Book 3 - Page 179

Can I Borrow a Feeling?

Book 3 - Page 179
Comic - Book 3 - Page 179
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Fla_Panther wrote:

That only works if (a) you can see what he's doing, and (b) you understand what he's doing. I don't think the tools give any indication of how they do what they do.

Well yes, he can see what it's doing. It transmits the info back to him. He can detect the actual channels, which non-Thinkamancers seem unable to do. If he couldn't see what it was doing and was just ordering an autopilot, then how does he know so much about Thinkamancy? How was he able to hook up all that machinery to the Arkendish?

Fla_Panther wrote:
CC may have figured out some of it through experimentation but I don't think any of the other users have done so with their tools.

Wanda and Stanley are horrible examples. Wanda because she's only interested in making decrypted and is reluctant to share anything she finds out. Stanley because he's book dumb and not a caster.

wih wrote:

Book 3 Page 7 confirms that Prisoners can't recieve Thinkagrams, and given the rule issues with Book 0 to do with prisoners that conflict with Book 3 rules (such as what happens to a side when a ruler is captured) it's more likely that it's a problem with Book 0 (which is a first draft, and expected to change) than a rule that Book 3 got wrong.

It might just be a Charlie thing. He was able to send one through Hilary, who was prisoner of Haggar.
ToxinBoy wrote:
I don't know if anyone wrote anything about this, I have no time to go through the whole thread, so sorry if I bring up something that had been discussed already.

I have a problem with this page, storywise. I have tried to pour it into words for two days now, and this is what I came up with at last. (I'm not a native English user, so maybe this will be a bit confusing, apologies for that in advance.)

It puzzles me how the story has came to this point where Maggie contacts Jed. Here is a list with the events that made this possible:

1. Parson came up with an idea for a city defender building-unit, the casters formed a link-up and created Jed in the process.
2. At the end of the battle in the MK, Parson rushed a random portal and ended up in Transylvito with Maggie and Jack.
3. As it turned out, Transylvito had a Dollamancer who tipped his nose into Thinkamancy, and created a hide golem connected to Maggie.
4. Through the conversation with Bunny, Maggie figured out how to contact Jed.

For me this feels like these events, especially the first two, happened for the sake of the story, so at a later time, the fourth event could become possible. (I'm sure there are other aims and goals with those first two events, I'm just focusing on this matter now.)

It worries me when a storyline unfolds like this. I recently re-read all the Books, including Book 0, and until this update, it always felt like the events of the story was the result of the actions of the characters and groups and the reactions of other characters and groups for that actions, and so on, back-and-forth. The randomness of Jed's creation (it seems convenient now that Parson came up with exactly that idea that helps Maggie now) and the portal rushing (to a side that we are already aware of and has a Dollamancer with some Thinkamancy tricks) could be explained from a narrative point of view, but I think it hurts a story when the reason for something to happen has the - assumed - intention only to help the story going forward in one specific way.

I won't say that Rob arranged these events with this mindset, I just have this awkward feeling about it and I don't like it. Sure it can be explained all this as the work of Fate, but the ultimate will of Fate is the will of the writer. Until this point I had a feeling that this whole big epic story had a natural flow, where every act had a consequence. Now in a tiny bit it feels like it's rigged for some characters...

And I love it nonetheless. :)


Well said.

Can you look at it a different way...

Parson involved Maggie in something that will affect her later.

Parson does what he does in the MK as predicted. Maggie is along as his support because that is who she is.

Parson picks a random portal (as defined by Rob) and Maggie and Parson are separated.

Maggie, who has shown independent thinking before, takes it to a new level as a demonstration of Parson's effect on her.

To me, it's not so much 1 or 2 as it is the TV portal. I had a similar reaction during the update when they went through the TV portal.

The entire TV storyline could have been rewritten with Jetstone as Ansom made overtures and Trammenis wanted Parson to show up personally. That would feel equally contrived as a random TV portal. A story were Maggie develops as a character could also have been written in that scenario.

To me, the issue is Parson had no control in the collide-o-scope so as the reader we "know" it's the author that is pulling the strings. At a certain point, the reader has to suspend disbelief.

My wife and I watch a fantasy TV show and occasionally I'll complain that something wouldn't happen that way. She'll kindly say, "You're watching a fantasy TV show and you're complaining that reality is getting in the way?"

I'm not suggesting you are completing, just a reminder from my wife that we need some about of disbelief because no author is perfect. I also had your feeling. Additionally, the situation in the MK had Parson out of control. We project, or at least I did, determinism into a story when things seem out of control. That's a bit unfair to all authors. It's asking them to make all chaos appear intentional.

