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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:40 pm 
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Please place your comments here.

Thank you.

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     Post Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:11 pm 
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    Print Book 2 & Draw Book 3 Supporter Shiny Red Star Pin-up Calendar and New Art Team Supporter Here for the 10th Anniversary Has collected at least one unit Erfworld Bicycle® Playing Cards supporter This user is a Tool! This user has been published!
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    Hey! You're not dead! :D

    XD

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:00 am 
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    Nice to see that you are continuing your story. Morals, Ethics and the reality of Erfworld produce really troublesome dilemmas. I am curious how Justin Case will continue to try to handle them.

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     Post Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:05 pm 
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    So so glad you're writing again. Here is one ginormous WELCOME to you. Your stories are beautiful, inspiring, amazing. <3

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     Post Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:19 pm 
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    Hurrah! The story is really flowing again. I enjoy things like the scouting contract for which Justin gets paid by several sides independently, the display of Khan's ability to shrink down to parrot-size and sit on his shoulder, the detail that goes into foraging enough to food a few (if heavy) units and further exploration of the Thinkamancy of the phone.

    I think the thought might float through some readers' mind that ... isn't that smart phone OP? But then consider how many manhours of scientific research and labor went on, in our world, in order to make it. Not manhours . . . man<i>millennia</i>. Shouldn't the fruit of such genius and work by a million minds for hundreds of years be able to do a great deal? And besides that, computers <i>pretty</i> thinkamantic. I mean, the process information and organize things with Boolean logic and they, er, um, compute ... stuff.

    Thanks, taid. I long bemoaned the absence of your stories from this forum.

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     Post Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:06 pm 
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    Good day all,

    Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate them all.

    To criticalhit,

    I actually think that the smart phone idea may be overpowered myself. I almost didn't include it after the idea struck me. However, this series is powered entirely by the question "What if?", so I decided to take a gamble and see where it goes.

    Rest assured, there will be limitations. He's not carrying the 'dish in his pocket. :)

    When you bring up the idea of all the people who have worked on the development of the cellphone, and the various technologies that came together that made it possible, one could view it as a series of 'stupid world' non-caster links that took place over time.

    If worse comes to worse, it will be easy to dispose of the item. Otterbox has made an entire industry out of how fragile smart phones are. :)

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    Just in case you're interested, I'm writing a fan fic called Shall We Play a Game?

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:37 pm 
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    Really enjoying this one! I'm looking forward to the next installment. :)

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     Post Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:23 pm 
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    Merilynne wrote:
    Really enjoying this one! I'm looking forward to the next installment. :)


    Thank you! I'm working on it now and hope to have it ready for tomorrow sometime. It's been a hard one to write, the characters just aren't cooperating with the plot I had planned.

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    — Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"

    Just in case you're interested, I'm writing a fan fic called Shall We Play a Game?

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     Post Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:24 pm 
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    The_Author_Is_Dead wrote:
    Merilynne wrote:
    Really enjoying this one! I'm looking forward to the next installment. :)


    Thank you! I'm working on it now and hope to have it ready for tomorrow sometime. It's been a hard one to write, the characters just aren't cooperating with the plot I had planned.


    The characters may have redirected you, but if so, it was the right path. Chapter 3 was awesome. Justin's plan to save the Valley was brutal, but necessary, and I loved that he thought of Romy's well-being, almost as he would Tip's.

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     Post Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:21 pm 
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    A great installment. I like the budding loyalty of Friday. Interesting the reasoning that goes into Justin's choice not to start and hold onto a new side for long. He's both caring and practical. It occurs to me, just now, to be a little disappointed that there is no redemption arc for Moregains. Redemption arcs are hard to write but ultimately very rewarding. Maybe we'll see one, at some point, in your (intriguing slice of this) world?

    Some how Erf works questions: Can a city produce more than one unit at once, and is that what the new city is doing at the end? Is it reasonable for it to be able to make so much in a small number of turns? (Have you ballparked a Schmucker figure for this?) Is there any precedent for a single city being able to produce such a broad variety of special units? And why did Moregains disband when she touched the portal? Since she is a caster, shouldn't she have safely gone through?

    As for the cell phone, I like it. Yes, it's exquisitely powerful. But equally, it is not native to Erf. And you introduced it way back at the beginning of SWPaG, so as I see it, the cell phone counts as one of the early premises on which the story is written -- not a late and jarring addition or deus ex machina. Or machinegod. ;)

    taid, if you're interested, I have a short story I've started here: magicadventurefantasyscifi.wordpress.com . Our styles and writing interests may overlap enough that you'd like it. Or possibly not. Who knows?

