Book 2 - Text Updates 053

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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby teratorn » Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:48 am

Kreistor wrote:Charlie gained nothing by Stanley beating FAQ, since FAQ was not employing him before or after their destruction.


Well, he could be going after a side that was getting all the good mercenary contracts, removing competition. He could have had archons monitoring the road to Faq, seen the flight of dwagons and decided it needed a boost. But all of it is terribly far-fetched with the evidence available. We don't even know how big charlescomm was in those days. Do we know how old is his side?
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:24 am

Kreistor wrote:Again, this is not evidence of Charlie's involvement, only someone's involvement. Charlie has no known motive for these events nor the power, but others do -- Marie, the Conspiracy, and the Titans.

Charlie has the 'Dish. Any attempt by you to state outright that he does not have the power to do something while wielding an artifact is a assumption I'm not willing to grant you.

Kreistor wrote:Marie has means -- scrolls from the MK. She has Motive -- her predictamancy concerning Peace on Erf. She has opportunity -- she is located not far from the hexes with the dwagons, plus Predictamancy can tell her when Stanley will come, letting her easily set up the effect without direct knowledge of Wanda's communication to Stanley.

Marie is on FAQ's side at this point. Purchasing scrolls from the MK costs money. There is no evidence that scrolls can work across hexes, so she would either need to travel to each hex (which would alert Banhammer), or she'd need a scroll which could influence multiple hexes to spawn dwagon (the cost of which would be noticed). I don't buy that she's got means.

Kreistor wrote:The Titans are a big question mark.

Direct Titanic influence isn't an interesting possibility, since there has been no actual evidence that they exist. I don't think anyone here would find a murder mystery to be very interesting if the big reveal was "God did it", so from a literary viewpoint, I discount any theory that requires them.

Kreistor wrote:Charlie lacks the means -- he would need to obtain casters from the MK. He does not have motive -- at the time, only money is his motivation

I'm not sure why you fixate on requiring casters to be able to pull this off, when Charlie has an Arkentool.
Money is a means to an end. No one is motivated by the desire for money for money's sake, since it's ultimately worthless unless you spend it.
So, Charlie wants money to be able to build up and support a huge force of Archons. Why? To make more money, so he can support more Archons, so he can make more money, so he can support more Archons...? Money can't be his ultimate goal.

FAQ was attempting to figure out how to be left in peace. That's something that we know Charlie doesn't want. If FAQ succeeds, and teaches other sides how to do it as well, Charlie's revenue stream vanishes. Charlie has a motive for eliminating FAQ.
Charlie has an artifact - one that he's been attuned to for as long as people have been aware of him. Charlie has means.
He overheard Wanda's communication with Stanley. He has opportunity.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Kreistor » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:49 am

MarbitChow wrote:Charlie has the 'Dish. Any attempt by you to state outright that he does not have the power to do something while wielding an artifact is a assumption I'm not willing to grant you.


So the Dish is infinitely powerful? Sorry, that's a gross violation of Occam's Razor.

Kreistor wrote:Marie has means -- scrolls from the MK.


MarbitChow wrote:Marie is on FAQ's side at this point. Purchasing scrolls from the MK costs money.


If Wanda can have a personal stash, so can Marie. And whether she can find a reason to do this or not comes down to Loyalty. People turn, and so can Marie. If Wanda can croak and uncroak her Ruler (Banhammer), Marie can cause the downfall of her Side by turning to obey the concept of "Peace on Erf", in the same way Wanda has turned to obey "Fate". THe Natural Thinkamancies are not as absolute as they were described to Parson. We have seen violations of all three.

There is no evidence that scrolls can work across hexes, so she would either need to travel to each hex (which would alert Banhammer), or she'd need a scroll which could influence multiple hexes to spawn dwagon (the cost of which would be noticed). I don't buy that she's got means.


Again, Casters can accumulate their own scrolls, at worst through a system of trade (ie. "I'll trade you my Predictamancy scroll for your Luckamancy scroll"). This may also be due to the expenditure of MK's version of money, Rands, rather than Schmuckers. However it happens, Casters can accumulate personal stashes of scrolls.

MarbitChow wrote:Direct Titanic influence isn't an interesting possibility, since there has been no actual evidence that they exist.


Book 1, Comic 1. That explanation is written to us, not Erfworlders, ergo the Titans created Erfworld and are real. This is not Earth in the comic. Parson has justification for doubting the existence of the Titans, since he never read that explanation of why Manpower died, but we are told directly why, without doubt. Don't try to confer your religious doubts from Earth to Erf. Their inhabitants lack our knowledge, but we do not.

