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 Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 4:01 am 
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"De dirigible iz in flames, everybody'z dead, and I've lost my hat." That's the type of plan that's been shown here. So unless this Fate chick caused stupid pills to pop with Wanda's rations, why would she (Wanda) make things worse for the defenders than they needed to be? "I'm fated to survive this battle? I throw away my sword!"


There were faults in the plan, but I'm not sure we can lay the blame for them all at Wanda's feet just yet. There are a number of circumstances that might have led to these ends. For one, maybe Wanda contacted Stanley immediately after he received the hammer. She goes into it thinking "Ok, he's a lot stronger in direct combat than most, but we can handle that". Then, AFTER the plan is hatched, he figures out how to tame dragons. He wouldn't necessarily call Wanda to inform her of this development. Why would he? As far as he knows, she wants him to win, and he's planning on winning regardless. The dragons will just make it a more crushing victory. So he flies in on dragonback, levels FAQ, and all Wanda can say is "Oops?"

Also, we know from the so-called 'torture' scenes that Wanda has at least some affection for Jillian in the present storyline. Presumably that affection would have been even stronger when they were still at FAQ, mutually suffering under Banhammer's treatment of them. Maybe she arranged for Jillian to be away specifically for Jillian's protection? This becomes especially likely if she didn't know about Stanley's dragon-taming yet. Maybe she thought the rest of their forces could handle it. Again... Oops?

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 4:08 am 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Ofc, it seems like a pretty hard feature to code into a game. Imagine in a MMORPG that a NPC said "you are fated to obtain the sword of uberness". How would the programmers actually code it.

    I always imagined that in a way that Arkentools have a normally unknowable stat that specifies who can attune to that - or units have a normally unknowable stat that specifies that they can attune to an Arkentool. So what Predictamancer does is simply seeing those stats by casting a spell.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:09 am 
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    Well, given the fact that Erfworld will soon disappear from OotS Forums, here I am!
    This post is just to say hello to all of you... later I will discuss the comic (a great page, as always ;) )

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:43 am 
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    Muzzafar wrote:
    I always imagined that in a way that Arkentools have a normally unknowable stat that specifies who can attune to that - or units have a normally unknowable stat that specifies that they can attune to an Arkentool. So what Predictamancer does is simply seeing those stats by casting a spell.


    Well, just because a unit has a "Special: (hidden)Can attune to an Arkentool" doesn't mean that they will.

    The effect could be like quantum mechanics. The Predictamancer's prediction is like a measurement and it destroys all futures where Wanda doesn't attune to an arkentool. A Predictamancer is actually a future destroyer.

    Looked at from "inside the system", would look like probabilities are being altered to allow Wanda to achieve her goal. If you know that Wanda will attune to an Arkentool, then you also know that you can't croak her until then, no matter how likely it is.

    A similar effect works with some interpretations of time travel. For example, you point your termporal gun at your grandfather as a child and decide "if I roll a six, I will pull the trigger". The subjective probability of you rolling a six then drops to zero (as that reality had self-destructed).

    Reality will make the easiest change. If the gun has a 10% chance of failing and you make the same commitment (assuming nothing else can go wrong), then the possible situations are:

    1/60: you roll a six and the gun fails
    5/60: you don't roll a six and the gun would have failed
    9/60: you roll a six and the gun doesn't fail (reality self-destructs)
    45/60: you don't roll a six and the gun wouldn't have failed

    The chance of you rolling a six is thus 1/51
    The chance of the gun failing is 5/51 = 0.098

    OTOH, if you said that you will pull the trigger if you roll a five or six, then it becomes

    2/60: you roll a five/six and the gun fails
    4/60: you don't roll a five/six and the gun would have failed
    18/60: you roll a five/six and the gun doesn't fail (reality self-destructs)
    36/60: you don't roll a five/six and the gun wouldn't have failed

    The chance of you rolling a six is changed to 1/42 (forced down less).
    The chance of the gun failing is 4/42 = 0.095 (forced down more)

    Thus as the dice becomes less likely to protect your grandfather, 'reality' places more weight on modifying the gun failing odds.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:57 am 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Muzzafar wrote:
    For example, you point your termporal gun at your grandfather as a child and decide "if I roll a six, I will pull the trigger". The subjective probability of you rolling a six then drops to zero (as that reality had self-destructed).


    Or you get a 100% chance of dying from a stroke that same instant. Problem solved.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 7:17 am 
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    Holy boop!
    I am so afraid for Parson now.
    What exactly does Wanda mean, he's just begun to lose? I find it VERY ominous that Parson's back is turned at that moment... I agree with the person implied that Wanda might turn against Parson. The last panel could be the perfect setup for Parson being "shot" in the back. After all, he would be even more useful to Wanda and her quest if he was decrypted, wouldn't he?

    -D- wrote:
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    Panel 2 seems to imply that the dragon is angry with him. That would be consistent with him being about to tame it.

