Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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

Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:42 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:As I said, a better refinement wouldn't be a book, but the outline of a book. Remember that the program in the star trek episode didn't follow the book line for line for line, it had a fair bit of flexibility to accommodate the human's actions (not to mention a lot of blank spaces to fill in since it was such a bad book).
That doesn't change anything important. They are still doing a choreographed dance, even if they are allowed some improvisation in places. It's only fair to Erfworld that we assume that all of the events of the story, big and little, are real and not contrived, until the story clearly tells us otherwise.

Isn't that exactly what predictions are? Showing us that there are certain dance steps that have to be hit? This city has to be attacked and have no living units survive the attack. This city has to be attacked by a massive air force. This unit has to attune to an Arkentool. This unit has to serve this other unit. This unit must kill this other unit. We have yet to see a prediction be thwarted utterly. We have seen them resolve unexpectedly, we have seen them resolve with a different interpretation, but we have not seen one enter a condition where it could not be resolved.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:We haven't for example seen a case of a Prediction (like the air attack on Homekey) being fulfilled once, then a second event that could have been what the Prediction was about occurring.
Even if we saw that it wouldn't really be evidence of anything. The world never ends, so history has to repeat itself eventually. I believe that Erfworld isn't contrived because that's what we should all believe about all fiction for as long as we can, not because of evidence. It's the sort of thing that could never be proven, though Erfworld is one of those rare stories that actually looks like it might falsify it.
I mean, like in the next few turns. Not hundreds of turns down the road.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:If Charlie attacks Homekey in force and fulfills the Prediction, and we see no evidence at all that there was ever going to be any other kind of attack, then it would seem that Predictions are in fact self-fulfilling (As I suggested earlier), or do indeed have a force (Fate) that can actively manipulate things to make it come true, but don't much care how it comes true (much like the program from Star Trek), aka it can contrive.
Agreed. If that happens, I will surely take it as a clear message that Erfworld has an active Fate that is a supernatural person that is calling the shots. I'd still reject the self-fulfilling Prediction option, just because it makes no sense for Predictamancers to do that sort of thing. Having to choose one or the other, I choose the Fate monster.
Self-fulfillment doesn't mean the Fate monster isn't 'real' Just that self-fulfillment is one of the tools it uses. Also, everyone always talks as if Predictamancers know about self fulfillment if that is the case, but they might not. So no, Marie didn't purposefully kill her king by telling him to allow for self fulfillment. She just didn't know that the prediction would cause self fulfillment to occur. Remember that we're seeing quite a few predictions, and from angles that Erfworlders can't, so the line that seems to be showing to us (and clearly isn't.. well, clear) would be even harder for them to see.

P.S.
This was an old thing I brought up a while ago when Parson was having trouble getting his bracer to calculate him casting the scroll, which seems to confirm the existence of the 'fate monster'. The bracer kept flipping between a near 100% and near 0% chance for Parson casting the scroll that would (supposedly) take him home. My interpretation of that has always been that as a unit of his abilities, he had a virtually 100% chance of using a scroll, but as a unit that is tied up with predictions and subject to the fate monster, there was a virtually 0% chance that the fate monster would allow him to actually cast it. He tried to cast it, and the fate monster intervened with a rock to the head, which conveniently only knocked him out (right next to the portal, safety, and healing) instead of killing him
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby ftl » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:02 pm

I don't think all predictions have to be the same. Some can be self-fulfilling, some might not.

In this case, note that Homekey is DELIBERATELY making it self-fulfilling. That's the whole schtick for what Dove is doing.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Godzfirefly » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:32 pm

ftl wrote:I don't think all predictions have to be the same. Some can be self-fulfilling, some might not.


Even if they might not normally be self-fulfilling, some Predictions would almost have to be, since Fate'd have to take into account how the people who are given the Prediction will react to it.

