Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

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Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby No one in particular » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:47 pm

A lot of people are of the belief that Parson, if he is a Caster, will be revealed as a Signamancer. As evidence, they offer the following:
  • Parson was identified as a Hippiemancer (undefined) by Janis
  • He sees jokes and references in everything, that native Erfworlders do not
  • Signamancy is the school associated with Fate
  • He made street signs for the new GK
I am of the staunch belief that Parson will turn out to be a Date-a-mancer. Before I get to long winded explanations & speculation, here's my hard evidence: Now for the less concrete reasons for my belief;
  • Signamancy is the school about how things look, and interpreting what they mean.
  • Date-a-mancy is the school of how things work, and understanding the mechanics behind them.
It doesn't seem that Parson really gets the significance of all the references he sees. He doesn't scan every little detail and catalog every reference and build complete psychological profiles of his enemies... he just goes "Huh. That's almost familiar."

Furthermore, Parson doesn't care about how things look. Beyond the street signs, he's done nothing to modify GK's livery, cities or themes. He hasn't designed any clothes or buildings, any new flags to stoke Stanley's ego. He has not painted anything red to see if it goes faster.

Parson doesn't spend his time looking at things and asking "What does it mean?" Parson instead obsesses over "What would happen if X did Y?"

The non-archer with a brick, for example. Sizemore & Maggie, when confronted with the idea just shrug and go "You'd probably miss." Parson takes the time to determine exactly how probable it would be. (1 in 5400 of hitting) And then he starts thinking about "What if the non-archer was buffed with Luckamancy?"

Ultimately, it comes down to this: Parson is a powergamer, not an English Lit Major. He's interested in pinning down exactly how the rules, work, interact and conflict so he can exploit them for loopholes and crazy plans, not in analyzing every aspect of the world to write a 130 page dissertation about how Everyone is Jesus in Purgatory.

Honestly, I think the only reason it's date-a-mancy is because it would be TOO obvious if it were actually called data-mancy.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby 0beron » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:54 pm

Hm it's an interesting theory, and I see some points both in favor of and against it. You make excellent points about the sort of "cause and effect" type of relationship, but Parson seems somewhat inept when it comes to personal relationships. He reads people poorly, has trouble around the sexy archons (compared to the one Date-a-mancer we have seen who bedded down with Sizemore the first time she met him), and relies on the opinions of others (Maggie in particular) for how he should interact with people. So he lacks the people skills I would expect from a Date-a-mancer.

I think it's possible Janis's vague claim might have actually been surprisingly prophetic. Perhaps Parson defies the rules in the sense that he need not have a primary school like other casters. He could be something a step beyond the Great Minds who are advanced in all 3 Eyemancy disciplines, he may truly be a generalist Hippiemancer, who has incomplete mastery of all 3 without any 1 being his primary.

Granted, to my knowledge, I'm not sure we've seen him do anything that fits Flower Power yet unless I'm missing something. Unless his hefty appetite can be interpreted as a case of stoner munchies lol.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby No one in particular » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:47 pm

You raise an interesting point with the other date-a-mancer and the issue of inter-personal interactions...

I can think of a couple of possible explanations for it, but they're almost entirely speculative. (well, really, it's all speculative, it just has an internal consistency I find appealing...)

1. One possible explanation is that Parson is a date-a-mancer, and one with a lot of potential, but he's a novice. Uhura (the date-a-mancer from LIAB Text 31) may have simply been a more experienced date-a-mancer. Some more exercise, a few more "utterly alien, yet utterly charming" thoughts, getting more comfortable around pretty ladies... Parson could clean up nicely!

2. Alternately, it could be a matter of interface. Date-a-mancers work by match-ups, literally by comparison. By comparing one thing with multiple different things, they're able to get an understanding about what factors effect outcomes, and by how much.

So for instance, when Duncan uses the Laurel of Napster, he takes two units and compares how they'd do in a fight. "Alright, then Belzon vs. the blue with the Hobgobwin Knight...much better. Belzon vs. the second red...surprisingly even."

Parson is incredibly lucky, and has two things to help him test speculative comparisons that most other date-a-mancers never could. A master-class foolamancer to simulate and replay his ideas... and a mathamantic bracer that straddles the border between magic item (made by man) and artifact (made by the GODS). It took Parson a couple of taps and mumbles to figure out the exact odds of pegging Stanley with a brick. For any other date-a-mancer, they'd have to work it out by hand, or bother a mathamancer to tell them.

