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kpenguin
2009-04-17, 10:22 PM
New Comic is Up

I hope Sizemore and Parson can patch things up. :smallfrown:

Gamebird
2009-04-17, 10:25 PM
Awesome fire effect! I usually don't comment on the drawing/graphics, but the fire was superb!!

T-O-E
2009-04-17, 10:26 PM
Interesting.

It's gotten to the point where after a new erf comes out, I have to read it 4-5 times.

Also, I assume Wanda and Maggie are ok. Good.

Tyrael
2009-04-17, 10:26 PM
Interesting. I wonder why Sizemore thinks Parson is WORSE than the other Warlords? I was under the impression he thought Parson was BETTER than them.

T-O-E
2009-04-17, 10:28 PM
Interesting. I wonder why Sizemore thinks Parson is WORSE than the other Warlords? I was under the impression he thought Parson was BETTER than them.

Because the other warlords didn't really make him do anything?

teratorn
2009-04-17, 10:29 PM
Also, I assume Wanda and Maggie are ok. Good.

Isn't that wanda in panel 8?

RMS Oceanic
2009-04-17, 10:29 PM
Ooh, philosophy!

I like Janis' thinking: "When you break the rules, break them good and hard."

Gamebird
2009-04-17, 10:32 PM
We know Wanda is still around, but Maggie remains MIA.

Spot
2009-04-17, 10:41 PM
Interesting. I wonder why Sizemore thinks Parson is WORSE than the other Warlords? I was under the impression he thought Parson was BETTER than them.


Hey there... I just registered tonight, after being a lurker/reader for months, simply because I had to post how completely awesome Erfworld is becoming :smallsmile:

As to Sizemore: He wants peace, and dislikes killing.

When Parson was using manuever to avoid direct combat, Sizemore liked that. When Parson began having volcanoes detonated to kill thousands, Sizemore hated that.

Janis just let on that "The Perfect Warlord" is probably the best route to lasting peace for Erfworld... by making the continuation of the traditional war so hideously horrible, that it's no longer seen as a desireable passtime by whomever survives whatever Parson does next.

I'm not sure if Sizemore really believes her, but he should. She has the right idea.

:smallsmile:

Neuromancer
2009-04-17, 10:41 PM
Well, now.

Suddenly we have another dimension to things--Parson as the potential savior of Erfworld, breaking the world enough to get outside the "natural" laws of Erfworld and end the wars that would otherwise continue forever.

Which explains why the Grand Abbie described him as a Hippymancer.

It also puts Parson in the same position as Thomas Covenant, from The Illearth War series by Stephen Donaldson--savior of a world he may not ever be able to accept as truly real.

Essex
2009-04-17, 10:48 PM
"Because if he breaks things enough, there may be peace in Erfworld after all."

Or, in the immortal words of Joshua from the WarGames novel, "The only winning move is not to play."

Aquillion
2009-04-17, 10:53 PM
Hmm. I'm not sure whether this page really establishes if Parson is a Hippimancer or not, but it does certainly show, either way, why Janis would have defended him.

Xuincherguixe
2009-04-17, 10:57 PM
Janis just let on that "The Perfect Warlord" is probably the best route to lasting peace for Erfworld... by making the continuation of the traditional war so hideously horrible, that it's no longer seen as a desireable passtime by whomever survives whatever Parson does next.


While a whole M.A.D. thing is one way that could bring "peace", I think it's more likely that the idea is that Janis is hoping Parson breaks things so hard, that it brings about change. Maybe even beyond just simple rules, but break the culture, the ideas of that world.


Parson really isn't one of the bad guys, it's just he's a good strategist. Maybe even the best the game world has ever seen. I mean, he did beat Charlie.


But, maybe most importantly... Parson unlike pretty much every other warlord could actually appreciate the idea of peace. It's probably an utterly alien idea to the world. "Peace, what's that? You mean that gap of time that we spend building up units?" Parson actually values life. And freedom. Values that aren't necessary for "the game".

Alsadius
2009-04-17, 11:03 PM
And here I was thinking Erfworld was drawing to a close. Glad to see there's still some future in it, especially given how awesome it's been lately.

Spot
2009-04-17, 11:12 PM
While a whole M.A.D. thing is one way that could bring "peace", I think it's more likely that the idea is that Janis is hoping Parson breaks things so hard, that it brings about change. Maybe even beyond just simple rules, but break the culture, the ideas of that world.


Parson really isn't one of the bad guys, it's just he's a good strategist. Maybe even the best the game world has ever seen. I mean, he did beat Charlie.


But, maybe most importantly... Parson unlike pretty much every other warlord could actually appreciate the idea of peace. It's probably an utterly alien idea to the world. "Peace, what's that? You mean that gap of time that we spend building up units?" Parson actually values life. And freedom. Values that aren't necessary for "the game".


I agree with you... Parson will most definately break the culture there. Just like machine-guns on Earth broke the whole culture of dashing cavalry charges, and inbred monarchs declaring war on their cousins over petty squabbles.

As for valueing life and freedom... I don't think Parson does yet, because (a) this is still a game to him, and (b) because he swore to his friends back on Earth that he would give up his entire life and everything he knew... just for the chance to be a real-life Warlord leading battles.

Sizemore is the one who values life and freedom: If given a choice, he'd gladly give up being a caster in Erfworld, in order to work at a Kinko's photocpy place on Earth.

Wakky
2009-04-17, 11:14 PM
I think we're almost to the end of Part One here.

It should take three more panels to tie up loose ends. One where Parson wakes up and talks to Janis about the future, one where Jillian and the TV crowd arrive at Faq and some sort of drama ensues, and finally one of Stanley arriving back at GK and expressing his furious, befuddled anger.

Lamech
2009-04-17, 11:18 PM
So Sizemore is more powerful and it is implied their are other ways to level. Cooool... and Wanda live's! There was much rejoicing. And I wonder if Parson is a hippie.

Fjolnir
2009-04-17, 11:19 PM
I do like this particular strip because it shows that sizemore understands that he's committed atrocities, not only killed (which is something he has avoided due to stanley's poor management, though I assume his golems broke a good number of faces) and that the hippymancer is as correct as she can be since without destroying the idea of conventional warfare on Erf, peace cannot be attained.

But she's tasked Sizemore with a very difficult task, to make sure parson not only WINS, but maintains his "outsideness" the feeling that war is unnessacary and that free will and life are things to be valued, while maintaining his status as a valuable asset in his arsenal.

and apparently the link didn't gain them any XP, since sizemore only leveled twice in battle (the same amount as bogroll did when he took down ansom) so either he's a VERY high level unit, or the deaths caused by the volcano aren't notches on his bedpost.

Oh and who is it in the circle with spock, I think I see Hendrix, John Lennon, and Manson (charlie, not marilyn) though I could be mistaken on one or all of them

Lunaya
2009-04-17, 11:36 PM
Interesting. I wonder why Sizemore thinks Parson is WORSE than the other Warlords? I was under the impression he thought Parson was BETTER than them.
Parson is way more effective than the other Warlords were, which makes him a bigger monster in Sizemore's eyes. Better Warlord = Greater Evil

In other news, I love the last panel. 'Tis the season for hugs, it seems. :smallfrown:

Faulty
2009-04-17, 11:42 PM
Something about the look on Sizemore's face when he says "Chief Butcher" is really moving. Well done.

CaptC
2009-04-17, 11:48 PM
Funny how plot lines converge. Both Parson and V are going to spend a fair amount of time atoning for the bad things they have done recently.

kreszantas
2009-04-18, 03:22 AM
I really like Sizemore's character development here, to me it shows he is 'young' in erfworld terms. Janis being a Grand Abbey, Wanda a Master-Class Croakamancer, Jack the Master-Class Foolmancer. He is the only one they do not give a direct title or higher regard. Maggie I am not so sure about I doubt she could obtain Master status since we have not 'seen her' actively leveling.

Naivity has its draw backs, and now they are being expounded upon by how one was directly involved in the events that CHANGE erf for better/worse. Janis saying that things need to be broken. Sounds something similar to what is going on around us today.

Sean Clannery
2009-04-18, 03:23 AM
As good as this story has been lately and as good as this individual page is, there's something about that first panel that just exemplifies how excellent this story has been from start to finish... "But we are popped in a world where peace is impossible."

That they've managed to make something this good that adheres to its conventions this well is quite a feat.

kreszantas
2009-04-18, 03:36 AM
Oh and who is it in the circle with spock, I think I see Hendrix, John Lennon, and Manson (charlie, not marilyn) though I could be mistaken on one or all of them

I think the Manson your refering to could also be Yanni... but since I am not sure which order you are going in I am just taking a stab in the dark.

mortissimus
2009-04-18, 03:40 AM
I figured Janis meant that Parson can conquer the world, thus uniting everything into one faction.

Peace by winning the game.

Jimor
2009-04-18, 03:50 AM
I couldn't figure out the others, but the long-haired guy is most probably magician Doug Henning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Henning).

Borris
2009-04-18, 04:00 AM
So, any chances the Battle for Gobwin Knob was the first skirmish of the War to End Them All?

Silveranon
2009-04-18, 04:11 AM
The figures I can discern upon the mat in panel 4 are, from left to right: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa, John Lennon. I have no idea who the figure on the far right is. Theme? Big hippies.

Edit:

Changing my mind - second from the left is Mama Cass.

WarriorTribble
2009-04-18, 04:16 AM
I figured Janis meant that Parson can conquer the world, thus uniting everything into one faction.

Peace by winning the game.Somewhat offtopic, but is there a story where this actually happened, and was considered a good thing? Y'know instead of either the unification failing miserably after much death, or the resulting world government becoming a force of pure evil?

Narkis
2009-04-18, 04:29 AM
God-Emperor of Dune. Granted, the resulting galactic government was a force of pure evil from the get got, but it was a good force of pure evil. Humanity expanded and survived because it didn't want another tyrant like that one.

Chocowatte
2009-04-18, 04:41 AM
I really like the "purple haze" effect... and the thought of breaking more and more rules until the world is completely different...

I'm VERY excited for the future...

Sincerely,
Chocowatte

Killer Angel
2009-04-18, 04:42 AM
"Because if he breaks things enough, there may be peace in Erfworld after all."
mmm...
I don't follow Janis, here. She's referring to the War that Will End All the Wars?
If so, it's a dangerous illusion. At least, on the Earth, it didn't never work; on erfworld, who knows? But I'm very skeptical.

Anyway, a great strip, very well drawn and with a great character development for Sizemore. "Chief butcher"... very bitter.
Also, I'm glad to see Wanda is recovering.

factotum
2009-04-18, 04:44 AM
The plot thickens! One begins to wonder if the Magic Kingdom had an ulterior motive in giving Wanda that warlord summoning spell...given that Janis, a Hippiemancer, seems to be a leader of sorts, they could have an entire long-term strategy to bring about a lasting peace in Erfworld.

Sweetie Welf
2009-04-18, 04:48 AM
I admit, I have no idea how breaking the rules can end war on erfworld.

Except we're talking about real basic rules, like obedience and loyalty, or the auto-attack rule.

Amplify
2009-04-18, 04:52 AM
Somewhat offtopic, but is there a story where this actually happened, and was considered a good thing? Y'know instead of either the unification failing miserably after much death, or the resulting world government becoming a force of pure evil?
Code Geass season 2

Though this would imply that something would happen to Parson at the end.

Lord of Rapture
2009-04-18, 05:05 AM
Code Geass season 2

Though this would imply that something would happen to Parson at the end.

Ugh, don't remind me. It totally broke any respect I had left for the show's second season and Sunrise, because it was so contrived.

