Favours and Renown

[color=#C2B280]Right now, Fallen London uses Connected qualities to track your relationships with many of its inhabitants. We’ll soon begin replacing this with a new system that uses two kinds of qualities: Favour and Renown. This is a preview of the changes, and what they might mean for your character. But first, a couple of caveats. Much of this is provisional, and some of the details are subject to change. And because Connected qualities are used so widely, we won’t be making the changes in one go. To begin with we’ll use this system for just one of London’s amorphous factions, the criminals.


Most of the work currently done by Connected will be done by Favours. These represent a significant debt owed to your character, and you’ll be able to trade them in for various benefits. To begin with, those will be the same kinds of benefits currently provided by Connected, although often they’ll be much more profitable or effective than they are at present. For instance, you might call in Favours to gain items or improve your abilities or escape prison sooner.

In the longer term, we’d like Favours to sometimes unlock special opportunities. To give a couple of examples, you might exchange them for access to a unique expedition, or an opening that unlocks a profitable card on heists. We’ll add these gradually, because it’s much easier to do as part of wider additions or extensions to a piece of content.

An individual Favour is very valuable, so it won’t be straightforward to grind them. The main ways to acquire them will be available opportunity cards, rare successes, one-off stories, and individual branches that form part of a wheel. In particular, you’ll always be able to gain Favours using branches on the existing Connected cards. So you’ll always have at least one reliable source.

There’ll be a limit to the number of Favours of a single type that you can store. Since this is Fallen London, the number of Favours is the Number, which of course is seven.


Your Renown represents the extent to which you are known to members of the Connected group: it’s a measure of your celebrity or notoriety or both. It can go up, but it won’t go down; you might lose your Favours: Hell if you’re caught robbing the Embassy, but it won’t make Hell forget about you. And there’s no way to spend it.

If you own a Connected item, you’ll be able to spend Favours to increase Renown. The more Renowned you are, the harder it will be to increase. At higher levels, increasing it will also affect quirks, potentially raising them above 10.

Questions and Answers

1) I have lots of Connected: Criminals. What will happen to it?
We’ll convert part of it into Favours. If you have a lot of Connected, we’ll convert what’s left into Renown. Renown is harder to raise than Connected, so the exchange won’t be one to one: we haven’t settled on a number yet, but 200 Connected, for instance, might become 25 Renown. If you’d prefer material rewards, you can trade your Connected for items before we implement the new system.

2) How will conflict cards work?
Conflict cards will appear when you’re owed a significant number of Favours by certain groups, like Constables and Criminals. You won’t be able to discard them, but they’ll disappear if you spend some of your Favours. Playing a branch on the conflict card will usually remove all Favours of one type in exchange for a substantial benefit.

3) What about unusual Connected qualities, like Connected: The Masters?
We’re not sure yet! These are large changes, and we’d like to see how things shake out for a typical Connected quality before we decide how to implement the more unusual ones.[/color]

Question: Will we have to spend favors to perform item conversions? If so, ouch!

Knee-jerk questions:

  1. Conflict cards are presently practically infinite for a player with a wide range of connections, which makes Affair of the Box and Someone Is Coming options widely available. Will these be moved to other cards, will they disappear entirely, or will those grinds be restructured slightly?

  2. Will we need to cash in Favours for high-tier item conversions, will it be a Renown check, or will those requirements be removed?

  3. noooooo my precious expedition supply grind (this isn’t a question)[li]

EDIT: and also:

  1. noooooo my precious pre-Nadir Revolutionaries cash-out opp-card grind (actually given the system as you’ve outlined it I assume this option will remain and I’ll just have to re-run the numbers on it)
    edited by Jeremy Avalon on 8/12/2015

This sounds…interesting…

Can people like Nathan Attford Fenwick who have a ridiculous amount of Connected that the new system can’t possibly reflect get some kind of singular accomplishment or item to reflect that they once got an insane amount of Connected? Maybe, say, the top 10 Connected in each category as they are retired, like the Apple of Discord in the old K&C game?
Just as a nice little parting gift to the old system?

EDIT: Or…will Renown not have an upper limit?
edited by Nigel Overstreet on 8/12/2015

looks up from grinding, poorly, connected: the masters.

um wait what

I hope whatever your calculations are about converting Connected into Renown/Favors, they take into account differences in how hard various Connections are to grind. Connected: The Church 283 is probably about the same as Connected: The Church 282, and it would be reasonable for both of those to become Renown: The Church 28 (or whatever). On the other hand, flattening every Connected: Masters score from 1 to 10 into “Renown: Masters 1” would be kind of horrific for people who have sweated (and compromised their character’s moral principles in the service of dubious alien schemes) for each of those points.

I like the idea in concept, although I’m obviously worried about the implementation.

