Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

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Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby dblmagus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:28 am

Now, we know so far Sizemore has only managed to modify terrain type by virtue of the link up, but that was really only a matter of uncroaking the volcano and letting it do what volcano's do best.

But, I can't see any reason that he couldn't do so by himself, at least in limited quantities, aside from lack of idea or lack of tradition of doing so.

We already know the physics of Erfworld are slightly different [Lava lake that never cools], so this will mainly be Pure Speculation mixed with a small touch of what we have seen happen so far.

We know that Sizemore is able to create tunnels in a hex that is not a city [Its what he just did in The Magic Kingdom]. Not much difference between a tunnel and a ditch, or say an aqueduct. Assuming that Water, Lava or a liquid in general (who knows if there are Acid lake terrain types yet) flows to encompass its container, and as we have seen no reason yet that Dirtamancy cannot Eventually (with a lot of Juice) cause an entire hex to be shaped into a ditch/aqueduct/valley that is incredibly deep, well it would be like irrigation on a large scale. He could change the terrain of a hex from a plains, forest, mountain, etc, into a river [of water or lava]. Something like that would severely aide a side thats heavy Navy and Air because then you don't have to worry about ground types as much, since without a bridge you can't really get ground types across that terrain. Its like making a moat :)

Course then the question becomes, does an artificial terrain provide the same benefits/penalties as a "natural" terrain, and would it persist as long.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:09 am

That's a very Parson-esque idea! Kudos. My guess is that though it's a totally legit exploit, it would sorta conform to conservation of energy (cause everything in Erfworld is sorta like our Stupidworld stuff). That is, you'd start dispersing the "juice" of lava until it was nonlethal. The thing that let Wanda (via Sizemore) pull that off was the sheer power and focus of a trimancer link - that gave them the energy to imbue into the land to change its physical state.

Which is a totally boop pseudo-physics explanation for the mechanics of a TBS, but it sounds like something a game designer (e.g. Parson) would come up with.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby dblmagus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:27 am

Well I figured the Lava would be a bigger problem than Water either way. After all we IRL made the Panama Canal after all, so a river of Water would make more sense and be easier than the Lava river. Still it might be a useful thing if Water Travel was a useful thing [Mass Troop transport, sending of goods and services etc etc] for a self sustaining economy thing. After all, most real world places relied on water access for economic reasons. Being able to make a river flow to where you need it to be could be pretty damn useful.

Side note: We know Sizemore and Maggie can two man link up pretty easy, so that would be a way to make some dirtamancy a bit more efficient. Also, since Lava is just super heated liquid rock, that might be under the purview of Dirtamancy anyway
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby the_tick_rules » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:36 am

It's possible, though we don't know how long such an endeavor would take if it could be done.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby dblmagus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:59 am

True true. And its not as if there are a great deal of Dirtamancers readily available (at least to our knowledge). It would be more of a long term project sorta thing, probably along the lines of the self suffiency hack. But it would certainly provide more defensive options. Since theoretically if you can make a river, you could just keep piling dirt up and make Mountains instead. Or make a mountain, hollow it out, and build a city inside of it.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby raphfrk » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:12 pm

It is also possible that the lava/water simply will not flow through the hex boundary, unless both sides are river type.

That could be useful, as you could create a "wall" of lava by digging down on the other side of the boundary.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby Saladman » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:40 pm

To argue the other side...

It was magnificent, Warlord. Horrifying, but... I can't describe it. I actually modified the terrain type, like a Titan.


It sounds like modifying the terrain type is unique in Sizemore's experience, and even in his imagination. I don't see it being done by a single caster.

But I take your point about moats and ditches. That could be done within a hex. So my quibble may be more semantic than substantive. Still, there's a difference between tunneling around in a hex, and actually hollowing out a whole hex.

...

I'm more intrigued by the implications of construction and farming being manual labors rather than city functions in the magic kingdom (and Dirtamancy being useful for such). Maybe that's also possible in Erfworld proper, but perhaps not cost-effective. But I wonder what I what a tri-mancer link with a Dirtamancer and Florist could accomplish - possibly altering the terrain type also but for productive gardens.

And...
Spoiler: show
...it opens up a possibility for the end-game if the Arkentools are gathered with Parson in charge. He's already played around with the idea of self-sufficient sides (by popping harvestable heavies). What if he used the Arkentools together to rewrite the rules of the world, and create or unlock "citizen" units to fill the empty cities and work farms. The implied received wisdom is that sides have to fight to survive, but Parson's the one guy in Erfworld who can conceive of something different and might be able to impose it.

(This may not be my original idea, but I don't remember if I've seen it before. Post if you're my inspiration.)


...

In passing, its very possible Dirtamancers are rare all over, but we only know for sure about the magic kingdom. Conceivably they're more common in Erfworld proper, and valuable enough no side ever cuts them loose if they can help it. We know about golem creation and leadership, Schmucker production by mining, discounted city rebuilding, and ground trap construction. As opposed to Date-a-mancers who we're told get ditched sometimes, useful casters who can cover their own upkeep sound like keepers. And they've got a direct combat use by leading their own stacks of golems, so their numbers might get thinned in last stands rather than being ordered directly into the MK by doomed sides.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby dblmagus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:28 pm

Well how I see it, many times with regards to things being done in Erfworld, its not a matter of it being impossible, so much as not having the thought to do so. For example the mount relays for speed.

