Book 2 - Page 4

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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Lamech » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:45 pm

Also I'm sure that Charlie doesn't the volcano to explode in his face. Again. With all 600 archons. I mean, how could that possibly end any worse.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby teratorn » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:47 pm

Decorus wrote:If Charles tossed 600 archons at GK it really doesn't matter if Parson is there or not Charles would win. The only thing that is keeping Charles from doing that is it would reveal just how powerful he/she/it is. Hence Charles not doing it. Upkeep is a non issue as most of Charles cash comes from being the Telecom company of Erfworld.


Not really, archons are probably close to useless in the tunnels, they are an air unit after all, and Sizemore could probably ambush them and kill them easily below ground (crap golems and such). That's probably why Charlescom is collecting gobwins.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:54 pm

Lamech wrote:I'm sure a great many rulers have had plans to take control of the magic kindgom and get its casters. Invasion, infiltrater casters, hire a bunch and turn them ect. I'm sure every ruler who was ever had one of those thoughts have had a conversation with an army of annoyed casters that goes like this...

Caster: So umm... are predictamancers tell us that you were planning on invading us.
Ruler: No I'm pretty sure I wasn't. Never would ever do anything like that.
Caster: Oh wait... it says after becoming overlord, your heir tries this.
Ruler: ... oh good! Now that we got that cleared u-
Caster: We're still croaking you.
Ruler: ... ... ... I hate you all.


Hah. Somebody didn't watch Minority Report.

Spoiler: show
In the future, a link of three precogs alerts the police when a (usually premeditated) crime is going to happen. The bad guy uses the same spot and similar settings with a similar, past, crime to disguise a killing. It's written off as the precogs experiencing an echo, a not too uncommon event. It takes a lot of goold ol' detective work to see through the ruse.


Even a rather accurate prediction system can be fooled.

And since this is the place for random tomfoolery ...

Here's another situation, called Newcomb's paradox. Suppose there exists something that will predict your actions PERFECTLY, with 100% accuracy.

A gameshow host arranges the situation: you are shown two boxes, A and B, and are allowed to take either box B or both of them. You get to keep what's in the box(es) you picked. Of course, the predictor will be able to tell the gameshow host what you will do, and the host will do the following. If the predictor tells the host you will take both boxes, then A will contain 1000$ and B will be empty. If the predictor tells the host that you will only pick B, then box A will still have 1000$ and B will contain 1000000$.

In the initial formulation, you don't know what the predictor told the host, and have no way of knowing. The question was, how to maximise your gain.

Now suppose that the boxes are transparent, and you can see if and how much money is inside.

Still think perfect prediction is possible?
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Menas » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:09 pm

teratorn wrote:
Decorus wrote:If Charles tossed 600 archons at GK it really doesn't matter if Parson is there or not Charles would win. The only thing that is keeping Charles from doing that is it would reveal just how powerful he/she/it is. Hence Charles not doing it. Upkeep is a non issue as most of Charles cash comes from being the Telecom company of Erfworld.


Not really, archons are probably close to useless in the tunnels, they are an air unit after all, and Sizemore could probably ambush them and kill them easily below ground (crap golems and such). That's probably why Charlescom is collecting gobwins.


I haven't seen any data to support this (Archons being useless in tunnels). Being an air unit should have nothing to do with how well they can fight in one area or another. It normally just means they have a higher rate of movement and that they're not limited or affected by terrain types unless grounded. But of course points that go into extra movement normally have to be taken from one of the other characteristics of the unit.

From what I've seen Archons are heavy (super) units that can fly and are the same size as a heavy infantry unit. If anything was going to limit a unit in tunnel combat it would be their size. For Archons this doesn't appear to be a problem.

A couple other points to take into consideration:

- I'm pretty sure the tunnel system for GK is no longer very extensive. One of the stories between books said how they were damaged from the eruption and much of it couldn't be rebuilt (if I remember correctly).
- If the air attack catches GK by surprise then Stanley may not have the option to retreat to the dungeon.

The whole Charlescomm/marbit element is interesting too. If Charles has recruited them to his side he may have an underground force ready to handle dungeon combat if Stanley decides to flee there and is able to do so.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby John Campbell » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:13 pm

Decorus wrote:If Charles tossed 600 archons at GK it really doesn't matter if Parson is there or not Charles would win. The only thing that is keeping Charles from doing that is it would reveal just how powerful he/she/it is. Hence Charles not doing it. Upkeep is a non issue as most of Charles cash comes from being the Telecom company of Erfworld.

