Advice for new players

Back when I started the game, I recall feeling very lost. There was very little in the ways of guidance, and my first few days were spent almost paralyzed for fear of making the wrong decision. Near as I can tell, there still isn’t much in the way of advice for new players. There are a few guides here and there on things such as how to most effectively grind items, progress qualities, or cross the unterzee, but little in the way of helping a player get a grasp on the game. I’d like to change that. I’m going to try and assemble a list of advice, and post it up on the wikis, and of course this thread as well. If anyone has advice of their own, or thinks they can phrase a tip bet (Or if I’m flat out wrong), please mention so in the thread.

- Do not worry about being a completionist. Anything that’s possible to be missed is never essential, and some things are even better off ignored. This is at the very top because it is most important.


  • The color of storylets is important. White storylets are for the most part plain. Bronze ones lead you on a short story that leads to a conclusion, but they can be repeated. Gold ones are for larger storylines, and a given card or storylet may only be completable once. Blue ones are related to Ambitions, which are extremely large storylets that last from near the start of the game, all the way to the end, and they’re not finished yet. You may only have one ambition, so pick the one that looks like the most fun, as they’re all roughly equal in terms of cost and rewards. It’s not cheap to change it later. Also of note: Some white storylets act like gold storylets (Only playable once and progress along a larger story), but an easy way to notice them is that, near as I can tell, all such storylets have a quality requirement to appear besides a main stat, menace, or item, and when completed they will advance that quality.

  • The amount of CP (Change points, basically experience) you earn for your main qualities is based on the difficulty of the challenge you’re trying. The “recommended” level for a challenge gives it a 50% difficulty, with every level in your quality adjusting it by 10% up or down, with a minimum of 10% chance, maximum of 100% chance. Most challenges require enough stats just to see it in the first place, so you can’t do everything with enough tries at low stats. Also, the recommended level is NOT when it unlocks, it’s usually a fair bit higher. Straightforward is a 100% chance, but only gives 1 CP. Low Risk is 90% to 80%, and also gives 1 CP. Modest is 70% to 60%, and gives 2 CP. Chance is 50% to 40%, and gives 2 CP at 50% and 3 CP at 40%. High-Risk is 30% to 20% and gives 4 CP on success, and 3 on a failure. Almost Impossible is a 10% chance, and gives 5 CP on a success, and 3 on a failure. Obviously, 100% success is recommended if you just want the loot (Likely the case on gold-bordered stories), but if you’re looking for stats you’ll likely want to try at either 70% or 40%, both give a decent speed, with the modest route being safer, and the chancy route being faster.

  • The CP needed to take any quality up a level is the same as the level it’s going to. So, to go from level 1 to 2 takes 2 CP, going from 2 to 3 takes 3. The total CP to get from level 0 to 3 is 1 + 2 + 3, or 6. It continues to do this up until level 50, where every level thereafter is also 50 CP. This applies not only to main qualities, but also to menaces, progress, connections, pretty much all your qualities. Your level in a quality is used to determine if you qualify for certain things, and affects the difficulty of any challenge that’s checking against that quality, but all progress and costs are paid in CP, not whole levels. This means that even though something dropping you from level 3 to 0 looks like more of a hit than dropping from 6 to 5, they are in fact the same.

  • Take advantage of social actions. From your lodgings, there are a number of storylets that let you earn “second chances” in the form of Confident Smiles, Hastily Scrawled Warning Notes, Hard-Earned Lessons, and Sudden Insights. These will let you re-attempt a challenge for your main stats when you fail. This is quite useful, as the vast majority of storylets give you something good when you succeed, and past a certain quality level failing challenges will accrue “menaces”, bad qualities that trap you in a place specific to that menace until you manage to reduce that menace to 0. Almost all actions in a place of menace will reduce that menace quality, but most of them will actually cost you items or stats, so barring special circumstances, you should avoid them (You’ll usually know if you have to go to one). Thankfully, there’s social actions you can perform in your lodgings to ask a player for help in reducing menaces, though nightmares and suspicion need at least 4 in them before you can send a request out, and wounds works backwards by sending a request to help out the other player. All of these requests reduce your menace quality by 5 CP, and outside of wounds they increase the other player’s menace by 1. So, be respectful, do your math, and don’t send out more requests than you need to keep your menaces under control. So, for instance, if your menace is at 5, that’s 15 CP, so only send out 3 requests at most.


