Skip Navigation
    You are in:  home  > Gemstone IV > Family Issues  > Alterations   
Picture of Google logo

Site Details

Site Map
Site History

The Safety Zone

About The Section
The 1974 Act
Managing Safety
Risk Assessment

Award Program

Commentary And Stats
The Winners

About Me

Webmaster Biography
Bin Head Blog
The Cubbyhole
MX5 MK2.5
Multiple Sclerosis
GemStone IV
Job Evaluation
Italian gcse 2008
1/2 Marathon Training
New York 2008
Italian Tour 2009
V Festival 2011
Bucket List
New Zealand 2012

Standard Medium Large TextOnly

Assess risk
personal - GemStone IV Family Issues

I have been lucky enough to find alterers who have been willing to make modifications to certain items I own.

I have been so impressed over the years with the ability of the alterers to turn my pigs ears into silk purses. I have always tended to seek alterations that will enhance my character, either physically or through roleplay, rather than to make a profit by selling the item. The excitement of having a new roleplaying toy or some alteration that increases my vision of Bremerial is what makes me seek alterations!! I confess however  that I am not, and have never been the most patient of dwarf puppet masters. Waiting in a queue in the hope that an alterer may waggle a finger in my direction, has never been my idea of fun. Certainly queuing for alterers can turn Bremerial from a somewhat jovial dwarf to a taciturn spawn of Despana. However I am finding that a few flagons of ale and some good company can help pass the time. And an interactive merchant can make all the difference... although if truth be told I would sacrifice interactivity for speedy work!

Spinning V Room Order

Merchants performing acts of alteration have to select their customers some how. Some will spin and others will select room order:
Spinning: This is a reference to an alterer spinning some personal implement - a wand, or rod for example - and randomly selecting someone within the room to receive work. This gives everyone an equal chance of being selected, irrespective of the speed with which they enter the area of work. This of course can be frustrating for someone who gets to the room first and never gets selected. I have listened to people theorise about techniques for 'beating the spin'. Some walk out of the room just before the spin and walk back in for example. Personally I am yet to be convinced.
Room Order: This is exactly as it suggests - the merchant provides work in the order you arrive. Again, this is great if you know where to go in the first place. However it can be frustrating if you are desperately searching for the room and can't find the blessed thing. 
Spinning and Room Order combo: Some merchants will spin for one person and select a person in room order. This is quite a nice way of working and a nice compromise.
Fixed numbers: Some merchants will be quite specific and tell you they will spin for or work room order for a specific number of people. These merchants I love. You know where you stand. If they are selecting 10 people and you are number 11 in the queue, you know you can go and do some shopping. When spinning for a fixed number of people I prefer it if the merchant selects that random list straight away. Again this allows me to go shop or explore.
Fixed Timings: Some merchants will tell you that they are going to be around for a fixed time. This is where your animosity may suddenly become directed at your fellows, waiting in the queue... especially where they are selected and they are taking ages to decide on the work they want to be undertaken. My advice? Take deep breaths. There's nothing more you can do. As frustrating as it might be to see limited time being eaten up by the indecisive, recognise that every person selected has the right to leave with the item they want, the way they want it. And if that takes a little longer than you might want, then that's life.

Show Descriptions V Long Descriptions

One of the biggest decisions I often face is whether to have an alteration with a long description or a show description. So what's the difference?

A show description relates to an alteration where the base description of an item - the description seen when the item is tapped -is limited; however a more descriptive addition is added to the alteration, visible only by 'looking' at the item. The base description is limited to what is commonly known at the 15/15/15 rule, where an article and adjective / adjective / noun can take up only 15  characters/spaces each. e.g.

a black / invar / sword = 7/ 5/ 5

This description is quite basic but the sword can be brought to life with a 'show' description. e.g.

This antique sword has been polished so that it shimmers in the sunlight. Several nicks in the metalwork are testament to use within many battles. Within the hilt are carved the words: "To Honor Voln!"

