Flash Lays (A Guide)
The in-game instructions for Flash Lays can be found in Flash Lays: A Guide.
Currently there are 2 non-fate cases available:
- A Successful Spirifer - Suggested Persuasive and Shadowy around 50
- An Avid Auditor for the Ministry of Public Decency - Suggested Persuasive and Shadowy around 125
When you start a Flash Lay, you are taken to a special area (A Flash Lay). Your opportunity deck and hand are replaced by a new deck full of special Flash Lay cards. There is no deck limit and cards can be drawn as long as room remains in your hand, but the cards cannot be discarded – playing them is the only way to make space to draw new cards.
Your goal is to reach 75 Progress, then play the appropriate action on the Make your Move: a Confessional Evening card. Alternatively, if you have 100 Progress, you will automatically get the appropriate storylet. If your Nightmares, Suspicion, or Scandal reach five, you will need to take immediate countermeasures or the Flash Lay will fail.
A Flash Lay: Up your Sleeve is a unique resource that some cards will give you. Up Your Sleeve can be used to remove obstacle cards/convert these to advantage cards and gain additional progress or reduce your menaces.
Opportunity cards will allow you to increase Progress, grant Up your Sleeve, or have other effects. Some cards are Obstacle cards - special cards which will automatically fire when drawn and will hinder your progression until the obstacles are eliminated.
Basic Opportunity Cards
These cards usually have an easy challenge that gives 3 Progress, as well as a hard challenge that gives 7 Progress. They may have additional options that give Progress, but also gives an obstacle. Some choices may take more than one action. One of the opportunity cards allows you to spend Steadfast to gain Progress or Up your Sleeve.
The difficulty scores in this table are given assuming a Venture Challenge of 1. For the spirifer flash lay, the Venture Challenge is 2, and for the auditor, the Venture challenge is 5. Multiply this with the listed challenge level to get your challenge level.
Obstacles and Openings
Starting from 33 progress in the spirifer flash lay and from the beginning(?) in the auditor flash lay, obstacles may be drawn and will autoplay once drawn. If you have 5 x Up your Sleeve you may spend them to get 25 Progress and eliminate the card. You may also spend 8 x Up your Sleeve on a hard challenge to get 25 Progress and convert the card into an opening. If you do not have sufficient Up your sleeve, you will be forced to do an action to increase your menaces as well as gaining 1 up your sleeve. This is inefficient and should be avoided.
Each Flash lay begins with 2 obstacles, and more may be added based on your choices on other cards. In addition, a Mysterious Stranger may be gambled to receive either an obstacle or an opening on one of the cards, if you're not happy with the ones you have already.
Openings allow you to gain Up your Sleeve and Progress easily. A rare 'success' on this card will remove the opening.
If any of your menaces reach 3, you will start drawing menace cards. These will allow you to spend Up your Sleeve to reduce your menace, or do a challenge that will increase the menace, even on a success. These are inefficient, so it may be a good idea to keep your menaces low.
When you get 75 progress, a card that gives rewards will be available. Should you reach 100 progress without drawing the card, you may use a storylet instead.
The rewards for the Spirifer Flash yield 15 in infernal items, including some particularly rare ones. The Auditor yield 37.5 in various item categories. Due to the random nature of flash lays, it's hard to give an estimate of money making potential, however.
Each flash lay can be divided in 2 or 3 parts:
- Stage 0 (Less than progress 33, the Spirifer flash lay)
- Stage 1 (Progress 33-74)
- Stage 2 (Progress 75+)
For stage 0 with the Spirifer flash lay, you can't normally draw obstacle cards. This means you have some time to plan ahead, and it may be worth getting some Up your Sleeve in order to spend later.
For stage 1, you will draw obstacle cards, and dealing with these give you 25 progress per obstacle. You should try to get some Up your Sleeve to help with these.
For stage 2, you essentially only have to draw the reward card, or build progress up to 100.
Flash Lay Reset
Wiki note: As of the 3rd December, this strategy no longer works.
There is an alternative use for A Flash Lay: a New Scheme that has nothing to do with actually completing the Lay. By carefully manipulating your Scandal, you can enter and exit the Flash Lay in 2 actions, refilling your Opportunity Deck in the process. This is a useful and vital component of other Card-drawing-based grinds (or just when you're trying to draw a particular card), and is particularly valuable to Exceptional Friends (who have a larger deck).
Note that access to University Laboratory (Place) allows the same thing for the same number of actions, without the need for items or Scandal manipulation.
The key items are a Modish Bonnet, Pair of Scarlet Stockings of Dubious Origin, and Barrel with Leather Shoulder-Straps, which (as of March 2020) are the only 3 Scandal-increasing items. The first two are buyable and cheap, but the Barrel needs 10 Renown: Bohemians, which requires some investment. Once you have them, get your unmodified Scandal to 2 and equip the items. The options in A Flash Lay: a New Scheme check unmodified Scandal, so you can enter with < 3, but once inside a modified Scandal of 5 or more gets you kicked out again via Shed your false identity and its bad reputation. As long as you keep your other menaces down, your Scandal at exactly 2, and you have enough actions, you can repeat this indefinitely.