Book 2 – Text Updates 045

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Infidel » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:16 pm

Decorus wrote:Predictamancers are extremely useful.

Marie doesn't know whats going to happen, because its a turn where fate changes course.
There are many possible futures far too many for her to make an accurate prediction, because they all kinda just blur together.
When the turn is settled she can predict the future again based on the changes that occured during the turn.
Until then she can't predict the future.

Keep in mind Marie kept an entire kingdom of 3 cities from being discovered right up until Stanley came to town.
The question is did Marie know Stanley was coming and didn't tell anyone or was it something she couldn't see.

Marie saw the coming of Parson and Wanda getting an Arkentool how many turns before those events happened?


So predictamancers can predict the future when it is predictable? Check. Lemme give it a try. I predict that you will pay taxes this year. How much? It gets blurry. Very blurry. Now when you pay taxes. Be sure to tell me, so I can say, I predicted it!

As for Marie predicting it so long ago, well, apparently, this just means the conspiracy had already started so long ago.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby fjolnir » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:48 am

No, this isn't like predicting an annual event. This is like firing a gun into a crowd and running, you know panic will insue, the police will come but you don't know the rest of the results.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby auraseer » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:50 am

Oberon wrote:Only the "Things are fuzzy after Parson does his thing" allows Marie to be less of a walking DEM. And really, who would pay the upkeep of a predictamancer? They must come across as the lamest of casters, sort of like Sybill Trelawney...

King Banhammer of Faq paid. And Marie appears to have been worth his money. His kingdom of Faq owed its existence to her and Jack. Only one of their cities could be veiled at a time, but Marie was able to predict which one needed it. That seems to have worked perfectly for a long time, because even close neighbor Transylvito never suspected Faq's existence.

The only reason anyone ever found Faq was because it was betrayed from within. And for story reasons I think it's reasonable that Marie didn't see that coming in enough detail to prevent it. There's some handwave about Fate or whatever, but you need an excuse for Predictamancy not to work on the protagonist or the really major characters. If she could see everything perfectly, then yeah, I agree that would be a suspense-killing deus ex machina.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby No one in particular » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:44 am

I thought Marie HAD seen it coming, but also had reasons for letting it happen. I mean, we know she warned Banhammer his kingdom was going to fall (which is why he popped an heir), and according to Janis, Marie is "hung up on Wanda in a big way."

It's possible that Marie, like Wanda, thinks she has a higher duty to Fate, and simply didn't tell Banhammer that he could have saved his Side by just disbanding Wanda. Or she saw that if Banhammer lived then Faq would survive the short term but be eradicated completely in the future, whereas Stanley's attack would be, relatively, a brief intermission. Or, you know, she's crushing on Wanda just as badly as Jack is on Jill, and couldn't bring herself to get her killed.

As for having predictamancy not work against the protagonists, I can think of a couple of pretty good reasons besides "Answer Hazy Ask Again Later"...
First, you've got your Cassandra Truth: the predictamancer knows whats going to happen, but no one in power believes it. "Gobwin Knob will march to the bridge, then land their mounts in the atrium on your turn, then be lead by Ossomer and Antium to the Portal Room, shortly before Tramennis is designated Heir, and Slately goes in to battle wearing his favorite radish-print boxers on his head." "What?! Impossible! I only wear those boxers on TUESDAYS! Clearly, none of that is going to come true."
Next, which is what I think we're going to see: the predictamancers have their own goals, and are therefore more than happy to leave out certain details from their predictions.

Ooh! Or, better yet, some predictamancers are so good, they not only know what's going to happen, they know exactly what they're going to say when the tell their ruler about it, so they know they're NOT going to mention something, and then they don't, because they predicted they wouldn't! And they were right!

Also, I really hope we see a predictamancer whose livery is an orange and black striped cloth golem. I'd love to see Hobbes show up. :D
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby atalex » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:53 am

auraseer wrote:The only reason anyone ever found Faq was because it was betrayed from within. And for story reasons I think it's reasonable that Marie didn't see that coming in enough detail to prevent it. There's some handwave about Fate or whatever, but you need an excuse for Predictamancy not to work on the protagonist or the really major characters. If she could see everything perfectly, then yeah, I agree that would be a suspense-killing deus ex machina.


