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 Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Did anyone notice Benjamin's bling? :)


Spoiler: show
It a gold "100"




Re: pm123, yeah I hear you on the update speed. I think actually seeing Parson do his underground sprint will kill me. I don't know why I love comics that either update slowly, or have regular updates but slow story progression. :D All my favorite ones are like this tho.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:06 pm 
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    Registered for some predictamancy, here. Spoiler tag for silly epileptic trees.

    Spoiler: show
    Most people here seem to be making the assumption that the battle for Jetstone will go nice and smooth, and that it being won is a complete given, and that Parson will do something extremely awesome in the process because all this buildup would be stupid otherwise.

    But, one question I've yet to see asked is: What happens if Parson actually dies in the battle? It would be an insane twist in the plot for him to suddenly be offed, but the story is giving a huge amount of foreshadowing to just that; Parson is going straight into battle, and is even talking about what should be done if he dies. It would be an aborted thread if he just survived and did something that he could have done from the safety of Gobwin Knob.

    So, here's my lame "what-if" scenario for Lord Hamster's fall at Jetstone.


    First of all, Slately will be directly involved in Parson's death. We've seen a lot of buildup for him, so it would be a fitting(and "royal") way for Slately to die. We'd see all sorts of reactions to Parson's death., from the royals, from the magic kingdom, from Stanly, but not from Charlie even though it will be relevant to him in the extreme. What happens besides that in order to cool things off in the story for a bit is up in the air, but irrelevant; one possibility is that Parson will wake up in Stupidworld, to find that the rest of it had assumed him dead, and his gamer buddies suspected, but not proven, of being involved in that death. It's not largely relevant to what happens next, though it could easily be used to flesh out the more-or-less new characters before things get rolling back on Erf.

    For some reason or another(perhaps fear of failure, given that he is "special"), Wanda will either not immediately attempt to Decrypt Parson, or will try and fail to do so. By now, Stanly has appointed a new chief warlord, who, following Parson's last directive, will attempt to defeat Jillian and FAQ from their current defensive position inside of the captured city. They will not succeed in the first turn, and Jillian will flee back south towards Jetstone, assuming that GK's forces had been dealt with. Of course, Jetstone will at this point be completely secured by almost entirely Wanda's decrypted, due to the fall exploit.

    Upon meeting Wanda, Jillian will spill the beans on her alliance with Charlie, and the previously undisclosed information that would convince her to turn. Wanda defects from Gobwin Knob, sets up Jetstone as her new capital, and allies with FAQ and Charlie.

    And now, either by herself, or as part of a link with Charlie and/or Jillian's turnamancer(considering the possibility that some circumstance is used to say that this was otherwise impossible previously), Wanda decrypts Parson. All effects of fanatic loyalty bordering on mind control appear to be present.

    This throws the magic kingdom into a panic; with the soldier against war suddenly coopted by Charlie, The Great Minds that Think Alike make new "perfect warlord" spells, and sell them at discount. Gobwin Knob is the first to buy, being the richest side, but soon the royal coalition also receives one(though they may just as easily not, since Trem on his own may be capable of competing with people from the gaming group); this may additionally be used to introduce new sides.

    But of course, there is only one Parson, and the first thing everyone will be looking for when using the Perfect Warlord spells will be someone capable of defeating him. Enter the gaming group, who may initially fight each other trying to gain the most power for themselves to beat Parson, but will rally together when it becomes clear to all sides that Charlie is an active player supporting FAQ.

    In short, I'm predicting that Book 3(and possibly beyond) will be about the gaming group's fight to defeat the controlled Lord Hamster, and the ethical dilemma of possibly murdering a human from Earth merely to play their role in what appears to be a turn-based strategy game.


    Last edited by Prime 2.0 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:14 pm 
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    atalex wrote:
    Right now, I'm most interested in the dog that hasn't barked (yet): Stanley. Any second now, he's going to feel a $40K loss to his treasury and probably go ballistic. Of course, that loss won't be Parson's fault. If anything it was Ansom's fault because he left the city undefended due to Ansom's "decapitation" strategy. But regardless, Stanley will probably blame Parson or, at the very least, come looking for Parson to get an update.

    I don't know that that necessarily follows -- the fact that one side gets a certain amount of money by razing a city doesn't necessarily mean that the other side immediately loses that much. Stanley might not know about it (via Natural Thinkamancy) until it's time to set production orders for cities or collect their income.

    Aquillion wrote:
    Zeku wrote:
    What's with the coldness that Parson is extending towards Jillian?

    He knows that Wanda has an interest in her, right? Why would he even consider destabilizing Wanda by killing Jillian? (even if he is dead under those conditions)
    I don't think he knows the depths of Wanda's feelings for her. Remember, his response to Wanda's discussion of why Jillian was there was "she could be there for Ansom, right?" There's no way he would have said that if he realized Wanda's actual feelings.