  • Do not be in a hurry to advance. Most storylets have both a minimum stat level before they appear, AND a maximum level at which they are no longer available. The game is designed to take you through the storylines and locations in a logical progression, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

  • Purchasing new and better lodgings. Even if it won’t increase your hand size, having more sources of Scraps is quite useful.

  • Completing the “neighbor” storylines in the starting areas. (The Clay Man Coalman, Bohemian Sculptress, Loquacious Vicar, and Brazen Urchin) Finishing each of them gives you access to other storylines from your Lodgings.

  • Take note of where you’re going to need to go next, and be ready to unlock it when you need it. You won’t get far if you never go past the four starting areas.

  • Each main stat has a logical progression you proceed through. For the most part you’ll get clues as to where to go next, but as a refresher they are as follows:

  • Dangerous starts in Watchmaker’s Hill, and lasts from about 1-60. Wolfstack Docks is next, from 60-100. Finally, the Labyrinth of Tigers lasts from 100 to about 120. Past this you’ll need to be a bit more creative (Perhaps working on the Velocipede Squad?)

  • Watchful starts in Ladybones Road, and lasts from 1-60. The Forgotten Quarter is next, from 60-90. Finally, the University lasts from 90 to about 110. Past this you’ll need to be a bit more creative.

  • Persuasive starts in Veilgarden, and lasts from 1-60. The Shuttered Palace is next, from 60-90. Finally, the Empress’ Court lasts from 90 to about 110. Past this you’ll need to be a bit more creative.

  • Shadowy starts in Spite, and lasts from 1-60. The Flit is next, from 60-100. Finally, Mahogany Hall lasts from 100 to about 110. Past this, you’ll need to be a bit more creative .


  • Try to avoid buying goods from the bazaar. Barring the london street sign, bright brass skull, rookery password, diary of the dead, and pulsating amber, all goods are commonly given out by various storylets, or by item crafting. Try to keep a small stockpile on hand in case you run into a nice storylet that requires some.

  • In contrast to the above tip, don’t be a compulsive hoarder. If you have quite a large stockpile of an item, there’s an opportunity to earn some echoes. If the item can be used to make a higher tier item (It should say something like “This will always get you X. There may be other effects.”), do so. Succeeding an easy luck check will get you a nice income in extra items, and a rare success can give you extremely valuable items (Once you get to a higher level, you should use the bulk option that says “This will always gain you many X.” on lower end items. No successes, rare or otherwise, but it saves you time and still turns a small profit). If you have plenty of something and can’t convert it higher, either because you lack the right connections, it’s the end of the line, or it’s an item like Rostygold or Moon Pearls that can’t be traded up at all, simply sell some of your surplus. This whole tip is intended to earn you echoes for the tip below

  • Buy gear. Various pieces of equipment allow you to temporarily boost or damage your levels. Higher level storylets earn more money (The goods you earn from a storylet tend to sell for as much pence as the level of the stat for it when the difficulty is chancy), so you’ll earn back your investment over time. If it’s an upgrade and it’s affordable for you, get it, don’t just hold out for the very best. Having a variety of gear lets you manipulate your level. There are several areas where you may have a large gap between the difficulty of your current storylet, and the difficulty of the next higher one. By adjusting your level, you can keep gaining a decent amount of experience from your storylet until you have enough of a level to put on your best gear and continue on with the next higher storylet. This allows you to keep getting an optimal amount of xp, and is another way that gear pays for itself. Some items, especially pets, have extra uses in certain storylets as well, and outside of a few rare cases where the equipment is spent (Mostly giving pets to folks), you’ll only ever need one.

