This is how the holiday of Hallowmas ("The Feast of Masks") has developed over the years.
Hallowmas 2010 (1888)
This was the first year of Hallowmas. There is little record of the event save that it was possible to meet a rubbery man during Hallowmas and either get a Tiny Cave Fish from it, give it one or hit it on the head. This was available over several days but eventually picking one of the options would give A Veteran of All Hallows' Eve and conclude the event.
Hallowmas 2013 (1891)
The event started on 24 October 2013 with Attract a Visitor at Hallowmas which helped increase Nightmares and Making Waves. Once those qualities reach 5, it becomes possible to buy a Tiny Cave Fish or choose/change A Possible Future on the Visitors at Hallowmas.
You could also Attend a lecture on 'spiritual hygiene' and spend Fate to obtain valuable (though, at least by 2017, no longer unique) items. This carried a heavy risk for the Seekers, however, as they were liable to hear The Sound of His Horn in The Forgotten Quarter. Seekers could also play So hungry.
On 31 October 2013 The Gates of Midnight opened, for the first time making Destinies available. In addition to an individual destiny you got The Mark of Destiny and A Veteran of All Hallows' Eve. A Gallery of Serpents also premiered staying as regular content after the event.
On 6 November 2013 Confessions at the Feast of Masks became available. This was a social game that allowed players to gather Confessions from other players and either honour or betray them in exchange for material rewards. Anyone could gather up to 3 petty confessions (of Curiosity, Violence, Guile and Impropriety); PoSIs could also acquire any number of toothsome confessions (of Pride or Whimsy). Betraying confessions gave better material rewards (including Connected: The Masters of the Bazaar) but the Trust and Exposed by qualities ensured that your betrayal was remembered. (To have Trust 1 with a player meant that they've heard your confession; Trust 2 with them meant that they chose to keep it a secret).
Hallowmas 2014 (1892)
The event started on 30 October 2014 with a forum announcement. Structurally it was similar to the previous year's with some changes.
Seeking Mr Eaten's Name content had gone on hiatus so all related content was no longer available.
Confessions were tweaked so that petty confessions now had a limit of 6 and confessing now gave Spirit of Hallowmas.
From 5 November 2014 you could honour or betray confessions including those you had honoured the previous year. Honouring and betraying confessions gave Spirit of Hallowmas. (Honouring a confession from a past year increased their Trust with you from level 2 to 3; betraying it removed Trust and gained Exposed by).
From 12 November 2014 Mr Huffam was available to interview you and publish The Hallowmas Edition. This gave increasingly valuable rewards based on your Spirit of Hallowmas and gave you The Unexpurgated Gazette: Hallowmas Edition of 1892, which unlocked a new option on One's public.
Hallowmas 2015 (1893)
The event started on 26 October 2015 with a forum announcement. Structurally it was very similar to the previous year's.
The main novelty was the introduction of Confessions of Notable Londoners. At the end of the event you could honour or betray them in The Errors of London. These confessions gave only material rewards and no Spirit of Hallowmas. The Notable Londoners available in 2015 were
- Genial Magician
- Haunted Doctor
- Nacreous Outcast
- Presbyterate Adventuress
- Bandaged Poissonnier
- Bishop of Southwark
The event concluded with The Hallowmas Edition 2015, which awarded The Unexpurgated Gazette: Hallowmas Edition of 1893. Structurally these functioned as in the previous year.
Hallowmas 2016 (1894)
On 26 October 2016 a major revamp of the event was announced.
Attract a Visitor at Hallowmas, Visitors at Hallowmas and Destinies were all unchanged. Seeker content was reinstated (with some changes) following the return from its hiatus. For the duration of the festival it was possible to purchase or reset one of the following Exceptional Stories at a discount: The Haunting at the Marsh-House, The Art of Murder or The Waltz That Moved the World.
The main change concerned confessions. These no longer granted Spirit of Hallowmas and no longer represented confessions of players. Rather they were confessions of story characters. Confusingly there were two sets of types of character confessions - the Confessions of Notable Londoners from the previous year and the new Mysterious Confessions. The Confessions of Notable Londoners functioned as in the previous year and could not be traded. The Mysterious Confessions were the new core of Hallowmas and could be traded between players.
