Book 2 – Page 45

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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Oberon » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:17 am

oslecamo2 wrote:Eerr, the decrypted archons explicitly said he can make an unlimited number of thinkgrams per turn.
Maybe, and maybe not. Or perhaps it is better phrased that "can do" does not equate to "does do." Or it's just a plot hole. If you could talk to anyone at all, on any Side, don't you think that you'd have a chat with everyone, every turn? There is no down side, and the positives of intelligence gathering and relationship building would seem to make it a no-brainer.
oslecamo2 wrote:Thinking you're on top of things is diferent than actualy being on top of things.
I agree. I just think that if you actually have zero cost to do a thing that can bring you value, that doing that thing would be a matter of habit by now for anyone who isn't a complete idiot. And Charlie isn't being positioned as being a complete idiot. In other words, I'm not buying that Charlie can do unlimited thinkagrams per turn, because if that was true he would actually do unlimited thinkagrams per turn. It is a plot hole, and I doubt this plot hole will be filled. The author needs to learn that citing some capability needs to translate into the logical and practical use of that capability. And anything cited as "unlimited" needs to be very carefully examined indeed.
oslecamo2 wrote:Like what? Spamming tribal troops that have a considerable chance of turning against you?
You are listing things that shmucker rich Sides can do. But you are ignoring the fact that shmucker poor Sides have plenty of options as well. Jetstone and TV are both Sides which are described as being shmucker poor right now. This is limiting their options, but neither Side is positioned as being crippled by this. Jetstone, by all conventional wisdom, is about to destroy the invading army. TV is sitting pretty with a new allied nation which is absorbing the direct impact of combat (why this is an advantage to TV is anyone's guess. Caesar at least seems to feel that the shmuckers spent on FAQ would have been better spent on TV. But that is beside the point.). Shmuckers is a part of the game, but a Side can do plenty of things without shmuckers. And really, tribals turning? This has been positioned as being an extremely rare and odd occurrence, despite that fact that the story has showed it happening twice. Using shmuckers to boost the production of troops by creating more allied units is very much like hiring a caster to speed the production of a city. No Side can be faulted for the fact that natural allies have been shown to be unreliable when the author has taken pains to point out that this behavior is very unusual. Hell, Stanley is pissed off that he can't find gobwins, and gobwins turning is the whole reason he is now the Overlord of GK. Stanley isn't a very reliable source of information, but this does show the standard mindset on natural allies.

oslecamo2 wrote:
Oberon wrote:My point exactly. The "winner" offers some outrageous terms which it knows will be refused, and then attacks with the supposed moral high ground of being able to claim that the other Side was unwilling to come to terms. This is what Ansom offered. There were no real terms offered, it was just "I will have your sword", with no promises to spare any of the GK forces.

Yet, earlier on the strip when Hamster contacted Ansom to provoke him, Ansom politely asked if he wanted to discuss the terms of his surrender. Then Hamster himself made Ansom enter RAGE mode with fae hints that there were traitors on the coalition.
And yet again, Ansom's "polite" offer of discussing terms was by any real knowledge of Erfworld an offer to have the GK units slaughtered out of hand. Labeling it "polite" is like labeling a suggestion to go fuck yourself as polite. Both messages can be delivered with seeming courtesy, but neither is truly courteous.

But feel free to keep believing that anything Parson said or did would have deterred Ansom from his goal of ending the GK Side, capturing GK and splitting the treasury amongst the members of the RCC. I find it highly amusing that you can read about the Noble tradition of offering "some perfunctory unacceptable surrender terms, an insult to injury sort of thing, masquerading as mercy. When you refuse, then they will feel justified in shooting us all down" and still believe that nobles offering surrender terms have a higher purpose than self-justification.

