Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby asparagus » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:16 pm

roninpanda wrote:S I really wonder if he's been reading "50 Shades of Gray" lately. :twisted:


Of course he has - because I KNOW I am the only one left on the planet who hasn't.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Housellama » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:36 pm

Lamech wrote:More like being assigned explicit plot armor. Made from the plot armor of real protagonists.

Hah! Excellent. Yes, this is exactly my interpretation of what happened. She received her Protection From On High IN-WORLD as opposed to meta.

Once again, I have to congratulate Rob on his truly excellent understanding of human nature. The techniques used by both Wanda and Jillian are very true to life. Especially Jillian's. Sometimes you scare me a little bit, Rob.

Before I pull out my soapbox, I need to preface this. When I refer to "torture", I mean any attempt at coercion or conversion using physically or psychologically damaging techniques. To me, there is a qualitative difference between skillful use of psychology and physical discomfort to gather information, and outright torture as normally understood. One works, the other does not. Both are ethically questionable. I won't touch that debate on this one. I disapprove of "enhanced interrogation" on strictly Utilitarian principles, those being it doesn't booping work. Where to draw the line, however, is something that's way more than just 50 shades of gray.

Ineffective torture is very easy to write (and to do). It's easy to strap someone to a chair and do painful, horrible things to them. Yes, eventually you will break anyone with those techniques, but you cannot trust any information obtained using that method. Effective torture is very, very difficult. Wanda's techniques are textbook. Jillian's reactions to and tactics for resisting torture are also scarily true to life. The fact that Rob wrote both of these so very well makes me a little bit afraid. A sign of a great writer.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Housellama » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:39 pm

asparagus wrote:
roninpanda wrote:S I really wonder if he's been reading "50 Shades of Gray" lately. :twisted:


Of course he has - because I KNOW I am the only one left on the planet who hasn't.


I've read enough excerpts and heard enough about it from friends that I'm thoroughly uninterested in reading it. Then again, I have pretty strong opinions about the right and wrong ways to perform certain kinks. Reading it would just make me nerd-rage.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby the_tick_rules » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:08 pm

So Wanda's view of the fall of her first side (and haffaton to be sure) as being inevitable is what made her this fate obsessed person we know today. Also apparently Jillian had an impression left on her from all this servitude. Probably why she has such a messed up relationship with Wanda today.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby bladestorm » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:38 pm

vintermann wrote:
splexis wrote:I speculate that Jillian will save Wanda from her current depths of deep dark dank dire disillusioned despair (or whatevs), and further that this rescue will be the impetus for Wanda to defect to FAQ.


I speculate against. In fact, I'm pretty damn sure what's going to happen. Spoilering it, that's how sure I am.

Spoiler: show
Wanda will succeed in torturing all information out of Jillian. Why shouldn't she? She always did later. However, rather than passing this information on to Olive and her ruler, she keeps it for herself, and keeps Jillian alive. She has extremely low loyalty to Haffaton, learning about the bubble kingdom of Faq she starts dreaming about a better life. She doesn't turn right away, but at one point, she gets some sort of sign that she interprets as fate commanding her to betray Haffaton and be the poison pill she promised to be (possibly Jillian deliberately arranges this "sign" somehow, after getting to understand Wanda's fatalism). Banhammer is quite shocked and considers immediately disbanding her, but Jillian talks him out of it. Wanda is submissive and philosophical enough to eventually gain his trust.


Just to get Wanda into Faq required Marie to lie quite a bit about the particulars of her prediction. She may have known that it was Wanda that would bring about the destruction, but if she had said so, Wanda would never make it into Faq alive. Even if she did, she wouldn't be accepted there, and that would have offset the vision Marie had. By stating that it was Haffaton that would be the agent, Faq could philosophize that they could avoid their destruction by handicapping Haffaton by turning their croakamancer.

Predictamancers may embrace their fates because they know that trying to change their fate actually makes things worse from point A (now) to point B (predicted point in the future). The rest of Faq may have more self-preservation than that, and Duty may require them to protect their side regardless of whether they know they will lose or not. (Duty can be a real bitch some times.) Basically, Marie has to say whatever she needs to in order to get Faq to fall according to her prediction. Trying to 'cheat fate' by capturing and turning the massive opponent's most potent weapon is only going to lead to 'the very hard path' to Faq's destruction. Rather than taken by a known enemy, they get ruptured from someone they take into their hidden kingdom as part of their side.

And.... Wanda is a poison pill for whichever side swallows her -- Haffaton, Faq, and maybe even GK.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Oberon » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:08 am

asparagus wrote:
roninpanda wrote:S I really wonder if he's been reading "50 Shades of Gray" lately. :twisted:

Of course he has - because I KNOW I am the only one left on the planet who hasn't.
Nu-uh. Not only am I not reading it, I'd have to Google it to learn exactly what it is. Book? Comic book? Webcomic? But don't tell me, because I don't care.
Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041 wrote:Once she had that thought to sustain her, the time began to pass bearably. For three turns, she was left there lying in need.
New mechanics knowledge, yay! Now we know that not getting/eating rations doesn't kill a unit for at least three turns.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby drachefly » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:35 am

Or it's possible to create a sensation of hunger independent of upkeep being paid.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Zain » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:15 am

It may not even be relevant, but thinking over this (and the previous two) updates, it brought me back to Episode 15.

