Digdoug - Episode 20

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Thu May 15, 2014 9:16 am

arbo wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:Shockmancers must have it extra tough in the MK. They have no utility skills that others would want to hire them for.


Be creative. I can think of several highly profitable, entertainment-oriented niches shockmancers could explore. People who love kinky can be found anywhere.

Oohhh, excellent point there! Fireworks and flashing could be counted as utility of sorts.

Althernai wrote:
Lilwik wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:And if nothing else, at least this update ends the "You can totally forage to fully cover your upkeep if you're not a prisoner" discussion.
There was nothing in that time when Jillian was a fugitive that suggested her foraging for food was a special case that couldn't work if she weren't a fugitive, so it still works as evidence that foraging can totally cover upkeep. Now all we have is evidence suggesting the opposite, which doesn't settle anything. On the contrary, now we have to figure out a ways to reconcile the conflicting evidence. Maybe being a fugitive is a special case, or maybe the Magic Kingdom doesn't have enough natural food to let everyone forage for survival. Maybe casters aren't as good at foraging as warlords. Maybe people can easily forage for survival in the Magic Kingdom and Dove is choosing not to tell Digdoug about that.

There was a debate about being able to hunt and forage to cover upkeep? It's pretty clearly stated here:
Jillian could have hunted one down herself, but they left her a good meaty haunch to roast. After a moment's consideration, she took it, split it, and wedged it between two shale slabs at the edge of her campfire. She set her gwiffons on the remaining carcass, to suck the marrow and absorb the hooves and horns. It added one more day her provisions would last.

There is nothing in this update that contradicts this. The Magic Kingdom is not wild territory with random critters running around. Every piece of it that we've seen has casters and it's a pretty safe bet that every natural resource has been appropriated by somebody or other. And casters who are about to take the Long Walk can't go foraging elsewhere -- the only way out is through a portal which means they'd have to be allied with a capital side.


Except that what Jillian covered up in that example are provisions. Not upkeep. Different things, otherwise they wouldn't have different names. Having provisions reduces your upkeep, but doesn't fully cover up for it (unless you're a prisioner).

After all, as I mentioned in the other thread, mercenary Jillian was forced to disband her own forces in the past for being unable to pay their upkeep. If provisions could fully cover upkeep, she would've never been forced to such dire measures, because her high mobility force should have little problems foraging for all the food they would need.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Althernai » Thu May 15, 2014 9:53 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Except that what Jillian covered up in that example are provisions. Not upkeep. Different things, otherwise they wouldn't have different names. Having provisions reduces your upkeep, but doesn't fully cover up for it (unless you're a prisioner).

That's an amusingly overcomplicated interpretation and I guess it's mostly consistent with the text, although I think you mean "fugitive" rather than "prisoner" and I would point out that, for example, Crapsack the Dragon was never a fugitive. However, I would be really, really surprised if this was the case. It's much simpler and much more plausible to have provisions be the food you eat to account for your upkeep without using schmuckers (hence the different names) and the rules for food covering upkeep be universal rather than having this bizarre difference between fugitives and barbarians.
After all, as I mentioned in the other thread, mercenary Jillian was forced to disband her own forces in the past for being unable to pay their upkeep. If provisions could fully cover upkeep, she would've never been forced to such dire measures, because her high mobility force should have little problems foraging for all the food they would need.

Not necessarily. If Erfworld has the same geographic variety as Earth (and it appears to; I can provide textual examples if you like), then there will be plenty of terrain (e.g. desert) where there simply isn't enough to eat for large animals like the ones in Jillian's air force no matter how high their mobility is.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby 0beron » Thu May 15, 2014 10:05 am

