Forum    Members    Search    FAQ

Board index » Erfworld Things » Everything Else Erfworld




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Just what is decryption?
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:56 am 
User avatar
This user was a Tool before it was cool
Offline
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:37 am
Posts: 154
I'm curious what decryption represents within the metaphysics of Erfworld.

Yes, if it was an actual TBS game, the answer would just be "here are the rules, deal with them". Sort of how in chess, we don't question why the bishop only moves diagonally.

But story-wise and setting-wise, it doesn't really answer the questions I have. Why, exactly, do the Arkenpliers function in this specific matter and not any other? Why is there a separate ruleset for a third kind of units, distinct from living and uncroaked? Why these specific rules? Uncroaked are clearly supposed to be the analogue of undead in classic fantasy settings - mindless decaying creatures animated by a necromancer. What do decrypted represent?

They seem to mostly use the rules for living units (they are physically alive in every way that counts, they don't decay, have their memories and cognitive abilities intact, can turn, function as Chief Warlords, etc.), but with two glaring exceptions: they turn to dust and have zero upkeep. Notably, both of these exceptions are from the ruleset for uncroaked units.

Jack's phrasing for his own decryption is interesting. "Something like alive again, but realigned on a plane just below the visual"? What does it mean? Does it return to the unexplained mental shift that decrypted units receive, compelling them to serve Wanda?

Could Stupidworld science detect physical differences between living and decrypted units (if a decrypted Erfworld unit was somehow transported into Stupidworld, for example, using the Arkenshoes)?

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:21 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:21 pm
    Posts: 1097
    Perhaps, basing this on the fact that the Arkenpliers are a Titanic Tool, they give the unit a second chance at life? If we assume it has to do with fate, and the fact that tools are used (sometimes) to create or repair, it could be that they were intended to "fix" units that lost their fate (or just give them new ones).

    Or I'm wrong. It'll be interesting to see. :)

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:59 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:00 pm
    Posts: 422
    Hmm, well, our science would see a lot of wierd things about erfworlders, apparently they have no blood, or at least don't leak it when wounded... Assuming that Erfworlders do have blood, and if they ate sugar filled with isotopes it would head to their brains in a way readable by MRIs, we would be able to maybe see what brain centers light up when loyalty happens, and compare the loyalty to a ruler and to a tool wielder that way.

    Our science is all kinds of crude compared to what the Thinkomancers got going, though. Look at the most recent page! Everyone has the red and blue evenly wavy strings coiled together, probably what the Thinkomancers call a g-string, vibrating out into the firmament. The Arkenpliers have green stuff smoothly reaching out to the firmament and lightning bolt type stuff going to Wanda and Ansom, which also goes between Wanda and Ansom.
    Most people have the one connection to the firmamant, the G-string. Since Maggie can do thinkamancy on Parson, even Stupidworlders have that. The attuned have two connections to the firmament, one of which has the tool as a proxy. So the Decrypted also have two connections to the firmament, one of which is through two proxies.

    The Arken Dish has affinity with speaking natural allies, not just Archons with their thinkamancy, but also effecting how they pop in the wild.
    The Arken Hammer with feral brutes; not just taming dwagons but turning birds and plants into each other. So cool! He should see if he can transform Seige into Seafarers or something.
    The Arken Shoes, perhaps, with golems like the dolls Judy Gale had. Metaphysically, they seem to be left pretty blank to leave room for other, plot important pieces to take whatever metaphysical shape is plot necessary.
    The Arken Pliers' power has got to be the unit type left, since natural allies, ferals, and golems are all already spoken for. They've always been able to dust the uncroaked, so it was forshadowed that they have something to do with them. And it wouldn't be very titanic for them to control a decaying dumber version a unit.

    Perhaps she is stealing them away from the city of heroes. After all, no need to fear for starving to death or decaying in Valhalla. Oh dear. This could have unfortunate implications come Ragnarok.

