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A note from Shane Walker

New chapter!  New mechanics!  Diversified portfolios!

 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many simultaneous notifications in a game in my life! In addition to the information about the mine, level ups, traits, and achievements, I’m blasted with skill ups.

Gadgets & Trick Weapons increased to 6!

Light Armor increased to 7!

Short Swords increased to 8!

Dual-Wielding increased to 8!

Stealth increased to 7!

Leadership increased to 8!

And on top of those boosts, I’ve still got fourteen skill-ups I’m sitting on. Four of those are already spoken for, as I’d like to get Daggers up to five as soon as I pick it up. Looking over my skill list I wish I could get everything bumped up. Sadly, it’s going to take time to build all of this up and get my Intellect so high there’s no way I could hit my cap.

After looking at the list, though, there’s only one way to spend them. It just so happens that ten points works out perfectly. Without hesitation, I drop eight points into Haggle and two into Skinning. This will give us a sizable profit boost on our loot and with my new trait, it guarantees I can get everything possible from Skinning the dragon.

On top of everything else, there’s also a blinking notification for the mine itself. Apparently it’s some sort of control screen for management of the mine, but I want to give it my undivided attention so I’m skipping it for now.

Instead, I look over my free attribute points from leveling. I really would love to get some more HP going, but I have some more skills I plan to learn and could definitely use the breathing room on skill levels, so I give Intellect +5, Vit +3, and Agi +2. It seems like I’m forgetting something though.

Oh, shit! This was basically the boss fight! We gotta loot this place!

Nik, it’s loot time! Help me look around for anything valuable!”

Already on it. I’m taking a look around here and in the connected rooms.”

First stop for the Alltrades Loot Train is Gonk’s ugly ass. The hammer is, unfortunately, not magical. On second thought, if it were magical I’d be dead. Nothing else really of note except for the money he had on him.

You find 900 gold!

The money sack has a note in it showing the wages and totals for the kobolds we slaughtered making our way through the mines. I guess this was a week’s worth of wages and a little to spare for him or something else.

With nothing else on his body worth anything, I move on to the dragon. Honestly, I’m having to force myself to keep calling it “the dragon” instead of using its name. I don’t think I can skin something if I’m thinking about its name.

The hide of a real dragon is, it turns out, much more difficult to cut through than that of the komodo knock-off variety. With the recent increase in skill levels though, it’s like my hands have a muscle memory understanding of how to be gentle with it to prevent damaging the hide while also being firm enough to cut through the hide cleanly.

When all is said and done, I end up with significantly more materials than I did from a single komodo. I need to add Leatherworking to my list of skills to learn when we get done here to see if I can make some nice stuff out of this.

You receive Black Dragon Hide x 20!

You receive Black Dragon Talon x 12!

You receive Black Dragon Tooth (Mature) x 4!

You receive Black Dragon Tooth (Young) x 6!

You receive Black Dragon Acid Sac x 1!

Your Skinning has increased to 9!

I’m almost a full minute into my dreams of wearing jet black leather armor made of dragon hide when Nik interrupts my thoughts. This better be worth it.

Jack, you might want to look at this.”

Nik’s response sounds incredulous. I turn around to look and he’s in the entrance to a side room I didn’t notice when we came in. The shit eating grin he’s wearing looks like it’s going to split his face in half.

There’s a cache of weapons in here, Jack! It looks like he’s just been collecting all of the gnomish weapons from nearby. There’s a decent pile in here. I guess this is his bedroom? There’s a chest here, but it’s locked.”

Locked chest? Weird. Gonk didn’t have the key. We’ll count up the weapons in this pile and move on to the chest. I’m going to save it for last.”

You receive Gnomish Longsword x 10!

You receive Gnomish Shortsword x 13!

You receive Gnomish Spears x 8!

That was a lot of weapons, but none were magical. This is getting really frustrating! Daddy wants his magic weapons!

With the boring stuff out of the way, it was time to open the big present under the tree! I let a frustrated groan slip out as I get to the chest and see it’s probably the fanciest lock I’ve seen so far. Oh well, I’ve got to try, right?

First Lockpick attempt failed!

Lockpicking has increased to 3!

Fuck.

Second Lockpick attempt failed!

Lockpicking has increased to 4!

Double fuck.

Third time’s the charm?

Lockpick attempt succeeded!

Lockpicking has increased to 5!

