Book 2 – Text Updates 059

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Mon May 20, 2013 5:44 pm

ManaCaster wrote: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.

Right, exactly, because what I've concluded is nothing more than Like Reality Unless Noted which is the Occam's Razor of fiction, and arguing against that is putting words in the author's mouth by inventing your own elements of the story that aren't necessary to explain the things we've seen. No one should want to do that. Let the Titans keep their hands out of the story and let Fate be nothing more than the inevitable future until we actually see otherwise, because until then it's better to assume Erfworld is like reality.

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

Because if we don't assume that everything works the way we expect then we know almost nothing. Even if some of our assumptions will turn out to be incorrect, it's a safe bet that they will be close approximations, while if you assume nothing is like reality then you can only go off into aimless speculation that takes you further and further from how Erfworld really is.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby drachefly » Mon May 20, 2013 5:58 pm

I don't think it was so much that the hobgobwins went from 'normal' to 'heavy', as they went from being normal to heavy. The dwagons couldn't handle the additional mass. Of course, the rules of the world lined things up so that there is one convenient threshhold instead of fine gradations, but the basic idea, as far as I can tell, holds.

A lot of unsaid things really should be the same, but some of them may end up being different.

What we can rely on is that if they're relevantly different, it should be pointed out, preferably in advance.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby MarbitChow » Mon May 20, 2013 6:09 pm

Lilwik wrote:Right, exactly, because what I've concluded is nothing more than Like Reality Unless Noted which is the Occam's Razor of fiction

Ok, I see one area where we're going to probably end up agreeing to disagree. The Trope is a *device*. It's intentionally used by an author to create a fictional world that the reader can comfortably fill a lot of pieces in because things that the author refers have certain expectations about them that the author agrees to use. "England With Vampires" is a 'like reality unless noted' situation - you know what England is, you just need to find out how it's different with vampires.

We've got "Erfworld with Parson", and we don't really know much about either, until the story spells it out for us. You can certainly use 'Like Reality Unless Noted' when it applies to Parson, because he should behave like we expect a human to. To a lesser extent, you can apply it to the motivations of the characters - their loves, hates, and ambitions behave similarly to real-world behaviors, although we know mind-control is a real thing in Erfworld - even Parson couldn't swear until he overcame it. But when you start trying to apply it to the world itself, that's where I'll probably vehemently disagree with you.

Lilwik wrote:Let the Titans keep their hands out of the story and let Fate be nothing more than the inevitable future until we actually see otherwise, because until then it's better to assume Erfworld is like reality.
We've SEEN instances of the world forcing events. Arrows knocked out by impossibly being INTERCEPTED IN MID-AIR by another arrow. Mind control preventing or forcing certain actions. There IS a force that does this. It might be titans, or fate, or Charlie, or someone we haven't seen yet. But it's there.

Lilwik wrote:Because if we don't assume that everything works the way we expect then we know almost nothing. Even if some of our assumptions will turn out to be incorrect, it's a safe bet that they will be close approximations, while if you assume nothing is like reality then you can only go off into aimless speculation that takes you further and further from how Erfworld really is.
On the contrary - you're better off creating an entirely new model of "how the world works" if you want to try to 'predict' Erfworld. You can base that model on what we've already seen, plus "how games would do it". If you REALLY want to argue from the "Like Reality Unless Noted" standpoint, you first have to assume reality is ACTUALLY a turn-based strategy game.

drachefly wrote:I don't think it was so much that the hobgobwins went from 'normal' to 'heavy', as they went from being normal to heavy. The dwagons couldn't handle the additional mass. Of course, the rules of the world lined things up so that there is one convenient threshhold instead of fine gradations, but the basic idea, as far as I can tell, holds.
But that makes no sense from "our world's" point of view. If a dwagon is forced down with additional mass, why can't they just STOP FLYING? There's an arbitrary rule that says that they cannot cross the border between "airspace" and "ground" unless they are dead or unable to fly.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby mroozee » Mon May 20, 2013 6:52 pm

MarbitChow wrote: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?


