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 Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
 Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:21 am 
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Sinrus wrote:
As for decryption's and Wanda's evilness, I have to go with Not Applicable. I believe that the ends justify the means. That usually is taken as a bad thing to say, but look at it like this:
Any action is neutral in its base state. 'Joey stole the food' is neither good nor evil. 'Joey stole the food because he liked the feeling of power' is evil, because it was committed for the wrong reasons. 'Joey stole the food so that he could feed it to the starving homeless children' is good, because it was committed with good intentions.


Sorry, this argument is pure fail. Not all actions are neutral in their base state. If you have to qualify it, then it's not the base state.

As I already argued. Mitigating a deed does not eliminate the deeds nature. An act that might be forgiven due to mitigating circumstances is still wrong. And no, your good intentions are NOT good towards the one you stole from. Where is the benefit to the person you stole from? Want to make a moral argument in favor of stealing? Then how about, "The parents stole their son's cocaine stash and destroyed it." That is good intention TOWARDS the "victim" of the theft. But the, "I stole someone's arm, cooked it, and fed it to starving children so it is ok" argument doesn't convince me, even if I really love all the little children, all the children in the world..."

Quote:
Similarly, we can look at decryption in several ways:
'Wanda decrypted the piker' is neutral. But if we look at it from Wanda's point of view, it changes. She could be thinking (I'm not saying that this is how she thinks, it's just an example): 'I decrypted this piker so that I could conquer the world' which would be evil. But from Ansom's point of view it changes again: 'My mistress decrypted that piker so that she could unite the world' is good. They are the same action, but when committed with different intentions their morality changes.


Ansom's, Wanda's, Stanley's point of views are irrelevant. If your decrypting a Piker then what matters is that Piker's point of view.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:51 am 
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    Sinrus wrote:
    As for decryption's and Wanda's evilness, I have to go with Not Applicable. I believe that the ends justify the means. That usually is taken as a bad thing to say, but look at it like this:
    Any action is neutral in its base state. 'Joey stole the food' is neither good nor evil. 'Joey stole the food because he liked the feeling of power' is evil, because it was committed for the wrong reasons. 'Joey stole the food so that he could feed it to the starving homeless children' is good, because it was committed with good intentions.


    "I'm going to murder you now. But don't worry - I'll be committing the murder with good intentions. It's the only way to demonstrate the absurdity of your moral argument, and without that, you could be living an immoral life! A fate worse than death, to be sure - I'm doing it because I want to help you!"

    "...WAIT! It's for your own good, stop running!"

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:02 am 
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    Infidel wrote:
    Evil Jedi wrote:
    On page 10 in the new book in the second panel, it looks like Jack is being tended to by some types of medics and we can see the bandage on the dwagon. Then later in this page Parson is asking about Healomancy scrolls to get him back on his feet. So my question is: Does Erfworld have paramedics or First Aid of some kind? Besides Healomancers, can anyone else help someone heal (if they don't have a scroll). I mean, if they survive until their next turn they heal instantly, so having people trained in First Aid does not seem to make a lot of sense. On the other hand, maybe it could be some kind of Natural Healomancy?


    I don't think they have even a concept of first aid. Caeser had two arrows sticking out of him, and it apparently didn't even occur to him to pull the arrows out. He just suffered the pain and waited for dawn.


    Doesn't pulling the arrows out do even more damage, as they are plugging the wound?

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    Last edited by doran on Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:39 am 
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    Infidel wrote:
    Sinrus wrote:
    As for decryption's and Wanda's evilness, I have to go with Not Applicable. I believe that the ends justify the means. That usually is taken as a bad thing to say, but look at it like this:
    Any action is neutral in its base state. 'Joey stole the food' is neither good nor evil. 'Joey stole the food because he liked the feeling of power' is evil, because it was committed for the wrong reasons. 'Joey stole the food so that he could feed it to the starving homeless children' is good, because it was committed with good intentions.


    Sorry, this argument is pure fail. Not all actions are neutral in their base state. If you have to qualify it, then it's not the base state.

