Book 2 – Text Updates 037

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby Glome » Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:38 pm

GaryThunder wrote:This leaves the remaining actors to be a Findamancer, Hubble the Lookamancer, and possibly a Predictamancer. But there's no direct textual statement that the Predictamancers were actually in the link that created the SPW spell. Wanda says, way back in the beginning of Book 1, that "the Findamancers and Predictamancers have forged a spell together," but that's just a strong implication and not actual proof. It could have been a Thinkamancer/Findamancer/Lookamancer link, with the Predictamancers heavily involved in SPW's research and subtly engineering its development but not physically linked to create it. SPW doesn't seem to have much of a Predictamancy element, anyway...Lookamancy to trawl all the various worlds in existence for a suitable one and Findamancy, once such a world is located, to isolate a given mind within it based on given characteristics, yes, but there's no real avenue for Predictamancy to be included. Maybe the Predictamancers foresaw SPW and its fallout, and took steps to ensure its existence. Wanda's seeming misstatement about Predictamancers being among the spell's creators could be a quickly papered-over slip of the tongue betraying her knowledge of Marie's and the others' involvement. When next she discusses SPW, with Jillian, she refers to it as Findamancy/Lookamancy. And directly casting or not, it seems to me that the Predictamancers tend to know pretty well what's going on the MK, especially concerning events of this magnitude.


Alternatively the predictamancer was part of the link-up and not a findamancer, and the findamancer role was needed to actually cast the spell (which Wanda fulfilled due to her cross-spellcasting talents). Ultimately we don't have info to conclude who the last member of the linkup actually was.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:43 pm

Oh jolly good a Christmas (Eve) update!

And kudos to Ansan Gotti for predicting correctly. Indeed, it looks as if only a Predictamancer may be a worhy Antagonist (har-har) to Lord Hamster!

I also like the theory about how the King of Faq knew about this all and decided to go with it anyway. Not that I believe it, but it's the kind of theory I like.

Obviously though, not all the MK is behind the conspiracy (phew!), and there's some concern about why Wanda was chosen. I wonder if Wanda will eventually have a Smeagol moment.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby name lips » Sat Dec 25, 2010 5:54 pm

Thoughts:
We've only heard of trimancer linkups, which require one Thinkamancer (to do the linking) and two other casters.

If you incorporate more Thinkamancers, can you make a larger linkup? To make truly epic spells?


Also, "He is coming back" grammatically refers to Sizemore, but easily could also obliquely refer to Parson. I imagine there's supposed to be that level of double entrende there, reflecting the absent-mindedness of a caster who "remembers" the future as well as the past and sometimes forgets how vague a pronoun can be if used improperly. :P
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby twhitt » Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:38 pm

I do imagine that a larger linkup than three could be possible. To my knowledge, we've never seen any evidence to indicate that you cannot join together a nearly arbitrary number of casters. The problem comes in with breaking the link, and in that case more casters mean greater danger. But if anywhere there existed the expertise and tools to form a quad-caster or greater link, it would be in the magic kingdom.
I also never understood "He's coming back" to indicate Sizemore; instead, I took it from the beginning to indicate Parson. Regardless, we know that the two of them would not arrive except together, under these circumstances. And we know that if they're coming at all, Wanda is at least non-croaked. But I think we probably already knew that much.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby happyturtle » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:02 pm

Book 1, Page 54 Sizemore says 4 link hookups can't be done. With his wide interest in magic theory, I'd expect his knowledge to be accurate. Also, there was the reaction when the Sizemore-Maggy-Wanda hookup stepped through to the Magic Kingdom on Page 140. Janis was going to pay a rather large sum of money, 50 rands each, for Thinkamancers to unravel the link, and we don't know how many they eventually used. At least four, plus whoever was already present. So that's further evidence that a quad-linkup would be ridiculously dangerous.

