Khaganian Intrigue (Guide)
A guide to playing the Great Game in The Khanate, an activity for endgame players.
To start the story chain allowing you access to Khan's Heart and the activities within, you need to have advanced the Railway as far as Balmoral, and have fully upgraded your Cabinet Noir to level 4 there. You will also require a Ship.
A ubiquitous opportunity card will appear in London, giving you an Intercepted Document. Deciphering this will give you a Salt Steppe Atlas and Acquaintance: The Reformer of Reputations. This will unlock a new storylet in Balmoral where you can attempt a Zeefaring check to unlock the Khanate as a destination.
To continue the storyline, you will need a Cover Identity. The game details the requirements, but at minimum you need Ties and at least 5 in Credentials, Nuance, or Witnesses. These will influence which challenges you face in Khan's Heart, as detailed later in this guide.
With a complete Identity, you can zail to the Khanate, a fairly long zee journey (as it is effectively one of the furthest points from London).
Once you reach the Khanate, you can speak to the Reformer of Reputations in a storylet in the The Copper Quarter. After a short introductory segment, the option to create a Khaganian front as a base of operations for intrigues and espionage in the Great Game becomes available. Completing it will give a Khaganian Safe-Conduct, allowing you access to Khan's Heart.
Each Cover Identity stat has a different use in establishing a front. Your Cover Identity is consumed in the process.
It is strongly recommended to build your cover identity in a way that will maximise chances of success (see Guaranteeing Success, below).
- Elaboration increases Khaganian Front: Obfuscation, which determines how long your front can withstand investigation by the White-and-Golds, the security service of the Khanate. If this reaches 0, your front will be lost, and you will need to assemble a new Cover Identity to rebuild it! If your stats complement your choice of strategy to the point of guaranteed success during the whole carousel, you can get by with bare minimum, since you won't lose any Obfuscation, otherwise, it's better to get 10 to prolong your stay.
Obfuscation can be restored, up to 11, by spending Well-Placed Pawns with The Reformer of Reputations.
- Backstory increases Khaganian Front: Resilience, which (presumably) reduces the impact that failures have on Obfuscation. The benefit is capped at 10 Backstory, all excess will be wasted.
- Ties determines your Outward Appearance of a Khaganian Front, which determines which BDR stat can be used for checks in the Khanate.
- Credentials, Nuance, and Witnesses determine both Methods of a Khaganian Front and Weapon of a Khaganian Front.
Making use of Credentials, Nuance, or Witnesses requires at least level 5 in each stat.
You may only make one selection each for Methods and Weapon, but you are not required to use the same stat for both.
The main activity and use of your Khaganian Front is pursuing Intrigues, started at the Begin an intrigue storylet. Each intrigue requires a certain amount of Infiltrating... which is gained through various storylets in Khan's Heart. Which options are available to you in a given storylet are determined by Outward Appearance, Methods, and Weapon. Note that you are not able to swap equipment while in Khan's Heart.
Options and storylets available are also influenced by the Current Time in the Khanate, which operates on a 12-action cycle. Each action you complete in Khan's Heart increments the current time, shifting available storylets and actions. Once you have enough Infiltrating..., you complete the intrigue at The Progress of your (Intrigue Name) storylet. Note that each completed intrigue increases Taimen's Attention by 2 CP.
Table of intrigues and rewards
|Intercept a cablegram||None||20||Collect your intercepted cablegrams|
|Fabricate blackmail material||2 x Intercepted Cablegram||20||Assemble your manufactured blackmail||1 x Blackmail Material|
|Plant a mirror||130||Plant an unsecured mirror|
|Plant an agent||An Agent in Transit||130||Conclude the infiltration||62.5e worth of items (depends on your agent - see below)|
|Tap a telegraph cable||Strength of your Khaganian Network 10||130||Tap the underzee cable|
|Expand your network||2 x Intercepted Cablegram||130||Expand your network|
|Sabotage a power plant||750||Sabotage a power plant|
|Obtain a Corresponding Sounder||10 x Intercepted Cablegram||750||Walk into the Office of Naval Affairs||1 x Corresponding Sounder|
|Place one of your agents in London||750||Secure your agent's position||Infiltrator's Footsteps|
Planting the Agents - Rewards
An agent must be collected at Wolfstack Docks first.
|1||An Attentive Chambermaid||1x Bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Tortoise|
|2||A Wayward Navigator|
|3||A Bright-Eyed Engineer|
Expanding your Network - Rewards
Each option also increases Strength of your Khaganian Network by 1, as noted above.
|0-9||A Disgruntled Academic||1 x Searing Enigma|
|10-19||A Naive Dissident||1 x Stalemate|
|20-29||An Immaculate Tailor||1 x Much-Needed Gap|
|30-39||A Repentant Thief||1 x Crackling Device|
|40-49||A Shapeless Aristocrat||1 x Mortification of a Great Power|
|50-59||A Bandaged Naval Officer||1 x Mortification of a Great Power|
|60-69||A Scorned Diplomat||1 x Bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Tortoise|
|70-79||A Lovelorn Engineer||1 x Much-Needed Gap|
|80-89||A Radical Physician||1 x Oneiric Pearl|
|90-100||An Idle Soldier||1 x Mortification of a Great Power|
Options in Khan's Heart
Note that you are not able to swap equipment while in Khan's Heart. Overview
- ✓ - There's an option for the given stat at the given time.
