When should menaces be tended to?

I’m the type that tends to worry. Any time one of my menaces gets over 2, I start eyeing it, though it occurs to me that this is probably quite premature. The game is pretty up front that Nightmares being 5 and up causes nasty side effects (of which I’ve only noticed one so far) and that getting any of them to 8 is basically death, but do I really need to worry about it much before that? Are there any negative consequences to, say, ignoring wounds until it gets to 6 or so? Do they make skill checks more difficult? Are there &quotpenalty&quot opportunity cards? Due to the way each level requires more points than the last, is it ever worth it to fix them before they get to critical levels?

This has likely been asked multiple times, but only being able to see the top 5 results for searches is…limiting.

Suspicion below 5 is okay. Scandal and Wounds are fine up to 7. Nightmares are optimally should be maintaned in 3-4 because you can farm (very slowly) Connection: Masters this way.
You should care to get all menaces below 2 only for deck optimisation, when you perform some kind of deck refresh grind.
edited by Waterpls on 10/31/2020

When they get to 3, you’ll suffer minor annoyances. Cards which can help reduce the menace (at the cost of actions, typically) will start appearing in your opportunity deck. A new card will show up in your Laboratory deck. You won’t be able to perform Flash Lays and some content in the Railway Stations. By the time they reach 6 you can very easily find yourself in trouble–especially if your stats aren’t maxed out–because when they reach 8 you’ll suffer the consequences. All the same, 8 is not exactly death (at least, in the Surface sense). You’ll be transported to another location where you waste a lot of actions but often have new opportunities available to you. So it’s not all bad–and definitely not permanent. Going to these &quotmenace locations&quot should not become a habit, however. All of them do have an annoying permanent consequence that is very, very hard to fix. Get caught with 8 Suspicion too often and you’ll develop a permanent record. 8 Nightmares can hurt your Dream stats. 8 Wounds isn’t too bad, but the Boatman learns from your mistakes. 8 Scandal… well, maybe 8 Scandal doesn’t have a permanent effect, now that I think about it. But it does get very expensive and time-consuming, not to say dull, to claw your way back from 8 Scandal. So heal those menaces when you can. Walking around with 1 or 2 is really not a hindrance, but any more and you’re on a slippery slope.
edited by naraoia on 10/31/2020

From a game-mechanic perspective, high menaces create moderate obstacles … and substantial obstacles when you hit 8. But all these obstacles also come with game content you won’t see elsewhere (occasionally this content is useful). Too, unlike many other games, Fallen London does not punish mistakes so much as ask you to weigh trade-offs. So menaces are not inherently bad.

The one significant exception is going over Suspicion 8 more than a few times, which results in a very, very annoying criminal record.

From a role-play perspective, matters are a little different; in game lore, for example, if you die in the Neath, you will permanently die if you return to Surface (although even here there are a few work arounds).

I mean, getting them to 8 means death, but “death” is at most mildly inconvenient. You get sent to a menace area where you spend a bit of time reducing the menace to 0, probably about 30 actions or so. There are no permanent consequences, though there are occasionally minor costs. I recommend experiencing each of those areas at least once, and you’ll probably have to visit them at some point for either ambitions or high-level items.

(Relevant minor costs: the tomb-colonies messes with your Hedonist and Austere quirks. Going mad costs a bit CP of each of your nightmare qualities - or a memory of light and a few of the Is Someone There? nightmare if you have a memory of light. Dying by wounds has no costs besides the time it takes to revive. Going to jail has no costs at first, I think? but gets more expensive if your criminal record goes up. It can only be reduced with some late-game content in the Magistracy of the Evenlode.)

[quote=Waterpls]Nightmares are optimally should be maintaned in 3-4 because you can farm (very slowly) Connection: Masters this way.

Interesting, what way is that?


Huh, you have to be POSI to access this. Never noticed that.
edited by Waterpls on 11/1/2020

Thanks for the insight, friends. Looks like the general consensus is “Don’t bother with anything below 4, pay attention around 5, going over 8 isn’t the end of the world.” Is that pretty fair? Well that’s one question off the list, now only 4.32e+12 to go!

Which is just about how many actions it will take to answer them!


Huh, you have to be POSI to access this. Never noticed that.[/quote]

Aha, thanks! That looks way less painful to grind than the other options, even if it takes a while. Welp, if this Neathmas doesn’t do it, then I guess that’s how I’m getting those last CP I need for that particular statue at Station VIII.
Edit: Although, dang, that doesn’t go well with my plans to live in Ealing until I get my heptagoat…
edited by Dalencienn on 11/4/2020

Yeah, that’s how I’ve been slowly grinding Masters CP for… 2 years? 3 years? now. It’s up to 10 for me. Almost there.

You really need to keep everything except Suspicion under 5 for the Laboratory, because then you get non-discardable cards that make you spend 5 Research and 1 Action to get rid of them. However, typical lab use will cause Nightmares, so having Haephesta (Light Fingers Ambition reward lab staffer) or Lettice (5 Tomb Colonies Favours to hire) around will help with that; Lettice also heals Wounds. I honestly don’t know why Suspicion 5+ doesn’t result in Constables searching your lab for illegally obtained human remains or something. Maybe it’s because I’ve got a high Renown: Constables. IDK. Having more than very low/no levels of Menaces can also lock some content, such as Flash Lays, Diving in the Magistracy of the Evenlode, and some ambition steps.
Conversely, other storylines are locked by not having enough Menaces. You need Nightmares 5 to catch the Somnolent Hyena or for most options on the “Visitors at Hallowmas” (Hallowmas only) card, and you actually have to go to the tomb-colonies to get the Tomb-Lion (both now more useful than ever, due to Skeleton-grinding mechanics). Likewise, most of the Renown 40 Faction rewards are in Menace areas; the rest require lengthy Zee voyages.
To sum up: most of the time, you want to keep your Menaces at 4 or below. Typically, you don’t have to worry if they’re 3 or lower, unless you’re trying for one of a few branches of largely optional content.

It almost goes without saying that anyone wondering about this is quite a long way from needing to worry about a laboratory.

And even when working in the laboratory, it’s fine to draw one undiscardable menace card. Possibly two, depending on what you’re working on and what your options are.

There’s already one non-discardable, mostly-useless card in the lab by default. A red science project, and you’re looking at 2 non-discardables (unless you actually want to chance using the options on that card, which are… risky, at best). Add in a menace card, and you’re stuck.

I said “Depending on what you’re working on” because “Apply your understanding of monsters” is probably the best option you have for generating research if it’s available, and it’s on the very card you’re talking about. And I’ll contemplate that seal of the red science all day, or at least until my nightmares get to about 6.