Godzfirefly wrote:
╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:[tinfoil hat]I am wondering: if it is indeed Clay Dice on the picture, what kind of weird coincidence is it that we see a character on the picture that we assumed had perished off screen at the near conclusion of a other story were we would assume others characters also perished offscreen?[/tinfoil hat]
Isn't the character in question expressly described as a Carneymancer? Wouldn't that mean it can't be Clay?
A couple of important notes: We have no idea when this story takes place, so even if that is indeed Clay, it could very well be back when Goodminton was standing, and he just happened to spend a night in the MK (which we have seen Sizemore do before, so affiliated casters seem capable of doing so). As for whether it is indeed Clay, there's no proof that you can see the specific discipline of a caster in their stat block, otherwise Wanda would have known Olive isn't a Retconjurer. So Digdoug is probably assuming Carny without any factual basis (and all things considered, Luckamancy seems pretty compatible with Carnies, so it makes sense the two disciplines may hang out some.)
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Arcana » Thu May 15, 2014 10:17 am

"OneHugeTuck wrote:Now, I'm no mathamancer, but I think that a math savvy individual could have some fun and give us some outlook on just how big erfworld is.

1. A caster is at the short pier most every day. Thus, a fast reduction in numbers of casters. 70 gone every 100 turns?"

Now here's a topic I can talk about. I thought about trying to figure out just how many casters there are in Erfworld, including the Magic Kingdom. I came up with something like the Drake equation.

N = The number of casters in Erfworld.

S = The number of sides in Erfworld.

Fs = The fraction of sides with at least one caster.

Ac = The average number of casters on any side with at least one caster.

B = The number of barbarian casters.

So I came up with N = (S * Fs * Ac) + B

Like the Drake equation the values of these numbers are up to debate, some might even be guesses. Using S=250, Fs=0.85, Ac=3, and B=300 I got 937 casters in Erfworld.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Lipkin » Thu May 15, 2014 10:26 am

Shockmancers could be hired to spell up a tower, or they could make some smuckers selling shockmancy scrolls. But on the other hand, since they are offensively oriented, it's unlikely many survive the fall of their sides.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby GWvsJohn » Thu May 15, 2014 10:43 am

There's no way sides average 3 casters per side.

Goodminton was shocked to get a 3rd and seemed lucky to have 2.

Jetstone is a large, old side and they have (had) 4.

Transylvito is another large, old side, and they have 3.

Homekey has 1, which they traded for.

The Lord Crush sides averaged less than 1.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby YRM_DM » Thu May 15, 2014 10:53 am

I think some of the mixed reaction to the week after week of new questions, mysteries and cliffhangers kind of comes from the audience being taught to be let down.

Just because someone is a professional writer, doesn't mean they'll do a good job of tying up their story. I realize that, in life, everything doesn't always have satisfactory answers, but, reading a fantasy story is something people do largely to escape from the disappointment of real life. So even if a fantasy story doesn't have a happy ending, it should make sense within it's own universe.

Examples of this working poorly include LOST, which created compelling cliffhangers and mystery, week after week, only to halfway explain the whole thing with a total cheat that the writers promised in interviews that they wouldn't do.

Another example would include the Mentalist finding Red John at the end of Season 3, only to find it wasn't really him, and then dragging it out for another few years with the writers not having the end in mind when they wrote. THE WRITERS DIDN'T KNOW WHO RED JOHN WAS UNTIL SEASON 5 OR SO.

St. Elsewhere was all some kid's dream in a snow globe.

So when an author spends years and years creating mysteries... people have experienced many stories where the writer created mysteries and had no flipping solid idea the solution to those mysteries.

Rob at least has been kind enough to reveal a little more about Charlie, in that he's a Carneymancer who was injured by Flower Power and exists in some mysterious state. We know that at least one other human has come to Erfworld before.

To me, the main mystery of Erfworld is... what is it? Is Parson somehow inside game code for a TBS? Is it a parallel universe? Is Charlie another stupid-worlder who became a Carneymancer? (that'd be how he'd know Parson could cast spells and qualifies as a caster)

What is the deal with Charlie? Did he Pop? Is he human? Is he a game piece trying to invade StupidWorld like out of Tron as hinted at briefly?
What is the deal with the Arkentools?
What is the deal with Parson?

These are the key questions.

This Dig Doug update could have given us more real insight into how Charlie works. Seeing HOW Charlie pulled off the screw job and triple con of three sides would be very illuminating. Do we need to hate Charlie more or is he just doing what Parson would do after 1000 turns trapped in Erfworld making the best of the game mechanics?

