The Incomplete Guide to The Feast of the Rose

Someone asked if there was a guide for The Feast of the Exceptional Rose.
The indefatigable SpaceMarine has some good stuff here.

But I thought there should be a more interactive guide on the forums. This is meant to be a place for questions to be asked and answered in preparation for The Feast of the Exceptional Rose.
So, please ask whatever questions you have and add anything I might have left out.
I provide lots of links to the wiki, so utilize that when possible, but know that it is not supported by FBG and is subject to human, and sometimes inhuman, flaws.
I am no expert, so this is not an exhaustive guide. If you find an error, and you probably will, please point it out and add what you can to help other players.

What is the Feast of the Exceptional Rose?
I’m glad you asked! A St Valentines-esque celebration of love in the streets of Fallen London. People dance, meet new loves and engage in general debauchery. It’s named after a baby/rose hybrid thing with fangs that lives in a cellar near the Palace.

When is it?
It opens around St Valentines Day and closes around the end of February or the beginning of March.
The 2017 dates we know thus far
6th Feb Feast opens
13th Feb The Lady in Lilac arrives

Is it fun?
Oh, sweet Salt, Stone and Storm, it is so much fun!

What can I do during the Feast of the Exceptional Rose?
Most Feast specific stuff is regulated to &quotThe Feast of the Rose&quot opportunity card and to the &quotCelebrate the Feast of the Exceptional Rose!&quot storylet. It’s fun stuff, so explore it and enjoy. But, in terms of exclusive content, you want to focus on two things: Masquing and Tattoos.

Masquing! It’s a Feast quality that can be used to get new companions, exclusive equipment and an otherwise unavailable Acquaintance. It’s good times. You want it.

How do I get Masquing?
You can get this up to 20 without Fate by playing specific storylets on The Feast of the Rose opportunity card or by getting rare successes at The Perfumed Pleasure Garden.
You can get up to 5 Masquing by trading in Gifts of Scorn, and up to 30 Masquing without Fate by trading in social masquing items; things like Glass Teeth or Buttered Chess Pieces, to a woman you will grow to hate for her tardiness, The Lady in Lilac.

Wait, a buttered what-now?
A buttered chess piece. This is where the social aspect of the Feast comes into play.
On the Celebrate the Feast of the Exceptional Rose storylet, you have an option to send things to other players at the cost of about 10-30 Echoes worth of items. You can send a Singed Playing Card, a Tiny Kettle of Pickled Liars’ Tongues, Glass of Teeth, a Buttered Chess-Piece, a Pink-Painted Cat, a Decanter of Lachrymose Chartreuse, an Antediluvian Ushabti or an Illicit Volume of Unexpectedly Racy Fungal-Themed Poetry all without Fate.

Why would I waste Echoes sending these things to other players?
So they will send them to you. It is generally good form to reciprocate what was sent.

Do these items give any stat bonuses? Can I sell them for a profit?
The Antediluvian Ushabti is a Companion that grants +1 to Persuasive, Watchful and Bizarre. A Decanter of Lachrymose Chartreuse is a weapon that gives +1 to Bizarre. And other than that, no!

Then why do I want them?
You can trade them for Masquing.
Cards, Teeth, Tongues, Antediluvians & Poetry all give 1 Masquing and cost about 10 Echoes worth of stuff.
Painted Cats cost 30 Echoes, while Decanters & Chess Pieces cost 20 Echoes. All 3 give 2 Masquing.

Why do I want Masquing again?
There will, from time to time, appear in your deck a card entitled &quotThe Lady in Lilac.&quot On this card will be a storylet entitled &quotSurrender a gift.&quot You can use this option to give her all of your masquing items in exchange for Masquing. You can only get Masquing up to 30 without Fate.

Can I use a Chess Piece at Masquing 29 to get Masquing 31?
You can, but Masquing 31 doesn’t buy anything Masquing 30 doesn’t.

