Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

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Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Shashakiro » Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:14 pm

After reading through all posted content for the third time, I'm a bit confused by the barbarian mechanic, especially when I consider the events of book 0 episodes 52-64.

In B0E52, Jillian is told that all three Faq cities, including the capital, have fallen to Haffaton. The truth of this is confirmed numerous times later on (in E74, for example). Wanda's experience in E26 indicates that a Ruler losing their capital (or perhaps all their cities) is what turns a Ruler into a barbarian. If that is true, then from E52 at the latest until el-Efbaum is captured in E64, Banhammer and all his units *should* be barbarians. However, throughout those episodes, Faq is still treated as a "normal" side, and never referred to as a barbarian side. It retains its colors and identity as "Faq". In E62, Wanda turns to "Faq", and Jillian accepts, "as Chief Warlord of Faq".

This seems to run counter to other references to barbarians, though. For example, in Summer Update 18, Vinny introduces Jillian as "formerly of the hidden Kingdom of Faq, now a barbarian". In SU46, when describing the Arkendish's powers, it is said that they allow Charlie to hire out to "any side or barbarian in the world". These and other references to barbarians seem to indicate that "barbarian" basically means "sideless" or "neutral".

It seems like the intent here, then, is that from B0E52 to B0E64, Banhammer and his side somehow avoided becoming barbarians despite losing their capital and having no cities at all. If so, then there must be something else that caused Wanda to turn barbarian in B0E26 (and Jillian to turn barbarian when Faq was later conquered by Gobwin Knob). Is there some explanation of this difference somewhere that I've missed, or what?
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Lilwik » Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 pm

Shashakiro wrote:It seems like the intent here, then, is that from B0E52 to B0E64, Banhammer and his side somehow avoided becoming barbarians despite losing their capital and having no cities at all.
That seems unlikely because no one comments on it in the story. Jillian doesn't seem at all surprised that the side still exists. Quite the opposite, in B0E52 Jillian expected that she would become a ruler if Banhammer had died, in spite of having no cities to rule. The fact that Jillian wasn't a ruler was somehow indisputable proof that Banhammer was alive, as if Faq were completely indestructible as long as its heir is alive.

Shashakiro wrote:If so, then there must be something else that caused Wanda to turn barbarian in B0E26 (and Jillian to turn barbarian when Faq was later conquered by Gobwin Knob).
I don't see how that is possible. What else that happened in those instances could possibly be mechanically relevant?

Shashakiro wrote:This seems to run counter to other references to barbarians, though.
I think there is no choice but to reconcile them somehow. Since the evidence that Faq is still a side in Book 0 is overwhelming, I think the best bet is to figure out how anything that suggests otherwise might be misleading.

Shashakiro wrote:For example, in Summer Update 18, Vinny introduces Jillian as "formerly of the hidden Kingdom of Faq, now a barbarian".
That's technically true, even looking at it from Book 0. Even if Faq still technically exists, it's certainly no longer a hidden kingdom. Jillian also deliberately abandoned Faq when she chose to remain a barbarian instead of trying to take back her cities. They were merely razed, not occupied, so she could easily have recaptured them. I think that after the death of her father, she decided that trying to bring Faq back wasn't worth it, so it wouldn't surprise me if she abandoned the name Faq at the same time, so her barbarian side is no longer called Faq. Perhaps that's because she didn't want the reminder.

Shashakiro wrote:In SU46, when describing the Arkendish's powers, it is said that they allow Charlie to hire out to "any side or barbarian in the world". These and other references to barbarians seem to indicate that "barbarian" basically means "sideless" or "neutral".
That might just be trying to be explicitly clear. According to B1P86, sides that have capital cities are called "capital sides" to distinguish them from natural allies which are also organized into sides. Maybe "any side or barbarian" was just speaking loosely, intending to mean simply "any side", while preventing any doubt that barbarians are included. Technically there should be no reason for there to be any doubt, since "any side" should technically include all capital sides, natural allies, and barbarians, but it's possible that sometimes people use the term "side" to incorrectly mean "capital side".
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Fabo » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:43 pm

I don't see why should we consider side not existing when it loses capital and the ruler becomes "barbarian".

This happens in stupidworld as well. There was no "side" of Czechoslovakia 1839-1945, but the was the exile government in London and there was an army, functionally integrated with allied armies. People also used to turn as well. A fair bit of wartime Slovakia soldiers defected to Soviet Union.

Jillian is in a bit of a different predicament, but, say that Bea of Unaroyal didn't disband, but fled to Transylvito instead...
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Shashakiro » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:15 pm

That seems unlikely because no one comments on it in the story. Jillian doesn't seem at all surprised that the side still exists. Quite the opposite, in B0E52 Jillian expected that she would become a ruler if Banhammer had died, in spite of having no cities to rule. The fact that Jillian wasn't a ruler was somehow indisputable proof that Banhammer was alive, as if Faq were completely indestructible as long as its heir is alive.