The story is kind of getting to the point where, if Rob has great answers to the above questions, and they are shared... this story goes down as one of the best ever.

But if there were lots of red herrings and lazy details that don't make sense (like True Detective), the end result becomes more disappointing.

Rob has a chance here to close the story loop as well as, say, 'The Wire'. This is a great story. Because it has such great potential, and because writers have disappointed their audiences so many times, I'm at that edge of my seat, rooting for Rob. Sopranos had enough solid foreshadowing (SPOILER) to tell us that Tony was clearly killed at the end and never saw it coming. Almost all major questions were answered by that time. The story was about giving Tony (and people, like Carmella) chance after chance to change, streaks of great luck that they didn't appreciate, and seeing how most people would always revert back to the easy way out and anyone sucked into Tony's sphere of influence would inevitably suffer so that Tony could take the easy way out. After being given numerous chances to change his life that were too hard or too messy or too inconvenient, Tony eventually fell to one of the only ends someone in his position could fall to.

This is a very nervous point to be a fan. For every "The Wire" there's a "Carnivale" that leaves the audience hanging for various reasons. For every Sopranos or Breaking Bad, there's a St. Elsewhere or Lost, where good writing at the start gets squandered. There are far more shows that go off the rails than stay on it.

There are far more stories that go off the rails than stay on it.

I hope that makes sense.

Every ounce of my brain is hoping that Rob can be that rare story that stays on the rails and keeps delivering.

I can't be the only one thinking that, and, I think it's part of why people were hoping for a few more answers to come about Charlie in this Dig Doug update.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby 0beron » Thu May 15, 2014 11:18 am

YRM_DM wrote:What is the deal with Charlie? Did he Pop? Is he human? Is he a game piece trying to invade StupidWorld like out of Tron as hinted at briefly?
What is the deal with the Arkentools?
What is the deal with Parson?
These are the key questions.
This Dig Doug update could have given us more real insight into how Charlie works [...] I can't be the only one thinking that, and, I think it's part of why people were hoping for a few more answers to come about Charlie in this Dig Doug update.
This story could have done that, sure. But that was never the purpose. People are expecting for something that is inconsistent with the goal. Backer stories are a thanks to generous folks who contribute a lot to keeping Erfworld running, and feed the fans' desire to know more about Erfworld and it's people. Backer stories aren't supposed to have anything to do with answering the main story plot. They're just another story set in the same universe. People expecting substantive answers about the Main Plot to come from Backer Stories would be like expecting The Silmarillion to tell us how LotR ends.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby spriteless » Thu May 15, 2014 11:32 am

Rob has already shown he can do small and medium payoffs for plots, so the large ones looming will at least be handled by someone who knows what satisfying is.

My theory on the Rands is since they are tied to labor, they are exchanged for food from the farms and/or schmuckers from the barbarian moneymancers, automagically with help from signamancers mastery of how they symbolize the labor that goes into that and their mastery of paperwork.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Keighvin1 » Thu May 15, 2014 12:16 pm

GWvsJohn wrote:There's no way sides average 3 casters per side.

Goodminton was shocked to get a 3rd and seemed lucky to have 2.

Jetstone is a large, old side and they have (had) 4.

Transylvito is another large, old side, and they have 3.

Homekey has 1, which they traded for.

The Lord Crush sides averaged less than 1.


Also, we know Gobwin Knob had 3 naturally popped casters while acquiring 2 extra from Faq.

It seems to me that your examples actually support what you say isn't true. An average means that there's a variance in the number that's to be expected.

Only two of your examples deviate much from the "3 as an average" thing, one is a side that is purposely not popping many warlords nd simply promoting field units, and the other an alliance founded on not popping many units at all. The side you didn't mention as being different, Faq, had far more casters than average, and we don't know the circumstances that caused that, whether they just got lucky in popping, purposely kept popping warlords in order to get casters or acquired them in other ways.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby joosy » Thu May 15, 2014 1:30 pm

Flyer wrote:"Sargent/York" - that's a powerfully Bewitching spell.....