Some people will be determined to change their Fate regardless of what that Fate would be, so any Prediction would have to take into account that person's attempt to avoid the Prediction and Predict what will happen as a result of that avoidance, regardless of what that person would have done if they hadn't asked for a Prediction. For those askers, any Prediction they are given will seem self-fulfilling, not because of the nature of Predictions in general but because of the nature of that person getting the Prediction. (Jillian may have been a victim of this when she changed direction to avoid an ambush and walked into it instead.)
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Lilwik » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:34 pm

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Isn't that exactly what predictions are? Showing us that there are certain dance steps that have to be hit?
Not necessarily. Predictions are naturally suggestive of that, because they are an example of knowing what is coming before it arrives, which normal people can't do for these sorts of events unless the events are somehow planned. Even so, the word "prediction" doesn't connote flipping ahead in the schedule to see what will happen next. When people make a proper prediction they should be doing it by analyzing the current situation and tracing forward the inevitable outcomes of events. If you happened to know that things were planned to go a certain way in advance, that wouldn't be proper predicting; it would just be cheating.

There doesn't have to be a plan. Maybe Erfworlders make their own decisions and events flow naturally with no supernatural intervention, and the magic of Predictamancy isn't in an ability to flip forward in the non-existent schedule. Maybe the magic of Predictamancy is simply an extraordinary ability to trace the course of events ahead, to know what everyone would do in any situation that might arise, and in that way fairly determine some inevitable outcomes. In this case, the outcomes are not inevitable because someone is necessarily trying to make them happen, but just because of human nature, the laws of physics, and the personalities of everyone involved. This means that not only do Erfworlders choose their paths to the Predicted outcomes, they also choose the Predicted outcome, because no higher power is pulling strings to make these things happen. The Predictamancer is just skilled at seeing which way the wind is blowing in the flow of current events.

This theory is based on the totally unprovable assumption that the events of Erfworlder are not contrived, and that the characters really have as much control over their lives as they seem to have. No matter what happens, we'll never be able to know that Erfworlders aren't puppets with Titans pulling their strings from somewhere above the sky. Even if there is a second attack, that could just be another part of the plan that the Predictamancer couldn't see. On the other hand, if there is no second attack then that will prove that the Predictamancer was somehow cheating and didn't fairly see that an attack was inevitable.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Self-fulfillment doesn't mean the Fate monster isn't 'real' Just that self-fulfillment is one of the tools it uses.
Agreed. Nothing can ever prove that the Fate monster isn't real. Delphie once said that Wanda could commit suicide, which obviously couldn't be true if the Fate monster would be forced to intervene to keep the plan on track, but all that proves is that Predictamancers don't know about the Fate monster and in turn that the Fate monster has never acted openly in the history of Erfworld. The Fate monster can always exist so long as it is undetectable.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Also, everyone always talks as if Predictamancers know about self fulfillment if that is the case, but they might not.
That could only be true if the self-fulfilling prophecies were undetectable, so that in the whole long history of the Predictamancer community they have never realized that their own Predictions are self-fulfilling. The only way to make a self-fulfilling prophecy seem to not be self-fulfilling is to have a plausible explanation available for how the Predicted outcome would have happened if the Prediction hadn't been made. In the case of Digdoug, there would need to be an actual enemy army preparing to attack Homekey. In other words, when a self-fulfilling prophecy is so subtle that no one can tell that it was self-fulfilling, then it's not really self-fulfilling at all.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:This was an old thing I brought up a while ago when Parson was having trouble getting his bracer to calculate him casting the scroll, which seems to confirm the existence of the 'fate monster'. The bracer kept flipping between a near 100% and near 0% chance for Parson casting the scroll that would (supposedly) take him home.
You are talking about B2T59. No one can know what that means. All we can do is guess. For example, we know there was a beam burning above Parson's head and threatening to fall on him, and whether if falls or not changes the outcome of Parson's attempt to read the scroll. Maybe the bracer was reacting to the beam itself rather than a Fate monster. Maybe the fact that the beam was in the process of burning gave the bracer enough trouble that it momentarily displayed the wrong result before correcting itself. Or maybe even the bracer doesn't understand the concept of a warlord who is capable of casting, because such a thing is against the rules in Erfworld. Or maybe it was either Charlie or the only enemy worth fighting (or both) somehow interfering with the bracer. The possibilities are endless.

ftl wrote:In this case, note that Homekey is DELIBERATELY making it self-fulfilling. That's the whole schtick for what Dove is doing.
If it wasn't self-fulfilling to begin with, it can't be made self-fulfilling. If it was a real prediction then there is a real army that's coming to attack Homekey, and that attack is going to happen unless something stops it. Just making a fake attack that technically fulfills the prediction is probably not going to do it.
Last edited by Lilwik on Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:37 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:(Jillian may have been a victim of this when she changed direction to avoid an ambush and walked into it instead.)

