Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:48 pm

Lipkin wrote:The explanation is secondary. The pun comes first, and the explanation is invented to justify it. It's the rule of funny.
I could never believe that about Erfworld! Comics that are ruled by funny are mere shallow amusement. They're funny enough, but little more. Erfworld is so much more than that. Erfworld draws its humor from the deep and meticulously constructed world that it has created, and it doesn't ever break the rules of it's world for the sake of a joke. Erfworld is probably the least ruled by funny web comic I know of. Even Order of the Stick breaks the fourth wall sometimes for a joke, and I wouldn't call Order of the Stick ruled by funny either. For an example of ruled by funny see Looking for Group, and notice that it suffers for being ruled by funny by making it hard to take anything seriously.

Lipkin wrote:When they agree that this is the way things are, Signamancy responds by making it reality. Signamancy is fate magic. If you agree that you aren't going to talk about something, it's like you've created your own prediction about yourself, and signamancy makes the prediction true.
That makes sense. If we ever discovered that contract enforcement were Natural Signamancy, then I'd probably be forced to believe something like that theory. I've never liked the idea that Signamancy can control reality by controlling appearances; it seems to take the focus of Signamancy away from appearances by making Signamancy a reality warper instead, which would mean that Signamancy is awfully misnamed. If it turns out that Natural Signamancy enforces contracts then it looks like we can take that as proof of the appearances-control-reality theory.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:10 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:The explanation is secondary. The pun comes first, and the explanation is invented to justify it. It's the rule of funny.
Erfworld draws its humor from the deep and meticulously constructed world that it has created, and it doesn't ever break the rules of it's world for the sake of a joke. Erfworld is probably the least ruled by funny web comic I know of.

It really doesn't. It draws it's humor from clever wordplay that is than weaved into the reality of the world. Erf is a serious world, built on the rule of funny. The events are not ruled by the rule of funny, just the names of things, and the rules of the universe. Giants are rumored to use juice, despite not being casters. Why else would this be, if not because baseball players are rumored to use steroids? (Rhetorical)

It doesn't break it's own rules for the sake of a joke. It's rules are vague enough where it can make a joke and expand the rules around it. The rules are secondary to the story, and the wordplay is a part of that.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:00 pm

Lipkin wrote:It draws it's humor from clever wordplay that is than weaved into the reality of the world. Erf is a serious world, built on the rule of funny.
I recognize that things are named based on the rule of funny, and that whole sides can exist because of the rule of funny, like the elf brands, but those are mere details, exactly where the rule of funny belongs. The rest of Erfworld is ruled by the personalities of the people involved and the mechanics of Erfworld, neither of which are subject to the rule of funny.

You're guessing if we ever got a full explanation for the magic system of Erfworld we'd find at some point that certain parts of it exist only because it's funny. You could be right, but when I look at the magic grid with its axes and elements and classes, I see a system that was designed thoughtfully and systematically. I believe that it was made using consistent rules that somehow explain why it is all arranged into such a neat pattern and how each discipline got its place on the grid.

Lipkin wrote:Giants are rumored to use juice, despite not being casters.
That's just one of those amusing themed sides that we see so much. Sides can come in all shapes and sizes without having to bend the rules for the sake of a joke, especially when they are only rumored to use juice. It wouldn't surprise me if the rules of Erfworld would have no problem with the giants using juice; we really don't understand juice very well.

Lipkin wrote:It's rules are vague enough where it can make a joke and expand the rules around it.
The rules are only vague as they have been revealed to us. The real rules are very specific and detailed, but hidden. Rob knows them and uses them to help write the story. The rules come first and then the story follows. You can't write a story this elaborate otherwise because if you make up the rules as you go you'll always get into trouble as the natural reward for lack of planning. The rules tell Rob what is coming next in the story, and he doesn't tell us the rules because he wants to maintain some mystery in Erfworld, because he doesn't want do an infodump, and because he wants to guard against the possibility that he might need to make some small change to the rules someday. So I'm certain that the rules give birth to the jokes, not the other way around.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby ftl » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:32 pm

Well, I'm glad you're so very certain about Rob's thought process!

