Chapter 202: When Opportunity Attacks

on February 19, 2014 in Volume 2 Book 6: Career Counseling, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Doubts Are Pushed Off

“What… are stone soldiers?” Acantha said.

“Soldier stones,” Andreas blurted out, then looked around, as if slightly embarrassed. “That’s the proper name, or least what it is in Pax.”

“I always heard stone soldiers,” Micah said. “Makes more sense that way.”

“My girl is co-chair of the league,” Andreas said. “I think I know what the game is called.”

“So, it’s a game,” Acantha said. “Whatever it might be called, what’s it about? Memphis?”

“I couldn’t say, with any specificity,” he said. “I’ve never played it, but it was explained to me as being mock warfare, in miniature… so when you said something that was like skirmish, but not big like skirmish…”

He let the sentence hang, as if to say that the chain of thought was self-evident. He didn’t waste a gesture to shrug, but you could almost hear one in his voice.

“Doesn’t this have the same problem as skirmish, though?” Micah said. “I mean, stone soldiers are everywhere.”

“I wouldn’t be sure about that,” Acantha said. “I mean, I’ve never heard of them. Andreas, is this a dwarven thing?”

“It’s actually… er… kobolds, originally,” Andreas said. “My, uh, girlfriend… she’s not a kobold, obviously… sort of co-founded the first league here on campus.”

“Let’s be clear: she co-founded the first league that was here on campus… or the first league was founded here on campus, by her?” Acantha asked.

“The first league outside of, you know, kobold lands,” Andreas said. “Though I don’t know if they do leagues the same way we do or not. There’s a rulebook, but it’s been catch as catch can as far as actual organization goes.”

“So we really could be looking at the ground floor of this,” Acantha said. “How long has this been going on?”

“Since last year,” Andreas said. “I know it’s spread to a few other schools, though.”

“Is anybody selling it, though?” Acantha asked.

“I am,” Memphis said. “Figurines. The soapstone carves easily, but it’s hard for someone with human fingers to carve it. The game’s inventors have enough cleverness in their little hands to have devised it, but it can take them a week to make a single figure, and even then it won’t necessarily be more than serviceably pretty.”

“I didn’t know what it’s about, but a lot of the hunting elves have been making money carving figures,” Wisdom said.
“For people who aren’t part of the middling culture, what are the hunting elves?” Acantha asked.

“You know, the… boys, and the ones who go after boys,” Wisdom said. “Leather instead of gossamer, green and brown instead of… well, every other color. They’re the hunting elves, we’re the courtly elves.”

“We have a different name for you,” Memphis said.

“I’ll bet you do, but I’ll thank you for keeping this meeting professional,” Acantha said. “So, Memphis… if I’m understanding you correctly, this game requires stone figurines to play, and the demand is currently outstripping the supply?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I expected it to dry up once everybody who wanted an army had one, but instead, everybody who has an army gets someone else hooked. And they also want a bigger army, or better, or different.”

“There are people who’ve been trying to join the league since last winter break,” Andreas said. “But they can’t put together enough units to field their own army, which is a requirement. They play, with borrowed pieces or ones pooled in common, which is fun enough, I suppose, but competitive play calls for a little more dedication. You have to play with your own pieces, for the rankings.”

“So, the limiting factor on how many people can ‘officially’ play… and how fast and far the game can spread in general… is the availability of the pieces?” Acantha said. “This all sounds very promising… it has the makings of an idea that would not just be useable, but good.”

“So this is what we’re doing?” Micah asked.

“That’s up to the group,” Acantha said, and I practically mouthed the words along with her. Actually, judging by the way her eyes flickered over me, I might have actually done so. “As I said, there is a lot of potential in there, but it may be a little early to throw ourselves into one idea. It’s a good one, but do we want to accept the first good idea we come across? Unless you all have strong feelings about this idea or any more points to raise, I would suggest that we put a pin in it and come back to it, maybe when we know what kinds of other possibilities could be in competition with it.”

That was the point where the growing paranoid in me decided that yes, she absolutely had intended us to arrive at this point. The group contained someone very close to the founding core of the soldier stones league and someone who made pocket money carving figures, and Micah at least had an interest in the subject, too.

