I could use some tips on Terror Management

Terror is almost always what ends the game for me. The crew mutinies or tentacles start dragging them under the sea… and they don’t even struggle! shudder, and so forth. I’m starting to feel like I’ve never really gotten out of the early game, the furthest I’ve been is Khan’s Heart or other ports of similar distance and I’m usually at or near max terror by the time I get back to london. I have yet to purchase a new ship although I can usually get a few upgrades for the starter ship.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there any sort of item/upgrade/officer/whatever that can slow the rate at which you gain terror in the dark? Maybe I’m worrying about fuel too much and should be going from light buoy to light buoy more often?

I also usually try to make it back to London before spending any money on reducing terror, as it seems to be the most cost effective there.

Plotting your routes carefully so that you hug the coast and go from light buoy to light buoy can really help, yes. Trying to cut straight across dark areas to save fuel will result in Terror getting out of hand very fast – don’t cross dark stretches of sea unless there’s no other way to get where you’re going. Hunter’s Keep can help manage Terror very early in the game, and once you can hunt Bound Sharks and Albino Morays, you can trade the Hunting Trophies you get to the sisters at Abbey Rock for Terror reductions. Also, it’s worth keeping some Zee-stories on hand for the “your glim-lamp blazes blue” random event – choosing the Zee-story option will reduce terror. But mainly, use those light beacons (and lighthouses, and shorelines) whenever you can.

In terms of upgrades, consider upgrading to a faster engine (completing the Genial Magician’s story will give you access to the Serpentine, which is very good for only 800 Echoes), so that you spend less time in the dark gaps between light buoys. Maybe’s Daughter as an Engineer also increases your engine speed a bit.

Hmm… Does keeping to the shore prevent terror or slow it even when there’s no light? Maybe That’s been part of my problem.

Yes, keeping close (very close, less than a boat-length) to shorelines stops you gaining terror. (Though only while you have your lights turned on.) It doesn’t reduce it though.

Hopping from light buoys to the little islands/rocks to your destination is the best way to slow the terror gain. When you’re gaining terror the amber “pips” start going around the skull in the top left corner of the screen, Each full circle is another point. (The blue/green lights on the sides of your ship also turn on, so you can see easily when you’re gaining terror).

Also, don’t run without lights. At present the only benefit is a small fuel saving, but it makes your terror skyrocket, it’s really not worth it.

Make sure you have enough fuel to plot your routes around shorelines and light buoys for minimum terror gain. At 10 echoes a barrel (or 9 at Mt Palmerston, stock up while you’re there!) buying fuel is WAY cheaper than reducing terror. (Just don’t buy it in the small ports, stick to London or Palmerston)

When you return to London at the end of your runs, spend your extra money taking trips into town to reduce your terror down to 0. It also helps if you have a romantic entanglement, to which there are currently no downsides and also gives you periodic terror reductions.

Keeping your terror low when you head back out onto the Zee means that you’re less likely to spike high enough to encounter Terror events, and also that you probably won’t go over 50 and start having Nightmares when you get back to London.

Do not to let your terror get too high in the first place. Route Planning is vital, stay in the light as much as possible. So keep an eye on your ship - if you are in a terror zone green lights come on, reverse back until they go off and check your route.

There is also a gauge in the top left - amber is danger and green is safe. No lights mean that you are neither gaining or preventing a terror point. You get one terror point for every time the amber lights go all the way around the dial. So it is best if you get amber lights to get into and stay in an area that gives green light until the green ones go out. As if you leave before they reset that terror point they turn amber and you don’t have as much time to get into the next safe zone.

After you have got terror you really want it below 50 when you return to London, so here are a few things that are always available

if you are a reasonably new player kill bats around Venderbight, that will take one or two terror points, and there are a lot of bats.

Take tea with the factor at Demeaux for another point off.

Share recent news at lightships for another 2 points off.

You can load up on a lot of fuel and some extra supplies then coast hug down to the Cumaean Canal and take a trip to the surface.

When you are a bit further into the game you will start killing things that give hunting trophies if you give those to the nuns at Abbey Rock you get up to - 8 terror.

Once you are in London

Rest in your lodgings gives some terror reduction depending on where you live (but you also get restful nights that apparently help if you have got to the nightmare stage)

Carouse on Wolfstack Docks - unlucky - 3, lucky - 5 and, once you get a sweetheart an extra - 2 on the lucky result. You need to set sail and keep the memento to activate that. This also opens up an option on one of the random storylets in other ports that gives -10 terror.

Getting new crew members also gives a small terror reduction.
edited by reveurciel on 7/13/2014

Some other comments to add…

  • Be mindful of southern routes. There are a lot of long gaps between buoys and islands, so be mindful of this when you plan to head to Poly, Pigmote, or Godfall.

