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 Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
 Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Merilynne wrote:
With Bunny gone, wouldn't Bill be <shudder> the Chief Caster?

Benny is.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:37 pm 
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    greycat wrote:
    Merilynne wrote:
    With Bunny gone, wouldn't Bill be <shudder> the Chief Caster?

    Benny is.


    Oh duh! Of course! Sorry!

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:45 pm 
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    Merilynne wrote:
    DukeofTuring wrote:
    Merilynne wrote:
    If, and this is a big IF, Charlie somehow convinces Bill to work with him, without turning, Bill could attack Maggie and/or Jack, forcibly breaking the alliance with GK.
    I believe (can't remember where this would have been referred to) that only the big three units on each side can decide to break alliance: The ruler, the CWL, and (presumably, though I feel less sure here) the chief caster.

    With Bunny gone, wouldn't Bill be <shudder> the Chief Caster?

    What Greycat said (darn ninja). Plus Bunny was never the Chief Caster (she was at best a secretary, always being at her ruler's side). You wouldn't want a caster who's barred from the Magic Kingdom being your chief. It's bad for your image, plus they won't be able to learn any magical stuff from the Magic Kingdom.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:08 pm 
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    dichologos wrote:
    As terrible as Bill may be through his past acts, situations like this really make it hard for me to truly hate him. He was manipulated by Vanna, and now he's being manipulated more directly by Charlie. It seems like all Bill can ever do is get manipulated, and given how he is universally hated (even by his own side), there's absolutely been no chance of him ever managing to overcome his obsessions or do anything "except" dive deeper into his work as the only way to survive.

    I'm not saying he's forgivable - but he is certainly pitiable. A significant part of me wishes that Bill could get simply sold to another side - one without so much baggage against him, and kept under control while perhaps getting whatever the equivalent is to Erfworld therapy. All while having a strict eye kept on him so he isn't just sitting in a dungeon making sex dolls all day.

    Like: have him basically used as a prison laborer while undergoing some counseling. His situation up to this point in TV appears to be as him being more or less left to his own devices while undergoing nothing but scorn and ridicule, being ignored as a problem that is only kept around because of his worth to the side.

    The dude really could use it at this point.

    Of course, I doubt he's going to survive. His only chance of survival is to throw himself at Caesar's mercy and hope that the casters around Caesar (Maggie, Benjamin, and Jack) can convince him to not immediately disband the guy (Bill is still valuable, after all, especially at the moment with the Maggie doll being used and him dying possibly affecting that). Either that, or attempt to change sides before he can be disbanded and somehow escape - but I find it hard to believe that he has the capability to get out of TV on his own right now of all times.

    I'm wondering what Charlie could possibly offer him right now, though. The smart thing for Charlie would be to use, via remote linking and the dish, a link with Bill to attack TV from within. Perhaps by controlling the dolls to kill Caesar, or creating a new special doll or dolls within TV to use later (even if Bill is disbanded), or any of a number of things. None of these possibilities lead to Bill likely surviving for long, however - they are long shots meant to benefit Charlie, not him.


    The more we've seen of bill the more i feel he's basically the sort that in stupidworld would probably be unprosecutable on the grounds of diminished mental capacity. He's clearly really messed up, upstairs.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:15 pm 
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    I love the swipe right action.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:20 pm 
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    Bill only pawn in game of Erf.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:35 pm 
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    DukeofTuring wrote:
    Well, first off bear in mind that "Rubicon" is given privately to Vanna to protect her from Bill. Unless I'm forgetting some part of their communications or something Bill still has no reason to know the secret "Protect me from Bill!" password.

    It's a password that causes an effect on the side's dolls. That suggests to me a very strong possibility that it's a feature intentionally put in by the Dollamancer who created them when they were created. Since Don knew about it, presumably it was on his orders.

    It's not the kind of thing Bill could usually exploit because the Ruler was aware of it and how it worked. Right now though, Caesar likely doesn't know about it, so whatever reason Don had to be sure it worked as advertised doesn't necessarily apply.

    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    Caeser can disband the dolls in an instant if they turn into real dolls/enemies.

    Unless Charlie/Bill can somehow turn all those real dolls to CC (Which he can't because that would break non-aggression treaty, and there's a ton of bats (almost heavies) in the room with Caeser.....so the doll maneuver wouldn't be a clever maneuver (unless CC wanted to weaken TV by having Caeser eliminate Bill and some/all of the cities' dolls.

    Sure, so the obvious play for Charlie there is to convince Bill to turn barbarian (or use any Carny tricks necessary to do that if it's more complicated than a simple decision) and take the dolls with him. From what we've seen of how the contract with GK works and Charlie helping out Jillian, convincing Bill to turn barbarian and then sitting back and watching the dolls fight the rest of TV wouldn't ding the contract at all.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:58 pm 
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    Free Radical wrote:
    DukeofTuring wrote:
    Well, first off bear in mind that "Rubicon" is given privately to Vanna to protect her from Bill. Unless I'm forgetting some part of their communications or something Bill still has no reason to know the secret "Protect me from Bill!" password.

