Hallowmas (Guide)/Strategies and Analysis

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Early-Game Players[edit]

While certain aspects of Hallowmas may be out of reach for early-game players (namely, upgrading Companions you haven't had access to, or using the options at Masques that require pricier items), there are several aspects of the event these players can take advantage of.

Removal of Menaces[edit]

Menaces can be particularly frustrating for early-game players—with relatively low stats, you often find yourself failing at challenges that inflict Menaces. Hallowmas is a time when this can actually work to your advantage, allowing you to play through sections of the game you're finding challenging without having to worry about keeping Menaces down.

This is a great time to play through the Making Your Name stories A Name Scrawled in Blood (Dangerous; often results in Wounds), A Name Whispered in Darkness (Shadowy; often results in Suspicion), and A Name Signed with a Flourish (Persuasive; often results in Scandal), so you can turn in those Menaces to the Fool's Apostate.

Remember that Nightmares isn't a Hallowmas Menace for 2023, so this won't help with A Name in Seven Secret Alphabets. Also keep in mind that reaching a Menace level of 8 will send you to the associated Menace area. Any storylets that automatically send you to a Menace area (like the end of the Persuasive storyline) will also bypass The Fool's Judgement.


This guide is incomplete. You can help by expanding it.
What needs work: Update for 2023

Some of the companions upgradeable this year are obtainable by early-game players and provide useful stat bonuses.

Menace Gain[edit]

This section takes the menace-affecting item stacking description given by Bruno; each item is 75% as effective as the last, with the first giving a 15% reduction/increase.[1]


The Wreck of the St Elmo[edit]

If you have the Crown mask and are willing to spend Volumes of Collated Research and Knobs of Scintillack, then this masque will provide an average of 5 menace CP/action. If you have the mask and are only willing to spend one of these (replacing the other with either Tales of Terror!! or Presbyterate Passphrases, respectively), it'll provide 3.67 per action; if you aren't willing to spend either, or don't have the mask, it'll provide 2.33.

Circumstances Suspicion-Increasing Items Average Masque Length SoH/action
Crown mask, willing to spend both research and scintillack 1 7.59 3.26
2 6.91 3.54
Crown mask, only willing to spend scintillack/research 1 9.26/9.19 2.73/2.75
2 8.69/8.62 2.89/2.91
No mask/unwilling to spend 1 12.8 2.03
2 11.9 2.17

Woesel-based strategies[edit]

Both Establish a false Curriculum Vitae (Underclay) and Sell to a Constable (Bone Market) give +3 CP Suspicion on a failure, which can be guaranteed with a Woesel.

Suspicion-Increasing Items SoH/action
1 2.95
2 3.17
3 3.50

If you somehow have access to Balmoral but not a Woesel, failures at Develop your cover identity more deeply, Endow your cover identity with eccentricities, Make sure your cover identity has been observed in the right quarters and Credential your cover identity give +3 CP. With sufficiently low BDR and A Player of Chess, the odds of failure can reach 98-99% for the latter three, meaning that a single cover identity's development can be made to last (on average) about 1950 actions. Thus, the main inconvenience here is travelling back and forth to Balmoral rather than starting and selling the identities themselves.


Saint Dunstan's Sacristy[edit]

If you have the Demon mask and are willing to spend Touching Love Stories, then this masque will provide an average of 4.33 menace CP/action. If you have the mask and would rather spend Mourning Candles, it'll provide 3 per action. If you don't have the mask and are willing to spend Mourning Candles, it'll average 2.33 menace CP/action.

Circumstances Scandal-Increasing Items Average Masque Length SoH/action
Demon mask, willing to spend love stories 1 8.14 3.06
2 7.68 3.22
3 7.50 3.29
4 7.42 3.33
5 7.40 3.33
Demon mask, spending mourning candles 1 10.6 2.41
2 9.91 2.57
3 9.46 2.68
4 9.17 2.75
5 9.07 2.78
No mask 1 12.8 2.03
2 11.9 2.17
3 11.3 2.28
4 10.9 2.35
5 10.7 2.40

Woesel-based strategies[edit]

A variety of actions in London itself (e.g. Convince her to produce an elaborate forgery, An admirer among the clergy) give +2 CP on a failure.

