4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:53 am

Housellama wrote:It's an interesting theory and you have a strong point but I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion, for several reasons.

1. Music is governed by Rhyme-o-mancy which is a part of Stageamancy, not Hippiemancy.
2. The only references we've seen to Parson and Music is the alarm clock at the beginning and his 'taunt' in tBfGK.
3. Of things that can "create meaning", there are things that are much more relevant than a musical instrument.

Your theory is extremely sound, but I think that for Signamancy something like the Arkenpen or the Arkenbrush would be better. Way way back in the day, I proposed that the fourth 'tool was the Arkenpalette, a set of paint that could be used to literally paint the world, much like those old Bugs Bunny cartoons. The fact that makeup is Signamancy makes that claim even a bit stronger.

Creating change is good, and music is a nice idea, but an instrument simply recreates something that has already been made in another form. If you want to get to the root of change, let the tool write the music.

Hmm. You're right - music, linked most strongly to Rhyme-O-Mancy, is covered by Stagemancy rather than Hippiemancy. We've seen the various disciplines using Rhyme-O-Mancy and music before, but it definitely isn't goverened by Hippiemancy. And, for that matter, I forgot one crucial area of overlap - the Arkenhammer can, in fact, be used as a musical instrument already when Stanley Rocks Out with it. So a second Arkentool as a musical instrument doesn't hold up.
Still, there was a reason that a musical instrument appealed to me so much. As you said, the instrument reconstructs an existing form - which to me is what Signamancy is all about. A paintbrush, for example, fills in colours and gives shapes and appearances... but Signamancy is about more than just how something looks on the outside. That's more like Foolamancy. Signamancy needs to explain what something is, how it works, what its purpose is, and for that I chose music to give deeper meaning. A paintbrush as an artistic implement can of course do this as well, but I just thought that music suited better in that regard. Now, I'm no longer certain.

ftl wrote:NEW TIN-FOIL HAT THEORY! UPCOMING! LITERALLY A TIN-FOIL HAT THEORY!

The Thinkamancers will succeed in taking Parson to their temple. There, the protection of the tin-foil hat will leave Parson free to wonder about the fourth tool, free from whatever powers it exerts on Erfworld to prevent people from talking/thinking about it, and that's where it'll be introduced.

Ooh, nice one. The Temple is where they keep their most powerful secrets hidden; I've wondered what they hide there. Information about the Fourth Arkentool would fit nicely into that slot, even if it's as simple as, "Your so-called 'friend' Janis guards the Fourth Arkentool, and we want you to take it from her." Hell, even if my theories are totally wrong, if anyone has a hint as to where and what the final Arkentool is, it'd be tGMTTA. And that's almost certainly something they'd want to share with Parson to arm him for the battle against Charlie.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:25 am

0beron wrote:I believe he definitely knows what the 4th 'Tool is right now, regardless of whether we have guessed it or not.


No, that's never a good idea. Rob brushes on it when he discusses the Twoll regeneration-fabrication retcon. Every time you define something, you can't change it and you're stuck. The corrollary is that the less you define, the less you have to consider while writing.

So, no, you don't choose something that you don't have to until you have to. That leaves you with options, and if you mess something up, no one knows because you fixed it before they realized it.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby 0beron » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:55 am

Hmm very good point Kriestor. I think something as important as a 'Tool's function is probably something he knows in general terms, but you could very well be right.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby drachefly » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:11 am

I'd say, rather, that he knows what he's planning it to be, but he has intentionally not nailed it down. This has the effect that if it needs to change, it can - though he certainly hasn't shied from nailing other things down, so I doubt that's the primary reason.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:14 pm

