How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

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How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby ftl » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:39 pm

OK, so now we have direct confirmation that Janis and Marie specifically crafted the spell to summon Parson in order to, somehow, "wage war on war itself."

The question is - how do they intend for Parson to bring about peace? What was on their minds?

I can think of a bunch of different ways that summoning a perfect warlord MIGHT bring about peace.

1) Perfect Warlord conquers all of Erf. World peace through world conquest.

Pros - simple. All you need is a Warlord that is so amazing that he's effecively unbeatable.

Cons -
how big is Erfworld? Is it really even possible to conquer all of it even with a Perfect Warlord?
Doesn't seem like a hippiemancer-like solution. I just can't imagine Janis deciding to fix war by trying to win it.
If that's the case, why was the Warlord that was summoned so reluctant to fight? Why isn't he bent on world conquest?
If that's the case, why aren't Janis, Marie, and the other 'mancers involved actively helping GK? If Parson's intended to lead GK to take over the world, why wouldn't sending schmuckers, mancers, and material aid their way help speed it up.

2) Perfect Warlord tries to conquer Erf, but runs into diminishing returns point - the larger his empire, the harder it is to defend all the borders. At some point, the empire gets so big that even the PW is in a stalemate - but he's so good, that the stalemate is at the point where it's him against the rest of Erf. If all the other sides don't ally together, they die - so the end result is a stalemate, with all sides except GK allied with each other, and GK unable to expand further, but good enough on defense so that they can't be conquered.

Pros - doesn't require the warlord to be literally unbeatable. Also, it is consistent with Parson's reluctance to fight. It's completely inconsistent with Wanda and Stanley's ambition, which could explain why Janis is so distrustful of Wanda.

Cons - very fine balancing act. Just a little bit better or worse and the whole plan falls apart. I don't think Janis and Marie could plan out the skills of their warlord that precisely.

3) Similar to the above - but Parson is intended to *lose*. The aim is to force all of Erf to ally against a common threat. They'll have to put in very harsh penalties for breaking alliance, probably after Parson takes advantage of a traitor somehow. ...and then when Parson is defeated, the end result is an Erfworld allied together, with extremely harsh penalties for breaking alliance, and with each side having no incentive to be the first to leave.

I actually like this idea. Would make for a nice sacrifice for Parson at the end of the story. Requires a Warlord so good that it takes all of Erf to bring him down - but doesn't require as tight of a stalemate balancing act.

Cons - Rob would have to find some way of showing that life post-parson really is peaceful, and that would make for a really boring story. A story has to end when it no longer has A Protagonist, and this one wouldn't.

4) New tactics. Parson's supposed to find defensive tactics that make offense so useless that all sides can turtle up and nobody can fight.

Cons - how on earth would Janis, a hippiemancer, know that Parson would find defensive rather than offensive strategies? Besides, at the moment, we had brilliant defense at TBfGK, and are now seeing offense at Spacerock.

5) Parson deliberately decides he wants peace, and fights with that aim. (If he does so, while the details of how exactly he would force peace on everyone are interesting, we can guess that he'd find a way.)

Pros - well, his personality fits. It would also explain what makes him a "hippiemancer warlord" rather than just a good warlord.

Cons - he's not calling the shots on that. He's fighting for Stanley's cause, and Wanda's cause since Wanda manipulates Stanley. He appears to be fully committed to making his Side WIN, not splitting off and fighting AGAINST Stanley.

...hmm, I said I could think of half a dozen, but I can only get 5 :( one short. Damn.

Anyhow. Thoughts, guys? Any others that you can think of?

To me, 5 seems like what Janis would WANT, but I don't see how summoning a Warlord rather than an Heir would do that. He needs to be able to change the way his side works, deliberately.

1 is simplest and seems to be what a lot of people here assume, but I don't think it would make for as good a story - Erf is big, and I don't think Rob wants to walk us through campaign after campaign - it's bound to get repetitive.

I like 3 a lot - it would make for an exciting self-sacrifice by Parson, and it seems to be the sort of thing that Janis would approve of. "Everyone has to ally or we all die!" (Fallback to option 1.) But would it even work?
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby GaryThunder » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:37 pm

1) Perfect Warlord conquers all of Erf. World peace through world conquest.

Pros - simple. All you need is a Warlord that is so amazing that he's effecively unbeatable.

