Digdoug - Episode 20

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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby arbo » Wed May 14, 2014 12:20 pm

mortissimus wrote:But objects can pass through the portals, so throwing a note in there with "need caster, will pay upkeep" could work.


Every Ruler who ever tried this cheap trick ended up conned by the Carnymancers waiting to intercept such notes at the other side. Smart Rulers will prefer the increased security of the 3 methods described in Digdoug episode 8.

mortissimus wrote:In fact, I wonder why no desperate casters have taken to popping their heads in at random portals and offering their services.


Every Caster who ever tried this cheap trick ended up beheaded by the Rulers and Chief Warlords who know better than let random strangers spy on their capital cities at the other side. Smart desperate Casters will prefer the increased safety of the gigs board mentioned in the same episode.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Keighvin1 » Wed May 14, 2014 12:35 pm

I have a question, why is everyone assuming that one Rand is one day's upkeep, rather than one rand is equal to one day of Digdoug's upkeep? I read it last night and skimmed it again, but couldn't see where that distinction was made.

A related question, do we know how much information barbarian casters have of other units stats? We know rulers know the upkeep of units of their sides and that regular units do not even know what their upkeep is until they are a barbarian, but can other barbarians tell what your upkeep is?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby technojunkie » Wed May 14, 2014 12:39 pm

Keighvin1 wrote:I have a question, why is everyone assuming that one Rand is one day's upkeep, rather than one rand is equal to one day of Digdoug's upkeep? I read it last night and skimmed it again, but couldn't see where that distinction was made.


It's just extremely coincidental that Digdoug's upkeep is exactly equal to one rand. So much so that I think a lot of folks (myself included) are trying to read between the lines and glean more info.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby jeffseadot » Wed May 14, 2014 1:08 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if there were an inordinate number of carnies and predictamancers who take the long walk. Predictamancy is supposed to be bad luck, and carnies have a bad reputation pretty much everywhere. Thus, it makes sense that those casters would have a harder time finding work (and might not get paid as much for their services as another caster would; remember, Dove was willing to work for cheap). Indeed, the existence of the Carnyvale seems to indicate that it's more reliable for a carny to make money as an entertainer than as a traditional caster.

It must be tedious for a caster of an unpopular or untrusted discipline to be continually scraping by on barely-over-upkeep grunt work. I suspect that at least a few of them would *love* to be hired as a caster to a proper side, because they not only would have their upkeep taken care of by someone else indefinitely, but they'd have opportunity to do something more interesting with their talents than provide entertainment for people who wouldn't otherwise look at them. Not to mention the ego boost (or ego salve, more likely) of actually being *wanted*.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby bladestorm » Wed May 14, 2014 1:21 pm

Lilwik wrote:
OneHugeTuck wrote:Point being, Erfworld is f'ing huge with a HUGE number of sides.
Erfworld has "more than two hundred" sides according to Digdoug Episode 8. I really don't trust Dove, but her story about the Long Walk might actually be true with those numbers. If a side ends approximately every turn and that brings enough new casters into the Magic Kingdom to approximately balance with the ones lost to the Long Walk, then that would mean that the average side survives for between 200 and 300 turns, which might be true. A turn is a long time in Erfworld. Not every fallen side has casters who escape, but not every Long Walker disbands.

Godzfirefly wrote:Is there something in the wording of the comic that suggest Dove's list was in its entirety supposed to cover the 1 Rand plus healing costs?
"Dove had said he could work off his Rand by doing some repair work for her.... Dove had said that the Doc would call it even if Digdoug fixed the pump, so that was where he’d started. But there were other chores on Dove’s list."

And even that number can be offset by some sides contributing more than one caster, while other sides not having any casters to send. Bea sent several casters at once before she ended the Side. Faq was around for a very long while, but they also deposited many casters when they finally fell.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby bladestorm » Wed May 14, 2014 1:25 pm

jeffseadot wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if there were an inordinate number of carnies and predictamancers who take the long walk. Predictamancy is supposed to be bad luck, and carnies have a bad reputation pretty much everywhere. Thus, it makes sense that those casters would have a harder time finding work (and might not get paid as much for their services as another caster would; remember, Dove was willing to work for cheap). Indeed, the existence of the Carnyvale seems to indicate that it's more reliable for a carny to make money as an entertainer than as a traditional caster.

It must be tedious for a caster of an unpopular or untrusted discipline to be continually scraping by on barely-over-upkeep grunt work. I suspect that at least a few of them would *love* to be hired as a caster to a proper side, because they not only would have their upkeep taken care of by someone else indefinitely, but they'd have opportunity to do something more interesting with their talents than provide entertainment for people who wouldn't otherwise look at them. Not to mention the ego boost (or ego salve, more likely) of actually being *wanted*.

