Book 2 – Text Updates 059

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby walpurgisborn » Mon May 20, 2013 11:14 am

ManaCaster wrote:Upon opening the scroll, he didn't need to. His own caster sense enabled him to decipher the workings of the spell and told him exactly what it does. Which brings up another interesting question: Other casters couldn't decipher the spell, but Parson could in spite of the fact that he almost certainly isn't a Carnymancer. Is the ability to decipher any spell a power of Signamancy or whatever discipline Parson is?

That's assuming Isaac was being honest. I'm not entirely sure that can be assumed.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby ManaCaster » Mon May 20, 2013 11:27 am

Lilwik wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:So... as far as Fate's concerned, we should just disregard everything the characters of the story say, as well as all of the impossible coincidences they attribute to it, and come to our own conclusions, then?

Not exactly. Yes, we should disregard everything that the characters say because they are all unreliable, or at least we haven't gotten anything really definitive yet. But we shouldn't simply choose our own conclusions. We should assume Erfworld is Like Reality Unless Noted. We know that there are people who can make guaranteed predictions about the future, and that's more than enough to explain an enormous amount of so-called "impossible coincidences". It shouldn't be a surprise when things happen to work out the way they were predicted; that's not luck and we don't need to invent an invisible magical force to explain it.

So we should ignore everything unless it prevents evidence that absolutely cannot be denied, or supports what you've already concluded. Well, I can hardly argue with that.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby ManaCaster » Mon May 20, 2013 11:29 am

walpurgisborn wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:Upon opening the scroll, he didn't need to. His own caster sense enabled him to decipher the workings of the spell and told him exactly what it does. Which brings up another interesting question: Other casters couldn't decipher the spell, but Parson could in spite of the fact that he almost certainly isn't a Carnymancer. Is the ability to decipher any spell a power of Signamancy or whatever discipline Parson is?

That's assuming Isaac was being honest. I'm not entirely sure that can be assumed.

Yes, Isaac could have easily been dishonest, but Sizemore certainly wasn't.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby walpurgisborn » Mon May 20, 2013 11:37 am

Kreistor wrote:
6 elements added.

1) Erfworld is an variant
2) Erfworld is sentient.
3) Erfworld has a purpose that aligns with those that created the Summon spell
4) Erfworld can foresee that this purpose is achieved only by Parson's presence.
5) Erfworld can affect the perception of units.
6) Erfworld cannot achieve the same effect with a form of magic that does not reveal its presence.

Sorry, Epic Fail. HUGE Epic Fail, actually.


1) Fate or Erfworld is known to exist, there is no additional element added.
2) Fate has been shown to impact statistics in previous updates, which is all that's required to satisfy the conditions as presented to us.
3), 4) Parson is explicitly stated to be the subject of at least 4 major prophecies. Since Predictomancy deals explicitly with Fate, one would assume that both these elements are implicit in that statement.
5) This assumes that Parson's senses are being effected. The alternative is to assume he is seeing an accurate representation of the world. No addition has occurred, one is being removed.
6) This is the only addition that has to be added, but a varient with Jack replacing Erfworld is required to meet your requirements.

By my reckoning, Fate taking a hamd requires one addition to fit the evidence, while Jack being alive takes three.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby effataigus » Mon May 20, 2013 11:40 am

Infidel wrote:The overly literal interpretation of "now" definitely seems the most elegant answer.
Quoting Infidel here because this is shorter mrooze's full description.

So, I'm confused. Is the argument that the scroll is ever changing, and is never "this" scroll for longer than an instant? Hence whenever Parson says "this" scroll the number resets to 0 after first giving him the answer he would expect?

I get the "now" bit, but that only explains most of what we see on this update.

I don't buy this argument (or the argument that I am referring to as "this" argument, just in case it changes). This seems an odd and confusing thing to hinge an update on. Rob has enough difficulty conveying Erfworld to us without muddying the waters with philosophy. Dubious philosophy even, as I'm pretty sure I'll still be typing on this computer later today. Also, I'm not sure how this argument jives with:

CharlsNChrg: Tell me the odds that learning what happened to my Archons right now will be worth giving up those calculations in the future.
SNIP
LordHamster: 4.14 percent.