"No, but I wouldn't want to lose my Motion, either. I wouldn't want to be that plant. I'm no tree,"


Now she's claiming not only the opposite, but has Jillian in that very situation. She's stuck in that box, Life and Matter but no Motion. And so long as the box is "switched on" or maybe even paying her upkeep while emulating Need, she could be stuck that way. Which would in one way go back to Wanda's statement about losing motion, while reversing it with her comment about patience. Pretty disturbing in a few ways.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby raphfrk » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:23 am

drachefly wrote:Or it's possible to create a sensation of hunger independent of upkeep being paid.


It could be that they still have to pay her upkeep or she de-pops, but actually giving here the food is not required.

Food is said to reduce upkeep costs, so maybe not eating the popped food makes a unit even more expensive.

Also, since Wanda apparently cast a spell before leaving, that would support the view that it is "fake" hunger, or maybe just enhanced.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby pearl jam » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:51 am

Given that a healthy human adult can survive 3 days without food, it's not all that surprising that Jillian could survive 3 turns. Now, obviously, she doesn't have anything to drink either, which would create a bigger problem in the real world, but it is feasible that on Erf the need to drink might not be more serious than the need to eat or that her bare minimum hydration and nutrition are being covered by some other method to prevent death by starvation or dehydration.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby bladestorm » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:35 pm

Oberon wrote:New mechanics knowledge, yay! Now we know that not getting/eating rations doesn't kill a unit for at least three turns.


Jillian isn't just a unit, though. She's a Royal and a CWL, so she has higher stats, plus she has a few levels under her belt. 3 turns of not eating may be enough to croak a level 1 stabber, though. Or a rammerweiner. Those things are skinny.

Or this sensation of Hunger may just be a spell effect from Wanda. Right after Parson was summoned, she mentioned having a Headache spell. A Hunger spell wouldn't be much different. Units may typically not experience the sensation of hunger.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby 0beron » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:40 pm

It is also possible that the box (which clearly has many functions or could be a magic item) is technically fulfilling her basic needs even though a spell is creating the sensation of hunger. So she may in fact be recieving "rations" somehow without consuming them.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby bladestorm » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:46 pm

raphfrk wrote:
drachefly wrote:Or it's possible to create a sensation of hunger independent of upkeep being paid.


It could be that they still have to pay her upkeep or she de-pops, but actually giving here the food is not required.

Food is said to reduce upkeep costs, so maybe not eating the popped food makes a unit even more expensive.

Also, since Wanda apparently cast a spell before leaving, that would support the view that it is "fake" hunger, or maybe just enhanced.


But who is paying this upkeep? Is it Faq, since she is one of their units (CWL no less)? Or does it come from her purse since she is functioning as a mercenary/barbarian at this point, having a separate upkeep account for herself and the previous Wrecd? Or is Haffaton providing the upkeep since she is their prisoner? Maybe even Wanda since they are in her Garden, which seems unconnected to the rest of Erfworld.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Salem » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:14 pm

Housellama wrote:
Lamech wrote:More like being assigned explicit plot armor. Made from the plot armor of real protagonists.

Hah! Excellent. Yes, this is exactly my interpretation of what happened. She received her Protection From On High IN-WORLD as opposed to meta.

Once again, I have to congratulate Rob on his truly excellent understanding of human nature. The techniques used by both Wanda and Jillian are very true to life. Especially Jillian's. Sometimes you scare me a little bit, Rob.

Before I pull out my soapbox, I need to preface this. When I refer to "torture", I mean any attempt at coercion or conversion using physically or psychologically damaging techniques. To me, there is a qualitative difference between skillful use of psychology and physical discomfort to gather information, and outright torture as normally understood. One works, the other does not. Both are ethically questionable. I won't touch that debate on this one. I disapprove of "enhanced interrogation" on strictly Utilitarian principles, those being it doesn't booping work. Where to draw the line, however, is something that's way more than just 50 shades of gray.

Ineffective torture is very easy to write (and to do). It's easy to strap someone to a chair and do painful, horrible things to them. Yes, eventually you will break anyone with those techniques, but you cannot trust any information obtained using that method. Effective torture is very, very difficult. Wanda's techniques are textbook. Jillian's reactions to and tactics for resisting torture are also scarily true to life. The fact that Rob wrote both of these so very well makes me a little bit afraid. A sign of a great writer.

I hate to be disagreeable. But I disagree with your statement that torture doesn't boopin' work. I think that has to be qualified to some extent. I will definitely agree that torture is more suited to "interrogations" aimed at confessions or getting someone to say specific things. What I mean is its chance of success are based on what your win condition is. Such as is your goal to get the truth, or get a specific utterance. "I'm a witch" or "I was paid by X to do this." If truth is irrelevant to the goal.