OverWilliam
2009-04-18, 05:11 AM
Heh-- check it out. Purple haze. :smallbiggrin:

Justyn
2009-04-18, 05:14 AM
Heh-- check it out. Purple haze. :smallbiggrin:

I have to ask here: does the fact that there are hippies with a haze around them mean what I think it means? A simple yes or no will do.

greywords
2009-04-18, 05:14 AM
and apparently the link didn't gain them any XP, since sizemore only leveled twice in battle (the same amount as bogroll did when he took down ansom) so either he's a VERY high level unit, or the deaths caused by the volcano aren't notches on his bedpost.

Or maybe the XP for killing a Chief Warlord in single combat are astronomical. If there were no other chief warlords (I'm guessing no), then the combined XP of all the other units might only just barely add up (including Sizemore's attack on the normal warlords).

As for peace making, "perfect weapon" never seems to act as a deterrent to war in general (see the invention of TNT, the atom bomb, and, as mentioned by another poster, machine guns) but does change the nature of combat. Janis may be referring to this, or, more likely in my mind, a sea change in Erfworld where units are popped not to be soldiers of some variety in the overlords army but rather something like trade between sides, scientific research, entertainment of other units, etc. There would still be armies and wars, just that such wouldn't be the only purpose of existence anymore.

Moechi_Vill
2009-04-18, 05:32 AM
Hey there... I just registered tonight, after being a lurker/reader for months, simply because I had to post how completely awesome Erfworld is becoming :smallsmile:

As to Sizemore: He wants peace, and dislikes killing.

When Parson was using manuever to avoid direct combat, Sizemore liked that. When Parson began having volcanoes detonated to kill thousands, Sizemore hated that.

Janis just let on that "The Perfect Warlord" is probably the best route to lasting peace for Erfworld... by making the continuation of the traditional war so hideously horrible, that it's no longer seen as a desireable passtime by whomever survives whatever Parson does next.

I'm not sure if Sizemore really believes her, but he should. She has the right idea.

:smallsmile:

Or by breaking the underlying rules of the universe. Or by world domination.

Goshen
2009-04-18, 05:37 AM
I agree with you... Parson will most definately break the culture there. Just like machine-guns on Earth broke the whole culture of dashing cavalry charges, and inbred monarchs declaring war on their cousins over petty squabbles.

As for valueing life and freedom... I don't think Parson does yet, because (a) this is still a game to him, and (b) because he swore to his friends back on Earth that he would give up his entire life and everything he knew... just for the chance to be a real-life Warlord leading battles.

Sizemore is the one who values life and freedom: If given a choice, he'd gladly give up being a caster in Erfworld, in order to work at a Kinko's photocpy place on Earth.

Good points. Ever since Parson entered Erfworld, I've been fascinated by a dichotomy in the way he treats people. He treats those closest to him with affection and sensitivity, although he does use them as he must for the war. He was pretty sad when Misty died (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0083.html).

Anyone else is just a game piece, whose lives he spent gladly. This is clearly shown in the tragic horrible deaths of Webinar and Dora (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html) and a couple of unknown enemy troops, all while Parson works out silly word games.

This kind of dichotomy (my friends are human, everyone else is walking meat) is a depressingly common condition. A form of basic tribalism, which makes a lot of very bad behavior possible. Perhaps part of Parson's journey will be to value all life, with Sizemore being his conscience. That makes Sizemore a perfect contrast with Wanda, for whom horror, pain, and (above all) dominance are always personal--and delicious. She is a walking Id.

Wow! I really am enjoying my little theory! :smalltongue:

Maggie and Bogroll round out the cast of external representations of Parson's character. Maggie representing cold logic and ruthless efficiency, Bogroll representing innocence -- which just died.

Moechi_Vill
2009-04-18, 05:38 AM
"Because if he breaks things enough, there may be peace in Erfworld after all."
mmm...
I don't follow Janis, here. She's referring to the War that Will End All the Wars?
If so, it's a dangerous illusion. At least, on the Earth, it didn't never work; on erfworld, who knows? But I'm very skeptical.

Anyway, a great strip, very well drawn and with a great character development for Sizemore. "Chief butcher"... very bitter.
Also, I'm glad to see Wanda is recovering.

The game is moderately balanced towards continuing forever with countries splitting up when they become bigger. But what would happen if in just one scenario one conquers all? The mechanics might not cover that.
The real world is far better balanced, but even here it is possible to eliminate crimes and wars. Currently this would have to happen through a police state or centuries of social and perhaps even genetic engineering.

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-18, 06:10 AM
The plot thickens! One begins to wonder if the Magic Kingdom had an ulterior motive in giving Wanda that warlord summoning spell...given that Janis, a Hippiemancer, seems to be a leader of sorts, they could have an entire long-term strategy to bring about a lasting peace in Erfworld.

Oh yes, that would be the Ozymandias from Watchmen strategy.

But it does not sound very Hippie-like.


Maggie and Bogroll round out the cast of external representations of Parson's character. Maggie representing cold logic and ruthless efficiency, Bogroll representing innocence -- which just died.

Ya know, sometimes a Bogroll is just a Bogroll ... but that interpretation of yours is sufficiently awesome that I kinda like it!

As for me, I'll rejoice when we see Stanley again, finally. He's been criminally underused for the last thousand strips.

And it would also be nice if a certain somebody (<<-) would make an appearance in non-crispy and non-cindery form.

Moechi_Vill
2009-04-18, 06:12 AM
Ugh, don't remind me. It totally broke any respect I had left for the show's second season and Sunrise, because it was so contrived.

Yeah, 'All Hail Lelouch' was a much kewler concept.

Orange-kun and the girl had a nice ending though. :D ^^

BLANDCorporatio
2009-04-18, 06:15 AM
Yeah, 'All Hail Lelouch' was a much kewler concept.

Orange-kun and the girl had a nice ending though. :D ^^

I didn't watch that show, but somehow I found out about the STORMS OF LOYALTY! What the h?

hewhosaysfish
2009-04-18, 06:47 AM
This kind of dichotomy (my friends are human, everyone else is walking meat) is a depressingly common condition. A form of basic tribalism, which makes a lot of very bad behavior possible.

Are you familiar with the idea of Dunbar's number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number)? (See also Monkeysphere (http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html).)

Moechi_Vill
2009-04-18, 07:07 AM
Or maybe the XP for killing a Chief Warlord in single combat are astronomical. If there were no other chief warlords (I'm guessing no), then the combined XP of all the other units might only just barely add up (including Sizemore's attack on the normal warlords).

As for peace making, "perfect weapon" never seems to act as a deterrent to war in general (see the invention of TNT, the atom bomb, and, as mentioned by another poster, machine guns) but does change the nature of combat. Janis may be referring to this, or, more likely in my mind, a sea change in Erfworld where units are popped not to be soldiers of some variety in the overlords army but rather something like trade between sides, scientific research, entertainment of other units, etc. There would still be armies and wars, just that such wouldn't be the only purpose of existence anymore.

He has to share all that xp with two other casters.



I didn't watch that show, but somehow I found out about the STORMS OF LOYALTY! What the h?

Yes, it is awesome (style-wise) isn't it! ^^

HandofShadows
2009-04-18, 07:13 AM
So Parson might able stop the continual wars on Erfworld? :smalleek: He may be able to reduce the number, but end them? Right now they seem to fight because the rules of the world say so. If Parson is able to break that rules and make it stick, he will have to make a new set of rules and have something to replace fighting (for the most part). Erf does seem to have been created as a "living wargame" by the Titans (or maybe the Titans are mearly part of the world and didn't actually make it) and sooner if not later those powers are going to be confronted in some way. I am starting to think more and more that maybe Charlie created the world and is useing it for kicks and an ego boost (he never looses).

Janice is a smart and cagey character. It's clear that she knew what happened at Gobwin Knob and understands it much better than Sizemore does. I thought it odd that Janice (with Spock in tow no less) just happened to show up at the Portal Park just after Parson arrived. I really think she had been watching what had been going on. Had she been keeping track of Sizemore or Parson though? Did Janis (and/or others that feel like she does) have a hand in the spell that brought Parson to Erf?

And I don't think that this (Grand Abby) Janis is based very much on Janis Joplin as has been suggested. Janis was not really a hippy (and could be downright violent at times, like she clonked Jim Morrison over the head with a bottle of Southern Comfort) also she was much thinner (being a Heroin addict) and dressed VERY colorfully. This Janis has a lot of meat on her bones and dresses more plainly.

Kreistor
2009-04-18, 07:34 AM
He has to share all that xp with two other casters.

I personally don't think he gained any exp from the volcano. If you retreat, you don't get ep, and they retreated before the volcano did much.

Subtext
2009-04-18, 07:45 AM
Somewhat offtopic, but is there a story where this actually happened, and was considered a good thing? Y'know instead of either the unification failing miserably after much death, or the resulting world government becoming a force of pure evil?

What about the Alliance in the Firefly Series?

greywords
2009-04-18, 07:48 AM
I personally don't think he gained any exp from the volcano. If you retreat, you don't get ep, and they retreated before the volcano did much.

That's a good point. One other thought, somewhat related- would Parson have gotten any experience from the battle, besides his direct slaying of the weiner-rammer? He was serving in his function as chief warlord, after all. Do we have any insight as to when and how XP is earned in this comic's system besides via direct kills?

MattR
2009-04-18, 07:48 AM
Maybe the fact that the volcano was specifically called out as a trap is a why he didng get a bazillino xp =/ traps just dont give xp like regular combat?

Maybe Parson gets a percentage of experience gained by units under his command in the hex. Kind of like raid experience in mmorgs.

greywords
2009-04-18, 07:52 AM
What about the Alliance in the Firefly Series?

I think most folks would agree they turned into a force of oppression and tyranny. I certainly wouldn't want to live under their rule given their experiments that created the reavers.

Helgraf
2009-04-18, 08:02 AM
God-Emperor of Dune. Granted, the resulting galactic government was a force of pure evil from the get got, but it was a good force of pure evil. Humanity expanded and survived because it didn't want another tyrant like that one.

Ahh yes ... Muad'Dib's golden path. Where he openly acknowledges man will hate him _and that's an intrinsic part of the plan_ to ensure humanity's continuation as, well, humanity.

Sebastian
2009-04-18, 08:19 AM
[...]
Wow! I really am enjoying my little theory! :smalltongue:

Maggie and Bogroll round out the cast of external representations of Parson's character. Maggie representing cold logic and ruthless efficiency, Bogroll representing innocence -- which just died.

Interesting theory, even if it make more probable that Erfworld is just some kind of dream, with all the characters as projection of parts of Parson personality.

luxgladius
2009-04-18, 08:42 AM
I have to say I'm surprised he only leveled twice. Bogroll leveled twice for killing one Warlord, albeit the highest ranking of them all. Sizemore probably killed at least 10, and thousands of infantry. Granted, he had to split the XP 3 ways with the rest of the link, and Parson probably got his share (though without stats, maybe not), but still... Not to mention that even before the big finish, he was still royally kicking ass.

rosebud
2009-04-18, 09:12 AM
Parson really isn't one of the bad guys, it's just he's a good strategist. Maybe even the best the game world has ever seen. I mean, he did beat Charlie.Nah, that was a draw. Charlie's still alive.


Just like machine-guns on Earth broke the whole culture of dashing cavalry chargesThen they changed the cavalry. Change begets countering change.


