Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby effataigus » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:06 am

Kreistor wrote:
jkosta wrote:He's trying, earnestly, to change the world.


No, he isn't. He's hiding wherever possible and letting the world do whatever it wants. Banhammer cares only about himself and his little, insulated bubble kingdom.

I think both of these views are valid. I would have agreed with jkosta and co until book 0, but that was mostly because I liked him due to Jillian's distaste for the man. In book 0 he has been portrayed as a man who runs on refined self-satisfaction. His actions beg the question of whether he is striving for his ideals or just butthurt about being brushed off by his daughter and his court, made to look like an ass by the woman he just fell for (who he fell for due to her flattery), and about to see this same woman who he still loves or at least hopes to score with be executed. All of this moralistic outrage could be just that, or it could be just petulance and him refusing to accept that he has been hoodwinked. I used to assume the best about him and attribute negative observations to Jillian's perspective, but the last 10 or so updates have changed that. His dominant personality trait might just be ego.

Then again, excessive ego isn't really excessive when you have the powers of an overlord. In many respects, he's one of the most grounded possible outcomes when someone has that much power.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:25 am

Vreejack wrote:It seems intentional on Balder's part. Maggie seems utterly ignorant of the role of Dame Olive Branch in the region's history, laughing derisively at the mere existence of hippymancers. Even the idea of casters being overlords seems alien to the later crew, while in Banhammer's time they were the most powerful overlords in Erf. Judy Gale was even suspected of being a caster at one point. In the later story promoting a non-royal to be heir was considered extremely unusual, but Wanda was popped into just such a side.


You claim the most powerful overlords of their time, but that's pretty far from the true.

Tecnically both Wanda and Olive did become powerful overlords-for around 5 minutes before being captured. Wanda's side was wiped out. Olive's side doesn't seem like it will last much longer now that she's in charge.

So if anything, for all Erf knows a mancer becoming the ruler of your side is indeed a portent of iminent doom.

Olive may've become the power beyond the throne for hundreds of turns-but precisely because of that, few would know of her real importance. The 12th level hippymancer only showed her face in important events, and then probably poisoned the other guys before unleashing her chrismats trees of death, killing anyone from other side that had laid their eyes upon her. So it makes quite sense that nobody remembers her, or they simply (in the case of Jillian and Wanda) don't feel like talking about the drug dealer bitch.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby Swodaems » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:05 am

raphfrk wrote:
Chit Rule Railroad wrote: Marie shouted "It's all zeroes!" I'm wondering why a Predictamancer would be talking about numbers rather than booleans.

Zero in this context could be damage inflicted or just the probability of hitting.


I think you're on to something with the damage inflicted statement. We've seen items capable of defusing or deflecting spells, so Olive may have one. Marie may have been able to see the outcome, even if she didn't know the cause.

I also have to wonder if Marie has ever shot anyone before. It is relatively common for fresh troops fire very wildly when asked to shoot and kill a living person. Most humans have inhibitions when it comes to killing someone, and these can affect aim. A part of Marie might be thinking, "If I miss, I have obeyed the order to fire, but haven't killed anyone." Marie could be seeing herself jerk at the last microsecond. Letting Jillian do the croaking instead lets her keep the blood off her hands.

Personally, I like those explanations better than the alternative of a deus ex machina.

Also, "With one chop, we’re gonna take over the biggest side in the world", Jillian is far too optimistic about what is going to happen after Olive croaks. Her forces are limited to her father, Faq's casters, and a handful of gwiffons. She simply does not have the resources available to grab those cities while they are still unaligned, or to keep her new neighbors from trying to take over.

For Faq to actually take over those cities, they would need Olive alive and turned.

On a related note, the questions that the court should be asking itself during Olive's trial aren't "What has this woman done?", "What does Fate want?", or "Is she evil?". They live in a world that requires more pragmatic questions be asked. The questions to ask are "Is this woman of more use to us croaked or alive?", "How dangerous is she?", "Did she tell anyone outside of Haffaton about the location of Faq, Otoh, and Kibo?", and "What is our side's grand strategy from now on?".

Frosted wrote:Everyone seems to be of the opinion that Olive being permitted to talk is going to be the undoing of FAQ but I feel exactly the other way: Jillian speaking is going to completely ruin Olive.
I'm going to place my bets on Wanda as opposed to Jillian. Wanda has far more first hand experience with Olive than Jillian does.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby Frosted » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:25 am

Swodaems wrote:
Frosted wrote:Everyone seems to be of the opinion that Olive being permitted to talk is going to be the undoing of FAQ but I feel exactly the other way: Jillian speaking is going to completely ruin Olive.
I'm going to place my bets on Wanda as opposed to Jillian. Wanda has far more first hand experience with Olive than Jillian does.


