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 Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:10 am 
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Hello fellow Erfworld fans,

recently a specific topic has been on my mind:

Initial survival chances of casters which popped as barbarians (Who would have guessed, with a subject title like that?).

Anyway, lets assume a lone caster has popped in the middle of nowhere, alone, no artifacts or magic items, basic equipment only, no Shmuckers in his purse, general terrain with no useful features in immediate sight. As magic spells the caster has access to the basic shockmancy attack (Hoboken) and whatever his novitiate in his class provides him with.

The caster in question needs to forage or hunt or mine to get to make his upkeep.

Hocus Pocus
Findamancy:
Little hard data, lots of speculation. If the speculations are somewhat on target then the caster could summon something which could forage or hunt or mine or fight for him. That would be pretty decent overall.

Predictamancy:
Either dependent on Fate's mercy or on the prediction the caster makes up from his own volition, depending on what is actually canon. Either way, little to non conscious decisions from the caster. Unresolved.

Mathamancy:
Can calculate odds in battle and outside of it. Useful but the caster has little resources to work with so most likely he could only get a much clearer picture of how screwed his situation is.

Spookism
Turnamancy:
Affect your own move, better chance of taming(turning)?, turn non feral units if you encounter any?

Dollamancy:
Create units and magic items. Potentially very useful, provided you get the necessary raw materials from somewhere.

Weirdomancy:
If speculation is accurate, the caster can give himself useful specials. Wide applications, for example give yourself the digging special for effective mining.

Stuffamancy
Dirtamancy:
Made for mining, can create golems for combat, basic materials almost everywhere available. (If you popped in the open sea then you are screwed, otherwise some sort of earth should be available).

Changemancy:
Little data.

Dittomancy:
Potentially useful, clone yourself, no leadership bonus to double unfortunately.

Eyemancy:
Lookamancy:
Useful to scout ahead to avoid encounters and find useful terrain features.

Thinkamancy:
Probably pretty useless against ferals, novices likely cannot cut threats. Could do calls for other units/sides but you need some sort of initial contact. One example in canon, Tisha, who survived by hiring out to nearby sides. If no sides are available...

Foolamancy:
Get out of or avoid unfavorable contacts. Useful, but no help with upkeep.

Hippiemancy
Flower Power:
End combat if you are losing or prevent it before it starts. Possibly create minifarm in wilderness if farming is possible in normal terrain. If so, moderately useful both for combat and upkeep.

Signamancy:
You are totally screwed.

Dateamancy:
Better taming?, otherwise see above.

Naughtymancy:
Shockmancy:
Much better combat capabilities then the average caster, also helps with hunting. Pretty good odds of survival if some form of edible ferals are present.

Croakamany:
Create uncroaked to help you in combat. Potentially useful, but you have to find something uncroakable first and croak it before it croaks you. If you are surrounded with non-uncroakable unit types...

Retconjuration:
According to word of Rob, no mortal Retconjurers exist. If they did exist, they could pull off lots of stuff but the Titans would most likely actively hate them and do something about them...

Stagemancy:
Hat Magic:
Little data on whats needed to create a hat. Perhaps useful hats could be created, pop a cap feature most likely not available for novices, or at least very limited in effect.

Carnymancy:
Largely situational. Might help if a specific rule threatens to croak you.

Rhyme-o-mancy:
Boost your activities with music? Won't help with sneaking ;) .

Clevermancy:
Luckamancy:
Boost critical rolls, the problem is that you are the only valid target for luckamancy backlash. So probably screwed?

Healomancy:
Heal yourself between battles, healing yourself while in battle probably impossible without other units screening you. Would get better if you can manage to tame a feral or otherwise acquire a screen.

Moneymancy:
IF juice can be directly converted to Shmuckers it would be possible to reduce or ignore upkeep problems. Otherwise the only benefit would be to convert excessive Shmuckers to gems, but that would be the Erfworld equivalent of a luxury problem for the average barbarian.

Thoughts anybody?
For example, what would you pick and how much would your situation be helped if you had basic access to the other disciplines of your school? (Retconjuration runs out of competition, that hinders Naugtymancy somewhat but Shockmancy and Croakamancy has some nice synergy to make up for that.)