Lilwik wrote:You're guessing if we ever got a full explanation for the magic system of Erfworld we'd find at some point that certain parts of it exist only because it's funny. You could be right, but when I look at the magic grid with its axes and elements and classes, I see a system that was designed thoughtfully and systematically. I believe that it was made using consistent rules that somehow explain why it is all arranged into such a neat pattern and how each discipline got its place on the grid.


Right, and I'd bet that those consistent rules were designed in part based on the puns they'd give. Of course it was designed thoughtfully and systematically! It was designed thoughtfully and systematically to both give rise to jokes and to be a consistent system of some sort.

Of course, that's not the in-universe explanation - inside Erfworld, there's of course a non-pun-related reason why everything is the way it is.

Do you think that it's a coincidence that TURNamancers happen to do a bunch of different things connected with entirely different meanings of the word "turn"?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:39 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:It's rules are vague enough where it can make a joke and expand the rules around it.
The rules are only vague as they have been revealed to us. The real rules are very specific and detailed, but hidden. Rob knows them and uses them to help write the story. The rules come first and then the story follows. You can't write a story this elaborate otherwise because if you make up the rules as you go you'll always get into trouble as the natural reward for lack of planning. The rules tell Rob what is coming next in the story, and he doesn't tell us the rules because he wants to maintain some mystery in Erfworld, because he doesn't want do an infodump, and because he wants to guard against the possibility that he might need to make some small change to the rules someday. So I'm certain that the rules give birth to the jokes, not the other way around.



Sounds like fan wank to me, unless Rob has stated that all the rules are written out and it's fully functional, but he just doesn't want to tell us. It's unrealistic to think Rob would base the story upon the rules, when he knows the story he wants to tell, and he also invents the rules. You think the rules came before he came up with the story arc? You think the specifics of the mechanics came before he decided on the final products? That's not really how writing works. Details come later.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:43 pm

ftl wrote:Do you think that it's a coincidence that TURNamancers happen to do a bunch of different things connected with entirely different meanings of the word "turn"?
Certainly not! I think that Turnamancy was named by Erfworlders (or by the Titans) because of what Turnamancy is effectively used for. It's no more a coincidence that magic that works with turns and turning is called Turnamancy than it's a coincidence that a machine that cuts grass is called a lawn mower.

Lipkin wrote:Sounds like fan wank to me, unless Rob has stated that all the rules are written out and it's fully functional, but he just doesn't want to tell us.
I admit that it's not 100% guaranteed, but it seems to me to be the only realistic way a story like Erfworld could be written.

Lipkin wrote:It's unrealistic to think Rob would base the story upon the rules, when he knows the story he wants to tell, and he also invents the rules.
It would be a natural temptation to just make up the rules as you go along, but if you do that then the audience would notice. The mechanics of Erfworld are like the foundation that the story is built upon, the thing that provides the motivation for almost everything the characters do. You could change that as the story goes along, but a wobbly foundation like that is going to lead to inconsistencies. What the characters did under the old rules might not make sense under the new rules, and you'd need to very carefully examine everything that you've already written to search for those inconsistencies. That's hard enough when writing a complete story, but in a web comic it's a nightmare because everything that's already been written has already been published and is all but impossible to fix.

Lipkin wrote:You think the rules came before he came up with the story arc?
How late would you push the design of the rules? The later Rob waits before finalizing the rules, the more danger there is of needing retcons, and we know Rob hates retcons. Maybe the rules weren't finalized when he came up with the story for Book 1, but I can't believe he hadn't finalized the rules before the start of Book 2!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:47 pm

Except that if turns were called Phases, and turning was called defecting, they wouldn't have reason to fall under the same discipline. Rob made the mechanics that link them together because of the pun.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:58 pm

