Book 2 – Text Updates 035

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Mourdos » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:31 am

Hey, something occured to me recently. Previously in the comic there was something about flight and falling. Its been going around me head for a while that while magic ( I think foolomancy ) has the ability to remove flight from a unit, can a flying unit choose to stop flying? If the dragons falling on JS is assumed to be possible, then yes, it looks like they could simple choose to 'fall'.

This brings up an interesting question. What happens when they decide to stop 'falling'?

I think the plan is more likly to include causing all the dragons to 'fall' into the garrison zone. Then stop falling, but deciding to fly again. This would be supported by the fact that Parson was happy when all the flying units were effectivly ordered above garrison air space.

This leaves one problem. What happens if a mount stops falling. Either you stop falling with it, or you 'hit' it. In the former case, your laughing. In the latter case, there is still much less potential for loss, since a) All the dwagons don't suffer from falling, and b) the riders have falled a much smaller distance (although admittedly, the comic mentioned that distance had only a small impact on what happened to the unit ).

Anyway, I've been reading Erf since it started up on GITP, and finally decided to put in my two cents. Thoughts?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Ditto » Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:11 am

Weirdomancy affects unit attributes like flight, not foolamancy.

The going speculation was you can't cross zones until you touch the ground, so 'falling' into the ground zone and stopping before you touch the ground doesn't make sense. Once your foot is off the ground, you're in airspace. Reference the text update where Caesar took a city that was spelled up with Shockmancy. He said he would have been fried had he not fought the whole battle on foot and avoided using his flight.

What happens to riders of units on top of falling mounts, since they are not falling themselves technically (and don't have the flight special), is the open question we're all waiting and watching to learn about.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby coyo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:06 pm

Ditto wrote:Weirdomancy affects unit attributes like flight, not foolamancy.

The going speculation was you can't cross zones until you touch the ground, so 'falling' into the ground zone and stopping before you touch the ground doesn't make sense. Once your foot is off the ground, you're in airspace. Reference the text update where Caesar took a city that was spelled up with Shockmancy. He said he would have been fried had he not fought the whole battle on foot and avoided using his flight.

What happens to riders of units on top of falling mounts, since they are not falling themselves technically (and don't have the flight special), is the open question we're all waiting and watching to learn about.


Very good point. I think if the mounts are not on the ground and the riders dismount, it could be a deadly fall for them. However, if the mounts fall to the ground (and probably their doom), the riders may be on the ground zone. I don't think the dwagons in the stack are decrypted, so my guess is that it would turn really *really* ugly for the archers and casters to face newly decyrpted dragons on the ground zone. I wonder if the dragons can aim for targets on their way down to crash, too.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby kagato23 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:37 pm

I think if your mount falls, you also take the fall and the impact. So once you fall, both you and your mount (in this case the dragons) have seperate rolls for croack/incapaciated/injured, as you both "fell" by the rules. We have precedent for this, Parson himself has fallen on a unit and taken impact when the dragon hit the ground. So once the dragon's feet in the ground, both are now considered on the ground, take their penalties appropriatly (though it wouldn't surprise me if a rider on a living mount has some bonus towards avoiding death at least, as physics of momentum appears to have some bearing on the penalty). Of course, even if both take full penalty, most if not all of the dragons are on their first life, so even in the worst case scinario (rider and dragon die), wanda can uncroak a lot of dragons to make things very rough in that garrison. And then she'll have plenty of riders for em!
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby effataigus » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:05 pm

Awesome update!

@ "Parson will take Spacerock simply by entering the garrison:" The "garrison" zone is defined as tower, courtyard, and dungeon if I recall correctly. No dungeon, but almost all of JS's forces are in the courtyard (under glass!) or in the tower. It's by no means undefended.

@ "Parson is moral/amoral for just trying to win:" Is he just trying to win? I thought he was doing this in part to save his buddies Wanda and Jack. Right now I'd say he has two moral get-out-of-jail free cards... 1. Magical compulsion and 2. Defense of loved ones (unless I'm misreading how much he cares about his casters).