Unless Jack is made out to be an unreliable source of information, his offered opinions needs to be considered to be Word of God, especially when the protagonist is basing his plan on Jack's advice. Stanley is the sole source of unreliable information we have to date, with Parson stating something like needing to make a "saving throw vs. suicide" any time he tried to get information out of Stanley. All other mentors for Parson must be considered to be accurate sources of information, or the story would have no basis.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Althernai » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:05 am

Oberon wrote:Or it's just a plot hole. If you could talk to anyone at all, on any Side, don't you think that you'd have a chat with everyone, every turn? There is no down side, and the positives of intelligence gathering and relationship building would seem to make it a no-brainer.

There are downsides to talking to people whose rulers are not very friendly to you, particularly when you are known to be the most powerful practitioner of a discipline useful for mind control. For example, Slately was furious when he found out that Jillian was dealing with Charlie. If Charlie had tried to talk to Trammenis before this, Slately would tell him to cut off all communications immediately and become even more suspicious.

In other words, I'm not buying that Charlie can do unlimited thinkagrams per turn, because if that was true he would actually do unlimited thinkagrams per turn. It is a plot hole, and I doubt this plot hole will be filled.

It's not a plot hole. He can do "unlimited" thinkagrams per turn in the sense that he doesn't pay anything for any single thinkagram, but each thinkagram still takes a certain amount of time and he can't do multiple ones simultaneously (notice that he makes both Jillian and Trammenis wait). Since he has hundreds of archons which he has to monitor, he is generally not going to make random calls that are as likely to work against him as for him.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby joosy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:58 am

Oberon wrote:
joosy wrote:FAQ was razed but not claimed by Stanley (which razes (heh) the question as to why he didn't)
This has been explained as Stanley wanting a bolt hole to run too if GK fell. I find it odd, though.


At the time, Stanley was not the warlord and I don't believe he was the heir yet either. It just strikes me as odd that a chief warlord would raze a capitol site and capture two powerful casters and somehow be able to conceal the capitol site from his King without breaking Duty/Loyalty. It could just be a writing oversight but it is easily fixed by the trope "A wizard did it". In this case, Wanda with some carefully applied suggestions. That would fall in perfectly with Stanley suddengly being made heir, with the mysterious mission that took Stanley and the casters out of GK, the Gobwins breaking alliance and offing Saline IV, etc. Who needs Charlie to manipulate things when you have Wanda around? :)

And as to why the sites were never seen and claimed by other sides? My guess: Remoteness of area, no reason for other sides to go there other than to just patrol and, seeing no reason to go further, would have just passed by.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Nihila » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:17 am

joosy wrote:And as to why the sites were never seen and claimed by other sides? My guess: Remoteness of area, no reason for other sides to go there other than to just patrol and, seeing no reason to go further, would have just passed by.
I think this is a good point. In one forum game I play, there is a 10% penalty to Schmuckers for every 10 hexes away from the capital city. If this is roughly correct, and Faq is about 60 hexes away, it might consume more resources in upkeep and the like than it produces.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby ftl » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:35 pm

Oberon wrote: If you could talk to anyone at all, on any Side, don't you think that you'd have a chat with everyone, every turn? There is no down side, and the positives of intelligence gathering and relationship building would seem to make it a no-brainer.


Of course I wouldn't. Because it would be tedious and boring, and I don't want to waste my entire life talking to people who have nothing to say to me and who I have nothing to say to, even on the off-chance that it might help me out a little someday maybe.

Now, if I were playing a wargame, and had the option of communicating with each opponent or potential ally each turn, I'd probably do it.

But these aren't people playing a wargame. These are people living their lives, which happen to take place in a game-like world. Parson is THE ONLY person in this world who see is it as a game to minimax rather than as a life to live.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Oberon » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:40 pm

Althernai wrote:
Oberon wrote:In other words, I'm not buying that Charlie can do unlimited thinkagrams per turn, because if that was true he would actually do unlimited thinkagrams per turn. It is a plot hole, and I doubt this plot hole will be filled.