The really interesting thing to me about Marie's predictions re: Faq is that we don't know (1) what predictions she actually made, (2) what she told Banhammer and (3) what she told Wanda. If Marie was a part of the Hippiemancer conspiracy prior to the fall of Faq, it is possible that her Predictamancy told her that the best way to get the perfect warlord was to tell Wanda about her destiny to get an Arkentool, a prophecy which led directly to Faq's fall. Did Marie know that the fall of Faq would result from talking to Wanda and/or getting involved in the PWL conspiracy? And if so, how did she overcome the problems that Loyalty and Duty would impose on knowingly bringing about the destruction of her side? Perhaps Marie's Predictamancy functions somewhat like Parson's bracer in that getting a good answer requires asking the proper question. Marie has been fixated on the question of "how do we end war in Erfworld?" and ignoring the ancillary questions of "what will be the short-term consequences of our efforts to end war in Erfworld?"

Of course, I should add that I am also toying with the possibility that Marie is simply insane.:) She seems obsessed with provoking monumental changes that upset Fate to the point that predicting the results are impossible. It occurs to me that the gift of prophecy shows up in folklore as a curse just as often as it does a blessing, and I think it possible that "unknown futures" might be almost addictively attractive to a Predictamancer.

ON EDIT: And to reinforce what I'm saying, consider the last line of the update. Upon finally realizing that through the conspiracy's actions, Parson (the conspiracy's own catspaw), is about to completely blow up the Magic Kingdom's vaunted neutrality -- perhaps the biggest change imposed on the MK in hundreds of turns -- Marie's words sound triumphant and her eyes are still smiling. Either she sees an endgame that will make all the madness that's about to explode worthwhile, or she's crazy as a bedbug. Or possibly both.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby timh » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:14 am

All this talk about Marie and Jack protecting FAQ raised a question with me. How come Marie ended up being a barbarian caster in the MK? Het side didn't fall, because Jillian was out in the field.

Wouldn't Jilian have known by natural thinkamancy that Jack and Wanda were captured/turned? and asuming Marie got to the MK before the city was taken wouldn't she still be part of Jilian's barbarian-group-thing? Ofc, it's likely that Jilian couldn't continue to pay upkeep for a caster and as such let her go.. i'm just wondering if she knows Marie is still alive and if so, why she didn't bother to try and contact her.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Jinren » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:40 am

auraseer wrote:The only reason anyone ever found Faq was because it was betrayed from within. And for story reasons I think it's reasonable that Marie didn't see that coming in enough detail to prevent it. There's some handwave about Fate or whatever, but you need an excuse for Predictamancy not to work on the protagonist or the really major characters. If she could see everything perfectly, then yeah, I agree that would be a suspense-killing deus ex machina.


Perhaps the rules of Erf explicitly prevent Predictamancers from getting too clear a fix when their knowledge would create a paradox?

Specifically if it had been possible for Marie to persuade Banhammer to disband Wanda, she would have voided her own prophecy and he would have disbanded an innocent person. As long as she can't see who it is, the propecy remains internally consistent. The knowledge that FAQ will fall due to the actions of a traitor then becomes largely unavoidable, so instead they use that knowledge to prepare accordingly (pop an heir).

Whereas something like the movement of Transylvito units isn't anything that can be prevented from occurring or generally affected by Marie's knowledge (they have to move of their own accord to come within detection range of a FAQ city), so she's allowed much more precise information about this.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby ryanroyce » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:13 am

atalex wrote:
auraseer wrote:The only reason anyone ever found Faq was because it was betrayed from within. And for story reasons I think it's reasonable that Marie didn't see that coming in enough detail to prevent it. There's some handwave about Fate or whatever, but you need an excuse for Predictamancy not to work on the protagonist or the really major characters. If she could see everything perfectly, then yeah, I agree that would be a suspense-killing deus ex machina.