Taken a step further, this means that for most date-a-mancers, they either have to go out into the field to see how "this guy" compares against "that guy", or they have to find comparisons they can make from the comfort of home and without enemy units. Which is to say... people, and relationships.

The easiest constant to work with is themselves. The variables? Other people. "What happens if I hook up with a happy person? Now what about a lonely person? What about angry?" Etc etc etc. Personal relationships are they only thing they can test in the middle of their side's capital.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:10 am

Could Parson not just be a Hippymancer and be capable of both Signamancy and Date-a-mancy?
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby wih » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:56 am

Whether or not a caster can cast from multiple disciplines, we've only ever seen casters referred to by what we know to be their initial discipline. Wanda is a Croakamancer who can cast outside of her discipline in multiple areas, and is at least a novice Thinkamancer...but is still a Croakamancer.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby Taikei no Yuurei » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:22 am

No one in particular wrote:and a mathamantic bracer that straddles the border between magic item (made by man) and artifact (made by the GODS).

The bracer is an artifact. An artifact is defined as anything which isn't made by an Erfworlder, and the bracer popped with his Stupid Meal. It, along with Ruthlessness, is an artifact. Remember that artifact means something different in Erfworld than it does here. An Artifact doesn't have to be powerful, just not made by an Erfworlder.

Anyway, I think you might be placing a little too much emphasis on Janis' statement that Parson is a Hippimancer. That was the first time she'd met him, and she has no reason to know what type of caster he might be besides prediction and personal hope. That said, I do like your reasoning with date-a-mancer basically being data-mancer, which would fit him rather well. He could also be a mathamancer though, but that would be a bit boring with his bracer.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:35 am

wih wrote:Whether or not a caster can cast from multiple disciplines, we've only ever seen casters referred to by what we know to be their initial discipline. Wanda is a Croakamancer who can cast outside of her discipline in multiple areas, and is at least a novice Thinkamancer...but is still a Croakamancer.

Except for Janis, who is called a Grand Abbie Hippimancer. As far as I remember, it's only speculated that Flower Power is her specialty.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:23 am

Lipkin wrote:Except for Janis, who is called a Grand Abbie Hippimancer. As far as I remember, it's only speculated that Flower Power is her specialty.

Yes and no. She has only been called "Grand Abbie", Hippiemancer wasn't tacked onto the end of that title. Whether or not she would be referred to as a Hippiemancer vs a specific discipline hasn't been stated yet. You are correct that Flower Power is only her speculative primary though, it's never been confirmed.
I was speculating earlier in the thread that while erfling casters have a primary discipline, perhaps Parson isn't bound by the same constraint. He could be a true "Hippiemancer" with no single specialty.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:37 am

0beron wrote:Whether or not she would be referred to as a Hippiemancer vs a specific discipline hasn't been stated yet.
Janis was referred to as a Hippiemancer in Summer Update 28, at least. I expect that anyone whose discipline is in the Hippiemancy class can be called a Hippiemancer, so it probably doesn't mean much.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:49 am

Ah nice catch, but yeah you're right, we can't know for sure if that means anything.
It is interesting though that despite being very accomplished Eyemancers, the Great Minds are still referred to as Thinkamancers. Makes me wonder if that's simply a cultural decision, or if it means Janis's label as a Hippiemancer is actually significant.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby No one in particular » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:40 am

Taikei no Yuurei wrote:
No one in particular wrote:and a mathamantic bracer that straddles the border between magic item (made by man) and artifact (made by the GODS).

The bracer is an artifact. An artifact is defined as anything which isn't made by an Erfworlder, and the bracer popped with his Stupid Meal. It, along with Ruthlessness, is an artifact. Remember that artifact means something different in Erfworld than it does here. An Artifact doesn't have to be powerful, just not made by an Erfworlder.

Sizemore's words, not mine.
In TBFGK 54, Sizemore wrote: Which this object (the bracer) seems to do. Instantly and effortlessly. This is a very powerful item, or maybe artifact.

