What Caster Type would you want?

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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lilwik » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:43 pm

Lipkin wrote:But Wanda and Sylvia are going to walk their path regardless, so why do they need a predictamancer? It certainly didn't help Goodminton.
But we know that it could have helped Goodminton. That fact that Goodminton ignored their Predictamancy says nothing about the usefulness of Predictamancy. Wanda needs a Predictamancer because then Parson would have a Predictamancer, and that would be a truly game breaking combination. Something is going to have to stop Parson from getting unrestricted access to a Predictamancer. Otherwise winning will be too easy for him.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:01 pm

But it didn't. So it couldn't. With all the same information that they had the first time, everyone would have made the exact same choices.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby wih » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:12 pm

Lipkin wrote:But it didn't. So it couldn't.


Affirming a disjunct...you'll have to back that statement up a bit more.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby thegoofromspace » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:16 pm

You know, I had an answer on another thread like this from before, but my answer's changed. For one, I'd actually rather have a Hat Magician for communication now, given that Charlie can hack all Thinkamancy communication. But, you say I'm stuck with a Thinkamancer, eh? Well, I'd trade him for a Hat Magician if I could. And this is sort of important, because I would actually like a strategy where each caster is individually valuable.

I get that links are extremely powerful, but they're also extremely risky.

So, my Hat Magician strategy would look like this:

Predictamancer

The more I think about it, the more useful a Predictamancer is. See, in any war game, the basic idea is to learn the rules and play them better than anyone else. Fate is basically another kind of rule in Erfworld.

It actually makes me think of the Judge system in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance; you're forbidden from taking certain actions by the Law system. Fate is like a more far-reaching version of that. Posbrake really seems to get that. I'd get a Predictamancer and play it the way he plays it.

Lookamancer

Forward intelligence! One of the key things we keep seeing in the stories is the importance of knowing what's out there. It's not like you can leave a hex when it's not your turn, so it makes good sense to have one of these, on a basic, turn-to-turn level.

Shockmancer

I figure you need at least one caster to give your side some extra presence on the battlefield, and this one has raw firepower. We haven't really seen a Shockmancer in action yet, but just consider the fact that they can make scrolls for your other casters. We don't know how many they can make, but if it's a big enough number, I'd say go for it.

It's also worth noting that a Shockmancer can increase the power of units, in a way. Capture becomes a lot easier with Shockmancy, and it's already been established that units can level by croaking captured units, like when Ossomer is croaked and decrypted. Seems like an especially effective way to level casters.

It might also be good for city defense to have a Shockmancer, since they might get a bonus to applying spells to towers. Wasn't there an update where the Chief Warlord of Transylvito mentions something like that? Combine that with a Predictamancer to launch the spells from the tower, as we saw in Goodminton, and you'll have some ridiculous defenses when you need them.

If I really have to have a Thinkamancer, I'd make the most out of tri-caster linking that I could. Specifically:

Florist, Dirtamancer, and Moneymancer

-Differing from Posbrake, I'd "play tall" as well as possible. Dirtamancers can make city upgrades cheaper, so this seems like a natural idea.
-More importantly, tri-caster link with the Florist and the Dirtamancer to make more farms. This seems like the best possible use of a tri-caster link, in the long run. Supposedly it was confirmed at a convention that they can do this. That would make the upkeep for the side cheaper, allowing me to play a wider variant on the "play tall" strategy, or just have a ton of extra schmuckers.
-Since the farm-enhanced cities would be more valuable than regular cities, I'd need the Dirtamancer to upgrade city defenses as well and turn them into hard targets.
-The Florist would, likewise, be able to plant extra defensive units, like Olive Branch's pea shooters, in each city.
-Moneymancers would take some of the purse and turn it into gems, gold, and silver, allowing me to hoard money without worrying about the treasury cap.
-Use my vast treasury to hire Predictamancers from the Magic Kingdom, every once in a while, for reasons outlined above. Posbrake mentions that they work cheap, so it'll probably be a cinch to afford this with the strategy outlined above.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:04 am

wih wrote:
Lipkin wrote:But it didn't. So it couldn't.


Affirming a disjunct...you'll have to back that statement up a bit more.

He said it could have been different. I'm saying it couldn't. With all the same variables, the exact same thing would happen in the exact same way. Because without hindsight, they have no reason to do anything differently. Just like when Wanda said she could jump from the tower, and Delphie said "You could, but you won't." Could it have gone differently? Technically. But if you roll back the clock, and don't make any changes, it's just going to happen again. So it couldn't have gone any other way, because it didn't go any other way.

