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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:55 am 
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So we have Erfworld changing from the story of Parson, of Gobwin Knob, of Parson versus Charlie, of Parson vs Fate, to ... The World of Erf.

I mean, it's not "The story of Parson", or "Gobwin". And yes, book 1 was "Battle for Gobwin Knob".

It's not "Order of the Stick", it's "Stickworld".

I mean, yes, the change is exactly what it says on the tin, just what the site and story is called. Erf *World*.

Yet ... I know it's not just me that wants to see Parson's story. Parson was the Audience Character, the everyone character, the reader-association character. The way for us to come into the story, like the Companions of the Doctor, or The Evil Queen Regina in Once Upon a Time.

So, what character is there for the audience to relate to now?

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     Post Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:38 am 
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    keybounce wrote:
    So we have Erfworld changing from the story of Parson, of Gobwin Knob, of Parson versus Charlie, of Parson vs Fate, to ... The World of Erf.

    I mean, it's not "The story of Parson", or "Gobwin". And yes, book 1 was "Battle for Gobwin Knob".

    It's not "Order of the Stick", it's "Stickworld".

    I mean, yes, the change is exactly what it says on the tin, just what the site and story is called. Erf *World*.

    Yet ... I know it's not just me that wants to see Parson's story. Parson was the Audience Character, the everyone character, the reader-association character. The way for us to come into the story, like the Companions of the Doctor, or The Evil Queen Regina in Once Upon a Time.

    So, what character is there for the audience to relate to now?


    Uhm, all of them? Sort of?

    I mean, Parson Gotti may be an anagram of Protagonist but just because someone is a protagonist I do not have to relate to only him. Actually, Parson is not my favourite character in Erfworld. Far from it. And I relate (if that word means what I think it means) far less to him than to other characters. He is supposed to be a genius, a gamer, a munchkin. I think he is underperforming. And I heavily object to his ethics ( He may not even be able to do what I would want him to do because of the summoning spell and Erfworlds built in mind control. If so, he would be blameless. But unless said control keeps him from even thinking about it he's got no excuse to not even try.)


    As for other characters, I can relate to Charlie not wanting to die.
    I could relate to Caesar not wanting to life anymore after losing so much and using his final act to spit in Charlie's eye.
    I can relate to Bonnie being desperate for a tiny bit of competence after dealing with Stanley.
    I can relate to Sizemore being angry at Parson and the world for forcing him to kill. (Yes kill, not croak).
    I can relate to Tramennis wanting the best for his side and being afraid about knowing what his father wrote about him.
    I could relate to Wanda wanting to perish after all the crap she went trough while being convinced that Fate would not let her.

    Rob writes a lot of relatable characters. That is one of the reasons I like Erfworld so much. That is, Erfworld the story. Erfworld the world totally sucks, at least for most people living in it.

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     Post Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 am 
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    I have seen these concerns a few times now since the newspost. I do not understand. Rob clearly says we are stepping away from the main stage to establish a new and richer stage. Parson is still the protagonist. We are in a prologue. That is exactly where this sort of setup occurs, you know, before the actual story. The only reason this pattern change was even worth mentioning was because of the slow nature of page by page release.

    I just don't see a problem. Or at least, I don't understand the problem others seem to have.

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     Post Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:29 am 
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    Salvage wrote:
    I have seen these concerns a few times now since the newspost. I do not understand. Rob clearly says we are stepping away from the main stage to establish a new and richer stage. Parson is still the protagonist. We are in a prologue. That is exactly where this sort of setup occurs, you know, before the actual story. The only reason this pattern change was even worth mentioning was because of the slow nature of page by page release.

    I just don't see a problem. Or at least, I don't understand the problem others seem to have.


    The other thing to take into account here is that we had a cliffhanger ending to book 4.

    Especially when there isn't a months- or years-long delay between episodes, cutting away to (what, at first, seem to be) unrelated events after a cliffhanger is a standard trope. Think of Roy's post-Azure-City arc in OotS, or the Refuge of Storms arc in Girl Genius, or the start of Jim Butcher's Ghost Story . Yes, those cases all featured an arc with the main character, but they character was forcibly removed from the main plot to give time for the tension to build, so that when we come back, we could be shown what went on in the reader's absence.

    This seems to be exactly what Rob is doing here, and I, for one, trust he'll do it well.

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     Post Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:56 pm 
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    I've mentioned elsewhere that I think the larger Erfworld story is one of enlightenment/self-actualisation in the Maslow's pyramid sense, and I very much still feel that's the case.

    A strong theme going through all of this is that everyone is constrained by numbers/fate/duty. There's seen to be no such thing as free will because of the many influences the world brings to bear on the strings of the characters who inhabit it. Coupled with that is a continual narrative about the character's relationship to Fate - whether they wish to subvert it or serve it. We have the Wandas who grimly serve, the Jillians who grimly resist and lose and the Charlies and Parsons who determinedly search for exploits. We've got people, particularly casters, who go along doing what they feel they are expected to do (what their ruleset is) and then find moments of deep insight that transform how they see and act in the world - Maggie being the perfect example of this. I am dying to find out what she develops from her new knowledge. Equally Bill's unravelling is a horrifically reversed version of this enlightenment, which his personality flaws and perversions literally creating his own unravelling.