But then again, if that was done, that would explain why the thinkamancers thought they knew something. I imagine they'd need nearly every thinkamancer in the MK involved to protect the casters.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby Oberon » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:05 pm

GaryThunder wrote:You're looking at this from the wrong perspective, I think.
I'm exploring it from all perspectives. I don't really have a horse in the race, I just want to hold out the hope that in the final reveal there won't be any fridge logic that makes the story less logical.
GaryThunder wrote:A spell as powerful and level-breaking as Summon Perfect Warlord, especially given that we now know that it took extensive and secretive machinations to produce it, doesn't seem like the sort that would be mass-produced by the Magic Kingdom for something as crass as mere monetary gain.
But why not? We know that 500k shmuckers is a handsome amount of spending money, and that 350k is a pretty damn nice amount to have on hand as well. So why not mass produce (or even make a few more, if the pool of potential customers is small) some more? The one true thing about having money is that the more that you have the more that you can do with it.
GaryThunder wrote:Marie, who seems to be the primary actor in the spell's creation, had a significant motive in doing so that far outweighed simple profit. She was trying to end war itself by producing a warlord who was so good (and brought such a different and non-war-centric viewpoint to the table, in stark opposition to the warfare-driven warlords normally popping in Erfworld) that he would break the institution of war itself and allow peace to come to a world that could otherwise never know it. Given all of this, it's nonsensical to think that she would sign off on, or even allow (if such was in her power) mass production of these ridiculously influential and crushingly difficult (risky?) spells just so she could make some Schmuckers.
It is reasonable to assume that Marie might not want to have more SPWL scrolls made, only if she thought that they would be used against her aims. For the rest, we have no knowledge that making the SPWL scroll was difficult or risky.
GaryThunder wrote:What use does Marie, in the Magic Kingdom, even have for Schmuckers? The Rand system doesn't seem like it would allow free conversion from Schmuckers, or else the Moneymancers would still rule, and paying upkeep in the MK (however that works) almost certainly wouldn't require that kind of dough. It's not as if she could just start her own side, as far as we know, and what else would she do with such riches?
Fair questions, and I cannot provide an answer. All I can do is point to the fact that the various Sides do indeed buy things from the MK with shmuckers. They buy scrolls (including the SPWL scroll), and hire casters for periods of one or many turns. Any argument that the MK does not need shmuckers will need to also ensure that there is some internal consistency with the other facts we know about shmuckers being spent into the MK in one way or another. Dante reasonably pointed out that Stanley would have been suspicious if the SPWL spell had been offered too cheaply, as a counterpoint to my pondering just what Wanda and Janis would have done if Stanley had simply refused to buy such an expensive item. If Dante is correct, then Stanley should have also been suspicious of a sale involving shmuckers if that was not the typical currency of exchange.
GaryThunder wrote:Basically, SPW was a rare and powerful spell that took a great deal of planning and Predictamancy to be effective, not a pointless money tree for the Magic Kingdom.
All that remains then are the reasons why having a money tree is pointless...
From my perspective, if I was engaged in a many Turns spanning Xanatos Gambit intended to end all war of Erf, I'm pretty sure that having a huge bankroll would be more of a good thing than a bad thing.
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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 037

Postby Oberon » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:06 pm

Charlie and Perfect Warlords
Here I've tried to collect the various bits about Charlie and warlords, be they perfect or not.

GaryThunder wrote:Regarding Charlescomm, remember, there are no warlords in Charlescomm. None. [...] Given Charlie's implied stance vis-a-vis warlords, I can't really see him throwing down half a million Schmuckers of his hard-earned cash, or even 350k, for a "perfect" example of a unit type he's decided he can do without, even to counter Parson. Charlie sees Parson as such a four-alarm drop-everything-and-deal-with-this-now threat that he would never risk a second "perfect warlord" to exist, even on his side, for fear of the potential fallout from his/her mere existence. This is even assuming another copy of SPW would be for sale, to Charlie of all people, which I doubt for several reasons. Lastly, Charlie seems like a guy enamored of his own intelligence, which probably has a lot to do with why he has no warlords - he doesn't trust anyone to be smart enough to plan correctly except himself. A "perfect warlord" would steal Charlie's thunder, which an egomaniac like Charlie wouldn't permit for a second.

zilfallon wrote:
GaryThunder wrote:Whoever will cause Parson's players to come into the story, I really don't think it'll be Charlie. My main reason why is buried in those epic rants I posted a few hours ago, but the short version is that Charlie thinks too highly of himself to admit that he needs assistance, even from a "perfect" warlord capable of matching Parson, to put so much effort into arranging a casting of SPW for his team. He doesn't use warlords...probably thinks he doesn't need them, doesn't like to delegate. Since he can communicate with any of his Archons at pretty much any time, he can micromanage freely without need of intermediaries,..and the Archons with leadership neatly fill the other hole left by a lack of warlords.

