The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Umm. That part was foreshadowed and fitted within the larger story.
    The first time they glitched together, perhaps. Them staying connected and giving Harry a perfect defence in the next book? a total asspull (and that after a number of books where Rowling made every detail count, making it that much more jarring)

    Sure, it's a saga of how they died. However, is it something we, the audience needed to know? I don't think so. It just seems like padding, for padding's sake.
    A matter of personal taste. There is no story you actually need to know.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    Because if the arms race escalates to the point where every side steals energy from the source like Charlie did, they might literally break the world.
    And that's how true eternal piece will be achieved when there is nobody and nothing lef to wage war.

    Marie was the big villain all along!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    "You know, Durkon, I built this planet up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was a snarl. All the other gods said we were daft to build a planet over a snarl, but I built it all the same, just to show then. It got eaten by the snarl...

    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Oh, no. You absolutely can write break rule of you earlier made. However, when you do that you generally **** up tension. Oh, Charlie has Parson in inescapable trap. Welp, Erfworld will bend ass backwards to free him.

    End result is I can't really get invested into the story.
    Well sure, of course you can. You just shouldn't. Unless you want your story to read like bad fan fiction of course. If that's the goal then Erfworld is right on target.

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaScribe View Post
    It looks like most of the people on the Erf forums are fine with it though. Mostly, they're getting hung up over the definition of "Deus ex Machina" and explaining why it isn't that.
    Well, what do you expect when they've systematically driven off or banned everyone who criticizes the comic? Of course you're going to have an echo chamber there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    A matter of personal taste. There is no story you actually need to know.
    I hate these kinds of non-arguments. You could justify anything with this. Sure, individual tastes vary. There's also people in the world who literally enjoy the taste of feces. That doesn't make it palatable to the rest of us.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    I find that I am ready to put Erfworld off of my active reading list. I can happily come back in 6 months and catch up then.

    I agree; I'm disappointed by the ending of this book.

    Caesar should have been killed by those he trusted.

    The Velveteen Bunny should have been brought back to life.

    Finding out that the towers can basically ignore the rules and do whatever they want pretty much renders the whole "this is all about abusing the rules" concept moot.

    The basic premise seems to have become "everything you thought you knew about this world is wrong". And if we don't know a thing about this world, if all the secondary characters are being changed out under us, what is left for us to care about?
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    One question I have is how did Hueh know that Bunny can't be resurrected?

    He wasn't even sentient when it happened. Comes of as exposition. We really need to get a scene actually showing how some of these bodies can't be resurrected, instead of just being told it several times over.

    I can only assume that Rob had to include this detail because he needed for Hueh to know that Bunny can't be resurrected anyway, so he would be okay with her corpse being destroyed, despite having a ditto of Caesar's heart, which would have allowed him to understand just how important Bunny is to him. Hueh is just smart enough to know that Bunny can't be resurrected, but just dumb enough to not realise that Caesar doesn't know this and will lose all will to live if he finds out.

    It seriously annoys me that no one seemed to catch on that the one line in the sand that must not be crossed was removing all possibility of resurrecting Bunny. This was just one series of stupid moves to get the plot to where Rob wanted it.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    I hate these kinds of non-arguments. You could justify anything with this. Sure, individual tastes vary. There's also people in the world who literally enjoy the taste of feces. That doesn't make it palatable to the rest of us.
    You're saying it's unpalatable to wrap up the stories of two characters that we've been made to read a lot about?


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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Well, what do you expect when they've systematically driven off or banned everyone who criticizes the comic? Of course you're going to have an echo chamber there.
    Pretty much. Things have been going downhill for quite a lot of time now so only true believers still sticking around there.

    Enough to keep Rob's bitcoin business going and finance his house buying hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    "You know, Durkon, I built this planet up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was a snarl. All the other gods said we were daft to build a planet over a snarl, but I built it all the same, just to show then. It got eaten by the snarl...

