Intricate Kiefers or Poisoned Umbrella...

Having recently advanced from Agent to Midnighter, I waved a sorrowful farewell to my Memento of a Struggle… and then realized that with that gone, my best Shadowy weapon was a Spirifer’s Fork with a rousing +2. Can’t let THAT stick! So, time to grind some echoes and buy an upgrade…

…however, I’m having a hard time deciding between the two options above. The Poison-Tipped Umbrella IS the best non-Profession-locked Shadowy weapon, at +8… but it has no other purpose, and the +4 to Dangerous it also provides is entirely wasted. Meanwhile, the Intricate Kiefers are +7, so only ONE point less… and have a secondary use during Burglaries, should you draw the ‘troublesome lock’ card. They’re also a pleasant 50 Echoes cheaper.

So, since I find myself dithering, I thought I’d solicit some advice from the older and wiser. Go with the best, even if it’s only 1 more point and 50 echoes extra, or stick with the picks that might come in handy during the occasional burglary too?

I’d say go with the Kifers unless you never see yourself going on Heists. Difficult Shadowy checks are pretty rare, so that extra point probably won’t be all that critical. The Kifers, on the other hand, might save you from getting into bad situations by helping you get the Progress you need sooner.

It’s also worth noting that there are very, very few high-level Shadowy challenges. The only repeatable Shadowy challenges that require more than 200 for guaranteed success are the Traitor’s Feast (225 for 100%, but which you really shouldn’t end up at anyway), harvesting the Royal Beth for souls (250 for 100%, requires Fate), and going burgling with your husband the Jewel Thief (834 for 100%).

For reference, the maximum bonus you can get without a profession item, any Fate, a Mood, or a Destiny is +49 (with the Umbrella) – and your profile indicates you’ve already got a Shadowy profession lined up.

So, in the long term, you really won’t need a lot of Shadowy on gear, and I’d recommend sticking with the Kifers.
edited by Jeremy Avalon on 7/6/2015

Kifers it is, then… I wasn’t aware there was such a dearth of high-level Shadowy challenges, honestly. I guess that’s why ‘Invisible Eminences’ are so rare. Only real reason to take that route would be pure IC/RP stuff, huh?

There’s always a chance for high difficulty Shadowy options to turn up in future content. Specializations in general haven’t been utilized as unlocks for very much yet, but I have no doubt that one day they’ll all have something that makes each one a worthy option to pick.

Shadowy as a lifestyle isn’t primarily about big checks with big payoffs, though, so much as the idea that you can achieve many different currencies by illegitimate means.

If you gain 20 casing, which only takes a master thief perhaps 60 turns, you can quickly score a huge diversity of different currencies or go into a heist with various advantages. If you need, for example, a massive supply of tales of terror, stacking a ton of Casing is the fastest way to go about it, and a high enough Shadowy score will even get you a solid rate of return.

True, my aspiration to reach 250 shadowy with gear and specialization won’t be decisive with many shadowy checks other than perhaps against another player. But the un-augmented 200 I can reach in the other stats can eventually shore up any other paths to profit.

The current spec-locked options aren’t really that great, while the 15 point boost for maxing the specialization usually only translates to a few percent difference for a moderate number of the hardest checks. Really, specialization as a whole isn’t that developed yet.