Book 2 – Page 62

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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Housellama » Mon May 30, 2011 5:50 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
teratorn wrote:And there we've learned BLAND only knows how to count up to three!


Really, it's such a shoddy plan I have trouble believing you are being serious. Rather, I think you want to learn how high I can count. I learned some new numbers today.


Gentlemen, why don't we dial back the snark factor just a wee bit? You have successfully demonstrated you are both souls of wit and eloquence. Now that we've got that out of the way, perhaps you may continue with the topic at hand?

However, if you would like to continue, I do happen have a tape measure close at hand. I would be more than happy to facilitate your meta-discussion. Slap them down on the table and I will assist you good gentlemen post haste.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby wrecan » Mon May 30, 2011 7:15 pm

teratorn wrote:It's not cold blood, the opponent went after him and being a caster it's not like he is unharmed.

The caster chased him but did not attack him and called for parley. That's cold blood.

A scared guy with no experience in this situation should kill the opponent.

That's not the kind of guy Parson is. he's not a killer. This isn't a tactical error -- it's a consequence of him not being trained to kill, something that comes naturally to Erfers, but not to humans.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Balerion » Mon May 30, 2011 7:28 pm

Jumping back to the decapitation debate for a bit; what did you think Kingworld was meant to be if not a decapitation? Charlie has shown he is willing to use others as pawns to try and kill the leadership when that is what he needs done, at cost to himself. Wanda and the pliers were his target to remove, and he had em dead if Jillian had stuck around. Sure, it would look like a brilliant move by Faq and Jetstone, but the reality was him gunning for Wanda. The only question is at what point he starts using archons to do it, and that is going to depend heavily on if decryption continues as it were post-spacerock. I honestly think Charlie's next move is to commit a large part of his own force to killing Wanda before she becomes truly untouchable (after all, how many decrypted casters would it take to make attacking her simply suicide?) Sure, he will make it part of someone else's contract, to hold to appearances, but it will be basically a donation of troops.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Mon May 30, 2011 7:54 pm

teratorn wrote:Poor me, BLAND is being mean.

I don't know what history BLAND has, but as far as I can tell he only enjoyed the smackdown on your idea a little too much. You need to cool your jets, bro.


Because no matter how obnoxious he was in pushing his ideas, he's completely right. It's an astonishingly risky tactic to attack an enemy with 600 Archons, a faction that has the sheer power to make your natural allies not respawn (with at least a 63% chance of it actually being Charlie). Charlie has superior intel, infinite thinkagrams (and thus his micromanagement is limited neither by time nor juice, which is incredibly scary), a probably-superior force (Wanda's strikeforce is described as, while terrible to face, not exactly 600 angry blue mage-knights in short skirts. I'm sure even the lowliest of them can form a flash-mob. ;) Sure our last assessment of the GK strikeforce was back during the summer update, but her force at the beginning of Book 2 looked pretty similar.) That doesn't even account for Charlie's cloth golems, defensive spells and other traps, any spells he may have purchased, and any other ridiculous weapons that Charlie (but really Rob) has thought of that we haven't.


Parson is good. Parson is un-booping-believably good. But even PGLH himself wont assault a stronger enemy who has better intel and a strong entrenched position lightly. As he remarked to Wanda, look how well that went for Ansom.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby teratorn » Mon May 30, 2011 8:08 pm

Housellama wrote:What planet are you from? Killing is a HARD thing to do.


When you're not scared. None of the situations you give there presents a guy scared shitless facing a real threat to his life. Put a gun in the hands of someone inexperienced facing a lion and they are bound to shoot even if the lion only approaches out of curiosity (and then they miss, start running, and nom nom).

Parson reacted rationally while I expected him to act like someone not used to physical confrontation. Of course I expected him to feel the burden of it once he understood he had taken a human life. Maybe killing would in fact be too much but he should have shown a bit less control. It maybe a problem of the medium, to me he looks callous as not showing fear. Or maybe this really is in character for Parson, he may be way colder than I assumed.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby gazes_also » Mon May 30, 2011 8:09 pm

Has anyone considered a carnymancer's defence against being attacked by a sword?
Spoiler: show
He would just swallow it
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Housellama » Mon May 30, 2011 8:17 pm

gazes_also wrote:Has anyone considered a carnymancer's defence against being attacked by a sword?
Spoiler: show
He would just swallow it


*facepalm*
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby gazes_also » Mon May 30, 2011 8:20 pm

kefkakrazy wrote:I gotta say, I'm skeptical of Carnymancers being primarily persuasion-based.

