Book 2 – Text Updates 018

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:43 pm

Raza wrote:Iunno dude, I think the archon queasiness is a bit of a strawman. From what we know, Chalrie's got loads of simultaneous operations running all over erfworld, he provides telecommunications for more income than that, and he's got any number of other passive benefits from having his dish running (*cough* thinkamancy tracking *cough*).

For him to shut down his dish means everything he does is being much less perfectly coordinated (as this update sets an example of - those archons needed orders but were fatally put on hold because charlie was momentarily unavailable), he forgoes that turn's worth of thinkagram income, and he misses out on an unknown number of potentially useful pieces of intelligence. His entire side runs on that network, moreso even than GK ran of the eyemancy table.


Scouting works fine even with Charlie in a link, apparently. Also, he's not out that long that he can't leave meaningful orders behind.

The fact that he forgoes the Thinkamancy income is one thing, but if he has this power at his disposal, why bother with it anyways?

splintermute wrote:Your issue seems to be: "why hasn't he conquered the world already?" However, I'm operating under the assumption that this is the first time KingWorld has been cast - you don't just immediately go from your first successful nuke test to instant world domination. I do agree with you that, now that he's had his successful nuke test, he can cast it every second or third turn from now on.


That assumption (first test) is the first thing on this topic in this thread that makes a crazy amount of sense. At first.

Wanda got uber-powerful by attuning to a Tool. This event we got to see, it was in Erf-time fairly recent, and she developped that power well.

How long has Charlie had a) the ArkenDish and b) a good reputation in the Magic Kingdom? Given these two basic ingredients, it is hardly implausible that Charlie would try link-experiments. Indeed, he probably did, if this update is any indication.

So he may (and I say, SHOULD) have stumbled on Turnamancer links, or any other nifty ability, sooner. He wouldn't be at the testing phase now, at least for other things. If he has already tested, powerful spells in the arsenal, now would be a good time to use them. Or, way back when Unaroyal was besieged.


In any case, like Sunfall says, wait and see. As updates progress, we are bound to see other ramifications and costs for link ups that will explain why Charlie can't just do these things all the time. And I will have to accept that indeed, Charlie can't do them (nigh) all the time.

But that's a bit beside the point. We will see those things, because we expect there to be no plotholes, but I would have prefferred them to be up-front rather than (arguably) clunkily pasted in afterwards.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Dr Pepper » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:54 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Hillary ... as in Clinton?


Hilary, as in Swank


before I revert to the theory that Charlie is David Bowie


We already have Bowie the changeamancer, as "Ch-ch-ch-changes!".

If the area we've seen so far is a siginificant fraction of Erfworld (and only if?), then it makes sense to commit various scouting stacks, ambush stacks, and whatever else. Pretty much for free.


I'm pretty sure the ambush stack claim that Charlie made to Sammy is a bluff.

I also think that Charlie deliberately sacrificed his toys to the Red Rocker, figuring that this was the only way he could communicate without being immediately hung up on.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby atalex » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:00 pm

What's funny about this update (to me at least) is that it simultaneously makes me like Charlie more and also dislike him more. I admire his Magnificent Bastardy, but the Archon's undying devotion creeps me out. Yes, I know the Arkendish probably causes Charlie's Archons to pop with a preternatural loyalty to him. I do not think it automatically makes them pop as emotionally dependent sex-dolls, however -- I think that's something Charlie deliberately imposes on them. Parson effectively has the same degree of power over the Decrypted Archons that Charlie has over the ones still in his service, but Parson recoils from using them the same way Charlie seems to ... and the way the Archons themselves seem to expect to be used.

Prudery on my part, perhaps, but that's the way I feel.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby HandofShadows » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:01 pm

Um. I think it's Hillery Duff, not Swank.

Other people have noted it and we have seen hints beore about it, but it seems the Decripted Archons seem to have more freedom under Wanda than under Charlie. Under Charlie they almost seem like a junky needing a fix (to talk to Charlie). Charlie does know how to play the game. Now we get to see how his plan is going to go sideways in some form. :mrgreen:
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Davre » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:08 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
splintermute wrote:Your issue seems to be: "why hasn't he conquered the world already?" However, I'm operating under the assumption that this is the first time KingWorld has been cast - you don't just immediately go from your first successful nuke test to instant world domination. I do agree with you that, now that he's had his successful nuke test, he can cast it every second or third turn from now on.