It's not a plot hole. He can do "unlimited" thinkagrams per turn in the sense that he doesn't pay anything for any single thinkagram, but each thinkagram still takes a certain amount of time and he can't do multiple ones simultaneously (notice that he makes both Jillian and Trammenis wait). Since he has hundreds of archons which he has to monitor, he is generally not going to make random calls that are as likely to work against him as for him.
Let's try the perspective of example, and see if it helps you to see my point. In Book 1, Parson wanted to speak with every leader of the RCC. He listed plenty of reasons why this was a good thing for him to attempt. But Maggie ran out of juice and Parson was only able to speak to Ansom. Charlie doesn't have that issue, right? Unlimited thinkagrams can't mean "unlimited thinkagrams, except if the 'Dish runs dry." And Charlie is the Overlord and he decides when the turn ends, so time is not a factor for him, either. With this understanding, the only real reason Charlie isn't speaking to every leader, CWL, WL, caster, and even lowly stabbers (Charlie probably spoke to the Western Giants, after all, to arrange the "terms as agreed"), is that it would fill the comic with a lot of chatter.
ftl wrote:Parson is THE ONLY person in this world who see is it as a game to minimax rather than as a life to live.
I don't buy that. The turn based mechanics shapes the way a person approaches activities. Parson is a person who min/maxes anything he is interested in, but that doesn't make him unique amongst all of Erf. Charlie in particular prefers to play games which don't even contain a losing option. This philosophy is the verbalization of a min/max approach to his life.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:44 pm

ftl wrote:
Oberon wrote: If you could talk to anyone at all, on any Side, don't you think that you'd have a chat with everyone, every turn? There is no down side, and the positives of intelligence gathering and relationship building would seem to make it a no-brainer.


Of course I wouldn't. Because it would be tedious and boring, and I don't want to waste my entire life talking to people who have nothing to say to me and who I have nothing to say to, even on the off-chance that it might help me out a little someday maybe.


Obviously you're not the kind of person to do networking*.

No sweat, neither am I. Nonetheless, exactly the tedious boring stuff that you describe is the bread and butter for some people in our world (and some even -le gasp!- enjoy the company of other people), despite time being, apparently, more limited.

EDIT:

*: if you read networking above and thought routing and traffic/reliability analysis, congratulations you have geek cred :) but in this case I meant the old fashioned kind.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Althernai » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Oberon wrote:Let's try the perspective of example, and see if it helps you to see my point. In Book 1, Parson wanted to speak with every leader of the RCC. He listed plenty of reasons why this was a good thing for him to attempt. But Maggie ran out of juice and Parson was only able to speak to Ansom. Charlie doesn't have that issue, right? Unlimited thinkagrams can't mean "unlimited thinkagrams, except if the 'Dish runs dry."

Sure. And Charlie can and does speak with many leaders quite often as well as with the Magic Kingdom and so on and so forth. But speaking to a leader is one thing and speaking to subordinates is quite another. As I said, rulers are probably not going to take the latter well. Also, speaking to a lowly stabber is pointless in all but the most extraordinary circumstances and even speaking to casters is generally not very useful. And some of the more interesting people to talk to (e.g. Parson) are also the most dangerous: note that Parson managed to get more out of the conversation with Charlie than Charlie got out of it and promptly used it against Charlie.

And Charlie is the Overlord and he decides when the turn ends, so time is not a factor for him, either.

I am not sure that is true. This would be like a game of chess without a clock: the loser can theoretically stall forever (in practice, until the winner gets bored). For example, consider a ruler whose side is about to end (e.g Uniroyal or Stanley if he hadn't summoned Parson or even a barbarian that has run out of provisions). What is to stopping them from saying to their enemies "I'm not going to end the turn until the circumstances that lead to my demise are altered -- pay me a million schmuckers so that I can promote my units and upgrade my city". I would guess that there is some mechanism that prevents this
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Nihila » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:59 pm