It seems to me that a Carnymancer, assuming their primary skillset to be the proposed "patter/influence" role, would be almost a liability in Erfworld's combat system. If their specialty is a noncombat role, then presumably they wouldn't have any great combat influence, and in a setting like Erfworld, I have a hard time seeing a Caster (with the high upkeep that implies) being considered useful with a noncombat specialty. The only type of caster whose power set we're familiar with who doesn't really have a direct combat or combat support role is the Thinkamancers, and look at how overpowered they are in a support role.

I can see a scenario going like this.

Defending side signals for Parley.
Attacking side realizes that defenders have a Carnymancer, so avoid the chance of being influenced, they reject parley and just level the city.



A guy like Parson might be able to find a use for a persuasion-oriented caster, but there really doesn't seem to be enough there yet.




What all this implies to me is that we're going to see more powers from Jojo, basically. I'm not discounting that Carnymancers have some persuasion-based power, but I'm pretty certain they're also going to have some other combat-oriented powers.


But here's the point - everyone thinks they're smarter than a carney, they can spot the scam and they won't get taken, only to find themselves falling for a game of Three Card Monte.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby teratorn » Mon May 30, 2011 8:21 pm

The.Healing.Mage wrote:Because no matter how obnoxious he was in pushing his ideas, he's completely right. It's an astonishingly risky tactic to attack an enemy with 600 Archons, a faction that has the sheer power to make your natural allies not respawn (with at least a 63% chance of it actually being Charlie).


I never said he was obnoxious, this forum is not for the faint of heart, so guys don't take the exchange too seriously. I liked his posts.

On the risky tactic, wouldn't be even riskier not to attack Charlie when he has only 600 archons? And 600 isn't that much, if you manage to kill 20 per turn he'll be out of archons in 33 turns. All the other sides are crumbling, the only one that is a menace to GK in the next turns is Charlescom.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Really, it's such a shoddy plan I have trouble believing you are being serious. Rather, I think you want to learn how high I can count. I learned some new numbers today.

You surely had to ask someone to tell you the numbers. And again you are grasping at straws but all this is a bit pointless we won't get to that in less than two years...

But he needs to survive this encounter with Jojo first.

gazes_also wrote:Has anyone considered a carnymancer's defence against being attacked by a sword?
Spoiler: show
He would just swallow it


Brilliant!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Oberon » Mon May 30, 2011 8:24 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Second however, I think Charlie plays for the point victory. Let me explain.

In most TBSes, eliminate all opposition (aka world domination) is a victory condition. Often however, it's not the only one.
Right. I'm not sure there is a "point victory", but Charlie does seem to be setting up for one if it exists. I don't think a point victory condition does exist, based only upon the author stating that Earfworld is not a game, just a place with a game like setting and rules. Thus this:

Turn 1,239,545: Charlie opens by declaring that he has gathered the necessary 20M shmuckers to win Erfworld. The Titans return and start picking up the pieces.

Does not seem likely. We have not heard about any Ragnarok/Rapture/Other End-of-the-world scenarios from Earfworld residents. Thus, the only win condition would seem to be one side and possibly allies owning all of Erfworld territories.

The issue, as I see it, is the there is no known "eliminate all opposition (aka world domination)" victory condition. Parson spoke of a diminishing return, and the need to expand via diplomatic alliances. No one contradicted him. No one said GK could expand forever. TGMWTA and the predictamancers and many other characters also seem to regard constant warfare as an unavoidable outcome of the nature of Erfworld. No one sees any way within the rules to avoid this. Janis hopes Parson can accomplish this, and apparently so does Marie, but neither knows how, other than that many things will be broken in the process. Janis balks at the prospect of the MK neutrality being broken, while Marie relishes at the thought.

That said, I used the phrase "no known" victory condition deliberately. With the no-upkeep decrypted provided by a titanic artifact, this diminishing returns limitation should be a broken mechanic. Unless city upkeep becomes more and more expensive as they collect more and more cities, GK should be able to decrypt every unit they pop and free up an enormous amount of resources all other sides must allocate to unit upkeep. Cases in point, Jetstone and TV, both hovering on the edge of bankruptcy due to upkeep costs.

