Book 3 - Page 29

Book 3 - Page 29
Comic - Book 3 - Page 29
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effataigus wrote:

@Lilwik There's always room for being cautious about jumping to conclusions. I'm not 100% convinced that Fate is a personified entity in Erfworld myself... I just think it likely.

Don't debate Fate with Lilwik. His logic goes something like: Personified Fate would be terrible writing and Balder is an excellent writer. Ergo, active fate is the least likely possibility.
Finwe wrote:
*In some settings (e.g. D&D), animating a dead body traps that person's soul inside the body preventing them from resting in the afterlife, which is clearly unethical if done against the person's will. However we have no indication that Croakamancy does this in Erfworld.


Except it may be that Decryption does exactly that, binds a person's soul and manipulates their g-strings to force them to behave loyally to Wanda
kiyote wrote:
Except it may be that Decryption does exactly that, binds a person's soul and manipulates their g-strings to force them to behave loyally to Wanda


I agree. Decryption is ethically very similar Turnamancy. Regular croakamancy is much more defensible.
-D- wrote:
I think people talking about her as Mary Sue, are right about one thing - She is annoying. Desperately so. The problem with Fate/Fated characters is that if Fate is on their side they'll survive anything, until their purpose if fulfilled. That makes those characters less interesting to the audience. (E.g. if there is a bomb under the desk the Fated character stand, what would be suspense becomes defused by the mere fact a Fated character stands. We know that either the Bomb will whiff or they are immune to Explosions or they'll move just a centimeter away to not get killed).

To add on that, problem with Jill is that she is a focus character, one we are supposed to empathize. And she has everything handed to her on a silver platter and she throws it away because it's not a gold platter. She is quintessentially, no different than a spoiled brat from Super-sweet sixteen, yelling at her mother for not getting her the car she wanted.

Problems don't stop there. Everyone else suffers for her choices and she never learns a lesson, just keeps pushing down the same stupid road as before. You might say that she learned she doesn't love Wanda, but that's probably not true, you might say that she learned that Decrypt-Ansom is not Old-Ansom, but she is (for now) the same she ever was - rushing in blindly on a instinct and nothing else.

This ended up surprisingly long. Maybe some sections will help readability.

Fated Characters

I don't agree that Fated characters are necessarily boring. Your bomb-desked character will survive, but how hurt will they be, and will anyone else be okay? I found Book 0 Wanda very interesting, even knowing exactly where she'd end up in addition to the Predictions that surrounded her. A lot of that interest was in wondering what was going to happen to the side(s) she was on, knowing that she would survive them, and how would she handle that. And what would transform her from a very Jillian-like, always-take-the-Hard-Way, survive-and-avenge person into the Fatalist she is now.

I think the problem with Jillian's story is we don't know where she's going (if she is indeed going anywhere). She seems Fated but we don't know what Fate really wants with her, except for heavy hints that it involves Wanda. For now she seems to be where Wanda was for most of Goodminton: Fate can bite her shiny metal sword.

Selfish Jillian

I'm not sure that Jillian really should be expected to care that Slately got croaked and Spacerock taken. They didn't like each other, and Trammenis will make a tremendous king. She was only at Spacerock because Don King and Charlie pushed her there in the first place, admittedly on a big pile of Schmuckers. Duncan had a reasonable point about how Jetstone should have won. Don King seemed pleased enough with her ordering KingWorld cast and then capturing Gobwin Knob's Chief Warlord and absconding to go crush a few Gobwin Knob cities instead. Faq couldn't have known about Parson and his propensity for beating the Kobayashi Maru.

I'm not sure what all other selfish things Jillian has done that led to suffering. You could count getting recklessly captured for her play dates with Wanda, which cost RCC some resources and intelligence, though she learned some stuff herself. She tried to abandon the hunt for the wounded dwagons for the seemingly good reason of rescuing Ansom. With a little Archon help she broke Wanda's spell and the dwagon group anyway. Wanda got hurt by her own spell breaking, and probably deserved the consequences. Jillian also lost some air forces trying to save Wanda from Stanley's nonexistent influence, sure.

Back in Book 0, she got WRECD wrecked by capturing Diecast, which one could consider selfishly being a Warlord against her Father's wishes, I suppose. But her team seemed just as eager, and agreed with it tactically. She hurts her enemy Wanda by selfishly escaping her garden, and continues to unhelpfully resist Olive's garden. She selfishly rejects Banhammer's plans to join Haffaton because she doesn't trust Olive (I can't imagine why). She then resists the Deal of a Lifetime because it's strategically silly and she doesn't trust Charlie (insightful). She capitulates to save Wanda, which I suppose one might consider selfish, and it did eventually lead to the Fated fall of Faq, and other extensive suffering.

