Book 2 – Text Updates 029

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Chit Rule Railroad » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:29 am

splintermute wrote:Knave isn't a title - it means a servant or a liar/scoundrel (I'm leaning towards liar/scoundrel, since he's a Foolamancer and that's what he does for a living), and is an alternate name for a Jack in a deck of cards (see e.g. "The Knave of Hearts, he stole some tarts ..." from Alice in Wonderland). Wanda may have a noble title (Lady), or she may be treated as a noble because she's the Princess' official consort, or she may just naturally be a haughty and arrogant bitch.


Except, Jack described it as a title. Since this is Erfworld, I think its meaning in card games is more relevant than whether it would actually be used as a title on Earth - and in a deck of cards, a Knave/Jack is a member of the court. According to Wikipedia, in France the Jacks in a deck even refer to specific heroic warriors:
Jack of Spades: Ogier the Dane (legendary hero of the chansons de geste)
Jack of Hearts: La Hire (French warrior)
Jack of Diamonds: Hector (mythological hero of the Iliad)
Jack of Clubs: Lancelot

Interestingly, Ogier had to be restrained from killing Charlemagne, and we all know what (or should I say whom ;) ) Lancelot did, so the scoundrel thing may have been in there even when it was suitable for heroes.

If Wanda is a noble, then all of Jillian's known lovers have been noble or royal, correct? And she apparently didn't quite go for Jack... I wonder if that's another example of her being more influenced by her Royalness than she would like to admit.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby splintermute » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:02 am

Chit Rule Railroad wrote:
splintermute wrote:Knave isn't a title - it means a servant or a liar/scoundrel (I'm leaning towards liar/scoundrel, since he's a Foolamancer and that's what he does for a living), and is an alternate name for a Jack in a deck of cards (see e.g. "The Knave of Hearts, he stole some tarts ..." from Alice in Wonderland). Wanda may have a noble title (Lady), or she may be treated as a noble because she's the Princess' official consort, or she may just naturally be a haughty and arrogant bitch.


Except, Jack described it as a title. Since this is Erfworld, I think its meaning in card games is more relevant than whether it would actually be used as a title on Earth - and in a deck of cards, a Knave/Jack is a member of the court.

Sorry - what I meant was Jack isn't a noble title, it's a job description title, like CWL.

Interesting catch on Wanda's lovers. And if Jack actually is a borderline noble title (as his master-classness might suggest), that would expand the influence of royalty, so that everyone who's fallen in love with Jillian is also a royal/noble.

@Hiai - the pliers have a direct attack power: turning uncroaked to dust, which I would rank somewhere between the hammer's lightning strike and the hammer's ability to turn orlies into walnuts - perhaps on par with the hammer's ability to fly. Also, its primary non-unitary power might just be an extremely strong grip (see Book 2, page 9, keeping in mind that Ossomer is probably a very strong, extremely high level CWL). But fantastic post.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Carne » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:36 pm

Hiai wrote:It is clear they are sentient and it is stated that the Hammer likes Stanley.


Minor nitpick - this isn't so much sentience (which is the ability to perceive; possessing consciousness) as it is maybe sagaciousness (discerning) or sapience. There's no real evidence for any of the Arkentools as conscious entites. But, as you state above, the character bio states the Hammer likes Stanley, which is evidence of discernment*. Plus, the implication is that attunement is a process driven by discernment in some fashion. Note that consciousness and/or intelligence is not a prerequisite of discernment - some sort of "instinctual" resonance could also explain it.

*(edit) If it can be taken at face value.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:49 pm

gaiaswill wrote:I'm thinking how nobility and royalty classically works in a monarchy to be a possible model. Royalty is defined by their bloodline. But nobility is more flexible. A distinguished commoner could be promoted to noble (however rare). Lower ranked nobles can become higher ranked ones as well. But even the highest noble is still not royal and never will be. This could be why Don is so keen on replacing Caesar; he doesn't want Transylvito to be led by an Overlord.

Real life is not quite so simple of course--there's marriage and a distinct lack of leveling. But for the gamelike Erfworld, perhaps this is a decent starting point.


