New Player Questions: Items Nightmares

Hello delicious new friends!
I’m a new player, with about a week’s progress under my belt.

I’m looking for advice on item and inventory management, so that I’m not doing myself a disservice later on. What should I keep, what to change up, what to sell and what to buy.

Secondly, I’m having some difficulty managing my Nightmares. What are some effective strategies?

Thanks very much!

Well, don’t sell anything unless you have something in mind to buy. As selling items takes no actions, it’s best to keep items around until you want to liquidate them, in case you come across a use for them. But since you’re a new player, there’s one thing you’ll likely want to sell: the Magnificent Diamond you get at the start. I kept mine for a long time thinking it might be useful. It wasn’t.

As for what to buy, you should get the stat boosting items you feel you need. Spiderchitin Gauntlets are a good choice early on, since they’re still the best dangerous gloves in the game, and they’re cheap. A bit later you might want to pick up some Masterwork Dancing Slippers or a Ratskin Suit, for similar reasons, but it might be some time before you can afford those.

For Nightmares reduction, if you feel like delving into Fallen London’s social actions, you can request help from other players in your lodgings. The Nightmares related cards you draw at higher nightmares can also reduce them. Finally, you could just get to 8 Nightmares and go mad; you’ll get better.

So just an FYI about the inventory, in case this was your concern: There are no limits to the number of distinct items you can have. The screen shows rows with a finite limit, but that’s just for ease of display. If you acquire more items, then your inventory screen will grow enough rows to hold them. So don’t think you need to sell stuff in order to make space.

You don’t need to buy or sell much in the early game. It’s generally not worth your time to grind cash. You don’t need much cash on hand until later in the game, and when you do there, are better ways to obtain it. Also, the Bazaar gives you bad deals on most goods.

The one thing to consider buying is stat-boosting equipment. Items that give +2 to a stat for 12ish Echoes or +5 to a stat for 28ish Echoes are decent deals. The price-per-stat drops drastically beyond that.

For nightmares: Buy a goldfish. Drink laudanum. Engage in social actions with players you trust not to betray you. Or go do other non-Nightmare-inducing activities while waiting for some Opportunity Cards that help.

As stated above, the Goldfish is a very useful friend. He’s one of only two items that will reduce Nightmares while equipped. (The other you’ll find later; be nice–for quite some time–to any mooching jeweler you happen to run across.)

If you have Appalling Secrets, there’s an option on the item to try forgetting them; success will lower your Nightmares. I don’t recommend this, even though I did it a lot as a new player, because there are better options. However, it’s good to know in a pinch.

The best thing, as has been stated before, is social actions. The other person has to initiate the action (which is somewhat unfortunate), but you can let someone know through another social action. It’s best if you use something that has a benefit of its own (i.e. not writing a letter), and most players will appreciate if you write in-character. However, you’ll find most players are willing to help out.

Regarding items: Some items in Fallen London are so common as to effectively be currencies themselves: brass, glim, rostygold, moon pearls, jade, amber. These can safely be liquidated when you need some cash. You will find plenty more later on.

You may meet a gentleman with blue stones. His items are unique, but he shows back up if you sell it. Ergo, that’s also something safe to sell.

As for what to buy: As said above, the best stat-boosting equipment you can afford. I recommend looking first at your preferred attributes, to help you progress further in the stories you’re interested in. Menace-reducing items (i.e. the goldfish) can also be useful, especially if you don’t have many social contacts yet. Don’t buy common items from the Bazaar, or any item that can be obtained another way, unless you absolutely must; they are as ridiculously overpriced as you’d expect from a market run by mysterious and greedy cloaked figures.

Hmm, I dunno about liquidating glim as a starting player. My experience was that the above-mentioned mooching jeweler was a bloody glim vacuum cleaner - she always wanted much, much more than I ever had to hand, and there didn’t seem to be a regular, straightforward way to get lots of it as a new player (maybe I missed something somewhere). I’d hang on to your glim until you are done with her, based on how it went for me.

