How to avoid becoming a turncoat?

The entries in the Wiki get somewhat imprecise and misleading on this topic.

If I wish to avoid gaining turncoat at all, what choices should I avoid along the Empire’s Kingmaker and Affair of the Box paths?

If you side with the revolutionaries, pick anything anti-Masters/pro-Revolutionary. If you side with the Masters, pick anything pro-Masters/anti-Revolutionary. There’s no easy way to tell besides just reading the branch text carefully.
also avoid misclicks b/c i’ve gotten turncoated at least ten times just because i clicked the wrong thing by accident :V

if you end up with A Turncoat and having it in the slightest is a terrible curse for you or something, you can increase it to 4 and then reset it by paying some connected masters or connected revolutionaries (or 10 fate)
edited by Spacemarine9 on 4/29/2013

The trick is to stay consistent. Once you’ve sided with the Masters - and become a Guardian of the Realm - or with the people - and become the Conscience of Empire - you’ll become a Turncoat if you make a choice favouring the other side. So, for example, if you’ve sided with the Masters, you’ll want to assist their agents, oppose the unions, and protect their shipments and messages. Otherwise, you’ll want to do the opposite.

That was my plan, although I was also reading the reward spoilers on the wiki beforehand to make sure they lined up with what I wanted. That worked until I hit 4 boxes of intrigue, when the copy+paste reward info for helping Mr. Fires said that it would give me turncoat (I’m a fist of the Bazaar, of course I chose to support the masters). So now I’m feeling really wary.

I see the wiki entry you mean - I’m guessing that’s an error on the copyist’s part.

I just veriified, either it was changed since the wiki entry, or it was a typo. My heart leans toward typo. Copy and Paste errors are vicious sometimes.

It probably wasn’t checked for both sides? In either case, I’ve rectified it, and (hopefully) it should now be correct. Nevermind, I was looking at the wrong storylet Now they should be correct.
edited by Aximillio on 4/29/2013

Thank you kindly

Next question, related, does advancing my “Tale of the Box” quality further prevent me from doing the Empire’s Kingmaker/Box of Intrigue stuff? Or will that still be open?

The Box of Intrigue thing is the mechanism of progressing the storyline once you get to that point: it sticks around after you finish the Affair, which is good because it’s really profitable
edited by Spacemarine9 on 4/29/2013

Thank you! I was crossing my fingers on that one because I wanted to progress the story, but everything I read suggested it was really profitable.

Do you know how the Box profits compare to the Fidgeting Writer? (I know the FW storyline is technically profitable, but I keep losing and it’s rather dispiriting!)

It depends on the quality of your luck. If you have average or better luck, on a large enough scale the Fidgeting Writer is claimed by many to be more profitable. If you have at all below average luck, it rapidly becomes much, much less

The Iron Box cycle yields 1.64E/action on average, slightly less if your equipped Shadow is below 200 (since you will have rare failures that drop the average slightly).

We don’t know the true numbers for the Fidgeting Writer storyline, and even we did, your actual results are going to vary wildly, depending on your luck (and how efficiently you can get the necessary components).

If we assume, for example, that the true chances for success at each step are 70/70/70/60/50/50/50 (and assume that you obtain all components in London with no chance of failure), that gives you an average return of 1.58E/action. If we instead assume that the true figures are 72/72/72/62/54/54/54, that gives us an impressive 2.11E/action.

Personally, I came out somewhere in the middle. After 7000+ total actions, my results were 72/73/71/61/51/52/46, for an average of 1.87E/action.

I sufficiently dislike luck-based storylines, however, that even with the slightly lower averages, I’d rather do the Iron Box.

It’s about 143 ppa if you sided with the Masters and don’t want to switch sides. Still pretty nice, though I think Hunter’s Keep would be better if you’re in that boat and don’t mind leaving London.
edited by Sara Hysaro on 4/30/2013

What makes Hunter’s Keep better?

There’s a reasonably common chance of getting a Searing Enigma when you take your net to the well, and examining the books has a chance to give you 2.50 echoes for your action instead of 1.08 echoes. You can read more about it on the last post on this page. Affair of the Box is more reliably better if you intercept the messages, but otherwise Hunter’s Keep is probably the way to go if you don’t want to do the Fidgeting Writer.
edited by Sara Hysaro on 4/30/2013

I need to go get that key anyway for ambition’s sake

I resemble this remark!

And I’ve done something about it; see this post for the details.

Just in case anyone might not be aware of the two threads that go in-depth into the best money making options:

The Fidgeting Writer - doing the maths (SPOILERS)

An in-depth look at money options

But do note that with the new chance distribution many of the numbers will change when you can’t get 100% anymore.