What Caster Type would you want?

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What Caster Type would you want?

Postby The Pink Warlord » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:17 am

Let us say you are playing Erfworld: The game. Give what you know about the way the world works and how magic works what, say, three caster types would you most like?

The list to remind yourself what is available: http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Magic

Rules:

1) You already have a Thinkermancer. It's such an obvious choice (For commanding your Empire, troops, gathering intel and the advantages mind links give) that I choose it for you. I mean if you have three casters and one is a thinkermancer you basically have four casters because you can make a hybrid discipline.

2) No Reconjuration. Titans only

Also feel free to speculated about rad comboes of casters. When I asked a friend what he would have he said a linked Math/Moneymancer because it'd create masses of schmuckers and cheaper troops and good investments

My top three in order

1) Shockmancer: Primarily I want this because it seems great for killing leadership and as Parson says, Erfworld's mechanics are best use with multipliers. The Shockmancy used on Ossermer and Trammenis dropped their warlord level bodyguard long enough to capture a chief warlord. Likewise Caesar, one of the toughest warlords about gives testimony to the effectiveness of Shockmancy against flyers and leadership. Certainly we have seen that flying, like leadership, can be very deadly. And a small team of flyers with a Shockmancer can do devastating hit and run attacks on an army in the field. And in battle it'd great to be able to control it by creating opening with what is basically magical artillery.

The major disadvantage I can see is to get the most out of a Shockmancer they need to be on the front lines fighting, not at the Capital casting passive buffs.

2) Dirtamancer: Digdoug has really sold to me the advantages of Dirtamancer buff to city defense. In a game very focused on taking and holding cities that is very very useful. Likewise using them to make field fortification or mine under enemy forts are advantageous. Plus they create and lead a lot of the stronger golem types.

Disadvantage: More passive and defensive unless leading golems which puts them at risk.

3) Foolamancer: Surprise wins battles and ambushes often lead to decisive results. To mangle Sun Tzu an enemy that doesn't know your form cannot defend against it. Ansom rendered the army of Jetstone useless and helpless by using Foolamancy to make Ossomer to make a totally incorrect tactical decision. In a game where all damage is healed at the start of a turn a wounded army can be hidden while it is vulnerable. At it's most extreme a one city side can remain completely hidden until they need to expand or until hit by bad luck.

Disadvantage: More tactical then strategic, needs to be with the troops on the front line and needs a worthwhile army to hide rather than making a regular army into a winner like Shockmancy does with armies or Dirtamancers do with cities.

Do not want:

Hatmancy: Thinkamancy is better for comms and if I really need hats I'll buy them from the magic kingdom

Turnamancy: Only speeds up one city, turned troops are unreliable. If I want one I'll hire one.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby 0beron » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:03 pm

Haha, I feel like this discussion has been had before in various ways, but always good to revisit as we get more info. For this, I also want to take into consideration the possibility of learning the rest of one's school, given the fact that many MK casters we see (especially Great Minds) have learned every discipline within their school. Presumably this feat requires study and some degree of natural talent, but it bears considering. My picks in order would be:

1) Rhyme
Despite not knowing much about them, it seems like a really great buffing discipline. Linked via Thinkamancer to a third caster seems like it would basically make a super-charged version of the duo-link concept. Plus Rhymes seem to inspire troups, and having a Rhyme-o-mancer on the side might mean they can give you Warlords voice-lessons so to speak, allowing them to better inspire their own troops. And for a really important event, send in the caster for a real morale boost. Hat Magic and Carnymancy would give the caster some nice tricks up their sleeve is they can learn the basics.
Cons: Seem to be a more passive discipline without a means to directly defend themselves, making it difficult for them to level through combat.

2) Sign
Again not a discipline we understand completely but it seems to cover a great deal. Improving one's cities, making troops look more fearsome, creating contracts, all very useful talents for establishing a strong base. When linked with the Rhyme-o-mancer, could create highly effective contracts or even verbal argeements that have persuasive power. Flower Power and Date-a-mancer have some nice bonuses, especially if you can pick out the most gullible enemy Warlord and get him to agree to your persuasive contract.
Cons: A purely passive discipline, the caster gets you basically nothing in combat and is only of strategic value. Even if he's analyzing the Signamancy of your opponent's Commanders, your itelligence is only as good as the people using it, so to speak.

