Digdoug - Episode 3

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby BakaGrappler » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:30 pm

It seems to me that a Changamancer would be able to change a normal item's state into that of a Magic Item, a magic item being one that is better than a normal one, and can be resized by people who do not possess the magic that would be required to change it normally, like how Ace was able to, and required, for the resizing of Parson's bed in the MK for the text updates. Sizemore couldn't do it, because it is an object and not architecture. But the bed was not made to have any Motion effects by Ace in the process.

So, I'd say a Magic Item is one that does not require outside magic in order to manipulate in a magical way. Pure and simple.

That brings us to the REAL question. What is the limits of passive or active Magic Effects that can be created on an object, or on a conjured object, by a Changamancer. To me, it would probably be bare bones effects instead of, say, the Elder Scrolls' method where you can make swords suck out souls and light people on fire. Those effects are specialized, but should you form a tri mancer link of Change - Think - Shock, I'd say that Fiery Swords would be possible, as well as any host of other imbued effects.

And iof you had a Changamancer, you could make magical weaponry for all your Units if you were patient enough, thereby giving every unit a plus to offense and defense without having to be present on the field of battle to do so. Very useful, and very versatile if you can select what stats a piece of armor is upgrading.

But for me, this brings up a very important question, what is the limit of a Caster's ability to imbue magical effects into objects? The Scout from Book 0 had raiment that created a veil, so obviously a Foolamancer was able to imbue some raiment with an enchantment. Olive was able to make pre-existing trees into units that are representative of Christmas which is a holiday of peace and good will, so it does make sense. But can Predictamancers made actual fortune cookies and the like? And can Signamancy be cast on items in order to make them passively Signamantic? Can Shockamancy be put into a stone for throwing and use by normal units by a Shockamancer? Can a Carnymancer make a "Get Out of Jail Free" card that performs as advertised?

So many questions!
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby 0beron » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:55 am

Obviously Changeamancers do things Dollamancers can't, otherwise they wouldn't exist as separate disciplines. Cummon Drache, use your noggin :p
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Arkaim » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:56 am

I liked this update
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby twhitt » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:20 am

Ace's weapon of choice seems to be a crossbow-like "multi-bow accessory"; his workbench has a lightsaber and rocket propelled arrows. He made Ossomer a "bracer blaster, with force beam action." Book 2 - Text 30. He converted Slately's scepter into a raygun. Book 2 - Page 69. He also imbued Slately's other items with myriad powers, like the shock-proof cloak. Later, looking at Parson, "he stole a few glances at the Chief, looking him up and down, evaluating the quality of his gear. Twollish stuff, huh? Not terrible, but it didn't do anything. But Ace Hardware could fix that." Epilogue 03. So there's a lot of stuff here. Maybe Dollamancy can customize the appearance of gear generally, but not its base stats, and also can add special abilities to gear. Active or activated effects which aren't persistent buffs, things to use on demand.

That would then give a bit of separation between Changemancy and Dollamancy, but without leaving a neat line that you could trace between them.
Creating an item, like a simple chestplate: Changemancy.
Making a custom appearance, like a new raiment: Dollamancy.
Adding persistent buffs, like increasing the damage of a sword: Changemancy.
Adding special effects, like a ranged attack to a melee weapon: Dollamancy.

It's not tidy, and moreover there's no special wordplay here that make it make sense; in this comic, the presence of a pun is my most surefire clue that I understand it right. A pedal-operated paddleboat was made by a Turnamancer, of course; a contract is written by a Signamancer... In the absence of clues like this, I'm feeling a bit lost. But then, there's been so much apparent overlap between disciplines (Lookamancy, Findamancy) that maybe this is just the state of affairs when it comes to personal equipment?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Shai_hulud » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:37 am

To clarify some of my earlier statements, since people seem to have completely misunderstood what I was asking:
Shai_hulud wrote:What's up with Sizemore making wood out of thin air in the Magic Kingdom then? Or why do Florists get to make plant traps?


