Forgotten Quarter Expeditions (Guide)
You can start doing expeditions in Base-Camp once you have Set Up Camp in the Forgotten Quarter. This requires a Route to the Forgotten Quarter and will therefore be available to most players at A Name in Seven Secret Alphabets 5.
In order to start with expeditions you also have to Learn the Traditions of the Forgotten Quarter to gain your first point of Archaeologist unlocking the first expedition; this will cost 1 Tale of Terror!!, 250 Cryptic Clues and 1000 Whispered Hints.
Expeditions take the form of three stages: Preparation, Excavation and Loot!
The goal of preparing is to get as many Supplies as possible. The cap is 100, and you can re-use supplies left over from other Expeditions, so there’s no need to worry too much about overpreparing. If anything, it's advisable to cap out at 100 before beginning your expedition; there's nothing more embarrassing than failing because you were missing the single unit of supplies needed to arrive at your objective.
- Rumours of treasure: Costs 200 Whispered Hints. Provides either 1 Supply and 1 Map Scrap or 2 Supplies. The ratio of the successes is 60:40, gaining us 1.4 S/A (1 or 2) at 1.39 E/S (200 WH are worth 2 Echoes; this earns on average six tenths of a supply and six pennies worth of MS plus four tenths of two supplies, resulting in 2.00 less 0.06 Echoes for 1.4 supplies; 1.9400 ÷ 1.4000 = 1.3857). 
- Blood-red tales: Costs 10 Appalling Secrets. Provides 1 Supply and 1 CP to Nightmares. Simple stuff, 1 S/A at 1.5 E/S, making this slower, costlier and more menacing than using the previous method.
- Your own expertise: Costs 10 Prelapsarian Archaeological Notes, obtained from Scientific Expeditions at Zee. Provides 1 Supply. This is not the most viable option since you'll be spending a long time both converting or gaining them.
- Show us the money: Costs 4 actions and 1000 pence. Provides 4 Supplies. 1 S/A at 2.5 E/S, which is slower than the Rumours of treasure option but slightly less expensive if the Whispered Hints have to be purchased from the Bazaar (as that doubles the cost to 4E for 200WH, or 2.77 E/S). 
- Hire a porter from the docks: Requires 5 Renown: The Docks and 3 x Favours: The Docks, in return for 7 Supplies. The most economical way to gain Favours is via opportunity cards. See this page for a list of some notable sources of Favours.
- Burly guards and porters: Costs 1 Strong-Backed Labour, provides 3 supplies.
- These cost 3.5 Echoes at the Bazaar Side-streets, resulting in 1.5 S/A but costing 1.17 E/S. This is both faster and less expensive than using Whispered Hints.
- Alternatively, if you have plenty of Rostygold, Moon-Pearls, Compromising Documents and Identities Uncovered, you may create these in The Clay Quarters, resulting in a potential 2.0 S/A but costing 0.92 E/S in supplies, as well as a fee for entering the quarters - 1 Tale of Terror!! (0.5e) with Mired in Clay <= 2, 2 Inklings of Identity (0.2e) with Mired in Clay >= 3. Note that 2.0 S/A is the best-case - if you obtain fewer at a time, it is worse due to the entrance action (i.e. using one action to enter then recruiting and converting 5 Strong-Backed Labour provides 30 supplies for 16 actions, or 1.875 S/A.
- You can also get 3x Strong-Backed Labour from the Underclay for 5 actions with 147 Shadowy (and/or Mithridacy), which provides 9 supplies for 8 actions, or 1.125 S/A. With lower stats, this takes longer time.
- At Jericho Locks, if you put up a specific statue, you can trade church favours for these from Call in favours from the Church (Bishop of Southwark) - it gives you 4 labour and, assuming one action to get each church favour, you get 12 supplies for 6 actions, or 2 S/A, but requires 2 card draws.
Summarized in the table below:
|Option||Cost||Stats for 100%||E/S (materials)||A/S||E/S (est. total)1|
|Hire Strong-backed Labour||None||1.17 E/S||0.67 A/S||2.85 E/S|
|Recruit Clay Man labour||None||.53 A/S||2.26 E/S|
|Recruit Clay Man labour
|None||.92 E/S||.50 A/S||2.17 E/S|
|Send an Unfinished Man to Spite||None||0 E/S||0.89 A/S||2.22 E/S|
1Assumes an opportunity cost of 2.5 EPA
2Visiting the Clay Quarters takes an extra action to get in, so the more labour you can get at a time, the better your efficiency. Examples are given for buying ten labour (spending five Identities Uncovered and five actions in the Clay Quarter), and the ideal limiting case of buying in very large amounts.
3Visiting the Clay Quarters costs 1 x Tale of Terror!! (0.5e) with Mired in Clay ≤ 2, and 2 x Inklings of Identity (0.2e) with Mired in Clay ≥ 3. The above assumes the latter option
Once you’ve finished up your preparations, you can head out on an Expedition! Once you’ve chosen your Expedition, you can’t go back to get more supplies, so be sure to come prepared. If you run out of Supplies, you’ll have to abandon your Expedition, which is a terrible waste. Each of these areas provide different rewards and lore.