I don't think nobility is that flexible; as far as I know a family usually keeps its rank for some hundred years, unless they gain significantly more power.
My theory in rank in erfworld is, that it's dependent on the stats when the unit is popped and stays until the unit croaks. As far as we know, the difference between nobles and commoners is, that they have better stats and level faster. So, a royal gets i.e. +4 on his stats and levels 30% faster. A noble that levels 25% faster and gets +3 gets the title "Archduke", with +2 and 15% the title count, and with only +1 and +5% he counts as "barley noble" and is only a viscount.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby DevilDan » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:27 pm

I forget, do we have Word of the Titans that the cast page was even canon?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Chit Rule Railroad » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:45 pm

splintermute wrote:And if Jack actually is a borderline noble title (as his master-classness might suggest), that would expand the influence of royalty, so that everyone who's fallen in love with Jillian is also a royal/noble.


To be precise, Ansom may not have fallen in love with her, so it may only be nobles who have.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Nihila » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:04 pm

Something just hit me. The Uncroaked prisoner Ossomer executed is described has having a skeletal form.
LiaB Text 29 wrote:Then they brought him an Uncroaked prisoner and he did the same, turning the skeletal form to gritty dust.

So, does this suggest anything, besides that the skeletons Jillian killed in the beginning of Book One are now canon? Is this Charlie's newest scheme?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby splintermute » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:19 pm

Nihila wrote:Something just hit me. The Uncroaked prisoner Ossomer executed is described has having a skeletal form.
LiaB Text 29 wrote:Then they brought him an Uncroaked prisoner and he did the same, turning the skeletal form to gritty dust.

So, does this suggest anything, besides that the skeletons Jillian killed in the beginning of Book One are now canon? Is this Charlie's newest scheme?
What does this have to do with Charlie?

Uncroaked, unlike decrypted, decay over time - presumably this was an older uncroaked that had lost some of its "meatiness".

To me, the fact that the prisoners they used were a twoll and an uncroaked, two unit types closely associated with GK, suggests they've been at odds with GK since before the RCC I days, unless it's just a coincidence.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Nihila » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:25 pm

The Charlie thing was just a jibe at his seeming omnipresence. He wouldn't have been allied with Jetstone at that point in time, anyways.

Though this probably confirms that the uncroaked do lose some flesh. Wonder how they smell...
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Oberon » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:54 pm

atalex wrote:Old Wrigley ended his life unhappy that he would die without ever even getting to use his spear. New Wrigley cheerfully went on a suicide run because he was happy to die in battle.

[...]

With those examples to go on, I wasn't sure what I to expect from Decrypted Ossomer. But based on the pre-Decryption arrogance and pomposity he demonstrated, what I did not expect was for him to be so chastened by his change in circumstance that he would suck it up and ask a subordinate, in a surprisingly humble way, for advice on how to adapt to his new existence. And that was before he experienced that inexplicable pang of guilt over an incident with his brother from years earlier and before he felt the need to flat-out lie to Sylvia about whether he sensed the divine nature of the Arkenpliers.
I agree with your commentary on Ossomer and his change since decryption. But I would point out that Wriggly was attacked off-turn. That is a very vulnerable position, and units are left waiting to see if they will be attacked with nothing to do to prepare except restack. A fight which was clear from the start a being so one-sided that the leadership felt that the best they could do while dying was to try to focus on the units that could be best used against the other half of their expeditionary force. That Wriggly acquitted himself well during the fight is commendable, but it was hardly a suicide run.
splintermute wrote:I secretly hope that, for narrative purposes, your idea is correct and there is something rare and special and interesting about attunement, but I also think it would be hilarious if, after giving Parson a chance to experiment, he finds out that it all really boils down to "for non-royal use only."
Parson has the best experimentation tool at his disposal. One which can predict even future events. A small series of questions, starting with "what are the odds an Arkentool will attune to a Royal?" should give him enough evidence to draw a very strong conclusion. After all, if the odds are 0%, then even if there is no prohibition against Royals attuning, there may as well be such a prohibition for all practical purposes.
Shinsei wrote:Actually, I'd be more inclined to say Parson himself is the fourth, unknown Arkentool. Certainly powerful enough, was part of forming the game, and Sylvia's description of similar powers was interesting. Anyhoo, we'll see.
Parson should know, if he cares to ask.
"What are the odds that I am an Arkentool?" - Should give a binary response of 0% or 100%
"What are the odds Charlie is from Earth?" - Also a binary response.