Cons -
how big is Erfworld? Is it really even possible to conquer all of it even with a Perfect Warlord?
Doesn't seem like a hippiemancer-like solution. I just can't imagine Janis deciding to fix war by trying to win it.
If that's the case, why was the Warlord that was summoned so reluctant to fight? Why isn't he bent on world conquest?
If that's the case, why aren't Janis, Marie, and the other 'mancers involved actively helping GK? If Parson's intended to lead GK to take over the world, why wouldn't sending schmuckers, mancers, and material aid their way help speed it up.


I see this as the most likely. Janis might take a long view of things, rationalizing that the slaughter involved in setting up one world side would be an acceptable loss to ensure no more such slaughters in the future, ever. Parson is reluctant to fight, but he does fight. "The talent itself supplies the demand," as Jack said. He's there, and Duty or not, he will tilt the world like a pinball machine. Direct support by the MK might compromise their neutrality (even if it's just feigned neutrality), which could harm the MK's interests. Maybe the MK relies on equal-opportunity employment to get enough Schmuckers to pay the bills - er, upkeep, and violating their neutrality would dangerously compromise their income stream.

2) Perfect Warlord tries to conquer Erf, but runs into diminishing returns point - the larger his empire, the harder it is to defend all the borders. At some point, the empire gets so big that even the PW is in a stalemate - but he's so good, that the stalemate is at the point where it's him against the rest of Erf. If all the other sides don't ally together, they die - so the end result is a stalemate, with all sides except GK allied with each other, and GK unable to expand further, but good enough on defense so that they can't be conquered.

Pros - doesn't require the warlord to be literally unbeatable. Also, it is consistent with Parson's reluctance to fight. It's completely inconsistent with Wanda and Stanley's ambition, which could explain why Janis is so distrustful of Wanda.

Cons - very fine balancing act. Just a little bit better or worse and the whole plan falls apart. I don't think Janis and Marie could plan out the skills of their warlord that precisely.


This seems unlikely. This doesn't end war, it just contains and consolidates it. The generally warlike ethic of Erfworld would demand constant border clashes between the one huge side and all the other sides, and conflicts would still occur among the various smaller sides (see Haggar's planned backstab of Jetstone even in the face of GK's might). A stalemate is unlikely, Erfworld is too fractious to maintain it, not to mention how conflict seems literally necessary for sides to pay their upkeep.

3) Similar to the above - but Parson is intended to *lose*. The aim is to force all of Erf to ally against a common threat. They'll have to put in very harsh penalties for breaking alliance, probably after Parson takes advantage of a traitor somehow. ...and then when Parson is defeated, the end result is an Erfworld allied together, with extremely harsh penalties for breaking alliance, and with each side having no incentive to be the first to leave.

I actually like this idea. Would make for a nice sacrifice for Parson at the end of the story. Requires a Warlord so good that it takes all of Erf to bring him down - but doesn't require as tight of a stalemate balancing act.

Cons - Rob would have to find some way of showing that life post-parson really is peaceful, and that would make for a really boring story. A story has to end when it no longer has A Protagonist, and this one wouldn't.


Again, this falls apart when you consider Erfworld's warlike nature. After Parson is defeated, the sides would resume their squabbles as normal, and any penalties for alliance-breaking would be wriggled out of by slippery actors like Charlie or Tramennis. This would actually be worse for the world than not casting SPW, because it would lead to a huge orgy of bloodshed followed by the mundane business of regular war, increasing the casualties to no long-term benefit.

4) New tactics. Parson's supposed to find defensive tactics that make offense so useless that all sides can turtle up and nobody can fight.

Cons - how on earth would Janis, a hippiemancer, know that Parson would find defensive rather than offensive strategies? Besides, at the moment, we had brilliant defense at TBfGK, and are now seeing offense at Spacerock.


Not seeing it. Game-changing tactics would necessarily be part and parcel of a Perfect Warlord's repertoire, but the fundamental nature of Erfworld always makes offense a more attractive option. Mutually assured destruction and such only occurs when offense outpaces defense to a point where defense can never catch up, like nuclear weapons in this world, but given Erfworld's nature, hugely upgraded offensive techniques would just increase the bloodshed, not decrease it.

5) Parson deliberately decides he wants peace, and fights with that aim. (If he does so, while the details of how exactly he would force peace on everyone are interesting, we can guess that he'd find a way.)

