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 Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:24 pm 
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So, no thoughts on the scroll idea, where a Thinkamancer creates a link-up scroll, which is cast by a non-Thinkamancer?

This could allow a linear chain containing more than 2 non-thinkamancers.

The Thinkamancers could still act as stabilisers.

MarbitChow wrote:
I think the only way it can work, based on our current understanding of magic, is to have exactly 3 thinkamancers form a "Super Link" spell, by joining with each other.

The "Super Link" spell could create an 'overmind' that could theoretically link every caster in physical contact with the three casting the initial spell, or even in close proximity, or even just willing and known to the casters. We just don't know what the limits are.


So, omni-mancer

Code:
.     A - B - C
.    /         \
.   L           D
.  /      T      \
. K      / \      E
.  \    T - T    /
.   J           F
.    \         /
.     I - H - G


Well only 13 casters, so not quite omni :).

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Of course, it's also quite possible that such a raw concentration of Thinkamancy would immediately alert Charlie, who might then be able to take over control of the spell using the Arkendish...


Yeah, in fact, with enough casters, it might start rivalling the Arkendish. The tools aren't infinitely powerful.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:31 pm 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    So, no thoughts on the scroll idea, where a Thinkamancer creates a link-up scroll, which is cast by a non-Thinkamancer?


    I think that, by casting it from a scroll, the caster simply takes the place of a Thinkamancer in the chain. They wouldn't substitute their own school, they'd just act as a Thinkamancer placeholder.

    We don't see any indications that Maggie is adding anything to the equation other than the spell itself, so I would assume the scroll situation would be similar.

    One advantage to using the scroll could be that you could risk a 'cheaper' caster unit than your primary thinkamancer, but there appears to be some indication that the Thinkamancers may be one of the most common caster types, since all sides seem to have access to one based on the scene between Vinnie and Caesar.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:21 pm 
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    I agree with arkenputtiknife's position. Most of us are seeing it as software. I think the chemical-ties approach is a better simile.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:27 pm 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    I think that, by casting it from a scroll, the caster simply takes the place of a Thinkamancer in the chain. They wouldn't substitute their own school, they'd just act as a Thinkamancer placeholder.


    That's possible. Also, the spell requires that you think of your own school when casting.

    However, it still could go either way. A caster using a Thinkamancy scroll isn't a Thinkamancer.

    Maybe they would constantly consume the scroll's 'juice' so the link couldn't last long.

    I think that if it is possible, the caster would count as their own school, but it mightn't be possible.

    MarbitChow wrote:
    We don't see any indications that Maggie is adding anything to the equation other than the spell itself, so I would assume the scroll situation would be similar.


    With the volcano link-up, you might be right (she may have added better perception). However, with the Eyemancer link-up, she provided the ability to send orders to units.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 12:07 am 
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    I sort of thought of it as not a limit of power, but of physical plausibility. Even if you could link everyone together, the combined mind may just fall apart, or be overwhelmed by itself.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 12:07 am 
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    Secret wrote:
    No it hasn't that link is coming from the first thinkamancer not the second one.
    What you are talking about would mean that other 'mancers would also form a link with the thinkamancer which isn't the case, the thinkamacner links to the other 'mancers not the other way.

    No, no, NO. A link has 2 ends. The Thinkamancer creates the links, but the other ends have to cooperate and take part, or the links will fall apart. It's a strain on everyone, but the Thinkamancer has the extra strain of creating and sustaining the link—that's what the Thinkamancer is for. Consider this:
    Code:
    T       T
    | \   / |
    |   X   |
    | /   \ |
    *       *

    That is, 2 thinkamancers cross-linked to 2 *mancers. Is that possible? We've been told in-comic that it isn't. Under my scheme it isn't possible. Under your scheme it is, because nothing in your scheme prevents any number of Thinkamancers linking simultaneously to a single *mancer.

    Why do you keep arguing for something that permits configurations that we have been explicitly told, in canon, are not possible?

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     Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 12:50 am 
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    Where exactly was it said that two thinkamancers can't link to the same *mancer? (It has been awhile sense I read the whole comic so I might just not remember it..[but it's not on the wiki page])
    Also just because the *mancer has to be willing to cooperate doesn't mean that they too form a link with the thinkamancer. If *mancers were able to form links then there would be no need for the thinkamancer.(in most cases)

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     Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 9:06 am 
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    Secret wrote:
    Where exactly was it said that two thinkamancers can't link to the same *mancer?