Althernai wrote:I am not sure that is true. This would be like a game of chess without a clock: the loser can theoretically stall forever (in practice, until the winner gets bored). For example, consider a ruler whose side is about to end (e.g Uniroyal or Stanley if he hadn't summoned Parson or even a barbarian that has run out of provisions). What is to stopping them from saying to their enemies "I'm not going to end the turn until the circumstances that lead to my demise are altered -- pay me a million schmuckers so that I can promote my units and upgrade my city". I would guess that there is some mechanism that prevents this
Well, remember "time is relative." Possibly, if nothing is done, no time will pass. So, there would be a limit to how much you can do, and it is plausible that ordering your units to do an endless amount of work would force you to pay their upkeep again. And again. And again. Until your treasury's empty, you have no more units, and there's only you left. But you still want to stall, so you start doing the work... and then you disband. And, just to put the icing on the cake, for the other side, while your side has just vanished *poof*, they've only felt 6 hours pass, even if you've felt 345 765 years worth of hours pass.

Or maybe not. We just don't know.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby John Campbell » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:14 pm

The most obvious result that calling up everyone in the world every day just to chat would have is revealing that you are capable of calling up everyone in the world every day just to chat. I believe that, at the moment, only Charlescomm and Gobwin Knob know that fact. Given how close to the vest Charlie likes to play, I'm completely unsurprised that he prefers keeping that secret over the dubious benefits of chatting with units that have little free will and less influence, or with leaders that might only be aggravated by his calls (consider the last time you got phone-spam from $OPPOSING_POLITICAL_PARTY... how kindly disposed to them did that make you feel?), or might even derive more intelligence from his conversation, above and beyond the simple fact that he can do it, than he wanted or intended to share (witness his conversations with Parson).

And, as others have already pointed out, unlimited juice does not mean unlimited attention or patience. Nor does it imply unlimited ability to remember, comprehend, and predict the effects of an unlimited number of communications on the situation that one is attempting to affect.

Charlie prefers to use his communications capability as a precision manipulating instrument. It's possible that that's not actually a superior approach to bluntly spamming everyone in the world, but I'm not prepared to stipulate that, and it's certainly not so obviously inferior to the brute-force strategy as to make its preferential employment by a character who is well-established to prefer subtle and secret manipulation a "plot hole".
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Sieggy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:53 pm

. . . if you have unlimited minutes on your cell phone, are you going to call everyone you know every day to make use of them . . ?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Lamech » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:17 pm

Lots of people have unlimited call time. Very few people are calling others 24/7. Real world leaders are not constantly talking to one another. Charlie probably does talk to quite a few people, or has his fox force five call. But not calling everyone everyday, is fairly normal for people.

I am not sure that is true. This would be like a game of chess without a clock: the loser can theoretically stall forever (in practice, until the winner gets bored). For example, consider a ruler whose side is about to end (e.g Uniroyal or Stanley if he hadn't summoned Parson or even a barbarian that has run out of provisions). What is to stopping them from saying to their enemies "I'm not going to end the turn until the circumstances that lead to my demise are altered -- pay me a million schmuckers so that I can promote my units and upgrade my city". I would guess that there is some mechanism that prevents this
We had a reference to GK's turn being ended "early". Every turn has a time limit of some sort.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Skittles » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:48 am

danhaas wrote:
Skittles wrote:
name lips wrote:The only GK units in Spacerock who have Plot Immunity to Death are Wanda and Jack (even if only because the mystery of Faq still needs full exposition).

You only need one person to tell a story. I learned that from Mulan.


But to kill Wanda now would be like killing Aragorn right after he receives Andúril. To kill Parson, well, it would be as dramatic as killing Sauron before Frodo gets anywhere near Mount Doom.

I meant that you only need Jack or Wanda to tell the story of FAQ.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby fjolnir » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:54 am

A Turn is your side's actions within a 24 hour day, you do NOT have unlimited time, you have as much time as it would take for the sun to set, so there is an upward cap on stall tactics, which is either 12 or 24 hours depending on whether or not they're talking about a "24 hour day" to include the night or not
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby kagato23 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:45 am

Stalling will never work because of relative time. Even assuming that you can stretch a turn, there's still issues.

