Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby zuche » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:17 am

vintermann wrote:Instead, I'm going to engage in some predictamancy: There's a law of threes in storytelling, at any case there's a law of no twos.


Chekhov's gun.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby rlc » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:28 am

Lamech wrote: This is vastly less powerful than kingworld.


True, but this is a single caster spell, versus a multi(two? threee?) caster link with a TOOL involved.

The tools are literally game breakers (or, I guess, literally game MAKERS).
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby OneHugeTuck » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:48 pm

It seems that everyone is assuming that Wanda et all can just leave.

Why is that, exactly? As they obviously not only didn't leave, but didn't mention that as an option.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby ParsonIsOP » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:29 pm

vintermann wrote:Wanda has been offered a peaceful way of embracing her fate once, through Delphi's back room deal. She refused that, at advantage to herself (she became Chief Caster).

Fuck. Delphi. Like the Oracle of Delphi. Duh.

No, I don't have a direct response to your point, but I saw you mention her name and it hit me like a hammer. It's such an obvious clue about how Predictamancy works. By definition, prophecies cannot be accurate if they could ever change a predetermined ouctome. The prophecy itself needn't cause the events in question. Minimally, they don't interfere. In essence, this is the type of prophecy that exists in the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex.

Basically, this would imply that it's not a Dune-esque style of prophecy where multiple agencies with foresight can affect abstract and intuited models about the future (so more prophets make matters more confusing because you cannot account for them all). This style of prophecy is basically a projected simulation of what will happen given certain "if" parameters and limited information (i.e. if I do "x" will "y" or "z" happen?). Given that Dune setting has such an emphasis on making "human computers" in the form of Mentats and the Bene Gesserit, this would make sense. Prophets in the Dune setting seem all-knowing but that's only because they're just that much better at certain unconscious skills. The closest equivalent in Erfworld to this style of prophecy would actually be Mathamancers, not Predictamancers.

Instead, Predictamancy automatically account for hidden variables. It is a 100% accurate conclusion that accounts for all hidden and contingent variables, but just isn't as precise as you might like it to be. So it is capable of omitting crucial details, but the details it does give are guaranteed to be true.

We can infer a lot from Parson's gauntlet Mathamancy because it produces statistical projections based on information that needs to be updated for it to be useful. It doesn't predict guarantees because it is a tool that is engineered around the assumption that no statistical model has comprehensive information.

In an upcoming update, she will get the final "offer" from fate. Third time's the charm. And this time it won't be possible to escape, and her side will pay the ultimate price as she tries.

I still think the idea of "embracing your fate" is idiotic. If an event is predetermined, your embracing your fate or not isn't going to affect a damn thing. Your psychological state actually causes your fate when it normally wouldn't or simply wouldn't interfere with what's going to happen anyway.

My interpretation of these events is that Wanda was destined to "escape" being turned-over to the enemy the first time. It just so happened that Delphi didn't Predict that this would happen. Just like how she did not Predict how her philosophy will rub-off on Wanda and turn her into the same embittered control freak that we later see. These things were destined to happen, it's just that nobody knew that.

Both Wanda and Delphi irrationally believe that their choices has some great mystical power over their fates and that it's concerned with punishing them when they make bad decisions. The reality is that "Fate," such as it is, does not care. It is impersonal and has no special plan or privileges to dole out to people. Only a narcissist assumes otherwise.

I think it's supposed to be the Greek sense of tragic irony. But what the hell do I know about the ancient Greeks.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Dunbar » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:42 pm

Have we ever gotten confirmation that erfworld predictamancers are always right? That if they predict something it will happen? Though how it happens is malleable...Wanda will serve under Olive Branch, but how she gets there is a mystery.

If predictamancy is 100% accurate, that brings up some interesting points. For one, it's presumed that you can predict the important battles then use a luckamancer to tilt the odds to make sure you win those battles. But what if you predict about the battle and Kilo and the answer is "You will not take the city", then no amount of luck will change that as fate is decided, so you attack somewhere else. But even then, fate is decided. You could predict that you will conquer Kilo, then why even try to do it? Send in a handful of pikers and watch Fate insure that the prediction comes true. Then again, it could mean that you will conquer it, but it won't happen for 20 turns, and you lose the battle only to take Kilo much later on. I'm struggling to find the usefulness of predictamancy here.