Yes but Charlie actually wanted Parson to work for him.

GaryThunder wrote:Charlie wanted Parson to work for him because of the enormously useful Mathamancy bracer Parson has and, partly, because Charlie was intrigued enough by Parson's ability that he was willing to make an exception to his no-warlords policy to see what Parson was capable of. And then Charlie saw what Parson was capable of, and switched his main objective from "entice/force into working for me" to "holy boop, holy boop, eliminate at all costs."


Ok, a few different points have been made here. One, the matter of Charlie's ego being to big to want a smart employee, I'm going to try to put to rest so that any further discussion can focus on the remaining points.

Charlie has too much ego to want a PWL - This is directly contradicted by Charlie's efforts to recruit Parson. Charlie specifically pointed out that he didn't care at all about the GK capital or treasury, but that he'd be very happy to have the mathamancy item/artifact and the smart warlord that it came with. Unless we assume that Charlie intended to kill or disband Parson if Parson did turn or get captured and turned (something Parson should be able to calculate using his bracer), then it is clear that Charlie is not too egotistical to want a smart warlord in his employ.
How this factors in with Charlie's refusal to pop his own warlords, which would give him the occasional caster which would then save him from hiring them out of the MK, I can not guess.

If we table the above, we're left with:

Charlie once was interested in having Parson as his CWL, but is now more afraid than interested, and would rather see Parson dead than as an employee.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby effataigus » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:46 pm

GaryThunder wrote:"Plus...their Foolamancer wasn't even in the capital. Wanda arranged that, too. We captured him when we razed their other two cities. Pretty neat package, right?"

Anyway, I really don't see a guy like Jack going along with this plot, simply because it's kind of outside his sphere. He appears to be in awe of Parson and his terrible warmaking talent, he doesn't seem in a great hurry to end the very concept of warfare. He likes Parson, but that's probably more based on Parson being Parson than his status as Perfect Warlord. And Jack explained, in his usual roundabout way, exactly why he refused to turn to Faq: he truly believes that Parson is good enough not just to extricate them from this present situation, but good enough to bring down the whole world. So good, in fact, that Jack doesn't dare join a side that stands against him, whatever crush he (along with the rest of the booping world) has on Jillian.


Yep, forgot about that too.

I've also since convinced myself that Jack isn't in on the plot... not because of his response to Wanda's question, but instead because Wanda asked him why he didn't turn in the first place.

So, wrong on all accounts.

Of course, none of this is to say that Banhammer wasn't in on it (who knows on that account)... just that Jack probably isn't and Banhammer is almost definitely dead.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby GaryThunder » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:57 pm

Fair questions, and I cannot provide an answer. All I can do is point to the fact that the various Sides do indeed buy things from the MK with shmuckers. They buy scrolls (including the SPWL scroll), and hire casters for periods of one or many turns. Any argument that the MK does not need shmuckers will need to also ensure that there is some internal consistency with the other facts we know about shmuckers being spent into the MK in one way or another. Dante reasonably pointed out that Stanley would have been suspicious if the SPWL spell had been offered too cheaply, as a counterpoint to my pondering just what Wanda and Janis would have done if Stanley had simply refused to buy such an expensive item. If Dante is correct, then Stanley should have also been suspicious of a sale involving shmuckers if that was not the typical currency of exchange.


That's...an excellent point, which I had totally failed to consider. The hefty price tag on the SPW scroll could exist for any number of reasons. Casters in the Magic Kingdom might have some use for Schmuckers that is not immediately clear. But the cost could, as was suggested, simply exist to communicate to Stanley that this spell is a big deal and worth considering, rather than having some intrinsic value for the MK casters. How MK casters pay their upkeep is unclear, but the money could either be used as a bankroll to draw upkeep funds from for Marie (or the other casters involved in creating SPW) or as a general charity fund for assisting down-on-their-luck Barbarian casters who can't quite hack upkeep today. Or it could be reserved for payouts to bribe sides in the world to whatever ends the MK sees fit. Even if the Schmuckers are worthless inside the MK proper, after all, doesn't mean the MK casters can't use them to influence events in Erfworld outside the MK. Janis and Marie's machinations clearly demonstrate that the MK has a vested interest in the goings on of Erfworld proper, and having a huge bag of money couldn't hurt that interest. Or maybe some other explanation entirely...