    Really? I just think the dragons eyes shine just like the attuned Arkenhammer meaning the dragons are tamed. The dragons always look pissed as far as I recall.


    I took the glowing eyes to mean that Wanda communicates with Stanley, via the dwagon, because it's in the panel she tells about "making contact with Stanley."

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 7:48 am 
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    lovelyluthien wrote:
    Holy boop!
    I am so afraid for Parson now.
    What exactly does Wanda mean, he's just begun to lose? I find it VERY ominous that Parson's back is turned at that moment... I agree with the person implied that Wanda might turn against Parson. The last panel could be the perfect setup for Parson being "shot" in the back. After all, he would be even more useful to Wanda and her quest if he was decrypted, wouldn't he?


    I don't think so. In fact I get the opposite feeling from these few last strips. Wanda likes Parson and trusts him.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 7:49 am 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Ofc, it seems like a pretty hard feature to code into a game. Imagine in a MMORPG that a NPC said "you are fated to obtain the sword of uberness". How would the programmers actually code it.

    One option would be that you get bonuses to luck if it moves you in that direction and penalties if you try to oppose fate.


    The coding is not hard at all when you consider that the programmers control the plot. The plot tells them that they are fated. Then tells them to travel to such and such and find so and so. Each step along the way leads to items and experience that will be used to help the player achieve the fated goal.

    One of the items the player find may only be usable on the 'boss' NPC carrying the fated item. And will reduce their stats / health / whatever so that it stacks the events in the players favor so that they win.

    This is the way that all games have done it whether it is a MMORPG or a single player game.

    If we apply this to TBfGK when Parson arrives in the world he does not know how things work. The programmers provide his stupid meals to give him information and items he needs to do what he is fated to do.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:06 am 
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    yeah as someone trying to get into the games industry i do little else but look at erfworld and convert the "rules" into gameplay variations.

    it would make for a decent mmorts to be honest. and i hate mmo's.

    essentially i see it somewhere like eve online. players all as overlords/barbarians, royalty would be npc controlled sides. barbarians are the newbies, if they stumble onto a build site they can start a tribe. the world would be constructed of thousands upon thousands of hex tiles. so for any of a possible ten thousand players their could be 20,000 tiles or something.

    but that's a topic for someplace else. i do this stuff in my head for anything i enjoy. i still think hichhikers guide to the galaxy would make for good adventure gaming.everyone thinks their game idea would rock, and 99% of those people are wrong.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:42 am 
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    but that's a topic for someplace else. i do this stuff in my head for anything i enjoy. i still think hichhikers guide to the galaxy would make for good adventure gaming.everyone thinks their game idea would rock, and 99% of those people are wrong.


    Somebody already made a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy game in the early 90's. I played at and got stuck trying to figure out how to install the improbability drive.

    And I find it interesting that the predictamancer was ultimately responsible for the fall of Faq by creating a predestination paradox. Also, is that the predictamancer getting blown away by the hammer? If so, what sort of crappy predictamancer is she if she can't even use her abilities to avoid her own death, even if doing so is simply a matter of not telling Wanda she is destined to own an arkentool?

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:50 am 
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    teratorn wrote:
    Or you get a 100% chance of dying from a stroke that same instant. Problem solved.


    That works too. However, as I showed later in the post, different probabilities are changed differently.

    Changing a 1 in 6 chance of a 6 to to a zero chance is a smaller change than changing a 1 in 10,000 chance of a stroke that instant to a 100% chance of stroke.

    "Reality" will find the smallest probabilitity to change.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:56 am 
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    Morak wrote:
    The coding is not hard at all when you consider that the programmers control the plot. The plot tells them that they are fated. Then tells them to travel to such and such and find so and so. Each step along the way leads to items and experience that will be used to help the player achieve the fated goal.


    True, also with MMORPGs, death is impossible. The only way to fail the quest is to stop trying.

    With death, people who are fated must be made effectively immortal.

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    If we apply this to TBfGK when Parson arrives in the world he does not know how things work. The programmers provide his stupid meals to give him information and items he needs to do what he is fated to do.


    That is kinda like my "luck favours the fated" principle.

    Another option would be the guidance method. The player is pushed into making decisions that increase the odds of them fulfilling their fate. Wanda (semi) betrayed Faq because her choices were pushed in that direction by the Predictamancer.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:24 am 
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    teratorn wrote:
    lovelyluthien wrote:
    Holy boop!
    I am so afraid for Parson now.
    What exactly does Wanda mean, he's just begun to lose? I find it VERY ominous that Parson's back is turned at that moment... I agree with the person implied that Wanda might turn against Parson. The last panel could be the perfect setup for Parson being "shot" in the back. After all, he would be even more useful to Wanda and her quest if he was decrypted, wouldn't he?


