Double, Mint Gum

Mint Gum, chief caster of Beauregard, gingerly held the large blue gemstone in both hands. The stone represented more than just Shmuckers; it was also their last hope. Mint looked around the squalid belfry and repressed a shudder. The casting bonus offered by the “new” capital’s tower was barely worth the short climb. The original plan had been to cast using the tower at Xanthan, an exquisite level five, but it had been lost five turns ago. The side, which had once spanned eight magnificent cities, was down to three.


There were four other casters in the room as well as the side’s Overlord, Mistress Bubbletape. Two of the casters were from Mint’s side – Patsy, the Thinkamancer, and Trump, the Moneymancer. The other two were a drab female Thinkamancer whose name Mint couldn’t keep straight and a Carnymancer named Ruprecht. They had been hired from the magic kingdom specifically for today’s experiment. Bubbletape had even paid extra to get them to sign a magically enforced NDA. If the casting was successful, she didn’t want the secret getting out.


The rented Thinkamancer worked on breaking a trimancer link between Patsy, Trump, and Ruprecht. It was this link up that had produced the special gem. Because Mint had never seen a real gemstone before, he had no idea if this one looked or felt any different. It was heavier than he had expected; he hoped that was a good sign. His examination of the gemstone was interrupted by Pat.


“We’re ready for you, chief. Would you come over here and take my hand, please?”


Mint drew himself up to his full height and resisted the urge to spend a bit of juice to double his morale. He walked over and took Patsy’s outstretched hand. Pat looked Mint in the eyes and took a deep breath as their minds began to link. Before the link had formed, however, she reached out with her other hand and put it on the shoulder of Ruprecht’s flamboyant suit.


A strange sensation washed over Mint as Patsy “handed off” the link from her own mind to Ruprecht’s. The orderly, mechanical mind of the Thinkamancer was replaced by a sea of churning thoughts and desires. The Carnymancer’s mind was even more offensive than the filthy belfry they were standing in. Patsy’s clear voice called out to them via the link, her words the only thing keeping Mint from plunging into the raging foam of insanity.


“Carnymancer, do you feel the gemstone?”


“I do now.”


“Then cast.”


“Justin Bailey, MLM, Enron, Ponzi!”


As raw Carnymancy flowed through Mint’s mind, he suddenly had the feeling that he was being watched. The paranoia passed as the magic moved to his hands before finally passing into the gemstone. Patsy’s voice once again gave instructions to the link. “Now, Dittomancer, duplicate the gem.”


Mint set the gemstone down on the floor with his free hand and began to cast a basic item duplication spell.


“Double Dribble, Double Play, Double Dragon, Doubleday!”


A gem identical to the first one popped into existence and rolled around slightly on the uneven floor. Mistress Bubbletape walked over and picked up the gem. She examined it for a moment before it disappeared out of her hand. She smiled and addressed the linked casters.


“Carnymancer and Dittomancer, continue until you run out of juice.”


Before the day was over, Mint had created a total of sixteen gemstones and Beauregard’s treasury had grown to over 2 million Shmuckers. When his juice was completely exhausted and the link broken at last, Bubbletape approached and gave him a hearty pat on the back.


“Well, Mint, you performed your duty well today and have done the side a great service. Tomorrow, we’ll do this again and then hire that Charlie fellow Ruprecht told us about. With an inexhaustible treasury, Beauregard will stand forever.”



NOTE: User was awarded 25 Shmuckers for this story. Discussion of why this would violate Erfworld's mechanics should follow, if I get some time. -Rob


  • sdub

    I feel like I should apologize for the terrible pun here.

  • El Chupacabra

    So a straight conversion of caster "Juice" into gems, which are then also duplicated.  

  • sdub

    Close Chupacabra.  The original gem was created by the Moneymancer. The duplicates were created via juice.

  • Donner

    I suspect you can't copy a copy, and maybe there's copyright infringement for creating a copy when one already exists?

  • sdub

    Donner, the original gem was repeatedly copied and the duplicates were turned into shmuckers by Bubbletape.

    I mean, it's all just whimsy, but I tried to break as few rules as possible when determining how this might work.