That assumption (first test) is the first thing on this topic in this thread that makes a crazy amount of sense. At first.


At the risk of being gauche, I'll quote myself:

Davre wrote:This one's not about the costs of the spell, but how it might fit within the story. I'm not sure if it's an entirely original idea, because the discussion has been pretty far-ranging, but I don't remember seeing it put like this.

Assumptions:

1) Parson is the protagonist and the world (or game) is focused around him to some extent.
2) The game is broken to the extent that it requires extreme lateral thinking to 'win' or perhaps even to survive.
3) Such lateral thinking is only actually useful because the game is complex enough and is broken enough for Parson to find the exploitable mechanics.

The Zombie Volcano is an example of Parson's lateral thinking breaking the game but Kingworld is the game turning the screws again. Admittedly, Wanda and the pliers don't quite fit here, but I guess the game can be randomly broken as well.

No characters in the game so far, save those that were privy to the plan before hand, have given any indication that they knew such a thing was possible. I think it's either entirely new, or arcane enough to be considered as such. So the reason that Charlie hasn't taken over the world yet is because this is new and not for any other reason.

The reason that Charlie won't take over the world in the future is Parson.


From here:

http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1235&start=100#p28648

I guess it was a little off-topic where I posted it.

This whole KingWorld discussion has kinda busted the board, IMO. It's gone on for a bit too long over a bit too many posts and there's too much repetition and talking past each other. Maybe there oughta be wiki pages for significant disputes so that the various arguments can be grouped together and tracked.

I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed reading most of the posts, but it is starting to drag.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby gazes_also » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:15 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:

Charlie is "complex" because he is what the plot needs him to be, always. He's an enigma, for the same reason. I hope this walking plot device croaks a terrible croak, and I'm not alone.


Um, this is a work of fiction, characters exist and act as the story requires them - they have no other reason for being. That a character has a certain personality because the plot need him to be like that can be said of any character - even Parson.


Jillian is "complex" because she is chaotic ... as in, self-interestedly-short-sighted, brash and petulant. Once you get to know her carrots and sticks she is utterly predictable and boring. She's got a bit more fans, but I'm still not one of them.


Wanda thought she knew Jillian's carrots and sticks, and look how far that got her. she appears chaotic because what she appears to want and what she does are at odds, but that's because her motivations have changed over time and are no longer obvious. As for being brash and petulant - looking objectively at the last few pages (go on, you know you can do it) she has shown more skill in juggling several powerful forces at once than anyone, including Parson, has shown in the whole series so far, you don't do that by being petulant.

As for the utterly boring, walking one-dimensional plot device that can croak sooner rather than later as far as I'm concerned:
Wanda Firebaugh, come on down.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Davre » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:21 pm

gazes_also wrote:As for the utterly boring, walking one-dimensional plot device that can croak sooner rather than later as far as I'm concerned:
Wanda Firebaugh, come on down.


Well, if everyone got to croak their least-favorite character, there wouldn't be many left. ;)

If you promise to let Wanda live I bet we can get Bland to tolerate Charlie's existence a little while longer.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby gazes_also » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:28 pm

Davre wrote:
gazes_also wrote:As for the utterly boring, walking one-dimensional plot device that can croak sooner rather than later as far as I'm concerned:
Wanda Firebaugh, come on down.


Well, if everyone got to croak their least-favorite character, there wouldn't be many left. ;)

If you promise to let Wanda live I bet we can get Bland to tolerate Charlie's existence a little while longer.


Thing is, i liked the manipulative, occasionally vulnerable Book1 Wanda, but the "Must...Bring...Tools...Together..." robot is really annoying
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby doran » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:57 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
splintermute wrote:Your issue seems to be: "why hasn't he conquered the world already?" However, I'm operating under the assumption that this is the first time KingWorld has been cast - you don't just immediately go from your first successful nuke test to instant world domination. I do agree with you that, now that he's had his successful nuke test, he can cast it every second or third turn from now on.