While in theory you could stretch a day indefinitly, for an enemy who's ended their turn (or even waiting for you to end yours), no more then the span of daylight will pass before you end your turn (as all units nights are the same.) Attempts to "wait it out" only hurt yourself, since by enemies perception you only stalled a few hours.

Now, lets say your side had an impending doom, and you tried to wait it out: fatigue still gets you.

Units do need to sleep. They need to eat. Rations pop at dawn. If you tried to have, say, a 72 hour day, it's safe to say your units would be utterly exausted and begin to starve. You could allow them additional rations or send them to forage, but this would use move/schumuckers and would eventually erode to no longer being an option, as you aren't allowing yoru reasources to refresh. Not to mention that abuse of this mechanic would almost certainly start to erode loyalty in said underfed/overworked units. You'd have to reach a point where you couldn't continue. Now, in the extreme case, your own units or natural allies might attempt a coup (better then starving to death), or you yourself could eventually expire from your own fatique and lack of rations.

Either way, your enemies would marvel in the next hex how long you must have taken (since any units they saw would be moving around pretty fast when they saw 4 or so hours to your 72) and simply walk into your hex next turn when you disbanded and froze your side up. They might wonder what happened, but that's about it.

Incidentally,t his is the same reason charlie is not goign to talk to everybody every day. Unlimited thinkamancy? Sure. But if he starts putting in a relative 20 hours a day doing this, it's going to get real old real fast. A guy like charlie strikes me as an efficiency expert mentality, he's going to want to make better use of his time and keep himself sharp.

What I would believe though, since this power isn't known (and still debated, but we assume here he has it), is that he spends a good portion of his day (or maybe uses his elite archons) listening in to the thinkamancy conversations of various powers of interest every day. It lets him remain the information broker he is without actually giving his hand away.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby effataigus » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:42 pm

In Civilization games you can engage in diplomacy with every side (you can reach) as many times as you want to per turn... and yet, I've never seen anyone refuse to end a turn so they can repeatedly go through the same dialogue with the same tiresome personalities over and over into infinity. :)
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby oslecamo2 » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:57 pm

Oberon wrote:I don't buy that. The turn based mechanics shapes the way a person approaches activities. Parson is a person who min/maxes anything he is interested in, but that doesn't make him unique amongst all of Erf. Charlie in particular prefers to play games which don't even contain a losing option. This philosophy is the verbalization of a min/max approach to his life.


Like pointed out altough it's a turn based game there's limits to how much "time" you can spend each turn.

Otherwise Hamster would've managed to learn all of Erfworld rules on the first turn he popped by questioning people/reading the library in a single turn. But no, he can only cram a certain amount of info each turn, and learns little by little.

Even Stanley confirms they don't have the time to go over the basics.

Later we also see Maggie doing some kind of mind-refreshing trick to Hamster. If there's a spell for that, it means erfworld people's mind can indeed grow tired from too much talking/reading.

Charlie's dish can make unlimited thinkgrams, but cannot make unlimited "refreshes". If he tried to talk to everybody everyday he would probably just end with a major headache.

TL, DR:
Maggie has a spell to refresh minds, wich means Erf people can get tired mentally. Thus, even Charlie cannot talk to everybody in Erfworld before colapsing in the floor from exhaustion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby Oberon » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:49 pm

oslecamo2 wrote:
Oberon wrote:I don't buy that. The turn based mechanics shapes the way a person approaches activities. Parson is a person who min/maxes anything he is interested in, but that doesn't make him unique amongst all of Erf. Charlie in particular prefers to play games which don't even contain a losing option. This philosophy is the verbalization of a min/max approach to his life.


