Digdoug - Episode 15

Digdoug - Episode 15

The King held formal audience with his brother Creen and his two Chiefs that evening. “Your attendance is optional,” Bucky informed Digdoug, looking darkly jealous. “I‘d suggest making the most of your good fortune.”

“I‘ll be at The Space,” nodded the Dirtamancer thankfully. “Should I save you a bottle?”

“At least.”

The thought of the battle tomorrow never left Digdoug‘s mind, but his feelings about it shifted constantly. He found he was only afraid when he imagined it going well, if Charlescomm didn‘t betray Homekey.

In that case, he was going to have to stand up on the tower and perform.

His part in this “show” was all-important, especially with Prince Creen watching. But how could he do that? Dirtamancy was only Stuffamancy, not Stagemancy or Eyemancy. As a Caster, he had been badly miscast.

When he imagined things going badly, with treachery and violence and the ending of his own life in a bright blast of magic, it only made him feel sad. He really liked his life here. It wasn‘t something he was ready to part with.

So he chose to go to The Space, precisely because it might be his last night. There were happy, drunk Homekey folks there who didn‘t know what was to come. He wanted to be among them. From the Feast Hall, Digdoug grabbed a basket of muffins and sweets, and a jar of dill pickles in brine. Then he went down many long flights of steps and boldly swiped three bottles of the wine cellar‘s best riesling, plus one fat, squat bottle of King Posbrake‘s personal cognac.

It was his fondest hope that he would live long enough to ask His Majesty‘s forgiveness.

---

Wine has its own kind of Stagemancy.

In the first stage of the winemancy spell, Digdoug shared his pastries and a bit of the riesling–he kept the cognac hidden in the basket–with courtiers whose names he learned, then instantly forgot again. They gulped their mead and ale, and downed little cups of aqua vitae. He listened in smiling silence to their stories, which were mostly about who had shared a bed with whom among the staff. He could hardly follow a word of it without knowing the people they were talking about, but it didn‘t matter. When everyone laughed, the wine laughed for him.

In the second stage of the wine‘s magic, he found his voice. Someone mentioned his former side, and suddenly Digdoug had a hundred stories about a place he normally prefered not to even think about.

He described Follywood for them: a coastal empire with an impressive navy. Having never left the capital, he had to embellish a bit in his descriptions, but they hung on his every detail. These people never left their capital, either. He told them about the strange and suspicious Chief Thinkamancer Willis Circle, and the rotund, bossy Luckamancer Monty Casino. In Follywood, someone was always trying to get Digdoug involved in the intrigues of court, to play him as some kind of pawn in games he couldn‘t begin to fathom. Until now, he had forgotten all of the scandals and outrages, punctuated by the occasional disbanding. He had to admit those stories were a lot juicier than the gossip around Homekey.

“Do you ever miss that place?” asked one curly-haired man, a recordkeeper of some kind.

“No! Are you incapacitated?” Digdoug clopped the two-thirds empty bottle down on the table for emphasis. He had given his glass away at some point, but he wasn‘t letting that keep him from enjoying his wine. “Not a little. Not one bit! Homekey is where I belong. I should have popped here at home. Home, home, Homekey. Serving His Most Honored Majesty, King Posbrake the Wise.”

Several cups and steins were already in the air at the mention of the King‘s name. He raised the bottle in toast with them, and took another deep swig of the sunny-tasting riesling. “No. Titans no. I wish Follywood well, but they deserve each other. I have you all now,” he said, raising his eyes to the dozen or so jovial staffers huddled in this hole in the wall. Tomorrow, he would have to stand and defend all of these lives, even if only by play-acting. “I can only hope to deser–deserve you...”

The tears that suddenly blurred the room marked the beginning of the third stage of the winemancy.

---

He couldn‘t have said just how many stages there were in all. They became increasingly difficult to remember, and at least one of them involved a nap.

Or...perhaps more than a nap. Chief Bucky was shaking his shoulder. “Dirtamancer, come on!”

With a nagging pain at the base of his skull, Digdoug sat up and looked around. Whether everyone had left or Bucky had shooed them all away, The Space was empty again.

“Time is it?” he asked groggily.

“Late,” she said. She pulled out one of the wooden chairs at the table he‘d been resting his head on. It scraped obnoxiously on the stone floor. “About that bottle?”

