And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Macadosche » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:12 am

Seriously, don't read this if you're the type who hates surprises ruined, because an integral yet unsaid facet of the comic has become very clear to me recently. I searched through the forums and haven't found much conversation around this topic, so I thought I'd give my little hypothesis a stab and let you guys tear it apart. Here goes:

I believe that in the final panel of Book 1, Parson finally catches onto something huge. He screams that he's a player, and through that realization is able to at least partially break through some of Erfworld's power over him. However, I don't think he's quite correct... or rather, that he doesn't take it far enough. You see, I believe that Parson is not only a Player... he's a Titan. Or perhaps an avatar of himself manifested on Erfworld.

We get clues in the early panels of the comic, where the Gobwin Knob scenario is laid out before him. Who created it? Parson. He says later in the comic that he'd been working on a sort of Kobayashi Maru where his players would have to break the game, or cheat, in order to win. This implies that he'd been mulling it around for months in his head, dreaming it all up. Then you take the makeup of Erfworld itself, the marbits, the peeps, the turn based strategy rules of it, everything down to the Dance Dance Revolution references are instantly recognizable to him... because they come from him! He created the world, somehow, be it part of his subconscious, "just a dream," whatever... he has absolutely got to be a Titan, it's the only explanation that makes any sense to me.

Or maybe I've just watched Neverending Story too many times. :)

Clearly he doesn't know he's a Titan, that would ruin everything. My guess is that somewhere around the end of Book 2 or 3 when we start to see big battles with the Arkentools being wielded as the sides that possess them struggle against one another, there'll be a panel where Parson gets hit with the Arkenhammer and nothing happens... or he's somehow able to resist an attack from Charlie's Arkendish or some such where he wields power unheard of on Erfworld. Because he made it.

Last thing, I also wanted to note that there are multiple Titans who created everything. Clearly he's not the only one, otherwise he'd not have to 'play' the game he's in because he'd be able to beat it in a few turns. This seems to imply that others are in on it as well, and that Erfworld is a melange of a ton of Parsons out there... of all of us hardcore gamers I presume. Parson is somewhere over the rainbow... the place where dreams that we dare to dream really do come true. He's in gamer paradise, living out the best scenarios GMs the world over have designed, mixed with the most 'sticky' bits of pop culture that have become an eponymous part of our collective psyche.

Or something like that.

The best part of it all is that even though I've figured out your big secret, Rob and Jamie... I absolutely can't WAIT for you to roll it all out! After all, it's not the itty bitty secrets that make a great comic, story, or gaming campaign. It's the journey that counts. And I have enjoyed every minute of the journey so far... since day 1, post 1 in fact... and each new update is a delight. Even though I TOTALLY have it all figured out now. Or do I? ;)
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby zbeeblebrox » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:26 am

That's a fascinating theory there, Macadosche. I think the only thing that runs specifically counter to it is

erm

Page 1


Although I'm sort of in the same general camp. Back on the giantitp boards, I once suggested that Erfworld is actually a simulation - that this universe's reality is actually more grounded than it appears, because we're not actually seeing it.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:31 am

Cool theory. Personally, I don't see it, because making your protagonist a god kinda takes the fun out of everything.
And, if he is a titan, able to resist incredible powers, you'd think he'd make sure he couldn't be harmed by a little thing like a pickaxe... :D

You could argue that the only reason he was able to be hurt is because he did it himself, but if you make the character a god, then everything that contradicts that evidence is handled by "god did it", and to me at least, that's just poor storytelling.

I think that Parson's power will come from him being human, and thus not subject to many of the rules that a native erfworlder is bound by.
I think he has no move restrictions, for example, and I don't think he can be disbanded.
Both are assumptions on my part, however - there's no evidence for either in the comics (yet).

But mostly, I think Parson's power comes from the fact that he just sees everything differently.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby DevilDan » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:24 am

Nice points, MarbitChow.

