Book 2 – Page 105

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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby tigerusthegreat » Sat Mar 23, 2013 7:42 pm

Anyone else notice the dragon's breath goes "OOM OOM OOM"; like Out of Mana
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby tgriff02 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:02 pm

tigerusthegreat wrote:Anyone else notice the dragon's breath goes "OOM OOM OOM"; like Out of Mana



Or, dyslexic cow.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby coyotenose » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:03 pm

drachefly wrote:
coyotenose wrote:I don't know that Wanda has any special connection to Decrypted who aren't in her hex, though I suspect not.


What about the gasp moment? There was a panel for her reaction.


When I looked back at that moment after we got a few pages past it, I read that as realization that she Erfed up by leaving the battlespace. I could see it either way. There might be a scene more clearly defining a connection between Mistress and Minions, but I don't recall it. That sort of unit awareness at range feels like it's outside the scope of passive Croakamancy and does not (so far I have seen) seem to be a passive Arkenpliers function either. If Wanda gets that sort of reaction from having a Decrypted unit break from her control, I feel that she'd have shown some emotional reaction to the thousands(?) of prior Decryptions and Decrypted deaths.

Whether unit awareness is beyond the scope of active Croakamancy or 'Pliers use, we can't say. Could a Croakamancer cast a spell to check the status of a unit in the field? Sure, why not.

Now, right when she made the face, I thought that she had felt a shock from disconnecting with Ossomer and possibly suffered backlash trauma, but that does not seem to have been the case.

--------------------------------------

On a tangent that has popped up in this thread, on Parson being required to carry out Stanley's orders on penalty of death by spell: Probably all this means is that the spell causes him to be considered a Gobwin Knob unit and subject to all restrictions thereof. Parson can, even while required to obey orders, effectively disobey them by being ignorant of the intent and scope of them in the context of the world. And Stanley, unprepared for a unit that doesn't know its role, can't reason out what the problem is either.

This of course does not preclude Parson simply being difficult to command without concentration and direct orders, owing to his not being a native or whatever other rational we use. It might be that his Duty is quite high, but that his Loyalty is low or nonexistent because of the spell's design. Or it might be that the summoning spell didn't actually assign his Loyalty to Stanley, but to a faction whose goals can only be achieved by his obeying Stanley. Our understanding of such things is pretty nebulous, after all.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby coyotenose » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:06 pm

tigerusthegreat wrote:Anyone else notice the dragon's breath goes "OOM OOM OOM"; like Out of Mana


Y'know, I did notice the sound effect, but didn't assign any significance to it at the time. But you're right, the sound effects always have a special meaning. Echoing the "boom" simply isn't enough.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Frosted » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:39 am

Pokota wrote:Because people want Jack's death to mean something beyond giving Parson the dwagons he needs to win the battle and reminding him that he needs to be the mastermind that outwits Charlie in the end. Oh, and something about people liking Jack so much that they refuse to let him go the way of Black Belt from 8-Bit Theater.


Personally, I just feel kind of dumb for being so invested in Jack to see him thrown away like this, and as a result have very little drive to continue reading. It's not about Jack necessarily, it's about feeling like any non-Parson, non-Jillian character could croak at any second and not really having the desire to become attached to (new) characters for that reason.

I guess this kind of drives home the pointlessness of war. I'm really tired of having friends die for no reason.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Vreejack » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:10 am

So Jack's death was stupid and disappointing. This is not the first such: Misty's death was also rather lame. But if Parson thought that her death was "hard core" then what will he think of Jack's?

I do find it curious that Rob Balder (unlike Rich Burlew, for example) struggles to tie a compelling narrative to a consistent set of game rules but seems to sacrifice narrative where it would otherwise seem very necessary. Not only must all the plot elements follow the game rules but Parson needs to be a genius in their use, which is difficult for a writer because their character needs to be smarter than they are themselves. So far I think this been masterfully accomplished, but then we have the example of Jack's death, which just seems pointless. Perhaps it will all make sense later on.

One thing I would have done differently: I would have shown a closeup of Jack's face in flight as he realized the dwagon was charging too soon. That would have encouraged more empathy for his personal disaster, which otherwise seems to leave the viewer feeling disconnected from the event and wondering what really happened.

Another curiosity: did Jack screw up his control of the dwagon because the beast could not sense things clearly? I am not sure how that makes any sense, but Jack has an innate sense of how things are perceived, and the dwagon's perceptions were flawed by injury.