Maybe she’d predicted that getting people thinking about things like skirmish but smaller would have jarred the idea loose in someone’s head or maybe that had been a coincidence, but I found nothing sincere in her desire to move the conversation along and come back to the game only if nothing better presented itself. It was like she was too eager to not appear too eager.

If I was right… or if I was wrong that this was her plan, but it was a good enough idea that she would accept it… then it would be kind of a relief, because then we wouldn’t be doing anything criminal or reprehensible, just seizing on an actual opportunity and helping to meet a genuine need, or at least a genuine demand.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I think we might be onto something.”

“I don’t know about that,” Sapphire said. “But if it’s the first good idea we’ve had, then what are the odds we’re going to come up with another one that’s nearly as good? I mean, I didn’t mean for that to sound pessimistic, but… this sounds like everything you said we should be going for. I mean, it’s still not very clear what exactly we’d be doing, but talking about people selling figures and stuff… for the first time since we started this thing, I feel like I could actually see a way towards creating something profitable.”

“I guess I should thank you for sticking with it, then,” Acantha said.

“Well, you sounded so confident,” Sapphire said.

“Does anybody else want to talk more about the… soldier… idea, then?” Acantha said. “That’s two in favor so far.”

“I’m already making money off the game,” Memphis said. “But… I wouldn’t mind making more. And if someone’s going to get a bigger piece of it, I’d like to be part of that.”

“I don’t know about this,” Andreas said. “I really don’t. It’s not… it’s not ours to sell, is it?”

“From the way things sound, no,” Acantha said. “But remember what I said about the danger of chasing trends? It’s too late to get in front of the game itself. Right now… if I’ve understood you all, then right now, the game is being spread around for free. Anyone can see a copy of the rules or watch and learn from others. Learning to play is freely available, but the materials needed aren’t. If we tried to package up the rules and sell them, we’d be competing with free. If we succeeded in squashing the free version, we’d be slowing the process that creates new demand.”

“It wouldn’t be right, either,” Andreas said.

“No,” Acantha said. “But the ethical concerns are all academic, because it’s not something we could do, is my point. The existence of the game creates demand. According to Memphis’s firsthand account, feeding that demand just creates more demand, at least for now. That’s where the opportunity is here. So far, it’s just a bunch of private individuals making and selling individual figurines by hand. Eventually, someone will come along to automate the process, and that’s where the opportunity ends.”

“So we’re the someone, then?” Wisdom asked.

“Well… again… that’s up to the group,” Acantha said. “But I’d suggest we try to find other, less obvious ways to capitalize on this. After all, our abilities in that are going to be limited. Whatever facilities we could establish between the nine of us would be dwa… diminished in comparison by anything a larger, more established outfit could put together overnight.”

“Like what?” the other human girl asked.

“We’ll have to figure that out. The problem with less obvious solutions is that they are less obvious, but there’s no need to feel discouraged by that,” Acantha said. “We started this session with no idea what we were going to do, and now we have what seems to be a strong contender… if it doesn’t pan out, we can always continue onto the next idea.”

“I’m still not sure about the right and wrong of it all, though,” Andreas said. “I mean, Shiel wasn’t a fan when dwarves and elves started selling figures, in the beginning.”

“She who?” Acantha said.

“Shi-el,” Andreas said. “Kobold, er, lady. She’s the one who brought the game from her homeland and started teaching it around.”

“Is it her personal invention?”

“No,” Andreas said. “It’s… well, it’s to kobolds what skirmish is to humans, these days.”

“So while she’s co-chairing a league here, in the larger context, she’s just another player,” Acantha said. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t recognize that she has what you might call a moral right here. There is something to be said for not alienating the largest ready customer base before we even begin. But at the end of the day… she didn’t stop elves and dwarves from selling figures, did she?”

“No,” Andreas said. “Mostly because she couldn’t, but I think she’s made her peace with it.”

“Very pragmatic of her,” Acantha said. “You see what I mean about how ethics become hypothetical when practicalities get in the way?”