Speaking of which, this is a really good example of how Predictamancers aren't always the most useful of casters, at least depending on how they're used. Jillian had a really hard time figuring out how to make use of Marie, because if Marie Predicted a problem, it was already too late to avoid it.

Edit: Not that Jillian is a great example of a tactical mind when it comes to the use of magic.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Godzfirefly » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:49 pm

Lilwik wrote:
ftl wrote:In this case, note that Homekey is DELIBERATELY making it self-fulfilling. That's the whole schtick for what Dove is doing.
If it wasn't self-fulfilling to begin with, it can't be made self-fulfilling. If it was a real prediction then there is a real army that's coming to attack Homekey, and that attack is going to happen unless something stops it. Just making a fake attack that technically fulfills the prediction is probably not going to do it.


We can't know that. Not until we see the results of this story, at least. And, that assumption certainly seems to run counter to the expectations of the people in the comic...
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Lilwik » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:16 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:And, that assumption certainly seems to run counter to the expectations of the people in the comic...
Where does it seem that way? The only people that we've seen discussing the plan are Peck and Bucky. Bucky said, "It could be exactly what we need to do to cheat Fate, or it might be sheer brain-lashed witlessness." Peck said, "Hiring someone to attack you is daft." As for Dove and Posbrake, we haven't heard one word about what they think of the plan, or even exactly what they think the plan is. Maybe hiring Charlie to attack the city is just one part of it. Maybe Carnymancy is going to somehow arrange the rest.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:21 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Godzfirefly wrote:And, that assumption certainly seems to run counter to the expectations of the people in the comic...
Where does it seem that way? The only people that we've seen discussing the plan are Peck and Bucky. Bucky said, "It could be exactly what we need to do to cheat Fate, or it might be sheer brain-lashed witlessness." Peck said, "Hiring someone to attack you is daft." As for Dove and Posbrake, we haven't heard one word about what they think of the plan, or even exactly what they think the plan is. Maybe hiring Charlie to attack the city is just one part of it. Maybe Carnymancy is going to somehow arrange the rest.

I do have a suspicion that carnymancy is going to be involved as well if this is really going to work.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Mrtyuh » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:52 pm

Let's take a quick look at Homekey's situation when the Predictamancer made that Prediction. They were at war with Numloch, which lacked a significant airforce but had placed a three hundred thousand schmucker bounty on King Posbrake. There was their ally, Delkey, which was already growing irritated with their lack of royal sensibilities and had probably already dispatched the group to audit the books at the time the Prediction was made. There is Paige Downs, a destitute side that is afraid of getting swallowed up by it's more powerful neighbors. There's Charlescomm, a mercenary side that will do almost anything if one has the schmuckers to pay for it. Depending on where in the timeline this falls, there is Gobwin Knob, an emerging superpower. Any of these might at some time attack Homekey.

