What is Charlie's endgame?

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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby bladestorm » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:56 pm

0beron wrote:Hmmm good theory, though I don't think it'd be possible unless he allies with/conquers every single one first. The city owner knows when enemy units cross the walls, and even if all the Archons have veils, all it takes is one lucky Spot check to kill a single Archon, and the plan fails.

The Archons could be in position adjacent to the city's airspace and wait until the plan is in place before entering the airspace. Or they may not be considered enemy units, especially if they are contracted out as 'full service' -- a ruler may intentionally invite a ticking time bomb into his throne room.

Another possible option Charlie may have is to break the directional control natural thinkamancy has. Ruler send orders to units and units send intel back to Rulers. break the governor that controls that flow, and the information available only to Rulers/commanders is now available to everyone. Completely open telepathic communication between everyone, no matter what station you were popped into.

Or, Charlie can be attempting to undo the design 'flaw' that propagates eternal warfare to sustain a side, turning Erfworld back into a resource management game. It may be something as simple as reducing the xp a unit gets from killing another unit, increasing xp gained through alternate xp methods, or somehow breaking the mechanism that makes constant warfare the most expedient means of leveling and profiting.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:21 pm

Mercenary contracts make the unit allied, so same thing really. Still means that if his plan required city hexes, he'd have to conquer/ally with/contract with every side on Erfworld or the Archons would get shot. Give the size of Erfworld, the odds of just a single Archon getting shot before the spell goes off will approach 1.

Your other theories are good ones and wouldn't require Archons in cities, since Thinkamancy is infinite in range.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby ftl » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:37 am

Or just have an archon within one turn of each city. Then, on his turn, have all the archons walk up to the city and signal for parley, and stall inside the city walls for just long enough to activate the plan. As we've seen in Erfworld, even enemies let you talk.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby conmor » Fri May 30, 2014 6:42 am

if we are saying that the archons must have every city/capital site within range, why are we not saying that the site must only be within their range of 50 or more? they wouldn't have to be in the site and there could be more than one archon fore every site as their range would overlap
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Thoughtmaster » Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:25 pm

0beron wrote:Personally I suspect that his endgame (if any) relates to something we haven't been shown yet. If he has a goal beyond simply surviving indefinitely, then I think it is tied into the nature of Erfworld itself, and is something we can't understand without knowing more about the Titans & Fate.

It's possible that he's saving up to literally buy something, a unit or ability or trick that qould require such an infinitely vast sum of schmuckers that nobody else is even aware it's an option. A tangent of this could be the Archons and his "threat" to Thinkamancy. Perhaps with Archons, he can do something with the 'Dish to try and break Natural Thinkamancy, destroying Duty Obedience & Loyalty. A large enough army of archons however would require a vast income to support.

Your idea about him saving for something big rings true in my ears, but the question is what is it he is saving for. My theory is that he intends to buy out the Magic Kingdom itself. Think about it, if someone is able to purchase a majority of the casters in the magic kingdom into being on his side, that means that he has control over the Magic Kingdom itself. This would likely serve a twofold purpose, 1) it would make his Archons the only mercenaries on the market capable of casting spells, and 2) it would give him and his forces with the ability to invade any and/or every capitol city on Erf. He would most likely then hold every faction to ransom and make them pay tribune to him else he would take their capital and destroy their faction, or he could then take over all of Erf.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Spicymancer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:32 pm

Personally, I think his enemy is Fate, specifically the fate to be croaked by Olive's poison. My theory is his Carnymancy trick to avoid it left him a physical shell, but kept him alive... And Fate itself is out to get him. He wants to put up such an impenetrable defense around himself that no amount of random chance or concerted effort can ever kill him.

