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 Post subject: Linked Thinkamancers?
 Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:04 pm 
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We know that linking a thinkamancer with one or two other casters is possible, but 4+ more are impossible.

Why is it impossible? What limiting factor prevents it?

If linking two casters together with a thinkamancer creates something greater than the sum of it's parts, what happens when you link 3 thinkamancers? 3 Thinkamancers could, in theory, be used to create a linking spell far greater than any single thinkamancer could manage.

Or, perhaps, is there an inherent limitation in the spell that only one of each type of caster can be included?

Thoughts? And apologies if this has already been done to death over at the GITP site. :D

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     Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 6:44 pm 
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    I have been wondering about this too.
    I would think that by using more Thinkamancers you could get bigger links.
    I'm thinking this is another thing Parson is going to do to 'brake the rules' like he did with the uncroaked volcano.

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     Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:05 pm 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    Thoughts? And apologies if this has already been done to death over at the GITP site. :D


    It was discussed in one of the threads ... erm somewhere :).

    Some questions that arose:

    • Can Charlie exceed the limit?
    • Could you have a link up of link ups, e.g. 1 Thinkamancer in each link-up and then they form a super-link-up. This gets you 9 casters and 7 disciplines, and requires 3 Thinkamancers.
    • Could 3 Thinkamancers form a core for a larger link-up, like your suggestion. This gets you 9 casters and 5 disciples, and requires 5 Thinkamancers.
    • Could 3 non-thinkamancers form a linkup by one of them casting "Callaghan's" (the linkup spell) via a link-up scroll.
    • Could a 3 Thinkamancers link-up create such a scroll.

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     Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm 
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    As we've seen what a 3-caster link can do, this begs the question: why would you need a larger link? It's like looking at a problem and saying, "This looks like a job for two Supermans."

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     Post Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:49 pm 
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    Bobby Archer wrote:
    As we've seen what a 3-caster link can do, this begs the question: why would you need a larger link? It's like looking at a problem and saying, "This looks like a job for two Supermans."


    Superman vs. Doomsday could have used another Superman... but I digress. :)

    3-caster links are cool, but no where near the limits of what is possible. The tactics table is "just" a really cool means of gathering information and the uncroaked volcano was extremely powerful, but of limited usefulness unless you're in the right hex.

    Three ideas off the top of my head (making certain assumptions about how various schools of magic work):

    Ranged Dirt/Crap Golem Swarm
    • Dirtamancy
    • Lookamancy (see distant location, for targeting)
    • Hat Magic (abjuration, to be able to influence the hex)
    • Dittomancy (make lots of copies)
    Hurricane from butterfly's wing (Find an event that, while small, will have massive repercussions in the future, and bend that event to your preferred outcome)
    • Findamancy
    • Predictamancy
    • Mathamancy
    • Luckamancy
    Army of Uber hot love-slave-bots
    • Lookamancy
    • Dittomancy (make lots of copies)
    • Dollamancy
    • Date-o-mancy

    Granted, for any of these, you're potentially risking SEVEN very rare and valuable units, but the pay-off might be worth it. (Especially for the slave-bots...)

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     Post Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 1:30 am 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    Bobby Archer wrote:
    As we've seen what a 3-caster link can do, this begs the question: why would you need a larger link? It's like looking at a problem and saying, "This looks like a job for two Supermans."


    Superman vs. Doomsday could have used another Superman... but I digress. :)

    Touche, good sir.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 2:26 am 
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    I have also wondered about this topic. I'm wondering if it might be impossible, or at least really difficult, to link up even two thinkamancers. Perhaps they would have trouble allowing one to be the controller of the spell and one being the controlled. Or maybe it is like putting a microphone next to a speaker, where all you get is a lot of unuseful feedback.

    However, assuming a link up of at least three thinkamancers is possible, I would be very interested to see what sorts of tricks they could pull that weren't related to link-ups at all.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:33 am 
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    MarbitChow wrote:
    Ranged Dirt/Crap Golem Swarm
    • Dirtamancy
    • Lookamancy (see distant location, for targeting)
    • Hat Magic (abjuration, to be able to influence the hex)
    • Dittomancy (make lots of copies)


    I don't think you really need the lookamancer to be part of the link. Maybe, this could be achived by

    Thinkamancer -> for link
    Hat Magic -> teleport
    Dittomancer -> to copy

    The link could then copy any unit and send the copy to the target location.