By "somehow" I don't mean "through some ingenious or unlikely trick", but rather "for some reason that would be apparent to Erfworlders that we don't know about", i.e. an unexplained mechanic.

I think there is no choice but to reconcile them somehow. Since the evidence that Faq is still a side in Book 0 is overwhelming, I think the best bet is to figure out how anything that suggests otherwise might be misleading.


Well, those were just two examples. Another couple examples: in B0E74, Jillian refers to the sixty-nine former Haffaton cities as "barbarian cities". The mechanics of what has happened to these cities has been made pretty explicit in Klog #12; when an overlord dies, the side ends and its cities become "neutral". (Though it actually only says that the Gobwin Knob city would become neutral, but I'd assume this is because at the time GK only has that one city. It's possible that only the capital becomes "neutral" and everything else becomes "barbarian", but that seems like a stretch and would be a pretty unintuitive mechanic.) It seems more likely to me that "barbarian" and "neutral" are just used interchangeably here because they both are supposed to mean "sideless".

From B0E26, Wanda lost her ruler sense upon turning barbarian, and instead could only "sense the upkeep of the units she was stacked with". Indeed, the way it's written seems to indicate that this is precisely *why* she realizes that she's a barbarian--because she's no longer an actual ruler. Yet Banhammer is still referred to as a "king" (subset of ruler) throughout B052-B064, and even specifically as a "ruler" in B0E60 when he issues silent orders to his units. To me, this seems like further evidence that what happened to Wanda (explicitly stated to be that she became a barbarian) is *not* the same as what happened to Banhammer when he lost his cities.

To be honest, I think that the evidence that barbarians are considered sideless is also overwhelming, and the best bet is actually to figure out why Banhammer didn't become barbarian when he lost his cities. I don't believe it has actually been explicitly stated anywhere that becoming barbarian is caused by loss of cities (though I could be wrong about this, as it's something I've assumed was true for a while).

I don't see how that is possible. What else that happened in those instances could possibly be mechanically relevant?


Hypothetically, the rule could be that a side goes barbarian if it loses its capital and its ruler in the same turn, even if there is an heir. Something like that. Anything true for the conquests of Haffaton over Goodminton and GK over Faq that was not true for Haffaton's conquest of Faq could potentially explain it, though.

One interesting thing from B1P86 is that "barbarian" is listed under "natural allies", though I think that may just be for space's sake.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Lilwik » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:05 pm

Shashakiro wrote:By "somehow" I don't mean "through some ingenious or unlikely trick", but rather "for some reason that would be apparent to Erfworlders that we don't know about", i.e. an unexplained mechanic.
In order for it to be apparent Jillian would need to have some knowledge about what happened to Faq. She wasn't at the battle and saw nothing about how the cities were taken, so it seems that she is about as ignorant about any possible mechanics as we are, yet she is still confident that Faq continues to exist. For example, Jillian has no way of knowing that Banhammer wasn't killed in the same turn that the capital was taken, yet Jillian knows that the side couldn't have ended, therefore killing the ruler and taking the capital in the same turn doesn't cause the side to end.

Shashakiro wrote:Another couple examples: in B0E74, Jillian refers to the sixty-nine former Haffaton cities as "barbarian cities". The mechanics of what has happened to these cities has been made pretty explicit in Klog #12; when an overlord dies, the side ends and its cities become "neutral".
That does have some interesting implications, but none of it really matters to this issue since we know those cities really have lost their side. All it tells us is that probably some barbarians have no side. It's even possible that those barbarians do technically have a side, such as if each city became its own side, but I don't expect that since they are called neutral, and they are incapable of claiming even the very capital city that they control. It in no way guarantees that "barbarian" and "neutral" are interchangeable. On the contrary, I suspect that "neutral" is the word for people who have no side and "barbarian" is the word for people who have no capital, and people who have no side can't have a capital so neutrals are always barbarians.

Shashakiro wrote:From B0E26, Wanda lost her ruler sense upon turning barbarian, and instead could only "sense the upkeep of the units she was stacked with".
It doesn't say that she lost her ruler sense. All it says is that she was unable to sense anyone beyond her stack, and that makes perfect sense since her stack has just become her entire side. Goodminton had just been captured, which instantly turned its entire population into prisoners, and all the field units outside of her stack disbanded, so there was no one else for her to sense. There's a big difference between having no sense of sight and being in a dark room.

If that weren't enough, it even says so: "Those new senses she'd been given went dark just as suddenly as they'd come to her, although she could now sense the upkeep of the units she was stacked with." Notice that being able to sense the upkeep of the units she was stacked with is specifically "now" and not something she's always had, so her senses clearly aren't gone.