We disagree on what the trope refers to but hey, freedom and all that; to each his own. It should be noted that the idea of a trope is that it is something frequently found in stories. In this particular case it is frequently found because it has proven successful in story-telling and the opposite has proven problematic. This trope is not a law of physics or even of story-telling but it is a common feature of good story-telling.

In order to successfully communicate a story (to someone on Earth), there has to be a common framework. It is this fact, and nothing more, that gives legitimacy to the trope. This rule of thumb can be violated, of course, but then we tend to end up with bad fiction. If in Parson's current situation he were to survive because of an unstated rule (that differs dramatically from our real-world experiences) we would not only be disappointed but think that that part of the story had been poorly written.

For example, Erfworld could have the following rule: "Unlocking an Achievement Grants a Unit Immunity for 1 Turn." This would not be that unusual to find in a video or role-playing game. Now, we haven't heard anything about such a thing and there's no real-world analog so if that's really what saves Parson's life, readers will likely conclude that this was poorly written.

On the other hand, a solution that works basically like things on Earth - even if game rules don't state it explicitly will be better received. Would breaking a dam in a neighboring hex, thereby flooding Jetstone, reduce or extinguish the Inferno? We have seen no rule about it but if that happened in the story most people would accept it because that kind of makes sense in a real-world setting. The real-world solution may NOT work and that's ok... it tells us more about the differences... but to have the plot RELY on an unstated difference between the fictional world and Earth is a problem.

If there is a corollary behind the trope it is this:
Relying on "The rules are different here." without making those differences explicit for significant plot points will make for a bad read.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby ManaCaster » Mon May 20, 2013 7:24 pm

Lilwik wrote:Parson says many things like that and he doesn't always mean them literally. He's almost certainly using GMs as an analogy for his current situation, and on top of that he's the last person who we should be trusting for deep insights into the nature of Erfworld. I don't trust that page you site either, since that is Slately's thoughts about the nature of the Titans and it is well established that no one really knows anything about the Titans. Royals are naturally prone to being overconfident and opinionated, which makes them especially unsuited to gaining wisdom, and Slately is far from an exception to that.

Unless the Titans come down and do something directly in the story or Fate somehow takes clear and decisive action to enforce its plan, we should assume that Erfworld is mostly like the our world, except where it isn't. Things just happen. There's no GM.

Overall, you say that my argument is wrong based on the fact that it is derived from the assumptions of other characters, but your arguments are based on some pretty big assumptions themselves. Technically speaking, EVERYTHING in all of reality is an assumption. Including that!

Lilwik wrote:Right, exactly, because what I've concluded is nothing more than Like Reality Unless Noted which is the Occam's Razor of fiction...

Are predictions of an inevitable future something that exists in Reality? And does assuming that every word out of a character's mouth is probably wrong also fit into Occam's Razor?

Lilwik wrote:...and arguing against that is putting words in the author's mouth by inventing your own elements of the story that aren't necessary to explain the things we've seen. No one should want to do that. Let the Titans keep their hands out of the story and let Fate be nothing more than the inevitable future until we actually see otherwise, because until then it's better to assume Erfworld is like reality.

At least my theory is said straight out in the comic itself. Your "Like Reality Unless Noted" is a fine thing to derive assumptions from, but it has never been mentioned to actually be a thing.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Mon May 20, 2013 7:42 pm

MarbitChow wrote:The Trope is a *device*. It's intentionally used by an author to create a fictional world that the reader can comfortably fill a lot of pieces in because things that the author refers have certain expectations about them that the author agrees to use. "England With Vampires" is a 'like reality unless noted' situation - you know what England is, you just need to find out how it's different with vampires.
It's not just by author agreement and it doesn't just apply to things that the author refers to explicitly. Like Reality Unless Noted is the foundation of every story, because no story can explain an entire world down to the finest detail. The audience only expects the author to explain the parts of the story that aren't like reality, and the author always does little more than that because explaining the whole world is boring. No one reads a story hoping for a detailed description of the physics of everything that happens and the chemistry that keeps the characters alive when there is nothing unusual about the physics or chemistry. People read science textbooks when they want that.