Also, if you have a situation with someone uncooperative in a more mundane and more effective interrogation AND (Huge and) you have a relatively low cost way to verify the "facts" you're given AND the time with which to verify torture, re-torture, verify, ad nauseam. You could probably have something going for you. But all things considered not great. But hey, if you have a large group of people that know a fact, and a large group of disposable minions, you could just off one at a time till you got to the truth, if you're a horrible monster.

P.S. I do personally find torture abhorrent, I just you know feel it's important to think about things from every angle.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Nnelg » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:03 pm

bladestorm wrote:Just to get Wanda into Faq required Marie to lie quite a bit about the particulars of her prediction.

Nowhere has Marie explicitly lied. She sees Wanda causing the fall of Faq, but not necessarily how. She sees Wanda in the employ of the single greatest threat in the area. It's not hard to put two and two together. She just never expected Jillian to actually make it come out as five (by taking Wanda home with her).

At least, that's the benign and most straightforwards explanation. Marie could be lying through her teeth, (for the greater good, or lesser evil at least) but I highly doubt that.


bladestorm wrote:And.... Wanda is a poison pill for whichever side swallows her -- Haffaton, Faq, and maybe even GK.

If you think about it, that list should perhaps include her original side, Goodminton. It might have held out a lot longer if she had never been popped...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Oberon » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Housellama wrote:Ineffective torture is very easy to write (and to do). It's easy to strap someone to a chair and do painful, horrible things to them. Yes, eventually you will break anyone with those techniques, but you cannot trust any information obtained using that method. Effective torture is very, very difficult. Wanda's techniques are textbook. Jillian's reactions to and tactics for resisting torture are also scarily true to life. The fact that Rob wrote both of these so very well makes me a little bit afraid. A sign of a great writer.
You mean effective torture, like this?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Nnelg » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:00 am

No, like this.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Housellama » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:54 am

Salem wrote:I hate to be disagreeable. But I disagree with your statement that torture doesn't boopin' work. I think that has to be qualified to some extent. I will definitely agree that torture is more suited to "interrogations" aimed at confessions or getting someone to say specific things. What I mean is its chance of success are based on what your win condition is. Such as is your goal to get the truth, or get a specific utterance. "I'm a witch" or "I was paid by X to do this." If truth is irrelevant to the goal.

You are correct. Let me clarify my statement. Torture is one of the most ineffective methods of getting useful, reliable, actionable information from an unwilling subject. If you are just aiming to brainwash or break people, then it works fantastically. Under the conditions I'm used to discussing this particular subject, the win condition is always to gain said information. As such, that end condition went without saying, thus I didn't say it.

Salem wrote:Also, if you have a situation with someone uncooperative in a more mundane and more effective interrogation AND (Huge and) you have a relatively low cost way to verify the "facts" you're given AND the time with which to verify torture, re-torture, verify, ad nauseam. You could probably have something going for you. But all things considered not great. But hey, if you have a large group of people that know a fact, and a large group of disposable minions, you could just off one at a time till you got to the truth, if you're a horrible monster.

There's actually some very effective conventional interrogation techniques that exploit the ability to verify the information given by the subject. If you have the ability to do that (or you have a set of information that you have already verified), it's quite easy to use that to persuade the subject that it is in their best interest to tell the truth, since you will know when they are lying, and can thus punish them using conventional methods accordingly. You don't NEED torture for that.

Salem wrote:P.S. I do personally find torture abhorrent, I just you know feel it's important to think about things from every angle.

My respect for you just went up a great deal. Thank you for your thoughtful reply!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 041

Postby Salem » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:17 pm

Housellama wrote:Also, if you have a situation with someone uncooperative in a more mundane and more effective interrogation AND #Huge and# you have a relatively low cost way to verify the "facts" you're given AND the time with which to verify torture, re-torture, verify, ad nauseam. You could probably have something going for you. But all things considered not great. But hey, if you have a large group of people that know a fact, and a large group of disposable minions, you could just off one at a time till you got to the truth, if you're a horrible monster.

There's actually some very effective conventional interrogation techniques that exploit the ability to verify the information given by the subject. If you have the ability to do that #or you have a set of information that you have already verified#, it's quite easy to use that to persuade the subject that it is in their best interest to tell the truth, since you will know when they are lying, and can thus punish them using conventional methods accordingly. You don't NEED torture for that.[/quote]
I agree completely, I think the problem with a lot of things like torture is that while they can work, they're rarely the best option. People just see it as the most effective and efficient route to success. Much like war seems like the best way to conquer, but the spread/influence of culture can do the same thing with less risk and less atrocity, albeit at a slower pace. You do however have the chance at getting something more permanent and stable.

Violence is fast, and the right tool for some occasions. Self defence, protecting someone else, your child loosing in a little league game. It is a rather blunt and awkward tool that gets far to overused.

And violence used improperly often has consequences, the law, rebellion, or in the case of torture a subject who knows they're as good as dead deliberately trying to cause you as much grief as possible before they expire. It's one of those things that can backfire perhaps taking away the credibility of your argument kind of like the examples of a few brave souls killed in America's witch trials in a public fashion, by horrible methods just robbing the "just and holy" argument from their killers.
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