Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby jackhammer » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:14 am

I take it that a Luckamancer boosts his own side by rearranging his own side's rolls, and jinxes the enemy by rearranging their rolls. He wouldn't have to actually change the outcome of any roll to gain an advantage.

Let's say you have four one-on-one battles, with the roll of a d4 determining the outcome of each. If each side rolls one of each number, the Luckamancer can line up his 2 with their 1, his 3 with their 2, his 4 with their 3, and his 1 with their 4. Thus, he wins 75% of the battles instead of the 50% that probability would predict.

However, without a Luckamancer, the first side could have won 3 out of 4 anyway (1/4 chance), or even all 4 (1/16 chance). So Luckamancy cannot guarantee any victory, but can still make you "come out ahead" in Clay's words.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby King Mir » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:59 am

Some one made the analogy of luckamancy as rearranging cards, and I think that fits pretty well.

Probability in erfword is rather strange it seems. In our world, previous events have no bearing on future probability. There is no balance sheet. If you flip a coin and get heads 10 times in a row, there is a %50 chance of rolling heads again. But in Erfworld, it seems the chances would be lower. Like drawing cards form a deck, each good card drawn reduces the number of good cards left.

But even with this balancing mechanic, luckamancy can be a huge boon as long as your leadership knows what it's doing, and what the priorities are. What this does is tie the effectiveness of luckamancy too a worldly variable independent of the luckamancer's skill or juice, in much the same way as the requirement for dead bodies limits the usefulness of a croakamancer. No battles is to croakamancy as poor strategy is to luckamancy. I suspect many disciplines have similar mechanics.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby vintermann » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:01 am

That's an interesting theory Jackhammer, but it's flatly contradicted by this update. Clay is confident (for magic-theoretical reasons) that the lucky outcomes he invites are "stolen" from someone else, thus not disturbing the universe's probability distribution so to say. However, that the universe does not go very far to steal these rolls is something he only darkly suspects. Nowhere does he suggest the stolen lucky rolls has to come from the same side. And he certainly doesn't pick and choose which rolls to steal.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Egomaniac » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:32 am

Everyone seems to have realized that it's ok to get bad luck in battles you're going to lose anyway, but is forgetting that it's also ok to get bad luck in battles you're going to win anyway. If you don't need a good roll to win the battle, you might as well take those rolls and move them to battles where the outcome is less certain.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby King Mir » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:33 am

Perhaps a more skilled luckamancer can have some influence on who to steal from.

And potentially a luckamancer could jinx his own side's low priority events in order to make the rest have better odds. This could use less juice than boosting every luck based event aside from the low priority ones.

Egomaniac wrote:Everyone seems to have realized that it's ok to get bad luck in battles you're going to lose anyway, but is forgetting that it's also ok to get bad luck in battles you're going to win anyway. If you don't need a good roll to win the battle, you might as well take those rolls and move them to battles where the outcome is less certain.
Sure. luckamancy's a buff to use when you need it. But battles aren't all about winning and loosing, they're also about killing enemy troops. In such cases, you may buff units that you know are going to loose, to maximize casualties. Now usually you would try to commit more men to important objectives, but in some cases luckamancy may be nimble than troop movements.

_______________________
On a related note, remember that in luckamancy, some things are easier than others.
“And you can alter the outcome of a battle, by casting ahead of time. You boost up a unit’s luck by a lot, or a whole side’s luck by a little?”

Clay sniffed again. “Yeah, kind of. Or jinx the enemy. Battles are hard, though. Sides are harder. Units are pretty easy. I boost our warlords all the time.”

So luckamancy is good for power-leveling your leadership, but not so good for winning battles. But then you usually have leadership for high priority battles, so it works out to much the same.
Last edited by King Mir on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Glome » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:47 am

Really Goodminton has a nice set up to use the luckamancer. Not only can the predictamancer give Clay the information needed to use his powers judiciously and to best effect, but having a croakamancer means there is a ready supply of expendable uncroaked troops that can safely absorb much of the residual bad luck.

I think the idea in general is to get your warlords to high level by boosting their luck so they survive battles, at the expense of troops who become more fodder like. This strategy might partly explain why they were looking for more warlords if they can make them more likely to survive and level. Unfortunately I don't think this strategy had been too effective up to this point with all the sides against Goodminton considering their second strongest warlord is only level 4.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby rlc » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:07 pm

Great update. Created an account just to reply to this.

This has interesting implications for all casters. If luckamancy balances out the numbers by stealing, any reason to assume the same doesnt apply to other casters? When a croakamancer reanimates, is a little bit of life stolen from all the surrounding living in order to balance it out? When a hippiemancer creates peace, does everyone nearby become a little more war-like?

And what balances out a thinkamancer?