Scandal-Increasing Items SoH/action
1 2.08
2 2.26
3 2.39
4 2.48
5 2.53

With Glasswork 6 or below, Attend a Shrouded Soirée from the Wrong Side of the Mirror gives +1.8 CP on average, working out to 1.59 SoH/action. With scandal-increasing equipment, this can be increased up to +2.62 CP and around 2.4 SoH/action.

Bottle of Black Wings Absinthe[edit]

Normally pretty worthless, this is the best time to drink it, for +5 CP / bottle, plus an additional 1 CP of Wounds.


The Roof Below[edit]

If you have the Infant mask and Shapeling Arts 3, this will provide an average of 4.33 menace CP/action. With the mask, no Shapeling Arts 3, and a willingness to spend some of the Unearthly Fossils you gain here, it gives 4.33 CP/action; if you'd rather spend London Street Signs it gives 3. If you don't have the mask and are willing to spend Strong-Backed Labours and London Street Signs, it gives 2.33. Note that if you're using a Woesel for its wounds bonus, you are unlikely to be able to reach the Shapeling Arts 3 requirement due to its -10 Shapeling Arts.

Circumstances Woesel Average Masque Length SoH/action
Infant mask, SA 3/willing to spend fossils No 8.98 2.81
Yes 7.68 3.22
Infant mask, spending signs No 11.8 2.19
Yes 9.91 2.57
No mask No 14.3 1.83
Yes 11.9 2.17

Woesel-based strategies[edit]

The option Test out your theories in the library at Jericho Locks gives +5 CP Wounds on a failure (with another 1 CP gauranteed by your Woesel). Going to Jericho from London gives +2 CP Wounds on failure, and from Jericho back to London gives +3 CP Wounds on failure, for a rate of 4 SoH/action (technically, slightly higher if you get the maximum bonus wounds from Woesel, which allows you to cut one failure of Test out your theories, but this is extremely unlikely, at just over a 1% chance).


Note: Nightmares cannot be relinquished to the Fool's Apostate this year (1899 III/ 2023). This information is included in the guide for future reference.

When farming Nightmares, a useful strategy (especially for those with a Woesel) is to acquire the The Walls are Wrong for a boost to Nightmare gains, by failing the check on Greet the Merry Gentleman.

The Pavilion of Butterflies[edit]

If you have the Moth mask and are willing to spend Bottles of Strangling Willow Absinthe, then this masque will provide an average of 4.33 menace CP/action, not including bonus CP from items. If you have the mask and want to more-or-less break even on absinthe, it'll average ~3.26 menace CP/action. If you don't have the mask and are willing to spend Partial Maps, Scraps of Incendiary Gossip and absinthe, it'll average 2.33 menace CP/action - worse than the non-masque Listen to the silence even at Steward of the Discordance 7.

Circumstances Nightmares-Increasing Items Average Masque Length SoH/action
Moth mask, willing to spend absinthe 0 8.98 2.80
1 8.14 3.06
2 7.69 3.22
3 7.50 3.29
4 7.42 3.33
Moth mask, wanting to break even on absinthe 0 12.2 2.11
1 11.0 2.33
2 10.3 2.48
3 9.89 2.57
4 9.67 2.63


Failing at Console the Calcified Man gives +5 CP Nightmares, which is a viable strategy with a Woesel. As you can freely leave and reenter the Underclay at no cost provided you don't cash out, this is a pretty good source, as shown by the below spirit-per-action table.

Nightmare-Increasing Items SoH/action
0 4
1 4.59
2 4.67
3 4.90
4 5.6

If you don't have a Woesel, failing the Steward of the Discordance 8 check of Listen to the silence in the Underclay gives +5 CP.

Nightmares-Increasing Items SotD 4 or less SotD 5 SotD 6 SotD 7
0 3.65 3.29 2.93 2.54
1 4.20 3.79 3.38 2.95
2 4.28 3.87 3.45 3.01
3 4.49 4.06 3.63 3.16
4 5.15 4.67 4.17 3.65

Explore the woods[edit]

This option in Balmoral gives +5 CP of Nightmares and +1 Extraordinary Implication. While this is significantly more profitable than all other options (especially if upconversion and selling to Rat Market is involved), the need to travel to London for each cash-in brings the Spirit gain down. To access this you need to have both unlocked Balmoral but not yet having met the Unyielding Highlander.

Nightmare-Increasing Items SoH/action
0 3.11
1 3.46
2 3.50
3 3.63
4 4.00


Attend and speak of...terrible things[edit]

This option in The Shuttered Palace gives +4 CP of Nightmares and +4 CP Scandal on a failure, making it very good in years when both of those menaces may be turned in.