Heh - I thought that was funny as well. A complete replacement spell. :)
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Godzfirefly » Thu May 15, 2014 1:50 pm

wih wrote:Could be Digdoug assuming he's a Carny.


A couple people said this, and I won't say that I think it is wrong. But, I will explain why I didn't think that in my initial assumptions.

In the context of the description of the laying-down caster, it is the story that describes the caster as a Carnie, not Digdoug. Because the story is being told as a POV rather than in the first person narrative, there is a difference.

It is traditionally inappropriate for writers to have the story lie to its readers, or even be wrong. Misdirecting is generally acceptable. Hiding clues or plot-relevant details in off-hand comments is common-place. But, even when the characters shouldn't know a piece of information or might reasonably (from the reader's perspective) expect an information source to be deceptive (like if it comes from a villain,) stories don't generally lie to the readers.

And, if a story even might be providing information to the character that could be misleading or deceptive, it's common practice to tip off the reader to that fact.

The reason for that common practice is that the author is building up trust in the reader through the narrative. The reader (in modern writing) has certain expectations from the story they read, and part of that expectation is 1) that the world is mostly internally consistent and 2) that at least many of the questions posed will have satisfactory answers. Lieing to the reader through the narrative breaks the trust that the answers given in #2 will be accurate and that the understanding of #1 is accurate. With that trust broken, readers then get disgusted an leave the story because they no longer have the expectation that what they're reading is going to answer their questions in a satisfactory way.

Now, I don't know much about Rob's training, so I don't know if he is consciously aware of that traditional writing standard. And, even if he is aware, he might attempt to carefully subvert it some time. But, I've never known his story to describe a person or object as a thing and have it turn out to be another thing. Not without it being lampshaded properly, at least. And, as an author that pays so much attention to his fan-base, and knows how closely we look at details and internal consistancy in the forums, I have a hard time seeing him intentionally calling a person a Carnie in passing, then tell Xin to draw that person to look like Clay as an easter egg. It seemed more likely to me, at the time, that Xin simply drew someone in a similar fashion to how she'd drawn someone she'd drawn in the past. Probably unintentionally.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby bladestorm » Thu May 15, 2014 2:07 pm

Arcana wrote:"OneHugeTuck wrote:Now, I'm no mathamancer, but I think that a math savvy individual could have some fun and give us some outlook on just how big erfworld is.

1. A caster is at the short pier most every day. Thus, a fast reduction in numbers of casters. 70 gone every 100 turns?"

Now here's a topic I can talk about. I thought about trying to figure out just how many casters there are in Erfworld, including the Magic Kingdom. I came up with something like the Drake equation.

N = The number of casters in Erfworld.

S = The number of sides in Erfworld.

Fs = The fraction of sides with at least one caster.

Ac = The average number of casters on any side with at least one caster.

B = The number of barbarian casters.

So I came up with N = (S * Fs * Ac) + B

Like the Drake equation the values of these numbers are up to debate, some might even be guesses. Using S=250, Fs=0.85, Ac=3, and B=300 I got 937 casters in Erfworld.

I worked that slightly differently to get a range. Somewhere between 675 (S= 200, AC = 2.5) and 1193 ( S = 300, AC = 3.5) casters. Assuming Fs may be a bit high considering genre savvy dictates that a larger number of sides get wiped out before they can pop a caster or even expand past their second city, the more conservative number would be 500 casters globally. Of course neither formulae took into account overlapping caster locations (Wanda being a caster for Goodminton, Faq, and GK; Jack being a caster for FAQ and GK; casters that popped Barbarian, joined a Side, and are now barbarian again in the MK), nor did it account for the natural attrition rates for certain caster types (we've mostly seen barbarian casters in the MK that were less likely to be in the field when the final battle was lost).

This may have been noted before, but we do not have a time frame for this story. If that is indeed Clay, this could be the turn after he blabbed his feelings to Wanda and went off to the MK to drink off his sorrows. Or Delphie may be along shortly to collect him so that the two of them can witness the doom of Goodminton being popped. Or this could be Phil, and his groundhog will be along shortly.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Turtlewing » Thu May 15, 2014 2:08 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Beeskee wrote:Holy boop, Rands can pay upkeep? How does that work?
That's a new mystery! I've often wondered how Rands work. It always seemed like they must be regulated by some authority that gives them value, just like any Stupidworld currency, but now it is obvious where the value of Rands comes from and we have an obvious drain on the supply of Rands; one Rand disappears for every caster in the Magic Kingdom every day, so the same number of Rands needs to appear somewhere every day on average or the Magic Kingdom would run out of Rands.

