August’s Exceptional Story: Required Repairs

[color=#cc0099]Delicious friends, the Exceptional Story for August is here!

Calamity has fallen on your lodgings! Cracks and leaks, rats and holes! Uncover a sinister plot interfering with your plumbing and baffle the Borough Council.

Required Repairs is the third and final story in the Season of Embers, and was written by Gavin Inglis. This Season will consider how the Neath has changed the City, and the City the Neath. You can begin each from the Season of Embers card.

Editing, design and QA: James Chew and Olivia Wood.

Art by Paul Arendt.


In addition to a new, substantial, stand-alone story every month, Exceptional Friends enjoy:

  • Access to the House of Chimes: an exclusive private members’ club on the Stolen River, packed with content[/li][li]An expanded opportunity deck: of ten cards instead of six![/li][li]A second candle: Twice the actions! 40 at once!

Finishing all three stories in the Season of Embers will make you eligible for an additional opportunity, to follow.

If you want to keep an Exceptional Story beyond the month it’s for, you must complete the related storylet in the current Season’s card throughout London. This will save it for you to return to another time.[/color]

Just a warning: at some point, without warning, you get ‘trapped’ in the storylet and cannot go backwards. I noticed because I wanted to use my Darkdrop coffee and could not. It makes sense storywise, but make sure you are stocked in moves before you start this one.

It can’t be a coincidence that after I realized this morning how much of a mess my room is, this story pops up. When all things said and done and I finish this one, I might need to do a much needed sprin-summer cleaning ;).

Lovely story, I really enjoyed having a wide variety of options at the end - even people who weren’t interested in the plan had a wide variety of options - to attack them outright, to simply fold up and walk away or to give word to somebody invested in the conflict and let what happens happen. The expanded list of options was a welcome sight.

Two complains, though:

  1. The chase sequence gets really dull. I was burned out during the second part of the chance, and struggled through the third part going better 1 and 0 actions. I had no options I wanted to read the text for half of the chance. Felt like wasted time.

  2. The Unwise Decision should be a hat, not a companion. After all, it occupies your eye, and it might never hatch. While there is an understandable sentiment to it being a companion, it feels weird having a part of your face classified as not belonging to your head but rather to your general vicinity - songs, glasses, talking hats and a living blemmigan riding around on top of your cranium are all in the Hat slot, after all. If the Unfinished Hat stops being considered a Hat and becomes a Companion when it can no longer safely be kept on top of your scalp, why is the reverse not true as well?

edited by Vavakx Nonexus on 7/26/2018

'twas on a Monday morning the gas man came to call; the gas tap wouldn’t turn; I wasn’t getting gas at all…

Ι… did not enjoy the story, despite the interesting premise.
The central idea and the skeletal plot were fine. I also loved the focus on (breathless and continuous) action, and the fact that there was finally some use for high Dangerous and Shadowy. But the chase was extremely repetitive, and it was greatly undermined by the available options. How could I possibly stop to rummage for treasure or sample mushrooms when I am chasing someone? Why on earth would I do that? You only do such things in Dungeon Crawls.
In comparison, the Prickfingers’ Waste chase had exceptional writing and I do not even remember if I picked anything useful during my hike -probably not- because I was not there to loot. I was actually going somewhere. This chase though, failed to convince me for a minute.
Also, I was annoyed by the fact that during the Lodgings part I was always presented with choices and none of them did anything: you just had to try everything. Felt a lot like padding - topped by the action-sink in the sewers.

Maybe I would have been kinder in my critique if the culprit was a weasel council. Just saying.

Haven’t yet finished the story, but I just have to say, the premise is simply hilarious for almost anyone with 4 or 5 card Lodgings. The Brass Embassy is sinking into the sewer! One of the Bazaar’s spires (covered in Correspondence, dare I remind you) is being trampled by a random Urchin and subsequently repaired by a random lady from Spite! No one cares!
Of course, the residents of the Royal Bethlehem probably haven’t noticed anything amiss.

What happens if you take the “very bad” idea? I am working towards Paramount Presence, and I don’t want to lose my overcapped stats.

hrm. I’m not sure about this one. Enjoyed the start, neutral to the middle, vaguely annoyed with the end.
I did have a chuckle given my current place of residence.