I agree with that, to an extent. I think that Rob, as a writer, has his details laid out the way he wants. The guy has a plan. But he's willing to change aspects of that plan as the need arises in case he writes himself into a corner or falls down a plothole, as he did with Twolls being able to regenerate / fabricate. If he finds a legitimate, pre-existing reason why a certain plot development would not work, he'd either change what he was about to add, or Retconjurate the existing problem.
What I disagree with is that he'd change major plot points because someone came up with a random, unsubstantiated theory that guessed his master plan, or at least a few points of it. If he was going to write Plot A, and the entire forum read the comic and said, "Ha, obviously Plot A will come next," then he might shift to Plot B. But... if someone comes up with a theory about Plot A, and a lot of people argue the point, then I'm not so sure he'd change his plans. Especially if he'd been taking the story in a certain direction, and that theory doens't think this direction is a bad thing. If you're steering a ship Northwards on a mystery tour of the Arctic, and one of the passengers figures out that eventually this means you'll hit ice, you don't turn South just to spite them.
Someone will always guess the direction of the story, or at the very least, claim after the reveal that they'd already guessed it. In the face of that, a bad writer will do nothing and keep it simple. A good writer will throw in a twist to keep the number of people who guessed it to a minimum. And a very good writer will find a way to make sure that even the people who did manage to guess are impressed with how it's done. Thus far? Rob's shown no sign of being a bad writer. Every guess on this thread could be horribly, horribly wrong; they could be pretty close to the mark; or they could be spot-on. None of those reflect badly on him, it's just a question of how he'll respond, or even whether he needs to at all!
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:13 pm

Selexor wrote:I think that Rob, as a writer, has his details laid out the way he wants. The guy has a plan.


Writing isn't that simple. Characters are not slaves the way you may think. You may lay out the foundation of a plot, and then begin writing the story, but discover part way along that your characters aren't getting to where you want them to. Some things take longer than you intended. Some characters can't make the decision you needed them to.

Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance often talks about his writing, and how it fails to go where intended. He recently had an arc where a major character died as she accompanied another, a technological genius, into a parallel dimension's future. What followed had a Groundhog Day vibe, because healer nanobots were resetting brains to a default due to massive trauma, which lost any memories after the default was taken, sometimes decades earlier. What went wrong> He found himself explaining a massive amount of tech involved in that world's tragedy, and it was dragging on for days, made even longer by the need to inject humour to amuse the masses. (You probably got completely lost on the tech tried to simplify, so you may understand how taking it too fast can fail.) I the end, he had to step out, write it all as a flat text, and then the characters acted as if they had explained it in the actual comic.

I'm a DM. I run D&D or other campaigns. I do, in fact, write. And what's worse, I have to do it on the fly. So, my latest campaign was in D&D's Eberron. To run Eberron, you need to make a number of your own decisions: it's not a set world that is the same for everyone. They have a type of Prophecy, called the Dragon Prophecy, that is vital. But they do not give any mechanics for how Prophecy works. You are expected to use whatever form of Prophecy that you feel comfortable with. Did I decide on Day 1 how the Dragon Prophecy worked? Nope. I left it. When I wanted to insert the dragons and their prophecy into the campaign, then I figured out how it worked, and no one knew I had only done that in the previous six days, because no one had ever seen a DP before.

See, that's the secret. People that pile too much work on the front end of a story get daunted, and find they can't start. You don't need to, so you don't. Start simple, and get started. Then when you find you need to add something to make what you just wrote today work, go back a few chapters and add it. When you're done, you can rewrite the whole thing, if your work is too disjointed, and smooth the whole thing over.

JRR Edding began with a map. He had decided his story would, like the LotR, be a trek across the world, so he needed to know what the world was like. He started with the world, then traced his path so the story went everywhere. And then he resolved to write 10 pages every day. Beyond that, he needed to only know the major elements that had to happen -- boy learns he is a wizard, boy finds to mcguffin, boy takes mcguffin to kill enemy. Everything else is fluff he could add to give the characters something to do to fill 1500 pages.

But if your story isn't treking across the world, you don't need to map it. You only need to know the points that you want characters to relate to. We didn't need to know where Spacerock was relative to tBfGK at all, but we knew Ansom was from there. It was detail we didn't need to know, so Rob didn't need to decide that.

