Going to polythreme pre-POSI

i am collecting map scraps to go to polythreme. i am not yet POSI and i have no story reason to go there. i am interested in this place but i dont know if its worth it or not since i have no reason to be there and i dont want to pointlessly use up my map scraps.

is it worth it? does polythreme have its own story? is it only interesting to POSIs?

Polythreme is a good source of some items like romantic notions, and can be a very profitable grind if you play it right. I dont know how profitable it is at lower levels though. There are also unique companions you can pick up there. Its a pretty interesting place, but there is nothing super important there you need right away.

IIRC the companions are locked if you aren’t a POSI, correct me if im wrong though.

“If you play it right” may be the operative phrase here. I certainly came away in a state of profound frustration. Let us know how you fare!

Judging by the wiki, you can get the companions pre-PoSI. Polythreme is also a good place to grind Shadowy, as the “Lurk in the Eaves” action has no consequence on a failure.

The potential issue is that with lower stats, the skill-based cards for advancing through the Unnatural Exuberance will not be straightforward, and you probably don’t have a five-card lodging yet, both of which are really helpful for increasing your odds of success. Without those, you will be completely at the mercy of the RNG, so I wouldn’t suggest going if you don’t have a high tolerance for random chance messing with you.

You’ll be at the mercy of the RNG, and you cannot leave until you can afford to pay your way back… which can be a problem if your stats aren’t high enough to succeed at the tasks that get you the materials you need to leave. You can basically get stuck in failure limbo for a very long time if you go as soon as you can with low stats.

The specific items you can upgrade into unique things are a Battered Grey Overcoat and an Exceptional Hat. The former is simple enough but the latter requires a ship, and therefore is only possible for PoSIs. The latter also requires choosing a specific ending to a one-time story.