    _________________
    If a post in a reaction thread irks you, consider PMs, or the use of a thread in another subforum and invite the poster there. This isn't reddit, but I want to hit the [-] button to skip past all the feels to find crunchy or baseless speculation.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:57 pm 
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 5:55 pm
    Posts: 1503
    lucidfox wrote:
    I'm curious what decryption represents within the metaphysics of Erfworld.
    Since decrypted don't require upkeep and they dust, that clearly suggests to me that the decrypted lack the Life element that they had in their first lives. Remember the scarecrow and friends from B0E56 and how they seemed to be alive but really weren't. Even they required upkeep, so the decrypted are even less alive.

    Perhaps the pliers just extend the reach of Wanda's Croakamancy. Croakamancy is about putting a croaked unit back together, and so perhaps the the unlimited power that the pliers give Wanda allows her to put units back together so perfectly that they function in every way as though they were alive, even thinking, pumping blood, healing their own wounds, holding themselves together, and all of the life functions that living people are supposed to have. I guess that they are capable of digesting food, but have no need to do so since they are more like animatronic presidents than real presidents.

    Building upon that speculation, if the Erfworld afterlife really exists, then I'm going to guess that the decrypted are there and what we see walking around are merely reconstructions of the departed. Even so, the decrypted should still be treated as fully human and worthy of the love they earned in their first lives because they are very good reconstructions that are fully able to think and feel. I'm not letting Queen Bea off the hook.

    lucidfox wrote:
    Could Stupidworld science detect physical differences between living and decrypted units (if a decrypted Erfworld unit was somehow transported into Stupidworld, for example, using the Arkenshoes)?
    If scientists had the cooperation of the decrypted person then they could easily detect that the decrypted person could go without food and water. I'm sure any scientist would love to see a decrypted turn to dust and study the dust. If the decrypted are not truly alive and are powered by magic instead of life, then there's probably some way to see that if you look closely enough. Maybe decrypted cells don't look like living cells under a microscope.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:44 pm 
    User avatar
    This user has been published! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:48 pm
    Posts: 985
    I have a weird theory. Everyone has a G-string, which is a disturbance in the Mathamancy plane of Zero. Each unit/string is a disturbance that "must eventually be paid with the disbanding/croaking of the unit."

    So Decrypted are, somehow, active without possessing a G-strings. That's how they exist with zero upkeep, they cause no debt, zero disturbance... yet ''still exist.''

    Further, based on the latest page, I want to say that the Decrypted are somehow counterfeiting Life axis. Throughout the page we see that green energy connecting Wanda and Ansom... but Ansom has no G-string, whereas Wanda and Maggie have a red and blue one.

    _________________
    2017 Halloween competition - closed, winners announced!

    Here's my Erfics: Hungry Jungle. -- Completed!

    The Overlord's New Clothes -- Two parter, Completed

    Unjust Deserts -- Completed!

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:03 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:21 pm
    Posts: 1097
    That "counterfeiting life" seems to jive well with Wanda, especially in the Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) story. I seem to recall Olive mentioning Wanda had 'no respect for life'... And what better way to proveit than making a 'mockery' of it with Decryption? :)

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:40 am 
    User avatar
    This user was a Tool before it was cool
    Offline
    Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:37 am
    Posts: 154
    Spicymancer wrote:
    I have a weird theory. Everyone has a G-string, which is a disturbance in the Mathamancy plane of Zero. Each unit/string is a disturbance that "must eventually be paid with the disbanding/croaking of the unit."

    So Decrypted are, somehow, active without possessing a G-strings. That's how they exist with zero upkeep, they cause no debt, zero disturbance... yet ''still exist.''

    Further, based on the latest page, I want to say that the Decrypted are somehow counterfeiting Life axis. Throughout the page we see that green energy connecting Wanda and Ansom... but Ansom has no G-string, whereas Wanda and Maggie have a red and blue one.


