Book 2 – Text Updates 052

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Trotsky » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:01 pm

DunkelMentat wrote:
c-square wrote:There are walruses on ErfWrold?!? :o


Yeah I think this is probably the biggest revelation from this update. Walruses! I wonder if any side can produce them as units or if they can be allied with like hobgobwins. I would love to see that art.


Two words, walrus mounts.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Menlo Marseilles » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:45 pm

Personally, I'm construing the devil's luck that GK has been having here as being the result of past Predictamancy trying desperately to maintain its correctness in the face of improbable odds. We know that Wanda is operating under some kind of Prediction that she believe guarantees she won't die in this battle, and that she's dodged more than one bullet since she hit the Courtyard; circumstantial evidence implies to me that Sylvia may have a similar guardian prediction watching over her.
and in despair i bowed my head
"there is no peace on erf," i said
for fate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on erf, good will to men
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby kouhoutek » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:30 pm

kineticdragon wrote:I personally don't have a problem with the arrows hitting debris. I just look at the collisions in game terms, but with a DM/GM who knows how the build excitement.


I don't have a problem with adding flavor text to misses, I just wish we could have a little more variety: "The arrow passed through the space Sylvia's throat would have been if the dwagon hadn't lurched at the knight that very instant"

The battle turning on *3* mid air collisions is a little hinky.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:12 pm

kouhoutek wrote:I don't have a problem with adding flavor text to misses, I just wish we could have a little more variety: "The arrow passed through the space Sylvia's throat would have been if the dwagon hadn't lurched at the knight that very instant"

The battle turning on *3* mid air collisions is a little hinky.


Especially since we know Sylvia can knock arrows out of the air with fancy swordplay.

Why, 3 improbable collisions to stop arrows and everyone just might wonder what's up.

But whatever it is, it's not that she's fated to attune to the Pliers. That is so monumentally unlikely that it would make narrow escapes caused by falling debris seem like purposefully planned and masterfully executed maneuvers.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby zilfallon » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:19 pm

Maybe Rob actually plays Erfworld scenes before writing them to us. Maybe he actually has a gaming group, and that gaming group is the thing inspired him to write. And maybe Artemis is actually character of a player who rolled loads of dice this session, and had 1's a few times. ( I mean, i remember a rogue in DnD 3.5 who used to sneak attack for 4d6. He was sure it was going to be a hit always, so he always rolled the d20 and 4d6 + 1d6 from short sword together. He was like "watch me impale this guy" and got 1 from ALL his rolls. Maybe we witnessed such a gaming session? :D)
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:49 pm

Heh, n00b. Should have prerolled the 1s.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:44 pm

The end of Book 1 hinted at a global master intelligence: the SPW items 'fixing' Parson to make him perfect, Parson's swear words being censored, Parson's challenging cry against Erfworld itself.
I've been a personal proponent of the idea that stats are enforced by the environment, rather than just a representation of it.
Combat in particular, and perhaps even physics in general, is not necessarily cause-effect driven, but actively controlled.
To me, these unlikely events manipulating the outcome of the fight seem to reinforce those views.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Beeskee » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:48 pm

It definitely seems like more is going on 'behind the scenes' to help GK now. Maybe the Titans have gotten personally involved.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby auraseer » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:54 pm

Lamech wrote:True. But the fact is the tower is about to fall and all of Jetstone's attempts have failed. Those dwagons are about to win the battle.

A small distinction: they are about to knock down the tower. That's not sufficient to win the battle, because there are still troops left in other parts of the garrison. The tower is mainly important because the ruler is inside.

Everyone on the ground is assuming the tower's fall will kill Slately and end Jetstone. But they don't know about the jetpack.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Whispri » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:23 pm

auraseer wrote:
Lamech wrote:True. But the fact is the tower is about to fall and all of Jetstone's attempts have failed. Those dwagons are about to win the battle.

A small distinction: they are about to knock down the tower. That's not sufficient to win the battle, because there are still troops left in other parts of the garrison. The tower is mainly important because the ruler is inside.

