Running the numbers of the forgotten quarter.

So, how much is it profitable Seeking Curious and Secrets in the forgotten quarter, for a very watchful (and all that jazz) POSI?

Let us run the numbers!


  • rare success are 10% of successes (even if the wiki says otherwise)
  • Poking amongst the ruins is at 50%
  • all non - luck challenges are at 100%
  • you’re willing to sell skulls to the revolutionaries.


  • since you need an action to sell them - it’s a good approximation, but 2 action at 31.5 echoes is different than 1 action at 31.5 echoes.
  • i do not link the nightmare gain to the echo gain; i just take the average of them.

So, first of all, let us calculate the average income (in echoes, and nightmares) of each one of the most advantageous storylet, with the associated Airs.

0-20. We Poke amongst the ruins.
At 0.45 normal success, 0.05 rare success and 0.5 failure we have:

Echoes/action: 0.45 * (0.50 + 0.505 + 0.505) + 0.0562.5 + 0.50.5 = 4.054
Nightmares/action: 0.5

NOTE: in the wiki it is specified rare success is 2.1%, but i remember from somewhere that rare success are a round percentage of normal success.

21-40. We go for a walk Wondering the Quarter.
It’s a watchful challenge, so no failure and 10% exceptional success.

Echoes/action: 0.9*(0.0512.5) + 0.1(62.5/2) = 3.687

NOTE: I divide by two since you need another action to sell the skull. I am not sure it’s the right way to go.

41-60. Let us pick numbers through Explore the darker corners.

Eches / action 0.91.505 + 0.1(12.5 + 1.3)=2.734
Nightmares/action = 0.1

61-70 It’s zoo beautiful to See the Sights!

Echoes/action: 0.9*(0.90)+0.1*(62.5/2)=3.935
Nightmares/action: 0.9
This seems crap. But what’s the alternative?

61-75 What if we have a Meeting with the Dean, instead?

Echoes/action: (0.9*(0.805 + 1.10 + 0.71) + 0.1*(1.40 +1.1 + 0.56) )/3 = 0.887

At 61-70 we do not, because the Deacon is stingy - the Sights are a lot better and nicers, and makes you have beautiful dreams.
For 70-75, see below.

At 70 - 80 we Speak with Private Individuals.

Echoes/action: 0.90.505 + 0.11.2 = 0.575.

Note: i suppose the max secrets to be 100.

There is a huge difference between the mean income of other storylets and &quotmeeting with the deacon" &quotSpeak with private individuals&quot, and just 0.3something echoes of average difference between them.
But the Deacon is terribly talkative, and costs us two action more which we could have used for other storylets!

----So, we speak with private individuals at 71-75.—
Looking for correspondence is not so remunerative. We skip it.

At 81-100, spying from Hell’s coursers
… gives a respectable 1.20 echoes / action. And no nightmares. Not bad.


20% poking amongst the ruin for 4.054 echo/action.
20% Wondering the quarter for 3.687 echo/action
20% Explore the darkest corners for 3.607 echo/action
10% See the sights! for 3.935 echo / action
10% Speak with private individual for (a meager) 0.575 echoes/action
20% Hell’s couriers for 1.2 echoes/actions.

That is - if you follow the above routine, you’ll gain in average:
0.24.054 + 0.23.687 + 0.23.607 + 0.13.935 + 0.10.575 + 0.21.2 = 2.9606 echoes/action.

I repeat: 2.9606 echoes/action.
That’s… huge!

Ops. A downside - nightmares.

How many nightmares do we gain, in average?

20% Poke amongst the ruins 0.5
20% Esplore the darkest corners 0.1
10% See the sights 0.9

For a mean nightmare / action of
0.20.5 + 0.20.1+ 0.1*0.9 = 0.21

Let us say that we can take care of X nightmare cps in a single action.
This means that every 0.21/X actions in the forgotten quarter, we need one (non echo-giving) action to eliminate the nightmares.

Since it’s late, i’ll just run an example - let us be conservative and let us say we can eliminate 2 cp/action. This means that every action in the quarter cost us (0.21/2=0.105) &quotactions&quot more to eliminate the nightmares.

That is: 2.9606 / 1.105 = 2.679.

Which i think it’s damn respectable.

Even at 1 cp/action the average income is:

2.9606 / 1.21 = 2.447 - which is damn hot.

Now - if you manage to keep your nightmare under control (cave of nadir with 6+ irrigo eliminates quite all of them, widow/urchin conflict card, laudanum, visiting the good Schlomo) it seems the forgotten quarter is a nice place to explore.

P.S. since i’m not sure about the exceptional success percentage - and it’s skulls and ambers to make the quarter sexy, the calculations may be completely wrong, but even cutting in half the exceptional success percentage, it still seem pretty nice.

As for the chance of a rare success, I’m pretty sure it’s not 10%, and since that’s where most of the money comes from, real results wouldn’t be as good. Back when I searched for Eyeless Skulls it took me roughly 100 Actions to find one, and that seems to be what to expect. Which means roughly 0.60 Echoes extra added to the regular rewards, possibly slightly more if the Pulsating Amber is a relatively new rare success. (I didn’t get any of those from poking about in the ruins a year ago.)

edited by Gillsing on 11/14/2014

Rare successes don’t have to be round values. It’s the luck challenges, as in “the luck is against you here” and similar that seems to operate with round numbers. I’m pretty confident the rare success is lower than 10% at the most rewarding of these at the least.

Having skull hunted extensively, the rare success chance is much, much lower than 10%. And yeah, rare success chance can have any value, it’s only Luck checks themselves that have fixed values, and that’s because Luck is a storynexus engine property.

----So, we speak with private individuals at 71-75.—
Looking for correspondence is not so remunerative. We skip it.[/quote]

And skipping this, isn’t easy. There are VERY few ways to chance the wistful moods of the forgotten quarter. When it falls into this range you are going to have to pick one of them, and burn an action with lower gains.

For what it’s worth, I have an alt that’s addicted to finding skulls and at one point kept track of about a week’s worth actions (and he’s spent much more time there, I just got bored recording it). I can also confirm that the rare success chance is, or at least was, much less than 10%. It’s closer to 2.5-5% depending on the action.

In those 700 actions I got 17 rare successes and, valuing skulls at 62.5, they made up more than 50% of the total echoes gained. So the rare success chance is really very important for properly evaluating the grind.

I’ve made the document available here. Note that this counted only successful actions and ignores nightmare CP, and assumes we choose See the Sights over Speak to Private Individuals and never choose A Meeting with the Dean.