Shashakiro wrote:Indeed, the way it's written seems to indicate that this is precisely *why* she realizes that she's a barbarian--because she's no longer an actual ruler.
The fact that she can no longer sense Goodminton is exactly why she knows she's a barbarian: she has just lost her capital.

Shashakiro wrote:To be honest, I think that the evidence that barbarians are considered sideless is also overwhelming, and the best bet is actually to figure out why Banhammer didn't become barbarian when he lost his cities.
Unless there is some additional evidence somewhere, I can't agree.

Shashakiro wrote:One interesting thing from B1P86 is that "barbarian" is listed under "natural allies", though I think that may just be for space's sake.
I have no problem counting barbarians as a kind of natural ally. Since they were put in that column, until something explicitly contradicts it, it only makes sense to assume that they are natural allies.
Last edited by Lilwik on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby spriteless » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:41 am

I think it is simpler, myself. Barbarian sides have no name. Banhammer made the name Faq, is the ruler of Faq, so any side he rules became Faq. Sides with cities are required to have names, which is why Jillian made a new side named [s]Ansom[/s] Faq.

Now that I explain my thought it doesn't seem simple. Why wouldn't Jill become ruler of Faq?

Maybe Jillian was a liar who claimed barbarian because she likes it, and because it is hard to disprove, you can only see such things for your own side and she was not theirs. She could have spun off a new side like any heir, but instead she reclaimed Faq.

Maybe it was Just Banhammer's resources and attitude. Jillian respects the man who ordered her into existence, so he is always the ruler of Faq. Olive wanted Banhammer buttered up so she called him King, planning to use up his casters later.

Alll the barbarian casters in the magic kingdom.
T'was a splendidly speedy defection.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Shashakiro » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:57 am

It doesn't say that she lost her ruler sense.


I feel like it's written in a very misleading way if the senses she lost were not the ruler sense that she just briefly had. While you are right that it is not made *explicit* that she lost the ruler sense itself, I really just can't see "Those new senses she'd been given went dark just as suddenly as they'd come to her" being intended as meaning something other than that she lost the ruler sense, when taken in context. "Although she could now sense the upkeep of the units she was stacked with" seems to indicate that this sense is *different* from the ruler sense, not a holdover from it; I've always assumed that this referred to a barbarian stack's need to pay its own upkeep.

As for more evidence, in SU37 it says "He'd never actually seen anyone before and after they became a Ruler." This (quite clearly) refers to Jillian, before and after she rebuilds Faq's cities and becomes ruler of the "new" Faq side. This also indicates that she is *not* a Ruler at all before this happens; if she really had her own "barbarian side", then she would naturally be its Ruler.

I just don't understand why you're so positive that barbarian means "no capital" when (as far as I can remember) that has never been stated anywhere in the series. What evidence is there of this definition of "barbarian"?
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Lilwik » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:52 am

Shashakiro wrote:While you are right that it is not made *explicit* that she lost the ruler sense itself, I really just can't see "Those new senses she'd been given went dark just as suddenly as they'd come to her" being intended as meaning something other than that she lost the ruler sense, when taken in context.
That seems to be entirely dependent on the expectations you carry with you in reading it. If everything goes dark for a person, is that because the lights went out, or has the person gone blind? Usually we expect that the lights have gone out because people don't just randomly go blind for no apparent reason, but there's no real way of knowing because going blind and turning out the lights are effectively the same. It seems that you've got the expectation that Wanda's lost her sense pretty hard since you've jumped to that conclusion even though we know that the things Wanda was using her ruler sense to see are really disappearing.

Shashakiro wrote:As for more evidence, in SU37 it says "He'd never actually seen anyone before and after they became a Ruler."
There's no way that I can see around that except by assuming that it doesn't mean what it says, since it obviously conflicts with Jillian's assurance in Book 0 that she would be a ruler if Banhammer died. I guess that in Vinnie's case it is just being a bit loose with words. Maybe it means becoming the ruler of a capital side and represents that Vinnie doesn't consider barbarian rulers to be real rulers. Jillian didn't have any cities to rule, and now she does, and that's the difference that SU37 is talking about. It's possible that it's talking about Jillian's social situation, not anything mechanical.

The only other option is to suppose that Jillian was speaking loosely when she said that she'd become a ruler if Banhammer died, but that makes no sense because her failure to become a ruler was the only way she knew that Banhammer was alive. Jillian must have been talking about the strictly mechanical change of becoming a ruler, gaining ruler sense, something real that she could physically experience.