The really interesting thing to me about Marie's predictions re: Faq is that we don't know (1) what predictions she actually made, (2) what she told Banhammer and (3) what she told Wanda. If Marie was a part of the Hippiemancer conspiracy prior to the fall of Faq, it is possible that her Predictamancy told her that the best way to get the perfect warlord was to tell Wanda about her destiny to get an Arkentool, a prophecy which led directly to Faq's fall. Did Marie know that the fall of Faq would result from talking to Wanda and/or getting involved in the PWL conspiracy? And if so, how did she overcome the problems that Loyalty and Duty would impose on knowingly bringing about the destruction of her side? Perhaps Marie's Predictamancy functions somewhat like Parson's bracer in that getting a good answer requires asking the proper question. Marie has been fixated on the question of "how do we end war in Erfworld?" and ignoring the ancillary questions of "what will be the short-term consequences of our efforts to end war in Erfworld?"


Y'know, King Banhammer fancied himself a philosopher... what if HE started The Conspiracy by asking the question "How can war be ended?" (or words to that effect)? When Marie used her magic to try and answer the question, it took her down the rabbit hole to Wanda getting an Arkentool, the summoning of Parson, and so on. What if Banhammer in fact ordered Marie to try and make it happen, not realizing that doing so would end up killing him?

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Smoker » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:30 am

Predictamancy can work within what we've seen:

In most magic systems, spells have a failure rate. So lets say that the more epic an event is, the harder it is to see the outcome (or even its occurance). So scouts flying around from TV (yawn) can be predicted on anything but a natural 1, and what the heck is going to happen when Stanley flies out with the Arkenhammer and a team of dwagons to take Faq unawares is only visable on a 30+ roll, which Marie just isn't capable of.

So Marie is (we assume) not uber-master-class, because sometimes she cant see the future, particularly when game changing events are about to come to pass. But she can work out the less incredible bits with reasonable accuracy.

Does this make her useless? Hell no! As stated before, she was a huge part of Faq's survival for a long time.

Does this make her interesting? Hell no! She either predicts mundane stuff, which is mundane, or cant see epic stuff, which really makes her redundant.

She really seems to be all over this "Breaking Erfworld" thing, but I cant help but wonder why? She's no hippiemancer. If anything she seems to revel in the chaos she is seeing being caused to other sides, and using her skills (such as they are) to support it, and to convince others to do the same. Its like she's a brat with a chip on her shoulder, happy to see other people fall to forces they cannot foresee, just as she did.

That might be totally off, but yeah, she does get limited screen time, so that's all I can make of her at the moment. With that understanding of her, I find cheap shallow motives coupled with an indepth and insightful magical ability to make for a... munchkin?

It's like she has no respect for the future that she sees, except as a bittersweet comedy, with the other "surviving" sides playing the fools.

Now, having outlined why I dont like her, that doesn't mean she doesn't have a place in the story. She adds a bit of reason and flavour behind the SPW syndicate, and definitely has a part to play.. just she doesn't stand out as a major character (yet) and nor should she, because we have plenty of awesome major characters already.

She fills her role in the plot well, I just find her a bit lacklustre.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby fjolnir » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:46 pm

Remember, she predicted the fall of FAQ, meaning she knows that an event will happen without the specific details of it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby wrecan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:28 pm

ryanroyce wrote:Y'know, King Banhammer fancied himself a philosopher... what if HE started The Conspiracy by asking the question "How can war be ended?" (or words to that effect)? When Marie used her magic to try and answer the question, it took her down the rabbit hole to Wanda getting an Arkentool, the summoning of Parson, and so on. What if Banhammer in fact ordered Marie to try and make it happen, not realizing that doing so would end up killing him?

And what if he ordered her to try and make it happen, even after she told him it would lead to the destruction of Faq and his own croaking? :)
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby wrecan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:40 pm

Smoker wrote:She really seems to be all over this "Breaking Erfworld" thing, but I cant help but wonder why? She's no hippiemancer. If anything she seems to revel in the chaos she is seeing being caused to other sides, and using her skills (such as they are) to support it, and to convince others to do the same. Its like she's a brat with a chip on her shoulder, happy to see other people fall to forces they cannot foresee, just as she did.

I noticed this too. Here's my theory.

