Book 2 – Page 57

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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:47 pm

fractal wrote:I don't think Parson is a caster. No, nothing in the events of the story indicate that he is not (although nothing really says that he is, either). However, Parson is supposed to be a human, from Earth. Humans from Earth can't cast spells. In my opinion, it is much better for the story if Parson solves his problems using his normal human capabilities: brilliant strategy and a clumsy, overweight body. Those are also reasonable warlord attributes. If he's just going to win out using magic, then why not summon the "Perfect Caster" from some other world?



Maybe they can't summon a perfect caster from an other universe simply because... you know, there is only one alternate universe and it's full of cowboys (futurama anyone?)
3 Naughtymancers of different disciplines walk into a bar... wait, forget what I just said. A shockmancer and a croakamancer walk into a bar.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Ytaker » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:14 pm

His players are very adept at fighting him. He's taken the role of the player, but he's best as a GM. If they summon his players they may actually be better at the game than him.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Housellama » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:11 pm

I<3ChocolateMilk wrote:To quote Tifanny Aching, it's still magic even when you know how it's done.

From our perspective Parson is a perfectly ordinary human, more or less.
From Erf's perspective he may very well be a masterclass caster.

I realise that the general debate here is based around evidence found within the updates in respect of game mechanics, but that's just mechanical debating and we're doing exactly what the people from Erf do, which is to try to define things by the rules as we know them.

Let's take a step back and think about what we consider to be magic on Earth. Isn't magic something that works outside the laws of physics, seemingly breaking those laws with ease?
Isn't that exacty what Parson is busy doing on Erf?


THIS is closest to my idea about Parson. To me, Parson is the embodiment of what it means to be a Hippiemancer. At the very beginning, Sizemore says something along the lines of "not even a Grand Abbie could quiet the battle that's coming." Well. He's wrong. Parson understands strategy thoroughly and intimately. And he understands that the best fight is one that is avoided. Parson is consciously and actively searching for a way to exist without constant war. That is the ESSENCE of Hippiemancy, the heart and soul of it.

Parson is a Hippiemancer not by virtue of spells, but by virtue of actions. He is a Hippiemancer because everything that he does is dedicated to creating a world without war. Parson is from a world that creates profit in peace and considers war to be a bad thing. Erf sees peace as an aberration, because it never works. That's why Janis and Company summoned Parson: to make peace work.

THAT is why Parson is a Hippiemancer. He might never cast spells, but Erf sees him as a Caster because he does magic. He crosses boundaries that are seemingly impossible. He wins battles that are seemingly unwinnable. He creates situations that work where they shouldn't. Magic consists of knowing one more thing than everyone else does. The illusionist doesn't do the impossible. He just knows the secret of the trick. But to the audience who doesn't, it's magic. When a doctor brings the dead back to life because they know in detail how the body works, it can seem like magic to those who don't. It's not magic. But that doesn't make it any less miraculous. To Erfworld, that's what Parson. He's a miracle maker. He's the man who will make peace work. And that makes him magic.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Sieggy » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:18 pm

Aaaaahhhh . . . I beg to differ. War is obscenely profitable, except for its victims (losers). If war were truly unprofitable, no one would be waging it. Look at what percentage of the american GDP goes into military spending - believe me, there are a LOT of people reaping huge profits from war.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Housellama » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:44 pm

Sieggy wrote:War is obscenely profitable


To specific individuals and corporations. One could argue that war drives evolution and development, but one could argue the other direction as well.

Sieggy wrote:except for its victims (losers).


The Allies won the war. Ask the French if they felt like winners.

Sieggy wrote:If war were truly unprofitable, no one would be waging it.


Incorrect, to a point. If you define profitable in the broadest possible terms, then sure. But at that point, the argument becomes absurd. People would be waging war regardless. Because we are people. Animals wage war. Bacteria wage war. The prime drive for ALL life is to survive. Life competes for resources. People have just made an art of it. We don't just go to war because This Tribe needs more farmland. We go to war because That Tribe has a different delusion than This Tribe does. People go to war because they are PEOPLE. Not just because they want profit from war. Sometimes it's about profit. But sometimes it's just about being HUMAN. Sometimes wars are fought because humans just don't like other humans so much that they want to kill them.

Sieggy wrote:Look at what percentage of the american GDP goes into military spending - believe me, there are a LOT of people reaping huge profits from war.


Don't confuse Defense with War. There _IS_ a difference. The Department of Defense was created and continues to exist to protect America. Politicians are the ones that use it to wage war. Don't blame the tool for the actions of the hands that hold it.