If Homekey had not hired the Predictamancer, or if Posbrake had not acted on the Prediction, perhaps Delkey would have finally lost all patience after being denied access to the accounting books or managing to gain access to the uncooked books. After Dove cooked the books, they were satisfied and that threat was, for a time, averted. Perhaps Paige Downs has been secretly marshaling an air force in hopes of solving their financial problems with Numloch's bounty and gaining their favor by wiping out their rival. Perhaps Numloch, which obviously has the schmuckers to pay, would have eventually hired Charlie or another mercenary to launch such an attack. After the false attack by Charlie where he reports devastating losses and how formidable Homekey's air defenses are, it will discourage any such plans for an air assault that one of these sides may have already had underway. Perhaps, instead of running into Dove in the Magic Kingdom, Digdoug had run into Willis Circle and insulted his former Chief, leading to an attack by Follywood. Or, perhaps, he ran into a Croakamancer named Wanda Firebaugh and done something to insult her. Then, maybe hundreds of turns later, after she had Attuned to the Arkenpliers, she leads an assault of Decrypted Dwagons against Homekey, since she's in the neighborhood. Any and all of these things could have been in motion when the Predictamancer made that Prediction. To Godzfirefly's point about what the Predictamancer saw, perhaps the Predictamancer saw all of it. A giant air assault against the city, but the assailants constantly shifting, Prince Creen one instant, archons the next, dwagons, archons, gwiffons, constantly flickering in and out of existence. A couple of turns from now, a dozen turns, hundreds of turns. The only certainty was that there would be an air attack. At that point, the rest was mutable. It has been the decisions made since then that have solidified those myriad possibilities into one single actuality. Of course, this is all just speculation. Just one way it may work. Still, it would allow for accurate Predictions without having the trap of having the Predictions themselves cause events. Of course, it could also be a bit like the TV series Flashfoward. In it, there were multiple futures, and it was possible to change what had been seen, but once a future has been seen, it wants to happen and becomes much more likely than the unseen futures.

A good example of this is when Wanda asked Delphi if Goodminton would be attacked by air. Her answer was eventually. We later saw that attack. When Goodminton refused to trade Wanda, Haffaton encouraged its allies to betray them. If they had chosen differently and traded Wanda, that particular attack probably wouldn't have happened, but there would have eventually been a different one, from a different source.

So, while this is just my opinion and may certainly be wrong, I do think it is possible for the Prediction not to be self fulfilling, and it is possible that the fake assault will prevent whatever other option may have occurred. If, for example, the assault was the Paige Downs option, they probably won't risk their precious secret strike force on what looks to be a futile assault after watching what appears to be Charlescomm having their heads handed to them, especially if all it will accomplish is angering their more powerful neighbor.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:22 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:So, while this is just my opinion and may certainly be wrong, I do think it is possible for the Prediction not to be self fulfilling, and it is possible that the fake assault will prevent whatever other option may have occurred. If, for example, the assault was the Paige Downs option, they probably won't risk their precious secret strike force on what looks to be a futile assault after watching what appears to be Charlescomm having their heads handed to them, especially if all it will accomplish is angering their more powerful neighbor.

Except that the script is for Charlescomm to win, and then ransom the capital back to Posbreak. Of course, I'm not 100% sure on how that can actually happen, since it would require Charlescomm to take the garrison, but not croak Posbreak in the process, and somehow not capture him or his treasury. I really do wonder how that is actually supposed to work.

And overall, I don't think anyone said predictions had to be self-fulfilling, just that the ones we've seen generally seem to be. Or perhaps that they might be.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Godzfirefly » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:31 am

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Except that the script is for Charlescomm to win, and then ransom the capital back to Posbreak. Of course, I'm not 100% sure on how that can actually happen, since it would require Charlescomm to take the garrison, but not croak Posbreak in the process, and somehow not capture him or his treasury. I really do wonder how that is actually supposed to work.


In theory, since Posbreak is in the Tower, the Garrison could be taken without taking the Tower (as I understand it, the city is divided into Garrison, Tower, and Dungeon, each of which can be taken seperately.) I have no clue how the treasury works, or if it has an official location in the city.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Lilwik » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:37 am

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Except that the script is for Charlescomm to win, and then ransom the capital back to Posbrake.
Whose script is that? I'm sure that's not generally agreed upon by everyone involved, though I can imagine Charlie penciling in that ending to Posbrake's plan.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Of course, I'm not 100% sure on how that can actually happen, since it would require Charlescomm to take the garrison, but not croak Posbrake in the process, and somehow not capture him or his treasury.
Posbrake cannot leave the city when it's not his turn, as surely as if there were an invisible solid wall at the hex boundary, and if the garrison is captured while Posbrake is in the city then Posbrake will be automatically captured. So the only way to for Charlescomm to take the garrison without croaking or capturing Posbrake would be if Posbrake turned to Charlescomm, but doing that would destroy the entire side of Homekey, leaving all its cities neutral.

