Book 2 – Text Updates 035

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Thomas60 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:38 am

I have my own little rendition for how the word 'table' was used.
"One has tabled the turn..."
In the context of a board game, things on the table are the game pieces, up for being utilized. Saying 'one has tabled the turn' is saying that the 'turn' has been brought to a place where it can be controlled.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Dr Pepper » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:07 am

Lor wrote:One has to wonder if Rob enjoys writing for Jack as much as I enjoy reading it, and if so, why he doesn't write for him more often?


Book 4 will be called

Erfworld: Jack Snipe and the Boopload of Awesomeness
Read, like there won't be a movie
Game, like the die rolls don't matter
Filk, like everyone is tone deaf anyway

10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
. . . . . . Dr Pepper
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .4
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:22 am

Oberon wrote:Merely convenience? You're comparing the contrast of losing Wanda's entire expeditionary force against destroying the Jetstone capitol city and presumably the Jetstone Side as well, and labeling this a mere convenience? Really?


False dychotomy. Apparently Jack could come up with a defensive plan that did not involve abusing the portal convention. So it's at least a three way choice between death, survival (and fight another day), and victory. To say nothing of any other possible plans.


Oberon wrote:That is Janice's plan. And Sizemore has heard at least a little bit about it. But we've no indication that Parson has been consulted on the matter, at all. Parson is looking for his greatest advantage, not for an end of war on Erf.


Dare I say, convenience?

Oberon wrote:There is no "peace of Erf" justification motivating Parson, right now his motivation is turning a clear loss into a clear victory. And violating a mere convention, which he just heard about 5 minutes ago and which doesn't even have any real evidence that it applies to him in any event, is not an "ends justifies the means" argument. You can decide to dislike Parson for violating this convention, but you can't make him into an amoral monster for violating it.


This is wrong in several ways.

First, Parson did not hear about this just now. He was in the MK before, and even if nobody explicitly stated any MK conventions to him, he can put 2 and 2 together. The MK must be neutral for its portals to be trusted.

Second, law is convention, and vice-versa in many cases. Conventions are also not entirely arbitrary, they serve some purpose. In this case, that convention gives the MK its neutrality. By choosing to flaunt a convention of neutrality, Parson is doing a morally dubious act. What he is doing now is tantamount to breeching a treaty and more significantly, jeopardizing the neutrality (even existence?) of the Magic Kingdom.

Thirdly, ignorance of the law is never an excuse anyway. At most, a mitigation, if the law is obscure and the details are not necessarily obvious to common sense. This is not the case now. It's pretty clear what the convention is, and it's pretty clear that Parson knowingly decided to thumb his nose at it.

Fourthly, my opinion of Parson is unimportant (we'll never interact, so I've got no stake in deciding whether Parson is trustworthy or not). On the other hand, the opinion of other characters in the story will matter. Parson is doing something which a lot of people will not regard as kosher, and that's a very good engine for the story. I'm particularly interested in what Sizemore will do after this.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby build6 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:02 am

knight427 wrote:I have been reading this comic from the beginning. Tonight I was inspired by the this text update to register and post. It was by far my favorite text update ever and I could not NOT let that go unsaid. Well done.


heh. I registered to post after a text update, too

Ytaker wrote:That strongly suggests they're gonna be smashing up the city. If they were just gonna, say, attack Slateley from behind and croak him, the city would go neutral and go into stasis, and wouldn't be smashed up.


that makes a lot of sense

Nows7 wrote:The riddles were clever, but I would answer the luckamancer / naughtymancer diffrently "One rules the broken (croakamancy); the other breaks the rules. (luckamancy defying odds)"


heh, I like it!

Anyways -

I don't believe Charlie knows what's coming or he would've told somebody already (or else do something more than just try to steer Jillian back to the field of battle so there's more troops available). And we certainly don't know what's coming, either, since this text update clearly tells us we're only at most at Jack-level planning :-)

Man, I hope he and Tramennis both make it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby JustDoug » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:06 am

This is also wrong in several ways.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:This is wrong in several ways.

First, Parson did not hear about this just now. He was in the MK before, and even if nobody explicitly stated any MK conventions to him, he can put 2 and 2 together. The MK must be neutral for its portals to be trusted.

Second, law is convention, and vice-versa in many cases. Conventions are also not entirely arbitrary, they serve some purpose. In this case, that convention gives the MK its neutrality. By choosing to flaunt a convention of neutrality, Parson is doing a morally dubious act. What he is doing now is tantamount to breeching a treaty and more significantly, jeopardizing the neutrality (even existence?) of the Magic Kingdom.