    Quote:
    Hurricane from butterfly's wing (Find an event that, while small, will have massive repercussions in the future, and bend that event to your preferred outcome)
    • Findamancy
    • Predictamancy
    • Mathamancy
    • Luckamancy


    You need something to actually effect the change. Luckamancers might be able to do weather control all on their own, it just "happened" to be windy that day.

    Chaotic control is the technical term for this trick. It requires precise measurement of state of the system and computation of future paths.

    A Predictamancer could probably do the prediction directly. Otherwise, you need a lookamancer (for measurement of the state of the distance hex) and a mathamancer for computing the futures.

    So, think link could be

    Thinkamancer
    Predictamancer
    <caster that can make the change> -> maybe changeamancer

    Findamancy might still be necessary to search the change space.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:58 am 
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    Why is it impossible? Perhaps because thinkamancers can only create a link between two other 'mancers. Anything more is more mental strain than they can handle. Even that requires the very special training that only thinkamancy provides. To get more than 3 in the link-up you'd need an extra thinkamancer—except there's nowhere for the second thinkamancer to link into the chain. Can't link to the other thinkamancer because she's already maxed out with 2 links. Can't link to any of the others because they're maxed out too, at 1 link each.

    If this model is correct, it would be possible to link as many 'mancers as you like, as long as n minus 2 of them are all thinkamancers. Trouble is, it wouldn't be useful, because it wouldn't be able to do anything that the basic 3-mancer chain couldn't do.

    Now if you could find a super-thinkamancer, who could make more than 2 links, you'd be getting somewhere. If there were such a thing as a 'trimancer', who is like a thinkamancer but can sustain 3 links instead of 2, it would be possible to do anything, given enough of them. Dhain all the trimancers together, then hook whatever you want onto the spare links. MarbitChow's Ranged Dirt/Crap Golem Swarm would need 2 trimancers, with (say) the Dirtamancer and Lookamancer attached to one and the Hat Magician and Dittomancer attached to the other.

    It's a bit like valency in chemistry. Only trouble is, of course, that there's no evidence for it anywhere in the comic.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 3:25 am 
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    A normal link would look like this:
    T=Thinkamancer
    *=Anything other 'mancer
    T
    / \
    * *
    Right? With the thinkamancer only being able to handle two links.
    But if a thinkamancer where to link with another thinkamancer it would work like this:
    T
    / \
    * T
    / \
    * *
    Because the extra thinkamancer would add two new unused links.
    Another way to expand the link could be like this:
    T
    / \
    * *--T--*
    With the extra thinkamancer linking into the current link and adding one more to it.
    The only real problem I see is that when in a link the casters revert to representing only their Discipline so the multiple thinkamancers would cause problems.(which I guess is why such links are not possible)

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:12 am 
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    Arkenputtyknife wrote:
    If this model is correct, it would be possible to link as many 'mancers as you like, as long as n minus 2 of them are all thinkamancers. Trouble is, it wouldn't be useful, because it wouldn't be able to do anything that the basic 3-mancer chain couldn't do.


    Every 'mancer should make a link stronger, even if it's only 2 whatever-mancers + X * thinkamancers. In a two casters link there is only a whatever-mancer and a thinkamancer and still the casters get a quality boost.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 12:38 pm 
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    Secret wrote:
    A normal link would look like this:
    T=Thinkamancer
    *=Anything other 'mancer
    T
    / \
    * *
    Right? With the thinkamancer only being able to handle two links.
    But if a thinkamancer where to link with another thinkamancer it would work like this:
    T
    / \
    * T
    / \
    * *
    Because the extra thinkamancer would add two new unused links.
    Another way to expand the link could be like this:
    T
    / \
    * *--T--*
    With the extra thinkamancer linking into the current link and adding one more to it.
    The only real problem I see is that when in a link the casters revert to representing only their Discipline so the multiple thinkamancers would cause problems.(which I guess is why such links are not possible)



    But you're asuming two things here:

    A) That the thinkamancer linked by a previous thinkamancer needs not use one of his own two links there, and
    B) That a thinkamancer linked in such a way can adequately perform his own two links with two other casters.

