Tramennis

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Tramennis

Postby YesNinja » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:21 am

Hey, guys! I was reading through the archives recently, and got to Tramennis. Somehow, on reading through the first time, I totally noticed the obvious references to the fact that Tramennis is homosexual! And that his father didn't approve. This brings up some interesting points:


1: How much does Signamancy reveal? Can it reveal if you're in love with a specific person? Orientation? If you're a traitor?


2: How common is homosexuality? So far we know of at least three characters that are at least bisexual.


3: Is prejudice common in Erfworld? What about against various tribes? At the very least we know that there's a sort of natural enmity between certain natural allies. And it seems that Royals are kinda racist against non-royals. At least some are.


4: Can he pop an heir? It doesn't seem to involve any sort of intercourse, and apparently single rulers can, so I'd guess so?


I guess that's all I can think of. Any other thoughts you guys might have?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby mortissimus » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:14 am

Hm, I haven't seen the Erfworlders as recognising the Stupidworld cathegories of hetro-, homo- etc -sexuality. Has anyone in Erfworld mentioned these as cathegories? Erfworld does not have anyone with two parents (except the occasional Stupidworlder), or (so far at least) marriages or other formal ways of managing relationships. It still has love between individuals and all the mess that comes with that.

I took it as Slatley disapproving of Tramennis flamboyant and flippant style, not his choice of sexual partners. And I do think Tramennis can pop Royal commanders in his capital, which will make him the proud father.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby 0beron » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:29 am

Yeah, Slately's disapproval (which I might add was rapidly diminishing as he reached the end of his life) stemmed from the fact that he thought Trem was totally useless for anything but diplomancy. As it became apparent that his strategic mind for planning a campaign more than compensated for his apparent lack of physical strength, Slately became more proud.
Since Erflings don't seem to categorize or even care about sexuality, I'm not sure anyone even notices that aspect about Trem, even if our speculation is correct. After all, Earth has metrosexuals, why can't Erfworld?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby GWvsJohn » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:53 pm

0beron wrote:Yeah, Slately's disapproval (which I might add was rapidly diminishing as he reached the end of his life) stemmed from the fact that he thought Trem was totally useless for anything but diplomancy. As it became apparent that his strategic mind for planning a campaign more than compensated for his apparent lack of physical strength, Slately became more proud.
Since Erflings don't seem to categorize or even care about sexuality, I'm not sure anyone even notices that aspect about Trem, even if our speculation is correct. After all, Earth has metrosexuals, why can't Erfworld?


For what it's worth, during his conversation with Charlie, Charlie used an unusually high number of rainbow colored symbols as his avatar. The first was a smooth transition to the Rainbow Lucky Charm, but every subsequent image had a rainbow in it. So clearly Charlie "knows."

Based on the Maggie/Parson/Archon conversation, Erfworlders seem to have a pretty casual view of sex, so I doubt anyone really cares what Trammenis does off turn and who he does it with.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lipkin » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:11 pm

Seeing as how sex is completely separate from reproduction on Erf, it's probably not a big deal. Sex is entirely for recreation on Erf, so the thought that sexual partners should be of opposite genders probably doesn't exist.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby mantimeforgot » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:26 am

Whilst I am fairly confidant (though not certain) that Tramennis is being hinted as being homosexual I concur with those who propose that sexual orientation is not as big a deal for Erfworlders. With that said we honestly don't know how influential or powerful Signamancy can be. It is clear that Signamancy underpins virtually everything in Erfworld (possibly including Grandio-cosmic Strings), but what we do not know is what a Signamancer can actually do...

Brother Labeler isn't shown as doing anything other keeping the place looking tidy. This strikes me as a fairly low level function (not even adept); though such a "minor" action might very well have a pronounced effect on the population of the city. Perhaps for Erfworlders a well-organized and kept city as a sign of effort and well-management actually produces a bonus to city production or to actions taken regarding the city (like remodeling with Dirtamancy)? So it is obvious that Signamancers are responsible for the maintenance of Signs as they are important to Erfworlders.