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:And overall, I don't think anyone said predictions had to be self-fulfilling, just that the ones we've seen generally seem to be.
That's a wild generalization. For one, the Prediction that Parson would go through the portal in Book 2 pretty clearly did nothing to help Parson actually get through the portal.

The Prediction that Wanda would attune surely sent Wanda on a quest for an arkentool, but she went after the hammer, not the pliers, and failed at that. When she finally got the pliers, it wasn't because she was trying to get them; the pliers came to her. If Gobwin Knob had attacked Spacerock and taken the pliers by force then it might be fair to say that it seems that the Prediction was self-fulfilling, but as it is there is no clear connection between the Prediction and Wanda getting the pliers.

The Prediction that Jillian would read the note that Delphie left in Goodminton in Book 0 certainly couldn't have caused Jillian to find the note, since no one knew about it until after Jillian found the note.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Omnimancer » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:16 am

Lilwik wrote:
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:And overall, I don't think anyone said predictions had to be self-fulfilling, just that the ones we've seen generally seem to be.
That's a wild generalization. For one, the Prediction that Parson would go through the portal in Book 2 pretty clearly did nothing to help Parson actually get through the portal.

The Prediction that Wanda would attune surely sent Wanda on a quest for an arkentool, but she went after the hammer, not the pliers, and failed at that. When she finally got the pliers, it wasn't because she was trying to get them; the pliers came to her. If Gobwin Knob had attacked Spacerock and taken the pliers by force then it might be fair to say that it seems that the Prediction was self-fulfilling, but as it is there is no clear connection between the Prediction and Wanda getting the pliers.

The Prediction that Jillian would read the note that Delphie left in Goodminton in Book 0 certainly couldn't have caused Jillian to find the note, since no one knew about it until after Jillian found the note.


It was a self-fulfilling prophecy though, just indirectly. Wanda wanted to croak Stanley and take the hammer, but ended up working for him instead. Had Wanda never tried to get the hammer, she wouldn't have been in Gobwin Knob to take the pliers.

I think that we've seen plenty of examples of prophecies that are self-fulfilling and others that aren't. It's not one or the other.

Of course here's something really important to remember. Just because a prophecy is self-fulfilling doesn't necessarily mean the same general thing wouldn't have happened anyway if you hadn't known. It might just have happened in a different way. Wanda knowing she would attune to an arkentool caused her to act in ways that set her on a path to get the pliers. But if she hadn't known, maybe she would have ended up with the pliers anyway somehow.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Lilwik » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:00 pm

Omnimancer wrote:Wanda knowing she would attune to an arkentool caused her to act in ways that set her on a path to get the pliers. But if she hadn't known, maybe she would have ended up with the pliers anyway somehow.
Surely that means that it is unfair to call the Prediction self-fulfilling. We know that the Prediction caused her to go to Gobwin Knob which happened to be a place where the pliers would eventually end up, but it's just one place among many. For all we know the pliers might have found their way to Faq eventually, and if so then the Prediction did nothing at all to help Wanda get the pliers. I suspect that the only reason we have for thinking that going to Gobwin Knob helped Wanda get the pliers is that we saw her get them at Gobwin Knob, which is just ignoring all the other ways she might have gotten the pliers.

It's only fair to call a prophecy self-fulfilling if there is a direct chain of cause and effect leading from the prophecy to the truth of the prophecy.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Godzfirefly » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:49 pm

It would only be unfair to say we know that it's self-fulfilling. And, we don't know that. It might have still happened a different way if the Prediction hadn't happened. Or, she might have attuned to something else. We can't know.

That said, it is also unfair to say we know the Prediction was not self-fulfilling. Events definitely would not have unfolded the way they did without the actions that the Prediction caused. And, there is a clear line of effect from the Prediction to the attunement.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Omnimancer » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:20 am

I think there are three kinds of possible predictions:

1. Predictions that are not self-fulfilling. The prophecy in no way hastens or leads to the end result.

2. Predictions that are self-fulfilling, and would not occur at all if the prediction had never been made.

3. Predictions that are self-fulfilling, but fate would have made that same end result happen some other way if the prediction had not been made.