... There's a rant there, but it's not related to Erfworld. My personal soapbox can wait. I respectfully request that we don't go into that topic here. If you want to discuss it privately, bring it. But this is about Erfworld.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Ytaker » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:24 pm

World war 1 and 2 were especially destructive because of the sheer scale of the wars. Other wars have been profitable, though.

The opium wars. Huge opium profits for britain. Numerous territorial wars in europe gained vast profits for their nations over the long run.

Asymmetric wars are more likely to be profitable. One where a single side crushes another with ease and steals their resources. That is what we've seen in the comic. The war between the royals and the tools has drained a huge amount of profit because they were roughly equal. The war between Jill and Gobwin Knob has been extremely profitable since Gobwin Knob's forces are elsewhere.

In comic, diplomacy has repeatedly shown itself to be a terrible, terrible idea due to treachery. Ansom's death, the recent falling mechanic, the loss of the casters and the princess at Unaroyal. All failed horribly. War is a much better idea than peace.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Housellama » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:04 pm

Ytaker wrote:World war 1 and 2 were especially destructive because of the sheer scale of the wars. Other wars have been profitable, though.

The opium wars. Huge opium profits for britain. Numerous territorial wars in europe gained vast profits for their nations over the long run.

Asymmetric wars are more likely to be profitable. One where a single side crushes another with ease and steals their resources. That is what we've seen in the comic. The war between the royals and the tools has drained a huge amount of profit because they were roughly equal. The war between Jill and Gobwin Knob has been extremely profitable since Gobwin Knob's forces are elsewhere.

In comic, diplomacy has repeatedly shown itself to be a terrible, terrible idea due to treachery. Ansom's death, the recent falling mechanic, the loss of the casters and the princess at Unaroyal. All failed horribly. War is a much better idea than peace.


You're thinking in the short term. Take the combined gross profits of the years of peace between wars, then compare that to the profits generated during wars. Peace is, in the long run, much more profitable. Peace creates stability and sustainability. Sustainability creates steady profit. Steady profit over the long term can very often vastly exceed the output of a risky investment strategy over the same years.

"War is nothing but the continuation of politics by other means." Politicians want to get elected. That is, by definition, a short term goal, set by the date of the next election. Once they get elected, they want to stay elected. But that is the same thing by another name. STILL a short term goal. We see the world in the way that we have been trained to see the world. Instant by instant. "Listen to this soundbyte! Never mind that, here's the newest soundbyte! Now that's old news, this is what you should be listening to!" Our worldview has become smaller and smaller as communication has made our world smaller and smaller. But the bigger picture still exists.

Wars are great things to get elected. Wars are great things to boost this year's profit margins. But in the long term, peace creates returns that continue to give year after year after year. You can build on peace. It's impossible to build on war. Here's the thing about Erfworlders. They are, as far as we know, effectively immortal. We have never seen any reference to an erfworlder dying of old age. With enough skill and luck, an erfworlder could effectively live forever. Taking the point of view of a potentially immortal being, would you want to risk your life time and time again in war, or find a way to create profit without risk in peace?

Yes. So far peace has never been a viable option. It's unprofitable, it leads to treachery and it all around just doesn't work. That's the point of Parson. He's the guy who's going to Make Peace Work. He's the one thing hippiemancy really needs, but previously could never have. "A soujah!" A warlord dedicated to peace. The PERFECT warlord. A warlord so good that he can beat every enemy in his path, and leave the cities behind him producing a profit without resorting to war. THAT'S what the hippiemancers want. They want a warlord who is so terrible and ruthless that he will break a world based on war by conquering it completely, leaving peace in his wake.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby jah77 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:19 pm

Re Parson being a caster, I believe a VERY convincing case has been made on the wiki that Parson IS a caster, and IS a form of hippiemancer -- a signamancer. (See http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Signamancer; http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/ ... ignamancer).

This fits in with pretty much all the facts we've seen. It fits with Janis's statement that he's a hippiemancer, and it fits with his abilities in that he has inner knowledge of things in Erfworld based on their signamancy (appearance, etc), due to Parson's ability to understand the real world references made by that various Erfworld things. It also fits in with his ability to recognize erfworld rules as simply rules that can be bent or broken, and his own ability to break those rules (for example, cursing at the end of book 1). As a signamancer, Parson can recognize the signs that cover the true forms of things, signs that overlay everything in erfworld, and as a signamancer, Parson can access that hidden truth. This explains why he is so good at doing things that others in erfworld wouldn't think of doing or can't do.