    As I already argued. Mitigating a deed does not eliminate the deeds nature. An act that might be forgiven due to mitigating circumstances is still wrong. And no, your good intentions are NOT good towards the one you stole from. Where is the benefit to the person you stole from? Want to make a moral argument in favor of stealing? Then how about, "The parents stole their son's cocaine stash and destroyed it." That is good intention TOWARDS the "victim" of the theft. But the, "I stole someone's arm, cooked it, and fed it to starving children so it is ok" argument doesn't convince me, even if I really love all the little children, all the children in the world..."


    Obviously my example was oversimplified, but if Joey had stolen the food from a beggar, then it's certainly wrong, even if he gave it to the children. However, if he stole it from Bill Gates it's a good action, since the children need it far more than he does. As for the arm argument, if there is any other way to obtain food without harming somebody, then ripping off body parts is evil. But if that is the only source, and you somehow know that the arm's owner will survive and the limb will be enough to save the children from a horrible death, then it's acceptable.

    Infidel wrote:
    Quote:
    Similarly, we can look at decryption in several ways:
    'Wanda decrypted the piker' is neutral. But if we look at it from Wanda's point of view, it changes. She could be thinking (I'm not saying that this is how she thinks, it's just an example): 'I decrypted this piker so that I could conquer the world' which would be evil. But from Ansom's point of view it changes again: 'My mistress decrypted that piker so that she could unite the world' is good. They are the same action, but when committed with different intentions their morality changes.


    Ansom's, Wanda's, Stanley's point of views are irrelevant. If your decrypting a Piker then what matters is that Piker's point of view.


    If the Piker is already a GK unit, then the action is good, unless Wanda is intending to use her new unit for some evil purpose. If the Piker is an enemy unit before it's croaked, then the situation will change from unit to unit. Some units may rather die than turn, and others may want to "live", even if they can only accept a half-life. When it's impossible to tell what the Piker wants, then we can only look at the thoughts of characters who we know more about.

    I for one, believe in the evil of decryption in the current situation, because I believe that Wanda has some evil purpose in mind. And in the end, it's her view that really matters, because everyone else familiar with decryption is her slave.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:38 am 
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    Coriat, Crazyguy_co and Infidel, for the greater good of avoiding wall of (quoted) text I will do horrible unjustice to your posts. With this caveat ...

    Coriat wrote:
    It does not seem to me that a normal unit's loyalty robs them of freedom of thought, merely of freedom of action to a certain extent. Sizemore would be the example. He goes into combat, but he hates it. This isn't against loyalty. Rewire his mind so that he loves it, and you're taking something from him.

    Decryption very clearly impinges on freedom of thought to the tune of rewiring the subjects brain and making his thoughts more amenable to his controller. This is a form of slavery above and beyond normal Erfworld loyalty.


    Emphasis mine.

    Selected because I think the quoted sentences express the core of the disagreement, and it is this core that I believe you are all presenting, with various examples and approaches.

    On the one hand, we have freedom (autonomy) of action, on another freedom (autonomy) of thought. We know living Erfworlders can think and feel what they like, see Sizemore, but when it comes to action, a complex mechanism of Loyalty, Duty and Natural Thinkamancy puts severe constraints. Even Parson can be ordered to laugh at lame jokes and he will find himself laughing, for instance, without any mental calculation as to why he does so.

    Btw, this is what drives the "Erfworld is different and Earth morality does not apply" argument. Back on Earth, saying "they ordered me to do it" is NOT a valid defense, as the Nurnberg trials showed. On Erfworld, I think it's pretty air-tight as a defensive case goes.

    As for the decrypted, what few data is available suggests that the freedom of thought is ... actually the data is conflicting! Ansom "loves", "worships" Wanda; but he still objects to her decision to croak Ossomer. Ansom planned the strike on Jetstone, but even then he always, at least in his mind, probably rationalized it by thinking he will allow his family to turn while living.

    That is speculation, we aren't told what Ansom thought, but it's plausible. He offers peaceful conversion on the bridge, seems genuinely disappointed that it is refused, tries it again on the captured Ossomer when there's no reason for subterfuge (from Ansom).

    It is a matter of shading, and I expect the comic to provide more info allowing us to gather evidence for 4 (!) aspects of Erfworld, {freedom of thought , freedom of action} times {living Erfworlder, decrypted Erfworlder}.

    If anything, the current text update suggests Erfworlders, at least natural allies, may have more autonomy than I thought. (I could believe the Charlie and Giants incident was related to Charlie's strong Thinkamancy; but maybe simple persuasion of their Chiefs would have worked).

