Prologue - 024

Prologue - 024

Turns Since TBfGK: 38

By his own choice, Parson had taken up residence in one of the little houses near the Garrison, at the corner of Thin Mint and Moe. It worked better than his tower quarters for rounds, and Stanley was less likely to drop by and bug him. But it did mean that getting called to The Tool's office for an ass-chewing always involved a long slog and a million stairs. That was the trade-off, and it was inevitable.

The new Tower of Efdup was nicely decorated and brightly lit. Parson thought it was kind of stuffy and fru-fru, but an improvement over the creepy-ass one with the body parts theme. It was possible to walk through the carpeted hallways and marble staircases without feeling stared at, or in danger of being groped by a light fixture.

Today, he had reached Stanley's office without even getting all that winded. His legs were tightening up, and some of the double folds in his gut were becoming singles again. As a deeply wise man named Hamstard had once said...hawt.

The Tool had wanted to bitch about the usual: their situation with natural allies.

It was a weird problem. All the Gobwins and Hobgobwins were croaked in the eruption, of course. Wanda decrypted most of those, but they no longer counted as a separate tribe. They were just units of Gobwin Knob's side now.

As tribes, natural allies could pop new units if they had extra Shmuckers. So Stanley had used the intervening turns and a notable chunk of the treasury to repopulate the Hobgobwin tribe from the lone remaining Knight to around two hundred units, about forty or fifty of them Knights. But there were no Gobwins in Gobwin Knob.

And for some reason, they couldn't find any, anywhere.

Sizemore had been busy, sending out parties of tunnel-capable units to look below ground. Many of the nearby mountain hexes had tunnel systems, and it would have been normal to find a feral Gobwin tribe mining for upkeep in there somewhere. They had found only a lot of Marbits, though, and Marbits and Elves would not ally with a side that used Gobwins, Hobgobwins, Witches or Daemons.

His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on.

Stanley blamed Parson of course, because of the volcano. Parson had stopped arguing that point (or any) with Stanley, if he could help it. He simply shrugged his way through another pointless meeting about it, got some dumb and conflicting orders, said "Yes, Tool" a lot, and got out of there.

One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits.

And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm.

If Stanley knew that, he might go after Charlie immediately. Parson couldn't think of a worse idea. If you had a guy like Charlie undermining you for some reason, you did not let on that you knew about it. The thing to do was to figure out what Charlie's game was, and play him from there. Stanley couldn't do that.

Parson wasn't sure he could either. But if he wanted to try, he was going to have to take Maggie's advice and talk to Wanda's Archons.

Oh boy.

It had been several weeks since he'd asked any of the Archons to go with him on rounds. Besides the Gobwin problem, Parson had developed a laundry list of other questions about Charlie during his strategy sessions with Jack. But he'd been putting off taking those questions to the Archons because, well...

His dealings with these perfect little flying women had started out awkward, and only gone downhill from there.

The Archons shared a barracks-style accommodation that took up half of the second-topmost floor of the tower. It was like a sorority house in there. Two dozen bunk beds, each separated by white curtains, took up the space nearest the main wall. The center of the room was walled off as a kitchen/larder/dining area, and the rest was a commons area with at least as good a view as Stanley's office. Large double-plated windows on all sides could be pulled inward, allowing direct access to and from the city's airspace. The Archons kept it all neat and tidy.

The first time Parson had gone up to visit them, it was like walking into an 80s sex comedy. It was nighttime, and they were all wearing satin pajamas and teddies. A couple of them were walking around in less. Some of them were actually pillow fighting. They were all enthusiastically happy to see him.

He'd watched a season or two of "Beauty and the Geek," which was a reality show in which a group of socially hopeless nerds share a mansion with a group of intellectually hopeless hotties. In the first show, each contestant must walk into a room, alone, with the whole opposite group.

He couldn't remember if any of the Geeks had done worse with the Beauties than he did with the Archons that night, but he didn't think so. He was pretty sure at one point that the word "hummina" literally came out of his mouth. Literally. Weak.