@ "Why doesn't Jack get more face time since he's so awesome?" I call your attention to exhibit "A" *points to the write-or-die counter.* Rob was averaging just over one word a minute. It took him roughly 15 hours of staring at a computer to put this wonderful update together. I'd argue that writing for Jack is stressful because we love him so much. High bar to clear. It is nice to see Erfworld progression getting this much love so close to the deadline for getting books 1 and 2.1 to the printers!

@ "Text updates are {not part of the core story}." Shame, they're among the best parts.

@ Plans of starving Jetstone with upkeep. I don't buy it... Jack knows the plan, Jack thinks there's going to be a fight, and there's no way JS would end their current turn after a fight starts without GK losing or ramming a Kingworld down their throat.

@ Speculation of the plan. Indeed healomancy scrolls in both casters' hands half-suggests that they're planning on taking a rough road to the ground. Also suggesting this is the observation that Jack and Wanda are ordered to be as close together as their dwagons could fly. Finally, that they were ordered to take up weapons... hand to hand seems unlikely if they stay in the sky. There are, of course, other reasons why these measures may be practical.

Best frankenstein monster of a plan I've heard so far: yellows poop, ceiling breaks, casters jump, casters heal, decryption starts, foolmancy starts... insane ground battle for Spacerock begins. Casters might need to wait for some dwagon bodies to pile up on the ground before jumping from a low height... not to land on, just to make sure they have a bit of a unit buffer to hold the line while they wait for more bodies to show up.

There's still a chance Wanda dies on impact with this plan though, and, unless you can cast healomancy across zone boundaries (which there is a suggestion you may not), there's a chance that Wanda ends up incapacitated next to an incapacitated (or dead) Jack. I feel like this is a hat riddle with a perfect solution that I'm just not seeing.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby effataigus » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:27 pm

Also, people have said that they now understand why Jack didn't turn. What is that reason? He didn't want to be Jillian's third place lover? That would apply to the battle in the Narrows back in book 1, true, but it still seems like Jillian's third place would be better than nothing (which is what he had with GK back then). Perhaps now he admires Parson so much as to want to be with him, but, as has been said, that didn't apply back then.

I'm not convinced. To me these sound like porous rationalizations... which in turn sound like Jillian when she was under the influence of Wanda's scroll. I think Jack, for all of his ability to see through things, might be underestimating how strong of a hold the turnamancy GK (presumably) subjected him to has on him.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby dmorenus » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:57 pm

I'm not sure if anyone's caught this yet.

We know Jack's scroll is a Healomancy scroll, but we don't know the same about Wanda's, though a casual reader might assume so. I wonder if her scroll is a critical part of the plan?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby kagato23 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:45 pm

effataigus wrote:Also, people have said that they now understand why Jack didn't turn. What is that reason? He didn't want to be Jillian's third place lover? That would apply to the battle in the Narrows back in book 1, true, but it still seems like Jillian's third place would be better than nothing (which is what he had with GK back then). Perhaps now he admires Parson so much as to want to be with him, but, as has been said, that didn't apply back then.

I'm not convinced. To me these sound like porous rationalizations... which in turn sound like Jillian when she was under the influence of Wanda's scroll. I think Jack, for all of his ability to see through things, might be underestimating how strong of a hold the turnamancy GK (presumably) subjected him to has on him.


I think it did apply back then though. Parson represents an intriguing enigma for many he's come across, but so far in good ways for all of the casters of GK. For jack specifically, a kindred spirit in thinking, and being willing to think in new ways. He's said himself that Hamster represents for him the best kinds of mental challenges, and he (and he's hardly alone in this) after seeing what Parson can think up and do, is quite literally in awe.

