I recently got started on this. It seems a… rather touchy matter. Everything is based on luck, which I find distasteful, and all failures seem to reduce the ‘Serenity’ of the Plaster Face… which I understand will make later trials more difficult.
Is it necessary to ply the Big Rat with Beeswax and candle-stubs to keep up the Serenity? Or will more economical options appear later? Any general advice on how to proceed, and how high to keep the Serenity?
I would avoid raising Serenity too high. Well, in theory I would avoid raising it too high. In practice I’ve always ended up with more Serenity than I need, and then I have to spend some time lowering it to the right level to conclude that part of the storyline.
Don’t worry too much about failure. You’ll still be able to raise Serenity once it’s needed, and it’s easier to just ignore it for now.
If you want to be safe, consider sacrificing Talkative Rattus Faber (failing the check) as it boost the Serenity more cheaply and sending the Bandit-Chief when it is 100% safe to do so. The threshold is fairly low for the Chief so you will spend less time lowering Serenity at the end of the story.