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 Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Adept wrote:
Thank you Balder & team, this was a brilliant update and worth the wait.

I wonder what is happening at the end though. Is Wanda making the claim that she can not only decrypt the recently deceased, but to make a golem come (un)life as well?


Well the signamancy of the pliers indicate that what they do is manipulate strings. As a croakamancer it could mean that what she does, is before a croaked body depops she reconnects the units strings, and connects them to some other source to maintain the units life force. She could probably do the same to Issac right now. Connect his string to some other source so it does nto depop at end of turn.

But pliers work with wires, they don't create them. So I can't see wanda being able to create pure life with a normal golem. It may take an Erf oriented, instead of a fate oriented artificact to do that. Or maybe an Erf oriented caster. Natural Turnamancy was mentioned as being able to create strings. Perhaps Vanna will be the key.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:18 pm 
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    chakravantimancer wrote:
    Isaac's fate aside, I would put my money on Wanda being right in that final statement. She does command Life, twisting it into something impossible - upkeepless units of questionable loyalty to their Ruler (though absolutely loyal to her). So when she finally croaks, the countless decrypted would not only survive but end up free-willed and independent. Maybe they wouldn't have to join a side at all, maybe each unit would act as a side of its own?

    Whether that'd be apocalyptic or revolutionary is up for debate, depending on one's preference for Erfworld/Stupidworld.


    That is an interesting scenario. Being upkeepless and not very loyal to the side, they can at the very least turn barbarian and survive in the MK or in the normal world without hunting for upkeep. Without Wanda, they can't expand their numbers, so they are no longer an apocalyptic threat. But they might need to band together in a League of Independent Decrypted to defend themselves against other sides.

    And if they get the pliers, the League might be searching for a new attuned to again start increasing their numbers.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:27 pm 
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    mortissimus wrote:
    And if they get the pliers, the League might be searching for a new attuned to again start increasing their numbers.


    That's not the problem, the problem is that even if they are upkeepless barbarians, the moment someone takes a hold of the pliers, all of them will be compelled to help their new "friend." to expand the "upkeepless" trait to other denizens of the realm, after all. ain't that helpful to have even if the pain is just momentarily. :3

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:44 pm 
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    I guess you could have called the scarecrow a troll'em.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:02 pm 
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    Sir Dr D wrote:
    Well the signamancy of the pliers indicate that what they do is manipulate strings.


    I just realised that not only are strings in the same shape as a wire, but they also are capable of carrying juice (Jed to Meggie, if I'm not mistaken), which is raw shockmancy, similar to how wires carry electrical current.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:20 pm 
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    I see most people are assuming Wanda's talking about decryption. The Arkendish and Arkenhammer both have a fairly wide range of capabilities; the Arkenpliers have been a bit of a one-trick pony. Maybe it can do other Life-related things that Wanda simply hasn't been interested in up until now. (It wouldn't even be very out-of-character for her.)

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:36 pm 
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    greyknight wrote:
    the Arkenpliers have been a bit of a one-trick pony.

    Well, to be fair, the "trick" that Wanda has been primarily using them for is fucking awesome.

    Also, we know they can do at least a second trick in Wanda's hands -- severing the prisoner string to perform a remote repatriation.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:26 pm 
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    twhitt wrote:
    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    twhitt wrote:
    Yeah. I try to refrain from being a "loophole!" guy, but if they were regularly checking in on Max (it's implied Isaac did this physically from a nearby hex), and they think Max helped Charlie to attune, it's nearly impossible to believe they didn't know Charlie was a Carny. How would that work? Was he a secret Carny even before he attuned? From before he was first an Overlord? How would Max not know this? And this question doesn't even touch the content of book 0; I suspect there's a couple chronology issues with that book now.

    A few possibilities:

    1. Isaac was looking at Max, not Charlie.
    2. They didn't know Charlie of Charlsecom was the same Charlie of El Ef Baum. Charlie is a common name, and there have been more than one Mary
    3. Isaac wasn't able to spy on Charlie once he attuned. The attuning may have been instant.

    Yeah, it's just, that's a gaping big hole in their knowledge. Surely they knew who had the dish (was her name Blair?). They knew she died, and who killed her. They deduced that Max helped Charlie attune. They had to stop spying on Max at that point.

    Then, after Charlie attunes: Olive attempts to kill Charlie, Olive turns to Haffaton, Olive croaks the overlord of Haffaton, Wanda turns to Haffaton, Max dies, and then most of the events of book 0.

