Banditry and Light/Darkness in the Upper River


I hope you can help dispel some of my ignorance. I am working on my railway and just built station VIII. For a while now I have been confused by the light vs. dark property and what relationship this might have with banditry. Is the light/dark a property for all of the railway stops (upper river locations) or is there a separate light/dark property for each location? How does this impact banditry or is it banditry that affects light/dark?

Is there a better level of light/dark to achieve in some locations (assuming it differs in the various upper river locations)? I would like to pursue the Clay Highwayman story but my banditry is zero and it would appear I have to raise this to 8 (36 CP) to proceed with that story. Is that correct? What will I be sacrificing if I raise the banditry that high? Are there some stories I should do first while banditry is low and then raise it to do the Clay Highwayman?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

It becomes more difficult to travel without incurring wounds if banditry is high (so you should use the mirrors). As banditry gets close to 8, there is a non-discardable (?) card that starts appearing and boost the final steps. Once you’ve achieved what you want to with the high banditry, it drops right back down to 4, IIRC. Boosting the darkness level was something that became relevant afterwards.

Each location has its own version of the lantern card, which does not change its target, even if you play, say, the Ealing card in Jericho.

Light/darkness is separate for each station. There different qualities, e.g. Ealing Gardens: Darkness. Banditry is shared across the whole Upper River.

There isn’t much of a mechanical connection between Banditry and Darkness, really. I can’t think of any off-hand. There might be some criminal activity which is easier with high local Darkness and increases Banditry, but there also might not.

Think of Banditry like a Menace. It can be raised, and lowered. When it gets above 6, there’s an inconvenience. Like most Menaces, there are sometimes specific story reasons you may want/need it high. The fastest way to raise it in a hurry is to bring The Gracious Widow onto your board, and vote on her special proposal.

Each Darkness has its own special effects, but in general it makes Excavation and tourism more difficult, while it makes theft easier. Surprisingly, there’s not much relationship between theft and Banditry; high Banditry makes smuggling easier, which is different than theft. I keep all my Darknesses at the max, but that’s because I am morally opposed to an absence of crime.

Thanks for the info. Are there any stories you recommend completing prior to raising banditry or increasing darkness?

[quote=Vinish]Thanks for the info. Are there any stories you recommend completing prior to raising banditry or increasing darkness?[/quote]You can control both Banditry and Darkness via the cards and storylets, and raise or lower them as you wish so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The only thing at your point in the Railway that really does need Banditry is the Clay Highwayman’s story and once you get Banditry high enough, well, there you go, you can start the story at leisure. The Clay Highwayman’s Camp actions will be easier with higher darkness as well.

The only thing I would warn you about is that if you do choose to reduce Banditry via increasing your own Scandal (that’s from the non-discardable autofire card once Banditry hits 8), if your own Scandal is high enough, it will immediately catapult you to the Tomb Colonies. Speaking from bitter experience of a day wasted! :D I think Scandal 4 will do it but do check the wiki to be sure.

It gives you 12 CP of Scandal, specifically. You’re good unless you’re more than a smidge above 6.

[quote=PJ]It gives you 12 CP of Scandal, specifically. You’re good unless you’re more than a smidge above 6.[/quote]Ah that explains it, I do tend to lose track of my Scandal! :) I really should check the wiki more often about things like that!