“I’d still feel better if I could talk to her first,” Andreas said. “I mean, talk to Hazel, and have Hazel talk to her.”

“Hazel is the other co-chair you mentioned?”

“Executive junior over/undersecretary co-chair, according to her badge,” Andreas said.

“Amusing,” Acantha said. “But of course, you couldn’t talk to either of them… we have a confidentiality agreement. Even if you decide that you can’t in good conscience work with us on this, that agreement is still binding. But given that, wouldn’t it better to stay here and help make sure that everything we do is respectful of the game and Ms. Shiel’s culture? I know I’d feel a lot better, knowing that there could be such concerns, if I knew you were here to represent that viewpont.”

“Not sure how she’d feel about me as an advocate,” Andreas said. “But I suppose I’d rather stay on than walk away. But couldn’t they sign the agreement, too? Then we could tell them what we’re up to.”

“I think taking in the league’s point of view on what we’re doing would be a brilliant move. We should welcome their involvement, if we move forward with this. But at this point, we couldn’t tell them what we’re up to because we don’t know what it is ourselves,” Acantha said. “It wouldn’t be fair to anyone if we brought them in and ask them to bless our work if we can’t tell them what that work might be. And that’s the point where I think we’re going to find ourselves talking in circles, until we get past it. So, would you mind if take your concerns as given, but table them until we know what if anything there is to be concerned about?”

“No, I suppose that’s fair,” Andreas said. “I’ve my doubts, and I don’t know that I can set them aside, but… I can’t do anything about them, either.”

“Excellent,” Acantha said. “Well, let’s make this official: shall we agree to pursue a line of development involving the game known as, ah, soldier stones, and the problem of supplying new players with soldiers?”

“Sure,” Micah said. “To be honest, I’ve been trying to get into the league, so if we can come up with a better way of doing things… I don’t really care about the money. I mean, I’ll take money if we make money. But I want in. I want to play. I want my own army.”

“That will be valuable from a market research standpoint,” Acantha said.

“My question would be: pursue how?” Memphis asked.

“That should be everyone’s question, if we’re all agreed,” Acantha said. She paused to look around the room, as people nodded their assent. “It seems we are. I doubt we’ll see another breakthrough of this magnitude if we keep pushing at it, so I’m going to suggest we break things up now. You can stay and enjoy the rest of the food, and talk among yourselves, but our real work is going to be between now and, oh, let’s say Monday night. There’s something to be said for thinking in a group, but there’s also something to be said for individual thought. We should take advantage of both styles. So, our plan for now is to think about innovative ways we could help meet the demand for miniature soldiers suitable for the game, and come back Monday night to present those ways.”

There was a lot of murmured agreement at that. As Sapphire had said, it was starting to seem like there actually could be a way forward, but no one had any clue what it was. At that moment, I was far less certain than I had been that Acantha had started this group with a specific idea in mind. If she showed up on Monday with an idea all wrapped up with a bow, of course, it would be a different story.

There was one thing that bothered me, at least a little, and I decided to ask her about it before I left.

“Weren’t you supposed to make sure our meetings don’t conflict with my other work?” I asked.

“Does Monday conflict?”

“No,” I said. “I’m pretty sure I’ve actually wrapped that job up now.”

“Well, I did have the impression it was temporary,” she said. “And you are on the payroll here now… as is everybody else. Do you need me to continue consulting with you about when we meet?”

“No,” I said, feeling somewhere between defensive and guilty. “Like you said, it was temporary, and now it’s over. I just… I feel like there should have been a conversation about the change.”

“I would agree, but it would have been up to you to tell me that your status had changed,” she said. “I like to be accommodating, but I can’t take information into account that I don’t have.”

“You’re right, I’m sorry,” I said.

“Don’t think anything of it,” she said… though somehow, I knew that I would.


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49 Responses to “Chapter 202: When Opportunity Attacks”

  1. Riotllama says:

    I see bad things ahead for poor Andreas. And Stef will soon be out of a side job. I think I am starting to hate Acantha.

    Current score: 7
    • Lunaroki says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re coming to hate Acantha, because I’m starting to love her. Oh, she’s devious, cunning and manipulative, but those aren’t necessarily bad traits. It depends on what ends she uses them toward, and making money is not necessarily a bad thing to work toward either.

