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 Post subject: Digdoug - Episode 21
 Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 4:24 am 
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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:42 am 
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    I kinda gotta feel bad for the Carnies.

    They seriously seem like one of a handful of "black sheep" Caster types that most sides want nothing to do with, and that's a shame for them.

    One also has to hand it to Charlie, as well. It's actually a bit clever of him to cultivate contacts and ties to the Carnymancers. Not only does it throw a bit of a shroud over his true nature as a Carnymancer ruler, it also seems pretty cost-effective. The Carnymancers are so far down on the food chain that they don't care to work with Charlie, and they now tend to naturally align with him because he's one of the only rulers who'll bother with them.

    One wonders if Parson might eventually turn this around. Carnymancy seems like a deadly dangerous tool in his hands, after all.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:51 am 
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    That's what I figured happened. Charlie got paid. Bottom line whenever Charlie is involved.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:51 am 
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    So... we're hitting on something that seems true; Dove has got no reason to lie in front of the other Carnies and especially not to make verbal outbursts and threaten not to work for Charlie about. It seems that Dove WAS working for Charlie, but she was still working in Homekey's general interest; she proposed the plan in which they hired Charlie, and helped herself to a commission on the mercenary contract, but though that Posbrake (who she seems to have genuinely liked) would get out alive, minus a couple of schmuckers. If that's the case, she probably was sincere about considering turning as well.
    At any rate, it seems clear where the answers are coming from: Digdoug doesn't seem nearly as powerful as Sizemore, but has still probably got potential to make plenty of Rands, and since he was seriously considering croaking himself to find out what happened to Homekey, he'll probably be pretty committed to buying the information from Charlie.

    It's worth noting that Charlie's good nature to the Carnymancers is strategic on more levels than one. Charlie is a Carny himself (and presumably a very high level one), so he knows better than any ruler what Carnymancy can do and probably has a deeper knowledge of how it works than any of the Carnies he hires. As such, he probably has plenty of uses for Carnymancers, and by being one of their only reliable sources of employment, he can get that all at fairly low costs. Charlie has a good reputation in general within the Magic Kingdom, but we've seen already in Book 2 that the Carnymancers are his preferred proxies when getting involved in internal disputes within the Magic Kingdom.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:07 am 
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    Yeah, that's what I meant: Charlie is currently one of the only rulers who cares about the Carnies enough to understand how dangerous they are, and that gives him, as you pointed out, access to a very valuable resource at a cut-rate price. He has no need to hire Thinkamancers (which seem to be among the most valuable casters), he's practically the god of Thinkamancy at this point thanks to the Arkendish...

    One wonders just how many rules the guy can break.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:18 am 
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    Huh, Digdoug looks like he would be a top tier recruit in the war against Charlie.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:19 am 
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    The return of that enigmatic "B.C." - be cool? be chill?

    By the end of this update we seem to have honesty coming from Dove and the other Carnies, but I'm not sure what to make of Nickel/Dove interaction. She *did* confirm that Digdoug was her Mark, but that it meant "under her protection" which, every time I read it, just sounds like a blatant lie (goes against what Digdoug knows the term means, and what we know it means), so I dunno. If it did mean protection, then why would Nickel (who knew it), try and get Digdoug hooked/poisoned on the alcohol? Seems a bit odd. "Oh, you're the one Dove wants to protect. Have you tried my magic poison?" So on the first read through it looked to me like there was something about the drink, and his message of "come find me later for more", that meant this was how Digdoug was going to get his answers. Maybe a bit of Winemancy lets Digdoug enter "DrinkSpace" with this drunk carny!

    Anyway, more information about food seems good, but now it's even odder in the context of Rands. So everyone needs to actually eat food to survive? And eating stuff beyond your popped rations makes upkeep cheaper next turn. Did rations pop for Digdoug when he spent his Rand on upkeep? If he eats this good meal now, he'll reduce his upkeep cost next turn by half... so he can pay in half-Rands? bleuugh overthinking it.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:28 am 
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    This is very bad news for Parson.

    If Charlie has this much sway amongst the Carnies, then it's safe to say the little stunt in the MK isn't going to be the only one of its kind - especially because it was effective. It delayed Parson, it forced him to question himself, and ultimately it put him in an incredibly dangerous position that he only barely got out of.

    Furthermore, Parson is dangerous primarily because he thinks like a Carnymancer - if he can do what he does just with rule exploits, imagine what he could do with the ability to selectively ignore rules. Charlie is denying Parson the most powerful potential tool he's got... and all Charlie has to do is indicate to the Carnies that their friendly arrangement is contingent on no Carny working for Gobwin Knob, ever.

    (Also, re: marks and protection - in this case, Dove might be telling the truth. Digdoug IS her mark, but for now it's of mutual benefit to the both of them: Dove gets the exclusive services of a highly valuable discipline, and Digdoug gets talked out of suicide/guided to jobs that he wouldn't otherwise have any idea how to find. She's using him, but in this case she's using him to keep him alive, which is objectively better than Nickel poisoning him slowly.)

