Digdoug - Episode 1

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Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby balder » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:10 am

New One is up.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby No one in particular » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:23 pm

Heh. Cute.

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby 0beron » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:55 pm

HA!!!! The closing joke is probably the hardest and loudest I have laughed at any Erfworld joke so far. Very well done Rob :)
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GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Crod » Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:58 pm

I never stop getting amazed by these text updates and how a text update can captivate me so. I've not been able to decide if it is the world or the writing style. I guess it has to be both. Keep up that amazing work Rob. It always makes me hungry for more.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:19 pm

I am super excited to learn more about Erfworld magic. A whole short story from the perspective of a Dirtamancer has enormous potential. And aren't we already seeing his Stuffamancy ability to make things like gutters just by imagining them instead of making them out of dirt? It seems that he could have even made tarps if he had the juice to spare.

Once more we get a hint that Signamancy is just a matter of appearances, not a practical tool. "He couldn’t spare another turn for what was essentially Signamancy." Meaning that Signamancy is not a reality warping power that changes more than just appearances. If a Signamancer used magic to make a city look better defended, it wouldn't actually become better defended; that's what Dirtamancy is for.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby No one in particular » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:42 pm

Lilwik wrote:Once more we get a hint that Signamancy is just a matter of appearances, not a practical tool. "He couldn’t spare another turn for what was essentially Signamancy." Meaning that Signamancy is not a reality warping power that changes more than just appearances. If a Signamancer used magic to make a city look better defended, it wouldn't actually become better defended; that's what Dirtamancy is for.

I always had the idea that Signamancy was sort of a mix of interpretation of existing signs, efficiency experts and feng shui. Maybe a bit of the "power of belief" thing that Orkz in Warhammer 40k have. ("we painted it red!" / why? / "cuz red tings go faster!" and then it does, because everyone believes in it)

examples:
  • A city without a signamancer might have to say "deploy troops to the wall between those two really big towers"
    A city WITH a signamancer might say "deploy troops to Zone B-7"
  • without signamancer - go down the street, turn left, jag to the right, take another right past the big dome, go up the stairs...
    With a signamancer - Just follow the blue line.
Also, from context, it could be that Digdoug had just put so many eaves, awnings and overhangs that anything more (like roofing the entire City) would serve no additional purpose, and thus fall into Signamancy. *shrugs*
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Manic Oppressive » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:33 pm

Anyone else thinking Rob's introducing some sides for Parson to negotiate with?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Jinren » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:57 pm

Lilwik wrote:Once more we get a hint that Signamancy is just a matter of appearances, not a practical tool. "He couldn’t spare another turn for what was essentially Signamancy." Meaning that Signamancy is not a reality warping power that changes more than just appearances.


That... seems like an odd conclusion to draw, given that making actual practical changes to the shape and operation of the city is exactly what he's doing there.

To me this reads like a purely political/philosophical distinction. Either a Dirtamancer or a Signamancer could have made the same changes to the buildings, they just would have had a different thought process and justified it as being within their school of magic for a different reason.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Seþex » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:11 pm

I interpreted it that the changes the Dirtamancer made that were "essentially Signamancy" were just all the changes that would make no difference stat wise. No attack boost, no trap, no stronger walls. Only changes that from an outside gamers perspective would look like completely irrelevant and cosmetic even though they could have important implications for the people actually stationed in the city day in day out.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:13 pm

Jinren wrote:That... seems like an odd conclusion to draw, given that making actual practical changes to the shape and operation of the city is exactly what he's doing there.
He is certainly making the city a nicer place to live which is practical in a sense and I'm sure it is one of Signamancy's best powers, but he's not creating any military advantage beyond a morale boost. He's hinting that Signamancy could never create real military advantage when he calls all his drainage efforts Signamancy in contrast with the fortifications he is planning which are presumably not essentially Signamancy.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby LordAcme » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:13 pm

Wait, wait. A permanent storm is a terrain feature. Sure, no problem.

But Dirtamancers can affect it because it's terrain? OOOOOOO. That isn't nothing.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby multilis » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:40 pm

LordAcme wrote:Wait, wait. A permanent storm is a terrain feature. Sure, no problem.

But Dirtamancers can affect it because it's terrain? OOOOOOO. That isn't nothing.

He is not affecting the storm, only a warlord who probably doesn't know much about magic was dreaming he could.

Dirtomancer is affecting dirt and altering city, we have seen Sizemore do similar, and in book 0 Wanda did similar city adjustments with a dirtomancy scroll.

...

Signomancy... I take it in this case as improving morale of army rather than stats of army. Bad morale often results in penalties in combat, risk of units turning, etc. Making someone look heroic in contrast (different sort of singomancy) may do opposite.

As a weapon, you might make enemy leader look more like a fool, and try to alter hex an enemy will use to make it less pleasant, as way to encourage revolts, etc in a city. In some games, if a city's morale is already fairly low, a little extra effort can make it flip to barbarian.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby OneHugeTuck » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:57 pm

"He is not affecting the storm, only a warlord who probably doesn't know much about magic was dreaming he could."

Unless he can, in which case, he can. It sounds like it's a terrain feature that a dirtamancer can tie into/effect in some particular way.

Sounds like he's done it before. If he's not a mercenary, then it can't be -too- powerful to benefit from the storm, seeing as how they occasionally lose the city.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby arbo » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:02 pm

But Numloch’s turn passed without any sign of trouble, and Lady Chains rode out in force that afternoon to look for some.


That's some fine writing, you have there.