Also, if predicted events have to happen, then what if you act directly against them? What if they tried to disband Wanda? Would the leader just not be able to do it? Would Fate drop an anvil on his head before he could finish the command? Does this mean if you are Predicted to do some future action that you are safe until that happens? In a way I see how embracing your fate works in your favor. If your fate simply cannot be avoided, if it 100% will happen no matter what you do, then any action you take that is counter to that fate will 100% fail. So in that sense embracing fate makes life easier.

However, embracing fate is easier said than done....in the Avatar TV series, General Iroh was fated to conquer the city of Ba Sing Se. As general of the fire nation, he attacked the city, only to have his son be killed and for him to abandon the field in defeat and be exiled for his failure. Many years later the fire nation has conquered the city, and Iroh returns and conquers the city, realizing only now that he fate was not to conquer it for the fire nation, but to conquer it in the name of the earth kingdom and free it from the fire nation. So attempting to embrace his fate was the harder path...though if he hadn't attacked the city as general of the fire nation, he would never have ended up leading the resistance to free the city from the fire nation...or rather he would have, since he was fated to conquer the city, but maybe it would have been a less painful path.

In short, Fate has you by the short hairs I guess. Which brings me back to the value of predictamancy....if all predictamancers are essentially Cassandra from Greek myth, who had the ability to see the future but the inability to change it, what good are they? Whatever they predict will come to pass, and attempting to avoid it will end in tragedy, but attempting to embrace it may not be the right path either? How much of the future is predicted? How much free will do any erfworlders really have?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Saladman » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:19 pm

Faq under Banhammer used a predictomancer to predict when enemy units would come in range of their cities so they could be veiled. So there is such a thing as a useful, outcome-neutral prediction that you can still do something about.

The trick would seem to be sticking to the tactical when-and-where, but not who wins. Unfortunately it's not clear how voluntary the Cassandra type are. Whether the 'mancer has to ask, or it surprises you when you're asking a tactical question, or a fit just takes you out of the blue. Certainly Faq did get their own dose of the Cassandra type in the form of "Faq will fall" and "Wanda will attune an arkentool." The second of which being told to Wanda led to Faq falling in the way it did - thanks much!

My unsupported guess is you can get the grand, Fated predictions both voluntarily and otherwise. Someone else suggested, and I like the idea given how she comes across, that Delphie is just in over her head and has gone to the well more than is wise.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby ftl » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:33 pm

ParsonIsOP wrote:I still think the idea of "embracing your fate" is idiotic. If an event is predetermined, your embracing your fate or not isn't going to affect a damn thing.


The event is predetermined, but how you get there isn't. You can take the easy way, or the hard way.

In this example, it was Predicted that Wanda would serve under Olive Branch. There was an easy way to do this - agree to be traded away to Haffaton in exchange for a treaty.

But Wanda refused the easy way. What's Predicted to happen WILL HAPPEN anyway, but if you refuse to take the easy ways of doing it, well, eventually you'll be forced into the hard way.

Both Wanda and Delphi irrationally believe that their choices has some great mystical power over their fates and that it's concerned with punishing them when they make bad decisions.


I think you're misunderstanding them entirely. They don't think Fate will directly 'punish them for making bad decisions'. What's Fated to happen is what will happen - you punish YOURSELF by trying to fight it. It's not the wall that's punishing the person that bashes a hole in it with their head, it's the person's own fault for refusing to take the door. They wind up on the other side either way, but one of the paths leads to a concussion.

The reality is that "Fate," such as it is, does not care. It is impersonal and has no special plan or privileges to dole out to people. Only a narcissist assumes otherwise.


Exactly. Fate does not care. It's Fate that Wanda WILL SERVE under Olive Branch; it's up to Wanda to make sure she takes the easy way there, such as by accepting a treaty where she gets traded away, rather than by trying to fight Fate, and eventually winding up just taking a far more painful road to the same place. We don't yet know what that road is, and maybe I'm wrong about that, but I think that's what it's leading to.