Like a good researcher, I wanted to keep as close to the original text as possible. :p
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:52 am

The problem is that there is some ambiguity. Based on our definition of what an Artifact is (anything not made by Erflings), then Sizemore should say it's definitely an artifact. So obviously one of these 2 sources is wrong/misspoke.
Either that, or classification of the Bracer is difficult because though it was not made directly by an Erfling, it came about as a result of an Erfling-made spell.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby No one in particular » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:15 pm

0beron wrote:The problem is that there is some ambiguity. Based on our definition of what an Artifact is (anything not made by Erflings), then Sizemore should say it's definitely an artifact. So obviously one of these 2 sources is wrong/misspoke.
Either that, or classification of the Bracer is difficult because though it was not made directly by an Erfling, it came about as a result of an Erfling-made spell.

I think the uncertainty in Sizemore's evaluation comes from how, potentially, the bracer could be recreated by man. Just because it was popped with Parson's breakfast doesn't mean it came from the Titans.

Examples: Wrigley & his spear, or Mary Sagittari and her bow. Their equipment popped with them, but could just as easily have been made, or replaced by twolls.

Stanley & his 'Hammer. No amount of link-ups and coalitions can recreate an arkentool; it is so completely beyond the reach of man that only the Titans themselves could've done it.

Parson's bracer could, theoretically, be made as an accessory in a link-up with a Thinkamancer, Mathamancer and a Dollamancer.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:22 pm

No one in particular wrote:Parson's bracer could, theoretically, be made as an accessory in a link-up with a Thinkamancer, Mathamancer and a Dollamancer.
We don't really know that, but I agree that they probably could do it. I suspect that the only reason Sizemore thinks it might be an artifact is that no one in Erfworld has seen anything like Parson's calculator watch, which is the key component that gives the bracer most of its power. We know that the calculator watch wasn't made by the Titans, so Ace might be able to manage it if he understood what he was trying to build.

Charlie calls the bracer an artifact, but unless the Arkendish does Lookamancy there's no way that Charlie has ever seen the bracer. I suspect that Charlie only calls it an artifact because Parson called it an artifact in one of the conversations he had with Charlie that we didn't see. There were two conversations between Parson and Charlie that clearly happened off-camera in Book 1.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby bpzinn » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:47 pm

0beron wrote:The problem is that there is some ambiguity. Based on our definition of what an Artifact is (anything not made by Erflings), then Sizemore should say it's definitely an artifact. So obviously one of these 2 sources is wrong/misspoke.
Either that, or classification of the Bracer is difficult because though it was not made directly by an Erfling, it came about as a result of an Erfling-made spell.


The problem is that Taikei no Yuurei's post assumed facts not in evidence. Per http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_35 we know Sizemores definition of a Magic Item. This is NOT evidence that anything that is not is not a Magic Item is an Artifact. There is likely grey areas. I am guessing that the usual definition of an Artifact is "created by the Titans" So when you have something like the bracer thinks get iffy. It was not DIRECTLY created by erfians, but the spell that caused it to pop in Parsons rations WAS.

The Magic Item/Artifact distinction seems to be a Artificial distinction created by the people of Erfworld. Otherwise Sizemore could just look at it with his "Commanders can see Stats" vision and just say "it has the Artifact special, yup, it's an artifact" Or not. And when you get into definitions, there can be multiple similar ones, Like:

Artifact [Art*E*fak*t]
1. A Magic Item made by the Titans
2. A Magic Item made in the era when the Titans walked the Erf
3. A Magic Item displaying a level of Power ascribed to those created by the Titans
4. A Magic Item that cannot be replicated by (living) Erfworld Casters

And not everyone agrees on which definition(s) should be used, because everyone thinks their definition is correct and the other persons definition is wrong. Why does this happen in real life? Dumbass English teachers who never passed "Linguistics 101: the Lingua Franca is an evolving thing, and did not stop evolving the day you were born." Why does this happen in Erfworld? Verisimilitude!

Re: Original Post. Nice ideas there. You have not convinced me he is a Date-A-Mancer, but you have convinced me he not a (just) a Signamancer. Native casters seem to be popped in a "box" and can with effort get outside it. Most only seem to crawl out of the 24 smaller boxes they were popped in to one of the 8 larger boxes. Parson came to erfworld thinking outside the box already. He may be less limited in his casting options. At the very least, I think his class the one of the big eight (abbie/abbot, headmaster, etc) rather than the small 24.
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Re: Why Date-a-mancy? An explanation/tract

Postby mortissimus » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:28 am

I just want it on the record that if this holds I will be duly impressed. I will also have lost some quatloo, but that is of less importance.
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