    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Elanasaurus View Post
    You're saying it's unpalatable to wrap up the stories of two characters that we've been made to read a lot about?
    In a poorly written unsatisfying manner? Definitely. Especially since I'm betting most of us don't even care about these characters at all beyond the fact that we've been "made to read a lot about" them. The only interesting thing these characters even had going for them was their possible future interactions with GK. When you cut that short we've basically just suffered through the most boring character arcs ever for no payoff. Unpalatable is probably the kindest adjective I'd use.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaScribe View Post
    It looks like most of the people on the Erf forums are fine with it though. Mostly, they're getting hung up over the definition of "Deus ex Machina" and explaining why it isn't that.
    Honestly, I think it's pretty telling that even the Erfworld forums are arguing over this update (there are very obviously a lot of people there unhappy with it - that's the whole reason that argument is taking place at all.)

    I mean, any comic's official forums are going to be more upbeat about it than elsewhere. Partially this is because you generally get banned by being too critical, but honestly, I think another reason is because people tend to pull their punches when they feel they're addressing the comic's creators to their face, so to speak. When I was skimming the comments for this one on their forums, my reaction was "wow, that's a lot more negativity than usual."

    And I say this as someone who doesn't think this update was that bad compared to some of the other recent ones. I mean, it's not a great way to resolve things, and makes me wonder what all this was for, but at least it feels like the authors finally have all the pieces where they want them to be, hopefully?

    Honestly I think the real problem with the last book is that it's been directionless. The first two books were each structured around a concrete military campaign which steadily advanced towards a conclusion, so it always felt like events were going somewhere. This book has just been an endless swing of random back-and-forths - feeling like it's been constantly setting something up with no payoff.

    It's not like there weren't things like this before (uncroaking a volcano, kingworld.) But they weren't a big deal because they still fit into the arc of a larger coherent story. The problem now isn't that there are these random new mechanics from nowhere, it's that that is now the entire plot.

    EDIT: To illustrate, I'm going to summarize the first two books, then this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Book 1
    Gobwin Knob, a faction in the game-like fantasy universe of Erfworld, is outnumbered and sorely-pressed. To survive, its chief caster, Wanda, convinces its warlord, Stanley, to summon a "perfect warlord" from another world. This warlord, Parson Gotti, is initially out of place; his first few ploys are ultimately foiled by Ansom, the leader of the attacking forces, causing Stanley to flee with most of his Dwagons.

    Parson's efforts to manage the defense of Gobwin Knob are further complicated by his dealings with the mysterious Charlie, a mercenary who plays both sides. Ultimately, however, Parson manages to win the loyalty and respect of Gobwin Knob's people and manages to save the day by coming up with a last-minute trick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Book 2
    Wanda has now attuned to the Arkenpliers, one of the legendary artifacts with which Erfworld was made; she can use them to "decrypt" deceased units, restoring them to life under her command. Using this, she raises a vast army for Gobwin Knob, led by the Decrypted Ansom, and ultimately marches it on Ansom's former kingdom of Jetstone. Parson, at the moment, has been demoted as unnecessary, with Ansom leading in his place. This vast decrypted army, however, is divided and trapped by one of Charlie's ploys, and Wanda is nearly captured.

    Ultimately, Parson is re-appointed to command and comes up with a trick to save the day, though it comes at the cost of offending the neutral Magic Kingdom by using their portals for transportation; at the very end of the book, Parson decides to use the corpses from the battle to place a military force in the Magic Kingdom.
    Quote Originally Posted by Book 3
    Events have come to a head between Gobwin Knob and Charlie, who are now determined to destroy each other. But first, as a result of an incidental fight between Stanley and Queen Jillian, a longstanding enemy of Gobwin Knob, Parson ends up agreeing to a complex non-aggression contract with Charlie.

    Some time afterwards, while Charlie is mentally interrogating a decrypted Archon he has captured, Parson has Gobwin Knob's casters interfere, nearly killing Charlie and freeing the Archon. While moving his forces within the Magic Kingdom to receive the freed Archon, a fight breaks out, which Charlie's agent in the Magic Kingdom manages to blame on Gobwin Knob. This gets Wanda and the other Gobwin Knob forces captured, though Parson and a few other casters escape to Translyvito, which is nominally allied against Gobwin Knob. While held captive in Translyvito, they manage, through a combination of misdirection and luck, to ultimately convince Translyvito to switch sides - resulting in the death of its leader and the ascension of Caesar in his place.