Can I surrender more than 1 item per card?
You can.

What about that Gift of Scorn?
These can be obtained by failing the &quotThe Wheel of Affection&quot storylet at The Perfumed Pleasure Garden and can get you up to, and no more than, 5 Masquing on the Lady in Lilac card.
The option locks when you have Masquing 6. It’s not a lot, but if you’ve got a lot of companions you want to collect, they can be worth hoarding.

Okay, so I’ve got Masquing. Now what?
Now you can do two things you want to do. Firstly, there will be an opportunity card which will show up when you have Masquing 1 called &quotAn Encounter at the Feast.&quot It will let you trade Masquing for Feast exclusive Companions.

And Secondly?
You can become Acquainted with the Captivating Princess. You’ll need 15 Masquing. There is an option on &quotThe Feast of the Rose!&quot card when your Airs is between 51-75 to attend &quotThe Duchess’s Banquet.&quot If you do so, there is an option to &quotShare a little honey with the Captivating Princess.&quot This will net you &quotAcquaintance: the Captivating Princess.
It’s one of the fews ways to get a Dreadful Surmise, which you may recall can be somewhat useful around Sackmas.&quot

So every time I spend Masquing, I’ll need &quotThe Lady in Lilac&quot card to get more Masquing?
For the most part.
You can still get some Masquing from the Feast card, but most of it will come from exchanging items with The Lady.

Sounds like &quotThe Lady in Lilac&quot card is pretty important.
It is. It shows up at twice Standard frequency, but it never seems like enough. People become absolutely furious that it doesn’t appear more often. There is usually released an access code to make it appear at least once.
Even so, you may still feel a white hot rage that it hasn’t shown up for you as much as you’d like. My advice is, relax. It will show up eventually. You will get everything you want, just not right away.
By the end of the Feast, I find it shows up so much that I keep it in my deck just to stop it from appearing so much.

Which Companions are available?
As of 2016, 21 different companions, 8 of which are available without Fate.

Which is the best, stat wise?
Previously, only the Secular Missionary & Revolutionary Firebrand, Renewed gave a stat(+9 Persuasive) which could not be replicated or exceeded by another Companion.
The newly added &quotNewly-Born Frost-Moth&quot means that no Feast Companion has the best stats in the game. This may or may not change in 2017.

Do any require any qualities other than Masquing?
A few, but nothing you probably don’t already have or can’t acquire easily. You should probably get Connected: The Great Game 1, Connected: Criminals 1 and a Monkey beforehand for all the non-Fate companions.

Do any unlock storylets?
The Watchful Doll was necessary to gather all Hallowmas companions last year.
Lettice, the Mercy opens an option at your Salon and the Presbyterate Diplomat has been known to open a minor storylet or two from time to time. But you never know what tomorrow holds. My opinion is that it is better to have them and not need them than need them at not have them.

The Companion(s) I want costs more than 30 Masquing. What now?
You’ll have to be sent a Fate item by another player. Unless you’ve got a lot of rich friends, this will probably entail you sending them Fate items of equal value.
The &quotAn Encounter at the Feast&quot storylet let’s you send out lots of gifts for Fate. Some of them you might want to keep, like the &quotMouthless Amber Mask&quot or &quotGolden Spiked Rosary&quot because they increase your BDR. Others you’ll want to give to The Lady in Lilac to increase your Masquing to get whichever companion you have your eye on.
I’d avoid sending in units of 5. The 5 Fate items are neat, but can only be exchanged for 3 Masquing. The other items give a 1/1 Fate/Masquing exchange.

So, I need to send Fate to another player?
That’s the idea.
It is an understandably uncomfortable proposition. When you’re dealing with real money, nerves can get very on edge. There is always the fear that you’ll send 5 pounds worth of stuff to someone and he’ll respond &quotHAHA. I troll you. Thanks for the free money, sucker!!1&quot
In 6 years, this has never happened to me or anyone I know. Fallen London doesn’t really have that kind of player. If it does, they don’t stick around.
My advice is to only exchange items with someone you trust and after an agreement has already been made.
I have exchanged a LOT of Fate with a lot of different players over the years and I’ve never once had a negative experience.

