Book 2 – Page 53

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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby the_tick_rules » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:28 pm

Way to use Gilligan's island seriously, not an easy thing to do.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby coyo » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:14 pm

justamessenger wrote:So many issues to reply to, I am not going to take the time to enter the quotes from everyone.

Knowledge (popped vs trained vs based on observation) and innovation: It seems to me that, as previously posted, casters in the MK have far more time to contemplate, trade ideas, etc. and that this is why they, of all the units, have not only greater opportunity, but greater likelihood to learn more and adapt. As mentioned by another poster, the differences in Dollamancers in JS is interesting insofar as it may be that different casters, even within the same school, may have differing approaches to using their magic. Holli liked cloth & glass, Ace likes wood and metal. This may also apply to the Thinkamancers, such as was suggested with Isaac's musings, as well as other schools of magic. HOWEVER, even in that instance, the interest of the other Thinkamancers seemed tepid at best. Perhaps this is what differentiates the 'Great Thinkers' from the rank and file Thinkamancers.


......

In short, as previously stated by others, innovation requires interest and opportunity.


Makes me wonder if leveling can impact this. Interesting post.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Evader » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:47 pm

One thing I thought of, in relation to the technological progress.

Erfworld is game-like; so I will frame everything about it in game terms. Namely, tech trees.

Every big city is filled with 'useless' buildings that exist, and may contain various paraphernalia of their intended purpose. Patrolling the city adds buffs, etc.

The 'forge' has a vat and molten metal, the catapult-factory has some half-constructed catapults in it. Things that are purchased take time to pop. While they are 'cooking,' certain buildings may show 'activity' despite no one populating those buildings or understanding why they do what they do. No one thinks about it or cares. To use Starcraft as an example, you need an Academy to pop Firebats. No one learns anything there, it's just a symbolic blot on the landscape- one which, any attacker knows to strike if he wants to prevent more Firebats.

Sides are like different CPU opponents. Parson declared his playerhood. Who are the titans? The developers. Who determines what happens when certain buildings are popped? The developers. What tools did they use to do so? I rest my case.

Erfworld is NOT a game, but it IS gamelike. Which means it is very, very susceptible to Parson's mechanics exploits . . . and it is also ripe for an expansion pack. One that can only be created with the Tools of the Titans. It is gamelike in the sense that it was CREATED. Its rules were set, its technology was set. Only developers OR players (humans as opposed to CPU AI) with the right tools, can mod the game, add content, remove content, or otherwise. I'm not saying this is how it MUST or WILL happen in ErfWorld, I'm just saying that the metaphor easily extends this far without any undue stretch of reasoning. There are little fraying bits to the metaphor, casters asking questions and such, and it is this fraying that set the story in motion. Extend the metaphor further; games run on computers and are subject to their vulnerabilities. Call it random glitching or evolution in the AI- the Perfect Warlord spell was 'maliciously' designed, caused a buffer overflow, then executed rogue code. Said code patched in Parson, and the 'live' instance of ErfWorld is now subject to his interference. Erfworld is not being run on a computer, but may have an underlying physics based on being a running process on a multiverse-PC. Totally different angle than the Matrix.

We have yet to touch Saving, Loading, Quitting, replays, etc. Perhaps Predictamancers can 'parse' RAM for bits of previously loaded games for insight. But now we're going so far down the speculation path that I no longer have any new points to make.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Infidel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:01 pm

Oberon wrote:A necessary focus on survival, and the lack of the spare cultural energy to spend on innovation. Deaths in childbirth, deaths by unknown diseases, death by toothache, deaths by fights with neighbors, death by environment. When you're spending all of your cultural energies just managing to not be wiped out, you don't have much free time to try a new arrowhead design. When the guy who makes the best arrowheads is killed by a trivial fall that breaks an arm that becomes infected and kills him, that knowledge is gone until someone else studies his work enough to get good at it again. And they don't try to make the arrowhead differently while trying to recreate poor dead Bob's designs.