I had a mcguffin, too. It followed the Baker's dozen theme of Eberron, 12+1 scattered pieces. Early on, I had a general map of the world, so I did as Edding did. I selected 13 locations so that my characters would go everywhere. Did the order matter? No, it wasn't linear. I didn't need one area to be level 4 and another level 20. I would choose enemies appropriate to level when they got there. So they picked their targets in their own order. They left one in what was supposed to be a fairly civilized area until late. When they got there, they didn't expect an easy effort, because they knew me. You might, but you don't know me. Instead, they found a dungeon I had modeled on the Borg of ST:TNG. It was a living dungeon, walls alive, where mutated creatures "plugged into" the wall for food and virtual reality. A massive invasion force stored in a small space, monitored by Illithid and secured by Beholders. (Who can watch more monitors than something with 10 eye-stalks?) It is interesting to see players in a situation they can see no escape from. They think they have lost, and can't figure out why you're running the game anymore. Of course, the capture was unavoidable... the escape was the story from the start. truthfully, the event would have been mentally scarring for any real person. Only actors could dismiss what happened without permanent trauma. But, hey, it's role playing, not reality. (One of my most visceral efforts. The descriptions I wrote for that place had them all squirming. Unfortunately, they're all gone on a dead hard drive.)

Does Rob need to know what Book 3 is about? Absolutely not. is he, right now, limited in how parson handles this world? No. He has committed to absolutely nothing about the future. So, if he had an intended overall arc, it's irrelevant. he hasn't committed to it yet, and he can abadon and change it if he decides he wants a different direction.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby drachefly » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:14 pm

JRR Edding began with a map. He had decided his story would, like the LotR, be a trek across the world, so he needed to know what the world was like. He started with the world, then traced his path so the story went everywhere. And then he resolved to write 10 pages every day. Beyond that, he needed to only know the major elements that had to happen -- boy learns he is a wizard, boy finds to mcguffin, boy takes mcguffin to kill enemy. Everything else is fluff he could add to give the characters something to do to fill 1500 pages.


And it shows. That series is so broken in so many ways, I would not recommend it. In contrast to people who laid out substantially more framework in advance like, say, Tolkein, or Rawlings, or Balder.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Balerion » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:54 pm

I would also say the nature of the arkentools is not something being left to "filling it in as you go". They are very clearly central to the plot of the series; not having a pretty strong idea of what the last one is going to do and how it works just seems reckless. Is the name of the item set in stone? probably not. But it's powers, wielder, and purpose in the world? I would really bet so.

There is also a huge difference between a story and a DnD campaign. In the latter, defining things as late as possible makes sense since the players are a major factor in how the story actually plays out. Because they might send the story in a direction you never planned, flexibility is good. And for small things, I would bet Rob still has some details not figured out, because the best way to resolve them will depend on other specifics as he defines them. The arkentools are too big a part of this story to be one of those.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:21 am

Kreistor wrote:
Selexor wrote:I think that Rob, as a writer, has his details laid out the way he wants. The guy has a plan.


Writing isn't that simple. Characters are not slaves the way you may think. You may lay out the foundation of a plot, and then begin writing the story, but discover part way along that your characters aren't getting to where you want them to. Some things take longer than you intended. Some characters can't make the decision you needed them to.

Dude, you can't just snip out the first sentence in a paragraph and use it out of context. Literally everything else I said was the "However..." that follows this. Obviously he's not got an iron-clad script that he must follow no matter what, harrumph! And I at no point said he did. What I said was that he had a plan, a plan which can be changed and has no doubt done so many times thus far and no doubt change many more times in the future. I believe he has a plan, yes, but I do not believe he has a railroad plot that can never change.