Macadosche, just to add a spin to your thoughts: there's no reason that the Titans couldn't all represent or be part of Parson. After all, all the various facets or phases of the King of Rock were still a single person.

zbeeblebrox, what's seen in the first panel, particularly given the presence of a narration, could be the relation of a legend, of a creation myth. On the other hand, the lack of narration later on might simply mean that the writer changed his mind but still wanted to keep the narration in the first panel.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Macadosche » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:09 pm

Aha! I knew I was onto something. You're all helping me feel stronger about my theory. A few counter-points:

zbeeblebrox wrote:That's a fascinating theory there, Macadosche. I think the only thing that runs specifically counter to it is

erm

Page 1


I don't see anything on Page 1 that contradicts my theory. I've always held the view that DevilDan postulates, that the beginning pages are an Erfworld creation myth. Besides, The Giant Elvii are shaped exactly like Parson! Put a wig and glasses on the guy and he's a dead ringer for those giant page 1 figures.

And on this:

And, if he is a titan, able to resist incredible powers, you'd think he'd make sure he couldn't be harmed by a little thing like a pickaxe... :D


No way! Because I don't think Parson knows he's a Titan at all. Simply creating his game scenario gave birth to that portion of Erf, and all he was consciously doing was creating a game. But because he is a master gamer, investing his life experience and soul into making the perfect game, maybe the power of his will actually created an alternate reality where the game came to life and summoned him there. Or it all exists inside his mind and the Parson we see in the comic is simply the Erfworld avatar of his consciousness, bound by the rules of the world he dreamed up. There are classic examples in myth and legend, and even in some current religions, where the gods come to Earth and can be harmed by mortal means.

Also, remember that just because he is A titan does not necessarily mean he is omnipotent or all-powerful. In a pantheon of multiple Titans, he clearly would share power with the others. He also may have relinquished some of that power when he went into the game he created. I've had many RPG's, RTS games, etc, that I created which took on lives of their own in a way which I never would have imagined before I played them out. Same thing's going on here.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby OneHugeTuck » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:15 pm

The only problem I see with a theory that Earth gamers are Titans because they create games (if that's basically what you meant), is that the Erf structure is very complete and structured, not an amalgam of 20 different gamers' ideas and creations.

I took the similarities of Gobwin KNob and Parson's Earth gaming scenario as the spell looking for the perfect warlord, and noticing the similarity between the two.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby DevilDan » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:34 pm

OneHugeTuck wrote:The only problem I see with a theory that Earth gamers are Titans because they create games (if that's basically what you meant), is that the Erf structure is very complete and structured, not an amalgam of 20 different gamers' ideas and creations.

I took the similarities of Gobwin KNob and Parson's Earth gaming scenario as the spell looking for the perfect warlord, and noticing the similarity between the two.

At this point, this is one of those "is this reality or a computer simulation or a dream"-type questions. Philosophers decided that they are unanswerable questions, at least in the case of Stupid-World Prime (Earth, that is).
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:39 pm

Macadosche wrote:
And, if he is a titan, able to resist incredible powers, you'd think he'd make sure he couldn't be harmed by a little thing like a pickaxe... :D


No way! Because I don't think Parson knows he's a Titan at all. Simply creating his game scenario gave birth to that portion of Erf, and all he was consciously doing was creating a game. But because he is a master gamer, investing his life experience and soul into making the perfect game, maybe the power of his will actually created an alternate reality where the game came to life and summoned him there. Or it all exists inside his mind and the Parson we see in the comic is simply the Erfworld avatar of his consciousness, bound by the rules of the world he dreamed up. There are classic examples in myth and legend, and even in some current religions, where the gods come to Earth and can be harmed by mortal means.

Also, remember that just because he is A titan does not necessarily mean he is omnipotent or all-powerful. In a pantheon of multiple Titans, he clearly would share power with the others. He also may have relinquished some of that power when he went into the game he created. I've had many RPG's, RTS games, etc, that I created which took on lives of their own in a way which I never would have imagined before I played them out. Same thing's going on here.


...In other words, "god did it". :D

If you give Parson godlike powers, including the power to make himself non-godlike, and then later remove his self-imposed restrictions, the character isn't very interesting.
If you never remove the self-imposed restrictions, there's no reason to have made the character god-like.

The game that parson talked about creating is only a very small portion of what Erfworld has shown itself to be. The Magic Kingdom, Transylvito, Dwagons, Spidews - all of these things are things that Parson doesn't strike me as the type to have created, but they can be explained by the criteria that things in Erfworld should seem safe and familiar to him.