MarbitChow wrote:We've SEEN instances of the world forcing events. Arrows knocked out by impossibly being INTERCEPTED IN MID-AIR by another arrow. Mind control preventing or forcing certain actions. There IS a force that does this. It might be titans, or fate, or Charlie, or someone we haven't seen yet. But it's there.
I'd love to see where things like that happen. The details of those would surely be interesting points of discussion, but I'm not sure where to find them. The best example I remember is Book 2 - Text 51, where Sylvia is saved from an arrow to the head by a piece of flying debris intercepting the arrow. Of course that one is just Carnymancy which we know explicitly is a real thing, just like all kinds of caster magic must be real in Erfworld. There's a big difference between Carnymancy doing a thing and the world forcing events.

Naturally I assume you don't just mean stuff like Book 2 - Page 32 which is obviously just Thinkamancy. No one is saying that magic doesn't exist. I'm only saying that we shouldn't invent new kinds of magic that are not on the grid of known magic types.

MarbitChow wrote:On the contrary - you're better off creating an entirely new model of "how the world works" if you want to try to 'predict' Erfworld. You can base that model on what we've already seen, plus "how games would do it". If you REALLY want to argue from the "Like Reality Unless Noted" standpoint, you first have to assume reality is ACTUALLY a turn-based strategy game.
Erfworld is not actually a turn-based strategy game. Erfworld is a world that has many elements of a turn-based strategy game, but when you look beyond those elements you see ordinary people doing realistic things. Imagine a turn-based strategy game where combat is handled like LARP, except that you are actually trying to kill your opponents with real weapons. I would say that goes well beyond the bounds of a traditional turn-based strategy. You'll get very poor results if you try to guess the natural laws of Erfworld based on the assumption that it is more like a game than it is like reality.

ManaCaster wrote:Are predictions of an inevitable future something that exists in Reality?
No, but that's why it's Like Reality Unless Noted. The existence of Predictamancy is a noted area where Erfworld is not like reality.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby LordAcme » Mon May 20, 2013 10:36 pm

ManaCaster wrote:
LordAcme wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:And if he were to do so, why would he pick Parson, when he could have anyone matching just about any possibility? He's already tried to kill Parson, so that'd make things kinda awkward. If he's going to go shopping, he may as well pick someone better suited to his needs.


Because Charlie'd be preventing the MK cabal from getting Parson back themselves. As long as he's alive, he's a (potential) piece in any Erfworld game. His only way out of that is to be an Erfworld player instead, and that ain't happening in Milwaukee (or whereever he's from, I forget).

This fits Charlie's MO perfectly, actually. Kill Parson or return him home, where he can be immediately summoned again by Charlie. Either Charlie becomes the strongest side in Erfworld because Parson's dead, or he becomes even stronger because Parson's serving him. Win - WIN.

Taking Parson for himself would not stop the conspiracy from just summoning a different guy. It wouldn't even stop them from getting Parson. They could just summon a Parson from an alternate universe. So why summon Parson when he could summon someone he isn't on bad terms with?


err, wow. a) you're assuming there's another perfect Erfworld warlord somewhere, and b) you're assuming there's other alternate universes where other Parsons exist.

...sorry, I give up. I can't step (or more accurately, superjump) to that. I do think I'm right about the possibility based on the characters, factions and universes we know exist in the story though.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Kreistor » Mon May 20, 2013 10:38 pm

bladestorm wrote: All your work is, to me, completely useless, since it can be inconsistent.

