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The LMS is a large outlay, and a reasonable one for the profit shopkeeping offers, this I'm not disputing.
My idea is an Apprentice Shopkeeper's License.
For about 200,000 (approximately a third of the LMS cost, so not effective to just spam over time) a person would gain 2 IC years of LMS function. This would allow people to pay a decent amount to see whether shopkeeping is something they enjoy, give a chance to current shopkeepers to apprentice and train newer players with the idea of them taking over in future.
This is in response to a problem I come up against with people in organisations. We/they don't want to pay the full amount to have someone say it's not for them, and this would give them a trial period of functionality to see if they want to save or scrounge for the actual master's license.
The sweltering heat of the forge spills out across the land as the rumbling voice of Phaestus booms, "I want you to know, the Garden reaction to that one is: What?"
The voice of Melantha, Goddess of the Seasons, echoes amid the rustle of leaves, "That's the censored version."