MarbitChow wrote:I'm not sure why you fixate on requiring casters to be able to pull this off, when Charlie has an Arkentool.


It's called Occam's Razor. The solution that introduces the least number of unknown elements is the most likely one. If we take your tack, where anything in the comic can be blamed on Charlie because we can give the Dish any power we want, no matter how complex or appropriate, then we can determine nothing. In fact, because there is a fourth Arkentool that has not been identified, we can blame everything on whoever owns that one too, because we can attribute the same powers to it. So, I can ask you the exact same question. How can you attribute anythihg in the comic to Charlie, when you know there is another Arkentool that could do anything the Dish could do?

I reject any solution that requires giving the Arkendish a new power, without any evidence the Arkendish has ever performed that function.

Money is a means to an end. No one is motivated by the desire for money for money's sake, since it's ultimately worthless unless you spend it.


Please review the life of Howard Hughes, who Charlie of Charlie's Angels was based on. Our Charlie's motives don't need to make sense.

So, Charlie wants money to be able to build up and support a huge force of Archons. Why? To make more money, so he can support more Archons, so he can make more money, so he can support more Archons...? Money can't be his ultimate goal.


It's called obsession, and it's in the psychology of the real person that forms the inspiration for Charlie. It would be completely appropriate for Charlie to be this way.

FAQ was attempting to figure out how to be left in peace. That's something that we know Charlie doesn't want. If FAQ succeeds, and teaches other sides how to do it as well, Charlie's revenue stream vanishes. Charlie has a motive for eliminating FAQ.


So, why doesn't he tell Stanley himself, ensure Stanley knows how much power he needs to take with him, offer the services of his Archons to make up the deficiency, and get paid for helping destroy FAQ, instead of losing money on the effort? You really need some lessons on how to think like Charlie. At the very least, by telling Stanley and giving him an accurate idea of how much power he needs, Charlie saves on the costs of popping those dwagons, by ensuring Stanley takes what he needs with him.

You still need motive. And the Arkendish can't give you that.

Charlie has an artifact - one that he's been attuned to for as long as people have been aware of him. Charlie has means.
He overheard Wanda's communication with Stanley. He has opportunity.


No, MarbitChow. It is not reasonable to blame every unknown event on Charlie, just because he has an Arkentool. That is simply favoritism.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Lamech » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:31 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Charlie has the 'Dish. Any attempt by you to state outright that he does not have the power to do something while wielding an artifact is a assumption I'm not willing to grant you.
That is correct I suppose. But Stanley also wields such a item, and they are implied to be quasi-intelligent via the cast page. I would think the artifact that has power over dwagons would be a much more likely choice for controlling dwagons, but that's just me.
MarbitChow wrote:Marie is on FAQ's side at this point. Purchasing scrolls from the MK costs money. There is no evidence that scrolls can work across hexes, so she would either need to travel to each hex (which would alert Banhammer), or she'd need a scroll which could influence multiple hexes to spawn dwagon (the cost of which would be noticed). I don't buy that she's got means.
True that scroll would have cost her Rands. Remember Sizemore of his own will deciding to give extra Rands for his lesson? Furthermore while we have never seen a scroll specifically working across multiple hexes we have seen numerous spells going across hexes. For example, thinkamancy and especially lookamancy. So I see no reason to rule out an "increased spawn rate scroll" that functions across several hexes.
I'm not sure why you fixate on requiring casters to be able to pull this off, when Charlie has an Arkentool.
Because the arkendish doesn't seem to have any powers relating to spawn rates. And before you bring up the gobwins: The gobwin and marbits IIRC, was no gobwins, high marbits. That could easily be accomplished by simply handing the marbits a big bag of shmuckers. They buy food and marbits, and go occupy whereever gobwins would try to mine and farm. All gobwins die out.

There is no need to assume that Charlie is behind every unknown. Both Marie, and the arkenhammer are much better choices for influencing dwagons, with Charlie in third place. And even if he did do so, I would suspect he hired a caster to do it NOT a power from the arkendish.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:23 pm

Kreistor wrote:So the Dish is infinitely powerful?

Not infinitely, but indefinitely, as in 'we don't know what it's limit is', since it's an artifact.

Kreistor wrote:Again, Casters can accumulate their own scrolls, at worst through a system of trade (ie. "I'll trade you my Predictamancy scroll for your Luckamancy scroll"). This may also be due to the expenditure of MK's version of money, Rands, rather than Schmuckers. However it happens, Casters can accumulate personal stashes of scrolls.

I'm not arguing that it is impossible to Marie to have scrolls. I'm arguing that it is unlike to have a number of identical scrolls that can operate at a distance to summon dwagons into Stanley's path, or a single powerful scroll that can perform the same feat. We have seen artifacts raise an entire army from the dead - we have not seen a single scroll provide nearly that same level of power. Even the SPW scroll only summoned a single unit, plus some powerful magic items.