To put it another way, you are fated to act as you are going to act.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lilwik » Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:59 am

Lipkin wrote:He said it could have been different. I'm saying it couldn't. With all the same variables, the exact same thing would happen in the exact same way.
That sounds like both determinism and incompatibilism, which means a denial of the existence of free will in Erfworld. It's determinism obviously because it is claiming that given the same starting conditions the outcome will always be the same. It seems to be incompatibilism because it is denying that things could have gone differently, which is usually required for people to have free will.

Usually a compatibilist would claim that other possibilities still exist in a hypothetical way even if they never happen in the actual deterministic course of events. Who you are determines the decisions that you will make, and if you hypothetically made different decisions you would have to be a different person. Therefore when we say that Wanda could have done some counterfactual thing, we mean that if Wanda were a different person then in that hypothetical world she might have done that thing. Who Wanda is determines what she does, which is what I call the definition of freedom and having choices because it's the exact opposite of being controlled by some outside force. The fact that rewinding time won't ever give you a different outcome is irrelevant to what Wanda might have done if she'd been the sort of person who would choose differently.

Even if you think of determinism as making people like mechanical wide-up toys, it still makes sense to think of the things that people could do other than what they actually do. It makes sense to praise people for doing good things because those good acts reveal that those people are good mechanisms, and discovering that is a thing to be celebrated. It also makes sense to punish people for doing bad things because it reveals a bad mechanism is at work which ought to be corrected or at least confined. When Delphie says that Wanda could commit suicide, Delphie is saying that if Wanda were the sort of mechanism that would do that, then it would happen, because it's Wanda's free choice.

Personally, I doubt that Erfworld is deterministic. The very existence of Luckamancy suggests that there is nondeterminism in there somewhere, but as a good compatibilist, I don't think it actually matters one way or the other.
Last edited by Lilwik on Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:50 am

Luck has nothing to do with fate, because fate tells luck to piss the hell off.

Everyone has the freedom to make their own choices. They are not being controlled. No one has the freedom to change a choice they have already made. Except for the Titans, that is.

Crap, I think I just realized that Retconjuration is going to become a plot point somewhere down the road. There is no better way to fight fate than to rewrite history.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby wih » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:17 am

Not everything is fated. Anything that isn't fated is subject to luck. Anything that is not subject to fate it subject to fate re-balancing from fated events.

We know there are random elements to the world, by our knowledge of luckamancy. I think it's naive to assume that the gathering of information has no random component, or that random elements do not interact with how units feel, changing moods, and how they use, perceive or report information, or any other number of ways. Yes, with the same information they were probably going to make the same choice. That doesn't mean that the random elements of Erfworld wouldn't have in another version changed the way that said information was gathered, passed on, or acted on.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:26 pm

wih wrote:Not everything is fated. Anything that isn't fated is subject to luck. Anything that is not subject to fate it subject to fate re-balancing from fated events.

We know there are random elements to the world, by our knowledge of luckamancy. I think it's naive to assume that the gathering of information has no random component, or that random elements do not interact with how units feel, changing moods, and how they use, perceive or report information, or any other number of ways. Yes, with the same information they were probably going to make the same choice. That doesn't mean that the random elements of Erfworld wouldn't have in another version changed the way that said information was gathered, passed on, or acted on.

Everything that isn't fated isn't subject to luck. A great deal of it is subject to choice. Fate and luck don't change how you react to something. I'm not denying that luck plays a part in events, but you were never going to react to the way luck plays out any other way, because you didn't. Endless possibilities stretch out in front of you, and it's a real choice. But once you make it, everything you've ever done has lead up to that choice, and you were never going to do anything else.

We've gone down the rabbit whole, as my arguments with Lilwik so often do. Here is the way that I see it.

There is Fate, there is Luck, and there is Choice. Most of reality is dictated by choice. It's the role playing element of the game. Choice is also the hand that casts the die. If the outcome of the die roll is inconsequential in the grand plan, the outcome is subject to luck. If the outcome would effect the grand plan, Fate steps in and attempts to influence events. A Predictamancer can see when Fate intends to intervene, and also possibly the die roll that needs to be hit in order to achieve something. But if your side is important, then what good does a predictamancer do? Fate is going to control your destiny either way. If your side is unimportant, than the predictamancer can let you peak down the paths of the hypotheticals. Luck and Choice don't matter in the face of Fate.

I don't understand why people think this is crazy.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby drachefly » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:46 pm

That seems pretty reasonable. Have I said that's crazy?
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:59 pm

drachefly wrote:That seems pretty reasonable. Have I said that's crazy?

Not that I can remember.

Sorry, despite the regularity of the arguments I get into on this forum, I actually hate arguing, and don't deal with the pressure it causes me very well.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Shai_hulud » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:58 pm

Then stop being crazy.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:43 pm

*shakes fist*

Yoooooooooou!
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Godzfirefly » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:04 am

I think I'd most want one of two combinations.