    Meanwhile, Jillian has occupied the former capital of Gobwin Knob; Marie, a deceased predictamancer from the battle, is decrypted and sneaks in before turning to Jillian's side, only to be jailed by a distrustful Jillian.

    Meanwhile, Charlie has killed all the Great Minds, a group of master Thinkamancers nominally supporting Gobwin Knob, but they survived temporarily in a merged Big Think with vast powers. Before dying, Big Think manages to awaken the towers of every side everywhere (mimicking a trick Parson had his casters pull with his own tower earlier in the book), as well as awakening the Arkenpliers.

    Meanwhile, back in Translyvito, Parson is tricked into using a scroll that would banish him back to Earth, but his tower cheats and pulls him back, placing him in Gobwin Knob's new capital. The other casters who were with him, Jack and Maggie, are left in Translyvito.

    Caesar is tricked by his Dollamancer and imprisoned remotely by Charlie; after complicated contract negotiations, he is freed, but commits suicide and his tower cancels the resulting contract.

    Wanda is liberated from imprisonment by some of her decrypted and escapes for a while, then gets caught and killed.
    I mean, I honestly tried to thread the latest book into a coherent story like the other two. I took some liberties in terms of condensing events and removing stuff that seems like it wasn't hugely relevant in the book where it took place. But look at that third book. It's a mess. It's pretty clear the first two books were written with a straightforward synopsis in mind - probably not exactly like the ones I wrote; probably a bit longer and more detailed, with more focus on characters like Jillian and Sizemore. But basically something like that.

    I have lot of trouble picturing what the synopsis for the third book was like. I don't see how anyone could ever write a synopsis remotely resembling the one I did, then sit back and say "yes, that looks good. That is the story I want to spend the next few years telling." It's incoherent nonsense - the sort you usually get in comics when they pass through a bunch of writers in rapid succession. But this is all one writer, so... I don't know what to say.

    One thing I'd point out is that while there's a ton of plot threads and a huge amount of confusing stuff going on, when you boil it down... very little actually happened. None of those threads feel like they've actually made much progress - each one had one event, but none of them are self-contained stories like Book 3 was, and they're often pretty disconnected from each other to boot.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2018-10-21 at 06:02 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    The first time they glitched together, perhaps. Them staying connected and giving Harry a perfect defence in the next book? a total asspull (and that after a number of books where Rowling made every detail count, making it that much more jarring)
    It didn't give him perfect defense.

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    However, due to characters being what they are, Tom (a person so obsessed with not dying he decided to create multiple phylacteries, just to be extra sure) didn't want to have his next Avada-kadabra clash again. He heard good things about that Elder Wand, which was incidentally the wand Harry had power over.



    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    A matter of personal taste. There is no story you actually need to know.
    That's BS excuse. You can justify anything with that (To quote Parson)

    My point is - when writing, drawing, singing, cooking or dancing you need to obey certain rules, certain stylistic choices.

    E.g., your meal needs to have some difference in texture, otherwise you make made food, that has OK taste, but has the texture of diarrhea, and is thus unpalatable.

    Same with Erfworld. As the great poet himself Harry S. Plinkett said: "Brevity is the soul of wit". What that means, is stop wasting my time. No. Stop it. You keep things nice and simple.