I think that's how modern-day Wanda sees it, and based on what we've seen that view may very well be accurate. I expect that this prequel will get to her serving under Olive Branch, as was Fated, but in some way which really sucks for her (maybe destruction of her side, maybe having to Uncroak her family members, or something like that).
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:52 pm

ftl wrote:The event is predetermined, but how you get there isn't. You can take the easy way, or the hard way.


Not proven. And it can't be proven. That's the problem with Prophecy. If it comes true, then it is suggested the Prophecy knew the future. If it hasn't come true yet, you believe that it will in the future. What you can't know is that if another choice was made, that the Prophecy would have not come true. You're viewing Prophecy aas controlling the future, instead of seeing the future. If ti sees the future, it will compensate for your choices and show you the future based on your choices of knowing the Prophecy. There may be no easy way to the future, because the Prophecy foresawthat you would take the hard way. If you took the easy way, it would have predicted a future based on taking that path, with a potentially different end result.

In this example, it was Predicted that Wanda would serve under Olive Branch. There was an easy way to do this - agree to be traded away to Haffaton in exchange for a treaty.

But Wanda refused the easy way. What's Predicted to happen WILL HAPPEN anyway, but if you refuse to take the easy ways of doing it, well, eventually you'll be forced into the hard way.


And yet there is a third option. Goodminton captures Olive right here. And that winds up being the easiest path for Wanda. Olive is a Master, and an obvious candidate for Chief.

I think you're misunderstanding them entirely. They don't think Fate will directly 'punish them for making bad decisions'. What's Fated to happen is what will happen - you punish YOURSELF by trying to fight it.


False. You can't fight what you do not know. Wanda isn't trying to avoid the two Predictions. She hasn't run. She is performing her function, and she has suffered not at all for it. She is in danger now, but Rob has already curve-balled us two times in this story, with the non-obvious path resulting in the Predicted future. I think that will continue to happen. It's obvious Goodminton loses here. No, I have already pointed out in this thread that Uncroaked may be unaffected by Flower Power because they lack Life, and if they aren't, then all Wanda has to do to slauhgter everyone here is re-stack her Fellows without Leadership. Haffaton cannot defend themselves and it will be a slaughter. It's predicated on an unproven assumption, but Rob has done that to us twice, as described.

It's not the wall that's punishing the person that bashes a hole in it with their head, it's the person's own fault for refusing to take the door. They wind up on the other side either way, but one of the paths leads to a concussion.


This reminds me of Wanda's comments at the end of Book 1. "The path was not clear." Wanda followed the obvious, easiest path, seeking to attune to the Hammer first. The obvious path resulted in the worst pain, in the fall of FAQ. The easiest path can be the most painful path, and yet still the right path, since in this case it put her in position for a second Arkentool to approach her, and yet she could not have foreseen that possible outcome. Or the hardest path can be the least painful path, and still be the wrong path. Predictamancy does not provide a view of which path is the right one, the wrong one, the easiest, or the hardest, and you don't always suffer for failure to try to find the right path.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Mrtyuh » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:42 pm

We still don't know exactly how Predictamancy works, and this is largely due to the Predictamancers themselves. So far, every Predictamancer we've seen has been a manipulative sort who seems perfectly willing to lie, which means we can't take everything they say about their discipline at face value. For examle, when Marie tells Janis that she Predicts that Janis will stack with Parson, I get the distinct impression that she is manipulating Janis as opposed to making an actual Prediction. We also don't know how things like level and mastery may affect their proficiency. We do know that mastery is independent of level. Delphie was a Level 4 Adept, while Wanda is a Level 3 Novice at this stage in Book 0. Sizemore has gained 3 levels since the Battle of Gobwin Knob started, however, he is still an Adept. As far as level goes, it seems to affect the caster's amount of juice and their proficiency. As far as mastery goes, we could try comparing the Master-class casters, Wanda and Jack, against the Adept-class, Sizemore and Maggie, but it would be like comparing apples to oranges since their fields are so different.