Should the answer not change as Charlie learning the answer "right now" becomes an impossibility? This question is not entirely rhetorical since the bracer could have interpreted the question as "tell me for some alternate reality in which Charlie did learn, what would be the likelihood that Charlie would come out ahead?" However, if the bracer did jump those hurdles on its way to an answer, then it evidently is willing to use language to infer intent rather than simply literal meaning, and the intent of Parson's question this time around was pretty clear. That said, proponents of the theory still have the out that we don't know how Parson actually phrased the question to the bracer in the example I (mis)quoted above.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Mikalyaran » Mon May 20, 2013 11:58 am

Like others have said I think the bracers origin is really important here. If it was created as a function of the summoning spell it seems to me it would be bound to work for fate. In which case I think Parson sees that non zero probability flash because fate wants him to unroll that scroll and awaken his caster senses. Charlie is used to trying to cheat fate and tampering with the game but I think he may have underestimated how tricky fate can be. So now Parson is down and its up to those who care about him to save him. So Stanley changes the capital, we get updated on conditions in the MK, Sizemore/Wanda/Maggie come through the portal upon resolution of MK issues and save Parson. End of Book 2? Seems about right to me.

Also...Charlie want him to cast the Carnymancy scroll so much because he has a scroll prepped and a team ready to summon Parson right back on the side of Charlescomm. But if he wont cast it...Charlie is still better off with Parson dead.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Amado » Mon May 20, 2013 12:09 pm

You're all so funny.

The explanation offered here by others is perfectly sensible in story-context. Chance of Parson (caster! probably signomancer. he named the streets.) having the capacity to cast the scroll: 98%. Chance of Fate letting him? 0%. Flickering light? Bracer trying to reconcile those two results.

The "it was foolamancy" theory is possible. I keep going back to where Jack said "it must be some kind of trick." Say it wasn't Jack, but some other Fool disguised as Jack. (Say he somehow Fooled his way into commanding a dragon, busting down a wall.) Say he faked his own death, and is now shadowing Parson invisibly to Fool him into seeing the wrong thing on his bracer. Possible.

Just not bloody likely. Occam's razor. Fate's been screwing with this battle since the beginning. Parson is Fated to stay in the game at this time.

What has me in suspense is, who's gonna haul his ass out of the fire?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Concerned » Mon May 20, 2013 12:43 pm

Amado wrote:You're all so funny.

The explanation offered here by others is perfectly sensible in story-context. Chance of Parson (caster! probably signomancer. he named the streets.) having the capacity to cast the scroll: 98%. Chance of Fate letting him? 0%. Flickering light? Bracer trying to reconcile those two results.

The "it was foolamancy" theory is possible. I keep going back to where Jack said "it must be some kind of trick." Say it wasn't Jack, but some other Fool disguised as Jack. (Say he somehow Fooled his way into commanding a dragon, busting down a wall.) Say he faked his own death, and is now shadowing Parson invisibly to Fool him into seeing the wrong thing on his bracer. Possible.

Just not bloody likely. Occam's razor. Fate's been screwing with this battle since the beginning. Parson is Fated to stay in the game at this time.

What has me in suspense is, who's gonna haul his ass out of the fire?

This.

I don't understand why everyone is sidestepping the fact that fate is responsible for this. Whether fate is the titans, erfworld itself, the players, the GM or some other force is largely irrelevant.
Clearly Parson is "able" to cast the spell, that was proven to us when he unravelled it and had a look, but just as clearly "fate" or whatever fate actually is, is behind the railroading, as shown when a beam hit his head.

There are other possible explanations but any other explanation about malicious bracers, or jack, or special/timing reasons are just too played out when the obvious answer is right there.

As for how Parson is going to get out, it's already been taken care of Stanley will open the portal, and either sizemore and the casters will come rushing through and save the day or Antium and/or his minions will haul him through.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 20, 2013 12:54 pm

Lilwik wrote:We should assume Erfworld is Like Reality Unless Noted.

