"Titans know"

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"Titans know"

Postby valce » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:44 pm

Jillian mentions something about the Titans knowing the heart of a Ruler and helping them pop what they need, but I was thinking... But how much of that is an attempt to rationalize a random process by presupposing an invisible force?

Yes, it may well seem that, in the long run, the Titans help sides to pop what units they need. But keep in mind that sides which don't pop the units they need probably die out, so this belief could just be a selection bias. I suspect this question (of how much influence the Titans have on current Erfworld affairs) will come into play later in the story, since GK is using the will of the Titans as its ideological ace in the hole.

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Re: "Titans know"

Postby DevilDan » Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:06 am

We have only anecdotal evidence, but a very useful dirtamancer was popped in GK...
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby raphfrk » Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:06 am

DevilDan wrote:We have only anecdotal evidence, but a very useful dirtamancer was popped in GK...


Also, in Faq, they got a foolamancer and a predictamancer (and a croakamancer). Two out of 3 is pretty good odds.

They also got an Heir who was good at mercenary work, which helped their side's cash flow issues. OTOH, Jillian wouldn't have been very good at being Queen of Faq, if it was to remain invisible, but presumably, the only way Banhammer could be killed would be if their secret got out.

It is possible that the desires of the Ruler have an effect on which type of caster is popped. That wouldn't require "divine" intervention.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby TiMothra » Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:20 am

As a DM, I know how tempting it is to provide a party with treasure that matches up perfectly in line with their needs/capabilities/specialties. This is in direct opposition to the notions presented in the random treasure tables, or that monsters are hoarding treasure for the purpose of outfitting the very adventures who killed them.

It's implied that the Titans are actively involved in the function of Erfworld. It's something of a religion, but it's one that perfectly explains certain realities in Erfworld: units pop fully-formed, croaked units disappear, magic.... operates. It's a little confusing how the average units seem to regard the Titans though; they let so many bad things happen.

To me, it's only a small step further to think that the Titans aren't just operating the mechanisms of Erfworld, but controlling them. Think of Erfworld as a game or a program that they're operating for their own entertainment (not a stretch as it's based on a game). If I were a Titan, and I have control over the placement and creation of units as well as the type/flavor of warlords (and as a Titan I do), I would place the type that would be the most entertaining to watch. Especially if I were rooting for a particular side. Otherwise, I'd probably just roll from the random treasure, er, warlord table.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby taltamir » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:47 am

TiMothra wrote:As a DM, I know how tempting it is to provide a party with treasure that matches up perfectly in line with their needs/capabilities/specialties. This is in direct opposition to the notions presented in the random treasure tables, or that monsters are hoarding treasure for the purpose of outfitting the very adventures who killed them.

It's implied that the Titans are actively involved in the function of Erfworld. It's something of a religion, but it's one that perfectly explains certain realities in Erfworld: units pop fully-formed, croaked units disappear, magic.... operates. It's a little confusing how the average units seem to regard the Titans though; they let so many bad things happen.

To me, it's only a small step further to think that the Titans aren't just operating the mechanisms of Erfworld, but controlling them. Think of Erfworld as a game or a program that they're operating for their own entertainment (not a stretch as it's based on a game). If I were a Titan, and I have control over the placement and creation of units as well as the type/flavor of warlords (and as a Titan I do), I would place the type that would be the most entertaining to watch. Especially if I were rooting for a particular side. Otherwise, I'd probably just roll from the random treasure, er, warlord table.


wow, what a marvelous idea. I think this needs further exploration
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby moose o death » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:10 am

it is a good idea but an active titan is likely impossible due to the presense of functional predictamancy and predictive mathamancy.

titan's making wanda an attuning unit at popping, having prediction of wanda attuning from a faq caster. having her defect to a side that defeated her previous side, having that side get pounded, having her summon a unit from another existence, then having that unit defeat another alliance side despite impossible odds, which happens to have had the artifact in question.

either the titans kept twisting the odds in favour of wanda for potentially hundreds of turns. or they made the world and have left it to it's own devices where complex algorithms can make complex predictions.

i still hold the opinion it's actually the city itself making these decisions. the erf theory that the titans know the will of the caster would be on par with the earth theories of the world being flat and the sun setting so people can get some sleep.

it's observing a phenomenon, then applying a limited understanding of your religion to it to arrive at a piss poor logical reason.

then croaking anyone who disagrees
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby raphfrk » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:18 am

moose o death wrote:either the titans kept twisting the odds in favour of wanda for potentially hundreds of turns. or they made the world and have left it to it's own devices where complex algorithms can make complex predictions.