8 free Mysterious Confessions were available during the event - the original Mysterious Confession from Hallowmas: An Explosion Shakes London! and 7 free confessions through Collect Another Mysterious Confession (4 in the first week, 3 in the second). Additional Mysterious Confessions could be acquired either for 15 Fate or 5 Notability.
During the first week each Mysterious Confessions was a randomly selected from the list of 4 characters:
- Sinning Jenny
- The Kashmiri Princess
- The Soft-Hearted Widow
- The Illuminated Gentleman
During the second week each Mysterious Confessions was a randomly selected from the list of 7 characters including the 3 new ones:
- The Captivating Princess
To acquire a confession of a type that you didn't have you needed to trade with other players. Alternatively, every day a different storylet would appear (and then disappear the following day, possibly returning a few days later) that would allow you to trade specific pairs of confessions:
- A Friend of Sinning Jenny Lurks
- A Friend of the Illuminated Gentleman Accosts you
- A Friend of the Kashmiri Princess Approaches
- A Friend of the Soft-Hearted Widow Would Like a Word
At the end of the event, Mr Huffam was back. This content was changed to be based around the new confessions system. You could cash in spare Mysterious Confessions and arrange an interview to get The Unexpurgated Gazette: Hallowmas Edition of 1894 (and as before, an option on One's public). The available interview options depended on which companions you managed to upgrade.
Hallowmas 2017 (1895)
On 26 October 2017 the return of Hallowmas was announced. Structurally it was similar to the previous year but with some major changes.
The main hub for the event was Hallowmas, 1895: No Secret is Safe.
The Confessions of Notable Londoners changed for the first time since their introduction. The Notable Londoners available in 2017 were:
- Dauntless Temperance Campaigner
- Assured Filmmaker
- Sardonic Music-Hall Singer
- The Duchess
- Colonel Molly
The characters giving Mysterious Confessions also changed (with only the first four available during the first week):
- The Bishop of St Fiacre's
- The Veteran Privy Councillor
- Ambitious Barrister
- The Cheery Man
- The Melancholy Curate
- The Jovial Contrarian
- His Amused Lordship
- An Urchin Intermittently Associated with the Ambitious Barrister Would Like a Word
- The Veteran Privy Councillor Has Sent Someone to Speak With You
- A Friend of the Bishop of St Fiacre's Is Waiting For You
- A Friend of the Cheery Man Accosts you
The companions available for enhancement also changed (with the previous year's enhanced companions available for Fate):
In addition to upgrading companions (or trading them to Interested Parties) this year you could also betray your Mysterious Confession to Mayor Feducci in exchange for his favour. Each Mysterious Confession that was available in the first week gave 4 Feducci's Favour and the Mysterious Confessions unlocked in the second week gave 6 Feducci's Favour each. Feducci's Favour could then be traded for many unique benefits such as reduction in Criminal Record, preserving Making Waves for one week or Feducci's lance.
Interviewing Mr Huffam awarded The Unexpurgated Gazette: Hallowmas Edition of 1895 (with the corresponding option on One's public). In addition to cashing in spare Mysterious Confessions and interviewing your companions, you could also cash in spare Feducci's Favour and arrange an interview for yourself based on boons you managed to acquire from Feducci.
Hallowmas 2018 (1896)
Hallowmas launched on October 24th, and ran for two weeks, until November 7th. It introduced some significant changes from past years, in mechanics, structure, and rewards.
In contrast to the previous two years, the Mysterious Confessions were not associated with specific characters. Instead were of generic types, namely Confessions of Curiosity, Guile, Impropriety, Pride, Violence, and Whimsy. Moreover, Confessions of Notable Londoners did not return in 2018.
The frame of the event was that an Envoy from the Elder Continent had appeared in London and was asking what had happened to the Rosers. A number of notable citizens (namely the Jovial Contrarian, the Duchess, the Gracious Widow and the Injurious Princess) were involved in the Mystery. By investing Confessions, they could be asked for help and would provide clues or upgrade certain companions (see table below). Starting at 31 October, the player could either solve the mystery themself or witness the solving the mystery. Together with a companion of their choice, they would then dream themselves to the Elder Continent and would find out more details and establish diplomatic relations between the Rosers and London. An Ambassador would be chosen, with Failbetter promising that the story would be continued at some point after Hallowmas.