In response to previous comments about Jack supplying sight to a blind dwagon:

    1. It isn't blind, it only lost sight in one eye
    2. How would the dwagon be able to make sense of what it was seeing when it was getting input from both Jack and its own good eye?
    3. Jack claimed to have no juice, and there is nothing to suggest otherwise. If you want to go on claiming that he was lying about that to his chief warlord, then you would have to explain:

      a. How he could violate duty.
      b. Why he would violate duty.
      c. Why he did not cast anything in the battle before Parson sent him outside.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Whispri » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:32 am

Oberon wrote:It sounds weird, but having a cop hide the contents of a bank vault under his mattress would actually be to the bank's benefit.

Jesus-H-Christ-on-a-crutch-coming-back-for-the-resurrection-and-whistling-a-tune-through-the-hole-in-his-palm

How is this hard?

While I don't believe that Parson would be the Overlord of a newly created ally of Gobwin Knob, there are advantages to establishing a new Side.

For one thing, they've reached the diminishing shmuckers point, so splitting off a Side makes sense for that reason alone. For another, unless Wanda comes in to Decrypt everything that's died since she left the City Charlie's just going to swarm in with overwhelming force and with the Archons gone every Dwagon counts, never mind the risk to Parson. Leaving that aside, as things stand at this moment, Gobwin Knob have lost most of their fliers and well over a thousand infantry, which means they won't be able to take any offensive action for a while. That will be much less of a problem if Wanda's able to build a new army this turn.

Any living Dwagons croaked since she left, any of Jetstone's fliers that were lost, Don's bats, anyone who croaked when the Tower fell, Artemis and her Knights, the Hobgobwins, the Soldiers who charged with Slately Mk II to their deaths and maybe even a couple of Casters. It's quite a prize, even when shared with an ally.

One last thing, I can see a couple of ways in which Parson's hand could be forced, he made some agreement with the Thinkamancers before they allowed him into the City, if he learns that's it's possible to split off a new Side he may be compelled to do so just so he can speak to them sooner. Also, he ordered Wanda to stay alive at any price, if things turn nasty for her in the Magick Kingdom, well perhaps she could order Antium claim the Capital on her behalf to allow her escape?
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Kreistor » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:08 am

Vreejack wrote:So Jack's death was stupid and disappointing. This is not the first such: Misty's death was also rather lame. But if Parson thought that her death was "hard core" then what will he think of Jack's?


I look at it this way. In war, death is random and senseless. Why should war in Erfworld be any different?

I do find it curious that Rob Balder (unlike Rich Burlew, for example) struggles to tie a compelling narrative to a consistent set of game rules but seems to sacrifice narrative where it would otherwise seem very necessary. Not only must all the plot elements follow the game rules but Parson needs to be a genius in their use, which is difficult for a writer because their character needs to be smarter than they are themselves. So far I think this been masterfully accomplished, but then we have the example of Jack's death, which just seems pointless. Perhaps it will all make sense later on.


No, it isn't masterful. The problem with genius is that time can not provide it to someone that doesn't have it. Regular old high intelligence can be simulated by taking a long time to think about something, but genius? Only one man, given decades of pondering, came up with Relativity. Ironic that he also came up with Quantum Entanglement, despite using it as an example of the absurdity of QM (Einstein never supported QM to his death). Think all your life... you'd never come up with it. That is genius.

Parson's actions seem genius because Rob uses a trick. He doesn't give us all the rules, and let us figure out what we would do before Parson chooses. Case in point, the Zombie Dance move at Garrison in GK. Genius? No, obvious to anyone as soon as they read the rules of Croakamancy. But we don't have the rules, do we? Nor did we have the rules about DDR, which made Ansom look like even more of a genius.

Another curiosity: did Jack screw up his control of the dwagon because the beast could not sense things clearly?


Screw ups happen in war. Example: the Allies in Normandy had beaten the Germans, finally. The Germans were trapped in a pocket called the Falais Gap. There was one exit, and it was closing. Americans from the on one side and Canadians+Polish from the other. The Polish were sheets to the wind, but bunkered up on a hill. Initially Canadians were told not to support them, then to support from an absurd position. Finally, they got through and pulled them out. This was the tip of that pincer. But the pincer didn't close. The Canadians didn't move, and many Germans escaped to fight again. The Canadians were blamed for not moving. There was no defending themselves. The pincer closed later that morning, and many Germans were captured, but far too many escaped the trap.

