Forgotten Quarter Expeditions?

I planning to make an Expedition once I finished the glorious revolution (or strike) at the Docks. Anyways I’ve got a lot of questions as a first time archaeologist:

  1. I currently have 52 watchful that can be buffed to 62 with items. Do I need to raise it more to get more &quotoomph&quot or my stats is fine for a first timer?

  2. Which one should I start? I heard of Nadir and eyeless skulls and other what nots here but have no idea how to get into them.
    [li]

  3. Which items would be worthwhile to trade for supplies, whispered secrets, appalling secrets or Rostygold (+Docks connection)? How much should I take per trip?

  4. I’m pretty sure expedition = shiny. Are the basic trips worth it?

  1. The more, the better! Personally, I’d want to go it with a buffed watchful of at least 80, so you can get a reasonably good success with the one-supply action. (When doing higher supply actions, always use second chances, and then back out if you fail on the first try. You don’t want to waste supplies, especially when you have rivals.)

  2. I’d presonally start with a Thieves Cache. It’s short and doesn’t have any rivals, so it lets you get a feel for things.

  3. Whispered Secrets, always. As for the ‘per trip’, usually I take a little shy of 1.5x the amount of base supplies needed for the trip (each expedition will tell you the bare minimum needed to complete it; you can’t undertake an expedition if you have less than that). However, it never hurts to have excess, as you don’t lose any supplies you have left over. I also take a good wad of Sudden Insights with me for the aforementioned ‘step in, step out’ method of doing things. You’ll want to use higher supply-per-action moves to outpace your Rivals in longer expeditions like the Nadir, but those require a higher Watchful to consistently pull off, and you risk losing supplies if you fail. Which is bad, as supplies are expensive.

  4. Usually? I’m not too good with EPA; you’d have to talk to somebody else. The rewards are randomized - on the cache, for instance, you can walk out with between 18.50 E (400 glim + threnody + 200 whispered secrets)
    and 72.50 E (500 souls + Searing Enigma). Other expeditions offer potentially higher rewards.

As for the Nadir, you’re going to have to run a bunch of normal expeditions and get your Archaeologist to 5 before you can do that. You’ll also need to raise your Intimate with a Secular Missionary and Revolutionary Firebrand qualities to 10 to proceed. Expeditions are a little scary at first - I know I was wibbly about them when I first started - but once you get the hang of things, they’re not so bad.

Also, if you get a storylet called A Sign?, play it. It is your friend.
edited by Laluzi on 12/23/2013

  1. Unless you want to use Sudden Insights to &quotperhaps not&quot out of any failed rolls, you’ll want to be able to boost Watchful to at least 84 to get 100% chance of success with &quotA cautious approach&quot. Because you don’t want to lose any expensive expedition supplies to failures.

  2. You start by learning the traditions of the Forgotten Quarter and that’ll give you the Archaeology skill. Then you go for Thieves’ caches until you have enough skill for the Tomb of the Seven, and then you can get into the University as a guest lecturer, which is good for getting Whispered Secrets. You can then proceed with expeditions to Thieves’ caches (up to Archaeologist 3) or a Shrine of Deep Blue Heaven until your skill reaches level 5, at which point you may be eligible for the Cave of Nadir, depending on all the other requirements for that one.

  3. Whispered Secrets are the best, even if you have to buy them from the Bazaar. It’s because they often give you two supplies instead of just one, so you’re not only getting extra supplies for your 200 x Whispered Secret, you’re also saving an Action every time that happens. And Actions can be used to get more Whispered Secrets. With 100% success rate ensured you can get away with taking the minimum (10, 20, 30 depending on the expedition) amount to any basic expedition, at least as long as you rely on &quotA cautious approach&quot, since that options limits your Rivals’ Progress. But since you get to keep any supplies you don’t use, you might as well bring 10 extra for dealing with rivals in case that actually becomes a problem. (It will most likely come up on the way to the Cave of Nadir.)

  4. Not for me, but that depends on your other options. Best average payoff I seem able to get is around 1.50 Echoes/Action, while I get 1.77 Echoes/Action from terms at the University (second stage, when trying to create one’s own department). And about the same if I do investigations and raid message drops or caches of Rostygold in the Flit. I guess if I finish the second stage of the University I wouldn’t have access to either of those options, and maybe then expeditions would be worthwhile? What’s definitely worthwhile is getting to the Cave of Nadir, and then returning there every week.
    edited by Gillsing on 12/23/2013

Thanks Laluzi. I guess I’ll have to find a good Whispered Secret per action storylet somewhere.
Will be on the look out for that sign!