      What I like about her is that she’s not a clear-cut goodguy or badguy. She’s ambiguous. To her, good and evil don’t seem to be motivating concerns so much as practical ones. That also is not necessarily a bad thing.

      Acantha is complex and not easy to read. To me, that kind of epitomizes the concept of “elf”. She really makes me think, and I love that.

      I know you fear for Andreas and Steff, but I think it’s premature. There’s no telling right now whether things will wind up that way or not. If she does screw them, then I’ll join you in hating her. Until then though, or until it becomes obvious that this will happen, I’m eager to see just what will happen regarding those two as this idea begins to develop. Depending on how this goes it might actually wind up benefiting Steff, and with both Mack and Andreas on the team there’s definitely strong reason to hope that this project won’t blow up in everyone’s faces.

      Current score: 5
      • Zergonapal says:

        While the process of replicating a miniature is relatively simple with the right equipment, there is always work for good sculptors, whether its making new miniatures to be cast or creating unique miniatures through commission work. As for the rules themselves, being public domain there is not a whole lot you can do about that. A potential market would be to build on the idea by creating a rival system with a different ruleset and/or setting such as which is what is occurring in our world where Games Workshop is slowing loosing its market dominance to alternative game systems such as Warmachine and Malifaux just to name a few of the systems out there.

        Current score: 1
    • Lantern says:

      I think there may be a market for both the group and independent workers like Stef. The group will likely put out enchanted soldiers that can move or react to other enchanted soldiers, or possibly respond to voice commands from a referee; or they could put out something like a game mat that tracked individual unit damages, move, etc. The latter idea doesn’t currently infringe on anyone’s role and makes one of the more tedious parts of the game manageable. The former will be a market for players with heavy cash to invest, as the group isn’t likely to price the units under a point with sufficient gains for time, effort and energy for everyone involved. Small-time soldier makers would stay in business for the players not able to afford the enchanted models.

      I would be interested to see if Acantha merges what she’s learned from Callahan’s mockboxes with the idea. Create a game mat or a few items to act as a “fence” for a given area, and generate mocked soldiers inside. As with the mockboxes, damage to the mocked unit seems to be tracked and with a little tweaking should allow a player to own a small number of units mocked repeatedly to form an army.
      The downside for the enchanters here would be the limited number of everything needed by everyone… once you own a few actual soldiers of varying types, the mockbox, and the playspace generator, you don’t need to continue buying anything. On the other hand, for that same reason you could place a hefty markup on the mockbox and generator, and any commercial venue looking to host tournaments may be interested in bulk purchases, meaning you could market on the consumer and commercial levels.

      Current score: 3
      • KatRampant says:

        Yeah, if this ends up looking like our miniature market, there should absolutely be room for independent workers. I’ve made a bit of extra money myself painting and modding GW minis for friends.

        Current score: 0
      • Brenda A. says:

        The name is Steff. Sorry, just a pet peeve.

        Current score: 0
      • Seth says:

        Hand Carved Stone Soldier:
        You move a piece, roll 2d10, your opponent takes some tally marks, and adds 4 for lightning damage.

        Enchanted Stone Soldier:
        The piece moves itself and shoots some sparks. We still roll dice, and keep a score sheet.

        Phantasmal, Enchanted, Stone Soldier:
        The piece moves itself, and illusionary lighting blows up an enemy piece. Score sheet isn’t important, it’s obvious that the pile of ashes on the board is done fighting. We hit the reset button on the mockbox and do it again.

        Current score: 3
    • TheTurnipKing says:

      I could see this being potentially more lucrative for good crafters like Steff than the supply of individual soldiers.

      Craft a “master” figure once. Mock it ad-infinitum. There’s so much base profit there that the collective could afford to pay quite a bit in royalties for well crafted “master” figures to mock from, and then there’s a possibility of custom or uniquely crafted figures for each player.

      They could bring in Steff and Shiel to craft figures for individual sides, for example.

