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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:20 pm 
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In the course of pondering Charlie and his involvement, I think I may have deduced "what" Charlie is.

We can see pretty clearly that those who wield a 'Tool have a thirst for power/control, and each 'Tool seems to provide them with a means to achieve that goal.
  • Wanda: Controls a vast, upkeep-free force that is loyal to her rather than her overlord.
  • Stanley: Was able to tame rare units that were also loyal to him alone, and he rose quickly through the ranks as a result.
  • Charlie: "Publicly" admits to a desire to control all information/espionage in Erfworld, and has the Thinkamancy to do it.
  • Ansom: Though not an attuned user, he did have quite the superiority complex and was very attached to the 'Pliers.
We have also seen Wanda (and possibly Stanley) take steps to disobey or at least sidestep their Overlord if it meant they could get something out of it.

Given the 'Dish's powers, and this psychological profile of those who have 'Tools (whether the personality is because of exposure to a 'Tool, or an inherent trait that made Fate choose them as an attuned user is unknown) I can hazard a few guesses at Charlie's true nature.

The first that comes to mind is that Charlie in fact an "ordinary" Thinkamancer and still has an Overlord...but somehow he has justified totally mind-controlling that Overlord. In fact, the voice we think of as Charlie may in fact the the voice of the Overlord.
This could explain why Charlie only allows a handful of Archons to see him.

If this is not the case, then it would appear Charlie is a legitimate Overlord. This means that either:
  • Heirs can pop with Casting ability.
  • A caster can be appointed Heir Designate.

The final possibility is that Charlie is a resident of Stupidworld and was brought here just like Parson, perhaps by the GMTTA. This of course means that he as a unit could "break" cannon like Parson does, though the previous two hypotheses suggest new cannon that would allow for the possibility that Charlie may not be a unique case.

Any thoughts, or references that support any of these theories?

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     Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:25 am 
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    Why would a heir need casting abilities if Charlie is indeed an Overlord (and presumably was heir at some point)? The tools seem to be able to give caster-like abilities to non-casters like Stanley. The hammer was said to be capable of many magics, some of which Stanley had not yet fully unlocked. It is possible that Charlie has no thinkamancy abilities by himself but relies entirely on the dish.

    Of course he COULD be a thinkamancer (he does seem to have greater mastery of his tool than the other two but that could be just from having had it longer).

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     Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:51 am 
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    And do we know for sure that Casters cannot be Overlords?

    Agreed, we've seen quite a few Overlords: Stanley, Slately, Don, Haggar ... and not a caster among them. But is there any rule explicitly forbidding this?

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     Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:41 am 
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    Mechanics-wise, Overlord seems to be a rank much like Warlord. Going from Warlord to Overlord just has the prerequisite upgrade of Heir. We know that a unit can be intentionally popped as a Warlord class, and as an Heir, if the Overlord wishes and has the schmuckers to spend. We also know that a non-Warlord unit can be upgraded into the higher classes, with Stanley being a specific example. There's nothing that specifically says that a Caster would be exempt from all of this; I'd just think it's more likely that a Caster would be seen as an asset to a side, more a weapon in the side's arsenal, than actual leadership material. So someone designating a Caster as Heir would probably be damn rare.
    That said, given that there is a chance of popping a Caster any time a side attempts to pop a new Warlord - and an Heir would indeed be a Warlord - one would have to assume there's at least a small chance that when a side popped an Heir, that Heir might randomly have abilities as a Caster. Throw in some Luckamancy or Turnamancy or even Findamancy, it might even be possible to increase those odds.
    If I had to guess at a reason why sides then don't intentionally do this, I'd say it's because since a side can only have a limited number of Casters, they'd rather not put all their figurative eggs in one basket. There may even be a generally accepted moratorium on Caster Overlords, in much the same way as there's a taboo on using the Magic Kingdom as a staging ground for capital assaults. Certainly a Caster Overlord would never be allowed into the Magic Kingdom.

