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January Exceptional Story: Fine Dining Messages in this topic - RSS

James StAnthony
James StAnthony
Administrator
Posts: 23

12/27/2019
The Exceptional Story for January is here!


It's opening night at Dolly's, one of London's most exclusive restaurants. The critics are in, pens sharpened to make mincemeat of the new set menu. Tempers will fray; pots will boil. Can you survive a night in the kitchen? You'll have to wait for the reviews to come in...


Fine Dining is the second story in the Season of Animals and was written by Jack de Quidt.
In this season you will experience three stories of the bonds between human and beast, the fauna of the Neath and the divides between London and the animal kingdom.


Begin with the Season of Animals card available throughout London.

Editing and QA: James Chew and Olivia Wood
Art: Tobias Cook


Exceptional Friendship

In addition to a new, substantial, stand-alone story every month, Exceptional Friends enjoy:

  • Access to the House of Chimes: an exclusive private members’ club on the Stolen River, packed with content
  • An expanded opportunity deck: of ten cards instead of six!
  • A second candle: Twice the actions! 40 at once!

Finishing all three stories in the Season of Animals will make you eligible for an additional opportunity, to follow.

If you want to keep an Exceptional Story beyond its release month, you must complete the related storylet in the current Season’s card. This will save it for you to return to another time.

edited by James StAnthony on 12/27/2019
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1673

12/27/2019
But is it the one with the weasels?


Just joking. It's fun so far.


--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Skinnyman
Skinnyman
Posts: 2004

12/27/2019
James StAnthony wrote:
*snip*
Tempers will fray; pots will boil.

*snip*
...Season of Animals... bonds between human and beast
*snip*


Hmmm...! Wonder what kind of bons will be prepared in this ES.
Do remember to bump the ES item and qualities thread.

--
ESs items and quality requirements sheet. Please check if there are errors or if something is missing
Achievement list if you're feeling bored!
I am accepting Plant battles, Neath's Mysteries card, Starveling Cats and boxed cats.
No suppers, no second chances gain and no need to cure my menaces!
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Azothi
Azothi
Posts: 560

12/27/2019
There are going to be a few rare and hard-to-obtain echoes in this story thanks to some of the challenges; you'll know it when you see them. If you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to get one of these, it would be greatly appreciated if you recorded it and shared here!

--
Azoth I, the Emissary of Cardinals - A Paramount Presence (not currently accepting new Proteges)
Away to where the Chain cannot bind us.
Hesperidean.
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Pnakotic
Pnakotic
Posts: 250

12/27/2019
Cutting choux pastry? Isn't it more typically piped into shape?

--
J. Ward Dunn, Glassman

Book of All Hours 9:99: Journey's end in lover's meeting. Progress is ascendancy.
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Shadowcthuhlu
Shadowcthuhlu
Posts: 1517

12/27/2019
Oh god, everything has gone wrong. Please let me know if there is a way for everything not to go horribly wrong.

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Dirae%20Erinyes. Closed to calling cards, but open for all other social action. I also love to roleplay.
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1673

12/27/2019
I found no way to actually do right. No skills mattered; luck was reasonably on my side yet still a disaster; the slightest 'wrong' choice (no way to tell wrong from right either) was simply ruinous. I loved the Closed Market but other than that a clever, fun setup ended up being... Decidedly unfun and annoying to say the least.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Pryno Belle
Pryno Belle
Posts: 22

12/27/2019
Oh dear. I am at the point where I have to decide which one will obtain the toque. The comments scare me.

--
A sweet smile for urchins. A deceitful grin for everyone else.

A forensic doctor, gone to the Neath to pursue a relationship with a zailor. He has gone East, but she remains, the heart full of ambition.
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Pryno

Available for social interactions, especially those that raise making waves.
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The Curious Watcher
The Curious Watcher
Posts: 158

12/27/2019
  • Here is the echo for the extremely-difficult *special* meat & cheese board.
  • I tried this story with both Den Blackwell and the Lethal Nightmare, both to apparent successes. Luck is definitely a part of it, but certain risks must be taken. Den Blackwell failed dessert (mainly because I was overambitious and was wondering if the high chance for failure for the extremely-difficult option was for show), but aced it with two difficult courses and 1 extremely-difficult course.
  • The Lethal Nightmare played it safer since I wanted to see what would happen if I could get all four courses successfully. With three fairly-dicey courses and 1 difficult course completed successfully, it also seems to be a hit.
  • It's strange for a Paramount Presence to be completely at the mercy at arbitrary RNG once again, but then again, no Profession actually involves cooking. Good luck to the mad lads.

