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The Ultimate Naughtymancy

There are a lot of difficult things about writing a story webcomic. But maybe the hardest one is this: the first draft is the final draft.

If a novelist gets to page 280 and realizes there's a basic conflict with something that was written on page 14, they can go back to page 14 and edit it, before they call the draft done. If a complete draft gets to an editor's desk and they say, "I loved it, but on page 194 you had the Fartaxians shooting lasers out of their sphincters when on page 75 you clearly said they shot antimatter beams," then the writer can say, "Oh, I'll change that." And the reader never sees the mistake.

I don't get to do that. When I come to a head-smacking realization about some detail in an earlier page, the page is already in the archives. It has already been read and discussed and speculated on and cited by one forumite to bludgeon another forumite in an argument. I have to live with it.

For the most part, I've been able to think ahead enough to avoid any really major mistakes. But there's this one that has been bugging me for the better part of two years, and I am going to fix it before the book goes to print.

It's one word. "Regeneration."

The graphic in Parson's Klog 4, where he puts on the 3-D glasses and looks at Bogroll's stats and sees that his special is "Regeneration" was something I suspected might come back to haunt me. But when I wrote that page, I needed to put something in that script to show for Bogroll's stats. So I guessed, before I had fleshed out stat systems and specials. "Regeneration" is a really common trait for trolls to have, so I put that.

But I realized within a few pages that it should have been "Fabrication." And I realized when Bogroll was going to have his apotheosis, that a whole lot of people were going to think he was coming back. Because of that one stupid word.

I talked to Rich Burlew about it many months ago, when we were getting close to the page that features Bogroll and Ansom. We talked about several possible solutions, and I took one of his suggestions: to show the Jetstone troops burning/destroying Bogroll's corpse. It did keep the speculation down. But it wasn't perfect, because it left me with this concept of Twolls in Erfworld as makers of things that wasn't supported by the text. It also left me eventually having to explain what Regeneration meant in Erfworld.

Well, I'm not gonna.

I am going to make a more drastic change. A change to the magic table. If you now look at Klog 2, you will see that the branch of magic I called "Deletionism" is no longer there. It has been deleted.

In its place is a new branch of magic: "Retconjuration." (The name was also Rich's idea.) This is a theoretical branch of magic, like an undiscovered element on the periodical table. No ordinary caster can practice it; there are no Retconjurers in Erfworld. It is reserved for the Titans. And I can tell you, they don't like it much and use it as seldom as possible. I apologize for invoking it now, especially to the wiki editors.

So, any differences you notice between the printed book and the old archives you can chalk up to Retconjuration, the ultimate form of Naughtymancy.

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