Kreistor wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:Direct Titanic influence isn't an interesting possibility, since there has been no actual evidence that they exist.
Book 1, Comic 1. That explanation is written to us, not Erfworlders, ergo the Titans created Erfworld and are real. ... Their inhabitants lack our knowledge, but we do not.

The Titans may have *existed*. There is no evidence that they *exist* (present tense). They have not appeared in the story since the very first page, other than as the center of religious devotion. I'm not even going to bother trying to persuade you that the 1st page is a metaphorical reference meant to quickly establish a setting rather than "real history"; the fact remains that the Titans aren't characters in this book - they are background information. Making them both godlike and active in the story at this point is actual Deus Ex Machina.

Kreistor wrote:It's called Occam's Razor. The solution that introduces the least number of unknown elements is the most likely one. If we take your tack, where anything in the comic can be blamed on Charlie because we can give the Dish any power we want, no matter how complex or appropriate, then we can determine nothing. In fact, because there is a fourth Arkentool that has not been identified, we can blame everything on whoever owns that one too, because we can attribute the same powers to it. So, I can ask you the exact same question. How can you attribute anythihg in the comic to Charlie, when you know there is another Arkentool that could do anything the Dish could do?

I reject any solution that requires giving the Arkendish a new power, without any evidence the Arkendish has ever performed that function.

And yet you're perfectly willing to ascribe the ability to summon or manipulate dwagon spawn rates to a scroll without a single shred of evidence. We're both introducing new assumptions - I'm just assuming it's more likely that the Arkendish has unrevealed powers (as do the 'Hammer and 'Pliers) than that the existing magic system was used in such a subtle manner that Marie was able to manipulate Wanda into inviting an attack on FAQ, then subtly influencing the environment to guarantee the attack's success. Your assumption required two traitors in Faq - one intentional and one accidental. Mine just requires that Charlie decided to influence a conflict without showing his involvement to the active participants. That's a behavior that is completely consistent with Charlie's established character.

Kreistor wrote:Please review the life of Howard Hughes, who Charlie of Charlie's Angels was based on. Our Charlie's motives don't need to make sense.

Then throw out you 'motive / method / opportunity' mantra, because that is only valid if motives make sense. Charlie is painted as a threat to Erfworld as a whole - making him erratic instead of highly intelligent and inscrutable doesn't seem very satisfying to me.

Kreistor wrote:It's called obsession, and it's in the psychology of the real person that forms the inspiration for Charlie. It would be completely appropriate for Charlie to be this way.

Forgive me if I'm unwilling to assume that the inspiration for the TV show's character that acted as inspiration for the comic's character is in any way connected to the comic character. That's one reference too far for me.

Kreistor wrote:So, why doesn't he tell Stanley himself, ensure Stanley knows how much power he needs to take with him, offer the services of his Archons to make up the deficiency, and get paid for helping destroy FAQ, instead of losing money on the effort? You really need some lessons on how to think like Charlie. At the very least, by telling Stanley and giving him an accurate idea of how much power he needs, Charlie saves on the costs of popping those dwagons, by ensuring Stanley takes what he needs with him.

If Charlie's power consists of manipulating spawn rates instead of actually popping, there may be little or no 'cost' other than juice. If Charlie wishes to maintain 'plausible deniability', then he doesn't directly contact either side.

Kreistor wrote:You still need motive. And the Arkendish can't give you that.

You can't play the 'obsession' / 'crazy motives' card on Charlie on the one hand, then demand motive on the other, but I can think of 3 distinct motives Charlie may have had to guarantee that Stanley won against Faq:

1) Keep the 'Hammer out of the hands of a competent wielder. Stanley is known to be not very bright, and another competent attuned user is bad for business.
2) Eliminate competition. FAQ hires out as mercenaries, so eliminating them means Charlie can get their business.
3) Prevent peace. FAQ was trying to figure out how to survive without conflict. That's anathema to Charlie's business model.

Kreistor wrote:No, MarbitChow. It is not reasonable to blame every unknown event on Charlie, just because he has an Arkentool. That is simply favoritism.

I'm not attributing every unknown event. I'm attributing two unknown events: the spawning of the dwagons, and the revolt of the gobwins, to an agent who has been shown or hinted to be related to similar events: the lack of spawning of gobwins, and the revolt of the giants.

That looks like a pattern to me, and it only requires Charlie to explain all 4. Your theory still must have Charlie involved in the known events (since the comic establishes that), adds Marie to the dwagon spawn and doesn't explain the revolt of the gobwins (or attributes it to Charlie). You're fond of Occam's Razor, so which explanation requires fewer assumptions here?