    Ansom also has a G-string. Wanda, Maggie and Ansom all have those wavy red-and-blue sine lines connected to their heads.

    Lilwik wrote:
    I guess that they are capable of digesting food, but have no need to do so since they are more like animatronic presidents than real presidents.


    They are capable of eating, as demonstrated by Ansom as Jillian's prisoner, and need to excrete, as demonstrated by Lilith. The comic so far neither confirms nor denies that they need to eat, but in the absence of evidence I'm going to side with the least surprising theory. Otherwise, if Lilith didn't need to eat, why would Jetstone feed her, assuming waste didn't just automagically pop in her bowels (ewww)? And more importantly, what would they feed her? Rations meant for Jetstone units?

    My best guess so far is that despite having zero upkeep, they still have their rations pop at dawn. We know that Numbers need to eventually even out, though, so it's an interesting question where they come from. Will they be repaid by repaying the massive Numbers debt that Wanda's mere existence caused?

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:32 am 
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 5:55 pm
    Posts: 1503
    lucidfox wrote:
    They are capable of eating, as demonstrated by Ansom as Jillian's prisoner, and need to excrete, as demonstrated by Lilith.
    I know what you mean about Lilith. You're talking about Epilogue 11. She might have eventually made use of that pot, but she didn't actually demonstrate it that we saw. Even if she does sometimes need to excrete, this particular example shows signs of being just a ploy so we can't trust it.

    Assuming that decrypted do excrete, even that doesn't necessarily mean that they eat. It could just be something they do as part of simulating being alive.

    Where did Ansom demonstrate eating? It wouldn't surprise me to see that decrypted can eat, but I'm having some trouble putting my finger on the page where he does it. It would be a strange waste of shmuckers to feed him since he has zero upkeep and therefore food cannot reduce his upkeep cost, but Jillian may have done it just because it might improve Ansom's attitude.

    lucidfox wrote:
    The comic so far neither confirms nor denies that they need to eat, but in the absence of evidence I'm going to side with the least surprising theory.
    True, but it comes very close to denying that they need to eat. The comic has confirmed that the decrypted have zero upkeep, and Digdoug 21 confirms that units eat to reduce their upkeep cost. In other words, a side can feed its units at no cost because the money they spend on food gets saved in upkeep, but that wouldn't be true for decrypted units, so if they do need food that's really a hidden upkeep cost and I doubt that Erfworld is that subtle about it's rules. If you pay the upkeep of a unit then you should be allowed to keep the unit. The unit shouldn't die because you forgot to feed it.

    lucidfox wrote:
    My best guess so far is that despite having zero upkeep, they still have their rations pop at dawn. We know that Numbers need to eventually even out, though, so it's an interesting question where they come from.
    It does sound rather implausible. Someone needs to pay for the food. I'd more easily believe that waste pops inside decrypted units than believe that free food pops for them. At least the waste isn't worth anything and so it makes sense that no one would need to pay for it.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:53 am 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:13 am
    Posts: 214
    Location: California
    Lilwik wrote:
    Where did Ansom demonstrate eating? It wouldn't surprise me to see that decrypted can eat, but I'm having some trouble putting my finger on the page where he does it. It would be a strange waste of shmuckers to feed him since he has zero upkeep and therefore food cannot reduce his upkeep cost, but Jillian may have done it just because it might improve Ansom's attitude.


    Book 3 Page 4 last panel.

    Edit to add: Perhaps Erfworld has equivalent rules to the Geneva Conventions stating that prisoners have to be fed. Just because a prisoner doesn't need food doesn't change the fact that the rules say they must be fed.

    _________________
    *****************************************************
    This signature says something else when you aren't looking at it.
    *****************************************************

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 1:42 pm 
    User avatar
    This user has been published! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:48 pm
    Posts: 985
    lucidfox wrote:
    Ansom also has a G-string. Wanda, Maggie and Ansom all have those wavy red-and-blue sine lines connected to their heads.