- ✓* - Taimen's Attention increases this option's difficulty level
- ✗ - There's no option for the given stat at the given time.
Challenges based on Method stats are Broad with difficulty 170, giving 100% at 284.
Challenges based on Weapon stats are Narrow with difficulty 6, giving 100% at 10.
Challenges based on Appearance stats are Narrow with difficulty 10 or 14, giving 100% at 14 or 18, respectively.
There are three (relatively) easy ways to dress for success in Khan's Heart and guarantee 10 Infiltrating... per action:
- Use level 10 of any of the advanced skills for Time 1-4, and use Respectable 18 for Time 4-12. This option does not depend on Persuasive, Watchful, or Shadowy.
- Use level 10 of any of the advanced skills for Time 1-4, use 14 of any BDR for Time 4-9, and use level 284 of Persuasive, Watchful, or Shadowy for Time 9-12.
- Use Bizarre or Dreaded 18 for Time 1-9, and use level 284 of Persuasive, Watchful, or Shadowy for Time 9-12. This option does not depend on any of the advanced skills.
Note that these three methods avoid the challenges that are made more difficult by Taimen's Attention.
In addition to one of the above methods, consider also achieving level 12 of A Player of Chess to ensure a guaranteed success when cycling airs via the always-available Play a game of shatar (see Cycling airs, below).
Whichever method you choose, please ensure that you set up your cover identity appropriately.
Also note that you are not able to swap equipment while in Khan's Heart.
The below table shows your options graphically:
|BDR||/ 18||/ / 14||18|
Table of Options by Stat
|4-9||Midday - Evening||The Iron Quarter||Strike a conversation with a factory manager||Taimen's Attention increases the difficulty by 5 per level.|
|9-12||Evening - Midnight||The Nephrite Quarter||Extricate information from a Recalcitrant Informant|
|1-4||False-Dawn - Midday||The Graphite Quarter||Surveil the factories||Taimen's Attention increases the difficulty by 5 per level.|
|9-12||Evening - Midnight||The Nephrite Quarter||Surveil a merchant|
|4-9||Midday - Evening||The Iron Quarter||Slip into a factory||Taimen's Attention increases the difficulty by 5 per level.|
|9-12||Evening - Midnight||The Porcelain Quarter||Pickpocket an actresss|
|1-4||False-Dawn - Midday||The Graphite Quarter||Attend a Liberationist meeting in disguise||14|
|4-9||Midday - Evening||The Realgar Quarter||Listen to a Paranoid Novelist||10|
|The Imperial Colleges||Arrange a realistic forgery||7||Costs 10 x Assortment of Khaganian Coinage|
Gives 16 x Infiltrating...
|1-4||False-Dawn - Midday||The Graphite Quarter||Attend the presentation of a new weapon||14|
|4-9||Midday - Evening||The Iron Quarter||Make arrangements with smugglers||10|
|The Realgar Quarter||Intimidate a Bureaucrat||6||Costs 25 x Well-Placed Pawn|
Gives 13-14 x Infiltrating...
|4-9||Midday - Evening||The Realgar Quarter||Attend a Society party||10|
|The Imperial Colleges||Remove academic impediments to your scheme||10||Costs 1 x Queen Mate|
Gives 38 x Infiltrating...
|9-12||Evening - Midnight||The Porcelain Quarter||Attend an operetta||14|
|1-4||False-Dawn - Midday||The Nephrite Quarter||Start a market panic||Disinformation ( Credentials 5)||Mithridacy 6|
|Influence certain dreams||Dream-Shaping ( Nuance 5)||Glasswork 6|
|Dispose of an impediment||Poison ( Witnesses 5)||Kataleptic Toxicology 6|
These are guaranteed successes.
|12||Midnight||The Sinking Quarters||Confess your sins||Shrine to Saint Joshua||Nightmares (-1 CP)|
For long intrigues (presumably where Scheme Complexity is 750), there is an option at False-Dawn during the first half of the intrigue to spend a 62.5e resource (the specific resource depends on your Methods) to gain 150 Infiltrating....
|1||False-Dawn||The Sinking Quarters||Create a pause in events||Observation||1 x Stalemate||Taimen's Attention (-10 CP)|
|Exploit a gap||Subversion||1 x Much-Needed Gap|
|Distribute bribes||Manipulation||125 x Assortment of Khaganian Coinage|
If you're looking for a certain reward from improving your network, you may want to change your airs of the Khanate. There are several options which does this, some of which cost resources. These option may also be useful if there are times during the day you can't beat the challenges.
- Explore the canals in a water-taxi (Morning) - provides Cryptic Clue for Assortment of Khaganian Coinage
- Purchase a box of lightbulbs - provides Khaganian Lightbulb for Assortment of Khaganian Coinage
- Supply Surface silk to a tailor's shop - Buy Assortment of Khaganian Coinage with Surface-Silk Scrap
- Commission the manufacture of a Crackling Device - Buy a Crackling Device with Assortment of Khaganian Coinage and Nevercold Brass Sliver
- Take a walk through the Khan's gardens - provides Romantic Notion
- Explore the canals in a water-taxi (Evening) - Buy Appalling Secret with Assortment of Khaganian Coinage
- Stroll into a bookshop - Buy various books with Assortment of Khaganian Coinage