I certainly believe those are factors. But I think there has to be another explanation over why innovation was so rediculously slow in prehistory and the beginning of the historical period. Even if there is a lot of time that you are busy hunting, foraging, etc, there is also a lot of free time for thinking. After all, even the most complex tasks become tedious and repetitive after a while. Which gives the mind a lot of time for thinking. You don't have to sit at the foot of the senate with a bunch of philosophers, you can be sitting in a knitting circle or chipping those many arrowheads. I think innovation starts with the mindset, "There surely has to be a better way to do this!" and following up on that thought.

Then she decides she needs some support. And grabs.... The barrel of the .50. I yelled something that wasn't a word, but it was too late. The sizzle was audible. I grabbed her cap, stuffed her hand in it, and dumped her canteen on her hand. But she had already begun to blister.


That was some pretty quick thinking. I'm confident that in the same situation I would have gotten as far as dumping water from the nearest canteen, but I'm not so sure that if the same situation surprised me, I would have thought to use the hat.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Infidel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:34 pm

Lamech wrote:I always assumed that technological innovation was slow do to the extreme difficulty of coming up with new technology. Especially when you lack good training to actually know what is already developed, especially when combined with the limited time available to innovate and low population. And the lack of training needed to innovate. The scientific method is HUGE. So are techniques like statistics.


True, for more modern technology maybe. But even today, people are coming up with imaginative low-tech innovations. Bought a nifty squeegee-like thing for drying my car the other day. People get high-tech stuck on their brain when they think of innovation, but technological progress is really a matter of piling up the innovations until a breakthrough happens. The lower the tech, the fewer innovations necessary. As you said, the scientific method was huge, but it was nothing more than a mindset when you get down to it. And training really has nothing to do with innovation. The dishwasher was made by a woman then never washed a dish in her life, she just got tired of her servants breaking her expensive dishes all the time. She didn't know diddly about the mechanics involved either, she simply decided it needed to be done, and did it.

Infrastructure is hugely important when coming up with inventions. You need education, and communication to understand what has been done before, otherwise what your doing is vane.


Not as much as you think. Starting in reverse. Re-inventing is not in vain. Especially in a pre-historical period. Really, I would have expected a lot more things to be invented, and re-invented than there were. But it obviously took a certain number of re-inventions before many things caught on and stuck around. Because, apparently, a lot of the times when pre-historic man had to outdo themselves, it was usually for some project that, "We'll never do something like this again." So they deliberately forgot it, since the knowledge wasn't so useful anymore. Also, re-inventing something isn't in vain if there is no one there to tell you, and you need the tech. Because you still get the benefit of utility. And It is not in vain, because invention is a learning process. There is a reason they make you, "Invent." all sorts of stuff in school that has already been invented.

Eduction necessary, is often the Education you already have, and observation skills. Again, the lower the tech, the less education necessary. The reason we need so much education now is because our tech level is higher. Not because it is something intrinsically necessary.

Lets say you want to improve farming techniques. A person in the middle ages, even one with the best education possible, would probably screwed in this; they lack an understanding of the statistics and conformation bias. Even if they tried to experiment they wouldn't be able to interpret the result. And they probably lack enough of an understanding of the scientific method to experiment.


I find this sort of thinking rather common. And I heatedly disagree, otherwise, there would have been no innovation in farming, as there was in this time period. The scientific method may be necessary for splitting hairs and utilizing small differences to create large results, but they were perfectly capable of recognizing big differences and capitalizing on them. If statistics and scientific method were truly necessary then no one would have ever figured out the process of letting farm plots lie fallow so a farm could be utilized indefinitely or Dozens of ways to irrigate and fertilize fields to increase crops. There even have been a number of times where crops were crossed to create new strains. To say they couldn't interpret the result of an experiment is rather demeaning when the people that came before obviously could. Because when Explorers crossed over to America, one thing they brought back with them was American crops and agricultural techniques. Their brains worked just as well as ours today.