3)Heal or Doll I can't actually decide between these two, either one would really be appropriate because given my other 2 choices, I need a very battle-oriented discipline to round out the roster.
Heal: Keep your troops, especially your elite strike stacks or high level Commanders topped off through the big battles. Being entirely combat oriented makes them easy to level, and combined with the other casters, you could set up beneficial contracts to other sides willing to pay for her services. If she can learn Luckamancy as well, all the better to help units recover from poisons or other health effects that require a "saving throw" so to speak.
Cons: Practically useless in times of peace from what we have seen. As mentioned above, contracts with sides who are at war can offset this, but the caster must always be put in the way of danger to be of benefit.
Doll: Who wouldn't want big beefy golems and magical accessories to help their Commanders? An obvious choice for combat, with the ability to help during peaceful times as well. Sell their goods to sides who are at war for substantial profit, use your Rhyme-Think-Sign link to set up weapons contracts and the like. Linking with Rhyme would get you clothing and gear particularly well suited to dance-fighting, and linking with Sign might produce clothing that changes one's appearance. Corsets, costumes and drag queens anyone lol? They did the monster mash!
Cons: There really aren't many, other than the obvious need for good real troops and competant Commanders. You can't win a war with Golems alone, and fancy items are useless if there is nobody to wield them.

Casters Whom Need not Apply:
  • Predictamancy: Beyond that neat little battle accuracy trick, they offer nothing useful. Predictions always seem to come true one way or another, so knowing about it doesn't offer me anything helpful IMO.
  • Naughtymancy: Shocks are best for spelling up Towers it seems, and given that any caster can technically do that, I see no need to get one who specializes in it. Croaks are not only useless during peace, but even in war they need corpses, so they only seem to work well when you're already winning and just need to recoup your small losses.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby bladestorm » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:46 pm

Moneymancer, Dittomancer (Chief), Florist, and Dirtamancer. Lots of cheap units, and very cheap upgrades available for a small number of cities. I'll expound later when I have more time.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lilwik » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:22 pm

1) Predictamancer. By far the best discipline. It's not exactly overpowered, but knowing what is coming before it comes is a strategic gold mine, plus an excellent cure for stress. You just have to make sure that your Predictamancer isn't keeping secrets for your own good. They mostly seem to do that because they are surrounded by people who don't understand Predictamancy, especially warlords and casters of other disciplines. As long as you make it clear that you understand that Predictions are just guides to how to navigate through the future, not challenges to be overcome. As long as your Predictamancer understands that you're not like Wanda, Overlord Firebaugh, or Jillian, then there should be no reason to keep secrets from you. If life were a river, then Predictamancers would be the ones helpfully letting you know when the waterfalls are going to be, and Wanda of the start of Book 0 would be the one who swims against the current because she thinks she doesn't have to go over the waterfall if she swims hard enough. Accept what is coming because it is inevitable; that way you can prepare for it and make the best of it, and you never need to worry about the unknown around the next corner.

If your Predictamancer can learn Mathamancy, then those two together should mean that you can make the best possible use of your troops, always having exactly the right forces in exactly the right positions to win every battle. I expect it would be almost like doubling the size of your army for the cost of just one caster. And if that's not enough, then maybe your Predictamancer could arrange for summoning a perfect warlord.

All of that, plus Predictamancy is also useful in combat.

Disadvantages: Even if you keep a positive attitude about Predictamancy, most units probably won't be able to and therefore morale is bound to suffer.

2) Dirtamancer. I love Digdoug, but I don't like Homekey's idea of playing wide. Investing in an army is just building a death machine. It forces you to take cities from surrounding sides, killing people who should be your allies and forcing your own units to die in those battles. Armies are black holes that suck in shmuckers and lives, so once I have a Predictamancer to allow my small army to act like a big army, I'd next want a Dirtamancer to build traps in all my cities until each city is a death maze that drives invaders insane while it is killing them. When my cities are so full of traps that there's no room left for more traps, I'd put traps in the surrounding hexes. Ideally my side would become an ever-growing wasteland that chews up any intruders who try to cross.

3) Dollamancer. Never send a person to do a doll's job. Give me a really scary Dollamancer like the one Transylvito has and I wouldn't allow him to spend even one drop of juice on useless raiment. He's going to be too busy building the bulk of my army and populating my traps with the most terrifying creatures imaginable. If someone wants to attack my side, then I want to make a horror movie. I want them to be taking losses to the terrain and the monsters that live in it long before they make contact with my army, but even more I want to arrange things so that every enemy unit is at least wounded in every turn they spend in my territory, so I can hear their screams from several hexes away. The ultimate goal is to be the least appealing target that anyone in Erfworld has ever heard of.