    In fact, the only canon restriction is that "It's a risky and fragile spell, especially with 3, 4 can't even be done" and that it only a statement of current Erfworld thinking.

    Anyway, if Thinkamancers can form links to any 2 other casters, you could have a chain with every 2nd caster as a Thinkamancer, or even a loop:

    Code:
           A - T - B
          /         \
         T           T
        /             \
       H               C
       |               |
       T               T
       |               |
       G               D
        \             /
         T           T
          \         /
           F - T - E


    50% of the casters would have to be Thinkamancers. You lose one slot for a non-caster by making it a loop instead of a line. However, it might be more stable as a loop, since the distance between any 2 casters is reduced.

    If you only have 2 thinkamancers, then a line would be more optimal.

    A-T-B-T-C

    as you get 3 casters.

    The above assumes that individual casters are also restricted to 2 links.

    Otherwise, you could have a link like what Arkenputtyknife suggested:

    Code:

        A   B   C
         \  |  /
          T T T
           \|/
    H - T - X - T - D
           /|\
          T T T
         /  |  \
        G   F   E


    Ofc, the "X" caster in the middle would probably lose his mind due to overload, so maybe best to use a low level caster, or maybe even a non-caster unit.

    OTOH, may be Stanley could be the X, all power/coordination and control would flow through the central link.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 4:46 pm 
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    raphfrk wrote:

    Code:
           A - T - B
          /         \
         T           T
        /             \
       H               C
       |               |
       T               T
       |               |
       G               D
        \             /
         T           T
          \         /
           F - T - E


    50% of the casters would have to be Thinkamancers. You lose one slot for a non-caster by making it a loop instead of a line. However, it might be more stable as a loop, since the distance between any 2 casters is reduced.

    If you only have 2 thinkamancers, then a line would be more optimal.

    A-T-B-T-C

    as you get 3 casters.

    The above assumes that individual casters are also restricted to 2 links.

    Otherwise, you could have a link like what Arkenputtyknife suggested:

    Code:

        A   B   C
         \  |  /
          T T T
           \|/
    H - T - X - T - D
           /|\
          T T T
         /  |  \
        G   F   E


    Ofc, the "X" caster in the middle would probably lose his mind due to overload, so maybe best to use a low level caster, or maybe even a non-caster unit.

    OTOH, may be Stanley could be the X, all power/coordination and control would flow through the central link.


    These ideas (which are pretty cool, by the way) assume that two different thinkamancers can link to the same non-thinkamancy caster. It would work only if that speculation is eventually proved to be possible. As far as we know , a thinkamancer, as the head or nexus of a link, can link with two other casters, effectively linking them together (sometimes the thinkamancer adds something to the mix,as with the eyemancers; sometimes s/he doesn't, as in the uncroaking of the volcano). But we do not know if a non-thinkamancy caster can effectively be a pivotal link joinging two thinkamancer into a new, larger merging.

    'm I making any sense?

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     Post Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 5:29 pm 
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    Duckman wrote:
    But we do not know if a non-thinkamancy caster can effectively be a pivotal link joinging two thinkamancer into a new, larger merging.


    Sure. You could consider it a routing problem. Thinkamancers are able to pass thoughts from one casters to the other caster.

    However, in the loop case, it may not be possible to maintain a single mind, as the non-Thinkamancers would have to route thoughts from the Thinkamancer on their left to the Thinkamancer on their right (and vice-versa).

    In the

    A-T-B-T-C

    case, passing thoughts from A to C is hard. One option would be for the left Thinkamancer to 'write' the thought into B's mind and then have the right Thinkamancer read it and then send it to C.

    That would probably be pretty wierd for B, as he would have random thoughts been written. Ofc, that could just be part of the link, all casters should think the same thoughts. Though in the volcano case, they still seemed as individual casters. Wanda and Sizemore had a conversation about the uncroaking, even if they considered themselves as their speciality.

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     Post Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 4:01 am 
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    When in a link, normal magics become unavailable to the casters. Linking being a normal magic, well, it becomes unavailable to the linked casters.

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     Post Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:16 am 
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    Tbh I'm more curious about how the *power* of the individual casters would affect the link. Last time Wanda was in a link she wasn't attuned to the Arkenpliers, how much of an effect would that have on her now? And I know people have been speculating about an Arkentool for Sizemore, so again, what would the impact be on a link formed with casters that have attuned Arkentools? =P

    Something to look out for in the future maybe?