Actually, I want to point out that there are DOZENS of examples where Erfworld deviates from reality. We really should assume the exact opposite - that NOTHING in Erfworld is like our reality unless it's stated. Just to go through the list off the top of my head:

    Time is relative to hexes.
    Magic works.
    People are compelled to follow orders & bargains.
    Items pop into and out of existence.
    People's appearance reflect their inner nature.
    People are 'born' fully sentient, without parents.
    Farms work strangely (pigs pop bigger each turn, then bacon magically appears).
    Harvesting results in instant-kills plus free food.
    Fire doesn't follow physics.
    Falling doesn't follow physics.
    Dead people come back to life.
    The future can accurately be predicted.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Oberon » Mon May 20, 2013 1:25 pm

Kreistor wrote:
8) Occam's razor also indicates that if you shave away the additional factors (thus the razor part), the hypothesis still holds.


That's not even possible. The whole point to Occam's Razor is that it limits additional elements required to solve the question. Once you're at the minimum, shaving away more leaves you with insufficient information to solve the problem. The Razor shaves away added elements, until you reach the minimum necessary to answer the question.
How can you know the correct definition and yet apply it in such an erroneous manner? We've seen Jack die. We've seen him lying dead in several strips. We've seen Stanley bemoan the fact that Parson has cost him a caster. There is no evidence that Jack is alive that cannot be more easily explained by simpler means, such as taking things at face value rather than inventing wild theories about them. Additionally, Foolamancy can be broken by some units, and there were at least two of those units present when Jack died. That last is not conclusive, I merely include it for completeness. And yet you claim Jack is alive due to Occam's Razor?

Really? Ahem, huge, epic failure in applying the Razor...

Let me illustrate it for you:

Theory 1) The bracer gave the actual chance for Parson to cast a spell, and then changed it to 0.0 after factoring in Fate.

That is one assumption. Count it: 1

Theory 2) Jack is alive; Jack has some reason to fool Parson; Stanley wasn't talking about Jack when he said he had a dead caster; Jack lied to Parson about being out of mana and has cast foolamancy twice since then; Jack, whilst playing dead, hasn't been really killed by the fire that has killed plenty of other people in the time since Jack was shown to have died; Neither of Jack's castings of foolamancy was seen through by Parson or any other unit.

I think I could go on, but the point is rather well made. So, that is 6 assumptions. Count it: 6

Occam's Razor "states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected."

What is the lower number of assumptions? 6 or 1?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby dirocyn » Mon May 20, 2013 2:08 pm

There are a lot of different ways to interpret what Parson's seeing on that bracer.

1: The actual question he asked is "odds of me casting this spell." He's asking the bracer "am I going to cast this?" And the answer is 98% and 0: he's virtually certain to cast it, and he's not going to cast it. And it turns out the Bracer accurately predicted what would happen. He both cast it and didn't cast it.

2: There is a moment when he asks the question, and the answers change. Because the likelihood is changing moment by moment. For the final question, odds of me casting the spell, he's going to attempt casting while he's standing in a blazing building, in which the roof just collapsed in the next room. The odds of him casting are .98 and 0 depending whether he is interrupted or not. And he asked for the calculation while the dice were rolling; both answers are true and both remain true until the dice come to rest.

3. You could look at this as Fate (Rob, really) deciding Parson can't leave. Parson can try, but if he does, Fate notices and will smack him down. I'm sure this is how Wanda would see it.

4. Fate (Rob) was waiting for the results of Kickstarter or finding an artist to take over from Xin to decide whether the series ends here. If there had been no artist or no funding, we mighta had a final comic strip with Parson re-appearing in an Ohio Kinkos.

The big news here (aside from Parson being unconscious and on fire) is, it's resolved the question whether Parson is a caster. He has some chance of casting dirtamancy, but it's not his discipline so not good odds. The scroll--no problem. Parson previously created the bracer (creation of accessories is dollamancy) and he uses mathamancy to predict odds (predictamancy) and there's some strong evidence for signamancy, and we've been told he's a hippiemancer (though that's got little credibility). Perhaps the Perfect Warlord is one who can learn to cast any discipline of magic.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby mroozee » Mon May 20, 2013 2:14 pm

effataigus wrote:
Infidel wrote:The overly literal interpretation of "now" definitely seems the most elegant answer.
Quoting Infidel here because this is shorter mrooze's full description.