That assumption (first test) is the first thing on this topic in this thread that makes a crazy amount of sense. At first.

Wanda got uber-powerful by attuning to a Tool. This event we got to see, it was in Erf-time fairly recent, and she developped that power well.

How long has Charlie had a) the ArkenDish and b) a good reputation in the Magic Kingdom? Given these two basic ingredients, it is hardly implausible that Charlie would try link-experiments. Indeed, he probably did, if this update is any indication.

So he may (and I say, SHOULD) have stumbled on Turnamancer links, or any other nifty ability, sooner. He wouldn't be at the testing phase now, at least for other things. If he has already tested, powerful spells in the arsenal, now would be a good time to use them. Or, way back when Unaroyal was besieged.

In any case, like Sunfall says, wait and see. As updates progress, we are bound to see other ramifications and costs for link ups that will explain why Charlie can't just do these things all the time. And I will have to accept that indeed, Charlie can't do them (nigh) all the time.

But that's a bit beside the point. We will see those things, because we expect there to be no plotholes, but I would have prefferred them to be up-front rather than (arguably) clunkily pasted in afterwards.



Uh... there are other 'ingredients' he has now has that he (likely) wouldn't have had from the start:
c) A safe and secure base
d) An large army of capable units
e) A large established information network
f) A stable source of income for upkeep and established clients

Remember though that Parson mentioned a diminishing schmuckers point for cities, so it may be impossible or too expensive to dominate the world with one side.
Instead Charlie might be going for an economy win: he'll have enough scmucker's and power to just instantly wipe out any side that opposes him.

...

Guys, why would Charlie order a communications blackout while linked?
BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT ANYONE TO CALL HIM BY HIS NAME!

Which reminds me - we've no evidence yet that the Arkendish can prevent casters from becoming croaked/insane when delinked - so this is still a cost to link ps
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:57 pm

Davre wrote:This whole KingWorld discussion has kinda busted the board, IMO. It's gone on for a bit too long over a bit too many posts and there's too much repetition and talking past each other. Maybe there oughta be wiki pages for significant disputes so that the various arguments can be grouped together and tracked.

I'm not saying I haven't enjoyed reading most of the posts, but it is starting to drag.


I agree. I promise not to bring it up again.

gazes_also wrote:Um, this is a work of fiction, characters exist and act as the story requires them - they have no other reason for being. That a character has a certain personality because the plot need him to be like that can be said of any character - even Parson.


Cute, but that "is anything the story needs him to be" does not mean something so trivial as "is a fictional character".

It means that, if there's need for the plot to be brought out of some spot, Charlie can do that. Need someone to rescue the valiant knight that got himself more than he could chew? Charlie. Need someone to secretly prop up a kingdom until it becomes a threat to others? Charlie. Need someone to put the stop on an unstoppable campaign of conquest? Charlie. Need someone to be a manipulative chess-master whose goals are kept hidden (and therefore can be adjusted in the future to whatever is most convenient to the plot)? Guess who.

gazes_also wrote:Wanda thought she knew Jillian's carrots and sticks, and look how far that got her. she appears chaotic because what she appears to want and what she does are at odds, but that's because her motivations have changed over time and are no longer obvious. As for being brash and petulant - looking objectively at the last few pages (go on, you know you can do it) she has shown more skill in juggling several powerful forces at once than anyone, including Parson, has shown in the whole series so far, you don't do that by being petulant.


Just what did she do? She got all the help that TWO sides were willing to pour on her, then from that position of power (which was none of her doing) she stamps her foot and throws a plan out the window, then dismisses another out of hand now. Tactful that's not. I'll give that she's playing her cards, but her cards, strong as they are, are not of her own making.

And I agree about Wanda btw.

Davre wrote:
gazes_also wrote:As for the utterly boring, walking one-dimensional plot device that can croak sooner rather than later as far as I'm concerned:
Wanda Firebaugh, come on down.