"What are the odds that Wanda will survive the Jetstone turn?" - Should give him a great idea about his food fight plan working or not, because everyone seems to think that Wanda and company are going to be wiped out without any real chance of survival as soon as Jetstone decides to attack. If the odds come back above about 10% or so, then Parson knows that his exploit will work as he intends, or at least well enough to give a chance for Wanda to live out the Jetstone turn.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby splintermute » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:55 am

Oberon wrote:Parson should know, if he cares to ask.
"What are the odds that I am an Arkentool?" - Should give a binary response of 0% or 100%
"What are the odds Charlie is from Earth?" - Also a binary response.

I think you're overestimating or misinterpreting the predictive power of the bracer somehow. If it actually worked like this, it would be able to answer any yes/no or true/false question, and Parson should already know everything there is to know about Erf.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:44 am

splintermute wrote:
Oberon wrote:Parson should know, if he cares to ask.
"What are the odds that I am an Arkentool?" - Should give a binary response of 0% or 100%
"What are the odds Charlie is from Earth?" - Also a binary response.

I think you're overestimating or misinterpreting the predictive power of the bracer somehow. If it actually worked like this, it would be able to answer any yes/no or true/false question, and Parson should already know everything there is to know about Erf.


Also, these are not guaranteed binary responses. It depends greatly on how the calculator interprets the question.

"What are the odds that Parson is from Earth?" - Assume, for the sake of argument, that there are 10,000,000 units in Erfworld, of which Parson is one. Assume also that there are 10,000,000 alternate universes from which a non-Erfworld native can be pulled. The odds of any given unit in Erfworld being non-native are 1 in 10,000,000 (assuming that Parson is unique in being a non-native). The odds of a non-native unit in Erfworld being from Earth are also 1 in 10,000,000. Therefore, the odds of Parson being a non-native from Earth can be calculated as one in (10,000,000 * 10,000,000), which is practically zero. The fact that Parson is in fact a non-native from Earth doesn't change these odds.

The same is true if you ask the question "What are the odds of person X winning the lottery?" when person X has just won the lottery. Their odds of winning haven't changed - it's still one in 70,000,000.

Don't confuse calculation of the odds with determining what the probability wave collapsed to.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby zilfallon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:03 pm

Don't confuse calculation of the odds with determining what the probability wave collapsed to.


Exacta!

The bracer won't give any binary responses, because it doesn't tell you the...well, the best word for it: your destiny.

For example, when the odds of winning a battle is %27.83 for you, that is your chance of winning. But if that random number is somewhere in that bracket in your destined future, then you win.
And crap, i just sounded like Wanda probably :D
But what i really mean is..."What are the chances i'm an arkentool?" In this case, the bracer will check if the current arkentools are objects or persons, and give you a result. This case is kinda strict, because there aren't many arkentools. But war calculations explain my point better.

In short words: %0.00000000000000000000000000000000001 isn't impossible. And in erfworld i think, there aren't any %0 or %100 probabilities, because even if it is a game, it is pretty realistic in means of hit points.
DnD players will understand this better: Imagine a d20 system where high-level characters can't survive falling to ground from 200 feet, then having a huge adamantine statue falling on them from another 200 feet.

An arrow will be fatal, even to your experienced fighter. And i think that is what it is like in erf.

But really...i don't expect anyone to agree with what i wrote, because after reading it, even i, as the writer, got confused :D
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Sieggy » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:24 pm

And, as any gamer knows, probability works kind of like this -

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0584.html
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Lamech » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:30 pm

Parson should know, if he cares to ask.
"What are the odds that I am an Arkentool?" - Should give a binary response of 0% or 100%
"What are the odds Charlie is from Earth?" - Also a binary response.
The bracer has a limited pool of knowledge to draw from, it is not all knowing. We can clearly see this when Parson asks if the lack of gobwins is natural, and if Charlie is behind it. We don't know how the bracer gets its info (I suspect it know the rules and everything a GK unit knows), but we know it is not omniscient.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby multilis » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:17 pm

"The bracer has a limited pool of knowledge to draw from, it is not all knowing."

What are the odds that Parson counts as warlord level 2 for leadership now... probably close to 100%

Possible certain questions "are" nearly 100% certain, basic game rules known by the bracer somehow even if average player does not know them, including what are "tools" and what aren't.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby ftl » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:06 pm

Well, then it comes down to whether 'can royals attune' is a basic game rule known by the bracer or not.