    In a way, it's a reflection of maturation in the real world. We all go through doing what we think we're supposed to do/what we think others want us to do or various rebellions against those. Some of us reach what might be considered an authentic self - one that acts on their own sensibilities rather than for or against the projected or real expectations of others. Some of us - like Bill - break under the strain, and most maintain somewhere in the middle, experiencing joys and disappointments without the rude interruption of earth-shattering revelations.

    All this smashing of the rules that we see going on is, at least in my reading, a follow-on to the successful casting of the Perfect Warlord spell. Parson isn't the perfect warlord in that he wins every battle - far from it; it's more that his influence in the world acts as a catalyst for great changes whether it be the original GK link up, the origination of tutelaries or the provoking of the crises that lead the GMTTA to take the step of creating a deiform linkup that's literally changing the rules and power dynamics for every side.

    Looking to another mythos, I think some of the people who are leaving might be experiencing the feeling of starting the Hobbit only to find it's turned into the Quenta Silmarillion along the way. I get that - and as a teenager had to have about five goes at the Silmarillion before I was able to read much further than the wonderful first sequence where the world was sung into being.

    What I like about Erfworld is it's Fantasy with a capital F. I loved the Belgariad stories where a teenager somehow finds he's related to all the most important people in the world, but that was when I was a teenager hoping for a more significant life myself. Nowadays I like narratives with teeth, and I like the teeth Rob's putting in to his world.

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     Post Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:20 pm 
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    keybounce wrote:
    Yet ... I know it's not just me that wants to see Parson's story. Parson was the Audience Character, the everyone character, the reader-association character. The way for us to come into the story, like the Companions of the Doctor, or The Evil Queen Regina in Once Upon a Time.

    Point of order, Emma Swan is the perspective character in Once Upon a Time.

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     Post Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:15 am 
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    Hardly. The writers (?) have said that the intended audience perspective character is the one that doesn't get a happy ending, that has all the real-life up and downs and mixed results -- the "evil queen", after the end of season 1's "evilness" has gone out, and she's more of a normal, mixed-bag person.

    Swan? How many viewers do you think are the perfect hero?

    Now, if we had a discussion on the death of the author here (it's at Giant in the Playground), we could have a whole bit about whether the writer's intention matches the apparent perception of at least some viewers.

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     Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:06 am 
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    keybounce wrote:
    Now, if we had a discussion on the death of the author here (it's at Giant in the Playground), we could have a whole bit about whether the writer's intention matches the apparent perception of at least some viewers.


    Well to be fair we've had lots of discussions during my time on the forums which have touched on the validity or otherwise of authorial intent; while I'm not interested in finding it I'm pretty sure I recall a time when the concept of "death of the author" is discussed and I myself have definitely made arguments of interpreting the events as a series of perceptions of characters with multiple and shifting points of view (aka a conglomeration of unreliable narrators from top to bottom) viewed through the multiple perceptions and understandings of the community whereas some people view what's on the page as an encyclopedia.

    Here's the thing about the death of the author: We're reading a serialised work of fiction. Every time Rob posts and we have a chance to treat Erfworld as a corpse to investigate with our croakamancer's senses but post after post Rob brings it back to life. Rob could have the next update featuring Parson stepping out of the shower in Stupidworld like Bobby Ewing in Dallas revealing the whole thing was the complicated dream of a gaming nerd who ate too many peeps before bedtime. Where would we be then? Either given the choice (as some have) of deciding he's gone too far this time, or to keep reading to find out if he's instead inside some Florist's mind trap. Either way, he's not dead as an author unless we, as one recent defector did, decide we can write our own ending and come up with better. That guy "killed" the author, those of us who keep reading can't. We can, perhaps, say that we've taken an MRI of the current state of the living body of Erfworld and make prognostications and predictions based on that static image.

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     Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:03 am 
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    seanfish wrote:
    Rob could have the next update featuring Parson stepping out of the shower in Stupidworld like Bobby Ewing in Dallas revealing the whole thing was the complicated dream of a gaming nerd who ate too many peeps before bedtime.


    I wonder how many readers on this forum actually know that reference. :D OMG, it's actually been 32 years. :shock: (I had to go check the date, just to see, and even I didn't really think it had been that long.) Now I'm wondering how many forum readers were alive when it happened. And NOW I'm feeling ooooollllldddddd. :? I need a nap.

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     Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:07 pm 
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    Merilynne wrote:
    seanfish wrote:
    Rob could have the next update featuring Parson stepping out of the shower in Stupidworld like Bobby Ewing in Dallas revealing the whole thing was the complicated dream of a gaming nerd who ate too many peeps before bedtime.


    I wonder how many readers on this forum actually know that reference. :D OMG, it's actually been 32 years. :shock: (I had to go check the date, just to see, and even I didn't really think it had been that long.) Now I'm wondering how many forum readers were alive when it happened. And NOW I'm feeling ooooollllldddddd. :? I need a nap.


    Yes, but who shot JR?

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     Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:25 pm 
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    seanfish wrote:
    Merilynne wrote:
    seanfish wrote:
    Rob could have the next update featuring Parson stepping out of the shower in Stupidworld like Bobby Ewing in Dallas revealing the whole thing was the complicated dream of a gaming nerd who ate too many peeps before bedtime.


    I wonder how many readers on this forum actually know that reference. :D OMG, it's actually been 32 years. :shock: (I had to go check the date, just to see, and even I didn't really think it had been that long.) Now I'm wondering how many forum readers were alive when it happened. And NOW I'm feeling ooooollllldddddd. :? I need a nap.


    Yes, but who shot JR?


    Spoiler: show
    Maggie Simpson.

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