Like pointed out altough it's a turn based game there's limits to how much "time" you can spend each turn.
I don't recall reading about these limits. Can you point me to them?

oslecamo2 wrote:Otherwise Hamster would've managed to learn all of Erfworld rules on the first turn he popped by questioning people/reading the library in a single turn. But no, he can only cram a certain amount of info each turn, and learns little by little.
Even Stanley confirms they don't have the time to go over the basics.
Parson wasn't calling end-of-turn, Stanley was. Parson was at the mercy of an erratic overlord who didn't value Parson from the beginning, and who couldn't comprehend why there was any value in teaching Parson "the basics." Had Stanley been a more thoughtful leader, TBFGK would have taken a sharp turn from the way it did end up going. Stanley had to leave GK, or Parson would have never been in charge, and GK never would have won. That's the entire irony of the matter: Stanley, present and in command, would have gotten everyone killed by second guessing Parson's advice or just flat out ignoring him. Stanley absent, GK could be led to victory by Parson.
oslecamo2 wrote:TL, DR: [/b]Maggie has a spell to refresh minds, wich means Erf people can get tired mentally. Thus, even Charlie cannot talk to everybody in Erfworld before colapsing in the floor from exhaustion.
Maggie is a thinkamancer. The 'Dish gives Charlie "unmatched powers of thinkamancy." I think that it's safe to assume that anything Maggie can do, Charlie can do better. Thus, Charlie can talk to everyone on Erf without collapsing, as he has the same refreshment spell Maggie does, and either doesn't even need to bother with it as an effect of the "unlimited thinkagrams" statement (Yes, you can do X all day. Er, unless you get tired... Some superpower, eh?) or due to being able to constantly refresh himself.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 45

Postby oslecamo2 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:40 am

Oberon wrote:I don't recall reading about these limits. Can you point me to them?

-A side who's on a losing position cannot choose to simply not end their turn and force a "draw".
-There's calling your end of turn. There's not calling start of Dawn. Yet Hamster had limited time to study during the night. There's a background clock ticking somewhere.
-When Hamster goes to blow up the volcano, Charlie tries to stall. It's Charlie+Coalition's turn, yet Hamster could tell him to go screw himself and blow up the volcano anyway. Charlie couldn't "pause" the game to try to talk Hamster out of it.

Oberon wrote:Parson wasn't calling end-of-turn, Stanley was. Parson was at the mercy of an erratic overlord who didn't value Parson from the beginning, and who couldn't comprehend why there was any value in teaching Parson "the basics."

He comprehended all right. He also comprehended that there simply wouldn't be enough time to teach him the basics, wich's a perfectly reasonable reason to be pissed off.

Oberon wrote: Stanley absent, GK could be led to victory by Parson.

Nevermind Stanley drawin away the coalition's most valuable asset, Jillian Sue, togheter with their full airforce, on top of breaking the caster link so Maggie could provide him with valuable advice. Hamster would've never broken the link voluntarily, or at least on time for Maggie to properly explain him how Erfworld magic works.

Oberon wrote:Maggie is a thinkamancer. The 'Dish gives Charlie "unmatched powers of thinkamancy." I think that it's safe to assume that anything Maggie can do, Charlie can do better. Thus, Charlie can talk to everyone on Erf without collapsing, as he has the same refreshment spell Maggie does, and either doesn't even need to bother with it as an effect of the "unlimited thinkagrams" statement

Says who? Unmatched =/=infinite everything.

If he could do infinite thinkmancy, don't you think it would be pointless for the archon to say he can make infinite thinkgrams? Why didn't the archon just say Charlie can do infinite thinkmancy?

He may have a super refresh spell, but even then he'll get tired sooner or later.

Oberon wrote:(Yes, you can do X all day. Er, unless you get tired... Some superpower, eh?) or due to being able to constantly refresh himself.


The arkenpliers can decrypt any number of dead units. Untill you run out of proper corpses.
The arkenhammer can tame any number of dwagons. Untill you run out of wild ones (wich pop randomly).
The arkendish can make any number of thinkgrams. Untill your head is so full of info you can't hear anyone anymore.
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