The Fate axis seems to be concerned with questions of "Why" or "If," so if we then introduce the Hippiemancy focus on relationships and its life/matter elements, then we might infer that Signamancers can understand why units do what they do and get a sense of whether or not relationships exist (and how strong) between things (this seems born out by the Napster Laurel); Signamancy at the adept or master class level might be able to introduce signs where none existed before (this could lead to Immense confusion since your average Erfworlder seems to take Signs for granted); Signmancy might be able to veil or confuse Signs from being read properly (and depending on how deep the awareness and importance of Signs goes this may be incredibly strong in effect; such as turning off people's ability to interact with the world via making their relationship with Erfworld temporarily suspended). Time-Out might actually be an example of this; I definitely do not believe that Time-Out is an example of Turnamancy since it is accompanied by the Sign of Janis being an unstoppably huge, mother-figure that is pissed off at their childish misbehavior.

Of course now that I work that through in my head it might very well be that your average Erfworlder places a high degree of importance on the signs that Prince Tramennis conveys, but not the content thereof. I did not notice any indications that those under Tramennis' command had any reservations about taking his Orders, and yet I also now have little doubt that they all understood the Signs quite clearly.

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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lipkin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:36 am

I fail to see your point. Without marriage, or biological reproduction, there is no norm as far as sexual orientation goes. It has no bearing on anything other than who he likes to boop.

Word of The Titans is that Signamancy can be used to track. So that's something.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby mantimeforgot » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:14 am

I'm not so sure you are correct about their being no norm. Erfworld is related to the real world; I think if I had to be really precise I would say that it is a reflection of our dreams made manifest. And in that vein, you could say that there is a "normative sexual standard" inasmuch as "what do people dream/write about?" This is not to say that it actually matters that much to the people of Erfworld, as you say there is a seeming lack of marriage and biological reproduction, but since there seems to be Signamancy pointing to it, then that means that it does indicate something to Erfworlders (maybe if only to tell them who this person likes to "boop.")


Following the Signs of Passage seems like it could just be a matter of recognizing Natural Signamancy and any sufficiently perceptive unit (read warlords, casters, etc) could be able to do it. I really would like to get more Word of the Titans on what Signamancers actually can do with their discipline as a lot of Signamancy so far seems to revolve around natural instances of Signamancy as opposed to manipulation of Signamancy.

Like when it was said that FAQ's Signamancer kept the place tidy I didn't get the impression that he had a vacuum the carpets spell he was using his juice on; I got the impression that he manually kept the place tidy for some arcane reason (perhaps it was for bonuses *shrug*)

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Re: Tramennis

Postby 0beron » Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:10 am

Lipkin wrote:Word of The Titans is that Signamancy can be used to track. So that's something.
More accurately, Signamancy is information made visible. That's a very simple, yet broad and empowering definition. So while tracking is one use (you see the Signs that a unit disturbed a hex), it also entails a great deal more. They don't exactly strike me as being a caster for direct offense, but you might want one on the battlefield, well-defended, in order to influence your strategy.

I would bet that either Brother Labeler is doing a lot off-screen, or that he is indeed under-utilized because the side hardly ever DOES anything. We do know he must be writing books about the Court's discussions and philosophy, because Olive read one such book and Word of the Titans is that libraries are Signamancy territory.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:42 am

War paint is Signamancy too though? And speaking of "living" information made flesh...
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Re: Tramennis

Postby 0beron » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:43 pm

That's correct, it would seem Signamancy basically is a 2-way street. It makes information physical, and also influences. A unit can both look scary because it has high stats, and have high stats because it looks scary. It's a chicken and the egg sort of magic, except Signamancers can actually answer the question...with whichever answer they want, and still be right haha.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:20 pm

Seems to me Signamancy has two aspects, which are essentially opposites. Natural Signamancy shows the true character of a thing, slowly (or sometimes quickly) changing to reflect the 'truth' of what a person or thing is. A ruler that does little grows fat. A unit that is near death looks injured. A unit that has lost their spirit and will to live looks disheveled and broken.