They'd taken him by the arm and shown him around, but it never got anything like comfortable in there. He'd tried to explain that he was up there to find a volunteer or two to accompany him on his rounds the next turn and talk strategy or whatever.

He then spent fifteen minutes trying to explain the concept of "volunteer."

Charlie didn't do "volunteer." Wanda certainly didn't. Nobody asked for volunteers in Erfworld. You ordered your units or you didn't.

And with that, he suddenly got struck with the creepiness of it. As they'd gathered around him in their lingerie and hung on his every word, he had started to entertain the idea that their friendliness to him might mean they...liked him? Were interested in him? Wanted him? And they were so impossibly hot. Short and small, yes. But women. Women built like little Playboy models. God.

But the idea that they might want him was right out the tower window when he realized what "no volunteers" really implied. "Want" didn't enter into it. He could order them to perform any sick, twisted, perverted, demented...awesome act he wanted to. Erfworld had suddenly given him a gift to fill the awful gaping hole in his existence where internet pr0n had once lived.

And he knew, he knew it was wrong. And completely, completely not what he wanted. There wasn't a way they really could volunteer to be with him. He had absolute power, as their warlord. He also had no power to be anything but their warlord. They scared him. His power over them scared him even more.

In the end, he'd just decided to appoint a couple of them at random and gtfo. The next day, he couldn't think of much to say to the two he had picked.

He did try again a week or so later when he had his nerve up. That somehow went even worse.

And now, here he stood again. It was another two flights up from Stanley's office to the oaken double doors of the Archons' barracks. They were shut up tight, but over the bare crackle of the magic torches in the wall, he thought he could hear faint giggling.

"I can face the peril," Parson muttered, letting out a deep long breath, "I can spank the peril."

He sucked in his gut and knocked on the door.

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Recent posts... (See full thread)
Decorus wrote:
Parsons is actually both a strategic and tactical genius.
How ever Ansom is not a tactical genius he is a strategic genius.

At its heart, tactics is a shifting amalgam of psychology, physics, and statistics.

Ansom has no understanding of psychology, and no real knowledge of statistics.
Parsons is actually limited by his lack of understanding of the physics of Erfworld...
Hence Parsons dramatic improvements as he understands more about how Erfworld works.
Image
That word, I do not think it means what you think it means.
raphfrk wrote:
mortissimus wrote:
So having natural allies means you have an independent source for producing troops, as long as you can put more schmuckers into their treasury?


It could be exponential. You give the unit schmuckers and there is a chance it will produce another unit. They went from 1 unit to 200 in 38 turns. That represents around a 15% population increase per turn.

Alternatively, it could be 1-2 knights per turn and 4-5 standard units.


If getting one gobwin would give GK 1-2 knights (or other good units) per turn and 4-5 standard units, then it is a sizeable loss not to get that single one (from what we know of production speeds). If it is exponential, then it is a huge loss. All assuming that GKs limit right now lies in production capacity and not schmuckers.

Exponential would make sense from a tribe perspective (it grows in numbers depending on how many they are), linear would make sense from an option perspective (either you have the option to let your natural allies pop more or you don't), sort of like having a special building that pops certain units in a RTS game. The more data we get, the more we need...
Secret wrote:
Darkside007 wrote:
Secret wrote:

A Lookamancer and/or a Findamancer.
The Lookamancer could look at the field/caves to see where they are and when linked show the Foolamancer.(same as how Misty Showed Jack the field so he could project it onto the table)
While Findamancer would just find them(however that works) and show the Foolamancer where they are.
Simple, well except for the linking part......


Gobwin Knob had that exact setup and it was 100% impossible to do it.

That's up for debate. I have always read that line as meaning they couldn't use the Eyemancer linkup for the table AND vailing a stack at the same time.
But whatever it might still be possible with a Findamaner linkup.
Also, and I know I'm going to be sounding like a mod but, could you please try not to make two posts in the same thread so soon after each other, I mean we have an edit button for a reason.....