    So they didn't know who Charlie was, even though he was the leader of Olive's side during the time Max made the golems (for Haffaton, not then Olive's side) to annoy her? They knew all the principal characters in this story, except for the identity of the dish-attuned overlord?
    The thing is, precisely because Charlie was an overlord by the time they became aware of him, he would have had the resources to hide the nature of his casting from nearly everyone, and as a Carny, that would have been a priority for him (especially if he were aware of the politics and economy of the MK, which seems likely).

    As for Wanda, the fact that she dropped off the face of Erf when Haffaton was destroyed and wasn't seen again (by anyone not subject to the DOAL) until Faq was conquered many hundred-turns later (well after her Signamancy had changed dramatically) would make it very difficult for anyone to make the connection.
    Anomynous 167 wrote:
    You know, I might be impressed by that cleverness if the line "Shame on you, attacking a straw man" wasn't uttered in the film The Wizard of Oz.
    The line is "It's bad enough picking on a straw man," but that was a nice catch anyway.
    Squishalot wrote:
    I actually think the one of the bigger things about this update is that Wanda's final statement seems to imply that the Decrypted aren't linked to her life, and that they would carry on after she dies, if she thinks that she can command Life in a way greater than what Max was doing.
    Yes, this definitely seems significant. I'd say it indicates that the 'pliers aren't particularly associated with Naughtymancy. I still think their Signamancy and effects are suggestive of Clevermancy rather than any of the Life element classes, but the point would be that the Arkentools transcend casting restrictions. Croakamancy doesn't affect the (former) Life of a body, it only affects the Matter and Motion. That means it doesn't need to touch the string of the former unit. Wanda is basically confirming that she can catch and retrieve those strings, and reattach them.

    It's interesting that Isaac spotted that Wanda was hiding anything other than her hurt over the long years of being mocked and abused about her lack of mastery of Life by Olive Branch. That's all I initially thought of her response. Actually, on second thought, I imagine that's still why Wanda is hiding the truth about what the 'pliers allow her to do...admitting that mastery of the Life element makes her a superlatively greater caster would be confirming every cruel thing Olive Branch ever said about Wanda's discipline.

    On the subject of upkeep and Rands, we still don't know that upkeep is always 1 Rand, nor that there is no left-over change from paying upkeep with Rands. These are both pure assumptions, and they are both required to make most arguments people make about Rands.

    About Jerry cans, a thing that wasn't mentioned yet is that they were considered superlatively superior to any similar purpose Allied equipment, which is why the name came to be applied to well-designed fuel/water reserve cans of similar design for decades after WWII. I find that pertinent to the excellence of the tinman in war.
    Horatio Von Becker wrote:
    Can I get a source on the laser thing and an explanation of the plastic grenades? The others seem quite reasonable, but banning lasers seems like an excuse for rich countries who want to bomb poor countries, and grenades are really quite nasty no matter what they're made of.
    It's not lasers particularly, but weapons which cause permanent blindness as a mechanism of their effective use. Lasers are fine, using them to inflict permanent blindness isn't (even if the blinded are supposed to be killed relatively quickly). This prohibition is originally derived from the use of blinding chemical agents in WWI, but the same principle applies. The use of such weapons tends to make a peace process far more difficult because of social psychology. A weapon that can maim rather than kill you is okay, a weapon that only kills through the effect of maiming in a particular, easily recognized manner has long-term social impacts. Plastic grenades aren't a problem. Plastic land mines are. The only reason to make them out of plastic is to make it impossible to clean them up even when the denied area is no longer contested. Basically salting the fields, but with high explosives. Again, it makes the peace process extremely difficult because you have a long term reminder of how much you hate the bastards on the other side.

    It's important to understand the logic behind these things rather than just castigating those who make the rules. But I think it's also healthy to be skeptical of those who make too many rules even when they have "good" explanations for all of them.

    Of course, I share this skepticism about many of the rules made by the GMTTA. But not all.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:38 pm 
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    You know, the bit about Judy "declining" after attunement is interesting. It seems like we have two kinds of attunement.
    Wanda and Stanley continued to intensively use their Arkentools for conquest. More than that, they both seem to think they're on some sort of mission - Wanda even explicitly says so.
    On the other hand, Charlie and Judy apparently lost interest in conquering. I wonder if the decline is the result of a "bad" attunement - Charlie because he might have hacked his way in, and Judy because she was an extraterrestrial.

    I wonder if the Arkentools "want" anything. Do they want to be used in battle? Do they want to be passed on from wrong owners to right ones, whatever that means?

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:08 pm 
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    Caprice wrote:
    I wonder if the Arkentools "want" anything. Do they want to be used in battle? Do they want to be passed on from wrong owners to right ones, whatever that means?