    Do you really need to know what Rando McSpearThrower did? No? Then you cut that part of story out. Kill it

    And that's what this whole part of TV Saga was. A++ Time waster. In fact, they should have renamed the side from TV(TransylVitto) to WS (Wheel-Spinning). It's good that we managed to know all these characters up close, so they can be killed off in most unspectacular ways...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    In a poorly written unsatisfying manner? Definitely. Especially since I'm betting most of us don't even care about these characters at all beyond the fact that we've been "made to read a lot about" them. The only interesting thing these characters even had going for them was their possible future interactions with GK. When you cut that short we've basically just suffered through the most boring character arcs ever for no payoff. Unpalatable is probably the kindest adjective I'd use.
    Look, I'll be the first to admit. I kinda liked the idea of Bunny and Ceasar VS The Thinkamancers VS Charlie. It is a promising story. I mean, an alliance of Bad Thinkamancers and Transylvitto seems like natural fit. It had promise. Hell, a Decrypted Bunny still keeping her love intact through Decryption, would be amazing.

    What we got instead - Oh Bunny dies and is foraged for food by bats... Caesar commits sepuku (via portal). I want to make a Last Jedi joke and say it subverted my expectations, but by that time, both Thinkamancers were gone as a threat and Charlie was rendered a non threat. So it, just confirmed my fears - that Book 1 was a fluke.
    Last edited by -D-; 2018-10-21 at 06:38 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by tomaO2 View Post
    One question I have is how did Hueh know that Bunny can't be resurrected?

    He wasn't even sentient when it happened. Comes of as exposition. We really need to get a scene actually showing how some of these bodies can't be resurrected, instead of just being told it several times over.

    I can only assume that Rob had to include this detail because he needed for Hueh to know that Bunny can't be resurrected anyway, so he would be okay with her corpse being destroyed, despite having a ditto of Caesar's heart, which would have allowed him to understand just how important Bunny is to him. Hueh is just smart enough to know that Bunny can't be resurrected, but just dumb enough to not realise that Caesar doesn't know this and will lose all will to live if he finds out.

    It seriously annoys me that no one seemed to catch on that the one line in the sand that must not be crossed was removing all possibility of resurrecting Bunny. This was just one series of stupid moves to get the plot to where Rob wanted it.
    Hueh was referring to what happened to Bunny's body. Go back to ceasar's last update. After the deal was made, since the side no longer had any money, the bats left to forage to cover their upkeep. These bats are carnivorous and they went for the only nearby source of expendable meat; Bunny and Don's bodies are gone. That's what Hueh means when he says bunny is more than just dead... just like ceasar whose body was destroyed completely when he went through the portal. So Hueh knows that its impossible to fulfill Ceasar's last desire for Bunny to live again. No body, no decryption. Just another reason why Hueh thinks he screwed up horribly by signing that deal in ceasar's name; he didn't know ceasar at all. He was so focused on keeping ceasar alive that he gave away everything ceasar wanted (and caesar didn't care that much about his own life anyway)
    Last edited by slayerx; 2018-10-21 at 12:00 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Hmm, that's a different interpretation. I thought what Hueh meant was that he permitted Bunny to be eaten because he already knew she was irrecoverably dead from frying her brain killing Caesar, and that the bats didn't start eating Bunny's corpse until after the contract was set.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    Honestly, I think it's pretty telling that even the Erfworld forums are arguing over this update (there are very obviously a lot of people there unhappy with it - that's the whole reason that argument is taking place at all.)
    One of the dissenters actually got 6 likes, and some compliments, instead of just negativity, so I decided to make a follow up to that one.

    It made me remember Rob posting about how he remembered that Parson was, in fact, the protagonist of the story, and that Parson was going to be making a difference. Took me forever to find that quote because I had forgotten that it was LAST YEAR that it was made. Good god, it's been almost 11 months since he wrote this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob
    We have a protagonist. You can be sure he's the protagonist because his name is an anagram of the word "protagonist." Throughout Book 3 and what has become Book 4, we've had Parson in a weak, disempowered position. This is breaking one of those cardinal rules of good storytelling. Other characters' choices have been driving the plot for a long time. Characters like Lilith and Bunny and Jack and Wanda and Ansom and Marie and Janis and Maggie have carried the "protagonist ball" as the person we root for, the one whose personal values and choices overcome the obstacles and move the plot forward. They've each had a chance to shine, and that's great. We've also had a lot of screen time for a varied group to carry the "antagonist ball," some of whom (Tondelayo, Caesar, Isaac, Bonnie, Benjamin, Albert, Tramennis) get way more than a "villain's share" of the reader's heart and sympathy.

