There are a couple different types of merchants in GemStone
The most common is the permanent, also known as NPC (Non-Player
Character), merchant that you will find in the shops about
most towns. Most of these permanent/NPC merchants work using
the ORDER system. To purchase something from them click on
the counter and select ORDER from the menu (or if you're in
command mode, type ORDER), and follow the directions
The second type of merchant is the traveling merchant. A
traveling merchant generally sets up a tent or wagon and waits
for customers to find them. This type of merchant may have
items for sale and/or offer a service, such as alterations,
lightening, sharpening or enchanting. Several times throughout
the year traveling merchants group together in large numbers
and this is called a festival. Normally festivals consist
not only of dozens of traveling merchants, but also include
games, attractions, contests and much, much more!
The commands you type in order to purchase something are
different depending on the type of merchant you visit. When
you visit a permanent (NPC) merchant, there will be a counter
or some other object in the room that you can click on. When
you click on it, select ORDER from the pop-up menu. (Or, if
you're in command mode, type ORDER when you are inside
the shop.) A menu will appear with directions on how to purchase
the various items the merchant provides.
Purchasing items from traveling merchants is very different.
Normally these merchants set up tables, chests, baskets and
other various containers to display their wares.
Click on a container that is in the room. A pop-up menu will
appear giving you the option to LOOK ON (or) IN (or) BEHIND
(or) UNDER the container. For example, if I click on the cloak
rack and select LOOK ON the game will show the items on the
rack like so:
On the cloak rack you see a soft ivory cotton cloak, a grey
wolf-hide cloak, a green wool cloak and a silver-trim blue
Click on the item you are interested in, then click on GET
in the pop-up menu. You will then see something that looks
A sales clerk steps over to you and says, "Ah, a fine
choice madam. The wool cloak sells for 5000 silvers. You can
BUY the wool cloak if you like."
To purchase the cloak, click on BUY.
|Command Entry Users
To see what is in a container, type
LOOK IN (or) ON <container name>. For
example, if there is a cloak rack in the room, you would
type LOOK ON RACK and the game would list the
rack's contents for you like so:
On the cloak rack you see a soft ivory cotton cloak,
a grey wolf-hide cloak, a green wool cloak and a silver-trim
blue wool cloak.
How do you buy the silver-trim blue wool cloak instead
of the green wool cloak? The first step is to see which
position on the rack the cloak is listed in, in relation
to all other cloaks on the rack. The silver-trim blue
wool cloak is the fourth one on the rack, so you would
type GET FOURTH CLOAK. This
will give you the price. If you decide to purchase the
silver-trim blue wool cloak, you would then type BUY
FOURTH CLOAK. Be sure to specify the number, if
you just type BUY CLOAK you will end up with
the soft ivory cotton cloak instead!
Things get a little tricky when there is a cloak rack,
plus a trunk also full of cloaks! In order to specify
you want the silver-trim blue wool cloak, you would
need to make sure you told the game you wanted the fourth
cloak on the cloak rack, not the fourth cloak in the
trunk! To do that, you would type GET FOURTH CLOAK
If you see other folks buying something and you don't
see where it is, try looking on, in, under, and behind
everything. You should also look for a second shelf
or rack or hook. Some merchants are sly!
When a traveling merchant offers to alter your item, what
does that mean? Here are some definitions that might help.
Term used to define when a merchant will change the description
of an item. Weapon types
may only be changed to acceptable similar weapon types and
armor may only be changed to
similar armor types. Rare metals
will not be included in the description, unless the adventurer
has a suitable amount on hand for use. Descriptions must be
in genre and acceptable to the merchant.
Simply taking an item and reducing its encumbrance by a small
percentage. For example, a backpack with an encumbrance of
18 pounds might be reduced to 15 pounds.
Edged weapons can be 'sharpened' by merchants. It effectively
raises their ability to do extra damage to a creature on a
A merchant or a player with the skills to do so can enchant
any weapon, armor or shield item. Enchanting adds a 'plus',
usually in increments of +5 to the item. This plus adds to
your attack strength when you are hunting monsters. Enchantment
to a shield or armor gives the wearer added protection.
Generally put into armor to increase its ability to effectively
reduce damage done to the wearer during battle. Padding is
very rare and hard to come by.
A merchant has decided to do an alteration for you! Now what?
An alteration allows you to customize one of your items.
This is an opportunity for you to adorn some of your belongings
to fit your character's persona or create a roleplaying tool.