The update where Parson met with the decrypted Archons suggests that most of Charlie's Archons are spread all to hell and gone all over Erf, hanging around various areas where their services might be requested. This gives him rapid response time to hirings, because it doesn't take more than a few turns to get a handful of Archons pretty much anywhere, but will make it time-consuming and logistically difficult for him concentrate more than a handful at any single spot.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Menas » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:16 pm

John Campbell wrote:
Decorus wrote:If Charles tossed 600 archons at GK it really doesn't matter if Parson is there or not Charles would win. The only thing that is keeping Charles from doing that is it would reveal just how powerful he/she/it is. Hence Charles not doing it. Upkeep is a non issue as most of Charles cash comes from being the Telecom company of Erfworld.

The update where Parson met with the decrypted Archons suggests that most of Charlie's Archons are spread all to hell and gone all over Erf, hanging around various areas where their services might be requested. This gives him rapid response time to hirings, because it doesn't take more than a few turns to get a handful of Archons pretty much anywhere, but will make it time-consuming and logistically difficult for him concentrate more than a handful at any single spot.


I would say that Charles has been planning for this attack for at least as long as it's taken Jillian to produce all of the units for her part of the attack. The 'sky went yellow' when her units lifted off in the last story description. Takes quite a while to produce that many units.

Ok fine, technically it said 'She saw her armada filling the sky with yellow death....' ;-).
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Oberon » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:18 pm

splintermute wrote:
Oberon wrote:When the person you're speaking with is holding a rock, and you point over his shoulder and say "That rock?", that is very odd.
Yes, it's clear that the princes are meeting at the hex border. It's also quite clear, from all the previous panels, that Ossomer, Tramennis, the casters, and the Jetstone forces are all in a single hex on the other side of the bridge, a natural chokepoint: "You cannot get your siege engines to Jetstone without taking THIS hex. And you cannot take THIS hex."

Why can he not take THIS hex? Because THIS hex contains heavies, warlords (whose bonuses are amplified by the dittomancer), and all three casters.

Your "holding a rock" analogy is a bad one - hexes are large; you don't hold a hex. Your real estate analogy (and infidel's large rock analogy) was better - imagine the princes standing at the doorway to a building. "All the casters are in THIS building." Ansom points over their shoulders at the building. "THAT building?" Nothing odd about it.
I'll try again. Football fields, they are the hexes. Ossomer and Tram are standing in one, at the edge of the one Ansom is standing in. Where are the casters? Ansom points over Ossomer's shoulder and says "This field?" Very odd. Were the casters in the same field as the two Princes, a gesture at their feet would make it clear enough. Pointing over their shoulders could only serve to confuse them, they'd have to turn around to make sure he wasn't pointing to a field next to their own.

Oberon wrote:We know, quite clearly, that large forces are deployed across multiple hexes. A casual perusal of the RCC forces approaching GK shows that without any doubt. So if you are assuming that the Jetstone forces are all in a single hex now, I believe you are very mistaken. The opening sentence of the GK expeditionary forces saga is "The column was three hexes long." If the Jetstone forces are so few that they can only fill a single hex, they are not even going to be a bump for the GK steamroller and no veil would have been necessary.

splintermute wrote:There's no indication that there's a hard cap on how many forces a singe hex can contain. The RCC forces were staggered across multiple hexes because they were an approaching siege force - presumably different troops had a different amount of move, they may have sent scouts ahead, the tardy elves were straggling behind, etc. The Jetstone princes are clearly placing all their eggs in one basket here (or at least saying they are), depending on their ability to hold THIS hex to stop or delay the invasion.
Where all of the Jetstone forces in a single hex, the this hex/that hex would make even less sense. Anson had just been told that the casters were deployed to Ossomer's command. If the Jetstone army is in a single hex, it makes zero sense for Ansom to try to discover which hex they are in. It would make no sense at all for him to say "What, all the casters? To that hex?" if the Jetstone army is only occupying a single hex. None at all.

splintermute wrote:it wouldn't make sense for the Jetstones to spread their army out over multiple hexes.
That may be your opinion of the tactical realities, but it doesn't match the context of the conversation at all.

Ansan Gotti wrote:You are apparently either unaware of, or refusing to acknowledge, the author's own words as conveyed through the protagonist, Parson. Here, let me requote them.