I don't think there's a 'quote combine' button for posts pages apart. Anyway,

http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F064.jpg

They *can't* veil stacks when linked.
They *can't* veil stacks outside of their own.
They *can't* veil outside their turn.

If any condition is true, veiling cannot be done. Only if all conditions are false can veils be cast.

Lord Kasavin wrote:


Ayn Rand is not a very good example. The "protagonists" the reader is suppose to identify with are amoral, aethesitc, and outright malignent. Plus...

Image


Well, Bob the angry flower fails at reading comprehension.

Since, you know, most of the protags were farming at the beginning of Act 3.
THe should just kill all the marbits then relay Wanda and decrypt them :twisted: .
BoopingCynic wrote:
THe should just kill all the marbits then relay Wanda and decrypt them :twisted: .


Exactly. Pop a warlord, and send him leveling for a turn with the decrypted marbits, gobwins and the golems. And then let Wanda decrypt them. Maybe catch some marbits and ask them what happened to the gobwins.
Now we know one use for prisons: keep units alive until they can be killed and decrypted.
Justyn wrote:
HailGreen28 wrote:
2. Marbits in the tunnels! I would be horrified if i were in Parson's place.
a. There is a naturally hostile force right under GW's noses / feet. Why hasn't Parson or Stanley ordered a Marbit extermination squad, like yesterday?
b. Sizemore deliberately wrecked Gobwin Knob once before by collapsing tunnels. What if the Marbits can do the same?
c. The mines are where GW's wealth of gems is! Are the Marbits robbing GW as we speak?
d. As an afterthought, yeah maybe the Marbits are keeping GW from popping Gobwins. Parson should consult with Sizemore and Maggie, ask the Bracer more questions to try nailing down the source of the Marbit threat, what ELSE might be down there, and what hostile force strength is down there. Then send enough troops to crush them immediately.


The Marbits are in the tunnel systems of the other mountains around Gobwin Knob, but not in the actual mountain Gobwin Knob is on. Take a look at the mountains in the background of the first panel of the first page of book 2... those are the mountains the Marbits are in.
Yes, but the update mentions Sizemore underground also, implying GK itself as well.
ftl wrote:
This really is turning into a pet peeve of mine. I'm trying to avoid it, but I can't help but comment...

You CAN'T tell what information is going into calculating a probability by what the probability is. I quite disagree that the bracer needs to account for information Parson and his allies do not have. The questions "what's the probability that something fishy is going on" and "what's the probability that charlie is behind it" just give us numbers, so you can't tell anything about the Bracer's reasoning for those numbers. The 92% might just be based on "something fishy is probably going on, and Charlescomm is pretty much the only agency around who would be involved in 'something fishy'." - no privileged knowledge necessary.

HOWEVER, the one question where we CAN compare the numbers to what actually happened supports the other side, that the bracer isn't omniscient! We know that
"His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now."

However, they did not find any. Clearly, the bracer was missing some critical information when it made that probability assignment! (Again, we can't tell this just from the number itself, but we CAN tell by comparison to what actually happened.)

If the Bracer had information that Parson did not, it would not put the probability so high, since it would know that "something fishy was going on."

However, if the bracer does NOT have predictamancy or lookamancy powers, and just mathamancy, then the sequence of questions and answers makes sense.
It's not the ANSWERS that prove the Bracer has outside info, in addition to as Parson said the ability to "predict the future". The QUESTIONS THE BRACER IS ANSWERING is proof that it has info that neither Parson nor GK has.

This is a prime example: "Tell me the odds that learning what happened to my Archons right now will be worth giving up those calculations in the future." - Not only has to account for the world situation outside GK's sight, but predictomancy on odds Parson and Charlie will stay alive long enough to do the calcs.

And let's look at your example. " His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on." Key word is SHOULD. Parson makes it pretty clear he's not asking what WILL the Archons and Sizemore find, but what they should they have found. The normal odds of that happening.