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Last edited by Bandaid on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:27 am 
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    Just want to point out that a barbarian Thinkamancer popping and surviving is cannon: Tisha.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:56 am 
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    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Just want to point out that a barbarian Thinkamancer popping and surviving is cannon: Tisha.


    That is entirely correct. I did not include her originally because she had contact with surrounding sides. My premise would be popping at the "Arsch der Welt" of Erfworld (Ass in the world? Ass of the world? Does that expression exist in English?).

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:24 am 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Just want to point out that a barbarian Thinkamancer popping and surviving is cannon: Tisha.


    That is entirely correct. I did not include her originally because she had contact with surrounding sides. My premise would be popping at the "Arsch der Welt" of Erfworld (Ass in the world? Ass of the world? Does that expression exist in English?).

    Yes, we that expression exist in English. It is called "Australia".
    ...

    ...

    Actually the expression is "Ass-end of the world", or ass-end of nowhere. Bu~~ut...

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:32 am 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    Predictamancy:
    Either dependent on Fate's mercy or on the prediction the caster makes up from his own volition, depending on what is actually canon. Either way, little to non conscious decisions from the caster. Unresolved.

    Mathamancy:
    Can calculate odds in battle and outside of it. Useful but the caster has little resources to work with so most likely he could only get a much clearer picture of how screwed his situation is.


    Both can predict / calculate where will be the best nearby place to cover their upkeep.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Spookism
    Turnamancy:
    Affect your own move, better chance of taming(turning)?, turn non feral units if you encounter any?


    Could build a vehicle to compensate for the low move of casters, and have a much larger range for foraging.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Stuffamancy
    Dirtamancy:
    Made for mining, can create golems for combat, basic materials almost everywhere available. (If you popped in the open sea then you are screwed, otherwise some sort of earth should be available).


    I think a dirtamancer would be quite OP in the sea, creating waves and whirlpools and such.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Flower Power:
    End combat if you are losing or prevent it before it starts. Possibly create minifarm in wilderness if farming is possible in normal terrain. If so, moderately useful both for combat and upkeep.


    Having your own farm will make you immobile, which will make things hard when you are discovered by some side.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Signamancy:
    You are totally screwed.

    Dateamancy:
    Better taming?, otherwise see above.


    Date-a-mancy also applies to battle match-ups, like battles between stacks. I'm guessing they would have some ability to affect those.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Thoughts anybody?
    For example, what would you pick and how much would your situation be helped if you had basic access to the other disciplines of your school? (Retconjuration runs out of competition, that hinders Naugtymancy somewhat but Shockmancy and Croakamancy has some nice synergy to make up for that.)


    I think spookism is the best for this. Creating yourself accesories, a vehicle to solve low move (possibly without increasing upkeep), creating yourself a small doll army when you can spare it, altering specials to get out of sticky situations... Hippiemancer could be good if you plan to hire out to sides, you could befriend others easily with date-a-mancy, cover your upkeep with flower power and make self serving contracts with signamancy. Also, you could build yourself a small army of plant units.

    If I had to pick being a caster in that situation... I would want a unit maker, so I could create screeners and a small army for myself. Florists can handle their own upkeep and force peace, dollamancers can build accesories, hat magicians are too much of an unknown. Croakamancers are too limited in their abilities, dirtamancers are great but not as florists and dollamancers in this case. I think I would go with a florist, it will be my best chance of survival at the start.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:32 am 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Just want to point out that a barbarian Thinkamancer popping and surviving is cannon: Tisha.


    That is entirely correct. I did not include her originally because she had contact with surrounding sides. My premise would be popping at the "Arsch der Welt" of Erfworld (Ass in the world? Ass of the world? Does that expression exist in English?).

    Do we have a range limit on Thinkamancy?

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:33 am 
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    Bandaid wrote:
    Hocus Pocus
    Findamancy:
    Little hard data, lots of speculation. If the speculations are somewhat on target then the caster could summon something which could forage or hunt or mine or fight for him. That would be pretty decent overall.


    They might actually have it easiest. Casting just a couple of spells they could stay safe and fed all turn "Find nearest forage" and "Find nearest feral". Pair with "Find nearest sided units" and the like, and they could either home in on or stay away from all danger.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Foolamancy:
    Get out of or avoid unfavorable contacts. Useful, but no help with upkeep.