As for the rest, well, I'm not unaware of how to write a story. I'm not yet published, and I'm not going to try to compare myself to anyone who is, but I do understand how a story works. We may be strangers on the other side of the internet, but you could give me some credit here for not being a moron.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:59 am

drachefly wrote:And it shows. That series is so broken in so many ways, I would not recommend it. In contrast to people who laid out substantially more framework in advance like, say, Tolkein, or Rawlings, or Balder.


Tolkein wrote about 15 versions of Fellowship before he settled it. He abandoned one simply because the phase of the moon wasn't full on the night he needed it. Without his tenure, he would never have published. Living up to his standard is a good way to starve.

Rawlings never struck me as any better than any other writer. She just hit on an environment kids understood, since they all feel out of place like Potter. Her plots are incredibly simplistic, and are entirely predictable, because they are written for children.

As for Rob, he doesn't write the way you think. He has already revealed at least one failure of foresight, with an admission that lots of details are not worked out in advance (specfically, the regeneration-fabrication retcon). He has clearly stated that he has, at best, a loose framework of Rules that provide him the bare minimum he needs, and are insufficient to actually play the game (or run the world, however you want to phrase it). But compared to Tolkien's fastidious obsession, he isn't even close. He prepared no more than the framework that he needed.

The best example of a series that got out of hand was Jordan's Wheel of Time. It went from 5 books to 15. He had a plan, but he created too many characters, lost sight of the core character, and drifted off into conversations and situations that showed lots of character... but did not advance the story in any way. Information is spoon-fed to the characters, leaving them woefully uninformed in the face of enemies with vast knowledge that should crush them under-heel, but get trivialized by unspecified in-fighting.

A planned series that got lost was Dorsai by Gordon Dickson. Dickson wrote a variety of novels, but one set created a series that was not obviously a series, because the individual books had only a universe to connect them. (Niven wrote at the same time, and his boooks in the Known Universe were never considered a series, just in the same timeline.) I don't know for certain that they were planned as a real series from the start, but Gordon claimed it was so later. Anyway, after one massive novel he wrote one book about dragons, and turned that into a series that made him money, and forgot about Dorsai for a decade. He was coming back to complete it when he died. We'll never know where it was headed. He had a plan at some point, but for some reason left it for a far less impressive work. Dorsai, if completed, would have been an Epic work in the classic sense.

Don't discount Eddings. He really poured life back into Fantasy. He published five novels in five years, and set the standard for Fantasy for the next 20 years. There were others, but he really showed how to write popular fantasy. Sci Fi dominated the 80's when the Belgariad came out, and it became immensely popular instantly. And it can be said that the sequel, where the protagonist's child was kidnapped for a year, formed the foundation for today's trend to dark fantasy, where protagonists are placed in truly horrible psychological situations, but without Moorcock's disfunctional darkness.

Selexor wrote:Dude, you can't just snip out the first sentence in a paragraph and use it out of context. Literally everything else I said was the "However..." that follows this


No, i don't think I did what you think. You're talking about him laying out details first, then fixing them if they turn out wrong. As I mentioned above, he only laid out the bare minimum framework of game rules he needed to start, so he doesn't do that. He adds the details he needs later.His description of the regeneration-fabrication event reveals that he had not decided on regeneration until the moment he wrote the Klog that listed it on Bogroll's stat chart... until then, it was not settled and he was looking for alternate ideas by talking to other writers. So, no, I don't think your process is the one he uses.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby drachefly » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:17 am

That's nice, Kriestor, but if you think The Belgariad is in any way approaching Harry Potter in quality... well... eek. For another example less extreme than LotR, see Babylon 5.

And as for Rob, well, one confusion on a minor detail (regeneration vs fabrication) doesn't mean Rob hasn't pretty well nailed down some things that are MUCH more important (i.e. the fourth arkentool).

The problem with leaving things TOTALLY undetermined is that you can end up with no solutions at all. If you have a plan, you can nearly guarantee the existence of at least one. And you don't know where you're going. The way he drew things together at the end of book 1 speaks to me, and it says, "This guy had a plan".
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:36 am

drachefly wrote:The problem with leaving things TOTALLY undetermined is that you can end up with no solutions at all.