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:03 pm 
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    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    Coriat, Crazyguy_co and Infidel, for the greater good of avoiding wall of (quoted) text I will do horrible unjustice to your posts. With this caveat ...

    Coriat wrote:
    It does not seem to me that a normal unit's loyalty robs them of freedom of thought, merely of freedom of action to a certain extent. Sizemore would be the example. He goes into combat, but he hates it. This isn't against loyalty. Rewire his mind so that he loves it, and you're taking something from him.

    Decryption very clearly impinges on freedom of thought to the tune of rewiring the subjects brain and making his thoughts more amenable to his controller. This is a form of slavery above and beyond normal Erfworld loyalty.


    On one hand, we have freedom (autonomy) of action, on another freedom (autonomy) of thought. We know living Erfworlders can think and feel what they like, see Sizemore, but when it comes to action, a complex mechanism of Loyalty, Duty and Natural Thinkamancy puts severe constraints.

    Ansom "loves", "worships" Wanda; but he still objects to her decision to croak Ossomer. Ansom planned the strike on Jetstone, but even then he always, at least in his mind, probably rationalized it by thinking he will allow his family to turn while living.

    That is speculation, we aren't told what Ansom thought, but it's plausible. He offers peaceful conversion on the bridge, seems genuinely disappointed that it is refused, tries it again on the captured Ossomer when there's no reason for subterfuge (from Ansom).


    So, although decryption can change the way units think about things, it does not take away their ability to think for themselves. Another blow to the 'decryption is inherently evil side'.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:21 pm 
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    doran wrote:


    Pulling the arrows out is always a bad idea, as the arrows were frequently barbed to make that an extremely painful decision.

    As that link notes, though, pushing them the rest of the way through made sense in some contexts.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:42 am 
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    doran wrote:


    They don't bleed in erfworld so not necessarily, and the rest depends on the arrowhead. Even then, with the way everyone auto-heals at dawn, it actually encourages just cutting the wound and pulling out the arrows, since a wounded person won't have to wait months for the wound to heal. If you would survive the minimal damage of pulling out the arrow after cutting it out, then the damage extra damage done is irrelevant if combat is over.

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    Last edited by Infidel on Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:27 am 
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    Sinrus wrote:
    Obviously my example was oversimplified,


    Oversimplified? You argued that nothing is evil in it's base state, so nothing can be oversimplified.

    Quote:
    but if Joey had stolen the food from a beggar, then it's certainly wrong, even if he gave it to the children.


    Why? On what basis do you make this statement?

    Quote:
    However, if he stole it from Bill Gates it's a good action, since the children need it far more than he does.
    So you are trying to define morality by need? Justify this.

    All I see are proclamations but I see no method. On what basis do you claim that need is the determiner of good/evil? I don't know if you realize this or not, but this need argument is an argument for lawlessness and anarchy. If someone has something that I don't then I automatically have the right to take it according to the need argument. Or more succinctly, you argue that every single person in the world poorer than you has the right to take your stuff until you are poorer than everyone else, at which point the cycle repeats.


    Quote:
    As for the arm argument, if there is any other way to obtain food without harming somebody, then ripping off body parts is evil.

    Why? You claim to extrapolate morality, but what is you don't define very well the basic premise that justifies your assertions. Why does there have to be no other way to obtain food? If no actions are inherently good or bad, then there is no difference between stealing your bic pen or the arm that holds it. Certainly, the need argument means you should take from the most convenient source. So if there is a store 20 feet away, and money in your pocket and there is a man only two steps away. Then according to need, it is better to take the man's arm and eat it than go buy an apple. That way you save money, which you need.

    Quote:
    But if that is the only source, and you somehow know that the arm's owner will survive and the limb will be enough to save the children from a horrible death, then it's acceptable.
    Why does it need to be enough to save the children from a horrible death? Why not just because it's lunch time and they are hungry? Why not chop one of the kids up and feed him to the other kids and solve two problems at once? It's a lot harder to replace a middle-aged man than a 5 year old, but it takes 40 years to make a 40 year old. So society needs a 5 year old a lot less than a middle-aged man. So, Man keeps arm, and one less mouth to feed? Pure win according to the need principle.
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Ansom's, Wanda's, Stanley's point of views are irrelevant. If your decrypting a Piker then what matters is that Piker's point of view.