Yeah, I'm dumb and typed the wrong name.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby bladestorm » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:11 am

Swodaems wrote:
I think you're on to something with the damage inflicted statement. We've seen items capable of defusing or deflecting spells, so Olive may have one. Marie may have been able to see the outcome, even if she didn't know the cause.

I also have to wonder if Marie has ever shot anyone before. It is relatively common for fresh troops fire very wildly when asked to shoot and kill a living person. Most humans have inhibitions when it comes to killing someone, and these can affect aim. A part of Marie might be thinking, "If I miss, I have obeyed the order to fire, but haven't killed anyone." Marie could be seeing herself jerk at the last microsecond. Letting Jillian do the croaking instead lets her keep the blood off her hands.

Personally, I like those explanations better than the alternative of a deus ex machina.

Preditamancers deal with future certainties. A 1 means the event will happen and can be Predicted as such. A zero means it will not happen. With Marie determining the Fate of each shot, they were all coming up as zeroes, so none of them were Fated to hit. She was looking for Fate to pull Numbers so that there would be a 100% chance of the shot hitting. Instead, it was pulling numbers for a 0% chance of hitting. No matter what kind of attack roll Wanda would have made, or how many multipliers were stack up on it, it was going to be a 0.

Mathemancy works on a similar principle, but it works with the Numbers in between 0 and 100; Predictamancy works on just 0 and 100. Marie knew with 100% certainty that Parson would enter that portal, just not how or when. The mathemancy bracer was running scenarios to determine the odds of a particular tactic getting Parson to the portal, the odds of survival, the odds of getting Wanda back through the portal, how the odds were adjusted by stacking with this combination of caster, how many different ways the thinkamancers would block a particular plan, etc. Mathemancy Numbers are much more granular and precise than Predictamancy. A mathemancer would have given the odds that the shot would hit; Marie was predicting whether the shot definitely would hit (100) or definitely would not(0) hit.

Also, it wouldn't be Marie doing the croaking. Wanda would be the one firing the spell, and she has more than enough experience dealing with croaking, as it is a necessity for her discipline. Marie was serving more as a spotter; she would be no more responsible for the croaking of Olive than she would for the croaking of Banhammer, whose demise she also Predicted.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby MonteCristo » Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:58 pm

Swodaems wrote:
raphfrk wrote:
Chit Rule Railroad wrote: Marie shouted "It's all zeroes!" I'm wondering why a Predictamancer would be talking about numbers rather than booleans.

Zero in this context could be damage inflicted or just the probability of hitting.


I think you're on to something with the damage inflicted statement. We've seen items capable of defusing or deflecting spells, so Olive may have one. Marie may have been able to see the outcome, even if she didn't know the cause.

I also have to wonder if Marie has ever shot anyone before. It is relatively common for fresh troops fire very wildly when asked to shoot and kill a living person. Most humans have inhibitions when it comes to killing someone, and these can affect aim. A part of Marie might be thinking, "If I miss, I have obeyed the order to fire, but haven't killed anyone." Marie could be seeing herself jerk at the last microsecond. Letting Jillian do the croaking instead lets her keep the blood off her hands.

Personally, I like those explanations better than the alternative of a deus ex machina.

Also, "With one chop, we’re gonna take over the biggest side in the world", Jillian is far too optimistic about what is going to happen after Olive croaks. Her forces are limited to her father, Faq's casters, and a handful of gwiffons. She simply does not have the resources available to grab those cities while they are still unaligned, or to keep her new neighbors from trying to take over.

For Faq to actually take over those cities, they would need Olive alive and turned.


Its true that it would be more accuate for her to say "end the largest side in erfworld with one chop", however taking over many of those cities would not be that difficult. Those cities have only pathetic defenses left; Jillian manged to take one city with just herself and a dwagon; this time she will have a small team of gwiffens and a whole bunch of casters...

There might also be some question as to how quickly the other sides will move... might take some of them a turn or two to notice that the cities of their most powerful neighbor have gone neutral. Plus while most of haffaton's cities are poorly guarded, I would assume the one's near the border would have decent defenses; Afterall haffaton has to keep the other sides at bay and that means putting up a tough front so they don't realize how weak they really are. Haffaton IS a powerful side, however the diminishing returns on having so many cities would lead them to putting nearly all of their power on their borders. Those better defended border cities may slow down the other sides... Not only will it be harder to take those cities, but they will falsely assume all of haffaton's cities are similar and thus spend a good deal of time building up their forces to take the cities.

All in all, Faq will certainly not be taking over all of haffaton, but they could potentially take a good number of those cities before the other sides arrive.

Though we do know that's NOT what happens... Banhammer will make the call for them to all just return to Faq and go back to their bubble. Though they may still take many of the cities along the way just so they can raze them to bolster their treasurey.