The tree from nothing issue isn't about whether he can use lumber. I don't think anyone is actually claiming he can't. Not sure why anyone thought that's what I was saying. The question is how was the Lumber acquired? Did he transmute the dirt, harvest it using a stealthy form of resource collection, or conjure it from juice alone? If he gets his material from conjuring, collection, or conversion matters a lot.

My other question was why, if traps are Dirtamancy, can Florists make traps too, but Shockers don't? If "traps" (in the sense of an in-game object) are Dirtamancy AND Flower Power, then someone (a hypothetical newbie titan/player) would be inclined to conclude that Matter+Erf is what makes traps. But if Shockers don't make traps, then that logic chain fails. And if it does, then there is really no rhyme or reason to where "traps" are being placed on the chart, at least from a game design point of view. You can't look at patterns and use that to try to guess what another class of magic that's related might do.

Another example is Changers can't make units, but Dirts and Dolls can. So we can conclude that there is no correlation between the Fate or Erf and golem creation. But Dirts and Dolls both are described as fabricators. So it would appear (assuming that doesn't get retconned or explained away) that there is a correlation between classes that can make golems and ones that can fabricate. If that pattern were true, the next time a magic gets revealed to have golem making or fabrication, our hypothetical newbie player would be inclined to conclude they can do the other too. If that isn't the case, then we would need an explanation within the setting as to why something that counter intuitive exists. Or else conclude there is no pattern and powers are just distributed randomly.

These questions aren't really about specific mechanics, but whether or not there is a pattern in the relationship between the different classes at all. That's really the crux of the debate here. Everyone post in the debate/discussion is trying to prove who's pattern is best, but I've seen very few attempts to actually determine if there is even a pattern to begin with.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lipkin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:57 am

Dirtamancers can modify terrain. Forests are terrain, therefore Dirtamancers can work with wood, if there is wood to be worked with. I'm guessing that there was wood in the hex when when Sizemore was making the tunnel, which means that wood was an option for him to work with in that hex.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lilwik » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:35 am

Lipkin wrote:Dirtamancers can modify terrain. Forests are terrain, therefore Dirtamancers can work with wood, if there is wood to be worked with. I'm guessing that there was wood in the hex when when Sizemore was making the tunnel, which means that wood was an option for him to work with in that hex.
There's no doubt that there is wood in the Magic Kingdom, but where do you get the idea that the wood was necessary? What part of the story suggests that to you? Do you mean that Sizemore was stealing wood from trees somewhere in the Magic Kingdom, or is the theory just that the hex needs to be a type of hex that naturally contains wood in order for Sizemore to make wood appear?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby twhitt » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:55 am

Shai_hulud wrote:These questions aren't really about specific mechanics, but whether or not there is a pattern in the relationship between the different classes at all. That's really the crux of the debate here. Everyone post in the debate/discussion is trying to prove who's pattern is best, but I've seen very few attempts to actually determine if there is even a pattern to begin with.
I suppose it's my opinion that the pattern can't be found this way at all. Culturally, we have tons of very disparate notions of what magic means, from a stage illusionist pulling a dove out of a hat to Gandalf and a lot of other things besides. This setting seems to include most, if not all of these disparate kinds of magic in canon. In my mind, there are two kinds of organization which lead to what gets placed where; the first is what is thematically related? Dirt and mud and rock are related to each other, and brick is related to those too, so things made out of brick are in the dirt category. But things made out of brick are made out of lots of other things besides, like wood, so that's all thrown in. The second kind of organization is what's related in the english language, by wordplay or pun. This means that manipulation of time is tied into the same discipline as manipulation of unit loyalty, as the word turn has fun implications in both contexts. Both of these are organizational structures, and they help me to understand what might be possible in a discipline I'm not familiar with. And both are useful in the context of storytelling, because they help create characters and also jokes that are useful storytelling devices. This is, ultimately, what's important.

Where these two organizational structures not very useful is in game mechanic design, because as far as I can tell that doesn't seem to be what's happening here at all. The author is trying to be consistent, because consistency can be a key tool in storytelling, but he doesn't seem to me to care very much about what would be balanced, or whether two things overlap too much, or whether there's actually a school of magic called Retconjuration. It's a joke, and it fit a storytelling need, so that suffices as explanation.