    All of that being considered, I believe that Charlie is the Overlord of his side. He clearly makes the decisions and controls Charlescomm utterly, which means if he wasn't Overlord then he'd be essentially controling whoever the Overlord was. If he's doing that, Charlie clearly believes that he can do a better job leading his side than anyone else, and he's probably right. So, if that were the case, he'd simply use the Arkendish to force his Overlord to make him Heir and then disband. Charlie strikes me as the sort who wouldn't want to have to acknowledge that anyone might be a higher rank than him in Charlescomm... and besides, having a mind-controlled or vegetable Overlord on side just as a mouthpiece for Charlie? If nothing else, that's a waste of schmuckers. Charlie would save a lot of money every turn by offing the boss and taking control himself.

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     Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:13 am 
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    The reason I suspect that Charlie had Thinkamancy powers before attuning to the 'Dish is because of the disparity between Wanda and Stanley in terms of power. Wanda has had her 'Tool for a much shorter time, yet has already used it in a way to appears far superior to the 'Hammer. She can create as many units as her side can croak, with no proven limit on the TYPES of units she can control, and those units require no upkeep. Stanley on the other hand requires Erfworld to pop his units in the wild, and they require upkeep. I'd say that difference alone demonstrates that an Attuned Caster may be more adept than an Attuned Warlord.

    We do NOT know for sure that Casters cannot be Heirs, but it has been implied by the absence of such units. Basically, I'm saying Charlie's existence might prove it IS possible, therefor answering a Cannon question we have previously just shrugged about.

    And while I agree with Selexor about Charlie being inclined to go for the Overlord slot himself, there may be a few reasons for him not to.
    • It could in fact be true that Casters can NOT be Heir/Overlord, so Charlie's only option is to totally dominate his Overlord.
    • Or conversely, it may be possible, but Charlie wants to keep the Overlord as some kind of last resort/subterfuge if his city is ever attacked and he needs to escape by making the enemy think they have killed Charlie when they have only killed the Overlord (thus allowing Charlie to become a Barbarian Caster, and potentially take over another side).

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:02 am 
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    You people are using the term Overlord as if it is the only type of Ruler.

    You're forgetting that someone can be a ruler, but fail to qualify for the title of Overlord by being a King, Queen, or possibly a Regent.

    (For fun, look at the last page of Jillian's first talk with Don King. When he talks about how he knows Jillian is clearly a Royal, he list a few attributes about Jillian that indicate that she is Royal. If we exclude the 'got into a loving relationship with Ansom' attribute and the 'fearless in battle' attribute, (He might be, but we have seen him fight personally.) then we are left with the attributes of 'hating Stanley instinctively' and 'being intentionally rude, but still shocked by rudeness.' Now look carefully at the scenes with where he appears. He has shown both of those traits at one point or another.)

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:50 pm 
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    I think Kings, Queens, and Regents are subtypes of Overlord.

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     Post Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:21 pm 
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    drachefly wrote:
    I think Kings, Queens, and Regents are subtypes of Overlord.

    Wiki says otherwise. There is even a confusion subsection that quotes Rob as identifing Ruler as the correct term.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:55 am 
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    But Overlord is still the correct term in context for this conversation. Charlie is specifically said to be non-Royal. Even if Charlescomm was once a Royal side, we saw with Gobwin Knob that an Heir Designate does not become a King, but an Overlord. All evidence suggests that only a Popped Heir that counts as a Royal "son" can become a King.
    So whatever Charlie's origins, he could never be king of Charlescomm, only its Overlord. And all that proves for the discussion is that Charlie was not a Popped Heir to a Royal side, which doesn't really give us any information we didn't have.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:26 am 
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    Selexor wrote:
    But Overlord is still the correct term in context for this conversation. Charlie is specifically said to be non-Royal. Even if Charlescomm was once a Royal side, we saw with Gobwin Knob that an Heir Designate does not become a King, but an Overlord. All evidence suggests that only a Popped Heir that counts as a Royal "son" can become a King.
    So whatever Charlie's origins, he could never be king of Charlescomm, only its Overlord. And all that proves for the discussion is that Charlie was not a Popped Heir to a Royal side, which doesn't really give us any information we didn't have.