Jack certainly loves Jillian, but he's fully admitted to himself what Wanda can't: She'll never love him the way he wants her to. In his case, unlike Wanda, he never really was in the running. His motivations for turning just aren't as great. And while I don't think anybody has too great a devotion to Stanley, Jack's loyalty stat is probably through the roof at this point owing to Parson, which means he needs a damn good reason if he was going to turn (though we know he at least considered it, love is a crazy thing that way). While Parson himself doesn't buy it, there's quite a few people now who think he's rather amazing. Jack is definitely one of them. For many Parson is or is part of something huge that's happening in erfworld, and he's building up a personal loyalty that probably is defined in erfworld as a very high number as those numbers go, seeing as Jack likes Parson as a person, respects him as a thinker, and trusts and admires him as a warlord. Maggie's loyalty is probably even higher (she's at the point that her Duty compels her to risk disbanding just to give him influence).

As for Turnamancy, we know Wanda isn't under a spell. I'm actually guessing Jack isn't either. And even if he was, there's probably a lot more to it now. So I think Jack's lines about Parson are valid: he's serving under a man that turned a crushing defeat into an overwhelming victory. And now that opinion is reinforced: a situation where he had thought simple survival would have been a victory is now expected to turn into another amazing rout. Jack doesn't' want to miss out on that. At least not for what was being offered (and almost as importantly, what was never going to be offered).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:01 pm

Yay here, lots of replies to attend to. There's some common threads between them though, so rather than respond individually I'll group short snips from more posters and respind to what I view as the general idea. Still will be long.

Anyway, let's first dismiss with the playful

MarbitChow wrote:Why do you believe that ruining the neutrality of the Magic Kingdom isn't part of Janis' plan?


Beacuse Sizemore seems shocked, shocked I say, at what Parson is up to.

atalex wrote:If Janis truly didn't anticipate that the safety and peace of the Magic Kingdom might be one of the things to get broken, she's a lot more naive than I thought. If she has the nerve to complain about it, she's a hypocrite to boot.


So what? Janis' duplicity does not make Parson's actions now any more moral.

Anyway, back to serious. Bold statements from now on in this post are what I'm arguing AGAINST.

It's not a law, so Parson's not breaking anything

Oberon wrote:Remember, convention? Following or not following a convention does not make a person evil, unless you're playing bridge.


Kyrt wrote:Hes gaming the system, pushing the rules as far as they can. This appears to be a game world which follows game rules. What he's doing is akin to playing by the rulebooks literal word.


There's two things here: A) is portal usage law or not, and B) does it matter?

For the first, look at what Sizemore says. It sounds as if he's not making this rule up as he goes along. There must be some agreement between everyone who has a portal to the MK that no hostile troops can be sent via portals.

Even if there isn't an explicit treaty anywhere, it's an abuse. The fact that something is not illegal does not make said action morally justifiable.

Also, morality is not about obeying the laws of physics ("rulebooks literal word"). It's not, actually, about obeying rules either- but many rules have a moral purpose behind them, and breaking them goes against that purpose, and is immoral. In this case, Parson is abusing and endagering an entity (the MK as a whole) which is not in conflict with him. Whatever the dealings of a few individual casters, the MK itself is not at war with GK. Yet.

The Magic Kingdom has no right to impose usage conventions on portals

Ytaker wrote:The casters don’t have any particular moral right to dictate the terms of use-it’s a public transportation system.


Parson wrote:They don't recognize my right to enter the Magic Kingdom. Why should I play by their rules?


Kyrt wrote:he, as a caster, apparently has the right and ability to enter the MK and that is a right the MK itself is unwilling to recognise.


A country is well whithin its rights to, for example, deny its airspace or waterways to military craft.

Or anyone/anything it can be expected to keep out. There are such things as personae non-gratae.

The Magic Kingdom is evil

build6 wrote:maybe part of the problem with "no Peace on Erf" is the Magic Kingdom


Stealing from thieves is still stealing.

And whatever shady dealings members of the MK might have, the MK itself is not engaged in war against GK. GK casters can move there freely (as long as they play by the house rules should go without saying), and in fact did so recently.

Parson's gotta do what Parson's gotta do

cheeseaholic wrote:Parson is required by Duty to win the battle.