-----

Your theory is constructed in such a way that it is impossible to disprove without the author actually coming out and saying "You're wrong." Any counter-example we provide, you can explain away by saying "But he's a titan - he has the power to do it" in the same way that a creationist can say that fossils don't show that the earth is older than 6000 years old because "God made the fossils to trick us."

I'm a big fan of Occam's Razor, and while it doesn't really apply to literature in general, I'd say here that, given the choice between "Parson is a human summoned to a parallel dimension that is both familiar and strange" and "Parson is a god-like entity who created his own parallel dimension that is both familiar and strange, and then placed himself within it", I'd pick the former, since both theories give us the same narrative, but only one requires granting Parson additional powers that he hasn't yet been shown to possess.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Dwagon_Cwoaker » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:47 pm

I agree with the OP's theory. I know, the razor logic issue and logical fallacies are abound, so i'm going to try to explain my thoughts on how this is logically plausible without insulting anyone's intelligence.

First off, people need to change their views of the Titans. Erfworlders do believe the titans are gods, yes, and they also believe that there are multiple titans. Currently, what basis they have for believing there are multiple titans has yet to be explained, but I'm going to go with the idea that there are multiple titans in erfworld's theological system for a reason. As such, I'm going to make the following assumptions, which, while there is only circumstantial evidence to support them, most of the opposing theories have less evidence to support them.

1) There are similarities between the game Parson designed, specifically the scenario, and Erfworld. There are areas of Erfworld that he is not familiar with, such as magic, which would imply that if Parson is responsible for having created this scenario, there are others who created other aspects of the world at large. Thus, multiple Titans. And honestly, i'm seeing quite a few themes in the world that take from real world games. The schools of magic being divided into 3 sub schools each seems rather familiar (is that similar to the dragonlance system? i know they had the red, white, and black robes...). And the literal multitude of elven subtypes... well, count how many subraces of elves have been created in the d&d system alone, and you'll get what i'm saying. So, the idea that Erfworld is an amalgamation of games has some evidence to be backing it up. Especially with this statement. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0031.html) "Its a little like a game I was developing. Seems to have elements of other ones I've beaten, too." However, it is repeatedly stated that he doesn't know the system, which implies that there are elements of games that he does NOT know. TL;DR: He is only one of the titans.

2) Erfworld exists. Its not a dream or simulation, it exists somewhere in the universe. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0005.html) Take a good hard look at this comic, and consider it. This strip occured before the audience was even aware of Parson's existence. Continued insistence that Erfworld is some mere simulation or dream is to ignore the fact that this conversation between Stanley and Wanda occured, and Wanda specifically stated that the Summon Perfect Warlord spell would draw a Warlord from anywhere in existence. Implying that Erfworld is a part of this 'Existence'. Maybe not reality in the way we imagine it, but the fact remains that somehow, somewhere in the multiverse, Erfworld exists and what occurs there actually does occur.

3) The most controversial one assumption: the Titans are not gods, at least not in the way we would imagine gods. In fact, while the Titans are revered as the creators of Erfworld, the label of 'gods' is not one applied to them. Its us readers who simply write them off as Gods. Now, I want you to think back to South Park's Imaginationland trilogy. All of Imaginationland was created by the imaginations of the world. Now, obviously, Butters being in there let him remake the world after the US military nuked it, but i'm just ignoring that and focusing on the idea that Imaginationland was formed by everyone with an imagination, and not people like M. Night Shyamaladon (sp?) and Michael Bay. Now, in Imaginationland, Butters was treated as the chosen one and whatnot, with imagination, but he was not a god. I believe Titans are of the same ilk. They are certainly powerful, and they did create the world, but they aren't gods, even if the Erfworlders treat them as such.

Basically, what i'm saying it, stop rejecting the theory that Lord Hamster is a Titan based on you guys not wanting him to be a god. The entire theory is that Erfworld is the imaginationland of gamers, making gamers what the Erfworlders call the Titans, and as Parson is the quintessential gamer, Parson is a Titan. Noone realizes it yet, though, because Erfworlders expect Titans to be huge omniscient beings able to reshape the world at their whim, and Parson is a simple Warlord now.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby DevilDan » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:23 pm

So Parson is the Architect?
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Dwagon_Cwoaker » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:51 pm

LMAO. Nice. Definetly saving that pic.