    Parson doesn't really have a clue about that -- all he has is Wanda's rather vague and misleading answer "Well. I suppose it [Jillian's presence here] means she has some personal business with me. An appeal, a vendetta..." and whatever he can infer from Wanda suddenly hanging up on him when he asked if Ansom might have something to do with it. (My guess is that he isn't going to pick up on the significance of that; reading personal motivations (as opposed to tactical ones) isn't really his strong suit.)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:36 pm 
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    BCCroaker wrote:
    gazes_also wrote:
    I have a sneaking suspicion we're are about to enter a talk-talk phase with not much action for a while.
    Parson gets held up by Janice in TMK, Don argues with Cesar, Slately and Trem discuss the heirship, Jillian and Ansom discuss the nature of free will...


    And in the middle of all this talk Sylvia and the dwagons fetch down the tower.


    yah know, splitting your forces is never a good idea...

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:46 pm 
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    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    gameboy1234 wrote:
    I'm thinking shark loan from Charlie... but we'll have to see. I bet Slately doesn't fight at all, but stays in the tower, all depressed and stuff. With Lady Sylvia and the dwagons hitting the tower, it'll only be a matter of time before he croaks. Charlie will have to make the loan, or he'll see another potential ally lost to GK.


    At the risk of getting some other argument going, I'm really expecting Trem to pull through. He's just too interesting, and it would be a bit of a waste, imo, to have him join Parson's side just yet. So until Trem can carry the Jetstone crown, Slately is implicitly safe. With a loan from Charlie, he'll freely be able to realize that Ace's hardware is useful after all, and use the grenade to leave no decryptable corpse.



    No worries on the argument, I'm just speculating after all. I don't however think Slately is all that interesting. Outside of the text updates, he's been pretty dull indeed. I don't think the original plot included the text updates and I don't think Slately was supposed to be as interesting as he's become in them.

    Summary: Slately == Alpo.

    Other thoughts:

    It just occurred to me that we know from the previous text update that Jillian will get 40k Schmuckers from razing Pogrock. She could cover the loan for Slately now, I think.

    Also, I love the parallelism between Parson and Caesar in this page. Both are completely silent in their penultimate panels. Both are doing the right thing and aware that it might be their demise. Both have similar head and shoulders shots in said panels. I feel this parallelism is important somehow, but I can't really say how. Is Caesar supposed to be a free thinker on par with Parson, Tramennis, and Jillian? I think so, but I'm not sure that's the point. It'll be interesting to see what happens next... rebellions for both Parson and Caesar?

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    Last edited by gameboy1234 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:59 pm 
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    Altima wrote:
    Argh, this bi-monthly update schedule is killing me. Want faster.



    Read Dresden Codak. ;)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:28 pm 
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    And as I proposed, Don should have disbanded Caesar many turns ago. The rest might have grumbled, but he'd still have his kingdom. Now? He is either a puppet, with the coalition of warlords and casters constantly challenging his orders, or he's dead. You're not a king if you have to constantly ask a dozen other people "pretty please", and kings often need to keep their plans hidden, sometimes even from their most trusted advisers.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:19 pm 
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    And if he had, Transylvito would fall because of Don's idiotic fiscal policies. Keeping Caesar around may be bad for Don, but it'll most likely turn out better for Transylvito in the end.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:28 pm 
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    gazes_also wrote:
    BCCroaker wrote:
    yah know, splitting your forces is never a good idea...