As for Predicatmancy, assuming we can take what the Predictamancers themselves have said at face value, there are things they cannot see. Marie has said that she cannot see past the current turn, that everything after is cloudy. Depending on the choices made this turn, the future will be different, so everything is cloudy. She made a similar comment about the Fall of Faq. She said she knew they would fall and warned Banhammer, but the actual fall was cloudy and she couldn't see how it happened. She knew that Sizemore was returning to Portal Park, but she did not seem to know that Parson was returning. On the other hand, she, and other Predicatmancers, seemed to know there would be trouble in Portal Park, so they are gathering there, even if they did not initially know what form that trouble would take. Other examples are with Delphie. She knew she would only be Wanda's Chief for 18 turns, but there seemed to be multiple paths. She knows Goodminton will be attacked by air, but her response to whether the city would fall was, "I can't say." It may be a case of her knowing and not wanting to reveal the information. It may be a case, like Faq, where she cannot see the outcome. It may also be a case that she can see multiple outcomes, all relying on different variables such as allies and treaties, which make any answer conditional. She may not even be able to see what those conditions are. In Dune, Paul was able to see multiple futures where he lay dead on the battlefield, but he was never able to see how he died. So, there may be different levels of Predictions. There may be those things which will definitely happen, such as Wanda serving a long time under Olive Branch. There may be things that may happen, such as Goodminton falling to an air assault. Not everything needs to a Chekov's gun either. It has been shown that Faq's greatest point of vulnerablity is its tunnel system and Transylvito is vulnerable to a mountain capable infantry assault. That doesn't necessary mean that Transylvito will fall to a force of Western Giants from Faq. We don't even know in what form the Predictions come. Is it like a vision or is it more like knowledge, a fact that appears in the Predictamancer's head?

All we really know for sure is that Wanda is going to undergo a huge attittude adjustment. She is going to struggle against Fate for a while, and doing so will teach her a very painful lesson about Fate. Part of me doesn't want to read Book 0, because I really like Lady Wanda Firebaugh, Chief Croakmancer of Goodminton. It will be painful to see her transform into the Wanda we know she will become. I just hope there is still a bit of the old Wanda in there somewhere. I will say, though, that I don't think Wanda sees the Fall of Faq as one of her painful lessons. So far, with the exception of Jillian, Wanda has indicated that she hated basically everything during her time in the Court of Faq.

Anyway, I keep getting off topic. The point I was trying to make is that Predictamancer is probably the form of magic about which we know the least. While we know, generally, what it does, we don't know how it does it. While that could be said for almost all magical fields, with Predictamancy the how has the greatest influence on the what. That being the case, it makes speculating difficult. One thing we do know from Marie is that, at least occasionally, choices do matter. Those choices, however, have far-reaching consequences and seem to lock one on a path for a while.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:29 pm

All we really know for sure is that Wanda is going to undergo a huge attittude adjustment.


The question is "When?" Everyone is thinking it's soon, but I am not so certain. Wanda spent a long time in FAQ's pacifist Side, and while people look there for Wnda's previous relationship with Jillian, Jillian spent much of her time abroad as a mercenary. Wanda didn't intend for her Side to fall to Stanley, so that was stupid, but not particularly malicious.

The real change was probably the fall of FAQ and her failure to obtain the Hammer. She may go through some pain here, but I'm not convinced it will be the seminal moment of her existence.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Mrtyuh » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:30 am

We do not know if it is one event or multiple. Since people do not age in Erfworld, Wanda could be thousands of years old, having served scores of sides before she ended up at Faq. We do not know if a singular event caused her change in outlook or if it was a series of events that slowly ground her down into the Instrument of Fate we see now. We also do not know how many encounters with Fate Wanda will have. We know that she will serve under Olive Branch, and she is struggling against it. We know, once in Faq, she will learn she will Attune to an Arkentool, which she pursued. She believes she is Fated to bring the Arkentools together. We don't know if this has actually been Predicted to Wanda, or if she is simply assuming it is the case. There could be a dozen Predictions concerning Wanda between then and now. We just do not know. Still, from what we've been shown, I do not think Wanda had much fondness for Faq, with the exception of Jillian. It is entirely possible that I am wrong, but I'm inclined to believe that Wanda will have either fully or mostly completed her metamorphosis before she begins her service to King Banhammer.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Matthew Wildstar » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:36 am

Beastie Boys... you know, I would have guessed something by Bob Dylan way, way before the Beastie Boys.