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     Post Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:16 pm 
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    Vare wrote:
    Tbh I'm more curious about how the *power* of the individual casters would affect the link. Last time Wanda was in a link she wasn't attuned to the Arkenpliers, how much of an effect would that have on her now? And I know people have been speculating about an Arkentool for Sizemore, so again, what would the impact be on a link formed with casters that have attuned Arkentools? =P


    You might be right about Sizemore. Otherwise, the link could end up unbalanced.

    Maybe, a Wanda/Maggie/Sizemore linkup could convert a barren hex back into a forest hex, assuming that it was a forest previously (decrypt seems to be life restoring whereas uncroak was animating the dead). In principle, they could create an impenetrable forest around GK. Thus only forest units would be able to approach the city.

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:13 am 
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    I've got an idea that solves everybodies' problem.

    I don't believe it's like:
    Code:
      T
     -/-\-
    A   B


    or

    A~T~B

    It seems to me that a Thinkamancer is more like:

    Code:
      T
      |
    A-*-B


    The thinkamancer provides a bond between the two casters rather than being a chain of three casters.

    Or, if you imagine a Thinkamancer link spell as a '+' then

    A(+)B=C

    (C being the linked pair - in the volcano case they weren't individuals in the normal sense: they each had thoughts, but it was simultaneous, and both had the thought, rather than one talking and one listening. It was 'talking' to itself.) The abilities of each caster do not change - merely that they are able to perform as one caster with simultaneous abilities in effect. Thus, if we were to take an example of a caster which can summon water, and one which could manipulate temperature, in order to produce ice one could summon a stream of water and the other could freeze it, or as a link they would summon snow. No inbetween because the effects happen at the same time. Without the link you would need to have the water caster summon a fine mist and the second caster freeze it in the air. The power of such an effect does not change - however, the effectiveness and efficiency are much higher. This link essentially would turn two casters that can summon and freeze into one caster that can create ice, whereas no caster has the ability to create ice - only freeze or water.

    Now, as for the solution to the "3 is risky and 4 is impossible" - you're looking inside the box. Why would you want a link with more than three casters? Not just for ability or "power"'s sake (each caster does lend their own juice to the 'pot,' so they are more powerful in that sense.), but anything you could do with a link that has two or three Thinkamancers (assuming they link either with other Thinkamancers or connect via routing through the other casters) and three or four other casters, you could do far more easily by having two groups of three.

    Aka:

    Foolamancer(+)Croakamancer to cause Uncroaked units appear as other units - such as enemy units to be used for covert operations.

    And!

    Findamancer(+)Lookamancer to be able to command and observe the troops.

    This of course assumes that a Foolamancer's veils wont work without him, i.e. casting a veil on the Tool before leaving Gobwin Knob wouldn't have kept him veiled after he left the hex - as shown when the dragon, the Foolamancer, and the Tool left the hex where they were attacked. By creating a bond with a croakamancer, the veil can be created on the croakamancer's uncroaked, no matter where they are. This however assumes that a croakamancer is connected, or at least can influence their uncroaked units outside the hex the caster is in. Otherwise maybe a Foolamancer+Findamancer combo would be needed for the veil.

    A Warlord could use the intelligence link to get info and then relay what he wanted the foolamancer+croakamancer link to do. Maybe even a Fool+Find & Croak+Look would be enough to be able to veil at a distance as well as Uncroak units at a distance. Anyway...

    This is how I interpret what I know, and what makes the most sense. Its part of the fun of speculating on something that doesn't exist!

    In any case, I hope this makes sense, regardless of whether I have my situation set up incorrectly. It'd be like running two computers side-by-side but neither is networked together. You could still read forums on one while gaming at the same time on the other. :D

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     Post Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:05 pm 
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    The additive idea makes a LOT of sense, based on the Uncroaking of the Volcano (http://www.erfworld.com/wp-content/uploads/book1/135.jpg). We see the thoughts of Wanda and Sizemore interacting, but Maggie is nowhere to be found. My thoughts on this is that she is facilitating the link, but is not part of it. Hence, no thoughts. Just like the + sign is not actually part of the final answer. X + Y = Z. The plus facilitates X and Y becoming Z. Although, it seems to be more of a * than a +, because the total appears to be greater than the sum of its parts.

    -Tug

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     Post Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:22 pm 
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    Why is everyone saying that the thinkamancer doesn't contribute? Sizemore said that he had no idea about any of the gems he found. All his own dirtamancy couldn't find them. Clearly Maggie was the one enabling the "out-of-body" perspective that the other two were using. A vital and crucial role in the link.

