Memoirs of the Mad Munger
by Niami DenMother of EQ2 Traders
An odd little gnome sold me this sure-fire newfangled way to become rich
making all sorts of useful gear enhancements for adventurers. I was a bit
dubious at first, but the pamphlet he showed me really does seem simple enough.
Take unwanted old gear. Break it down into pieces using the handy transmute
spell. Use those pieces to make valuable adornments. Simple!
I can't wait to try it tomorrow.
Simple. Right. I should have known better than to trust a gnome. Step #1 was
"Find level-appropriate valuable items and cast the transmute spell on them."
This was followed by a list of possible items I could receive on a successful
cast of the spell. In fact, much of the guide was mere rhapsodizing over how
rich you could become making adornments once you mastered transmuting.
What the blazes is "level-appropriate"? Just how "valuable" does it need to
I spent a good chunk of the day wandering around my house, waving my wand and
shouting "TRANSMUTAE!" at the top of my lungs to no avail. My throat is now on
fire and I sound like an asthmatic bullfrog.
On the plus side, my pets, including that obnoxious carnivorous plant,
decided that hiding was the better part of valor partway through the day. I'll
have to remember this stunt the next time I need to get them out of the way for
a Better Homes & Bungalows photo shoot.
I finally realized that what I thought was an ink-blot at the bottom of the
instructional pamphlet was really, really tiny fine print. My head is pounding,
my throat is raw, and I can't really focus on what it says, so I will have to
pick up a magnifying glass along with the throat lozenges.
"Magnifying Ocular Device" in-hand, I carefully read through the tiny
"All sales are final. If you continue to have issues with our extremely
simple instructions that even an ogre can understand, Technical support is
available for the fee of five gold per 1 minute of consultation. Alternately,
you can buy the complete 500-page Transmutational Technobabble Manual for an
additional 50 platinum."
Bah. Durn snake oil salesman. I should have known better. However, it
shouldn't take very long to clarify what is considered level-appropriate, right?
They're closed for some odd gnomish holiday today, but I should be able to
clear this little confusion up tomorrow.
Hopefully my voice will be back to normal by then.
I see now why they charge by the minute. The gnome on the other end barely
paused for breath, and it was hard to get in a word edgewise. It took me a
couple minutes to break into the long-winded gibbering about coefficients and
"optimal skillup range" and other mumbo-jumbo, to request a summary in 10
seconds or less. The crestfallen lass said, with a disappointed huff, "Current
skill, divided by 5, then add 5, but ..." and she tried to get off and running
again about effective skill ranges.
This time, I managed to break in before she built up a full head of steam,
and asked for the abbreviated version of what "valuable items" could be
Apparently, she has a hard time summarizing, but I finally boiled down her
babble to mean that if it was equippable gear, and it was treasured or better
quality, it should be able to be transmuted. Maybe.
I thanked her, paid her, and backed away quickly before she could cost me any
Back at home, I mulled over what she said. It seems that, basically, at skill
one, I can transmute level 5 gear items. At skill 5, I can transmute level 6
items. At 10, level 7 items, and so on. Gah!
Day 5: I finally managed to find something to transmute! Mind you, it was
only a tunic that I had knocking around since my days on the Queen's Colony, but
it is a start! I'm sure that, in no time, I'll be rolling in the riches ... once
I find more items to break down.
Day 8: I spent the last several days harvesting low-level rares to
craft into gear I can transmute. Several days of harvesting netted me enough
rares to make about 2 dozen items, and I managed to get ... 7 skill points.
There has GOT to be a better way.
Day 9: I have hired a couple enterprising youngsters to give me any
items they get from monster chests that they can't use, in return for some
common crafted gear. Ten more skillups ensued from their first haul. I may be
seeing some profit soon after all!
Due to the speed with which I have chewed through everything I have the skill
to transmute, I've decided that a very old and obscure term of "munge" best
describes what I do when I transmute. It is short, easy to pronounce, and sounds
way cooler than "transmute" does.
Day 13: I am stuck at skill 100, and can't seem to break past it. The
youngsters I hired have outleveled my current needs, but they found me five of
their younger siblings to help out.
I've been transmuting everything I can get my hands on, and have a small
stockpile of dusts and powders now, as well as a precious few infusions and one
lone mana vial. I can't wait to make some really nice stuff from it all!
Day 15: Still stuck at skill 100, I break down and consult their
per-minute transmuting technical support for help.
Problem 1: The gnome manning the support desk is a techno-nerd. Apparently
one of his techno-buddies has claimed the word "munge" and given it a new geeky
definition. He was extremely condescending as he corrected my supposed mis-use
of the word, and didn't even have the manners to apologize once I pointed out
the older, original meaning of the word.
Kids these days. As if declaring a new definition of the word invalidates a
meaning that was old before he was a gleam in his daddy's eye. It is a good
thing that I am a lady of decorum and breeding, else I'd have likely told him
off for his poor manners and overbearing condescension. Being a lady, however, I
refrained and simply gently reminded him that I was not paying for language
lessons, but for technical support.