Next up... Dame Branch asks "Tell me , Mr. Fitz... what do you want to DO with your life?"
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Whispri » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:11 am

zuche wrote:Chekhov's gun.

Speaking of which, what is it Wanda sees in the mirror but can't identify?

OneHugeTuck wrote:It seems that everyone is assuming that Wanda et all can just leave.

Why is that, exactly? As they obviously not only didn't leave, but didn't mention that as an option.

Because there's nothing to stop them from doing so, the only way to stop them is by giving them the battle they came for. And that can't be done while the spell is up.

They may not have much move left this turn. But next...

Mrtyuh wrote:...We know that she will serve under Olive Branch, and she is struggling against it...

Sorry to snip, but do we know that? When was the word of Delphie "We'll pop a Warlord, honest guv" Temple declared reliable? There seems to be something going on with all the stuff Wanda keeps finding, but Chiefness?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby multilis » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:30 am

Fate is affecting the rolls, similar to a luckomancer. But what is fate?

Does it want something specifically or does it just want any old prophesies fulfilled once they are made?

Is fate from the "titans" or is it from a conspiracy of casters in the magic kingdom?

We have seen how "like a moth to the flame" all the casters started going to greet parson in the magic kingdom.

In very beginning Parson suggests in his scenario that he wanted his players to "cheat" fate.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Amado » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:13 am

ftl wrote:Exactly. Fate does not care. It's Fate that Wanda WILL SERVE under Olive Branch; it's up to Wanda to make sure she takes the easy way there, such as by accepting a treaty where she gets traded away, rather than by trying to fight Fate, and eventually winding up just taking a far more painful road to the same place. We don't yet know what that road is, and maybe I'm wrong about that, but I think that's what it's leading to.

I think that's how modern-day Wanda sees it, and based on what we've seen that view may very well be accurate. I expect that this prequel will get to her serving under Olive Branch, as was Fated, but in some way which really sucks for her (maybe destruction of her side, maybe having to Uncroak her family members, or something like that).


Well, while I don't want to wade into the whole debate (TL;DR), I'd like to add one little perspective to this comment.

It's up to Wanda to make sure she follows a path to her fate that seems right to her.

There's nothing about the Prediction that says "if you don't get traded, rocks fall and everybody dies." For all she knows, GoodM is about to capture Olive Branch; that's another way the prophecy could get fulfilled.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that, nowhere does it say that if you refuse the first-and-easy option for fulfilling a Prediction that all the subsequent ones are necessarily going to to be increasingly painful. That's how it has borne our for Wanda (thus, as you note, this is just "how modern-day Wanda sees it," so, I'm not disagreeing with you), but it aint necessarily so. Wanda just had really, really bad luck with her Fate and her choices regarding how to meet it. (Maybe Zero is already calling in some partial payments.)

Having a Predicted Fate does not absolve one from making moral choices. And exercising choice in how your Fate is fulfilled does not necessarily mean your path there will be more painful. That's how I see it.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Whispri » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:04 am

vintermann wrote:Very likely, she has another chance at joining Olive Branch peacefully now. She will probably refuse this time, too. In book 1, they often turned such situations into victories, but then they had the Ultimate Warlord. It would be cheapening Parson's skill if mere Wanda's cleverness was enough to turn this thorny situation into a win. So, she will refuse, but at a cost this time. Maybe Tommy. Maybe just a big tactical setback from the gains made in previous turns.