Charlie may have, with his unmatched thinkamancy enhanced intelligence, arrived early on at the conclusion that expanding an empire was not a winning strategy, and then developed his current "amass a fortune because money is always a good thing" strategy as a way to survive, present a small target, and await new revelations. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that Charlie invests in tri-mancer and other spell research. Someone had to come up with (*ptui*) Kingworld, after all. New and potent spells are one way to potentially break the status quo, so this would be a natural thing for Charlie to be involved in. I sure wish we knew the reason he never popped a warlord and promoted him/her to CWL for the reduced city upkeep, it seems a natural thing to do. Even if s/he never gains much in the way of levels s/he would also provide every archon a CWL bonus. And Charlie should be able to provide him/her with a flying item specifically so that s/he can gain levels and further boost his fleet of archons. It makes no sense why Charlie would avoid this no-brainer option.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby teratorn » Mon May 30, 2011 8:45 pm

Oberon wrote: I sure wish we knew the reason he never popped a warlord and promoted him/her to CWL for the reduced city upkeep, it seems a natural thing to do. Even if s/he never gains much in the way of levels s/he would also provide every archon a CWL bonus. And Charlie should be able to provide him/her with a flying item specifically so that s/he can gain levels and further boost his fleet of archons. It makes no sense why Charlie would avoid this no-brainer option.


And why is he so afraid about what Parson can find from his archons?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Housellama » Mon May 30, 2011 8:51 pm

teratorn wrote:
Housellama wrote:What planet are you from? Killing is a HARD thing to do.


When you're not scared. None of the situations you give there presents a guy scared shitless facing a real threat to his life. Put a gun in the hands of someone inexperienced facing a lion and they are bound to shoot even if the lion only approaches out of curiosity (and then they miss, start running, and nom nom).

Parson reacted rationally while I expected him to act like someone not used to physical confrontation. Of course I expected him to feel the burden of it once he understood he had taken a human life. Maybe killing would in fact be too much but he should have shown a bit less control. It maybe a problem of the medium, to me he looks callous as not showing fear. Or maybe this really is in character for Parson, he may be way colder than I assumed.


A gun is extremely different from a sword. A gun depersonalizes the act of killing. All you feel is the tension of the trigger pull and the kick of the gun, the smell of the gunpowder. You are removed from the act, both mentally and physically. There is no connection between you and the victim. The item that you are holding didn't do anything at all to the victim. It was the lead slug that caused all the damage, and that damage happened OVER THERE. You do not feel any reaction to that damage, nor are you physically connected to it in any way. It allows you to separate yourself mentally from the killing, giving you distance and allowing you to rationalize the action.

When you put a sword or anther weapon into someone, you feel the impact of the hit, the separation of the skin and muscle under the blade, the breaking of the bone. You can hear flesh tearing and bones cracking. You can smell the thick, coppery scent of blood, which grows even thicker as more blood pours from the wound. It's extremely personal. You are right there, up close. You are part of the experience, with no way to separate yourself from it. You are intimately aware that YOU are hurting this person. There's no way to rationalize it. There's no way to depersonalize it. There's a sharp piece of metal in this person and YOU just shoved it into them on purpose. That's intense.

I've hit people with my hands and done damage. Used joint locks and arm bars. Felt bones shift in ways they shouldn't and in one case break. I wanted to throw up. Even in a case of him or me, the experience was one I never, ever care to repeat again. Yeah, I was scared, but I really didn't want to hit him. Even when I did, even knowing that I HAD to, it didn't feel good. I've trained in martial arts. I've done drills. Practiced for hours. Done sparring. I STILL didn't want to hit someone for real. The idea of using a bladed weapon to pierce flesh makes my skin crawl. I was prepared. I had trained. I was still scared boop-less and it was still hard for me to throw those punches. Trust me, it's HARD to do something like that. Especially when you have some kind of tactical/martial knowledge, which Parson does. It means you understand the consequences of your actions.

Parson is reacting exactly as my personal and academic experiences say that he should. I believe that your understanding of the way humans should and do react is inaccurate or incomplete. Perhaps my interpretation of what you are saying is wrong, but my life experiences lead me to believe that Rob's portrayal of Parson's actions in this situation are consistent with his character. (Pun fully intended)
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"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Oberon » Mon May 30, 2011 8:56 pm

wrecan wrote:[Parson may be holding the idiot ball]
The caster was easily gaining ground. He couldn't outrun it. if the caster wanted to cast a spell on Parson, he would have already. The best Parson can do is keep him at arm's length, in case this caster needs a touch spell of some sort. Since Jojo wants to talk, Parson's going to talk.

The only other option is to murder Jojo. Jojo hasn't attacked Parson and doesn't seem to want to attack Parson for now. Parson is not ruthless -- he's actively trying not to be ruthless. He's not a murderer' I don't think Parson has it in him to mow Jojo down in cold blood for trying to talk to him. Maybe that's not the optimal thing, but I don't think Parson would like himself very much if he acted the way people appear to be suggesting. So if Parson gets croaked for showing a tiny bit of mercy, I think Parson's okay with that. And frankly, if Parson were the kind of guy who would mow down Jojo in cold blood, I'd probably lose interest in the strip myself.
Well said. This is why Parson isn't being accused of holding the idiot ball. Parson isn't "acting out of character, or misunderstanding something that could be cleared up by a single reasonable question that he isn't asking solely because the writers don't want him to ask." He also isn't "being willfully stupid or obtuse."