    I don't think there is a distinction between popped heir Royals that gain the throne and ones that were merely popped Royal, but were later promoted to heir.

    We might find out if Trammenis is promoted to heir before Slately dies. I'm pretty sure that he'll qualify to be a King under those circumstances.

    Also, why are you trusting Wanda's word on Charlie's non-Royalty? Charlie keeps all information about himself secret. While he does not actively claim the attribute of being Royal, this doesn't mean he doesn't have it.

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:48 pm 
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    If Parson could promote himself from a garrison unit to a field unit, why couldn't an Overlord promote himself to King (assuming he met whatever other arcane requirements Erfworld rules demand) in the manner of Napoleon, or Garth of Izar?

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     Post Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:55 pm 
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    Swodaems wrote:
    I don't think there is a distinction between popped heir Royals that gain the throne and ones that were merely popped Royal, but were later promoted to heir.

    We might find out if Trammenis is promoted to heir before Slately dies. I'm pretty sure that he'll qualify to be a King under those circumstances.

    Also, why are you trusting Wanda's word on Charlie's non-Royalty? Charlie keeps all information about himself secret. While he does not actively claim the attribute of being Royal, this doesn't mean he doesn't have it.

    Well, units popped by a Royal side are all either Royal or Noble, apparently. So, when King Saline IV was the ruler of Gobwin Knob, him being a Royal would have by default meant that all Gobwin Knob units were Royal as well... including a certain lowly piker named Stanley. And this Royal Piker was promoted all the way to Heir Designate - but when King Saline fell, Gobwin Knob lost its Royal status and Stanley became Overlord, not King. Since the killing was done by the then-disloyal Gobwins, it wouldn't count as Regicide, so there's no reason for Stanley to not have become King... except for the fact that he didn't. The only explanation I can think of, then, is that Stanley simple couldn't become king because he wasn't the King's son.
    Incidentally, I agree that if Slately croaks while Trammenis is heir, Trammenis will become king. But I'd assume that was because Trammenis was popped specifically as Slately's son - not just another Jetstone noble or Warlord, but as one of the Royal Family. We don't yet know what significance that distinction makes, but the fact that the distinction exists makes it seem important to my mind.

    As for Charlie... I'm not trusting Wanda's word alone. Royal Units apparently have a Numbers boost that can be seen by units from other sides who can see stats, and everyone is under the impression that Charlie is not Royal, from Wanda right across the board to The Don, from Slately to Jillian. I'll grant that he might be able to disguise his side's Royal status, but... why would he? At the moment, not being Royal is only hurting Charlescomm's business and its image.


    Sieggy wrote:
    If Parson could promote himself from a garrison unit to a field unit, why couldn't an Overlord promote himself to King (assuming he met whatever other arcane requirements Erfworld rules demand) in the manner of Napoleon, or Garth of Izar?

    I think that's part of Slately's "Royals are supreme in the eyes of the Titans" belief. It's not enough to simply declare yourself a King - there's that numbers and experience boost that only Royal units get, apparently a mandate to rule handed down from the Titans. That'd imply (though it doesn't prove) that only the Titans can make a non-Royal side into a Royal one.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:55 pm 
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    Selexor wrote:


    That's interpreting the statement way too strongly. Just sayin'.

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     Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:44 pm 
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    I may well be interpreting it too literally. But I took that as Parson comparing Royal or Noble status to a tribal affiliation, which makes a lot of sense in context. If your side is Royal, you're Royal too, whether you be a Piker or an Heir. And it's not exactly unheard of - strategy and worldbuilding campaigns, be they tabletop or PC-based, have used this sort of thing for as long as they've been around as a way of countering different sides. Certain teams can mass-produce relatively weak units, others may produce units at a higher price or a slower speed, but they're more powerful. I don't think it's unreasonable to propose that in Erfworld, Royal sides have more powerful units, but that this may then be countered by some other drawback, most likely upkeep cost. I freely admit it's all speculation, but then, isn't this a speculation thread?