That's the part of Jillian's mind he destroyed, not her Duty, but the part that wanted her to kill the ruler of Haffaton, regardless of if it was Judy or Olive. Jillian is since then Fate-blind, immune and unprotected from Fate's urgings.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:57 pm

Ooooooooh, I'm not even sure if you realized it, but you just tied together so many theories! Charlie's actions suddenly take on whole new meaning, and I can guess some of his plan now:
  • He let Haffaton grow huge to give him a safe buffer of time. With his city presumably somewhere inside Haffaton, he could be surrounded by a "friend" who he knows how to deal with. "Better the devil you know" and such. In this relative safety, he was free to set up his empire and develop his strategy.
  • What he did to Jillian was a test, to see if Fate's influence mainfests in a discrete manner and if it can be removed with magic.
  • He restored FAQ and "protected" them so that he could monitor his test subject over a prolonged period, watching for side effects and regression.
  • When Wanda jeopardized the secrecy/security of his experiment by contacting Stanley, he tried to make sure FAQ would be destroyed rather than discovered, and Jillian along with it.
  • Meanwhile he has been popping more and more Archons
  • When he has enough Archons, he will be able to do to the entire world what he did to Jillian
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Ashendant » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:31 pm

0beron wrote:Ooooooooh, I'm not even sure if you realized it, but you just tied together so many theories! Charlie's actions suddenly take on whole new meaning, and I can guess some of his plan now:
  • He let Haffaton grow huge to give him a safe buffer of time. With his city presumably somewhere inside Haffaton, he could be surrounded by a "friend" who he knows how to deal with. "Better the devil you know" and such. In this relative safety, he was free to set up his empire and develop his strategy.
  • What he did to Jillian was a test, to see if Fate's influence mainfests in a discrete manner and if it can be removed with magic.
  • He restored FAQ and "protected" them so that he could monitor his test subject over a prolonged period, watching for side effects and regression.
  • When Wanda jeopardized the secrecy/security of his experiment by contacting Stanley, he tried to make sure FAQ would be destroyed rather than discovered, and Jillian along with it.
  • Meanwhile he has been popping more and more Archons
  • When he has enough Archons, he will be able to do to the entire world what he did to Jillian


So you're saying that Charlie's objective is pulling an Infinite Tsukuyomi?
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:32 pm

Unfortunately I don't know the reference, so can't comment.
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GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Ashendant » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:50 pm

0beron wrote:Unfortunately I don't know the reference, so can't comment.


Naruto http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/Infinite_Tsukuyomi
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Spicymancer » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:13 pm

0beron wrote:Ooooooooh, I'm not even sure if you realized it, but you just tied together so many theories! Charlie's actions suddenly take on whole new meaning, and I can guess some of his plan now:


Huh... I can safely say I didn't have any of those theories in mind when I posted, but there is a good amount of sense in them. The idea of Charlie wanting to destroy Fate's mental agents in every Erfworlder (or at least the rulers and heirs) certainly would make him fear less for his life.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Th Revanchist » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:54 pm

Spicymancer wrote:
0beron wrote:Ooooooooh, I'm not even sure if you realized it, but you just tied together so many theories! Charlie's actions suddenly take on whole new meaning, and I can guess some of his plan now:


Huh... I can safely say I didn't have any of those theories in mind when I posted, but there is a good amount of sense in them. The idea of Charlie wanting to destroy Fate's mental agents in every Erfworlder (or at least the rulers and heirs) certainly would make him fear less for his life.

Too bad for him, he never saw the first page. Some unit, at some point, could (and if he succeeds, probably will) get lucky.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Selexor » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:09 pm

This is a bit Meta, but I still think it works even with the detailed story we have here. I'm not sure how it effects what Charlie's endgame may be, but the more we learn about him, the more I'm reminded of this comic. Specifically what Parson explains to the trio about his game back home:

"That, um, game I was developing back home... it had rules. But it couldn't be won within the rules. I wanted to play a game where the players had to surprise the GM with lateral thinking. So I was essentially gonna cheat them. Undermine everything they tried. Until they found a clever enough way to cheat me. To break my rules and win."