As for valuing life and freedom... I don't think Parson does yet, because (a) this is still a game to him,To paraphrase the Bard, "All the world's a game, and all the men and women are merely players." I don't see how (a) fails to imply that it's not "real", something he does realize. But Parson, unlike Sizemore, also cares for self-preservation. And both are compelled towards a certain loyalty to the cause.


Funny how plot lines converge. Both Parson and V are going to spend a fair amount of time atoning for the bad things they have done recently.I don't entirely follow.


Somewhat offtopic, but is there a story where this actually happened, and was considered a good thing? Y'know instead of either the unification failing miserably after much death, or the resulting world government becoming a force of pure evil?After much bloodshed, the Britains did seem to like being Romans. And they didn't like it when the Romans left.


Erfworld where units are popped not to be soldiers of some variety in the overlords army but rather something like trade between sides, scientific research, entertainment of other units, etc. There would still be armies and wars, just that such wouldn't be the only purpose of existence anymore.Neat idea. Banhammer is an interesting one in that he didn't want war but failed in that objective.

And even the Barbarian, Jillian, had some peaceful desires, too.

I am curious where Wanda fits with all this. She does not seem to be a lover of peace, so to speak.


Anyone else is just a game piece, whose lives he spent gladly.I think you're being unfair. He did appreciate self preservation. Operas are what they are because of the tragedy. And to make a leap from his appreciation of the tragedy of Missy to the greater tragedy is not an impossible stretch. Nor is an unsustainable peace a great virtue.


Perhaps part of Parson's journey will be to value all life, with Sizemore being his conscience. That makes Sizemore a perfect contrast with Wanda, for whom horror, pain, and (above all) dominance are always personal--and delicious. She is a walking Id.Perhaps this is exactly what you are saying. I still wonder about Wanda, though. Her vulnerability implies more.


Maggie and Bogroll round out the cast of external representations of Parson's character. Maggie representing cold logic and ruthless efficiency, Bogroll representing innocence -- which just died.Interesting -- I like your ideas. :) Maggie is, in fairness, not a complete cold fish, though. She has a depth that I'm appreciating. I like when she feigned fatigue when the topic of backlash came up. :)


I don't follow Janis, here. She's referring to the War that Will End All the Wars?Interesting supposition.

If you look at the other parties, what do we have?

Ansom, the embodiment of Pure Nobility and Natural Law, is dead. That's pretty much what happened with World War I, too.

For me, I take it as an evolution, though.


The game is moderately balanced towards continuing forever with countries splitting up when they become bigger. But what would happen if in just one scenario one conquers all? The mechanics might not cover that.Nah, inevitably when one power threatens all (as was the case before the Coalition), other powers gang up and break it. Charlie and Parson are both strong personalities, so I don't see it a simple thing with a fun single government. Different views and evaluations of risk and reward may happen. But, heck, I'm also along for the ride. I really liked this strip. Almost no action, yet so much happening!

DevilDan
2009-04-18, 10:12 AM
Sizemore was angry at Parson since before the battle in the tunnels under GK. It is a hypocritical sense of outrage, however, given how everything in Erf, including every single jewel he helped dig and every golem he created, is devoted to warfare.

I wonder if Janis thinks that Parson can do more than introduce new ideas and cause a change of culture: I wonder if she think he can change the Rules themselves, somehow. It shouldn't surprise us that Hippiemancers can dream big--that's actually the point of her current lesson for Sizemore.

So Spock is a hippiemancer. Guess that explains his non-lethal martial arts.

chaoschristian
2009-04-18, 11:00 AM
I have to say I'm surprised he only leveled twice. Bogroll leveled twice for killing one Warlord, albeit the highest ranking of them all. Sizemore probably killed at least 10, and thousands of infantry. Granted, he had to split the XP 3 ways with the rest of the link, and Parson probably got his share (though without stats, maybe not), but still... Not to mention that even before the big finish, he was still royally kicking ass.

Sizemore's already a master dirtamancer, yes? Perhaps the xp thresholds are simply too large at that point to level more than a couple of times.

Bogroll on the other hand was a lowly garrison unit. I'm surprised he only leveled twice.

chaoschristian
2009-04-18, 11:05 AM
Or by breaking the underlying rules of the universe. Or by world domination.

Pax Parsonum?

factotum
2009-04-18, 11:22 AM
Good points. Ever since Parson entered Erfworld, I've been fascinated by a dichotomy in the way he treats people. He treats those closest to him with affection and sensitivity, although he does use them as he must for the war. He was pretty sad when Misty died (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0083.html).

Anyone else is just a game piece, whose lives he spent gladly. This is clearly shown in the tragic horrible deaths of Webinar and Dora (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html) and a couple of unknown enemy troops, all while Parson works out silly word games.


That's because Parson *changed* between those two events. The thing he was missing, which had to be given to him in one of his Stupid Meals, was ruthlessness. It was this which allowed him to sacrifice all those units without a second thought, not some disbelief in the world he finds himself in.

Roszlishan
2009-04-18, 11:37 AM
I'm not sure this means that Parson could take over the world, or that Parson will find a way to make all victories Pyrrhic, which seems to be the way it's been interpreted so far. Of course, it could mean that, but ... it just seems like a small meaning, given the scope we've seen the authors display. I think I'd rather be disappointed, in the sense that ... I think there's a lot more that could be done with the idea.

Instead, consider that Erfworld and its rules system that is modeled roughly on a wargame interactions is in some sense inherently designed for battle, war, and destruction. The turn-based rules, the leveling, popping, upkeep ... all designed to fuel wargames. When Janis says that they were popped in a world where peace is impossible - that is a literal truth.

I think something more fundamental has to break before Erfworld can be peaceful; and if Erfworld can be peaceful; and I look forward to seeing just where the authors will take us.

Cheers,
Roszlishan

raphfrk
2009-04-18, 11:39 AM
The game is moderately balanced towards continuing forever with countries splitting up when they become bigger.


Maybe that is how Parson gets control of a side. If they capture enough cities, a "senior" member of Stanley's side is promoted to overlord and then the side is split into two.

Alternatively, perhaps, because he is an overlord, his side is immune to being split (there is no nobles to usurp him). In effect, an overlord can become "emperor" of the world, but a King cannot.

Another option is that Parson somehow manages to change Stanley's side into a federation (say ruled by a "Council of Overlords"). Thus, when Stanley's side splits, it creates new States in the federation rather than creating two sides (which are probably set to 'at war' status when the split happens).

Lizard Lord
2009-04-18, 11:43 AM
I think I understand why the Grand Abbie might think Parson is a hippiemancer. Hippies in our world were all about challenging the statues quo in hopes of peace and equality. While Parson may not care as much about peace as a Sizemore does, his very existence is a challenge to the status qua of Erfworld.

Unfortunately the more people that find this out, the more enemies Parson might have.

Before the comic is over he could wind up having more enemies then Stanley.

Or the hippiemancer could have lying, but I still think she senses that Parson's existence is a threat to the status quo.


(PS: How is status quo spelled exactly? I always thought it was two words and that it was spelled quo, but firefox's spell check is telling me that is wrong. From what I can tell of the spell check, it is is either status qua or statuesque. For now I shall leave it how I thought it was spelled.)

Freerefill
2009-04-18, 11:46 AM
*points to guy with long brown hair, moustache and no shirt*

George Harrison, anyone?

Also, do the swirly, rainbow things remind anyone else of a lava lamp?

Gez
2009-04-18, 11:46 AM
(It is statu quo. Firefox's spellchecker is sometimes wrong because it doesn't recognize phrases, only words. Another example is how it wants to change Eta Cassiopeiae into Eta Cassiopeia.)

I said it in a previous thread, but if the hippiemancers want peace, freedom and equality, then no one is more likely to bring it on Erfworld than an outsider like Parson for whom such concepts are actually meaningful.

mhoram
2009-04-18, 11:48 AM
I'm surprised at the number of people who feel that Parson ought to feel bad for the success of his tunnel ambush. Notably, because they cite the death of Webinar and Dora as reasons to be upset. But not, say the fate of the various gobwins and spidews that died in the same conflict. Why? Probably because they have names and faces.

So some readers think (looking at Goshen's post here) that Parson should feel bad about the death of characters that they have relationships to (through name and face recognition), but not that he should feel bad about the unnamed and unshown allies of Parsons who met equally unpleasant deaths at the hand of Team Radish. Anyone see the paradox here? It /is/ immoral, in warfare, to value the enemy's life more highly than the lives of those on your own side whom they seek to kill.

Sizemore's pacifism may be laudatory, but it's unsustainable in a world where you exist only at the whim of a faction leader who himself exists only to contest militarily for territory. And Jillian's dad reveals what happens when one, empowered by geographical advantage, tries to buck the system, his disadvantaged warlords grow bitter and disaffected, denied the perks the 'natural' order would provide them. Janis has it right, peace, even small, localized peace, is pretty much impossible in Erfworld as written.

And for those who argue that even under Peace(tm) we have small, local wars and crime, all I can say is that there is a major qualitative difference between the suffering generated by low grade disorganized violence and that generated by outright warfare. The difference between good and better is much smaller than the difference between bad and worse.

So yeah, Parson is an interesting cause for hope. He doesn't start with any of the same assumptions of the other people in Erf, and this makes it possible for him to probe the space between the known rules, looking for weak spots, exploits, ways to extend the range of possibilities. It's possible he'll just make war more bloody and more ruthless, but it's also possible he'll find a way to break the assumptions that sustain the constant war.

I do suspect that when the Ruthlessness wears off, he's going to mourn the sacrifice of Bogroll. But I'm genuinely mystified why he should feel bad about the deaths and humiliations of homicidal enemies like Webinar, Dora, and the Radish Guy. These people would have killed him and then disbanded his whole side without a moment's pause.

Oh, and to the side discussion on the tyranny of strong governments: like anything else, it depends on who you are. If Serenity had been about life on the inner planets and you'd seen the outer worlds through the lens of their news services, you'd basically have thought their government was beneficent. Every power structure favors some groups at the expense of others. Extreme capitalism favors protecting the property of the rich over the poor and just not rich. Extreme socialism reverses that relationship. A technologically focused society will privilege the educated, an agrarian society the strong, healthy and productive. Gobwin Knob, being a military culture, privileges warlords and top killers while having nothing particularly good for pacifists and grunts. It's almost never as simple as good and evil, it's about 'good for whom' and 'evil for whom'.

SteveMB
2009-04-18, 11:48 AM
I am curious where Wanda fits with all this. She does not seem to be a lover of peace, so to speak.

If Erfworlders live until croaked by violence (which seems to be implied by the way they heal fully each day, and the fact that we've never seen anybody who looked older than middle-aged), peace would leave Wanda with no outlet for her favored magical discipline.

raphfrk
2009-04-18, 11:53 AM
Sizemore's already a master dirtamancer, yes? Perhaps the xp thresholds are simply too large at that point to level more than a couple of times.


He killed a few thousand people, even divided by 3, that is still a large death toll.

If that is the kind of death toll needed to level when you reach the 'master' range, he is probably the most powerful dirtamancer in the world.

In effect, Stanley would have the 3 most powerful, Dirt/Think/Croak mancers available.

Btw, do you think the skipped a page with the splitting up of the link (to be included as a book-incentive)?

Acacia OnnaStik
2009-04-18, 12:11 PM
Somewhat offtopic, but is there a story where this actually happened, and was considered a good thing? Y'know instead of either the unification failing miserably after much death, or the resulting world government becoming a force of pure evil?

The Baron's Peace, in Girl Genius (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php), comes close. It only covers most of continental Europe, and there's still some fighting even within the borders, at least till the Baron notices and comes over to make them stop. But it's repeatedly made clear that it's better than anything you'll find elsewhere in that world. The story even manages to approve of it while the main characters are under serious threat from it.