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     Post Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:31 pm 
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    criticalhit wrote:

    And why did Moregains disband when she touched the portal? Since she is a caster, shouldn't she have safely gone through?


    I'll focus on this right now and work on the other questions later.

    You're right and I missed that. Now I'm going to retconjure the chapter a little bit. Which will mean Moregains' death is going to be a bit more... messy.

    I knew there was something I was missing in this chapter and it was bugging me. That was it.

    Edit:

    Okay, for your other questions and comments.

    I never really wanted to keep Moregains around and she was never really an important character to my overreaching plot. So I never really developed her that much.

    As for redemption arcs, I can't say there will or won't be. I'm not being obtuse (deliberately), it's just that I don't rightly know at this point. The story almost went down that path in this chapter, but Justin's friends were able to talk him out of the genocide of six sides. As it is, there will still be repercussions for his actions in this chapter. So all I can really say is we'll see where the story and the characters take us, I guess.

    I can't speculate too much on the mechanics on erfworld. The bottom line is that I don't know the answers so I'm keeping interactions vague as I can at the moment. I would love to see Rob post an Erfworld rulesbook/bible. It would be both helpful and interesting. But in the meantime, I have no special insights into the subject and am going mostly on my best guess.

    As for the number of special units? That's just me giving the protagonists incentives to stick around and protect the city for awhile. So I guess you could say fate did it.

    The cell phone gets more focus in the next chapter though I won't be developing it's full potential or the ramifications of its existence right away. It will develop in as the story progresses.

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    — Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"

    Just in case you're interested, I'm writing a fan fic called Shall We Play a Game?

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     Post Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:19 am 
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    Thanks for being so thoughtful about my (litany of) questions.

    I read the change you made. Makes sense. One thought: now Justin's cimment about grenades right afterward seems like a bit of brutal humor. Not sure if that's intended. It didn't come across that way before but now, ya know, he just dropped a grenade on Moregains.

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     Post Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:29 am 
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    Chapter 5 is wonderful! Justin's impression of the Battle of Portal Park was so well written. Seeing the details we're familiar with, but through the eyes of an observer instead of a participant, gave it a completely different flavor. Very well done!

    Silvia may be a bit of trouble; she definitely has more of an independent streak than Romy does. ;)

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     Post Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:24 pm 
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    I appreciate how aware Justin is of the possibility of Erf being ended in one turn through the Magic Kingdom. For all my reading of Erfworld, that point never occurred to me.

    Sleeping dwagons ... an unconscious reference on Justin's parts to Jed and the living cities?

    I find myself wanting Justin to wipe out the FCA both because I have no great love for them and because I enjoy nation-building: it would be great to see J make a second attempt at a flourishing empire (designed with actual goodwill towards it denizens). However, I think I'm glad that the story's moral voices keep pointing out that this desire leaves something important out: the fun of empire-building is trumped by respecting the existing people of those states, however noxious they may be. I should hope this would be obvious in a real-world situation (I take it that it is), but it's appreciated to have the gentle and insistent reminder of this in the croak-happy world of Erf. Those units are not just wartoys. They grieve, love and feel.

    (Unless . . unless because of their design by the Titans, their ultimate happiness does lie in being as warlike as possible? Depending on what the criteria for glory are in the City of Heroes, this may throw a kink into my ethical musings. "Love your neighbor as yourself" should still apply. But that doesn't mean, for instance, that I should let you win a game of chess. Or at least not every time. To what extent does the like reasoning apply to the 'game' of Erf? "Is it a game?")

    Anyway, I'm quite happy each time I see a new installment to this tale and entirely willing to put my work-life on hold in order to read it when I shouldn't be. :lol:

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     Post Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:00 pm 
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    Merilynne,

    Glad you're enjoying it and that you think that chapter four went in the right direction. I'm still arguing with the characters at the moment. They're all quite willful, really. Especially, as you noted, Silvia.

    I've been waiting for like two years to write that portal scene. For me, it is the last moment of total awesome in the main comic (though I'm looking forward to more such moments).

    Criticalhit,

    It was like Parson observed, that maybe Charlie could have won the game long ago. Which makes one wonder, why hasn't he?

    If you see that connection with the sleeping dwagons, then it is a valid interpretation. :) I am dead, afterall. :P

    I really wanted Justin to wipe the local Erf map of sides, but I couldn't ignore the moral and ethical implications. Which is what I mean when I say that the characters argue with me. There's what I want them to do and then what I think they actually would do. I try to go with what they would do.

    As for the FCA, they'll get their soonish.

    Anyway, try not to get fired for reading!

    Have a good day!

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    — Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"

    Just in case you're interested, I'm writing a fan fic called Shall We Play a Game?

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