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     Post Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:56 pm 
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    Hi all first time poster long time lurker. :twisted:

    So I was talking this point over with one of my friends and some things pop up in the conversation that I think could be useful here. Let us say that Charley is a Thinkamancer attuned to his Arken Tool. Now if we consider that Charley took a path that started along the lines of Maggie giving Stanley a suggestion then a lot of his sides decisions make more sense. If Charley is not the ruler of his side just the one in control, some of the normal tasks could be out of his pervue. Let us say for this argument that the ruler decides the city's creation orders, not to big a stretch with all of the drama in Jillian poping an heir. So Charley has one city with out the ability to capture more, he only pops Archons as he can not change the city's production. Now one can try to deconstruct this by saying that he could hire turnamancer to get a warlord or two and capture a city, this may not work if he has no ability to designate a Chief Warlord and the lack of a Chief Warlord interferes with capturing cities. The lack of ability to designate a Chief Warlord fits in with the drama surrounding Ansom getting captured.

    The continuing thought is that once Charley made this decision that he alone knew what was best for his side (strong perversion of duty) he could at no point in time release his ruler as there first thought would be to disband Charley, and he is well aware of that limitation. He could go barbarian, paying his upkeep would probably take his entire purse (there was a comment by jillian in the summer updates? talking about vanna's upkeep in relevance to her old barbarian purse but I can not find it at the moment, think its in the unprinted stuff). The Magic Kingdom would probably not be a safe place for any caster attuned to an Arken Tool.

    This is a house of cards I know and totally chasing epileptic trees. However it made sense to me so I thought I would share. I truly enjoyed the idea that Charles bad strategies are not him lacking vision but instead lacking the power to play his hand in any other way. Feel free to rip this to shreds, its not like I don't know how things work around here ;)

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     Post Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:59 pm 
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    Hermeus wrote:
    Feel free to rip this to shreds, its not like I don't know how things work around here ;)


    What do you mean? But please, have a seat, enjoy some crumpets. Would you care for a spot of tea?

    But that theory of yours is utter bollocks ;)

    Nah, I kid. It just seems needlessly complicated. Assuming Charlie is not the official ruler of the Com, there's no stopping them (in principle) from laying the suggestion spells always and forever. Said suggestion spells would make Charlie the actual decision maker of the Com, and any ... particularities of that side (one city only, Archons only ...) would just be the whims of C-person.

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     Post Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:22 pm 
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    I like the idea that Charlescomm is in reality ruled by a thinkomancer behind the throne. The ruler is named Charlie but he is but a puppet in the hands of the thinkomancer who controls what he says and does.

    I mostly like this theory because it gives me the opportunity to predict that the thinkomancer is named Bosley.

    Selexor wrote:
    I may well be interpreting it too literally. But I took that as Parson comparing Royal or Noble status to a tribal affiliation, which makes a lot of sense in context. If your side is Royal, you're Royal too, whether you be a Piker or an Heir.


    But the Royal side of Gobwin Knob appears to have popped no Royals, and both Transylvito and Jetstone while being Royal sides has popped also noble warlords. I'll go with the wikis interpretation here:

    Wiki wrote:
    Cities ruled by Royals may Pop Nobles and more Royals.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:45 am 
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    It is warlord-class units (warlords and casters) from royal sides who always are noble (or royal, but that has to be paid for before popping them). Regular units are not all noble or royal, obviously. And although a regular unit can be promoted to warlords and even heirs (the former is probably a requirement for the latter), they never become noble, royal or casters in the process.

    Royal and Noble are thus upgrades that can only be bought at popping, and only by royal sides.

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     Post Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:55 am 
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    I wonder if that's true... in our world, you can be made noble by decree or by marriage.

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     Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:57 am 
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    The pet theory I've been nursing for a while is that Charlie really is something weird. Contrast Book 1, Page 17, Panel 6. I'm supposing that Charlie may have been summoned, like Parson, from someplace in the multiverse, but they "screwed up the basics." It (Charlie) perhaps doesn't speak Language, or breathe air and things...crazy surprises.

    Prolly some squid-faced Cthulu thing, maybe a natural psion. Oh well. We'll see eventually.

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