  • Connections are your friend, they can be used for a lot of interesting things, even though you can’t sell them directly (Though for the record, most are worth about 2 pence per CP, if you trade in connections for items). Try to earn them whenever possible without hurting your normal grinding, but don’t be afraid of using them if a card calls for them: Spending connections on increasing your main stats can be a good way to level faster. There are also cards where you are asked to pick between one of two factions, lowering your connections with one but raising them with the other. Choose to help whichever one you have lower connections in, you earn a net profit in connections, so over time you’ll wind up raising both of them higher this way.

  • Fate is occasionally rewarded by storylets, but it’s not really something you can grind by any means. Even if you get fate for free, spend it like you paid for it. Also, don’t spend fate to unlock areas. If you can’t unlock it normally, chances are you can’t do anything there anyway.


  • One of the biggest hurdles in the game is becoming a Person of Some Importance. You need 100 in each stat (So don’t neglect one of them), as well as an assortment of different items.

  • You’ll also need to have done exceptionally well in one category: Either finished up with the Empress’ Court including a romance, completed a most daring theft and worked for the cheesemonger, fought the most fearsome duelists and captured the most savage creatures at the docks AND killed someone permanently, or finished the university storyline.

  • It is also a good idea to save a larger quantity of goods than you’re used to: 1750 primordial shrieks to convert into maniac’s prayers and correspondence plaques, 3500 lamplighter beeswax to convert into phospohorescent beetles and memories of light, and 408 stolen correspondence to turn into Intriguing Gossip and Compromising Documents.

  • It also helps to have the following; a key to a handsome townhouse; An immaculate frock coat, exceptional hat, dancemaster’s dabs, and masterwork dancing slippers (The gloves and coat may be exchanged for their equal feminine counterparts, provided both are for the same gender); all 6 of the lower level lodgings (Or one of the highest tier… but it’s highly unlikely you’ll have one of them even for a while after PoSI); all four acquaintances OR sufficent connections with society, the church, and the masters of the bazaar, OR sufficient connections with criminals, revolutionaries, and the great game, OR sufficient connections with rubbery men, tomb colonists, and urchins. Technically you only need one of the items seperated by semicolons, but the more you have, the faster that step will go by.
    edited by Urthdigger on 5/13/2012

One tiny thing: I don’t know how common it is, but “The Ways of the Flit” card gives you one London street sign each time you use it, once you’ve opened up the Flit.

Thank you for this collection of tips. I wish I’d have had it when I first started, as I was lost too when I first started out. Lots of poking about and "Oh, that didn’t turn out like I thought it would"s.

This is good advice.

More on gear:

  • The low level gear is 100% worth buying without a doubt. As the gear gets more expensive, it becomes progressively less good. Buying Glad Rags costs 50 pence and gives +1 persuasive, which is basically a no-duh purchase. The next item up, a Respectable Grey Gown, costs 28 echoes and 80 pence for +2 persuasive - 57.6 times as much money for twice the benefit. It is probably still worth it, but the ratios get even worse as you go up higher. Be smart, and don’t sell everything you own.

  • Having said that, certain gear is required at one point or another to progress the story, so you might as well get it when you can. From memory, the gear you WILL need is as follows:

Ridiculous Hat
Neathglass Goggles
Iron Hat
Magician’s Gloves

Also, all pets unlock at least a little extra content.

  • Menace altering gear is very useful, even though it might not seem like it at first. Equiping menace reduction gear when stuck menace areas can bring you back to reality much earlier, where you can then deal with your problems more efficiently. Even menace increasing gear can be helpful. If, for instance, you needed to go to prison (it can happen), you would usually have to rack up 36 change points of supiscion and then grind them all back down once you’d finished your errands. With clever use of gear, however, you only need to rack up 15 points and grind down 14, which is over four times as fast.

