New Erfworld Magic!

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:43 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Of course if they had their choice, they'd lean certain ways, but I don't believe they do, or every sizable faction would have a Thinkamancer and a Lookamancer at minimum, and they don't.


How do you know that?

What side doesn't have a Thinkamancer? Perhaps most do, at their Capital. Perhap most have lookamancers too, at their Capital. Was FAQ amazingly luck in having the right Predictamancer/Foolamancer combo given its terrain, or were they popped to order?

Most casters are not sent to the front line. So the absence of a lookamancer in the Royal Collision force we saw doesn't mean the faction(s) has none. Perhap guarding cities against sneak attacks keeps them home.

The truth is that we don't have the info to know for sure.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby SteveMB » Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:46 pm

Binty wrote:
Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Most casters are not sent to the front line. So the absence of a lookamancer in the Royal Collision force we saw doesn't mean the faction(s) has none. Perhap guarding cities against sneak attacks keeps them home.


Why would the RCC risk sending any casters to the front line and losing one to a lucky shot? This was supposed to be a cakewalk, after all....
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:12 pm

Thinkamancers don't have to be anywhere near the "front lines" to be useful! This was seen time and time again throughout the comic for the Thinkamancers we know exist - Maggie, Charlie, Bunny, and the Unaroyal Thinkamancer.

If Jetstone had a thinkamancer, why would they pay Charlie for expensive thinkagrams? Use magic hats and doombats? Hand-delivered casualty reports, for boop's sake?

If the RCC had ONE decent lookamancer, the trap for Ansom would've failed. Heck, Parson would never have tried it at all. He was counting on the fact that they had no lookamancer, and said as much.

I'm not saying some sides don't have Thinkamancers back home - Bunny was one, and probably Unaroyal's as well. But there's no evidence anyone else had one.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby trevron » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:18 pm

maybe moneymancy is a lot like when you're playing a real time strategy game and you're giving orders and building cities and towns and building and untis, and its all just happening, cause theoretically in game the commander is issuing these commands to moneymancers, or a moneymancer. so as erfworld seems to be a game gone wrong (a game gone wong) faction commanders act like players, and parson is a transplanted player in that sense as well; he did design games and scenarios. city building would have to be a big part of that. read summer update 2- parson maybe subconsciously had something to do with how the new city is laid out. are you gonna tell me stanley the tool did that?
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby MarbitChow » Sun Jun 07, 2009 12:40 am

My assumptions:
  • Natural moneymancy covers spending shmuckers for something every side must be able to do (rebuild / upgrade cities, pay for upkeep).
  • Moneymancer spells must be cool / handy, but not required, otherwise all sides would have to have a moneymancer.
  • No interest-type spells exist. Due to the nature of compound interest, if a side was able to build up enough cash over a sufficent period of time, they would eventually become unstoppable.
My guess as to a moneymancer's spell list:
  • "Blood Money" (Convert shmuckers to damage. The more money you pay, the more damage is done. Since each successive level is harder to obtain for a unit than the previous level, the cost to destroy them outright must increase similarly.)
  • "Blood Diamond" (Upgraded version of blood money.)
  • "Fire Sale" (Area-of-effect damage spell, based on amount spent.)
  • "Golden Age" (All revenue generated in the hex is doubled / tripled this turn.)
  • "Death Benefits" (Instead of disbanding a unit normally, casting this spell on them disbands them and add shmuckers to the treasury propotional to their strength and level.)
  • "Weregeld" (Enchant a unit so that killing it causes a transfer of shmuckers from the side that killed it to the unit's side. Amount is based on strength and level of the enchanted unit. Enchantment should be obvious to all attackers, unless Foolamancy is also involved. Essentially, this is an insurance policy. Amount should be at least 4x amount generated by Death Benefits. Cannot be cast on an overlord, since croaking an overlord disbands the side.)
  • "Pawnzored" (Convert a magic item to shmuckers. This allows a side to cannibalize a captured or created magic item for cash. Pawnzord items go into a pool, and can be claimed by any side spending double the initial amount received for the item.)
  • "Eye-R-S" (Audit Opponent's Treasury. Financial scouting: Gives an estimation of how many shmuckers an opponent has, and what their total upkeep each turn is.)
  • "McVisa" (Debit Spending - allows an overlord to spend into negative shmuckers. Maximum would probably be something like some factor like 10,000 x Monemancer's Level. Cannot be cast again until treasury is positive.)
  • "Unionize" (All opponent's units in the hex have increased upkeep. If cast in an opponent's capital, increase upkeep for all of that side's units.)
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:25 am

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:If the RCC had ONE decent lookamancer, the trap for Ansom would've failed. Heck, Parson would never have tried it at all. He was counting on the fact that they had no lookamancer, and said as much.