    Wanda and Maggie's eyes glowed the exact same red and blue as red and blue sine waves connecting all three. Those are very, very probably Wanda and Maggie's G-strings. Ansom, tellingly, doesn't have one, only that the creepy green Arkenplyer glow connecting him to Wanda.

    _________________
    2017 Halloween competition - closed, winners announced!

    Here's my Erfics: Hungry Jungle. -- Completed!

    The Overlord's New Clothes -- Two parter, Completed

    Unjust Deserts -- Completed!

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:24 pm 
    User avatar
    This user was a Tool before it was cool
    Offline
    Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:37 am
    Posts: 154
    Spicymancer wrote:
    lucidfox wrote:
    Ansom also has a G-string. Wanda, Maggie and Ansom all have those wavy red-and-blue sine lines connected to their heads.


    Wanda and Maggie's eyes glowed the exact same red and blue as red and blue sine waves connecting all three. Those are very, very probably Wanda and Maggie's G-strings. Ansom, tellingly, doesn't have one, only that the creepy green Arkenplyer glow connecting him to Wanda.

    They aren't in the same positions. Maggie and Wanda are linked casters, and Ansom is the target of the Thinkamancy spell. Note that Ansom is just represented as a glowing head and shoulders, while Maggie and Wanda are represented as floating silhouettes, indicating that they're basically invading his mind. His eyes probably aren't glowing, either.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:58 pm 
    User avatar
    This user has been published! Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:48 pm
    Posts: 985
    lucidfox wrote:
    They aren't in the same positions. Maggie and Wanda are linked casters, and Ansom is the target of the Thinkamancy spell. Note that Ansom is just represented as a glowing head and shoulders, while Maggie and Wanda are represented as floating silhouettes, indicating that they're basically invading his mind. His eyes probably aren't glowing, either.


    And that's why their G-Strings are parallel, if not perfectly in sync. They're also in something a step above Thinkspace, a conceptual space where G-strings, or something like them, abound, separating panels. If Ansom has a G-string, you'd think it would show up there of all places. Probably out of alignment with both of theirs, but it isn't.

    _________________
    2017 Halloween competition - closed, winners announced!

    Here's my Erfics: Hungry Jungle. -- Completed!

    The Overlord's New Clothes -- Two parter, Completed

    Unjust Deserts -- Completed!

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:20 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter Has collected at least one unit
    Offline
    Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:13 am
    Posts: 214
    Location: California
    Spicymancer wrote:
    And that's why their G-Strings are parallel, if not perfectly in sync. They're also in something a step above Thinkspace, a conceptual space where G-strings, or something like them, abound, separating panels. If Ansom has a G-string, you'd think it would show up there of all places. Probably out of alignment with both of theirs, but it isn't.


    Thinkamancy uses G-strings.
    They needed Thinkamancy to successfully contact Ansom.
    Therefore Ansom has a G-string.

    Now, it may be significantly different to what is looked like when he was alive, but it must be there or decrypted would not be affected by Thinkamancy.

    _________________
    *****************************************************
    This signature says something else when you aren't looking at it.
    *****************************************************

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:42 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:21 pm
    Posts: 1097
    Couldn't "Ansom's" G-string really be supplied by the Arkenpliers? Although that might mean it's impossible to thinkagram him without Wanda's help...

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:41 am 
    User avatar
    This user was a Tool before it was cool
    Offline
    Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:37 am
    Posts: 154
    Th Revanchist wrote:
    Couldn't "Ansom's" G-string really be supplied by the Arkenpliers? Although that might mean it's impossible to thinkagram him without Wanda's help...

    Stanley at least believed that it would be possible with just Maggie.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:42 am 
    User avatar
    This user is a Tool! This user was a Tool before it was cool Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:30 pm
    Posts: 420
    Spicymancer wrote:
    lucidfox wrote:
    Ansom also has a G-string. Wanda, Maggie and Ansom all have those wavy red-and-blue sine lines connected to their heads.