(Also, hello everyone from a new delurker! :smallredface: )

SteveMB
2009-04-18, 12:18 PM
He killed a few thousand people, even divided by 3, that is still a large death toll.

If that is the kind of death toll needed to level when you reach the 'master' range, he is probably the most powerful dirtamancer in the world.

In effect, Stanley would have the 3 most powerful, Dirt/Think/Croak mancers available.

Maybe they didn't get any level-ups from the enemies croaked by the volcano because they retreated before it went off (remember Stanley's complaint (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0061.html) about Parson's hit-and-run tactics).

Mr. Goodwraith
2009-04-18, 12:53 PM
I agree that Janis the Grand Abbie (which title presumably refers to Abbie Hoffman, BTW) seems to be more of a reference to Janis Ian than Janis Joplin, although Janis Ian is thin and has always had curly hair. See the album cover at http://www.whatrecords.co.uk/live/pics/20252.jpg; also, Janis Ian's lyrics have always tended to be more socially informed/conscious ("Society's Child"), where Janis Joplin's tended to be more personal ("Piece of My Heart").

HandofShadows
2009-04-18, 12:54 PM
If Erfworlders live until croaked by violence (which seems to be implied by the way they heal fully each day, and the fact that we've never seen anybody who looked older than middle-aged), peace would leave Wanda with no outlet for her favored magical discipline.

But Wanda is from Faq and for a long time Faq was not at war with anyone so she would not have had anyone to uncroak. But she is Master by the time we see her in the story. So she must have been able to level some way without dead bodies to work with, right?

Spot
2009-04-18, 12:59 PM
Sizemore's already a master dirtamancer, yes? Perhaps the xp thresholds are simply too large at that point to level more than a couple of times.

Bogroll on the other hand was a lowly garrison unit. I'm surprised he only leveled twice.


Back in the long-long-ago, when I used to play Dungeons and Dragons, pretty much everyone in the extended group of gamers I played with, used variant rules such as the Perrin Conventions, and other variations based on the Arduin Grimmoire.

One of the house rules that just about everyone used, was that you couldn't level more than twice in a single play session (or in some cases, you couldn't level more than twice in large battles that extended over multiple play sessions).

So, even if you somehow managed to kill a god (I'm using this as an intentionally ridiculous example), or even an entire pantheon of gods....

...well, here you go, here are your two levels.

Perhaps Erfworld uses the same house rules?

If both Sizemore and Bogroll each gained enough experience to bump up against the house-rule xp limit for a single battle, then they'd both get their two levels, regardless of the actual totals of xp involved.

Goshen
2009-04-18, 01:00 PM
Ya know, sometimes a Bogroll is just a Bogroll.
LOL!

...but that interpretation of yours is sufficiently awesome that I kinda like it!
The essence of a good theory is that it fits. Wether it is remotely true is another question. ;-)

Are you familiar with the idea of Dunbar's number (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number)? (See also Monkeysphere (http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html).)Not until now. Thanks for the awesome and relevant links!

Interesting theory, even if it make more probable that Erfworld is just some kind of dream, with all the characters as projection of parts of Parson personality. It does a bit, but having characters represent different aspects of human nature is an old story-telling technique. Is there a name for it, anyone?

I don't think Stanley, Jillian, Vinnie, or Ansom represent parts of Parson, but they do fit certain architypes nicely. Stanly the office boss from hell. Ansom the hansom Prince, even if he is a prig. (Yes, I meant "prig" with a "g".) I tihnk Vinnie is so appealing because he is such a good "best friend", first to Ansom, now to Jillian.




Anyone else is just a game piece, whose lives he spent gladly. This is clearly shown in the tragic horrible deaths of Webinar and Dora (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html) and a couple of unknown enemy troops, all while Parson works out silly word games.
I think you're being unfair. He did appreciate self preservation. Operas are what they are because of the tragedy. And to make a leap from his appreciation of the tragedy of Missy to the greater tragedy is not an impossible stretch. Nor is an unsustainable peace a great virtue.
I think he was being pretty detached there. Also when he was having his uncraoked warlord yell "Leeeroy!" in his first attck on the enemy column, slaughtering hundreds. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0055.html) My point is that the story may be about his journy towards empathy.

I agree with you about Opera, and Erfworld definitely is one. The Webinar Dora death page was a truly magnificent heart-wrenching moment. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html)


That's because Parson *changed* between those two events. The thing he was missing, which had to be given to him in one of his Stupid Meals, was ruthlessness. It was this which allowed him to sacrifice all those units without a second thought, not some disbelief in the world he finds himself in.
That almost fits, but I still contend that he was detached earlier (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html), before his sword was complete.



So some readers think (looking at Goshen's post here) that Parson should feel bad about the death of characters that they have relationships to (through name and face recognition), but not that he should feel bad about the unnamed and unshown allies of Parsons who met equally unpleasant deaths at the hand of Team Radish. Anyone see the paradox here? It /is/ immoral, in warfare, to value the enemy's life more highly than the lives of those on your own side whom they seek to kill.
Hmmm. You make a complex point. Of course you have to kill the enemy when there is no other way, and definitely try to minimize your losses at the cost of theirs. Nevertheless, valuing all sentient life is a higher moral state.

Imgran
2009-04-18, 01:09 PM
Pax Parsonum?

It would be the Pax Hamsterica and you know it.

Spot
2009-04-18, 01:11 PM
This kind of dichotomy (my friends are human, everyone else is walking meat) is a depressingly common condition. A form of basic tribalism, which makes a lot of very bad behavior possible. Perhaps part of Parson's journey will be to value all life, with Sizemore being his conscience. That makes Sizemore a perfect contrast with Wanda, for whom horror, pain, and (above all) dominance are always personal--and delicious. She is a walking Id.

Wow! I really am enjoying my little theory! :smalltongue:

Maggie and Bogroll round out the cast of external representations of Parson's character. Maggie representing cold logic and ruthless efficiency, Bogroll representing innocence -- which just died.



That is a beautifull turn of phrase there at the end.

I'm not sure if it's right... but even lack of rightness wouldn't stop it from being an awesome quote.

:smallsmile:

Wakky
2009-04-18, 01:15 PM
*points to guy with long brown hair, moustache and no shirt*

George Harrison, anyone?

No, he is most definitely Frank Zappa. :smallcool:

http://www.drjazz.ch/album/bilder/FrankZappa0023.jpg

See?

Anias
2009-04-18, 01:22 PM
I have to say I'm surprised he only leveled twice. Bogroll leveled twice for killing one Warlord, albeit the highest ranking of them all. Sizemore probably killed at least 10, and thousands of infantry. Granted, he had to split the XP 3 ways with the rest of the link, and Parson probably got his share (though without stats, maybe not), but still... Not to mention that even before the big finish, he was still royally kicking ass.

Well, a couple possibilities come to mind. First, as others have mentioned, they retreated before the combat ended, so they might not get much xp. Second, they really just created a 'trap,' albeit a trap big enough to wipe clean several hexes - I dunno if you get xp for killing something with a trap you made, since it's kinda indirect. Third, the 3-way split will reduce the xp gain significantly. Fourth, I know a lot of games in which the highest level char used in a battle determines the amount of xp gained (so the total xp gained is based off the highest level character's rate of xp gain). Fifth, it could be that the linked casters, as a single entity, gained xp, so the xp went towards the linked form and did nothing for the separate casters. Sixth, it might just be that their combined levels count towards the link (see V. with the soul-splice in OOTS); in this case, they might just be too high level overall to gain much in the ways of xp. If a master-class is, say, lvl 10, and there's at least one master-class in the link (wanda) then the combined levels of the link would probably be 20 or higher - so little if any xp would be gained.

(Hopefully at least some of this is coherent/logical/possible...)

Imgran
2009-04-18, 01:32 PM
But Wanda is from Faq and for a long time Faq was not at war with anyone so she would not have had anyone to uncroak. But she is Master by the time we see her in the story. So she must have been able to level some way without dead bodies to work with, right?

That might explain her willingness to go outside her discipline to get the job done if she has to. That's how she leveled.

MickJay
2009-04-18, 02:17 PM
I think Sizemore gained those two levels from all the earlier fighting - and that all the casters "missed" the experience they would have gotten from the volcano when they escaped.

ishnar
2009-04-18, 02:24 PM
This kind of dichotomy (my friends are human, everyone else is walking meat) is a depressingly common condition.

Actually, dehumanizing the enemy is pretty much required to enable soldiers to kill other people without suffering serious mental trauma. The human mind is not naturally wired to kill other humans, so the basic psychological imperative must be overwritten temporarily. Even in a just war, the soldiers must be indoctrinated because most people simply cannot kill other humans without feeling serious remorse. Even with the conditioning combat fatigue is still a problem, but at least the majority of the soldiers will pull the trigger and shoot what they are told to.

One of the problems of the aftermath of war, however, is soldiers not having the mental conditioning overwritten again giving the enemy their humanity back. Even when people try to remove the conditioning, the soldiers' experiences can make them resistant to the new conditioning.

In a related fact, the primary reason the Nazi's started looking for alternatives to shooting Jews during WW2 wasn't prompted by the bullet shortage, it was the due to the mental trauma suffered by the soldiers executing Jews. Soldiers performing executions kept falling out and becoming ineffective. Losing good soldiers to trauma and retaining psychopaths was not deemed to be advantageous to Nazi agenda. Sure psychopaths didn't feel guilt so they didn't suffer trauma, but they caused problems in other areas.

The point here being, that even with serious conditioning dehumanizing Jews, the natural human aversion to killing other humans would assert itself over the Nazi conditioning eventually leading to serious stress in even staunch anti-semetic people. In other words, Hate only gives a temporary resistance to guilt.

raphfrk
2009-04-18, 02:44 PM
That might explain her willingness to go outside her discipline to get the job done if she has to. That's how she leveled.

Also, if the standard strategy is to have casters as far away from combat as possible, then they would have to be able to level some other way.

JazzManJim
2009-04-18, 02:55 PM
As for peace making, "perfect weapon" never seems to act as a deterrent to war in general (see the invention of TNT, the atom bomb, and, as mentioned by another poster, machine guns) but does change the nature of combat.

This is the outcome I'd prefer to see, the one that hews most closely to reality. Erfworld would become a place where a general peace among large nations leads to less grand-scale warfare. And since there seem to be no smaller nations capable of igniting regional warfare, then perhaps a lasting peace could be had.

Zak3056
2009-04-18, 03:00 PM
Hmm. I'm not sure whether this page really establishes if Parson is a Hippimancer or not, but it does certainly show, either way, why Janis would have defended him.
The thought that springs to mind for me is "Peace through superior firepower."

the_tick_rules
2009-04-18, 03:12 PM
Is there an erfworld level chart? I'm wondering the scale we're dealing with when they say two levels for bogroll and sizemore. Like is it levels 1-20, 1-100?

Anias
2009-04-18, 04:05 PM
Is there an erfworld level chart? I'm wondering the scale we're dealing with when they say two levels for bogroll and sizemore. Like is it levels 1-20, 1-100?

Well, we know from Janis that there are infinite levels, but I'd assume that practically no units ever get higher than level 20 or so, based off the constant battling and as a guess from bonuses. I figure if Jillian's a 9 (though I realize that doesn't necessarily mean lvl 9), then even the highest level chars like Ansom probably are below level 20. That being said, if they know (or at least assume) that there are infinite levels possible, someone must have gotten to a pretty high level and still been able to gain xp. Then again, just because no one's hit the level cap doesn't mean there isn't one. So I doubt there's a level chart, but it's hard to know what level corresponds to, say, a "master-class" mancer, or to a "high-level" unit.

raphfrk
2009-04-18, 04:13 PM
I figure if Jillian's a 9 (though I realize that doesn't necessarily mean lvl 9)

Yeah, could mean warlord with a leadership bonus of 9.