    If the Piker is already a GK unit, then the action is good, unless Wanda is intending to use her new unit for some evil purpose.


    Ohh, so you're on the "it's ok to kill a slave as long as it's my slave." side. Apparently, I won't be able to convince you otherwise, so moving on. You say evil purpose, but I don't see how you have a clear picture of the dividing line between good and evil.
    Quote:
    When it's impossible to tell what the Piker wants, then we can only look at the thoughts of characters who we know more about.
    It's only impossible to tell because the Piker wasn't asked.

    Quote:
    I for one, believe in the evil of decryption in the current situation, because I believe that Wanda has some evil purpose in mind. And in the end, it's her view that really matters, because everyone else familiar with decryption is her slave.
    Ahh, some hazy evil purpose, but we don't even have a clear definition of evil. By your definition, what has Wanda EVER done that is evil. She a pure innocent lamb according to the need argument. Someone else had something that she needed, so she moved the world until she got it. Now she has this army, but she obviously needs something else, maybe a queenship. What do you know, there's a convenient well defended city nearby. She could conquer it and claim herself queen. Rock on. We're pure good so far. But then there is no ruler of Erf and she really needs to rule Erf, so proceed from there. Pure as the driven snow Wanda is.

    Meh, BC is more fun to argue with. You need to justify your claims. I did, BC has, and some others have. I disagree with BC, but at least he has a clear image in his head of what good and evil are. But I don't have anything to grasp with you. Just a bunch of random statements, this is evil, that is evil, but no clear definition that I can apply to any situation. As for mine, I already clarified what I call the definer of good and evil. It is empathy.

    Anyway, not that the current discussion doesn't have lots of room to carry on, but when a new update comes out, I usually move directly on to the latest update thread. So not to put you guys off, or try to get the last word in, or any of that nonsense, instead I'll just say, lets pause this discussion, and pick it up again on the next thread it is relevant to. Because right now, I'm more interested in
    Spoiler: show
    Vurp and what his lie was,
    than the morality of Wanda's actions. So feel free to refer to this post later and I'll be happy to pick up where we left off, when Wanda does her next dastardly act. We probably won't have to wait long, another comic update is due soon.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:31 pm 
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    Okay, here's an issue with using the "what a unit would want" criterion. Namely: before or after the act is done?

    Croaking a unit in order to croak and decrypt: Yes, ask beforehand, and it's arguably wrong to do if they say no.

    Decrypting a unit that is already croaked: I think that the views that matter are those of the hypothetical unit after being decrypted. If the decrypted unit can be expected to say "I wish you hadn't done that," then you shouldn't decrypt. On the other hand, if the decrypted unit will be glad you did, and all you have against it is the opinion of a unit that's already croaked, then I don't see why you need to give any credence to that opinion at all. You have to ask who you're actually harming.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:30 am 
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    Sinrus wrote:
    So, although decryption can change the way units think about things, it does not take away their ability to think for themselves. Another blow to the 'decryption is inherently evil side'.


    If you believe its not evil, I have a simple question for you:

    If it were you instead of Ossomer, would you like to be decrypted? Would you like betraying everyone (except Ansom now) you cared about? Be forced by mind control to destroy everything you built up and be given to somebody else to use as she sees fit?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:40 am 
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    Sinrus wrote:
    If the Piker is already a GK unit, then the action is good, unless Wanda is intending to use her new unit for some evil purpose. If the Piker is an enemy unit before it's croaked, then the situation will change from unit to unit. Some units may rather die than turn, and others may want to "live", even if they can only accept a half-life. When it's impossible to tell what the Piker wants, then we can only look at the thoughts of characters who we know more about.

    I for one, believe in the evil of decryption in the current situation, because I believe that Wanda has some evil purpose in mind. And in the end, it's her view that really matters, because everyone else familiar with decryption is her slave.


    Good and evil are not determined by intention.

    Intentions may play a role when considering punishments, but good or evil are morale absolutes. This means that you subscribe to set of principles and that people breaking these principles (no matter what their intention) are committing evil acts.

    If their intentions were good then you can strive to punish them less or try to convert them to your set of principles. But this you are doing because they committed an evil act not because it is not evil.