Nightmares-Increasing Items Scandal Items
0 1 2 3 4
0 6.22 6.42 6.62 6.76 7.00
1 6.42 6.62 6.81 6.95 7.19
2 6.62 6.81 7.00 7.14 n/a
3 6.76 6.95 7.14 n/a n/a

On a success, it gives +4 CP of Nightmares and +1 CP Scandal, so it's still quite good if you don't have a Woesel.

Nightmares-Increasing Items Scandal Items
0 1 2 3 4 5
0 4.24 4.35 4.42 4.48 4.52 4.56
1 4.48 4.58 4.66 4.72 4.76 4.79
2 4.71 4.81 4.89 4.94 4.98 n/a
3 4.88 4.98 5.05 5.10 n/a n/a
4 5.17 5.26 5.33 n/a n/a n/a

Marigold Quests[edit]

Various options when looking for Marigold emblems give a total of +8 CP of two menaces on a failure; alas, the structure of the station will result in a high number of clicks per action, which can make this option less appealing than it would otherwise be.

Note that, for the two Wounds-increasing quests, it is possible to take advantage of the Wounds gain from failing the travel actions (+1 on the way out, +3 on the way back) to adjust your levels and increase your gains. In particular, with 4 items of the other menace, you can fail on the way out, succeed on the way back in and out again, and if necessary fail on your way back in for the second Scandal turn-in to get a Wounds turn-in at the same time for an average of 5.6 Spirit per action.

Carve out the emblem (Nightmares/Wounds)
Nightmares-Increasing Items SoH/action
1 4.72
2 4.75
3 4.84
Coax out the Knight (Scandal/Wounds)
Scandal-Increasing Items SoH/action
1 4.71
2 4.80
3 4.87
4 4.98
Scour the earth (Nightmares/Suspicion)
Nightmares-Increasing Items Suspicion-Increasing Items
0 1 2 3
0 4.31 4.39 4.48 4.61
1 4.48 4.64 4.72 4.84
2 4.52 4.67 4.75 4.87
3 4.62 4.77 4.84 n/a

So hungry[edit]

1 action for +1-20 CP Nightmares, +1 CP Wounds, -50 CP Watchful, and very rarely +1 x Night-Whisper. Requires SMEN at least as far as St Cerise's Candle, and its efficiency depends on using other methods to bridge the gap between when it is safe to use (below 4 + 4CP Nightmares with nightmares-increasing items, below 5 + 1CP without) and the turn-in level of 7; and addressing your Watchful loss after Hallowmas ends.

The values for topping up Nightmares with Attend and speak of...terrible things or Underclay options are given by this calculator. It assumes that you own at least a Sporing Bonnet, a Pair of Scarlet Stockings of Dubious Origin and a Modish Bonnet, and that if you have one of the -1 Steward of the Discordance companions from the Hurlers or Sugarplum then you can afford a Woesel.

name = So Hungry
template = SoHungryCalculator
form = SoHungryForm
result = SoHungryResult
param = woesel|Have Woesel (and thus The Walls are Wrong)||check|1,0
param = nicomp|Have a Nightmares companion||check|1,0
param = vake|Have Vake Claw||check|1,0
param = sccloth|Have Scandal clothing||check|1,0
param = census|Have The Censored Census of 1862||check|1,0
param = disco|Lowest level of Steward of the Discordance you can achieve||int|0-7

Discordant Missive[edit]

Sending a discordant missive gives +1-7 CP Suspicion. Reading one gives +1-9 CP Wounds and +2-14 CP Nightmares, as well as some random changes to the four main stats. If you have friends to trade with, and it's the one year in four where all three of those menaces can be turned in, then this is an exceptionally good method. Note that it will randomly increase/decrease your four main stats by up to a level (which is only really a problem if you have some kind of overcap going on) and that it relies on using failures of other actions to top up the menaces when they're too close to 8 to safely read another missive and too low to turn in. Suggested actions are:

This table assumes that you have a Pirate Hat, a Sporing Bonnet, a Woesel and The Walls are Wrong (gained using the Woesel), and that you use these suggested actions for top-ups.

Vake Claw? SoH/action
Yes 6.76
No 6.61
  1. Discord "So yeah, roughly 15% for the first point then each point is 75% as effective as the last one" - Bruno (FBG), 11:29 UTC 15/9/23