# The Profit Of Death

Does anyone know what the chances are for the Watchful challenge against the Boatman with The Boatman’s Opponent 40? I’m curious as to just how profitable playing chess would be with enough success to balance out the earnings with the inevitable losses and if it’s worth buying a bit of extra gear to max out the stat to better increase the odds of making echoes.

It’s 300, I’m pretty sure. At 259 I’m still at 50% and it grants some nightmares even on success (it caps at nightmares 10). If you’ll tell me your watchful I can calculate your probability.

My watchful is 264 with just a point shy from an even 200 naturally. Thanks for calculating it! How do you figure all that in?

Okay, let’s see: 264 gives you a 52% probability. Assuming you’ll be picking up the Insatiable Gloves for +8, you’ll increase that to 54%

There are three limits on this action:
Nightmares 10: Assuming you start from Nightmares 0, you can actually do the action (at +2cp each success) a max of 39 times before you hit Nightmares 12. This requires you to have the Goldfish & Cane equipped to be under Nightmares 10. Note, as I state in a later comment in this thread, that equipping both the Goldfish and Cane will almost undoubtedly increase your failure rate, particularly the Goldfish as it overlaps with the Over/UberGoat (the drop from Ratwork Watch to Cane, costing -8 Watchful has a much smaller affect of about 2%). Failures do increase Nightmares by 3cp and will cause you to be locked out in 18 actions if you failed every time.
Wounds 15: On the other hand, the failures also increase your wounds by 3CP. But the amount of actions which bring you up to Wounds 15 from Wounds 8 is also almost always enough to lock you out of the action via the Nightmares lock. And of course you can freely clear these via the autofire cards.

Wounds 0: The successes will eventually also bring you down to Wounds 0 with 2cp decrease each time - an 18 action minimum if you started from Wounds 8. Considering there’s no Wounds +1 equipable, that’s a pretty hard limit and I don’t know if you can stay in the Chess playing storylet when you hit Wounds 0. Should you enter a slow river via dueling Feducci, there’s a chance you’ll have closer to Wounds 6 upon entering. You could aim to pick up some extra Wound Points via the handful of cards which increase them (though at least two of those also come with Nightmare increases).
Also: note that this pretty much requires you to also go mad, at which point you should obviously take advantage of A Deranged Medium and collect some progress in Parabola.

[more edits to make things clearer - and another try on simulating this with, errr, correct math]
edited by Parelle on 4/27/2016
edited by Parelle on 4/27/2016

Of course, you can try to Obtain a message for the living world while you’re there, making dueling Chi Lan a sure thing. Further, if you have a decently high EPA otherwise, as well as an Alliance with the Big Rat, you can get your RB up faster at the expense of Foxfire candles.

Bah, I had forgotten in my calculations that as you hit Nightmares 11 and 12 you’ll have to unequip your pet and weapon for nightmare reduction, which decreases your probability for success as well. But it’s not too shabby - I think I’ve gained about 18 EI with two candles worth of work and most of my sudden insights.

Do you generally accumulate Sudden Insights incidentally to other things somehow, or do you need to dedicate actions to that as well?

Still, thanks for the help! With that in mind, I might try my hand at it to see if death could be a possible grind from others, or at the very least a decent one to break up the monotony of it.

[quote=Wiwo]Do you generally accumulate Sudden Insights incidentally to other things somehow, or do you need to dedicate actions to that as well?[/quote]I don’t have a natural source of them, no, and I already reserve most of the ones I have for airag from the Nadir or as a safety net when doing the 8-action cost on the Overgoat card.

Having now done it on purpose twice AND used all of my 22 sudden insights, I only got 8 the second time. Really the problem is swimming up stream once you’re done chess playing as there is no way out without using autofire cards except for the 50% dice chance.

Clearly this is only an effective grind for those in possession of Cider :P

Can you actually use the cider to get rid of all your wounds after some chess with the Boatman? I know if you go to the river with cider you get a storylet that allows you to get out but do you have to do that storylet the moment you get on the boat?

I’m pretty sure the storylet appears in the river rather than being an autofire deal. Otherwise it would lock people out from anything there including some ambition content.

Sorry, on the mobile view I missed that this was addressed to me. I’ve let my stash drop low before (although this is the lowest yet). As I’m mostly aiming for Extraordinary Implications to increase my Scholar of the, another method of obtaining them is Hunter’s Keep (out of London, of course, but it’s rather fun in its way and another source of rare success Searing Engimas). At the end of each cycle, along with some quirk changes and the like, you also recieve an Extraordinary Implication and a Sudden Insight.

That plus our usual friend ‘Everyone deserves a second chance’ are my usual sources.

Good to know about the Hunter’s Keep carousel. I get my second chances primarily from Being My Own True Friend, but it’s really only just enough to keep pace with the 8-action Overgoat Option.

I redid the Mysterious Benefactor so I could get Sudden Insights from the card. Probably less efficient for my deck than just not finishing it and leaving it as a storylet, but makes a good additional source. And I don’t think it’s capped either.