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:39 am 
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    Well, Rob has said Episode 22 should be the last one, so I don't anticipate any particularly huge twist at this point. Moral of the story, Charlie is a jerk and gets paid as much as possible no matter what. However, I'm still anticipating we may find out Posbroke made it out somehow. Or maybe he pulled a Firebaugh and made somebody who was in another city Heir Designate. Capital is lost, but a Barbarian Overlord/lady survives.

    Interesting to see more concrete (huh, see what I did there?) evidence that Dirtamancy doesn't just create stuff, it works from or stretches existing material. Digdoug coulda just added the Lime and Carbon needed, but instead he transformed what was already there, and not just for the sake of saving Juice (since what he did was still Juice-intensive anyway). Obviously this "working with what's already there" rule is pretty broad, considering Goodminton's Tower-grow spell; either that or city hexes are special exceptions since they allow Natural Moneymancy/Dirtamancy, and for all we know Goodminton still paid some Schmuckers for that.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:40 am 
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    OccamsTireIron wrote:
    Parson is dangerous primarily because he thinks like a Carnymancer - if he can do what he does just with rule exploits, imagine what he could do with the ability to selectively ignore rules. Charlie is denying Parson the most powerful potential tool he's got... and all Charlie has to do is indicate to the Carnies that their friendly arrangement is contingent on no Carny working for Gobwin Knob, ever.
    Easy work-around: Croak JoJo. Carny acquired.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:08 am 
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    kefkakrazy wrote:
    ...One wonders if Parson might eventually turn this around. Carnymancy seems like a deadly dangerous tool in his hands, after all.


    Practically anything is "a deadly dangerous tool in his hands" -- that's what makes him such a dangerous warlord: innovation.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:09 am 
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    0beron wrote:
    Well, Rob has said Episode 22 should be the last one, so I don't anticipate any particularly huge twist at this point.


    Rob says a lot of things, but then his boss (the story) tells him no. There's at least one more update coming before we put this one to bed for a while.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:10 am 
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    0beron wrote:
    OccamsTireIron wrote:
    Parson is dangerous primarily because he thinks like a Carnymancer - if he can do what he does just with rule exploits, imagine what he could do with the ability to selectively ignore rules. Charlie is denying Parson the most powerful potential tool he's got... and all Charlie has to do is indicate to the Carnies that their friendly arrangement is contingent on no Carny working for Gobwin Knob, ever.
    Easy work-around: Croak JoJo. Carny acquired.


    That would destroy any pretense of neutrality/goodwill towards the MK that GK has remaining. At this point it's pretty much all or nothing: killing a caster would essentially precipitate war with the MK, so if GK wanted to kill Jojo they'd have to commit to killing most/all of the MK.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:13 am 
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    You know, it wouldn't surprise me if Charlie was the one who implemented the secrecy policy about Carnymancy. By keeping everyone mum about what Carnymancy can do, he keeps it mum about what he can do. By keeping Carnymancy's reputation sullied, he keeps a powerful discipline of casters desperate for his employment. It greatly works in Charlie's favor to keep Carnies as low men on the totem pole. And now nobody trusts them, so even if they would play ball with Parson and switch alliances, Parson wouldn't trust them to do it, because everyone would tell him it's a mistake.

    What I'm getting from the characterization of Carnies so far is that if Parson earned their respect and paid them fair, they'd be great allies. Unless their learned duplicity caused them to try and play both sides.

    Bottom line, I'm wondering if all the negative traits of Carnies weren't started by Charlie in the first place. He's the oldest character that we have heard of, I believe, so it's conceivable that he's had a hand in shaping Carny culture.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:18 am 
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    Finwe wrote:
    0beron wrote:
    OccamsTireIron wrote:
    Parson is dangerous primarily because he thinks like a Carnymancer - if he can do what he does just with rule exploits, imagine what he could do with the ability to selectively ignore rules. Charlie is denying Parson the most powerful potential tool he's got... and all Charlie has to do is indicate to the Carnies that their friendly arrangement is contingent on no Carny working for Gobwin Knob, ever.
    Easy work-around: Croak JoJo. Carny acquired.


    That would destroy any pretense of neutrality/goodwill towards the MK that GK has remaining. At this point it's pretty much all or nothing: killing a caster would essentially precipitate war with the MK, so if GK wanted to kill Jojo they'd have to commit to killing most/all of the MK.

    Meh, they just need to catch Jojo doing something stupid. (Like attacking a bunch of other casters.) to fabricate an excuse. Best if MK casters do it for them. Or croak him when he heads out of the kingdom. They could also raise one of the carnies or similar that drink themselves to death. Or they could hunt for casters in the wild. They already got a dollamancer that way.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:24 am 
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    Deezee wrote:
    ...Dove has got no reason to lie in front of the other Carnies and especially not to make verbal outbursts and threaten not to work for Charlie about. It seems that Dove WAS working for Charlie, but she was still working in Homekey's general interest...


    I'm not sure the text supports that; it looks more as if Dove was trying to work with Charlie in Homekey's general interest, and Dove (and Homekey) got burned by Charlie -- to her dismay, and even surprise. Apparently she's had previous dealings with Charlie, and did not expect him to be that duplicitous.