Might also explain why there are so few Croakamancers compared to the groups we have seen so far. We've seen groups of Predictamancers, Thinkamancers, and Carnies, so we can presume they have some means of getting their upkeep covered. Croakamancers......not so much. Luckamancers (now that someone mentioned Clay) may be able to have a handful of Rand and gamble it to cover their upkeep for a long while.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Innovan » Wed May 14, 2014 1:39 pm

In the 1930s Great Depression America hobos and tramps would make coded chalk marks to communicate to other hobos and tramps that were also moving through. This was referenced in the popular show Mad Men in a flash back to Don Draper's childhood, with the mark written by the visiting hobo on the front fence of the family's house (that only other hobos could know the meaning of) being the plot twist at the end. You can see some of these here: http://www.worldpath.net/~minstrel/hobosign.htm

When I saw "Dove's Mark", I thought of the marks left behind by hobos. It would make sense that Carney's have a way of leaving coded marks that only other Carneys can read. They pull a lot from the 1930s Great Depression period of American culture.

So I interpreted it as him reading a coded mark saying "Hands off, don't swindle this guy. Signed Dove".

I imagine the ambiguousness is intentional. And that it's neither only A, nor only B, but that both dual interpretations are valid.

Dove is giving him tough love to his face about casters that don't pull out of their depression and disband, while protecting him in ways he can't see.

But really, it's the magic kingdom. Can't he just earn enough to buy a think-a-gram newspaper or something?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Pointyleaf » Wed May 14, 2014 1:50 pm

ManaCaster wrote:With there are so many casters waiting to disband, you'd think sides without casters, like the So-be-it Union, would post offerings to let them turn. Is it taboo to just join a new side?


Eh, a fair bit of the casters at the Short Pier may be like Doug, depressed and sick of life. That can't be solved by trying to find work. Another portion of them may just be bad at their jobs. And then, some are just down on their luck.

Just like RL, I guess.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Berserkas » Wed May 14, 2014 1:54 pm

One simple reason why casters might not want to turn instead of disbanding:

Rulers are dicks. Also utter morons. Seriously. It might seem better to die than to be reviled, insulted, and hurled abuse at each day, and not use your talent just because some arrogant moron doesn't know crap about it, and orders you just to do stupid shit, and then thinks you're only capable of doing it BECAUSE he ordered you to, and is incapable of thinking up ways to put magic to it's full potential- nevermind that, stop at "incapable of thinking".

Let's consider what kind of treatment we've seen casters get from Rulers so far:

Stanley: Utter moron. Only values Wanda, because she can manipulate him. Stereotypically orders Sizemore to shovel crap, despite the extreme power of Dirtamantic traps and golems. Doesn't even know his other Caster's names.

Slately: Royal moron. Didn't let Ace do what he wanted to, because he thought he knew better. Later demonstrated to know jack shit about his own caster's magic (copies do not leave corpses). Nearly had a heart attack when he handed his Royal (gasp) scepter to a non-royal (GASP!!!) caster.

Wanda's father.... do I even need to say anything?

Follywood: Morons not even attempting to see Dirtamancy's potential.

Prince Creen: Moron, who would order Digdoug to shovel dung, and then say that's proof it's all "dung shovelling dirtamancers" can do.

Jillian mostly seems not to care about casters too much.

Don King's casters seem to be respected, though it might be because they're "respectable" kinds: Moneymancer, Thinkamancer, Dollamancer.

So, yeah. Who would willingly go to a side, only to be belittled and mocked every day?
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Godzfirefly » Wed May 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Apparently, Rob still has at least 2 more episodes left, based on what he just posted on Facebook. Just FYI.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby youngstormlord » Wed May 14, 2014 2:14 pm

My guess? Reviled, down on their luck group of people have just found their filthy rich rock star to support them. And it was worth whatever they had to do to get him. Charley is a carnymancer, remember? Maybe he had to take the Long Walk once. And never again.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby ManaCaster » Wed May 14, 2014 2:19 pm

kiyote wrote:I know that Rand herself would disagree with me if she were still alive, but I always used this as a reason why institutions like welfare and nationalized healthcare are a good idea. You don't give a dime to a beggar because you want to be nice, you give it to them because you're betting on the idea that they will return more than that dime to society at large. If you're just dropping dimes into people's cans as you pass them, you're probably not investing that money right, but a larger system spreads out that risk, and maximizes the chance of a return through the economy of scale. Most people welfare gives money to will squander it, but the few who succeed will pay back, socially, more than what was given to those who wasted it away.

It's a nice idea in theory, but it also means giving up control over your life. Take it too far, and a big and sufficiently powerful entity could put all of society into the situation Digdoug is in right now.

Someone else manages your life for you and offers some security, but you get no control over your destiny, or even perceive that such control is even an option. As we can see here, Digdoug is probably being underpayed for his work, even as he is being lead into believing that Dove is being generous. She is taking full advantage of his ignorance through "welfare".

Berserkas wrote:So, yeah. Who would willingly go to a side, only to be belittled and mocked every day?

It certainly sucks, but it beats disbanding. It's not like Erfworld rulers are creative enough to come up with one of those fates worse than death. It would offer the chance to struggle on to live another day until Fate offers you a new opportunity.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Aspartame5 » Wed May 14, 2014 3:04 pm

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?