    Note that the Carnymancer is used in both linkups.  That's because, by default, gem's can't be copied and even if they could, Dittomancers wouldn't have a "duplicate item" spell that works on gems.  That's why the Carnymancer was required both times.

  • ArtyD

    This is a nasty linkup because of two reasons.

    1: Carnymancy can break some rules.  Not all rules are meant to be broken.  Every gem duplicate that was converted just created another side against them.  All natural units from around the area.  This side probably didn't last the turn.

    2: Since natural units act before your side all the natural units unscouted because there were no scouts piled up.  16 gems, 16 stacks of units, 16 enemies at your front door acting before you next turn without any juice on your side to hold them off.

  • Xenon

    Counterfeiting will increase the money supply, and thus lower the value of the individual schmucker. this will produce hyper-inflation, and as a result the per-turn costs of this side will increase drastically. this could even affect charlies fees, as the magic of erfworld is forcing higher schmucker costs even on outgoing funds.

    as a result of this exploit, i would expect the next turn to require up to twice as many schmuckers for upkeep of all units on that side. this would then require more gems, resulting in another doubling. each gem leaving the side to be used by others would translate into less schmuckers, based on when it left their control.

    so, after a couple turns they will lose cities, and NEED those casters to make upkeep. which means the situation will get worse very quickly... and the only survivors will have an NDA not to warn anyone of the danger. their side will quickly fall from lack of schmuckers, as the upkeep kills them. with luck, an heir may escape to go barbarian, hopefully free of the aftereffects of inflation.

    no other mechanic is needed, just this underlying principle of moneymancey- Inflation.

  • sdub

    That does beg the question, who sets Erfworld prices?  Are they static over time or do they fluctuate based on the sum total of all treasuries?


  • ThisIsNotDan

    Don't duplicated items disappear after a while? It seems like the money in the treasury would either disappear soon, or, if that's spent, then whatever was bought with it might disappear.

  • wih

    Even if you're talking supply vs demand for conversion of gems into schmuckers, you would still have a massive advantage by tanking the value of schmuckers for every other side, and you'd have a large % of the wealth in Erfworld.

    I suspect the result of this would be that, especially considering the casting incantation, after a given period of time the extra wealth from the process in the treasury would disappear and anything not there? Things disband to cover costs, and chances are you if spent much, your entire side would disappear in a moment to repay, to return to 0. All things return to 0.

  • Shikanosuke

    i think the amount of cash you could get from a hookup one turn seems a little higher than youd expect the mechanics to allow but the base effect of converting juice into schmuckers sounds like it would make plenty of sense

    its alot like doing the croakamaner/dirtamancer link up to access preciously out of reach gems, with scouts looking for new sites to estabelish new temporary mines on all over the place

  • barawn

    I think the easiest answer is the best: duped objects just disappear when destroyed/converted. This is exactly what we saw with Slately - when destroyed, no corpse. So the duped gems can't be converted into Schmuckers because they just disappear.

  • Lerianis

    But the Carnymancy, Barawn, might have fixed that issue. So.... I'm thinking that this might actually be a workable exploit of the rules in Erfworld and it WON'T come back to bite them because the Titans never even thought of anything like that being done. Otherwise, they would have just done a rule that says "Gems can not be duplicated... period, even Carnymancy does not override this rule!"

  • sdub

    I'm hoping that Ron gets the time to explain why this wouldn't work.  But I admit it was a fun mental exercise to write it.

  • Ragewalker

    If you think about it all you are doing here is converting juice to shmuckers. What’s to say that you cannot convert shmuckers to juice? Consider the idea of a caster’s upkeep… It is possible that when the upkeep is paid, a portion of the shmuckers are directly converted into juice. If that is in fact the case then what is wrong with converting that same juice back into shmuckers?

  • Silversought

    Ragewalker, I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that. Upkeep is more like a "Delete or reload" mechanic than "individually repair all damages to this unit using X shmuckers"

    Also Rob did mention that if he found the time / drive to post again in this thread, he'd explain why it doesn't work. Not "this is how it works".

  • sdub

    Also, the amount of shmuckers they got far exceeded the upkeep of the casters.  Again, this is not truly possible using Erf mechanics, currently unknown as to what would happen if they tried it.