Exotica Cards?

Well. Those red-bordered cards that let you find something from Knife-and-Candle, which is most certainly not to be found anywhere in Fallen London. I’m sure we’ve all seen one at least once. A sinister giggle from an alleyway. A severed head, pale in the moonlight. The wiki page on them doesn’t have much, but I’ve found myself rather curious about them as of late.

I’ve been seeking a Counterfeit Head of John the Baptist, for purposes that are best not spoken of in polite company. However, I’ve found myself rather stymied. On my first day of playing (October 2nd?), I found a Nephrite Lens, which languished in my inventory until last night, when I decided to experiment with it a bit.

I hadn’t seen a single Exotica card throughout those two weeks, but merely an hour after I used up the Lens, I found a Giggling Mandrake! I used that, too, to bolster my form. Two cards later, I found another. I used that. Two cards later, I found another. Discarded that card. Found another one in the same deck.

Since then, I’ve found perhaps five or six Giggling Mandrakes in the span of about three hours of playing, without a hint of any other Exotica cards.

So I’m going to hazard a guess that the cards only appear when you don’t have any Exotica. They’ve been showing up much too frequently to merit their two-week absence while I did own a Nephrite Lens. What makes me curious now is that I’m only finding Giggling Mandrakes. What could be dictating this? Luck? My form? The airs of London? Perhaps this bears some experimenting.

If anyone has already made a page discussing these cards or listing their conditions, do let me know. I only made this because I couldn’t find anything else.
edited by Laluzi on 10/21/2013

I haven’t made a particular study of the subject, but yes, I believe the Exotica cards only appear when you haven’t got one in your inventory. I’ve no idea why only the Mandrake is appearing - as you say, it warrants experimentation. I will say, though, that if you pursue the storyline involving growing an unusual plant in your Lodgings, a Counterfeit Head is one of the rewards you can pick up along the way (or, at least, it was - it may have been retired, but it was there the last time I checked.)

Yep, I’ve been growing a singular plant in my lodgings. I find it quite darling, really. But it’s a long ways from bearing fruit.

I mean, I could try beating up other players in Knife and Candle for a head, but that would make me feel bad. I’d rather obtain it in some other way, if possible.

What surprises me is how common these Exotica cards are. I’m finding them more often than I find the faction cards, or the faction vs faction cards - which comprise most of my deck, or so it would seem.

I suspect they’re common enough that they’ll always be one of the first cards a new player sees, thus introducing them to using items in their inventory and pointing them toward the Game of Knife-and-Candle, and being self-replacing when they’re used up!

That does sound quite likely!

I’m going to go change my airs a few; see if that does anything.

Edit: And the next card I drew was a Nephrite Lens. Interesting. For the record, the ‘airs’ I got was ‘A bit zips past overhead’. [li]
edited by Laluzi on 10/21/2013

While I was doing most of this on my Kindle between classes, and don’t have the data - I’m pretty sure at this point that the cards are controlled by the airs of London. I’d only ever seen the variety change after I went and robbed a drunk (an action that was surprisingly more lucrative than I’d expected). I now have all the heads I needed, so hurrah for that. I might take actual data sometime later on, but for now, if nobody’s really interested, I’m going to be looking for Death By Water dreams, and that’s easier to do without having exotica appear every third card. xD

After seeing this thread, I used up my nephrite lens, and acquired a Giggling Mandrake. I have no particular use for it, and I am joining Knife-and-Candle just so that I can then get rid of it by resigning. I tried pitting it against a Deshrieked Mandrake - but that got rid of the Deshrieked, and repeating the mandrake-vs-mandrake duel gets expensive. The head seems to have some non-Knife-and-Candle utility, if one wants one more way to boost Bohemian. Can one transfer a Head to another player?

Confound it! I joined, then quit, and did not, in the process, lose the Giggling!
edited by Riley37 on 10/22/2013

You can lose the giggling by losing K&C attacks, and you can get other exotica in the same manner.
The exotica you lose/gain depend on the type of attack.
edited by Aximillio on 10/22/2013

How might I arrange to lose K&C attacks? When I first played, I found the K&C interface baffling. Where might I find a step by step guide?

You can also lose the GM by feeding it your blood and going insane (high Magnanimous required).