The next statements "One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits. And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm." indicate the Bracer is indeed able to use info outside GK. How would the Bracer calculate the odds of "something fishy" unless it had info that GK didn't have? That it was more likely to be Charlie than say the Tardy Elves hanging around, Jetstone covertly tunneling the area, the Marbits themselves claiming the mountains as "natural territory", or some other detail the authors haven't given us yet? The bracer couldn't begin to calc those odds unless it had info that GK and Parson didn't.
HailGreen28 wrote:
It's not the ANSWERS that prove the Bracer has outside info, in addition to as Parson said the ability to "predict the future". The QUESTIONS THE BRACER IS ANSWERING is proof that it has info that neither Parson nor GK has.


No. You can answer ANY PROPERLY PHRASED QUESTION with a probability, no matter how low information you have on it.

Quote:

This is a prime example: "Tell me the odds that learning what happened to my Archons right now will be worth giving up those calculations in the future." - Not only has to account for the world situation outside GK's sight, but predictomancy on odds Parson and Charlie will stay alive long enough to do the calcs.


No. Accounting for those things will give you more accurate answers. You can give a probability without accounting for any of it.

Example from real life: suppose I see two players playing chess. No further information - I can put a 52% probability on white winning, 48% on black winning.

Then I find out that Black is Kasparov, and White is my grandfather. Hey, now I put the probability of Black winning as 99%.

Same question, different information, different answers, both equally valid given the information at the time provided.

Quote:
And let's look at your example. " His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now. They'd either rolled a critical fumble, or something weird was going on." Key word is SHOULD. Parson makes it pretty clear he's not asking what WILL the Archons and Sizemore find, but what they should they have found. The normal odds of that happening.


Right, and the "normal odds" of it happening depend on a multitude of factors, including what other sides are doing. If Parson asks "hey, what's the chance of us finding Gobwins this way" and the Bracer knows about Charlie, then it would put really low odds, because it would know Charlie's involved.

But it didn't. The answer to the question was 98% - it was extremely likely for them to find Gobwins. They didn't - therefore, there was information the bracer was missing.

Are you saying that Parson specifically told it to disregard information it had when making that calculation? The quote was "His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now." Not "should have found some if there was nothing fishy going on." Not "should have found some if nobody interferes." Just "should have found some." No specific information being removed from the calculation.

Quote:

The next statements "One thing he never volunteered in these meetings was that the bracer gave a 78% likelihood that there was something fishy going on with the lack of Gobwins and prevalence of Marbits. And if there was, then there was a better than 92% chance that the agency behind it was Charlescomm." indicate the Bracer is indeed able to use info outside GK.


No, it does not. You can answer a probability question with any amount of information, from zero to perfect information. The more information goes in to the calculation, the more useful it is. But you cannot find out the usefulness by just looking at the answer, unless that answer is 0 or 100%.

Quote:
How would the Bracer calculate the odds of "something fishy" unless it had info that GK didn't have?


By using whatever info GK did have. (Which is substantial. GK knows Gobwin spawn rates. Parson can easily find out a number of things about Gobwin mentality from Sizemore, Wanda, who have been around and worked with Gobwins. He can probably account for all the non-fishy ways that they might have missed Gobwins - thus, what remains is fishy. )

Quote:
That it was more likely to be Charlie than say the Tardy Elves hanging around, Jetstone covertly tunneling the area, the Marbits themselves claiming the mountains as "natural territory", or some other detail the authors haven't given us yet? The bracer couldn't begin to calc those odds unless it had info that GK and Parson didn't.


No, it could. There's a laundry list of things it MIGHT be - but, in the end, the only agency around that's really LIKELY to do something tricky like that is Charlescomm. That is a conclusion that might happily have been derived from "rulebook + Parson" knowledge.

