Book 2 – Text Updates 011

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Wender » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:57 am

multilis wrote:"If A, B, and C are all true, GK essentially swapped 350,000 shmuckers for 500,000+ shmuckers."


We have no valuation of the armband separate from the presence of Parson's calculator watch. Sizemore was considering them both together. For all we know, the armband is completely worthless absent the watch.

Yes, that means that, however indirectly, the fact that Parson was wearing a calculator watch probably made him even more attractive as a spell target--or at least made up for his deficiencies as a warlord in terms of real familiarity with a world structured as a strategy game.

It also allows the sword, the armband and the glasses to be mere magic items. The watch itself could approach artifact status as far as an Erfworlder is concerned; we don't know. At any rate, we have no valuation of either the watch or the armband by itself, so any conclusions about the intrinsic power of either is unfounded.

Also, I note that the asking price for the spell was 500,000 schmuckers. Stanley was only able to slash 150,000 off the price because he had a caster with a rare talent for casting outside her discipline.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Lord Kasavin » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:50 am

Some of what we've seen of Erfworld suggests its a "moderated" game. Much like PnP games rely on a "Master" to run the scenario, there seems to be a hidden force directing events in Erfworld. Many Erfworlders would feel very comfortable calling this unseen presence "the Titans." I'd rather call it "Erfworld" itself.

Now, we know "magic items" are made by mortals, presumably casters. Its therefore implied that "artifacts" are not. That doesn't mean they're specfically made by "the Titans." I'd like to think they pop randomly in Erfworld, sort of like a random loot drop, though not always entirely random. Artifacts are much rarer than magic items, and typically offer much better bonuses. The Arkentools themselves are not popped, but were left when the Titans (meaning the Elvises) formed Erfworld. THey are always there and there will never be more Arkentools than there are now (though that doesn't mean all Arkentools are known).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Dr Pepper » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:54 am

Oberon wrote:Anything you can swap one for one with something else must be just as good as the other thing. But we have a thing that is swapped one-for-many with other things, and so its worth must be the sum of those things. The spell scroll that summoned Parson and created for him/brought him 3 items and/or artifacts must be the equal in value of all of those things. And thus if it brought/created an artifact, it is an artifact. And it was created by casters.

Or would you classify a spell scroll that gets you artifacts and other goodies as well as being less powerful than an artifact? And if so, why?


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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Jeivar » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:06 am

. . . okay, why is it that more than half the replies to any update turn out to be endless back-and-forth about the minutiae of Erf rules? Isn't the story itself more interesting? And no-one ever seems to convince anyone of anything anyway.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:26 am

Oberon wrote:
Sinrus wrote:Artifacts are made by the titans. The Napster Laurel is a magic item.
This is not canon. Sizemore speculated that Parson's bracer might be an artifact, and it was created by the summoning spell which was in turn crafted by caster units.

Sizemore was aware of the source of the summoning spell, the types of magic which were involved, and its cost in shmuckers. Wanda said "the Findamancers and Predictamancers have forged a spell together", which excludes even a trimancer link. If artifacts were solely created by the Titans, Sizemore would not have thought that an artifact could be the byproduct of a spell crafted by caster units.



Parson's bracer was a holder for his calculator. The bracer links the calculator to erf world. I believe it is the CPU that has the mathamancy power. Even if the calculator was created by Texas Instruments instead of Elvis impersonators, Sizemore may have sensed that it was beyond Erfworld. On Earth someone could mix up a divine origin and an extra-terrestrial origin. If you have a strict ancient-western-world view then there is no difference between extra-terrestrial and divine. We should not expect Sizemore to recognize the subtle difference. Sizemore claims that he is bad at everything other than dirtamancy. Janis wanted to wave his tutor fee because she thought Sizemore learned nothing.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Frogpop » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:30 am

dan2178 wrote:
BCCroaker wrote:That thing Duncan is wearing makes me think of an Aug, but then I've been reading a lot of Neal Asher lately.
Anybody got any ideas about his surname referencing something? Scone=cake or confectionary? Stone of Scone?


My take is "Scone" = the baked good which would fit with "Duncan" coming from the Duncan Hines brand of cake/brownie mixes sold in the US.

Jitterati being coffee themed, Duncan is also likely related to Dunkin Donuts.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Dr Pepper » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:45 am

BCCroaker wrote:That thing Duncan is wearing makes me think of an Aug, but then I've been reading a lot of Neal Asher lately.
Anybody got any ideas about his surname referencing something? Scone=cake or confectionary? Stone of Scone?


