Collecting souls... lots and lots of souls!

Having just made PoSI, I’ve started dedicating myself to getting my first 4-card lodging… at the Brass Embassy. I’ve already got most of what I need, but I still need to finish collecting the requisite 500 Brilliant Souls.

Fortunately, due to some earlier… dabbling in the Spirifer’s trade (sssh, don’t tell the Masters!), I know an infernal fence who will trade normal souls for Brilliant ones at a highly favorable rate. Unfortunately, that leaves me with a LOT of options for collecting souls, and a hard time figuring out which works best.

I’d hoped to use the old ‘impersonate a prince of hell’ trick at The Spite, and collect a lot of ordinary souls that way, but… it seems too random. Perhaps I can get a hundred, or a hundred and twenty, at some point - but I could also wind up with a mere handful, and my Shadowy skills aren’t high enough to succeed reliably. (Worse, failing there will damage my connection to Hell, which I need to keep high, for obvious reasons.)

But there’s a whole lot of other options! Including many that might provide other useful - or valuable - things as well. I could run expeditions in the Forgotten Quarters, seeking the Thief’s Cache, for a 50/50 chance at some nice stacks of souls. Practice my Archeology at the same time, which is something that needs doing anyway in preparation of seeking the Nadir. Or I could (in a display of larcenous irony) burgle the Brass Embassy for both Souls AND some hefty piles of valuable Brass… and practice my Master Thief skills to boot, though I don’t know what I’d need THAT for.

And of course, there’s loads of other ways. Too many to easily keep track of. Not to mention the option of skipping the entire souls-to-brilliant-souls step and just stealing Brilliant Souls in The Flit directly. It should be a bit easier now that I’m PoSI, I hear, though I don’t yet have my own gang to do all the work for me… I suppose I should put that on my list of priorities, too.

Anyway, any advice or insights would be welcome!

Personally I just went for Thefts of a Particular character to get the souls I needed, though in your particular case I think trying out Thieves’ Caches might be a bit better since it’s combining two necessary grinds. Once you hit Archaeologist 5 you can either keep searching for Thieves’ Caches or switch to a different way of getting souls.

I was sure Thief’s caches top out at Archaeologist 2 or 3, but the wiki says it goes all the way to 5, so yeah, that would be one way to get some.

I don’t know the exchange rate of the spirifage card, but that might be your best bet. Getting brilliant souls from the flit is probably the best option if you have a gang of hoodlums and high shadowy, but I suspect you have neither right now…

Raiding the brass embassy is highly inefficient, and you only need one point in master thief for anything that calls for it (that I know of).
edited by RandomWalker on 4/26/2015

Actually, I was wondering about the Archaeologist-bit too… the wiki DOES claim that it goes all the way to 5, but that seems to be wrong. At least, I’ve just done Thief’s Cache twice, and my Archeologist-skill remains unmoving on 3. Unless Archeology has a ‘hidden’ progress-bar, so that I just need 3 points of progress to advance, it DOES seem to top out at 3.

As for the Spirifages-only deal, it’s not a card but a regular storylet at Labybones road… and the exchange-rate is 40 Brilliant Souls for 1000 normal ones, with a bit of Connected: Hell thrown in as a bonus. (You can also exchange souls for brass, but why would you want to? :P)

Just checked by running a Thief’s Cache - at the end I got the message “Archaeologist has not increased: this quality cannot currently increase past 5.” So it will take you up to 5 but it is only one cp per expedition.

The Archaeologist quality can be confusing, but despite appearances it does increment in CPs as most other qualities. So to get from Archaeologist 3 to 4 you need to earn 4 CPs. Each Thief’s Cache expedition gives one CP.

Yup, just double confirmed, and got an alt to archaeologist 5 with thief’s cache runs. Which is nice.

Huh. I wonder why that quality - and ONLY that quality - doesn’t show its progress-bar.

I don’t know if it’s only that property, but my guess is that it’s a holdover from old design. A few years ago (before I started playing FL), archaeologist I think incremented by story progression (i.e. you do this thing, you get to archaeologist 1, do something else and it gets to 2). This got changed to the current process, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was some relic of the dim and distant past.

Okay, was wrong. See post below.
edited by RandomWalker on 4/26/2015

The Archaeologist quality didn’t exist back then (it was instead a hat, which didn’t increase because it was a hat). It doesn’t show a progress bar because it has a quality change description attached, which overrides the bar for mystery technical reasons. I don’t think it’s the only quality that acts that way. There are plenty of linear qualities or qualities which are only ever set to something that behave that way, at the very least, although I can’t think of any other pyramidal ones.

If you’re still interested, (without any converting)
Thefts in the Flit with a Gang of Hoodlums is 1.26 epa
The PoSI casing option is around 1.05 epa
‘The Prince of…’ is around 1.189 epa (according to 600+ results I’ve written down), probably 1.20 epa
Thieve’s Cache (just the souls) is around 0.13 epa
Thieve’s Cache (including everything else) is around 1.41 epa

That is… surprisingly balanced. Guess I really AM better off doing the whole ‘Prince’ deal, until I can get my Gang of Hoodlums. I’m still waiting for that damn card… >.<

It’s only better if you nail it every single time. If, as you say, you frequently miss the check, that needs to be factored in to the epa cost.

Thefts in the Flit as a POSI requires no check, allowing you to build casing with impunity. While the actual theft does require a check, it’s only one check per 10 actions, which means that using Hastily Scrawled Warning Notes to guarantee a success actually becomes practical.

I acquired my souls and sherry through Thefts of a Particular Character at a relatively low Shadowy. If you’re not up to straightforward checks, it’s easily the best way to go.
edited by The Machinist on 4/28/2015

Ack… yes, I should’ve thought of that. I managed to collect a mere 500 souls by way of acting princely, before the loss of Connection became intolerable.

Frankly, though, I find the idea of grinding it with pure PoSI-power annoying. No skill-check also means no skill-GAIN (other than the theft itself, obviously). And 5 actions per use means that I can log in in the morning, hit a button 8 times, and be out of actions again… though, I guess that’s something I’ll have to get used to.

The five actions done at once is actually a good thing for me. The site is sufficiently slow to update that it’s a real relief knowing that I don’t need to sit through eight more screen refreshes, and I don’t need to change gear, or pick the next option down. I’m grinding some direful reflections in a place well below the carnival, and the slowness is wearing. 21 actions per cycle, and most of those actions reward nothing. It gets to me.

As for skill gain, you are losing out there, but Shadowy is very easy to build up in the flit - just trade some of your excess casing to criminals and you’ll soon catch up with your other stats.
edited by RandomWalker on 4/29/2015