    It's a password that causes an effect on the side's dolls. That suggests to me a very strong possibility that it's a feature intentionally put in by the Dollamancer who created them when they were created. Since Don knew about it, presumably it was on his orders.

    It's not the kind of thing Bill could usually exploit because the Ruler was aware of it and how it worked. Right now though, Caesar likely doesn't know about it, so whatever reason Don had to be sure it worked as advertised doesn't necessarily apply.

    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    Caeser can disband the dolls in an instant if they turn into real dolls/enemies.

    Unless Charlie/Bill can somehow turn all those real dolls to CC (Which he can't because that would break non-aggression treaty, and there's a ton of bats (almost heavies) in the room with Caeser.....so the doll maneuver wouldn't be a clever maneuver (unless CC wanted to weaken TV by having Caeser eliminate Bill and some/all of the cities' dolls.

    Sure, so the obvious play for Charlie there is to convince Bill to turn barbarian (or use any Carny tricks necessary to do that if it's more complicated than a simple decision) and take the dolls with him. From what we've seen of how the contract with GK works and Charlie helping out Jillian, convincing Bill to turn barbarian and then sitting back and watching the dolls fight the rest of TV wouldn't ding the contract at all.

    But I can't find a logical reason that the dolls would go with Bill. They are certainly tied to him in some ways, but they are still the property of TV, and therefore under Caesar's rule. I would expect that if he left TV's service and became barbarian, his tie to them would be broken somehow.

    Even after Maxwell croaked, the tin man and scarecrow still obeyed Judy's orders.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:50 pm 
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    The whole idea of Caesar not knowing the password "Rubicon" sounds like an idea I would posit just go against the (theoretical) forum grain of Caesar knowing the password.

    Don told Vanna, a Barbarian, the password, so I figure that most units in Transilvito are aware of it. Caesar was a high level warlord, and Don's heir, so I figure him of all units would know of Rubicon.

    Then again, Caesar didn't exactly say Rubicon and have all the molls dogpile on Roger's corpse.


    So has anyone figured that maybe Vanna saying the password isn't what woke everyone in Transilvito, but rather her speaking it very loudly. And repetitively?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:08 pm 
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    Hey, first post. I don't know if this has been pointed out, but it took me a few readthroughs to notice. I do not think that the last message we see from Charlie, about Arkendish making real dolls, is the exact message that Bill stopped on. Two pieces of evidence: (1) I don't think the flipped image matches (hard to tell), but also (2) the "BUNK" cancellation sound effect is shown on that last message panel that we see.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:11 pm 
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    barrettrees wrote:
    Hey, first post. I don't know if this has been pointed out, but it took me a few readthroughs to notice. I do not think that the last message we see from Charlie, about Arkendish making real dolls, is the exact message that Bill stopped on. Two pieces of evidence: (1) I don't think the flipped image matches (hard to tell), but also (2) the "BUNK" cancellation sound effect is shown on that last message panel that we see.


    BUNK isn't the cancellation, it's the "incoming message" sound. :)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:24 pm 
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    Quote:
    But I can't find a logical reason that the dolls would go with Bill.


    I feel like people are thinking too long-term here. Consider a quick-strike plan: Bill orders a few dolls, including Fashion Bunny, to strike Caesar down, using Caesar's weakness for Bunny to get it close - "et tu, Bunny?" At the same time, Vanna and Bill turn barbarian. Caesar dies in an instant, all the TV units in hex are frozen, and it's Vanna, Bill, and whatever of Bill's dolls can move (including any that are activated by someone then saying 'Rubicon') versus two casters with zero juice. Vanna and Bill don't even need to stay and fight - just grab the gems off the table and run to the Magic Kingdom, with a deal with Charlie to split the money in some manner (so he doesn't need them to turn to CC). Then TV is considered captured by GK, the portal closes behind Vanna and Bill, and more proof of GK's perfidy is provided to the rest of the world - "See, see how they strike down their own allies!"

    There's problems with this plan. Fashion Bunny may not accept Bill's order to attack because of the string fragment of Bunny still in the doll. Jed may be able to control Fashion Maggie after Caesar falls, and that unit may be able to tear through a surprised Dollamancer and a seriously beat-up Turnamancer. And Maggie and Jack may not be entirely without juice, due to Jed's sending. But none of those are problems that Charlie knows about. I think he's more likely to order something fast that gets him some of his cash back, and which cripples GK and eliminates TV, than he is to try some sort of invasion to get all the cash back (GK plus TV).