This has been discussed before. "Duncan" = "Dunkin'", "Scone" substitutes for "Donut". It's a reference to the donut shop chain.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby pSycHOtic chICkeN » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:48 am

Jeivar wrote:. . . okay, why is it that more than half the replies to any update turn out to be endless back-and-forth about the minutiae of Erf rules? Isn't the story itself more interesting? And no-one ever seems to convince anyone of anything anyway.



Book one started out telling the story of a gamer getting pulled into Erf world. A lot of the story is about Parson's discovering minutiae of Erf rules. Some of the conflict in the story involves misunderstanding the minutia of Erf rules. Book two kicks off with a parley at the bridge to Jetstone. Ansome, Ossomer, and Tremenis get into an arguement about who would take the bridge. An argument about the minutia of the rules of combat in Erf world.

A lot of the early readership for Erf world came from OOTS. They were sharing a server and still advertise for each other. The order of the stick pokes fun at the rules of a gaming universe.

The forums are a further filter. People who just want to see pretty pictures do not follow the forum link. Or if they do maybe they end up in the art thread.

Of course the story is more interesting. If Rob could crank out 10 updates a day then I do not think I would have time to read the forums or respond to your post. I do not think I looked at the forums even once until I read all of book one and caught up with the summer updates.

Many of the arguments do get resolved later in the story. They are often unresolved because some information is missing. Participating in discussions makes me focus on details that I would never pay attention too if I had not had the argument. I have looked at some sections of book one recently a I found a lot of content that I missed on the first pass.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby warriortribble » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:39 am

Well, we can now be reasonably sure that Charlie doesn't have any Archons within the FAQ forces. Hmm...
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby joosy » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:20 am

You know, I had always wondered how Jillian had survived Wanda's attack on Jillian's parley at the Tower of Ef'ed Up back in Book 1. I had assumed that it was because of her greater hit points or she had made her saving throw or more simply that she was crucial to the story (e.g. plot armor).

Now we know that Wanda had deliberately guided the shockamancy attack around Jillian so she remained untouched. Jillian assumes that means that Wanda will never cause her deadly harm.. but could it be something else?

Wanda has exhibited strong Duty to Stanley but she even admits her true loyalty is to fate magic. Could it be that she still considers herself in some part a Faq unit and as such her loyalty to Faq (such as it is) is now partial to its new Queen? Combine that with her version of Erfworld Love for Jillian and maybe some nudging from Vanna (assuming she is the 'unknown' caster below) and a sprinkling of Charlie's influence (Thinkamancy can affect loyalty) and it lends credence to those speculating on Wanda's joining forces with Jillian.

Of course that would cause some problems with those still loyal to Stanley (the dwagons/un-decrypted units) but it would also mean that GK would lose both Ansom and Ossomer leaving Stanley no real choice but to reinstate Parson.

That would also benefit Charlie as Jillian is in secretly in debt to him. Having influence over someone already attuned to the Arkenpliers is better than having them himself. Fewer folks will be gunning for him to get the juicy targets of the Arkendish/pliers and he can benefit in some degree as well. (loaning out Decrypted Archons for Full Service; selling decryption services to far off kingdoms who are unaware of the Arkenpliers loyalty factor; using decrypted natural allies to create 'problems' that Charlie can come in and settle.. for a price; etc. etc.)

In any case, Duncan Scone has already pointed out that a direct attack from GK on them would be one-sided. Something drastic has to change in order to bring about the heavily foreshadowed crisis where Parson will be expected to take control. So far my bet is either the hobgobwins turning and/or Wanda switching sides to Faq. Of course, the strong allusions to love and loyalty in the past updates could just be misdrection but even if they are they are wonderful distractions worthy of Jack Snipe.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Cyanshine » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:14 am

Cool update ! The tension rises even more !
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby MonteCristo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:06 am

warriortribble wrote:Well, we can now be reasonably sure that Charlie doesn't have any Archons within the FAQ forces. Hmm...

Not really... we just know that duncan doesn't know. Jillian seems to have been keeping him out of the loop on a lot of details. He doesn't even "know Jillian's basic battle plan", which considering the odds likely revolves on help from charlie... hell considering how much he praises Jillian for his own defeat, she may have never told him charlie's role in that plan either.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby PseudoPserious » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:39 am

Lord Belzon Bobtail?

The Titans are no doubt singing a slaying song while they laugh.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Sunfall » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:06 pm

[quote='Oberon']I said that an item exchanged for another can be said to have the same value. And the context was in my attempting to demonstrate that an item that can summon an artifact must be considered to be an artifact. Showing that the item in question can actually summon more than an artifact does indeed only help my case: An item that can summon an artifact and several other magic items, plus a skilled Warlord, must be considered to be an artifact.

