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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:29 pm 
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Thunder wrote:
Wrath wrote:
Magic! No, wait, they've already got magic.

Science!


Honestly Ive been wondering why Parson hasn't brought more science to erfworld, our highest levels of tech wouldn't be something he could create of coarse, but some of the tech above erfwould's he could definatly produce, if not by himself he could at least get those with fabrication abilities to help
Hmm, well, he does say that he thinks his bracer works mostly using "magic from [his] world".

It is a good question, though. It's possible that he simply doesn't know enough relevant science, but one would think he'd know at least enough to design some new traps, if nothing else.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:15 pm 
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    A. You guys are confusing Science with Technology. Just sayin'.

    B. I think it will be a combination of 3 things:

    First, Parson Conquers the Erf. Okay, probably not the whole thing, but enough that a large portion of "former" sides are now under his control. Note I say HIS, not Wanda's. That's why I think this conflict with Jetstone and Tramennis' Diplomacy concentration is so important. Because I think once he obviously has them completely under his thumb and defeated by mind-blowing off-turn means, Parson will astound all Erfers even MORE by negotiating a real surrender term that involves an actual, viable Jetstone left standing afterward. With restrictions, yes, but not razed to the ground and all dead or decrypted, like all other sides and JS themselves would expect.

    And that's where we get into the second phase. Parson will do the unprecedented thing that will have every Erf eye on the outcome thereof, and then he will go even further..and start treating units as people. He (Stanley leaves the "details" up to his CWL, he won't interfere as long as he has results to be happy about) will not be like the typical Ruler, assuming instant obedience, but will ask favors, elicit opinions, etc. The casters and some units in GK are already astonished and flattered by his tendency to do so, and Maggie indicated that it was both strange and delightful that he thinks the way he does. How seductive would it be to see a CWL that treats every unit with respect and pays attention to individuals? How envious would other sides' units be, if they saw that? It would start with the casters, naturally, who are in a better position to see the difference.

    Which leads us to phase three. The Magic Kingdom. It already has unique status, due to some geographical Titan-made anomoly that makes non-casters unable to enter. Because they are immune to invasion by other units, the MK has evolved a completely different governmental system than all the Sides in Erf, simply because it is not really a "Side". And casters are bound to start comparing Parson to other warlords and realizing that he has much more affinity to the MK way of doing things than any Side has before. Plus, Janis, a highly respected Grand Abbie, has already endorsed him as a Hippiemancer. Casters are bound to start regarding him as the "Magic Kingdom's Warlord", in some respects, once they see the way he treats his casters. And if every caster secretly envies working for GK in that respect, how long before it effectively becomes "Perfect Warlord+massive unstoppable army+every caster on Erf VS. Any side that feels warlike"? Who wants to face that kind of behemoth by themselves, or even in a shaky alliance, when the only Side that keeps true to their alliances is the one you are fighting against?

    When the virtues of being your own side are vastly outnumbered by the detrimental things, not to mention the virtues of belonging to the "Allied Parson Project" being much greater, who could resist applying to be a member of the club? Even if you DON'T come to believe it's "The Titan's Will", it still pays to spout the party line, right?

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:31 am 
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    Hiai wrote:
    A. You guys are confusing Science with Technology. Just sayin'.


    you have filled me with shame and regret sir :cry:
    i had to go back and see what i wrote because i thought no way i would make such a stupid mistake, and yet it apears i did....

    also i was wondering if a peaceful endgame involves turning everyone barbarion?

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 am 
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    Erfworld has a defined set of mechanics, some known and many unknown, so could be likened to a type of machine created by the Titans.

    There is a chance that Parson may be attuned to the missing Arkentool and there is also a possibility that that could be a spanner. Parson would metaphorically throw the Arkenspanner in the works and stop the turn based mechanics dead in their tracks, after all no more turns means no more war.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:25 am 
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    I guess Parson is exploring both science and the technological applications of it.

    As in science, he's exploring the deeper aspects of the mechanics and applying much of the learned scientific facts of Stupidworld to Erfworld to see if they apply or not.

    One of my instant thoughts is that he should test the existents of stupidworld's elements in erfworld. If the same periodic table exists then that opens up a whole range of chemistry applications and compounds. Just as we've learned that Thinkamancy is much deeper than what thinkamancers offer, maybe Parson needs to push Sizemore to find out just how specific he can get with particular rocks and such. Titanium Golems anyone?

    I still tend to think a lot of the requirements for peace in Erfworld reside in the Magick Kingdom and contracts. I'd love to know the magick which seems to force adherance to contracts and if its possible to get around or out of them.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:05 pm 
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    Mutually assured destruction.

    Parson eventually creates a weapon/tactic so devestating, and easy to copy that no side can afford to start a conflict, because if they did the retaliation from their enemy would destroy them.

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:34 pm 
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    Given that he has a volcano and a Dirtamancer close at hand (copious amounts of sulfur and someone who can produce copious amounts of saltpeter), I suspect that your basic gunpowder may wind up being a game breaker. I don't see carbon as a problem (if there's no coal, making charcoal is trivial). Assuming that the chemistry and physics of Erf are the same as Earth's . . . However, as with the Gor series, (ick) that innovation may draw the attention of the Titans . . .