Shashakiro wrote:I just don't understand why you're so positive that barbarian means "no capital" when (as far as I can remember) that has never been stated anywhere in the series. What evidence is there of this definition of "barbarian"?
As far as I am aware it has never been stated, but twice we've seen someone lose her capital and both times she immediately became a barbarian. Jillian lost her capital, became a barbarian, then she founded a new capital and stopped being a barbarian. It's possible that there's no actual connection between not having a capital and being a barbarian and it's all merely repeated coincidence, but I think it qualifies as interesting evidence.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby randomthought » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:37 pm

Isn't the big difference is that Jillian didn't lose her ruler while Wanda did. Once a king always a king?
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Whispri » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:33 pm

randomthought wrote:Isn't the big difference is that Jillian didn't lose her ruler while Wanda did. Once a king always a king?

Wanda was an Overlord when the Side fell though. She only ruled Goodminton for a few seconds, but she was the ruler.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Omnimancer » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:44 pm

Maybe it's technically not the loss of the capital but the loss of the treasury that turns you barbarian? FAQ had a moneymancer and could have taken their treasury with them in gem form. Maybe they were still rich enough to qualify as a side. Or maybe it was just an aspect of moneymancy, allowing a non-side to remain a side while it still can afford it.

Another possibility is that a side can remain a side if it abandons its cities, rather than having them forcibly conquered. Or it might have been having both ruler and heir still alive.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Lilwik » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:59 pm

Omnimancer wrote:Maybe it's technically not the loss of the capital but the loss of the treasury that turns you barbarian? FAQ had a moneymancer and could have taken their treasury with them in gem form. Maybe they were still rich enough to qualify as a side.
It's certainly possible that they might not have been barbarians thanks to having a certain minimum wealth. No one ever called them barbarians. Even so it's not possible for Faq to have stopped being a side as long as Jillian was alive, no matter what amount of money they had. Jillian had no idea how much money Faq had managed to salvage when she realized that Banhammer couldn't be dead. If Jillian could have been the ruler of a side with no money, then sides with no money must be possible.

Omnimancer wrote:Another possibility is that a side can remain a side if it abandons its cities, rather than having them forcibly conquered.
Jillian had no way of knowing whether Faq abandoned its cities or had them taken by force, yet she was confident that Faq still needed a ruler. Therefore that can't really be an issue.

Omnimancer wrote:Or it might have been having both ruler and heir still alive.
Jillian said that if Banhammer had died then she would be the ruler. That wouldn't make much sense if the side would have ended on Banhammer's death.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby ftl » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:30 pm

I remember at one point I guessed that if you lose both your capital and your ruler in the same turn, then you go barbarian. But if it's only one or the other, then the side continues (if you lose your ruler but not your capital, the heir inherits, whereas if you lose your capital but not your ruler, you just become a side with no cities).

No idea whether that really is the mechanic or not.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Godzfirefly » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:49 pm

ftl wrote:I remember at one point I guessed that if you lose both your capital and your ruler in the same turn, then you go barbarian. But if it's only one or the other, then the side continues (if you lose your ruler but not your capital, the heir inherits, whereas if you lose your capital but not your ruler, you just become a side with no cities).

No idea whether that really is the mechanic or not.


Jetstone definitely lost both Slately (ruler) and Spacerock (capital) yet Tremmanis still rules Jetstone now. A lack of both ruler and heir seems to pretty clearly end a side. Having a ruler but no cities...that is where the confusion seems to be. Maybe the difference is that FAQ willingly left their capital while Goodminton's ruler went down in the attack, leaving no cities when the heir would normally take over?

Seems complicated...
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby wih » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:38 pm

Wanda still had a city when she became Overlord, she felt the last units die in the city with her Overlord senses.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby ftl » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:42 am

Godzfirefly wrote:
Jetstone definitely lost both Slately (ruler) and Spacerock (capital) yet Tremmanis still rules Jetstone now.


Ugh, good point. Nevermind my guess then.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Shai_hulud » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:24 am

Jetstone never lost its capital. Slately changed it before he croaked, remember? They still have their whole treasury and capital and everything.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Godzfirefly » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:33 am

Did he change it? I thought he used all his treasury (plus a loan) to make Tremmanis an heir. And, I thought that the Portal in the Spacerock portal room only closed because Gobwin Knob captured Spacerock...which suggests the city was a capital until it was captured.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Lilwik » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:14 am

Godzfirefly wrote:And, I thought that the Portal in the Spacerock portal room only closed because Gobwin Knob captured Spacerock...which suggests the city was a capital until it was captured.
No, the portal closed in B2P100, well before Spacerock was captured. Fortunately that doesn't matter since we know from Jillian in Book 0 that killing the ruler and capturing the capital in the same turn is irrelevant to the continuation of the side.
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Re: Barbarian mechanics and book 0 ep. 52-64

Postby Shai_hulud » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:26 am

Except if you're Croatian?
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