There are 200-300 sides with portals in the Magic Kingdom. Obviously the disband rate is not 70 casters every 100 turns. Dove says they go there for someone to save them. Wealthy casters or sides with extra schmuckers might save out of luck casters every day. It could be that 95% of the time, someone saves them.

There would be good, cynical reasons to save down and out casters. Now a caster owes you, even if they cannot pay you back. You can get spies in the Magic Kingdom this way. You can get a loyal following and protection. If 8-10 casters can depend on you when they run out of funds, then if anyone who threatens you is also threatening 8-10 casters. The "undesirable" casters are dangerous. Predictamancers know if someone will try and croak you or kidnap you. Carnymancers are sneaky and can break the rules. Date-a-mancers understand your enemies' relationships with others and can exploit them. Who knows what other casters are unpopular? There are probably clever rulers and clever casters who have personal, unaligned caster armies this way.

I wonder what Parson would do if he knew about this..? I am betting he would get a few casters owing their lives to him real quick.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby atalex » Wed May 14, 2014 3:16 pm

Godzfirefly wrote:Apparently, Rob still has at least 2 more episodes left, based on what he just posted on Facebook. Just FYI.


Thank the Titans. If it had ended here -- with poor, naive, suicidally depressed Doug stuck as the indentured servant of the woman who I am convinced has betrayed him since the second they met -- it would be heartbreaking. Like a story that ends with a puppy getting kicked repeatedly.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby GWvsJohn » Wed May 14, 2014 3:57 pm

I think Dove has been in league with Charlie the whole time (and I didn't think that until just now).

She just "happened" to stumble across Digdoug
Her hire fee was absurdly low. She clearly wanted to get hired by Homekey
She maneuvered Homekey into hiring Charlie into a win-win-win situation
She miraculously saves Digdoug under questionable circumstances
We know Charlie has an absurdly well defensed capital. I wonder who could help him set that up?

To me, it seems Dove was acting as Charlie's agent to set this while thing up to earn a pile of Shmuckers and set himself up with a pet Dirtamancer who just happens to specialize in upgrading cities.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Prodigial_Knight » Wed May 14, 2014 4:05 pm

Huh, never imagined Didoug had a shaved head I'm a bit ashamed but whenever I tried to picture Digdoug I kept going back to Sizemore's image I guess I'm just not imaginative.

Clay man, never expected to see you alive, although it makes sense Carnies naturally run the gambling and a Luckamancer can probably detect when somebody has come in with a boost in order to win big and he's probably helping the house win more often.

It seems Delphie died in the last battle tough, I can't imagine her giving Clay permission to sit around drunk in public she would probably be hiring him out as Dove is doing to Digdoug seeing that Luckamancy is probably more useful in the MK than Predictamancy.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby jeffseadot » Wed May 14, 2014 4:22 pm

bladestorm wrote:Might also explain why there are so few Croakamancers compared to the groups we have seen so far. We've seen groups of Predictamancers, Thinkamancers, and Carnies, so we can presume they have some means of getting their upkeep covered. Croakamancers......not so much. Luckamancers (now that someone mentioned Clay) may be able to have a handful of Rand and gamble it to cover their upkeep for a long while.


Huh, I never thought of that. Wanda is the only croakamancer we've seen, isn't she? The discipline isn't popular anywhere, and it doesn't seem to have any applications besides combat. Maybe we don't see any because there aren't many who can maintain themselves.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Lilwik » Wed May 14, 2014 4:51 pm

bladestorm wrote:Might also explain why there are so few Croakamancers compared to the groups we have seen so far.
I expect that we don't see Croakamancers in the Magic Kingdom because their abilities are useless in the Magic Kingdom. Maybe they disband, but I think it's just as likely that Croakamancers almost always reach the fitting conclusion of being croaked because they spend most of their time in the field helping some client win a war. I'm sure they never get hired to hang around the capital where it is safe; Croakamancers go out to where the fighting is happening so they can uncroak the dead and lead them into battle, if they get hired at all. For the same reason it is probably rare for a Croakamancer to escape the end of her side.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Lamech » Wed May 14, 2014 5:08 pm

You think that they could still get a job making crap things like tower protections. There a caster. They can still charge a tower, make a powerball, produce items etc. And casters are damn cheap. An archon? 200+ a turn. At the lowest value.

Aspartame5 wrote:
There are 200-300 sides with portals in the Magic Kingdom. Obviously the disband rate is not 70 casters every 100 turns. Dove says they go there for someone to save them. Wealthy casters or sides with extra schmuckers might save out of luck casters every day. It could be that 95% of the time, someone saves them.
Yeah, some rulers probably have a caster there to offer the depressed a job. Even if not every ruler sees the use, I'm sure one or two really want to buff their magical power base.
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Re: Digdoug - Episode 20

Postby Xarx » Wed May 14, 2014 5:42 pm

Croakamancy scrolls might be a possibility. Any caster in the MK would be wise to spend all their spare juice making scrolls, or whatever other items their discipline allowed. Be cool if there was a consignment shop in Portal Park, but we haven't seen anything like that.
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