I’m relatively certain that you can use a Thieves Cache to progress past 3. Both my main and one of my alts got to the Cave of the Nadir, and both of them did A Shrine of Deep Blue Heaven exactly once. Personally, I like the caches because they’re quick and easygoing.

While I agree with what Gillsing said, I personally don’t advise using A Cautious Approach on any expedition with, say, over 20 Progress needed to finish. Your Rivals will gain on you too quickly.

Anyway, if you try them out, you’ll find your own pace. I know I did.

I grind Whispered Secrets in the Fallen Quarter, but you’d best be prepared to chug a lot of laudanum or to go insane regularly while doing it. :| Once you get into the University, you can grind 95 Whispered Secrets an action, with no menaces or anything on failure, which is really nice.

[quote=Gillsing]1. Unless you want to use Sudden Insights to &quotperhaps not&quot out of any failed rolls, you’ll want to be able to boost Watchful to at least 84 to get 100% chance of success with &quotA cautious approach&quot. Because you don’t want to lose any expensive expedition supplies to failures.

  1. You start by learning the traditions of the Forgotten Quarter and that’ll give you the Archaeology skill. Then you go for Thieves’ caches until you have enough skill for the Tomb of the Seven, and then you can get into the University as a guest lecturer, which is good for getting Whispered Secrets. You can then proceed with expeditions to Thieves’ caches (up to Archaeologist 3) or a Shrine of Deep Blue Heaven until your skill reaches level 5, at which point you may be eligible for the Cave of Nadir, depending on all the other requirements for that one.

  2. Whispered Secrets are the best, even if you have to buy them from the Bazaar. It’s because they often give you two supplies instead of just one, so you’re not only getting extra supplies for your 200 x Whispered Secret, you’re also saving an Action every time that happens. And Actions can be used to get more Whispered Secrets. With 100% success rate ensured you can get away with taking the minimum (10, 20, 30 depending on the expedition) amount to any basic expedition, at least as long as you rely on &quotA cautious approach&quot, since that options limits your Rivals’ Progress. But since you get to keep any supplies you don’t use, you might as well bring 10 extra for dealing with rivals in case that actually becomes a problem. (It will most likely come up on the way to the Cave of Nadir.)

  3. Not for me, but that depends on your other options. Best average payoff I seem able to get is around 1.50 Echoes/Action, while I get 1.77 Echoes/Action from terms at the University (second stage, when trying to create one’s own department). And about the same if I do investigations and raid message drops or caches of Rostygold in the Flit. I guess if I finish the second stage of the University I wouldn’t have access to either of those options, and maybe then expeditions would be worthwhile? What’s definitely worthwhile is getting to the Cave of Nadir, and then returning there every week.
    edited by Gillsing on 12/23/2013[/quote]

  4. Well 84 is a lot of grinding…

  5. so Thieves caches then tomb of seven/ shrine then Nadir
    [li]

  6. I’ll do casual approach but I guess I can go without the 10 extra supplies for now.

  7. That’s a good payoff for me since I get less than an Echo for most of my actions anyways.

True, but losing supplies is very painful, especially if you don’t have a margin to fall back on. For grinding - you could up your watchful by buying gear, you know. Luminous Neathglass Goggles and an Avid Glove will give you +10 watchful together, and it’ll only cost you roughly 55 Echoes. It’s quite well-spent; I only upgraded my gear in those slots after I unlocked the Nadir and started making loads of money off Tears of the Bazaar.

When you reach enough Watchful, as described above, I recommend starting the process. When you eventually, after much effort reach the Nadir, the rewards are HUGE. There is another thread on the specific topic of the Eyeless Skull, so check that thread when it becomes relevant to you.

Maybe I am just unlucky, but the Nadir never seemed that profitable too me. Tears are rare and doing it is constant drain on stats. So running Nadir every week would be counter-productive to reaching PoSI.

Maybe I’m just lucky, but lately I’ve gotten 2-3 bottles of tears every time I’ve gone to the cave. It averages out to a little over one per visit for me, so far.