    No reason not to split forces in this case. The dwagons are the only units that can destroy the tower being siege units and the foot troops are the only ones that can capture the portal room. Also GK probably gained troops by taking the portal room.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:30 pm 
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    GaryThunder wrote:
    And if he had, Transylvito would fall because of Don's idiotic fiscal policies. Keeping Caesar around may be bad for Don, but it'll most likely turn out better for Transylvito in the end.
    Why do you say that? Don could easily promote another CWL to patrol his capitol and reduce the upkeep. That role isn't only able to be filled by a high level CWL, as Parson demonstrates quite well. And he'd still have Benjamin to do his moneymancer thing as well. And even if it brought some hard times, hard times are better than death and depopping.
    Sygerrik wrote:
    In any case, I'm all for Don King going. His strategic decisions have just been awful.
    And why is that? Because of Caesar's objections? Don hasn't let Caesar in on his long term plans, I'm betting. Maybe that is a mistake, or maybe Don figures a clod like Caesar just wouldn't understand anyway. Caesar is refreshingly direct, but lacking in subtlety. Don does not appear to be a stupid man, he must have reasons behind his decisions. Such as (I'm not predicting, only suggesting possibilities): Funding Jillian keeps TV out of direct conflict with GK. Did you notice the reaction to the first FAQ attack on a GK city? "[...] next turn we'll have to see if we can [...] end that whole side." Don wants no part of that, and if it costs him only shmuckers, that's money well spent. Jillian also allowed him to remain in the good graces of Slately, by sending his propped up princess to save Slately's bacon with *ptui* kingworld. Sure, it doesn't seem like it will have worked, but that doesn't make the Don's plan a stupid one. Look where TV stands: Friends with Jetstone and owed rather big time, and still neutral with GK. If this was Don's goal, it has worked flawlessly. Don's biggest worry right now: A fool of a CWL who can't see past a scream and leap level of thinking, and who is popular enough that his many turn campaign of propaganda has managed to turn Don's best units against him.
    Catalyst wrote:
    I think most people assume he is planning a coup (both readers and the other generals on his side), but i really do not think he is.
    I agree. I don't think Don is planning a coup. He isn't a long term planner, he is too stupid for that without revealing his hand way too early and getting disbanded. But he has just pretty much talked Don down enough that he is set up for one, almost by accident.
    Catalyst wrote:
    And just because Caesar is speaking his mind does not mean he is disloyal.
    Here I beg to differ. Loyalty has a meaning, look it up. You cannot talk in opposition to your leader constantly, as we've seen Caesar do, and still call yourself loyal. There is a big difference between the kind of loyalty that allows (or requires) a person to step in and prevent the object of their loyalty from making a critical mistake, and the kind of disloyalty that a constant campaign of second guessing their decisions and undermining their authority exemplifies. And Caesar is very clearly on the path of constantly talking down Don and his decisions, and not at all on the path of reaching out to prevent a friend or respected mentor from causing themselves harm.
    Zeku wrote:
    He also knows that Jillian cut him a break by not fighting for Jetstone, so it just seem like he should be ambivalent towards her.
    Um, wha? Jillian broke Wanda's suggestion and wiped out a large force of GK dwagons and (uncroaked) warlords), breaking the suggestion put Wanda out of commission for turns when she was sorely needed, Jillian also ambushed Stanley on his way to claim the FAQ capitol site. She ended the last GK turn via *ptui* kingworld, which forced this desperate gambit of the promote-to-heavies and harvest-the-dwagons. And now she has attacked and razed a GK city. There is no reason Parson should consider anything other than eliminating this repeated thorn in the GK side.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:09 pm 
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    I think Don's decision to pay someone else to fight for him is an all right one. Picking Jillian with her lack of reliability is a bit less wise considering he apparently spent nearly it all. With such an investment you want someone more steady.

    Loyalty works a bit different un erf. It's apparently an actual force in erf rather than earned through shared experiences and stuff like it does here. Though he may be doing what we've seen done before in erf, acting against your leader when you believe it's in his best interest to do so.

    I think Don is indeed planning to get rid of Caesar and Caesar is pretty sure that's what Don is doin as well. I dunno if he's planning a rebellion but he's got to be planning something.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:12 pm 
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    Oberon wrote:
    Why do you say that? Don could easily promote another CWL to patrol his capitol and reduce the upkeep. That role isn't only able to be filled by a high level CWL, as Parson demonstrates quite well. And he'd still have Benjamin to do his moneymancer thing as well. And even if it brought some hard times, hard times are better than death and depopping.
    Ceaser is a very high level. Remember the fight at the mountain pass? How his bats were stronger than his warlords? If we assume he gives half of his level (what Wanda and Ansom seem to do) in hex wide bonus that means he is twice the level of every other warlor. (Otherwise their-bonus+his bonus would be higher than simply his direct bonus.) I suppose it might top out at five, but that would still leave him FIVE levels above the rest of his team. That massive bonus is really important for Translovito. Sure they might be able to absorb it normally, but they are already losing a war. Thats the kind of thing that takes you from in big trouble to dead.
    Quote:
    Look where TV stands: Friends with Jetstone and owed rather big time, and still neutral with GK. If this was Don's goal, it has worked flawlessly. Don's biggest worry right now: A fool of a CWL who can't see past a scream and leap level of thinking, and who is popular enough that his many turn campaign of propaganda has managed to turn Don's best units against him.
    You forgot the being ripped apart by carpool (and co?). His biggest problem is that they are LOSING A WAR.
    Quote:
    Here I beg to differ. Loyalty has a meaning, look it up. You cannot talk in opposition to your leader constantly, as we've seen Caesar do, and still call yourself loyal. There is a big difference between the kind of loyalty that allows (or requires) a person to step in and prevent the object of their loyalty from making a critical mistake, and the kind of disloyalty that a constant campaign of second guessing their decisions and undermining their authority exemplifies. And Caesar is very clearly on the path of constantly talking down Don and his decisions, and not at all on the path of reaching out to prevent a friend or respected mentor from causing themselves harm.
    We have two examples of him "undermining" Don publically. One was him getting angry, a foolish outburst, the other he definitely should have had in private with Ben, but this is one of those catastrophic errors one needs to stop. Sure, we know he has disagreed a lot in recent times, but that’s what top advisors are not supposed to be yes men. And the wasting the entire treasury is probably something that Ceaser thinks is a catastrophic error. Remember the whole war they are losing.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:24 pm 
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    Eeek, be careful, Caesar :(

    I'm not convinced that if it comes down to Caesar vs Don that Don won't pull out a win. He's pretty damned savvy, even if his priorities may or may not be on straight right now.

    And I agree with an earlier poster (posters?) that I'm getting the impression that Caesar doesn't really want to rebel. He's had the support of most of the warlords for some time now; surely there's been plenty of opportunity. Could his advising Ben to disobey an order be a rebellion in and of itself? Sure, but it seems patently clear to me that Caesar isn't doing this to cheese off Don or gain support for himself; he's doing it because he thinks it'd be a terrible idea for his side to loan a good chunk of their shaky treasury to a side that's about to go down in flames, from his perspective. And the other warlords concur. I guess it's another nuance of Duty- preserving one's side could outweigh obeying one's ruler. (Remember Wanda questioning Stanley's orders early on because she felt it'd lead to their destruction.)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:29 pm 
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    I think the real reason Don wants to oppose GK is that he thinks he and his people will be decrypted if they're not stopped; Ceasar thinks they're just another nation-state, while Don understandably sees them as something perverse to an unprecedented degree, something that will eventually crush everyone. Nevermind that the Royals already have something like the control granted by Decryption.

    And this is quite belated, but Jillian's meeting with the Don really reminds me of YT meeting... the Don in Snow Crash.

    Also, why hasn't Ossomer killed his Dwagon? Is he there solely to psyche out the royals? I don't get it.


    Last edited by emo samurai on Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:37 pm 
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    Altima wrote:
    Argh, this bi-monthly update schedule is killing me. Want faster.

    John Campbell wrote:
    Zeku wrote:
    What's with the coldness that Parson is extending towards Jillian?


    She just attacked him, killed a bunch of his people, and destroyed one of his cities. Whatever she may be to Wanda, to Parson she's an enemy who is killing his people. And who has put herself, and her entire kingdom, in a vulnerable position to do it.


    Not to mention that it's fairly obvious that she's in cahoots with Charlie.


    Please explain to me how it is obvious to Parson that she is in cahoots with Charlie.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:39 pm 
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    Sieggy wrote:
    What can I say . . . if ya got it, flog it . . .

    Edit: One thing I have to wonder . . . Jillian acquired 40K Schmuckers from razing Progrock . . . Is this like D&D (I have 50K gold pieces in my belt pouch!) where she has it with her, or is it something that's 'deposited' in her vaults / piggybank back in FAQ? This could have some bearing on matters.


    in D&D those coins did have weight, so if you were playing with 50k gold in your belt pouch, you were cheating.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:06 am 
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    emo samurai wrote:
    I think the real reason Don wants to oppose GK is that he thinks he and his people will be decrypted if they're not stopped;

    Could be that Don is a bit genre-savvy, and sees the writing on the wall. If you're a side full of vampires, signamancy points to you becoming undead...

    Quote:
    Also, why hasn't Ossomer killed his Dwagon? Is he there solely to psyche out the royals? I don't get it.

    Ossomer isn't riding a Dwagon, he's mounted on a flying carpet. Since textiles aren't a major food group, he can't harvest his mount.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:36 am 
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    in panel 9, "Thown" doesn't sound as gangsta as T'rown :P
    or maybe you just missed an r >_>
    also: if the costum change is intentional it could be natural signamancy for a lack of loyalty....

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:57 am 
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    gameboy1234 wrote:
    Altima wrote:
    Argh, this bi-monthly update schedule is killing me. Want faster.



    Read Dresden Codak. ;)


    You evil bloop! Thems some painfully slow updates, but thanks for the recommendation :)

    I assume most erfworld readers are also familiar with http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html.
    Less relevant (and less SFW), but for those looking for more reading material inbetween updates I also enjoy the also painfully slow stories found in http://www.freakangels.com/?p=23 and http://lastblood.keenspot.com/main/2006/12/25/last-blood-begins/.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 56
     Post Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:55 am 
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    Dante wrote:
    Ossomer isn't riding a Dwagon, he's mounted on a flying carpet. Since textiles aren't a major food group, he can't harvest his mount.


    That, and the fact that the archons need his bonus if at least a couple of them are to survive. I'm surprised Parson would allow Ansom to risk so many of GK's archons in his decapitation strike. They offer telecommunication, they allow for dwagon taming, too useful to risk losing most of them.

    Getting after Faq offers a major benefit to Parson: decrypted megalogwiffons! Those things should be able to carry heavies.

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