We know Erfworld is, literally, Parson's game. We know that Parson has been magically turned into a unit in that game, though he emphatically refers to himself as a Player, not a gamepiece, at the end of Book 1. Charlie, in the meanwhile, is the all-seeing, all-knowing, absurdly rich and powerful Chessmaster who's manipulating Parson's enemies against him, and who has the power (via Carnymancy and the Arkendish) to bend the rules of Erfworld itself to his will. So essentially, Parson created a game where the players would have to out-cheat the GM to win. And if he's a player in that game, then for all purposes... Charlie is the GM. Parson's basically having the experience of fighting himself.

So if Parson's theoretical reason for being in Erfworld is to "Break War" and end the cycle of sides endlessly killing one another for no other purpose, Charlie's reason for being would be the opposite of that. If Parson's trying to break the existing rules to bring about peace, Charlie's trying to keep the existing rules in place to maintain Erfworld's state of constant war. He likes being a chessmaster, he likes being powerful and mysterious, he likes being Charlie.

Basically, Charlie doesn't have an Endgame. He just has a game. He's the GM of Erfworld, and he simply doesn't want to stop playing.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Godzfirefly » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:16 pm

Selexor wrote:We know Erfworld is, literally, Parson's game.

Do we know that? If Erfworld was actually Parson's game, wouldn't he already know the rules?

I was under the impression that it was something more along the lines of Parson being pulled from one of infinite worlds where he happened to be the one of infinite people that fit Stanley's specifications and one of those specifications was that he plans wars for fun. So, it's not a coincidence that Parson was about to play a game similar to Gobwin Knob's situation, but neither is he specifically in his own game. Just a world with a similar situation.

So, in the end, Charlie is likely not so much a GM as another player in the same game.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Th Revanchist » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:22 pm

Albeit a player who has a much more secure (for now, anyways) side, and a significantlymore respectable reputation*?

*not for the reader, of course. In-universe. :)
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Selexor » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:26 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:Do we know that? If Erfworld was actually Parson's game, wouldn't he already know the rules?

I was under the impression that it was something more along the lines of Parson being pulled from one of infinite worlds where he happened to be the one of infinite people that fit Stanley's specifications and one of those specifications was that he plans wars for fun. So, it's not a coincidence that Parson was about to play a game similar to Gobwin Knob's situation, but neither is he specifically in his own game. Just a world with a similar situation.

So, in the end, Charlie is likely not so much a GM as another player in the same game.
Okay, yeah, point. I'm sort of merging the meta of Parson's Stupidworld Game with the story of Erfworld. Lemme see if I can put it more clearly...

I'm not saying that the Erfworld of the story is Parson's Game, exactly, or that Charlie is literally the GM of it. What I mean is that Parson created a game that was identical to Erfworld (specifically The Battle For Gobwin Knob), which had the roles of an unfairly-powerful GM manipulating forces against players who had to break the rules to win. Now, if we extend that concept to the entire story, Parson is obviously the Player (or at least thus far the only real Player revealed). And in this scenario, the role of GM would very neatly fit Charlie. Just like Parson is both a Player and a Unit, Charlie is the GM and a Unit, as it were.

For the purpose of the story, they're both really there in Erfworld, and everything is really happening. But if you look at it from the perspective of Parson's Stupidworld Game, I think Charlie is a good metaphor for the GM. And as GM, he doesn't need an endgame beyond "Defeat the Players" to keep the gameworld squarely under his thumb.

Does that make more sense? I feel like I'm not being especially clear on the difference between the metaphor and the actual story, because I'm not sure that I'm especially clear on it, but... I hope that helps.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:38 am

Hmmm...interesting analogy, though it would require Charlie to have somehow been behind the RCC's attack on Stanley (at least if we follow it to the logical conclusion.) Indeed, it would imply that most events in the story had Charlie's fingers on them for more than just monetary gain. I don't know if I can accept that currently, but I can certainly acknowledge its possibilities.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Selexor » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:50 am

Well... not necessarily. He could have been moving his pawns around for unrelated reasons, perhaps testing how an Attuned wielder of an Arkentool (Stanley) would fare if directly opposed to a non-attuned wielder (Ansom). Or just doing anything he wanted for the sheer fun of it, forming a major alliance to take down the "Bad Guys" of his little scenario. But I do notice that he only took a direct hand in the battle and allied with Jetstone after Parson was summoned.