The manipulation of odds by Predictamancy could also work automatically.

There was a scene in one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, where the main character was wondering if a prediction effectively protected him from death. He decided not to test it by jumping in front of a herd of stampeding buffalo.

If Wanda was shielded from death by the prediction, then she could abuse it by taking lots of risks.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby valce » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:49 am

Well, I dunno... a large part of what is being taken as the 'will of the Titans' could be evidence that the Titans are controlling things, yes. But they could also have been caused by selection bias - - given thousands of erf units, what are the odds that one of them will turn out like Wanda?

Maybe, as moose says, it's just a bunch of complex algorithms, and the inhabitants of Erfworld are imposing on otherwise random processes attributes associated with the intervention of a omnipotent force.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: The compound effect of probabilities acting on a large population can look very much like fate acting on an individual.

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Re: "Titans know"

Postby TiMothra » Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:58 pm

I find the whole Wanda quest for an Arkentool a little suspicious personally.

The hitchhiker's mechanism for prophecy came into play a lot throughout the books; he knew he wouldn't die at least until after he had visited Stavromula Beta (the nightclub at the end of book V). He acted confidently based on this knowledge a number of times. If Wanda had taken this approach, she could have just kicked her feet up and waited for the pliers to be delivered to her, as the prophecy demanded they would be eventually. Instead, the prediction sent her into ambition overdrive; she torched her side, supported/manipulated Stanley, all but brought a superior force in striking range of ending her and her side entirely, all to get the tool. It's one thing to expect a prediction to come true. It's another to make it come true. It's still another to try and stop it from coming to pass (which has never really worked out that well).

In some ways the predictions up to this point have seemed a little like a supervillain broadcasting his plans ahead. Or, if you prefer, Charlie setting into action events (end of Faq, bringing pliers to Wanda) by making suggestions in a way that people would believe and follow (predictions). Really, this is the same strategy as making people pay for information so that they'll believe it, another tact used by C. It's using the construct of the Titans and their Will and Plan to get people to advance your own personal agenda. Which, given the idea that Titans are probably uninvolved any longer with the mechanisms of Erfworld, is a reasonable explanation. How many charismatic figures have gotten a populace to go along with their own aims by getting them to believe it is the will of a superior being? And in this case, all it took was having influence over a single Predictamancer to set nearly all of the events of the comic into motion (Faq's destruction, Jillian's pop, wanda's ambition, stanley's quest, the RCC's response, Parson's summoning, etc.)
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby DevilDan » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:09 pm

She serves and trusts fate. This leads her to act, even amorally and recklessly, to see that fate fulfilled. It is not just a belief in a prediction, it is a religious certainty that accompanies that faith.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby TiMothra » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:14 pm

That kind of religious certainty is a personality trait that someone clever would definitely exploit. Maybe someone (no idea who) who would benefit from a militarized FAQ, rather than a non-confrontational bubble kingdom. Since that's the current downstream result of those original predictions.

A question to test the notion of Titan's will is this; would the predictions have come to pass had they not been made? If it is the Titan's will that such be so, then yes.

However, the FAQ predictamancer made two predictions; FAQ will fall, Wanda will get a tool. I would speculate that neither of these would have taken place, had the predictamancer not predicted them. In one case, wanda's quest, like you're saying she set after it with religious certainty that it would come to pass. And it seemed like it was all through events she manipulated that it did, after all. And FAQ would have not have fell in the same way, if at all, had the first prediction not been made (since it was Wanda's own actions which brought it to pass). So was it the Titan's will that the predictamancer was divining? Or was it a predictamancer using their authority as just that to claim Titanic intent for what are actually their own aims?

That, however, really doesn't help explain how the type of caster to pop is determined. The above thought experiment doesn't have as testable a hypothesis, as casters do indeed appear to be pseudo-random. But the ineffable Titans and the caprices of fate seem like an easy canard to explain the unknown or influence the suggestible.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby noxharrington » Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:57 pm

moose o death wrote:it is a good idea but an active titan is likely impossible due to the presense of functional predictamancy and predictive mathamancy.