Maybe, but maybe the lookamancer was back at the captial and he can only 'look' at his own battlespace? We don't know.

In any case, we know that casters are very expensive to keep. So a side will only have the number of casters it can afford. Your contention that all sides would have a Thinkamancer and Lookamancer given a choice is weak. We don't know that.

So your contention that sides have no choice what caster specialist-type are popped and the distribution of types is flat, isn't well support at all.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby raphfrk » Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:10 am

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:It's possible most of the casters in the Magic Kingdom are effectively Barbarians, or Natural Allies-type sides, or even their own Capital Sides.


They don't seem to have a Ruler. The only person acting in a leadership position was Janis, and even then she offered to pay for Thinkamancer assistance.

Maybe some weak ruler decided to offer a place for barbarian casters to take up residence and he is now little more than a figurehead (but is well protected by the casters and the fact that the magic kingdom is a resource that is open to all sides).

Binty wrote:What side doesn't have a Thinkamancer? Perhaps most do, at their Capital. Perhap most have lookamancers too, at their Capital.


If lookamancers have a range limit, then this is perfectly reasonable. Otherwise, a Thinkamancer + Lookamancer (even without the table) would be used to keep Ansom updated.

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Thinkamancers don't have to be anywhere near the "front lines" to be useful! This was seen time and time again throughout the comic for the Thinkamancers we know exist - Maggie, Charlie, Bunny, and the Unaroyal Thinkamancer.

If Jetstone had a thinkamancer, why would they pay Charlie for expensive thinkagrams? Use magic hats and doombats? Hand-delivered casualty reports, for boop's sake?


Maybe they were trying to save bandwidth. However, the fact that Charlie sells Thinkagrams as a profit venture would indicate that they are to some degree in short supply.

Thinkamancers don't seem to support point to point communications. Either the sender or receiver has to be standing beside the Thinkamancer. This makes it much more cumbersome for it to be used in the field.

Their Thinkamancer would have to receive Ansom's order, break the link, connect with the recipient and relay the order (and repeat in reverse for 2-way). They can only make a few connections per day. Again, if they have a range limit, then maybe Translyvito are the only ones within range.

In fact, if a Thinkamancer to Thinkamancer transmission has longer range, then that would explain the fact that they could all talk to each other, while not allowing field Thinkamancy. Maybe, Transylvito was willing to allow Vinny to participate, but wasn't willing to commit their Thinkamancer.

Charlie charges more for two-way links, so maybe they are more complex (or it could just be marketing).
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:41 pm

raphfrk wrote:They don't seem to have a Ruler. The only person acting in a leadership position was Janis, and even then she offered to pay for Thinkamancer assistance.


Well, a Hippiemancer wouldn't be able to order around an Eyemancer; they'd be different sides. If, in fact, they are sides with leadership at all; they might all be independent individuals.

Maybe they were trying to save bandwidth.


Maybe, but consider that this is probably the most important battle in living memory. Wouldn't they use all possible resources? Especially when Ansom was dealing with Jillian, why use a hat instead of a Thinkamancer? And later when he said she should have sold him on her intercept plan, and she said she couldn't with the communication available. I'd think, at minimum, there would be a Thinkamancer available to the War Council. It would be safe there, in the center of the column, and Ansom could use the thinkamancer to keep tabs on everything. Until he ran off like a "hero" anyway.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:01 pm

No one thought Gobwin Knob had a chance. In the end only the uncroaked volcano stole victory from them.

Bet the RC sides are glad they didn't send their Thinkamancers and Lookamancers into the field!
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:51 pm

Binty wrote:No one thought Gobwin Knob had a chance. In the end only the uncroaked volcano stole victory from them.

Bet the RC sides are glad they didn't send their Thinkamancers and Lookamancers into the field!


Well they certainly wouldn't have been in the final assault on Gobwin Knob, what would be the reason? The question is would they have left them enough guards that one blue dwagon and a couple decrypted fliers couldn't get them after.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:38 am

The 'dirtamantic trap' acted across multiple hexes. At first guess this would be a 7 hex block. Maybe a 19 hex block, we don't know how far the kill zone extended.