Erfworld could potentially have all three kinds of prediction, and it varies from prophecy to prophecy. Or maybe it doesn't have one kind. I don't think we have enough information to really know whether it's just type 2, just type 3, or both type 2 and 3 on different occasions.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Mrtyuh » Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:41 am

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Except that the script is for Charlescomm to win, and then ransom the capital back to Posbreak. Of course, I'm not 100% sure on how that can actually happen, since it would require Charlescomm to take the garrison, but not croak Posbreak in the process, and somehow not capture him or his treasury. I really do wonder how that is actually supposed to work.

And overall, I don't think anyone said predictions had to be self-fulfilling, just that the ones we've seen generally seem to be. Or perhaps that they might be.

Really? Now, I haven't really had the time recently to read the discussions on the forums, but I have read every update, and I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe that is the case. Actually, I can't see anyway that would actually work. If you want, I'll make a 30q bet in the Predictamancy thread to that effect. Of course, I'm wrong a lot, so this certainly wouldn't be the first time.

Godzfirefly wrote:In theory, since Posbreak is in the Tower, the Garrison could be taken without taking the Tower (as I understand it, the city is divided into Garrison, Tower, and Dungeon, each of which can be taken seperately.) I have no clue how the treasury works, or if it has an official location in the city.

An attacker must have uncontested control of all three parts of the garrison, which means that every defender in all three zones must be either croaked or captured. There is no way for Charlescomm to take the Garrison without also taking the Tower.

Lilwik wrote:It's only fair to call a prophecy self-fulfilling if there is a direct chain of cause and effect leading from the prophecy to the truth of the prophecy.

I guess it really depends on what you mean by self fulfilling. From what I understood Vreejack to mean, a self-fulfilling prophecy is one that only occurs because it was made. In this case, Homekey is being attacked because they hired Charlescomm to attack them because it was prophesized that they'd be attacked. Without the Prediction, the attack would not have happened. On the other hand, we use the term to mean their is any casual link, then every prophesy about which the subject is aware becomes self-fulfilling. Knowledge of the Prediction informs the subjects decision making, leading to the sequence of events that fulfill the Prophesy. Delphi Predicted Wanda would serve under Olive for a long time. In response, Wanda rebelled against Fate and convinced her father not to trade her. This in turn led to Haffaton destroying Goodminton, which led to the fulfillment of the Prediction. Whether you fight against it, pursue it or ignore it, that decision still is part of the cause and effect. That just seems to broad a definition, to me anyway, and it doesn't really fit with the way Vreejack was using it.

Omnimancer wrote:I think there are three kinds of possible predictions:

1. Predictions that are not self-fulfilling. The prophecy in no way hastens or leads to the end result.

2. Predictions that are self-fulfilling, and would not occur at all if the prediction had never been made.

3. Predictions that are self-fulfilling, but fate would have made that same end result happen some other way if the prediction had not been made.

Erfworld could potentially have all three kinds of prediction, and it varies from prophecy to prophecy. Or maybe it doesn't have one kind. I don't think we have enough information to really know whether it's just type 2, just type 3, or both type 2 and 3 on different occasions.

It's just my personal opinion, but the way Fate seems to work is that certain events will happen no matter what, but personal choices can have an impact on the when and how. Since choices are based on knowledge, and Predictions are a form of knowledge, they do have an impact, but the events still would have happened without them. Of course, as I said above, I've been wrong before.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:32 am

Mrtyuh wrote:
Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Except that the script is for Charlescomm to win, and then ransom the capital back to Posbreak. Of course, I'm not 100% sure on how that can actually happen, since it would require Charlescomm to take the garrison, but not croak Posbreak in the process, and somehow not capture him or his treasury. I really do wonder how that is actually supposed to work.

And overall, I don't think anyone said predictions had to be self-fulfilling, just that the ones we've seen generally seem to be. Or perhaps that they might be.