    They are beholden to Fate. See Stanley being particularly unmellow at the Arkenhammer missing Jillian, when it's previously been 100% accurate. Being their signamancy is that of tools it wouldn't surprise me if the only thing they want is to be used.

    artificeintel wrote:
    I just realised that not only are strings in the same shape as a wire, but they also are capable of carrying juice (Jed to Meggie, if I'm not mistaken), which is raw shockmancy, similar to how wires carry electrical current.


    From all of the evidence presented it'd be fair to say that strings are probably one of the basic building blocks of Erfworld.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:11 pm 
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    Paragraph 4: Well that's simple, order it to turn, then cut the string. Have Wanda "repatriate" the golem.

    > (if strangely parenthetical)

    HA. :P

    It's sad to know (from the reader's privileged point of view) that Isaac is following the wrong line of thinking. But what surprised me is that by the end of the update Wanda may taking a different path as well.

    I wonder if my comment about 'repatriating' the golem would work. If it would, then what path is Wanda thinking? Will it work? If not it would leave the unanswered question of whether repatriating the golem would. I guess we can only wait and see.

    Okay, now to read the the discussion.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:55 pm 
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    mortissimus wrote:
    That is an interesting scenario. Being upkeepless and not very loyal to the side, they can at the very least turn barbarian and survive in the MK or in the normal world without hunting for upkeep. Without Wanda, they can't expand their numbers, so they are no longer an apocalyptic threat. But they might need to band together in a League of Independent Decrypted to defend themselves against other sides.

    And if they get the pliers, the League might be searching for a new attuned to again start increasing their numbers.


    I imagine the pliers would no longer exist. The Arkentools would disappear when Wanda, Charlie, Stanley, and all other attuned wielders are gone.

    You'd just have this massive group of free-willed upkeepless individuals, making alliances of necessity, acting out of turn, generally messing things up for everyone and trying to build something better now that the endless-turn-based-combat part of history is finally over. And who's to say the decrypted wouldn't be able to procreate through, you know, natural Datemancy?

    The end result would be a weird hybrid of Erfworld and Stupidworld, and maybe that's the closest thing to Janis's idea of peace on Erf that Parson can bring about.

    I wouldn't presume to guess at Rob's long-term plans for the narrative, but if I absolutely had to... well, American authors do have this collective obsession with the concept of liberty. My money would be on something along those lines.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:02 pm 
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    Free Radical wrote:
    But... with the knowledge of how it is done, Wanda could possibly also decide to restore a body to the Life Axis without connecting through the Pliers. The Pliers wouldn't be paying upkeep, so the resurrected unit would probably become a normal unit of the side (or possibly a barbarian).

    From a strategic perspective for Wanda, that would probably be strictly worse than Decryption (uses Wanda's juice, costs the side upkeep, no extra Loyalty to Wanda), so it's something she'd keep secret unless it could be useful.

    Non-Arkenplier decryption would also lead to a society-breaking revolution. If Erfworlders could choose to become these independent-decrypted, then nobody would need take the long walk off the short pier, ever again. Barbarians could multiply to enormous multitudes -- yet at the same time so could empires, as leaders could order their own troops to become decrypted, allowing for sides to grow indefinitely in size without running into the upkeep wall.

    And the only person in Erfworld that could have possibly delved the secrets of something so revolutionary would be Wanda. She is such a unique caster in all of Erfworld, in what she has learned and experienced in her life.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:06 pm 
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    Chiu ChunLing wrote:
    It's interesting that Isaac spotted that Wanda was hiding anything other than her hurt over the long years of being mocked and abused about her lack of mastery of Life by Olive Branch. That's all I initially thought of her response. Actually, on second thought, I imagine that's still why Wanda is hiding the truth about what the 'pliers allow her to do...admitting that mastery of the Life element makes her a superlatively greater caster would be confirming every cruel thing Olive Branch ever said about Wanda's discipline.


    Actually, that brings up an interesting thought. It makes me wonder - can Wanda command Life? Wanda and Olive debated what the nature of life IS, so it's equally possible here that Wanda's making a claim she thinks is accurate but may not be. Or it may be accurate, but not in the way she thinks. Like how a baby might turn a light switch on and off and hey might think they control the light without actually understanding anything at all.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:08 pm 
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    I mean, if Wanda got the pliers back, she could just decrypt all the Great Minds, right? It's still the same turn, the bodies are still there. Issac's body is still up and about, but I'm wondering if Wanda is implying she could decrypt a still living body...