Lipkin wrote:Except that if turns were called Phases, and turning was called defecting, they wouldn't have reason to fall under the same discipline.
Turnamancy is about movement, about getting things going and speeding things up. It turns units because it moves them from one side to another. It reduces the number of turns required for production because it speeds up production. It makes self-powered vehicles. It takes away the move from Gobwin Knob and gives move to Jetstone. It's all about movement, no matter what words you use to describe it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:14 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Lipkin wrote:Except that if turns were called Phases, and turning was called defecting, they wouldn't have reason to fall under the same discipline.
Turnamancy is about movement, about getting things going and speeding things up. It turns units because it moves them from one side to another. It reduces the number of turns required for production because it speeds up production. It makes self-powered vehicles. It takes away the move from Gobwin Knob and gives move to Jetstone. It's all about movement, no matter what words you use to describe it.

Turnamancy is about movement, about getting things going and speeding things up.

Speculation on your part, which you are stating as fact.

It turns units because it moves them from one side to another.

How it does this is unknown, and is not actual movement.

It reduces the number of turns required for production because it speeds up production.

It reduces the number of turns required, which means units take less time to produce. How it manages this is unknown.

It makes self-powered vehicles.

It makes gear and wheel powered vehicles. Dollmancy could make self-powered vehicles, like RCC Cars, if it were not given to Turnamancy to create vehicles.

It takes away the move from Gobwin Knob and gives move to Jetstone.

It did far more than that, as a turn is a lot more than which side has move.

It's all about movement, no matter what words you use to describe it.

But it's not the only discipline relating to motion. The puns give the disciplines definition, and makes it clear where each ability belongs.

And damn it, you've got me arguing with you again, which, as predicted, seems to be going no where.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Sir Shadow » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:40 pm

I have to disagree immensely. Turnamancy is about the word 'turn'.

It causes wheels to turn.
It causes units to turn from one side to another.
It reduces the turns required for production.
And with enough power, it causes a Side's turn to end.

On another note, Rob has stated several times that while the most necessary aspects of the rules are hammered out, there is a lot left vague that he won't decide on until it is necessary to the story so that he doesn't write himself into a corner. The rules are decided by the needs of the story.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:44 pm

Sir Shadow wrote:I have to disagree immensely. Turnamancy is about the word 'turn'.

It causes wheels to turn.
It causes units to turn from one side to another.
It reduces the turns required for production.
And with enough power, it causes a Side's turn to end.

On another note, Rob has stated several times that while the most necessary aspects of the rules are hammered out, there is a lot left vague that he won't decide on until it is necessary to the story so that he doesn't write himself into a corner. The rules are decided by the needs of the story.

*High five*
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:49 pm

Lipkin wrote:Turnamancy is about movement, about getting things going and speeding things up. Speculation on your part, which you are stating as fact.
It's not speculation; it's just a description of Turnamancy as we've seen it. Speculation would be if I tried to guess how or why Turnamancy does these things.

Lipkin wrote:It takes away the move from Gobwin Knob and gives move to Jetstone. It did far more than that, as a turn is a lot more than which side has move.
In that case call it accelerating the natural changing of the turn, making the day move faster and the sun advance across the sky.

Sir Shadow wrote:On another note, Rob has stated several times that while the most necessary aspects of the rules are hammered out, there is a lot left vague that he won't decide on until it is necessary to the story so that he doesn't write himself into a corner.
He leaves the rules vague for us, not for himself. Any rules that he tells us are difficult to change later, so by not telling us he leaves the option open to make changes and protect himself from writing himself into a corner. I seriously doubt he needs that protection, but it's prudent of him to have it. If he actually didn't plan the rules in advance that would increase the danger of writing himself into a corner, not reduce the danger, so that seems highly unlikely.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby 0beron » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:51 pm

Lilwik wrote:In that case call it making the day move faster and the sun advance across the sky.
Oh Titans please no, not another Erf-Time debate! The humanity! Spare us! :lol:
"I'm afraid I don't understand. And also afraid that I do."
GJC wrote:Two guys with basically the same name in a discussion about a character getting cloned.
There's gotta be a good joke in here somewhere.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Sir Shadow » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:04 pm