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:04 pm 
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    It would suck if half the materials disappeared in the morning just like garbage and cleansing. I mean, you weren't using those ashes right? Apparently you aren't allowed to.

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:49 pm 
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    Ah, but not if you made gunpowder golems . . .

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     Post Posted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:56 pm 
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    I would almost pay to see that. Gunpowder Golems and some poor Erfworlder trying to "kill it with fire!" :lol:

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     Post Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:37 am 
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    I think the impossibility of a bubble kingdom stems less from the unprofitability of peace than from the profitability of war. I.e., you can run a side without any fundrazing, tribute, or bribery, but it can only afford minimal defenses, and will be vulnerable to any other side that is willing to run at a deficit for a short while to build up a bigger army. Faq only got away with it because Jack made sure nobody knew they were there. Parson inventing new profitable economic activities for Erfers that aren't, strictly speaking, war-related would go a long ways towards making pacifist sides able to afford bigger armies, and thus be tougher nuts to crack.

    I'm really curious to know the exact mechanics behind the "diminishing returns" comment. In early 4X games, the bigger an empire, the _easier_ it was to defend, since the area it covers (and thus the number of people and cities) increases by the square of the radius (pi*r^2), while the perimeter (the part you really have to defend) only increases linearly (2*pi*r). So the amount of army per mile of border increases as the empire gets bigger. Games like Civilization and Alpha Centauri had to add in concepts like corruption and inefficiency that increased nonlinearly with empire size to try and limit this. Parson's comment hints at something similar for Erfworld.

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:31 pm 
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    I really thought this seemed much simpler:

    Parson finds exploits in impossible situations (his hat is Cheating, not Winning). A side existing without war for upkeep is a supposedly impossible situation. Therefore, Parson will find an exploit in the society or economics of the world to allow sides to exist without war (once it's established that they can, society may well tend that way by itself).

    The fact that he also wages war on behalf of Stanley is very nice for Stanley, but irrelevant to his role as a perfect hippiemancer warlord except where it gives him the opportunity to look for exploits.

    That's how I saw it, anyway.

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     Post Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:31 pm 
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    Question, are volcanoes in Erfworld connected in the same way that volcanoes on supidEarth are connected? (Ring of Fire, and all that)

    If so, could Sizemore do another linkup, traverse the magma caverns telepathically and make other volcanoes erupt elsewhere?

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     Post Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:13 am 
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    Oooohhh . . . now, if the mountaintop that Charley is perched upon is volcanic in nature, or on a fault line, Sizemore could have a field day . . .

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     Post Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:31 pm 
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    This is an interesting question and I registered purely to respond.

    The Caster Conspiracy's Perfect Warlord spell has had the desired effect in summoning a warlord that in conventional terms is nothing exceptional, but in terms of applied strategy is going to crush most sides underfoot. It also has the wonderful side effect of slowly destroying their real nemesis, Charlie, by unleashing a guy who refuses to deal with him and eats his customers. If there aren't any Sides left who are willing to pay him, Charlescomm will collapse under its own upkeep. The issue, as others have pointed out, is that most of the Erfworld is going to unite to defend their only known way of life and they're going to do it behind the banner and giant treasury of Charlescomm, who has a vested interest in keeping the eternal war going. Some folks have even wondered if that was Janis' goal - unite the world as one to counter an uber-threat. However, I believe that as it's in Charlie's interest to ensure that the war continues, he'll carefully plant treacherous thoughts in Royal heads so that the instant Parson is either disabled or working for Charlescomm (very unlikely at this juncture) several of the sides in the "united" Coalition will immediately turn on each other, while Charlie's Archon units stay steadfastly neutral during the new struggle, only interceding when hired.

    So if Parson is going to wage war on "war" itself, he's going to have to attack not a given Side but rather the underlying reasons for War. Yes, one of them is obviously Charlescomm, as defined above, but another is the very Titans of Ark, who created the world's reliance on War for advancement in the first place. That'll be a very interesting conflict.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:45 am 
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    The unconventional, counter-intuitive notion of bringing about peace through the great, "break-all-rules" conflict is not new.

    World War I: "The war to end all wars"
    The H-bomb as the pinnacle of Mutually Assured Destruction (which actually *worked* in terms of bringing about peace in a great ideological war)
    The neutron bomb, the weapon specifically *devised* with creating moral warfare in mind (see the canonical article on the inventor, Sam Cohen http://boingboing.net/profits_of_fear.html).

    Ultimately, all these failed. Interestingly, they all failed for the same reason, or perhaps this reason was merely symptomatic of their failure. In each case, the destruction that promised a world incapable of profitably or conclusively waging war was skirted as one-by-one, tactics changed and weapons of mass destruction were banned by treaty and we all returned to conventional warfare.

    (Of course, the re-use of poison gas in the Iran-Iraq War didn't stop or even discourage continued fighting, despite historical lessons on stalemate, as a clear example.)