Do Not Want:
Hat Magician: I'd want a magic hat in each of my cities help with communication, but I wouldn't be spreading my troops far and wide, so I would have no need for a continuous supply of magic hats. If I already have a Thinkamancer, a Hat Magician would probably be not worth the upkeep.

Luckamancer: My goal would be to have monstrous defenses, so luck would be my enemy. If I were to use a luck boost to win a battle in one place, it might give good luck to my enemy in another place and allow them to slip past all of my traps, which would be a disaster. The only use I would have for a Luckamancer would be to counter any Luckamancy that the enemy is using, and for that I would rather have a Healomancer or a Moneymancer that happens to know some Luckamancy, or perhaps even hire a Luckamancer from the Magic Kingdom. Having a full-time Luckamancer on staff who wastes most of his juice on most turns wouldn't be good.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:55 pm

Signamancy and Dirtamancy seem most practical, but because you guys are hating on it so much, I'm going to spite you all and say Hat Magician. Message hats seem to be the least of of Hat Magic's abilities, and since we've seen the crown of Jetstone act as a message hat as well as a Thinking Cap, hats are not restricted to one ability. I like to think that Hat Magic can do a little bit of everything. Making Hat Magic users men and woman of many hats, if you will.

Maybe it's because I play Team Fortress 2 so much, but I think hats are neat.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lamech » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:52 pm

Hat magicians are basically the most broken thing ever. The least of their powers - the simple message hat - can provide troops with an essentially limitless array of supplies. A flier equipped with one of these can devastate most ground forces as it fires its endless array of bombs. In addition it allows for rapid deployment of further magic trinkets and the ability to send them away when not used. To say nothing of the communication power these devices possess. An final trick is to allow resource harvests to be quickly spread as needed. Now you might think that this would be some costly power, but these Hat Magicians can make these with great apparent ease scattering them across Erf. Everyone seems to have several.

Next up on totally overpowering is their golem manufacturing abilities. Unlike normal golems they make hats that can animate golems or de-animate them at will. While the Hat must maintain the golem this allows for the item to be salvaged even when destroyed. Furthermore combined with their message hats this allows for rapid deployment of heavies to anywhere they so chose. Again this ability is not hard. A croakamancer with a particular talent for other magics can pull this off. This would be a trivial task for a novice.

They can make Thinking Caps. A mighty item negating entire disciplines at a go. Presumably they can create other similarly powerful hats to enhance units.

They also make competent blaster mages, as evidenced by Cubbins busting a cap.

And should be lucky enough to draw a Hatamancer and another caster they can pull further trinkets from their hat to amplify the second casters ability to create enchanted items.

To sum up hatamancers in a word. WTFHACKZ!
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:40 am

Plus, you just know that a Hat Magician is going to pull an Oddjob one of these days.

Also of note is that Hats can be resized. Make the hat giant, and you could likely transfer a great deal larger items from city to city. You could probably even pull Parson's portal trick and send croak bodies through, if you wanted to send corpses to a Croakamancer in another city.

I also bet that they have a way to make Smuckers by "passing the hat," and a way to make peace by approaching "hat in hand."

Also, propeller beanies, mining helmets, I could even see a Hat Magician making a Cerebro type device that would amplify Thinkamancer abilities. There are lots of possibilities there. What we've seen of them isn't all that they can do.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Shai_hulud » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:42 am

Plus linked casters created a hat that could give people new natural magic senses, like the item that destroyed Napster.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:45 pm

Hey now, I DID say I'd be happy if my Rhyme-o-mancer learned some Hat Magic too :p But yeah, Lipkin we seem to be in the minority thinking Hat Magic is good. Though already having a Thinkamancer does make one of Hat Magic's most basic skills redundant. Which isn't a bad thing, because it allows one caster or the other to focus on other aspects of their discipline instead. Who knows what things a Hat Magician could create or do if a big chunk of his Juice wasn't spent on Message Hats.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:51 pm

Hat Magicians can send items through the hats, and can make items. They can send magic items into the field without leaving home, which no other class can. But having both a Thinkamancer and Hat Magician, I'd have the Hat Magician focus on coms, not the Thinkamancer. Without having to send messages, the Thinkamancer can focus on monitoring the battle. Up to date intel is no small thing.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:56 pm

I suppose, but based on what we hear from Maggie, the depth/quality of communication a Thinkamancer can deliver is obviously superior. So the Hats would be fine for scouting reports or the like, but I'd want Thinkgrams to talk to my Warlords. By contrast, we haven't seen/heard what the advanced levels of Hat Magic entail, so I'd wanna unlock that potential. If it is equally powerful to the advanced abilities of Thinkamancy, it seems well worth the effort.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Alpha the White » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:03 pm

0beron wrote:Hey now, I DID say I'd be happy if my Rhyme-o-mancer learned some Hat Magic too :p But yeah, Lipkin we seem to be in the minority thinking Hat Magic is good. Though already having a Thinkamancer does make one of Hat Magic's most basic skills redundant. Which isn't a bad thing, because it allows one caster or the other to focus on other aspects of their discipline instead. Who knows what things a Hat Magician could create or do if a big chunk of his Juice wasn't spent on Message Hats.