Well, if everyone got to croak their least-favorite character, there wouldn't be many left. ;)

If you promise to let Wanda live I bet we can get Bland to tolerate Charlie's existence a little while longer.


:lol: Ok.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Ditto » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:26 pm

Just to supplement the prior point as regards 'real costs' - it's been stated that the *majority* or Charlie's profits come from telecom'ing. Without the dish, he cannot megatelecom effectively. He's lost a turn of picking up stray thinkagram requests, and hence a turn of profits. The archons are more than sufficient to keep Charlescomm running internally, but not to support their main revenue stream. Also, he's been short on mercenary gigs from the known sides in the comic of late. Also-also, as you say he's engaging in some high-risk 'pro bono' work to get his house of cards back in order. Charlie is extending himself significantly beyond his comfort zone all around.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby raphfrk » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:28 pm

Magothys wrote:What? 9000? There's no way that can be right...


That Charlie is wouldn't be willing to pay that for the return of an Archon? If they cost 500 per turn, then that would be 20 turns cost, that doesn't seem unreasonable.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Firkraag » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:56 pm

Nooo! Not the heavy metal prince :roll:
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:02 pm

Ditto wrote:Also, he's been short on mercenary gigs from the known sides in the comic of late. Also-also, as you say he's engaging in some high-risk 'pro bono' work to get his house of cards back in order. Charlie is extending himself significantly beyond his comfort zone all around.


I'm under an NDA (no discussion agreement) about a certain topic, but I'd like to take this chance to iterate a question from my first post here-

just how big is Erfworld?

Apparently, not big enough that Charlie can ignore the part of it that includes the RCC and GK. How big is that though?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Hatu » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:05 pm

Which reminds me - we've no evidence yet that the Arkendish can prevent casters from becoming croaked/insane when delinked - so this is still a cost to link ps


Not necessarily, on two counts. First, the end of Book 1 implies that sufficient Thinkamancy can unravel a linkup with much greater safety: that's certainly my explanation for why Janis wanted several Master-class Thinkamancers to de-link Wanda, Maggie and Sizemore. Given that the Arkendish is said to give Charlie a powerful command of Thinkamancy, it's quite possible that Charlie can link and de-link casters in safety (at least compared to Maggie on her own).

Second, we already know that two way links are pretty safe. So if the Arkendish really can link at distances, it can do at least that much without any appreciable cost.

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Impyre » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:14 pm

First of all, I wanted to say that I'm a brand new tool. I've been reading since about half-way through the first story... and a combination of respect for the authors for continuing their work as promised, and an earnest appreciation of the work that goes into this have necessitated my support (for what it's worth.) As far as Charlie goes, I think he's a lot like parson in many respects. A key difference is that charlie's strategic approach is based more on situational environment, planning, controlling variables, and politics... whereas parson's strategies tend to rely more on unique abilities, anomalies, and taking the fullest advantage of opportunities. I don't necessarily think that while charlie may have an interest in defeating GK, that interest probably resides more in a desire to ultimately employ parson out of a healthy respect for his command abilities. I doubt charlie will compromise any advantages he may have to oust GK, but the majority of sides must believe that charlie wants to help. Haggar, being an underdog, creates the perfect scenario for us to see that charlie does in fact have an agenda, which he is apparently willing to fight for. I cannot see this agenda involving true "loyalty" to anyone but himself. That being said, this encounter most likely follows a similar encounter on the mountain, wherein once the die are cast charlie keeps one foot "out the door" so that he can land in a politically up-right position. I wouldn't doubt that he is probably curious to see how GK, and parson in particular, react to this situation, so he will do his best to ensure the engagement occurs... but I don't believe that he fully expects GK to lose.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby gazes_also » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:34 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
It means that, if there's need for the plot to be brought out of some spot, Charlie can do that. Need someone to rescue the valiant knight that got himself more than he could chew? Charlie. Need someone to secretly prop up a kingdom until it becomes a threat to others? Charlie. Need someone to put the stop on an unstoppable campaign of conquest? Charlie. Need someone to be a manipulative chess-master whose goals are kept hidden (and therefore can be adjusted in the future to whatever is most convenient to the plot)? Guess who.