Parson, for example, wasn't given a wealth of intelligence for free by Charlie, and after carefully reviewing it all decided to accept every single piece of it at face value, discussing those items and acting upon them with 100% confidence, except for the sole item which might have saved his side. That single item of intelligence he violently rejected as being false and even became short with and insulted the guy who provided this and every other item of intelligence which he fully accepted, even though there was no evidence at all for any falsehood. When you are presented across many comics as being a smart diplomat and then you do that? Well, that would be a great example of a character who is holding the idiot ball.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Oberon » Mon May 30, 2011 9:24 pm

teratorn wrote:
Housellama wrote:Killing is a HARD thing to do.

When you're not scared. None of the situations you give there presents a guy scared shitless facing a real threat to his life. Put a gun in the hands of someone inexperienced facing a lion and they are bound to shoot even if the lion only approaches out of curiosity (and then they miss, start running, and nom nom).
It's a wonderful thing to be able to change the hypothetical to one which supports your side, and to ignore the real situation.

I'm an experienced hiker. I've had zero experience staring down a bear. But were I to be in such a situation, my first resort would not be to fire off a bunch of rounds which might provoke an attack, and possibly only wound the bear. But that's your hypothetical...

The actual situation is quite different, and as has been pointed out, Chewie is not attacking or even threatening Parson. Chewie isn't a wild animal whose intent cannot be measured. He also doesn't outweigh Parson by 300 lbs and have an awesome array of natural weapons which Parson must contend with in the event of an attack. Instead, he is a small man in comparison with Parson, and Parson has him as sword point. He is "a threat", by virtue of being a caster, having a scroll in his hands, and having caught up to Parson from a stern chase. Parson cannot run. But that doesn't reduce the situation to "kill or be killed." Parson reacted well, drawing down and demanding that Chewie not come any closer. At this point, it is no longer a matter of Parson's life. Parson needs to consider what is happening in Jetstone, and not allow himself to be delayed overlong. But cutting down Chewie is not the solution to that issue.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby teratorn » Mon May 30, 2011 9:25 pm

Housellama wrote:Parson is reacting exactly as my personal and academic experiences say that he should. I believe that your understanding of the way humans should and do react is inaccurate or incomplete. Perhaps my interpretation of what you are saying is wrong, but my life experiences lead me to believe that Rob's portrayal of Parson's actions in this situation are consistent with his character. (Pun fully intended)


Parson stopped, pointed the sword to the guy, made a joke, and then pointed the sword from the guy and started talking like they were old friends and he wasn't in hostile territory surrounded by enemies that want to kill him. You're not getting the point of my lion thingy, when one is really scared instinct takes over, unless one had same training on how to deal with it.

Parson isn't scared, or at least much less than I expected.

Oberon wrote:The actual situation is quite different, and as has been pointed out, Chewie is not attacking or even threatening Parson. Chewie isn't a wild animal whose intent cannot be measured. He also doesn't outweigh Parson by 300 lbs and have an awesome array of natural weapons which Parson must contend with in the event of an attack.


Chewie could possibly easily kill a bear. Parson has seen Maggie in action, she stunned a warlord with a simple word.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Oberon » Mon May 30, 2011 9:36 pm

teratorn wrote:Chewie could possibly easily kill a bear. Parson has seen Maggie in action, she stunned a warlord with a simple word.
You're changing things yet again. We're not discussing what Chewie can do, we're discussing what Parson's reaction should be. Even if Chewie can kill dozens of bears, he is a man and not a wild animal. Parson can read his body language and expression and have a decent idea of what his intent is. No one without experience with wild animals has any real idea what they are going to do, and even then it's rather hit or miss. That has zero carry over to a discussion with another person, regardless of the force of arms either party carries.
teratorn wrote:Parson stopped, pointed the sword to the guy, made a joke, and then pointed the sword from the guy and started talking like they were old friends and he wasn't in hostile territory surrounded by enemies that want to kill him.
You're also cherry picking. In the panel right after Parson has the sword pointed away, he again has it pointed right at Chewie's face. And that's the last view we get. So it appears as though Parson is keeping a reasonable amount of threat available in case of treachery.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Oberon » Mon May 30, 2011 9:41 pm

Lamech wrote:One caster through the MK portal. Or one message sent out via hat, or thinkamancer. Or the predictamancer's or the thinkamancer's or any other part of the Parson conspiracy could point him out to the rest of Erf. He'll get found out fairly quickly.
And just who is sending that caster, using that hat, or sending that thinkagram?
Send a caster away from their capitol, when it is under attack? Not likely. Likewise with wasting time using a hat or sending a thinkagram. This would be the Charlescomm turn, and would not have any of the drama of the current off-turn siege of Jetstone where Jetstone was earlier able to waste piles of time thinking that they had it to waste. No, this would be what Parson intended: A blitzkrieg decapitation strike. And I doubt that any defenders would divert any resources (and to whom?) rather than fully focus on a fight for their very survival as a side.

