Digdoug - Episode 9

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:58 am

No one in particular wrote:TL;DR - my interpretation is that Date-a-mancy is focused on understanding how things work through interaction. People on dates (Uhura), units in fights (Laurel of Napster) or Rules colliding (Parson's Foodfight tactic). Parson may not be very good at the person to person level, but he always was a big picture thinker.

Also, we've seen casters use scrolls outside their disciplines before (Gobwin Knob's healing scrolls, the "Summon Perfect Warlord" spell, Wanda improving the tower with a Dirtamancy scroll in IPTSF 20).


We have seen experienced casters use scrolls outside their discipline when they have some experience casting in that discipline before. Wanda has experience and skill with at least the theory of several disciplines, so she can cast scrolls with it, either way. She even comments while casting the Perfect Warlord spell about how hard it is because she isn't a Findamancer, though earlier discussion with Sizemore revealed that she is quite good at a number of magics outside croakamancy.

I would say that (for me) the primary reason that I think Parson is a Carnymancer is in the way he thinks. He doesn't just think "big picture" or see the interactions. He actually revels in beating the no-win scenario by bending and breaking the rules...to the point that the activity he was engaged in while being summoned was creating a game scenario that forced the players to seek a way to break the rules somehow. That was actually his stated intent.

He questions the rules. He seeks ways to get around them. He looks for the ways to take actions that work in the rules without being popularly done. He looks for advantages in the rules that seem like they should be against the rules but somehow aren't.

Either way, I don't know how strong the evidence that he can use the scroll points towards any discipline at all. And, as it was pointed out above, Parson may not be a caster of a specific discipline...he might be a caster for all disciplines. He isn't even aware of his own stats, so it's hard to say what he is and isn't capable of.

(By the way, I'd totally bet against you, No One In Particular, if I thought the bet would be resolved sometime in the next 12 months. But, I honestly don't think it will. One piece of evidence to me is the way Parson interacts with the Archons...really not Date-a-mancer material.)
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:02 am

cheeseaholic wrote:Hell I don't even think that they played the game according to the rules. Digdug's black 8s had no value, but they were also the highest card if that didn't win him the trick, meaning that the two tricks that he played them he should have tied, since that would follow the rule which, as a rule, should be followed unless superseded by another rule (that of it causing him to win). So 8 would be the highest card, but couldn't exceed the value of the other highest card in the hand. In fact, it should have been either a 2 way tie or a 3 or 4 way tie, since the two black cards both had 0 value and would thus tie, and the two red cards would thus have to have a value of 0 or below. The game seems to be a logical puzzle as you add rules, which is kind of weird if the casters are supposed to be carnies.


You may be overthinking it. Digdoug's rule does not apply if it would make him win the trick...it is that simple. So, when Digdoug plays an 8, his rule would make him win the trick, so it is not applied. As a result, Digdoug's 8s are not the highest valued card as a result of that rule (though, they might have been on their own, if play had worked out that way.)
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lilwik » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:14 am

joosy wrote:For example, when Jillian got the Prediction that she was going to be ambushed she tried to circumvent it by changing her route - and got ambushed anyway.
She even did it more than once. Jillian can be surprisingly dense sometimes.

joosy wrote:A more practical approach would be for her to minimize her losses - sending ahead an expendable unit to be ambushed first, preparing her formation to best defend against an ambush, or even ambushing herself if that was possible.
Except that ambushing herself runs the risk of getting her ambushed twice, once in a fake ambush and once in a real one. If Marie says there is an ambush and it turns out to be only a fake ambush, with no actual enemy units in the area, then that Prediction wasn't intelligence; it was misinformation and worse than useless. It would mean that the Predictamancer paid juice and gained no benefit for her side. Since gathering intelligence is the only thing that Predictamancy can do, that would mean that Dove is right and Predictamancy really is a trap.

Can it really be possible that a discipline is actually bad? Surely the Titans made each discipline for a reason. I would be shocked if it turned out that any discipline were strictly underpowered or overpowered. Instead, I expect that some disciplines are simply more subtle and strategic, perhaps more difficult to use effectively, but that would always be balanced by having greater power when they are used effectively. I'd bet that Predictamancy and Carnymancy are among the most difficult disciplines to use effectively, and therefore the least understood disciplines. That's probably the only reason that they are so disliked. I think that Dove is either one more person who doesn't understand Predictamancy, like Wanda and Jillian, or else Dove is just slandering her competition.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:30 am

Lilwik wrote:It would mean that the Predictamancer paid juice and gained no benefit for her side. Since gathering intelligence is the only thing that Predictamancy can do, that would mean that Dove is right and Predictamancy really is a trap.

