Can someone grant a new Zailor some tips?


While I am no novice to the la d of Fallen London, The Zee, and in general computerized gaming, is a entirely new and diffeent and slightly unconfortable to handle beast to me. I have already lost a Captain to the depths by making the idiotic mistake of selling my ship for a worse ship, leaving me with few suppllies and fewer crew. I was however (SOMEHOW) able to avoid The Admiralty and suplly a cargo to some devils beforehand, but I expect this to be a fluke (core) rather then skill.

In short, I have no idea what I am doing, find my boat and crew hard to control due to unfamiliarity with the beast, the tutorial was not all that helpful to me, I’ve kept the book since that proviced some aid, and I fear my one small feat of luck was just that. Also, while it says not to fear death, I do indeed do so due to lack of things I can do when die like Legacies and the like.

In short, any advice and providence from more experienced Zee Captains in aiding a less knowlegable Zailer would be apreciated.

My advice: save your game, regularly. Leave no-save runs for once you’re more familiar with the mechanics of the game.

Collect port reports. They’re the best source of both echoes and and precious, precious fuel. I’d also recommend getting at least a townhouse as soon as possible for a will and a place to raise a child. The next, best thing to do early in-game is deliver sphinxstone, though I add a caveat to that, since the final delivery can be tricky, depending on your past and who you favor. One of my early captains spent ages with stupid sphinxstone sitting in her cargo hold as I tried to figure out where Irem was/is/will be.

EDIT: Also, I recommend running from zee-beasties bigger then a jillyfish until you have a decent ship. And, I’m sure you’re figured out, check out the ships before you buy. Save up your echoes to upgrade to a…um, whatsitcalled, Phorcyd class, then the Maened. Don’t get the Stymphalos, the Lampad or the Caligo.
edited by Glass Doll on 3/10/2016

Use ‘z’ pretty much constantly to find the nearest port, and just steer for that. Returning to London with a bunch of port reports to trade for fuel and supplies is preferable to starving to death while trying to find the place you were sent to find.

Don’t try to fight any sea monsters. They’re just not worth taking damage.

Don’t forget that the lamp consumes fuel. Use L to toggle it off if you’re running low and you might just make it.

Don’t sell Searing Enigmas when you get them. (Unless you really need the cash.) They’re rare and needed for a few quests.

Street Urchin is the best past for a new character, as veils checks are common.

  • Avoid dealing with a certain shadowy figure at the docks if you’re still in the early game - he’ll ask you to deliver goods to various islands, and can hurt you badly if you return to London before dealing with the package. The same goes for Mr Sacks - avoid him if your map is still mostly black.

  • Trading routes aren’t a good way to make money, so avoid stuffing your cargo with useless items.

  • Trade port reports for favours. Trade favours at the docks for free fuel!

Also, if you find the game a bit too slow, there’s a nice mod called Sunless Speed - you can find it on Steam’s commnity forums. Your sailing will be much smoother.

  • Understand the map. Islands tend to spawn in groups, organised by tiles. The whole zee is essentially a six by six grid, and each island can only ever spawn on its specific tile, which will have one of (usually four to six) possible random locations at the start of the game. Knowing that Mount Palmerston is always going to be in one of the northern four tiles for example is a massive help. There is a better explanation (and a diagram, oh my) on the wiki. Honestly, I think this was the single most useful thing for me.[/li][/ul][ul][li]Sphinxstone. I know it’s already been mentioned, but finding the Salt Lions and starting to run Sphinxstone back to London makes you a ton of money, which gives you an excellent safety margin for if you find yourself short on supplies.[/li][/ul][ul][li]Other people have said this, but really, don’t fight enemies. It slows you down, has minimal reward, uses fuel, AND is liable to get you killed. By that same token, if you’re not going too far, it is safe to leave your Prow Light off, since it means you’re less likely to get discovered.[/li][/ul][ul][li]Plan ahead. Especially once you’ve gotten an idea of where islands are likely to be, if you can do two or three things each time you leave London instead of only one, you’ll save fuel, supplies, time, AND terror, and it’ll generally make the experience a lot more fun. That requires understanding the way the map spawns though.[/li][/ul][ul][li]Oh, and saving your game is perfectly fine for an earlier run to keep the captain alive, and discover more of the late game.

Good luck!