    What are such principles you say. Well that is a large study field and many books have been written on it. But I would say look to the constitutions of the modern western nations, the UN Charta, the human rights.

    I think Ossomers right to the pursuit of happiness has been stopped/changed quite drastically for instance.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:49 am 
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    Django wrote:
    Sinrus wrote:
    So, although decryption can change the way units think about things, it does not take away their ability to think for themselves. Another blow to the 'decryption is inherently evil side'.


    If you believe its not evil, I have a simple question for you:

    If it were you instead of Ossomer, would you like to be decrypted? Would you like betraying everyone (except Ansom now) you cared about? Be forced by mind control to destroy everything you built up and be given to somebody else to use as she sees fit?


    Perhaps, PERHAPS, Decryption is no more evil than a very, very powerful loyalty/suggestion spell.

    But as I've said before, units like Parson, Sizemore and Maggie are free to think Stanley is a complete moron. Parson can probably figure out a way of successfully turning, given time (and Charlie's help?).

    They just can't refuse his orders.

    That's bad, that's even slavery, but not completely, inherently evil.

    When you do something to someone's mind that forces them to think/feel/believe a certain way..... that's different.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:06 pm 
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    But it doesn't force them to think like Wanda does. Ansom was not a happy camper when Scarlet croaked Ossomer.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:44 pm 
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    Sinrus wrote:
    But it doesn't force them to think like Wanda does. Ansom was not a happy camper when Scarlet croaked Ossomer.


    Oh, true. My point is, Ansom still loves Wanda. Ansom will find some way to force himself to decide that she was right. Ansom will continue to believe in "Toolism" devoutly.

    Remember Jillian over the lake? The spell forced her to find a reason not to croak that wounded stack. The Archons were able to push her over the edge when the spell reached its limits : there was no plausible, logical reason, and the spell was powerful, but not THAT powerful.

    This is different : Trust me - Ansom will get over his initial reaction, swallow, and suck it up and kiss Wanda's perfectly-formed ass if she let's him.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:17 am 
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    theseus2x wrote:
    Remember Jillian over the lake? The spell forced her to find a reason not to croak that wounded stack. The Archons were able to push her over the edge when the spell reached its limits : there was no plausible, logical reason, and the spell was powerful, but not THAT powerful.

    This is different : Trust me - Ansom will get over his initial reaction, swallow, and suck it up and kiss Wanda's perfectly-formed ass if she let's him.

    Or maybe it's not.
    Maybe Ansom will snap if pushed far enough.
    Maybe his feelings for Jillian, when he confronts her, may counter Wanda's influence.
    We don't know.

    "This suspense is killing me, I hope it lasts." - Willy Wonka

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:28 am 
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    Of course Wanda's effect apparently goes beyond sugegstion. It seems like she was able to totally rework their minds.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:58 am 
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    Is it just me, or has there been some slippage in the update schedule?
    I hope nothing is seriously wrong.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:00 am 
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    theseus2x wrote:
    Perhaps, PERHAPS, Decryption is no more evil than a very, very powerful loyalty/suggestion spell.

    But as I've said before, units like Parson, Sizemore and Maggie are free to think Stanley is a complete moron. Parson can probably figure out a way of successfully turning, given time (and Charlie's help?).

    They just can't refuse his orders.

    That's bad, that's even slavery, but not completely, inherently evil.

    When you do something to someone's mind that forces them to think/feel/believe a certain way..... that's different.

    When you create someone, someone who would not exist/be alive without you doing so, and you create them in such a way that they happen to love you, is that evil? Because children naturally feel that way towards their parents. Many people feel that way towards their religion.

    Remember that Decryption is not mind control - it is the creation of life, which happens to be on your side. The fact that the old Ansom wouldn't like it is irrelevant - he probably wouldn't like Stanley taming new dwagons to invade Jetstone with either. Why does he deserve a vote?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 2 – Page 11
     Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:13 am 
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    Posts: 281
    Website: http://poorrichlife.blogspot.com/
    the_tick_rules wrote:
    Of course Wanda's effect apparently goes beyond sugegstion. It seems like she was able to totally rework their minds.

    Or maybe they WERE just ignorant and confused before, and are now really and truly enlightened, seeing everything with absolute clarity.

    I mean, it's a possibility, right?

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