[quote=Laluzi]I’m relatively certain that you can use a Thieves Cache to progress past 3. Both my main and one of my alts got to the Cave of the Nadir, and both of them did A Shrine of Deep Blue Heaven exactly once. Personally, I like the caches because they’re quick and easygoing.[/quote]Maybe the wikia is wrong then? If so, thieves’ caches all the way to the Cave of Nadir! ;)

[quote=Laluzi]While I agree with what Gillsing said, I personally don’t advise using A Cautious Approach on any expedition with, say, over 20 Progress needed to finish. Your Rivals will gain on you too quickly. [/quote] I didn’t have to deal with any of the rivals on my way to the Tomb of the Seven, and that’s a 30 supplies expedition. According to my numbers, &quotA cautious approach&quot only increases Rivals’ Progress by one point on every sixth attempt, unlike the bold or buccaneering approaches, which increase Rivals’ Progress on every other attempt. 29 (25 with &quotA sign?&quot) divided by 6 is far enough away from the 9 points of increase needed for the dreaded Rivals’ Progress 10 that it shouldn’t be an issue unless you are unlucky. For the Cave of Nadir &quotA cautious approach&quot would easily be the difference between only having to deal with rivals once instead of twice. And 30 more chances to get &quotA sign?&quot during the trip. And easier Watchful challenges in case you’re not already at Watchful 160+ by that time.

I get at least a Tear out of every trip so far but for one when I got nothing of note.[li]

Just this last trip I got two Tears and two Enigmas.

I always get out at Irrigo 9 so it’s just under one level of stat damage which is easily repaired by burning some second chance items at my lodgings.

So far, my estimate is that I’ve earned nearly 1600 echoes at the Cave. Actually it’s probably a bit less but not by much.

I got The Catafalquerie card only once in five visits(

The talk of the Nadir is a bit off-topic, but:[li]

[spoiler]If you leave at Irrigo 5 or lower, you only lose 1 cp of stat per point of Irrigo. So you don’t have as much time to draw the Catafalquerie, but the stat losses become negligible.

Also, getting the best lodging you can makes a big difference in how often you draw the good cards.[/spoiler]

The Fate-locked expeditions are worth doing once if you like the Expedition content enough. There’s a little bit of unique content/mechanics, and the rewards are proportionate to the longer expedition.

I have found that the Arhaeologist skill rises up in CP equal to (minimum amount of expedition supplies required for the expedition / 10). So yes, you can proceed to Arhaeologist 5 without any fate content, and it will also take roughly the same amount of supplies as the fate-locked content. But it will take a LOT of repetitive grinding. Furthermore, the reward/payoff tables of the fate expeditions can be so immensely rewarding that I recommend doing them.

Also, remember that confronting a rival is not an automatic failure of an expedition. Rather, it will cost you 10 expedition supplies and an action, and you will need to succeed at a stat challenge, for which you should bring also second chances since those are much cheaper than supplies.

Oh, and before you gain University access, it might be more cost-efficient for you to grind Cryptic Clues, transform 500 of them into Appalling Secrets, transfer those into supplies, and drink heaploads of Laudanum. Depending on what storylets / parts of FL you have available.

If you don’t have storylets for Whispered Secrets or Cryptic Clues, grind anything you get lots of at once, sell them to the bazaar, purchase Whispered Secrets from the bazaar, and switch the Secrets for Supplies. When switching Secrets for Supplies, you will very often gain 2 supplies instead of 1, making them by far the cheapest/most cost-efficient option to gain supplies.

Finally finished my first expedition and boy did I get some shinies courtesy of a wooden mask.
I sold some of the gems I found and bought my intrepid archaeologist a well deserved pair of boots. He’s been running around barefoot in London for several weeks now.
Thanks guys!

[quote=Pyrodinium]I sold some of the gems I found …[/quote]If you ever intend to build a zubmarine, you’ll probably want to hang on to any Ostentatious Diamonds you find. And Venom Rubies for the Bejewelled Cane, in case you haven’t already got one. But you don’t need that many of those, so that’s less of a concern.

I only sold half of the diamonds to get new gear. I only got one Ruby so that shiny stays in my townhouse. Having a fancy cane and zubmarine sounds awesome though.
[li]

I only sold half of the diamonds to get new gear. I only got one Ruby so that shiny stays in my townhouse. Having a fancy cane and zubmarine sounds awesome though.
[li][/quote]
The cane will be your best friend forever. That -1 to Nightmares has saved my sanity on countless occasions. Just remember to hold onto 5 Rubies, 5 Sapphires, and one Ostentatious Diamond.
[/li]

By the way, I’ve encountered a treasure not reported at the Wikia called “an amulet?” It just gave me a Horsehead amulet which was quite a letdown since I rarely go overboard on my wounds.