But no, the theory as I have worked it out is that Parson is just one of the 'Architects', or Titans. Over thousands of turns, though, Erfworlders just lost track of what the Titans actually were, and fell back on the assumption that they were gods, that they had some grand master plan, and that they were the creators of Erfworld. Now, by my logic, the gamers from whose minds came Erfworld did make the world, albeit inadvertently. And lets face it, us gamers do plan absurdly far ahead sometimes, so the idea of the 'Titans Plan' may just be an exaggeration of how far ahead gamers think. After all, the fact that Erfworlders acknowledge the Titans indicates that at some point, probably right at turn 1, they all understood how they popped. The big ass dudes created them. They're titanic in size. Hey, lets call them the Titans!

Probably won't be too long into book 2 that we start to see more hints of Parson beginning to break more rules, like he did. The key to avoid a fan riot is that there needs to be a basic understanding of the difference between snubbing the rules, like a god would do, and bending or ignoring certain rules, like Parson has done. Parson's already considering the idea of what kinds of tricks different 3-caster combinations could achieve, though I'm quite certain we won't be seeing another one used by the Gobwin Knob side any time soon. And the uncroaking of a volcano is a pretty huge twist in the rules that Erfworlders were familiar with. Finally, his breaking of the boop rule upon his declaration that he was a caster just continues to push the notion that he does not fit into Erfworld. As I see it, if Parson is not of this world, yet he is familiar with some aspects of it, and the method through which Erfworld was created is still stuck in the 'Titans did it' era, the path of the least logcial resistance is that Parson had an unwitting hand in Erfworld's creation.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:18 pm

Dwagon_Cwoaker wrote:i'm going to try to explain my thoughts on how this is logically plausible without insulting anyone's intelligence... (snip) But no, the theory as I have worked it out is that Parson is just one of the 'Architects', or Titans. ... (snip) The key to avoid a fan riot is that there needs to be a basic understanding of the difference between snubbing the rules, like a god would do, and bending or ignoring certain rules, like Parson has done.


I'll agree that it is entirely plausible that Parson is a Titan.
Let me see if I have your assumptions correct:

1) Parson's imagination created some portion of Erfworld
2) Parson has the powers of a Titan, but he isn't aware of it yet
3) Since Parson does not fit into the natural Erfworld order, he is literally supernatural

Is this accurate? If so, my opinions on each point:

1) Parson's imagination created some portion of Erfworld

If this is the case, why doesn't he know more about what the rules are? He created a gaming scenario that was similar to Gobwin Knob - why didn't he recognize more of it? He's discovering everything through trial and error, talking to people, and getting Stupid Meal updates.

2) Parson has the powers of a Titan, but he isn't aware of it yet

If Parson becomes aware of overwhelming power, the story ends - Parson can now do just about anything. The entire story is literally a Deus Ex Machina ending.
If he does not ever become aware of this power, nothing at all changes - he may as well not have the power at all.

Given these two choices, and given the skill with which the story has been written so far, I personally would place money on Parson not being a titan.

3) Since Parson does not fit into the natural Erfworld order, he is literally supernatural

This part I can freely agree with. Parson is clearly not bound by many of the rules Erfworlders take for granted. However, it seems to me that Parson being 'from Earth' is a good enough reason to justify many of the rules that don't apply, and we haven't yet discovered how many of them actually do. Move, for example, is about to be shown to us, as Parson experiments with it. Being an Earthling in Erfworld may grant him special abilities, just like an Air Elemental in Dungeons and Dragons can do things in the Prime Material Plane that most other creatures can't - it's from a dimension where those abilities are 'normal', and they remain when the creature shifts dimensions.

---

If we assume that there are, in fact, an infinite number of different dimensions (which the scene of summoning Parson implies), then every dream, fantasy, fiction, and story that anyone has ever imagined in our world is another dimension somewhere else. Our imaginations don't create it - it matches our imagination exactly because, given an infinite number of combinations, a universe SOMEWHERE has to match. It is my impression that Parson has been pulled into one of those other dimensions, but I don't get the impression that he actually had a hand in creating it - it just seems familiar to him, because the spell looked for someone who would be familiar with all of the elements of Erfworld in some form already.