    Parson has been on the sidelines so much that the reader can forget who he is, what he's about. Late in Book 4, it's understandable if you've been thinking of him as kind of an ineffectual derp-wad. That's not great for the enjoyment of the story, but it'll be okay, because I know what Parson is thinking and that it'll come across in time.
    I cannot tell you how many times I went, "Oooh, now Rob is going to make good on his promise", only to end up disappointed, and now book 4 is done. That's two books of Parson being pushed aside, and, frankly, a lot of Parson's plans don't work out that well. How many unqualified successes has Parson had? When I think about it, it's not all that many, it's usually he makes what seems like a good plan, only to have it messed up by something. His most successful bit was during the Battle for Gobwin Knob, and even that was a straight up loss until he did the volcano.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    I mean, I honestly tried to thread the latest book into a coherent story like the other two.
    Not disagreeing, but book 3 will be officially book 3&4 eventually, so that summery needs to be broken in two parts. Book 3 ended after Parson fled through the portal to TV after the Magic Kingdom battle.
    Last edited by tomaO2; 2018-10-21 at 12:47 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    I stopped reading Erfworld somewhere in Book 3, during the whole thing with the Decrypted Archon raising havoc in Charlie's base and racking up a huge debt for GK. I felt like the plot was getting bogged down and hard to follow. The art was also very poor, although it did get much better around the time I stopped. But it seems the other problems that made me lose interest got worse since then, not better.
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Oddly enough, I consider Lilith's escapades in Charlescomm to be the high point of Book 3. At least there the narrative was focused on that story (which actually had some action too!) as opposed to flitting between different POV seemingly at random with nothing but talk and STRINNNGNNNGNGNGNS.

    Also Towers weren't as big of a deal.
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yana View Post
    Oddly enough, I consider Lilith's escapades in Charlescomm to be the high point of Book 3. At least there the narrative was focused on that story (which actually had some action too!) as opposed to flitting between different POV seemingly at random with nothing but talk and STRINNNGNNNGNGNGNS.

    Also Towers weren't as big of a deal.
    Well, that was probably the only time in the last few books that we had a character with a clear goal and a plan that actually reached completion instead of being derailed by stupid plot twists. It's the closest thing we've had to a completed plot arc in several hundred comics...which is really sad.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Having thought of it for a couple days, the whole "not-really-Ceasar's-signature" would be an asspull in every world but Erfworld - here carnymancy is explicitly a thing, and towers have been established as capable of "natural magic" of all sorts, seeing the full picture that the regular casters are missing.

    That being said, I do have mixed feelings. Literally, that epilogue is both awesome and jarring at the same time.

    Characters dying abruptly after a book of character development... that I'm ok with. I'm a Game of Thrones reader.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    Having thought of it for a couple days, the whole "not-really-Ceasar's-signature" would be an asspull in every world but Erfworld - here carnymancy is explicitly a thing
    Let's be reasonable. It is asspull even in Erfworld.

    The Tower used Dittomancy to create a copy of Ceasar. Then used Carnymancy to steal money from Source, then used said money to promote a Heir.

    We saw Towers knowing stuff, we saw Towers even using some Signamancy/ Datemancy to keep their units. But the fact that Towers can do literally anything is frankly stupid.

    What prevents a Tower from stealing 3.7 billion shmuckers? Nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    Characters dying abruptly after a book of character development... that I'm ok with. I'm about Game of Thrones reader.
    I know GoT is popular, but not everyone likes GoT, and Erfworld isn't GoT.
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    What prevents a Tower from stealing 3.7 billion shmuckers? Nothing.
    I'm sure we'll learn why exactly they hate doing that.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    I'm sure we'll learn why exactly they hate doing that.
    Isn't it obvious? Something, something Fate. Something, something Mathamancy.
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Isn't it obvious? Something, something Fate. Something, something Mathamancy.
    Of they have some sort of Duty towards the Source.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    We have prophecy fulfilled.
    Erfworld has been broken.
    It's like if you're playing Civ and your side started using cheat codes without your input.