Most of that could equally be said of Gandalf in LotR or Merlin in any version of Arthurian legend.


Just what did she do? She got all the help that TWO sides were willing to pour on her, then from that position of power (which was none of her doing) she stamps her foot and throws a plan out the window, then dismisses another out of hand now. Tactful that's not. I'll give that she's playing her cards, but her cards, strong as they are, are not of her own making.


Yes, the hand she has is not of her own making. Her backers chose her to front for them, and must have thought they had good reason to do so. At any moment any one of her backers could say ST. FAGOS and drop her, but somehow she manages to retain just enough of their trust to let her play the hand, and I'll bet she talks Trammenis into going along with her. She's walking a tightrope while juggling chainsaws, I want to see why, because it seems more than just a fit of pique.

And I agree about Wanda btw.


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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby Ditto » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:34 pm

Understood, Bland. ;)

I think the geography of Erfworld is definitely of interest in figuring out each sides' worldview. Especially for Charlescomm, since they purport to be the widest-ranging. The wiki article on this is very thorough about what pieces we know - and they've even added a hypothetical map since i last looked in, what fun! http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/ ... _Geography

I think the fact that TBfGK was known as 'the great western conflict' gives you a sense that the known factions represent a significant chunk of the known world, at least in terms of development. It's not like you have civilizations that level up in the same way that real-world cultures do, Erf sides typically just expand. It's a limited slice of history we're judging from, of course.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:50 pm

gazes_also wrote:Most of that {character is a plot device} could equally be said of Gandalf in LotR or Merlin in any version of Arthurian legend.


That is a fair assessment. Indeed, such characters are not about being people themselves, but rather to get the story started (oh, but thou must go on a quest) or the hero mentored for a while. Their personality is not the point, and their agenda is arguably less important; they are here to help the hero and that's that.

That said, there's ways and ways to pull this off. Even Gandalf and Merlin, and Obi Wan (original series) have a point at which they will not or cannot interfere, and the hero/story must move on its own. Charlie on the other hand may just as well be omnipotent- or, if not omnipotent, then exactly as powerful as he needs to be for some event to take place.

This is Oberon's complaint about Charlie actually, I don't know if it's completely valid yet, but it certainly seems that there's little Charlie couldn't do. If he does something, we forumites can always rationalize it away with "he's attuned to the Dish" or some-such.

gazes_also wrote:Yes, the hand she has is not of her own making. Her backers chose her to front for them, and must have thought they had good reason to do so. At any moment any one of her backers could say ST. FAGOS and drop her, but somehow she manages to retain just enough of their trust to let her play the hand, and I'll bet she talks Trammenis into going along with her. She's walking a tightrope while juggling chainsaws, I want to see why, because it seems more than just a fit of pique.


We'll see indeed. So far though all that trust could be explained by circumstances forcing the players into it. Charlie needed Jillian because she was alone in listening. The Don needed Jillian for ... hmm. That's actually interesting. WHY did the Don choose to rebuild Faq, the side, rather than rebuild its cities as Transylvito's? Whatever Don's reason was, I seem to recall that Jillian's charm wasn't it.

As for why she's doing what she's doing ... well, my guess is she now wants Wanda and/or Ansom. Further actions may (dis)prove this hypothesis.

Ditto wrote:I think the fact that TBfGK was known as 'the great western conflict' gives you a sense that the known factions represent a significant chunk of the known world, at least in terms of development. It's not like you have civilizations that level up in the same way that real-world cultures do, Erf sides typically just expand. It's a limited slice of history we're judging from, of course.


That's a good point.

Oh and there's one more side with good world knowledge- the MK!
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 018

Postby DoctorJest » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:45 pm

Justyn wrote:Also, I wonder if the fact Haggar units have dome-shaped helmets, rather than the usual cone-shaped helmets means anything... beyond the difference of the shape of their helmets.


The "spear carrier" types have domed helmets very much like that in the Hagar the Horrible comic strip.
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