    On the question of the links themselves, I look at it like this. To link with someone the thinkamancer must hold their hand. Therefore a thinkamancer linked with another thinkamancer would still only have one hand free. One hand each, for a total of two non-thinkamancer casters.

    Or you could put it like this: a chain that went *-T-*-T-* isn't a difficult configuration to come up with. Since it appears that there was some experimentation with linking casters, in world, then we should assume that this has been tried and found to be ineffective.

    In fact, none of the configurations we've come up with are so out there that we could assume that a dedicated experimental attempt wouldn't have thought of them and tried them. If they worked, then it wouldn't be said that 4 is impossible. We shouldn't assume that the people in world have ignored obvious and logical avenues of experimentation.

    Now Charlie, with an Arkentool. Maybe he gets to break the rules. Well... he definitely gets to break the rules, we just don't know about this one. And as many people have pointed out, it would take something amazingly powerful to challenge Parson, Stanley and Wanda this next go around.

    --
    Yucca

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     Post Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:15 pm 
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    Yucca wrote:
    Why is everyone saying that the thinkamancer doesn't contribute? Sizemore said that he had no idea about any of the gems he found. All his own dirtamancy couldn't find them. Clearly Maggie was the one enabling the "out-of-body" perspective that the other two were using. A vital and crucial role in the link.


    We aren't saying they don't contribute. My current theory is that the thinkamancer facilitates the link, acting as a force multiplier in the magical process. They facilitate the spell happening, and give a multiplicative effect to the other casters, but are not DIRECTLY responsible for the actions taken. It was the magic of Sizemore and Wanda that Uncroaked the Volcano. Dirtamancy and Croakamancy. The Thinkamancy enabled them to act together, and increased the effectiveness of the spell's results. (One of the unintended consequences of this increased effectiveness was an expansion of Sizemore's ability to sense the mountain, thus enabling him to find the gems.) YES, they contribute, but in an indirect manner.

    2*3=6. Yes, the * is an integral part of the equation, but the end result is directly linked to the 2 and the 3.

    Is that clearer?

    -Tug

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     Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:33 am 
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    The theory that Thinkamancers just facilitate the link doesn't take into account the Eyemancer link and the Eyetable. For that setup to command units in the field, they would have to be taking advantage of thinkamancy. Neither Lookamancy or Foolamancy allows conveying orders at a distance. Thinkamancy does. The volcano uncroaking as a spell didn't necessarily need thinkamancy, but that doesn't mean that the thinkamancer is unable to contribute magically to the spell.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:11 am 
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    Bobby Archer wrote:
    The theory that Thinkamancers just facilitate the link doesn't take into account the Eyemancer link and the Eyetable. For that setup to command units in the field, they would have to be taking advantage of thinkamancy. Neither Lookamancy or Foolamancy allows conveying orders at a distance. Thinkamancy does. The volcano uncroaking as a spell didn't necessarily need thinkamancy, but that doesn't mean that the thinkamancer is unable to contribute magically to the spell.


    More importantly, they created the eyeBooks. While it could be argued that Maggie's ability to convey orders wasn't part of the table, but just a standard ability of Thinkamancers (she orders the uncroaked warlords to perform a fighting withdrawl later in the siege), the fact that the books can be hacked by a master thinkamancer like Charlie implies that thinkamancy is core to their creation, and it was the link that created the books.

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     Post Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:09 pm 
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    Housellama wrote:
    2*3=6. Yes, the * is an integral part of the equation, but the end result is directly linked to the 2 and the 3.

    Is that clearer?

    -Tug


    The argument was never unclear, just inaccurate. The operator is AS important as the numbers. (in many cases it is MORE important in determining the answer. But I digress) The argument is wrong because the "mathematical equation" metaphor isn't the appropriate one to use. Numbers and operators are abstract concepts, they effortlessly slide into each other.

    A better metaphor is mixing ingredients in a recipe. Mixing ingredients takes time and skill. You can ruin your muffins if you mix too much, if you mix too little, if you mix in the wrong proportions, etc. The person doing the mixing isn't part of the muffin, but their effort and expertise is certainly directly responsible for the end result.

    As people have pointed out, having a Thinkamancer in the link adds abilities to the gestalt caster. They don't just make other casters more powerful, they actually make it so that the gestalt caster can do things that neither of the other two casters could ever do (absent a scroll). This tells me that the Thinkamancer is most assuredly not simply a passive conduit for thoughts, but takes a much more active roll.

    --
    Yucca

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