Hence why I figured it wasn't so much a matter of him not being able to do something, as never having had the idea or reason to do so. Like tunneling in the Magic Kingdom :)
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby the_tick_rules » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:29 pm

The idea of this stuff being able to cross hex boundaries or not is quite interesting. I guess if we see GK with a lava moat soon we'll know
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby dblmagus » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:32 am

So far we know hex boundaries are pretty hard core. The only thing that has hit multiple hexes at the same time was the volcano eruption, which was deemed a dirtamancy trap, though whether thats what it Is, or how it was Interpreted by erfworlders is more speculation.

We know that Parson has been experimenting with erfworld physics already with regards to fall heights. Wouldn't be surprised if he got hold of a dollamancer (ohh like say Ace <.<) and started gearing his troops with parachutes so they don't take fall damage again. Or have the trolls fabricate some 'chutes.


But yeah, if Water happens to follow different rules about flowing through hexes, hell Parson could probably see about causing a Tidal Wave to attack coastal cities as combat options. There is no magic that we have seen associated with water (See Chart) but theoretically it would fall under Motion and Matter (which happens to be the Naughtymancy class) and its an aspect of Erf. So Shockamancy could theoretically be used to help push some water about in this case.

If it required a link up, well a link made with Dirt and Shock would probably be the necessary link to change terrain to a river sorta thing
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby Housellama » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:48 pm

dblmagus wrote:But yeah, if Water happens to follow different rules about flowing through hexes, hell Parson could probably see about causing a Tidal Wave to attack coastal cities as combat options. There is no magic that we have seen associated with water (See Chart) but theoretically it would fall under Motion and Matter (which happens to be the Naughtymancy class) and its an aspect of Erf. So Shockamancy could theoretically be used to help push some water about in this case.

If it required a link up, well a link made with Dirt and Shock would probably be the necessary link to change terrain to a river sorta thing


Holy crap, that's a nasty thought. Tital waves are chump change. Falls are Natural Shockamancy. With a Dirt/Shock tri-link, you could use the land itself as a weapon. If you enhance that natural shockamancy and use the dirtamancer to make opportunities for the enemy to fall, you could sit back and watch entire regiments die by tripping over a rock. And that's just the start

Build terrain that causes permanent thunderstorms around your cities and enhance the lightning to nuke armies before they even get close to your cities. Hedge mazes with poison thorns. Rivers with rapids that destroy boats and eat men alive. Treacherous mountain paths with falls guaranteed to leave you dead. Sun Tzu talks about killing ground. This could be literal.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby the_tick_rules » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:11 am

I dunno if that stuff is in sizemores abilities. He can dig tunnels, make earthen golems and that kinda stuff.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby cheeseaholic » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:49 pm

Problems would be hex walls stopping water/lava flowing (I love the idea of a wall of lava though, I never thought of that), terrain type not changing (boats can't cross the hex even if there's water, so filling it up with buckets wont help either), and of course the enormous amounts of resources spent.

I always wondered why not make bunkers though. Small walls, arrow slits (if effective), trenches, and just difficult terrain to cross quickly and in formation. Put those on the pathway up to GK to sap defenders cheaply before the reach the city in the advent of another battle there. And of course lava sprinklers in all the walls and stored in the walls so that lava leaks when the poor miners poke a hole in the wall....
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby ftl » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:57 pm

The bunker idea is probably possible. Seems well within the range of things Dirtamancy can do.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby effataigus » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:18 am

Heh... perhaps even dig out a path for water to flow into a hex on GK's turn, and then retreat one hex and set up a strong defensive position. On the enemy's turn they move to the hex that your side just vacated and end turn waiting for reinforcements. Night comes.

And then on the water's turn.... :twisted:
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:38 pm

dblmagus wrote:... We already know the physics of Erfworld are slightly different [Lava lake that never cools], so this will mainly be Pure Speculation mixed with a small touch of what we have seen happen so far...



We have lava lakes that do not cool.

Image

We do not have any reason to believe that Gobwin Gnob will "never cool" it just has not appeared to cool for multiple turns. The lake in the photo has been raging since the day it was discovered by people who could write about it, ~1882. The carbon dioxide and methane in lake kivo could also create a multiple hex dirtamancy trap.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby cloudbreaker » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:29 pm

pSycHOtic chICkeN wrote:We do not have any reason to believe that Gobwin Gnob will "never cool" it just has not appeared to cool for multiple turns. The lake in the photo has been raging since the day it was discovered by people who could write about it, ~1882. The carbon dioxide and methane in lake kivo could also create a multiple hex dirtamancy trap.

That is a good point. The GK volcano was uncroaked, not activated. We know that uncroaked units decay over time. I would imagine it would take a lot longer for uncroaked rock to decay than it takes uncroaked flesh.
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Re: Dirtamancy and Terrain Modification [speculation]

Postby bob the 6th » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:57 am

imagine if they decripted it
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