  • Finally, a bit of advice that is not related to game mechanics, yet is probably most important of all: Pay attention. Very little (possibly none) of the writing in this game goes nowhere. As an example, every now and then you may find yourself d–mnably hungry for no apparent reason. Trust me, though, there is a reason, and if you pay attention you might get it without internet help.

[color=rgb(51, 0, 153)]I am going to sticky this[/color]

I think the one piece of advice I’d add is: Don’t be in too much of a hurry to advance.

If you’re reading the board, or following folks on Twitter or the Fezbook, you may hear about stuff that you can’t get to yet, and find it frustrating. But there’s interesting stuff happening at all levels.

Most storylets/cards have both a minimum stat level before they appear AND a maximum level at which they are no longer available – equipment can sometimes tip you over that upper line and you could miss something. The game is designed to draw you through the various storylines and locations in a logical progression – enjoy the ride. :)
edited by Woogawoman on 3/18/2012

Yay, another sticky thread!

Making Waves is increasing…

In regards to gear. I found that I achieved much of my current closet by taking on the L.B. when my lodgings were invaded by rats! This storyline occurs fairly early on (if I remember correctly), is not repeatable (sadly), and was quite lucrative. spoiler [color=#ffffff]You should also attempt to make the acquaintance of a certain disgraced rattus faber chief, a possibility I didn’t realize existed at the time[/color]spoiler

I will note that I had no idea what an ambition was when I chose mine and didn’t actually realize I was on one until I was at a crossroads and felt conflicted enough to search about for more information. I was lucky in that I was on the ambition that I would have chosen regardless but do be careful.

Fate: You might find that early on you will be awarded some free Fate Points. While it would be incorrect to suggest that this will not continue at all, don’t ever think that Fate is in any way disposable. Don’t use Fate unless you feel you need to, really want to unlock some content or you can afford the real world cost. DO NOT spend Fate to unlock locations that can be unlocked through other means. Unlocking them early with Fate will just get you access to a place you can’t do anything at for the cost of a lot of Fate. Grinding your way will help ensure that your Quality is near the appropriate level for the area.

Avoid acquiring the Unaccountably Peckish Quality. If you get it, eat something. Death by Water is a terrible way to go. There is nothing of interest to the NORTH.

Would it be a spoiler to say that the PoSI content bar has a level 100 check for every stat? It was a pretty nasty surprise for me at the time, as I had (and still have) completely neglected my Dangerous quality. I think it would be helpful information for people who assumed they could go through the whole game focusing only on one or two stats.

Keep track of your goals. If you see an interesting opportunity or storylet that requires something you don’t have, make a note of it so you can save up and come back to it or look for the card when you meet the requirements. A few good early game goals include:

  • Purchasing new and better lodgings. Even if it won’t increase your hand size, having more sources of Scraps is quite useful.
  • Completing the “neighbor” storylines in the starting areas. (The Clay Man Coalman, Bohemian Sculptress, Loquacious Vicar, and Brazen Urchin) Finishing each of them gives you access to other storylines from your Lodgings.
  • Paying for the “open a way to new parts of the City” storylets in your Lodgings. Those new places aren’t worth going to if your stats are below the suggested value, but once you get there you’ll quickly run out of things to do other than unlock the next area.
    edited by Aspeon on 3/20/2012

[quote=Eric Schwenke]Fate: You might find that early on you will be awarded some free Fate Points. While it would be incorrect to suggest that this will not continue at all, don’t ever think that Fate is in any way disposable. Don’t use Fate unless you feel you need to, really want to unlock some content or you can afford the real world cost. DO NOT spend Fate to unlock locations that can be unlocked through other means. Unlocking them early with Fate will just get you access to a place you can’t do anything at for the cost of a lot of Fate. Grinding your way will help ensure that your Quality is near the appropriate level for the area.