Charlie has too much ego to want a PWL - This is directly contradicted by Charlie's efforts to recruit Parson. Charlie specifically pointed out that he didn't care at all about the GK capital or treasury, but that he'd be very happy to have the mathamancy item/artifact and the smart warlord that it came with. Unless we assume that Charlie intended to kill or disband Parson if Parson did turn or get captured and turned (something Parson should be able to calculate using his bracer), then it is clear that Charlie is not too egotistical to want a smart warlord in his employ.
How this factors in with Charlie's refusal to pop his own warlords, which would give him the occasional caster which would then save him from hiring them out of the MK, I can not guess.


Charlie heavily implied that the bracer was his primary objective and Parson was a useful secondary objective at best. Charlie openly stated that he would be willing to kill Parson and "pry [the bracer] from his remains" if there wasn't a better way to go about things. Charlie wanting to employ Parson at all seems to be an aberration given his policy on warlords (it's possible that his lone city is actually unable to pop warlords, or indeed anything but Archons, which would explain things more neatly), but Parson himself is an aberration...Charlie didn't seem to know Parson's extra-dimensional origin before the events of Book 2, or at least before the end of Book 1. If he did, he didn't let on. Charlie's original, Book 1 interest in Parson might be an exception to his general rule based solely on the ridiculous tactics he pulled to block Ansom's attack on GK. Charlie, seeing Parson squirm his way through a practically unwinnable scenario, was intrigued enough by his talent to want to have that talent on his side. But then the volcano gambit, which caused Charlie to lose dozens of his top units, followed by GK's suddenly exploding onto the Erfworld stage as a major player through no means anyone could understand...Charlie then saw Parson as such a threat ("the most dangerous being in Erfworld") that even his working for Charlescomm would not be sufficient to contain him, so Charlie wanted him croaked. As a parallel, consider if you had the opportunity to employ Nyarlathotep, an eldritch abomination from beyond your reality that could destroy its fundamental structure merely by existing...would you want him on your team, or would you want him safely dead?

And popping warlords in a deliberate attempt to get casters doesn't seem like a feasible prospect. The chance of getting a caster instead of a warlord seems to be minute, seeing as it's rare for a side to have more than three or four casters among dozens, scores, or even hundreds of warlords popped over the turns. Charlie would likely be saddled with a bunch of warlords that, due to his direct-to-unit communication and his Archons with leadership, wouldn't serve him any real purpose, all for the chance of getting a random caster who might be someone useless to him like a Findamancer or a Dirtamancer or something. Not a smart bet, for a guy like Charlie, when he can just hire specific casters from the MK at will.

Charlie once was interested in having Parson as his CWL, but is now more afraid than interested, and would rather see Parson dead than as an employee.


That's basically my theory. Charlie got a whiff of Parson's power, and craved that power for his own...but when he saw just what Parson's power could accomplish, openly breaking rules and unbalancing the entire war-political climate of Erfworld in the space of a few turns, he concluded that the imminent threat of catastrophic destabilization Parson represented could not be contained even by employing him. Others on this forum have speculated that Charlie, whose entire business model relies on Erfworld's system remaining intact, sees Parson as the most direct and substantial threat to the continuance of his method of business that could possibly exist.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby oslecamo2 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:05 pm

Oberon wrote:
GaryThunder wrote:You're looking at this from the wrong perspective, I think.
I'm exploring it from all perspectives. I don't really have a horse in the race, I just want to hold out the hope that in the final reveal there won't be any fridge logic that makes the story less logical.

Well that's kinda one of the problems of any setting that has magic both very powerfull yet very stable. But see my next point.

Oberon wrote:It is reasonable to assume that Marie might not want to have more SPWL scrolls made, only if she thought that they would be used against her aims. For the rest, we have no knowledge that making the SPWL scroll was difficult or risky.