"That, um, game I was developing at home... It HAD rules. But it couldn't be won within the rules. I wanted a game where the players had to surprise the GM with lateral thinking. So I was essentially gonna CHEAT them. Undermine everything they tried. Until they found a clever enough way to cheat ME. To break my rules, and win."
I did indeed read this, and I accept it at face value. It supports my position perfectly. You, however, have read into it things which are not there. Yes, Parson uses the word CHEAT, but look at the context. Did he say that the rules would be changed? No. He very specifically says that the situation was simply one which could not be won within the rules. If you decide to read into this that established limitations of units would change to cheat the GK side, you're stretching, reaching far beyond the Protagonists own words. It's you who are refusing to acknowledge the author's own words as conveyed through the protagonist, Parson.

Once the rules are understood, they must remain. To have them change is to invoke Dieu Ex Machina, the fiddling with the very framework of the story by forces suddenly introduced. The RCC side could not dance fight. Parson knew this, he based his plan on it, and his casters who could see Archon abilities just by looking at them and are also completely familiar with the mechanics of Erf supported his plan. And then the DDR came. This is flawed writing.

John Campbell wrote:1. We knew that the RCC didn't have many units that could dance-fight.
2. We knew that Charlescomm wasn't, at that time, part of the RCC.
3. We knew that there was very little information about Charlie and Charlescomm available to Parson.
4. We knew that Stanley wouldn't work with Charlie, which is part of why 3.
5. We knew that the RCC, and Ansom in particular, would work with Charlie.
6. We knew that Ansom had just re-hired Charlescomm.
7. We knew that Archons could dance-fight.
8. We knew that Archons were leader units.
9. We knew that it was possible for leader units that could dance-fight to lead non-dance-capable units in dance-fighting.
10. We knew that Archons had consultancy-themed powers.

I can't say that I was expecting the Archons to lead the RCC troops in DDR, but I can say that, when it happened, all of the pieces clunked together and I went, "Oh. Duh. Of course." When you can make the unexpected happen, but make it logical in retrospect, this is not bad writing. This is very good writing. If you missed all of the pre-laid structure that makes it logical in retrospect, your problem is bad reading.
Corrections: You point 2 is false. At the time Parson said that the RCC had few units which could dance fight, Charlsecom was indeed allied with the RCC.

Your other points seem to support my position. Parson knew leader units could under some circumstances lead dance fights. If he's pinning his hopes on this strategy he'd be a fool to assume that the few RCC lead units who could dance fight could not lead a dance fight. And Parson is no fool. All it would take would be a few simple calculations on his gauntlet to confirm this, and this would not even require any of the prediction based calculations Charlie help him figure out how to do.

Dark Arbiter wrote:
Oberon wrote:Face it, their ability to lead troops via DDR just doesn't fit within the framework of the story. It breaks suspension of disbelief by throwing known facts away and substituting new ones with no explanation. This is poor writing.


That's just mean. Argue about whether the writing fits within the continuity of the story, or try and figure out how in the hell the archons can lead a DDR-fight, but it's out of line to insult Rob's talent as a writer, especially when we all know just how talented he actually is.
Awww, did I hurt your hero? Grow up. If I thought the comic sucked I wouldn't be here, reading and commenting on it. I wasn't one of those who bitched and moaned about all of the earlier reversals, I was able to accept them as being well within the story framework. I also wasn't one of those who criticized the comic when it was just getting started, to the point where Rob almost gave it up as a bad idea. So don't take criticisms from me and blow them out of proportion, please. I am an avid reader and have a lot of favored authors. When I find them in error I don't put on my blinders and ignore it out of hero worship. If you do, that's fine. I prefer clear thought to blind devotion. And yeah, when I find that the writing doesn't fit the continuity of the story, I have to conclude that it's bad writing. That's not offering an insult, it's calling it like it is. No one bats 1000.
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Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Pointyleaf » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:42 pm

Lamech wrote:Caster: So umm... our predictamancers tell us that you were planning on invading us.
Ruler: No I'm pretty sure I wasn't. Never would ever do anything like that.
Caster: Oh wait... it says after becoming overlord, your heir tries this.
Ruler: ... oh good! Now that we got that cleared u-
Caster: We're still croaking you.
Ruler: ... ... ... I hate you all.


:lol:

I was thinking on this as well.. I'm imagining a super-caster-heavy army, the casters all working pro bono from the MK, coming to avenge their fallen brothers. Can you imagine an army with 5-10 Master class 'mancers of each type? They'd be unbeatable if led by any semi-competent tactician.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Daemonwelsh » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:51 pm

Oberon wrote:No one bats 1000.