Lilwik wrote:
Sir Shadow wrote:On another note, Rob has stated several times that while the most necessary aspects of the rules are hammered out, there is a lot left vague that he won't decide on until it is necessary to the story so that he doesn't write himself into a corner.
He leaves the rules vague for us, not for himself. Any rules that he tells us are difficult to change later, so by not telling us he leaves the option open to make changes and protect himself from writing himself into a corner. I seriously doubt he needs that protection, but it's prudent of him to have it. If he actually didn't plan the rules in advance that would increase the danger of writing himself into a corner, not reduce the danger, so that seems highly unlikely.
No, there are rules that have simply not been written by Rob and won't be decided on until he needs to for the purpose of the story. How would it increase the danger? If he doesn't decide on something until it comes up, then he can decide right then which way he wants it to go.

In fact, we've seen times when that happened and he had to go back and change something. I.E. Twolls with regeneration and not fabricration.

Also, it has been stated that time is completely subjective in Erfworld, so your point on the sun 'moving' or 'accelerating' through the sky is completely flawed.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:25 pm

Sir Shadow wrote:How would it increase the danger? If he doesn't decide on something until it comes up, then he can decide right then which way he wants it to go.
If Rob himself doesn't know about a rule, then how can he know how the rule might affect the story? Jillian knows all the rules and she makes all her decisions advised by that knowledge, so if Rob tries to write Jillian's decisions he really should know all those rules too. Otherwise when he finally decides to make up the rules he runs the risk of discovering that some of Jillian's decisions don't make sense. He might even discover that he can't figure out any rules that would make Jillian's decisions make sense. This would be the just reward for lack of planning.

Sir Shadow wrote:In fact, we've seen times when that happened and he had to go back and change something. I.E. Twolls with regeneration and not fabricration.
That's not really a rule of Erfworld so much as it's a detail of one particular unit type. Even so, he really hated to have to do that. That's why I'm so sure that he has been planning well ahead and making sure that all the rules are setup so he won't run into any more problems.

Sir Shadow wrote:Also, it has been stated that time is completely subjective in Erfworld, so your point on the sun 'moving' or 'accelerating' through the sky is completely flawed.
The nature of time is mysterious in Erfworld; none of us know exactly how it works, but we don't need to understand it. Erfworlders understand it and Turnamancers are clearly able to manipulate it. We've seen KingWorld do it and we know production can be accelerated, so I don't see where there is room for doubt about this.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby ftl » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:36 pm

Lilwik wrote:Jillian knows all the rules and she makes all her decisions advised by that knowledge,


No, she doesn't.

For example, what we're debating right now is the magic system. Jillian knows absolutely nothing about the magic system other than a vague (not necessarily even correct!) idea of what the casters of her side can do.

In general, most characters seem to be in the dark about most of the magic system.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:46 pm

ftl wrote:Jillian knows absolutely nothing about the magic system other than a vague (not necessarily even correct!) idea of what the casters of her side can do.
Naturally I didn't mean that Jillian knows about magic. Let me retract that part of what I said. Jillian knows all the rules about combat, tactics, and strategy, the kind of knowledge that warlords are supposed to be popped with, and what she wasn't popped with she surely learned in her long hundred-turns of experience. Jillian knows the rules about time, every rule about anything connected with movement or fighting, and every rule about almost anything except magic. So when writing Jillian, Rob should know all of that, and when writing casters he should know all the rules about magic, and if he writes in ignorance then he's setting himself up for trouble later. Whenever he decides a new rule now he has to search back through everything he has already published looking for places where the new rule might cause problems, and we're going to find anything he fails to notice.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Sir Shadow » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:56 pm

I don't believe that Jillian knows all the rules, at least pertaining to what all Units are capable of. Also, she doesn't have to have even a perfect understanding of the rules and tactics, not all warlords are equal. While she might know the intrinsic workings of the world, she might not know how to properly use them or could even forget about them when the time comes (Like how she could command the city as it's chief warlord and lower the portcullis on Olive) due to influences from within or without.