Being prepared is a big key to having a good experience at
merchant event. Do you have an idea in mind for the item you
would like worked on? Have you pictured it in your mind's
eye? You can leave the design up to the merchant, but you
will have less say in how it turns out! It's always better
to have an idea or two for them to work with.
Be sure to read the signs posted at the merchant you are
attending so that you understand what kind of work they do.
Merchants who are enchanting weapons usually won't change
your item's appearance. An alteration merchant can do several
things to your items. They can add or change the color, add
an adornment, or change the style.
All items have a "base" description. The base description
is also called a "tap description" and it is what
everyone sees when you move the item in and out of your backpack
etc. It is called a "tap description" because when
you tap your item, you will see a shortened version of what
the item looks like. The base description is limited in the
total number of spaces used. The number of spaces allowed
is commonly referred to as the 15/15/15 rule. The base description
is broken up into three sections: article, adjective, and
noun. Each of those sections can be no longer than 15 spaces.
Example: "a,red,cloak" would be 1/3/5. Another example
would be: "a pearl-hilted,vultite,longsword", which
amounts to 14,7,9. Spaces between letters count as part of
the 15 allowed per section, also the commas count as a space.
The last 15 is reserved for the noun only. Example: a opal-clasped,spidersilk,traveling
cloak" would not work even though it fits 15/15/15 spaces.
The reason why is because the noun is what you type when you
want to get your item. If the noun was "traveling cloak"
you would have to type WEAR MY TRAVELING every time
you wanted to wear your cloak.
You have two options when customizing your items. You can
opt for a SHOW description or a LONG description.
An item with a SHOW description has a regular base description
as decribed above, but when you LOOK at your item or SHOW
your item to someone, they will see a much longer, very detailed
description of your item. This is a perfect option to use
if you want to add a lot of detail to your item. An example
of a show description is:
You are wearing some side-laced black leather pants.
Now, when you type LOOK AT MY PANTS or click on
your pants and select LOOK AT you will see:
Thick black cords lace these leather pants up the outside
of each leg, revealing only a small amount of the wearer's
skin. The side lacing helps procure a tight, figure enhancing
fit without hindering flexibility and movement. The low slung
waistline has been carefully tailored to hide several small
pockets for stashing gems and other tiny items.
A LONG description is different in that you don't have to
look at or show your item in order to see the special details.
For example, if I wanted less detailed information about my
leather pants, I would use a LONG description. So when someone
looked at me, they would see:
She is wearing some ebon leather pants laced up each side
with thick black cords.
An item cannot have both a long description and a show description.
OK, you understand the two types of alterations. Now here's
the bad part: the rules.
A scripted item is an item that does something unusual when
you activate it. For example, I have a normal rucksack. If
I type PULL MY RUCKSACK I get a message to the tune
of "I'm afraid that you can't pull that." Now if
my rucksack was scripted, it might do something cool when
I pulled it like: "You pull your rucksack closed and
carefully latch the buckle." Many scripted items can
be altered, so feel free to ask a merchant if it's possible.
If they say no, it's not because they don't want to work for
you, but because items that are scripted sometimes can break
if they are altered. Many scripted items that are allowed
to be altered are listed in a special database. When you ANALYZE
your item, it will tell you whether or not it is allowed to
Sexy clothing is perfectly acceptable, but something truly
offensive will not be permitted. Items like "a low-cut
bodice" and "some fitted leather pants" would
be fine. Extremely risque lingerie and sex toys are not allowed.
Also, keep in mind what the item looks like when it's NOT
being worn. If you have something altered to look like "a
stunning red evening gown cut to reveal the soft skin beneath"
looks very nice when you're wearing it, but extremely disturbing
when lying on the ground.
Mythical Creature Parts:
It's within the rules to make something shaped like a dragon,
demon or unicorn - but you can not have an item made with
parts from any of these creatures. So, a unicorn figurine
or dragon-shaped helm would be fine, but a set of dragon-scale
armor or a unicorn horn sword would not be allowed.
Lettering on Items:
It's ok to have words and lettering in a SHOW description,
but normally it's not acceptable in a LONG description. For
example, "a silver broadsword" can have a SHOW description
of: Engraved on the hilt of this broadsword are the words,
"Long Live the King." But it's NOT ok to have a
broadsword with a long description of "a silver broadsword
with "Long Live the King" engraved on the hilt."
Player Names on Items:
If the item in question is a gift, putting a player name is
perfectly fine. An example of this would be a ring engraved
with "To Valeria, love, Dagmar." But a player might
get seriously offended if you made a shield with a SHOW description
of "This shield depicts the image of Dagmar's severed
head." Therefore, unless the item is obviously a gift
or in otherwise good taste, player names are not allowed on
Items don't glow, pulsate, vibrate, shake, rattle, squirm,
giggle or emanate unless there's a really good reason for
such based in the item's actual qualities. For example, a
gem-encrusted item might shimmer or scintillate, but for it
to glow, it would need some kind of inner light of its own.