Sure, I'd like to have a sense of what some of these casters can do. I'd love to know whether the Arkentools are all aligned with a school or not, and what school that might be for the hammer. And there are plenty of interesting things to talk about along the way, but it's more important to have in mind that we're discussing a story and a storytelling world and we're not discussing a game and a rulebook.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lipkin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:15 am

Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:Dirtamancers can modify terrain. Forests are terrain, therefore Dirtamancers can work with wood, if there is wood to be worked with. I'm guessing that there was wood in the hex when when Sizemore was making the tunnel, which means that wood was an option for him to work with in that hex.
There's no doubt that there is wood in the Magic Kingdom, but where do you get the idea that the wood was necessary? What part of the story suggests that to you? Do you mean that Sizemore was stealing wood from trees somewhere in the Magic Kingdom, or is the theory just that the hex needs to be a type of hex that naturally contains wood in order for Sizemore to make wood appear?

This. Can't make a desert hex out of a rain forest. Can't make a valley out of an ocean.

Unless you have a link. Sizemore expressed awe at being able to change a terrain type "like a Titan." He was able to turn mountain terrain into a lava zone, which is normally outside of his power.

So my theory is that while a Dirtamancer cannot introduce new things to the environment, anything that naturally appears is fair game. If there are trees, he can use wood to build. But just like when building a city doesn't actually need there to be premade resources, he doesn't need to have stuff to make his structures with. He can build things that match the surrounding area. Building things is still modifying terrain, you just have to consider his structures as a part of the terrain itself.
Last edited by Lipkin on Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby BakaGrappler » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:19 am

Lipkin wrote:
Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:Dirtamancers can modify terrain. Forests are terrain, therefore Dirtamancers can work with wood, if there is wood to be worked with. I'm guessing that there was wood in the hex when when Sizemore was making the tunnel, which means that wood was an option for him to work with in that hex.
There's no doubt that there is wood in the Magic Kingdom, but where do you get the idea that the wood was necessary? What part of the story suggests that to you? Do you mean that Sizemore was stealing wood from trees somewhere in the Magic Kingdom, or is the theory just that the hex needs to be a type of hex that naturally contains wood in order for Sizemore to make wood appear?

This.


I disagree.

When Maggie and Sizemore rebuilt Gobwin Knob from a blasted out volcano, there were no trees in the hex and they were still able to make wooden parts of the various buildings and decorations. The pantries were wood. The baskets were made, and there are wooden chairs and a Seat of Power. Wooden carvings of dragons in the War Room.

You do not need to have wood for a Dirtamancer to make wood. He makes buildings and terrain, it does not matter if you have or don't have the resources to make them. He is a Stuffamancer, he makes things appear, or modifies them to his purposes like any other Stuffamancer. The Stuffamancers don't know where it comes from, they just bring it into being, the updated Text Update is pretty clear on that point, and past events are also pretty clear on not needing trees to make buildings with wood in their manufacture.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lipkin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:25 am

See my edited post. I didn't really mean that there had to physically be wood in the hex, just that the hex has to be capable of producing wood. The built structure will match the rest of the surrounding area. There ARE woods very near to Gobwin Knob, so modifying the terrain to include wood is not difficult.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lilwik » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:35 am

twhitt wrote:And there are plenty of interesting things to talk about along the way, but it's more important to have in mind that we're discussing a story and a storytelling world and we're not discussing a game and a rulebook.
I think that's probably not actually important. That would only be useful if we are trying to guess what's going on in Rob Balder's head and his reasons for designing the magic system in a certain way, but Rob Balder is some sort of genius and his cleverness is far beyond me and probably beyond most people. I know I could never write Erfworld, not even close, so trying to get inside the writer's head is hopeless for me. Instead, I think we should trust that Erfworld is internally consistent and try to think of it like a real place and use reasoning and common sense to figure things out.