I think Predictamancers could easily be receiving the "will of the Titans." Predestination doesn't MANDATE an active God/Titan, but it's certainly not evidence against it.

Predictive Mathamancy, though, I agree. As I've mentioned before, I don't see how Predictamancy and Mathamancy could coexist. All things that will happen should have a 100% chance of occurring; all things that will not should have 0%. Maybe the bracer treats every question like, "how likely is this to be part of the inevitable progression of events?" Or, "How likely is it that the Titans have decreed that X will happen?"
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby moose o death » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:05 pm

right i need all of the addresses for people disagreeing with me. it's not like i didn't warn you.

i'm not a particularly religious person so even a fictitious story i see the real or at least perceived reality variation of divine intervention. so that would heavily influence my inability to ever consider a titan controlling ANYTHING. page2 of book2 says the arkentools are what the titans used to build erfworld. i would argue that they must have had hundreds of the things if that were the case, so far they have been useless for actually making anything.

so either the tools are simply high level weapons, or they really did help make erfworld. if that's the case who would need the effects we have seen to construct a world? they must have worked differently for titans or the titans never existed
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby ftl » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:32 pm

noxharrington wrote:Predictive Mathamancy, though, I agree. As I've mentioned before, I don't see how Predictamancy and Mathamancy could coexist. All things that will happen should have a 100% chance of occurring; all things that will not should have 0%.


If the bracer were omniscient, that would in fact be true.

But a probability has to be averaging over some uncertainty. The bracer not being omniscient and only having a limited amount of information would obviously supply the uncertainty necessary for non-0 and non-100 probabilities to make sense.

Maybe the bracer treats every question like, "how likely is this to be part of the inevitable progression of events?" Or, "How likely is it that the Titans have decreed that X will happen?"


Those don't resolve the question. If you know the future, "how likely is this to be part of the inevitable progression of events" or "How likely is it that the titans have decreed that X will happen" are both 100% if it's going to happen, and 0% if it won't.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby noxharrington » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:08 am

moose o death wrote:page2 of book2 says the arkentools are what the titans used to build erfworld. i would argue that they must have had hundreds of the things if that were the case, so far they have been useless for actually making anything.

so either the tools are simply high level weapons, or they really did help make erfworld. if that's the case who would need the effects we have seen to construct a world? they must have worked differently for titans or the titans never existed


I'd say 'bringing huge numbers of things to life' counts as a legit world-building effect.

Also, as you acknowledge, the narration states that the Titans did. Also, on the first page of book 1, we SEE THEM MAKING ERFWORLD. I think whether or not the Titans are real is not up for debate. They are just as well-established as Parson himself.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby DevilDan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:14 pm

Maybe it's my nature, but I don't assume that creation tales or religious traditions should be taken at face value. While it's possible that the Titans as creators of Erf is canon, what is less certain is that they had any contact at all with the Tools. All we have is hearsay on that last bit.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby doran » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:33 pm

Erm... page 1 of Book 1, we see a giant ruby falling of a titans cloak that is later discovered by a marbit.
If this was a legend I assume it'd be a lot more explicit.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby noxharrington » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:05 am

DevilDan wrote:what is less certain is that they had any contact at all with the Tools. All we have is hearsay on that last bit.


Fair enough. I think one thing in support, though, is how DIFFERENT the Tools look. Remember the old Spiderman: TAS? The Tools look like when he was swinging around vs all the people.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby DevilDan » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:13 pm

noxharrington wrote:I'd say 'bringing huge numbers of things to life' counts as a legit world-building effect.


Yes, except that what the pliers do is reanimate existing units, not "creating" them.
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Re: "Titans know"

Postby gaiaswill » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:56 pm

DevilDan wrote:
noxharrington wrote:I'd say 'bringing huge numbers of things to life' counts as a legit world-building effect.


Yes, except that what the pliers do is reanimate existing units, not "creating" them.


Details, details. Then consider it more like a recycle bin. Or an undo command. Maybe cut+paste. Pretty Titanic as far as effects go since it happens to units/real people.
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