The available Expedition areas are:
- Seek a thieves' cache (requires Archaeologist 1 and 10 Supplies to begin, upon completion you gain 1 CP to Archaeologist up to a level of 5): Also costs 1 Favours: Criminals.
- Seek a shrine of the Deep Blue Heaven (2/20, +2 CP Archaeologist): You now have rivals and Orthos is in on the action (more on rivals later).
- The Chalcocite Pagoda (2/20, +1 CP Archaeologist): You have regular rivals and the Heroic Archaeologist to contend with.
- The Tomb of the Silken Thread (2/30, +1 CP Archaeologist): You have the Lugubrious Seamstress, and of course lesser rivals.
- A Temple of Uttermost Wind (2/30): Also requires 7 Fate.
- The Sanctuary of the Crimson Petals (2/40, +1 CP Archaeologist): The Heroic Archaeologist is your rival - again - and there are - of course - the lesser ones.
- The Tomb of Seven (3/30, no CP): This expedition can only be completed once. It won't give a random reward, but only a Set of Correspondence Stones which lets you start being A Scholar of the Correspondence and progress with making your name. Again, there are rivals, namely Orthos and Virginia.
- A Gallery of Serpents (3/40): Also requires 7 Fate.
- The Cave of the Nadir (5/60): Also spend 1 Eyeless Skull to access this expedition. Your rival here is February. See Cave of the Nadir (Guide) for more information.
Your Archaeologist quality cannot be increased beyond level 5.
For training Archaeologist, A thieves' cache and Deep Blue Haven are recommended. For profit, The tomb of the Silken Thread is recommended.
To complete an Expedition, you'll need to increase your Archaeologist's Progress to the required amount which is equal to the minimum number of supplies needed to start the expedition. There is no point to acquiring more than necessary. It is also important to know that you can leave your Base-Camp to do other things. Although this seems a bit inconsistent with the concept of rivals it is very useful if you are missing an item needed to hinder your rivals (more on this later).
- A cautious approach (50) uses 1 Supply and 1 action to get 1 Progress.
- A bold approach (100) uses 2 Supplies and 1 action to get 2 Progress.
- A buccaneering approach (160) uses 3 Supplies and 1 action to get 3 Progress.
Failing the challenge will consume your Supplies at no Progress gain. Each option, success or failure, changes The Airs of the Forgotten Quarter quality. This might unlock rare Airs-dependent cards. Rivals' Progress has a possibility of increasing with each action, with the amount of the increase dependent on which approach was taken and whether or not the result was a failure or a success.
Progress (per Action) = Supplies invested (1,2 or 3) x Chance of success (/ Actions spent; always 1) = S x C
Supplies per Progress = S / P = S / (S x C) = 1 / C (how many supplies you need to spend for each progress only depends on your Watchful stat)
Rivals' progress per own Progress = [Rivals' progress per 1 action] / [own Progress / 1 action] = [RP/A] / [P/A] = RP / (S x C)
own Progress until 10 Rivals' progress = 9 Rivals' Progress / (Rivals' Progress / own Progress) = 9 / (R/P) = 9 / (RP / (S x C))
We can determine how much progress we can make before our rivals get ten on their own. Note that you start with Rivals' Progress 1 into the expedition and that these are numbers that are average results. You might get unlucky and gain rivals' progress on more than half of your actions. Nevertheless, you can approximate how a certain expedition will go rival-wise. You can also tell how many extra supplies you need to bring if you don't want to invest in 100 of them.
|Approach||Watchful||Success Chance||Progress/ Action||Supplies/ Progress||Rivals' Progress/ Own Progress||Average Progress to 10 RP|
Other options unlock under certain conditions, mostly if The Airs of the Forgotten Quarter are right. The only really interesting one is A sign? which gives you 4 progress without cost or risk of advancing your rivals.
- A supply cache! (20 FATE) (0-9 Expedition Supplies)
- A light caught by snow (11 Airs)
- The tent-city (22 Airs)
- White walls in the sun (33 Airs)
- An afternoon off (1 FATE) (85–90 Airs)
- A sign? (96+ Airs and 1+ Expedition Supplies)
- A cautious day (95+ Airs and An Expedition: Seeking the Cave of the Nadir)
If you run out of supplies you will have to Resupply ending your current attempt and resetting your progress.
Hindering your Rivals
Either through the length of your expedition or sheer bad luck, your Rivals' Progress will grow. There are two ways to avoid conceding, though. Both require you to pass a skill challenge. One is the Airs-dependent storylet options that show up every now and then if your rivals' progress is between 3–9. They will reduce your rivals' progress by 2 at the cost of 1 unit of supplies and various items. Note that these are specific to certain characters which needs to be mentioned when you start the expedition.
