Storyline Procrastination

My character is a cautious sort, so there are a number of storylines I have been temporarily avoiding. I wanted to make sure none of my odd behavior would have unforeseen consequences, and determine which could be undertaken with less risk. I’m just about to start breeding beasts in the Labyrinth, which will require me to do at least SOME of the things I have so far avoided. Your thoughts and advice are much appreciated.

The Black Ribbon
Simply put, my character has NO interest in the black ribbon. Permanent death for the purpose of some silly showing-off is worse than madness to her. I plan on probably skipping this forever (and doing it on an alt), unless doing so would lock me out of other, non-dueling-related opportunities.

Getting Kicked out of Court
I’m going to put this off practically forever (until I have every work of art, at least).

The Plaster Face
Right now, I’m seeing if I can improve my Sympathetic without paying FATE, even though the amount is so low. I’m pretty much doing it out of stubbornness, trying to pull that Watchmaker’s hill card a few times. I already got the first point with the Ratskin suit/working rat interaction. Is this foolish?

The Zee
I just got my ship, and I’m planning my first voyage. Other than reducing all menaces and spending fascinating/casing, are there any other things to do in preparation? Is it a bad idea to head to Zee when you haven’t really progressed the University storyline yet?

The Tomb Colonies
I’ve never been, but I’m just about to get started with breeding and I know there is a beast (or beasts) that can only be caught there. I want to make sure my visit counts, however, so I’m trying to figure out how to prepare and what I should make sure to accomplish once I’m there. It seems like this is the menace area with the smallest number of long-term consequences so I shouldn’t be all that worried, but I’ve avoided it for this long!

The University
I find the Pace of Academic Life quite useful, but I also know that the University is one of the biggest key pieces to unlocking further content. My current plan is to progress this when I’ve run out of things to do without it, (excepting the Black Ribbon and getting kicked out of Court).

For what its worth, with the black ribbon storyline, I don’t believe anyone actually dies. Maybe one guy but I never did that duel, so.

With the plaster face you’ll probably find grnding the luck option until you get lucky much faster.

Joining the Black Ribbon was a good old time for me. First time I died in the game was when Feducci killed me - heck of a way to go let me tell you.

From my own experience:

The Black Ribbon involves at least one perma-death (not yours) if you see it through. The rest are not. It unlocks nothing later down the line.

Getting Kicked out of Court: I put it off until I got a complete collection myself, though I didn’t know how useful Life of the Mind was at the time.

The Plaster Face: Sympathetic only applies to the start, I believe? I just brute-forced the luck check.

The Zee: Menaces are less of a hassle at Zee, since you don’t get bounced to Menace locations until you return to London. There’s a bunch of places that can be fun/profitable to visit before finishing the University story (Polythreme, the Iron Republic, Hunter’s Keep [good for menace reduction].) I’d wait on Mutton Island until you attain Stormy-eyed.

The Tomb-colonies: Just make sure you have some of F.F. Gebrandt’s tincture if you’re looking to make friends. A couple of other opportunities show up if you’ve advanced on The Burial of the Dead dream. There’s a couple of others, but they’re all from early stories which you’ve probably done now, and that won’t affect matters much.

The University: The second part (after you establish your own department, but before coming to the end of your investigation) gives access to the fastest way to cap watchful in the game. Grindable Sudden Insights, and you can spend the Investigating in the Flit for Cryptic clues, which in turn give more Sudden Insights…[/spoiler]

Tips for going to Zee: make sure suspicion is low, make sure that you have your highest-card lodging active (five is best, obviously) the zailing mechanic can be difficult to get the hang of to begin with, so reading a guide might be a good idea.

As mentioned above, be sure to take some tincture, and unless you want to max out either austere or hedonism, I’d suggest grinding some society or Duchess connections, to make the return trip easier. Not absolutely sure, but having scarlet stockings or the like equipped will stop you from being prematurely ejected from the Colonies if you haven’t yet got your beast.

Duelling need not be fatal, even without most of your opponents cheesing out of supposedly lethal duels - it’s not especially rewarding, but explicitly non-lethal duels are available as well.

Having to get kicked out of the university is annoying. You get knocked from a lovely carousel with nice menace reductions to a less-interesting one which at least has a nice watchful grind, and then on to Flute Street and expeditions, which are both annoying to get to, and don’t encourage repeat visits once you’ve played the content.

Incorrect advice removed
edited by RandomWalker on 1/24/2015

You can have multiple monsters at one time. You just can’t have two or more of the same monster. You can definitely get one of all of them prior to breeding if you’d like.

The thing with the Black Ribbon and perma-deaths is that

There are multiple characters and all duels give you an option to &quotduel to the death&quot, but only with two of those characters does the fight really end with a real death (and both of these deaths are really optional to the Black Ribbon story - you really don’t need to permanently kill anyone).

Without consulting the wiki, though, I don’t think there’s a good way to tell in advance which fights are permanent and which repeatable.[/spoiler]

Darn it. I could have sworn you could just not collect one of each. Grr. I need to do more fact-checking before I hit the keyboard. Apologies, anyone I’ve mislead.
edited by RandomWalker on 1/24/2015

Thanks for the information, all. I’ll be headed to Zee or exile soon, whichever comes first!

I worked my ratly sympathy up before starting the face too, it’s not unusual.