  • Your terror resets to 50 in town. if you have an estate (I recommend it, with a Will), you can rest for -11 terror (now 39) and some Well Rested to fend off nightmares. Carouse once or twice (which brings you down to 29) and you’re in pretty good shape. Coming home to London is the BIGGEST drop in terror you can get, and it’s modestly free as long as you remember to rest at home. I gladly do my routes leaving with 20-30 terror and come back on fuel fumes and a crew on their last wire as long as I make the effort worth it in the end.

  • Learn which actions generate terror, and generally avoid them. Ignoring crew nightmares and walking away from creepy people with stories is usually a good start. Skulking and &quotrecon&quot are often fruitless endeavours that will leave you mindful of the lack of brain bleach. While careless is often worse, aggressive options tend to be worth the risk.

  • Fighting monsters like Angler Crabs, Lifebergs, and Bound Sharks, while containing good offerings, will raise your terror levels once it comes to salvage the bits for the good stuff they offer. Avoid fighting if you’re high strung.

Your most reliable lose of terror is Carousing back in FL. This averages to 6 echos per point of terror lost (30 for an average loss of 5… 3 when unlucky/7 when lucky and you meet your sweetheart). Keep this # in mind when you plan your routes. What use is gaining 5 points of terror (30 echos) when your profit is only 20? Early game, your best bet when swinging by the sisters is definitely Lucy. That 10 terror reduction is 60 echoes back in London! So unless you need the tale of terror/memory of a distant shore for a tattoo, just swing by Lucy. If you don’t need the -10 terror, consider skipping the Keep as you only get so many visits to the sisters.

Other than that, as some have said hunter’s trophies can be turned in at the Abbey for a slight drop in terror, however its tricky to get to the abbey itself without gaining any terror. Also, the monsters that drop trophies can scream and cause you to gain terror yourself. This is only 3 at a time, but unless you have a powerful weapon (harpoon based perferrably), you are going to waste a lot of time with evasions. This leaves you open to gain lots of terror.

Otherwise, what everyone else has been saying. You really have to get used to planning your routes to hug shore/islands and skim from light buoy to light buoy. To avoid terror gains, you need 1 of 2 conditions. 1) Be close to shore and under a light source (either your own or a buoy) or 2) Be under the influence of 2 light sources (some combination of your own lights/a buoy/a lighthouse or lightship). Thus, if you are near shore and by a buoy, leaving your lights on is just draining fuel. When you get comfortable with this you can toggle your lights on/off to conserve a little fuel while preventing terror gain (Be close to full yellow pips when entering a light buoy near shore, then turn off lights and watch your terror pips turn green and reset to 0… all without gaining a single point!)

One last note… make proper use of Lighthouses and lightships. When you want to cross a gap with a lighthouse nearby (like north of Hunter’s Keep), you can turn off your engines/lights if possible and wait for the lighthouse to swing near you. Then head out and meet the light halfway. With your own lights+being in the sphere of hte lighthouse, your terror pips will turn green and begin to reset. Even if you are only under the light for a couple of seconds, this will reverse your terror gain and extend your range (without gaining terror). Those 3-4 seconds you buy this way can be all you need to prevent that one point of terror!

The terror reduction to 50 when coming back to London does not always work. I have the suspicion that you shouldn’t come back to London with the ‘recent news’ unused. I’m not sure if this is a bug or something intentional within the game mechanism.

Terror reduction to 50 in London requires Something Awaits You. Whether that’s a deliberate decision, or just how most port arrival stories are triggered, I’m not sure.

Yes, SAY was it, thank you. Those details can bite you in the behind.

[li]I never do terror reductions in London, if above 50 it gives nighmare strength on the long term this is killing. In an early game it rose to 50 and at a lost check i got 35 terror in one go, had 55 so i ended up with 90. I was at the Kanate at that moment and didn’t make it home due to stacking of terror.
[li]The method i use are sharks and the abbey. In my rounds i pass Cecil, mine some of the scintillate (gives terror). Then go to the isle next to it, turn the engines of and wait for some sharks. I only take the trophies and the 1 supply, the rest is thrown overboard. If the bell sounds go to the port, mine some. Rince and repeat until terror is above 50. The scintillate will add nicely to the profit. After that wait with the engines off and kill sharks until my fuel or supplies hit the lower limit to get home. On my way home I pass the abby, redusce terror by handing in the shark teeth en then go to London. Until so far i always made it to London with terror <5. One trophy is good for about 6 terror. It can also be traded at Godfall for stories.
However it is the most grindy method and i do other stuff while waiting for sharks to attack my ship.