It's still wildly unsubstantiated, but... I just thought it was a fun possibility. c:
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby 0beron » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:29 am

It's honestly an EXCELLENT analogy/theory. Being a GM myself often, your theme makes complete sense. This is exactly how we behave, even when we're NOT trying to cheat/kill the players. Allow me to elaborate.

  1. Even though the GM is essentially roleplaying "everyone else in the world", within a given campaign there is usually a central specific enemy to the party and that individual is in a way the GM's "avatar". It's the one unit, "The Enemy", we often focus our most attention on, they live the longest in the story, they have the most fleshed out personality, ect.
  2. This enemy is the cause, directly or indirectly, of all the players' troubles. Early in the story the players just encounter his lowliest associates going about their usual business. The Enemy doesn't issue specific orders to attack they Players, and probably isn't even aware they exist, but his organization/connections are the ones causing trouble for the party. In the middle of the story, they Enemy becomes aware of the Players specifically, and starts taking deliberate steps to remove them without personally engaging them. And finally in the culmination, the Players have identified the Enemy and move to take him out personally.
  3. The Enemy always knows a lot, perhaps more than he "should". Because the Enemy is the DM's "primary character" its unavoidable that the DM will want him to act on information the GM knows but the Enemy technically shouldn't. So a good GM will specifically create explanations for how the Enemy knows things, through magic, informants, a mole, ect. He takes care to still give the Enemy some blind spots and ways for the players to counter this, but overall he writes it into the story that the Enemy has a logical way to stay so well-informed.
  4. The Enemy is extremely powerful, and if the GM is the type who likes to make things difficult like Parson wanted to, then he will use those powers in cheap/uncounterable ways to get an advantage. Even "nice" GMs like myself will sometimes pull stunts like this if the Players do something that would drastically derail the story or jump ahead to challenge the Enemy before I planned for them to.
Now, let's consider these points in the context of Erfworld:
  1. Charlie has lived a very long time, has a very rich character and backstory, a well-established organization, and even "rules" that govern some of his actions. Nearly everyone in Erfworld is aware of his organization as well.
  2. Charlie has connections to everything and everyone, by applying the proper leverage it seems he's able to manipulate almost anyone. Every single threat Parson has faced has involved Charlie in some way: Archons were causing trouble for Gobwin Knob (and thus Parson) in general, before Charlie knew about Parson, and the campaign against Stanley may very well have been instigated by Charlie in the first place before Page 1. Then Charlie becomes aware of Parson, devotes drastically more resources to the fight, and manipulates all the local Royals into doing the fighting for him. Now, Parson has discovered a lot more about Charlie's identity and is moving to engage him directly.
  3. Charlie openly boasts that he knows everything, and will share it for the right price. And this ability is explained by a combination of the 'Dish, Archon spies, and blackmail. And he's got a few select blindspots such as the Temple, handwritten notes and Hat Magic.
  4. Charlie is a Carny, the discipline that is literally based on cheating, and it's paired with one of the most powerful magic artifacts that exists in the story.
Charlie perfectly fits the bill as "The Enemy". He may not literally be the GM like you're suggesting, but he has all of the powers and traits a GM would give to the Players' biggest threat.
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GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
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Re: What is Charlie's endgame?

Postby Selexor » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:28 am

0beron wrote:Charlie perfectly fits the bill as "The Enemy". He may not literally be the GM like you're suggesting, but he has all of the powers and traits a GM would give to the Players' biggest threat.
Oh, I wasn't literally saying that Charlie was the GM, just that he fits the role of one perfectly. You simply said it a lot better than I could have, so thank you. :D

And I think it also gives the answer to the thread's question. Charlie doesn't have an endgame. He doesn't need an endgame. In fact he very specifically doesn't want ANYONE to have an endgame, because he essentially controls the game itself. If anyone else wins, he loses, but he himself doesn't want to win either.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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