'cept maybe Vinny :D
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Pointyleaf » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:52 pm

Menas wrote:From what I've seen Archons are heavy (super) units that can fly and are the same size as a heavy infantry unit.

- I'm pretty sure the tunnel system for GK is no longer very extensive. One of the stories between books said how they were damaged from the eruption and much of it couldn't be rebuilt (if I remember correctly).


Wait, Archons are the same size as heavy infantry? They're tiny little Playboy models! Not to say they aren't superstrong, they just aren't "heavies".

There's no tunnel system under the lava lake, nor can it be rebuilt (for obvious reasons).


Oberon wrote:I'll try again. Football fields, they are the hexes. Ossomer and Tram are standing in one, at the edge of the one Ansom is standing in. Where are the casters? Ansom points over Ossomer's shoulder and says "This field?" Very odd.


That is odd. I'd have said "That field?" and pointed to the one behind them. But hexes are even bigger than football fields.

Or again, to beat this to death. You're standing at the edge of a town, talking to the enemy leader. He says they have heavily fortified machine gun positions in the town, so you can't take it. You laugh, and say "That town?" as you call in the airstrikes.

Y'know, I'm looking forward to you being proven wrong. I don't think Ossomer is such an idiot as to place all of his casters in a different hex where they can be picked off, or where they don't have his leadership bonus to double like he just said they did.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Menas » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:07 pm

Pointyleaf wrote:Wait, Archons are the same size as heavy infantry? They're tiny little Playboy models! Not to say they aren't superstrong, they just aren't "heavies".


Good point. They're small, even when compared to infantry. So they can be a 'heavy' unit with regard to capability without sharing the same size restriction as even heavy infantry. If anything it's more likely that they'd be closer to the size of light infantry.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby HandofShadows » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:15 pm

Whatever size class they are, they are still a Knight Class unit.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby TiMothra » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:28 pm

Not being able to see an opponents stats/capabilities seems like a perfectly good explanation for being surprised by the DDR maneuver. It says that commanders can see unit stats, but I don't know that it's necessarily that they can see non-allied units' stats. Seems like the realm of lookamancy. Maybe it does work with any unit, but I can't find a good example saying it works that way.

Also wouldn't it make sense that the nearby city is Bridgestone, rather than Spacerock? GK hasn't attacked any Jetstone cities yet.
Also Also, wouldn't Ossomer expecting to make a final stand at Dhrystone imply that the side and it's royal family could survive the loss of the capital w/o going barbarian?
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Sixty » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:29 pm

Oberon wrote:Where all of the Jetstone forces in a single hex, the this hex/that hex would make even less sense. Anson had just been told that the casters were deployed to Ossomer's command. If the Jetstone army is in a single hex, it makes zero sense for Ansom to try to discover which hex they are in. It would make no sense at all for him to say "What, all the casters? To that hex?" if the Jetstone army is only occupying a single hex. None at all.


He was trying to discover whether they were in the city of Spacerock or out in the field defending the bridge with the hex of Jetstone troops. If they were in the city then he could take the bridge hex, if they were at the bridge he could attack the city more easily. If they were split up more evenly I guess he'd have to make a judgment call there.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Dark Arbiter » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:34 pm

Oberon wrote:Once the rules are understood, they must remain. To have them change is to invoke Dieu Ex Machina, the fiddling with the very framework of the story by forces suddenly introduced. The RCC side could not dance fight. Parson knew this, he based his plan on it, and his casters who could see Archon abilities just by looking at them and are also completely familiar with the mechanics of Erf supported his plan. And then the DDR came. This is flawed writing.

[snip]

...Parson knew leader units could under some circumstances lead dance fights. If he's pinning his hopes on this strategy he'd be a fool to assume that the few RCC lead units who could dance fight could not lead a dance fight. And Parson is no fool. All it would take would be a few simple calculations on his gauntlet to confirm this, and this would not even require any of the prediction based calculations Charlie help him figure out how to do.


I'll repeat my previous argument: there is no evidence, even assuming that the GK casters/warlords know all of the Archons' abilities, that they'd be able to predict every potential application of those abilities. A perfect example is the 3-caster linkup that uncroaked the GK volcano. The RCC, knowing pretty accurately the abilities of the three casters, had no idea whatsoever that such a maneuver was even possible. It took lateral thinking on Parson's part to come up with the idea, just as it took lateral thinking on Ansom's part to have the Archons lead a DDR-fight.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Infidel » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:38 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:THAT's the spirit!