A long description allows for a longer overt description to be used, although you are limited in the amount of words you can use. Usually 11 is acceptable. e.g.

a black invar sword with a hilt set star-shaped ruby 

Personally I love long descriptions. If you take the time to work out what you want to say in advance you can provide a wealth of information in a long description alteration. The negative however is that wearing multiple items with long descriptions can be taxing on the eyes. Show descriptions allow for detailed descriptions but rely on you 'showing' then to others to show off the finer details.

I find long descriptions more of a challenge but perhaps the ultimate challenge of course is to find a unique or striking  base alteration with an even more fantastic show. Some adventurers in towns near you are masters of this!

Tips for Alterations

1: Preplan. Have a detailed list of items you want altered. Make the effort to think about what you want WELL in advance. And even if your passion is for altered clothing, consider ideas for weapons, armor, metal, non-metal. That way if you meet an alterer who specialises in altering a specific type of item, you won't be struggling for ideas.

2: Read the sign: Often merchants offering alterations will put out a sign or notice saying what work they are prepared to undertake. Look out for such a notice or sign. This will save you being yet another person in the long line of people asking the question: "What are you doing?"

3: Don't panic. Remember merchants want you to go away happy, despite some taciturn role-playing at times. So don't panic if your ideas are dismissed. Just ask why, think of something else or ask if the merchant can come up with an idea for you. Incidentally there is nothing to prevent you asking the merchant to skip you for the moment and to come back to you when you are ready. Most merchants will appreciate this as you are not holding everyone up.

4: Avoid Distractions. If you want to have a deep and meaningful conversation about something not related to the merchanting activity, try and postpone it until after the merchant has left. it's all too easy to miss something important - like your name being called - because you are gossiping about something. And if you must talk - role-playing withstanding - do it in whispers...although bear in mind, some whispers are not always as private as you might hope at these events - word to the wise.

5: Push to the Limits: Of course you need to keep your alterations within the game's genre. Asking for a scabbard with the image of a machine gun on it probably isn't going to get accepted. But push to the limits. See what you can 'get away with'. You may find that unique item in your possession as a result. Don't worry. You'll be told if what you are requesting is not acceptable. My advice is always to ask why it's not acceptable. If you don't ask questions you never learn. One thing to remember though...just because you have seen someone else with a particular item in the past does not mean that that item is now acceptable. [See this example]

6: Thesaurus your way: All of us will have limited vocabularies... some more limited than others admittedly. The Thesaurus is your best friend. Why settle for 'old' when you can have 'Ancient, Antiquated or Archaic!! Why settle for 'Shiny' when you can have 'Burnished, Lustrous or Iridescent'!

7: Read the in-game alter information: Type 'alter' and read the information here. Take the time. There is some useful information here.

^ top of page

My alterations

I thought I would take the opportunity to share some of my alterations. My ideas have come in part from others. Unless you wander the lands with your eyes shut, you will always absorb what you see around you, whether consciously or otherwise. However I am amazed to say that many of my inspirations have been 100% my own, leading to the creation of unique items within the lands. I have kept back the majority of my prized alterations from these pages... no need to reveal everything after all! And hopefully the information shared will not result in a myriad of Bremerial clones wandering the lands. (I am already seeing evidence of my work in the hands of various know who you are! )
Inspiration only  is the desired effect. Let your own imaginations soar!

Incidentally many many people will have opinions about the altering of your commodities. By all means listen to that advice, but the decisions must be yours. Take your time when making your decisions. Remember that a merchant willing to change the look of an item is as rare as a dwarf without a tankard of ale in his hand.

...she inhaled deeply for a moment and as she breathed in the sweet spring air another thought came to mind.. this would be her best alteration to date...     
---- ¬Click the graphic for an enlarged version¬ ----     
~ Graphic created by ~

Bremerial's Alterations

^ top of page