The first choice I'd want is the following:
1) Dirtamancer
2) Moneymancer
3) Dittomancer

Making cheaper upgrades, making money more efficient, and potentially doubling the effect of either/both of these seems like the perfect combination for getting powerful warlords and units relatively cheaply from many cities. I'd probably use savings to hire a Turnamancer to speed the most important unit pops, too. Plus, Golems seem like a very useful heavy unit in Erfworld. A caster link between Dirtamancers and Moneymancers might make it easier to unearth Smuckers, too.

The alternative option that comes to mind is the following:
1)Luckamancer
2)Carnymancer
3)Mathamancer

Clearly, the strategy here is to manipulate the numbers, cheat the system, and make the world of Erfworld work for me. The most obvious link to me is to link Luckamancy and Carnymancy, for obvious system manipulation.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lamech » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:13 pm

Anyway, I should probably put what I want for casters.
1) Hat Magician. Did I mention how broken these guys are?
2) Dirtamancer OR Florist. The income generators. The guys who make my farms double plus cool. The Florist is special due to its super capture powers, while the dirtamancer is good for fortifications.
3) Signamancer - It seems like it has a lot of subtle, but damn useful powers.
4) Dollamancer - I would do my damnedest to make one of those super dolls that TV is making. But add things like Ace's guns, defensive armor, healing modules, etc. Have the other casters add there items too. It would be a go big, or go home proposition, but if it works...
5) Date-o-mancer - these guys do taming. I would really like to deck out everyone in taming items. Would add a lot of variety to my forces.
Alternatively I would like to abuse
1) Thinkamancer AND Predictamancer - Anyone see the combo? Links are risky. Ask the predictamancer if it will turn out all right.
There are several possible ways to go from here
Turnamancer. With the thinkamancer I can make super turning items. Super production boosting. Stuff like that. We now outproduce everyone. Speed up farms and production to reduce upkeep costs so we can have more units. Let us fire out of the city off turn.
Florist: Remember Olive Branch? Yeah, I wonder if we could manage something better. Hell, maybe I can keep the whole capital perma-protected. Once I have an unbreakable capital I can just continue entrenching it until I'm far, far to annoying to be worth removing. A million turns of training and then I can conquer the world. Plus all the benefits of florists I mentioned above.
Dirtamancer: Super entrenchment. I'll rapidly get to too annoying to deal with status.
Dollamancer: Lets get super golems. Anti-air capabilities. Crap like that.
Hat Magician: A super-charged hat magician? That's totally insane.
Thinkamancer: Super thinkamancy. Make items to boost thinkamancers. Get the great minds in on it. Spiral out of control. See if we can't act as a link between links.
Basically, we use the Predicitamancer to ensure the backlash isn't too bad and get the benefits of tri-links or bi-links without the costs.


Anyway if you couldn't tell my basic strategy is "find a way to break dependence on cities". Vertical and Horizontal Strats? My Strat is don't care about that crap. Free yourself from cities being your core. Sure pop warlords there, dredge for casters. Using them as fortifications when convenient. But you need to bypass their limits. Or just endlessly stall for a million turns until you are invincible and can do whatever.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Shai_hulud » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:25 am

My three picks would be Dirtamancy, Turnamancy, and Dollamancy. I pick these over others not because they are better, or because of what I imagine others to be capable of, but because these are the ones we actually know what they are good for in the sense that we have seen them used multiple times.

Dirtamancy
Pros: I think a lot of people are picking this one for the same reasons I am. We know a lot of both what it can do, and also how it works. It seems to be a well rounded school with a lot of utility in multiple categories. They can increase resources production, add plumbing and drainage, improve town defenses, reduce costs on city upgrading, create customizable golem units, manipulate the terrain for mining and farming or defenses, build complex mechanical systems, and depending on what “fabricate” means, they might even be able to build Matter based gear and items. They can boost offense, defense, and resource production with no visible drawback.
Cons: I can literally see no downside to having one, other then it filling a caster popping slot on your sides roster. Why a side would treat them as mere janitors is beyond me.

Turnamancy
Pros: Speed up production in cities, manipulate time (maybe?), manipulate minds, and most of all creates vehicles. Being able to reliably create mass transit systems is a pretty big deal in a game that seems to put so much emphasis on transportation of trade goods. And with it being said how important force multiplication is, being able to create iron clad ships, tanks, technicals, and maybe even gunships to mechanize your fighting force and increase “reach” can’t be underestimated. And the fact that they can only speed up one city is not as big a deal if you can move them, or what they produce, around wherever you want. And none of this includes their potentially creepy clockwork orange mind control powers. So far they can boost offense, transportation, and troop production with no visible drawback whatsoever.
Cons: Like Dirtamancy, their doesn’t actually seem to be one so far. The only cost it seems to have at this point is the opportunity cost of filling a caster slot in your side.