So, I'm confused. Is the argument that the scroll is ever changing, and is never "this" scroll for longer than an instant? Hence whenever Parson says "this" scroll the number resets to 0 after first giving him the answer he would expect?

I get the "now" bit, but that only explains most of what we see on this update.

I don't buy this argument (or the argument that I am referring to as "this" argument, just in case it changes). This seems an odd and confusing thing to hinge an update on. Rob has enough difficulty conveying Erfworld to us without muddying the waters with philosophy. Dubious philosophy even, as I'm pretty sure I'll still be typing on this computer later today.


The "now" part is straight-forward and explains almost everything in the update but it has a problem with: “Odds of me casting this spell!” which gave a value then flashed to 0.0. My first thought was that it was an editing error on Rob's part (hey, these things happen). If not, as a possible explanation for this lone exception, I suggested that the scroll may be ever-shifting (that the contents of the spell jump from instant to instant as though it were linked to a clock) as opposed to being a different scroll at each instant in some meta-physical sense. The idea for this came from an amalgam of the final episode of Land of the Lost and the scene in Star Trek: All Our Yesterdays where Kirk forces Atoz to scroll through numerous times and locations on a computer. There could be other explanations for why "Odds of me casting this spell!" would cause the bracer to behave the way it did (including author error) but this was just one possibility.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby bladestorm » Mon May 20, 2013 2:15 pm

Fjord wrote:
Kreistor wrote:Sorry, Epic Fail. HUGE Epic Fail, actually.


Incorrect. We know that fate is an active participant in the world, and we know that Parson is fated to stay in Erfworld. (From book 0 ; from text updates)
Every single one of your 6 "assumptions" is not only putting words in my mouth, but also ludicrious.

Parson didn't wish for Erfworld. Erfworld wished for Parson.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Doctor Foreman » Mon May 20, 2013 2:50 pm

Kreistor wrote:It's magic. It doesn't have to be consistent.

Why?
"If you leave out important things or events that you know about, the story is strengthened. If you leave or skip something because you do not know it, the story will be worthless." - Hemingway
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Oberon » Mon May 20, 2013 3:23 pm

bladestorm wrote:Parson didn't wish for Erfworld. Erfworld wished for Parson.
Parson did wish for Erfworld. Not specifically Erfworld, but he wanted an escape from his very unsatisfying life into the only thing that drew his attention: Gaming.
Parson wrote:If I could, like, literally escape into one of these games, I'd do it in a second.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Denar » Mon May 20, 2013 3:26 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Lilwik wrote:We should assume Erfworld is Like Reality Unless Noted.

Actually, I want to point out that there are DOZENS of examples where Erfworld deviates from reality. We really should assume the exact opposite - that NOTHING in Erfworld is like our reality unless it's stated. Just to go through the list off the top of my


That's not what the trope means. It means that, unless it is pointed out, we can assume for storytelling purposes that it works the same.
Also, magic is very consistent in Erfworld. That's the point - it's like a game, and everything actually follows very strict rules.

Kreistor wrote:Sorry, Epic Fail. HUGE Epic Fail, actually.


Kreistor, you have a very unfriendly tone when speaking to others on these forums, and you need to remember that your speculations are no more the Word of Rob than anybody else's.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Infidel » Mon May 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Concerned wrote:
I don't understand why everyone is sidestepping the fact that fate is responsible for this. Whether fate is the titans, erfworld itself, the players, the GM or some other force is largely irrelevant.


Your conclusion is not fully supported by the evidence. There is a difference between "probably true", and "true". When people start making definitive statements that are not definitively supported, they deserve some disagreement.

I think most people agree that fate is responsible for the plank falling on Parson's head. There are other potential explanations for everything else, thus the controversy.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 20, 2013 4:21 pm

Denar wrote:That's not what the trope means. It means that, unless it is pointed out, we can assume for storytelling purposes that it works the same.

I read the trope.
TVTropes.org wrote:"The general assumption that all of the unstated details of the setting of a work of fiction that remotely resembles Real Life can be filled in by the audience's knowledge of the world in which they live, except in areas where the fictional world explicitly or by necessary implication deviates from Real Life."