    It could be situational. They could project an image of themselves standing in front of a cliff, but the feral attacking sees a meadow behind. Or with rivers and other sources of water like lakes. Cue cliff fall/drowning, and the Fooler gets to eat the feral after some hiking/fishing.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Signamancy:
    You are totally screwed.


    Maybe not necessarily... though Florists usually know whats edible and inedible, a Signamancer might be able to do the same but to spot poisonous shrooms (they're sickly green and have skull faces!). More proactively, they could "follow the signs" to food... yeah, I got nothing. :|

    Bandaid wrote:
    Rhyme-o-mancy:
    Boost your activities with music? Won't help with sneaking ;) .


    I am 99% positive there's an Order of the Stick gag with Elan doing just that. :D (But I can't find it.) :oops:

    Bandaid wrote:
    Clevermancy:
    Luckamancy:
    Boost critical rolls, the problem is that you are the only valid target for luckamancy backlash. So probably screwed?


    Or possibly hax. Clay said the Numbers are lazy, so a lone Luckamancer with no friends, asking for a good number, is getting it by default from the other neutrals around. There probably is some form of backlash, but she can abuse this all day long as long she keeps jinxing things only her enemies do (like fly/fall) or boosting those only she can (hoboken crits). Though the learning curve on this miiight be deadly.

    Bandaid wrote:
    Thoughts anybody?
    For example, what would you pick and how much would your situation be helped if you had basic access to the other disciplines of your school? (Retconjuration runs out of competition, that hinders Naugtymancy somewhat but Shockmancy and Croakamancy has some nice synergy to make up for that.)


    I'd love to be a Shockmancer, access to Croakamancy means I can be my own little barbarian band.

    Failing that, a barbarian Findamancer treasure hunter would be soooo sweet. But I'm a peaceable homebody, I'd probably end up being a Florist and create a haunted forest/garden to grow my own food and trap and croak ferals. I'd probably sell services to nearby sides.

    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Bandaid wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Just want to point out that a barbarian Thinkamancer popping and surviving is cannon: Tisha.


    That is entirely correct. I did not include her originally because she had contact with surrounding sides. My premise would be popping at the "Arsch der Welt" of Erfworld (Ass in the world? Ass of the world? Does that expression exist in English?).

    Do we have a range limit on Thinkamancy?


    No, but the 'having touched' limitation for barbarians making contact with others they aren't currently working for or allied with does seem pretty severe.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:47 pm 
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    Well the major objective for survival as a barbarian caster is to make it to the MK, or turn to a side. As a popped barbarian, the diplomatic situation is neutral. The intermediate objective for making way to the MK or turning to a side is to contact a nearby side. Doing either requires locating a side and establishing a relationship. The issue is survival until one can do so.

    We have canon for a caster move stat of 8, and a hex-level map that shows two cities (Orgchart and Bohica) 24 hexes apart. Haffaton's ratio of cities to capital sites is just less than 7 to 1 (including capital sites as cities themselves). This suggests that, barring terrain factors making a city site impossible, capital sites are surrounded by six cities, with most cities having one capital site among it's closest rank of neighbors. Taking into account the existence of terrain factors, that means that a popped barbarian is generally only a few turns away from a city site, and potentially triple that from a capital site. So we're not talking about an enormous length of time here. Unfortunately, barbarians disband if they can't make upkeep, even after halving for foraged rations. So surviving till contacting a side is a non-trivial problem. So is establishing a relationship with the contacted side that permits turning or passage to the MK.

    Fortunately, popped casters start with full awareness of the basic rules and their own stats, removing much uncertainty from their quest.

    Findamancy: Can most likely find gems or other high value items for upkeep with greater ease than most. We know that ruins with gems and such exist between cities, so the problem of making upkeep for a fair number of turns is likely easy to solve if possible at all. This reduces the urgency of actually making contact with a side, allowing an improved chance of favorable contact based on reasonable intel.

    Predictamancy: Probably the best chance of indefinite personal survival, and of spotting non-obvious opportunities to fulfill objectives. Unfortunate discipline reputation raises difficulty of friendly contact. But Predictions likely leads to high certainty of knowing where to find best outcomes.