Oberon wrote:Are you really calling the survival of the GK expeditionary force a convenience?


effataigus wrote:Is he just trying to win? I thought he was doing this in part to save his buddies Wanda and Jack. Right now I'd say he has two moral get-out-of-jail free cards... 1. Magical compulsion and 2. Defense of loved ones


This argument only has traction in Erfworld because of Duty owning that free-will/moral agency thing that here on Earth is taken for granted. Even so, I think there's a problem with it.

There's a persistent confusion between the survival of GK's expeditionary force, and the immediate defeat of Jetstone. While one can help the other, they are not the same thing. This is not, or was not until recently, a do or die situation like the volcano. Parson does not react in the same compelled way as he did back then.

This is the false dichotomy: destroy Jetstone, OR lose the expeditionary group (Wanda, Jack etc). This is what I say (and no dichotomy, or any poly-chotomy in sight): use the MK portals for attack is morally dubious.

Ossomer is way undervalued

atalex wrote:I was rather disappointed with the first sentence of this update, i..e Jack's rather snide dismissal of Ossomer as "the bigger, more boring warlord." As someone who sees hidden depths in Ossomer waiting to be plumbed, it disappoints me that the most observant character in the comic doesn't


I know, right? That's a bold statement I'm not arguing against.

The portals are assumed safe because of their behaviour

Oberon wrote:There are plenty of other ways for the portals to be "trusted", including automagically annihilating non-caters who use them. Which Parson is well aware of, except for that defense apparently not working on him.


Kyrt wrote:AFAIR, and I may be wrong, the Portals are considered safe for a reason. If you aren't a caster, you can' t survive transit.


See Sizemore's line in this update, the one about "thou shall not send casters into cities you don't control". It's pretty explicit in considering that the danger of a caster attack exists, and prohibiting it.


Phew, vewwy vewwy long that one. I think that tomorrow at about the same time I'll have reason to post yet again on this topic. But that future post will be more of a "concluding statement" from my side, if you will. No more eyesore quotewall.

Until then, a closing remark.

Parson is supposed to be the rule breaker. It is also the case that when seeking great change, the hero must make some sacrifices, maybe even including their moral purity (whatever they had). You cannot be all-good, all the time, not when too much is at stake.

Let's not be surprised that some of Parson's actions might, on analysis, raise a few eyebrows with respect to their moral value. Wasn't Parson a player who preffered "evil" sides, anyway?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby coyo » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:58 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Parson is supposed to be the rule breaker. It is also the case that when seeking great change, the hero must make some sacrifices, maybe even including their moral purity (whatever they had). You cannot be all-good, all the time, not when too much is at stake.

Let's not be surprised that some of Parson's actions might, on analysis, raise a few eyebrows with respect to their moral value. Wasn't Parson a player who preffered "evil" sides, anyway?


Very nice post. I'm just going to comment on the last part because it really got me thinking about what being the rule breaker means.

Parson's become the trickster figure of this world. The trickster is the one who breaks the rules, and hurt people without necessarily meaning to be malicious. The trickster can worm a way out of difficult situations and is usually defeated by themselves.

It is often up to the trickster to steal things from the gods (or the titans, in this case) that become available to all.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby effataigus » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:13 pm

kagato23 wrote:


I think your post is an excellent treatise on why Jack's rationale is appropriate to why he didn't turn earlier this turn, but what about when Jack didn't turn way back in book 1? If he had turned back then Stanely would (I believe) be dead, and he'd be back in Faq in second place (assuming Wanda is dead) to Ansom. Is it possible that he already had his crush on Parson back then? This was back before their long and intimate nights in the strategy room... back when his only contact with Parson was watching him get confused around the battle map that he (as part of a link) was projecting.

Umm, whoa... unless Misty's rapport with Parson carried over to Jack since, at the time, Misty and Jack shared a mind. :o

BLANDCorporatio wrote:morally dubious.


Well, that's not very bombastic. I drove to work today from my significant other's house instead of walking to work from my house. That too, is morally dubious. I'm tempted to agree with you which is only problematic because you quoted me as something you're arguing against. Presuming for the moment that you instead said reprehensible, repugnant, lacking, or abominable, I'd counter with: we simply don't know enough about how magical compulsion affects units or how it affects Parson to know for certain whether morality is even in question right now. Yes, this uncertainty cuts both ways in this discussion!

