'You may get a chance to regain your rat later.'

So with my work on advancing Dangerous to 100 going nowhere fast I started to snoop around for interesting storylines and came across the Plaster Face Investigation at my Lodgings.
Progressing through it I infuriatingly fail what should have been an easy check and lose my beloved Disgraced Rattus Faber Bandit-Chief.
The fail message is:
‘Your rat sets out. He does not return. Perhaps he was caught. Perhaps his wounds got the better of him. You may get a chance to regain your rat later.’

Please tell me that is a fairly sure ‘may’? And could I perhaps get some hints as to how I might be more able to ensure it?
I was so very fond of my rat and feel so guilty sending him off to a possible doom like that.

Miss Loveshanks

You can, but it costs 30 Fate. I did it just because I love my rat (I managed to lose my normal bandit chief right after my disgraced on a 70% chance. No getting him back)

Aaah, I remember that storyline breaking my heart as well. It’s only very mildly spoiler-y to tell you that

it’s all set up to give him a big heroic send-off sooner or later. I never failed a relevant challenge, but it still didn’t work out too well for the little fellow :-(

I paid my Fate to buy him back too… and changed his name to Lazarus.

To answer the question, I don’t remember quite how it happened (and the wiki of course isn’t telling me because it’s Fate-locked). But I didn’t do anything special, and it was just a nice surprise when the option popped up one day.

I don’t recall it costing 30 fate? I thought it was 10? On the Albino Rat card? (I bought my little guy back too, I was gutted when he vanished, I didn’t know that was a possibility. I was very happy to see the option to bring him back.)

You’re right, it’s 10. My mistake, I was thinking of the option to redo the whole shebang (which I did not take as Zeel hated the Big Rat far too much). But it doesn’t actually say how he comes back, it even says it could be a different rat, allowing you to make up for yourself how he’s still alive.

I do wish that content had a bit more flavour-text, given that it’s Fate-locked. Let me go to the Silent River and get the Boatman to return him, at least.

Thanks for the replies! Do I have to complete this storyline to ‘unlock’ the return card then or might it just pop up any time? I’m clearing through them madly trying to get him back but suspect there’s a lot more Investigation to go, as ‘Seeking the Meaning of the Plaster Face’ Quality is only at 6.

Thanks to Inky Petrel above, I’ve remembered the exact way that you get him back, and yes - it may indeed take a while. But think how much sweeter the reunion will be!

…in summary, have faith. The story develops at its own pace. All will be well in the end.


I think I may have started the story before I should have anyway, as I only have… had… 3 of the four possible rat companions. So it may be a long wait!

This challenge sucked. I WON the check (at Straightforward) and he still got returned to me dead. No way I’m spending Fate on this gip. =/

No one’s making you. That’s the nice thing about FB and FL - the game is eminently playable without spending a penny of money (reinforced by my experience with an ipad game I’ve started playing that was great till it hit a pay-to-get-stats-high-enough-to-continue wall). That the game exists at all is reliant on some people thinking it’s worth more than free. But it’s free to most.

BTW - you are aware that FL isn’t a soft and friendly game? It’s deliberately not all happy ending. It’s designed to cause a player to run the gamut of emotions (including sadness, anger, frustration. It even rewards masochism, if you can consider ‘taking all your stuff and making you FEEL’ a reward. I can.). It will not always reward with items, instead sometimes with emotional manipulation. If you play it looking to optimise outcome, counting maximal item getting as ‘optimal’, you are not going to get nearly as much out of the game. Up to you how you play it, but from your posts I feel you’re missing out through nothing but your attitude towards it.
Everything in Fallen London is digital, transient. The only things that can stay with you are the stories and their impact. As a story person, this is far more powerful to me than anything else. But that’s only because I’m about stories. Perhaps being story reliant might make it seem a weaker game to others more used to traditional game rewards. Perhaps it is indeed a weaker ‘game’ for that.
It’s more powerful in other ways, though*.

*Take the Contessa story. The outcome choices there were, I thought, brave. But brilliant.

