ways you can incorporate Prophecy without railroading players.

1) No PC prophecies. Prophecies are for important NPC's. "The dark lord will rise anew when the sky burns during an eclipse." hard for PC's to stop that. Eclipse is beyond their control, and when the meteor falls, everybody dies... well, the adventure begins and maybe everyone dies eventually, anyway.
2) Prophecies can be multi-conclusional. For instance, I created a prophecy "The burning city of the dark will rise to wipe Aerenal from the face of Eberron." The players were in a Drow city that was creating a ring that would be imbued with a powerful fire elemental in order for it to fly and leave Xendrik... with the intent to attack the Elves in Aerenal, of course. So why fight it, if you knwo it will happen? It doesn't have to be this city in this year. Even if they failed and it flew to Aerenal? You can't win, right? Aerenal gets renamed after the epic victory. There is never one way to complete a prophecy.
3) Prophecies do not have to come true. They'll come true if no one tries to change it. This method was used in Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, where two prophecies could exist for one decision. The defeated prophecies and any dependent prophecies were now just words, with the successful prophecy train continuing.

It is important to sit down and puzzle out exactly how prophecy will work in your campaign, if you wish to include it. It isn't easy, so take the time to do it a way your players will appreciate.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby effataigus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:36 pm

bladestorm wrote:derail the plot
Wanted to start by acknowledging your point about GM created player controlled characters, but those are just a variant on NPCs and are in the GM part of the venn diagram... just as a PC remains as PC even after the GM rolls on his/her behalf for a session that the player couldn't make.

Now that that is out of the way, I can get back to taking your three words out of context and ignoring the fact that they are a commonly used expression to conclude that you believe plots should be on rails and move inevitably toward a conclusion! Kidding with the accusation of course, but that mentality is a pet-peeve of mine despite it being pretty pervasive, and one that's made me lose interest in two ongoing campaigns already despite being pretty invested in my characters. One of the biggest dangers as a GM is to forget that GMing is about enabling an awesome story to unfold rather than telling an awesome story. I love creative writing as a separate pass-time, but when I game I only game with people who I expect to surprise me and take the story places that I wasn't expecting. Players should be there to do more than just roll the dice, and if they're having outbursts then you have failed as a GM... possibly during player selection, but likely not.

Admittedly, there are the pure powergamers who are just interested in rolling and picking/using powers and don't demand to be part of the story otherwise. I get off on that too, but videogames scratch that itch for me better than tabletop stuff.

This is making me realize how much I miss gaming!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby Vreejack » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:51 pm

effataigus wrote:
vintermann wrote:However, the GM may overrule a player, for instance saying "Jillian would never do that" if her player said she should fall on her sword just to spite fate.
Not to derail a topic, but I object to this idea (and you're not alone in having it). Player characters decisions and motivations are the one aspect of a RPG that a GM has no say over. Change that, and the GM should just sit in his/her room and tell him/herself stories!

In the case you have cited, it is clear that the GM has misunderstood the character. You could argue that a player is playing a character inconsistently, but that's another battle.


The problem here is that the player is unhappy with the constraints that have been placed upon her. Of course every player has constraints--that's part of the game--but sometimes they create frustrations in players who are focused on just one play style.

In this case, if the character is not behaving in a consistent manner and wishes to commit suicide more out of personal frustration, then turn the character into an NPC and let the player try something else. Have some mysterious entity appear out of nowhere as if veiled and arrest and remove the character from play. Then have her appear later as necessary to fulfill the Prediction, perhaps letting another player take over.
So...Watashi wa mizugorō ga sukina koto o kiita, neh?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 064

Postby arkerpay » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:11 pm

vintermann wrote:arkerpay, have you ever played a role-playing game?


In 1977 I remember this box with dice and a blue book inside and later I remember three hard bound books with a profusion of tables, including one to roll a random prostitute encounter. Naaaaaa, guess you got me there, I have no idea about this stuff.

vintermann wrote:Fate, die rolls and free will can coexist perfectly well seen from the inside of a role-playing game.


No, they can't. Nor can they coexist in a turn based strategy game. The comics and stories are both and neither. I hesitate even trying to argue the point now. I brought this point up long ago, before Goodminton fell. The few responses I received on this subject are argumentative and off-thread, with no reflection on the point I am making. The 'arguments' use the implementation of fate and free will by Rob in this story or some other game playing system as 'proof' that you can have both fate and free will. Or confuse the issue by adding extraneous information or conditions or finding another stratagem to just 'make it so'.

It's a story. A great story and Rob can make it turn out anyway he wants. So if he want to have fate and free will in the story he can. I am sure there is nothing random going on though. I am REALLY sure he is not rolling dice and just letting things unfold. Especially in a prequel.

Effatagious and Kreistor's responses are getting close to understanding the meat of the argument. There are difficulties in implementing fate and free will in an RPG. Free will is in fact your ONLY option. I will try once more to explain with a concise, simple scenario.

If you assume that Erfworld is a combination of an RPG and turn based game, there are entities that can make decisions. Sovereign rulers, warlords, casters and even lackeys like Bogroll have the capacity to make decisions and act on them. Do they have free will? Maybe. Rules of Erfworld act as physical laws. You can't move at night in ErfWorld or cross a hex boundary when you are out of move. Don't equate THAT with proof free will doesn't exist, because physical laws in our universe limit what we can do. As much I will it, I can't turn invisible or fly. Sigh.

So now a Predictamancer creates a prophecy that Connie the Barbarian will croak King Snidely. The prophecy is communicated to both of them. Connie is short for contrary and she doesn't like being told what to do. So she decides NOT to croak King Snidely. Then it occurs to her that she might identically croak him somehow later, thus fulfilling the prophecy. So she takes her dagger and cuts her own throat with it. Can she make that decision?

If the answer is yes, there is free will and there can't be fate.
If the answer is no, she does not have free will.
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