Now lets assume that Parson is not doing what's best for his side simply because he must. If he feels that Wanda and Jack have the best possible chance of surviving the battle using this "cheat," is it amoral of him to suggest it... even if it means that countless additional strangers may die (and possibly find new life with the pliers)? To me, this is a very interesting moral dilemma. How much can be justified in the defense of loved ones? Does decryption negate responsibility for loss of life to any extent? Do units count as "people?" Parson suggested that they did for his purposes at one point in book one.

All told, I'd say that the MK's conventions are low on the list of things that Parson should feel guilty about, if he starts looking for reasons to feel guilty.

EDIT ... though there is an interesting distinction that I just now picked up on. Parson has, to date, done all kinds of things that would be considered war-crimes on Earth, but are perfectly acceptable things to do in Erfworld. This is the first time he's violated the morals of Erfworld that I can think of.

Oh, I'm assuming Parley hijinx are totally Kosher because Charlie anticipated it, Bea also did it, and Jillian also did it (arguably twice).

... oh, and he swore.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Raza » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:31 pm

Probably my favorite text update so far.

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Second, law is convention, and vice-versa in many cases. Conventions are also not entirely arbitrary, they serve some purpose. In this case, that convention gives the MK its neutrality. By choosing to flaunt a convention of neutrality, Parson is doing a morally dubious act. What he is doing now is tantamount to breeching a treaty and more significantly, jeopardizing the neutrality (even existence?) of the Magic Kingdom.

Not all conventions are useful. In fact, conventions on average score rather poorly in this regard.

He's also not breeching any treaties that he (or Stanley, afawk) signed or otherwise agreed to.

This convention may or may not also be local law, but that affects neither its usefulness nor Parsons agreement. It'd still be a unilateral declaration of questionable purpose.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:42 pm

Since I'm around, one quick reply-

effataigus wrote:To me, this is a very interesting moral dilemma. How much can be justified in the defense of loved ones? Does decryption negate responsibility for loss of life to any extent? Do units count as "people?" Parson suggested that they did for his purposes at one point in book one.


I'm glad you feel this way.

effataigus wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:morally dubious.


Well, that's not very bombastic.


Ok, it's not as if Parson casually tossed a used chewing gum on the street. On the other hand, it's not as if there's a Moral Number that can be uniquely calculated, on the basis of which I could rank Parson's current action as a 0.15.

If anything, I think your comparisons with war crimes/violations of rules of engagement are apt. I would not go so far as to equate Parson abusing portals with the sinking of the Lusitania (the latter caused very immediate danger; whatever danger Parson puts the MK in, it's mostly hypothetical, even if still callous from Parson's side). But yeah, something around the moral level of that.

Then there's the complicating factor that Erfworld might not have codified rules of engagement. I doubt this is the case, supposedly parley was sacrosanct too (thought Ansom) and probably some sort of law. But I'm not arguing that something is bad because it's breaking a law. I'm saying something is bad because, for example, it disregards the freedom of non-hostile others to self-determination.

effataigus wrote:EDIT ... though there is an interesting distinction that I just now picked up on. Parson has, to date, done all kinds of things that would be considered war-crimes on Earth, but are perfectly acceptable things to do in Erfworld. This is the first time he's violated the morals of Erfworld that I can think of.

Oh, I'm assuming Parley hijinx are totally Kosher because Charlie anticipated it, Bea also did it, and Jillian also did it (arguably twice).

... oh, and he swore.


I'm of the opinion that parley hijinx are a no-no either, and I said so at some past time. Yes, Parson goes about being very ... dubious. Nothing new here :)

Raza wrote:Not all conventions are useful. In fact, conventions on average score rather poorly in this regard.

He's also not breeching any treaties that he (or Stanley, afawk) signed or otherwise agreed to.

This convention may or may not also be local law, but that affects neither its usefulness nor Parsons agreement. It'd still be a unilateral declaration of questionable purpose.