I would say that there must be patterns to the disciplines of magic that we don't yet understand. I have yet to see a satisfying explanation for the magic grid and why the disciplines are organized by elements and axes. We have questions that must have answers. Why does each class of magic have a distinct set of elements? Why does each class of magic have exactly one discipline for each axis? What do the elements and the axes mean? Whatever the answers are, they define a pattern in Erfworld magic. Maybe golems are a part of that pattern.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby BakaGrappler » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:54 am

Lipkin wrote:See my edited post. I didn't really mean that there had to physically be wood in the hex, just that the hex has to be capable of producing wood. The built structure will match the rest of the surrounding area. There ARE woods very near to Gobwin Knob, so modifying the terrain to include wood is not difficult.


I still don't buy your idea, because it would mean that there is a constraint on the magic that really should not exist on Stuffamancy, when it is the magic of willing things to change to your wishes. It is an arbitrary limitation that we have never heard hide nor hair of in the systems of Erf until now. Or are you trying to treat building basic structures like stocking the Larder? You start with farms, then get animals, they fatten up, then pop away, presumably to get butchered, and then their meat in various forms appear in the Larder?

Still doesn't really work, because Gobwin Knob was the ONLY city the Side had left, on top of a volcano. By your logic they would be relegated to making the city out of stone and obsidian, because those are the only naturally forming materials that appear inside the territory they owned. But then you'll say, "Oh, there is forest just a few hexes away at the base of the mountain! Well, now we're just getting into Fuzzy Math. No proof either way, and it's a nice conspiracy theory that can neither be proven, nor disproven.

But what about Squashcourt? Their city was in a desert, meaning no forests. no trees. And they had no architecture that was out of the ordinary enough to be commented on. I think the only limitations on the construction of Architecture is the mind of the Dirtamancer that is doing it. Sides have preferred building styles to go with their cultural identities, just like in a 4X Kingdom game. It just makes more sense that way in game terms, and Erfworld's basic physical laws are game systems. There is no need to hamper a Side's cultural identity in such an arbitrary way in a world like that, and I very much doubt the Titans would do such a thing.

It just seems needless, and just Stupidworld logic being forced on Erf. Like the idea that the passage of time is a constant.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lipkin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:28 am

Trees are mentioned in the first paragraph of the first Lord Squash update. The only description I've seen of the city of Squashcourt so far was that they had gleaming white towers. Can't say either way what that means. Your example of Squashcourt tells us nothing.

The limit isn't on Stuffamancy. It's on Dirtamancy. And it's not insurmountable. Sizemore was able to work past it and change the terrain with a link-up.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby BakaGrappler » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:10 am

And yet your theory on the limits of Dirtamancy continue to feel like an arbitrary enforcement of Stupidworld logic on Erfworld physics. If it took multiple turns to build or upgrade a city, then yes, I would be inclined to see things your way Lipkin, but they don't. Cities just appear and disappear with a sound accompanying it as an indication of the action being performed. If there was rubble left over when a city is razed, then I may be inclined to believe you, but there is no rubble to be disposed of, just empty foundations. The materials used in the creation of cities "appear" and when a city is razed, they "disappear." There are no land fills and there is no reason to think that the materials "return to the earth" as if there was an Erfworld Lifestream (if there was it would be called the Livestream), so I find myself saying it's a completely unsubstantiated theory.

Erfworld has been pulling things out of thin air from the very beginning, starting with life. Units are Popped out of thin air. They are not manufactured using the very exact materials that the human body is made of, pulled from here and there and then mixed in exact measurements to get the final product. They are formed by the Titans, and when their bodies are cleaned up, they return to the Titans.

That is the process of Erfworld, where magic is real, Fate is immutable, and matter is not constant.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lilwik » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:18 am

BakaGrappler wrote:And yet your theory on the limits of Dirtamancy continue to feel like an arbitrary enforcement of Stupidworld logic on Erfworld physics.
I actually like the theory for that reason. In Stupidworld when a city is built it tends to use the resources that are cheaply available nearby. When a city is built in an area with no trees, it makes the most sense to avoid wooden construction when possible. Perhaps Erfworld has rules that enforce or at least encourage a similar thing. Perhaps wood costs more juice when the terrain has no trees. If so it would be just one more of the many parallels between Erfworld and Stupidworld. I agree that we've never seen a hint to indicate that anything like that is actually true; maybe Dirtamancers can build anything they like with no consideration for the terrain type they are building on, but if it turns out that terrain type does affects building then it shouldn't come as a surprise to us.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Lipkin » Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:54 am

