Collaborate with your student (Shifty)

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From: Work with your Shifty Student

He's not entirely useless any more.

Game Instructions: You and your student together will do slightly better than you would on your own.

Unlocked with Experimental Object, Equipment for Scientific Experimentation, Laboratory Services from a Shifty Student 3-4

Challenge information

Broad, Watchful 210

  • 144 - very chancy (41%)
  • 179 - chancy (51%)
  • 214 - modest (61%)
  • 249 - very modest (71%)
  • 284 - low-risk (81%)
  • 319 - straightforward (91%)
  • 350 - straightforward (100%)

Each point of Research Preparations reduces the base difficulty by 1 point.



You make some of the observations. The student makes others. His research and note-taking improve your progress as well.


Description summary:
Your student draws the conclusions for this Experimental Object.

10The Correspondence Sigils that specify the function of the Bomb are written in mirror-writing.
20There are telltale chips in the surface. Scratches. Significant marks. Or has it just not been cleaned well enough?
30The letters are unfamiliar, and so is the pattern of scales.
40Some details of the blueprints that hadn't made sense until now.
110The blade you are working looks old even though you are making it now. Hold it to the mirror, and the reflection looks brand new. Time is treacherous.
120, 130This could be made more lethal to the victim, and less dangerous to the person wielding it.
140 - 160The Principle's debts are binding upon the gifts bestowed upon the body of the Principle, which in Parabola is congruent with its personhood. But should those gifts be themselves altered, would the debts not be paid?
210If a mirror frame is deformed just so, but not broken, in the presence of a live cat, while all light is excluded, then... yes. This is suggestive. Insufficient, but suggestive.
220 - 250Under magnification, this drawing looks much less like furious cross-hatching and much more like a street map.
260Here's a note in your logs about a brighter-than-usual alignment of false-stars. Here's a sketch of an odd rock formation dangling from the ceiling.
310The principles behind the design of a Whirring Contraption can be scaled up to good purpose.
320, 330, 350, 360Besides the Brass, the machine uses joy-sensitive alloys in several places.
410Aim a beam of light straight into the middle of the animal, the twisted centre where a body should be and isn't. The bit you can't really look at. And then measure how that light fractures and scatters away.
420 - 440, 460, 465Note behaviour. Chart food consumption. Track apparent mood.
450You don't understand how the ligneous bones form a viable skeleton, but you will.
470Some test subjects barely react to the drug. Others are very responsive. You will discover why.
480, 490Measure diameter. Test shell thickness. Submerge in a barrel and observe how bubbles form on the surface.
485Measure diameter. Test membrane flexibility. Submerge in a barrel and observe how it makes the water look somehow deeper.
495Track pulse rate and blood loss. Note the light dispersion from the diamond.
510You measure the length and sharpness of the thorns, and note their composition. Not only ordinary bone; this is resilient and very sharp even after ageing.
520, 530If you place the Betrayer incorrectly, the wrong parts of the torso grow; or they shrink instead of expanding; or the resizing is inconsistent. Time of day and duration of exposure matter more than one might think.
540, 610Is it still entirely bone, or is it bone that has been replaced by rock? What is this scoring at one end? The correct chemicals are very informative.
810There are telltale chips in the surface. Scratches. Significant marks. Or has it just not been cleaned well enough?
820With the right reagents, you can make a guess at the mineral composition of the stone, and make an educated estimate at where in the Neath it might have come from.
830The liquid catches the light in particular ways; it is very faintly iridescent.
910With the right reagents, you can make a guess at the effects […] It becomes rapidly apparent that the selection of perfume has effects beyond the aesthetic. You will, hopefully, regrow your eyebrows. But in the meantime, your forehead smells delightful.
920, 930This reagent fizzes; that one glows an outraged shade of apocyan before going dark.
940Carefully sifting distinguishes the different components, as the scintillack grinds finer than any other ingredient.
950With the right lenses and the aid of a furnace, you sear away the scarlet attar into its component dusts. Vapours rise from the attar, heady as perfume and thick as strangling death.
970You scrape samples off the shell, fill test tubes with some of the fine hairs to examine their chemical composition. Is it toxic? Reactive? Flammable?
980The material is quite hard, and difficult to take samples of with a scribing tool. The engraved words keep staring at you: "ONE DAY YOU WILL FORGIVE."
990The tears are unusually reactive – not in the chemical sense, but in the sense that they squirm in their vials, trying to escape or responding to the quality of the light.
1010 - 1040Two pages of notes, and when you get to the bottom it's all pure swearing.
1050If you interpret the redder bricks as significant and the paler bricks as gaps, does it look like a sign?
1210Fill flask after flask with reagents. Heat them, cool them, feed them to small animals. Take copious notes. You are getting somewhere, slowly.
1320Sketch all the artefacts at your disposal, and arrange them according to their size and style, material and degree of wear, their find locations...
1340Take full account of its dimensions and motility. Document every mark upon its surface, be that incidental chip or fragmentation, or the intentional designs of ornament or writing.
1350Scrub any incidental dirt off [...] Study the signs of damage as well as [...] intentional markings. Identify the materials used in the straps, the padding, the stitching. Note the way the sun-blazon flares under your touch; how it wakens a furious indignation.

[Find the rest of the story at]

Rare Success

He gets there on his own

You let him draw his own conclusions. And for once, he does. [...]

Description summary:
Your student draws the conclusions for this Experimental Object (see table above).

[Find the rest of the story at]



It's slow work, but you make progress eventually.


As for your student, he doesn't seem to have absorbed your instructions on the finer points of hypothesis and confirmation.

[Find the rest of the story at]