This also means you cannot have items like "a deathly
black cloak that seems to have a life of its own" or
"a vibrating black broadsword."
Items That Tell People What They Think:
Do not put words in your item descriptions that tell other
players what they are thinking of feeling. For example, "a
mysterious black broadsword that makes you cringe in fear."
People like to come up with their own reactions to things,
not be forced in to certain actions that don't go along with
how they roleplay their character.
We will not create items that do not fit within our medieval
fantasy genre. Examples of out-of-genre (OOG) items are guns,
tuxedos, bowler hats, aluminum items, plastic items, etc.
Essence of Your Item:
Do not change the basic essence of your item. This means,
you can't change your skirt in to a cloak, or your falchion
to an axe, or armor to a gown. Your item has to basically
remain the same type of item. So long as your item stays basically
the same (ie: pants can be trousers, cloaks can be capes,
etc) it is acceptable to change the noun.
Items with racial names are acceptable so long as they make
sense. For example, an elven bow or a dwarven axe would be
fine. Dark elf socks don't make much sense though, and would
probably be rejected.
The material of a weapon, armor or shield cannot be changed
to another magical material. This would leave the properties
of the weapon not matching its outward appearance. Small bits
of such metals added to the item are acceptable, such as "a
mithril-banded shield" or "an ora-hilted sword".
Rare metal should not be asked for unless you can provide
it in sufficient quantities to the merchant.
Bloodstains are ok on items, so long as they make sense. Blood
can stain clothes, but it would wipe off of metal easily -
so it's ok to have bloodstained robes, but a bloodstained
sword would not be acceptable.
at a Merchant Event
Be courteous when entering a merchant's shop. Look around
for signs, notices, and placards to familiarize yourself with
the rules or requests of the merchant. Whisper any questions
you may have to another adventurer in the room. It is impolite
to cause everyone's screen to scroll by repetitive remarks
or actions and it disrupts the flow of conversation, work,
or storytelling. Unless you are specifically asked to whisper
to a merchant, please don't. Merchants are usually multi-tasking
and can't always see your questions. If you are disruptive,
you may be warned or asked to leave by the merchant.
If the merchant is performing a service, he or she can only
do so for a limited number of people. Merchants use many methods
to choose their customers. Some use the room order method.
This means that whoever arrived first in a room it first in
line. Whoever arrived second after that person is second,
and so on. Other merchants use the spinner method. These merchants
will usually have an item called a spinner which will randomly
select one person in the room. Another method used by merchants
is the list method. A list will be posted in the merchant's
tent, and when they decide to open the list you will need
to type JOIN LIST. If you join the list in time,
you will get work done by the merchant! Morphing lists make
things a little more difficult. These are lists that change
their noun every time someone joins. For example, if one person
joins the list, it will turn in to a roster. So if you wanted
to join, now you would have to type JOIN ROSTER.
Once the next person joins, it changes again.
GameMasters choose a background and personality for each
of their merchants. Some will work only on items from their
own shops or and others will work on only certain types of
items. While the merchant must follow the alteration guidelines,
they may also be roleplaying a character that does not like
fluffy things or perhaps sharp things. They may only do work
that involves sewing and therefore cannot inset your armor
with mithril spikes. The alteration you want may not violate
the guidelines, but that particular merchant may refuse to
do it. In that case, accept the merchant's answer and offer
another idea -- or ask the merchant for ideas.
GemStone IV is a magical realm where thousands of real people
come to experience the power of fantasy and friendship. Creating
your character is much more than coming up with a name and
rolling up their stats in the character manager. To fully
enjoy the magic you will want to roleplay your character.
When you are ready to create a character, give them a background.
Where did they come from? What was their childhood like? What
are their likes and dislikes? What are their interests? Imagine
what a "snapshot" of your character would look like,
and then write out a description. When you get an opportunity
for an alteration keep that "snapshot" in mind.
When you're feeling creative, design some ideas and put them
on a wish list so you're prepared.
Design your items so they coordinate with each other and
give the overall feeling you want rather than being the exact
same description with only a noun change. Remember that less
is sometimes more. A character with a few nice items that
can be easily seen is much better than a character with hundreds
of items that are all identical. Using the hints and guidelines
above should help you have a pleasant and fun merchant experience.