I'll be interested in seeing where gobwinknob comes from... Based on what we know, it seems like Gobwinkob doesn't exist yet which could easily mean that they are a spinnoff of a another royal side.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby Vreejack » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:21 pm

oslecamo2_temp wrote:
Vreejack wrote:It seems intentional on Balder's part. Maggie seems utterly ignorant of the role of Dame Olive Branch in the region's history, laughing derisively at the mere existence of hippymancers. Even the idea of casters being overlords seems alien to the later crew, while in Banhammer's time they were the most powerful overlords in Erf. Judy Gale was even suspected of being a caster at one point. In the later story promoting a non-royal to be heir was considered extremely unusual, but Wanda was popped into just such a side.


You claim the most powerful overlords of their time, but that's pretty far from the true.

Tecnically both Wanda and Olive did become powerful overlords-for around 5 minutes before being captured. Wanda's side was wiped out. Olive's side doesn't seem like it will last much longer now that she's in charge.

So if anything, for all Erf knows a mancer becoming the ruler of your side is indeed a portent of iminent doom.

Olive may've become the power beyond the throne for hundreds of turns-but precisely because of that, few would know of her real importance. The 12th level hippymancer only showed her face in important events, and then probably poisoned the other guys before unleashing her chrismats trees of death, killing anyone from other side that had laid their eyes upon her. So it makes quite sense that nobody remembers her, or they simply (in the case of Jillian and Wanda) don't feel like talking about the drug dealer bitch.


You are forgetting Charlie, who also ruled the most powerful city on Erf (until Judy defeated him) and is a suspected carnymancer (largely by analogy to the Wizard of Oz and because of his relationship with the carnies shown in Portal Park). But my point was that it was not thought terribly unusual at the time for casters to be overlords. That argument still seems intact. Olive spent a long time as heir to Haffaton and no one even remarked on the obvious fact that she was a caster.

I find the claim that no one knew about Olive branch because she kept herself hidden to be laughable. You can be pretty sure that the overlord of Transylvito knew a great deal about the existence of Olive Branch, as did all her neighbors who valued their own very tentative existences. They probably traded every scrap of rumor they came across in order to find a weakness they might be able to exploit.

All sides fail. No exceptions. So your argument that the largest sides Erf had ever seen at that date were irrelevant because they fell seems invalid. Unless you want to argue that they were irrelevant because no one remembers them. But I think that is more the fault of the current crop of ignorami who run Erf.
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A Prediction is what would have happened had there been no Prediction. What is scary is that they are also what will happen in spite of the Prediction.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby bensans » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:10 am

After reading multiple posts on the topic, I can't help but provide my opinion on how I think Luckamancy, Predictamancy and Mathamancy work and how they interact with Fate.
Assuming Erfworld is a turn based, dice based strategy game with elements of micromanagement (all these assumptions are well established now) ... Erfworld should be a game that can be modelled by software.

Also, one thing that seems clear to me is that unit do not enact their decisions well or poorly and THEN roll; units roll for their decisions THEN a narrative that explains these rolls plays itself out. In other words, Jack (and/or the purple dwagon) rolled poorly therefore blundered through the charge that caused his death. This is a typical trope for playing out D&D combat: the narrative of actions is dictated after the fact by the results of dice roll (attack, damage, saves, extra effects). A conclusion of this is that the concern about free will is not particularly relevant to the denouement of actions, combat and other interactions or in explaining how predictamancy, mathamancy and luckamancy work.

So, Mathamancy is the easiest to explain: given a particular set of observable facts (e.g. units, casters, leaders, spells in effect and spells available), run the "game" software simulation a large number of time and observe the incidence of a specific outcome or observable of interest (e.g. win an engagement, a specific unit to croak), the complexity of the situation and observables and the precision of the output depend on caster level and juice spent. In Risk, computing the result of an engagement that involves a large number of soldiers on both sides of a border is beyond the math abilities of most players, but a computer simulation could easily break down the odds of win & loss by number of engagements in the fights. A player with access to that info would have an edge in making combat and soldier movement decisions.

Luckamancy is not terribly difficult either: replace rolls that are unfavorable with favorable ones and be prepared for the opposite to happen forcibly later in the game. In a critical engameent, you can "cheat" your way to victory, but you are guaranteed some serious back luck later, hopefully in a less important engagement. Of course, against a grossly superior foe, the best that can be accomplished is above average retributions or chances of dodging and/or fleeing until the caster runs out of juice.

Predictamancy is a bit trickier: imagine that during a game of chess, you are allowed to reverse your opponent's last move and then your own. How many such moves you can "backtrack" at once is limited by your caster level and how often during the game by your juice. Against a grossly superior opponent, this might not be very efficient (all outcomes come out 0) but against an opponent of about your own strenght whom is not allowed the same trick, this is a great advantage. In terms of "narrative" perspective, the caster and surrounding units only see the "last play", the predictamancer is informed of the future of specific decision and can decide to lean into or away from those pre-determined outcomes.