This is all good advice. Even the contradictory parts. I remember that when I first started playing, Hieronymus Drake went mad about once a week, and I thought it was just a normal part of the game. That’s still not a bad attitude to take. If you die, go insane, get exiled, or go to prison, the worst thing that happens really is just that you have to spend your next several actions in a fairly boring zone.

But contacting other players can help a great deal mechanically and also enhance your game experience. I’ve found people to be mostly friendly and courteous. Also, most of us love Fallen London because we love good writing, and people who appreciate good writing are often a joy to correspond with. Once I got over my initial shyness and began to contact people (e.g. those who posted in the forum that they were looking for people to RP with), I met some great people, and some of them I still RP with (and just chat with) regularly after a year.

Worth mentioning here that going to prison will result in a mark on your criminal record. To date, in the entire history of the game, there has been one single opportunity to reduce the record, during a seasonal even (last October) and for a great price (I personally had to miss out on some other unique and useful seasonal items which may or may not ever become available again). This may come back this year during the same event, but there’s absolutely no certainty, and it’s quite possible there will never be another such opportunity again.

The record has little mechanical impact - I think it makes getting out of jail slightly harder, but beyond that doesn’t affect pretty much anything. It’s still a quality that you gain that cannot be reduced or erased, with a significant in-character impact if you’re into roleplaying, so bear that in mind before you decide to let Suspicion go unchecked.

The other areas have somewhat similar consequences, but they’re generally less severe. Dying is the only other one that also gives you a non-eraseable quality; it does make getting back alive harder, but it’s actually avoidable (hint: don’t play chess while dead if that’s your goal), and from an in-character perspective it’s nothing nearly as bad as a criminal record (in fact, many players go dead on purpose just to grind that quality). Going mad will slightly lower your Dream qualities but will have no permanent impact, while being exiled will force you to lower one of either Austere or Hedonist which, again, is not permanent and also only matters at all if you’re trying to get your quirks up really high - a completely optional endeavour that some long-time players might engage in.
edited by Dudebro Pyro on 1/15/2018

If you want money, keep an eye out for the various faction cards, and use them to get Favours as often as possible. (Also get a faction pet from the Clandestine Rendezvous in Watchmaker’s Hill, as that gives Favours too.) Some sources of Favours require items you’ll have difficulty getting right now, so don’t worry about those.

You want Favours because there’s a bunch of cards unlocked with five Favours in two specific factions; for example, having five Constable and Criminal Favours unlocks the Crime or Punishment? card. These conflict cards let you side with one faction, spending two of the other Favours for valuable items. Using the linked card, three actions to gain and cash in Favours gets you six echoes of stuff, which is incredibly useful early on.

There’s other ways to cash in Favours that don’t depend on two factions, both cards and storylets, but many are less efficient than the conflict cards.

If your Criminal Record gets high enough, it prevents you from using Instant Ablution Absolution, and going to jail docks one Notability, 10% of your echoes, and 10% of your Rostygold. As such it’s best to avoid ever letting Suspicion hit 8.

That being said, visiting prison is necessary for a step of Bag a Legend!, to become acquainted with the Repentant Forger, and to get the Criminals Renown 40 item. The only way to visit without raising Criminal Record is to fail to rob the Brass Embassy; good thing it only wipes Favours: Hell now.
edited by Optimatum on 1/15/2018

[quote=CosmicRay]Hello delicious new friends!
I’m having some difficulty managing my Nightmares. What are some effective strategies?

I sent you a nightmare reduction. You can ask for other people to help you out here:

Bear in mind you can ‘stack’ these menace reducing social actions in your inbox, so only use when it gets a bit too high. And try to return the favour.

Also, you should soon have a rat of glory, I had a spare - take the safe option!

Wait, you mean that Jack Vance guy with starry hat? I kept his Picaresque Tales as unique memorable item! Then I may sell them and get again, really?
edited by curtistruffle on 1/15/2018

[quote=curtistruffle]Wait, you mean that Jack Vance guy with starry hat? I kept his Picaresque Tales as unique memorable item! Then I may sell them and get again, really?