Suicide Junkie
2009-04-18, 04:38 PM
Could it be that there aren't levels per se, but a continuum, and levelling up is when one of your stats rolls over to the next higher value after rounding?

ishnar
2009-04-18, 04:58 PM
Could it be that there aren't levels per se, but a continuum, and levelling up is when one of your stats rolls over to the next higher value after rounding?

Just for variety, it would interesting if a system used logarithmic levels. Level five would run like a little girl from a level six crying for his mommy instead of thinking, "ohh, Good XP"

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-04-18, 05:07 PM
Great page 154/141. I feel better now...like I hope Sizemore does.

Midnight Roamer
2009-04-18, 05:16 PM
I have to ask here: does the fact that there are hippies with a haze around them mean what I think it means? A simple yes or no will do.

I find it highly likely.:smallsmile:

Jimor
2009-04-18, 05:35 PM
No, he is most definitely Frank Zappa. :smallcool:

http://www.drjazz.ch/album/bilder/FrankZappa0023.jpg

See?

Zappa's hair is too dark. I'm still sure it's Doug Henning, who besides being a magician, was really into trancendental meditation, making him perfect for the setting.

I'm also convinced now that Janis is NOT a direct reference to somebody in real life, since she's obviously going to be at least a semi-major character now, and is not a good physical match for either of the musical Janis's from the 70s.

Kholdstare
2009-04-18, 05:36 PM
Even though this page doesn't have any action or startling revelation it has some really awesome insight into the world of a Hippiemancer and it shows a new sizemore mayhaps.

rosebud
2009-04-18, 05:38 PM
I'm genuinely mystified why he should feel bad about the deaths and humiliations of homicidal enemies like Webinar, Dora, and the Radish Guy. These people would have killed him and then disbanded his whole side without a moment's pause.What the other side would do is not a sufficient basis for morality.

As for Webinar and Dora, they saw what Lord Hamster's side did to their men -- they were burned alive. They were not "homicidal enemies" who wanted to kill the caster because they liked killing. They wanted revenge for what happen to their side. (Ah, the source of never-ending feuds!) Of course, Webinar and Ansom did have some stiff sticks well implanted in their backsides. But, though foolish, they were loyal and noble.

And, frankly, it can be easier at times for soldiers to understand fellow soldiers on the other side than their own citizens at time. Though on different sides for political or other reasons, but for that difference, they could be friends rather than enemies. (Of course, that does not apply to zealots, but that does not seem to be the case here. And Ansom would have been officious, but not homicidal in the absence of conflict.)

Tarvok
2009-04-18, 05:46 PM
Somewhat offtopic, but is there a story where this actually happened, and was considered a good thing? Y'know instead of either the unification failing miserably after much death, or the resulting world government becoming a force of pure evil?

"Our Land (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_(2002_film))"

Midnight Roamer
2009-04-18, 06:03 PM
What the other side would do is not a sufficient basis for morality.

Actually, I think it's quite sufficient to know what an enemy will do to you if you don't do it to him first. This is war, and so-called "high morality" takes a holiday in war. The fact that the coalition would kill Hamster and his men hasn't been debated. Parson's only moral alternative to allowing his men to die meaninglessly was to let them die meaninglessly with everyone else. A crappy choice to be handed, but I think he did the only morally acceptable thing by killing everyone.


As for Webinar and Dora, they saw what Lord Hamster's side did to their men -- they were burned alive. They were not "homicidal enemies" who wanted to kill the caster because they liked killing. They wanted revenge for what happen to their side. (Ah, the source of never-ending feuds!) Of course, Webinar and Ansom did have some stiff sticks well implanted in their backsides. But, though foolish, they were loyal and noble.

I understood homicidal to mean that they were bent on killing Parson and his dudes. Whether they enjoyed it or not--or whether it was due to revenge or some other motivation--is all the same to someone in Parson's situation.


And, frankly, it can be easier at times for soldiers to understand fellow soldiers on the other side than their own citizens at time. Though on different sides for political or other reasons, but for that difference, they could be friends rather than enemies. (Of course, that does not apply to zealots, but that does not seem to be the case here. And Ansom would have been officious, but not homicidal in the absence of conflict.)

I'm also not sure if this particular phenomenon--which is quite real in our world--applies to erfworld. There can be no friendly exchanges with troops of another side if the rules dictate that auto-attacking takes place between unled stacks. Stacks with a leader are different, but then that brings in personality and motivational issues within the leadership. I just don't see that happening.

Wadoka
2009-04-18, 06:04 PM
Or, in the immortal words of Joshua from the WarGames novel, "The only winning move is not to play."

Aye.

Janis is full of Win.

Also, Parson may eventually mention an acquaintance of his. A man named Andrew Wiggin. Y'see, Andrew probably taught Parson that, when you have to fight, you win - and you fight not to win just that particular battle, but all the rest of the battles too...

::thumbs up::

As far as the previous poster's reference to Baron von Wulfenbach - I would add the example of Havelock Vetinari's Ankh-Morpork.

Going to the mention of how Parson sees people close to him as people, and the masses of troops arrayed against him as "units" or "things" - that's nothing special; I believe that's how most of standard Humanity envisions opposing forces and populations, in war. It's certainly how modern military training attempts to condition individual members.

Aquillion
2009-04-18, 06:11 PM
Aye.

Janis is full of Win.

Also, Parson may eventually mention an acquaintance of his. A man named Andrew Wiggin. Y'see, Andrew probably taught Parson that, when you have to fight, you win - and you fight not to win just that particular battle, but all the rest of the battles too...

::thumbs::You should really finish reading that book some time. :smalltongue:

Yes, yes, I know you read it. But the point is, I really don't think WOO GENOCIDE was the intended moral. It was intended to attack that line of thinking, not show how awesome it is to blow up planets and genocide your enemies.

Lakeman
2009-04-18, 06:13 PM
Good points. Ever since Parson entered Erfworld, I've been fascinated by a dichotomy in the way he treats people. He treats those closest to him with affection and sensitivity, although he does use them as he must for the war. He was pretty sad when Misty died (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0083.html).

Anyone else is just a game piece, whose lives he spent gladly. This is clearly shown in the tragic horrible deaths of Webinar and Dora (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0124.html) and a couple of unknown enemy troops, all while Parson works out silly word games.

This kind of dichotomy (my friends are human, everyone else is walking meat) is a depressingly common condition. A form of basic tribalism, which makes a lot of very bad behavior possible. Perhaps part of Parson's journey will be to value all life, with Sizemore being his conscience. That makes Sizemore a perfect contrast with Wanda, for whom horror, pain, and (above all) dominance are always personal--and delicious. She is a walking Id.

Wow! I really am enjoying my little theory! :smalltongue:

Maggie and Bogroll round out the cast of external representations of Parson's character. Maggie representing cold logic and ruthless efficiency, Bogroll representing innocence -- which just died.

QFT, I like your musings here. :D

Wadoka
2009-04-18, 06:19 PM
You should really finish reading that book some time. :smalltongue:

Read 'em all, Aqui. I believe the books separate the act of "finishing" an opponent, from having to commit genocide. It's possible to achieve the same effect through acts ruthless and just sufficiently overwhelmingly horrific enough, to inspire the opponent to never want to offer opposition again, without going whole-hog genocidal. Harry S. Truman, for example.

::doublethumbsup::

chaoschristian
2009-04-18, 06:27 PM
It would be the Pax Hamsterica and you know it.

Indeed. Lacks the alliteration though.

elrod13
2009-04-18, 06:56 PM
Janis thinks that Parson can change Erfworld and bring "peace" by breaking things... in particular; rules.
That probably makes sense. The "rules" call for things like auto attack. If the rules are broken, units won't HAVE to attack, they will have other options.

elrod13
2009-04-18, 06:57 PM
HEY!
What do I have to do to avoid being a "pixie"?

Umael
2009-04-18, 07:13 PM
One of the things about a good story is the ability to make the story entertaining on several levels. In this case, we have Erfworld bringing up issues of philosophic impact on the nature of war, peace, reality, paradigms, and personal truths - and all that happens in just this last comic!

Erfworld is a wargame world. It is a game where the inhabitants have been fighting a war probably since they heard the phrase, "The Titans have left the world." Although there has been no definite time-frame given for how long that has been, it is easy to see that the endless war has been going on for so long that there is no cultural memory, no history, nothing to indicate that there is anything but war.

Janis, as a Hippimancer, is striving for peace, but in a world like Erfworld, that's impossible. Hence we have the introduction of Parson and the possibility of breaking reality until Erfworld is possible.

But bringing an end to a forever war can't be done with a wave of the hand, or even with a spell that costs 500,000 Schmuckers. It's going to take a lot of hard work, and things will break.

Someone like Sizemore doesn't realize how bad things are and how much worse they will get before they get better. It's not unlike dealing with a doctor who knows how to heal a broken bone after you've been used to having several quacks just help you get by. By now, the bone has healed wrong and has to be re-broken.

For everyone who wants a more in-depth look at the quality of being ruthless, I highly recommend Sun Tzu's The Art of War (I got the pocket-sized version translated by Thomas Cleary - quite inexpensively, I might admit). Sun Tzu epitomized the value of being a ruthless general as a way to underline how horrible war really is. Parson, whether he read it or not, is definitely illustrating its fundamentals. As someone else in this thread already pointed out, fight to win, not just this battle, but the war. By the value of ruthlessness, make people realize just how horrible war is so that they look to peace instead.

ishnar
2009-04-18, 07:16 PM
Janis thinks that Parson can change Erfworld and bring "peace" by breaking things... in particular; rules.
That probably makes sense. The "rules" call for things like auto attack. If the rules are broken, units won't HAVE to attack, they will have other options.

Another problem with the current world "rules" is economy. Right now it seems money making is down to "mining" or "mercenary" work, although trade might be in there somewhere, it is probably strictly in a "settlers of catan", or raw resources only.

I doubt, for example, that there is room for a value added economy or a service economy, other than mercenary work that is. So with no resources to trade or gold to mine, a poor nation has to attack to acquire new mines or tradeable resources.

Wargames usually involve fights for basic resources wood and gold Warcraft style. Or strategic resources, Aluminum and Oil in Civilization. Game design encourages fighting over resources even when trade is possible. Mines are capped and designed to run out. Strategic resources become obsolete and new ones must be acquired.

This is looking more Warcrafty though than Civ. Thus technological progress isn't the goal, it's fighting wars. So technology should remain relatively static throughout the series, like Warhammer or Warcraft. Resources will be basic, gold, gems, trees or whatever.

Gez
2009-04-18, 07:35 PM
Parson's only moral alternative to allowing his men to die meaninglessly was to let them die meaninglessly with everyone else. A crappy choice to be handed, but I think he did the only morally acceptable thing by killing everyone.

That last sentence, when taken out of context, is just hilarious. :smallbiggrin: I hope you don't mind me sigging it (if you do, I'll remove it).

T-O-E
2009-04-18, 07:51 PM
Another problem with the current world "rules" is economy. Right now it seems money making is down to "mining" or "mercenary" work, although trade might be in there somewhere, it is probably strictly in a "settlers of catan", or raw resources only.

I doubt, for example, that there is room for a value added economy or a service economy, other than mercenary work that is. So with no resources to trade or gold to mine, a poor nation has to attack to acquire new mines or tradeable resources.