What is next? Will they change the definition of sex and then claim they
invented the word?
But, I digress ...
Problem 2: It seems that after skill 100, I must craft adornments in order to
obtain further skills. This requires the expenditure of more coin for the
appropriate books, naturally. However, the thought of adornments that I can sell
to recoup some of the growing expenses is almost enough to counter my irritation
at this little snert of a gnome.
Problem 3: The condescending, overbearing little techno-gnome would NOT shut
up! After several minutes of trying to break in on his high-speed lecture on
crafting the highest-tier currently possible adornments, I gave up, slapped coin
on the desk and ran, leaving him still babbling.
Had I been less a lady of decorum and breeding, I'd likely have said
something rude to him on the way out.
Day 17: These weapon adornments that I can make for skillups STINK. I
can't sell any of them for even a fraction of what the items that went into it
cost me, and, at best, I may recover the minimal fuel costs if I try hard
Hopefully things look up a bit in the higher tiers, so I'll keep struggling
Day 25: My army of newbies has turned into a veritable sweat-shop of
youngsters farming items for me. Desperate for ways to stretch my meager savings
until I get to the real profit-makers, I am spurred to new heights of frenzy by
the discovery that I can still get skillups from crafting grey-con recipes. The
skillups are far slower, but less expensive, and after my last broker-binge,
less expensive is good.
Day 27: I must get more powder! I have fragments coming out my ears,
but the powder eludes me!
Day 35: While I am crawling closer to my goal, those ungrateful little
newbs have unionized on me, and are demanding higher wages. To Lavastorm with
them! I will go back to harvesting rares and crafting in order to get items to
Day 40: Huzzah! Less jasper fragments and significantly more powder in
tier 3. Happiness! Bliss!
Day 43: For tier 3, it seems that jasper fragments are far, far less
common than fragments for other tiers. This means I have more powder than I can
possibly use, until I can get more jasper fragments. If only I could transmute a
dozen lapis fragments into a single jasper fragment. That would fix the
Day 45: I have started peddling all my un-necessary roots and loams
and such in order to fund my skillups from the rares. I must be getting closer
to the more profitable adornments. I must!
Day 65: Desperate, I am going to sell a few rares in order to afford
another consultation fee. I must know how close I am to making money on all
Day 70: They finally let me have writing materials in jail.
The smug little technognome manning the help desk, after much babbling,
finally told me the damning truth:
Transmuters don't make many valuable adornments. OTHER crafters make the
desirable ones, using the raw materials that transmuters crafted. One of the few
exceptions was an enchanted item I can make, eventually, using the
After reciting my decorum mantra a few times (mindful of the ticking of the
fee timer), I asked about adornments that I could make as a sage.
Apparently, since sages get so many common recipes, they only get an
adornment recipe per tier, and while it is a nice one, it requires that I munge
many fabled items to get a chance at a single combine on one of these.
When I point out that this would require pricing that item well above what it
is worth, he got even snottier, telling me I should have chosen a different
profession if I'd wanted a road to riches.
To the fiery depths of Lavastorm with "proper breeding and decorum!" I
remember seeing red at this point, and don't remember much of the following
minutes. I am told that the guards arrived just as I was applying a paperweight
to his thick little gnomish skull.
Day 75: Citing temporary insanity, the lawyer that is assigned to
those who can't afford a lawyer on their own, the court lets me off, on the
strong recommendation that I receive addiction counseling. As they lead me away,
still wrapped in my "hug me" coat, I ask if I can have the paperweight to
transmute, now that they don't need it as evidence.
It took some fast-talking to convince them to not lock me up again. Thank
goodness I learned how to talk really fast and confuse my listeners from those
durn, greedy, money-grubbing techno-gnomes!
Day 80: My therapist tells me that I have "anger repression issues",
and wants me to commit to a dozen more visits, payable in advance, of course. I
call him a money-grubbing gnome-lover and stalk out. I make sure to snag his
cloak from the cloak rack along the way, though. It should transmute well.
Day 90: I have sold off all my remaining powders, the jasper
fragments, the infusions and the precious few mana vials in order to pay for my
mounting debts. I'll find a handy landfill for all the other fragments tomorrow.
I will keep one single lapis fragment as a momento of my folly, and a reminder
to not believe a single thing traveling gnomish salesmen tell me in the
Day 91: On my twelfth and final trip from the landfill, I run into an
eager young crafter who asks me about transmuting. Using some of my new
gnome-speak patter, I blithely tell him I just finished wheeling my profits to
the bank and am about to retire from transmuting. When his eyes go all goggly, I
manage to sell him the original how to transmute brochure, and give him that
lone lapis fragment as a "bonus."
Poor sap. I chuckle all the way home.
Day 92: A traveling gnome salesman came to the door, trying to sell me
a how-to guide for tinkering.
My carnivorous plant ate well today.
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