Not risky?

Janis didn't want to think how right, or about what Wanda's attunement to the Arkenpliers might mean in the big picture. And she really didn't want to think about what Wanda was out there doing with them. If there was an opposite to Hippiemancy, Wanda was--

I would say it's pretty risky. Janis wanted to summon an avatar of Hippiemancy, and ended up with an unholy army slowly assimilating Erfworld. She wanted peace and harmony, but may end up with an Erfworld composed 99.9% of fanatical undead worshiping a madwoman. Not exactly as planned.

And not difficult? I really hope you're joking there. It took the biggest known hippiemancer, one of the best, if not the best lookmancer in Erfworld, and Wanda, a magic genius with the pontential to attune to an arkentool, to pull it off. The special effects we saw when it was casted where the biggest we've seen untill now, and for the only time so far in the story Wanda was left exhausted.

The summoning of Hamster was the result of the work of multiple high level mancers working and scheming togheter, and manipulating other mancers on top of that. For a lot of time. And I doubt they told the whole story to anybody else who couldn't be trusted. So I believe it's safe to assume any other side or random group of mancers would suddenly pull it off like that.

Oberon wrote:Charlie once was interested in having Parson as his CWL, but is now more afraid than interested, and would rather see Parson dead than as an employee.

Well I think "weakened to be open to new negotiations" would be more acurate than "dead". Charlie clearly said he doesn't want GK to see him as an enemy, neither he's actually deploying any sizeable force to face him, just using others as puppets and pulling strings from behind, instead of, say, a couple hundred archons storming GK. So I think Charlie still believes he can still get Hamster to his side, he just needs to get Wanda and her decrypted army out of the way first, in order to restore the balance of power from wich Charlie profits so much.


GarryThunder wrote:The chance of getting a caster instead of a warlord seems to be minute, seeing as it's rare for a side to have more than three or four casters among dozens, scores, or even hundreds of warlords popped over the turns. Charlie would likely be saddled with a bunch of warlords that, due to his direct-to-unit communication and his Archons with leadership, wouldn't serve him any real purpose, all for the chance of getting a random caster who might be someone useless to him like a Findamancer or a Dirtamancer or something. Not a smart bet, for a guy like Charlie, when he can just hire specific casters from the MK at will.

I have a little theory on that, the chance of popping a mancer instead of a warlord gets smaller the more mancers you have.


It kinda makes sense in the big picture:
-New sides have a very high chance of poping new mancers in their first batch of warlords.
-Then they stablize in two-three mancers, regardless of how many warlords they have.
-If you lose a mancer and end up with just two or less, there's a good chance you'll pop a new one soon then (as seen with Jetstone).

But well, Charlie doesn't like competition on the thinking deparment. Mancers can still turn against you. Better to stick with fanatical archons and mindless golems.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby ftl » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:45 pm

Hmm. I'd just like to suggest one possible reason why the scroll still cost so many schmuckers.

It could be that the schmuckers were needed to pay the other mancers involved who weren't Janis and Marie. We know that Janis and Marie are in it for idealogical reasons - but we don't really know that the casters who actually did the work are in it for those reasons. They could be in it for the money - and yeah, since they're making it and/or casting it, they need to know what it is they're making, but that doesn't mean that they're so into the plan that they'd be willing to work for free.

So maybe the 500K really is the price to pay casters to enter a dangerous tri-link and forge such a spell - Janis and Marie couldn't pay it, so they needed to pass on the costs to Wanda's overlord.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby Smoker » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:29 pm

Also, although this is pure speculation, it would tie things up very neatly...

P'raps there's a material component cost on making scrolls?

Perhaps material components (you know, smashing precious gems into dust, sacrificing a level 10 goat to the titans, that kind of thing) actually add up to more than 500,000 Shmuckers? Maybe a hell of a lot more.

So what really happened, is that the masterminds put their own upkeep money on the line by employing the other casters and paying for material componentry. They knew, thanks to Wanda, that GK only had 500,000 Shmuckers, so they charged exactly that - in reality they would have charged upwards of a million.