Oh boy. Nik, you might want to see this!”

You receive 5400 Gold!

You receive Silver Bars x 20!

You receive Iron Bars x20!

You receive Dagger (Unidentified) x2!

Finally! I just hope Nik is able to figure these out. If they’re good, it will definitely solidify my plans to pick up the dagger skill.

Nik, can you identify these Daggers when we get done in here?”

Sure thing, Jack. What else did you want to do though?”

First we gotta load all this loot up in a cart. Second, I need to explore the controls for this place as the new owner. Third, we’re going to do a little mining of our own.”

It takes another hour to get everything we’ve found carried back up to the second floor and loaded into a cart. When that’s done, Nik says he needs to take a break from the game for a few and that he’ll look at the daggers when he gets back. That gives me a perfect opportunity to look over the controls for the mine.

Welcome to the Resource Management screen! This screen allows for the management of a Major Resource, such as a Town, Mine, Harbor, etc. Major Resources generate Management Points based on the Resource’s production and your Management Skill. Increasing production will increase your skill, which will increase your Management Points, allowing you to further increase production.

New Skill!

Management

Level 1

Just stay away from Deborah’s Desk

Skill level used as multiplier for Management Points for any resources controlled.

Resource Name: Gnometheran Mines

Resource Type: Mine-Iron/????

Rates:

Iron: 10 Ore/Miner

????: ???? (Mining Skill required to find Unknown Ore)

Maximum Miners:

Iron: 50

????: 5

Maximum Guards:

Interior: 11

Exterior: 18

Management Points/Week: None (No Productivity)

Management Points Total: 400

Upgrades Available:

Manager Connection-100 Points ea.

This upgrade allows you to immediately contact any other Resource Manager with whom you have an official agreement regardless of current physical locations.

Smelter-200 Points

Allows for smelting chunks of ore found in the mine in order to remove impurities and process them into ingots. These ingots sell faster and for more gold than raw chunks of ore.

Additional Rails-500 Points ea.

Adding more rails for carts increases production based on number of rails already owned. (For example, adding a second rail would increase production by 100%. Increasing that by 100% would require adding two more rails)

Expand Level-2500 x Level Expanded

Increases size of selected level by 50-100%. Cost based on depth. (2500 to expand first level, 5000 to expand second level, etc.) Each level can be expanded once. Results Vary

Add Level-5000 x Current Levels

Adds another level below current lowest level. Results Vary.

Holy shit this is a lot to take in all at once. I can see that I will definitely have to work out some deals with the mayor when we get back. For now though, I need to find whatever other ore is down here. I think I know what it is from what I’ve seen so far. That silver ore in the chest had to come from somewhere.

When I close out of the menu that I’ve been staring at for what was apparently much longer than I thought, I realize Nik is standing there waiting with another one of those shit eating grins.

I think you’re going to like these, Jack.” he says as he holds out the daggers far more reverently than I’d expect. After I take them from him, I see a new window pop up I haven’t seen for equipment yet.

Weapon Set Found!

Boldsbane & Gnomesgain

These matched daggers are actually Gnomish shortswords. However, the diminutive size of the Gnomes means humans wield their weapons as effectively 1 category lower. Each weapon has its own bonuses, and when both are possessed by the same person these bonuses are doubled.

Boldsbane

Base Damage: 4

Attribute Bonuses: +5 Agility/+5 Endurance

Damage Modifier: +30% Agility

Gnomesgain

Base Damage: 4

Attribute Bonuses: +5 Intellect/+5 Vitality

Damage Modifier: +30% Agility

After I’m finally able to pick my jaw up off the floor after having looked at the stats and done the math on the DPS on these things, I reach up to wipe away a single tear of joy from my face. I don’t even care that I will likely never get the most out of these weapons in combat since I clearly am not a great fighter. These Attribute Bonuses will be huge!

Once the Set Bonus is taken into account, I’m getting a +10 in four out of my six attributes! This is a huge boost in my odds in combat as well as another twenty levels of skills I can learn. I sheath them on my hips ready to draw in a reverse grip as soon as they’re needed. Now that the excitement is out of the way, I’m ready to start mining.

Nik says he’d like to go find what he needs for his Artificer Quest while I do this and it seems like the best use of time. He’s a bit more confident and has a few additional levels, so if there are some low level monsters that pop up outside he should still be OK. Worst case scenario, he can send me a message if he’s out of range for party comms. Once he’s off, I start trying to figure out where the hell this silver is.