Wanda popped in the tactical war room. And... she's supposed to have an astronomical value. A value that carries a terrible debt to pay. And so far, she hasn't done anything a bog standard Croakamancer could not have(With a little help from Clay I suppose). So she has to be more than Caster #7894653, a Croakamancer with (allegedly) a permanent Boost. She's supposed to have cross discipline casting ability, but that isn't in evidence today (nor, arguably, has it ever been) and would require lengthy training to be of any use. So, what else is there to earn her this huge debt save skill at war? A hidden, bonus speciality? Is being destined to bond to the Arkenpliers really all there is to it?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby Kreistor » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:38 pm

Whispri wrote:She's supposed to have cross discipline casting ability, but that isn't in evidence today (nor, arguably, has it ever been) and would require lengthy training to be of any use. So, what else is there to earn her this huge debt save skill at war? A hidden, bonus speciality? Is being destined to bond to the Arkenpliers really all there is to it?


First, she has never been to the MK, and so never studied cross-discipline. She already spoke about that.

Worrying about that bit of rhetoric about her debt is a waste of time. We don't know how Erfworld calculates the debt, nor how it could be paid. Maybe she pays it by eating salt tablets. We'll never know, until maybe the last pages of the last Book.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby multilis » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:29 pm

Whispri wrote:And... she's supposed to have an astronomical value. A value that carries a terrible debt to pay. And so far, she hasn't done anything a bog standard Croakamancer could not have(With a little help from Clay I suppose). So she has to be more than Caster #7894653, a Croakamancer with (allegedly) a permanent Boost... So, what else is there to earn her this huge debt save skill at war? A hidden, bonus speciality? Is being destined to bond to the Arkenpliers really all there is to it?

She started out as a level 1 caster, she is still alive and at least level 3 in very short period of time. Her side is basically outnumbered 5 to 1 as their only friends are really helping the enemy set up ambushes. I suspect your average level 1 croakmancer would likely have been killed several times in ambushes, and would have most likely had spells such as uncroak every unit in this hex fizzle/fail, and would have made a mess out of many of the uncroakings... she likely has effectively several levels better of croakomancy then she should because of the luck boost.

Normally a caster is worth much more than a warlord, and she is a super-luck boosted caster. In smilar way I suspect Jack and Jill are also super luck boosted based on how their eyes also have pupils like Parson. In Jill's case seems part of her luck is everyone falling in love with her.

"We don't know how Erfworld calculates the debt, nor how it could be paid." - We have hint that a luckomancer by helping one person takes luck from others on same side, and that Wanda has fate give the luck. So it might be that everyone else around wanda suffers some bad luck as part of that debt.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby ParsonIsOP » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:32 pm

Dunbar wrote:Have we ever gotten confirmation that erfworld predictamancers are always right? That if they predict something it will happen? Though how it happens is malleable...Wanda will serve under Olive Branch, but how she gets there is a mystery.

If predictamancy is 100% accurate, that brings up some interesting points. For one, it's presumed that you can predict the important battles then use a luckamancer to tilt the odds to make sure you win those battles. But what if you predict about the battle and Kilo and the answer is "You will not take the city", then no amount of luck will change that as fate is decided, so you attack somewhere else. But even then, fate is decided. You could predict that you will conquer Kilo, then why even try to do it? Send in a handful of pikers and watch Fate insure that the prediction comes true. Then again, it could mean that you will conquer it, but it won't happen for 20 turns, and you lose the battle only to take Kilo much later on. I'm struggling to find the usefulness of predictamancy here.


The irony here is that Wanda destroyed Faq because of the same Predictamancer that helped keep it hidden for so long. So the usefulness of Predictamancy is simply that it is useful whenever it just so happens to be for purely coincidental reasons. I don't think the natural laws that run Erfworld much concerns itself with how useful it is. Predictamancy is about being accurate, not useful.

It's much less bothersome when you realize that decisions don't give you infinite power. We live under the arrogant presumption that tail wags the dog. Control is subjective anyway and it's mostly based on our sense of animal privilege (i.e. "The Titans have chosen Royalty to lead all of Erfworld!").

