Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:30 pm

DoctorJest wrote:Clay's explanation specifically describes actions taken by the unit (i.e. a good roll being a parry of an attack), and the outcome of the unit's "rolls" (decisions). Environmental factors would be penalties or bonuses to that roll, not the unit's own dice. Luckamancy is really just loading the dice (for a while).


Gamewise, dice represent outcomes of actions; example, hit (or parry) rolls. Initiative or spot checks are also of this mold. "Loading" these dice is functionally similar to providing a bonus/malus from some exterior factor. Very rarely if ever does any game represent decisions by dice rolls.

DoctorJest wrote:Game Rules absolutely do NOT scoff at elegance.


Hah, that's a chortle. Calvinball.

If that's too fictional and parodic of an example, try literally anything from Magic: the Gathering with its byzantine turn structure and apparently haphazard extensions, all the way down to Soccer (or as the civilized world calls it, Football) and its offside rule. Pick almost any game you'd like, and you'll see either rules that exist merely to "patch" the system (the offside rules, various versions of billiards cca the 17th century, chess' no repetition rule, Go I think has similar etc), or a rule system that is made complex just for the sake of it, with very little concern for any unifiying principle. Think of it this way, do you suppose spell effects are deduced starting from some hidden law in that fictional universe, some equivalent of variation of momentum equals force? Or rather, spell effects are made up haphazardly, then patched up when it becomes clear a certain exploit is just too annoying?

DoctorJest wrote:And upon what basis do you say that magic in Erf "scoffs at elegance"?


Turnamancy. I don't just mean Kingworld here for once. This magic system operates by puns, not an actual affinity between influenced domains (time slices and loyalty in this case).

But I don't just mean "magic in Erf scoffs at elegance". I mean magic in fiction in general scoffs at elegance. If I need to explain why, "a wizard did it" should suffice.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:21 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:But I don't just mean "magic in Erf scoffs at elegance". I mean magic in fiction in general scoffs at elegance. If I need to explain why, "a wizard did it" should suffice.

That depends quite heavily on the author, however. Ursula K. Leguin's Earthsea and Tolkien are great examples of the 'magic is a vague power'-type of literature, while Lyndon Hardy's first book (Master of the Five Magics) and most of Brandon Sanderson's works have well-defined, almost science-like magic that is fairly elegant in it's simplicity. The most elegent the magic system is, the more limited the results that are available to a practitioner. Magic intervention in free-flowing works tends to be more of the wish-fulfillment variety. Well-defined magic structures tend to be more about magic as restricted plot device instead of deus-ex-magica.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby the_tick_rules » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:28 pm

We all knew dice were coming in sooner or later.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:00 pm

CNagy wrote:2. any overwhelming defeat
However, I'll grant you on technical terms that the military rout, which one would assume is the more applicable, does contain an element of retreat. The word itself, however, does not have to include a disorganized retreat.[/quote]

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I'minUrDirtz: It's turning into a rout down here."


Okay, you're right. I got the context wrong. He would have said, "They're routing," if my definition was correct. Turning into a rout indicates the level of victory, not the state of the enemy. Thank you for forcing me to look that up, and apologies for getting it wrong the first time. I wasn't being fastidious.

So, absolutely, the phrase does not indicate anyone is fleeing against the Rules.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby BCCroaker » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:50 pm

Surely it's "they are being routed" rather than "they are routing"? It's something that is done to you not something you do yourself.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby joosy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:09 pm

And after 18 turns, Wanda is the same level as Luckamancer Clay. Even with battle I think that may be pretty quick levelling for a caster. The fact that she was popped with the nobility special is why.

So now I am wondering... if a caster were to pop when a side was trying to produce an heir would that mean that a caster could then become an heir and also perhaps a ruler? Or could a caster be designated heir via schmuckers? So far the only possible example has been Charlie and we still don't know what the story is with him. We know that he either is, or has full control over, the ruler for his side and may or may not be a caster.