My 2 cents anyways.
I didn't read everybody's replies, and didn't see the update until today, but let me just say:

I'm glad Jed is having a real impact on events now. I mean, he's done behind the scenes work that was very useful, but this seems like he will be involved in frontline work. For a stationary building that's pretty sweet.
ToxinBoy wrote:
I don't know if anyone wrote anything about this, I have no time to go through the whole thread, so sorry if I bring up something that had been discussed already.

I have a problem with this page, storywise. I have tried to pour it into words for two days now, and this is what I came up with at last. (I'm not a native English user, so maybe this will be a bit confusing, apologies for that in advance.)

It puzzles me how the story has came to this point where Maggie contacts Jed. Here is a list with the events that made this possible:

1. Parson came up with an idea for a city defender building-unit, the casters formed a link-up and created Jed in the process.
2. At the end of the battle in the MK, Parson rushed a random portal and ended up in Transylvito with Maggie and Jack.
3. As it turned out, Transylvito had a Dollamancer who tipped his nose into Thinkamancy, and created a hide golem connected to Maggie.
4. Through the conversation with Bunny, Maggie figured out how to contact Jed.

For me this feels like these events, especially the first two, happened for the sake of the story, so at a later time, the fourth event could become possible. (I'm sure there are other aims and goals with those first two events, I'm just focusing on this matter now.)

It worries me when a storyline unfolds like this. I recently re-read all the Books, including Book 0, and until this update, it always felt like the events of the story was the result of the actions of the characters and groups and the reactions of other characters and groups for that actions, and so on, back-and-forth. The randomness of Jed's creation (it seems convenient now that Parson came up with exactly that idea that helps Maggie now) and the portal rushing (to a side that we are already aware of and has a Dollamancer with some Thinkamancy tricks) could be explained from a narrative point of view, but I think it hurts a story when the reason for something to happen has the - assumed - intention only to help the story going forward in one specific way.

I won't say that Rob arranged these events with this mindset, I just have this awkward feeling about it and I don't like it. Sure it can be explained all this as the work of Fate, but the ultimate will of Fate is the will of the writer. Until this point I had a feeling that this whole big epic story had a natural flow, where every act had a consequence. Now in a tiny bit it feels like it's rigged for some characters...

And I love it nonetheless. :)


While I get your point and would agree in any other context... I think you're forgetting a major component of the world. Specifically Fate. In Erfworld, fate is not just an explanation people use to explain how things ended up the way they did after the fact. In Erfworld, Fate (note the capitalization denoting this a proper noun) is an actual entity of some kind with it's own agenda. We don't know if it's sapient but it's ability to react intelligently to attempts to escape it strongly suggests sentience.

What we are seeing with all these "lucky coincidences" is Fate reacting to hundreds of turns worth of being denied by Charley. It has been trying very, very hard to accomplish a goal that includes Charley's demise for a very long time. And, as shown and explained in Book 0, the more you deny Fate the more extreme, destructive, and (yes) contrived its methods become.

I personally have put forth the theory that Fate's current goal is peace on Erf... as the events of Book 0, the referenced events from the fall of El-Efbaum, and everything we've seen in the in Books 1-3 could each be Fate starting over after being repeatedly thwarted by Charley while in pursuit of this goal.

So yes, the story is rigged for some characters. Wanda has been saying as much since Book 1. It was thoroughly explained in Book 0 and used as a major plot point in the same story. And again in the Dig Doug story. Marie just recently explained it again before her demise in Portal Park. We were even shown Wanda's "riggedness" passing just before she was incapacitated as represented by her fate bubble fading.

*shrug* Frankly I'd be more put out if we weren't seeing these "lucky coincidences." Their absence would represent a plot hole. And I applaud Rob for being able to subtly illustrate Fate's influence without the story becoming more overtly contrived than it is.

I will say I don't think the goal of Fate was to enable Maggie to pull of this trick... rather I think Maggie's trick is, itself, intended to enable something else further down the line. It's simply the next in a long series of dominoes that are continuing to fall.
strange7person wrote:
So, next up: Janis and the GMs cast the mass-peace spell, Sizemore repatriates Wanda and hands her the arkenpliers, Wanda decrypts Marie and remotely repatriates Jack (mostly just to prove she could, thus invalidating the trial), Jack frees and repatriates Maggie and Parson, they leave TV through the (still peaced-out) MK, Parson visits Jetstone as previously scheduled, and comments on the absurdity of how, despite having promoted himself to field unit, this is only the fifth different hex he's ever been in, all of which were capital sites? Nobody even knows his Move stat.