Okay, bye.
http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/TBFGK_1 Here you can find all comic pages written as text for convenient quoting.

http://www.erfworld.com/wiki/index.php/Erfworld_Mechanics The starting page for accessing all known Erfworld "rules".
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Shai_hulud » Mon May 20, 2013 10:54 pm

Still say it's a love poem because of the heartburn and song reference.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lamech » Mon May 20, 2013 11:45 pm

Erfworld is definitely running on "reality until proven otherwise", or to be put another way "gamey reality until proven otherwise". Its why we don't cry foul at fire spreading and turning into an inferno, but would call foul if Parson gained fire resistance from his achievement. Fire spreading out of control is like reality. A gamey version of reality, but still close enough. That's what we expect from Erfworld. Stuff acts like a gamey version of reality.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby the_tick_rules » Mon May 20, 2013 11:50 pm

I hope Parson ain't croaked.
I would be a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Oberon » Tue May 21, 2013 12:34 am

Lilwik wrote:Erfworld is not actually a turn-based strategy game. Erfworld is a world that has many elements of a turn-based strategy game, but when you look beyond those elements you see ordinary people doing realistic things.
Not really. You see Parson not walking around a city, and that city for no rational reason producing less income. You see arrows shot at a hex border 'sticking' in mid-air. You see Jillian wielding a sword which she could not possibly use on Earth due to its mass compared to hers. You see TV residents flying without even being on a fantastic mount which couldn't support flight. And you see people riding fantastic mounts which couldn't support flight on their own, much less with a rider. Etc., etc.
How using capslock wins arguments:
Zeroberon wrote:So we know with 100% certainty that THIS IS HOW TRI-LINKS WORK, PERIOD END OF STORY.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby MarbitChow » Tue May 21, 2013 12:42 am

Lilwik wrote:It's not just by author agreement and it doesn't just apply to things that the author refers to explicitly. Like Reality Unless Noted is the foundation of every story, because no story can explain an entire world down to the finest detail.
I understand completely that there are some elements of every story that are common to our experiences. I also understand that that's what you're actually referring to when you invoke the above trope. However, you're using the trope to define a concept that's beyond what the trope itself discusses; for example, the Magical Underpinnings Of Reality trope is far more representative of Erfworld than LRUN, in my opinion. You may also want to consider the Sliding Scale Of Like Reality Unless Noted and Alternate Universe trope entries.

But my main point is that we've seen enough elements that don't make any sense in the context of our world, but make perfect sense in the Erfworld continuity, that I don't we *can* apply any of our 'real world' knowledge to Erfworld. It's too different. We can understand Erfworld as its own self-contained rule set, but we can't predict it by comparing it to our own world at all.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby bladestorm » Tue May 21, 2013 12:47 am

Kreistor wrote:
bladestorm wrote: All your work is, to me, completely useless, since it can be inconsistent.

Okay, bye.

The quoted part there was actually your words. Maybe you don't even remember writing them in the earlier post that was quoted from. Would be kinda easy to forget such little details while fumbling around to protect a shoddy theory. :roll:
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby effataigus » Tue May 21, 2013 12:51 am

I think Erfworld needs a "Like a fantasy-cartoon-themed Turn-Based-Strategy videogame with complex AI and one human stuck inside unless otherwise noted" rule. It sure ain't like Earth, though it is closer to Earth than to many other randomly selected nouns.

Kreistor wrote:
bladestorm wrote: All your work is, to me, completely useless, since it can be inconsistent.

Okay, bye.

I think... I think you killed him. And he was so close to 1000 posts, too...
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby bladestorm » Tue May 21, 2013 2:06 am

effataigus wrote:I think Erfworld needs a "Like a fantasy-cartoon-themed Turn-Based-Strategy videogame with complex AI and one human stuck inside unless otherwise noted" rule. It sure ain't like Earth, though it is closer to Earth than to many other randomly selected nouns.

Kreistor wrote:
bladestorm wrote: All your work is, to me, completely useless, since it can be inconsistent.

Okay, bye.

I think... I think you killed him. And he was so close to 1000 posts, too...

Nah. I think that was dismissive, just like when he was calling drachefly schizophrenic. Pretty standard and expected behavior from him. He'll get his 1000 posts. In fact, I'll make a wager on it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Dante » Tue May 21, 2013 2:26 am

Lipkin wrote:
Xorbon wrote:I'm making the presumption that Parson will be rescued, but I wonder if any of the other 3 will survive. I'm hoping at least Antium does.

