Here’s this week’s thread for quick Fallen London questions and answers!
For one thing, during my continued studies into Prelapsarian Evidence of the Red Science I’ve discovered that actually using my own equipment is one of the most unproductive things I can do while researching. And that’s saying something, considering that includes bragging about my findings to the rest of the university. Is the optimal (but tragically unavailable) course of action for a researcher to just…throw out his equipment?
For another, since it’s established Mr. Hearts is actually quite a good chef why IS his Exotic Meat Counter so…troubling?
It depends a bit on the specific experiment, but generally speaking yes, your own equipment is kind of worthless. 4 + Equipment level (hereafter Eq) is kind of bad scaling, and the Unexpected Result doesn’t make it better.
Generally for the lab its Correspodent card and Secret College card > Skills cards and Expert with the relevant focus and Students > Experts without the focus.
Addition: Specifics depend of course on the lab project, ambition, state of your equipment. One extra thing I forgot to note is that if you draw the card there is an argument to use it purely for the chance to roll the rare success and get an Unwise Idea, since once you have one you can make more, but getting the first one is annoying.
Most of the cards in the University scale with Equipment, so I think you’re “using” the equipment even when the action is e.g. following up on a brilliant insight, or having Hephaesta write down a bunch of semi-relevant zee-zhanties. (I’m imagining that you tell a ghost story, and then measure the effect on how often a jar will knock off a shelf and startle you.) So really, it’s just that working only with your equipment is a poor deal. Substantial research will make use of more leads and outside sources of information.