Hacking Merchant Week with Japhrimel

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Japhrimel's Tips for Maximizing Your Ebon Gate Merchant & Services Week

By Luxelle Machtes Ashrim, TownCrier Publisher
12 Jastatos 5117 // Oct 12 2017 at Caligos Isle

After Japhrimel's comments in his interview, TownCrier Interview Sessions with Japhrimel, we thought everyone could benefit from his specific tips for making the most of your Ebon Gate Merchant & Services Pass! So here are his tips, and some of ours.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the grounds. Get to where you have a good idea of where each shop is located, to cut down on searching time for when merchants show up. When EG opens, Japhrimel plans to wander the grounds in a methodic route over and over, just getting a grasp of where everything is. Stand in that room with 3 wagons and 2 tents and see if you can guess correctly which wagon belongs to what shop and/or merchant BEFORE you enter it.
  2. Learn the Merchant names. If GS provides a list of merchants that will be there, make sure to highlight them beforehand. As you're going through the grounds, highlight names from shop names or the signs in the shop.
    • TownCrier Challenge: become familiar enough with all the shops and merchants to be able to answer questions as they come up from other people! Nothing like being the hero of the moment with an answer while helping yourself memorize everything, right?
  3. ;Alias the merchant names to the ;go2 location of the shop as you can pair them up. Find something unique about that shop, shop name, room description, the merchant's name, and merchandise so that you can associate it all in your mind with an alias or a ;go2 SAVE YourCustomName=CURRENT (or =room#)
    (3.5) Record each merchant's name and any of their announcements for services and save it. Japhrimel adds that all into his personal script that, when it sees one of them, sets off a sound file to alert me. (That's for when he is doing other things, like sleeping.)
  4. Have multiple ideas ready at any given time for item/s you want to get altered. Have several versions ready and compliant with ALTER guidelines.
    • TownCrier Challenge: Keep the items you need altered, with any rare materials you need to provide, on you at all times. The same for your lightening/deepening needs and your things that need unlocking. Use a google sheet to track progress, keep it open in a browser at all times. The time you waste going to a locker or looking up and opening a file can be the difference whether you see the merchant or not. Or whether you wait 90 minutes to see the merchant.
  5. Familiarize yourself with fish hooks. Fish Hooks ("Fishing" by GMs) are items that drop/appear/move into a room and when you pick them up, they teleport you to a merchant. These things are not part of the usual messaging for the festival grounds, so that's how you know something is up! They are more common at EG than many other events. They can be different things, they'll get your attention for a moment before they move on, so if you think that's one - pick it up! Japhrimel has sound files to alert him for each of those messages. Fish Hooks are never announced, they're the goodies that go to the observant! No, before you ask, he did not tell the TownCrier what those messages are. We're going with ... it's a new Festival Grounds, they're probably new, too.
  6. For Ebon Gate, he highly recommends getting script unlocks rather than alterations, when given the choice. It's faster and they're usually new scripts or irregularly provided chances to get unlocks and can be more valuable later on. There are some things that you can only get unlocked once a year, and that time is at Ebon Gate.
  7. Prep for the non-automated games at the Live Games Week as much as possible. There might be new games this year, but the last few years all had similar or the same games. Story telling, song telling, costume contest, scavenger hunt (You learned the grounds well, didn't you?), etc. These games can be incredibly fun and you get a prize for participation and, if you win, the prizes are pretty sweet.
    • TownCrier Challenge: Keep track of raffles. Read all the signs. Do you have a qualifying item/training if you win? Is it transferable if you don't need it? Do you need to be present at the raffle table? Don't enter a raffle if it pulls while you are still at the office. Raffles take coins, coins are heavy, keep your standing cane with you at all times! Keep track of raffles you enter with either ;raffle or ;draffle
  8. Consider carefully what you are getting done. Towards the end of the festival, merchants will appear to do work for people with 5 or less (or another small number) of services. For instance, if you had imbeds done by Binklar that could have been done by a wizard, that might put you over qualifying for the special merchant. Use our Merchants for things you can't normally get!
  9. His parting advice? "I always find it beneficial at Ebon Gate to share. When you get picked for a service and don't really need it or want it, consider giving it to someone who really does. I couldn't count the number of times I've traded spots with people or traded services - and somewhere down the line someone helped me out because I got something done for them."

Watch for Japhrimel in those merchant lines and introduce yourself!