“Mmf.” Digdoug poked his head under the table, which gave the dark room a bit of side-to-side rotation, and found the basket near his feet. He pulled out the cognac, and sat back up with some difficulty. He pushed the upright bottle over the tabletop toward her.

Bucky looked at the label and then at Digdoug, a respectful “well, well” pout on her face. “Interesting choice,” she said, producing a corkscrew from her handbag. “Our Dirtamancer has some stones.”

“It‘s all yours,” said Digdoug, with a hand wave. “I‘ve had enough.”

“Oh no. I‘ll want an accomplice in this.”

“You are the accomplice,” he said, leaning back in his chair. If he stayed slumped on the table, he‘d be asleep again in seconds. “I took it. You can drink it. How was the meeting?”

“Long.” She popped the cork and grimaced. “Tense. To be continued in the morning.” Several glasses and cups were scattered on this and the surrounding tables. Bucky held up a brandy snifter and examined it in the dim light. She drained it of its aqua vitae dregs in one healthy swig, and set it on the table. Then she poured an aggressive amount of His Majesty‘s best into it.

“They‘re attacking in the morning,” said Digdoug.

“Which will be a relief,” said Chief Bucky. “Any excuse to adjourn will do.” She swirled and sniffed as a formality, then put the glass to her lips and set herself to the serious task of catching up to Digdoug‘s state of inebriation. Four deep swallows in quick succession, she took.

Digdoug sat in his chair like a half-formed crap golem and looked up at the grand columns overhead. They shouldered the weight of this whole side of the palace, and did not feel the slightest bit sorry for themselves for that burden. They did not need to get drunk and cry about it. He should be more like that, but he knew he really couldn‘t.

“What do you think is going to happen tomorrow?” he asked Bucky after a long silence. He continued staring up into space, feeling the columns with his Dirtamancy sense, bracing his mind up against them.

He could hear her drain her first glass before she answered. “I couldn‘t say. Peck thinks they‘ll attack, but I don‘t see how. That contract...you read it, too. It‘s iron. His Majesty hopes they‘ll break it, but he‘s...you know.”

Digdoug lifted his head and looked at her. “He‘s what? In love?”

Bucky made a disgusted face as she refilled her glass. “He‘s Posbrake. He‘s a visionary. He sees things about tomorrow that none of us can see, I presume.” She set upon the second glass and took four more determined gulps. “As regards the matter of his being in love...if she ends up as one of us, and she makes him happy, then who am I to complain about it? That‘s all I want: for His Majesty to be happy. I just wish...”

She paused for a moment, looking down into the glass. Her head twitched slightly, involuntarily. She picked up and drained the rest of glass number two with a vengeance.

“You wish what?” he asked softly. Moments passed. A fully sober Digdoug might have known better than to ask her to continue, but he pressed. “...Bucky? What do you wish?”

She gripped the neck of the bottle and gave Digdoug a narrow-eyed, bitter look. “I wish that I had been up to that task,” she said, enunciating each word precisely. “I wish he hadn‘t needed someone else to please him. Especially not someone like that.”

He looked at her, and even through the dimness of the room and the dimness of the winemancy and his general, chronic dimness about people, he understood why she didn‘t seem to care whether Charlescomm‘s attack tomorrow would be real or fake. However things went, she had already lost. She'd lost King Posbrake.

He forced a smile. “Y‘know, I‘ve never actually tasted cognac,” he said. “So, uh, I guess...how about we do one toast?”

She nodded gratefully and filled her snifter a third time, then pushed the bottle back across the table to him. An empty wineglass sat on the table right next to where he‘d been laying his head. He poured a splash into it, then retrieved the cork with a long reach and respectfully recorked the stolen bottle.

“To the Lady Allison Chains,” said Digdoug, holding the amber liquid up to the light and keeping it steady by force of will, “and to Chief Carl, and to, um...well, to everyone else we‘ve lost.”