As a predictamancer, Marie knows better than most how illusory free will really is. Sure, lesser units are really really constrained by Duty, and the Loyalty stat seems to impinge on your free will. And Thinkamancy can interfere sometimes. But Units, particularly the warlords, nobles, and casters, still seem to think they have free will, that their choices are their own. But a Predictamancer knows that Fate governs everything. And even though no single predictamancer can see all the puppetstrings, they know they are there.

I imagine most predictamancers just resign themselves to a world where their choices are illusory. But not Marie. She wants to escape Fate! She wants a world where her actions don't merely seem free; they are free. So while other predictamancers surrender to a philosophy of predeterminism, she is taking an active role in breaking Erfworld -- in destroying Fate. If she can do that, even if she was destined to do it, then she and all ERFers would truly be free.

And perhaps she realizes that magic only works on Erf. If she was aware of other worlds, like Stupid World, where magic didn't exist, then perhaps the residents of those worlds (like Parson) are not governed by Fate either. Perhaps there are objects already here -- like the Arkentools -- that can change fate. Perhaps, with the right combination of Arkentools and Stupid Worlders, the game could be broken!

And maybe she can't predict the outcome of the current turn, with respect to Spacerock, because Parson and the Arkentools are resistant or even immune to Predictamancy? What if Marie pushed Wanda to find an Arkentool because she hoped the Arkentool could break the world? And then Marie realized we need more and more foreign Fate-free materials to break Erf? So attune the Arkentools, shanghai Stupid Worlders. Eventually, one of these unfated elements will do something to turn Erf on its head and smash the chains of Fate now and forever
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Althernai » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:59 pm

timh wrote:All this talk about Marie and Jack protecting FAQ raised a question with me. How come Marie ended up being a barbarian caster in the MK? Het side didn't fall, because Jillian was out in the field.

Wouldn't Jilian have known by natural thinkamancy that Jack and Wanda were captured/turned? and asuming Marie got to the MK before the city was taken wouldn't she still be part of Jilian's barbarian-group-thing? Ofc, it's likely that Jilian couldn't continue to pay upkeep for a caster and as such let her go.. i'm just wondering if she knows Marie is still alive and if so, why she didn't bother to try and contact her.

This is an interesting question. We know that if the capital falls, the treasury is lost and, if there is no backup capital, the ruler or heir becomes a barbarian (even if there are still cities left). I would guess that the newly-barbarian ruler/heir only keeps a few units rather than everything in those cities (maybe only those in his/her hex?). If that is the case, then Jillian would not have had any connection with the casters once the capital fell (and the interval of time during which she was overlord was too brief for her to react).

As to how Marie ended up in the Magic Kingdom... the most plausible explanation by far is that she used FAQ's portal to flee from Stanley. Whether she did that once she saw that Stanley was attacking or she saw it coming and left a bit earlier is another matter.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby wrecan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:00 pm

Or she could already have been in MK when FAQ fell, ostensibly on FAQ business.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Infidel » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:03 pm

fjolnir wrote:Remember, she predicted the fall of FAQ, meaning she knows that an event will happen without the specific details of it.


Faq will fall is like saying. You will die. Eventually every empire, every kingdom falls. So this is back to predictable predictions.

fjolnir wrote:No, this isn't like predicting an annual event. This is like firing a gun into a crowd and running, you know panic will insue, the police will come but you don't know the rest of the results.


That doesn't sound like a counter argument. It sounds like you agree with me.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Decorus » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:07 pm

Lets show this.


Future 1: Jillian doesn't parlay wipes out Wanda and GK's army.
Future 2: Jillian turns Wanda to her Side wipes out Jetstone
Future 3: Jillian ignores Wanda captures Ansom and turns him.
Future 4: Haggar retreats to protect thier own Capitol
Future 5: Haggar wipes thier own forces and kills Ansom.
Future 6: Wanda doesn't survive the fall
Future 7: Jack is left helpless by the fall
Future 8: Jack and Wanda are both fine after the fall, but none of the GK Warlords survive.

Now add in 5 or 600 other important events that all shape the entire battle and the result which will all lead to entirely different future.

Now try to predict which of those futures will come true and which won't.