I can imagine Jannis placing the spell into Wanda's hands saying "get as much as you can for this spell, and certainly no less than 350,000. Either way I'll be foraging for dozens of turns to come."

And that is why:
A) you dont create the SPWL spell for profit
B) nobody else can afford to buy one
C) the spell appeared to pop an item that was worth more than itself.

Anyway, this is all ass-pull, but the concept itself isn't exactly unlikely, and it would be a perfect answer to a few good questions.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby happyturtle » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:00 pm

oslecamo2 wrote:
Oberon wrote:Charlie once was interested in having Parson as his CWL, but is now more afraid than interested, and would rather see Parson dead than as an employee.

Well I think "weakened to be open to new negotiations" would be more acurate than "dead". Charlie clearly said he doesn't want GK to see him as an enemy, neither he's actually deploying any sizeable force to face him, just using others as puppets and pulling strings from behind, instead of, say, a couple hundred archons storming GK. So I think Charlie still believes he can still get Hamster to his side, he just needs to get Wanda and her decrypted army out of the way first, in order to restore the balance of power from wich Charlie profits so much.


I think Charlie doesn't want GK as an enemy because of simple fear -- the massive amount of intelligence they have on him due to decrypted archons. Other sides have lost secrets too from decrypted units, but Charlie's entire strategy is based on information management, so it hurts him far more than, for example, it hurt Jetstone for Ossomer to reveal troop strength and positions. Open war with GK means GK gets more decrypted archons and more intel, as well as lots of incentive to start publicly selling or giving away Charlie's secrets.

Charlie needed Wanda croaked, and had an excellent plan to make that happen, until Jillian making off with Ansom gave the opening for Parson to be back in charge. That was bad enough, but then she left the field, leaving Jetstone with no air support, unless Charlie allies with them and lets his archons fight. But he can't do that. Instead, he'll probably end up giving them the money to upgrade Trammenis to heir to keep the side from falling completely when the city goes and Stately is killed. Because Charlie is terrified, and needs as many people fighting Gobwin Knob as possible.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby joosy » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:12 pm

I imagine that casters gotta eat too. Schmuckers are ways to pay their upkeep unless they can forage for it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby Althernai » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:14 pm

Oberon wrote:But why not? We know that 500k shmuckers is a handsome amount of spending money, and that 350k is a pretty damn nice amount to have on hand as well. So why not mass produce (or even make a few more, if the pool of potential customers is small) some more? The one true thing about having money is that the more that you have the more that you can do with it.

Because it is a weapon of mass destruction that has the capacity to turn even against its creators. Nobody sane sells that kind of thing for profit.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby Lamech » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:55 pm

Oberon wrote:But why not? We know that 500k shmuckers is a handsome amount of spending money, and that 350k is a pretty damn nice amount to have on hand as well. So why not mass produce (or even make a few more, if the pool of potential customers is small) some more? The one true thing about having money is that the more that you have the more that you can do with it.
As has been said, they probably don't want to sell their super-weapon to random sides. How many countries have made nukes and how many have sold some.
Oberon wrote:It is reasonable to assume that Marie might not want to have more SPWL scrolls made, only if she thought that they would be used against her aims. For the rest, we have no knowledge that making the SPWL scroll was difficult or risky.
The tri-link I do believe has been called risky. Also fragile, so that implies difficulty. Also the need for secrecy makes things hard.
Fair questions, and I cannot provide an answer. All I can do is point to the fact that the various Sides do indeed buy things from the MK with shmuckers. They buy scrolls (including the SPWL scroll), and hire casters for periods of one or many turns. Any argument that the MK does not need shmuckers will need to also ensure that there is some internal consistency with the other facts we know about shmuckers being spent into the MK in one way or another. Dante reasonably pointed out that Stanley would have been suspicious if the SPWL spell had been offered too cheaply, as a counterpoint to my pondering just what Wanda and Janis would have done if Stanley had simply refused to buy such an expensive item. If Dante is correct, then Stanley should have also been suspicious of a sale involving shmuckers if that was not the typical currency of exchange.
They probably need to pay for their upkeep. They can probably pay for various things like extra rations or equipment. I bet they can buy stuff from various sides with shmuckers. Funding the side you favor in conflicts. But schumuckers are still gonna be limited in their uses. Casters are really highly valued even with out fielding them; casters won't have any trouble getting work, but apperently they most of the time they don't really work that much. I think they are good for shmuckers.
All that remains then are the reasons why having a money tree is pointless...
From my perspective, if I was engaged in a many Turns spanning Xanatos Gambit intended to end all war of Erf, I'm pretty sure that having a huge bankroll would be more of a good thing than a bad thing.
Still don't think its worth selling your superweapon. There is a reason most countries don't sell nukes. Of course I'm sure they probably want anice bankroll.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby yuffiek » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Wanda's Christmas Outfit.....