Innovation isn't something that happens because time passes. It happens because people spend time on it. And we are spending a LOT of time on it now.
As I said with Oberon, no matter how busy you might be, farming, butchering, hunting, whatever. Every job gets tedious and repetitive, to the point where you can do it in your sleep. At this point, your brain is freed to think, even while working, and innovation is often nothing more than someone thinking, "There has to be a better way to do this." This doesn't require, education, or knowledge of what has gone before.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Infidel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:42 pm

justamessenger wrote:
What remains to be seen is how Parson's stratagems are viewed, and whether they are adopted by others. Just as the introduction of gunpowder triggered (forgive the pun) a massive investment in adoption and improvement of guns and firearms in Europe, perhaps Parson will be the harbinger of similarly frenetic changes in the doctrine of warfare espoused by the various Erfworld sides.

Tramennis may be a key litmus test, as he seems to be one of the more adaptable and intellectually gifted characters we have seen thus far.


If people don't adopt Parson's strategies, as I've mentioned before, that I fully expect them to. Then Erf really is broken. One of the hallmarks of Earth wars was no matter what tech or strategies that were brought against the enemy in war. Eventually the enemy picked up on the and started using them right back. From Romans adopting similar calvary tactics in order to beat Hannable, to the NA Indians adopting guns and politics.


Edit: Food for thought: How old is Erf, anyway? How many turns have elapsed since its creation?


I ask myself this a lot. Ahh well, maybe we'll get a little treat one day.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Infidel » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:55 pm

teratorn wrote:Population densities would be a person for every few tens of square kilometers, humans are rare in hunter gatherer societies. About 50,000 years ago the population of humans in Europe (neandertals) is estimated at less than 70,000 people. Those people needed to be fed and clothed, and were managing that with their real real bad tools.

Barely. Population density is irrelevant. It only takes one person to innovate. All you are doing is supporting my point about lack of curiosity and motivation. If you need to get thousands of people together in order to make that one person stand up and innovate, then there is a problem. Even if you have one person on an island, he/she should be innovating.


It had not to do with curiosity or the lack of it, humans thought about plumbing almost as soon as they started building cities and had the technology (pottery) to make pipes. The problem is that these are somewhat expensive things, requiring you to divert resources that could be used for other purposes like having a better army to attack your neighbors, enslave them, and have them carry the water and garbage for you,


The reason Sanitation is not a bad example is because it is not something that should have been, or should be limited to large cities. And sanitation is not limited to plumbing. Simple knowledge to keep flies off your food is sanitation. Washing your hands before handling food, before dressing wounds, using clean, freshly boiled rags to dress wounds, tossing out bad food instead of eating it anyway. Bathing not only yourself, but your pets so they don't get fleas everywhere. etc.. Sure there were a lot of sicknesses going around, but they didn't have to be nearly as bad as they were.

Nonsense, 50,000 years is something like 2500 generations. You can't keep a consistent culture along that time, particularly when only oral tradition is involved and there are no political entities bigger than bands of around 100 people. Any particular behavior that allowed a group to out-compete others in the short term would spread. The simple act of maintaining technology in hunter gatherer societies is impressive and there have to be good practical reasons for why paleolithic toolkits were so conservative.


I acknowledge this point. But I do not see the need for a consistent culture. It is not as if every culture was required to start over from fire.

It's likely that technologies that lasted were the ones that could be easily rediscovered from a rudimentary level of prior knowledge and that could be managed even by someone that wasn't particularly gifted as a tool-maker.


I agree with this.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Dr Pepper » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:32 pm

Wow. At the rate this is going i'll need at least the Rose Bowl to stage Web Monkey Death Match.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Oberon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:23 pm