Recently, communications from Bletchley Park have become public access. One Canuck historian/documentarian for History went and started tearing through them. There are, of course, masses of pages, and mostly irrelevant. And he was fastidious, because the Canadians have been proven right to not have moved.

They had received information that a Panzer unit was within something like 2k of their position. Moving out to close the pincer without tank support, at night, would have been suicide. But everyone else knew the tanks weren't there anymore. The communique that told of that Panzer unit's move went to everyone, including Patton who was off on the coast somewhere. But the Canadians were not on the delivery list, and did not receive word that the danger had passed. So they bunkered up against tanks that would never threaten them instead.

We do not know what was in the head of the dragon. He performed as ordered, though not precisely as desired. The fog of war may have made it think it knew something that it did not. It made a mistake. Mistakes happen in war, and in war mistakes kill your allies and buddies. And so we lose Jack... for now.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:20 am

I don't know why people are making such a fuss about Jack's death. It's blatantly obvious he's gonna get decrypted. And I bet he'll not only retain spellcasting, it will actually be stronger under the plier's aura. And then plenty of cheap drama on how Wanda could decrypt one of her longer associates and the essence of being decrypted and yadayada.


Kreistor wrote:We do not know what was in the head of the dragon. He performed as ordered, though not precisely as desired. The fog of war may have made it think it knew something that it did not. It made a mistake.


Except we know what's going on the dwagon's head. Orders. Only commanding units in Erfworld have the gift of free will to afford to make mistakes. Everybody else blindly follows orders or runs on auto-scritp. And if the order is to make a building start colapsing and then charge inside said colapsing building, well, he was just following orders.
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Postby Free Radical » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:00 am

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Except we know what's going on the dwagon's head. Orders. Only commanding units in Erfworld have the gift of free will to afford to make mistakes. Everybody else blindly follows orders or runs on auto-scritp. And if the order is to make a building start colapsing and then charge inside said colapsing building, well, he was just following orders.

From the description Clay Dice gave of Luckamancy and how "rolls" work, it seems to me that the choices a unit takes are represented in Mathamancy by the rolls of the imaginary dice. Clay explicitly describes the imaginary soldier represented by his boosted dice as having made excellent choices.

Jack's dragon may have had its choices limited by Jack's orders, but I'd still say it rolled badly and chose poorly within how it followed those orders, which may be the same thing.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby effataigus » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:04 pm

Vreejack wrote:
    a. How he could violate duty.
    b. Why he would violate duty.
    c. Why he did not cast anything in the battle before Parson sent him outside.
Ooh, list formatting... I'll try to answer with the same fanciness. I don't think these points are hard to rationalize at all. I would (and have) use(d) a very different argument to come to your same conclusion...
    a. If he lied about his juice, he lied in front of 10+ hostile casters and 1 warlord. It would be the obvious way to convince his foes not to look for more trickery... i.e. not a violation of duty, just a good juice-free way to enhance his casting.
    b. See a.
    c. I'd argue that he might have not cast to preserve his juice for a more important stunt, that this might be that more important stunt, and that we wouldn't even know if he HAD cast. Mostly the first bit though, since it would be boring if Jack was just ambiently spending juice on minor infantry clashes (talking before the battle-bear showed up here) that we never learn about.
As an aside, I appreciate how you keep Erfworld in perspective with the other webcomics out there in your posts!
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Kreistor » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:36 pm

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Except we know what's going on the dwagon's head. Orders. Only commanding units in Erfworld have the gift of free will to afford to make mistakes. Everybody else blindly follows orders or runs on auto-scritp. And if the order is to make a building start colapsing and then charge inside said colapsing building, well, he was just following orders.


All orders are open to interpretation. Jack ordered it to "breath. And... charge in, I suppose?" He conveyed no timing, so the Dragon interpreted it as an immediate charge following the breath. The dwagon might know that it will survive the falling debris and not worry about the rider's capacity to. So while the orders are odd, to it, it did exactly what Jack asked. This is a literal interpretation of the orders.