In any case, we return to the point that your contention is not supported by the lack of thinkamancers/lookamancers in the RC fielded forces. All we know in any detail about Capital sites comes from GK. GK had a lookamancer and thinkamancer. Imo its entirely conceivable that this is a common situtation for a Capital site. It may also be typical that attacking forces don't have such units; for the reasons given by myself and others.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:12 pm

Well, is it your contention that it is conceivable or that it is probable? Because you sound convinced this is the case, when there's no evidence of it. When I provide some (perhaps not enough) evidence to the contrary, you say it doesn't support my contention that it is unlikely. (not inconceivable)

Also, there is no reason to believe that "multiple hexes" is 7 or 19. Why not 2 or 3? Even that would be incredible if they'd never seen it before (and clearly they haven't), so there's no real reason to believe the Coalition couldn't have one lookamancer and one thinkamancer in its 10K units, from one or two members, and still have them far enough back that they'd think they'd be safe. (Heck, if they had enough defenders they'd think they'd be safe in the next hex back down the road; as long as they could hold off the fliers).
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Bobby Archer » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:55 pm

With the exception of the healing powers of some of the elf types (which may be natural magic), do we have any evidence that the RCC had any casters at all in their makeup? I don't recall seeing any kind of magic being thrown around on behalf of the Coalition. So, it would make sense that they wouldn't send valuable casters into a potentially dangerous situation. From what we've seen, casters tend to stay in the cities. They're valuable, expensive units, and the risk of losing them outweighs the benefits of increased communication in the field, especially when there are more mundane means (hats, messages) to cover most of these issues. The RCC outnumbered Gobwin Knob about 25 to 1. They were planning on just rolling over them and being done with it. No one expected Parson, so the need for instant communication wasn't necessary.

Thinkamancers are likely a fairly common caster for a side to have, but I doubt any side is going to be so cavalier about it as to throw them into a conflict where it is not necessary.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Welf von Ehrwald » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:40 pm

Back to the topic: Moneymancy is the new thinkamancy. It's the other necessary magic to let the factions exist.

My guess for it's uses: A moneymancer can create new units directly from the money of the treasure. His spells let him create special units that a city normally can't produce, like a gwiffon in Gobwin Knob.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Binty » Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:42 pm

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: Well, is it your contention that it is conceivable or that it is probable?


I have over two decades experience in wargaming and roleplaying. I have played a lots of turn based wargames. Erfworld follows familiar patterns of those games. Based on my familiarity with turn base resources management wargames - I contend that it is most probable that when a side chooses to pop a caster, the leader gets to choose their specialism. There is probably variability in how specialised the caster is, like Sizemore (no ability outside) or Wanda (highly specialised). However, maybe this too is chosen. Saline IV ordered up a Dirtamancer and paid the minimum and got Sizemore. The leader of FAQ wanted an uber-generalist for his philosophical idyll and got Wanda; she choose Croakamancy.

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote: Also, there is no reason to believe that "multiple hexes" is 7 or 19. Why not 2 or 3?


Again, in my experience area effects are often circular; so 7, 19, etc on a hexgrid. Of course it might have been a cone and the rest of the RC were unlucky...
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:04 pm

Welf von Ehrwald wrote:Back to the topic: Moneymancy is the new thinkamancy. It's the other necessary magic to let the factions exist.
My guess for it's uses: A moneymancer can create new units directly from the money of the treasure. His spells let him create special units that a city normally can't produce, like a gwiffon in Gobwin Knob.

Natural Moneymancy is certainly required for all factions. A Moneymancer certainly isn't, otherwise we'd have seen one by now.

I like the idea of moneymancers aiding in the creation of new units. Like a dirtamancer, there are almost certainly special units that only they can create. However, I would guess that they could not create units that normally belong to other factions - they could only create moneymancer-specific units.

On the other hand, a moneymancer could almost certainly allow a side to spend shmuckers to pop a unit that they can already build on the same turn, instead of waiting for it to appear. That's a pretty standard feature of computer strategy games, after all.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:27 pm

One potential ability of Moneymancers is to use Shmuckers to speed up the popping times of units, or, as someone surmised, even pop them automatically. like the non-Capital sides do.

Binty: Thanks for reading us your resume, no one cares. We all have some sort of experience in the genre, and we've all taken different things away from it. I, for instance, have no capacity for min-maxing or fudging the rules. So I would never have come up with uncroaking a volcano, for instance, and likely would have declared it to be cheating.

To the point: many things in Erfworld are similar to one game or another, but that doesn't mean every mechanic works just like something in your favorite game. If there's not in-comic evidence, I would avoid assuming anything about mechanics. It's certainly good to have an idea how something might work, but just because it works that way in game A (and B-Z) doesn't mean it can't work differently in this one.

