Max Stats Equal Half the Content

OK, the title may have been a bit of a exaggeration, but it hits the crux of my point. I’ve been playing Fallen London for a few years now and have become deeply engrossed in the lore and storytelling that comes with the setting. The writers are some of the best I’ve ever seen in any form of medium by flawlessly combining hilarious, awesome, heartwarming, tearjerking, and horrifying text and dialogue to make a game fundamentally without gameplay worth a monthly subscription just to ensure I can consume everything new released.

As a long term player, I have hit the content boundary on pretty much ever available story and have proudly reached 200 in every stat, BUT this hits the major issue that has been nagging at me for a long time. As a max stated player, I am almost always guaranteed to succeed at every skill check in the game currently, especially in newly released content. This, of course, seems like it should be working as intended, after all I shouldn’t ever fail if my character is just that awesome. Unfortunately, much to Failbetter’s credit and my consternation, much of the funniest, wittiest, and downright memorable text in the game comes from failing the skill checks.

Seriously, think back to all the hilarious failures that made messing up during the skill grinds worth it. Think back to all the amusing injuries sustained while hunting for dangerous prey or training for the black ribbon duels. Think back to ruffling society feathers in the University for the most mundane slip ups. Think back to getting horrible nightmares at the university for the most innocuous of things such as your students laughing at you for messing up the lecture. Think back to how much of that hilarious text, central to what makes Fallen London enjoyable as an experience, you would have missed if you had a 100% chance to succeed every time. Even after equipping a Talkative Rattus Fabber and putting on equipment that gives me negatives in stats, I still can fail at the vast majority of content in Fallen London.

The whole point to this forum post is to point out that as a max stat player, I honestly feel like I’m missing out on a huge chunk of content that I’m currently paying monthly for and am being unintentionally punished for playing the game to the fullest. My suggestion for this would be to simply grant players who have a base stat 100% chance of succeeding on skill checks an option to see the failure text with no repercussions. Of course, to be fair, this can take up an action if necessary and be optional for players that don’t care. It can even be made an option only available for exceptional friends if you want, I just want the option there so I can read the greatly written text that I otherwise would never get a chance to and forever miss out on.

You could always get into bottled oblivion…

At the same time, I don’t want to lose my stats either.

At the same time, I don’t want to lose my stats either.[/quote]

Ever done a Flash-Lay?


Hmm, so a mechanic somewhat like second chances, but to help you fail challenges instead?

Have you located an Impossible Theorem yet? According to the wiki, even at 342 Watchful, it only has 41% chance of succeeding, so it should be a challenge, still.

Also, if I may suggest, if you don’t have a Übergoat yet and would like to go on an expedition, the &quotA buccaneering approach&quot will only be a &quotstraightforward&quot challenge at Watchful 267… so it should also provide some challenge.

Trying to reach Courier’s Footprint 21 (Scholar of the Correspondence) also requires Watchful 300, (which requires equipping a Mood, if I’m not wrong) so that is a challenge in itself, too, and it will allow you to read the &quotFailure&quot text.

Hope that helps, and good luck! :)
edited by Sixsmith Apence on 3/27/2017

I think some people have suggested a “deliberately fail” option but there are some storylets out there that could be exploited with this. Not an insurmountable issue by any means though.

What stat challenges give better results on failure than success? I’m not aware of any.

I think there are a few options in Menace zones meant to make it easier for new players to get out.

My suggestion is that if you have a 100% base chance to succeed at a skill challenge, then just give us the option to see the fail text, maybe for an action. I just want to be able to read the failure text since it is often as humorous if not more so than success.

During the exceptional stories, for example, I will never fail a challenge so I can never read basically half the text that the author put into the story.
edited by loredeluxe on 3/27/2017

[quote=loredeluxe]My suggestion is that if you have a 100% base chance to succeed at a skill challenge, then just give us the option to see the fail text, maybe for an action. I just want to be able to read the failure text since it is often as humorous if not more so than success.

During the exceptional stories, for example, I will never fail a challenge so I can never read basically half the text that the author put into the story.
edited by loredeluxe on 3/27/2017[/quote]

I second this idea.

