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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:01 am 
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This is mostly just a train of thought for me, but the overall question is: could a caster run away from their side through the MK?

The hurdles:
Loyalty: However awful their Ruler is, Loyalty is a thing and unless it's abysmally low they probably can't go through.

Orders: Their Ruler might well have ordered them never to go into the portal room unless given that order, sensing their disloyalty or being afraid they're kidnapped in the MK.

Gates & Guards: The ruler might restrict access to the portal room to and from.

Upkeep: Most units, let alone casters, have no Shmuckers in their purse or Rands in their pockets. Any breakout attempt, even if successful runs the risk of disbanding them on their first turn free.

Trust: many of these scenarios require the escaping caster to either allow themselves to be taken prisoner in the MK (to avoid remote ordering and disbanding, possibly to be freed?) or turning to a new side. Both are big leaps of faith; are you jumping to freedom, or just out of the frying pan, and into the fire?

An MK support network: The caster may or may not have made enough (and wealthy enough) friends and allies to support them in their first turns.

Another side willing to take them: The caster might be trying to defect to another side through the MK, but find one willing to take the diplomatic hit would be difficult.

MK laws: I have the sneaking suspicion that the MK has some byzantine system of laws and customs regarding this topic. They probably don't care if the caster just walks straight from one portal to another in Portal Park, then defects to the other side, but where I think this gets really tricky is if they don't have a new side, ask a friend to take them Prisoner (and free them as a Barbarian? Trade them to another side?) or try to do the Turning in the MK itself.

The MK is neutral, it HAS to be so in order for the free casters to stay in business.

Gaining the reputation as a safe haven or "underground railroad" for escaped casters would be horrible for their livelihoods, as even good and kind rulers grow to resent their casters becoming 'spoiled' on the notion they can just walk out and find work elsewhere (like in Stupidworld, yay!). So more and more sides would cut off access to the MK, and try and do their caster business through contracts with other sides with the casters they want.

Leading to, ironically, most free casters OPPOSING the freeing of casters.

There are probably ways around this, discretion and planning being the biggest favorable factors. It's not as though the MK has a census or border control. Doing the turning in a secluded spot. Having a Foolamancer friend (or paying one). Earning Rands on the side (Stanley seemed oblivious Sizemore was filthy rich with them). Escaping their side at night when their Ruler is asleep, etc.

Still, if caught, I imagine a free caster aiding the refugee would face some kind of penalty or censure. A side known to serve as a refugee haven might or might not get sealed, probably not if the Turning is in their capital (no way to prove anything, plus the MK has no control then). But if it happened in the MK, possibly the casters from the receiving side are banned.

I do wonder though, if you could literally station the 'railroad agent' (free or sided) freeing the escaping caster outside their side's portal to immediately Turn/capture them.

What do y'all think? Am I missing something.

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     Post Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:41 pm 
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    Spicymancer wrote:
    What do y'all think? Am I missing something.

    When Parson was talking with Charlie while Jetstone was burning down, Parson suggested he could go barbarian and claim the city. Charlie said sure, he could go barbarian, but wouldn't be able to claim the city because GK would still have units there.

    That looks to me like it means that it's not entirely unusual for a unit to be able to choose to turn barbarian, since they're both discussing it as a relatively straightforward thing. I think that makes a lot of the stuff you mention about arranging to capture and release a caster as a barbarian unnecessary - any caster whose loyalty is low enough to plan anything like that should be able to walk into the MK and just turn barbarian without preparing anything extra, beyond whatever friendships/resources they'd need to survive in the MK or another side.

    Any loyal caster with a good reason to think it would help their side probably could too (a Predictamancer with a tricky Prediction about themselves, maybe?), along the lines of when Duke Forecastle turned barbarian to claim his city.

    We do also know that some sided casters like Sizemore have Rands already in their pockets and a ready market for their skills, so I suspect there are at least some who could turn barbarian pretty safely if their loyalty was low enough.

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     Post Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:58 am 
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    Free Radical wrote:
    We do also know that some sided casters like Sizemore have Rands already in their pockets and a ready market for their skills, so I suspect there are at least some who could turn barbarian pretty safely if their loyalty was low enough.


    Maybe that's the real reason DigDoug was banned from the MK. I thought until now that his former chief caster didn't want him to have self esteem and value himself.

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     Post Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:14 am 
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    Free Radical wrote:

    That looks to me like it means that it's not entirely unusual for a unit to be able to choose to turn barbarian, since they're both discussing it as a relatively straightforward thing. I think that makes a lot of the stuff you mention about arranging to capture and release a caster as a barbarian unnecessary - any caster whose loyalty is low enough to plan anything like that should be able to walk into the MK and just turn barbarian without preparing anything extra, beyond whatever friendships/resources they'd need to survive in the MK or another side.


    Well that'd be an interesting dynamic.

    Mostly, I was thinking of AV club, who was released into the CW as an act of spite against the ruler. It might have been against her will, which would be an interesting twist; being 'orphaned' like that.

    With casters and warlords being able to go barbarian being the case, I can definetly see Hungrily Awaits scenario being what happened, with Digdoug's CC and side not wanting him to earn Rands or make friends who could give him ideas of escape.

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