Then there is Fate!
Fate means that there is an underlying narrative playing itself out, USING the game mechanics as the language of expression. In other words, Erfworld cheats and finds "convenient" ways to mask its hand, very probably through retconjuration (e.g. Banhammer showing up with superior forces JUST about as Wanda is about to croak Jillian ... excellent timing!). This is why predictamancers can detect Fated events and people: all outcomes point to very specific things, regardless of all other variables, this is not a subtle thing if you run simulations against complex multivariable systems. The Titans have a somewhat heavy (but invisible) hands since they are correlling the story towards specific outcomes. Whether Titans are working towards ONE common narrative or they are working against multiple possibly conflicting narratives remains to be seen.

... versus Free Will?
Retconjuration can explain why Fate always trumps free will: if units with free will act towards the fated outcome, lean back and enjoy. If units with free will act against Fate, then retconjuration is used to force some key victories or failures or "random" events or even BACKTRACK some past events and let the game replay itself under different conditions ... the beautiful thing about retconjuration is that it can be used a bit or a lot or grossly massively and yet it cannot be observed by those it affects. Titans can try and retry a bazillion different permutations of cheats and/or backtracks until they get their desired outcome and the units affected, regradless of free will, can only observe the "last play".
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby oslecamo2_temp » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:15 am

Vreejack wrote:
oslecamo2_temp wrote:
You claim the most powerful overlords of their time, but that's pretty far from the true.

Tecnically both Wanda and Olive did become powerful overlords-for around 5 minutes before being captured. Wanda's side was wiped out. Olive's side doesn't seem like it will last much longer now that she's in charge.

So if anything, for all Erf knows a mancer becoming the ruler of your side is indeed a portent of iminent doom.

Olive may've become the power beyond the throne for hundreds of turns-but precisely because of that, few would know of her real importance. The 12th level hippymancer only showed her face in important events, and then probably poisoned the other guys before unleashing her chrismats trees of death, killing anyone from other side that had laid their eyes upon her. So it makes quite sense that nobody remembers her, or they simply (in the case of Jillian and Wanda) don't feel like talking about the drug dealer bitch.


You are forgetting Charlie, who also ruled the most powerful city on Erf (until Judy defeated him) and is a suspected carnymancer (largely by analogy to the Wizard of Oz and because of his relationship with the carnies shown in Portal Park). But my point was that it was not thought terribly unusual at the time for casters to be overlords. That argument still seems intact. Olive spent a long time as heir to Haffaton and no one even remarked on the obvious fact that she was a caster.

I find the claim that no one knew about Olive branch because she kept herself hidden to be laughable. You can be pretty sure that the overlord of Transylvito knew a great deal about the existence of Olive Branch, as did all her neighbors who valued their own very tentative existences. They probably traded every scrap of rumor they came across in order to find a weakness they might be able to exploit.

All sides fail. No exceptions. So your argument that the largest sides Erf had ever seen at that date were irrelevant because they fell seems invalid. Unless you want to argue that they were irrelevant because no one remembers them. But I think that is more the fault of the current crop of ignorami who run Erf.


I never said nobody knew about Olive Branch. But how would they know she was the heir to her side? She has no neon sign over her head, and no compulsion to tell it to anyone. And her "overlord" status will be extremely short lived, just as Wanda was.

Neither Jillian or Wanda knew Oliver was her side's heir until captured by said side. Actually, they had no idea who the hell was that side's overlord until brought in chains to their capital.

Rumors from the other sides, if anything, would be just that, empty rumors, in particular because Olive's side survived on the basis of looking too menancing for anyone to dare to stick their nose in their business. That's how they could get away with holding dozens cities around with just simbolic garrisons.

Plus Charlie only supports my point. He's been around for a very long time and nobody else alive in Erfworld but his innermost archons even know his face, let alone if he's a mancer. Also he's the side that still didn't fail. Charlie is the exception, having been trough titans know how many enemies and wars and still around and kicking as a strong power.

Bottom point being, the only mancer that managed to remain as overlord for more than the blink of an eye would be Charlie-if he's a mancer at all.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 065

Postby Chit Rule Railroad » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:25 pm

oslecamo2_temp wrote:Bottom point being, the only mancer that managed to remain as overlord for more than the blink of an eye would be Charlie-if he's a mancer at all.

And even if he is a caster, others would attribute his personal power to the 'Dish more than his own casting, especially if he's a carnymancer (as I suspect he is).

Pre-'Dish, he was an Overlord whose Side did get conquered.
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