Because this came up on my internet search, I just want to be crystal clear to anyone who comes along after me.
The information already presented is whole and correct, but because of my inability to comprehend clearly, I still came away confused. This is my contribution so that the next person might not come away that way.
There are two primary and very important reasons to shift the Iron Republic’s shop to the first one, House of Pleasures, from day 0 through 4. The first is the Dread Surmise, which is needed for a number of important tasks. You can also get a Dread Surmise made by the academic in Fallen London for 7 Searing Enigmas, but that will be her last action in that current game. The Dread Surmise costs 9 Searing Enigmas at the Iron Republic, but you get to keep the academic active still.
The second reason is that you can turn your Colossal Fluke-Cores into Judgements’ Eggs, where they won’t take up any storage, and you can sell them at Polythreme for 600 Echoes with no other penalty (also, the Judgements’ Egg is an important item itself in many story lines). Otherwise you can give the Colossal Fluke-Cores to the academic in London for 500 Echoes, and a decent raise in terror for each one (which you can always zero out in your lodgings for no consequence other than some coin - it’s only when you head out to zee that terror has consequences).
The reason I am typing this is because getting the Iron Republic to set the store back to 0 was the most frustrating experience I encountered in my play through. Which is fine. That’s intentional, game wise. But if you’re getting frustrated enough to go look for an answer on the internet, I want you to know you’re not alone, and here is the answer in as plain a way as I can make it.
There are 3 ways to advance the days in the Iron Republic. Crafting a port report, giving the crew shore leave, and activating the shop in the menu when you get to port. Crew shore leave and the activation of the shop can only occur if you have a Something Awaits You (SAY) active.
All 3 of them have only a percentage chance to advance the days, so it’s not 100%, although it’s not a low percentage, either. Don’t know what it is, but it feels like around 50%. Maybe slightly higher.
There are 4 different stores (not including Fire in the Belly, which always sells fuel regardless of whether or not you have a SAY active).
House of Pleasures = 0 through 4
House of Milks = 5 through 9
House of Harvests = 10 through 14
House of Harms = 15 or greater
Activating a store with your SAY has a chance of advancing the store number to the next shop.
If you look under your journal tab, there is an insignia for which day the Iron Republic is on, in the same category as the time you’ve spent in the game (Time, The Healer). If you visit a store, and the visit advances the days to the next shop, it’s going to be: clear with no number, 5, 10, or 15. If it doesn’t advance the days to the next shop, it will simply be the number it was previously.
If you do a port report, or you give the sailors shore leave, there’s a chance to advance the days. If it does, it will add a day or two. So you could see 6, or 9 or 12, or what have you if you repeatedly do port reports and/or shore leaves, without ever visiting a shop (and since you can’t do both shore leave and visit a shop in the same SAY, this is an entirely realistic outcome).
If you advance the number to the next shop, then the next shop will appear as an option. This method will give you any of the last 3 shops if that’s what you want - House of Milks (5-9) House of Harvests (10-14) House of Harms (15 or greater). This WILL NEVER GIVE YOU THE HOUSE OF PLEASURES! Ever! So don’t try it. Or do, and be frustrated by the outcome. The number in your journal will just keep rising, but the shop you get will always be House of Harms. Always. Any number greater than 15 will be the House of Harms.
There is only ONE way to advance the shop from the House of Harms to the House of Pleasures, and that’s by activating the shop with your SAY. Remember, it has a chance to advance it to the next shop.
Now, this is automatic of the other shops. You do this with House of Pleasures, you get the House of Milks the next time. Predictable. You do this with the House of Harvests, you get the House of Harms. There’s a chance it won’t advance the shop, but if it does, it’s predictable which shop it’s going to be. You can even see it in your journal. Whichever number that shows up will tell you what the shop will be the next time you visit the Iron Republic.
Here’s the important part. Again, it’s explained above, but it’s rather esoteric, and you might not be getting the information correctly in context. I know I didn’t at first.
When the shop advances from House of Harms, there’s a 70% chance it will advance directly to House of Milks, and skip over House of Pleasures. Let me say that again, because it’s critical. There is a 70% chance that after advancing the shops all the way to the end to House of Harms, to get to House of Pleasures again, that it will skip over House of Pleasures. Your journal will show the Iron Republic as going from 15 or 17, or 21, or whatever number it was before, to 5. There is nothing you can do to increase your chances here. Nothing. It’s simply a random number generator that you will have to live with.
Doing port reports and shore leaves does nothing. Having high stats does nothing. Tilting your head the right way might do something, I don’t know.
In any case, if you’re lucky, you’ll hit that 30% chance the first time. If you’re not…well…30% is not a very high number. You might be doing this a while. If you do, you might come on the internet to look for a solution, and you might find this thread come up pretty high in your search algorithm. I am here to tell you you’re not doing it wrong. There’s no short cut. You just have to keep advancing the clock to 15, then activating House of Harms with your SAY (you don’t actually have to visit the store), and then hope THIS time it ends up being House of Pleasures. You’ll know because instead of 5 in your Iron Republic insignia in your journal, it won’t have any number at all.
I hope my post helps someone out there. Mostly because I thought I was going crazy. It’s an interesting gimmick the developers put in at a crucial moment in the game, since the Dread Surmise is one of the more difficult and expensive items to acquire, without which a couple of interesting storylines can’t be continued. Just be patient. Grab a ton of supplies, and then just sit at the port activating SAY. It will advance to the right shop eventually. It might just take a few more tries than you were hoping for.
edited by r:kidd on 12/28/2015