After all - Erfworld wished for Parson.

The entire first book has taken great pains to show us that Parson's primary weapon is just his mind. If the story gives him any additional powers beyond that (and his native Earthiness, which may give him 'resistance' to certain Erfworld effects like Thinkamancy), it will be a disappointment to me.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Dwagon_Cwoaker » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:56 pm

Yeah, we're on the same page for Parson possibly being what the Erfworlders considered a Titan, and for him being supernatural. After all, the Stupid Meal listed him as being 'Chief Warlord, Level 2, SPECIAL.' In my experience, anything involving a tabletop game noted as special is usually some kind of ability that doesn't fit into the ruleset. But, once again I must stress that if he is a Titan Parson was not the ONLY creator of Erfworld, he only created some small portion of it. After all, think about just how many gamers are out in the world today. Hundreds of thousands, if not upwards of millions. Thus why he would recognize sections of it, such as the battle he was in, the concept of stacking bonuses, and how he recognized the potential exploits within the rules system, but how he was utterly unfamiliar with other concepts, such as royalty, movement, turns. A lot of that can be attributed to being just out of place; after all, how would you feel if you were stuck in a wargame like Warhammer 40k? "Damnit, they are charging right towards us! Lets just shoot them!" "No, its not our turn, and we aren't in cover."

For number 2, Parson having the power of Titans without realizing it, well, that wasn't exactly what I was trying to say. Really, the point of debate is what exactly a Titan CAN do, and that revolves solely around the crux of the issue; if the Titans created Erfworld, were the minds of gamers such as Parson these fabled Titans. It is possible that, assuming that there are an infinite amount of universes like you hypothesized, that this is a cosmic coincidence that the Summon Perfect Warlord spell, which recieved a hot beef injection of Fate magic, drew Parson to Erfworld as the best match for a Perfect Warlord. What I think I'm trying to say is, if gamers created Erfworld, then while they have power outside of the world in its shaping, I believe that while they are in the world, which is partly supernatural and mostly just an extremely unnatural and chaotic situation, what advantage a gamer/titan draws is the same as any advantage that they have when they are playing against an AI opponent or someone who is stuck inside the box.

As an example, imagine if you will playing Alpha Centauri. The computer players are predisposed to strive towards certain objectives, whether they be a Transcendent victory, a military victory, diplomatic victory, what have you. As a human player, though, you are able to think beyond 'what is the goal', to 'how can I best achieve the goal.' Human players can act upon plans that, while they function within the existing ruleset, are not what the ruleset is intended for, which is often referred to in games as exploits or bending the rules. For example, one game of Alpha Centauri, the campaign was drawing to a close, I was nearing my goal of a Transcendant Victory, but I knew that Chairman Yang of the Hive was nearing a diplomatic victory. He was in too powerful of a position for me to eliminate, the diplomatic victory would trigger before i transcended, and the Greenpeace hippies and the Spartans hates me. My only ally was the University, who I had kept alive to trade techs with to speed my way to transcending. I couldn't for the life of me figure out a solution until I realized that the Spartans, having been relegated to an island for the early part of the campaign, had been at war with the Greenpeace wannabies for the past 20 turns, but didn't have the technology or manpower to defeat them. So, I did something the computer wouldn't have been able to trick a human player to do. I immediatly gifted all of the techs I could to the Spartans as well as my healthy surplus of resources, among the techs all kinds of psi defense to counter the mindworms the Greenies were using. The Spartans were wiped out by the combined forces of the Greenies and Hivers coming to the Greenies rescue, after the Greenies had been reduced to one colony. Then, I convinced the University to attack the Greenies, which after the Hivers interceded one turn too late, resulted in the Greenies and the University being wiped out, leaving just myself and the Hive, rendering a diplomatic victory impossible. In the meantime, I had secured peace agreements from the Greenies and the Hivers immediatly after war was declared, allowing me to focus my resources solely on technology. Overall, these individual plans and the overall strategy were just beyond the AI's ability to comprehend, and even when it was too late to stop me I don't believe the AI realized what happened, as the Hivers kept trying to bribe me into voting for them in UN elections.