Pros - well, his personality fits. It would also explain what makes him a "hippiemancer warlord" rather than just a good warlord.

Cons - he's not calling the shots on that. He's fighting for Stanley's cause, and Wanda's cause since Wanda manipulates Stanley. He appears to be fully committed to making his Side WIN, not splitting off and fighting AGAINST Stanley.


Mmmmmaybe. This does seem in line with Parson's methodology, which can be seen as trying to make himself obsolete and unnecessary. He would probably achieve peace through global domination, though, which brings us back to 1.


At the end of the day, most strategies are foiled by the physical nature of Erfworld inclining always towards war. The world itself "cheats" to ensure certain outcomes, and Parson's speculations regarding zero or positive upkeep sides implies that a side, by default, is constantly losing money and must regain it through warfare. One global side seems to be the only real way that peace would be possible at all...once that became feasible, then Parson's upkeep-reducing strategies of popping heavies for rations and such leap to the forefront.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Smoker » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:52 pm

We've seen from the snippets of situation room notes that Parson is already considering the bubble kingdom strategy. Perhaps this is just a red herring, but it's quite possible that Parson will come up with a way to exist without needing to constantly wage war for Shmuckers.

This in itself though, I cant wrap my head around. Since units do not reproduce of their own free will, the Rulers have total control over their population, so why not just keep their population at the sustainable level? The only real answer I think, is to have a large enough defense force.

So maybe alliances are the issue here... but still... someone is gonna break it eventually. You cant rely on an Alliance to last forever - even one with magically bound consequences.

What I really think, is that Parson will find some way to unlock free-will. It's not just war that Parson is fighting, its the whole social structure of Erfworld.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby GaryThunder » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:58 am

It seems that if a side were to keep a small enough army that their upkeep wasn't negative, they would be swallowed up within minutes by one of their more militaristic neighbors.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby holy_dwead » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:02 pm

I'm thinking about it from another angle - do the Titans even want peace? It seems they created this world essentially to be a giant wargame. The cities seem to have no purpose other than to create military units. While the military units have human-like psychologies with sophisticated dreams and desires, they all are very bent on fighting each other (with the exceptions of Sizemore and the hippiemancers).

So how do you bring peace to a world that exists for war? I wonder if the Titans' tools are part of it. Of the three that we've seen, the hammer and the pliers appear to act mainly as weapons. The dish, as an instrument of communication, could have a use in a world at peace.

Christian theology calls heavily on an idea of a creator that gave his creation free will, then hoped and nudged his creations to get them to make good choices. It's possible that that is part of the Titans' game - make a world of warriors and hope they choose peace. And if that's the case, is Parson a tool of the titans? Will he be attuned to number 4?
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby GaryThunder » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:35 pm

Perhaps...the uniting of the Arkentools is what will bring about peace. They built the world, surely all four together could reshape it to make peace a viable option (as it clearly is not now)? That could be the Fate of the Arkentools, and Parson could be the only one in Erfworld skilled enough to make that happen. Fate was heavily involved (probably) in the casting of SPW, after all.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby alexanderdsoso » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:58 pm

Mutually assured destruction. He finds a way , through learning the system, to BREAK the system. Make it possible to utterly decimate enemies at a moments notice. A nuke of sorts. People stop fighting, because if you fight, you DIE>
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby wrecan » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:25 am

alexanderdsoso wrote:Mutually assured destruction.

This. Parson comes up with an exploit which makes it completely suicidal to go to war against anyone with knowledge of the exploit. He uses it once and everybody else quickly learns it (or uses it against those who haven't yet learned it).

The problem is that Erfworld mechanics seems to require constant war just to keep your units from disbanding. So this will require Parson to come up with resource management exploits to avoid this issue. Once he does that, the world is at perpetual peace and the Titans put the game away and get an X-box.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Thunder » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:27 pm

where does everyone get the idea that going to war is required to maintain ones side?
how would that possibly work, if all sides require going to war to steal money from others then how does any side have any money to begin with? some side must be making more then upkeep.
at the very most it seems to me that one could claim that SOME sides require war to maintain there side, and it seems like a pretty poor way to maintain your side long term. (which is probably why no one side has every conquered all of erfworld
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby SomeUnregisteredPunk » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:12 am

I got the impression that warring forces war to exist.