The Jovial Contrarian, the mayor of London, would also offer Wretched Mogs for the player to buy. The following companion upgrades were available (with the previous years' enhanced companions available for Fate):
In addition, the mayor could be gifted confessions to win his favour. With enough Favour, he would grant the player private debating lessons, which can be used as an exceptionally powerful Persuasive weapon. Last year's Mayoral item (Feducci's lance) was made available for Fate.
The option to trade Notability for additional confessions has been removed this year. Players could get a maximum of 20 free confessions (12 regular ones, 5 via an access code, 3 within the first day due to a bug at the start of the event). Additional Confessions were available for Fate, as in previous years. Playing the Duchess, the Gracious Widow and the Injurious Princess) off against each other would also give Confessions, and if you were upgrading companions you could eke out extra confessions from this. Otherwise, this was a net loss, since getting the requirements to do that would require more Confessions than you got out of doing it.
At the end of the festival, Mr Huffam would ask for an interview for The Unexpurgated Gazette: Hallowmas Edition of 1896 (with the corresponding option on One's public). In addition to cashing in spare Confessions and interviewing your companions, you could also arrange for an interview with the newly chosen Ambassador (different for each of the five possible results) and arrange an interview for yourself or based on the Debating Lessons with the Jovial Contrarian.
Hallowmas 2019 (1897)
Hallowmas launched on October 24th, and ran for two weeks, until November 7th. It was similar to the previous year in its use of Mysterious Confessions of Curiosity, Guile, Impropriety, Pride, Violence, and Whimsy and in the absence of Confessions of Notable Londoners. However the return of the (much revamped) Spirit of Hallowmas was a significant mechanical novelty.
Two new Companions were immediately made available to all (for the price of some items):
The following companion upgrades were available (with the previous years' enhanced companions available for Fate):
In addition to collecting Mysterious Confessions and enhancing companions, the main activity this year was attending Masques to gain the Spirit of Hallowmas.
There were three Masques to attend, associated with a Menace (excluding Wounds). At the Masques you could gain the corresponding Menace or exchange Mysterious Confessions of different types. Once your Menaces reached 7, you could submit to The Fool's Judgement, which exchanged all of the Menace for the Spirit of Hallowmas.
Attending the Masques cost Favours. However, you could also choose to wear one of three Masks that were associated with the three Masques. Doing so added an Opportunity card that gave granted free access to the corresponding Masque and unlocked more options at the Masque.
New cards were added to the relevant menace locations which allow for immediate return to London (leaving the menaces intact), but only if the menace has been reduced to no more than 5:
- A repairer of reputations - in Disgraced exile in the Tomb-Colonies
- A Pile of Stinking Rags - in New Newgate Prison
- A friendly visage - in A state of some confusion
- A face in the mirror - in The Mirror-Marches
Unlike in the previous year, there was no interview with Mr Huffam. Consequently, the Recount tales of a Hallowmas gone by option on the One's public card was not updated and remained linked to the previous year’s quality. Instead of the interview, the event concluded with Hallowmas: The Fool's Justice. This allowed you to trade in unspent Mysterious Confessions as well as the accumulated Spirit of Hallowmas for rewards. It was possible to obtain the following unique rewards under certain circumstances:
- A Knight of Hallowmas 1897 ( Spirit of Hallowmas >= 2500)
- A Member of the Order of Those Who Will Not Be Caught Red-Handed (having submitted Nightmares more than other menaces)
- A Seat at the Bishop's Table (having submitted Scandal more than other menaces)
- A Member of the Crew of the St Elmo (having submitted Suspicion more than other menaces)
Hallowmas 2020 (1898)
Hallowmas launched on October 26th, running for two weeks, until November 6th. It ran very similarly to the previous year, with only the available Companions changed. Most notably, this Hallowmas also coincided with the introduction of several new Spouse options, most of them Hallowmas companions from the past year. Particularly notable were the platonic and polygamous options.
One new Companion, the Untried Tracklayer was immediately made available to all for free and could be replaced at the cost of 3 x Favours: The Docks after being upgraded with confessions. The previous year's Rubbery Feline and Sedulous Cryptanalyst were also available for the cost of a few items but were no longer able to be upgraded.
The following companion upgrades were available (with the previous years' enhanced companions available for Fate):