An experienced commander would say, "Breath, wait for the debris to fall, and then charge in to clear out survivors." Jack is inexperienced, and so failed to convey orders with precision... and paid for it.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby drachefly » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:51 pm

In short, I'd say this page is unsatisfying as a climax... but the story isn't over yet.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Menas » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:38 am

As far as the doll's utterances (that Parson was fighting), I didn't mind them at all and thought they were kind of cute. And they caused me to research Manglor - coolest toy EVER (someone needs to reissue this thing):

http://www.i-mockery.com/minimocks/manglor-mountain/
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Dancing Cthulhu » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:22 am

bladestorm wrote:Two casters? I thought only Ace was left. If they go for two, they may as well go for four. An airborne strike against the column marching away from Spacerock could target the leadership, wiping out Tramennis, Pierce, and Lloyd. They just wait for the incapacitated Cubbins to fly straight into the slaughter. That's a very vulnerable convoy if you can avoid the main column. There may be some archery left, but most have spent their ammo, and just how much damage could they possible muster? We've seen what a stack of dwagons can do to a stack in Book 1, and Jetstone no longer has an insane leadership bonus stacked with an artifact bonus.

End of this turn and the start of the next will be the keys to this battle. Neither GK nor Jetstone are in a position for another sustained conflict. Parson will be vulnerable until reinforcements can be acquired. Tramennis will be vulnerable until his entire column can get to their destination. Cubbins will lose that replicated backpack at the start of next turn. If Parson pressed the issue, he might be able to take the remaining dwagons, abandon Spacerock, and launch a counter attack against just the airborn casters and leadership. He might have enough move to reach them, and if his turn starts before Jetstone's, he may be able to catch them as they are breaking camp. It'd be a gamble that would leave him in the middle of nowhere, and he'd be relying on the attack group doing what they do without him being there (unless he can weasel his way around the Heavy unit on a flying mount restriction), but he could wipe out Jetstone.


I can't really see that working. No one in a position to order such a strike knows where they'll be exactly (especially if Trem and co and beelining for Jetstone instead of hovering above the column) - Parson certainly doesn't, at the moment for all he knows all the Jetstone casters are dead and Slately has no heir. Wanda can't get to the city so there'll be no questioning of new decrypted who know anything. If Parson captured either Slately or Ace there is a chance they may spill the beans, but it would be awfully convenient of them to gab "Trem is heir and he and the casters are flying for Jetstone on this route and everyone has been evacuated" in the time they have left.

Plus it seems most of the dwagons are dead (as well as anyone to fly on them), and they don't have archons for any kind of scouting. And Parson, unable to ride dwagons... so Parson would be essentially leaving himself completely defenseless in Spacerock while sending the dwagons off.

And Jetstone still has alot of archers with the column, and the dwagons aren't getting any bonuses either and there'll be no cloaking to cover them this time. And of course - everyone is spread out everywhere. Stanley is (baring overlord senses) fairly blind as to what is going on in Spacerock, Parson is pretty much blind to anything going on outside of the throne room he's currently in. Maggie and Wanda have no idea what is going on in Spacerock, and Maggie is nearly out of juice as well.... and there is Charlie. His turn definitely comes before GK, and I can't help but suspect his plan consisted of more than hoping Parson would burn to death in Spacerock

Yes. Far too many things to coordinate to chase down a small fast moving target when everyone is out of contact with everyone else, especially with the very limited resources Parson has at hand.

mastigo wrote:I think something unusual is up. I'm not sure what, just that it is. There's too many oddities about what's going on:
1. Literally the page before Jack dies due to the dwagon being blind, he's shown helping Jillian see despite blindness. (Perhaps a luck repayment from what Fate did to help Jillian all the way back then?)


The dwagon isn't blind. From the looks of things it is more down to Jack failing to control it properly and ending up in a bad place rather than the dwagon messing up because it is, quote "half blind".

Plus, Jack helped Jillian when he was juiced up. Unless Jack has been lying to everyone the whole time he is spent.
2. When he was out in the courtyard thinking up a plan, it didn't sound very much like his typical speech patterns.


What about it didn't? I can't imagine many other characters musing on the appropriateness of crushing the enemy with statues of their own enemy. He was more hesitant than usual true, and acting less the fool, possibly because he was having to be in command - a position he isn't really use to.

3. Jack had no reason to be mounted on the dwagon


A led stack has greater options than an unled one.

4. Jack NOTES that the dwagon is half blind before getting on it and selected it out of all the other dwagons in the courtyard.


Which consist of... what? Reds which he has already dismissed and what appears to be a dead yellow. He doesn't really seem spoiled for choice.