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:48 pm 
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    Delores Mulva wrote:
    Quote:
    But I can't find a logical reason that the dolls would go with Bill.


    I feel like people are thinking too long-term here. Consider a quick-strike plan: Bill orders a few dolls, including Fashion Bunny, to strike Caesar down, using Caesar's weakness for Bunny to get it close - "et tu, Bunny?" At the same time, Vanna and Bill turn barbarian. Caesar dies in an instant, all the TV units in hex are frozen, and it's Vanna, Bill, and whatever of Bill's dolls can move (including any that are activated by someone then saying 'Rubicon') versus two casters with zero juice. Vanna and Bill don't even need to stay and fight - just grab the gems off the table and run to the Magic Kingdom, with a deal with Charlie to split the money in some manner (so he doesn't need them to turn to CC). Then TV is considered captured by GK, the portal closes behind Vanna and Bill, and more proof of GK's perfidy is provided to the rest of the world - "See, see how they strike down their own allies!"

    There's problems with this plan. Fashion Bunny may not accept Bill's order to attack because of the string fragment of Bunny still in the doll. Jed may be able to control Fashion Maggie after Caesar falls, and that unit may be able to tear through a surprised Dollamancer and a seriously beat-up Turnamancer. And Maggie and Jack may not be entirely without juice, due to Jed's sending. But none of those are problems that Charlie knows about. I think he's more likely to order something fast that gets him some of his cash back, and which cripples GK and eliminates TV, than he is to try some sort of invasion to get all the cash back (GK plus TV).


    Again, why would Bill be able to order any of the dolls to rebel against Caesar? The dolls don't belong to Bill, they belong to Transylvito. Also, if I understand the mechanics correctly, if the ruler dies and enemy units are in the hex, the remaining units of that side are not frozen. That's ignoring the fact that Vanna is incapacitated at the moment and will likely remain so unless Bill happens to have a Healomancy scroll on him.

    Of course the main problem with any attack by Bill and company is that Caesar is on guard for any betrayal. He's already had Maggie and Jack stack with him, and I'm guessing (pure guess, of course) that he has maxxed out his stack with bats, which as noted previously, hit like heavies when stacked with the ruler.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:01 pm 
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    Merilynne wrote:
    But I can't find a logical reason that the dolls would go with Bill.

    It's Charlie, though. At this point, would we really bet that Charlie, linked with a Dollamancer inside the hex who already has a password for a backdoor into the dolls' controls couldn't do something like that? Even do it so that it doesn't ding the non-aggression pact? Would it be more extreme than Vanna/Charlie Turning the entire hobgobwin tribe during a battle?

    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    The whole idea of Caesar not knowing the password "Rubicon" sounds like an idea I would posit just go against the (theoretical) forum grain of Caesar knowing the password.

    Don told Vanna, a Barbarian, the password, so I figure that most units in Transilvito are aware of it. Caesar was a high level warlord, and Don's heir, so I figure him of all units would know of Rubicon.

    I think Don gave Vanna the password precisely because she wasn't a TV unit (and also because they were slightly romantically involved at the time, of course). Caesar the Chief Warlord or Benny the Chief Moneymancer are already in a position of power over Bill or pretty much anyone else. Bunny wouldn't any longer spend time with Bill by choice, and Bill was probably ordered to stay away from her.

    So, none of them really needed the safety net. Vanna was working alone with Bill, wasn't a TV unit, wasn't a warlord that could overpower him, or someone who could give him orders. She might have needed the safety net though, and Don got to feel magnanimous by giving her the password, and made her feel appreciative to boot. I think there's decent reason to think Don wasn't in the habit of giving out the password, and that Vanna was the first in a while to get it.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:06 pm 
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    Merilynne wrote:
    Delores Mulva wrote:
    Quote:
    But I can't find a logical reason that the dolls would go with Bill.
    Again, why would Bill be able to order any of the dolls to rebel against Caesar? The dolls don't belong to Bill, they belong to Transylvito..
    I forget which comic page, but there was talk about how there IS a dollamancy spell to control an enemy doll for a brief period of time, it's just too costly for how short it lasts (and might be a huge political problem for dollamancers if that got out, like Thinkamancers keeping Charlie's spying under wraps?).

    And Bill is currently not even an enemy to the dolls (and it may even be easier if you know exactly how they are built... by virtue of having built them), but on the same "side" (The game term anyway... even if potentially treasonous), which may make that more feasible to do en masse when one considers the power that Charlie's ranged linking could provide.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:24 pm 
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    Merilynne wrote:
    barrettrees wrote:
    Hey, first post. I don't know if this has been pointed out, but it took me a few readthroughs to notice. I do not think that the last message we see from Charlie, about Arkendish making real dolls, is the exact message that Bill stopped on. Two pieces of evidence: (1) I don't think the flipped image matches (hard to tell), but also (2) the "BUNK" cancellation sound effect is shown on that last message panel that we see.