MarbitChow wrote:There's even a good chance that mages are popped knowing how to craft scrolls.
GaryThunder wrote:Figure out [how to make a scroll]? They were popped with that knowledge.
Hmmm, it's possible. But is it canon? I do not belive that it is. And the Wiki is, as is all too typical, full of completely fabricated (no pun intended) BS with no references to the canon to back it up.
MarbitChow wrote:[On fabrication]A unit doesn't need to learn engineering when they can just pop a twoll or other unit with fabrication.
GaryThunder wrote:By waving their fingers over it and using natural magic. Again, using knowledge they were popped with. You think they go to Twoll School or sit around thinking of new and interesting basket-weaving methods?
Zhopa didn't wave his fingers over anything to create it. He built it from raw materials. And he also didn't just build "Chair, Standard, Style #57." No, he considered very carefully the design, and also worked in a political consideration: Would a low chair or a high chair offer potentially greater offense to his Overlord? He also built Parson his picnic basket, when there were none before it to pattern it after. He made a serviceable basket from a description alone, no mean feat. And tissue paper! This is innovation! Sure, Zhopa isn't the brightest tool in the shed, nor are other twolls. But Sides like Jetstone call twolls "beast", and while it isn't canon it is very likely that this is not a unit type they could or would either pop or turn. The only twoll in Jetstone was used for arkenpliers practice for Ossomer, recall. So, derivatively, if the Royal Sides are not to be at a disadvantage, and all evidence points to them being at an advantage, they can be assumed to have some other unit type which they pop which has fabrication. And their unit type might not be as dim as most twolls appear to be.
MarbitChow wrote:When math is considered magic, it's doubtful that cost-benefit analysis is even being done. But even if it is, why spend 100s of turns developing engineering skills when you can just pop a twoll?
GaryThunder wrote:The problem is that all the effort-benefit equations are popped in their heads. They did not learn them, they just inherently knew them.
Are you two separated at birth? ;) Mathamancy is a magic school or discipline, sure. That does not at all mean that math is unthinkable to anyone not a mathamancer. Overlords are perfectly capable of managing their budgets, Stanley is perfectly capable of finding the cost of the SPWL scroll preposterous. Even twolls can count, and recognize that the number of uncwoaked they have with them is less than the number they started out with. Math cannot be the special province of the mathamancers, and this is canon by example. And as far as assuming that the effort-benefit equations are popped in their heads, this is an assumption, and is again without any reference in the canon. So is my assumption, that the first Overlord to wonder why his city upkeep was lower than normal also discovered that his restless CWL was walking the city each turn, peering into the bank, visiting the butcher shop, etc. Not canon, I'll agree in advance. But there is no proposition that all of the rules are known which can withstand scrutiny. The "basic" rules are known, for whatever set of rules are defined as being basic. That can withstand scrutiny. But the simple fact that casters can innovate new magic items which were not known before, the simple fact that GK can be unaware that archons can DDR the Jetstone troops into a dance fight when they also know that those units by the "basic" rules cannot dance fight, this proves the fact that all of the rules are not known. So we can argue about which rules are in the set of "basic" and which rules are in the set of "discovered", but there can be no argument that all units are popped with a full knowledge or understanding of all of the rules.
MarbitChow wrote:I'll certainly grant you that they are more likely to screw around and pursue hobbies.
And we need look no further than Ben Franklin for a stellar example of someone who both screwed around a lot, and who also turned his hobbies into important innovations. There are many other examples, but my basic point was, and I think you missed it by overlooking the potential of hobbies, that just tinkering and thinking about things has led many people into discovering very important things, without them being in or even near the class of educated scientists or engineers whose job it is to experiment and innovate.
MarbitChow wrote:How many of the idle rich in our own society are advancing human knowledge themselves (not just funding it), vs. those that are spending their money on mostly parties, hookers and drugs?
Far too many, but the ones we hear about the most are the ones who are famously spending their money on mostly parties, hookers and drugs, which leaves the few others rather under-published as a result of our culture's preoccupation with skinny young debutantes who go shave their heads, or steal furs and rolexes, or are photographed getting out of cars with their skirts hiked up exposing themselves to the cameras. On that last, I blame more the cameramen who lie on the ground actively seeking such momentary upskirt glimpses, far more than the skinny young debutantes themselves. Their choice of attire is their own, and were the cameras not present someone might get a thrill for a brief second. With the paparazzi actively seeking such photo ops, a brief second of exposure becomes an immortalized, scandalous eternity. Until the next time some actor beats his girlfriend or is caught hiring a hooker or is filmed wolfing down fast food in a drunken stupor by his daughter. But...I digress. :oops:

Might I suggest, without offering offense, that the lack of complete knowledge of the rules, and the lack of a complete understanding of what magic items can be created and what bi- and tri-mancer spells are available is necessary for the plot? And that this is the reason that this is so? A story where there are no surprises is not typically a very good story.