Also, if predicted events have to happen, then what if you act directly against them? What if they tried to disband Wanda? Would the leader just not be able to do it? Would Fate drop an anvil on his head before he could finish the command? Does this mean if you are Predicted to do some future action that you are safe until that happens? In a way I see how embracing your fate works in your favor. If your fate simply cannot be avoided, if it 100% will happen no matter what you do, then any action you take that is counter to that fate will 100% fail. So in that sense embracing fate makes life easier.

Delphi kept it a secret that their warlord would actually be a caster. Clearly Lord Firebaugh couldn't even have canceled production if he had wanted to.

We'll also note that the prophecy really didn't mention anything about Wanda being disbanded. But let's say that it did. Goodminton obviously wouldn't have disbanded Wanda anyway because they're in a bad spot and Tommy can immediately see the strategic possibilities of using a Croakamancer to boost their numbers.

If events happened differently, it's obvious the prophecy would be different in order to accurately represent the truth. Basically, if Lord Firebaugh was going to disband Wanda, Delphi either wouldn't get the memo or would have accurately Predicted that he would.

However, embracing fate is easier said than done....in the Avatar TV series, General Iroh was fated to conquer the city of Ba Sing Se. As general of the fire nation, he attacked the city, only to have his son be killed and for him to abandon the field in defeat and be exiled for his failure. Many years later the fire nation has conquered the city, and Iroh returns and conquers the city, realizing only now that he fate was not to conquer it for the fire nation, but to conquer it in the name of the earth kingdom and free it from the fire nation. So attempting to embrace his fate was the harder path...though if he hadn't attacked the city as general of the fire nation, he would never have ended up leading the resistance to free the city from the fire nation...or rather he would have, since he was fated to conquer the city, but maybe it would have been a less painful path.


That has nothing to do with "embracing" his fate. He couldn't possibly know where he would end up in life, and even if he did, his opinions about it don't matter.

Personally, I remember it as Iroh reflecting on the irony of his life.

In short, Fate has you by the short hairs I guess. Which brings me back to the value of predictamancy....if all predictamancers are essentially Cassandra from Greek myth, who had the ability to see the future but the inability to change it, what good are they? Whatever they predict will come to pass, and attempting to avoid it will end in tragedy, but attempting to embrace it may not be the right path either? How much of the future is predicted? How much free will do any erfworlders really have?

Bah, free will is an illusion. For some working definitions I refer to "dictionary.com." (And no, I don't want to hear anybody bitch about the lack of academic rigor. Either submit amendments for consideration or shut up.)

free will 
noun
1.
free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.
2.
Philosophy . the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.


The first definition is not problematic because it's just a colloquialism that means you have rights you enjoy. Rights are a social-legal construct and NOT a metaphysical condition.

Without going in-depth, the second definition is obviously nonsensical. You can have all the choice you want in the world. It doesn't mean those choices are immune to causality or that they grant you the kind of power you wish you had over your life. So when I say "illusion," I mean that people maintain the fantasy that they are more powerful than they actually are. People maintain this belief for completely irrational reasons.

The difference between our Cassandra and ordinary people is simply that it's more difficult for her to participate in this sort of self-deception.
Last edited by ParsonIsOP on Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 012

Postby ParsonIsOP » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:39 pm

Mrtyuh wrote:So far, every Predictamancer we've seen has been a manipulative sort who seems perfectly willing to lie, which means we can't take everything they say about their discipline at face value. For examle, when Marie tells Janis that she Predicts that Janis will stack with Parson, I get the distinct impression that she is manipulating Janis as opposed to making an actual Prediction.

Two. This isn't a large sample size.

And Doctor House will tell you that people always lie. Corollary: Lying isn't necessarily evil or malicious.

Also, Janis isn't lying about anything important. The audience already knows that Janis thinks that Parson is Erfworld's best chance for peace. It's not such a stretch to see why she might support Parson. And insofar as her opposition goes, it only goes against the Thinkamancers trying to claim custody of Parson. This isn't an argument about whether Parson belongs in MK, but a power play.

Assuming Janis isn't actually Predicting, she could just very well be predicting. Any canny observer could guess at what Janis might do in this situation.

As for manipulation, Marie is making Janis do what Janis wants to do? Ummm. Whatever. That horse isn't going anywhere.
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