After considering all the possibilities, the third floor seems to be the most likely culprit. It’s smaller than the rest and the management page said only five miners could extract the “mystery ore” which I take to mean the vein is small or not much is exposed. I decide that, since I don’t actually know what I’m doing, I can take a torch and walk along the walls until I see the shimmer of silver catch the light.

Somehow, that actually worked! I mean, of course it did! I am a bit of a genius.

Perception increased to 6!

Once I found it, I found somewhere nearby to place my torch and got to work with one of the many pickaxes we now had. The first few swings either skipped along the surface of the stone wall or went straight in and just stopped. I ended up spending close to an hour working just on the angle of my swings. It then takes somewhere around an additional two hours to finally get a big enough chunk of silver for the game to recognize it as a success.

New Skill!

Mining

Level 1

Maybe if chain gangs were still a thing, you’d have gotten some practice and wouldn’t suck so bad at this.

Reduces the number of required swings for extracting an ore by an amount equal to the level of the skill.

You receive Silver Ore x1!

Management Page Updated!

You have discovered a vein of Silver Ore in your mine!

Management increased to 2!

I check the Management page and, sure enough, the question marks are gone. Apparently I can only get five miners working this vein, but they can each get ten pieces of ore a day. That should be a decent chunk of money regardless, and it moves expanding this floor to my number one priority.

Nik messages me to let me know that the area outside still appears to be clear and that he’s going to spend a couple of hours outside gathering. Apparently he picked up Herbalism when he found the plant he needed and was inspired by yours truly to start getting some skill levels. Actually, that doesn’t seem like a bad idea!

Two hours later, Nik finds me in a heap on the third floor with my armor and shirt removed in an attempt to cool off. It’s not helping of course, but it didn’t hurt to try. In the time he was outside picking flowers, I’d managed to pick up nine more chunks of silver ore, each of which increased my Mining skill by one point. I also managed to get four more points in Perception from all the times I’d closed my eyes while sprawled out waiting for SP to recharge, only to lose track of where I was mining. Thank goodness I only manage this place and won’t have to work here.

As for my prodigious production rates, Alfred was kind enough to explain that NPC miners would generally have lower SP than I do and would work at a slower, steadier rate. That means the NPCs would take eight hours to do what I pulled off in about three and some change.

At first, I try to think of how much ore I could get out of here if I was working the mine too. Then I think about all my other dreams and plans for the capital. I’d much rather live the luxurious life of a big time male model than be stuck in a mine all damn day.

Nik and I decide that there’s nothing else of interest down here, so it’s time to head back to the surface. We’re both unusually quiet as we push the cart of loot back up the way we came in and then carry it from the entrance to the camp. The entire process takes about ninety minutes and we’re both exhausted from the back and forth. We agree on when to meet up and both log out. Once again I crash for the night like I’d mentally done a triathlon.

The next day, Nik and I have been online going over our loot pile one last time when the stablemaster shows up with his cart. There’s an undeniable look of confusion and fear on his face when he realizes our haul might not fit.

Working together, the three of us managed to get everything on within about an hour or so. The ride back was incredibly peaceful, albeit short. Someone in the village saw us coming and ran and told the whole damn town we were coming, so our loot filled cart was surrounded by onlookers who couldn’t believe we came back with this much stuff. Even El managed to sneak a peak at us, throwing me a knowing smirk when our eyes met, as if to tell me that she expected nothing less after our time training together.

The group pressing in towards our haul starts making me nervous once I realize anyone in the throng could slip away with some of our stuff. I call the closest guards over and ask if they’ll stay with the cart and keep our stuff safe.

Oh, and can one of you go get the mayor? He and I have business to discuss.”

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A note from Shane Walker

AGAIN WITH THE FORMATTING CHANGES!

I guess I should just convert it all to the RR default font and call it good. 

Chapter notes:

I wanted a streamlined version of what one might see in a settlement building story since that's definitely not my intention with this (I have an idea for a Settlement Building LitRPG floating around for later).  I hope the basics of the mechanics make sense how they're presented.  Next chapter will flesh them out some more and start to show how important controlling something like this really is!

Again, feedback is always welcome!  And if you really like what I've got going on here, sending some love on PayPal is a great way to show it and to give me some ammo when I try to justify my time spent writing to my wife!!


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Shane Walker

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