I would imagine that a caster ruled side wouldn't last very long in Erfworld unless they had some really good advisers and warlords but those probably topple from within as the Warlords may view the caster as a weak ruler.

Hmm.. now I'm wondering if any ruler in Erfworld has ever abdicated the throne or if that is even possible without croaking. I like to think that it is an as yet unexplained process like spinning off a new side.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:55 pm

joosy wrote:And after 18 turns, Wanda is the same level as Luckamancer Clay. Even with battle I think that may be pretty quick levelling for a caster. The fact that she was popped with the nobility special is why.

You're leaping to a conclusion. Bogroll leveled twice on a single kill, and he wasn't noble. The first few levels come extremely easily.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby joosy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:28 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
joosy wrote:And after 18 turns, Wanda is the same level as Luckamancer Clay. Even with battle I think that may be pretty quick levelling for a caster. The fact that she was popped with the nobility special is why.

You're leaping to a conclusion. Bogroll leveled twice on a single kill, and he wasn't noble. The first few levels come extremely easily.


Probably true. However, Wanda is only 18 turns old while Dice has been around for what I assume is a significant more amount of time and now they are the same level. Of course this could just be an example of the difference between levelling via combat vs levelling via training/casting non-offensive spells.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Sieggy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:39 pm

Or not leveling by being a lazy, slovenly caster who sits around a gaming table all day playing with dice . . .
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby DarknessD » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:33 pm

This was an extremely interesting and informative update. Unfortunately, it was also apparently a bit confusing; how I interpreted it seems to be the exact opposite of how some other people interpreted it.

I think one of the key phrases to take note of is:
The dice describe the world. They don’t determine it.

It's not a perfect phrase, since technically something like a miss is determining the world, but it does communicate the fact that the dice aren't the ultimate deciding factor. The character determines the action, while the dice only describe the result of their choice.

If that's not clear, think of all the characters in Erfworld as D&D characters. Not just any D&D characters, either, but player D&D characters. (If you're not familiar with D&D, think of pretty much any protagonist from a video game with RPG elements, but with more freedom.) What they try to do is completely up to them: they can try to attack, block, parry, cast a spell, run away, shout, dance, whatever. They're probably only limited by their imaginations.

Note the word "try", however, as that's where the dice (and Luckamancy) come in: how well they do with their chosen action. When a unit tries to attack and rolls a one, he or she misses. A four would indicate a direct hit. Even in the "how well" aspect, the dice aren't the sole determining factor. An ordinary infantry, for instance, isn't going to be able to cast a spell no matter how hard she tries. The rules of Erfworld prevent her from doing it, much in the same way the rules of physics prevent you from flying by simply flapping your arms up and down quickly. Similarly, present-Wanda is such a proficient croakamancer, she probably wouldn't fail to uncroak a single body even on a really bad "roll".


Clay's explanation was pretty eye opening for me - I didn't realize how much free will units actually have. If they have control over their individual actions, then they could have control over their actions as a whole. Loyalty as explained by Parson gets in the way of that, but Clay's explanation of dice also seems applicable to loyalty as well: the loyalty doesn't determine the person, the person determines the loyalty. Units don't follow orders because of some number, but because of the same reasons people choose to follow orders in real life: it's the law, it's their job, it fits their ideals, if they don't they'll be killed and tortured in the afterlife, etc.. Loyalty just represents their likely-hood to be motivated by such things.

If a unit's actions aren't determined by dice or loyalty, then that would leave only a few things that seem to take away their control, such as the fact that they auto-engage when unlead. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a logical explanation for that that didn't include the loss of free will, too. It could be (another) case of mistaking cause and effect.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby CNagy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:34 pm

joosy wrote:And after 18 turns, Wanda is the same level as Luckamancer Clay. Even with battle I think that may be pretty quick levelling for a caster. The fact that she was popped with the nobility special is why.


Wanda has nobility? Where was that confirmed? Last I checked, sides ruled by an overlord cannot pop royal or noble units.