Do the arkentools create huge imbalances that have to be paid back, or do they literally break the balance of the game? If life is mostly stolen from the same side when a croakamancer uses her power, it probably creates a net loss, as the uncroaked decay away anyway. Or maybe that itself is the balancing act, but I think not. Either way, the pliers creates units that dont decay, Im going to lean towards the theory that they break the balance. But its even scarier if they dont and the life the pliers create has to be balanced somewhere.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby drachefly » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:28 pm

vintermann wrote:That's an interesting theory Jackhammer, but it's flatly contradicted by this update. Clay is confident (for magic-theoretical reasons) that the lucky outcomes he invites are "stolen" from someone else, thus not disturbing the universe's probability distribution so to say. However, that the universe does not go very far to steal these rolls is something he only darkly suspects. Nowhere does he suggest the stolen lucky rolls has to come from the same side. And he certainly doesn't pick and choose which rolls to steal.


That's not flat contradiction. Clay isn't that high level and may still be a novice. Maybe a master-class luckamancer could Gerrymander the luck distribution favorably.


BLANDCorporatio wrote:But I can put my tinfoil hat firmly on and say that there are a few Magicks in Erfworld that may be less than what they appear: what if Luckamancy, Mathamancy and Predictamancy were mostly bunk?


Maybe in their understanding, but they have to have some effect.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby raphfrk » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:35 pm

atalex wrote:Interesting. So am I to understand that Luckamancy cannot be used to jinx an opposing force but only to boost one's own side? And even that only by "stealing" one of your own side's good rolls and exchanging it with whatever you were supposed to roll at the time? I kind of like that mechanic. Hmm.


This could be abused by creating lots of random events. The odds would be that the suppressed rolled would be one of the ones which don't matter.

Also, I wonder if that is the cost that has to be paid for Wanda. It required a very high roll to pop her, so the side will have bad luck to compensate.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:54 pm

HORSECOOKIES! I think there's a reason Clay isn't a Master.

So, following his theory, what happens to the number that was created? Once used, where does that number go? Poof, it disappears? Or back into the pool, waiting to be used again?

This is the flaw: if there is a pool of numbers to draw upon, and it is of infinite size, drawing one number out does not reduce the number of numbers in the pool, because infinite - 1 is still infinite. That means the pool must be finite under Clay's theory. If that's true, then drawin g any number out changes the odds that that number will be drawn by someone else, and that would brutalize the Mathamancers and Predictamancers. Right? Beeeeeeep... wrong answer.

Mathamancy is about probabilities. If someone changes the odds of one number appearing vs another, they aren't screwed... they aren't even phased. Good statisticians know how to account for differing probabilities of the appearance of one number vs. another: they do not require all numbers to be equally probable in order to calculate odds. It's harder, but only by a little bit, and Mathamancers have magic to do those complex calculations for them.

As for Preictamancers... they're tight lipped about how they work, so we don't know how changing the odds of survival of one unit over another will affect their Predictions. If they are seeing the future, then they're seeing the future based on whatever does happen (not what is most likely), so changing survival odds won't affect them at all.

No, I'm not buying what Clay is selling here. It may be his way of understanding Luckamancy's fickleness, so to him it may be true, but I suspect a Master will have a completely different view.

Pure speculation: I'll bet a Master class can choose whom the roll is stolen from, ensuring a boon for your Side and a curse for your enemy simultaneously.
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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: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Glome » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:55 pm

rlc wrote:Great update. Created an account just to reply to this.

This has interesting implications for all casters. If luckamancy balances out the numbers by stealing, any reason to assume the same doesnt apply to other casters? When a croakamancer reanimates, is a little bit of life stolen from all the surrounding living in order to balance it out? When a hippiemancer creates peace, does everyone nearby become a little more war-like?

And what balances out a thinkamancer?


I don't think other casters have the same drawback as luckamancer. Croakamancers for example, have the drawback of needed fresh dead bodies (thus needing to be in the field), and the fact that their units will only last a short time, they don't need another penalty. Hippiemancers probably also have to be in a same hex to influence a battle, I don't think they can end conflicts from afar (unless they are in some sort of linkup, but that has its own disadvantages).

Luckamancers have the advantage of being able to sit and home and boost battles from far away, if they didn't steal luck from their side they really wouldn't have a drawback (aside from the one all casters share of limited juice). Thinkamancers mostly facilitate better communications and intel over longer distance. They don't really have a drawback, but also don't directly affect battles in other hexes either, they are only as good as the commanders that use them.

The equaling out to zero may apply to sides as a general principle, but I don't think it applies to every spell cast, only to ones that change the basic math of Erfworld. Otherwise the spellcaster abilities are paid for by their upkeep.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Whispri » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:00 pm

Glome wrote:Really Goodminton has a nice set up to use the luckamancer. Not only can the predictamancer give Clay the information needed to use his powers judiciously and to best effect, but having a croakamancer means there is a ready supply of expendable uncroaked troops that can safely absorb much of the residual bad luck.