Predicting the fall of Faq is easy not as many variables can alter the battle.
Predicting this battle is impossible too many pieces are in play and any slight little thing can result in an entirely different future.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Beelzebuddy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:18 pm

Perhaps the rules of Erf explicitly prevent Predictamancers from getting too clear a fix when their knowledge would create a paradox?

Specifically if it had been possible for Marie to persuade Banhammer to disband Wanda, she would have voided her own prophecy and he would have disbanded an innocent person. As long as she can't see who it is, the propecy remains internally consistent. The knowledge that FAQ will fall due to the actions of a traitor then becomes largely unavoidable, so instead they use that knowledge to prepare accordingly (pop an heir).

Although Rob will certainly go Many Worlds on predictomancy (you can't see the future if there're too many possible futures that could arise), I like this explanation the best. Having predictomancy failures hinge on conflicts of interest (you can't see the future if it's something you'd change) adds a very personal element to the profession. Marie couldn't see the specifics of Faq's fall because Duty would have compelled her to rat out Wanda. But, she had no conflict in simply helping the side survive, thus predicting their fall and encouraging the popping of an heir.

Taken in this manner it's almost tragic. When you can't see part of the future, you know that's a part you wouldn't want and would actively try to prevent, if you could only see the future to know what you needed to do. You might see the rest of the future, the way Marie sees this as the Turn of Turns that forms the start of the War to End War and other Ominous Capitalization, but this cloudy bit just here is almost pure personal loss. But you don't know how, you don't know why, you don't know who, you just know that you don't know how to stop it (or not stop it), that you won't stop it (or not stop it), and that whatever it is, you'll regret it.

Which doesn't jive well with how cheery she's being on the page, so I'm very probably wrong. I'd suspect with a future fart of this magnitude she'd be right down there in the dumps with Sizemore: if all she can tell right now is that it's just generally for the best, man, her shit is about to be proper fucked.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Lamech » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:00 pm

Infidel wrote:So predictamancers can predict the future when it is predictable? Check. Lemme give it a try. I predict that you will pay taxes this year. How much? It gets blurry. Very blurry. Now when you pay taxes. Be sure to tell me, so I can say, I predicted it!

As for Marie predicting it so long ago, well, apparently, this just means the conspiracy had already started so long ago.

First off this is still and extremely useful ablity, even if you can only predict the predictable. Lets say there is an enemy you know nothing about, and its sending out a team of units for its generic scouting pattern. Also one of these units will walk into the hex with your super-weapon, army base whatever. Totally predictable, but now you can viel your whatist. Extremely valuable. Or you could predict say... if a gems will be found in a mountain hex. Or if a pre-set scouting path will encounter enemy units or tamable dwagons. Or... Predicting these things would be a powerful ability. It gets you information; sure the information may already exist in the present, but your still getting info. This was effectivly what FAQ did long ago to be a bubble kingdom.

Plus I think its more than that. I think it is that the more "fate", or "magi-babble" that gets bound up in something the harder it is to predict. There is some sort of difficulty check for predicting things. Of course thats just speculation.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby Ytaker » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:41 pm

Infidel wrote:
fjolnir wrote:Remember, she predicted the fall of FAQ, meaning she knows that an event will happen without the specific details of it.


Faq will fall is like saying. You will die. Eventually every empire, every kingdom falls. So this is back to predictable predictions.

She actually predicted that "his precious toy kingdom would fall someday". So, his kingdom would be defeated by some external force, not be taken over by a heir and transformed into something that wasn't his kingdom, as will probably happen with jetstone. It's useful, actionable intelligence. It suggests you should pop a heir, rather than wait and pop a heir when you get old.

Magic can do weird things.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 045

Postby drachefly » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:47 pm

Beelzebuddy wrote:Taken in this manner it's almost tragic. When you can't see part of the future, you know that's a part you wouldn't want and would actively try to prevent, if you could only see the future to know what you needed to do.


Usually, yes, but often enough not. Suppose your knowing would change your demeanor, and others would see it, react, and that is the problem? Your knowing would cause you trouble then. Or if you would eventually be subject to mind reading or mind control, or be fooled into spilling the beans, or...
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