The convention he is breaking is what allows the MK, as a whole, to exist as a neutral zone for casters. It's useful, and presumably required of anyone who has a portal in their capital.

Even if there's no piece of paper anywhere to explicitly say what Sizemore just said this update ("you can't send casters to a capital you don't control"), or even if there is such a piece of paper but it's not signed by Stanley/Parson, what Lord Hamster does is showing callous disregard for the MK's (a neutral faction's) right to its own governance.

EDITted for spelling.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Raza » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:04 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:The convention he is breaking is what allows the MK, as a whole, to exist as a neutral zone for casters. It's useful, and presumably required of anyone who has a portal in their capital.

Yeah, Iunno. Seems to me the portals' disbanding function does 95% of that. I think the convention on top might appease some barely-reasonable suspicions from sides that're inclined to generalize hostility, but it's hardly essential for the MK's existence as a whole.

And 'required' for every side with a portal in their capital, how?


BLANDCorporatio wrote:Even if there's no piece of paper anywhere to explicitly say what Sizemore just said this update ("you can't send casters to a capital you don't control"), or even if there is such a piece of paper but it's not signed by Stanley/Parson, what Lord Hamster does is showing callous disregard for the MK's (a neutral faction's) right to its own governance.

EDITted for spelling.

I find the right to govern anything but your own person pretty dubious to start out with (especially when your 'territory' is a unique and globally useful natural feature), but beyond that, that's what you get when your government divides people into castes and screws the lower ones out of basic freedoms. People getting the short end of the stick (in this case Parson) have every reason to break or otherwise oppose the law when it denies them equal right.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Trotsky » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:06 pm

Why are so many people assuming Parson is going because it is necessary? He straight up said that the only reason he's going is because he feels morally obligated to not put others through dangers he will not face personally.

As to whether breaking Magic Kingdom convention is moral or not I say Eh? First, if the MK made the portals then sure, they can do what they want. If they were titan made than it is less clear, though I wonder whether that convention is just one of the pieces of information they pop knowing, or if it has a traceable origin and new casters must be told.

Parson is going through the MK (assuming he does actually go) because he wants to prove, to himself, that he is willing to accept the dangers of combat directly. It is something he needs to do to keep from losing himself to the gamer "sacrifice all the pieces for the win conditions" mentality. Again, this doesn't make the action inherently moral or amoral, just human. I occasionally say mean things to my wife, just as she says mean things to me. This doesn't make us bad people, just flawed ones. Similarly, even if flaunting MK conventions is a less-then-moral act it will not mean that Parson is and amoral monster. Conversely, just because he believes his reasons to be just doesn't make him a paragon of virtue. Grey people, grey (you see, that last bit is a snide, rude comment, but it doesn't make me a douche-bag on its own. I leave it up to you as to whether my general tone is snide enough to deserve that distinction).

Why didn't Jack turn when Jillian offered him the chance? Because she never offered him a chance. She offered a foolamanticly produced image the chance. Evidence: the dragon she killed is still alive. Hard to accept an offer when you took great pains to be somewhere else when it was made.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby atalex » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:28 pm

Setting aside issues of "morality" (which appear irrelevant, to me, in a setting where nearly every character is subject to at least some degree of mind control and which was designed by its mythical creators for perpetual war), I note the following about MK's "neutrality." It seems to me that the convention Sizemore speaks of is most likely a gentleman's agreement between the casters that they will not abuse the portals to sneak into the territories of capitals opposed to their sides. It is improbable that a single caster or even a small group of casters who did abuse the portals could bring down an entire side from within. It is far more likely that the casters sent on such a mission would die needlessly in pursuit of some hairbrained scheme from a dim ruler whose casters would likely be barred permanently from the MK, which would also make said ruler's life difficult in other ways. The convention ensured that all casters could come to the MK but none of them could abuse the privilege of coming there, but in exchange, every side had the benefit of casters who could come and go from the MK freely.