It's bizarre that one Rand appears in the Magic Kingdom for each caster every day, but for some reason the Rands aren't given directly to the casters. If a Rand were given to each caster each day then no caster would ever run out. Who gets the Rands and why?


Presumably from the signamancy "rands" are objectively valuable, not backed by some authority.

My guess is they're similar to gems in that they can be converted to smuckers, but unlike gems they can't be manipulated by moneymancy
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Zeteni » Thu May 15, 2014 3:52 pm

Ok, I only scanned three pages, so apologies if someone put this bit of speculation out there already or I'm not remembering relevant data, but...

What if a Rand appearing as a stat to Digdoug is actually a piece of Carnymancy projected on to him by Dove, perhaps while simultaneously concealing any shmuckers he has in his purse? It seems odd to me that Rands can be used to pay for upkeep when part of their point is to prevent Moneymancers from being OP in the MK. Have we witnessed an instance where a shmucker was converted into a rand directly or vice versa? If so, that would seem to make them pointless since Rands and smuckers become interchangeable and thus manipulable by Moneymancers.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Silversought » Thu May 15, 2014 4:22 pm

Zeteni wrote:Ok, I only scanned three pages, so apologies if someone put this bit of speculation out there already or I'm not remembering relevant data, but...

What if a Rand appearing as a stat to Digdoug is actually a piece of Carnymancy projected on to him by Dove, perhaps while simultaneously concealing any shmuckers he has in his purse? It seems odd to me that Rands can be used to pay for upkeep when part of their point is to prevent Moneymancers from being OP in the MK. Have we witnessed an instance where a shmucker was converted into a rand directly or vice versa? If so, that would seem to make them pointless since Rands and smuckers become interchangeable and thus manipulable by Moneymancers.

No, all direct relation between Rands and Schmuckers is conjecture right now. However, I doubt that Dove could produce a full Inception quality fake-out on Digdoug like certain people seem to be suggesting. That strikes me as the grounds of a master-class Foolamancer >>

Rands probably do pay upkeep; if Dove has been using any actual Carnymancy spells on Digdoug, I'd be surprised.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Lilwik » Thu May 15, 2014 4:26 pm

Zeteni wrote:What if a Rand appearing as a stat to Digdoug is actually a piece of Carnymancy projected on to him by Dove, perhaps while simultaneously concealing any shmuckers he has in his purse?
Apparently, Digdoug has never had any shmuckers in his purse, since there's never been any reason, but since we still don't properly understand the powers and limitations of Carnymancy, there's no limit to how much of this situation might be magically fake. Maybe Digdoug's purse is still empty and his upkeep is actually being paid by Homekey, and Dove is preventing Digdoug from hearing Posbrake's orders. Maybe Homekey is really gone, but Posbrake filled Digdoug's purse before sending him into the Magic Kingdom. I can see why Dove refused to be clear about the powers of Carnymancy; not knowing what Carnymancy can do means that we can only guess about what could be a trick and what must be real.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby 0beron » Thu May 15, 2014 4:32 pm

I think this whole Rands issue comes down to that age-old question of how the MK even came into existance in the first place. Was it created by the Titans, or by casters at some later point? The answer to this has different implications:

Created by the Titans:
This means Rands are part of some innate mechanic, and do not have a specific conversion factor to Schmuckers, but DO have an implied value. If it's a Titanicly created Mechanic, and a single Rand pays to keep any one caster alive for another day, that's a sort of floor to the value. It's saying "this unit of currency should only be traded away from something that you value as much or more than a day of your life." which is a very interesting (and philosophical) point. If this is the case, then it may actually not be paying for their Upkeep though. The Rand may be consumed as part of a system that suspends the Disbanding mechanic. So to put Erfworld's rules into computer language as I've seen some before: "If Rand is paid, then skip target in the daily disband check."