Recent posts... (See full thread)
Also keep in mind that in the USA, 50% of all workplace deaths in industry are caused by people falling.
drachefly wrote:
The way it was phrased, real life is compatible with it - people have died from falling over, and failed to die after falling from airplanes.
It wouldn't surprise me if it works very much like real life. Erfworlders seem to think in terms of points of damage, but when it comes time to actually injure one of them the injuries they get seem more like Stupidworld injuries than numbers. If it weren't for the lack of blood, I'd be tempted to think that injuries in Erfworld are exactly like real life injuries and the whole concept of points only exists in the minds of Erfworlders. Therefore I would bet that the injury that an Erfworlder suffers in a fall depends exclusively on how far he falls and how he lands.

The only issue with that theory is the fact that a unit on a flying mount cannot fly down to an inch above the courtyard and safely jump from the mount to the ground. I imagine that if you try that then some magical thing happens to potentially injure you, much like the magical walls at hex boundaries when it's not your turn. Maybe some magical force throws you off balance so you must tumble instead of landing safely on your feet.
Related to the fact that it is literally impossible for flying units to land off turn on the ground?
The Decrypted Archon stood stock still, hovering just above a rooftop she physically could not touch.
Quote:
We don't know how much height matters. The way it was phrased, real life is compatible with it - people have died from falling over, and failed to die after falling from airplanes.


OK, so I'll post what Parson learns about falling damage.

Quote:
Falling Dudes
So then we got into the rules about falling people. Because I was like "why can't mounted flyers just fly down close to the ground and jump off their mounts to cross zones?"
Answer: it counts as a "fall" in the physics of Erfworld. It's natural Shockmancy. When you fall, one of three things happens: you are injured (possibly only slightly), you are incapacitated (you croak in one turn if not given Healomancy), or you just croak. Height of the fall does seem to have some bearing on that, but it's essentially random. You can croak from a three foot fall.


There's no indication that it works "like real life". You fall an inch, like the Archon in Shai_Hulud's example could have, and you qualify for that random Natural Shockmancy, which could croak you. I disagree with the parallel between "airplanes"/"falling over" in real life, and Erfworld. Parson is explicitly displaying how arbitrary the system is to him and what he's used to (real world physics), how it randomly assigns you to one of three distinct categories. And for none of them can you avoid the Natural Shockmancy. You could not fall an inch without "rolling" for your life. There would be no way to safely dismount a flying mount if you didn't have the green light from the system to do so. You could "dismount" when it's your turn, and everything's fine. You could dismount, doing the same physical actions, when it's not your turn, and the system makes you gamble your life. It is not like real life at all. There is a - for all intents and purposes - malicious force behind Erfworld that rolls the dice of whether you live or die, and it does not care if you fall "awkwardly/correctly", which would justify us taking or avoiding "damage" in the real world. It just cares about enforcing a very strict rule with very strict, defined outcomes.

Quote:
Erfworlders seem to think in terms of points of damage, but when it comes time to actually injure one of them the injuries they get seem more like Stupidworld injuries than numbers.


I completely disagree. We have seen units lose arms and limbs, and then immediately continue with the fight, or give orders and speak; they remain entirely functional as units. They remain able to fight at the same capacity up until the moment they lose their last hitpoint. (obviously incapacitation counts as it's own unit status)

I'm going to copy the words of another user (kreistor) regarding this specific page (from the "malicious titans theory" post):http://www.erfworld.com/book-2-archive/?px=%2F2011-01-17.jpg

Quote:
Here we see Duke Antium. He has lost half an arm. He has a hole blasted in his side. He should be suffering incredible pain. He should be suffering from massive blood loss and shock. He should be addled. He shouldn't even be able to stand with that much muscle mass blasted out of his side, much less swing a weapon. Is he any of these things? No. He is fully cognizant and seeking out the highest value target in the region. He is weapon capable and strikes the illusion accurately with what should have been a death blow. He is, for all intents and purposes, fully functional despite the loss of his arm and the fact he lacks the mechanical capacity to stand under Earth's laws. He shows no signs of feeling the debilitating pain he would on Earth with those wounds, nor the physical limitations these "wounds" should inflict.

That begs the question: is he really injured? Is losing "hitsies" actual injury, or just a number to indicate how close one is to dying? Antium is evidence that something is significantly different about injury on Erfworld vs. Earth, and we shouldn't be looking at damage in the same way. No matter how bad the injury, Erfworlders remain functional and combat capable until they die, which denies pain, and anything except the superficiality of the appearance of injury. Injuries, in coputer parlance, are a skin on the character, and not true damage causing true pain.