Can it really be possible that a discipline is actually bad?


It's hard to say...even the best game designers often have unforeseen imbalances like that...

But, I don't think gathering intelligence is all Predictamancy can do (at least not in the sense of making grand Predictions). I believe there was talk in Book 0 about Predictamancy being able to do things within a battle to help a warlord focus their forces, much like a Mathamancer might...knowing which forms of attack are capable of being effective against a particular enemy, etc. The more specific and narrow the question, the more effective the answer, in Predictamancy, as I understand it.

(Here's where I drop into 100% theory) I think Fate in its natural state has no natural predetermination. It is only when Fate is viewed through Predictamancy that it becomes "set." And then, only the details that were Predicted are still set. (Much like Quantum Mechanics.) I think that the Titans created Predictamancy as one of the tools they needed to set Fate in certain places while making the world (kind of like Retconjuration, except usable by casters.)

By this reasoning, if Jillian ambushed herself, there is no specific risk that there would be another ambush. In this theory, the only reason there was going to be an ambush is because the Predictamancer asked a question and Fate was obligated to set an answer. So, if Jillian works with Fate to make it easier for Fate to fulfill its obligation to the Predictamancer, then that is taking what Wanda calls "the easy way." So, really, Predictamancers are making things have to happen in their Predictions...taking free will away with every Prediction made. And that is the trap that Dove is really referring to.

This also suggests that Predictamancy is both more powerful and harder to use well than any other discipline...probably bar none.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lamech » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:50 am

Lilwik wrote:It would mean that the Predictamancer paid juice and gained no benefit for her side. Since gathering intelligence is the only thing that Predictamancy can do, that would mean that Dove is right and Predictamancy really is a trap.
Well if you subscribe to the theory that Fate sets up certain events that must happen: "Sizemore takes a crap, Parson eats a Bagel, Stanly makes a bad decision", going out of your way to fulfill the prediction negates the effect. So if Parson got that list of Predictions he could ask Stanly what he should set their newest twoll on first and then they wouldn't need to worry about Stanly making a bad decision at a crucial moment.

With the ambush evasion Jillian ambushes herself, and they replans her route. Since the Fate has been fulfilled nothing will force her into an ambush and she can probably avoid it. Now if Fate is like Wanda and responds to people asking for the very easy way, with the very hard way then that might not be such a good idea.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lilwik » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:47 am

Godzfirefly wrote:In this theory, the only reason there was going to be an ambush is because the Predictamancer asked a question and Fate was obligated to set an answer.
That is so much worse. By that theory, Predictamancy is not merely responsible for wasting everyone's time setting up a fake ambush, but Predictamancy would also be responsible for the real ambush if it happened. Each of those times that Jillian ran into an ambush that Marie Predicted, that wasn't enemy action; it was all thanks to Marie whose discipline is apparently in the business of taking in upkeep shmuckers and turning them into problems for her own side.

Godzfirefly wrote:So, if Jillian works with Fate to make it easier for Fate to fulfill its obligation to the Predictamancer, then that is taking what Wanda calls "the easy way."
That works only if Predictamancy is the worst of all disciplines by far and manufactured the ambush from pure juice. If there were enemies in Jillian's way then the real ambush would happen no matter what Jillian does about it. For the fake ambush to save her she has to hope that it acts as an offering to appease the Fate monster and cause it to refrain from teleporting enemies into one of the hexes ahead of her.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby asparagus » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:50 am

cheeseaholic wrote:I'm surprised that people are discussing the actual game so much. It looked to me to be a fairly clear way of just trying to give an idea what Carnymancers do.
..............
So, yeah. That game would be a mess to play, and would be easy to break and make inconclusive rounds like this.



I'm surprised people aren't discussing the game more. I am also surprised people don't get the rules more easily. I would have thought anybody reading this comic was into games.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lipkin » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:07 am

asparagus wrote:
cheeseaholic wrote:I'm surprised that people are discussing the actual game so much. It looked to me to be a fairly clear way of just trying to give an idea what Carnymancers do.
..............
So, yeah. That game would be a mess to play, and would be easy to break and make inconclusive rounds like this.



I'm surprised people aren't discussing the game more. I am also surprised people don't get the rules more easily. I would have thought anybody reading this comic was into games.