The only reasons to assume that every side would have a Thinkamancer would be a) because a side can't exist without one, or b) every side can get one if they want one, can easily afford one, and Thinkamancers are the most desirable caster for every side

A) is clearly not true, so to B): Thinkamancers are probably top 3 for almost any side; it's possible that other combinations may be more desirable to some, but unless you have only 1 city and never leave, or you have lots of cash and a running deal with Charlie, it isn't hard to imagine Thinkamancers near the top of the list (though this might change as we learn more about casters). So that much holds up. As far as affordability, casters are probably high-upkeep, but for all but the poorest sides, probably worth the investment. OK. But - can every side get one if they want one?

We don't know that a Ruler can set popping orders for a caster, or, if he can, that he can choose type. There has been zero evidence of this. About midway through book 1, Parson wondered in his Klog whether the Rulers had any say in this. The fact that neither Sizemore nor Wanda had confirmed this for him does not prove they can't, but it certainly does nothing to support the idea that they can. And you'd think if Stanley could choose to set orders for a caster, Parson would have had him do this as soon as he knew he could.

Also, of the nine known capital factions, there are four known thinkamancers. Now, there might be more that we haven't heard about, but all things being equal, it's likely that at least two or three of these major sides don't have one, at least at the moment.

The best (and to my mind, only) argument that there is a Thinkamancer in every faction is that we've seen more of them (well, 2, to be literal, though we know of 4) than any other type of caster so far. This is flimsy, but it's enough to make me consider it as possible. As everyone has argued, most of the casters are tucked away in their cities, so we really only have Faq and GK to go on. Still, it's something.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby shneekeythelost » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:48 pm

Moneymancy seems to be "Paying to make something show up". So a Monymancer would more likely be able to do something like Reinforce, when it is not your turn.

For example:

I've got a squad of 4 Light units, a Heavy, and a Moneymancer acting as a 'Leader'. They suddenly get attacked by a group of 4 heavies. Big trouble. So the Moneymancer uses his Reinforce ability to gain an additional 4 heavies. This costs the side more money than it would normally have cost to obtain those units, but hey... you've got to protect him, right?

Example 2: Reinforcing walls during seige. I tell the Moneymancer to reinforce those walls before they collapse. He spends money, and the walls repair themselves. Probably VERY expensive to do it this way, but hey... keeps your walls from being breached.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby Cmdr I. Heartly Noah » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:16 am

Interesting ideas. But normally troops don't cost money, right? They just cost "time." Or did I imagine that?

I figured a Moneymancer just lets you buy troops like non-capital sides and barbarians do.
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Re: New Erfworld Magic!

Postby shneekeythelost » Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:35 am

Cmdr I. Heartly Noah wrote:Interesting ideas. But normally troops don't cost money, right? They just cost "time." Or did I imagine that?

I figured a Moneymancer just lets you buy troops like non-capital sides and barbarians do.


The important part with a Moneymancer would be it could happen as a reactive rather than an active process. Remember, Seizemore was able to let loose his crap golem nuke on the opponent's turn, just like the Archons were able to create the DDR screen during Ansom's turn. So Casters have some ability to act when not their turn.

So a Moneymancer would be able to probably do the following:

1) Allow you to pop units you normally would not be able to pop. This may be a static "This moneymancer can also pop Unit X for Y money" or it may be more fluid "This Master Moneymancer can pop any of This kind of unit, at a sliding scale of cost depending on power and abilities".

2) Able to pop reinforcement units during opponent's turn, as long as Moneymancer is involved. i.e. if Parson had a Moneymancer when GK was being invaded, he may have been able to pay for additional reinforcements to pop (perhaps pop as engaged with Ansom?) at a critical moment, affecting the outcome of the fight.

3) Allow you to purchase 'upgrades' for your units normally not available to your side. Pay x money (plus possibly other resources, depending on how complex Erfworld economy is) to equip units with weapons that grant +1 damage to the equipped unit. Or even ALL units of a given type get upgrades, for a sufficent cost, and probably a Master Moneymancer. Note that damage may not be the only upgrade they might allow you to 'purchase'. How about a Banner which increases a Warlord's leadership bonus? U238 shells for additional range? Oops, sorry... wrong game.

4) Along that same token, allow you to purchase upgrades for your cities which are normally not available to your side. This may represent buildings which allow you to pop units (building a Lumber Mill along with your Barracks allows you to built Troll Axethrowers...) or may have other mechanics.

5) Similarly, may be able to upgrade your cities defenses in ways that you cannot do without a Moneymancer. Perhaps a cost cap which a Moneymancer can bypass? You can only spend x on your base, unless you have a Moneymancer there, in which case you can spend 2x?

The thing is, Moneymancy seems to be buying stuff, which then shows up. It's not about stealing money, or making it out of thin air, it is spending it and making stuff happen. So anything a Moneymancer will do is going to cost you, and probably very steeply since it's letting you do stuff outside what your side can normally do.
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