EDIT: It appears that Lamech has already covered much of this ground, and provided references. Sorry for the department of redundancy department.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Oberon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:41 pm

GaryThunder wrote:The science of construction in Erfworld is quite probably contained to a colony of bored expatriate magic-using philosophers. Not an earthshaking group, socially speaking.
Oh, now! That is so very amusing! Are you sure you don't want to follow that with "What's the worst that can happen?", or some such similar tempting of the fates statement? This entire Book seems to be about a colony of bored expatriate magic-using philosophers bringing about Erfshaking changes.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Oberon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:05 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Point being, those who didn't use a horse relay weren't just stupid. They had other reasons. And to set that horse relay up, those reasons would have to be addressed first, it cannot be that the civilizing hero just steps up, says "do this" and everyone is enlightened from the darkness of their ignorance. Said civilizing hero would have to fight their way against poor organization, poor roads, a sickly horse population, whatever. I'm going too far with this.
Not really. A lot of excellent science fiction and fantasy is based upon your position here. Read L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Saga of Recluse novels, or his Spellsong Cycle. In all of these novels the rulers, whether good or evil, protagonist friendly or antagonist friendly, protagonist led or antagonist led, had real and continuing issues which were grounded in reality. Balancing a budget, political pressures from allies or enemies or other political groups within their own nations. Where to get resources, how to ensure that resources committed are adequately supplied and supported. He writes so contrary to the novels of old where the evil empire just invades and both the good side and the evil side apply all their resources to the struggle without any opposition from any quarter at all. And as any USA citizen who has even lightly followed politics for the past 10 years can tell you, there is no black and white. There are only varying shades of gray, and plenty of people who are more than willing to see you fail even at the cost of their same nation's objectives in order to replace you in a position of political power.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby GaryThunder » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:05 pm

Oh, now! That is so very amusing! Are you sure you don't want to follow that with "What's the worst that can happen?", or some such similar tempting of the fates statement? This entire Book seems to be about a colony of bored expatriate magic-using philosophers bringing about Erfshaking changes.


I realize now what that sounded like. But I don't mean that the casters aren't influential. Certainly, given their vast magical ability coupled with the fact that they're some of the only innovative and scheming units in Erfworld, they're significant parties. But I don't see them as forces for social change specifically. Tech creep? Yes, but slowly and irregularly. Politics havoc? Probably all the time. But social pioneers? Not so much. Also, what tech creep they come up with that isn't magic items is probably largely disregarded by the rest of the world, for the reasons I've mentioned. The casters aren't likely to take their rudimentary construction skills and overturn the Erf building system with them.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby teratorn » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:13 pm

About innovation and such in Erfworld. Wouldn't things built by units without fabrication skills or that fall outside of fabrication skills be considered garbage by Erfworld and disappear at the beginning of next turn?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:27 pm

How many innovations were created by slaves throughout history? There has been much discussion about whether most units are 'free' in Erfworld.

I'm just going to throw this out: what if the rate of innovation in Erfworld is consistent with the rate of innovation on Earth, but the number of actual "free" thinkers is exceedingly small, relative to the whole population?

Only overlords, warlords and casters seem to show any real initiative.

Most overlords spend most of their time planning to attack or defend against their neighbors.

Warlords and casters spend most of their effort advancing the cause of their overlord.

I think we're seeing that innovation is occurring in the only place it actually can right now: the Magic Kingdom.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby ftl » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:31 am

Oberon wrote:Hmmm, it's possible. But is it canon? I do not belive that it is. And the Wiki is, as is all too typical, full of completely fabricated (no pun intended) BS with no references to the canon to back it up.