Thirdly, ignorance of the law is never an excuse anyway. At most, a mitigation, if the law is obscure and the details are not necessarily obvious to common sense. This is not the case now. It's pretty clear what the convention is, and it's pretty clear that Parson knowingly decided to thumb his nose at it.

Fourthly, my opinion of Parson is unimportant (we'll never interact, so I've got no stake in deciding whether Parson is trustworthy or not). On the other hand, the opinion of other characters in the story will matter. Parson is doing something which a lot of people will not regard as kosher, and that's a very good engine for the story. I'm particularly interested in what Sizemore will do after this.


Laws and conventions are not the same thing. Both may be broken/contravened, but only the first will run the risk of getting you arrested, tried and have all the other things a criminal justice system are famous for happen to you. The latter might upset people and will certainly get you talked about and looked at funny but that's about it. Keep in mind that some folks back here in Reality Land break conventions wholesale and are applauded for their daring, as not all conventions are thought to be of the same importance to all. "One man's religion is another man's belly laugh."

The "Don't use the Portal as your personal Troop Transport" is not a law. It is a social convention adhered to only by those that adhere to such things. Parson is willing to have himself talked about and upset some people with no risk of being branded an outlaw (more than he already is) by all and sundry. He might not be ignorant of the convention, but he is also aware that it isn't a law.

'Course, after his little jaunt, it just might be codified into Law, but he's currently not acting at all the "criminal" for using the private subway of the MK to get to work.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:21 am

JustDoug wrote:This is also wrong in several ways.

Laws and conventions are not the same thing. Both may be broken/contravened, but only the first will run the risk of getting you arrested, tried and have all the other things a criminal justice system are famous for happen to you. The latter might upset people and will certainly get you talked about and looked at funny but that's about it. Keep in mind that some folks back here in Reality Land break conventions wholesale and are applauded for their daring, as not all conventions are thought to be of the same importance to all. "One man's religion is another man's belly laugh."


I did say, and I requote, "law is convention, and vice-versa in many cases". In fact that whole paragraph is about how conventions serve some purpose. And come on, it's not like Parson suddenly decided to not cover his mouth anymore while coughing.

While some conventions are very lightweight (see the coughing one), we have that laws are a kind of convention, treaties are a kind of convention, and some conventions are about safeguarding more important things than mere decorum, and warrant more than gossip as punishment.

Parson is knowingly going to subject a peaceful part Erfworld to an engagement in war.

And whether or not you call what the MK requires of users of its portals as "law", it is a significant breech of at least an owner's right to their own property (and to dictate how it should be used by customers/renters etc). Said owner not being presently engaged in war with you.

Again, I'd be very interested why you think that the usage of MK portals is not law, but even more interested in why you think it matters whether it's a law or not to decide the morality of an act.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Selexor » Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:51 am

Seems I'm joining the bandwagon of joining after a particularly interesting text update. What can I say, Jack Snipe is just an interesting enough character that I couldn't resist. I do certainly love his perspective of Erfworld and how sincerely he enjoys the chaos he seems to get into.

The main reason I joined, however, was to bring up a thought I haven't noticed in this thread - and I'm sorry if I missed it - but it's regarding Jack's Staff. Obviously it's a nice decoration, and the 8-Ball on top fits his motif, and it might even serve a function to his riddling way of talking and thinking. What stood out to me in this update, however, was...

By order, [Jack and Wanda] were paired as closely together as their dwagons could hover, each holding a scroll in one hand and a weapon in the other.


Now, having been very specifically told to do this, Jack obeys without hesitation by holding a Healomancy scroll in one hand... and his Staff in the other. Which would imply that, at least in the hands of a master-class Foolamancer, Jack's Staff is actually a weapon. And since I can't really see Jack as the type to rain down destruction from a straightforward death-dealing weapon, I'm very curious to see what exactly he's capable of with that Staff in his hands, and what a Foolamancer is capable of in a combat scenario.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Althernai » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:05 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Parson is knowingly going to subject a peaceful part Erfworld to an engagement in war.

And whether or not you call what the MK requires of users of its portals as "law", it is a significant breech of at least an owner's right to their own property (and to dictate how it should be used by customers/renters etc). Said owner not being presently engaged in war with you.

There is no question that if word of what Parson did gets out, it will complicate the Magic Kingdom's affairs. What I don't understand is why you seem to think Parson should care or why the readers should find it immoral. The Magic Kingdom is a base for mercenaries and arms merchants. Because it is so divided, it is not at war with anyone in particular (I'd bet there have been battles with hired casters on both sides), but it is by no means peaceful. Vanna (the turnamancer whom Charlie used to end Gobwin Knob's turn) comes from there so it's not like the casters are staying out of the war altogether. And they sold Wanda the summoning spell that started the story (that thing probably qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction). Parson is hardly bringing evil to the land of the innocent.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:46 am

Althernai wrote:There is no question that if word of what Parson did gets out, it will complicate the Magic Kingdom's affairs.