Judging by all the conversations on the rules of Erf on this forum, I'm not at all surprised at how many don't seem to be gamers.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:02 am

Lilwik wrote:That is so much worse. By that theory, Predictamancy is not merely responsible for wasting everyone's time setting up a fake ambush, but Predictamancy would also be responsible for the real ambush if it happened. Each of those times that Jillian ran into an ambush that Marie Predicted, that wasn't enemy action; it was all thanks to Marie whose discipline is apparently in the business of taking in upkeep shmuckers and turning them into problems for her own side.


Again, it would only be worse because of the way Marie was being used in that instance. Like all disciplines, a Ruler is fully capable of wasting their casters by doing stupid things, and Predictamancers are even more vulnerable to that issue. But, asking if Jillian will have a safe trip over and over may have been an unwise usage. That would have been better served by using a Lookamancer to scout the route rather than a Predictamancer.

Using Marie to determine how to hide the cities from Lookamancy was wise, given the goal of the leadership. Using a Predictamancer to answer specific questions about a battle that you know will happen (or the movements of troops that are already in your lands) is a great choice, since it forces your opponents into moves you can counter. Using Predictamancy to predict a specific aspect of a diplomatic negotiation that's in progress (i.e. what is the lowest value unit Ruler X would trade their caster for.)

Using Predictamancy on yourself to ask something generic and vague...that's stupid. A question like "what's the greatest threat to my city" is foolish because then Fate has to find such a threat if there wasn't already one. I can easily see such a question directed at Jillian rather than a city cause an ambush. Or Homekey's problem, for that matter. So, that would be the case where Predictamancy is the trap. Like happens so often with casters in Erfworld, the rulers that know nothing about the discipline are directing the casters' spells. And, that is a recipe for disaster.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby multilis » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:51 pm

It is possible that it is bad luck to hire predictomancer, and/or carnymancer are rarely hired not because of nature of their magic but nature of their culture in magic kingdom.

Charlie hires lots of mancers, has good reputation with them. Charlie has ways to get info, that he keeps secret and feels very important to keep secret. There are a while bunch of casters in magic kingdom that may fail to meet upkeep and croak unless Charlie provides minimum funds when they need it. In return Charlie may use them to extract info from others.

Our Carnymancer could very easily first have contract with Charlie and or the enemies of side she is currently helping, and by hiring her and showing her the books, info is leaking out that allows side to be wiped out.

The standard logic of don't hire could be from all the sides that died from doing so, because the application of the magic is currently tainted by forces that influence magic kingdom. And Wanda could be greatly feared because of what she did to Jack... broke a contract, allowed Jack to talk. Possible that when other casters croak and are brought back by Wanda, Parson may learn just how far Charlie's deals go.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lilwik » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:25 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:So, that would be the case where Predictamancy is the trap. Like happens so often with casters in Erfworld, the rulers that know nothing about the discipline are directing the casters' spells.
Why would Marie let Banhammer do that? She was so concerned about avoiding revealing information that might make things worse. She would have told him that those sorts of questions are bad. Is the theory that even the Predictamancers don't know how this works?

We can probably never really know that Predictions don't cause the events they predict, especially if it's possible that even Predictamancers don't know it is happening, but I can't bring myself to believe that theory. It certainly doesn't sound like prediction. In Stupidworld predictions aren't the cause of the things they predict, so we should keep our minds open to the possibility that maybe they aren't the cause in Erfworld either.

Even if Predictions aren't the cause of the events they predict, there's still plenty of reason for Dove to say Predictamancy is a trap. Most obviously, she was saying it as part of an explanation of why people should use Carnymancy instead of Predictamancy, an obvious conflict of interests. More than that, Erfworders can come up with the theory that Predictamancy is causing bad events just as easily as we can. Predictamancy would look like a trap whether it actually is a trap or not, and that alone gives Dove reason to call Predictamancy a trap, either from ignorance or malice.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:50 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Godzfirefly wrote:In Stupidworld predictions aren't the cause of the things they predict, so we should keep our minds open to the possibility that maybe they aren't the cause in Erfworld either.


That...is a really weird statement, since most predictions in Stupidworld don't come true at all. And, those that claim to have (like Old Testiment prophecies of New Testiment events) are often caused by the predictions, in a sense (or at least caused by the source of the predictions, which is very similar.)

And, the source of my theory (which I'm open minded enough to accept as just a hypothesis rather than a true theory) is Quantum Mechanics. In that very real Stupidworld aspect of reality, the observation of the Quantum Particle does cause the particle to exist in a particular state where previously it was multiple states. So, in a very real sense, observation of the undecided does make the undecided into a reality in Stupidworld.