Edit: please note, I’m not trying to say how to play the game. I’m merely suggesting that an alternative approach might mean you get more pleasure from it. Which is always nice. Pleasure. Unless you don’t like pleasure. Displeased with pleasure? (You may already be playing as I do, in which case - it’s OK not to like something. {No it’s not.} [Yes it is, shush.])
edited by babelfishwars on 4/18/2014

To be fair in regards to the storylet at that point: Framing the Lieutenants section involves you needing a Rat to trick and deceive the Big Rat. The Disgraced Bandit-Chief wants to ‘clear his name’ as the option shows you, meaning he needs to prove himself that he still has what it takes to be considered a threat to others. So of course he’s going to go all out for it and take down as many Rats as he can. At the cost of his own life. He did promise you, a long time ago when you lived in less better lodgings, that he would repay his debt of you being merciful to him.

Admittedly – When I read the text after I let Drake (my Disgraced Bandit-Chief) go, I admit I all but screamed because it didn’t occur to me that it would happen like that and I was very attached to my all Ratpanions at that point in the game. Nowadays, tempted as I am to buy Nex just to get him back whenever the option pops up for me, I resist the urge to retrieve him from the Boatman and leave him be. His story was about redeeming himself after his disgrace and he did it at the cost of his life while choosing to do so. His death helped end the rat menacer and allowed many a comrade live with less fear now. It also allow him to be restored to his proper status of a honourable Bandit-Chief, something he no doubt wanted back after he was left behind by his company. To me it feels like a tidy, if melancholic, ending to his story so I feel like getting him back will just render it mute. So Ratless as I maybe in regards to him, he deserves to rest in peace and honour. (As you can tell this storylet means a lot to me. It happens to be one of my favourites!) You can choose to view it that way too. Leave him be and continue on with the story. Trust me, your loss of him will be an excellent gain at the end of the plot when you have to make a choice. (Make a choice and wait a little bit. Depending on what you do.)

Now the Bazaar better appreciate his tale or I might be more inclined in helping out find some eyeless skulls for the Council. His story was a magnificent one, I tell you!

Helen, lovely recounting. I understand that aspect and to also reply to Babel, yes, there is emotional manipulation going on, but unevenly, even hamhandedly. That reply that I wrote is heartfelt and I don’t take back any of it.

I love stories. I live for them, and that is not an understatement.

I also work closely with the game industry and interact with a lot of indie developers, always trying to figure out how to bring the depth and array of emotion into gameplay.

What I felt after playing the Big Rat challenge and still feel now is – a sense of cheapness. Getting used.

Fallen London’s treatment to players is absolute parity at best and masochistic at worst (item conversion/economics system, Seeking the Name). Which is fine. There are people who love it, FB needs to pay the rent, etc., it’s rather brilliant mythos (for the latter Mr. Eaten). But there is always very felt tension in the game between the great content and the way it makes its money–or rather, that it has to make money.

Case in point: My Disgraced Rat Bandit Chief, slain in glorious battle. Gone forever, but his story lived and died with him, may he rest in peace. Right?

It would work if I had made the narrative choice to send him in. I didn’t. I was playing by the rules of Fallen London. A certain percent success rate, a clear warning that if I LOST, I might lose my rat (same as on previous rolls). I had my 8 Talkative Rats ready. Then I saw that my Bandit Chief would have 96% success rate, a &quotStraightforward&quot challenge.

I won the roll, but I STILL lost my dear rat.

Because the game design lied to me. That warning of losing my rats was not coming from a narrative space, it was coming from the meta game design space, which as far as I’m aware, is not specifically designed to be unreliable–and so it lied to me.

And even that might have been okay: &quotOkay, I see what you did there, I feel shocked and I feel the loss of a good teammate, and I REALLY LIKED HIM, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS–you totally got me. But he got what he wanted.&quot

BUT. BUT. The fact that money comes into it.

Either give him a glorious send-off and retire with the memory of his name–but to dangle his return if I paid money to get him back–what the hell was the point of that story if I got another of him? That’s manipulating my emotions (in the ugly sense) for financial compensation. Is that doing justice to the nobility of &quotstory&quot?

I felt like was deliberately yanked away from me so that I had the &quotoption&quot of paying to get him back. What does this narrative sound like now?

Like I said, there’s a tension between the goal of the narrative and the narrative of the gameplay mechanics which are at odds with each other. That’s what I’m frustrated about.