And thus casters can create artifacts.[/quote]

Is there no element of randomness to wargaming?

It seems to me that actions in Erfworld do not always have an additive effect, but rather a multiplicative or even geometric effect, especially if the rules are being bent far enough. That is how a handful of casters were able to uncroak a mountain and wipe out a ginormous army whose value was likely way more than that of the casters.

It would be hard to claim that the spell used to summon Parson was one used regularly in Erfworld, likely it was unprecedented and took advantage of a gray area in the rules (rather like uncroaking a mountain). The price would not have been based on its results if the spell were unprecedented, but based on what was required to make the scroll. So the creation and purchase of the scroll was an economic transaction, but the IDEA of it and the way it bends the rules are not. It seems to me that in spite of the fact that this isn't D&D (though D&D started as a wargame called Chainmail, interesting factoid) the summons did seem to work rather similar to a 'wish' spell, which as any veteran gamer can tell you is an incredibly powerful spell that is also a two edged sword, as in "be careful what you wish for..." There is no guarantee that it could be repeated given the specifics required, and the results may involve not only the scroll itself, but also the caster(s) who use it. THere may even be some fate involved, since without Parson saving the day GK would have been eliminated and Wanda might never have gotten the artifact she was fated to get.

If one thinks of the titans as the folks who make the rules Erfworld runs on, and if the titans were called on to make a judgement call on a very unconventional spell, then I don't see why their decision couldn't result in the generation of a narrow-use artifact with a value that is not easily calculated. I really don't see how Sizemore is qualified to make judgements about the value of an item he doesn't properly understand, so I'd hesitate to take everything he says as gospel. I note that he judged it to be a powerful magic item, but only speculated that it might be an artifact. The artifact half of his statement was explicitly NOT a judgement.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby fjolnir » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:05 pm

Though it occurs to me what sort of Hippiemancer Parson could be, a Dateamancer it seems he instinctively can do what Duncan's Magic item does, though his bracer is what gives him the hard numbers his "gut instincts" tell him is the correct method of attack.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Ashamam » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:31 pm

Yucca wrote:OK, without responding point by point, this is what I see going on here. The discussion is on the question of "can mortal casters create artifacts"

Here is my understanding of what Oberon is saying:
His reasoning goes like this: 1.The bracer is an artifact. 2. Only artifacts can provide artifacts. 3. The spell provided an artifact. 4. Therefore the spell is an artifact. 5. The spell was created by mortal casters. 6. Therefore mortal casters are able to create artifacts.

I see his reasoning like this:
Argument 1:
Premise 1: "This bracer" is "an Artifact".
Premise 2: "This spell" is a "Thing that Provided this bracer".
Premise 3: "The thing that provided the bracer" is a "Thing that provided an Artifact".
Conclusion: "This spell" is a "Thing that provided an Artifact".
Argument 2:
Premise 1: "This spell" is a "Thing that provided an Artifact".
Premise 2: "Things that provide Artifacts" are "Things as valuable as an Artifact".
Conclusion: "This spell" is a "Thing as valuable as an Artifact".
Argument 3:
Premise 1: "This spell" is a "Thing as valuable as an Artifact".
Premise 2: "Things as valuable as an Artifact" are "Artifacts".
Conclusion: "This spell" is "an Artifact".
Argument 4:
Premise 1: "This spell" is "an Artifact".
Premise 2: "This spell" is not a "Thing exclusively created by a Titan".
Conclusion: "An Artifact" is not a "Thing exclusively created by a Titan".

These are all valid arguments which means if all the premises are true the conclusions that follow are also true.
However the premise's are suspect.
Premise 1 of argument 1 is assumed soley on Sizmore stating it "may" be an artifact. This alone make the overall conclusion suspect.
All the economics talk was to prove Premise 2 of Argument 2. I don't necessarily see a problem with this premise or with this argument.
I added Argument 3 as it has not been stated explicitly although it is neccesary for his overall conclusion. I believe this is the largest error. People are mistaking Argument 2 and 3 as being one argument. I see this as where the logic breaks down the most. Premise 2 of Argument 3 is False. Saying something is as valuable as something else does not necessitate that they are the same thing. I buy a coffee for a dollar, meaning the coffee is as valuable as a dollar. It does not mean the coffee IS a dollar.
*edited to clarify Argument 4 and clarify some wording as well as added some italics and bold font to clarify the items in the arguments*
Last edited by Ashamam on Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Oberon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:14 pm

Yucca wrote:His reasoning goes like this: 1.The bracer is an artifact. 2. Only artifacts can provide artifacts. 3. The spell provided an artifact. 4. Therefore the spell is an artifact. 5. The spell was created by mortal casters. 6. Therefore mortal casters are able to create artifacts.