MarbitChow, you introduced the idea of D&D. I'll extend that. Let's talk hit points (up to V3.5, since I am not familiar with V4,0). As a D&D character is struck, he loses hit points. As he loses HP, does he suffer any ill effects from the pain of that wound? No, he is fully functional right until the moment he hits or is reduced below 0 HP (and what happens then depends on the version). He is fully functional, and thus can be feeling no pain. There are systems that provided pain with a mechanic, but many simply didn't deal with the messiness of it.

Since Antium can wield his spear, I can make the case that he isn't really injured, either. He has an appearance of injury and he lacks a second hand making some tasks impossible for less than 24 hours, but his function is unaffected. He has lost unnecessary bits only, and from that perspective has not lost anything, just been inconvenienced.
Denar wrote:
There is a - for all intents and purposes - malicious force behind Erfworld that rolls the dice of whether you live or die, and it does not care if you fall "awkwardly/correctly", which would justify us taking or avoiding "damage" in the real world.
We haven't yet seen what exactly happens when a unit tries to jump from a flying mount near the ground. All we can do is guess. Maybe some sort of magical force strikes the unit, or maybe the unit is forced to land awkwardly, like having all sense of balance taken away just before touching the ground. Maybe the way you land matters and maybe it doesn't.

Denar wrote:
We have seen units lose arms and limbs, and then immediately continue with the fight, or give orders and speak; they remain entirely functional as units. They remain able to fight at the same capacity up until the moment they lose their last hitpoint.
That is certainly not true. Consider B0E47 where Jillian suffers injuries and the injuries reduce her combat effectiveness and cause pain. Erfworlders are surely far more durable than Stupidworlders, but there's also no doubt that injuries matter.
Lilwik wrote:
Denar wrote:
There is a - for all intents and purposes - malicious force behind Erfworld that rolls the dice of whether you live or die, and it does not care if you fall "awkwardly/correctly", which would justify us taking or avoiding "damage" in the real world.
We haven't yet seen what exactly happens when a unit tries to jump from a flying mount near the ground. All we can do is guess. Maybe some sort of magical force strikes the unit, or maybe the unit is forced to land awkwardly, like having all sense of balance taken away just before touching the ground. Maybe the way you land matters and maybe it doesn't.


It's not a spectrum with multiple injuries like in our world, there are discrete health points that are taken from you, a single status of "incapacitated" or not, and the process is explicitly described as Parson as being random. To argue against this we have to speculate that something may or may not happen at the point of impact (though we have seen Ansom fall, and there was no moment of "topsy-turvy"-ness at his moment of impact; he landed head first and survived. If the argument here is because that helmet was a magic item that protects against one fall, then that highlight's the arbitrariness of the system even more.), and that Jack was lying to Parson when he asked about how falling damage worked.

Lilwik wrote:
Denar wrote:
We have seen units lose arms and limbs, and then immediately continue with the fight, or give orders and speak; they remain entirely functional as units. They remain able to fight at the same capacity up until the moment they lose their last hitpoint.
That is certainly not true. Consider B0E47 where Jillian suffers injuries and the injuries reduce her combat effectiveness and cause pain. Erfworlders are surely far more durable than Stupidworlders, but there's also no doubt that injuries matter.


I'm not sure what you're drawing from that page. The "injuries" Jillian describes herself as having are only assessed after the fighting is done. On the next page she battles the pedobear and there is no indication that her combat is in any way impaired by her switch to her left arm- in fact she kills the bear by managing to succeed in a crit, so even that function of hers wasn't impaired. And in no way at all does the "pain" in her sword arm compare to what Duke Antium was sporting; loss of arm, gaping mass of muscle from torso missing, two gaping holes in his leg. And yet he still talks, runs, attacks. He wouldn't drop dead from these injuries even if he wasn't healed on turn, whereas a lack of treatment in our world would kill us. If it's "pain" they're feeling, then it's nothing like our pain at all. As usual in Erfworld, it looks more like a RP game where the numbers behind it all control the game, but the players still "Roleplay" their feelings about it.
Denar wrote:
It's not a spectrum with multiple injuries like in our world, there are discrete health points that are taken from you, a single status of "incapacitated" or not, and the process is explicitly described as Parson as being random.
We've seen in B0E47 that there are multiple kinds of injuries that Erfworlders can suffer. We know from B2T39 that there are multiple kinds of incapacitation. Being random just means that it is unpredictable. For example, dice are random, but at the same time the result depends totally on how they land, so one in no way excludes the other.