    Where does that end? With the equivalent of ecological destruction of the landscape.
    Or whatever the equivalent is if the "source" that the towers are drawing from is finite. Might be worse than an ecological disaster.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    Honestly I think the real problem with the last book is that it's been directionless. The first two books were each structured around a concrete military campaign which steadily advanced towards a conclusion, so it always felt like events were going somewhere. This book has just been an endless swing of random back-and-forths - feeling like it's been constantly setting something up with no payoff.

    It's not like there weren't things like this before (uncroaking a volcano, kingworld.) But they weren't a big deal because they still fit into the arc of a larger coherent story. The problem now isn't that there are these random new mechanics from nowhere, it's that that is now the entire plot.
    Aye, well said, and your summaries are a good illustration of why book three fails to maintain readership like the previous books.


    Quote Originally Posted by -D- View Post
    Let's be reasonable. It is asspull even in Erfworld.

    The Tower used Dittomancy to create a copy of Ceasar. Then used Carnymancy to steal money from Source, then used said money to promote a Heir.

    We saw Towers knowing stuff, we saw Towers even using some Signamancy/ Datemancy to keep their units. But the fact that Towers can do literally anything is frankly stupid.

    What prevents a Tower from stealing 3.7 billion shmuckers? Nothing.
    At this point, do we even need rulers to do anything? CAN rulers do anything? I think their agency is reduced down to simply existing so that their side continues to get turns.
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    The Tower used Dittomancy to create a copy of Ceasar. Then used Carnymancy to steal money from Source, then used said money to promote a Heir.
    Alternatively:

    The tower used carnymancy/dittomancy to create copy of Ceasar, abused admin privileges to steal money from the Source and promote a heir, then cancelled the effect.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    I have a different take on the summary for book 3.

    Parson decides to take the fight directly to Charlie. In the process, he completely violates the neutrality of the Magic Kingdom, and the Magic Kingdom's defenders get involved in the battle. By the time the battle is over, both Charlie and Gobwin Knob have been defeated by the Magic Kingdom's Thinkamancers.

    Charlie manages to come out of the defeat with a plan for moving forward; GK winds up with Parson and 2 major casters having surrendered to Transilvito, and no plan for moving forward.
    So you'll insert the horse into the Large Hadron Collider next?
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by keybounce View Post
    Charlie manages to come out of the defeat with a plan for moving forward; GK winds up with Parson and 2 major casters having surrendered to Transilvito, and no plan for moving forward.
    I would say it's the other way around.

    Charlie ran out of plans. All he could do was keep sending even more archons with rifles to die then his side was taken over by a talking tower moving them backwards. Even their favored minion FAQ lost their capital and treasury.

    Hamster meanwhile managed to negotiate his own release, making a new ally along the way that started by capturing FAQ's capital and their treasury.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    "You know, Durkon, I built this planet up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was a snarl. All the other gods said we were daft to build a planet over a snarl, but I built it all the same, just to show then. It got eaten by the snarl...

    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    Having thought of it for a couple days, the whole "not-really-Ceasar's-signature" would be an asspull in every world but Erfworld - here carnymancy is explicitly a thing, and towers have been established as capable of "natural magic" of all sorts, seeing the full picture that the regular casters are missing.

    That being said, I do have mixed feelings. Literally, that epilogue is both awesome and jarring at the same time.

    Characters dying abruptly after a book of character development... that I'm ok with. I'm a Game of Thrones reader.
    That's like saying having actual Greek Gods show up at the end of a Greek tragedy isn't Deus ex Machina since the Gods are an established part of the setting. It's nonsense. You still have an external power coming from nowhere to completely change the outcome of a story in an unsatisfying manner.


    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    Of they have some sort of Duty towards the Source.
    Obviously not enough to matter since we literally just saw one steal money/power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Braininthejar2 View Post
    Alternatively:

    The tower used carnymancy/dittomancy to create copy of Ceasar, abused admin privileges to steal money from the Source and promote a heir, then cancelled the effect.
    What's to stop it from happening again? Especially given Erfworld's history of asspulls?