Jillian's Growth

I think Jillian has had some character growth, if not in a necessarily positive direction. She wasn't sure what she wanted at Spacerock; getting Decrypted was as appealing as rescuing Ansom for a while there, but she made up her mind and stuck with her plan for Ansom, at least until he tackled her off a Megalogwiff. People cite her about face on her own royalty as an annoying quality, but it is a change that I've found interested: she was surprised the first time she defended her title as Queen, then in the parley she insisted that she was in charge of Faq, and now she doesn't seem to notice Royal elitism in her yelling at Stanley.

There are some non-Fated (as far as we know) plot threads hanging on her that I find interesting. Assuming she survives this turn, has she given up on Ansom, and will she focus on anything but croaking Stanley? How will Ceasar's plans for Faq go, and how will Jillian (and Vinny and Don King) react or even survive? Why is Charlie so helpful? It seems to have grown beyond a loss-leader to regain RCC business. Will Jillian find out about the mind rape and/or regain the Jester, and what did that truly represent anyway? Will her Heir get a chance to pop, and how will they interact? I'm hoping it's a philosophical Caster (maybe a Signamancer) with an attitude like Banhammer's, for a relationship like Roy, Eugene, and Horace from Order of the Stick.
Red wrote:
She seems Fated but we don't know what Fate really wants with her, except for heavy hints that it involves Wanda.
Which heavy hints do you mean? If we don't know what Fate has in store for Jillian then that's the same as not being Fated at all. Jillian could even just die now, except that then we might never find out why Charlie needs Faq so badly.

Jillian really might die now because Parson and Charlie can't make peace in the middle of a book called "Hamsterdance vs. The Charlie Foxtrot." It seems far too early for their conflict to end and perhaps what Charlie intended for Faq can be made clear in some other way.
Red wrote:

Fated Characters

I don't agree that Fated characters are necessarily boring. Your bomb-desked character will survive, but how hurt will they be, and will anyone else be okay?

I don't know, but if most of the book quite literally tells me - "Yeah, Luke's gonna live and defeat the emperor in Part III " - I'd probably be less enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Once it's spelled out loud, I kinda lose interest. OTOH even if I know a character won't die due to meta circumstances e.g. Legend of Korra won't end on episode 6 with Korra dying and Avatar Neko replacing her. However if they said in episode 5 "Avatar Korra you are destined to take down Kuvira in episode 11", I'd probably be wtf?! Having explicit, in-universe statements, your Fate is to do X, breaks the immersion and contract I make with the series.

I do like that Rob plays with this Fate trope - if you are destined to defeat Charlie you can even fufill your destiny by simply leaving a toothpick in a sandwhich on which Charlie chokes seventy turns later. But it's still highly annoying.


Red wrote:

I'm not sure what all other selfish things Jillian has done that led to suffering.

Jillian has two balls that she keeps chasing and failing. Like a pigheaded rabid dog with ADD.
A) Killing Stanley
B) Chasing Amy (where Amy is either Wanda or Ansom or person she loves)

Whenever she goes for one of those two balls something horrible happens:
* She tried to force Wanda to turn on tower - Lots of innocent died
* She chased down Stanley - Ansom died
* She chases down Ansom and refuses Wanda's offer to join her - leaves Wanda/Jack to die[1]
* She leaves Wanda alone - Lots of Jetstone die, Trammenis almost croaked. Transylvito left brewing in discontent
* She chases Stanley to croak him - almost dies, lots of her own forces bite the dust

[1] She was warned by Charlie to end Wanda there. Also Wanda didn't offer her Decryption. Wanda told Jill that she will join her if she abandons hex and Wanda takes garrison, to which Jill was sure, let me get my caster and cast Kingworld.

Red wrote:

Jillian's Growth
I think Jillian has had some character growth, if not in a necessarily positive direction.

There are some non-Fated (as far as we know) plot threads hanging on her that I find interesting. Assuming she survives this turn, has she given up on Ansom, and will she focus on anything but croaking Stanley? How will Ceasar's plans for Faq go, and how will Jillian (and Vinny and Don King) react or even survive? Why is Charlie so helpful? It seems to have grown beyond a loss-leader to regain RCC business. Will Jillian find out about the mind rape and/or regain the Jester, and what did that truly represent anyway? Will her Heir get a chance to pop, and how will they interact? I'm hoping it's a philosophical Caster (maybe a Signamancer) with an attitude like Banhammer's, for a relationship like Roy, Eugene, and Horace from Order of the Stick.