Dollamancy
Pros: Golems, magic items, scenery, and raiment. It can produce mechanical mounts in place of vehicles, allowing for some of the same advantages in transportation afforded by Turnamancy. It can make high powered energy weapons and protective gear for your commanders, in addition to whatever “fabrication with a motion element” means. It can create communications and surveillance systems like in Haffaton. Transylvito has some sort of “factory” for industrial mass production. Beds and maybe buildings in general are included. It produces stylish clothes for your people. Thus it can increase troop strength, transportation, production, comfort, and communications.
Cons: Again, none that we have seen.

Croakamancy
This one isn't actually a choice I'm picking. It just seems a little odd to me. It’s the magic of the main female protagonist, and yet we’ve only ever seen her making an assortment of zombies and skeletons with it. Everything in her start in book 0 almost hints it it should do more though. Her brother Tommy being brought back from the dead and her bossing Fritz around seems like a clear reference to Frankenstein. On top of that, her Capitol has Fruit Brutes in cages and she lives near a side with a city called Chocula. It just seems so weird that she can’t make more complex and varied undead. Every other magic shown so far in detail has had a ton of on theme or pun based magic powers, but a main protagonist can only cast like 1 or 2 spells? And they are all pretty much just different versions of the same thing? That has seemed strange to me is all. So far it just doesn't seem as interesting or varied, and most peoples negative assessment of it seems fair if all it can really do is make a few dancing skeleton warriors. If she could do more kinds of necromancy though, I’d choose this in a heartbeat. I often play using necromancy in fantasy strategy games, and having the ability to pretty much give my commanders a second life, which actually makes them stronger after words, would be fantastic. Or better yet sacrifice them as a straight upgrade, as many horror movies do with vampires biting their servants to make them vampires too, or scientists putting people’s brains in jars to make undead cyborgs.

Or maybe she could create magic rings.
Nine of them to be exact.
Rings that transform people who wear them into…

Ring Waifs.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby wih » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:15 pm

Shai_hulud wrote:Ring Waifs.



Or alternately...


waif (weɪf)

—n
1. a person, esp a child, who is homeless, friendless, or neglected
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Shai_hulud » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:15 pm

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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lamech » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:30 pm

On Croakamancy: It was used in the croakamancy box. It obviously DOES have other uses besides uncroaked. Wanda is just crap. She's basically doing stuff she could do as a novice. She's regressed even because she no longer seems to fiddle with hat magic and the like.

Also I reread the rules: Here would be my two choices:
1) Hat Magician, Florist, Dollamancer. This doesn't run on links. Hat Magician for general OP, Florist for alternative replicable income, dollamancer for golem/item enhanced firepower and defense. Esp useful when combined with a Hat Magician. This is a reasonably standard strategy. But with casters supporting it. Aim for a sustainably sized side and start going for the long term.
2) Predictamancer, Dirtamancer, Florist. This is a link strategy. Predictamancer to not mess up links. Florist and Dirtamancer to combo for making farm/heavy forest/heavy swamp hexes and what not. The forest and the swamp protect my capital with rings of impassible terrain. Hopefully they don't have swamp/forest units. Try and make plant farms underground. Make buildings that naturally grow. Bi-link to be a super-powered Olive. Income plants all over my city. Extra strong pea-shooters. Bi-link dirtamancer for heavy, heavy defenses. More flower power for immunity to attacks. Even better when backing up those pea shooters. Forest hexes are especially nice since you can hide units in them and have them start infero's against ground units. Fliers or an ability to make swamp+forest units make this strategy really attractive. This is the super turtle strategy. One unbreakable city. Income build up from non-city sources. Eventually you'll be able to just bust out with your level 15 casters with multiple master disciplines, swarms of tri-link produced super items and level 14 warlords.
3) Predictamancer, Luckamancer, Turnamancer - this is the caster farming strategy. Again predictamancer ensures link functionality. Bi-links are good because we have super-powered turn spells (probably itemized) or side-wide boosting. But the real kicker is the complete tri-link link. Boost production AND use luck to influence what pops. This is a caster dredge. A similar strategy could be used to influence wild unit pops. (Goyles gone feral, or witches) and then turned. (Or made to pop in the wild on your side?) You could probably score mini-casters. Influence ruins to help get them to pop good magic items or heavies.
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Re: What Caster Type would you want?

Postby Lipkin » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:03 pm

I still want to see a Croakamancer and Signamancer link to make a Croakanomicon. After it's read, every corpse in the hex is automatically uncroaked. Unfortunately, they uncroak as barbarians.
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