But I’m overly cautious with money!
I understand. My grandmother was Scottish.
You can always send a Fate item to someone and have them Decline the gift on the Messages tab. This should give you the item you sent in your inventory. It can be done with an alt or IRL friend if you’re that nervous about it. This only works with Fate gifts.
It kind of goes against the spirit of the Feast, but it’s there if you need it.

So, what can I do to prepare?
Start grinding items that will let you send Masquing items: Romantic Notions, Appalling Secrets, Prisoner’s Honey, Intriguing Snippets, Mysteries of the Elder Continent, Amanita Sherries, Cryptic Clues and Inklings of Identity.
You should probably make some friends who are willing to exchange items and make an agreement with them to do so.

What about a list of people who want to exchange items, like the Sackmas or Hallowmas list?
You’re welcome to make something like that.
I find that a small group of friends is best, as you don’t want to get bombarded by 100 Liar’s Tongues then have to spend the rest of the Feast grinding Intriguing Snippets to send them back.

What if I’ve got all the Masquing I want and don’t have the material to reciprocate items?
Send a message to the sender explaining the situation. I’d also recommend making a note on your Mantelpiece saying you’re not exchanging Masquing gifts right now.

Okay, now what about Tattoos?
Are you &quotEntwined in the Intrigues of the Clathermont Family&quot

If I’m not?
Become so. Immediately. You’ll need this quality at 8 during the Feast in order to get to the Tattoo stuff.

Then what?
During the Feast there will be a new storylet in Ladybone’s Road entitled &quotNews at Clathermont’s.&quot The next phase of the story is on the &quotLady in Lilac&quot card…

Her again?
Yes. The &quotLady in Lilac&quot card will have an option to complete this story to its present content boundary. I won’t spoil it, but you can follow this story to its natural conclusion and it will lead you to &quotMillicent’s Parlour.&quot
There you can either get a tattoo or choose not to get a tattoo.

What does a tattoo do?
It gives you either a point of Bizarre or a point of Dreaded, depending on which tattoo you choose.

What are my options?
Terrifying and numerous.

Can I get a second tattoo?
Yes, but only during your second year Feast.

Can I get a third?
No, but you’ll have a new option to earn a high-value economy item.
You may also change your tattoo(s) with a small expenditure of Fate.

What if I choose &quotNo tattoo at all?&quot
Then you get Respectable +1 as a permanent stat.
But you will not be able to get a tattoo next year if you choose this option. This will put a hard cap on your BDR that tattooed players do not have.

What’s all this about the Noman, then?
There is an option to get a tattoo of your Noman, but you have to have your Noman alive to get it. Keeping your Noman alive until the Lady in Lilac appears is a massively expensive feat. Getting it is quite an accomplishment.
Because it is expensive, difficult and rare, lots of people want to do it. Like climbing Everest.
Additionally, there’s a further new snippet of story, which gives a unique quality and a high-value item, if you have kept a Noman alive.

It will show up. It really will. Maybe it’s a watched pot situation. I don’t know. But it will show up.
Please be patient.

Is that all?
I’m sure it’s not. Please read all the comments to get the opinions and strategies of players who are probably much smarter than I and who aren’t confusing 6 different Feasts, all of which kind of blend together over the years.
They might also add stories of Feasts gone by, like the Exceptional Petal competition.

Happy Feast and best of luck!
edited by Nigel Overstreet on 2/7/2017

Does anything negative happen when you send, then cancel a Fate gift? For example, Menaces?

[quote=th8827]Does anything negative happen when you send, then cancel a Fate gift? For example, Menaces?[/quote]Not that I’m aware of, but I’ve not done it personally.
If so, it would be the first time in the game any negative consequence occurs for canceling an action.