This is quite true! I unlocked the Forgotten Quarter and it felt quite wasteful. potential spoiler [color=#ffffff]If you need to go an area for your ambition that is locked, roughly 20 skill points before you can truly get to that area you will start to get day pass cards. I used these most judiciously in pursuit of my revenge and had no trouble working through the contacts I needed before I actually earned the items I needed to truly “unlock” the area[/color]. potential spoiler

A Lady still learning
edited by MaurnaFrost on 3/21/2012

Once you become a Person of Some Importance, items that reduce menace will be less potent. However, Tincture of Vigour is an exception, provided that you only consume half-full bottles. Because of that, it’s a good idea to never down the whole bottle, and to save up your half full ones instead of using them.

I also tend to meticulously hoard items that can be converted into better ones, while selling all of my brass. Since moon pearls and rostygold are used as a secondary currency in some storylets, I tend to keep some on hand – at least 50 at the beginning, which grew to 100, 500, and now after becoming a person of some importance, 1000.
edited by Tricket on 4/1/2012

This is a great thread to have. Some things I especially wanted to add:

> Don’t be too afraid of menaces or failure. Failure will still bring up your stats (not to mention the text is often quite funny), and menaces will eventually bring you to interesting places. There are ways to avoid them, though, and I cannot stress how often having --a goldfish-- saved me a trip to Bedlam: after seeing nightmares hit 8 and equipping it quickly before clicking through in the story screen.
> Following on from first point: Don’t be afraid of nightmares: the dreams are pretty awesome.
> Only sell things you can still get. If you have a reliable source of something, they can be your echoes. Do keep a reserve of items if they’re needed later, as buying from the bazaar can be painful. Similarly, now we have item conversion, more higher level items are being asked for because you can get them that way using earlier items.
> Ask people things and people will help. Asking the bazaar twitter may have someone following their replies step in to help if they’ve not seen it yet. This forum’s snazzy. I don’t know much about the FB FL community, but I’m sure it has chatter.

Just a comment on that “Don’t be afraid of nightmares” tip: While one shouldn’t be afraid of EARNING nightmares, one shouldn’t KEEP the nightmares quality. Those dream qualities are very nice indeed, but are also one of the more difficult qualities to raise, and going insane will damage all of them. Moreover, some of the recurring dreams have variants that only appear with a high enough Nightmares: As I recall, they’re just the same as the failure result on another card, they still increase nightmares, and they do NOT increase your dream progress at all. So, best to deal with your nightmares as you get them.

Great contribution, Urthdigger!

Also could you or someone else point me to a Firefox add-on or Greasemonkey script that enhance the game (notably, something that can help me track item value and menace levels at a glance)?

There used to be a script that was useful like that but I found it too kludgy and I took it out in the end, but I wonder if another player or fan has attempted something similar since.

I have tried googling this, but had very little luck.

EDITED because of poor word order
edited by Alva St-Snow on 4/9/2012

So, this a bit embarrassing lol. I am a male, and my avatar is male, and I started seduction of the struggling artist. I thought maybe since I was male, instead of actually seducing him it would let me trick and rob him/murder him something like that. But it apparently DOES want me to finish seducing him, and I’m really… not into that… Has going this far locked me out of any straight male/female storeylets I might receive?

Don’t worry about it. London does not hold the occasional experiementation outside your normal preferences against you. Even full bisexuality barely raises an eyebrow here. You will not be barred from future relationships, straight or otherwise, by becoming and Admirer of Art.

Just don’t be surprised when he keeps calling on you asking for money. He’s annoying like that.

More specifically, as far as I know, the gender of your character (or lack thereof) has no gameplay effects besides whether NPCs refer to you as “sir” or “miss”; all seduction storylets and constant companions are equally available to all three gender options.

Mr. Gardiner goes into this precise issue at some length [color=rgb(0, 0, 204)]here[/color]

Thanks for the quick and helpful responses. Ironically enough Mr.Overstreet, I was listening to the Streets song “The Escapist” when you sent me that link to the article on “The Escapist.” Cheers everyone.