As for why Marie would let Banhammer do that, I can think of two good reasons. 1) He's her leader and she does what he says, even if he knows not what he asks. Banhammer may be a leader that takes advantage of his casters best, but that doesn't mean he talks with them about what makes their magic work. 2) There are aspects of Predictamancy that Predictamancers don't talk about with anyone outside their discipline. We know this because Delphie said so. Marie may not be willing to violate that trust for the sake of a warlord that no one at court likes. Much like no Thinkamancer talks about Charlie's ability to intercept Thinkagrams, even though it does threaten their Sides. If everyone knew Predictamancers essentially caused their predictions, and they really can't control what they cause, it would be a major problem for Predictamancers as a group. They'd be worse than Carnymancers, then.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Grand Diplomat » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:36 pm

So let me get this straight. All you people are arguing that about whether a predictamancer forces fate to force something to happen when a predictamancer makes a prediction. Right?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lilwik » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:38 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:That...is a really weird statement, since most predictions in Stupidworld don't come true at all.
Stupidworld is full of predictions that come true every day. For example, global warming. They are mostly very boring so people don't take any special note of them, but every scientific experiment has a prediction, and every time science gets something right that's a prediction that comes true, and a similar prediction will be made many times in many places as the results are verified, and all of those predictions also come true.

Godzfirefly wrote:And, the source of my theory (which I'm open minded enough to accept as just a hypothesis rather than a true theory) is Quantum Mechanics. In that very real Stupidworld aspect of reality, the observation of the Quantum Particle does cause the particle to exist in a particular state where previously it was multiple states.
Quantum mechanics only works as a metaphor for your theory of Predictamancy. I'm happy to call it the Quantum Mechanics Theory of Predictamancy, but the theory isn't actually an example of quantum mechanics at work in Erfworld. Quantum mechanics only really applies to very small things and their current positions or velocities. It's a good metaphor for the theory, but the fact that quantum mechanics is real isn't any sort of evidence that the theory is correct.

Godzfirefly wrote:As for why Marie would let Banhammer do that, I can think of two good reasons. 1) He's her leader and she does what he says, even if he knows not what he asks.
She's not physically capable of stopping him from doing it, but I can't believe she would allow him to know not what he asks. She had Duty.

Godzfirefly wrote:Banhammer may be a leader that takes advantage of his casters best, but that doesn't mean he talks with them about what makes their magic work.
It seems that Banhammer did nothing but drink tea with his casters and have long discussions about many subjects. We're talking about a discussion that has obvious serious implications for the security of Faq, so I think Marie would have brought it up at some point.

Godzfirefly wrote:There are aspects of Predictamancy that Predictamancers don't talk about with anyone outside their discipline. We know this because Delphie said so. Marie may not be willing to violate that trust for the sake of a warlord that no one at court likes.
Which episode are you talking about? I'm curious about Delphie's exact words. I'm under the impression that they keep secrets to make things better, not to make things worse. Even if Marie greatly disliked Jillian (which isn't true as of B0E74), that doesn't mean that Marie can actually violate her duty and deliberately allow harm to come to Jillian.

Godzfirefly wrote:Much like no Thinkamancer talks about Charlie's ability to intercept Thinkagrams, even though it does threaten their Sides.
Duty is natural Thinkamancy. It should be no surprise that Thinkamancers can twist it to their own liking. They are also uniquely capable of organizing themselves across multiple sides and maintaining conspiracies. Predictamancers don't have those advantages.

Godzfirefly wrote:If everyone knew Predictamancers essentially caused their predictions, and they really can't control what they cause, it would be a major problem for Predictamancers as a group. They'd be worse than Carnymancers, then.
According to your theory that's just a matter of how people use Predictamancy. If Predictamancers explained the situation and the rulers stopped asking the wrong questions, then it shouldn't be a problem. Some rulers would probably still find it off-putting, but the alternative is to force the Predictamancer to be a burden to her side, like a secret saboteur, and the endless guilt of that would surely break the conspiracy many times over, even if Duty weren't real.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby 0beron » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:49 pm

Grand Diplomat wrote:So let me get this straight. All you people are arguing that about whether a predictamancer forces fate to force something to happen when a predictamancer makes a prediction. Right?
I haven't be following in detail (partially cus I don't see about 1/3 of the posts) but yes that seems to be the jist of it. There are pretty much 3 different theories about the future on the forums, if I'm recalling correctly:
  • The Future always was and always will be fixed, and Predictions see certain elements of that future.
  • The Future is variable to a degree, but once an aspect of the future is witnessed in a Prediction, it becomes fixed and unavoidable.
  • The Future is highly variable, and Predictions merely describe details that are common to all possible futures (this is the theory I proposed and support)
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Grand Diplomat » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:56 pm

I like the 3rd best and I think it's pretty well supported by the Stories we've seen so far.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:04 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Godzfirefly wrote:There are aspects of Predictamancy that Predictamancers don't talk about with anyone outside their discipline. We know this because Delphie said so. Marie may not be willing to violate that trust for the sake of a warlord that no one at court likes.
Which episode are you talking about? I'm curious about Delphie's exact words. I'm under the impression that they keep secrets to make things better, not to make things worse.