    So if this is a valid analysis of Parson as the superweapon that "breaks" war, would he not merely be exiled or worse such that the status quo is preserved? Perhaps the Arkentools are the trump card that prevents this from happening, but isn't that the equivalent of one-side-rule which had already been deemed unacceptable, both irl and in-comic.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:07 pm 
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    Mutual assured destruction lowered risk of all-out big war to near zero, you can not quite counter that. Or why do you think cold war remained cold in spite of arms race?

    Small border skirmishes and/or "colonial campaigns for greater good" such as Afghan or Iraq war will continoe IRL and would continue in Erfworld I suppose, but not in shape of RCC vs. Toolist "Holy War" as is now.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:21 pm 
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    We agree that all of the above-mentioned ridiculously-extreme destructive capabilities were realized and then rationally argued to bring peace by making war completely undesirable in the sense of mutually-assured devastation. My thesis is that this *failed* as all of these weapons and tactics were banned or mutually limited such that wars, even between great powers (China vs NATO in Korea, Iran-Iraq), inevitably continued.

    *That said*, I will accept your assertion that we have not had a major international war since the H-bomb, discounting Korea, and am willing to believe that humanity is in a position that such wars can be completely preventable, in which case "Parson The Superweapon" may be an effective peacemaker.

    However, I will not yet concede the superweapon to be a peacemaker, as a number of factors have prevented a stand-off on the scale of World War - most importantly would be the end of colonialism (which takes the "World" out of the equation). I will allow the end of colonialism and the U.N. to be direct consequences of the superweapon/superwar, but consider furthermore the information/scientific revolution as a separate driver of peace. By any standard, 50 years is certainly not long enough to make a sure claim.

    Thanks for keeping me on my toes. Now, if Parson the Superweapon is a peacemaker, then he still has to counterbalance against the Arkentools, else the world is decrypted and it's Pax GobwinKnoba instead, which is certainly not "breaking the game" in-comic or irl.

    New idea: perhaps Paron's a Teacher, like Prometheus taking the knowledge of Fire from the gods to man. He is here not as a superweapon himself, but as the person who finds the exploit of total destruction and then teaches it to every side. Of course, the destructive paradox of Prometheus has not been lost.

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:01 pm 
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    sr123 wrote:
    We agree that all of the above-mentioned ridiculously-extreme destructive capabilities were realized and then rationally argued to bring peace by making war completely undesirable in the sense of mutually-assured devastation. My thesis is that this *failed* as all of these weapons and tactics were banned or mutually limited such that wars, even between great powers (China vs NATO in Korea, Iran-Iraq), inevitably continued.


    I don't think we can count 50s era China a great power, or superpower (yet). Likewise, Iran/Iraq are at best regional powers, admittedly trying to up themselves to at least "considerable force" status. That said, Korean war is one of my least known episodes of 20th century, so I may be wrong in my assumptions.

    sr123 wrote:
    *That said*, I will accept your assertion that we have not had a major international war since the H-bomb, discounting Korea, and am willing to believe that humanity is in a position that such wars can be completely preventable, in which case "Parson The Superweapon" may be an effective peacemaker.

    However, I will not yet concede the superweapon to be a peacemaker, as a number of factors have prevented a stand-off on the scale of World War - most importantly would be the end of colonialism (which takes the "World" out of the equation). I will allow the end of colonialism and the U.N. to be direct consequences of the superweapon/superwar, but consider furthermore the information/scientific revolution as a separate driver of peace. By any standard, 50 years is certainly not long enough to make a sure claim.


    I will give you that, even though we can discuss how much of information/scientific revolution is direct or indirect result of arms race. After all, ARPANET was funded by Department of Defense via DARPA.

    sr123 wrote:
    Thanks for keeping me on my toes. Now, if Parson the Superweapon is a peacemaker, then he still has to counterbalance against the Arkentools, else the world is decrypted and it's Pax GobwinKnoba instead, which is certainly not "breaking the game" in-comic or irl.


    IMO, not so much counterbalance the Arkentools themselves, but assure their even distribution. Admittedly, Arkenpliers battle worth is higher than that of Arkendish and Arkenhammer, but it has to be present on battlefield for wider usage, rendering wielder prone to attack. Wonder what the fourth one will be.

    sr123 wrote:
    New idea: perhaps Paron's a Teacher, like Prometheus taking the knowledge of Fire from the gods to man. He is here not as a superweapon himself, but as the person who finds the exploit of total destruction and then teaches it to every side. Of course, the destructive paradox of Prometheus has not been lost.


    Depends if the other sides can learn to use lateral thinking to entertain new tactics and strategies. Up until TBfGK warfare was supposedly very predictable. Now you would need to expect unexpected, in other words, adapt FAST to the situation. And that is just on the defense side, where I find it easier than to craft all-new offensive strategies a la PGLH.
    Also some units seem to show a bit of adaptability defense wise (Antium), not even Jack can quite grasp lateral thinking as in "imagine something unimaginable"

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     Post Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:16 am 
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    I wonder if Parson will end up being the bad guy in the end that everyone in Erf has to team up against? He always said he liked playing the bad guys. What if he makes it so Erf must evolve past the need for war or die trying, one world side being created to STOP Parson not created by Parson.

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