Absolutely not. Nothing is more open than a blank slate. Anything is literally possible. (Was that a Pun?!?)
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:48 am

Kreistor wrote:No, i don't think I did what you think. You're talking about him laying out details first, then fixing them if they turn out wrong. As I mentioned above, he only laid out the bare minimum framework of game rules he needed to start, so he doesn't do that. He adds the details he needs later.His description of the regeneration-fabrication event reveals that he had not decided on regeneration until the moment he wrote the Klog that listed it on Bogroll's stat chart... until then, it was not settled and he was looking for alternate ideas by talking to other writers. So, no, I don't think your process is the one he uses.

No. Just... just no.

I used Regeneration vs Fabrication as an example of Rob changing details of his story. I used that case as an example because it is the only time that we as readers have been aware of him doing it. The other 99.99999% of the time that it might happen, it does so before the comic is posted, so we never notice. And at no point did I suggest that he's going to keep Retconjuring his story, it'd be idiotic. Rather, he's going to keep the fine details of his story fluid so he can mix it up a little, or change things as new ideas come up. That's how an ongoing story tends to be. That single example is proof that he's the same - he can and will change details of his story as he sees fit.
But for God's sake, let's not take this to the extreme. To suggest that Rob, who has made Erfworld his major source of income and a huge part of his life, has not yet decided what major plot points of the story will involve, is insulting to the guy. Of course he's planned it out. That plan is not set in stone, and it can and probably will change in the minor details. But the story revolves entirely around the war for control of the Arkentools, and you're saying you don't think he's even given thought to what the Fourth one might be yet? That's about one step above saying that he makes up the story completely on the fly as he goes along.
Obviously he makes up some small details as he writes each and every part. If he had an iron-clad script already, that would be the story that he's telling and he could just post that instead. At the same time, however, he absolutely must plan out each book and chapter before he writes it, or else how would he know where to steer the story in the first place? And this applies to the entire story - there are certain major points that he knew he had to resolve when he started telling the story. And even if we haven't yet seen it, if the story is tied to four major macguffins, for damn sure he's got a good idea of what all four of them are. There's no way he could be telling this story otherwise.

You seem to be under the impression I think Rob's writing a railroad plot that never changes unless he edits it after posting. That's insulting to him as a writer, to me as a fan of Erfworld, and to both of us as sentient beings. No, my opinion is that Rob has an overall plan and that he fills out the specifics as he goes along, because I honestly can't imagine how he's keeping the plot flowing in any other way. And as a part of the Erfworld story, that must by definition include what we're talking about here.

Please stop putting words in my mouth.
But of course that's just my opinion.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:41 am

Selexor wrote:has not yet decided what major plot points of the story will involve[/i], is insulting to the guy.


Where on earth do you get the idea that a "major plot point" is a "detail"? Was the story going to fall apart because Twolls had Fbarication instead of Regeneration? Hardly.

You're putting entire paragraphs, not just words, in my mouth.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Selexor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:23 am

I direct you to point four of this chart.

Aside from the fact that you're not actually discussing the topic of the thread at all, I'm bored with your tactic of taking one sentence (or part of one) from a post and then using it to back up whatever argument you've chosen in the last five minutes to pretend you were trying to make all along. It stopped being funny to watch you try a while ago. So let's consider our argument done and try to get back on topic, shall we?
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:49 am

Selexor, I am happy you think you won a totally strawmanned argument. Someday, come back and re-read this thing. I think you'll see with clearer vision that I never intended anything to be interpreted the way you did, and you were arguing with clouds, not me.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby drachefly » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:55 am

Kreistor wrote:
drachefly wrote:The problem with leaving things TOTALLY undetermined is that you can end up with no solutions at all.


Absolutely not. Nothing is more open than a blank slate. Anything is literally possible. (Was that a Pun?!?)