5. I'm pretty sure Parson could have just ordered a dwagon from where he was standing


Possibly because Parson doesn't ride dwagons pretty well. If he could I could easily see him thinking "hmmmm, the battle is over there, do I want to send an uncontrolled dwagon into the middle of it, or do I want to be able to aim and control it beyond the single order I give it as I send it on its way?".

name lips wrote:And speaking of no juice... he's a Master-class Foolamancer. His value is unspeakable to GK or any side. Nobody would want him dead if there was any way to capture him. And without juice to use his magic, he's completely ineffective. It doesn't sound like Jack to conclude, "well, I'm about as good as a stabber with the Command special... LETS DO IT!" He knows his value. Why would he risk throwing away his life?


Because he's canny enough to realize a trap has been sprung and someone of far greater value to GK - Parson - is in very real danger. Of course he's going to commit everything he's got, which if he's out of juice is whatever combat skills he has.

Plus it is possible he, like nearly everyone else in GK, has a kind of hero worship thing going on with Parson. Jack respects him, if Parson's charging into battle it isn't unrealistic to think Jack would be eager to be by his side. Finally - no, I think at this point GK's opponents are mostly quite content to kill them all.
And so my time with the Tardy Elves draws to a close, and I am let to ponder how the experience will... eh, I'll finish later. No need to rush.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby mortissimus » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:00 am

Vreejack wrote:Another curiosity: did Jack screw up his control of the dwagon because the beast could not sense things clearly?


Yes, I think so. In particular, the dwagon had lost depth perception by being blinded on one eye.

coyotenose wrote:Parson can, even while required to obey orders, effectively disobey them by being ignorant of the intent and scope of them in the context of the world.


Which I think sets up the situation with the dwagon: Dwagon can, even while required to obey orders, effectively disobey them by being ignorant of the actual distance to the castle.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby WarGiver » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:46 am

Is it just me or is the Dwagon the only unit other then Parson that Jack actually interacted with.

I think that Jack cast an illusion on Parson to think Jack was with him, Parson being unable to tell stats at a glance like everyone else might just be vulnerable to such a spell. Part of the spell could include a small data dump of things he felt Parson needed to know (Antium) actually all the information Parson gets aside from the fact Antium is someone to listen to and who ordered what regarding the fire. I have read the entire thing ignoring all of Jack's actions and speach. With how the others react to Parson and what they say, it almost does make sense that the trick was never a question of how Jack snuck out of the magic kingdom, but could be more if he did.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Kreistor » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:11 am

WarGiver wrote:Is it just me or is the Dwagon the only unit other then Parson that Jack actually interacted with.

I think that Jack cast an illusion on Parson to think Jack was with him, Parson being unable to tell stats at a glance like everyone else might just be vulnerable to such a spell. Part of the spell could include a small data dump of things he felt Parson needed to know (Antium) actually all the information Parson gets aside from the fact Antium is someone to listen to and who ordered what regarding the fire. I have read the entire thing ignoring all of Jack's actions and speach. With how the others react to Parson and what they say, it almost does make sense that the trick was never a question of how Jack snuck out of the magic kingdom, but could be more if he did.


It would reveal itself the moment any matter interacted with it. Sorry, Jack's corpse cannot be an illusion.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby Zippy the Squirrel » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:37 am

Kreistor wrote:
WarGiver wrote:Is it just me or is the Dwagon the only unit other then Parson that Jack actually interacted with.

I think that Jack cast an illusion on Parson to think Jack was with him, Parson being unable to tell stats at a glance like everyone else might just be vulnerable to such a spell. Part of the spell could include a small data dump of things he felt Parson needed to know (Antium) actually all the information Parson gets aside from the fact Antium is someone to listen to and who ordered what regarding the fire. I have read the entire thing ignoring all of Jack's actions and speach. With how the others react to Parson and what they say, it almost does make sense that the trick was never a question of how Jack snuck out of the magic kingdom, but could be more if he did.


It would reveal itself the moment any matter interacted with it. Sorry, Jack's corpse cannot be an illusion.


I don't know about that; Jack was able to fool Dame Branch with an illusion of her instrument for a moment.

I still think he's dead, though.
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Re: Book 2 – Page 105

Postby drachefly » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:39 am

The big question is why. If he did project himself back through, why not tell Parson he was just an illusion? I can't think of a reason, so I'm ranking this theory pretty danged low.
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