Lamech wrote:True that scroll would have cost her Rands. Remember Sizemore of his own will deciding to give extra Rands for his lesson? Furthermore while we have never seen a scroll specifically working across multiple hexes we have seen numerous spells going across hexes. For example, thinkamancy and especially lookamancy. So I see no reason to rule out an "increased spawn rate scroll" that functions across several hexes.

Spells that work across hexes don't usually make any changes to those hexes. Thinkamancy and lookamancy are designed for cross-hex support, but summoning and combat spells are not. Besides, those spell types are specifically listed as exceptions to the in-hex limitation when Parson is discussing magic with Sizemore; I'm not in favor of assuming that an unknown power also is granted an uncommon exception to a standard limitation.

Lamech wrote:Because the arkendish doesn't seem to have any powers relating to spawn rates. And before you bring up the gobwins: The gobwin and marbits IIRC, was no gobwins, high marbits. That could easily be accomplished by simply handing the marbits a big bag of shmuckers. They buy food and marbits, and go occupy whereever gobwins would try to mine and farm. All gobwins die out.

We have not seen any power that can influence spawn rates yet, either magic or artifact. If the ability to do so was a standard magical ability, I would have expected Parson to be able to determine that from his conversations with Sizemore. Therefore, it's either an effect created by a bi- or tri-caster link, or it's an effect of an artifact. Either is plausible, but a tri-caster link to bring down Faq seems like a convoluted way of doing things. It doesn't feel elegant, story-wise.

Charlie is known to be averse to spending money unless there is direct profit for him. His motives may be unknown, but I have a hard time believing that Charlie is spending buttloads of coin to simply prevent GK from getting gobwins. If the Arkendish can influence spawn rates (especially if it can do so 'cheaply'), then it makes more sense for him to do so, since he is limiting an opponent's resources without incurring much of a cost.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Kreistor » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:34 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Not infinitely, but indefinitely, as in 'we don't know what it's limit is', since it's an artifact.


Yeah, have fun with that thought. You'll never need another.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:48 pm

Kreistor wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:Not infinitely, but indefinitely, as in 'we don't know what it's limit is', since it's an artifact.

Yeah, have fun with that thought. You'll never need another.

That's the *exact* same limit that applies to 'regular' magic, especially tri-caster links. You are attempting to automatically eliminate the artifact as an option because it hasn't been shown to explicitly have that power yet. But you suggest that magical scrolls, which ALSO have not been shown to explicitly have that power, are perfectly acceptable. I'm just applying the same standard to both.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Kreistor » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:04 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Kreistor wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:Not infinitely, but indefinitely, as in 'we don't know what it's limit is', since it's an artifact.

Yeah, have fun with that thought. You'll never need another.

That's the *exact* same limit that applies to 'regular' magic, especially tri-caster links. You are attempting to automatically eliminate the artifact as an option because it hasn't been shown to explicitly have that power yet. But you suggest that magical scrolls, which ALSO have not been shown to explicitly have that power, are perfectly acceptable. I'm just applying the same standard to both.


No, there's one fundamental difference. My methods do not always blame one individual. Your perspective is, "Charlie first". Charlie is always at fault, because no one can prove otherwise.

Sit back with your happy thoughts, because no one can ever "prove" you wrong. You've found a nice little hiddie-hole where no one can argue against you or convince you of anything.

I'm not interested in that perspective.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:09 pm

Kreistor wrote:No, there's one fundamental difference. My methods do not always blame one individual. Your perspective is, "Charlie first". Charlie is always at fault, because no one can prove otherwise.
Sit back with your happy thoughts, because no one can ever "prove" you wrong. You've found a nice little hiddie-hole where no one can argue against you or convince you of anything.

This is a straw-man argument. I'm not attributing *everything* to Charlie, as I've stated. I'm attributing 2 events; that's it. We've got a decent amount of information about Charlie. We've got almost none about Marie, and none at all about the Titans. You're free to attribute these events to either of those two, but you'll have a more difficult time justifying it, since you don't have much information to support your stance. As more information becomes available, you may be able to look back to this point and say "I told you so!", but I'd like to hear more from you about Marie's motives, or the Titan's involvement, to explain why they make a better culprit than Charlie does.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Sixty » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:51 pm

Jillian did consider Charlie her main rival when she was a mercenary (as she was before and after the fall of FAQ), I grant you Charlie probably didn't see her as big a threat as she saw him, but if events happened to be in motion that would possibly take down FAQ it wouldn't be out of character for Charlie to throw a few dragons down to help Stanley take out someone who was taking some of his business.