- A chance to hinder Dr Orthos (90–100 Airs, Watchful 80): costs 1 Intriguing Snippet
- A chance to hinder Virginia (80–90 Airs, Persuasive 50): costs 10 Stolen Correspondence and 1 Touching Love Story
- A chance to hinder your rival, February (50–60 Airs, Watchful 120): costs 1 Presbyterate Passphrase, 1 Bottle of Broken Giant 1844, 1 An Identity Uncovered! and 1 x Favours: The Great Game
- A chance to hinder the Heroic Archaeologist (80–90 Airs, Persuasive 50): costs 5 Romantic Notions and 1 Touching Love Story
- A chance to hinder the Lugubrious Seamstress (80–90 Airs, Persuasive 50): costs 1 Unearthly Fossil and 1 Zee-Ztory
Should your Rivals' Progress reach 10, you can spend 10 supplies to Confront a Rival. Confronting a named rival will cost 4 actions and end their involvement in the expedition, so you can only do this once per character. Successful countering also drops rivals' progress back to 1, though it doesn't prevent a rival threat to grow up again. If there are no named rivals left, the generic Other Rivals option appears and can be played until you lack the resources to do so.
- Assault Orthos' camp ( Dangerous 80): +5 AP, costs 200 Bottles of Greyfields 1879
- Bribe Virginia ( Watchful 50): +3 AP, costs 10 Brilliant Souls
- Challenge February to a competition ( Watchful 120): +3 AP, costs 1 x Favours: Revolutionaries
- Rescue the Heroic Archaeologist ( Dangerous 60): +3 AP, requires no additional expenses
- Distract the Lugubrious Seamstress ( Persuasive 72): +3–5 AP, costs 10 Bottles of Strangling Willow Absinthe
- Other Rivals ( Watchful 50 + Supplies 10): costs 20 Cryptic Clues
At the end of certain expeditions you will uncover valuable treasure. Check the expedition conclusions:
- A thieves' cache!:
- A Shrine of the Deep Blue Heaven:
- The Tomb of the Seven! ( Dangerous 30): grants one of the Set of Correspondence Stones, enabling the A Scholar of the Correspondence quality
- The Gate of the Nadir: opens the route to the Cave of the Nadir
- The Chalcocite Pagoda ( Watchful 60):
- The Tomb of the Silken Thread ( Watchful 60):
- The Sanctuary of the Crimson Petals:
Late-game, Minimized Number of Actions for The Tomb of the Silken Thread
The following is a guide for players who had been playing this game for a long, long time - long enough to accumulate the assets which are necessary for following this guide.
Restrictions: Firstly, there are the following restrictions that the player should cleave to in order to minimize the number of actions that will be needed.
- No use of Sudden Insights: Using these means that the player will have to factor in the actions which were spent to obtain these Second Chances. This not only extends the number of actions, but also complicates the estimations.
- Always use A buccaneering approach: This is obviously the fastest of the three non-luck-dependent methods of accumulating progress. Also, the Rivals' Progress hindrance will only rarely be an issue, as the player will outpace the growth of this quality by using this method. Of course, this means that the player needs to have enough Watchful to garner success on the challenge rolls; there will be more on this later.
- Obtain supplies through spending Favours: The Docks gained through opportunity cards: As mentioned earlier in this page, this method of gaining supplies is the most economical and efficient in the long-run. This will be needed in order to squeeze the most profit out of any outcome for the expedition. Alternatively, Strong-backed labour from Underclay can be used.
Watchful requirements: The player will need to have the assets which are necessary in order to reach the 267-point mark for Watchful, in order to achieve 100% success on A buccaneering approach. After all, no Sudden Insights are to be used, and any setback due to failure can dash away a lot of potential profit. This will often involve increasing your base watchful above 200.
Number of Actions Points Needed: The number of action points is summed together by considering the following stages. Note that conservative assumptions are used, with the main one being no occurrence of good luck.
- Obtaining Favours: The Docks to be converted into supplies: the expedition nominally needs 30 supplies in order to achieve the 30 points of Archaeologist's Progress which is needed to end the expedition successfully (you start with 1).
- Starting the expedition: 1 action
- Accumulating progress: The player will need to perform A buccaneering approach several times, possibly followed by other ones. Rivals' Progress is not expected to be an issue, if the player can perform every progress-accumulating method successfully. 29 progress requires 10 actions.
- Completing the expedition: 1 Action point to end the expedition successfully.
Modifiers due to good luck: As of April 12th., the only known moment when good luck can occur is during the progress-accumulation stage.
- Good luck in gaining progress: Good luck is scoring A sign?. This grants 4 points of progress, meaning that 4 crates of supplies are saved. This in turn means that the player saves the Action points which are needed to get the Favour for these supplies. The player may also save 1 Action point, if the new value is dividable by 3.
- It's optimal to take the necessary non-buccaneering action before the very final action of the expedition, so that potential signs will have a bigger effect. You need to draw the sign twice in order for it to save an action on this expedition.