Erfworld is so far removed from Earth that NOTHING can be assumed. It doesn't take place on Earth. It doesn't take place in the same DIMENSION.

The story itself has pointed out on a number of occasions, over and over again, that what initially Parson *expected* was not in fact the case. Erfworld has dozens, if not hundreds, of rules and mechanics that don't act anything like on Earth. The trope itself assumes that the story is ON EARTH, albeit a fantasy variation. The only points of the story that fit into the "Like Reality Unless Noted" trope are the moments early on in Book 1 where Parson is on Earth. The number of differences between Erfworld are Earth are so numerous that you can pick any arbitrary element of Earth, and just about guarantee that Erfworld is different.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby mroozee » Mon May 20, 2013 4:57 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Denar wrote:That's not what the trope means. It means that, unless it is pointed out, we can assume for storytelling purposes that it works the same.

I read the trope.
TVTropes.org wrote:"The general assumption that all of the unstated details of the setting of a work of fiction that remotely resembles Real Life can be filled in by the audience's knowledge of the world in which they live, except in areas where the fictional world explicitly or by necessary implication deviates from Real Life."

Erfworld is so far removed from Earth that NOTHING can be assumed. It doesn't take place on Earth. It doesn't take place in the same DIMENSION.

The story itself has pointed out on a number of occasions, over and over again, that what initially Parson *expected* was not in fact the case. Erfworld has dozens, if not hundreds, of rules and mechanics that don't act anything like on Earth. The trope itself assumes that the story is ON EARTH, albeit a fantasy variation. The only points of the story that fit into the "Like Reality Unless Noted" trope are the moments early on in Book 1 where Parson is on Earth. The number of differences between Erfworld are Earth are so numerous that you can pick any arbitrary element of Earth, and just about guarantee that Erfworld is different.


As readers with experience in how Earth works, we mentally fill in the blanks whether we want to or not. I don't recall any Erfworld information about drowning, but if Parson were trapped under water, I would assume that drowning would be the danger he faced. When he gets out of the water would he be wet? Probably. Do larger objects weigh more than smaller object of (roughly) the same materials? Without picking nits, yeah. Now, this does not HAVE to be the case, but so much of our (the readers) ability to understand things is based upon myriad tiny rules that we learn in life that if these are abandoned it would damage the story. Exceptions can be explicitly stated but if Parson doesn't cast a shadow in sunlight or leave footprints when he walks through mud, those things need to be spelled out for us. If something important happens because of an undisclosed exception, it will read like Deus Ex Machina.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 20, 2013 5:33 pm

mroozee wrote:As readers with experience in how Earth works, we mentally fill in the blanks whether we want to or not. I don't recall any Erfworld information about drowning, but if Parson were trapped under water, I would assume that drowning would be the danger he faced. When he gets out of the water would he be wet? Probably.
And if the past is any indication, we would find out that "drowning" involved different rules than on Earth. Maybe there's a check each minute to see if the unit becomes incapacitated; Parson's knowledge of treading water and doing the Dead Man's Float could not save him, even though he might be able to survive for hours in the water back home. These rules would, of course, have been spelled out in an update either before, or immediately after, Parson hit the water, but by now, we still expect that these rules are the NORM - Erfworld works dramatically differently than Earth does.

Getting wet in water is not what the Trope refers to. The trope refers to simple shorthand references, like talking about Paris, and having the readers know what 'Paris' means - French food, the Eiffel Tower, etc. The only case where those types of short-hand notations appear is when Parson is talking about his home - we know what he's talking about, because it's like Earth (except that our Earth doesn't typically have people PLOTTING out of existence). Parson can talk about war without turns, and *we know* exactly what he's talking about. That's where the trope actually applies. But Stanley thinks that's CRAZY, because Erfworld is completely different.

We as readers have been conditioned over the past 2 books to realize that Erfworld doesn't work the way we expect. Units change from 'Normal' to 'Heavy', and suddenly their mounts can't carry them any more. Flying units CANNOT make a controlled landing in an enemy's garrison off-turn, but they CAN fall. But they just can't just CHOOSE TO fall. They've got to exploit another mechanic that triggers the 'falling' mechanism.

Basic things like gravity and time don't work the way we expect. Why do you assume that anything else does?
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