I think the idea in general is to get your warlords to high level by boosting their luck so they survive battles, at the expense of troops who become more fodder like. This strategy might partly explain why they were looking for more warlords if they can make them more likely to survive and level. Unfortunately I don't think this strategy had been too effective up to this point with all the sides against Goodminton considering their second strongest warlord is only level 4.

Seems that way, if Wanda thinks of it her Uncroaked could be even more useful then they are already. Just wait until they're about to decay, then...

Wait who's the four? Has Atomic's level been stated somewhere?
Last edited by Whispri on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby raphfrk » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:06 pm

Thomar wrote:If this is true, it could provide a perfect explanation for why no gobwins have popped for Gobwin Knob, and why the battle at the tower went so strangely (a chunk of rock preventing a warlord from being shot.)


Sylvia believes that she is being protected by fate. Fate enhanced units are automatically boosted.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby gameboy1234 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:26 pm

Thomar wrote:If this is true, it could provide a perfect explanation for why no gobwins have popped for Gobwin Knob, and why the battle at the tower went so strangely (a chunk of rock preventing a warlord from being shot.) If an unknown side (probably Charlie, who is playing both sides) was using luckamancy


The first one (GK's gobwin rolls) I think we've been all over. A summer update all but said it was Charlie's fault, and I think Luckamancy has been speculated on endlessly. I'm not surprised to see this (near) confirmed.

The recent battle with Lady Sylvia was a very good catch. At the time I figured Rob was just kinda trolling his fans, and I'd forgotten about it. I think you have a point though--Rob probably had in mind someone fooling around with dice rolls behind the scenes, which actually makes sense to me. (Whereas trolling your fans really didn't, which is why I suppose I dismissed it.)

Now the question is how and why? I doubt it was Charlie. I think that fight was too important to GK for Charlie to want them to win it. More likely it was Wanda's fate (and a bit of fan armor for Lady Slyvia). The battle was too important to Wanda and her side for Lady Sylvia to loose. The next question is where did the luck come from? I think Ossomer's loyalty/turning roll, which would have been very unlucky for the fanatically loyal decrypted to loose.

So she lost Ossomer, who was stuck in air space and can't affect the ground fight at all now, and she kept Sylvia, who is bringing the tower down and stands a good chance of wining the whole battle if Slately can't get out in time. Overall, I think that was a good trade. As a gamer I'd take it.
"Do it?" Dan, I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome?

I did it thirty-five minutes ago.

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Whispri » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:28 pm

gameboy1234 wrote:
Thomar wrote:If this is true, it could provide a perfect explanation for why no gobwins have popped for Gobwin Knob, and why the battle at the tower went so strangely (a chunk of rock preventing a warlord from being shot.) If an unknown side (probably Charlie, who is playing both sides) was using luckamancy


The first one (GK's gobwin rolls) I think we've been all over. A summer update all but said it was Charlie's fault, and I think Luckamancy has been speculated on endlessly. I'm not surprised to see this (near) confirmed.

The recent battle with Lady Sylvia was a very good catch. At the time I figured Rob was just kinda trolling his fans, and I'd forgotten about it. I think you have a point though--Rob probably had in mind someone fooling around with dice rolls behind the scenes, which actually makes sense to me. (Whereas trolling your fans really didn't, which is why I suppose I dismissed it.)

Now the question is how and why? I doubt it was Charlie. I think that fight was too important to GK for Charlie to want them to win it. More likely it was Wanda's fate (and a bit of fan armor for Lady Slyvia). The battle was too important to Wanda and her side for Lady Sylvia to loose. The next question is where did the luck come from? I think Ossomer's loyalty/turning roll, which would have been very unlucky for the fanatically loyal decrypted to loose.

So she lost Ossomer, who was stuck in air space and can't affect the ground fight at all now, and she kept Sylvia, who is bringing the tower down and stands a good chance of wining the whole battle if Slately can't get out in time. Overall, I think that was a good trade. As a gamer I'd take it.

There's also the fact that Wanda likes Sylvia, Ossomer, not so much. If she had to lose one, well...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby jkosta » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:33 pm

King Mir wrote:Some one made the analogy of luckamancy as rearranging cards, and I think that fits pretty well.

Probability in erfword is rather strange it seems. In our world, previous events have no bearing on future probability. There is no balance sheet. If you flip a coin and get heads 10 times in a row, there is a %50 chance of rolling heads again. But in Erfworld, it seems the chances would be lower. Like drawing cards form a deck, each good card drawn reduces the number of good cards left.


Did you really just use two real-world examples to make your point that Erfworld is different from the real world?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditional_probability
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Glome » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:34 pm

Whispri wrote:Seems that way, if Wanda thinks of it her Uncroaked could be even more useful then they are already. Just wait until they're about to decay, then...