    Mathamancy: Less initially useful information related to direct personal survival, but probably enough of an advantage to have a good chance of surviving till contact. Mathamancers appear to be in relatively high demand compared to other Hocus Pocus disciplines, and could most likely count on securing employment on contact with a side.

    Turnamancy: Can probably reach a side faster than most other disciplines (boost own move, tame feral mount), with high chance of securing friendly relationship. Making upkeep till then would be very tenuous, relying greatly on luck. Happening on a single small gem would probably be sufficient to nearly ensure survival.

    Dollamancy/Weirdomancy: May have overlapping survival aptitudes through equipment upgrades on the one hand and unit (self) specialing on the other. Both can probably give themselves useful ability to hunt/forage and mine. Dollamancy appears to be generally recognized as valuable, Weirdomancy may have more trouble establishing good relationship with a random side.

    Dirtamancy: Can definitely make upkeep indefinitely by mining. Fortifications and golems alleviate other survival threats. High utility to sides, can secure contract work easily.

    Changemancy: Ability to convert materials. Unknown whether this could apply to transmutation of inedible materials to provisions, or to creation of materials with upkeep value.

    Dittomancy: Double effect of attacks and provisions...could Dittomancy double the half upkeep of provisions to cover full upkeep?

    Lookamancy: Useful to scout ahead to avoid encounters and find useful terrain features. High chance of gainful employment by any side, can Look to see which side is most in need of services. May be able to find ruins or other resource squares for upkeep.

    Thinkamancy: Canon estabishes high chance of making upkeep indefinitely with little/no risk.

    Foolamancy: No known benefit to making upkeep before contacting a side. Good at avoiding high-risk encounters, high utility to sides. Can probably infiltrate a city and make portal even without friendly relationship.

    Flower Power: Averts combat. Can improve resource output for cities. High value to sides, or can simply make for portal. High chance of securing provisions, low chance of making remaining upkeep.

    Signamancy: High chance of securing favorable relationship with sides despite intermediate perceived value. May have improved chance of locating upkeep resources by following Signs.

    Dateamancy: Tame ferals, but little help with upkeep or perceived value to sides. Could be able to secure best relationship with individual units, and negotiate that into passage to MK.

    Shockmancy: Best combat abilities. High value to sides. Probably no benefits for making remaining upkeep after provisions.

    Croakamany: High value to sides, but also high unfavorable perception. May be able to detect croakable ferals. No other help making upkeep.

    Retconjuration: Can probably retcon purse to always have upkeep. Retcon unfavorable first impressions, so can eventually hit on right strategy to make friendly contact. May eventually retcon themselves to be different caster type (with no memory of being Retconjurers).

    Hat Magic: Can probably turn popped raiment items into Hat. Can then do business with MK and some sides for upkeep. Indefinite survival till securing a friendly relationship with local side highly possible.

    Carnymancy: Near-certainty of establishing "friendly" relationship with side despite high unfavorables of discipline reputation. No significant bonuses to forage or remaining upkeep till then.

    Rhyme-o-mancy: Can boost most abilities moderately. Probably can hunt/forage with fair effectiveness and could make additional upkeep by boosted searching/mining. High value to sides.

    Luckamancy: Boost critical rolls, effectively enhance chances of finding provisions and gems for remaining upkeep. Good perceived value to sides.

    Healomancy: May survive feral encounters which would leave another unit in hopeless situation. Such cases unlikely, as limited to incapacitation types which do not impair casting and would not allow recovery at start of next turn. No other known benefits to making upkeep till contact with side. High value to sides once contact is made.

    Moneymancy: May be able to exploit upkeep rules, such as by converting half-upkeep of provisions to shmuckers value, or sense gems (or hidden Moneymancy in other objects). Little combat/survival advantages. High value to sides.

    Dirtamancy is the clear winner overall. The ability to mine and tunnel, along with high combat capability of golems, means you wouldn't even have to make for the MK to live it up. They can enhance soil to make farming provisions reasonable, as well as creating all kinds of traps to 'hunt' ferals (or smash them with golems...may make more mess than food, though). It would be a totally reasonable strategy for you to search high mountain ranges for an unclaimed capital site and set up as ruler of your own side. Most other disciplines would simply have to get lucky to make upkeep beyond foraged provisions each turn, and have to make the best deal they could with the first side they could contact.