Re Parson never having casted, I'm not sure that being a caster requires the unit to actually make smoke and mirrors hand wavy gestures and speak magic phrases. For example, thinkamancy does not appear to require any sort of flashy casting gestures, and neither does dirtamancy, as we've seen recently (http://www.erfworld.com/page/2/). Parson may have been very powerfully casting signamancy all along, especially during planning.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Oberon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:08 pm

Lamech wrote:
Oberon wrote:You must have missed my prior post, where I provided three solid pieces of evidence supporting Parson not being a caster
Your points were not solid in the least.
Well,sure they were. You can choose not to believe them, but denying that they are solid even if not conclusive evidence is just choosing to believe what you want to believe and disregarding the rest.
Lamech wrote:Your first point was the stupid meal called all of GK's casters, casters, and since Parson was not called a caster he is not a caster. But one could use the same logic to claim that Parson is not a heavy since the stupid meal called out heavies as heavies. But Parson IS a heavy. So that point is invalid.
Where is the evidence that Parson is a heavy? He is huge, sure. But he isn't listed as being a heavy. A dwagon could not fly with him mounted, but the heavy special may not be the only reason this could be so. I'm not going to say that he isn't a heavy, because just looking at him at twice the size of "human" Erfworld folk gives a strong impression. I'm just saying that lack of a listed heavy special if he is indeed a heavy isn't evidence for an unlisted caster special meaning that he is also a caster. He also doesn't have the "flying" special, and he can't fly, after all. (Yet, at least...)
Lamech wrote:Your second second point, Parson does not cast spells is also invalid. Casting spells clearly requires some sort of knowledge. Sizemore was taking a class on it.
See, now. Here you're just making crap up. First of all, there's nothing that "clearly" or otherwise supports that a caster must study in their core magic category. Nothing at all. Wanda popped as a croakamancer and was popped knowing how to be a croakamancer without having to go to school first. This is how Erfworld works, fer crying out loud... No childhood, no having to be taught by a parent, no schoolwork. You're popped knowing how to do and be what you were popped as. So if Parson is a hippymancer he is the sole exception to this rule.
Sizemore was being taught hippimancy, agreed. But in the following comic we have Sizemore stating that despite his interest and pursuit, he sucks at anything outside his core magic, while Wanda says that she is just the opposite: She isn't interested in magic outside her core at all, but is still good at many of them. Now, you could claim that Wanda not caring at all about them doesn't mean that she hasn't studied them, but this seems a huge stretch. It does not fit her stated disinterest or her personality. Go ahead, try to make Wanda do something she has no interest in doing! You'll rapidly find that she becomes all spooky and hot and OBEY ME!

And yeah, Parson has had to learn all kinds of things. One of those things was not how to be a warlord. He had to learn the rules, and he had to learn all of the things that would come with any other magical transportation into a strange land: He had to learn the personal political implications of the ruler and his top advisers, he had to learn who the real political players were outside his own new host country, who they were, what their motivations were, and how he could attempt to play them. And he had to learn to walk stairs and be responsible for sending people to their deaths and how to work the actual presence of real magic into his strategy and tactics.

But he didn't have to learn how to give a unit an order, or even how to give effective orders. The same should hold true if he is somehow a caster, as there is a precedent already in place for unit type skills being importable from Stupid world.
Lamech wrote:Your third point is that there are no warlord/casters. So Parson can't be a warlord caster. But there are no non-caster/portal-users. Then using your same logic I could claim, Parson can not be a non-caster/portal-user. And since he is a portal user he must be a caster. Which once again means your logic is invalid.
I acknowledged the puzzle. I admit the ambiguity. You seem to be the only one here who is insisting that your decision that Parson must be a caster should be accepted despite all the solid evidence against it. I find it unconvincing that Parson is a caster. I may be proven wrong.
fractal wrote:I don't think Parson is a caster. No, nothing in the events of the story indicate that he is not (although nothing really says that he is, either). However, Parson is supposed to be a human, from Earth. Humans from Earth can't cast spells. In my opinion, it is much better for the story if Parson solves his problems using his normal human capabilities: brilliant strategy and a clumsy, overweight body. Those are also reasonable warlord attributes. If he's just going to win out using magic, then why not summon the "Perfect Caster" from some other world?
This.
I might not be terribly interested in a narrative about the perfect warlord who also "just happens" to be a powerful caster. That sort of writing is Eragon level... I'd accept some kind of involvement in spell casting, along the lines of the spell he ordered the tri-mancer link to cast at the end of TBfGK. If Parson attunes to a 'tool, I'd accept his inclusion in a casting link as a tool wielder, but not as a caster unit. I find the Chekhov's gun of 4 known 'tools and a quad-mancer link being impossible to be strong signamancy, if also being strong (tin foil)hatamancy.
Jinren wrote:(yeah I know [Janis] only called [Parson] a Hippiemancer on-screen after he went through, but wasn't she also involved in making the original summon spell? She would have had other opportunities to name him a Hippiemancer before that point).
She wasn't involved in the making of it, if we can believe either of the two different lists of magician types involved. Those were: Findamancy/Predictamancy later described as Findamancy/Lookamancy.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Oberon » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:01 pm