These are all natural Signamancy, showing the essence or truth of a thing. They are understood on a basic level by Erfworlders, and various aspects of it are more or less obvious, based on what it is showing, and how strongly manifested it is. This is basically what we see with Tramennis. But as pointed out, Erfworlders don't seem to be real big on sexual orientation. I feel like 'strait' has the majority. As other than one seemingly homosexual, and two bi characters, everyone else has seemed to be strait. Still though, since there is no biological imperative, or Titanic Mandate about it, no one really seems to care. Slately is an interesting case, as he disliked Tramennis due to his Signamancy, though likely not because it spoke to him of homosexuality, but because the signamancy that manifested due to homosexuality, was misinterpreted as him being weak, both personally psychically, and tactically/strategically. As the battle for spacerock continued, he realized he had been misreading Tramennis' Signamancy the whole time.

So, that's the first kind of Signamancy, the second is the kind employed by Signamancers. Besides being able to read Signamancy far more accurately than others as a matter of course, and having spells no doubt related to the reading of Signamancy such as tracking by noticing the signs of people passing, etc. But, based on the war paint Signamancy, and some of the general things said about Brother Labeler, I believe there is also the ability of Signamancers to change someone's Signamancy... and have that change the truth of them, at least temporarily. So a Signamancer could change someone's signamancy to make them look strong... and it would actually make them strong. Just like the war paint makes Slately look fierce, so he is fierce.

Just my thoughts on the subject.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:33 pm

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:But, based on the war paint Signamancy, and some of the general things said about Brother Labeler, I believe there is also the ability of Signamancers to change someone's Signamancy... and have that change the truth of them, at least temporarily. So a Signamancer could change someone's signamancy to make them look strong... and it would actually make them strong.
Do we actually know that war paint makes people stronger? Or if it does make people more powerful in combat, is it really an absolute effect, or is just that the enemy becomes weaker when seeing the fearsome war paint?

It seems to me that changing the nature and character of people would make Signamancy overpowered, and doesn't seem fitting with a discipline that is supposed to be about signs. Instead I expect that a Signamancer can change only the Signamancy of things, making the Signamancy less reflective of the truth. That might seem underpowered, but a change in Signamancy affects how people react to a thing; it can make your enemies fear you and your allies love you, and if you have that then you're more likely to find real courage to match your artificial Signamancy. Labeler keeps Faq looking clean, but doing so probably actually makes Faq cleaner, not by magic, but just because people are less likely to make a mess in a clean place.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby mantimeforgot » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:29 pm

The reason why I am not at all confidant in the "Signamancers can only change the appearance of signs" as a theory for Signamantic magic is because this is potentially something anyone can do. You don't actually need a Signamancer to keep your place tidy; you don't need a Signamancer to put on war paint. You might want the Signamancer's input to determine maximum effectiveness, but that seems to be a Highly Limited scope for an entire branch of magical practice.

Again, I'm not saying it's wrong, just that I find the notion that Signamancers at even the highest level have only a slight perceptual advantage over normal units, when things like Croakamancers exist that have both a perceptual advantage and they ability to manufacture units out of the blue, to grossly underpowered and even wasteful as a design...

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Re: Tramennis

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:26 pm

He was certainly quite fierce in that air fight, though his enemies didn't seem particularly scared of him. Maybe some a little bit, but it was on off school cast for whichever caster did it, assuming any juice was even used for the effect (seems like it would have been, but maybe not). And like mantimeforgot, I think a class that doesn't give any sort of actual benefits (making the enemy think one of your units is strong... some beneift, but not hugely powerful)
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:07 pm