    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    I would say it's the other way around.

    Charlie ran out of plans. All he could do was keep sending even more archons with rifles to die then his side was taken over by a talking tower moving them backwards. Even their favored minion FAQ lost their capital and treasury.

    Hamster meanwhile managed to negotiate his own release, making a new ally along the way that started by capturing FAQ's capital and their treasury.
    Except Charlie didn't run out of plans. The rules of the world literally changed multiple times to foil his plans. This is not satisfying storytelling, nor is it a good way to bring down the primary antagonist of the story.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Things that were not new to that update:

    A) The concept of a ditto extending a side (Already happened with Jetstone)
    B) Ditto rulers having power over heir stuff (IIRC this also already happened?).
    C) Towers being able to steal from the source to power things they are capable of doing.

    Things new to the update:

    1) Towers turning juice into shmuckers.
    2) There being a previously un-mentioned ditto-like-thing ("echo", perhaps, to keep with the possible explanation for the Jed-Parson thing of towers being able to empower the abilities/strings of units) existing in the first place.
    3) Towers being able to create ditto-esq things.
    4) The ability for one of the parties to undo a contract after it has been signed, if that party is a tower.

    ---

    (2) & (3) could have been partially avoided by HueHue giving some handwave much earlier in the story regarding how he's capable of signing the contract in the first place. Only partially avoided since it still involves towers getting yet more powers. That said, wording it as an empowering-type deal (albiet one lasting a bit beyond death) would give a framework for predicting what towers can and can't do and keep them as a supporting unit. Btw, that explanation is clearly not what is going on - towers appear to actually be capable of anything and are only being held back by their moral values.

    (1) could have been avoided by the tower feeding the juice to Benjamin and have him turn the juice into money. That's.. probably something moneymancers can do? Would feel reasonable. They have a caster that specializes in money RIGHT THERE.


    (4) just shouldn't have happened. I can't think of any way for that twist to work without implying towers can nullify contracts whenever OR that anyone can pull contract scams by having a ditto ruler sign. This is, indeed, a Dues Ex Machina that came out of nowhere and is resolving a major issue. Promoting Skyy just cancels out something that hit just as fast.


    Also I think this should have all went down before Wanda croaking (have Jack just fail for a different reason), with Wanda croaking still being the last page. The next book could focus on that, like it seems to want to, with TV still languishing under the contract albiet with new management.
    Last edited by Magikeeper; 2018-10-22 at 09:37 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Magikeeper View Post
    (4) just shouldn't have happened. I can't think of any way for that twist to work without implying towers can nullify contracts whenever OR that anyone can pull contract scams by having a ditto ruler sign. This is, indeed, a Dues Ex Machina that came out of nowhere and is resolving a major issue.
    My reading of why they were able to do it:

    HueHue used dittomancy to fake Caesar's signature on the contract. He was able to do this because he believed his ditto reflected Caesar's actual desires. Because the signature, itself, was dittomancy, he could in theory cancel it at any time, but in practice he was unable to do so because towers are unable to deliberately lie to each other.

    However, when he discovered that Caesar didn't agree to anything, that changed the calculations. His forged agreement became invalid, and the implicit understanding that held the contract together no longer worked. This allowed HueHue to cancel his ditto'ed signature and negate the contract.

    My reading is that towers can't just cancel contracts whenever they want, only under the specific situation where:

    1. The signature itself was dittomancied (so they can end the dittomancy to negate it), and,

    2. They believed at the time that they were acting according to the will of their ruler (necessary to dittomancy a signature, otherwise it would be a lie), and,

    3. They later discover that their ruler's will wasn't what they thought (allowing them to cancel the signature as invalid, which they wouldn't normally be able to do on account of being unable to deliberately lie.)

    In effect, HueHue told Shirley "yes, Caesar agrees to this", and was able to use Dittomancy to back it up because he honestly believed this to be the case. When he learned otherwise, he was able to (and may even have been obligated to) cancel the Dittomancy and the contract.