Then, Parson came. Parson can enter the MK despite apparently not being a caster. Since the last time he did so, the MK has apparently been subtly harassing his side, denying it scrolls and other benefits readily available to other sides. Only one of his casters has any interest in going to the MK and even Sizemore is beginning to suffer from subtle discrimination due to his side allegiance, despite his former "rock star" status. In short, the gentleman's agreement did not provide GK with any tangible benefit except for Sizemore being able to occasionally get some Uhura booty. If the MK hasn't made a decision as to how to address Parson's ability to enter the MK (beyond giving him surly looks and telling him never to come back), it's really their own fault. And consider Janis plainly wants Parson to succeed, it may even be intentional.

Not to compare Parson to Hitler, but when the Germans stormed through Belgium (which was technically neutral but had previously been allied with France) to get into France, everyone cried dirty pool then, but the alternative was for the Germans to needlessly crash against the Maginot Line just to respect the neutrality of the path of least resistance. In war, it is not necessarily immoral to decline to fight on the enemies terms.

In short, if sending a single warlord through the MK to JS is immoral, how should we describe the Volcano Trap, in which Parson totally exterminated his own side as well as that of the enemy just to achieve a victory condition.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Nihila » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:44 pm

atalex wrote:Not to compare Parson to Hitler, but when the Germans stormed through Belgium (which was technically neutral but had previously been allied with France) to get into France, everyone cried dirty pool then, but the alternative was for the Germans to needlessly crash against the Maginot Line just to respect the neutrality of the path of least resistance. In war, it is not necessarily immoral to decline to fight on the enemies terms.
Well, the Maginot Line was also in a completely stupid place. I mean, what was the French government thinking? "The Germans broke through Belgium last time, so let's go build a fortification along the other border."

It's not immoral to refuse to fight along the enemy's terms, especially if said enemy is an idiot. If an idea works once, it should work again if no variables have changed since the first test. So, Parson's MK run seems like a decent idea.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:50 pm

atalex wrote:In short, if sending a single warlord through the MK to JS is immoral, how should we describe the Volcano Trap, in which Parson totally exterminated his own side as well as that of the enemy just to achieve a victory condition.

Easy. "Pyrrhic". :D
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby Ytaker » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:32 pm

Blandco wrote:Even if there isn't an explicit treaty anywhere, it's an abuse. The fact that something is not illegal does not make said action morally justifiable.

Also, morality is not about obeying the laws of physics ("rulebooks literal word"). It's not, actually, about obeying rules either- but many rules have a moral purpose behind them, and breaking them goes against that purpose, and is immoral. In this case, Parson is abusing and endagering an entity (the MK as a whole) which is not in conflict with him. Whatever the dealings of a few individual casters, the MK itself is not at war with GK. Yet.


The purpose is to keep the portals open, so that casters can flee the falling of a kingdom, and so that people can hire casters. We've seen they have a lot of very powerful casters. A full scale invasion of the magic kingdom would be impossible. The effect will be to reduce ability of casters to flee, and for people to hire less casters. Aka, you are exaggerating the damage caused.

Blandco wrote:A country is well whithin its rights to, for example, deny its airspace or waterways to military craft..


And so, Parson's actions are immoral? How does that follow? It's not their airspace or waterways, it's the Titan's. They have the right to do so, and Parson has the right to disagree. They have the right to croak him.

Blandco wrote:Let's not be surprised that some of Parson's actions might, on analysis, raise a few eyebrows with respect to their moral value. Wasn't Parson a player who preffered "evil" sides, anyway?


His murdering is what raises most eyebrows. Not running through portals. His past and current association with evil does not make any of his current acts inherently evil. Only doing evil things, with evil consequences makes him evil.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 035

Postby danhaas » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:47 pm

When Parson was summoned to Erfworld, he recognized it as a game-like world and treated it as a game, ie., mercilessly. Would you have mercy on chess pieces?
And do remember that the whole battle for GK lasted what, a week?

But then Parson started to get more attached to this game-like world and its citizens, specially the casters. He saw that this world was not so different than his own, and therefore his morality should not be so different.

He did not grow merciful in one stroke. The destruction of the Sword of Ruthlessness was more of a cry for independence than a cry for peace, and Parson can still think as an elite gamer when he has to.
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