We do have some evidence that Charlie can affect natural allies in some manner as seen by the western giants that Charlie helped new FAQ get. I believe Jillian did mention that the plan was almost entirely Charlie's idea. Of course there is still the whole missing gobwin thing, though as you mentioned we do not know whether Charlie affected their spawn rate, whether he paid the marbits so they would take over, or whether GK really did roll a critical fumble on finding gobwins.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Lamech » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:59 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Kreistor wrote:
Kreistor wrote:It's called Occam's Razor. The solution that introduces the least number of unknown elements is the most likely one. If we take your tack, where anything in the comic can be blamed on Charlie because we can give the Dish any power we want, no matter how complex or appropriate, then we can determine nothing. In fact, because there is a fourth Arkentool that has not been identified, we can blame everything on whoever owns that one too, because we can attribute the same powers to it. So, I can ask you the exact same question. How can you attribute anythihg in the comic to Charlie, when you know there is another Arkentool that could do anything the Dish could do?

I reject any solution that requires giving the Arkendish a new power, without any evidence the Arkendish has ever performed that function.

And yet you're perfectly willing to ascribe the ability to summon or manipulate dwagon spawn rates to a scroll without a single shred of evidence. We're both introducing new assumptions - I'm just assuming it's more likely that the Arkendish has unrevealed powers (as do the 'Hammer and 'Pliers) than that the existing magic system was used in such a subtle manner that Marie was able to manipulate Wanda into inviting an attack on FAQ, then subtly influencing the environment to guarantee the attack's success. Your assumption required two traitors in Faq - one intentional and one accidental. Mine just requires that Charlie decided to influence a conflict without showing his involvement to the active participants. That's a behavior that is completely consistent with Charlie's established character.
The dish so far has only been shown with thinkamancy powers. Compare this too say... luckamancy which manipulates odds, or findamancy which actually summons units. Or the hammer which actually controls dwagons. All of the above seem far more appropriate.


I'm not attributing every unknown event. I'm attributing two unknown events: the spawning of the dwagons, and the revolt of the gobwins, to an agent who has been shown or hinted to be related to similar events: the lack of spawning of gobwins, and the revolt of the giants.

That looks like a pattern to me, and it only requires Charlie to explain all 4. Your theory still must have Charlie involved in the known events (since the comic establishes that), adds Marie to the dwagon spawn and doesn't explain the revolt of the gobwins (or attributes it to Charlie). You're fond of Occam's Razor, so which explanation requires fewer assumptions here?
The revolts are similar. The marbits just seem to need more cash.
Spells that work across hexes don't usually make any changes to those hexes. Thinkamancy and lookamancy are designed for cross-hex support, but summoning and combat spells are not. Besides, those spell types are specifically listed as exceptions to the in-hex limitation when Parson is discussing magic with Sizemore; I'm not in favor of assuming that an unknown power also is granted an uncommon exception to a standard limitation.
What page are you refering too? This one? Lookamancy and thinkamancy are refered too as castable off-turn. The only thing it talks about crossing hexes, is ballistic engines, archers and natural attacks. Assuming that spells follow the same rules that means they CAN cross hexes on turn, but not the point. (Or did you have a different page?)
We have not seen any power that can influence spawn rates yet, either magic or artifact. If the ability to do so was a standard magical ability, I would have expected Parson to be able to determine that from his conversations with Sizemore. Therefore, it's either an effect created by a bi- or tri-caster link, or it's an effect of an artifact. Either is plausible, but a tri-caster link to bring down Faq seems like a convoluted way of doing things. It doesn't feel elegant, story-wise.
Yeah, no. I can disprove this with a counter-example even. The ability to render units unable to engage is a basic use of flower power. Yet, it was not brought up in talks with Sizemore until we saw it in action. Nor has the power to make accessories via dollamancy been brought up as far as I have seen. Nor via hatamancy. So your conclusion that is was not from a lone caster effect is faulty.
Charlie is known to be averse to spending money unless there is direct profit for him. His motives may be unknown, but I have a hard time believing that Charlie is spending buttloads of coin to simply prevent GK from getting gobwins. If the Arkendish can influence spawn rates (especially if it can do so 'cheaply'), then it makes more sense for him to do so, since he is limiting an opponent's resources without incurring much of a cost.
We don't know how much coin it would take to give marbits enough of an advantage to out compete gobwins. We DO know that he has already spent boatloads of money on anti-GK plans. He took the arkendish down for a turn and then some. MOST of his income comes from that. We know he has already croaked several archons on his anti-GK missions. We know he has tasked significant archons for this battle, instead of making money. (Assuming they can at least make there upkeep that costs him several hundred per archon per turn.) And since the battle for GK, had archons doing scouting against GK. We know he has tasked a turnamancer to help Jillian, that is worth an archon every two turn. And all the money he gave to fund Jillian.