      Current score: 0
  2. Cadnawes says:

    So, Monday should have been off limits due to Mack’s other job. Arguably it should have been up to Mack to tell Acantha that the job was over, so that Monday would be on the table again. Only Mack hadn’t, yet. Which means either Acantha knows that Mack already conversed with stone AND ABOUT WHAT, or she was breaking an agreement. Either one confirms how I feel about the woman, to be honest. And she’s slick enough Mack apologized. Just…. eugh.

    Current score: 6
    • Lunaroki says:

      I think you may be jumping to the wrong conclusion about Monday. Do we know that Mack would have been working with Two and Stone on Monday if the job hadn’t ended? I didn’t read anything in this exchange to make me think that would be the case. To me it reads like Mack expected to be consulted about meeting on a different night than they’ve been meeting, just to be sure her schedule hadn’t changed in such a way that the new night would be a problem, and she felt she was being taken for granted when Acantha didn’t consult her about the change first. If Acantha’s understanding of Mack’s schedule indicated that Monday nights should be alright for her then there’s really no reason she should have needed to specially contact Mack about changing the night.

      Current score: 2
      • Cadnawes says:

        That does make sense. That would be a good thing to have clarified.

        Current score: 0
  3. Chinthor says:

    Stone soldiers + soldier mock box = Miniature moving fighters that are copies of whoever you can put in the box. Or crafted mockeries with no original. Oooooohhhh!!

    Current score: 0
  4. pedestrian says:

    Riotllama and Cadnawes, I am sorry but I cannot agree with your absolutist conclusions about Acantha. Not without a lot more evidence produced.

    One of the things I just realized about Mackenzie’s self-dialogue is that she is naturally? instinctively? socialized? paranoid.

    Of course as half-human, half-demon she does have real enemies and frienemies. But that colours all her opinions about everyone in her life.

    I hope she is continuing to attend therapy with Teddy. Sometimes in our lives we have to make that leap of faith of giving trust to learn (yes, the hard way) if people are trustworthy.

    At this point Mackenzie has very little to lose short-range associating with Acantha and a lot to gain in the long-range future.

    Current score: 3
    • Cadnawes says:

      What? I don’t need to produce evidence before I’m allowed to detest someone. I don’t know what she’s up to. I’ve been saying from the beginning that it MIGHT be good… Callahan’s morals aren’t exactly shiny. I don’t care. I DESPISE people who operate like this.

      Current score: 8
      • Order of Chaos says:

        I’m guessing it will be a long time before we have any understanding of what Acantha is up to. I think she just wants to make money but we’ll see later.

        Current score: 0
      • Oni says:

        Got to agree with you. No matter whether Acantha is Good or Evil with the capitals, she’s still not a likeable individual. She’s also given plenty of reasons not to be trusted. If it were me, I wouldn’t go within ten feet of her if necessary.

        Current score: 3
    • Riotllama says:

      Erm, absolutist? Conclusions? I didn’t call the character evil. I merely stated that my feelings for her were evolving towards hate. Why? I detest the kind of manipulation she uses on people. I loathe her slimey business morality.
      As a plot driver, I love her and will love to hate her. I see her setting up some intriguing struggles in our protagonist’s future that hopefully don’t involve getting captured or sold to Mur-si.
      But don’t try to tell me I cannot have feelings about a character because you have opposite feelings. Sheesh.

      Current score: 1
  5. Lunaroki says:

    Typo Report

    “I didn’t know what it’s about, but a lot of the hunting elves have been making money carving figures,” Wisdom said.
    “For people who aren’t part of the middling culture, what are the hunting elves?” Acantha asked.

    Needs another line between these two paragraphs.

    So, would you mind if * take your concerns as given, but

    Seems to be missing a “we” between “if” and “take”.

    Current score: 0
    • LukeLicens says:

      Another typo

      wouldn’t it * better to stay here and help make sure that everything we do is respectful of the game and Ms. Shiel’s culture?

      Needs a ‘be’.