BakaGrappler wrote:And yet your theory on the limits of Dirtamancy continue to feel like an arbitrary enforcement of Stupidworld logic on Erfworld physics. If it took multiple turns to build or upgrade a city, then yes, I would be inclined to see things your way Lipkin, but they don't. Cities just appear and disappear with a sound accompanying it as an indication of the action being performed. If there was rubble left over when a city is razed, then I may be inclined to believe you, but there is no rubble to be disposed of, just empty foundations. The materials used in the creation of cities "appear" and when a city is razed, they "disappear." There are no land fills and there is no reason to think that the materials "return to the earth" as if there was an Erfworld Lifestream (if there was it would be called the Livestream), so I find myself saying it's a completely unsubstantiated theory.

Erfworld has been pulling things out of thin air from the very beginning, starting with life. Units are Popped out of thin air. They are not manufactured using the very exact materials that the human body is made of, pulled from here and there and then mixed in exact measurements to get the final product. They are formed by the Titans, and when their bodies are cleaned up, they return to the Titans.

That is the process of Erfworld, where magic is real, Fate is immutable, and matter is not constant.
You still don't get what I'm saying. I'm not claiming that it uses resources pulled from the surroundings. I'm saying that structures reflect the signamancy of the surrounding area. If it's forest terrain, the city is going to reflect that. Likewise for a mountain city. It took a link-up in order for Sizemore to alter the terrain type of a zone. A Dirtamancer could alter a mountain hex, but would require additional help to cause it to be something other than a mountain. But he can do anything that he wants with stuff that naturally appears in mountain terrain. He can make or destroy matter as much as he wants, but the matter that he creates is going to match the signamancy of the area, or it's going to be much more difficult.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3YiPC91QUk
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby 0beron » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:09 am

Shai_hulud wrote:My other question was why, if traps are Dirtamancy, can Florists make traps too, but Shockers don't?
Firstly, who ever said Florists do make traps...? If you're referring to the tree that held Jillian, that was because Olive turned it into a Tannebaum and had it hold her. Or if you mean the Peashooters, does Jillian actually call them traps? I was under the impression they were simply concealed units like the Uncroaked.
Secondly, Shocks can make traps. Carpool's Shockamancer trapped the tower to fire off it's charges without him present, and Jillian is wary of invading a Haffaton city because the tower might be trapped to fire as well.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby drachefly » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:40 pm

0beron wrote:Obviously Changeamancers do things Dollamancers can't, otherwise they wouldn't exist as separate disciplines. Cummon Drache, use your noggin :p


That's what I'm asking for...
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 3

Postby Requia » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:16 pm

Lilwik wrote:The fact that we've seen that no one discipline has a monopoly on creating golems tends to suggest that they can all do it, but maybe it's not every discipline. There could be some pattern to who can make golems. Which disciplines do we know make golems? Dirtamancy, Dollamancy, Hat Magic (Book 0, Episode 19). That's all that I can think of and all the Golem wiki page currently lists.


it goes past that, golems are a theme, but the broader effect is making units (in the same sense that dirtamancy trpas and shockamancy traps are both traps, but shockamancy probably doesn't do pit traps), we've seen undead from croakamancy and i think plants from hippie mancy (It's possible Olive popped those, but my interpretation was she made them) .

Lilwik wrote:
Sir Shadow wrote:But you're splitting hairs, just because it's a different material doesn't mean it doesn't follow the theme.
I agree. Dirt isn't actually critical to Dirtamancy; it's just something they often tend to work with. Dirtamancy is really more about buildings and architecture; anything that buildings can be made out of is fair game for Dirtamancers. I bet that if you wanted a full-scale gingerbread house, a Dirtamancer is the one you would talk to.


I would think only normal building materials, which is a long list that wouldn't include things like ice or gignerbread. A gingerbread house is what I'd expect if a hatamancer put on his construction hat.
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