To be fair, no benefit to soldiers is not the same thing as no benefit. If it turned out Moneymancers can't pop units like natural allies, I doubt anyone would say Moneymancy is useless. I think the post from GenCon also said map making and auto updating maps in "real time" counts as Signamancy too?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:17 pm

mantimeforgot wrote:The reason why I am not at all confidant in the "Signamancers can only change the appearance of signs" as a theory for Signamantic magic is because this is potentially something anyone can do. You don't actually need a Signamancer to keep your place tidy; you don't need a Signamancer to put on war paint. You might want the Signamancer's input to determine maximum effectiveness, but that seems to be a Highly Limited scope for an entire branch of magical practice.
I imagine Signamancers as being far more powerful than that. Of course I'm sure they would be quite excellent at giving you war paint with just exactly the right effect upon the enemy, but to really exercise the juice of a Signamancer, get him to make you thin and handsome. A Signamancer should be able to make a unit a foot taller and add a hundred pounds of muscle. Picture turning Tramennis into Ossomer. It wouldn't make you stronger, but it would make you much more intimidating. I expect that all Signamancers are beautiful people, on the outside at least, unless he's going for the intimidation angle and has given himself a skull with flaming eyes for a head.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:36 pm

Lilwik wrote:
mantimeforgot wrote:The reason why I am not at all confidant in the "Signamancers can only change the appearance of signs" as a theory for Signamantic magic is because this is potentially something anyone can do. You don't actually need a Signamancer to keep your place tidy; you don't need a Signamancer to put on war paint. You might want the Signamancer's input to determine maximum effectiveness, but that seems to be a Highly Limited scope for an entire branch of magical practice.
I imagine Signamancers as being far more powerful than that. Of course I'm sure they would be quite excellent at giving you war paint with just exactly the right effect upon the enemy, but to really exercise the juice of a Signamancer, get him to make you thin and handsome. A Signamancer should be able to make a unit a foot taller and add a hundred pounds of muscle. Picture turning Tramennis into Ossomer. It wouldn't make you stronger, but it would make you much more intimidating. I expect that all Signamancers are beautiful people, on the outside at least, unless he's going for the intimidation angle and has given himself a skull with flaming eyes for a head.

Yeah, but we've seen how effective Ossomer is at intimidation. Which is to say, he isn't. Now, we maybe haven't seen him in the most normal of circumstances. One time was against someone who had a loaded hand, and the other was against someone who didn't care about what Ossomer was saying, and had turnamancy inspired loyalty and confidence. Still though, he overall wasn't shown to gain any sort of benefit out of being so strong and whatnot as far as intimidation goes. If anything, you might be better off setting your Signamancy to being weak and frail to make your enemies underestimate you. Either way though, it is a marginal bonus compared to the other schools of magic. While Erf is a very living breathing world, it is also very much a world of mechanics, and it might even be that it isn't leaving and breathing, so much as the tale of what the mechanics represent. Either way, a mechanical advantage is important, if not downright necessary to be useful in Erfworld. And that mechanical advantage needs to relate to combat, even if indirectly like moneymancers providing more schmuckers for more units, or lookamancers helping with scouting duties.

Now, that isn't to say that signamancers couldn't be useful in ways that don't directly augment someone's stats. It could give penalties to opponents, or even make them flee outright when viewing particularly high level signamancy work. One way or another though, signamancer is one of the mancers I most want to see more of. Sign and weird and maybe date. They're the ones we know the least about, and seem to be the hardest to imagine uses for. Most of the others are relatively straitforward in basics, though carnymancy is still a bit of a mystery.
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Lilwik » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:11 pm

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:Yeah, but we've seen how effective Ossomer is at intimidation. Which is to say, he isn't.
That is a good point, but don't forget the intelligence-gathering aspect of Signamancy which ought to have uses in the field. If Signamancy must improve combat to be useful, then think about the morale boost you might get by having a commander with excellent Signamancy. I would expect a Signamancer to be able to improve a warlord's Leadership stat by just making him look like a great warlord and that should improve the loyalty of everyone under his command, too. In fact, Signamancy is probably as good at increasing loyalty as Turnamancy is good at decreasing it. Who doesn't want to be part of a side with beautiful cities and handsome leaders?
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Re: Tramennis

Postby Shai_hulud » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:33 pm

Ugh, am I the only person here who plays Civilization and city sim games? I think a lot of you are really under estimating how useful noncombat things can be. Just look at how useful Sizemore is even when not fighting. Soil improvements, mining, building construction. The economic benefit he provides may be his most important contributions. You don't build an empire with clever tactics, you build it with roads.
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