The quote I was able to find is that
Everybody here pops like food. Fully-formed. Basic abilities intact.


Of course, this leaves ambiguous as to what a "basic" ability is, so doesn't really settle anything.

Is there any support for the reverse, that scrolls are something that casters don't know how to do until they're taught or until they spend time figuring it out?

MarbitChow wrote:[On fabrication]A unit doesn't need to learn engineering when they can just pop a twoll or other unit with fabrication.
GaryThunder wrote:By waving their fingers over it and using natural magic. Again, using knowledge they were popped with. You think they go to Twoll School or sit around thinking of new and interesting basket-weaving methods?
Zhopa didn't wave his fingers over anything to create it. He built it from raw materials. And he also didn't just build "Chair, Standard, Style #57." No, he considered very carefully the design, and also worked in a political consideration: Would a low chair or a high chair offer potentially greater offense to his Overlord? He also built Parson his picnic basket, when there were none before it to pattern it after. He made a serviceable basket from a description alone, no mean feat. And tissue paper! This is innovation! [/quote]

I'm not convinced it's really innovation in the sense that we usually mean it, though. A unit with Fabrication can make a bunch of different things, if asked. Does the set of things it can make ever increase? Like, is there a situation where Zhopa would say "hmm, ten turns ago I didn't know how to make this, and now I figured it out. And now I can show other twolls how to do it!" Simply being able to make a bunch of different things, if asked, isn't really innovation - innovation implies an *increase* in the things you can make, in a way that can be passed along to others. (Levelling up and therefore being able to make more things doesn't seem like it should count.)

Sure, Zhopa isn't the brightest tool in the shed, nor are other twolls. But Sides like Jetstone call twolls "beast", and while it isn't canon it is very likely that this is not a unit type they could or would either pop or turn. The only twoll in Jetstone was used for arkenpliers practice for Ossomer, recall. So, derivatively, if the Royal Sides are not to be at a disadvantage, and all evidence points to them being at an advantage, they can be assumed to have some other unit type which they pop which has fabrication.And their unit type might not be as dim as most twolls appear to be.


Jetstone, at the very least, has their dollamancer.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby fjolnir » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:08 am

Fabrication, is different from stuffamancy which is "wave your fingers and stuff is made" class (containing dirtamancy, changeamancy, and dittomancy) Fabrication takes materials and the person makes things with them. However most of the truly "innovative" fabricated stuff (basket, tp) is parson's doing anyhow and invalid.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:57 am

Oberon wrote:Read L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Saga of Recluse novels, or his Spellsong Cycle.


I'll track some of those down, then.

Oberon wrote:Might I suggest, without offering offense, that the lack of complete knowledge of the rules, and the lack of a complete understanding of what magic items can be created and what bi- and tri-mancer spells are available is necessary for the plot? And that this is the reason that this is so? A story where there are no surprises is not typically a very good story.


I kinda agree; for similar reasons, I changed my mind about the cleverest warlord conceit and how it influences my perception of the story. Only "kinda agree", because I believe it is possible to write a compelling story while constrained by a publicly known and clearly defined rules system.

Presumably, OotS is this, the system in question being DnD. That last bit is key, since DnD is widely known and has been for some time. There must be a whole literature by now about and for powergaming, exploits, minmaxing. Effectively, an author can "farm out" such aspects of the story to the tens of thousands (and more) minmaxers that came before them. Starting from scratch, on a homebrew system, is too much effort for too little gain, story-wise.

(Incidentally, Infidel, our human ability to use the experience of others is an important factor in innovation. Shoulders of giants and everything. But for that to actually be possible, there have to be a few people with the time and resources for this, and their knowledge must propagate in time. Low population densities work against this.)