Charlie has spent boatloads of money for his plan already. Even if it took several thousand a turn to keep GK from getting gobwins,it would still be a small part of his anti-GK budget. And denying GK gobwins denies them significant tunnel forces. And for it not being worth it? Charlie has no tunnel forces, his archons don't appear to be able to dig. And GK seems to be hurting for infantry anyway. They weren't able to bring much with them and there cities are still poorly guarded. Besides Kingworld would have been useless if GK would have gone in by digging tunnels. It denies them marbit territory as well. If GK could safely stash some archons, and dwagons out in the mountains Stanley could reach dwagons from that point too. So a small fraction of what he is spent to potentially deny GK countless resources? Gonna say thats a good call.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Oberon » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:34 pm

Kreistor wrote:I reject any solution that requires giving the Arkendish a new power, without any evidence the Arkendish has ever performed that function.
I'm not going to argue for or against your position. I will, however, caution you against the above statement.

In Book 1 Charlie and his archons had the power of plot: They suddenly had any new power or capability needed to move the plot along in the intended "series of reversals of fortune" that was an underpinning theme in that Book. And this has been carried forward into Book 2, just not as frequently (mostly, I suspect, due to the pace being much slower in this book). Kingworld (*ptui!*) is an excellent example of a completely new and highly potent capability Charlie possesses which had zero in the way of foreshadowing (unless you count the character name of Vanna as such, which I do not) and is not any kind of power which could be assumed by observing those that he or the archons demonstrated in Book 1. A brand, spanking new, highly potent power, which was necessary for the plot to freeze Wanda in place over Jetstone such that it made necessary the personal direction and, unfettered by Stanley, management of GK assets by Parson. Again.

So, yeah... Be careful what you reject, since what you're rejecting has been demonstrated over and over and over again.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby 0beron » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:40 pm

Okay I have to admit that I have skimmed the past 2 pages of posts so I may have missed a thing or two, and therefore I won't comment on who (if anyone) has the POWER to cause GK's gobwins to revolt, and influence dwagon spawn odds. But I do want to talk about motive and methods. So lets look at all the possible "culprits" who have mention mentions thus far, and ask some questions about their motives:

Charlie
Charlie never does anything without a reasonable chance of benefit to himself.
  • What would he have to gain by seeing FAQ fall?
  • Why would he want 2 Arkentools brought together on a side that isn't his?
  • What could he gain from a change of leadership in GK?
  • Why would he risk GK gaining several casters from FAQ, when part of his advantage is his magical superiority?
  • Why would he have even CARED about GK so many turns ago?
All of the above suggests to me that while Charlie MAY have the MEANS to do these things, there is no apparent REASON for him to.

The "Peace on Erf" Conspirators (Janis,Marie,others)
Wants to bring about an end to war in Erfworld, and apparently want to avoid notice in the process
  • Is it really in keeping with their best interests to destroy a side which (to the best of our knowledge) is the closest to living perfectly in peace?
  • Could Marie really justify actions like that within her Duty, knowing there is a very high risk her side would fall?
  • How do the Arkentools play into the plot for Peace?

While its questionable whether this conspiracy has the ability to bring about the given events, it all boils down to the question of how detailed their plan for Peace is, and how accurate/far-reaching Marie's Predictamancy is. While the motive doesn't seem to fit, its possible Marie knows things that we as readers have not yet seen, and like they say "where there's a will, there's a way"

The Great Minds Who Think Alike
(Don't think anyone has brought them up, but given how little we know of their abilities, I'm including them for argument's sake)
Seem to have an understanding of Erfworld that transcends game mechanics, and are prepared to protect this knowledge at all costs, especially from Charlie.
  • Do they have a complex plan like the Peace-lovers, or is it as simple as "kill Charlie ASAP"?
  • Could abuse of (by Charlie) the very knowledge they seek to protect be what's behind the events mentioned above?
  • Given Charlie's powers thanks to the Arkendish, would they want to risk strengthening another side that already has an Arkentool?
  • Conversely, are they betting on using the other tools to defeat Charlie?
These are very vague questions because we don't know much about the GMWTA, but its rapidly becoming clear that they have the organization, subtly, cunning, and ruthlessness to be responsible, and they may have the motive as well. Additionally, they are not bound by Duty (at least the leading members).