:shock: :shock: :shock: BEST PRESENT EVER!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 037

Postby Oberon » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:33 am

GaryThunder wrote:Charlie's original, Book 1 interest in Parson might be an exception to his general rule based solely on the ridiculous tactics he pulled to block Ansom's attack on GK. Charlie, seeing Parson squirm his way through a practically unwinnable scenario, was intrigued enough by his talent to want to have that talent on his side. But then the volcano gambit, which caused Charlie to lose dozens of his top units, followed by GK's suddenly exploding onto the Erfworld stage as a major player through no means anyone could understand...Charlie then saw Parson as such a threat ("the most dangerous being in Erfworld") that even his working for Charlescomm would not be sufficient to contain him, so Charlie wanted him croaked. As a parallel, consider if you had the opportunity to employ Nyarlathotep, an eldritch abomination from beyond your reality that could destroy its fundamental structure merely by existing...would you want him on your team, or would you want him safely dead?
The last sentence there made me laugh out loud... :lol: I think that trying to compare Parson, even though he is a being from beyond Erf, with a Cthulian horror is a bit of a stretch. If I could chat up Nyarlathotep on my eyebook I might not think that it'd be too awful to form a partnership.

But yeah, Charlie's relationship with Parson is a bit difficult to fathom. First he tells Parson not to worry, that he'll come out of the BfGK just fine. Next he is threatening to pry the mathamancy bracer off of Parson's cold, dead hands. I always thought that the second exchange was Charlie just driving home the point that he knew that he had enough forces present to take the GK garrison, as Parson himself had provided the mathemancy to guarantee it.

GaryThunder wrote:And popping warlords in a deliberate attempt to get casters doesn't seem like a feasible prospect. The chance of getting a caster instead of a warlord seems to be minute, seeing as it's rare for a side to have more than three or four casters among dozens, scores, or even hundreds of warlords popped over the turns. Charlie would likely be saddled with a bunch of warlords that, due to his direct-to-unit communication and his Archons with leadership, wouldn't serve him any real purpose, all for the chance of getting a random caster who might be someone useless to him like a Findamancer or a Dirtamancer or something. Not a smart bet, for a guy like Charlie, when he can just hire specific casters from the MK at will.
Popping warlords does three things for you.

1 - It gives you units with Leadership who stack another combat bonus on your troops. Only some archons have Leadership, and Charlie cannot be sure that the next or even the next 10 archons will have that Special. A warlord is a guaranteed Leader. A stack must have a Leader, or it will attack any non-allied units it encounters. That sort of behavior is going to be often non-productive for Charlie or the clients who hire the archons.

2 - It gives a small chance at a caster. Casters are frightfully potent units, and by my estimation are completely underutilized by almost every Side.

3 - It only takes a single warlord popped to allow you to appoint a CWL, and reap the ongoing cost reduction in your Capitol. I'd think that Charlie should have a CWL, if only because this is a no-brainer sort of move which everyone would take in a game. The cost to pop the warlord and promote him could not be more than the ongoing return in reduced city upkeep.

That said, warlords do not fly, and all archons fly. So the unit mix would cause a reduction in capability, unless you also mounted those warlords. If your attuned 'Dish allows for fast popping archons, it might just not make sense in terms of total combat capability to pop warlords and mounts, or to buy flight items for your warlords. You never get a caster, and they are rare and powerful units. But I could see the cost/benefit analysis pointing towards waiting for Leadership archons and just hiring your casters. But damn, if Charlie ever got a turnamancer, think of the money spent hiring casters he would save, not to mention the capability to Kingworld anyone coming to attack him...
GaryThunder wrote:
Charlie once was interested in having Parson as his CWL, but is now more afraid than interested, and would rather see Parson dead than as an employee.