I suggest buying coffee and heading to the surface. While there, ferrying cargo can be lucrative, but costs crew. Don’t take too many risks. You may also consider helping out the Revolutionaries, because their reward is nice.

Ferrying Sphinxstone is a great source of income. It may be to your benefit to do this with a past wreath in shadows.

Don’t be afraid to take risks and sail into the unknown.

Don’t pick fights with monsters, unless you have properly upgraded your ship.

Smaller crews use supplies slower. Keep it at, or near half. WE ARE CLAY is great for this, because it lowers the max, lowering the halfway point, too.[li]
edited by th8827 on 3/12/2016

Part of the game is planning for your captain’s inevitable death or retirement, and figuring out how to give future captains an advantage. You do not have to accomplish an ambition on your first captain. Instead you can focus on strengthening future captains by doing things like:

  1. Getting a scion. You do this by pursuing romance in London, having a child, and giving them a love of the sea. This will allow you to choose two inheritances on death instead of one, and give you the option of keeping 100% of your echoes instead of just 50%. This perk lasts forever for all future captains, unless you do something to lose it.

  2. Getting a lodging, heirlooms, and a will. You need a lodging to raise a scion anyway. Heirlooms can be passed down to future captains, who can sell them if they need cash beyond just inherited echoes. A will allows your lodging and heirlooms to pass to the next captain, so don’t forget to buy it again with each captain because the will itself is not inherited.

  3. Obtain legacy perks. These are various quests that give all future captains +25 to a starting stat.

Always come back into port with high terror.

For efficiency’s sake, I presume? There’s a risk of getting Nightmares up really high, though, if the event for confronting it doesn’t show soon enough. Even the well method might drop you only 1-2 points. [li]
(Also I’ve found zailing with full crew + we are clay is best - I’ve had moments where the random -1 crew event fired like three times in a row, perhaps as the zee beastie lingered in the area. And once you hit less than half crew the slowness leads to more terror and thence on to mutiny, which could easily kill your captain.)
I agree about searing enigmas, and would add judgement eggs onto the list of things to not sell. They don’t take up space, and the babysitting 12 corpses around the Neath is…not predictable)

I disagree with the previous poster who advised saving often and regularly for your first few captains. You may feel like you’re saving time by switching to Merciful and save-scumming, but all you’re really doing is cultivating a skewed sense of discretion, keeping yourself fearful, and denying yourself the ability to let go and have fun. I’ve never switched to Merciful, I’m only on my third captain and I’m pretty sure I’m going to win the game. Maybe save your game when you feel like you have a good chance of actually winning the game. Trust me - you’ll know when you’re there.

As the game says, explore and take risks. If you avoid zee-combat by just zailing away, there’s only a few things that will kill you - a select few things have ranged attacks, or are faster than you at zee; a few events on land will deplete large amounts of your crew; and bankruptcy will force you to retire. The purpose of your first few failed zailors is for you to identify the real sources of death, as well as some good revenue sources, so that you don’t have to worry about bankruptcy.

Don’t rush to complete your Ambition or your crews’ stories. Once you have enough money that you don’t fear going broke from a voyage that doesn’t pay, you can progress your own and your crews’ storylines without fear.

Don’t bother with trying to win the game until after you’ve gotten a merchant-ship. The merchant-ship has enough hold space that you can make money by transporting goods, assuming you’ve accumulated enough capital. Once you’ve beaten the fuel/supplies attrition of time, you have all the time in the Neath to win.

The rest of this post gives specific suggestions about money.

Good revenue sources for the early game, i.e. how I actually made most of my money:
-Port Reports (not the special commission)
-Taking the Blind Bruiser’s Echo payment, buying a house, immediately writing a will, and dying, leaving it to my successor. (LOL)
-Selling the Captivating Treasures that the First Curator in Venderbight paid me for collecting Neath-colors
-Making boxes of angry mirror-snakes from the Tireless Mechanic’s dreams, and selling them at Khan’s Shadow. This process has one of the highest returns per unit hold space in the game, and is useful when you’re in your starting ship.

What to do with a merchant-ship once you have one:
-Coffee from London or Carnelian to the Surface
-Sphinxstone from the Salt Lions to London
-Wine to Godfall, if you can find it and you haven’t taken too long. I only managed one run.
-Coffee from Carnelian to Irem for Parabola-Linen, then back to Carnelian.

edited by Kalirren on 3/28/2016
edited by Kalirren on 3/28/2016