And may I add, that plan is awesome!


I concur, and laughed rather heartedly as well.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Firkraag » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:39 pm

It's obviously one large hex. If you say otherwise, you haven't played turn-based games.

Ask yourself; would Ossomer and Tremmenis be standing on a different hex than the rest of their army, on the opponent's turn?

If you are nitpicking words: "That" hex means "your" hex, and obviously if Ansom had said "this hex" then he would mean his own.

One large hex.
One huge army.
With many casters in it and not in the city.
Why? Because they are hoping to stop land-based siege from reaching the capital.
Instead, they realize it's a force of fliers.
They are booped!
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:53 pm

Lamech wrote:Caster: So umm... our predictamancers tell us that you were planning on invading us.
...
Ruler: ... ... ... I hate you all.

Alternate possibility:
Predicatamancers see the attack coming, and determine that this path actually leads, ultimately, to a single side controlling all of Erfworld, thus bringing peace at last, so they create the spell that sets the whole thing in motion. :D

Heck, they'd probably even convince the other casters to go. "Go ahead - I see that MarbitChow's plans will ultimately lead to a substantial, positive change for Erfworld, so go and be a part of his grand experiment."
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Ansan Gotti » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:59 pm

Oberon wrote:
Ansan Gotti wrote:You are apparently either unaware of, or refusing to acknowledge, the author's own words as conveyed through the protagonist, Parson. Here, let me requote them.

"That, um, game I was developing at home... It HAD rules. But it couldn't be won within the rules. I wanted a game where the players had to surprise the GM with lateral thinking. So I was essentially gonna CHEAT them. Undermine everything they tried. Until they found a clever enough way to cheat ME. To break my rules, and win."


I did indeed read this, and I accept it at face value. It supports my position perfectly. You, however, have read into it things which are not there. Yes, Parson uses the word CHEAT, but look at the context. Did he say that the rules would be changed? No. He very specifically says that the situation was simply one which could not be won within the rules. If you decide to read into this that established limitations of units would change to cheat the GK side, you're stretching, reaching far beyond the Protagonists own words. It's you who are refusing to acknowledge the author's own words as conveyed through the protagonist, Parson.
Once the rules are understood, they must remain. To have them change is to invoke Dieu Ex Machina, the fiddling with the very framework of the story by forces suddenly introduced. The RCC side could not dance fight. Parson knew this, he based his plan on it, and his casters who could see Archon abilities just by looking at them and are also completely familiar with the mechanics of Erf supported his plan. And then the DDR came. This is flawed writing.


You do understand, don't you, that Parson is not omniscient and not perfect? And that sometimes -- especially for a person with limited understanding of Erfworld -- he is going to get it wrong, and lose a battle?

Ansom made a good move, one that Parson didn't see or count on. He might have even revolutionized warfare with his new tactic, just like Parson has on multiple occasions (casters leading stacks typically hadn't been done; dwagon express typically hadn't been done; now they are becoming more standard and commonplace, just like Archons leading dance-fights might become). That isn't changing the rules. That's just applying the rules effectively in a different way. "Can project a warlord dance-fighting on a carpet" isn't a unit stat anyone is going to see, just like a unit looking at Sizemore isn't going to see, "can collapse tunnels on people's heads." They will see dirtamancy. How you apply that dirtamancy, however, is the essence of tactics.

The fact that the RCC had effectively countered Parson every single time up until the end makes Ansom a pretty decent leader; but it also reflects Parson's quote, in which the GM was undermining the protagonist every single time. That doesn't support your point of DEM; that supports my point, that it was planned by the author from the beginning.

The fact that YOU didn't see it doesn't make it DEM. It was clearly foreshadowed and planned, and was deliberate authorial intent. It's the type of thing that MOST people can see and appreciate after-the-fact. And that is good writing.

Oberon wrote:Awww, did I hurt your hero? Grow up.


He's right. You ARE being rude. I really don't think you'd be acting this way in person.
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Re: Book 2 - Page 4

Postby Dark Arbiter » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:06 pm

Ansan Gotti wrote:
Oberon wrote:Awww, did I hurt your hero? Grow up.


He's right. You ARE being rude. I really don't think you'd be acting this way in person.


Thank you.
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