{snip, will deal with this bit later}

The Magic Kingdom is a base for mercenaries and arms merchants. Because it is so divided, it is not at war with anyone in particular (I'd bet there have been battles with hired casters on both sides), but it is by no means peaceful. Vanna (the turnamancer whom Charlie used to end Gobwin Knob's turn) comes from there so it's not like the casters are staying out of the war altogether. And they sold Wanda the summoning spell that started the story (that thing probably qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction). Parson is hardly bringing evil to the land of the innocent.


It's one thing to be neutral and quite apart from that to be completely shut off from the world. An Earth-based example is Switzerland, which is in fact militarily neutral even though it also serves as a safe haven for deposits from who knows whom.

Back in Erfworld, the Magic Kingdom fashioned itself into a land where casters could mingle freely, and yes occasionally sell scrolls or get hired out to other kingdoms as mercenaries (just like the Swiss, mind you, apart from the magic scrolls thing ... right, Switzerland?). And I'd expect that many capitals have a portal to the MK because there's something that makes those capitals believe that the portals will not be used as an entry point for a hostile force. It's part of what allows the MK to exist as it does, as an easy access lounge for casters.

Althernai wrote:What I don't understand is why you seem to think Parson should care or why the readers should find it immoral.


I just explained why, in three or so posts already. Either you get it, or you don't, and if you don't, it's because there's a set of basic assumptions that our world views do not share. It's very difficult, in this situation, to ever get to an agreement because our core premises are so different and will not change soon.

Suffice it to say, from my part, that to say that something is not illegal is not to say that it is good, to say that something brings victory is not to say that it is good, to treat others as means to an end and not how they would want to be treated is dubious.

And that's, from a reader's standpoint, fine. Decisions and actions are rarely squeaky clean, maybe only if you play for low stakes. Parson is making difficult choices, which also involve a moral component, choices that are not black or white. The consequences of those choices, beyond mere victory at Spacerock, will be interesting to watch.

As I've kept saying, for one this will put more tension on Sizemore. Whatever he does, we gain. Either Sizemore abandons Parson (and why not, I'd love to see more competent foils arrayed against Lord Hamster) or tries to drive Parson more towards that plan Janis had.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby CaesarVH » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:55 am

I've been thinking about the TIMEWARP thing.
Didn't we see "Legend of Zelda" artifact the Master Sword?
Does anyone remember what it's special ability was?
Might just be coincidence, but then again, in ERFWORLD, what really is a coincidence?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Killer Angel » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:14 am

Jack is now my favourite riddler... :D
English is not my native language: sometimes my grammar will be wrong, and sometimes I can even seem dumb (so, give me a chance); it's never an excuse to be a jerk.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Urf » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:46 am

The thing with those riddles is that the one and one answers need to apply to each subject.

Naughtymancers break the rules, obviously, being bad mama jammas. They also rule over how the situation gets broken.
Luckamancers break the rules of cause and effect and probability, and also determine how cueballs hit a rack of balls in a game of pool.

Parson turns the tables on his adversaries with strategy, but he also ignores standard conventions of Erf.
Jillian turns the tables in battle, but how she "tables the turn" might apply to how everyone falls in love with her... ignoring the standard convention of class and station.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby build6 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:11 pm

Selexor wrote:and how sincerely he enjoys the chaos he seems to get into.


In the Batman-Alfred "some men just want to see the world burn" way? :-)


Althernai wrote:There is no question that if word of what Parson did gets out, it will complicate the Magic Kingdom's affairs. What I don't understand is why you seem to think Parson should care or why the readers should find it immoral. The Magic Kingdom is a base for mercenaries and arms merchants. Because it is so divided, it is not at war with anyone in particular (I'd bet there have been battles with hired casters on both sides), but it is by no means peaceful. Vanna (the turnamancer whom Charlie used to end Gobwin Knob's turn) comes from there so it's not like the casters are staying out of the war altogether. And they sold Wanda the summoning spell that started the story (that thing probably qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction). Parson is hardly bringing evil to the land of the innocent.


Y'know.

