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Re: CF: alchemy imbalance?

    I don't think there's anything wrong with shopkeepers assuming that the
objects they're purchasing aren't cursed.  The vast majority of objects
aren't cursed or damned.  Most of what they buy from scrounging adventurers
should generally be completely normal, non-magical junk.
    I think a better solution to this "cheat" of using alchemy and selling
cheap, fake "True Lead" or "Fixed Mercury" would be to create alchemical
results already identified.  After all, it's kinda obvious whether you've
created the object you were trying for.  If you're trying for a potion, and
you get salt, you know it's cursed.  If you're just transmuting already
cursed junk, you know you're only going to get more cursed junk.  You
wouldn't necessarily know exactly how the mistake is cursed, but unless
you're trying random things to discover formulae, you have a pretty good
idea what the result is as soon as you open the cauldron.  And if you're
"exploring" alchemy, you're obviously going to identify (or at least detect
curse) everything immediately anyway.
    Another option would be to have shopkeepers identify everything /before/
they pay you, instead of after.  That way you wouldn't get anything for
cursed junk, and when you accidentally sell a magic item that you hadn't
known was magic, you at least get some money for it.  Not quite enough to
buy it back, though.

    Of course, I personally don't see a problem there.  It's imaginative, it
requires Alchemy spell and a cauldron, and it costs mana, time, and food
(consumed point-for-point to recharge mana.)  I'm always tricking
shopkeepers into buying cursed junk along with normal items, by taking the
extra step of detecting (or sensing) curses and only identifying the
uncursed items.  This trick isn't a whole lot different, and it's not nearly
as bad as collecting 16 beholdereyes and 3 dragon scales from the abundant
herds of boholders and wyverns you're bound to encounter anyway, and trading
them in for 2560 platinum in Lake Country.

            -Dave Noelle,       
            -the Villa Straylight,
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