That's basically my theory. Charlie got a whiff of Parson's power, and craved that power for his own...but when he saw just what Parson's power could accomplish, openly breaking rules and unbalancing the entire war-political climate of Erfworld in the space of a few turns, he concluded that the imminent threat of catastrophic destabilization Parson represented could not be contained even by employing him. Others on this forum have speculated that Charlie, whose entire business model relies on Erfworld's system remaining intact, sees Parson as the most direct and substantial threat to the continuance of his method of business that could possibly exist.
I can buy that. But if it is so, than Charlie is a very cool character. He seems to have an easy rivalry with Parson, calling him up on the eyebook to chat about why archons are on the GK Side.
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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 037

Postby Oberon » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:56 am

Althernai wrote:
Oberon wrote:But why not? We know that 500k shmuckers is a handsome amount of spending money, and that 350k is a pretty damn nice amount to have on hand as well. So why not mass produce (or even make a few more, if the pool of potential customers is small) some more? The one true thing about having money is that the more that you have the more that you can do with it.

Because it is a weapon of mass destruction that has the capacity to turn even against its creators. Nobody sane sells that kind of thing for profit.
That argument loses all of its steam when you realize that they already sold a nuke. And that selling that nuke was an absolute requirement for their plans to proceed.

Now all that remains is discovering the reasons why selling a second (3rd, 4th, ... many) nuke would be bad for those plans. If one PWL has a chance to end war, don't 2, 3, 4, many PWL have an increased chance of accomplishing that same goal?
Lamech wrote:
Oberon wrote:It is reasonable to assume that Marie might not want to have more SPWL scrolls made, only if she thought that they would be used against her aims. For the rest, we have no knowledge that making the SPWL scroll was difficult or risky.
The tri-link I do believe has been called risky. Also fragile, so that implies difficulty. Also the need for secrecy makes things hard.
The tri-link is risky, but those risks have been quantified: The casters lose their individuality, and may be mentally injured by calling them by name. There is also the possibility of backlash upon separation. These risks are fairly easily handled within the MK, recall that Janis was able to call for Thinkamancers to unlink the GK casters for a fairly trivial (not much more than what Sizemore payed her to take a brief class in Hippymancy) price in Rands, and that her offer to pay was refused. So the story shows that the risks of caster links within the MK are rather trivial, since the resources needed to overcome those risks are cheap and plentifully available.
Lamech wrote:They [MK casters] probably need to pay for their upkeep. They can probably pay for various things like extra rations or equipment. I bet they can buy stuff from various sides with shmuckers. Funding the side you favor in conflicts. But schumuckers are still gonna be limited in their uses. Casters are really highly valued even with out fielding them; casters won't have any trouble getting work, but apperently they most of the time they don't really work that much. I think they are good for shmuckers.
My bolds for emphasis. This is my point entirely. Regardless of having sent the PWL to GK to hopefully end war, having a pile of shmuckers has a value all its own. Look at the turning of the Western Giants. We don't know that it was a shmuckers deal, but we do know that natural allies can convert shmuckers into additional units, and that they have a desire to grow their population. If shmuckers weren't the enticement along with the promise of continued population growth, then I can't imagine what would cause the WG to turn on their natural allies. This is said to be a rare event, but we've seen it twice now, and both probably had elements of tribal growth involved.

When selling nukes can give you a better chance for your plan to succeed, and when with each nuke sold you have even more money to pour into ensuring that your plans succeed, then what is the disincentive? Janis said that Marie wanted to sell the nuke to GK, while Janis thought that Marie had ulterior motives. This indicates that some other Side was considered as the potential customer. So why not both, or several?
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 037

Postby happyturtle » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:06 am

Because you have to bring the hippiemancers on board somehow. If it takes you 50 turns to convince them that you need a warlord to fight against war, how many turns does it take you to convince them 'Oh hey, let's toss out a few more warlords, because the extra schmuckers will help'?

I don't know exactly what role hippiemancy had in forging the spell, but there must have been some reason that Marie needed Janis on board.
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