By the time you're winging it, t's not a blank slate, is it? We're not talking about before you put pen to page. We're talking about whether planning precedes writing. We've BEEN talking about that, and acting oblivious to that fact is obnoxious.

To rephrase so it might be a challenge to misinterpret: If you write moment to moment, defining nothing else in advance, you can find yourself aimed inexorably to a destination you don't want to go to. Planning helps prevent that.

In short, what Selexor said.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:30 pm

Nice chart Selexor!

Also, I find it odd that something like some specific person's writing process, or what writing "is generally like" can get so heated. It really is as simple as drachefly puts it, to plan or not to plan (or rather, to plan- but how much) before actually putting pen to paper (as well as during writing).

And in this case specifically, what info about the Arkentools Rob might have at the moment that we for now don't, by which I mean stuff that he may yet feel like changing, and whether he made a decision on it form since the Elvises showed up on page one or before that is not relevant anymore. Rephrasing, "is there somewhere, be it in a file, on a scrap of paper or just Rob's mind, something that says >the fourth Arkentool should be {redacted}<. Rob might then decide to use that description as-is, or change it at some future time of course.

I honestly don't know. I suspect that Erfworld is (or rather, at a certain moment, was) a less-planned work than others, but the reasons I have for that suspicion can't help me decide on the Arkentool question. And again, just suspicions, judgements of taste; not something I'd be willing to defend as true or even likely.
The whole point of this is lost if you keep it a secret.
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Kreistor » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:34 pm

drachefly wrote:To rephrase so it might be a challenge to misinterpret: If you write moment to moment, defining nothing else in advance, you can find yourself aimed inexorably to a destination you don't want to go to. Planning helps prevent that.


How are you getting the idea that I advocate ZERO planning? I never once said that having a planned arc was a bad idea. Note that my description of Eddings included the basic plot and the decision of the path around the world the party would follow. I did not say he was stupid for doing that, did I? I listed Dickson and Jordan as examples of planned plots going out of control, but did I say they shouldn't have had planned arcs?

I am NOT saying what you are putting in my mouth. I NEVER said that.

I clearly stated that you define only what you NEED to begin the story. If you have no plot, you don't NEED anything. As an example, I included a description of decisions made on the basis that Ansom's army needed to be acle to penetrate the GK defenses, and since the GK defenses needed to be described in the early comic, that means the RCC army needed to be defined before setting pen to paper.

DETAILS are not PLOTLINE.

So, try again. I am not an advocate of freeform writing, and never said that. It's your Strawman and it ignores my own examples and statements.

On the direct quote, you are arguing against something I never said. I am talking about not defining details, not plotline.

For instance, did Rob need to define the exact invasion plan for the Garrison before Book 1 started? KNow exactly when the Uncroaked Dancefight would happen? Absolutely not. He may have had a vision using the Thriller scene, but that it would happen right at that point didn't need to be settled before page one. It's not a plot point, just a fun and fancy scene.

That's what I have been talking about from the start. Not major plotlines. This thread is about whether Rob has settled on what the fourth Arkentool is. Was the Arkenhammer a major plot device of tBfGK? If it had different powers, would anything have changed? Did Rob need to know the exact rules about the Decrypted before setting pen to paper? This is about details, not major plot elements. It always has been.

I can understand some of the confusion, but I simply did not predict that others would interpret a discussion about minor details to extend to major plot elements. You took my words about building a Lego castle and are complaining that they don't work on a hilltop fortress. Sorry, but no, that was far beyond the intent of my statements.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
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Re: 4th Arkentool covers Signamancy?

Postby Balerion » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:40 pm

And for the most part, I agree with the ideas in that paragraph Kreistor, as it mirrors my own Nanowrimo experiences :). But I think the point of disagreement is that we (or at least I) consider the nature of the arkentools to be more than a detail. I see the story as building to revolve around them and what their true purpose in the world is, and therefore what each one can do being a major plot point. For book 1, the hammer was unimportant. But that doesn't mean for the overarching plot it is unimportant.
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