I mean... if you go to war and succeed, your success will require you to use more money to keep your gains. The upkeep costs of your success outweighs your normal non war way to make money. So you end up going into another war to acquire the necessary money to keep your side from going broke which only perpetuates the cycle.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Thunder » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:52 am

if you war you lose units and your upkeep should go down, however you could use war to turn profit through plunder or like TV does, through threats. however the actual fighting would only decrease what you need as you lose troops

unless you assume that cities have negative schmucker output, as cities actually cost you schmuckers a turn. but then if it were the case that cities had a negative schmucker output how would any side receive any schmuckers at all? how could one side pay for upkeep for a single unit for a single turn?
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby wrecan » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:24 am

Thunder wrote:where does everyone get the idea that going to war is required to maintain ones side?

From this recent klog from Parson. Parson calls "having a side with zero or positive upkeep" a "puzzle". That indicates that all known sides have a negative upkeep -- in other words, they need to supplement their income from outside.

That also seems to be why Erfers seem so skeptical of a Bubble Kingdom, like Faq. I'm curious how Faq did manage to sustain itself before it popped Jillian and had her mercenary income.

Now, I have no idea how this works. I agree that it seems like someone should have positive upkeep, unless the world is slowly starving to death. But Parson seems to be unaware of anybody who does.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby GaryThunder » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:53 am

The world probably is slowly starving to death. Sort of like our world. Imagine our resources like oil, gems, steel, anything we pull out of the earth, really. We technically have finite amounts of all of those. We will run out of oil, steel, diamonds, all of them at some point. But there are such vast stores of them available to us that we tend to act as if they are infinite. (To our detriment with oil, but that's another topic altogether.)
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Thunder » Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:03 pm

true, but running out of these racecourses should really be seen only as the gems in the mountain, in that they provide a large relatively short term boost which allows for populations sizes greater than what would otherwise be possible, but that is not to say that maintaining a civilization is impossible without such consumption, both here and in erfworld.
here on earth the sun provides enough that a much smaller scale population is possible long term without consuming any of these non renewable resources. on erfworld all a side has to do is keep its upkeep< city production + extras = neutral upkeep(where extras include hunting, farming, eating units) but if your trying to always be the strongest side at all times you will go past this limit which is what we encounter as the known erfworld is at a point of large scale war.

that is to say it is quite possible to not require war to sustain one side, but to do so and be militarily massive is quite difficult, and so no big side seems able to do this.

anyway what i actually wanted to say was about a potential way to reach peace.
step 1 kill every single unit.
step 2 decrypt every single unit
step 3 make sure wanda doesn't want war
step 4 peace celebrations
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby GaryThunder » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:59 pm

Then who pays Wanda's upkeep?

No...seriously.
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Thunder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:17 am

the cities are not destroyed, and they make money.

in fact with all the cities under one side and no unit requiring upkeep there will be a massive amount of free moneys to be pissed away
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby ShirKhan » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:04 am

My two cent:

Option A: Parson manages to find upkeep exploits that allow a bubble kingdom.

Option B: Parson cheats so badly in all fights that the Titans lose interest, because the battles can't be easily calculated any more. To some extent, the world seems as if the Titans were the Game Masters that created the place so that their players can fight against each other there. However, as a Game Master, you want to know how a battle will probably end. 2000 infantry on one side vs. 100 archery on the other? Clear win for the first side. 200 infantry vs. 1000 archers? Almost even, depending on the terrain. 20 infantry vs. 10000 archers? Easy win for the second side.

If someone however found so many exploits in the rules that battles just aren't predictable any more, the game would become very annoying to control, so the Titans might come up with better rules.

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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Thunder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:10 pm

what about the fun in non predictability?

i mean if you always know the outcome wheres the fun in that (if were asuming the titans are watching everything for their amusment)
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Wrath » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:39 pm

Magic! No, wait, they've already got magic.

Science!
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Re: How will Parson bring about peace on Erf?

Postby Thunder » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:52 pm

Wrath wrote:Magic! No, wait, they've already got magic.

Science!


Honestly Ive been wondering why Parson hasn't brought more science to erfworld, our highest levels of tech wouldn't be something he could create of coarse, but some of the tech above erfwould's he could definatly produce, if not by himself he could at least get those with fabrication abilities to help
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