    I don't think the "super-thinkamancer" theory of a caster who can do three links is possible. It appears that the linking power of a thinkamancer is maxed out at two to keep them from breaking the game. Multiple chained linking could do such a thing, IMHO.

    I would bet that Rob and Jamie drew the limit there to avoid easy munchkinisms and powergamitude. Yes, I am making up words. But the point is, the regular link is extremely powerful. Sizemore claimed to have learned more from the mountain in seconds than in the rest of his life. And they changed the terrain type!

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:29 pm 
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    Is there any evidence suggesting that you can't link two casters of the same discipline together? If not you could meld two thinkamancers in a link, which would result essentially in a super-thinkamacer like someone suggested earlier. At least this would be the case assuming caster linkages are one of the parts of the game mechanics that are multiplicative, which I would hazard a guess that they are. Theoretically a thus multiplied thinkamancer combo could be the multi-link solution were looking for.

    So if a linked casters power is straight up multiplied, I'm guessing the link I described could support 2links x2links= 4 non-thinkamancer linkages, assuming there is no extra mathamancy involved. If this model works you could support 2^n linkages, where n is the number of tiers of chain-linked thinkamancers. thats my take on it anyway.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:31 pm 
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    Duckman wrote:
    I would bet that Rob and Jamie drew the limit there to avoid easy munchkinisms and powergamitude. Yes, I am making up words. But the point is, the regular link is extremely powerful. Sizemore claimed to have learned more from the mountain in seconds than in the rest of his life. And they changed the terrain type!


    This is probably true. However, the eyetable was very useful, but not as powerful as the volcano spell (but less situation specific). I think Sizemore was the reason for the ability to change the terrain type. A croakamancer required that something was dead.

    A Thinkamancer/Dirtamancer/Changeamancer might be a more general link-up for re-sculpting terrain.

    I think Charlie could reasonably be the exception though. He might be able to form 3 (or more) links. That would mean that the Arkendish is even more powerful than before. OTOH, as an overlord, he is unlikely to be willing to allow his will to be suppressed. His individuality might be the reason that he cannot use the Arkendish to its fullest.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:40 pm 
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    Elminster000 wrote:
    So if a linked casters power is straight up multiplied, I'm guessing the link I described could support 2links x2links= 4 non-thinkamancer linkages, assuming there is no extra mathamancy involved. If this model works you could support 2^n linkages, where n is the number of tiers of chain-linked thinkamancers. thats my take on it anyway.


    Assuming that the links just add, so 2 Thinkamancers get 4 links and 3 get 6 links, but the configuration must be symmetrical.

    - one link
    = two links

    A-T=T-B

    With 3, it might be

    Code:
    .     B
    .     |
    .     T
    .    / \
    .  _T - T_
    . A       C


    In effect, a T-T link only 'costs' half a link.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:00 pm 
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    If the caster strength is additive that sounds about right. Based on the volcano example I think multiplicative is more likely. Though it would be easier to break the system with a setup like that, the costs + risks are probably enough to keep anyone form trying.

    I was more picturing this...
    Code:
           T
          / \
        T     T
       / \    / \
      A   B  C   D


    For the programmers among us essentially a Binary tree where the internal nodes are thinkamancers, and the leaves are other casters.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 2:21 pm 
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    raphfrk wrote:
    Elminster000 wrote:
    So if a linked casters power is straight up multiplied, I'm guessing the link I described could support 2links x2links= 4 non-thinkamancer linkages, assuming there is no extra mathamancy involved. If this model works you could support 2^n linkages, where n is the number of tiers of chain-linked thinkamancers. thats my take on it anyway.


    Assuming that the links just add, so 2 Thinkamancers get 4 links and 3 get 6 links, but the configuration must be symmetrical.

    - one link
    = two links

    A-T=T-B

    With 3, it might be

    Code:
    .     B
    .     |
    .     T
    .    / \
    .  _T - T_
    . A       C


    In effect, a T-T link only 'costs' half a link.