More to the point, I'd be interesting in seeing what a Hat Magician and a Thinkamancer can do together, perhaps in a link. We treat the Message Hats as largely redundant with a Thinkamancer's gifts, but what might happen if we treated them as synergetic?

A couple thoughts:
1. I seriously doubt that ANY caster type is "not good." It seems that whenever we spend any amount of time in the story focusing on a new caster, we learn of potential that we had no idea existed before. The only caster type that I can't imagine greater depths to is the Luckamancer, and that's mostly because of the explicit "zero sum game" requirement (which seriously rubs me the wrong way, I mean, other casters get pure benefits for juice expenditure...luckamancy has to spend the juice AND pay an equal cost to the benefit?). Luckamancy aside, it is my impression that Rob intends to grant every caster type a depth that is on par with the other caster types, in its own way.

2. Thinkamancers may bring something to a link-up beyond just "link glue" or augmentation of another caster's abilities. I'll elaborate in one of the link-up threads, but for this thread, suffice to say that it might be shortsighted to pick your caster set without accounting for what a Thinkamancer+Other linkup might be capable of on its own.

3. Even Adept Thinkamancers can't always disentangle a link from the inside. If you plan on making lots of links with your other casters, I think you're gonna need a second thinkamancer.


My list (I'll elaborate later):
1. Dollamancer
2. Thinkamancer 2
3. Wierdomancer or Hat Magician
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:07 pm

0beron wrote:I suppose, but based on what we hear from Maggie, the depth/quality of communication a Thinkamancer can deliver is obviously superior. So the Hats would be fine for scouting reports or the like, but I'd want Thinkgrams to talk to my Warlords. By contrast, we haven't seen/heard what the advanced levels of Hat Magic entail, so I'd wanna unlock that potential. If it is equally powerful to the advanced abilities of Thinkamancy, it seems well worth the effort.

How often do you need that level of communication? And Thinkamancy also takes more juice the longer the conversation is, whereas you can send a letter packed with information for no juice at all. So when time is not of the essence, Hat Magic is superior for communication. No cost of juice, no limit to the information, and incapable of being overheard.

It's phone vs email, really.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:09 pm

Alpha the White wrote:The only caster type that I can't imagine greater depths to is the Luckamancer, and that's mostly because of the explicit "zero sum game" requirement (which seriously rubs me the wrong way, I mean, other casters get pure benefits for juice expenditure...luckamancy has to spend the juice AND pay an equal cost to the benefit?).
I think Clay was just a garbage caster/poor example. I mean he had Delphi for a Chief Caster, so how else was he going to end up thinking about his craft? Rather than unlock the full potential of Luckamancy, I think she stifled and crippled him. So sure we got to learn a bit about the mechanic, but I'm not so sure he taught us everything in the same way Wanda/Maggie/Digdoug have taught us about their disciplines.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby 0beron » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:11 pm

Lipkin wrote:
0beron wrote:I suppose, but based on what we hear from Maggie, the depth/quality of communication a Thinkamancer can deliver is obviously superior. So the Hats would be fine for scouting reports or the like, but I'd want Thinkgrams to talk to my Warlords. By contrast, we haven't seen/heard what the advanced levels of Hat Magic entail, so I'd wanna unlock that potential. If it is equally powerful to the advanced abilities of Thinkamancy, it seems well worth the effort.

How often do you need that level of communication? And Thinkamancy also takes more juice the longer the conversation is, whereas you can send a letter packed with information for no juice at all. So when time is not of the essence, Hat Magic is superior for communication. No cost of juice, no limit to the information, and incapable of being overheard.
It's phone vs email, really.
That's why I said Thinkamancy is superior on the depth/quality, not quantity. So basically, I 100% agree with you, so it'd be more a situational advantage rather than one or the other being universally more useful. Use Hats when you want quantity, and Think when you want quality or speed.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lilwik » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:39 pm

0beron wrote:I think Clay was just a garbage caster/poor example. I mean he had Delphi for a Chief Caster, so how else was he going to end up thinking about his craft?
Agreed. I think that a Predictamancer is probably the worst kind of unit to be telling a Luckamancer how to do his job. At least a Warlord would have an awareness of how important luck is in a battle, while I have serious doubts that a Predictamancer would even realize that luck actually exists. Delphie should have been treating Clay as an equal and allowing him to complement her abilities instead of giving him orders.