Housellama wrote:Incorrect, to a point. If you define profitable in the broadest possible terms, then sure. But at that point, the argument becomes absurd. People would be waging war regardless. Because we are people. Animals wage war. Bacteria wage war. The prime drive for ALL life is to survive. Life competes for resources. People have just made an art of it. We don't just go to war because This Tribe needs more farmland. We go to war because That Tribe has a different delusion than This Tribe does. People go to war because they are PEOPLE. Not just because they want profit from war. Sometimes it's about profit. But sometimes it's just about being HUMAN. Sometimes wars are fought because humans just don't like other humans so much that they want to kill them.
Um, wow. Please tell me that you do realize that there are still places on Stupidworld where people do indeed go to war "because This Tribe needs more farmland." Or because someone took their vineyard. Or because they need lebensraum. It's not all about the delusions and the politics.
Housellama wrote:Don't confuse Defense with War. There _IS_ a difference. The Department of Defense was created and continues to exist to protect America. Politicians are the ones that use it to wage war. Don't blame the tool for the actions of the hands that hold it.
Again, please tell me that you're aware that the "Department of the Defense" sprang from a name and organizational change from the "Department of War." There is no real distinction between "defense" and war, after a certain point. The purpose of a standing military force is to be used to advance the agenda of the state. If you really believe that some kind of pure defensive role is even tangential to the real purpose of a modern military, you need a civics refresher course, pronto.
I love my country, but that does not mean that I stick my head in the sand and pretend that the worlds largest military expenditure by a factor of 6 (as compared to the runner up, China) or by a factor of 2 (as compared to the EU, which comprises 27 different countries) just sits around and only plays a defensive role. If there were no real return on that investment, it would cease to be invested in. And we do NOT need the military we have for a strict defensive role, by a factor of many.
Housellama wrote:... There's a rant there, but it's not related to Erfworld. My personal soapbox can wait. I respectfully request that we don't go into that topic here. If you want to discuss it privately, bring it. But this is about Erfworld.
The author has specifically stated that politics, religion,and other controversial subjects are not forbidden on this site, as they were on the prior site. So before you trot out your rather uninformed positions and then attempt to shut down the rebuttal by claiming non-relevance with Erfworld, just be aware that such relevance isn't an issue here.
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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 57

Postby drachefly » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:06 pm

If there were no real return on that investment, it would cease to be invested in.


Well, no. That's what the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex is for: making sure our military is big enough for its industrial suppliers, not big enough for the USA.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Ytaker » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:29 pm

Housellama wrote:
You're thinking in the short term. Take the combined gross profits of the years of peace between wars, then compare that to the profits generated during wars. Peace is, in the long run, much more profitable. Peace creates stability and sustainability. Sustainability creates steady profit. Steady profit over the long term can very often vastly exceed the output of a risky investment strategy over the same years.


And men with higher levels of testosterone (and so, a higher likelihood for taking risks) tend to earn more money on the stock market. You're making hugely vast conclusions on sparse information. War can accelerate technological development-. War can prevent genocide of jewish scientists, ala ww2. Peace can lead to chaos if the other side doesn't want it. All of your conclusions can be true, but the opposite can be true too. And the opium wars were very profitable for britain for a very long time.

The main advantage of peace is sustained scientific development, which war can interupt. That's not a problem for erfworld. War actually makes their scientists better at magic.

"War is nothing but the continuation of politics by other means." Politicians want to get elected. That is, by definition, a short term goal, set by the date of the next election. Once they get elected, they want to stay elected. But that is the same thing by another name. STILL a short term goal. We see the world in the way that we have been trained to see the world. Instant by instant. "Listen to this soundbyte! Never mind that, here's the newest soundbyte! Now that's old news, this is what you should be listening to!" Our worldview has become smaller and smaller as communication has made our world smaller and smaller. But the bigger picture still exists.


That's interesting I guess

Wars are great things to get elected. Wars are great things to boost this year's profit margins. But in the long term, peace creates returns that continue to give year after year after year. You can build on peace. It's impossible to build on war. Here's the thing about Erfworlders. They are, as far as we know, effectively immortal. We have never seen any reference to an erfworlder dying of old age. With enough skill and luck, an erfworlder could effectively live forever. Taking the point of view of a potentially immortal being, would you want to risk your life time and time again in war, or find a way to create profit without risk in peace?