    Oh I see what your getting at but I don't think that when a thinkamancer links up with a thinkamancer that they would both use up one of there links. If it worked like that then a thinkamancer wouldn't be able to link with anyone but a thinkamancer because forming links is something only thinkamancers can do so other casters wouldn't be able to make a link with the thinkamancer......
    Anyway I agree with what Elminster000 said.

    But I still think that once the link is formed the thinkamancers wouldn't be able to keep the link because of the multiple thinkamancers in the link....(they all go to there discipline which is the same..)

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:51 pm 
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    Secret wrote:
    But if a thinkamancer where to link with another thinkamancer it would work like this:
    T
    / \
    * T
    / \
    * *
    Because the extra thinkamancer would add two new unused links.

    No; one unused link. Note that the second T in the diagram has 3 links, not 2, so it's broken the scheme.

    You can try it with chemistry, if you like. Replace T with O (oxygen, valency 2) and * with H (hydrogen, valency 1). Does the diagram work? No; you can't make H3O2 like this. You have to settle for hydrogen peroxide, H-O-O-H, which is unstable enough to be used as rocket fuel.

    Welf von Ehrwald wrote:
    Every 'mancer should make a link stronger, even if it's only 2 whatever-mancers + X * thinkamancers. In a two casters link there is only a whatever-mancer and a thinkamancer and still the casters get a quality boost.

    No, they'd weaken it. The thinkamancers would have to be linked in series, making the chain longer, slower, and more fragile. I don't recall any indication that either trimancer was more powerful because of Maggie's presence, only that she was an essential part of it, needed to enable the other two to work together.

    Duckman wrote:
    I don't think the "super-thinkamancer" theory of a caster who can do three links is possible. It appears that the linking power of a thinkamancer is maxed out at two to keep them from breaking the game. Multiple chained linking could do such a thing, IMHO.

    I think it might be possible, but only with the Arkendish. Considering what Wanda seems able to do with her decrypting, it wouldn't be quite so unbalanced. If it were possible any other way, longer chains wouldn't be considered impossible.

    raphfrk wrote:
    In effect, a T-T link only 'costs' half a link.

    Again, if that were so, it wouldn't have been declared impossible.

    Elminster000 wrote:
    For the programmers among us essentially a Binary tree where the internal nodes are thinkamancers, and the leaves are other casters.

    True binary trees like this can only be traversed in one direction; there's no path from A to D, only from T to A or T to D. To make it bidirectional, which is what we need, it needs additional backlinks. Then the thinkamancers need to handle 3 links again (except the one at the top).

    Elminster000 wrote:
    Is there any evidence suggesting that you can't link two casters of the same discipline together? If not you could meld two thinkamancers in a link, which would result essentially in a super-thinkamacer like someone suggested earlier.

    It doesn't work. The "meld" would need each thinkamancer to use up a link, so you're still left with only 2 links left over at the end of the day.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:07 pm 
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    Arkenputtyknife wrote:
    Secret wrote:
    But if a thinkamancer where to link with another thinkamancer it would work like this:
    T
    / \
    * T
    / \
    * *
    Because the extra thinkamancer would add two new unused links.

    No; one unused link. Note that the second T in the diagram has 3 links, not 2, so it's broken the scheme.

    No it hasn't that link is coming from the first thinkamancer not the second one.
    What you are talking about would mean that other 'mancers would also form a link with the thinkamancer which isn't the case, the thinkamacner links to the other 'mancers not the other way.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:31 pm 
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    I think the only way it can work, based on our current understanding of magic, is to have exactly 3 thinkamancers form a "Super Link" spell, by joining with each other.

    Once that spell is cast, the spell itself determines the limit on how many other casters could be joined.

    Much like a linked Foolamancer and Lookamancer can create an effect far greater than either of the two alone could manage, 3 linked thinkamancers could create a linking spell far more powerful than an single thinkamancer alone could handle.

    The "Super Link" spell could create an 'overmind' that could theoretically link every caster in physical contact with the three casting the initial spell, or even in close proximity, or even just willing and known to the casters. We just don't know what the limits are.

    Of course, it's also quite possible that such a raw concentration of Thinkamancy would immediately alert Charlie, who might then be able to take over control of the spell using the Arkendish...

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