At the risk of sounding like That Guy railing about ‘entitled casuals these days’, if we accept failure text as content that is just as valuable as success text, then we must also recognize that maximum stat requirements are as just as valid as minimum stat requirements. If you don’t meet them, then use Bottled Oblivion/Talkative L.B./Nadir until you do (or just make a low-level alt). FL doesn’t have an option to automatically see the success text if you’re ineligible for it, why should it have one for failure?

This, on other hand, is an idea I can get behind.

At 200 in every stat, Talkative LB isn’t effective and Bottled Oblivion isn’t practical. Being ineligible for failure text and that working as intended implies that we are at least partially being punished for playing the game to its fullest, which doesn’t sound correct in any sense.

Why &quotpunished&quot? It’s just a branch in the narrative, based on your choices, stats, and equipment. Whatever choice you make, you are experiencing the game to the fullest.

Are you also &quotpunished&quot for choosing one Ambition since the game then won’t let you read the other Ambitions’ text?

I completely get the desire to experience all possible text from all possible results. But sometimes you’re just not eligible for a particular result - either because of stats, or because of choices you’ve made (e.g. choosing either the Last Constable or the Cheery Man is an irreversible decision which affects what continuation of the story you’ll see later.).

If it’s that important, then either drop your stats (and you can use Bottled Oblivion to drive your stats to the ground if you want - just ask NiteBrite), create an alt, or just look for the text on other people’s journals. All are valid options. Regardless, the game doesn’t punish you by showing you exactly what your character is eligible for.

To add onto dov and passionario’s points, FL is a game where different things happen to different people. If the point of the game was to read all of the lovely things the writers have created, it would just be a novel.

I’m in the same boat as loredeluxe, I’ve been playing for about 7 months and my last stat just hit 200. There aren’t any failure texts I’ve been dying to see (yet) but rather changing mechanics, I’d just like to see more/stronger stat lowering items. If you could put something equivalent to a Talkative Rat in each slot, that’d bring you down to 50, which would give you a good failure chance for most checks you’d encounter.

As many mentioned, it’s really easy to lower your stats using various methods, but getting another item/set that will lower our stats by 50 will be way to much!
As a newcomer is hard to get better items and the bonus they offer is close to 6-10. They are getting mostly failures on a, let’s say 120 challenge, progress slower and have a smaller income. I find it unfair to have items that reduce our stats with 50! Why should we, max stat players, grind as efficient as possible, but also get the failure text; isn’t it a bit to much?

I really think FBG made the mid level cards more profitable than the rest intentionally. The high tier ones are really useless! :D I saw this as a reminder to not rush to the end; it’s not a grind, it’s not the end point from where we can start to “play”/enjoy the game.

I kind of miss the times when I was seeing the 80-110 skill cards and those made me take things slow, real slow! Specially with Dangerous which was around 130 when the new Renown items were introduced.

Can’t wait to destroy my skills with Skulls! :D

Sometimes you don’t get a second chance if you fail and when that happens you appreciate having very high stats.

The only time I really regretted missing the failure text was in the Calendar Code and it wasn’t high stats that did that but rather high quirks.

I too think the game would benefit by having some anti-second chances items that all but guarantee failure it used. Or maybe they could be like the mood items in reverse, with item linked storylet spawning them and using up said item. They should be a different item for each one, each one only available in a high end area.

Suggestions are

Rubbery mannerism for PERSUASIVE, available at flute street
Uncooperative garments lowers shadowy, you get these in polytheme
Really Really strong araig, available at port carnelian to lower dangerous.
Sudden forgetfulness - available at the cave of the nadir to tank watchful.

You would also need something for all the other checks (except luck) perhaps something like admonishment of a master which you get at the bazaar side streets using a common card which has a master be nearby with the sensible option to leave them be or to petition them about something. This gains a massive hit to a random menace which depends on which master you find it was (also random) for example Mr. Iron will punch you to a pulp raising wounds, Fires will have neddy men attack you, Veils will say that he will see you later raising nightmares etc etc.

Success/Failure in this game isn’t always a cleanly divided positive/negative branching path. Temple Club even have a storylet where different but equally neutral results are given out based on rare/common success/failure.

Anyway, the failure texts are rarely interesting unless they are on easily available, early game actions for comedy value. Stat reductions are probably better than giving players anti-chances to game their results around, which is awfully tricky to write story around with.