Whoa, there’s some dangerous advice here. You should not withdraw a Fate request as that will not put the item into your inventory. It needs to be declined by the recipient for that to happen:


So how does one keep a Noman for so long?

[quote=Sara Hysaro]Whoa, there’s some dangerous advice here. You should not withdraw a Fate request as that will not put the item into your inventory. It needs to be declined by the recipient for that to happen: [/quote]Good catch. Amended.

[quote=The Glass Boffin]So how does one keep a Noman for so long?[/quote]By having lots and lots of Noman’s Friend. This entails having lots of Pails of Lacre and Tears of the Bazaar.

An excellent guide.

A small correction: the tattoo gives a point of either Bizarre or Dreaded, of course (not Dangerous, as written).

Speaking as someone who only started this autumn, this was extremely useful, thanks you!

P.S. Apologies dov and forum mods, but I accidentally reported your post. Presumably nothing will come of it.

The Presbyterate Diplomat also grants a very good Salon option, which generates quite a bit of MW and doesn’t have a luck check.

I look forward to this thread as this is the holiday I feel I know the least about.

I’m writing up a Feast of the Rose Offer myself actually. But that will have to wait till tomorrow. Good post!

If anyone wants to safeguard against the possibility of sending your gifts to the wrong account by way of misclick, add me as a contact; my Fallen London name is 8 and so will appear at the top of most contact lists. Contact me if you accidentally send me a gift and I’ll decline it for you (or trade if I have the fate spare).

If need be, others can vouch for me for having a respectable character.

It also may want to be mentioned with which items you trade for Masquing gifts and reasonable places to grind for those items.

How long does the feast last? I need to know how much time I’ll have to grind for all those companions :P

Also, it says there are 21 companions available, but I know we can’t get all of them because at least two pairs are mutually exclusive. Are there any others?

probably having the scuttering squad and soon the bifurcated owl i’m just going to get the diplomate(for the salon) and the captivating princess acquaintance

Also, it’s worth mentioning that masquing can be also obtained at A Masqued Revel opportunity card and is one of the few in game uses of having a spouse.

This could be a tough holiday for people who have a large list of contacts and are bombarded by Fate gifts. How does one make a note on his mantlepiece that he is not able to reciprocate unsolicited Fate?

– Mal

People will usually not just send you Fate gifts. And if they do, they’re probably rich and don’t necessarily need everyone to reciprocate… ;)

Also, let me add that last year I was still a complete noob at the Festival and exchanged Fate gifts with a few players simply by posting here on the Forum. Everything went fine and I don’t remember seeing even a single player complaining about someone cheating them. It just struck me how unusual this is - how many places are there on the web where people can just ask &quotHey, I’ll send you a 5$ gift if you’ll send me one back, OK?&quot without anyone taking advantage of someone!
edited by phryne on 1/11/2016

What was the option that used to give uncapped Masquing on a rare success, does anyone remember? I haven’t done Feast of the Rose since it was a contest to be the most Admired and get an Exceptional Petal.

Ah, I don’t recall which option but the option is now capped, which is why new companions are marked as Fate Locked but all of the original few aren’t.

when does it starts?

On Valentine’s Day IIRC, that may want to be mentioned. Also, I’ll double check.


edited by Cecil on 1/11/2016

Personally, I try to reciprocate any non-Fate gift sent my way, though coordination beforehand is always appreciated (and wise), though I can’t make promises. I even have a gift I’ve sent out (Pink-Painted Cat) in response to such an unsolicited gift, which has not yet been accepted for 2 years (the player has probably left the game, but I see no reason to cancel the gift I’ve sent).

Regarding Fate gifts, I believe it’s extremely silly to send Fate gifts to anyone without first confirming they can/will reciprocate. You can’t just use real money and expect a random person on the other side of the Internet to dig into their purse as well and match your expense.