Drawing cards in the Upper River is a major pain

No relation to the “no fun anymore” thread, this is what I actually came here to post.

I feel like the biggest pain in the game right now is the card drawing mechanism in the Upper River locations. Specifically, waiting for a station-specific card (statue or light adjustment).

The usual frequency mechanism from locations in London doesn’t seem to work so well here, probably because the deck is so much smaller? I definitely feel like I just draw the same (i.e. the most frequent) cards all the time.

One solution I can think of is giving all Upper River cards the same frequency, thereby at least giving all cards the same probability to appear. And maybe further constrict some cards to specific locations instead of appearing everywhere (the disgruntled peppercap farmer for example).

Another solution would be to turn all station-specific content into storylets and only relegate general Upper River content to the opportunity deck (I know, I know… but one must be allowed to dream :sweat_smile:).

What do you think?


I recently had a heretical skeleton on-hand and decided to take the opportunity to draw cards in Burrow. I had entirely forgotten that the Light/Dark card there is good! I agree there’s a problem here, but it’s a complex one. To me the deepest problem is that there are good cards I want in so many different locations that it spreads me thin–I never see my third-best location cards because I spend all my time in two other locations instead.

I definitely see a benefit in giving the player a reason to visit different places in the Upper River. Obviously the Storylets are part of that, but I think it’s nice to encourage players to actually stick around and draw cards for a bit. See the scenery. It gives the locations an ambient identity.

But having nine different locations with usually two-ish distinct cards each? It’s a bit much to juggle.

I’ve suggested before that perhaps the Under the Statue cards could be consolidated into one card, with options for each of the Statues. There are some mechanical issues around the sides to sort out but it might be feasible. Another thing to look into is having more location-movement options in the Upper River.

The Under the Statue cards are in a strange spot right now because of the new storylet in Jericho. These cards are not much better than storylets! In fact several are worse! You trade in four favors for 25 echoes of stuff on a card, but you could get 27.5 on the storylet. Perhaps some re-re-balancing is in order.



Here’s another idea I just had: I guess they won’t want to give the Upper River locations infinite draw (though that would be great), but maybe there could be an in-between solution: add an option in each station’s Office to spend maybe 1x Rumour of the Upper River for a deck refill.

That’s just off the top of my head, they’ll want to balance it right - but some way of being able to draw more cards would reduce the pain of going to a station, spend your whole 6 or 10 cards, come up with nothing, and have to return later to do it all again.

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I’ll rarely have to leave and return later. Instead, I arrive at the station with close to 0 actions and stay until my candle is full or until I have 7 Church favours (or otherwise need to be somewhere else).

The only non-menace everywhere-in-the-hinterlands card with higher than standard frequency seems to be “Your Very Own Hellworm”, which isn’t a terrible card to draw instead of the one you wanted. And the Statue cards are no longer that great, for the most part, so there are only a few places where you have to hunt for cards. I no longer have to go sit in Moulin when I have 7 GG favours that I want to turn into scrip, for instance.

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Well you’re obviously far luckier than me then! :sweat_smile:

I have an account that spent the past 3 days alternately drawing cards in Ealing, Jericho & the Magistracy. Goal: adjust Darkness to 4, so I can do the top-tier Clay Highwayman larcenies.

You’d think I would’ve drawn the relevant card in at least one of these locations by now, right?


It’s the standard frequency ones that are the problem!

The Clay Highwayman’s Fate
Engage in Some Minor Smuggling
Halfway to Hell
A Disillusioned Fungiculturalist
A Tomb-Colonist Tour
An Unattended Mirror
Canal Workers on the Upper River
Respectable Passengers

9 out of 10 cards that I draw in the Hinterlands is one of those. And quite often 10 out of 10.

“A Disillusioned Fungiculturalist” isn’t standard; it’s Infrequent. Same for the Unattended Mirror. Are there any lower-than-standard frequency cards that you’d actually want to draw? The Fungiculturalist card is the only one I can think of.

Actually, “An Unattended Mirror” is Very Infrequent. Your proposed solution is to make that card much more common. Personally I’d rather remove it entirely.


I agree that “An Unattended Mirror” isn’t great as an opportunity card, since its only use is to take you somewhere else (a place where you can’t draw cards, no less). Unless you specifically want to save 1 action on getting to Parabola, it’s just dead weight. Maybe just make more permanent mirrors for each station?

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I didn’t actually check the frequencies of every single card. All I can say is that I draw them all the time…

I think you’ve listed more than half the cards in the upper river, so it’s really no surprise that they make up most of your draws.