Everyone on the ground is assuming the tower's fall will kill Slately and end Jetstone. But they don't know about the jetpack.

Actually... the Tower is the only part of the Garrison that Slately controls. The courtyard is in Sylvia's hands, the Dungeon is in Wanda's hands, only the Tower still belongs to Jetstone. And if they aren't contesting at least one Garrison Zone, it's over. So once the Tower goes, Jetstone has until the last unit to drop into the ruins croaks to bug out or rush in.

No they don't, but unless airborne fliers are spared automatic capture when the Garrison is lost, it doesn't change the fact that the fate of the Tower is crucial.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby fjolnir » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Also don't forget that jetstone as a side goes "neutral" if Slately dies since Tremmenis is only CWL and not the heir. There will be no "barbarian king of a conquered land" in this fight unless someone else fronts a loan for Slately, which makes the tower and its survival doubly important for Jetstone, since unless the king escapes the SIDE ENDS if the tower falls.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Jorgath » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:38 pm

c-square wrote:There are walruses on ErfWrold?!? :o


Nope. They're wall-wusses.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby BakaGrappler » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:39 pm

Rob, this was the best text update I have read of yours so far.

I once was running a forum RPG session where I had about about five different elements coming into play. A gasoline fire burning in a forest, an ice half dragon in the forest surrounded by the flames, an Ork Warboss advancing on a target that is calling in a radio strike to his sniper buddy on the near mountain slope, the Ork Warboss having had part of his scalp burnt off by a fireball, been drenched in an acid shower to try and ruin his gear (HA! Nice try), and if I didn't do anything the main character of the session was going to get his butt killed because he wasn't trying to dodge so as to act as a lure. I had to use the Ice breath used to put out the fire to clear out the smoke that blocked the sniper's line of sight, and use the acid bleached white of the skull as a true target for the shot that saved the characters life by stunning the Ork Warboss long enough for the character to take the hint and get out of Power Claw range.

This update is like that, only more so.

The set up for this seems like it went all the way back to the introduction of Captain Archer. That kind of forward thinking and attention to detail is just bloody awesome.

And I had always wondered why Red and Green dwagons had been teaming up to hit the siege in Book 1:
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F050.jpg

Super long sightedness, Rob.

And also I love this update for the kind of thing it opens up. Stealth rules, combining with archery. Especially if Parson gets his hands on even KNOWING about this information.

In Parson's study of asymmetric warfare there is no way he would not have studied the wars of Japan's warring states period. Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu battles in those days were phenomenal examples of those desperate tactics. And if Parson knows one thing, it is the complete vulnerability of a leader without the proper protection around him. Ansom was 1HKOed by a super sneak attack away from any other units. Ossomer? Parson invented the tactic that took Ossomer down by taking out any unit that could interfere, leaving him alone. And now if he discovers that there are Stealth + Archery special units out there? And that Stealth can be TAUGHT (the beginnings of covert ops?) to units? That will make assassination into a whole new dimension of Parson's awareness in Erfworld because he doesn't have anything like that in GK, so he hadn't the chance to learn about it.

Just learning about it will force Parson to realize that he may not end up dying to a sword, but to an arrow while he's having his rations.

Parson may be forced to choose to form a bodyguard unit to protect him on and off the battlefield. Who better than Stealth Capable knights? They would be sort of like the Iga Ninja for Tokugawa. And Artemis always wanted to earn Glory rather than follow Duty...That kind of personality would be rather interesting as a Decrypted (though I had honestly hoped she could be a long running nemesis for Sylvia). And since Artemis may soon be the highest level Warlord in GW, she may end up being Parson's right hand man on the battlefield like Webinar and Antium, for Parson is sure to need a second in command. Sylvia, Ossomer, Antium, and Artemis...that is a very solid base to choose from, and a group that would feel resentful for being overlooked as the choice for second in command.

And GK really does need to have some Warlords we recognize running around. It gives continuity to battle formations and flanks and the like. Otherwise, without faces and names we know, it's just a bunch of pictures of people killing each other. Recognizable Commanding units are what we need for the complicated combat structures of the future.