Also, arguably any "realistic" story (no magic, no sci-fi, not even the hard stuff) must manage surprise and interestingness whilst working within a known "rules system". We don't know all there is to know about the world, not by a long shot, but we have some workable models, some intuition, it serves us well enough for fictional purposes. Indeed, straying too far from that would indicate an author is taking too much license (or forgot to pick a genre).
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Oberon » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:52 am

ftl wrote:Is there any support for the reverse, that scrolls are something that casters don't know how to do until they're taught or until they spend time figuring it out?
There is some, but not enough to be certain. Wanda can cast spells from any school. But she is known to have purchased scrolls from the MK. If casters could create scrolls from spells they can cast, Wanda specifically would have little need to buy them, as she has the informed ability to cast any spell.
ftl wrote:I'm not convinced it's really innovation in the sense that we usually mean it, though. A unit with Fabrication can make a bunch of different things, if asked. Does the set of things it can make ever increase? Like, is there a situation where Zhopa would say "hmm, ten turns ago I didn't know how to make this, and now I figured it out. And now I can show other twolls how to do it!" Simply being able to make a bunch of different things, if asked, isn't really innovation - innovation implies an *increase* in the things you can make, in a way that can be passed along to others. (Levelling up and therefore being able to make more things doesn't seem like it should count.)
The basket is such an example. You wave it away by seeming to discount the capability to make an item as described to you by another, and then you claim that this capability isn't passed to another. Where are those limitations coming from? Why would you conclude that Zhopa would never be able to make another picnic basket, or never be capable of teaching another twoll to make one as well? In fact, Zhopa made the basket immediately after having it described to him. There was no design phase, just an immediate translation of the description into the fabricated object. This is a remarkable ability, or at least it would be in Stupidworld.
ftl wrote:Jetstone, at the very least, has their dollamancer [for fabrication].
Sure, but a randomly popped caster type is no replacement for a deliberately popped unit type with a specific special. For the fabrication special to be equally accessible there must be an equivalent unit with that special available to all Sides.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby Oberon » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:58 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Oberon wrote:Might I suggest, without offering offense, that the lack of complete knowledge of the rules, and the lack of a complete understanding of what magic items can be created and what bi- and tri-mancer spells are available is necessary for the plot? And that this is the reason that this is so? A story where there are no surprises is not typically a very good story.

I kinda agree; for similar reasons, I changed my mind about the cleverest warlord conceit and how it influences my perception of the story. Only "kinda agree", because I believe it is possible to write a compelling story while constrained by a publicly known and clearly defined rules system.
You are correct, and need look no further than Niven for an author who uses known physics as plot "twists" in many of his early stories.*


* Although there have been many physics students who have taken great pleasure in pointing out errors in his works which the layman could never have spotted.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 53

Postby ftl » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:20 am

Oberon wrote:he basket is such an example. You wave it away by seeming to discount the capability to make an item as described to you by another, and then you claim that this capability isn't passed to another. Where are those limitations coming from? Why would you conclude that Zhopa would never be able to make another picnic basket, or never be capable of teaching another twoll to make one as well?


I would, on the contrary, guess that Zhopa can always make picnic baskets if he wants to, and any other Twoll of Zhopa's level or above can do so as well, if asked.

In fact, Zhopa made the basket immediately after having it described to him. There was no design phase, just an immediate translation of the description into the fabricated object. This is a remarkable ability, or at least it would be in Stupidworld.


Exactly. It's a remarkable ability. But is it 'innovation' on Zhopa's part? Did he come up with something new, did he advance technology? Will future Twolls now have more options now that Zhopa's done this one? I'm not convinced. It seems that post-basket, things are exactly where they were before - you describe something to a Twoll, he makes it. I guess now that it's been described once you can use a name instead of a detailed description... but does that really move progress forward that much?

But now that I think about it, a better example for your side is Ace's jetpack. He came up with that on his own, it's at least a new enough idea that Tram and Slately don't know what it is, and it's useful.

Sure, but a randomly popped caster type is no replacement for a deliberately popped unit type with a specific special. For the fabrication special to be equally accessible there must be an equivalent unit with that special available to all Sides.


Does it have to be equally accessible? Different sides have different strengths and strategies.
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