Item upgrades, as mentioned above, could get punishingly harder if you need to grind favours as well.

I presume that changing ‘Closest to’ will be easier, with people cashing in all their favours before dumping their old friends.

How will, for example, selling casing to criminals in the Flit work? Sell a much bigger chunk for a favour, and it becomes grindable. Sell it for renown and it becomes worth considerably less than it did as you used to be able to get diamonds for it. Add some other reward to the action?

I’m sure that there are answers to all these questions, and all the others, but forgive me for some trepidation.

Oh, and biggest worry: depending on how expensive it will be to get favours from the connection cards, people at the end game may find it hard to progress (much like quirks now).

(That being said, many thanks for giving us the heads up).
edited by RandomWalker on 8/12/2015

I’m glad you plan to rework faction opportunity cards since they’re pretty useless at the moment.

As usual, I’m both interested and confused by the coming change. Let’s see how it goes.

Also count me excited about the “unique expedition”!

One question - will Renown be actually used for anything, or is it just a roleplaying stat?

This sounds like a neat, refreshing change! I do think you guys will be able to pull it off (like the Tracker), but still…

I am nervous for the barrage of incoming opportunity cards though once the patch hit. I like being friends with everything!

Not sure if this will be bad or good in the end but I expect that the supplies using the docks will be far less profitable.

Or it might simply just be more inflexible instead of unprofitable - i.e. you get Labours based on how much Widow you wiped instead of 4-for-500 CP.

I mostly think this change is for the better, although it does make the game a little more complicated. The place where I have reservations is the Affair of the Box options that are currently on conflict cards. Will the opportunity to advance the Affair of the Box carousel instead of using up Favours for either side still be a branch on conflict cards in the new system? Will they be available but moved to different cards? I hope they don’t go away, because they’re currently the main thing I use conflict cards for at all. (Some of my friends don’t even find conflict cards worthwhile with that option, so I hope the undiscardable versions are more lucrative.)

With regard to Connected: Masters – which I’ve been idly grinding because it gives me something to do and I like being friends(?) with giant wickedly avaricious space bats – the Connected value goes up much, much more slowly under the old system than just about any other Connected quality. It doesn’t seem likely that Connected: Masters 2, Connected: Masters 6, and Connected: Masters 10 will all turn into the same amount of Renown given how much expensive grinding you have to do to get it past about 2 or 3. I have confidence in Failbetter’s thoughtfulness and attention to detail here.
edited by CameoAppearance on 8/12/2015

[quote=Seurat]looks up from grinding, poorly, connected: the masters.
um wait what[/quote]

Yup. Same. :-p

As for my own commentary, gonna put the wall of text behind a spoiler tag:

[spoiler]A little while ago I dumped a lot of the connections I didn’t need (most of them were 50+ and I wanted to thin out my Opportunity deck by removing some Conflict cards), and as of earlier today I’m no longer Closest To anyone, due to finally giving up on their connected card appearing, insisting upon Favorable Circumstances, and then Thwarting a Revolutionary operation from the Inside. (I needed a certain bottle of M______ B____ for my Lodgings, but didn’t want to remain Closest To them.)

So I’m not sure just how the changes will affect me. While I do agree with the changes from Connected to Favours, and the addition of Renown (I was thinking something exceptionally similar the other day), I don’t understand why the Renown wouldn’t ever lower.
If I’ve just betrayed the Revolutionaries, even if they don’t owe me a thing, I’m not sure I should expect them to welcome me with open arms quite so immediately afterwards because my Renown hadn’t shifted.
Similarly, with the Docks and Great Game, choosing to Violate the zailors’ most sacred superstition or Desecrate the hidden Shrine to St. Joshua surely should have some longer-term repercussions? Or at least make them not quite as willing as they were before to re-accept you.

I suppose if it’s described as a measure of awareness of you - how well-known you are within that faction - that would make sense. But fame (or infamy) doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you should just be able to collect infinitely and never lose.

PS:- Will Renown likely cap out at some level? Or increase indefinitely like the Walking the Fallen Cities / Seeing through the Eyes of Icarus / etc. seem to do?[/spoiler]

Are people aware that you can advance the Affair of the Box in Spite? I’m pretty sure it’s more profitable that way as well…
My understanding is the options for it on conflict cards are only for people who get their Turncoat menace too high and don’t resolve it…

Edit: Also, is there any particular reason for the favour cap? I’m not opposed to it, just curious what the design reason is for it.
edited by Ian Hart on 8/12/2015

Also for people on their phone and too lazy to go all the way back to spite. Its 6 or more additional taps if the phone cooperates.