Once he is rescued, I wonder if Parson will insta-heal at the start of the next turn like an Erfworld unit. Or will he have to heal slowly over a number of turns? I don't think we've seen Parson injured before now.

He got a tiny cut during a summer update, and made mention that the wound was healed at start of turn, and his clothing was repaired.

He got wrecked pretty badly when he tried to fly as a Heavy garrison unit.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lilwik » Tue May 21, 2013 2:29 am

MarbitChow wrote:However, you're using the trope to define a concept that's beyond what the trope itself discusses; for example, the Magical Underpinnings Of Reality trope is far more representative of Erfworld than LRUN, in my opinion.
Imagining Magical Underpinnings Of Reality is exactly the problem here. Those magical underpinnings may exist, but that's not for us to decide. We should leave it to the author to give us magical underpinnings of reality if he chooses, and until he does, Like Reality Unless Noted is the only guide we have to the underpinnings of this story.

MarbitChow wrote:But my main point is that we've seen enough elements that don't make any sense in the context of our world, but make perfect sense in the Erfworld continuity, that I don't we *can* apply any of our 'real world' knowledge to Erfworld. It's too different. We can understand Erfworld as its own self-contained rule set, but we can't predict it by comparing it to our own world at all.
Scientifically you are perfectly correct; Erfworld is so strange that we know almost nothing about it, but in practice we know that we don't need science because we're not investigating some mystery. Instead, we are the audience of a story and the author is working to help us understand and appreciate that story, so instead of being forced to figure everything out from just the facts we also have the advantage of knowing that the author will probably give us all the important information and not hide anything critical to understanding. In other words, you would be right except that we can probably trust the author to apply Like Reality Unless Noted by noting any breaks for reality as they become important.

There's no 100% guarantee that we won't discover some subtle but important difference between Erfworld and reality that's been hiding from us long after it became important. I can imagine some huge twist where Parson suddenly discovered some weird fact that throws the whole story into a new perspective. Even if you assume that's going to happen, there's still no better choice than relying on Like Reality Unless Noted, because otherwise you are just doing wild speculation. Like Reality Unless Noted has the best chance of being correct in any situation, no matter how strange.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby mortissimus » Tue May 21, 2013 5:06 am

Kreistor wrote:...

But the one solution that makes only one change is this -- Jack is not dead.


If anyone actually believes that Jack is alive, I will still happily accept their Quatloos over at the betting thread.

http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2815&start=440#p94698

I want to bet 10Q that Jack is indeed dead as of page 105. Dead, croaked, pushing up daisies, pining for the fjords. No illusion or trickery. In order to make it fair to all those who wants to loose their Quatloos to their grief, I am willing to bet this with up to five different forumites. So five possible bets of 10Q to 10Q on Jacks demise. In order to make sure the bet has an end, for him not to have been croaked on page 105 a live (not decrypted or uncroaked) Jack needs to be shown before the end of book 2.


Answer in that thread. Quatloos are a made up currency, so no actual money involved.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 059

Postby Lipkin » Tue May 21, 2013 5:14 am

Dante wrote:
Lipkin wrote:
Xorbon wrote:I'm making the presumption that Parson will be rescued, but I wonder if any of the other 3 will survive. I'm hoping at least Antium does.

Once he is rescued, I wonder if Parson will insta-heal at the start of the next turn like an Erfworld unit. Or will he have to heal slowly over a number of turns? I don't think we've seen Parson injured before now.

He got a tiny cut during a summer update, and made mention that the wound was healed at start of turn, and his clothing was repaired.

He got wrecked pretty badly when he tried to fly as a Heavy garrison unit.

That too. But him getting busted up was the end of the update, and we didn't see the aftermath. My example was the one that showed Parson is indeed treated the same as an Erf Unit as far as wounds are concerned.


Speaking of, Parson seems to be incapacitated. So he'll need the attention of a healer before the next turn or he'll croak.
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