0beron wrote:So sure we got to learn a bit about the mechanic, but I'm not so sure he taught us everything in the same way Wanda/Maggie/Digdoug have taught us about their disciplines.
That wouldn't surprise me, but on the other hand even the way Clay described Luckamancy didn't make it sound as useless as people are saying. Controlling where your good luck happens could be a game breaker in a lot of situations. Boost an archer just before he takes a one-in-a-million shot across the battlefield at the enemy chief warlord. You get a critical hit that blows the most critical brains out of the back of the most critical skull. You're going to win even if none of your archers manage to hit another target in the whole battle. Luckamancy gives you good luck where you want it and bad luck where luck doesn't matter.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Omnimancer » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:43 pm

Lilwik wrote:
0beron wrote:I think Clay was just a garbage caster/poor example. I mean he had Delphi for a Chief Caster, so how else was he going to end up thinking about his craft?
Agreed. I think that a Predictamancer is probably the worst kind of unit to be telling a Luckamancer how to do his job. At least a Warlord would have an awareness of how important luck is in a battle, while I have serious doubts that a Predictamancer would even realize that luck actually exists. Delphie should have been treating Clay as an equal and allowing him to complement her abilities instead of giving him orders.

0beron wrote:So sure we got to learn a bit about the mechanic, but I'm not so sure he taught us everything in the same way Wanda/Maggie/Digdoug have taught us about their disciplines.
That wouldn't surprise me, but on the other hand even the way Clay described Luckamancy didn't make it sound as useless as people are saying. Controlling where your good luck happens could be a game breaker in a lot of situations. Boost an archer just before he takes a one-in-a-million shot across the battlefield at the enemy chief warlord. You get a critical hit that blows the most critical brains out of the back of the most critical skull. You're going to win even if none of your archers manage to hit another target in the whole battle. Luckamancy gives you good luck where you want it and bad luck where luck doesn't matter.


Yeah, having a Luckamancer is actually pretty good. The important thing to remember is that is doesn't make your side luckier or unluckier. It just lets you reassign your dice in a more advantageous way. Your side was going to get those good and bad rolls no matter what. But now you can prioritize who gets the good rolls, and when.

As for Delphie and Clay, I'm not sure they were actually bad at their jobs. What screwed their side wasn't incompetence on their part as casters, but Wanda's and Lord Firebaugh's decision to ignore their predictamancer. If they had listened to Delphie and traded Wanda Goodminton probably would have survived. If Delphie made any error it was diplomatic, in going behind Firebaugh's back and losing his trust, rather than magical. Although Goodminton was a side in decline before Wanda, that wasn't necessarily Delphie or Clay's fault, and they might have actually been responsible for them holding on as long as they did. And we saw Delphie absolutely killing it in combat.

I'd actually think a Predictamancer would be especially useful with a Luckamancer, because then you know when to best spend your limited supply of luck. A warlord of course knows which battles you need to win on a straightforward tactical level. But a predictamancer could see un-obvious outcomes like "If we lose this battle our side will fall, so we must spend luck here" or "We will lose this battle no matter what we do, so save our luck for another fight"
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:31 am

I think a predictamancer would be useful, but only if your side was unimportant. If your side is important, the predictamancer isn't going to be able to tell you anything that will change your path.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Shai_hulud » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:17 pm

I would think it's the exact opposite. If I have a bunch of "fate crap" stuck to my units, I would really want to know, frankly. I can't imagine information I would need to know more than that one of my best units is being drawn towards the enemy side against their will, or that the enemy I'm fighting right now is freaking immortal. Just look what happened to Jetstone because they didn't know that Wanda and Sylvia were nearly impossible to croak. If you don't think that kind of information matters, then I can't imagine what information does matter to you.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:57 pm

Yeah, Wanda and Sylvia were the important ones. Jetstone is not important, so if they had a predictamancer, they could have changed their strategy based upon the predictions. But Wanda and Sylvia are going to walk their path regardless, so why do they need a predictamancer? It certainly didn't help Goodminton.
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