DarknessD wrote:Note the word "try", however, as that's where the dice (and Luckamancy) come in: how well they do with their chosen action. When a unit tries to attack and rolls a one, he or she misses. A four would indicate a direct hit.


I think you are putting the cart before the horse. When a unit attacks and misses, a Luckamancer rationalizes that as a bad roll of the die, or a poorly dealt hand (or whatever gambling/chance construct they project their art onto). A one would not indicate a miss, but rather describe a miss. A four would describe a hit.

This part is somewhat hypothetical. Luckamancy is on the Erf axis of magic, which presumably deals with the reality of Erf. The Luckamancer when plying his trade projects the result he wants in terms that he readily understands; games of chance. Thus, any number of reality factors that might need changing get boiled down to high or low, favorable or unfavorable. But Luckamancy isn't on the Fate axis, so it really can't skew the result past a certain point (Clay's one die vs. many). It's all a bit confusing, because Clay intimated that Wanda was Fate-protected, but that she was also only one unit. Perhaps he doesn't understand what is on her (as it is outside his specialty). It is also possible that this is the reason that Wanda has her current-day viewpoint regarding Fate: that you only make the journey easier or harder, that the destination is the same. Perhaps she fights fate in an attempt to preserve her Side, and witnesses firsthand that while Fate trumps Luckamancy in terms of survival, that doesn't mean the path will be at all pleasant. If I'm not making any sense, it is because I am tired.
Last edited by CNagy on Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:43 pm

joosy wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:
joosy wrote:And after 18 turns, Wanda is the same level as Luckamancer Clay. Even with battle I think that may be pretty quick levelling for a caster. The fact that she was popped with the nobility special is why.

You're leaping to a conclusion. Bogroll leveled twice on a single kill, and he wasn't noble. The first few levels come extremely easily.


Probably true. However, Wanda is only 18 turns old while Dice has been around for what I assume is a significant more amount of time and now they are the same level. Of course this could just be an example of the difference between levelling via combat vs levelling via training/casting non-offensive spells.


Not probably. Word of the Titans states that leveling takes an exponentially long time, so the early levels come fast and hard.

Further, as a Luckamancer whose effects persist across Turns, Clay will have spent little time in combat and rarely leveled. Wanda is right there on the front line commanding her troops. She has lots of opportunity, and Clay has none.

No, there is absolutely no evidence that Wanda is noble just because she has gained levels faster than... nothing. we have no idea how long it took Clay to gain his levels. There is no relative measure, so we don't know if Wanda was fast or slow.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 007

Postby Sir_Dr_D » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:24 am

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Gamewise, dice represent outcomes of actions; example, hit (or parry) rolls. Initiative or spot checks are also of this mold. "Loading" these dice is functionally similar to providing a bonus/malus from some exterior factor. Very rarely if ever does any game represent decisions by dice rolls.


I interpreseted the decisions that Clay was talking about, was all the little factors that go into the intuitve thinking behind single actions. When a person tries to hit someone with a sword there is a lot of little intutive decision made. Is it a high blow , or a low blow. How fast and how hard? Do you make a sudden attack, or do you wait until the opponents has a hole in its defense? What sort of feint would this opponent fall for? How well a unit decides these factors makes the difference between a good attack, and a bad attack. I interpreted Clay as saying these factors are represented in games by a dice roll. It would be up to the players and game masters to give an inworld description as to why an attack was good or bad. In erfworld, it is reversed. How good those little intuitve decisions the unit makes for an attack, will be translated into a dice roll. (From there I hypothesize that this translated dice roll, along with other envirnomental factors, is used by the numbers axis to determine an outcome.) A Luckamancer causes units to make better inutive decisions. It wouldn't allow units to attack better then there normal maxmim, it just makes it more likely they attack with their maximum.

In all I liked this update. I could never understand before why Luckamany was int he erf axis, instead of the numbers. This explains it, as well as some other fundamental principles behind erfworld. I also liked how it gave a more scientific explaination behind luck.
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