The Episode that I'm referring to is Book 0 Episode 3. The exact quote is:

“It’s a complicated subject, Wanda. Predictamancy... You know, dear? There are rules we don’t discuss. About...what we don’t discuss.” She smiled weakly.


The context, of course, is the question of whether Goodminton would be attacked by air and how they would fare as a result. The implication seems to be that she can't answer the question due to the rules of Predictamancy that Predictamancers don't discuss. This would either mean that there are rules inherent to the Predictamancy system that aren't discussed because the Predictamancers as a group don't want to risk the group (much like Thinkamancers do) or the nature of Predictamancers prevents them from discussing it as part of their natural way of thinking.

Lilwik wrote:Even if Marie greatly disliked Jillian (which isn't true as of B0E74), that doesn't mean that Marie can actually violate her duty and deliberately allow harm to come to Jillian.


You assume that Marie's Duty prevents harm to any unit under any circumstance. Clearly, that isn't the case or no unit could be ordered into battle at all. If Marie believed that the side would be better off without Jillian and her warmongering, then Marie might be able to side-step duty to make a prediction that would risk Jillian. It's all about risk vs reward in Predictamancy.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Godzfirefly » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:10 pm

0beron wrote:
  • The Future always was and always will be fixed, and Predictions see certain elements of that future.
  • The Future is variable to a degree, but once an aspect of the future is witnessed in a Prediction, it becomes fixed and unavoidable.
  • The Future is highly variable, and Predictions merely describe details that are common to all possible futures (this is the theory I proposed and support)


I like theory two and theory 3, though I personally lean (very slightly) towards theory 2 (with a twist that I think Fate is more variable than just a little). It's only theory 1 that I dislike, since it seems to run very counter to how Fate is described in Erfworld and it is just distasteful on the face of things.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby GWvsJohn » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:11 pm

My theory is that the entirety of Erfworld is already scripted, from the Titan's perspective. This makes sense since, after all, Erfworld is a written story. The Titans know how any player will react to a Prediction and they know whether they will hear a Prediction or not. So hearing a Prefiction doesn't cause the event to happen since its already been decided how everything will play out.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 9

Postby Lilwik » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:34 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:The Episode that I'm referring to is Book 0 Episode 3.
That is well spotted. Thank you. That is so cryptic and mysterious. I don't know what she might have meant by that. All I can do is suppose that whatever it is doesn't go against Duty, probably.

Godzfirefly wrote:This would either mean that there are rules inherent to the Predictamancy system that aren't discussed because the Predictamancers as a group don't want to risk the group (much like Thinkamancers do) or the nature of Predictamancers prevents them from discussing it as part of their natural way of thinking.
When you put it that way, it has to be the second one. If the Predictamancers were trying to protect themselves as a group, then it would be a serious secret conspiracy, which should have prevented Delphie from even admitting that there was a secret. Wanda could have told Overlord Firebaugh about it and Overlord Firebaugh could have ordered the secret out of Delphie. That's a seriously sloppy conspiracy.

Godzfirefly wrote:If Marie believed that the side would be better off without Jillian and her warmongering, then Marie might be able to side-step duty to make a prediction that would risk Jillian.
That's true, but we know that Marie didn't hate Jillian, and I can't see how that line of thinking would work in detail. I'm sure that Marie would have preferred a world without war; she's still working toward that, but that doesn't automatically mean that Faq specifically would have been better off without Jillian. The people whom Jillian kills would be better off. The world outside of Faq might have been better off, but losing Jillian and her team would have only caused Faq to lose a major chunk of its income and its heir. Faq would have seen no direct benefits and Banhammer would certainly have not been pleased.

This isn't a situation like Betsy in Jillian's head. Betsy wasn't trying to hurt Jillian; Betsy was trying to fix Jillian, which I'm sure Betsy believed would make Jillian happy and would make Banhammer happy, and all of Faq would be happy.
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