I need to impress a Bishop in my quest for my Heart's Desire, but I need waaaay more candle stubs than I have.

What is a way I can gain them in large quantities?

  • 1
    What level are your four main Qualities at? Large sections of the game are unavailable at any given time, depending on your main Qualities. – PotatoEngineer Oct 1 '13 at 17:56
  • OP is obviously in 40-80 range, since that's the amount required for progression of Heart's Desire. – user66556 Jun 24 '14 at 17:18

The most efficient way: the right storylet

Find a storylet available to you that rewards you in Foxfire Candle Stubs. Storylets reward you in direct proportion to the minimum main quality required to unlock them, so find the hardest one that you can succeed in on a fairly-regular basis. (For example: a storylet that requires Watchful 20 might reward you with 20 Foxfire Candle Stubs, but a storylet that requires Watchful 50 might reward you with 50 Foxfire Candle Stubs.)

Alas, I can't be more precise than that: most of Fallen London will be unavailable to you at any given moment, because one of your four main qualities will be too high or too low. Storylets are only available for a particular window: if your Watchful is too low, you don't get to see, say, Search For A Missing Rubbery Man in Ladybones Road. Similarly, it will disappear again once your Watchful gets too high.

In general, storylets involving Knife-And-Candle players, New Newgate Prison, and the Church will get you Foxfire Candle Stubs.

The fastest way: Money, Dear Boy

If you really need a lot of candles fast, then the simplest answer is to sell things, and buy Foxfire Candle Stubs at 3 pence apiece from Merrigans Exchange in the Echo Bazaar. (It's the "Bazaar" tab.)

Anything in the "Goods" category is ideal to sell, because those items can't be converted into other things and doesn't have any use except to be spent. Rostygold, Moon-Pearls, Nevercold Brass Slivers, and other such Goods have uses in storylets, but can't be up-converted into other things. Chances are really high that you have far too many of several different types of Goods, so sell off the excess: remember how many you used the last time a storylet required that Good, and sell off all of that Good except for a small reserve. Repeat for the rest of your Goods, until you have enough Echoes to buy what you need from the Bazaar. If you can't or don't want to sell Goods, then sell the base-level up-convertible things, like Whispered Secrets, Jade Fragments, and whatever else that you've ended up with far too much of.

The main idea here is that you will almost never have 1000 of the thing you need, but you'll almost always have 2000 various other things that you aren't using terribly much at the moment. Since you can't really predict what you'll need next, it's a better use of your time to buy what you need now, rather than to save up forever in the hopes that you'll eventually find a storylet that requires those 10,000 Whispered Secrets that are cluttering up your cupboards.

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Actually, for a player in 40-80 range1, best spot would be

Attend a service at the Melancholy Curate's church

storylet, Unlocked with Intrigue: The curate and his sister 1, Investigating... 3, Persuasive 33, and Locked with Investigating... 9 - since it

  • gives you a guaranteed 37 FCS,
  • is required anyway for progression of the 'Curate and his sister' storyline,
  • gets straightforward (100%) @ 64 PER,
  • allows you to produce FCS in mass amounts (as required by Bishop's progression).

There are e.g. some cards giving FCS and some other FCS-rewarding storylets, but they're usually a one-shot FCS reward only, grossly out of your stat range, and note that it's rather impossible to farm anything in mass quantities in a reasonable amount of time with cards only, due to their randomness.

Also, note that IMO saying "I can't be more precise than that: most of Fallen London will be unavailable to you at any given moment, because one of your four main qualities will be too high or too low." is wrong - you can easily tune up/down your qualities by about -30 to +20 by using proper items without any high-end stuff - getting a couple of +5 items works wonders here, as well as using Talkative Rattus Feber (-25 to all) etc.

Note that farming money is actually less effective here, since it'd require to get > 1 Echo / action to give you higher output of FCS.

1 "Heart's Desire" quest begins in that range

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tl;dr: You will have easy access to an arbitrary amount of Foxfire Candle Stubs (and every other resource), with no risk of leveling past it, eventually.

With the introduction of the Person of Some Importance content (an "endgame" state for players with 100 in every main quality), my answer would be: "wait and do whatever is available and novel to you, until you reach PoSI." (Or until you happen to get enough candles on the way.)

Amongst other things, becoming a PoSI will give you access to grindable, always available storylets that drop the tier 1 resource for every category, on average at least 100 pennies' worth for every action. ("On average" means that the yields may be randomised; "at least" means that depending on the storylet, some have returns up to 150 pennies per action.) This rate might not be the best for every given resource - there are superior ways to get cash - but the storylets are certainly competitive, and very convenient.

Personally I would avoid selling any of the convertible resources to buy others. (I do sell Rostygold, Moon Pearls, Nevercold Brass - they seem to be used by storylets much less often than the others.) The basic unit of the Fallen London economy is the action, so illustrating with an example:

  • You need 1000 Lamplighter Beeswax. At 1 penny per unit (when sold), getting this as a PoSI would take you ~10 actions.
  • You have 2000 Whispered Secrets. Getting these as a PoSI would take you ~20 actions, and probably took more before endgame.
  • If you later then need 2000 Whispered Secrets, that's 20 more actions to get them again.

(Whispered Secrets in particular are an interesting example as well. I end up with many more of those than other tier 1 resources. But also, archeological expeditions will consume truly insane amounts of those - up to 20000 secrets to get a full set of supplies. Furthermore, there's the Fidgeting Writer storyline, that makes it possible to convert Appalling Secrets to cash at rate better than selling the Whispered Secrets directly.)

The action cost for selling secrets, buying beeswax, then getting more secrets is 50 actions. The action cost for waiting until PoSI, grinding beeswax, then grinding secrets is 30 actions.

Obviously, which one you pick depends on whether you favour optimizing for action cost, while switching between goals; or accomplishing a given goal ASAP; or whether you're convinced you will never need as much of one of the resources as you have now. (With regards to the latter, this is a call I wouldn't make until you're done with all of the PoSI content at least.)

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