"I'm not even supposed to be here today! No, really... I'm not. I have no idea how my Move works....."
The new thread under the new page is up but I post my response here anyway.

BanzaiJoe wrote:
Maggie, who has shown independent thinking before, takes it to a new level as a demonstration of Parson's effect on her.
This is why I like this update no matter how it left a bad taste in my mouth. If this is about the personal development of Maggie, I'm perfectly fine with it. I'm hoping for some unexpected results. :)

BanzaiJoe wrote:

My wife and I watch a fantasy TV show and occasionally I'll complain that something wouldn't happen that way. She'll kindly say, "You're watching a fantasy TV show and you're complaining that reality is getting in the way?"
And this is the exact reason why I stopped watching certain TV shows or had the same bad taste after finishing some series. (Game of Thrones and Dexter for example.) I prefer spontaneity, originality and creativity above all else, and when it seems the authors are contriving (I just learned this word from JadedDragoon, yay for me :) ) the story too much to reach a certain outcome, sacrificing the personas original personalities in the process, it gives me real pain and headaches. As a drama teacher I have a strong sense for these things and they make a story predictable and boring for me after a while. I can't imagine that to happen to me in the case of Erfworld, because the development of the characters personalities seem fine and justified so far. Just an alarm sounded in my mind when I saw this kind of thing emerging.


JadedDragoon wrote:
*shrug* Frankly I'd be more put out if we weren't seeing these "lucky coincidences." Their absence would represent a plot hole. And I applaud Rob for being able to subtly illustrate Fate's influence without the story becoming more overtly contrived than it is.

I will say I don't think the goal of Fate was to enable Maggie to pull of this trick... rather I think Maggie's trick is, itself, intended to enable something else further down the line. It's simply the next in a long series of dominoes that are continuing to fall.
First of all, thank you for the word "contrived", I expanded my English dictionary with it today. I was looking for a word like this when I wrote my post yesterday, and this is what I needed. :)
You are right about the role of Fate and the need of "lucky coincidences". I just hope there will be more falling dominoes in seemingly random directions with "ripples" that shake other fields of dominoes and make them fall in more random ways than a perfectly organised set of dominoes falling in a predictable way. (And the 180th page is more of the random kind, so I stopped worrying.)
ManaCaster wrote:
It might just be a Charlie thing. He was able to send one through Hilary, who was prisoner of Haggar.


That's a good catch on the Haggar Thinkagram. I would counter that no-one apart from the Great Minds really has any idea about how much extra things Charlie can do with the 'dish, especially as far back as Book 0, so it's unlikely that they're suspicious that Charlie can do it because it's Charlie, they're more likely to think he can do it because there's no reason he can't.

That said, that he blatantly does it through a prisoner Archon and Haggar doesn't blink an eye is also odd. This might just be a rules hole. I hope it isn't.
wih wrote:
ManaCaster wrote:
It might just be a Charlie thing. He was able to send one through Hilary, who was prisoner of Haggar.


That's a good catch on the Haggar Thinkagram. I would counter that no-one apart from the Great Minds really has any idea about how much extra things Charlie can do with the 'dish, especially as far back as Book 0, so it's unlikely that they're suspicious that Charlie can do it because it's Charlie, they're more likely to think he can do it because there's no reason he can't.

That said, that he blatantly does it through a prisoner Archon and Haggar doesn't blink an eye is also odd. This might just be a rules hole. I hope it isn't.



Huh. Yes, great catch. Is Hilary doing the casting? Or is this, in essence, Hilary as Maggionette being manipulated? Or, possibly a Rob mistake. Hmmm...
What makes the most sense given an imprisoned Archon being unable to cast is that it's Charlie using the Archon as a relay, as described by the Great Minds, and similar to the feats we've seen Wanda do with a Thinkamancer's help. But this is still a capability that is, as far as we're aware, ostensibly a secret (which we're aware that Charlie trys to keep secret, thus the whole "discovery theatre" style dealings he needs to do all the time).
One thing that surprises me about this thread, no one brought up this song from the Simpsons, which was used for the page caption: Can I Borrow a Feeling?.

I mean comeon. This is a Simpsons reference on a page starring Maggie!

edit: It may have been presumtious on my part. I simply searched for the phrase "Jar of Love", and it didn't show up in any posts on this topic. Didn't actually read any of the posts here.