Direct Titanic Involvement
We know nothing of the Titan's motives, if they even still exist. Our only source of info is "baseless claims" by erfworldians. However, we "know" that they presumably control or at least predetermined the mechanics of the Tools, so why go to the trouble of elaborate manipulations when they could have made Stanely leader in the first place, or attune the tools to different people. Of course these are vague concepts, and debating Titanic matters is just like debating the intents of real-world deities. The point is we just don't know, so it's not really worth debating.

So, feel free to consider all the questions I posed.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:06 pm

0beron the Younger wrote:What would he have to gain by seeing FAQ fall?

I'll restate what I posted earlier:
1) Keep the 'Hammer out of Wanda's hands. Stanley is known to be not very bright, and another competent attuned user is bad for business.
2) Eliminate competition. FAQ hires out as mercenaries, so eliminating them means Charlie can get their business.
3) Prevent peace. FAQ was trying to figure out how to survive without conflict. That's anathema to Charlie's business model.

0beron the Younger wrote:Why would he want 2 Arkentools brought together on a side that isn't his?

FAQ didn't have a 'Tool at this point. The 'Hammer was Stanley's. The 'Pliers were held by Jetstone. Only 1 'Tool is involved in the FAQ conflict.

0beron the Younger wrote:What could he gain from a change of leadership in GK?

Stanley is incompetent. Promoting a bad leader over a good one is good business sense for Charlie.

There is also the probability that Charlie is not actually omniscient, and didn't know that Stanley became an heir. If Saline IV died heirless while Stanley was in the field, Stanley disbands and the 'Hammer drops where he was. Charlie's Archons swoop in and collect it without incident.

0beron the Younger wrote:Why would he risk GK gaining several casters from FAQ, when part of his advantage is his magical superiority?

It doesn't matter who has what casters, since Charlie doesn't keep any of his own. Besides, when a side falls, the casters often go to the MK anyway, at which point Charlie can hire them.

0beron the Younger wrote:Why would he have even CARED about GK so many turns ago?

Because Stanley had a 'Tool. He wants to get his hands on them. He was drooling about the 'Pliers; he must have known about the Hammer as well.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby 0beron » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:38 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
0beron the Younger wrote:What would he have to gain by seeing FAQ fall?

I'll restate what I posted earlier:
2) Eliminate competition. FAQ hires out as mercenaries, so eliminating them means Charlie can get their business.
3) Prevent peace. FAQ was trying to figure out how to survive without conflict. That's anathema to Charlie's business model.

Jillian viewed Charlie as competition, I doubt the reverse is true. Especially since the implication is that ONLY Jillian and her force left FAQ, so she could only hold a single "contract" at a time.
We're not even positive Charlie knew about FAQ, never mind their way of life.

MarbitChow wrote:There is also the probability that Charlie is not actually omniscient

Very good point, which also means he may not have been aware of FAQ. (Doubtful given the implication he knows about G-Strings, but still possible)

MarbitChow wrote:
0beron the Younger wrote:Why would he have even CARED about GK so many turns ago?

Because Stanley had a 'Tool. He wants to get his hands on them. He was drooling about the 'Pliers; he must have known about the Hammer as well.

I think Charlie is smart enough to know the odds of being attuned to more than one 'Tool are slim to none, so it stands to reason he doesn't actually want it for himself. I would find it far more believable that he somehow knew Wanda might have something to do with the 'Pliers and only wanted them during the BfGK to prevent them from reaching Wanda's hands. Which then loops back to my original question, why would he try and interfere to ensure that Wanda and Stanley meet?
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby multilis » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:42 am

Obviously Charlie is in love with Jillian. FAQ was destroyed as part of a long term plan to win Jillian's love, Marie the predictomancer said it would work... eventually.

Charlie became insanely jealous she chose Ansom's needs over his.

Meanwhile Marie is secretly in love with Charlie and entire plan is really to win Charlie's love, she wears a Foolomancy magic necklace (Jack and Wanda helped make it in return for some fortune telling) to hide her true motives and plan from Charlie's thinkomancy...
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby sleepymancer » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:09 am

MarbitChow wrote:
Kreistor wrote:The Titans are a big question mark.

Direct Titanic influence isn't an interesting possibility, since there has been no actual evidence that they exist. I don't think anyone here would find a murder mystery to be very interesting if the big reveal was "God did it", so from a literary viewpoint, I discount any theory that requires them.