      Current score: 0
  6. Elf says:

    AE, More Tales of MU isn’t working anymore. Will you be fixing it? =/

    Current score: 0
  7. Potegoe says:

    meh, the whole “damned sneaky elves” thing seems oddly compared to the whole “stupid racist everybody else for having a fear demons might eat them when thats actually a thing that happens” i can see them both having a place in universe but we’ve not been given nearly enough to show that. we’d need alot more unfair persecution of legitimately harmless demons or some something implying general hunger control very low attack rates outside self defense. same with elves, we’ve got a human who just kinda distrusts them, a half elf with a very skewed pov and some psychotic elven frats/sororities who while seem legitimately dangerous(there was a tricking students into slavery and selling for meat example that implied it was definitely not an isolated case) doesn’t say alot for elves overall.

    but mostly it was that whole “damn racist school for blessing pens and botching a teleport spell when actual demonic interference from her secret dad problems was a thing that happened, lets sue the free health clinic” storyline that just didn’t fit for me. if that never happened I’d have far less of a problem with the current “elven teacher must be up to something” arc. but as it is its jarring.

    Well…its not really even just that, theres also the whole mac feeling like she has to do something about this if acanthia is stealing mocbox but the whole mermaids actively killing people thing was just something to stay out of and let be somebody else’s problem. those don’t work side by side either. shady business ip laws and copyright don’t really stack up to murder eating other people alive and screaming for fun because food doesn’t get to have feelings. so thats weird too.

    Current score: 1
  8. Hollowgolem says:

    I really like Acantha as a foil to Jilian. Manipulative and deceptive, rather than direct and simple.

    Jilian’s the kind of person I’d prefer dealing with, as both an ally and an enemy, but Acantha’s certainly interesting.

    Current score: 2
    • Aran says:

      Jilian’s the kind of person I’d prefer dealing with, as both an ally and an enemy

      > Jillian … enemy

      That’s not a long-term prospect.

      Current score: 0
  9. Randie says:

    This chapter kind of reminded me of the TV show Shark Tank.

    I don’t know if AE reads the comments, but I was wondering where the More Tales of MU stories went.

    When I go to more.talesofmu.com, I get an error message which basically says that the site no longer exists. Have the stories been moved to a different site, or are they gone for good?

    Current score: 0
  10. Sher says:

    Oh no, the angsty version of Mackenzie is back. The one who thinks too much, follows where others go, and acts just a little more childish than she has any right to. If Acantha worries her so much, she should just drop out of the group. Mack sets herself up for trouble and then complains when it comes her way.

    Current score: 2
  11. AdrienneRee says:

    I work with people like Acantha and they drive me nuts. They may not be out and out crooked, but damn near enough. I love her as a character because of the complexity and cleverness of her actions, that she is cautious and obviously extremely skilled at what she does, and that she is more real than other characters seem at times…but I hate her guts as a person.

    Well written and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

    Current score: 0
  12. Wysteria says:

    Acantha reminds me a lot of Mack’s dad, except without the murder (that we know of). Is Mack associating with her as a parental/demonic lessons figure or is this a crush?

    Current score: 2
    • Order of Chaos says:

      You must have known someone would say both and you posted anyway.
      Why? Are you tring to be a bad person? 🙂

      Current score: 2
  13. not her, the other girl says:

    [i]“That’s up to the group,” Acantha said, and I practically mouthed the words along with her. Actually, judging by the way her eyes flickered over me, I might have actually done so. [/i]

    Oh Mack, get more control over yourself, especially your face. Elves will probably always be able to read you like a book, but don’t make it so easy for everyone.

    I wonder if Eloise’s maps (if I’m remembering her name right? The druid TA?) will make Mack think of making enchanted maps that players can modify to reflect different terrains. I got the impression that solider stones are a pretty standard size, so it could be just like maps for minis.

    Current score: 3
    • Rick says:

      She also heard about interactive maps in story 461: class differences. near the end of it, some girl offered to trade some maps for some soldiers.

      Current score: 0
  14. PrometheanSky says:

    As far as putting Steph out of a job–even if they do start mass production, someone has to make the models in the first place. Just putting that out there.

    Current score: 1
    • LukeLicens says:

      I see mockbox-made non-people sweatshops in the near future.

      Current score: 0
      • Rafinius says:

        Seeing how straight-up slavery is completely legal, mock-slavery may actually be a step forward.