So far Jillian to me seems like the same Jillian only slightly worse for wear than Book 0. She luuuuuves war and barbarianism. She fucks and kills whomever she pleases or please her, etc. Only now she is less certain about it.

Didn't you notice that all the interesting thing that you listed are only tangential with Jillian. As in, they touch Jillian and cross path but don't depend much on her. Her capital being sacked by Caesar can be done while she is away, her heir can pop while she is away booping up cities and still be fleshed out. Why Charlie wants to protect her is more about his secret war with Fate than what Jillian will do. We are interested in what Jillian will do, but not as a subject of interaction, rather we are interested in how will she act as a pawn Fate against him.

She so far had glacial character growth but she is given as a focal character. If she was a villain that we know little about - like for instance Charlie she'd be much more enjoyable. As presented she always acts like S.S. Jillian - impervious to damage and always headed in the wrong direction, no matter where she turns.
I think it was worth Parson making the deal just to get the coordinates of CC's capital.
ManaCaster wrote:
effataigus wrote:

@Lilwik There's always room for being cautious about jumping to conclusions. I'm not 100% convinced that Fate is a personified entity in Erfworld myself... I just think it likely.

Don't debate Fate with Lilwik. His logic goes something like: Personified Fate would be terrible writing and Balder is an excellent writer. Ergo, active fate is the least likely possibility.


Eh, the more I think about it, the more I see that my opinions about Fate in Erfworld are roughly analogous to how prophecy works in Dune. What makes prophecies deadly dangerous for the people seeing or learning about them is the massive risk of confirmation bias on crack. (Wanda's "easy way" and "hard way.")

What makes all this particularly bizarre, is that an infallible prophecy has to account for how everybody reacts to that prophecy in the first place. And the more irritating part is that people who know about the prophecy usually try to game the "fluid" unknowns where they have to rely on judgment, power struggles and strategy.

It's why Predictamancers are infamously secretive and cryptic. Because, quite frankly, informing people about the future is a goddamn pain in the ass and people don't always react gracefully to whatever news they get. Or they start meddling with things you'd rather they left alone.

Wanda in particular, is not a very rational person. Let's be blunt, she's an idiot who never has a plan and never thinks things through. Just because somebody has Predicted that she'll have an Arkentool, she lets Stanlely torch Faq on the logic that Fate will work it out somehow. And if it doesn't work out, she blames herself for not seeing "the easy way."

Wanda, the "easy way" is not being a moron. You don't let Stanley burn down Faq. And of course, the kicker is that the prophecy already accounted for the fact that she's going to behave like any idiot anyway. Because she's Wanda. And she can't choose not to be Wanda. (What if I throw myself off the tower to defy Fate? You wouldn't. You love your new family too much. You love life too much. And in the future, you won't even try, because you'll draw all the wrong conclusions about how Predictamancy works while forfeiting your own self-determination and reasoning faculties.)

We also have to remember that a lot of the Fate stuff around Parson is really laser-guided magic from the Summon Spell. It's the act of prophets seeing an event in the future and then shooting Parson at it. In other words, it's the product of several caster agendas. And we don't even know what Marie's stake in Parson is.
DVL wrote:

We also have to remember that a lot of the Fate stuff around Parson is really laser-guided magic from the Summon Spell. It's the act of prophets seeing an event in the future and then shooting Parson at it. In other words, it's the product of several caster agendas. And we don't even know what Marie's stake in Parson is.

Very interesting. I guess the linked Predictamancer-Thinkamancer-Findamancers find events that will lead to desired outcome, then forge a spell that will select only people from all universes that fit that description. I presume the final part is that Lookamancer gets set of those people and selects only people that fit that bill. Think of it as SQL where the first link is making a table of all people that will achieve the desired outcome
Code:
SELECT * FROM people_that_will_boop_charlie_table p

and then have lookamancer select the matching one.
Code:
SELECT * FROM people_that_will_boop_charlie_table p WHERE p.height > tall AND p.looks = 'dashing'
I’m not sure on something here, does the DoaLt stop her from speaking about how fate will protect Stanley? Could it be that she thinks Parson wouldn’t take a spiel on fate and simply decided against correcting him?