It's also one of those questions where any answer except "0%" is pretty much useless. If Parson asks "what are the odds a Royal can attune" and gets something that's almost 100% or even 100%, that might just mean that there's nothing in the rules against it, and doesn't mean that it ever will happen or ever has. If you get an answer that's almost 0 but not quite, that's also not telling you much - after all, the probability that anyone attunes is low, royals are no exception. Given that question, the only possible answer that's useful enough to actually *do* something with is 0.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby splintermute » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:28 pm

I just noticed an interesting line in this update:

"He had stood, felt their heft. He resized them slightly."

Are all magic items subject to resizing? I know the eye-books are. Hats probably are too, to fit different wearers. It seems odd that Arkentools are subject to resizing, though - you would think, from their graphical depiction, that they're fixed, constant, absolute things - or maybe they are, and whoever's holding them is actually making the universe bigger or smaller. Or maybe Ossomer didn't actually resize them, but just thought he did, and that's one of the reasons the pliers didn't like him - he was treating them like a conventional magic item instead of a sacred artifact.

Also, one of my theories about why Charlie only had one city, and why he never left, was because the dish couldn't be moved. But maybe the dish is resizeable and portable, but it just takes a long time to set up or unplug, with some complex tangle of wires in the back - or maybe Charlie's just a couch potato (I know I would be if I had the best satellite dish in the universe).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Oberon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:02 pm

MarbitChow wrote:The same is true if you ask the question "What are the odds of person X winning the lottery?" when person X has just won the lottery. Their odds of winning haven't changed - it's still one in 70,000,000.

Don't confuse calculation of the odds with determining what the probability wave collapsed to.
I agree, I just don't think you're applying it correctly.

Let's agree for arguments sake that at present Wanda and company have a 2% chance of living out the turn. The exact number isn't important, but I think that we can agree that everyone who looks at the situation, Tram, Slately, Don, Ossomer, Parson, all agree that it is a fight Wanda isn't going to win. That it isn't even close.

Parson runs this through the bracer, and gets a result that is sufficiently low to be represented here for arguments sake as 2%.
Now Parson runs the numbers again, except this time he factors in his "food fight cheat." This is exactly the kind of exercise he and Jack have been running: "Now lets give all 2,000 of those infantry the ability to cast like Archons, and run it again."
If the odds come up significantly better, then Parson knows that his "cheat" will be allowed and will work. Thus there is no wave form to collapse. His cheat will either work, or it will not work. And the bracer should be able to tell him this simply by Parson factoring in this strategy and seeing odds of survival being significantly higher than 2%. Parson still won't know if Wanda will live, that waveform has yet to collapse, but if he now sees a 85% chance of survival, he KNOWS that his food fight is going to work to boost her odds of survival. And so that makes it a 100% chance that the food fight works. Not "is successful", just works as intended to improve the odds.

And as far as Parson having a 1/10,000,000 chance of not being from Earth, I believe that you are confusion the odds of something happening with the facts of what has happened, or what simply is. Parson IS from Earth, no matter how many times you roll that die it is not going to come up "Parson is from Erf." Thus there is a 0% chance that Parson is from Erf, and a 100% chance that Parson is from Earth.

What is your chance of rolling a 1 on a D6? 1/6, every single time. Once rolled and you're looking at a 1, what are the odds that you're looking at a 1? 100%, every single time. Determining what IS should be a trivial exercise for the bracer. "Am I a titan? "Am I a caster?" "Is Charlie from earth?", all of these have no waveform to collapse. They either are, or are not. There is no try.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 029

Postby Lamech » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:24 pm

multilis wrote:What are the odds that Parson counts as warlord level 2 for leadership now... probably close to 100%

Possible certain questions "are" nearly 100% certain, basic game rules known by the bracer somehow even if average player does not know them, including what are "tools" and what aren't.
Very true, but the two points I was responding too, if Parson is an Arkentool, and especially if Charlie is from earth, don't seem to require binary responses. It very well could give a 0% chance if the bracer say, knows that people can't be arkentools, or Parson would have learned by stuipid meal if Charlie was from earth. It could give a 100% if its pool of knowledge included those facts as well. But it could just as easily give a chance that Charlie is from earth, and not have a binary response.

Although Parson might be able to ask it questions like "If the fourth Arkentool appeared in a random royal's hands, what is the chance the royal would attune?" If Royal's can't attune the bracer would spit out a 0%. He could do the same for commoners to see if they auto attune. (Which would conviently answer the question of if attunement is based on royal/noble/commoner status...)
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