It is very expensive to achieve high unreliability. It is not uncommon to increase the cost of an item by a factor of ten for each factor of ten degradation accomplished.
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I don't use recurring characters. I do get very interested in my characters while I'm working with them, and I find the process of fitting them into a story, and allowing them to create the story around themselves, fascinating. But no, I don't imagine they have a life outside of what I make for them.