    And that she's now doubting that in retrospect; it seems like Dove is thinking she's been swindled, but that's supposition.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:26 am 
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    balder wrote:
    0beron wrote:
    Well, Rob has said Episode 22 should be the last one, so I don't anticipate any particularly huge twist at this point.
    Rob says a lot of things, but then his boss (the story) tells him no. There's at least one more update coming before we put this one to bed for a while.
    HAHAHA! Yes that is definitely why I used the word "should". Exciting to hear that we have might have even more than Episode 22 to look forward to.

    Finwe wrote:
    0beron wrote:
    Easy work-around: Croak JoJo. Carny acquired.
    That would destroy any pretense of neutrality/goodwill towards the MK that GK has remaining. At this point it's pretty much all or nothing: killing a caster would essentially precipitate war with the MK, so if GK wanted to kill Jojo they'd have to commit to killing most/all of the MK.
    Not neccessarily. They don't need to croak him while he's in the MK, or if he outright attacks them then I think they'd be justified in croaking him even there. I'm not suggesting they walk right up and croak him willy-nilly, but the story could put him in harm's way especially given that he seems clearly opposed to them.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:36 am 
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    Denar wrote:
    By the end of this update we seem to have honesty coming from Dove and the other Carnies, but I'm not sure what to make of Nickel/Dove interaction. She *did* confirm that Digdoug was her Mark, but that it meant "under her protection" which, every time I read it, just sounds like a blatant lie (goes against what Digdoug knows the term means, and what we know it means), so I dunno. If it did mean protection, then why would Nickel (who knew it), try and get Digdoug hooked/poisoned on the alcohol? Seems a bit odd. "Oh, you're the one Dove wants to protect. Have you tried my magic poison?" So on the first read through it looked to me like there was something about the drink, and his message of "come find me later for more", that meant this was how Digdoug was going to get his answers. Maybe a bit of Winemancy lets Digdoug enter "DrinkSpace" with this drunk carny!
    .

    By "under her protection" i think she means under her protection from other carnies. I think the carnies have an "honor amongst thieves" thing going on; you don't mess with another carny's mark. If Digdoug is Dove's mark, then no other carny is allowed to sucker him. Hence so long as he's Dov'e 's mark, Dove is protecting him from being Conned by the other carny's. Nickel giving Digdoug that flask was him trying to make digdoug into a mark and thus violate the unwritten Carny code; which is why Dove said he should no better than to give dig doug something like that.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:46 am 
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    Lipkin wrote:
    It greatly works in Charlie's favor to keep Carnies as low men on the totem pole. And now nobody trusts them, so even if they would play ball with Parson and switch alliances, Parson wouldn't trust them to do it, because everyone would tell him it's a mistake.


    I do not know that I agree about Parson listening to everyone saying it is a mistake. Parson strikes me as the kind of warlord who would take the fact that everyone distrusts the Carnies, and conclude that they must have something worth hiding. If one or two people said not to trust them, he might not, but if it is everyone pushing the point, Parson is going to push deeper and learn how to utilize them. Parson will probably not trust Jojo, but that does not mean he will not trust ANY Carnies.

    Although at the moment, he really does not seem to trust any caster at all, even his own. He learned that Wanda's zombie servants can turn (a lesson he learned by giving his enemies an Upkeep free warlord, and a powerful one at that), he does not know where Zombie Jack is placing his loyalty (Dittomancy for Ace), and he just learned that Maggie is in an Illuminati group and does not tell him everything she knows... I think he trusts Sizemore, but I also think he is destroying Sizemore's loyalty a little at a time whenever he makes him do something to take life or break the rules, so it is possible that the only one he trusts will be the one most likely to defect.

    I personally hope that his time in the MK ends with his caster pool growing to include a Predictamancer, a Hippie, and a Carny... Add those to his Thinkamancer, Foolamancer, Dirtamancer, Dollamancer, and Undead Queen, and there is not a lot his team could not do in a link up... I still think that a Think/Fool/Carny link could do some epic things (possibly including actual creation of units). OOOHHH! Do you think Charlie could end war in Erfworld if he used the 'Dish to link with a Hippie or two, or a Hippie and a Carny? They could break the rule of only affecting one hex to create a massive multi-hex Chillaxe effect that breaks the rule of lasting only one turn (Maybe it would need Charlie, Hippie, and a Turnamancer I guess).

    On a different note, Abner Washboard's description is a dead ringer for the big Carny at the clem who had a face tattooed on his arm.

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     Post subject: Re: Digdoug - Episode 21
     Post Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 11:55 am 
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    What I liked about this update is Charlie's ties to the other Carnies. This is, line for line, right out of Machiavelli. You always ally yourself with the weakest group. There are plenty of advantages and practically no downsides.

    I guess we know why upkeep isn't a huge problem in the MK, because just basic farming ensures upkeep remains reasonable. A few Florists and Dirtamancers could keep large groups of casters well fed.

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