Jill greatly enjoys war and deliberately risked her life time and time again despite not having to. And she is building up her cities on war. She's getting a lot of profits.

Yes. So far peace has never been a viable option. It's unprofitable, it leads to treachery and it all around just doesn't work. That's the point of Parson. He's the guy who's going to Make Peace Work. He's the one thing hippiemancy really needs, but previously could never have. "A soujah!" A warlord dedicated to peace. The PERFECT warlord. A warlord so good that he can beat every enemy in his path, and leave the cities behind him producing a profit without resorting to war. THAT'S what the hippiemancers want. They want a warlord who is so terrible and ruthless that he will break a world based on war by conquering it completely, leaving peace in his wake.


That sort of peace is utterly different from any peace in our world. Peace of the dead.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby ryanroyce » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:58 pm

You know... a thought occurs to me. We don't really, truly know that Parson is even a genuine warlord. Yes, he's the Chief Warlord, but maybe that's just a title that could be applied to any Command unit (including a Caster). We only know for a fact that Parson grants a +2 bonus to his Side's units. The Erf-logical assumption is that this bonus is a Leadership bonus, but that isn't necessarily the case. No one can see his stats, so no one can be certain that he actually has the Leadership special. What if his +2 is, somehow, more akin to the bonus Sizemore grants to Golems or Wanda provides for Uncroaked/Decrypted? Hippimancy is "people magic", after all, so perhaps his bonus applies to all people. That doesn't explain dwagons getting the bonus (presumably, Stanley would have noticed if his dwagons weren't getting a warlord bonus), though. Hmm.

Regardless, at the moment, it doesn't really matter where Parson's +2 comes from, just so long as we understand that its source isn't necessarily Leadership.

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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Jinren » Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:20 am

ryanroyce wrote:You know... a thought occurs to me. We don't really, truly know that Parson is even a genuine warlord. Yes, he's the Chief Warlord, but maybe that's just a title that could be applied to any Command unit (including a Caster). We only know for a fact that Parson grants a +2 bonus to his Side's units.


Given that Stanley was able to be promoted to Warlord and then beyond from a non-commander position, Parson's leadership stat may actually be his only real stat: commander status can apparently be added to a unit at any time, when they're promoted, so that one normal Erf stat presumably exists on top of the rest of Parson's statless existence, having been applied to him after his arrival.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby ryanroyce » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:12 am

Jinren wrote:
ryanroyce wrote:You know... a thought occurs to me. We don't really, truly know that Parson is even a genuine warlord. Yes, he's the Chief Warlord, but maybe that's just a title that could be applied to any Command unit (including a Caster). We only know for a fact that Parson grants a +2 bonus to his Side's units.


Given that Stanley was able to be promoted to Warlord and then beyond from a non-commander position, Parson's leadership stat may actually be his only real stat: commander status can apparently be added to a unit at any time, when they're promoted, so that one normal Erf stat presumably exists on top of the rest of Parson's statless existence, having been applied to him after his arrival.


Oh, Parson has stats, they just can't be seen. Such as: being (until this Turn) a Garrison unit with 0 move. He counts as a tunnel-capable Heavy unit. His upkeep is about 1000 schmuckers a turn. He grants a +2 bonus to all units on his Side. He can enter the Magic Kingdom. These are facts. Parson having the Leadership special is an assumption (a logically sound one, admittedly), but not a fact. Strictly speaking, it's an assumption that Parson even has levels... though I suspect that this assumption will be confirmed by the end of Book 2.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby No one in particular » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:36 pm

I wonder what leveling up will feel like to Parson? Considering the minor rush he seemed to get from promoting himself to a field unit, should we worry about it becoming addictive? Will Parson become a relentless killing machine, always looking to up his level just one more time, man, one more, I need the hits, man!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby fractal » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:47 pm

No one in particular wrote:I wonder what leveling up will feel like to Parson? Considering the minor rush he seemed to get from promoting himself to a field unit, should we worry about it becoming addictive? Will Parson become a relentless killing machine, always looking to up his level just one more time, man, one more, I need the hits, man!

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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby the_tick_rules » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:48 pm

Good one.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby Decorus » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:13 pm

His upkeep is 1141 schmuckers a turn. The additional 141 comes from not being a garrison only unit.
He is a lvl 2 Warlord: Special
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Re: Book 2 – Page 57

Postby No one in particular » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:25 pm

Just something to remember: the stupid meal does NOT contain complete information.

Still, you raise an interesting point... how DID Parson get to level 2? When did that happen?
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