Actually, if it was done well that could be a great book :D

and, surely you mean from a theological view point?? :p

Regarding the existence of the Titans (I'm personally agnostic on this rather than atheistic), how do you rate the evidence of artefacts versus items? Would you consider the existence of artefacts, defined as magical objects created by the titans, simply as exogenesis argued from a teleological stance? That is to say, an argument that is predicated on the fact the artefact already exists, and with facts deduced/created to it form the presupposition of the existence of the Titans?
I tend to witter on, produce copious typos and run off on nonsensical tangents. If I've done this here, please forgive me :D
I also get a bit obstinate and argumentative. If I'm not budging or understanding your counterargument call me on my manners
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby Kreistor » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:20 am

Lamech wrote:In Book 1 Charlie and his archons had the power of plot: They suddenly had any new power or capability needed to move the plot along in the intended "series of reversals of fortune" that was an underpinning theme in that Book. And this has been carried forward into Book 2, just not as frequently (mostly, I suspect, due to the pace being much slower in this book). Kingworld (*ptui!*) is an excellent example of a completely new and highly potent capability Charlie possesses which had zero in the way of foreshadowing (unless you count the character name of Vanna as such, which I do not) and is not any kind of power which could be assumed by observing those that he or the archons demonstrated in Book 1. A brand, spanking new, highly potent power, which was necessary for the plot to freeze Wanda in place over Jetstone such that it made necessary the personal direction and, unfettered by Stanley, management of GK assets by Parson. Again.


At the time, we did not know the disciplines from which the Archons drew their Natural Abilities. We do now. New powers outside the limited set attributed to them in the Summer Updates will no longer occur.

Kingworld was suspected. Speculation on Turnamancy suggested that it could affect Turn order. Those that believed sch were both right and wrong: Kingworld was too powerful for a single Turnamancer, requiring a link through Thinkamancy for the necessary power.

But consider the speculation about Carneymancy. There were some that believed Carneymancy could do whatever Carnival attractions or performers could do. This broad definition meant that Carneymancy could do pretty much anything... Stage magic (Hat-a-mancy), direct damage (shockamancy, since at one time electrical machines were a part of circus performances), changing how things look (Foolamancy, hall of mirrors), changing what people do (Thinkamancy, hypnotism acts), etc. Like MarbitChow's Charlie, it was garbage can you could throw any ability you wanted into it, since no one could prove otherwise.

MarbitChow wrote:Because Stanley had a 'Tool. He wants to get his hands on them. He was drooling about the 'Pliers; he must have known about the Hammer as well.


You should re-read that conversation. Parson's conclusion about Charlie's interest in the Pliers isn't actually supported by Charlie's statements. At no time does Charlie show interest, except in what Parson claims that he can do.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby 0beron » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:39 am

Well I think its reasonable to accept that the Titans at least DID exist, especially given the existence of the 'Tools. The real question is about NOW though, because there are (as I see it) 3 possibilities:
  • They "died" or in some other fashion "left" Erfworld. They may have had a plan for how things would turn out (the "Mandate") but are no longer present to enforce/observe this occurring.
  • They are still present, and are in some way interfering with matters on Erf, either in keeping with the plan they always had, or because they have changed their minds about the "Mandate".
  • They are still present, but don't give a rat's @$$ about what goes on in Erfworld and are just watching, perhaps for pure entertainment value.
All three of these explanations are totally possible given we have no direct evidence of their continued involvement, and given that 2 of these possibilities involve them NOT meddling in events on Erfworld, I willing to bet on the odds of them NOT being responsible for the unusual events.
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Re: Book 2 - Text Updates 053

Postby MarbitChow » Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:52 am

Kreistor wrote:Like MarbitChow's Charlie, it was garbage can you could throw any ability you wanted into it, since no one could prove otherwise.

To be clear: I'm not just saying Charlie has still-unrevealed abilities. I'm betting that both Wanda and Stanley will 'discover' new powers that their tools possess as well.
I'm also not saying that these powers are unlimited. I'm just saying we don't know what those limits are yet, so to argue that the 'Dish (or 'Pliers, or 'Hammer) *can't* do something because we haven't seen it do so yet is not a valid argument.
There are definite limits to their powers, though: the 'Dish will not be able to create Decrypted, the Hammer will not allow unlimited Thinkagrams, for example.

Kreistor wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:Because Stanley had a 'Tool. He wants to get his hands on them. He was drooling about the 'Pliers; he must have known about the Hammer as well.

You should re-read that conversation. Parson's conclusion about Charlie's interest in the Pliers isn't actually supported by Charlie's statements. At no time does Charlie show interest, except in what Parson claims that he can do.

Ok - I'll rephrase my assumptions from "Charlie wants the 'Tools" to "Parson believes that Charlie wants the 'Tools". Charlie is still taking great pains to keep his actual intentions and desires concealed.
But if the author has Parson leap to that conclusion, and Parson is our guide and reference point in Erfworld, I don't think it's that horrible of a stretch to think that Parson is correct.
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