    --
    Den Blackwell, Paramount
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Den%20Blackwell
    The Silent Vake Hunter: GONE NORTH
    The Ravenous Wanderer:
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Ravenous%20Wanderer
    The Melancholic End-Bringer:
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Melancholic%20End-Bringer
    The Lethal Nightmare:
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Lethal%20Nightmare
  • +4 link
    The Curious Watcher
    The Curious Watcher
    Posts: 158

    12/27/2019
  • [spoiler] P.S: In case anyone in the future is wondering, the Tiger is indeed 100%, absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt allergic to the regular meat that would be assigned to you by the critic (I even have a a totally-authentic-and-not-taken-out-of-context Echo to prove so). This is definitely not a malicious ploy to persuade gullible cooks to select the genuinely-fishy-and-not-at-all-strange meat recommended by the Butcher. Not at all. [/spoiler]

    --
    Den Blackwell, Paramount
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Den%20Blackwell
    The Silent Vake Hunter: GONE NORTH
    The Ravenous Wanderer:
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Ravenous%20Wanderer
    The Melancholic End-Bringer:
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Melancholic%20End-Bringer
    The Lethal Nightmare:
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Lethal%20Nightmare
  • +3 link
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Posts: 1517

    12/27/2019
    Dirae Erinyes reports that this is the worst date that they have ever taken their wife on. It was supposed to be a relaxing dinner at Dollys Instead, Dirae Erinyes plundered through cooking (to be fair, they only really know how to make treat candles) while Evensong had flashbacks to the Parisian incident. Not romantic at all.
    Okay, roleplaying aside, I did not like this one. This has nothing to do with the quality or that great situational humor others might find. This has everything to do with the fact I found it deeply stressful because it recreated on my most common and terrifying nightmares. Literarily. Cannibalism? Cool. Being chased in a boobytrapped labyrinth by a monster? Great Fun. But this? True horror.
    But if there is a bright side, I will make a thread in Slowcakes about everyone sharing terrible neathy recipes. I loved the look of the food culture this gave us and I think it would be fun to see what other dishes people would come up with after getting a taste here.

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Dirae%20Erinyes. Closed to calling cards, but open for all other social action. I also love to roleplay.
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    The Ambivalent Dynamo
    The Ambivalent Dynamo
    Posts: 35

    12/27/2019
    I am still in progress with the story, but from what I'm seeing so far I love seeing something i normally don't get to see in Fallen London: a focus on the cuisine, the people, and how to get key ingredients. I love the worldbuilding elements that were introduced that help broaden the underground city into a wider environment.

    While it's not as epic in scale to say, last month's story, it was a pleasant tale to play through.

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20Ambivalent%20Dynamo Happy to take most social actions except plant-related ones. Don't hesitate to send one.
    +1 link
    Hattington
    Hattington
    Posts: 137

    12/27/2019
    I'm going to sound like a sore loser and to a large extent that's what I am but: I had no damn way to figure out how to manage the percentages to maximise the probability of a good meal. I've been so accustomed to twist endings I fully expected the Critic to be trying to sabotage the dinner and completely ignored her. I had no way of discerning whether the black marketeer or the bandaged poisonner was making up the tiger's allergy, and frankly I have no idea why the latter had any sensible reason to offer me ACTUAL HUMAN FLESH without even specifying what it was. And then I went on to have some unlucky rolls because I picked two 56~% options and botched both of them.

    This isn't my favourite story for a number of reasons, but mostly because it's central conflict left me to the mercy of the RNG.

    --
    Dreaded and judged
    +7 link
    Verrain
    Verrain
    Posts: 5

    12/27/2019
    Hattington wrote:


    This isn't my favourite story for a number of reasons, but mostly because it's central conflict left me to the mercy of the RNG.


    Oddly, that is why I liked this story. Having everything RNG based really brought home that you were thrown into a situation about which you knew nothing and only a miracle was going to bring anything good at the end.

    It did hit one of my major squicks though. I could have done without that.
    +3 link
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Shadowcthuhlu
    Posts: 1517

    12/27/2019
    Hattington wrote:
    I'm going to sound like a sore loser and to a large extent that's what I am but: I had no damn way to figure out how to manage the percentages to maximise the probability of a good meal. I've been so accustomed to twist endings I fully expected the Critic to be trying to sabotage the dinner and completely ignored her. I had no way of discerning whether the black marketeer or the bandaged poisonner was making up the tiger's allergy, and frankly I have no idea why the latter had any sensible reason to offer me ACTUAL HUMAN FLESH without even specifying what it was. And then I went on to have some unlucky rolls because I picked two 56~% options and botched both of them.

    This isn't my favourite story for a number of reasons, but mostly because it's central conflict left me to the mercy of the RNG.