    A corollary to this is that towers cannot actually sign fully-binding contracts without their overlord's consent - the overlord's ultimate, eventual agreement is needed for it to remain binding going forward. If the overlord unequivocally rejects it at the first opportunity, their tower can use that as a basis to cancel it. Shirley was unaware of this (I suspect Charlie would have guessed it, if he'd been involved.)
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2018-10-22 at 10:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    The way I read this update Fate & Croakamancy Golems don't exist. Ceasar Croaked himself dramatically but although it inspired his Tower into action it's Huehue that did everything, not a Ceasar Croakamancy Golem. That's goodk. Strings and such were bad enough. We don't need invisible golems in the works moving the plot.

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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Except Charlie didn't run out of plans. The rules of the world literally changed multiple times to foil his plans. This is not satisfying storytelling, nor is it a good way to bring down the primary antagonist of the story.
    Like Ansom said, you should prepare contigencies for your plans and then contigencies for your contigencies, and Charlie didn't plan for rapid-fire rule retcons.

    Which you're right it's pretty crappy storytlelling, what exactly was Rob thinking when designing Charlie "I'M SUPER SMART AND HAVE MY OWN ARKENTOOL WITH MORE ABILITIES THAN EVERY OTHER ARKENTOOL COMBINED INCLUDING AN ARMY OF FANATICALLY LOYAL ANGELS WITH SO MUCH SPECIAL ABILITIES I DO NOT EVEN NEED ANY OTHER TYPE OF UNIT TO HAVE THE MOST VERSATILE ARMY IN THE WORLD AND THEN I'M GIVING THEM MODERN GUNS AND EXPLOSIVES DESPITE THE MEDIEVAL SETTING AND I'M A CARNYMANCER ON TOP WWWEEEE!!!!

    (totally worth taking those chair-bound cripple, druggie and ugly flaws)."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Of Mantas View Post
    "You know, Durkon, I built this planet up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was a snarl. All the other gods said we were daft to build a planet over a snarl, but I built it all the same, just to show then. It got eaten by the snarl...

    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Erfworld Thread XI: Finally, it's HAMMER-TIME!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post

    3. They later discover that their ruler's will wasn't what they thought (allowing them to cancel the signature as invalid, which they wouldn't normally be able to do on account of being unable to deliberately lie.)

    In effect, HueHue told Shirley "yes, Caesar agrees to this", and was able to use Dittomancy to back it up because he honestly believed this to be the case. When he learned otherwise, he was able to (and may even have been obligated to) cancel the Dittomancy and the contract.

    A corollary to this is that towers cannot actually sign fully-binding contracts without their overlord's consent - the overlord's ultimate, eventual agreement is needed for it to remain binding going forward. If the overlord unequivocally rejects it at the first opportunity, their tower can use that as a basis to cancel it. Shirley was unaware of this (I suspect Charlie would have guessed it, if he'd been involved.)
    Actually, the logical extension of the argument of "you can cancel the agreement because it's a ditto", is "you MUST cancel it because it's a ditto". A ditto, by its nature, is a temporary being, unless we want to add in a new rule of permanent copies. Otherwise, by dawn, the ditto will disappear anyway. All Hueh did was speed up the process. Caesar must make the contract official by dawn, or it automatically dissolves.

    My interpretation of how this works is both sides agreed to the contract, with the understanding that Caesar would make it official after his release. By killing himself, Caesar denied the possibility of doing so, so the contract was destined to dissolve. This is the only way it could go down at this point.

    This is possibly the stupidest way to make a contract I have ever heard of, if I'm correct. Even if Sheril believed Hueh, when he said that Caesar would totally make this official, because cities can't lie to each other, there is still the factor of not being able to guarantee the actions of the person that actually needs to agree to the contract. Doing it in such a roundabout way seems silly, as well. I'm sure Charlie has made contracts with captured rulers before.
    Last edited by tomaO2; 2018-10-23 at 03:02 AM.

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