    I don't think so. In fact I get the opposite feeling from these few last strips. Wanda likes Parson and trusts him.


    and from page 146 she does not mind if decrypted Ansom becomes Parsons lackey, so i guess she will see to it that Parson won't get disbanded (btw. shouldn't have he been disbanded when the city was destroyed? as mentioned after he got summoned?). I guess she will use more influence on Stanley now that she got emancipated with her own attuned arkentool.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:29 am 
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    Morthe wrote:
    teratorn wrote:
    lovelyluthien wrote:
    Holy boop!
    I am so afraid for Parson now.
    What exactly does Wanda mean, he's just begun to lose? I find it VERY ominous that Parson's back is turned at that moment... I agree with the person implied that Wanda might turn against Parson. The last panel could be the perfect setup for Parson being "shot" in the back. After all, he would be even more useful to Wanda and her quest if he was decrypted, wouldn't he?


    I don't think so. In fact I get the opposite feeling from these few last strips. Wanda likes Parson and trusts him.


    and from page 146 she does not mind if decrypted Ansom becomes Parsons lackey, so i guess she will see to it that Parson won't get disbanded (btw. shouldn't have he been disbanded when the city was destroyed? as mentioned after he got summoned?). I guess she will use more influence on Stanley now that she got emancipated with her own attuned arkentool.


    Okay, I hope it's just my normal paranoia, then. I still find the last panel incredibly creepy.

    The city may have been destroyed, but I guess he still because the side itself does (and can pay for his upkeep, too).

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:57 am 
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    teratorn wrote:
    Wanda likes Parson and trusts him.


    I believe that's the case. But does anyone think for a minute that this affection and trust would stop her from throwing Parson under the bus, if he got in the way of her "fate"?

    I think that's why the sad, sympathetic look is on her face in those last panels. She's thinking, "I like you Parson, and I'm genuinely sorry that I'm going to use you up and spit you out before we're done with this thing."

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:09 am 
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    she may not know what happens now, she was only ever told she would one day attune to an arkentool.

    that has now happened, she had some fun decryptifying some expired units. now for the first time in a very long time she has achieved her goal and is probably a little lost as to what she does now? maybe she intends to leave stanley's side, but she's no warlord, she's a caster. she's proven herself only somewhat effective in battle situations.

    she has an army, but for what cause? stanley at least has a purpose.

    maybe she does have another longer term goal again, which prompted her to talk to the predictamancer in the first place. and for the sake of character i do hope this is the case.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:27 am 
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    lovelyluthien wrote:
    Okay, I hope it's just my normal paranoia, then. I still find the last panel incredibly creepy.


    Yes it is, but Wanda seems to have bonded with Parson. And it's not something new. The way she says
    "You... trust my 'valuation? After..." in page 98 as she leans on him... and even before, in the library when she
    tells him how to deal with Stanley.

    What baffles me is the need to tell the story to Parson. Either you are right and she is planning to get rid of
    him, so what he knows doesn't matter, or he really is the closest thing she has to a friend (or at least she thinks so).

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:38 am 
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    Hello, all. Nice place.

    I'm not really sure how to square Wanda's actions with the concept of Loyalty. If Loyalty can only prevent the knowing, conscious act of betrayal, it would seem to make dimwitted servants particularly dangerous to keep around. (I wonder if this is connected to how Stanley himself took the throne?) Similarly, can someone simply lie to themselves often enough to "justify" treachery this way? I'm not pleased to see still more murky rules designed to be obviated whenever necessary, but I'll just have to wait and see where this leads.

    I must say I continue to find Wanda a very frustrating character. I've despised her ever since her "interrogation" of Jillian, and this revelation continues the pattern. But I don't understand why people around her treat her so casually. Stanley might be explained by his annoying tendency to be only as shrewd as the plot requires, but why does Sizemore like her? She seems like exactly the sort of person he'd be wary of. Even Parson's "Are you saying I should be scared of you?" question is rather mild, given what Wanda just revealed. And he seems to lose interest in that line of thought almost immediately.

    It's like Wanda is surrounded by a permanent SEP field. What I can't figure out is whether I'm supposed to notice that or not.

    -H

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:42 am 
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    teratorn wrote:
    What baffles me is the need to tell the story to Parson. Either you are right and she is planning to get rid of
    him, so what he knows doesn't matter, or he really is the closest thing she has to a friend (or at least she thinks so).

    It could be that, on some level, she's really talking to herself -- perhaps the achievement of her goal after such a long period of setbacks and frustrations doesn't quite feel real to her yet. I think that Parson is the closest thing she has to a friend (there is a definite rapport, and the fact that he was summoned from another universe means that he's as free as possible from goals of his own that might conflict with hers), and so makes a good sounding board.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:51 am 
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    By the way, it's interesting that she refers to Faq as a place where she once served, not as
    the place where she popped. Croatans and Faqians may not be the same thing.

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