I also want to bring this to everyone's attention. If Rob really has no intention of ever using Artemis again, why would he leave her corpse intact? How many of the knights were torn to bits (check the picture for the limbs) and are now incapable of being Decrypted, like Bogroll's remains? Artemis is whole, and Sylvia seems to have taken a liking to her. I think the remains will be preserved and sent to be Decrypted by Wanda, especially if they want another "Combat Report" like what happened with Ossomer.

I also want to point out, it seems that KC has not survived the Dwagon Dwop. Otherwise he'd be in the forward stack as well.

And finally I just want to say that this update may be the signal for a very severe change in the attitude of the Decrypted. The hush at the end of the battle, when Fate showed beyond a shadow of a doubt what was happening there... I can only interpret that as everyone present thinking, "What is this? What is this really?" Instead of a "Yay! We won and we shall win again." When war is too easy...there is no satisfaction to it. It is not a victory or a conquest, or even bringing others under your control. It's just murder. I think that is what that moment of silence was.

And Sylvia's wistful look at the fire says volumes about her personality shift at that moment. Wistfully means with a sad longing. This was what Sylvia wanted, and now that she has it, why was it so easy? And why does it feel so wrong? It is very possible that we will not see Scarlet smiling in glee again this battle.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby effataigus » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:00 pm

Suddenly curious how deep the parallels between book 1 and book 2 go.

The defenders in both books have:

Faced a force that is greatly favored to win.
Given the enemy a choice between unacceptable losses or the separation of a strike force from the main force (Dwagon Siege Stomp, Stand at Expository Bridge)
Trapped the separated strike force in a very vulnerable spot (Donut o' Doom, Kingworld)
Let the enemies escape from the immediate trap because of Jillian's antics (Battle over the lake, Jillian's retreat)
Used diplomacy to make a friend without getting a commitment for military help (Parson and Charlie, Trammenis and Jillian)
Had Charlie abuse a side in their favor (refusing to re-ally with RCCI for a reasonable price, shang-hai of Haggar)
Had a Parley with the enemy interrupted before it can do any good (Parson and Ansom, Trammenis and Ossomer)
Had a powerful force of off-turn archons controlling their city's airspace.
Had their chances of winning the courtyard battle ruined by foolamancy (DDR, Jack's fooling of Adam Antium).

For the GK fans, be very afraid, since there is another similarity:

After the courtyard retreat, there was a huddle between the main remaining strategic mind and a bunch of casters. Also, book 2 is generally unfun for the protagionists if there is to be a book 3.

Most of these similarities are cosmetic, but there are quite a few.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:04 pm

effataigus wrote:Suddenly curious how deep the parallels between book 1 and book 2 go.
...
For the GK fans, be very afraid, since there is another similarity:

After the courtyard retreat, there was a huddle between the main remaining strategic mind and a bunch of casters. Also, book 2 is generally unfun for the protagionists if there is to be a book 3.

Most of these similarities are cosmetic, but there are quite a few.


I like this a lot - except that I think things are rather grimmer for JS: who is the remaining strategic mind? Slately? I. Brows? There's no one obvious like Parson... (Trem seems to be rather clearly NOT a tactician - a diplomat and strategist, yes, but not stellar as an on-the-ground commander)

Unless Parson defects for some reason? :o
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby effataigus » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:13 pm

BakaGrappler wrote:And finally I just want to say that this update may be the signal for a very severe change in the attitude of the Decrypted. The hush at the end of the battle, when Fate showed beyond a shadow of a doubt what was happening there... I can only interpret that as everyone present thinking, "What is this? What is this really?" Instead of a "Yay! We won and we shall win again." When war is too easy...there is no satisfaction to it. It is not a victory or a conquest, or even bringing others under your control. It's just murder.


Hmm, I'm no religious nut, but even I have to wonder whether if it is wrong to murder if it is tangibly sanctioned by God and the murdered person can pop back to life as some kind of devout superhuman that need not eat.