    Maybe we are supposed to suspect anyone connected to the zee is a cannibal?

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Dirae%20Erinyes. Closed to calling cards, but open for all other social action. I also love to roleplay.
    +1 link
    thepetitecouturier
    thepetitecouturier
    Posts: 2

    12/27/2019
    As far as the actual narrative goes, I was ecstatic. Thematically, it was both the culinary and epicurean content I had been sorely waiting for and the depictions of each location were both delightful and immersive.

    The mechanics of this ES were frustrating. The ending was far too weighted on repeated gambling and felt like an illusion of choice. If the risks and high rate of failure were supposed to impart some sort of message or cautionary tale to the reader, I can't say I was able to pick up on those ideas from the writing. Only because this is paid content, I feel players should be warned either by narrative suggestion or mechanical disclaimer if they are going to be set up for ultimate failure (or cannibalism), as previous ES's have been good about this in the past.

    I really appreciated the new characters in many ways. They were all compelling personalities with engaging and organically constructed motivations. The added element of mystery was very elegantly conveyed. Not being quite sure whether I could trust these new characters and being presented conflicting but flexible evidence of motive made for a POV that felt surprisingly natural and not like I had suddenly entered a crime drama. I did not get an awkward impression from the writing that any of the characters were fighting for the reader's attention, despite handling a broad ensemble cast. In regards to the inclusivity, it was great to see women and people of color having respected roles in the culinary industry.

    Thank you for this story. I would love to visit the market again, or have another opportunity for my character to collect ingredients. That was very fun and I hope it can be incorporated into future/regular content.
    edited by thepetitecouturier on 12/27/2019
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    Lord Garuda
    Lord Garuda
    Posts: 87

    12/27/2019
    Cora has many talents, but cooking is clearly not one of them. Things could have gone slightly worse for Dolly's, but only just. I was pretty ride or die with the Pastry Chef, so I wonder what would have happened had I trusted the Critic more, or if I had given either the Sous Chef or the Line Cooks more autonomy.

    This seems like a pretty polarizing story. I didn't mind failing, although it makes it hard to tell what choices would have helped the Tiger like my meal better. The market was a fun location, and it was interesting to decide what members of the staff would make the best impression on the diners with no real experience to base judgments on. It wasn't my favorite ES, but I'm glad I got to play it.

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Cora%20Seacoale - Formerly an Author, now a Notary working towards her Heart's Desire.

    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Ronald%20Valente - A Rat-Catcher hunting the most dangerous prey.
    0 link
    Pnakotic
    Pnakotic
    Posts: 250

    12/27/2019
    I actually enjoyed the purely dice-roll nature of this one. Particulalry given it's a story where I was more or less thrust into the midst of a collection of eccentric people where I had to choose sides without getting to know their motivations. There are few things I like less than having to utterly guess at the intentions of my companions and make SERIOUS CHOICES WITH CONSEQUENCES. Just leads to wanting to watch otehr people's outcomes and game the result. Here, no deep angst or agonizing, I'm just along for the ride. I gambled and... pretty much everyone else lost while I fumbled through preparing their ill-conceived avant-garde gustatory monstrosities. The restaurant review, echoed here, was a smoking crater of epic scale which I'm actually rather proud of.

    And honestly, if you call yourself a chef and can't tell when your bloody produce has gone off it's nothing less than what you deserve. Now, if you'll all excuse me, I think something is burning in my EZ-Bake Mirrorcatch Box...

    --
    J. Ward Dunn, Glassman

    Book of All Hours 9:99: Journey's end in lover's meeting. Progress is ascendancy.
    +2 link
    Monara
    Monara
    Posts: 128

    12/28/2019
    The choices that didn't depend on RNG all seemed to go well for me judging by their immediate results, but I got the complete disaster ending anyway because I failed two courses, one of which was even the easiest choice available which I took because I didn't want to risk failing another. I don't really mind getting the bad ending, but I don't think these mechanics present any interesting choices and consequences to the reader. The subject wasn't my favorite in the first place so maybe I'm being too harsh, the writing itself was fine.

    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Miranah
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    Meradine Heidenreich
    Meradine Heidenreich
    Posts: 445

    29 days ago
    When raw, yes, or handled with two spoons. However, when baked/dried out, you cut it open with scissors and optionally remove any soft innards.

    Not played this yet, so can't say if the cutting is sheer choux ignorance. If so, one should probably report it as an error.

    Pnakotic wrote:
    Cutting choux pastry? Isn't it more typically piped into shape?


    --
    https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Meradine%20Heidenreich

    The Starveling kit
    Gobbled up the bit
    of cheese on my tray ..
    "O Weh!"

    No plant battles, please.
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