        Current score: 0
      • Potegoe says:

        nonfunctional. makes no sense. the work blips away as soon as the duration runs out on the mockery

        Current score: 1
      • Brenda A. says:

        What about the fact that anything produced by a mockery will cease to exist once the mockery is canceled?

        Current score: 0
    • Brenda A. says:

      The name is Steff. Just a pet peeve.

      Current score: 2
      • zeel says:

        I don’t understand how someone who has read this far (even if they are just reading Vol.2) could manage to not know how to spell Steff. It’s not like watching a TV show where you can’t be totally sure how they spell it unless you see it on screen – it’s literally right there spelled for you every time the character is mentioned!

        So ya, you are fully justified.

        Current score: 2
  15. Arkeus says:

    Gee Mack, maybe you should remember exactly what Acantha has been doing here. She is totally trying to get a copyright coming from the school about macking mock-stone soldiers, so that she can then use that copyright to use what she stole from the university about the new mock boxes.

    🙁 🙁

    Current score: 3
  16. Zathras IX says:

    Carving out a niche
    In the RPG space may
    Take some Figuring

    Current score: 7
  17. Grek says:

    I like to think that Acantha is doing the right thing here: She knows that if people start mocking soldiers to fight wars, it would be really, really bad. That was mentioned in one of the side stories, as I recall. In order to prevent that, she can copyright the idea of “Mockbox Soldiers” and keep the technology from being used on life-sized soldiers to fight life-sized wars. Maybe she could even buy the copyright from the school and just sit on the idea it forever without letting anyone else know mock soldiers are possible.

    Current score: 0
  18. Lane says:

    Taking an aspect from one culture, commercializing it and then selling it back?
    I’m curious if kobolds and other creatures in the MUverse will end up interpreting this entrepreneurial gesture as cultural appropriation.

    Current score: 0
  19. Readaholic says:

    Sounds more like Warhammer 40k than DnD.

    Current score: 0
  20. pedestrian says:

    A person I worked with, whom I had in my opinion very good reasons to distrust and despise. When I had a serious family emergency, it was that person who completely surprised me with their kindness, support covering my work and personal assistance on their own time to help me get through the crisis.

    And there was absolutely no profit for them except my gratitude and thanks. I never had the opportunity to repay all the favors I owed.

    The arcade idea for Stone Soldiers is only profitable for the manufacturer of the equipment. If you have ever looked into franchising coin-operated/vending, there is a lot more personal physical labor involved then you could believe.

    I think the ideas commentators have been putting forward would for simplicity and quick profit be as creator/designers of the terrain combined with specific battle scenarios.

    If you use historical events, basically the concept is already there for you to adapt for sale. And without needing more then the very minimalist of a manufacturing facility. Which could be subcontracted.

    Current score: 2
    • Order of Chaos says:

      We don’t know how much work magic coin operated games are or what upkeep is needed but as AE loves to think things thu I expect something would come up.

      Current score: 0
  21. Ellie says:

    I’m not sure if you’re aware, but the mobile version is still down and trying to pull up the page on my phone often makes most of the text on the main page disappear, so I kinda have to scramble to click the first story that I can see and then click either to the next story or the previous story to find the one I want to read. Just a general comment, love the chapters and I don’t blame Mack for being nervous and un-trusting at all! I find it very interesting how loyal she’s become to Callaghan, even though I don’t think she’s noticed it just yet.

    Current score: 0
  22. Dani says:

    It’s obvious how this is going to go: Acantha will cut Callahan in for a large share of the profits because she feels badly about her espionage and wants to apologize. This will cause Callahan to reconsider her opinions about MOGSOW (Motherhood of God, Sisterhood of Women) and to renounce deicide. She will, however, give Mack a B in her course, causing Mack to switch her major to Bardic Arts, where scholarships are more generous.

    Current score: 2
  23. Ryzndmon says:

    How many people have twigged to the idea that our beloved author may be mining our posts the way Acantha is mining the group? Some brilliant ideas up there…
    Imagine being on the alpha/beta testing of Magic: the Gathering or WarHammer 2000.

    Current score: 0