Missed the art, though :|
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Knight13 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:09 pm

I interpret Signamancy as altering things in a way that does not have any mechanical effect. Improving the city's drainage does not change the city or the hex in any mechanical fashion, the water gets out either way and the hex keeps getting rained on either way, but improving the drainage makes the city somewhat less waterlogged and therefore less unpleasant. Similarly, adding awnings and wider eaves so that the soldiers have more places to stand out of the rain does not affect anyone's stats. A soaked, miserable Stabber has the same stats as a dry Stabber.

It's the same thing with peoples' personal Signamancy. Wanda's current hot witch appearance and her scrawny hag appearance back during the Haffaton era look very different, but I'll bet neither of them had any effect on her abilities as a caster. Her stats may be different now, but only because she's gained levels and skill, not because she looks healthier.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby the_tick_rules » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:31 pm

Manic Oppressive wrote:Anyone else thinking Rob's introducing some sides for Parson to negotiate with?


Possible, I hope these stories are something beyond buying time to write book three.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Lipkin » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:13 pm

I personally choose to believe everyone but Signamancers underestimate the abilities of the discipline, and lack the creativity to properly utilize it. If a Dirtamancer can manipulate Signamancy just as effectively as a Signamancer, then what's the point?

Ruling out that Signamancy can change a thing's nature because a Dirtamancer doesn't think changing something's appearance doesn't convince me, because it's coming from a Dirtamancer.



I've got a hope that Parson really is a Signamancer, and is able to use this to amplify the effectiveness of his side through his knowledge of Stupidworld. Like maybe he casts upon Jack with the spell "One bad day!" and suddenly Jack is back in purple, has bleached white skin, and green hair; and now he's much more likely to resort to violence. Or make Stanley taller, and now he doesn't over compensate for his lack of confidence. What I'm theorizing is that with Signamancy, you can essentially psychoanalyze units. By changing their Signamancy, you can change their character. It doesn't change the stat of the units, but as we've seen with parson, stats are far from everything.

I wonder if Signamancy could be cast a upon a city to make the place foreboding. Like, anyone who arrives with the intent of attacking it suddenly gets a very bad feeling about that plan.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby 0beron » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:01 pm

Agreed, always be wary of one caster talking about the discipline of another.
Also, the Signamancy comment is being twisted totally the wrong way. Nowhere does he even imply that this "essentially just Signamancy" would do nothing. All he told us was that this particular change wouldn't affect the defensability of the city, which was his mission. That does not translate to "Signamancy never affects defensability."
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby Lilwik » Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:54 pm

Lipkin wrote:I personally choose to believe everyone but Signamancers underestimate the abilities of the discipline, and lack the creativity to properly utilize it. If a Dirtamancer can manipulate Signamancy just as effectively as a Signamancer, then what's the point?
I'm just speculating here, but I doubt that Dirtamancy and Signamancy really overlap at all. Digdoug may have considered his weather-proofing to be Signamancy just because it made the city a nicer place, but I'm not taking that to mean that a Signamancer would be able to magically give a city drainage and awnings; that's what Dirtamancy is for. Instead, I suspect that Signamancers can magically tell you exactly how to build a city so that people enjoy living there, or how to build a city to strike fear into your enemies. I imagine that Signamancy is mostly magic of information, like Predictamancy or Lookamancy; it tells you things, lets you see to the truth of things, and helps you make good decisions. Maybe it doesn't actually do anything directly. I think that Signamancers are used to write contracts not because contracts are magical things that only Signamancy can create, but because Signamancy gives people magical insight into exactly what the contract means.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that Signamancy doesn't even have the power to magically modify the Signamancy of a unit. A unit's Signamancy is supposed to reflect the true nature of the unit, so then it makes some sense that even a Signamancer couldn't sculpt a unit like clay. At most I think one would go to a Signamancer for a new hairstyle, some make-up, and to help select raiment, and in that sort of way a Signamancer would be a great help by knowing exactly how your appearance will be seen by others. If you want to look intimidating you can hire a Signamancer and he will make you look as intimidating as it is possible for you to look, but only if you're willing to buy the recommended raiment from a Dollamancer.

If I have it right, then a Signamancer is like a lawyer/hair stylist/fashion designer/interior designer/librarian, plus I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere in the forums that it's been revealed that Signamancy can be used to see the trail that a unit leaves while traveling through the wilderness, so that would be very good for tracking down fugitives.

0beron wrote:Agreed, always be wary of one caster talking about the discipline of another.
I agree that Digdoug may have it wrong, but we don't get to choose the sources for our information. We can only do the best we can with what we are given and Digdoug is more likely to be right than wrong unless there's some evidence suggesting that he is wrong.

0beron wrote:All he told us was that this particular change wouldn't affect the defensability of the city, which was his mission.
He told us that, but based on the way it's said it seems to me that his statement must also be intended to apply to all Signamancy. "He couldn’t spare another turn for what was essentially Signamancy." Doesn't that mean this Signamancy and that Signamancy and any other thing that is essentially Signamancy?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 1

Postby 0beron » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:09 am

Lilwik wrote:
0beron wrote:All he told us was that this particular change wouldn't affect the defensability of the city, which was his mission.
He told us that, but based on the way it's said it seems to me that his statement must also be intended to apply to all Signamancy. "He couldn’t spare another turn for what was essentially Signamancy." Doesn't that mean this Signamancy and that Signamancy and any other thing that is essentially Signamancy?
No, it intended exactly what I said he told us. But you may feel free to continue interpreting it in an overly general and simplistic manner if you feel so inclined.
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