    There's clearly a range of favorable disciplines after that, but none close enough to be worth mentioning as "second place". It's like the other disciplines aren't even in the same race...partly because they aren't. Everything else has to take the problem of securing upkeep (provisions + remaining) for one unit as a priority till they can work for a side or make it to the MK. Dirtamancers can easily find and mine so much in gems as to make securing upkeep a non-issue, they can make their own buildings and units, they can practically be rulers of a small (optionally nomadic) side until they find a capital site to found a real side...if they find that idea appealing.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:11 pm 
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    Spicymancer wrote:
    Jaxad0127 wrote:
    Do we have a range limit on Thinkamancy?


    No, but the 'having touched' limitation for barbarians making contact with others they aren't currently working for or allied with does seem pretty severe.

    From the text, that looks to apply to the client contacting the Thinkamancer, not the other way around. So an isolated Thinkamancer would have to make regular contact to do business, probably setup in advance. Remember, Tisha was able to do so without leaving the ruins she popped in or meeting commanders (she never showed herself until she joined Jungstown), so it has to be possible.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:13 pm 
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    As I feel determined to make a signamancer work: making contracts on various objects like the front of a shield with the touch here to accept box as big as possible. Block an incoming feral attack with a contract stipulating nonviolence by both parties on pain of auto harvesting. Just survive the next attack and the meal is done. The major downside I see is this method is not likely to provide any xp

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:37 pm 
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    This trick shouldn't work on non-speaking units, and if it worked on speaking units then Signamancers would be in far more major demand and such items would be widely known (if not commonplace). Unless it's something only level 13 Master Signamancers can do, which is great but not helpful to a newly popped caster.

    Speculation is fine, but remember you're speculating about something pretty much every newly popped caster of a discipline would be able to do with no chance to study (or they'd already have access to a side or the MK) or be extremely high level.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:49 pm 
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    Spicymancer wrote:
    Bandaid wrote:
    Rhyme-o-mancy:
    Boost your activities with music? Won't help with sneaking ;) .


    I am 99% positive there's an Order of the Stick gag with Elan doing just that. :D (But I can't find it.) :oops:


    Here you go:
    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0217.html

    Another application of Rhym-o-mancy which cannot be recommended:
    http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0004.html

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:57 am 
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    PastorofMuppets wrote:
    The major downside I see is this method is not likely to provide any xp


    The major downside I see is that this method wouldn't work at all because that's not how contracts work.

    Both signing parties must understand and agree to the terms etc of the contract. Tricking an attacker to hitting the box isn't going to count, not even with Erfworld's system (hopefully).

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:04 am 
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    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    PastorofMuppets wrote:
    The major downside I see is this method is not likely to provide any xp


    The major downside I see is that this method wouldn't work at all because that's not how contracts work.

    Both signing parties must understand and agree to the terms etc of the contract. Tricking an attacker to hitting the box isn't going to count, not even with Erfworld's system (hopefully).

    *Attempts deadly karate chop*

    *Signamancer blocks, grabs your hand, and performs manly handshake of approval.*

    Spoiler: show
    Image

    You can't have a physical contract, without contact.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:18 am 
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    Outside of contracts, though, Signamancers can read the appearance of others and the meaning behind it, right? That is, they're in tune with natural signamancy.

    As Anonymous has given us a visual with Sig and Alex Louis Armstrong, natural signamancy doesn't just refer to appearance, but can also extend to gestures.

    Thus, couldn't a novice Signamancer examine a feral, asses which gesture would translate to submission or fear, and then evoke that gesture to avoid combat? That way the caster could at least filter out encounters he/she wouldn't survive. Such certainly wouldn't help with upkeep but could help prevent death by loss of hits. It also wouldn't be something the discipline is known for, since it would only be effective for the caster him/herself and even then only against one feral attacker at a time.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:17 pm 
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    I still think being able to read Signs to find resources and avoid dangers would make more sense. But being able to Sign to non-speaking units might be a little useful, even if it seems more like venturing into Date-a-mancy or whatever.

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