Really? Now, I haven't really had the time recently to read the discussions on the forums, but I have read every update, and I haven't seen anything that leads me to believe that is the case. Actually, I can't see anyway that would actually work. If you want, I'll make a 30q bet in the Predictamancy thread to that effect. Of course, I'm wrong a lot, so this certainly wouldn't be the first time.

I looked back through, and I can't figure out where I got that idea. I could have sworn Posbreak said something about planning to tell delkey that they'd lost the city to Charelscomm and had it ransomed back to them (much like Transylvito does with carport) which would cover up quite a bit of finances for a while without having to cook the books.

But now I can't find anything remotely like that, so not sure where I got it.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Lilwik » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:16 am

Mrtyuh wrote:I guess it really depends on what you mean by self fulfilling. From what I understood Vreejack to mean, a self-fulfilling prophecy is one that only occurs because it was made.
I agree. For a while I started to think that a prophecy could be self-fulfilling just by causing itself to be true, even if it would have happened some other way without the prophecy. That seems natural since it means that the prophecy itself sets into motion the events that lead to the predicted outcome and in that way it fulfills itself, but now that you mention it I think I was wrong. Given any two events A and B, if B would happen with or without A, then no matter how linked they may seem, A could not be a cause of B. In order for the prophecy to be a true cause of the predicted event, the predicted event must not happen without the prophecy. A prophecy isn't self-fulfilling just because it encourages an event that was already going to happen.

Mrtyuh wrote:In this case, Homekey is being attacked because they hired Charlescomm to attack them because it was prophesized that they'd be attacked. Without the Prediction, the attack would not have happened.
This attack wouldn't have happened, but the Prediction merely said that Homekey would be attacked from the air; it wasn't specific enough to know that this particular attack is the Predicted attack. Considering the bounty, I expect that Charlescomm would have attacked Homekey pretty soon even without being hired by Homekey, but in that case it wouldn't be this attack; it would be a real attack. It could also be that there will be another entirely separate attack on Homekey from the air and all this pretense is completely irrelevant to the Prediction.

Mrtyuh wrote:On the other hand, we use the term to mean there is any causal link, then every prophesy about which the subject is aware becomes self-fulfilling. Knowledge of the Prediction informs the subject's decision making, leading to the sequence of events that fulfill the Prophesy.
That's a broad generalization that is totally impractical. All knowledge may have subtle influences upon a person's decisions, but the vast majority of knowledge doesn't have any effect important enough to be called a cause of an action. My knowledge that 2 + 2 = 4 doesn't cause my choice of what to eat for breakfast each morning. Knowledge of the Prediction that Parson would get through the portal in Book 2 didn't cause Parson to get through the portal. We can't assume that just because a person has knowledge that it must be a cause of all his actions; we really should come up with reasons for how the knowledge might have caused the action.

Mrtyuh wrote:Delphi Predicted Wanda would serve under Olive for a long time. In response, Wanda rebelled against Fate and convinced her father not to trade her. This in turn led to Haffaton destroying Goodminton, which led to the fulfillment of the Prediction.
None of those things caused the Prediction to be fulfilled. Haffaton was on its way to destroying Goodminton with or without the Prediction, and the only way it could have been prevented was by making the deal to give Wanda to Haffaton, so the real cause of Wanda going to Haffaton was whatever put Goodminton into such a weak position before the start of Book 0. That chain of cause and effect that you listed was no more important to the final outcome than Wanda's choice of hat, so you may as well say that Wanda's hat led to the fulfillment of the Prediction.
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Re: Predictamancy and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Postby Mrtyuh » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:28 am

We're in agreement, Lilwik. I agree that there would have been a different attack eventually if Posbrake hadn't hired the Predictamancer or chosen his current course, which is what my original post in this topic was about. As I said in my last post, I think knowledge of the Prediction affects the when and how, is not an actual cause. The point I was trying to make with the Haffaton/Goodminton example was that if one focuses too much on the how something came about, it might appear that that is the cause, even if the outcome was inevitable and would have transpired eventually anyway. I apologize if that is not how it seemed. I am notoriously bad at getting my words to actually reflect the point I'm trying to make. So, just to be clear. I completely agree with you. Thank you for saying what I was trying and failing to say.
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