[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)][quote=]Edit: Also, is there any particular reason for the favour cap? I’m not opposed to it, just curious what the design reason is for it.[/quote][/color]
[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]
[color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]I think the issue is right now you can stock up on connected all over the place, and always have it when you need to spend it. This will make that less likely since you can’t stock as much of it.[/color]
edited by 38thDoE on 8/12/2015

I like the Favours/Renown split. My character feels a certain kinship and affinity toward the Urchins, but eventually I just had to tank that Connection to clean up my deck. It’ll be nice to be able to reflect a good reputation with the gangs (via renown) without necessarily being roped into a lot of conflicts (via favours).

I really like this change. Really, really.

Have much curiosity about some implementation aspects:

  1. Will Renown gain be capped (like the Quirks) or completely unconstrained? Will it be used to unlock content?

  2. Will “Someone is Coming” system be substantially overhauled as it currently relies predominantly on the conflicts cards, or will simply be a more expensive trait to grind?

  3. What’s the intended impact on “Call in favours” storylets?

  4. What is the intended interplay (if at all) with the “Closest to” quality?

Interesting! I think I like it. A spendable resource that caps at 7! A one-way resource that only increases and can never be spent! That’s similar to say, the traditional way &quotXP&quot works in a lot of games, but quite different than the way most FL resources work – at least those that can be earned in quantity. This nicely decouples the &quotcash in&quot part of your relationship with a group with the &quotknown amongst&quot part, but also makes me wonder if there will be storylets, cards or branches that aren’t available if your Renown with a particular group is too high. Some that raise your Renown, presumably, but other branches as well? This would be a pretty big difference between the connection-hoarding players (e.g. Estelle Knoht!) and those who are frequently zeroing out connections for sellable resources and/or to remove conflict cards from their decks.

The part that has me scratching my head the most is the redesign of conflict cards. They pop up quite frequently in the current deck, although that’s in part because ten of them have the low requirement of Connected 5 in each side. I do think this particular card-grind needs reworking, as bouncing back and forth between two sides of a conflict is currently the cheapest (if not fastest) way to grind up, giving a persistent feeling of &quotalways playing both sides&quot as opposed to say, the stories implying that Turncoat is a pretty unsavory reputation! The two high-level conflicts (Docks-Widow and Criminals-Constables) feel more balanced in this respect, and the &quotmassive loss of one connection in exchange for material rewards&quot feels like a precedent for the new conflict card concept. On the other hand, the undiscardable part seems a little tricky; I get that it helps stop players from constantly fence-sitting to have &quotthe most of everything,&quot but are the rewards going to scale based on number of favours lost, kind of like Striped Delights / Silver Horseheads / Briny Insights? Also, it sounds like there’s a threshold above which these undiscardable cards will appear – perhaps something like &quot5 or more favours of each side.&quot If you bleed off favours into items or renown until one is below 5, presumably the undiscardable conflict card will vanish (kind of like happens with Someone is Coming), letting you discard it in a way that doesn’t zero out your favours. I’m guessing here that one might want to get rid of it that way since undiscardables have mostly been used for things that players want to avoid since they have some kind of negative consequence. Odd.

I also like the lopsided nature of connections in London – Society is easy to come by, Urchins and Docks much less so above connected-item levels, Revolutionaries is super-profitable if you hang around in the Flit. There are some weird rumples in the current system (like cashing in Revolutionaries…) but it’s kind of nice that the connection terrain is (appropriately, thematically) a strange and asymmetrical topology.

Also interested to see what happens with the Shepherd of Souls card, which rewards with Connections rather than the more purely-profit-driven rewards for spirifers. I guess that card may give favours in this redesign?
edited by metasynthie on 8/12/2015

I’m with randomwalker by saying “I like the idea in concept, although I’m obviously worried about the implementation.”

Whatever will be, I’m glad this system will be changed. I have also found quite strange how to interpret the meaning in-game of the Connections value. Yes, I know it represents how connected you are with one power group of Fallen London, but I think it was never ideally implemented and sometimes there happened quite quirky things.

Of the new system I’m just perplexed about one thing, that is it doesn’t seem to consider bad actions against one Connection.
In the very example of robbing the Embassy, I completely get you do not decrease (and perhaps even increase) Renown Hell, but I find strange there is no downside except losing Favours.
It would be great if there were a sort of “Infamy” indicator for each connection that could work as a minor menace, which could make some damaging opportunity cards appear or even some storylets (of course you could buy the Infamy away by consuming favours of that Connection or with other mechanisms).
Another thing that could be fun is using some Connections that are polar opposites (Criminal-Constables, Church-Hell, Revolutionaries-Masters) to create opportunities and/or storylets linked to their respective value of Renown/Favour/Infamy (e.g. if you are a certain value of Infamy Hell and Renown Church you could attract the attention of some high-level clergymen to do something).