He'll get found out fairly quickly? Care to provide some more detail rather than just stating it as an absolute?

Predictamancy? Laughable. It seems to be a rather vague magic. It can tell what will happen, but not when or other important details. Banhammer knew his side would fall, for example. He knew not when, and he certainly did not know how. He never got a smallest hint that Stanley would be swooping in with a mass of dwagons. So much for predictamancy pointing to Charlie. Thinkamancy? TGMWTA don't seem to know anything at all about what Charlie does, other than listen in on their thinkagrams and otherwise do what they can do, just a thousand times better. So much for thinkamancy pointing to Charlie. I do believe that some magics or combinations magics could eventually point to Charlie. But as I said in my OP, this assumes that anyone cares at all, or if they do care also cares to spend the resources, and assuming both of those also has the luxury of spending those resources, and isn't engaged in one or more battle fronts. Keep adding on constraints and the possible pool of potential discovery becomes smaller and smaller. Charlie, with his ultimate reconnaissance forces, could easily pick sides which were surrounded by other sides who would not be in any position to divert resources towards finding out why side X suddenly went neutral. Bea had to notify Don personally, or no one would know why Uniroyal fell other than assuming that it fell to GK attack. A fairly safe assumption, and one which would keep many or all rulers from wasting resources looking for alternatives.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby teratorn » Mon May 30, 2011 10:12 pm

Oberon wrote:You're changing things yet again. We're not discussing what Chewie can do, we're discussing what Parson's reaction should be. Even if Chewie can kill dozens of bears, he is a man and not a wild animal. Parson can read his body language and expression and have a decent idea of what his intent is. No one without experience with wild animals has any real idea what they are going to do,and even then it's rather hit or miss. That has zero carry over to a discussion with another person, regardless of the force of arms either party carries.


Sigh, you brought up the damn bear, so I think I'm entitled to make a jab at the story of your life and your hiking exploits. I think a predator is close to the situation at hand, but I do agree that Parson facing a human is quite different in enough ways to make it not that relevant.

Maggie's example on the other hand has significance to the discussion. You present jojo as a skinny weak man that Parson should not fear. Even a weakling as Maggie is deadly and Parson as seen it. Parson completely ignores the danger and seems intrigued and not really afraid. I'm perplexed about your sentence about humans being predictable. Humans can easily hide intent.

Oberon wrote:You're also cherry picking. In the panel right after Parson has the sword pointed away, he again has it pointed right at Chewie's face. And that's the last view we get. So it appears as though Parson is keeping a reasonable amount of threat available in case of treachery.


The sword is not extended, and is quite far from jojo. Is jojo moving around Parson?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Housellama » Mon May 30, 2011 10:33 pm

teratorn wrote:
Housellama wrote:Parson is reacting exactly as my personal and academic experiences say that he should. I believe that your understanding of the way humans should and do react is inaccurate or incomplete. Perhaps my interpretation of what you are saying is wrong, but my life experiences lead me to believe that Rob's portrayal of Parson's actions in this situation are consistent with his character. (Pun fully intended)


You're not getting the point of my lion thingy, when one is really scared instinct takes over, unless one had same training on how to deal with it.


I am, actually. Parson's instincts DID take over. They took over when he saw Jojo hold up his hands. His instincts told him that Jojo is indicating he was no threat, and he reacted accordingly.

Humans react very differently to people than to lions. Why? Because humans have no context when it comes to lions. We don't know what a lion is thinking when it does anything. The average human has no way of interpreting what a lion's body language means. However, the average human has a VERY good idea of what another human's body language means. Humans have a lot of context when it comes to other humans. Instincts have a completely different role in a situation like that.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 62

Postby Shuuwki » Mon May 30, 2011 10:38 pm

Wow, this thread got full of silliness.

I agree that Jeftichew poses a great deal of risk to Parson, and that part of that risk is his apparent harmlessness.

Re: attacking Charlescomm, I'd have to suggest that going against the archon horde without a countermeasure strikes me as quite dangerous. However, stifling Charlie's business model would starve him out and reduce that number substantially.
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