    EthericSentinel wrote:
    We now know that entangling a unit with another string over a long distance will increase the unit's upkeep massively. Who else do we know who has a massively higher upkeep than most units of his type?

    This is a very good thought. I think if Parson is tied to anyone, he's tied to Wanda because she summoned him, or Stanley because he's Parson's Overlord.

    Man, wouldn't that be a kick in the teeth to end Book 4? Wanda croaks, all the decrypted become regular uncroaked, and Parson is yanked back to Stupidworld because the SPWL spell is no longer being maintained. Stanley, Sizemore, Jed, and the Juggles have to face the world, while Maggie is stranded in TV.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:20 pm 
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    Well, the mechanics of decryption that we've seen so far don't alter the fact that non-decrypted units continue to pop from cities and so forth. I guess the real test would be to have a decrypted warlord claim a capital site and start a new side, see what happened then.

    It's worth noting that decrypted can turn, and the instances we've seen so far involved no discernible magical influence, but only character reasoning. Marie evidently planned to turn long before she was decrypted, given her exchange with Carniac before going through the ICFYS portal (who is responsible for turning that into a sexual innuendo?). We saw Ossomer's thought process through text updates in which he was the POV character. It's also interesting that decrypted are highly, and possibly totally, resistant to ordinary magical means of shifting their loyalties.

    Wanda's offer may be as 'prosaic' as offering to pinky swear that Isaac (and perhaps the other GMTTA) will be ordered to go barbarian again after decryption. Or it may be that she has a method to decrypt units without changing their loyalty in the first place. Or it may be that she's offering some kind of complicated surgery on Isaac's string bound to the doll.

    Those possibilities might be interesting of themselves, but what has the most profound implications is that she's admitting that she can surpass the inherent limits of Naughtymancy. The decrypted are not uncroaked or golems.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:30 pm 
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    I'm reminded of a quote from the finale of the most recent season of Doctor Who.

    "You promised you could fix me."
    "Yes."
    "Were you lying?"
    "No."
    "Were you wrong?"
    "Yes."

    Might apply here.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:06 pm 
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    Chiu ChunLing wrote:
    On the subject of upkeep and Rands, we still don't know that upkeep is always 1 Rand, nor that there is no left-over change from paying upkeep with Rands. These are both pure assumptions, and they are both required to make most arguments people make about Rands.
    Though the wiki page lacks citations, it is nonetheless the case that only Rob is supposed to put things in "Canon" subheadings on wiki pages.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:28 pm 
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    Jatopian wrote:
    Chiu ChunLing wrote:
    On the subject of upkeep and Rands, we still don't know that upkeep is always 1 Rand, nor that there is no left-over change from paying upkeep with Rands. These are both pure assumptions, and they are both required to make most arguments people make about Rands.
    Though the wiki page lacks citations, it is nonetheless the case that only Rob is supposed to put things in "Canon" subheadings on wiki pages.

    Were IPs always able/unable to edit pages? I've noticed that the sentence that says "One rand will pay the upkeep of one caster for one turn.", was added by a random IP address, and not The Titan.

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     Post subject: Re: Book 4 - Page 142
     Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:28 pm 
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    Sir Dr D wrote:
    Bandaid wrote:
    Sir Dr D wrote:
    Can someone explain the puns behind A. Dummy , and Jerry Can?


    For Jerry Can, that was an container designed for the german army around 1930.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerrycan

    For A. Dummy I can think of: "a dummy" as in "an idiot"
    or
    crash-test dummy (trying to crash other peoples peace of mind)
    or
    dummy as in decoy


    Thank you. This Jerry Can makes sense now. But I feel there is some other double pun we are missing with A. Dummy
    Pun the 1rst)
    A Scarecrow is a model/replica of a human being.
    Another word for a model/replica of a human being is a Dummy.

    Pun the 2nd)
    The Scarecrow served as the Jester.
    Another word for Jester is Fool.
    Another meaning of "fool" is a stupid person.
    Another word for a stupid person is a Dummy.

    Dummy(facimile)->Dummy(stupid)->Dummy(Fool)

    Joke the third) By having that as his name and opening all his sentences with "A. Dummy thinks..." he is saying that it's a dumb thing to think. So obviously he isn't serious. He's just trolling. After all, only a dummy would believe the things he was saying. Which plays into the image of him as a troll.


    [Edit] Pun the Third: A dummy is "something designed to resemble and serve as a substitute for the real or usual thing; a counterfeit or sham." the scarecrow was meant to seem like a unit that was actually alive when it was actually just max using his own string.

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