This is to say that, I understand your sentiment, but if I were ok with invading a city and butchering my enemies already, then I think having fate on my side wouldn't make me question what I'm doing. However, I do read the passage in the same way you do.

Then again... Erfworlders seem to place a pretty exceptional value on the glory of conquest. Perhaps this (for Sylvia) is like standing at the gates of heaven, looking in, and seeing a bunch of bored and tired looking people standing in a long line at a heavenly cafeteria serving up gruel... all in black and white. I suppose the mentions of the City of Heroes mostly seem to refer to honor and glory... which makes me wonder if Erfworlders could handle peace if they obtained it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby Zeku » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:13 pm

That hesitation that you're describing, baka, is exactly the opposite of what you think it is.

If the contest is difficult, and you've been deluded into thinking that your skill, power, or righteousness has led to victory, sure, it's satisfying. But if victory is now a chore that must be completed, a guaranteed victory that requires many enemy deaths, it's tedious. In fact, you could even define the word 'work' in this fashion, something that is easy, but is not fun.

The true shape of war, especially historically, reveals that anytime the armies or nations develop the war weariness you're describing, the unwillingness to finish completely exterminating the enemy, (sometimes motivated by greed) that same enemy then becomes a problem which they have to deal with later. Now try to distance yourself emotionally and morally from what I'm about to say next. Think about only the strategic, wartime implications, or you're going to misunderstand.

Residents of Judea after Israelites invaded Canaan? Not exterminated. Became a problem later.
American Indians? Not exterminated. Became a problem later.
Eastern European jews? Not exterminated. Became a problem later.

In fact, you could list countless examples of the horrifying military cost of not finishing off an enemy, through 'murder.' What about all those tribes who were completely purged from existence? Does anyone on earth care what happened to the Edomites? Of course not, they were all killed, Petra sacked, (reused for a while, then forgotten due to no trade routes) and most people have never heard those words before. Incans, Mayans, etc? The same can be said for many great kingdoms, that were successfully exterminated, and then never became a problem again.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby BakaGrappler » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:58 pm

I also completely forgot for a moment that the winners of a side systematically execute all captured soldiers. I hadn't taken the horrific concept of humanity that Erfworlders practice into account. But that silence means something. Something important.

I wonder when we will find out what.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby auraseer » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:26 am

Whispri wrote:Actually... the Tower is the only part of the Garrison that Slately controls. The courtyard is in Sylvia's hands, the Dungeon is in Wanda's hands, only the Tower still belongs to Jetstone. And if they aren't contesting at least one Garrison Zone, it's over. So once the Tower goes, Jetstone has until the last unit to drop into the ruins croaks to bug out or rush in.

The courtyard is in GK hands but the Garrison zone as a whole is contested. The surrounding buildings are also part of the Garrison, and those are full of archers and the troops that were withdrawn from the courtyard.

Jetstone's forces are still strong enough that they could potentially take back the city with a counterattack-- or at least that's what Wanda believes. In text update 46 she says she has "very little idea" how to take the city. That's why she and Jack discuss the possibility of fleeing to the MK if necessary. The only reason she's still confident of winning is that she believes Parson's arrival will prove decisive.

The only way GK is really close to to winning the battle is by a decapitation strike that takes out the ruler. If Slately and Tramennis had made better choices, that would not have been possible; we readers know it's not possible anyway because of the jetpack. So despite Sylvia's dwagons' current control of the courtyard, the battle for the city is still not certain either way.

Until Parson shows up and finds one more exploitable mechanic.

(If he really is a caster, and he eventually gets spells, I hope he learns to cast one that makes a "SPLOIT" sound.)
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 052

Postby bladestorm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:57 am

Maybe Sylvia has attuned to the pliers to some degree, and should they fall from Wanda's hands, Sylvia can step up to be the next tool of Fate, taking with her the entire decrypted legion from GK as she spawns her own side.

The possibility still also remains that Ansom can be turned, and if Sylvia can revert to her previous loyalties, the Jetstones may end up with the decrypted army and have FAQ as an ally (along with TV)
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