Wargames usually involve fights for basic resources wood and gold Warcraft style. Or strategic resources, Aluminum and Oil in Civilization. Game design encourages fighting over resources even when trade is possible. Mines are capped and designed to run out. Strategic resources become obsolete and new ones must be acquired.

This is looking more Warcrafty though than Civ. Thus technological progress isn't the goal, it's fighting wars. So technology should remain relatively static throughout the series, like Warhammer or Warcraft. Resources will be basic, gold, gems, trees or whatever.

You can also farm, apparently. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html)

Fjolnir
2009-04-18, 08:19 PM
I would assume that farming allieviates the otherwise higher cost of popping food by buying it.

Midnight Roamer
2009-04-18, 08:56 PM
That last sentence, when taken out of context, is just hilarious. :smallbiggrin: I hope you don't mind me sigging it (if you do, I'll remove it).

I'm flattered. Sure, go ahead. :smallsmile:

dr pepper
2009-04-18, 09:05 PM
Back in the long-long-ago, when I used to play Dungeons and Dragons, pretty much everyone in the extended group of gamers I played with, used variant rules such as the Perrin Conventions, and other variations based on the Arduin Grimmoire.


I remember that time. Every gm felt free to throw in whatever suited them, or throw out whatever they found inconveninet. Every time you brought an old character to a new game you had to rewrite it because the rules were so different. But no matter how different, it was all D&D to us. And when i showed up at the LASFS clubhous on saturdays there were always enough people for 3 or 4 games. Today, i hang out at my FLGS every weekend and so far i've only found 2 other players interested in a new campaign :(

BTW: I think the Perrin Conventions were the forst step towards rounding out characters with skills beyond their basic function.




One of the house rules that just about everyone used, was that you couldn't level more than twice in a single play session (or in some cases, you couldn't level more than twice in large battles that extended over multiple play sessions).

So, even if you somehow managed to kill a god (I'm using this as an intentionally ridiculous example), or even an entire pantheon of gods....

...well, here you go, here are your two levels.

Perhaps Erfworld uses the same house rules?


The rule most of us used was 2 levels -1 experience point per session. Some gms would give you a chance to do a quick solo confrontation to try to get that last ep.

Wakky
2009-04-18, 09:06 PM
HEY!
What do I have to do to avoid being a "pixie"?

I would suggest plastic surgery on the pointy ears and wings. :smallbiggrin:

dr pepper
2009-04-18, 09:25 PM
I think Sizemore gained those two levels from all the earlier fighting - and that all the casters "missed" the experience they would have gotten from the volcano when they escaped.


Maybe the volcano leveled :)

dr pepper
2009-04-18, 09:40 PM
I'm also convinced now that Janis is NOT a direct reference to somebody in real life, since she's obviously going to be at least a semi-major character now, and is not a good physical match for either of the musical Janis's from the 70s.

No, she's modelled on the style of R Crumb, who illustrated one of Janis Joplin's
albums (http://www.tinyways.com/media/img/CheapthrillsBigbrother.jpg) and liked his women extra beefy.

Jon Pander
2009-04-18, 11:03 PM
[COLOR="Indigo"][FONT="Trebuchet MS"]
I'm not sure this means that Parson could take over the world, or that Parson will find a way to make all victories Pyrrhic, which seems to be the way it's been interpreted so far. Of course, it could mean that, but ... it just seems like a small meaning, given the scope we've seen the authors display. I think I'd rather be disappointed, in the sense that ... I think there's a lot more that could be done with the idea.

Not sure if what Parson did was considered a pyrrhic victory even. Pyrrhic victory implies that the attacking side 'wins,' but at a huge cost. The attacking side here didn't win on three levels - it did not get to take over Gobwin Knob (it's not even confirmed that Gobwin Knob actually is no longer a city, though it's a possibility); it did not kill Stanley (which was the entire point of the war); it did not kill Parson or cause him to surrender (which was one of Ansom's later goals) - in fact in a pure 'attrition' matter, one could argue that Stanley's side won, actually. On the RCC's side - no survivors (though if you want to count them, Jillian, Vinny, 2 of Jillians gwiffons, and 8 of Vinny's bats survived). On Stanley's side, Stanley, 3 casters, 1 chief warlord, between 1 and 3 Knights, and at least 6 dwagons survived. By a pure numbers matter, either way, Stanley's side arguably -won-.

So it's a pyrrhic.. um... loss? :) I dunno what to call it actually.

Jon Pander
2009-04-18, 11:09 PM
I think I understand why the Grand Abbie might think Parson is a hippiemancer. Hippies in our world were all about challenging the statues quo in hopes of peace and equality. While Parson may not care as much about peace as a Sizemore does, his very existence is a challenge to the status qua of Erfworld.
One could argue that Parson does want peace. He's just is unable to get it given the current nature of Erf Remember among the strategies he was considering, 2 of the strategies he liked were inherently non-violent ones. One was absolutely peaceful - Sue for peace/diplomacy. A second was Retreat.

The only problem were they were not feasible given the situation. Other options he used also minimized casualties, like Melt Away, Call the Cavalry, and Divide and Conquer, each of which are not exactly strategies which would cause a huge death count, but could still be effective.

Ultimately he used the Ender's Game 'Superweapon' option, but you could tell it wasn't something he particularly enjoyed using.


(PS: How is status quo spelled exactly? I always thought it was two words and that it was spelled quo, but firefox's spell check is telling me that is wrong. From what I can tell of the spell check, it is is either status qua or statuesque. For now I shall leave it how I thought it was spelled.)

It's status quo. You got it right the first time.

Glome
2009-04-18, 11:28 PM
Not sure if what Parson did was considered a pyrrhic victory even. Pyrrhic victory implies that the attacking side 'wins,' but at a huge cost. The attacking side here didn't win on three levels - it did not get to take over Gobwin Knob (it's not even confirmed that Gobwin Knob actually is no longer a city, though it's a possibility); it did not kill Stanley (which was the entire point of the war); it did not kill Parson or cause him to surrender (which was one of Ansom's later goals) - in fact in a pure 'attrition' matter, one could argue that Stanley's side won, actually. On the RCC's side - no survivors (though if you want to count them, Jillian, Vinny, 2 of Jillians gwiffons, and 8 of Vinny's bats survived). On Stanley's side, Stanley, 3 casters, 1 chief warlord, between 1 and 3 Knights, and at least 6 dwagons survived. By a pure numbers matter, either way, Stanley's side arguably -won-.

So it's a pyrrhic.. um... loss? :) I dunno what to call it actually.


It is game canceled due to the wrath of God. Actually, it reminds me of the war of 1812 in a way. Americans are taught that they won the war of 1812, the Canadians are likewise taught they were victorious. In reality, the war ended because a hurricane rolled in an destroyed both their navies and thus their ability to wage war effectively. What is worse, a tornado also happened to rip through the heart of Washington DC just after it came under British control.

Although actually it still can be called a Pyrrhic victory if Gobwin Knob won and the coalition decided to send another army and conquer what is left of Gobwin Knob. Thus, even in victory, the victor is undone because he used up all his resources to achieve the result, while the loser still has plenty of resources to continue the war. You are assuming the attacking side has to win, when in fact the original Pyrrhic war, the defenders won against a larger number of Romans, but depleted their numbers enough in doing so that they ensured their future destruction.

Of course in reality, the coalition was disbanded and it is unlikely anyone really has the will to fight, especially since their is no prize except a capital site which might become an active volcano at some random point in the future.

Jon Pander
2009-04-18, 11:41 PM
It is game canceled due to the wrath of God. Actually, it reminds me of the war of 1812 in a way. Americans are taught that they won the war of 1812, the Canadians are likewise taught they were victorious. In reality, the war ended because a hurricane rolled in an destroyed both their navies and thus their ability to wage war effectively. What is worse, a tornado also happened to rip through the heart of Washington DC just after it came under British control.
Still means the British lost if the they did not accomplish their goals at all. :) (not only take over, but keep it for any sustained period of time).
Pyrrhic victory would mean they won but at a cost that made the cost-benefit analysis of war not worth having gone to war in the first place.


Although actually it still can be called a Pyrrhic victory if Gobwin Knob won and the coalition decided to send another army and conquer what is left of Gobwin Knob.
Except there isn't going to be any new army coming in, according to Vinny. So they lost.

In a pure numbers game even, Stanley ended the war with more soldiers than 0, so he 'won'... which probably explains why Stanley's side gained levels despite what might be considered 'retreating.'

I wonder if Erf is like Civilization or Starcraft, where for a certain amount of schmuckers and time you can just start a new city in a place where there was no city before.

Jon Pander
2009-04-18, 11:44 PM
Yknow, after thinking about it, i've come to the following belief.

Stanley's side won.
Stanley's side took grevious losses in order to win.

Stanley's side is the one that had a pyrrhic victory. Which I know doesn't make much sense since usually the pyrrhic victory is won by the side which has the advantage going into the battle/war/etc.

But a pyrrhic victory is, in this case, preferably to the only alternative, which would be total annihilation of their side. :)

SirEdward
2009-04-19, 01:05 AM
The figures I can discern upon the mat in panel 4 are, from left to right: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa, John Lennon. I have no idea who the figure on the far right is. Theme? Big hippies.

Edit:

Changing my mind - second from the left is Mama Cass.
But the real question is, where in the boop is Jerry?

Lunaya
2009-04-19, 01:35 AM
Looks like Uhura in panel 4...

SirEdward
2009-04-19, 01:44 AM
Pax Parsonum?

No, Pax Mesocrisetum - Peace of Hamster.

Devoured_Dude
2009-04-19, 01:55 AM
HEY!
What do I have to do to avoid being a "pixie"?


I would suggest plastic surgery on the pointy ears and wings. :smallbiggrin:

Noob teasing is very naughty :smallyuk:
I admit I giggled, though :smallredface:

elrod13, you need another 40 posts to get out of pixieville, I think. Try getting into a discussion on alignment on the OOTS boards. You'll be done in a day.

BarGamer
2009-04-19, 02:34 AM
No, Pax Mesocrisetum - Peace of Hamster.

Pax MisoSoup- The peace of dinnertime. XD

As hard as it is to believe, I actually swallow Janis's arguments. The spell came from the Magic Kingdom, why not have the "Perfect Warlord" pop as a Hippiemancer, JUST IN CASE they themselves come under attack? And/or, as a previous poster said, as an unconventional thinker, a challenger of the status quo?

I also could see Parson playing the Ozymandias/Dr. Manhattan role, and setting himself up as the smart evil nigh-omnipotent bad guy who everyone should be afraid of... and then disappearing back to the Real World.

Arkaim
2009-04-19, 03:54 AM
Stanley can probably count all his remaining troops using only his hands and feet now.

Edit: Which reminds me, I remember reading about high scores before. I would be very surprised if Stanley didn't earn a high score from this battle. Assuming the system decided he won, of course.

DravenFrost
2009-04-19, 04:01 AM
I've seen a bunch of posts about how Stanley's side is going to function now, or how Parson may eventually split off into his own faction, BUT, there is a chance that he's already out from under Stanley's thumb.

In comic 114 (Link for convenience: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0114.html ) he confides to Sizemore that he is planning to send the casters to the Magic kingdom to become barbarians, should the city fall.

Now debatably the city did not fall to the attackers (unless those units seen watching the volcano from afar decide to hike up the volcano and plant a flag), but it did freakin explode. Gobwin Knob was Stanley's last city (as mentioned even earlier) and if the city itself is literally destroyed, that may count as a "fall", which then may result in the above mentioned barbarianhood for all of them.

