Experimental Object/Text Variations

From Fallen London Wiki

This sub-page catalogues textual variations which depend on Experimental Object and are shared by more than one card in the University Laboratory.

Text variations used for only one action or shared by multiple actions on the same card should be recorded on an associated page instead. A full list of other text variations and where to edit their tables:

The Silk-Clad Expert, Eldest Daughter, Reformed Protester, and Stoic Classicist all have variant text as well, but it is Fate-locked and so not recorded on the wiki.

Research Description[edit]

These pieces of text can be complete Success Descriptions (or Failure Descriptions) in their own right, although they sometimes have additional text before or after. Examples:

Experimental ObjectDescription
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.

Research Questions[edit]

These text variations show up when the character is coming up with research ideas for the project at hand. Examples:

Currently, all of these options are only available on experiments requiring at least 200 Research.

Experimental ObjectDescription
40What kind of engine design would it employ? What is the most efficient type of coal tender?
130What materials are most suitable? How thick must the barrel be to contain the pressure of firing?
140 - 160What materials are most suitable? What blade shape ensures maximum effectiveness?
230, 240, 260How reliable are the maps and charts you have gathered? What can we truly infer about the territory from reading them?
310, 320, 350, 360What materials will you need? What are the manufacturing tolerances?
410 - 470, 495How can its anatomy be classified? How would one go about physical examination? How to best keep it contained?
510, 520, 530How old is it? What kind of animal did it belong to?
540How long can it be stretched? Will it shatter, or simply melt?
820What geological strata does it come from? What is its chemical composition?
920, 930, 950, 990What are the practical considerations of manufacture? Will the process work economically with larger batches?
1010, 1030, 1040, 1050What are the boundaries of the possible? Which Laws must be observed? Which can be split apart?
1210Where does it come from? How does it grow? How does it survive in the absence of sunlight?
1320, 1340Who made it? Out of what? For what purpose?
1350What if the cuirass had the power to make the wearer obedient to the Sun?

Object of Study[edit]

A short phrase for an object which is the focus of attention in the lab. Used in:

Experimental ObjectResearch Object
10leftmost Correspondence symbol
20chemical composition chart
30worn printing on the reverse
40engine check valve
110, 120, 130carved handle
140 - 160Parabolan debts
210mirror frames
220street plans
230 - 250contour drawings
310 - 330, 350 360technical designs
410 - 470, 485 - 495feeding plans
510 - 520, 540charts of bone densities
810 - 830charts of rock types
910 - 950, 970 - 990notes on chemical composition
1010 - 1050mathematical notes
1210botanical notes
1320site drawings
1340animate statuary
1350notes on historic arms and armour


A word or phrase for common materials used in the process of experimentation. Often used in the context of obtaining more materials.

Experimental ObjectItem
40bessemer steel
110, 120, 130blades
140 - 160invisible and almost insoluble bonds of debt, obligation and favours
210mirrors of glass and polished metal
220dig site diagrams
230 - 260fragmentary maps and surveying equipment
310, 320, 350, 360cogs and pinions
410, 430raw goldfish
420scarabs and legal briefs
440chilled fish
470 - 495fresh meat
510, 540calipers
520, 530, 610bone saws
810, 820chisels
910 - 990beakers
1010 - 1030, 1040, 1050parchment sheets
1210botanical drawings
1320, 1340, 1350cleaning fluid


The title of a book on the subject of your current experiment. Examples:

This article is incomplete. You can help the Fallen London Wiki by expanding it.

Reason: Missing data for: 490, 970

Experimental ObjectTitle
10, 20, 30, 40Lefacheux' Complete Manual of Laboratory Procedure.
110 - 160The Admiralty Standard's Complete Guide to Naval & Infantry Weapons Present and Historical
210, 220, 230, 240, 250F.G. ____'s Theory on Subchthonic Surveying & Cartography, Revised Edition
260G.F. _____'s Chronographic Analysis of the Motions of the False-Stars, 1899 Edition.
310, 320, 330, 350, 360Brass Machinist's Handbook & Hymnal
410 - 470, 480, 485, 495Theory on the Origins of Monsters & Their Shapes
510, 520, 530, 540, 610Complete Natural History of the Neath, Revised 5th Edition
810, 820, 830Practical Geologist's Rock Identification Manual, Unabridged 4th Edition
910, 920, 930, 940, 950, 960, 980, 990Theory & Practice of Polymer Formation
1010 - 1050Debates in Modern Physics, Year XVII
1210L. Moore's Practical Guide to the Raising of Uncooperative Plants
1320, 1340Illustrated Encyclopedia of Prelapsarian Architecture, Unabridged 1st Edition
1350Encyclopaedia of Protective Fashions Through the Ages (specifically, the Codpiece-Greave volume)