Denar wrote:
I'm not sure what you're drawing from that page. The "injuries" Jillian describes herself as having are only assessed after the fighting is done. On the next page she battles the pedobear and there is no indication that her combat is in any way impaired by her switch to her left arm- in fact she kills the bear by managing to succeed in a crit, so even that function of hers wasn't impaired.
There is a very simple and direct indication that Jillian's function was impaired: "She rose to her feet, feeling her injuries. The sword arm might be a problem, if she had to fight again. She retrieved her sword and tested her shoulder. It didn’t want to cooperate at all, but sort of could when she forced it to. So...not the best, but maybe." The circumstantial evidence that she happened to win the fight is useless beside the direct testimony of the narrator that explicitly tells us that she was impaired.
Lilwik wrote:
Denar wrote:
It's not a spectrum with multiple injuries like in our world, there are discrete health points that are taken from you, a single status of "incapacitated" or not, and the process is explicitly described as Parson as being random.
We've seen in B0E47 that there are multiple kinds of injuries that Erfworlders can suffer. We know from B2T39 that there are multiple kinds of incapacitation. Being random just means that it is unpredictable. For example, dice are random, but at the same time the result depends totally on how they land, so one in no way excludes the other.


And yet only one form of incapacitation is possible from a fall, and that's the "you croak at the start of next turn" one. A unit, on their last hitpoint, could fall an inch. They will die. There is no way they could survive the fall damage. They could fall on their head or land on their feet. They're dead.

you can die from a three-foot fall in our world. Then why is Parson so surprised that it's the same in Erfworld? Because it's not like our world. You take that three foot fall, you gamble with your life. Every time.

Lilwik wrote:
Denar wrote:
I'm not sure what you're drawing from that page. The "injuries" Jillian describes herself as having are only assessed after the fighting is done. On the next page she battles the pedobear and there is no indication that her combat is in any way impaired by her switch to her left arm- in fact she kills the bear by managing to succeed in a crit, so even that function of hers wasn't impaired.
There is a very simple and direct indication that Jillian's function was impaired: "She rose to her feet, feeling her injuries. The sword arm might be a problem, if she had to fight again. She retrieved her sword and tested her shoulder. It didn’t want to cooperate at all, but sort of could when she forced it to. So...not the best, but maybe." The circumstantial evidence that she happened to win the fight is useless beside the direct testimony of the narrator that explicitly tells us that she was impaired.


Again, those injuries are just superficial. Until we get an update where the thoughts of the character go "I went to swing my sword - oh no, I've taken a few hits and am now unable to do that", or Parson explicitly outlines the rules of combat, we haven't seen anything that says that units lose effectiveness as they run out of hitsies. I'm not making the point about her winning being "circumstantial evidence", I'm asking for it to be written somewhere that it says "Jillian's sword arm was broken. She would do less damage as a unit as a result." It doesn't. Erfworld remains as it always has, like a tabletop RPG with all the players roleplaying. I don't know why you separated Jillian and the Narrator when they are the same person, this is third-person subjective and uses her voice.

If you think Jillian still is less effective as a unit because her sword arm hurts, I would ask you instead to address Duke Antium, and this line of Kreistor's (bearing in mind everything else in that quote about pain/injury)

Quote:
Since Antium can wield his spear, I can make the case that he isn't really injured, either. He has an appearance of injury and he lacks a second hand making some tasks impossible for less than 24 hours, but his function is unaffected. He has lost unnecessary bits only, and from that perspective has not lost anything, just been inconvenienced.


Antium - missing his arm, missing parts of his chest, missing parts of his leg. His internal narrator is probably saying the same thing as Jillian's - "gosh that really smarts! Hope I don't have to pick up something that requires two hands!" No less effective as a unit.
Until he has to fight with two hands. :|
Shai_hulud wrote:
Until he has to fight with two hands. :|


I have no doubt that a unit that is rendered unable to fight in such a way is automatically made "incapacitated".