# Fallen London Math for Beginners

Now that I’ve spent some time wandering the forums, and actually listening to the advices of more experienced players, I can’t help but notice that many times I find myself dumbfounded by the sheer amount of calculations being used here. Now, I thought it would be nice if aforementioned more experienced players helped us, relatively new players in understanding the principles behind the mathematic used in the Fallen London!

You can play the game without ever bothering with mathematics, it’s fun as well, and probably more immersive.

Now, if you wanna minimax, you’re right to ask help from the delicious friends here who like to crunch numbers.

7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 = 0.

Well, the most common math used here is for the calculation of the most financially viable actions and macro-scale psuedo-RNG probabilities. For example, EPA which you’ve likely seen, is echoes per action. This is at its basic level very simple calculation based on number of echoes made divided by the number of actions to complete a full carousel, action setpiece (such an expedition) or set threshold of grinding. The higher the EPA, the more lucrative the grind. However, this calculation also includes an estimate of average success/failures and their impact on profitability, which leads to us to probability. RNG probabilities are based on statistical analysis of averages to determine the likeliest outcomes for the most useful minimal viable expectations. This is an output based analysis however, as we do not have access to the actual algorithm that drives the FL generator. The output datasets we as a community rely on for the source of most of this analysis have been provided by many players pooling their results from various actions, often on google docs. Now this is still an imperfect methodology, since the RNG in Fallen London can, and will throw you for a loop from time to time (again, we are only dealing with output averages here, and there will always be outliers), but it helps you determine what sort of actions are worth taking, and what your chances of success will generally be. Another more simple, but common calculation is BDR to notability requirements, which stands for Bizarre, Dreaded, Respectable and how they impact the amount of making waves you need for increasing your level of notability.

There are of course many other calculations and situations, but these are the most common ones I can think of off the top of my head. If there are any specific calculations you want to know about, just inquire and many of us would be happy to help you. I will echo what Emain said however, you don’t need to try to understand the back-end mechanics to enjoy the game and really, any action has value as this is a narrative based experience, and efficiency need not be your sole guide. Think of these calculations more as a supplementary benefit to assist you in achieving specific goals from time to time.
edited by Israfel on 6/12/2016

As it happens, we do know the exact numbers for (some) luck-based things now. The iOS app helpfully provides the percentages for luck-based challenges, though we do need to do figure out ourselves the rate of rare successes.

As it happens, we do know the exact numbers for (some) luck-based things now. The iOS app helpfully provides the percentages for luck-based challenges, though we do need to do figure out ourselves the rate of rare successes.[/quote]

Really? How interesting. I hadn’t been aware of that, thank you. I’ll have to go trawl the app now.

There are a handful of qualities which are incremental, such as Notablity, Favours (1, 2… 7) or qualities like Making Your Name. The majority of the rest use Change Points (CP) to define levels, such as Making Waves, leveling main Stats, most progress qualities (Casing, Investigating, Inspired the Hunt is on), or increasing menaces. Actions grant CPs and you need a number of CPs equal to the next level to advance. For example, 1 CP to reach Level 1 from Level 0, 2 CP for Level 2, 3 CP for Level 3. So, to go from Level 14 to Level 15, that’s 15 CP.

To calculate the total number CP to reach a level you sum all of the levels. In Math terms, these are called triangular numbers, calculated like this: n (n + 1)/2. In the case above, to reach Level 15 you would require 120 CP total 15(15+1)/2, of which 15 were to go from Level 14 to Level 15 m.

For Main Stats at a certain level (70, I believe), the CPs are flattened out - it’s 70 CP per level once you’re above that minimum regardless of tie 100 to 101 or 73 to 74. For other qualities like Connections, it changes to 50 CP a bit earlier.

One last note is that Making Waves decreases by 1/2 levels Time the Healer, not CPs. This is costly as the higher levels take more CPs - Level 8 MW (36 CP) would decrease to Level 4 (10 CP) rather than between Level 5 and 6 for 18 CP.
edited by Parelle on 6/12/2016

Should I worry about math when I reach the University? I mean, it sounds like a pretty academic place to me. I’m a little worried that I’ll have to look up a little calculus or something before I can even progress past the first action.

But seriously does any complicated math happen at the University?

[quote=knguy ]Should I worry about math when I reach the University? I mean, it sounds like a pretty academic place to me. I’m a little worried that I’ll have to look up a little calculus or something before I can even progress past the first action.

But seriously does any complicated math happen at the University?[/quote]

Hahaha, no not really!
Edit: Well, not until you’re trying to get an impossible theorem or playing with your scholar of the correspondence level. Even then though it’s not really complicated. We’re just dealing with mind-bending non-euclidean materials here. Nothing too complex.
edited by Israfel on 6/12/2016

Yeah, I’m mainly worried about the part where I receive an invoice after getting blown up. But mainly the dying part because I haven’t died yet.

My recommendation about that is to use seconds chances and back out of the challenge every time you fail the first attempt, to avoid the failure penalties. It means increasing second chances costs but much much less other penalties.

Yep, the four main stats cap the increases at 70 CP per level whereas other qualities all cap at 50 CP per level.
edited by Optimatum on 6/12/2016

Well, it’s not like I really want to sit down all day and calculate the CP’s and stuff XD. I am just looking for a way to be more effective in grinding certain stuff, and I thought that the very basics would help me, at least somewhat. For example, I am now in dilemma. I need Compromising Documents. Is transforming Stollen Correspondence—>Intriguing Snippets----> Compromising documents good way? Or is there more effective way that I don’t know of?

From my experience, it seems to be much easier to find the Stolen Correspondences and convert them. Compromising documents are pretty rare when you’re looking for them.

If you have enough tales of terror (> 50), or its components (>333 appalling secrets, > 2500 cryptic clues), you can make those and side convert.

In many cases side-converting from more common tier three items (like tales of terror) to rarer tier three items (such as compromising documents) is the best way to get them. Though in the earlier-game it’s often hard to get enough of said items to convert.

One thing that isn’t mentioned (I don’t think) upthread is that different items have wildly different speeds of acquisition. This is, both, the primary reason for the sheer variety of arithmetic done on these forums and often undiscussed within any given thread. Souls, for example, can be difficult to gain in large quantities (compared to their sell price), because Spirifers can sell them more efficiently.

This is all further complicated by differences in stat and progression. If you have some stories completed then new grinds become available and others are closed to you.

The rabbit hole never stops (but can be a fun ride if you like to obsess over such things).

The TLDR here is just not to worry too much about it. If you’re enjoying what you’re doing then how long it takes is non-problematic.