    Wanda and Maggie's eyes glowed the exact same red and blue as red and blue sine waves connecting all three. Those are very, very probably Wanda and Maggie's G-strings. Ansom, tellingly, doesn't have one, only that the creepy green Arkenplyer glow connecting him to Wanda.
    Why do you keep saying this? If we're assuming that the red and blue wavy things are G-strings, and I think we are, then Ansom clearly has one coming out of the back of his head. Those strings do not "connect all three"; in fact they go off in different directions.

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:38 pm 
    User avatar
    This user was a Tool before it was cool
    Offline
    Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:37 am
    Posts: 154
    One more thing:
    Lilwik wrote:
    Since decrypted don't require upkeep and they dust, that clearly suggests to me that the decrypted lack the Life element that they had in their first lives.

    The current prevailing theory in the Magic Kingdom is that the Arkenpliers extend Wanda's Croakamancy to the Life axis. Granted, it's only a theory. Still, if it's true, it would cast doubt on the parallel between the decrypted and Judy's golems: those were made with Dollamancy, which is pure Motion.

    (Yes, it was technically a Thinkamancer-Dollamancer link. Still, they were just really advanced golems drawing their sentience from the Dollamancer, and that's it. I highly doubt that a Thinkamancer-Croakamancer link could create something like the decrypted. At most, maybe advanced, talking uncroaked with no memories of their past lives.)

    My personal theory is that the decrypted are supposed to be debug units, used by the Titans for "playtesting" Erfworld in the time of its development. The Arkentools, then, would be development tools, like software utilities specifically written by game developers to ease their work on the game itself. Hence the decrypted's obsession with following the (supposed) will of the Titans.


    Last edited by lucidfox on Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:45 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:21 pm
    Posts: 1097
    As far as pet theories go, your "Arkentools are the Titan's debug tools" seems pretty plausible. Although I might have just a little bit of confirmation bias. :)

    And with Lilwik's suggestion that the Decrypted are units lacking Life... that makes it sound like Life is a weakness.
    All it seems to add in that case is the ability to be uncroaked, and the need to pay an upkeep. Hardly something worth having! :twisted:

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:18 am 
    User avatar
    This user is a Tool! This user was a Tool before it was cool Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter
    Offline
    Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:30 pm
    Posts: 420
    lucidfox wrote:
    My personal theory is that the decrypted are supposed to be debug units, used by the Titans for "playtesting" Erfworld in the time of its development. The Arkentools, then, would be development tools, like software utilities specifically written by game developers to ease their work on the game itself. Hence the decrypted's obsession with following the (supposed) will of the Titans.

    Best theory yet.

    Unlimited move? Unlimited communication? Units with no upkeep? Exactly what you need to do controlled testing. And all apparently requiring no juice.

    Not sure how taming dwagons fits in, but maybe the hints about other powers will be borne out. What other debug powers would the titans like to have?

    Insta-kill of everything hostile in the hex (without awarding xp) would be an obvious one, but a tad OP. And probably more appropriate for the 'pliers anyway.

    Revealing enemy stats/locations, but that seems more like the Arkendish's perview.

    What else?

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
     Post Posted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:38 pm 
    User avatar
    Here for the 10th Anniversary
    Offline
    Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:21 pm
    Posts: 1097
    I'm wondering if Stanley has ever tried "taming" a non-dwagon... A certain hot-headed Queenling, say, would be an excellent candidate to test the turnamancy-capacity of the Hammer.

    Granted, the situation and possibility are both pretty out-there. There might be better ideas. :)

  • Tip this post

    Make Anonymous
  • Top 
       
    Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
     
    Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 

    Board index » Erfworld Things » Everything Else Erfworld


    Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

     
     

     
    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot post attachments in this forum

    Search for:
    Jump to: