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 Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
 Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:43 am 
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Wow. This one caught me off guard. That was so unbelievably melancholic and heartwrenching.

Quote:
She’d pointed vaguely in the direction of the morning sun. “East side of the island. There’s a place called Short Pier there. If you can’t pay your upkeep, then you go stand there to watch the sunrise and disband. If somebody’s feeling generous, maybe they go by and save you. It’s our last resort. There’s somebody there almost every day, sometimes more than one.”


Quote:
Casters with money trickled in to spend it or gamble it, day or night. ...Instead of going out to Short Pier and saving someone’s life, he suddenly realized. Digdoug shook his head. How completely pointless. What was wrong with people? With the world?


Quote:
Problem solved. It felt shockingly good. “I have Dirtamancy,” he said aloud, in answer to his own question. Without Homekey, he still had his craft. Dirtamancy wasn’t a home. It wasn’t a side to fight for, or a King he respected, or friends he loved. But it wasn’t nothing.


And Doug's expression in Xin's art. God, Xin's art.

This ending was sad and now I feel sad.

Curse you, Rob Balder.

And thanks for one more wonderful story.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:46 am 
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    ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:
    ManaCaster wrote:
    With there are so many casters waiting to disband, you'd think sides without casters, like the So-be-it Union, would post offerings to let them turn. Is it taboo to just join a new side?

    Well, solving the Magic Kingdom's resource limitations opens up a really good option for Parson to win himself into the Magic Kingdom's good graces. Can't hold a grudge against the hand that feeds you. In fact, really, he's going to have to solve that problem soon anyway. The Great Minds can only devote so many of their own resources to the cause after all, and Parson really needs as many master-class Thinkamancers as he can get.



    If you don't have a caster it might be hard to post an offering on MK's billboard... not having a caster to post it...

    This looks dangerously like a vicious cycle...

    There are options, a few of which were mentioned in Digdoug's story. Plus, in the So-be-it example, the entire alliance did have a couple casters between all 4 sides. If they were so inclined, they could have sent one of them to wait at Short Pier and offer to let them join.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:56 am 
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    Quote:
    “Hands off,” he muttered. “Dove’s mark.”


    Can the native English speakers out there clarify what that's supposed to mean, more likely?

    A) "I'll stay away from this one, he's already Dove's."

    or

    B) "Leave me alone, you gullible fool."

    ?

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:00 am 
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    arbo wrote:
    Quote:
    “Hands off,” he muttered. “Dove’s mark.”


    Can the native English speakers out there clarify what that's supposed to mean, more likely?

    A) "I'll stay away from this one, he's already Dove's."

    or

    B) "Leave me alone, you gullible fool."

    ?

    A should be the correct interpretation. Probably a dreary recollection of a warning from Dove.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:15 am 
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    Unfortunately it doesn't prove that Digdoug is actually Dove's mark. Maybe the Carnymancers are just assuming that Digdoug is a mark because Dove is taking an interest in him. There's still a possibility that Dove is being completely honest with Digdoug.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:20 am 
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    ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:
    ManaCaster wrote:
    With there are so many casters waiting to disband, you'd think sides without casters, like the So-be-it Union, would post offerings to let them turn. Is it taboo to just join a new side?

    Well, solving the Magic Kingdom's resource limitations opens up a really good option for Parson to win himself into the Magic Kingdom's good graces. Can't hold a grudge against the hand that feeds you. In fact, really, he's going to have to solve that problem soon anyway. The Great Minds can only devote so many of their own resources to the cause after all, and Parson really needs as many master-class Thinkamancers as he can get.



    If you don't have a caster it might be hard to post an offering on MK's billboard... not having a caster to post it...

    This looks dangerously like a vicious cycle...


    But objects can pass through the portals, so throwing a note in there with "need caster, will pay upkeep" could work. In fact, I wonder why no desperate casters have taken to popping their heads in at random portals and offering their services.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:21 am 
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    Lilwik wrote:
    Unfortunately it doesn't prove that Digdoug is actually Dove's mark. Maybe the Carnymancers are just assuming that Digdoug is a mark because Dove is taking an interest in him. There's still a possibility that Dove is being completely honest with Digdoug.


    And there's always the middle ground, where she's simultaneously helping AND exploiting Digdoug. Maybe she is telling him the truth and helping him out on one level, but is also fine with getting some rands in the process.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:22 am 
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    mortissimus wrote:
    In fact, I wonder why no desperate casters have taken to popping their heads in at random portals and offering their services.

    I think that would qualify as against the Magic Kingdom neutrality rules. Or, it would at least be rude.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:24 am 
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    A few thoughts.

    If smuckers could be converted into rands by any caster, instead of just by Moneymancers, then that would solve the issue, wouldn't it?

    Dove could be playing Doug, the Carnies could be assuming she's playing him because that is what Carnies expect other Carnies to do, or Dove could have told them she's playing him in order to protect Doug.

    Since casters take the long walk when they can't afford upkeep, it's unlikely they would be able to turn to a side. After all, if they can't find work for a single job, how likely is it that they are going to find someone to take them on permanently? Or if they are disbanding because of poor choices, rather than lack of work, they kind of deserve it any way.

    That being said, I wonder if Wanda knows about the short pier. If a caster is going to disband anyway, Wanda could offer to instead kill them and decrypt them. Be reborn, and never worry about upkeep again. I guess that would technically violate neutrality, but that's nearly broken anyway. I'm typically against decryption, but if the unit choose it willingly, I'd be ok with it.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:35 am 
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    We'll find out whether this is some elaborate hoax or scam based on how well Dove treats him and how well she pays him. We know Sizemore had plenty of Rands, but there may have been a shortage of Dirtamancers around his time, prices may have been different, etc, so assuming everything else is the same may be wrong.

    Considering Digdoug could go walk through a random portal at any time and offer to join that side, or disband himself, or any number of other things, I got the impression it was less of a complex plot and more just Carnymancer slang for non-Carnymancers. Like calling a HP wizard's nonwizard friend "their muggle" :D But that hasn't been confirmed, only the common general usage of the word 'mark'.


    Lilwik wrote:
    That's a new mystery! I've often wondered how Rands work. It always seemed like they must be regulated by some authority that gives them value, just like any Stupidworld currency, but now it is obvious where the value of Rands comes from and we have an obvious drain on the supply of Rands; one Rand disappears for every caster in the Magic Kingdom every day, so the same number of Rands needs to appear somewhere every day on average or the Magic Kingdom would run out of Rands.

    It's bizarre that one Rand appears in the Magic Kingdom for each caster every day, but for some reason the Rands aren't given directly to the casters. If a Rand were given to each caster each day then no caster would ever run out. Who gets the Rands and why?


    I hadn't heard the one a day part, or don't remember it lol, that puts a twist on the Rands for upkeep thing too, since essentially every caster should have their upkeep covered for every day. But that leaves no room for trade of services or goods involving Rands.

    I'm guessing we'll be learning more about the Magic Kingdom and Rands soon. :D

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:44 am 
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    Omnimancer wrote:
    And there's always the middle ground, where she's simultaneously helping AND exploiting Digdoug.
    That sounds awfully plausible. I wonder how far she would take that. She has a whole list of things for Digdoug to do, and from this episode it sounds like the entire list is supposed to pay off a debt of just one Rand. In comparison, Janis was expecting 8 Rands for teaching Sizemore some Hippiemancy in B1P11. I wouldn't be at all surprised if just fixing the pump is actually worth several Rands and the whole list is worth dozens of Rands, and Dove is only planning on giving Digdoug just enough to keep from disbanding each night, just because she likes him and knows that he'll pay off the debt the next day with a whole new list of chores.

    Is the Rand shortage even a real thing? Is the Long Walk something that Dove just made up?

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:01 am 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    That being said, I wonder if Wanda knows about the short pier. If a caster is going to disband anyway, Wanda could offer to instead kill them and decrypt them. Be reborn, and never worry about upkeep again. I guess that would technically violate neutrality, but that's nearly broken anyway. I'm typically against decryption, but if the unit choose it willingly, I'd be ok with it.
    In fact, it gets even better than that. We know that Decrypted units can Turn, and the fact that they do implies that the mind-whammy inflicted on them when they're Decrypted is a one-time deal (it basically sets your 'loyalty to Wanda' variable to the max, but doesn't keep it from later being eroded.)

    This means that a Decrypted caster could in theory later defect from Gobwin Knob, return to the Magic Kingdom, and become entirely independent with no upkeep and no responsibilities to anyone. As long as MK neutrality is respected, they'd even be completely safe.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:03 am 
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    Now, I'm no mathamancer, but I think that a math savvy individual could have some fun and give us some outlook on just how big erfworld is.

    1. A caster is at the short pier most every day. Thus, a fast reduction in numbers of casters. 70 gone every 100 turns?

    2. Rate of casters joining the magic kingdom. Factors: How many ended sides actually have casters that escape to the MK? (Not many, certainly not all).

    3. Rate of new casters joining the MK vs. rate of casters disbanding. Assumably the population of MK is somewhat stable? If so, then there's a SHIT TON of sides ending and whatever percentage of casters escaping to the MK to keep said population somewhat stable.

    4. Average lifespan of a side? Meaning, how fast sides end and start up as a factor in how many sides end and X% of casters escape to MK.

    5. Other factors I can't think of.


    Have fun with that.

    Point being, Erfworld is f'ing huge with a HUGE number of sides.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:06 am 
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    mortissimus wrote:
    ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ wrote:
    ManaCaster wrote:
    With there are so many casters waiting to disband, you'd think sides without casters, like the So-be-it Union, would post offerings to let them turn. Is it taboo to just join a new side?

    Well, solving the Magic Kingdom's resource limitations opens up a really good option for Parson to win himself into the Magic Kingdom's good graces. Can't hold a grudge against the hand that feeds you. In fact, really, he's going to have to solve that problem soon anyway. The Great Minds can only devote so many of their own resources to the cause after all, and Parson really needs as many master-class Thinkamancers as he can get.



    If you don't have a caster it might be hard to post an offering on MK's billboard... not having a caster to post it...

    This looks dangerously like a vicious cycle...


    But objects can pass through the portals, so throwing a note in there with "need caster, will pay upkeep" could work. In fact, I wonder why no desperate casters have taken to popping their heads in at random portals and offering their services.

    Maybe it's a cultural thing? There are all sorts of things that would seem obvious to us, but Erfworlders don't do for whatever reason. For example, accessories seem to be one of Dollamancy's most useful traits, and yet we have never seen any side (other than Charlescomm) create more than a handful of them. Judging by Ace Hardware's situation, it doesn't look like sides are being stopped from eventually equipping all their units for any technical reasons.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:08 am 
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    Well, from Book 2 pg 110, 20 rands were offered for healing an incapacitated warlord. That was on short notice and a "full heal." So, half for quick service, and half for the completion (generous estimates) puts the heal job at about 5 rands. Fixing the pump would "call it even." So, in a fair market, he should be getting that directly. Instead, his last round upkeep of 1 rand was getting paid for. Also, this is the first item in a list of things to fix. So, our protagonist is getting shafted by not getting paid directly for his services. He is indeed a mark

    That isn't to say that Dove had this in mind all along. More that she is... taking advantage of his ignorance of the value of his work. As long as they keep paying his upkeep for "services done tomorrow" it can seem fair. If he ever leaves Carnyvale and gets paid directly for a repair job, the jig is up.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:14 am 
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    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    Have fun with that.

    Point being, Erfworld is f'ing huge with a HUGE number of sides.
    We have no reason to be certain that there's only one magic kingdom, or that it doesn't simply serve one continent or something. The world could be infinite.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:17 am 
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    Is there something in the wording of the comic that suggest Dove's list was in its entirety supposed to cover the 1 Rand plus healing costs? I got the impression that the pump alone covered those two things, then the later items on the list would cover future turns of upkeep. Am I missing something?

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:20 am 
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    twhitt wrote:
    We have no reason to be certain that there's only one magic kingdom, or that it doesn't simply serve one continent or something. The world could be infinite.


    ...or that it is a finite non-euclidean toroid as discussed in several other threads, and still my favorite theory :)

    It was heavily implied that the list was to cover last turn's upkeep, but never explicitly stated.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:26 am 
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    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    Point being, Erfworld is f'ing huge with a HUGE number of sides.
    Erfworld has "more than two hundred" sides according to Digdoug Episode 8. I really don't trust Dove, but her story about the Long Walk might actually be true with those numbers. If a side ends approximately every turn and that brings enough new casters into the Magic Kingdom to approximately balance with the ones lost to the Long Walk, then that would mean that the average side survives for between 200 and 300 turns, which might be true. A turn is a long time in Erfworld. Not every fallen side has casters who escape, but not every Long Walker disbands.

    Godzfirefly wrote:
    Is there something in the wording of the comic that suggest Dove's list was in its entirety supposed to cover the 1 Rand plus healing costs?
    "Dove had said he could work off his Rand by doing some repair work for her.... Dove had said that the Doc would call it even if Digdoug fixed the pump, so that was where he’d started. But there were other chores on Dove’s list."

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 20
     Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:27 am 
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    Short Pier, otherwise known as Charlies Recruiting Station.
    One of the thinkamancers probably ended up there, then sold their soul to Charlie.

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