Celebrating the 100th Exceptional Story!

Time has flown like a flock of seven-throated warblers and we are on the cusp of releasing our 100th Exceptional Story!

Lucky number one hundred is The Bloody Wallpaper by Chandler Groover, wherein you join the staff of the Royal Bethlehem for the Manager’s Red and Gold Gala.

We first wrote a story for our Exceptional Friends in May 2015. From the Haunting of the Marsh House to The Bloody Wallpaper, Exceptional Stories have taken our subscribers all over London, featuring premises such as:

  • A fungal disease forces sufferers to speak in verse
  • A cut-throat tournament of racing slugs
  • A portly tabby claims to be the king of cats
  • A murder mystery aboard the train to Hell
  • Another murder mystery in which your sleuthing is aided by a sentient fashion ensemble
  • Seeing a man about a dog
  • Fallen London’s own version of the Bear as you help (or hinder) a restaurant survive a difficult opening night
  • A seafaring expedition with a crew of adventurous children - er, sorry, pirates
  • A hunt for a crocodile in the sewers of Fallen London
  • A man made entirely of fog with a penchant for tea, biscuits and chess
  • Become a bishop
  • Helping a geriatric gang pull off an audacious heist

Thank you to all of the writers who have contributed to this long and illustrious history; we truly think these are among the finest examples of interactive fiction out there and we’re so proud to offer writers somewhere they can flex their weirder muscles (those long, impossibly long ones at the back).

Being a sustainable, independent games studio is a rare thing (being either is difficult, being both - well, it’s hard). Having the predictable income of Exceptional Friendship enables us to create without fear. Our Exceptional Friends not only support the creation of Fallen London, which is let’s face it a pretty unusual proposition in the modern gaming landscape, but your support also allows us to work on our stand-alone projects in a sustainable way.

To our dear Exceptional Friends, we don’t say it enough: thank you for your support. (And not forgetting our non-subscriber players, whose powerful word of mouth is the other essential ingredient in our life blood.)

Mr Chimes’ Lost and Found

To coincide with the 100th Exceptional Story, we’re adding some new goodies to Mr Chimes’ Lost & Found!

Exceptional Friends earn Memories of a Tale from playing Exceptional Stories, which can be redeemed in the Lost & Found for unique items.

We’re adding half a dozen new items, including apparel, affiliations, an uncooperative mode of transport and a new companion. Expect them alongside the story, next Thursday.

Win a year’s Exceptional Friendship

What would a party be without a game? And a rare prize!

To enter, write the funniest summary of any existing Exceptional Story. (There is a full list on the wiki of all of them so far.) Don’t worry if you haven’t played any of them; the summary doesn’t have to hew closely to the details of the plot, it need only make us laugh.

  • Post your summary along with the title of the story in question on your preferred platform (in this thread, in the Discord channel, on Reddit or via email to replies@failbettergames.com if you don’t use any of the others).
  • The summary cannot be longer than 30 words.
  • Please keep it clean!
  • Full terms and conditions

There will be at least 5 winners and the competition will close on August the 14th. Good luck!

And finally

Please bear with us while we finalise the idea for the additional tier to Exceptional Friendship which we first mentioned earlier this year. This will hopefully make playing the library of Exceptional Stories less economically demanding (and we’ll polish up the House of Chimes while we’re in there). We’re slowing the pace of our work a little as the team is pretty tired from launching Mask of the Rose, so expect this to come in Autumn time.


Cricket, Anyone?

In a completely inconsequential story with no real plot to speak of, you play a cricket. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. This summary approved by the Ministry.


My Kingdom for a Pig

There’s a wine-plague of impromptu verse
When the pig arrives things become worse
Then you gatecrash an auction
For a milky decoction
And discover some mold needs a hearse.


The Blemmigan Affair !

These bemushroomed lines are coerced
by the blemmington funguses’ curse
If you find them unpleasant
it will soon be apparent
down here, things can always be verse.

Leviathan !
Abomination of teeth, lashing tails, and claws. It lurks in the deep, waiting to rise in hunger, because you made fun of its weight and now it’s self-conscious, you jerk.

(Many, many thanks to Richard R Roberts for his verbose assistance in writing purple)

The Fair Unknown

Try desperately to give the Red Queen your soul in a jousting match for a cool quality. Oh, also there’s something about this couple with a terminal illness or whatever.


Bl__dy tourists!

The Final Curtain

While playing this story, I learned what a fontanelle is, and immediately regretted learning what a fontanelle is.

The Clay Man’s Arm

I mean, do I look like the sort of Clay Man who’d creep into someone’s lodgings at night, anaesthetise them, amputate an arm, and replace it with a clay facsimile?

All Things Must End

They named an island after me. It’s got a lot of things I like - radical politics, libraries, tea and cakes… everyone’s dead there, but they don’t let that stop them.

The Sinking Synod

Who should the Church serve? The good and righteous? The poor and outcast? Or a strange man who lives in a swamp and only comes out to utter dire warnings?

Caveat Emptor

Y’know how real estate and conveyancing is surprisingly central to the plot of Dracula? OK, so what if the vampire was the real estate?

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Turns out that if half of your family wants you to stay in the closet and the other half wants you to become a cannibal, you can just do neither.


We Absolutely Meant to Go to Zee

Red Hawk can make himself into a constable if he wants, Red Hawk can make himself into an i--------l of m--------s and i--------t g-----r. Red Hawk doesn’t give a s–t.

The Hollow Tryptich

Well what did you think would happen when you worked with the body-stealing dream snakes?

A Bright Future

What do you call a giant bat playing with an experimental illumination device?
Mr OnFires!

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Yeah, kinda. Maybe two arms, for that matter.

The Stone Guest

Work with Failbetter to create the first Fallen London feature film!


Take an incredibly expensive vacation to the Elder Continent! Uncover the secret mysteries of the Thief of Faces! And get a really bad Mountain-Burn!

There is no way this is allowed but take this as a joke entry:

The Bloody Wallpaper

Host a party for all the people newly insane after losing their minds in the Manager’s summary writing contest!

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