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As you advance in Fallen London, the penalties for failing a storylet get stiffer: you'll pick up Scandal, or Wounds, or one of the other menaces. In the early game, the key to quick advancement is to attempt difficult storylets: whether you succeed or fail, you'll gain several change points per storylet you attempt, and you'll eventually succeed if you attempt the action enough. When you attempt an easy storylet, you'll only gain one change point.

How you do reconcile gaining menaces on failure with the desire to explore new content and advance quickly? If you have a 50% failure rate on a storylet, you're going to pick up menaces rather quickly. Is this the way that Fallen London pushes you towards social interaction? The social actions reduce menaces faster and cheaper than the bazaar-purchasable menace-reducing items or being sent to one of the Places of Menace (a state of some confusion, the boatman, etc.)? Or should I gaze longingly at the shiny new content I've just unlocked and ignore it until I've gained another 15 points of Watchful and are far less likely to fail?

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Fallen London's economy has changed somewhat, but Menaces continue to be the negative (but still interesting!) consequence of failure. If your only storylets have a high rate of failure, it may be a sign that you've attempted to advance too quickly, and the Menaces are a natural check against speed runs.

With that in mind, Social Actions really are your best insurance against Menaces while throwing everything you've got against storylets. While there are some in-game ways to relieve yourself of some of the pressure of Menaces, they aren't as reliable as Social Actions. This is definitely an intended feature, since it draws more players in to play Fallen London and increases income overall.

  • I'm talking about normal storylets that you unlock as your qualities get higher: Ladybones Road, Spite, etc. Storylets tend to unlock about the time that you have a 40-50% chance of success at that storylet. From your reply, it sounds like I should either be ignoring these storylets until I have another 15 points of Dangerous, or leap into the joy of social actions (or both). – PotatoEngineer Oct 8 '13 at 21:43
  • Correct! The upside of hitting those storylets early is that you get higher (change point) rewards with higher risk. So you can play conservatively and progress more slowly, or go at it with gusto and enlist the help of others to keep you going. – iresprite Oct 8 '13 at 21:54

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