Heck, If the bracer knew substantially more info than GK and Parson did - such as info about Charlie - it wouldn't be giving "72" or "92" for "something fishy" or "Charlie". If it knew why the Gobwins were gone, it would answer either 0 or 100%. It's not a hard question to answer if you have priveleged information about Gobwins.
ftl wrote:
No. You can answer ANY PROPERLY PHRASED QUESTION with a probability, no matter how low information you have on it.

No. Accounting for those things will give you more accurate answers. You can give a probability without accounting for any of it.

Example from real life: suppose I see two players playing chess. No further information - I can put a 52% probability on white winning, 48% on black winning.

Then I find out that Black is Kasparov, and White is my grandfather. Hey, now I put the probability of Black winning as 99%.

Same question, different information, different answers, both equally valid given the information at the time provided.

But Parson is getting answers ranging in the 70-90 %. Pretty accurate by your standards. Therefore the bracer uses a lot of info GK doesn't have access to.


ftl wrote:
Right, and the "normal odds" of it happening depend on a multitude of factors, including what other sides are doing. If Parson asks "hey, what's the chance of us finding Gobwins this way" and the Bracer knows about Charlie, then it would put really low odds, because it would know Charlie's involved.

But it didn't. The answer to the question was 98% - it was extremely likely for them to find Gobwins. They didn't - therefore, there was information the bracer was missing.

Are you saying that Parson specifically told it to disregard information it had when making that calculation? The quote was "His bracer put it at a 98 percent chance that the Archons should have spotted some Gobwins in the mountains or Sizemore found some below ground by now." Not "should have found some if there was nothing fishy going on." Not "should have found some if nobody interferes." Just "should have found some." No specific information being removed from the calculation.
I'm thinking the 98% came from what you describe as Parson asking about the "normal odds" in that situation. Which isn't a bad question to ask, when trying to figure out if something weird is afoot.


ftl wrote:
No, it does not. You can answer a probability question with any amount of information, from zero to perfect information. The more information goes in to the calculation, the more useful it is. But you cannot find out the usefulness by just looking at the answer, unless that answer is 0 or 100%.
I'm mainly looking at the questions the Bracer is asked, not the answers. And Parson's actual claim that he can predict the future.

ftl wrote:
By using whatever info GK did have. (Which is substantial. GK knows Gobwin spawn rates. Parson can easily find out a number of things about Gobwin mentality from Sizemore, Wanda, who have been around and worked with Gobwins. He can probably account for all the non-fishy ways that they might have missed Gobwins - thus, what remains is fishy. )

No, it could. There's a laundry list of things it MIGHT be - but, in the end, the only agency around that's really LIKELY to do something tricky like that is Charlescomm. That is a conclusion that might happily have been derived from "rulebook + Parson" knowledge.
But Parson and GK appear to have zero knowledge of Charlies involvement with the Great Gobwin Disappearance. Yet the Bracer gave a probability of C's involvement.


ftl wrote:
Heck, If the bracer knew substantially more info than GK and Parson did - such as info about Charlie - it wouldn't be giving "72" or "92" for "something fishy" or "Charlie". If it knew why the Gobwins were gone, it would answer either 0 or 100%. It's not a hard question to answer if you have priveleged information about Gobwins.
Good point. Your example seems to me to prove that the Bracer isn't omniscient after all. Since we're talking about something that HAS happened, the answer of C's possible involvement should be 0 or 100%

(Of course, maybe the problem is Parson asking odds rather than binary yes/no style questions, or maybe charlie has help so his actual contribution is only what 72%? :P ) But I'm inclined to your point, so far.

It's just we have Parson actually claiming the Bracer can predict the future. Parson is asking probabilities that he doesn't know of, otherwise why bother? And enough info to answer questions like "Charlie should keep his calcs" and "Charlie's involved in the Great Gobwin Disapperance" , seems to me to be beyond Parson's capabilities at this point. If the Bracer can pull all relevent knowledge from all of GK, that would be impressive itself. It's the "predict the future" I would like to put to the test. With yes/no questions.