    BUNK isn't the cancellation, it's the "incoming message" sound. :)


    Ah, you're right. And here I was thinking I was so clever.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:25 pm 
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    Free Radical wrote:
    DukeofTuring wrote:
    Well, first off bear in mind that "Rubicon" is given privately to Vanna to protect her from Bill. Unless I'm forgetting some part of their communications or something Bill still has no reason to know the secret "Protect me from Bill!" password.

    It's a password that causes an effect on the side's dolls. That suggests to me a very strong possibility that it's a feature intentionally put in by the Dollamancer who created them when they were created. Since Don knew about it, presumably it was on his orders.

    It's not the kind of thing Bill could usually exploit because the Ruler was aware of it and how it worked. Right now though, Caesar likely doesn't know about it, so whatever reason Don had to be sure it worked as advertised doesn't necessarily apply.

    OneHugeTuck wrote:
    Caeser can disband the dolls in an instant if they turn into real dolls/enemies.

    Unless Charlie/Bill can somehow turn all those real dolls to CC (Which he can't because that would break non-aggression treaty, and there's a ton of bats (almost heavies) in the room with Caeser.....so the doll maneuver wouldn't be a clever maneuver (unless CC wanted to weaken TV by having Caeser eliminate Bill and some/all of the cities' dolls.

    Sure, so the obvious play for Charlie there is to convince Bill to turn barbarian (or use any Carny tricks necessary to do that if it's more complicated than a simple decision) and take the dolls with him. From what we've seen of how the contract with GK works and Charlie helping out Jillian, convincing Bill to turn barbarian and then sitting back and watching the dolls fight the rest of TV wouldn't ding the contract at all.


    People continue to claim "rubicon" is specifically targeted at Bill. We have no reason to think this. There are a panoply of other possibilities.

    • That it was a prexisting feature (likely) and...
      • Anyone that knows the code word can use it (borderline absurd... serious security flaw)
      • Don extended access to it to Vanna (a near certainty)
      • it protects anyone who is authorized and says it from just Bill (very unlikely)
      • it protects anyone who is authorized and says it from all observable sources of harm (likely)
      • provides no protection directly but causes any doll in earshot to instantly alert Don to the problem (very likely)
    • That Don added the feature to the dolls on the spot as a standing order (unlikely) and...
      • it will only work for Vanna (a near certainty).
      • it would protect Vanna from anyone (unlikely)
      • it would protect Vanna from just Bill (likely)
      • provides no protection directly but causes any doll in earshot to instantly alert Don to the problem (very likely)
      • it has been recended by Don's death (unlikely)
      • he removed it when Vanna turned (unlikely)
    • It doesn't actually exist (borderline absurd) and...
      • It was intended to make Vanna feel safe.
      • It was intended to test if Vanna would abuse it.

    All of these are possible. There are probably more I haven't thought of. If Rubicon existed already, then it's highly unlikely it only works against Bill. If it did not, then it's somewhat likely that it only works against Bill and very likely it only works for Vanna.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:57 pm 
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    I'm sure Shirley is just going to LOVE watching this. Maybe Charlie can play it off like he's just a kid playing with toys.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:40 pm 
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    barrettrees wrote:
    Hey, first post. I don't know if this has been pointed out, but it took me a few readthroughs to notice. I do not think that the last message we see from Charlie, about Arkendish making real dolls, is the exact message that Bill stopped on. Two pieces of evidence: (1) I don't think the flipped image matches (hard to tell), but also (2) the "BUNK" cancellation sound effect is shown on that last message panel that we see.


    Interesting thought about the message, I looked and it seemed like it could match, but like you said, hard to tell. So I went to photoshop to see if applying similar transformations would yield the same result, and behold:

    If it makes any difference, I was kind of hoping I was wrong and there was some other message to try and puzzle out backwards at low resolution, but I am 99% confident it is the same message.


    Attachments:
    bill-same-message.jpg
    bill-same-message.jpg [ 180.1 KiB | Viewed 287 times ]
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     Post subject: Re: Book 3 - Page 301
     Post Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:54 pm 
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    JadedDragoon wrote:
    If Rubicon existed already, then it's highly unlikely it only works against Bill. If it did not, then it's somewhat likely that it only works against Bill and very likely it only works for Vanna.



    If Don already knew about Bill's past behaviour and tendencies, which he indicated he did, why would it be unlikely for him to create Rubicon as a Bill specific protection? That always seemed the implied set up there, though I recognize there is room for other interpretations (i.e. Vanna specific protection). It just seems more plausible to me that it was something put in place after all the bad business involving Bunny, that would be something a leader might do to protect their own people if they couldn't justify disbanding the offender.

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