This is making a few assumptions, but they aren't without supporting evidence and aren't massive leaps of logic.

Remaining questions: Is Parson really a Hippimancer? If not, what is he? Could the casters be free, but he isn't as he isn't technically a caster but a 'special' overlord that can enter the magic kingdom? If Stanley reestablishes a side, does he get Parson back? And maybe most importantly, what exactly are the rules for a barbarian? We get a sense of it from the comments Jillian makes about becoming a mercenary when her cities fell, but even that is really vague.

Oh, an additional supporting piece of evidence for this theory is that Janice is advising Sizemore to follow Parson. This directly implies that Sizemore has a choice, which didn't really seem like the case prior to this incident. (There were some small indications of independant thought and action, but the loyalty and duty stats probably come into play.)

So, taking it one step further, if all 4 of them (Parson, Wanda, Sizemore and Maggie) are all free, where do they all go? I'm guessing Sizemore will probably listen to Janice when he calms down. Wanda may want some type of vengeance against Jillian, (and likely vice versa, for Ansom). Maggie though, she doesn't strike me as the type to stick with Parson if she has a choice. And what would Parson's want to do now? Since the first second he was transported to Erfworld he was on the receiving end of a massive army marching towards him. Now that he has a breather (in theory), what are his priorities and motiviations in this world?

Anyway, I realize this post is a little all over the place, but I wanted to throw these concepts into the mix.

ishnar
2009-04-19, 04:32 AM
Now debatably the city did not fall to the attackers (unless those units seen watching the volcano from afar decide to hike up the volcano and plant a flag), but it did freakin explode.

Those people off in the distance died too. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0151.html)

In games like Civ, a city is never completely destroyed until after the enemy takes control. Otherwise it is just a ruined city pop 0. One of the annoying things about creating a city in Civ is there is no way to move it if you picked a bad spot, or want fewer cities. So a side cannot destroy its own city.

Probably applies here. Erf almost always seems to follow close to Total War style gameplay, and you can't trash you own cities in that game either.

glissle
2009-04-19, 06:28 AM
Another problem with the current world "rules" is economy. Right now it seems money making is down to "mining" or "mercenary" work, although trade might be in there somewhere, it is probably strictly in a "settlers of catan", or raw resources only.

I doubt, for example, that there is room for a value added economy or a service economy, other than mercenary work that is. So with no resources to trade or gold to mine, a poor nation has to attack to acquire new mines or tradeable resources.


There have been negotiations over the mathamancy bracer, and the archons sell thinkamancy services.

I think the key to a non-combat economy would be if people starting trading for goods and services for the purpose of increasing the productivity of their natural resources, especially the renewable ones such as farms. We already know that one could hire a dirtamancer to produce gems more quickly, but that would only accelerate the need to grab more farming territory to replace the consumable wealth of the gems.

Ironically, uncroaked farm labor could help elevate the sophistication of the economy by subsidizing the upkeep of the living, if Stanley wasn't kidding about not needing to feed the uncroaked. Sometimes I wonder if Banhammer relied on uncroaked for farming and mining, given his disdain for non-intellectuals. I don't think the absence of uncroaked in Jillian's depictions of FAQ to Ansom is definitive, as she probably knew of Ansom's feelings about croakamancy.

Incidentally, I sometimes wonder why Jillian has never said anything about losing the mercenaries she used to lead. I wonder if Banhammer's mercenary force really consisted of Jillian, Wanda, and the casualties of the side they were summoned to help. Wanda being key to Banhammer's mercenary force would have been foreshadowed by Parson's suspicion that she knows a lot about combat.

Lamech
2009-04-19, 07:39 AM
Another problem with the current world "rules" is economy. Right now it seems money making is down to "mining" or "mercenary" work, although trade might be in there somewhere, it is probably strictly in a "settlers of catan", or raw resources only.

I doubt, for example, that there is room for a value added economy or a service economy, other than mercenary work that is. So with no resources to trade or gold to mine, a poor nation has to attack to acquire new mines or tradeable resources.

Wargames usually involve fights for basic resources wood and gold Warcraft style. Or strategic resources, Aluminum and Oil in Civilization. Game design encourages fighting over resources even when trade is possible. Mines are capped and designed to run out. Strategic resources become obsolete and new ones must be acquired.

This is looking more Warcrafty though than Civ. Thus technological progress isn't the goal, it's fighting wars. So technology should remain relatively static throughout the series, like Warhammer or Warcraft. Resources will be basic, gold, gems, trees or whatever.
There seems to be quite a bit of room for trade and what not in this game. There was the mathamancy bracer, that could be sold; this whole story was kicked off by the selling of a scroll, so presumably other things can be sold as well. Bogroll made Parson some armour so there is smithing, and Bogroll also made Parson some some food so there is cooking. Casters can make new spells, and presumably sell their services. I think there could be a thriving economy if it was worked at. Maybe...

I would also like to point out for all we know shmuckers do nothing more than pay upkeep costs, pop food and help pop some units. And I for one am unsure that food pops in the field: see that Sizemore has no food in this scene (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0011.html) and mentions he didn't realize it was his turn. I think that implies lack of popped food.

As of right now we have very little info on the economy. We don't know all the sources of shmuckers, and we are unsure of everything they can be used for. We don't know what can be done with out shmuckers, and we don't know what is needed to do stuff with out shmuckers. People could establish trade, but maybe not.

greywords
2009-04-19, 08:07 AM
Maybe the volcano leveled :)

Yes! It learned the spell "World-wide darkness" and gained the ability "Advanced lava throwing."

Of course, it has to regenerate first...

greywords
2009-04-19, 08:16 AM
One of the annoying things about creating a city in Civ is there is no way to move it if you picked a bad spot, or want fewer cities.

At least in Civ 1 and 2, if you had a size 1 city create a settler then it would disband the city. You'd generally have to buy it, though, since otherwise it would rise to a size 2 before it completed construction.

raphfrk
2009-04-19, 11:09 AM
We already know that one could hire a dirtamancer to produce gems more quickly, but that would only accelerate the need to grab more farming territory to replace the consumable wealth of the gems.


An economy also depends on goals. In effect "what is the meaning of life"?

Atm, only the overlords/Kings actually have complete free will. Lower ranked units have some, but are magically loyal to the leader of their side. Lowest ranked units have almost none.

For peace to be something that is worth pursuing, there needs to be a benefit to the ones who actually get to make the decisions. It comes down to what drives leaders. Charlie might be content to watch his bank account rise, but others might be more interested in expanding the number of cities.

Also, wars aren't really that bad, if you are a King and don't have to put your life on the line (unless you mess up and get wiped out).

Democracy gives a higher possibility for peace, as the ones who lose the most in wars are the general population, and thus they are less likely to vote for war.

In Erfworld, full democracy doesn't seem possible. The closest could be something like a constitutional monarchy. However, even then, natural thinkamancy would lead to high loyalty to the monarch, rather than the elected representatives.

A possible system could be

- Monarch is formal leader of the side
- All "citizens" of the side are actually barbarians aligned with the monarch
- most of the military strength is held by the citizens
- House of Representatives has no formal (world rules) based power
- All citizens get an equal vote and respect the House

This means that monarch must follow the constitution or all of the citizens can leave the alliance and then he is defenceless.

Also, it is unclear if the leader of a side can abdicate. If he can, then the leader of a side could be a President who is elected. If a defeated President refuses to name the winner as heir and then abdicate, then there would be a civil war (or technically, his side would be overwhelmed by barbarians).

(Ofc, for that to work the winner would have to join the side, and would instantly become loyal to the loser ... though I guess with low loyalty).



In comic 114 (Link for convenience: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0114.html ) he confides to Sizemore that he is planning to send the casters to the Magic kingdom to become barbarians, should the city fall.


He may have been assuming that the city would fall.

They were unclear how things work. When a side ends, all field units die and then all units in cities freeze.

I guess all units in neutral cities go barbarian.



So, taking it one step further, if all 4 of them (Parson, Wanda, Sizemore and Maggie) are all free, where do they all go?


There seems little reason to leave the magic kingdom, unless they are kicked out.

If they are barbarians, then they have to generate income somehow. Casters are probably expensive to unkeep, and not the general type of unit that performs mercenary duties. In fact, barbarian casters probably go to the magic kingdom, assuming that it is really a market place for casters.

Daemmerung
2009-04-19, 12:20 PM
Maybe the volcano leveled :)

<straight face>
Why not? Stanley once suggested (page 55 (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0061.html),
frame 9) that Uncroaked could level.
</straight face>

Of course, Stanley isn't the sharpest Tool in the toolbox. Still, I hate the idea of all that XP going to waste.

Gez
2009-04-19, 12:34 PM
At least in Civ 1 and 2, if you had a size 1 city create a settler then it would disband the city. You'd generally have to buy it, though, since otherwise it would rise to a size 2 before it completed construction.

Colonization (the 1994 original, I don't know about the Civ4 remake) let you disband any city that did not have city walls yet by simply putting all its settlers outside.

ishnar
2009-04-19, 02:11 PM
There seems to be quite a bit of room for trade and what not in this game. There was the mathamancy bracer, that could be sold; this whole story was kicked off by the selling of a scroll, so presumably other things can be sold as well. Bogroll made Parson some armour so there is smithing, and Bogroll also made Parson some some food so there is cooking.

Arms trading isn't very supportive of a peaceful economy. While Bogroll cooked--for Parson--It seemed more of a special need Parson had for extra provisions rather than something a normal Erfworlder would be interested in.

For now, I consider the bracer and scroll arms trade, although there is a potential for value added economy, because all trade is in war goods or goods to support the war machine, the goods traded still do not support a peaceful economy argument, in my opinion. Most wargames make allowances for trading goods between peaceful nations, but the tradable goods are only ones available by normal mechanics.

Kreistor
2009-04-19, 02:24 PM
Arms trading isn't very supportive of a peaceful economy. While Bogroll cooked--for Parson--It seemed more of a special need Parson had for extra provisions rather than something a normal Erfworlder would be interested in.

Erfworlders (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html) eat at other times, too. Parson didn't ask Bogroll for extra provisions: Bogroll did that on his own. I don't see Bogroll doing something for Parson he'd never seen done for another Warlord.

ishnar
2009-04-19, 02:32 PM
Erfworlders (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0113.html) eat at other times, too. Parson didn't ask Bogroll for extra provisions: Bogroll did that on his own. I don't see Bogroll doing something for Parson he'd never seen done for another Warlord.

Point, although I don't see cooked meals being a source of international trade.

Glome
2009-04-19, 02:34 PM
Democracy gives a higher possibility for peace, as the ones who lose the most in wars are the general population, and thus they are less likely to vote for war...

I don't know, even if everyone has free will like they do in this world, it is pretty easy to get people to go to war, as Goering eloquently pointed out

“Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the
leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a
simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a
fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every
country.”

Otherwise you can look at the first written example of democracy with the Athenians. Sure the Athenians had a thriving intellectually open democracy, but they were also a militaristic and expansionistic and gladly voted for war whenever they thought they would come out ahead.

And the fact is that Erfworlders gain in two ways when they go to war. First they get plunder like in the real world, but second of all they level and become more powerful unlike on Earth (well for the most part anyway). It seems to me that Erfworlders would only become dissatified with warfare when they are losing, which isn't a great recipe for peace.

There are two ways I can see a peaceful Erfworld, and neither involves a Democracy. The first is to conquer all of Erfworld and kill off all threats to empire (especially nobility). If there is only one side, there is no more war.