Created by the Erflings:
In this case, the various aspects of how the MK works could have been built piece by piece as the need arose. Rands may have been added later, as the need for an economy emerged and as some casters ran into problems trying to sustain themselves using only Schmuckers. Perhaps the Rands paid by casters in Upkeep aren't actually being "burned" but rather are changing hands without their knowledge. And this changing of hands is actually a collection of one Rand from every single caster, then from the "pot" one Rand is given to every Food-Producer for each unit of Food they produce. Nobody every directly "pays" for food, they just eat because their upkeep Rand already paid someone for the Food they need. The Food-producers then spend the Rands given to them automagically by the MK in order to procure services, and thus the economy keeps rolling. The number of Rands is constant, and probably represents the maximum number of Casters the MK can sustain, based on the maximum quantity of Food it can produce each turn. The fact that some Casters clearly have more than a single Rand just means that the MK is not at maximum capacity, due to caster inequality, supply/demand and greed.

All wild conjecture and theorizing on my part, and honestly I like both possibilities. Now that I think about it, either system could actually apply regardless of how the Mk was created...but oh well, I'll leave it this was cus that's how I thought of it. And main point being, there are definitely ways in which Rands could "cover" upkeep but not actually convert to Schmuckers.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Zeku » Thu May 15, 2014 8:12 pm

What evidence do we have that Rands can pay upkeep? I mean other than what Dove has told us in the recent updates? And does any evidence exist that upkeep has to be paid in the MK? This isn't really logically consistent with the casual nature of the MK. I just wasn't sure if we've specifically heard that upkeep has to be paid there.

It seems possible to me that this is simply part of Dove's scam.

It doesn't explain how Digdoug loses the Rand at the end of each turn. Maybe it's like 'rent.' If you end the turn in someone else's pavilion, you pay a little funny money to that community chest. Or perhaps it's something unique to the Carnie commune.

Edit: And to the guys arguing about Carnymancy, it was specified pretty clearly that carnymancy is rule breaking. (I don't think this was a lie, but who knows) I'm not being disrespectful, just reminding you that all of this is occurring within a framework. Tricking someone into thinking that their kingdom was completely gone sounds much closer to Foolamancy than Carnamancy.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Lilwik » Thu May 15, 2014 8:50 pm

Zeku wrote:And does any evidence exist that upkeep has to be paid in the MK? This isn't really logically consistent with the casual nature of the MK. I just wasn't sure if we've specifically heard that upkeep has to be paid there.
I know what you mean. You're talking about B2T40. "In a string of dull days, this one surely looked to be just another." There is Isaac being so contemplative and playing in the park. I wouldn't say that it is logically inconsistent with having to pay upkeep, but it is in pretty serious conflict with life in the Magic Kingdom being a desperate struggle for Rands the way Dove makes it sound.

I think the only evidence we have that people need to pay upkeep in the Magic Kingdom is that they seem to desire shmuckers. Why else would they risk their lives by agreeing to work outside the Magic Kingdom? And if they aren't spending shmuckers on upkeep, then what happens to the shmuckers that they collect?

Zeku wrote:And to the guys arguing about Carnymancy, it was specified pretty clearly that carnymancy is rule breaking.
That's not clear at all. That's just a word game that Dove is playing to avoid actually explaining Carnymancy. All magic breaks rules. Dirtamancy breaks the rule that dirt is inanimate. Turnamancy breaks the rules that say how long it should take to produce thing. When Dove say that Carnymancy is magic of breaking rules, she's telling us exactly nothing because she doesn't say anything about which rules it can break. Judging from Episode 11, she's doing that deliberately.

Zeku wrote:Tricking someone into thinking that their kingdom was completely gone sounds much closer to Foolamancy than Carnamancy.
We've never seen an example of Foolamancy doing anything like that. Foolamancy seems all about fooling the senses. Preventing a unit from hearing the orders of his ruler sounds more like Thinkamancy than Foolamancy, since the orders are sent by natural Thinkamancy.
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