Like I said, all the big rules have likely been hammered out by Rob, but only the specific, detailed, and relevant ones are completely clarified and set in stone as they are necessary for the plot. Do you think that Rob was thinking about the rules for Fires and Infernos and how a dirtamancer can stop it (also, putting dirt on a fire deprives it of oxygen and puts it out, if the -mancy wasn't dirtamancy it probably wouldn't affect fires at all) when he was first creating Book 1? I highly doubt it, because he didn't need to even think about it because it was not important to the plot of that book.

It's not speculation; it's just a description of Turnamancy as we've seen it. Speculation would be if I tried to guess how or why Turnamancy does these things.
Webster's Diction wrote:speculation: ideas or guesses about something that is not known.
You're basically speculating on the basis of where Turnamancy's power comes from. While you might think that Turnamancy is based on movement and acceleration, I believe (with more evidence in my opinion) that it is based on applications of the word "turn".

A great deal of what Erfworld is has been shown to be based on word-play. I believe it's more likely to think the name is the basis of its power. Erfworlders didn't name things, the Titans did.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lilwik » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Sir Shadow wrote:Also, she doesn't have to have even a perfect understanding of the rules and tactics, not all warlords are equal.
That's fair, but Rob wouldn't be equipped to decide what Jillian knows about the rules unless he knows the rules himself and can make an informed decision about that. Just blindly assuming that Jillian wouldn't think of a rule that hasn't been invented yet would be a strangely risky plan for Rob to go with.

Sir Shadow wrote:Do you think that Rob was thinking about the rules for Fires and Infernos and how a dirtamancer can stop it (also, putting dirt on a fire deprives it of oxygen and puts it out, if the -mancy wasn't dirtamancy it probably wouldn't affect fires at all) when he was first creating Book 1?
He probably planned the story for Book 1 and devised the rules of Erfworld at the same time, before he published the first page, followed by a process of fine-tuning as the pages were coming out. He probably considered himself to have a good grasp of all the rules before he took the risk of publishing page 1 of Book 1, and since so many units burned to death in that book I expect he gave fire at least a little thought. Once the pages are exposed to the audience it's so much harder to change the rules.

Sir Shadow wrote:You're basically speculating on the basis of where Turnamancy's power comes from.
It's not speculation to point out that every use for Turnamancy that we've seen has been about movement. It's not speculation to point out that Turnamancy has Motion as its only element. None of this is guessing about the origins of Turnamancy's power; it's just about the facts that we've seen and the results of Turnamancy in action. I'm only speculating about Turnamancy when I try to extrapolate that trend to other things that Turnamancy might be able to do, like Janis's Time Out spell.

Sir Shadow wrote:While you might think that Turnamancy is based on movement and acceleration, I believe (with more evidence in my opinion) that it is based on applications of the word "turn".
Why does that have more evidence? You're noticing that every instance of Turnamancy involves the word "turn" (even the paddlewheel barge, I admit), and I'm noticing that every instance of Turnamancy involves movement. On that they seem equal. Then the movement side has the Motion element in its favor, which seems to tip the scales away from the word-based theory. We should also ask if any other disciplines are based on words, because it would seem strange for Turnamancy to be the only one, or even in a minority. If Erfworld magic were based on words, then I'd expect it to be more open about it; I'd expect Parson to be excited to realize that in order to understand magic all he needs to do is think about the names of the disciplines and the various puns he he can make using them.

Sir Shadow wrote:A great deal of what Erfworld is has been shown to be based on word-play.
It has been shown to include word-play; that's not the same thing as being based on word-play.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 074

Postby Lipkin » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:04 pm

Every instance of turnamancy includes some instance of turning. Not every instance includes physical movement. You are having to be very broad with your interpretations to fit your own theory, while it being based on turning is self-evident.
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