The second way is to again kill off the nobility, but put the spellcasters in charge of their respective empires. Since spellcasters can level without fighting, they have less reason to go to war then normal warlords. Then set up the magic kingdom like a UN, and any nation who attacks another gets cut off from the magic kingdom and the rest of the nations will descend on them. Sure the regular folk might not be happy without a way to level or gain loot in either scenerio, but without free will their voice doesn't matter.

mhoram
2009-04-19, 02:55 PM
I understood homicidal to mean that they were bent on killing Parson and his dudes. Whether they enjoyed it or not--or whether it was due to revenge or some other motivation--is all the same to someone in Parson's situation.


Right, these people are breaking into his house to kill him and his people. If he surrenders, all the non casters are likely to just get disbanded anyway. So he's got to fight the invaders with everything he has.

The enemy is HOMICIDAL. They want to croak him and all of his.

You don't get any special medals for taking the moral high ground in war. The most you can hope to accomplish by trying is getting people killed to prove a point or for vanity. And I, for one, find that immoral. If you're going to commit to warfare, you commit to warfare.

Lamech
2009-04-19, 03:01 PM
For now, I consider the bracer and scroll arms trade, although there is a potential for value added economy, because all trade is in war goods or goods to support the war machine, the goods traded still do not support a peaceful economy argument, in my opinion. Most wargames make allowances for trading goods between peaceful nations, but the tradable goods are only ones available by normal mechanics.
Those were just two examples... we've only seen the war economy. If Wanda wants a collar or a pair of shackels to... play with someone she could go buy one. Perhaps a scroll could be made to summon the perfect friend, wife/husband (are their marriges?), or servent. Math has peaceful purposes in our world, perhaps mathamancy could find some. Just have to be creative.
Or a more concrete example than those: Eyebooks. They have peaceful purposes. (See: texting) They can be made. If the bracer can be sold why not those?

I would also like to point out... not everyone lacks free will, (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0088.html) not everyone's a slave. Err... well now that I read it again it doesn't say the "cityless" sides don't have overlords, but it is never mentioned anywhere that their is a lead gobwin.

raphfrk
2009-04-19, 03:32 PM
I don't know, even if everyone has free will like they do in this world, it is pretty easy to get people to go to war


True, in fact, I meant to say that there is something like natural thinkamancy in the real world too.

Another issue is that we don't really know what people in Erfworld actually want. It could be that the vast majority like war, even if it means that they might die, and hippiemancers are going against the grain.

For example, Bogroll says that what he wants in life is to save Parson's life. Ofc, that could be just due to cultural effects, rather than his real preference.


... but second of all they level and become more powerful unlike on Earth (well for the most part anyway).


War fatigue doesn't seem to be as big an issue on Erfworld, as it is in the real world. The only real example is that Ansom's speech at the start about the fact that the alliance has been through alot, but that they should stick with it as they will soon achieve their goal.



There are two ways I can see a peaceful Erfworld, and neither involves a Democracy.


Well, arguably, enforced peace where the general population actually wants war isn't necessarily a good thing. It would be like banning a sport like boxing in the real world.

OTOH, they may not realise how good peace is, because they have never seen it.


The second way is to again kill off the nobility, but put the spellcasters in charge of their respective empires. Since spellcasters can level without fighting, they have less reason to go to war then normal warlords.


The impression I get is that it is the fastest way to level. Also, was there confirmation that normal units cannot level except by combat?

ishnar
2009-04-19, 04:09 PM
Those were just two examples... we've only seen the war economy. If Wanda wants a collar or a pair of shackels to... play with someone she could go buy one. Perhaps a scroll could be made to summon the perfect friend, wife/husband (are their marriges?), or servent. Math has peaceful purposes in our world, perhaps mathamancy could find some. Just have to be creative.
Or a more concrete example than those: Eyebooks. They have peaceful purposes. (See: texting) They can be made. If the bracer can be sold why not those?


Given Erfworld mechanics. I'm pretty sure the shackles were a basic feature of the dungeon when it was popped. However,

It's not about creativity or potential. It's about mechanics. Right now the economy, especial international trade is totally the domain of the ruler. Items traded are generally beyond the buying power of the faceless masses. Cooked food would be a nice low cost good that could presumably be traded between even the poorest erfworlder, but it's not an item that lends itself to international trade. What is needed is low costs good with only a peaceful utility--as opposed to items that can be used both in war and peace.

The point of having a good economy is it allows a country to still progress forward even when the borders stop moving. So a nation does not feel a compulsion to acquire new territory. Also, a strong economy also means the population is contributing. A stronger economy means lower taxes can actually bring in more revenue.

Here's an important point. What is missing from this page (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0084.html), and this page (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0083.html). Mention of civilian units. No peons, plebes, workers, or miners. In other words no civilians. Stanley is heading off to supposedly start a new side by taking over an abandoned city, but he doesn't need civilians. Why, because game mechanics makes them irrelevant. This is a last ditch defense, so every unit has something to contribute, but there are no civilians, because civilians apparently aren't units.

Possibly the game does have some civilian units, but because they probably only seem to have an associated upkeep for minimal output, they are never popped. Parson would have to show people that even though a single civilian unit might not contribute much to the war effort, a large number of them could contribute to a stronger economy. Right now, apparently, it is considered more effective to pop a higher cost level 1 infantry and order it to mine than pop a cheaper level 1 miner. I suspect that only the poorest nations bother with civilians, or only build them as a stopgap during times when the treasury is empty.

SteveD
2009-04-19, 04:48 PM
"Because if he breaks things enough, there may be peace in Erfworld after all."
mmm...
I don't follow Janis, here. She's referring to the War that Will End All the Wars?
If so, it's a dangerous illusion. At least, on the Earth, it didn't never work; on erfworld, who knows? But I'm very skeptical.

She's referring to the fact that the world is set up like (what we perceive as) a war-game, and thus war would effectively be eternal unless the rules of the game were broken or changed.

raphfrk
2009-04-19, 07:13 PM
Possibly the game does have some civilian units, but because they probably only seem to have an associated upkeep for minimal output, they are never popped. Parson would have to show people that even though a single civilian unit might not contribute much to the war effort, a large number of them could contribute to a stronger economy. Right now, apparently, it is considered more effective to pop a higher cost level 1 infantry and order it to mine than pop a cheaper level 1 miner. I suspect that only the poorest nations bother with civilians, or only build them as a stopgap during times when the treasury is empty.

Sizemore is high grade miner, though that goes in the other direction. The impression given is that he dug all of the tunnels. He would be a specialist mining unit.

It could be that civilians are able to do standard non-combat actions at a rate equal to a basic military unit, but are cheaper to construct, and have low defence and no offence. Cost benefit might be that a Dirtmancer is optimal, but represents a large initial cost, while civilians are cheap.

But, if civilian units were more efficient, it is likely that some sides may have figured that out. OTOH, maybe the nobles' culture would have considered it dishonourable to win a war via economic means.

Kreistor
2009-04-19, 07:25 PM
Sizemore is high grade miner, though that goes in the other direction. The impression given is that he dug all of the tunnels. He would be a specialist mining unit.

You mean he was a mining unit. Parson has learned a lesson that the RCC hadn't... casters are extremely effective in battle, given the proper conditions. Sizemore is now a frontline commander, and probably more equivalent to cavalry. If you think that Parson would leave casters behind in cities while attacking the enemy, you're grossly mistaken. Where other nations leave their casters in cities, Parson will have them brutalizing enemy lines. Parson brings change to Erfworld.

raphfrk
2009-04-19, 07:33 PM
You mean he was a mining unit.

True, however, the discussion was about the economics of a side (and relating to the "hypothetical" civilian unit).

Assuming that you have a (hopefully cooled down) volcano with lots of gems in it, does Sizemore provide more benefit to the side staying at home mining or giving a boost to front-line effectiveness.

Shifting units that were previously used for economic activity to military use is the opposite of what was being suggested (increasing the fraction of units used for peaceful purposes).

Ofc, that doesn't mean that it is a bad idea :).

Also, I wonder if the volcano trick can be used elsewhere. For example, it might be capable of causing earthquakes and such.

MadScientistMat
2009-04-19, 08:29 PM
In games like Civ, a city is never completely destroyed until after the enemy takes control. Otherwise it is just a ruined city pop 0. One of the annoying things about creating a city in Civ is there is no way to move it if you picked a bad spot, or want fewer cities. So a side cannot destroy its own city.

That didn't apply to the version of Civ that I had - granted, it was an older version that some bugs and some cheat codes hadn't been fixed in. But in that version of Civilization, any time an attacking force defeated a force inside a city, the population would drop by one, and you could, in fact, completely destroy a city this way. You could also order a city to keep producing settlers until the entire city became a group of settler units and you could then relocate it.

Kreistor
2009-04-19, 09:03 PM
Assuming that you have a (hopefully cooled down) volcano with lots of gems in it, does Sizemore provide more benefit to the side staying at home mining or giving a boost to front-line effectiveness.

Neither. You need a portal to get ot a city, and the GK portal is either buried or exploded. Sizemore can't get to GK to help out. That is, unless there's a currently existing city, in Stanley's control, about a day's flight away that no one seems to know about because it was part of a bubble kingdom and carefully protected by Stanley as a back-up plan. But then bring Sizemore out via that method might reveal the existence of this theoretical city.


Shifting units that were previously used for economic activity to military use is the opposite of what was being suggested (increasing the fraction of units used for peaceful purposes).

If you're looking for proof of non-combat units, then you want to look here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/erf0091.html). Mentions clerks. If there were no non-combat units, there would be no clerks. But if you're going to speculate as to the function of such units, you're on your own. We know nowhere near enough about this system to project rules to that kind of function.


Also, I wonder if the volcano trick can be used elsewhere. For example, it might be capable of causing earthquakes and such.

That depends on how you feel about Parson's theory about the system cheating him. If he's right, that's over and what happened to him should never happen again, nor should he be able to repeat it. The next game will have a different objective.

fendrin
2009-04-19, 10:29 PM
Neither. You need a portal to get ot a city, and the GK portal is either buried or exploded. Sizemore can't get to GK to help out. That is, unless there's a currently existing city, in Stanley's control, about a day's flight away that no one seems to know about because it was part of a bubble kingdom and carefully protected by Stanley as a back-up plan. But then bring Sizemore out via that method might reveal the existence of this theoretical city.

That's what foolamancers are for.

Problem: something to do with magic.
Solution: more magic!

DevilDan
2009-04-19, 10:38 PM
Sizemore is high grade miner, though that goes in the other direction. The impression given is that he dug all of the tunnels. He would be a specialist mining unit.

Just a minor fact check: He said that he dug many of them.

Jimor
2009-04-19, 11:42 PM
I'm not sure if this is where it may go, but one possibility for a peaceful Erfworld is for the competition to change to something non-lethal. You'd still have rivalries and faction to go along with the turn mechanics, but when 2 opposing forces meet in the field, instead of fighting, they have... I dunno... a basket weaving contest... best design wins the hex.

The one thing that Parson has that nobody else on Erfworld does (except perhaps for Charlie) is the very CONCEPT of gaming. If Parson gets into a heart-to-heart with Janis, he may well talk about the reason he knows so much about the art of "war". It will probably blow her mind like it's never been blown before, even with that purple haze. :smallwink:

SteveMB
2009-04-20, 09:30 PM
Neither. You need a portal to get ot a city, and the GK portal is either buried or exploded.

Apparently not. (I suspect that a portal to the Magic Kingdom is inherently part of a capital, and so will remain as long as the side the capital site belongs to continues to exist at all, however severely damaged.)