I don't know if anyone's said this before, but maybe part of the problem with "no Peace on Erf" is the Magic Kingdom. The casters can just flee into MK when their side dies - of all the denizens of Erfworld, only the casters have any real chance of being truly "free". Yet what do they do with this freedom? They basically become "enablers" for the violence. We've seen how incredibly strong casters can be (even without Arkentools). Maybe one way Parson is going to bring peace to Erf is to make MK decide.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:32 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:As I've kept saying, for one this will put more tension on Sizemore. Whatever he does, we gain. Either Sizemore abandons Parson (and why not, I'd love to see more competent foils arrayed against Lord Hamster) or tries to drive Parson more towards that plan Janis had.

Why do you believe that ruining the neutrality of the Magic Kingdom isn't part of Janis' plan?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Selexor » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:36 pm

build6 wrote:
Selexor wrote:and how sincerely he enjoys the chaos he seems to get into.

In the Batman-Alfred "some men just want to see the world burn" way? :-)


Not quite. I don't think Jack wants to see the world burn, exactly... I just think that he wouldn't especially care if it did. He might feel a twinge of regret, but no more than, say, if he watched someone break a pretty vase by shattering it against the wall. And immediately after he felt that twinge of regret at its destruction, he'd be fascinated by the patterns made by the broken pieces.

He's not out to see everything destroyed. I think, given the choice, he'd be against it. But, if it happened, he'd be more interested in watching the fallout then he would be horrified by the carnage.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby cheeseaholic » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:59 pm

Ethically, I believe that the ends justify the means here. Parson is required by Duty to win the battle. He's the only one able, and he can assist by either giving his +1 bonus to his soldiers making for less casualties (both through killing more efficiently and therefore not dying as much and through letting them hack their way to their victory quickly and thereby capturing more soldiers) or by decapitating or capturing the leadership himself to try to force a surrender. Those are the ends. The means is annoying the magic kingdom, and possibly killing a few of the casters (seems unlikely).

Since the MK is already as close to his enemy as possible without declaring war, which seems extremely unlikely for many reasons. It seems unlikely that he would sow mass suspicion of the MK, but I'm sure that he would be thrilled if he actually managed to do it. The less likely he is to run into casters or caster made items in battle the happier he should be.

There's still the question of him putting himself into danger, since he's one of if not the most important resource for his side, but if he can get around his Duty there, I don't really see a problem. His side is the Tool and Wanda.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Avens » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:45 pm

Hehe, and Wanda remains healing-scroll-less. Or perhaps she is clutching it invisibly.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Ytaker » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:36 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:I did say, and I requote, "law is convention, and vice-versa in many cases". In fact that whole paragraph is about how conventions serve some purpose. And come on, it's not like Parson suddenly decided to not cover his mouth anymore while coughing.

While some conventions are very lightweight (see the coughing one), we have that laws are a kind of convention, treaties are a kind of convention, and some conventions are about safeguarding more important things than mere decorum, and warrant more than gossip as punishment.


The likely result of this will be rulers trust their casters less, and are less willing to hire casters. Sorta like what happened with Charlie. Advantage Gobwin Knob. The main punishment, his horrific death, he's perfectly aware of that and he's using sizemore to protect him. I suppose that will ruin Sizemore's reputation too.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Parson is knowingly going to subject a peaceful part Erfworld to an engagement in war.


Not really. If someone did attack the magic kingdom, and engage in war, they'd still die horrifically because there are hundreds of casters. He's going to subject them to less trust, and a fat guy in a suit of armour running through a tunnel.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:And whether or not you call what the MK requires of users of its portals as "law", it is a significant breech of at least an owner's right to their own property (and to dictate how it should be used by customers/renters etc). Said owner not being presently engaged in war with you.

Again, I'd be very interested why you think that the usage of MK portals is not law, but even more interested in why you think it matters whether it's a law or not to decide the morality of an act.


The titans probably built the portals for all casters. The casters don’t have any particular moral right to dictate the terms of use-it’s a public transportation system. What they have is a convention, which has the benefit of keeping them neutral.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Kalirren » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:37 pm

Regarding Selexor's scroll-in-one-hand-staff-in-other thing:

I think the reason for Jack and Wanda wielding the same equipment is to stack Foolamancy bonuses and make it impossible for the enemy to focus-fire Wanda or even to deduce which of the two casters is Wanda.

Duty indeed. If GK ends up losing Jack to win at Spacerock, it'll be sad day for Parson.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby waynemcdougall » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:43 pm

Is there any reason why the Gobwin Knob side can't build a city, wherever the like? Sure, it would be foolish to build it in someone else's territory - it would become their city.

But what if, oh say, you build a city on, I dunno, the site of Spacerock.

Or more precisely, what if you built a city about 100 ft above the site of Spacerock ?
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