There are three flaws.

First, he has provided no strong evidence for point 1. Sizemore said "maybe artifact" when he was still unsure of the object's origin. Yes that's a reference to the objects "power level", but it was made in absence of knowledge of the object's creator. If he knew it was mortally created and still said that then it would be stronger evidence. Sizemore made a definitive comment earlier in the story about the dividing line being the creator.

Flaw two: No evidence what so ever for point 2. None. Even his logic is shaky.
So, you're saying that a magic automatic teller card that lets you withdraw a million dollars is worth less than a million dollars? That is contrary to my point, and it makes perfect sense to me that the card is worth the million dollars. If you had the card, would you sell it to me for $100,000? Because I would be taking that offer!
I think I know where the flaw and the shaky logic lies in this exchange, and it isn't with me.

Yucca wrote:Number 3 flaw: Point 1 assumes that mortals can make artifacts. Since we know that the bracer is mortal made, using this as a basic premise is akin to saying "If I assume that mortals can make artifacts, then I can prove that mortals can make artifacts."
Point one assumes that Sizemore may be correct. And that he isn't far off if he is incorrect. Sizemore is, after all, the primary character through which the reader learns about the magic system. He is Parson's tutor in the mechanics of Erfworld. If he is shown to be wrong too many times it would place a huge cloud of doubt over everything the reader has been told about how magic works. And that would be horrible writing. Which is why his estimation must be taken at face value.

Point 1 then goes on to sum the values of the "maybe artifact" bracer along with the sword and Parson with 3D glasses and concludes that it is highly likely that the value (power level) of the scroll must be considered to be that of an artifact. However, from your statement in "Flaw 2" it appears that even if the bracer is determined to be an artifact that you do not value the thing that brought you that artifact, and a smart Warlord, and 2 other magic items, as much as the things it produced for you. And I must disagree strongly with your value system.

Yucca wrote:To be clear: this is how I interpret his posts. I'm not trying to force a straw man on anyone.
I appreciate that. You have stated my position fairly accurately.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Llelldorin » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:24 pm

dan2178 wrote:
Oberon wrote:Funny, I thought it was quite clear that the summoning scroll was purchased for 350,000 shmuckers. And that the bracer could be sold for 500,000 shmuckers, and "maybe more." Care to try to explain how this was not an economic transaction?



I think you just disproved your assumption that swapped items must have equal value if:
A) Summoning scroll cost 350,000 shmuckers
B) Bracer worth 500,000+ shmuckers
C) Bracer is a product of the summoning scroll

If A, B, and C are all true, GK essentially swapped 350,000 shmuckers for 500,000+ shmuckers.


Not exactly--casting the spell took serious work by a skilled caster. If you have a carpenter, you can "swap" lumber for more valuable furniture, even in the real world.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Retconjurer » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:31 pm

Isn't the whole point of Sizemore's ambiguity about the nature of the object the question of whether mortals produced it?

I mean, isn't his ambiguity about the very thing everyone is debating over, "Did the spell make this? Or did it Pop with the rations as a gift from the titans? Or did the Spell, being a Lookamancy and Findamancy spell, go fetch it from Somewherelse?"
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 011

Postby Oberon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:37 pm

Ashamam wrote:I buy a coffee for a dollar, meaning the coffee is as valuable as a dollar. It does not mean the coffee IS a dollar.
You make some great points. But if I can take the lid off of the cup of coffee and sell it for $1.50, and still enjoy my cup of coffee, isn't my dollar now worth a whole lot more than it originally was? And the cup remains after I've drank the coffee, as does the little cozy that prevents my fingers from burning while I drink the coffee. These also have value.

This is not a perfect analogy, but it's far better than "I can wheel A-nold to you in a shopping cart, and I'm not as powerful as A-nold!" To Dr Pepper: If you push A-nold to me in a shopping cart, and once you turn the cart over to me he is under my complete control, will slap his own face if I command it, will turn the treasury of Cale-4-knee-a over to me, and will let me bang Maria Shriver (still a fine looking woman) anytime I like, then yes, you are just as powerful as A-nold!

The spell scroll did not just bring Stanley the bracer, it also brought him Parson, and a pair of goggles to let him see unit stats, and a magic sword. And the bracer was said to be sold for more than the scroll that brought it cost, at a minimum.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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