Who knew the roof of a dripstone-snared third city sub-temple would be found by semi-random citizens? Or sink into the sewer, for that matter! Wish I could have seen what that looked like from the outside.

Guys, remember this is a flashback. The whole season consists of stories we tell a reporter. We are not discussing our current residence, we are discussing something that happened a long time ago.
And given the quality of these lodgings, the story is perfectly plausible.

“Sir you do realize that this is a retired tramp steamer, don’t you? Rising damp is the least of my problems.”

As soon as I saw the art for this, I immediately decided to rob the guy.

And I was right.

[quote=Jolanda Swan]Guys, remember this is a flashback. The whole season consists of stories we tell a reporter. We are not discussing our current residence, we are discussing something that happened a long time ago.
And given the quality of these lodgings, the story is perfectly plausible.[/quote]

Oh god thank you. I somehow managed to forget about that. Everything is suddenly 100% more plausible.

Good grief, how much worse can your day get than a hole in your wall, then in your ceiling, then your water and gas pipes, then your floor? This must have occurred on some cosmically unlucky day for London.

On a different note, though, I noticed all the stat-checks in this ES were stuck at 60, which, as someone with most of their stats up near 200, would be near impossible for earlier players if that chance was dynamic. So does that mean that ES-es are going to consistently have 60% chances? (This is new to this story, yes?) Time for second chances, then.

Overall, a nice story with some technical issues. The endless action sink options plagued the entire exceptional story, and I feel they may have eaten into space for story-inclined actions. In particular, I felt the latter half of the story was a bit light on the plans of the Borough Council.
However, the first part of the story involving house repairs and demolitions was typical Fallen London and highly enjoyable for it. Certainly, I chose the option I did partially because I thought it might be the quickest way to repair my b____y house!
Spoilers for the ending:

I’m not sure why my (Spider Infested) Eyeball is a &quotconstant companion&quot. Yes, my eyes are my constantly on my person (barring certain eldritch occurrences) but I really think the item fits the hat slot more, and this is someone who’s an avid collector of Pets/Constant Companions

edited by The Stranger Man on 7/26/2018
edited by The Stranger Man on 7/26/2018
edited by The Stranger Man on 7/26/2018

Did that particular ending reduce any stats?

I’m fine with the item slot because it always bugs me when things are in the hat slot and they aren’t things that would keep you from wearing a hat. My eyeball being different should not keep me from wearing a hat.
edited by MidnightVoyager on 7/26/2018

I was thinking “This ones kind of stupid” That stopped at a certain point, you know what point, when I thought to myself “Well that escalated quickly.”

No, you don’t lose any stats. You take 1 or 2 CP of wounds though.

I DEFINITELY liked the sudden change from &quotthis is very silly&quot to &quot**** just got real&quot in terms of writing, but I agree the chase sequence didn’t really feel like I was getting anywhere until the very end. The initial part where everything was going wrong was hilarious.

One thing I’m curious about: what happens if you pretend there are no urchins when speaking to the roofer?
edited by Arcengal on 7/26/2018

I enjoyed this story overall. I would agree that the chase got a little tedious, and that the second half of the story felt a little light as a result, especially as I was enjoying the potential of the tonal shift that occurs around the midpoint (which was well-executed, by the way). The first part was good fun, and I always enjoy the imagery associated with the (spoilers from the finale).

I was a little surprised by the 60% success chance at all the stat checks regardless of level. I theoretically like the idea of having challenges scale according to our particular progress, but a straight-up lock to 60% seems a little weird, especially when it meant the quirk checks were easier in most cases. At that point it’s just a &quotpretty good odds&quot luck check under a different name.

That said, I haven’t chosen an ending yet, as the options I have presented questions:

[spoiler]Given my low level of Council Ties, I have a choice to &quotwall everything up and walk away.&quot The actual effect wouldn’t seem to be all that different from &quotburn them out,&quot though. Can anyone figure out what the plot difference is supposed to be?

Also, did anyone contact Mr Inch?[/spoiler]
edited by HarperMargrave on 7/26/2018