Just note that his card has Rare frequency (like Mood cards), so it might be a while before you draw it again.

edited by dov on 1/16/2018

Same if you grab a blue stone. Took me while to work that one out.
And there’s a great opportunity to lower suspicion in Spite if you want to avoid the Clink.


Just note that his card has Rare frequency (like Mood cards), so it might be a while before you draw it again.

edited by dov on 1/16/2018[/quote]

Thank you! Delicious news.

I’ll throw out there that, especially early in the game, letting menaces hit 8 isn’t so bad. Going mad from nightmares isn’t an efficient use of actions, and it’ll reduce your dream qualities slightly, but you probably don’t have much progress in dreams anyway and it’s interesting to visit the Royal Beth at least once just to see it.

I’ll throw out there that, especially early in the game, letting menaces hit 8 isn’t so bad. Going mad from nightmares isn’t an efficient use of actions, and it’ll reduce your dream qualities slightly, but you probably don’t have much progress in dreams anyway and it’s interesting to visit the Royal Beth at least once just to see it.

Hmm, some early game advice? I just started an alt (hey, I wanted to see the “light fingers” ambition. It looked fun), and helped a friend start the game, so I have some recent experience to say the least.

This might be an odd piece of advice, but you should buy a reprehensible lizard right away. Going mad is generally bad (as you might expect), BUT, if you draw the lizardly matters card (which you can only do if you currently have a reprehensible lizard), you can get memories of light at the price of, if I remember correctly, 50 lumps of lamplighter beeswax. Having a memory of light in your inventory allows you to go to a different location when you go mad…one that is beneficial, overall. It reduces one particular dream, but leaves the rest untouched (getting recurring dreams up is a good thing, by the way).

The other menace-resulting locations aren’t horrible, as others have stated, and I can vouch for that (except death. I don’t know. I’m quite proud of the fact that I am a person of some importance, and have not died yet. I like the maintain the illusion that I could return to the surface if I so chose.)

My second to last piece of advice is this: go to the carnival, and do the big top and side shows to get up your favors and renown with various groups. The reason for this is that certain events and actions outside of the carnival will raise your renown, and they can increase renown past 5, unlike your actions in the carnival.

To go alongside that last bit, I suggest focusing on the making your name for watchful, persuasive, and dangerous, so you can call in the favors that you made (for various monetary benefits). The goal of these last two is to get your renown up: getting favors isn’t overly hard, but getting renown up can be more difficult. Using the carnival to get to 5 in all groups will save you some hassle later on.

Welcome to Fallen London! Social actions are great, and frequently mutually beneficial.

Important Note about The Carnival: Avoid the Mirrors. Fallen London will usually warn you if something is a bad idea, but if you enter one anyway, it may take you somewhere you don’t want to go.

I bought the Pair of Magician’s Gloves for 3.20 echoes, and I still have them. A nice, inexpensive way to get +2 to your Persuasive.

One thing I wish I’d known: Don’t grind all your items into larger items just because you can–I ground Prisoner’s Honey, and there’s a point in the game, if you pursue one of the ambitions (of a revenge-flavored sort), where you need a LOT of honey.

Tales of Terror are far more useful than they may seem. Save them. Do not sell them. A Tale of Terror can be used to pursue a storyline from your lodgings. You can pursue this story many times, and if you’re lucky, it may be quite profitable…

A very random piece of advice for later in the game that I wish I’d known: at a certain point, you may find yourself creating various works of art. Should you happen to choose a novel, I advise against making it a futuristic-minded one–literally EVERY OTHER SINGLE NOVEL can start you on a storyline with a major benefit that a sci-fi novel can not. Speaking as someone who actually writes sci-fi novels in real life, I find this mildly offensive. But…there ya go.

The sci-fi novel is helpful in another pursuit where all the other novels aren’t, so it balances out. But just about everyone will want the benefits of non-speculative novels, while a tale of the future is only good for a particular flavor of would-be mariner.

Also, there is nothing to stop you writing the SF novel after you started the storyline in question. Which is what I did.