So, TL;DR: Parson's 'Titan' abilities within the physical realm of Erfworld are not of the omniscient 'I can make an unmovable boulder for shits and giggles' kind, but of raw human intellect that is beyond the capabilities of native Erfworlders. Throughout the series, Parson has asked questions that no Erfworlder ever actually considers. The epic speech concerning the difference between a strategy and a plan also is treated like a kind of enlightenment by the Erfworlders, whose entire existence revolved around waiting for their turn to start and marching gloriously into meatgrinders. Just like the titangamer theory states that the minds of gamers created Erfworld, it is the minds of gamers that give them such unparalleled capabilities while they are in Erfworld without being actual gods. After all, the fact that Gobwin Knob still stands and the entire Royal Crown Coalition army was annihilated is a miracle, but it was not a miracle born of divine smiting, it was born through sheer intellect and determination on the part of Parson. And once again I repeat, the reason noone considers Parson a Titan, is because those on Erfworld believe Titans to be these colossal omnipotent, all powerful beings. Not a warlord whose intellectual capacity is so far beyond theirs, most of them don't even realize what Parson is capable of.

In fact, the one hole in the entire theory, as I see it, is the existence of Charlie. Charlie is the one resident of Erfworld who even comes close to understanding what occurs in Parsons mind, and the only resident of Erfworld who partakes in the same mindgames as Parson. I was tempted to say that perhaps Charlie is of the same ilk as Parson, a gamer drawn into Erfworld by magic of some kind, but then, he is attuned to the Arkendish. The Arkentools I can see, within the scope of the titangamer theory, as one gamers insertion of superweapons into the game. But so far, they have attuned to Stanley the common infantry unit, Wanda the caster, and Charlie the X. Charlie, who is unique in Erfworld in that the only person who thinks like him is Parson, who doesn't come from Erfworld. The only way I will be able to throw my money one way or the other is to see if the 4th known Arkentool, if it hasn't already attuned to someone, attunes to Parson. If an Arkentool attunes to Parson, who isn't from Erfworld, then I would say that Charlie is also a titan/gamer, trapped in Erfworld, attuned to the Arkendish, and manipulating everyone against each other as a mercenary doombringer with his army of archons he gained from somewhere.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:17 am

It sounds less like you're saying "Parson is a Titan" and more like "Parson has a little bit of Titan in him."
If that's the case, then yeah, we all have a little bit of Titan in us. :)
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Dwagon_Cwoaker » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:55 am

I guess that is more accurate than anything else that's been said. Really, I'm just trying to link Parson and the Titans, and the more I type about it, the more I think about it, the more it appears that being a Titan is more about the gamer mindset. Thus making a Tool of the Titans a fancy term for a chesspiece of Kasparov.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby sergeial » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:06 am

Hi, I'm Sergei. Welcome to me!

I have to disagree with the theory that Parson is unknowingly a Titan, and that Erfworld was created by his imagination. I see the attraction of the theory--it explains a lot of the weird pop-culture references built into the world, and its similarity to the wargame he was just about to start playing. But I think there's a better explanation. Look again at page 17: http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F017.jpg

"Everything should seem familiar and safe to him." The summon spell had all of existence to choose from. Erfworld is filled with familiar names and images from our world NOT because it came from Parson's mind, but because the summon spell chose Parson specifically because Erfworld would seem familiar to him.

And what does "safe" mean is this context? I think that's where the "cutesy" elements in the world-design come from. In other words, Dragons are "Dwagons" not exactly because it would seem cutesy to Parson, but because the summon spell chose Parson over any other strategic genius from some other cultural context that wouldn't have found "Dwagon" cutesy. And the same justification applies to every aspect of Erfworld that is cutesy or strategy-game-like or a pop culture reference. All of these are things that lead to Parson being the best fit for the terms of the summon.

Both possibilities (plus "all a dream," too) fit the facts, but personally I think that the best fit is: Erfworld and "Boring World" are both real universes in an infinite multiverse, and the parallels between Erfworld and Boring World's modern popular culture are the kind of huge coincidence that are inevitable in an infinite multiverse.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby mortissimus » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:38 am

sergeial wrote:Both possibilities (plus "all a dream," too) fit the facts, but personally I think that the best fit is: Erfworld and "Boring World" are both real universes in an infinite multiverse, and the parallels between Erfworld and Boring World's modern popular culture are the kind of huge coincidence that are inevitable in an infinite multiverse.