Wait who's the four? Has Atomic's level been stated somewhere?


Sorry, I was thinking Pom Fritz was a level 4, but I reread it and it was the enemy warlord who was level 4. We don't know what level the warlords are at this point, but if the luckamancer strategy is working they could be quite high a level.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Orzel » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:50 pm

Clay's suspicion of his side's allies got me thinking. Maybe Clay believes Goodminton's allies are disloyal because he can't steal rolls form them. Clay might not be able to steal luck from enemy sides without a great deal of juice (He said boosting entire sides was possible just harder than battles and units).

Maybe he tried to use luckamancy to boost his whole side and saw the spell fail not due to his low level but from another factor?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby CNagy » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:49 pm

Kreistor wrote:So, following his theory, what happens to the number that was created? Once used, where does that number go? Poof, it disappears? Or back into the pool, waiting to be used again?

Actually, much like rolling dice only describes an outcome, I think the pool of numbers only describes luck. Remember the lead-up to Wanda's popping, regarding the balance sheets of units. It seems more like Luckamancy creates a debt or a credit that at some point gets repaid. The question (that Clay only speculates on) is where that debt is logged. Is it on individual units, is it on a side? Looking at it from a balance perspective explains why Clay would scoff at the idea of "stealing" luck from one's enemies; it's like asking the world for a favor and making your enemies pick up the tab. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that imbalances are recorded per side. Otherwise jinxed units who die in combat wouldn't receive the positive balance, and boosted warlords would need to continue to be boosted just to avoid the overwhelming cloud of luck debt hanging on their balance.

This is the flaw: if there is a pool of numbers to draw upon, and it is of infinite size, drawing one number out does not reduce the number of numbers in the pool, because infinite - 1 is still infinite. That means the pool must be finite under Clay's theory. If that's true, then drawing any number out changes the odds that that number will be drawn by someone else, and that would brutalize the Mathamancers and Predictamancers. Right? Beeeeeeep... wrong answer.

The pool is finite under Clay's theory because the effect so far as he has noticed is mostly localized. Even in the sea of infinity, if you start putting in boundaries you create a finite area. Local luck, one might say.

Mathamancy is about probabilities. If someone changes the odds of one number appearing vs another, they aren't screwed... they aren't even phased. Good statisticians know how to account for differing probabilities of the appearance of one number vs. another: they do not require all numbers to be equally probable in order to calculate odds. It's harder, but only by a little bit, and Mathamancers have magic to do those complex calculations for them.

I don't think Mathamancy can take Luckamancy into account unless the Mathamancer knows about the effect in play to account for it. It'd be like looking at a opposed die roll and knowing that one guy has the advantage (d6 vs d4, as an example) but when it comes time to roll, someone bumps the table. The whole concept is intangible, though, so for a Mathamancer it may be as simple as "now recalculate the odds with a slight luck bonus affecting this side" or "recalculate with a major jinx on that warlord." But assuming you aren't Parson with your priceless wristwatch calculator, each of those recalculations likely costs juice.

No, I'm not buying what Clay is selling here. It may be his way of understanding Luckamancy's fickleness, so to him it may be true, but I suspect a Master will have a completely different view.

I feel this is unlikely simply from the meta reason that as an exposition update, I don't see the likelihood of the reader being fed false information. So at the very least, what Clay says about Luckamancy is true while the things he suspects may be false.

Pure speculation: I'll bet a Master class can choose whom the roll is stolen from, ensuring a boon for your Side and a curse for your enemy simultaneously.

The only problem I have with this is that it more or less runs counter to the information that we got at the beginning of these updates. The balance has to be paid, and I don't think one's enemies count quite so much as one's self or side when it comes time to pay.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 008

Postby Balerion » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:37 pm

gameboy1234 wrote:Now the question is how and why? I doubt it was Charlie. I think that fight was too important to GK for Charlie to want them to win it. More likely it was Wanda's fate (and a bit of fan armor for Lady Slyvia). The battle was too important to Wanda and her side for Lady Sylvia to loose. The next question is where did the luck come from? I think Ossomer's loyalty/turning roll, which would have been very unlucky for the fanatically loyal decrypted to loose.

So she lost Ossomer, who was stuck in air space and can't affect the ground fight at all now, and she kept Sylvia, who is bringing the tower down and stands a good chance of wining the whole battle if Slately can't get out in time. Overall, I think that was a good trade. As a gamer I'd take it.


I would disagree with that being where the luck came from; recall that same battle: Artemis was shocked at how effectively her knights were killing the dragons."Did any of them even miss?" and she was criting all over the bloody place; except when it came to killing Sylvia and Captain archer. I think the price for Sylvia's life was the 6 dwagons who got slaughtered, doing far less damage than they would normally have been expected to.
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