I agree. I also think that it makes more sense from a story perspective as that limits what powers Parson can discover that he has to those of a human and a player. Maybe as a human he can pass a hex-border outside of his turn, after all he is the only one that appears to get tired from moving around so we have some indication that movement differs between erfworlders in Erf and humans in Erf.

Making him a Titan or creator or someting makes the limits of his powers unknown to us, making it harder to create suspense. Like in all Matrix movies after the first one.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby Dwagon_Cwoaker » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:39 am

See, once again, this theory hinges on several different theories being true. Its kind of a what came first, Gamers or Erfworld kinda thing. What would solve the problem nicely is if we knew exactly how quickly time flowed in Erfworld compared to Earth. If Erfworld's time was flowing rather quickly, then it would make sense that Erfworld first began being formed back in the days of WW2 sandtable battles, and every gamer since then has injected his own pieces of his imagination into Erfworld, albeit unwittingly.

But honestly, for the purposes of this thought exercise, ignore the notions of God-like powers for one second. Just imagine this. You are sitting at a table working over the final revisions to another great tabletop strategy game. You've balanced out stats, you've prepared the world, you worked out the sides, then all the sudden, poof, you find yourself in a strange world just like you created where the figurines and units all worship the creators of the world as Gods. If some cosmic force created the world based out of your imagination, then while in essence you would be the God they worship, you are in fact no more powerful than you were back on Earth. Its not like the cosmic force that used your imagination as the catalyst for the creation of this world if going to continue giving its powers to you while you are within your own creation, and you yourself are no more powerful than you were back on Earth.

Now, change it up to match Erfworld. There are thousands of gamers who the cosmic force creating Erfworld is drawing upon, and only one of them gets drawn in. Its why he recognizes things and things seem familiar to him, but he has no idea what the hell these Titans the little people keep babbling about actually are. This leaves an outside observer with two possible conclusions. 1) The cosmic force that shaped Erfworld is what they worship as the Titans. 2) The gamers who unknowingly used this cosmic force as a medium to shape Erfworld are the Titans, but since in Erfworld they do not have the cosmic force nor do they know it exists, the idea of Parson being a Titan is completely alien and completely illogical to both Parson and to Erfworlders at large.

I understand, noone wants Parson to be Neo. Believe me, I HATE Keanu Reeves, and I especially hate the idea of Neo, and I do NOT want Parson to be the Keanu Reeves of Erfworld. But I do not believe in coincidence, and with all the fate magic in this story, neither does Erfworld. There is a reason Erfworld exists, and there is a reason that it partly matches with what Parson knows and understands. As to your reference, Sergei, I agree that it would appear that Erfworld chose Parson, but think about it. Why would it choose Parson? Because he matched the haphazard chaotic criteria that Stanley threw out? I would sure hope not, or else, there is something fundamentally flawed about this universe. Remember, not 3 strips earlier, it was explicitly stated that the spell itself was absolutely jam-packed full of fate magic. If you want to insist on the fact that the spell was used to find someone who would find the world familiar and safe, then who would feel more familiar and safe in Erfworld than someone who had a hand in its creation?
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby DevilDan » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:01 pm

At least one character has a strong opinion on the matter:
"This isn't what I wished for." - Parson
"Hah! You didn't wish for this world, Parson Gotti. It wished for you." - Wanda
They could not possibly win. Every man knew this with certainty, and lo it was glorious.
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Re: And Now I Shall Spoil Everything

Postby sergeial » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:02 pm

Dwagon_Cwoaker wrote:As to your reference, Sergei, I agree that it would appear that Erfworld chose Parson, but think about it. Why would it choose Parson? Because he matched the haphazard chaotic criteria that Stanley threw out? I would sure hope not, or else, there is something fundamentally flawed about this universe. Remember, not 3 strips earlier, it was explicitly stated that the spell itself was absolutely jam-packed full of fate magic.


I don't understand this objection. Yes, I do believe that Parson was summoned because he fit the convoluted criteria of the summon. I don't see how this contradicts the summon being big fate-magic. (And Erf magic, too, actually. The summon was a combination of findamancy and predictamancy.) On page 5, it's established that it takes very powerful magic to search all of existence.
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