This guide explains the basics of leveling your main attributes— Watchful, Shadowy, Dangerous, Persuasive—and directs you to the appropriate places to grind each attribute depending on your current level.
If you're already familiar with how leveling works, feel free to skip this section.
The basic unit of leveling is Change Points (CP). CP is awarded by most attribute-based challenges, as well as certain other types of actions (e.g., finishing major grinds or storylines, trading in Second Chances, and other sources we'll get to later).
For each level of an attribute, you need a certain number of CP to reach the next level. Up to level 70, the CP needed to raise an attribute a single level is the same as the level it's reaching—to go from level 5 to 6 requires 6 CP; from level 6 to 7 requires 7 more CP, etc. From level 70, each successive level only requires 70 CP.
The main sources of main attribute CP, especially early in the game, are attribute-based challenges. These award varying amounts of CP depending on the difficulty of the challenge, which is calculated based on your current level in that attribute:
|Table 1||CP on success||CP on failure||CP on average|
|Very Modest (71-80%)||2||1||1.8|
|Very Chancy (41-50%)||3||1||2|
|Almost Impossible (1-10%)||6||4||4.2|
Challenges award CP even if you fail them—and, as the table shows, you can actually earn more CP by failing at harder challenges than by succeeding at easier ones.
This opens up a couple of basic strategies for attribute-based challenges:
- Aim for 90% to get 1.9 CP per action. This is ideal if you want to keep progressing fairly quickly through a story, since you'll still pass most checks, but it gives you nearly twice as many CP as you'd get from 100% checks. You'll generally earn more items per action as well.
- Aim for 10% to get 4.6 CP per action. If you don't mind failing a lot of actions, and taking longer to get through the story, you get significantly more CP from Almost Impossible checks. This is best done when you have difficult challenges available that don't give Menaces on failure.
We'll look at some additional strategies, such as those involving Social Actions, in a later section.
Note that you can manipulate your odds somewhat using stat-increasing and -reducing equipment. A particularly helpful item for this is the Talkative Rattus Faber, who reduces each of the four main attributes by a whopping 25 levels while equipped—meaning you can continue to do high-difficulty actions even once you've leveled up quite a bit.
If you're aiming for a certain level in an attribute, use the calculator below to determine the total number of CP needed to get there from your current level.
template = Template:Calculator/CP form = CPCalc result = CPCalcResult param = level0|Initial Level||int|0-250 param = level0cp|+ CP|0|int|0-70 param = level|Target Level|200|int|0-250 param = levelcp|+ CP|0|int|0-70 param = threshold|Level Threshold|70|select|50,70
Now that you know the basics of leveling and how to optimize your CP gains, let's talk about which actions are the best for grinding depending on your current levels.
This is a quick-reference list of the locations associated with certain attributes, and the general level range of the challenges there. Some of these locations also have challenges based on additional attributes.
- 1–70: Ladybones Road
- 60+: The Forgotten Quarter
- 80–110: The University
- 110–120: Wilmot's End; also Persuasive, Shadowy
- 120–130: Corpsecage Island; also Dangerous
- 120–130: Bullbone Island; also Dangerous
- 120–130: Grunting Fen; also Dangerous
- 120–130: Hunter's Keep; also Persuasive
- 120–200: The Sunken Embassy
- 150+: University Laboratory
- 1–70: Spite; also 120+ later in A Boxful of Intrigue
- 60–100: The Flit
- 100–120: Mahogany Hall; also Persuasive
- 110–130: Wilmot's End; also Persuasive, Watchful
- 120–130: Doubt Street
- 120–130: Polythreme Streets; also Persuasive
- 1–70: Watchmaker's Hill
- 60–100: Wolfstack Docks
- 97–125: The Labyrinth of Tigers
- 120–130: Corpsecage Island; also Watchful
- 120–130: Concord Square with On the Velocipede Squad
- 1–60: Veilgarden
- 60–90: The Shuttered Palace
- 85–100: The Empress' Court
- 100–120: Mahogany Hall; also Shadowy
- 120–130: The Foreign Office
- 120–130: Hunter's Keep; also Watchful
- 120–130: Polythreme Streets; also Shadowy
- 125–230: The Spider Symposium (Guide)
- 130–135: Heartscross House (aka Port Carnelian)
Early-game leveling (5–100)
(Note that there's no formal designation for early-, mid-, and late-game; for the purposes of this guide, we'll call anything up to level 100 early-game, 100–200 mid-game, and 200+ late-game.)
When you first start the game, you shouldn't worry too much about leveling, and certainly not at the expense of enjoying the story. You'll do most of your leveling just by playing through the early storylines, and there are several mechanics built into the early game that make this easier.
For more information, see Professions (Guide).
There are four professions you can choose from as soon as you have lodgings, each of which is associated with a particular main attribute. Pick your first profession from the storylet Adopt a Training Profession, in Your Lodgings.
Each week, when Time, the Healer visits (beginning a week after your arrival), your profession will bring you A Professional Reward containing 5 worth of items and 250 CP in the associated attribute, up to level 70. Once you reach this milestone, it's time to switch to a new training profession: Resign from your Profession under Your Social Engagements, and then return to the Adopt a Training Profession storylet to select a new one.
Making Your Name
For a more thorough walkthrough of these storylines, see Making Your Name (Guide).
Early in the game, you'll notice certain storylets stand out due to their gold-bordered images, and titles beginning with the phrase "Making Your Name". Each of the four starting locations has a Making Your Name story that starts there, and each story primarily involves challenges based on the attribute associated with that location.
|Location||Attribute||Making Your Name|
|Ladybones Road||Watchful||A Name in Seven Secret Alphabets|
|Spite||Shadowy||A Name Whispered in Darkness|
|Watchmaker's Hill||Dangerous||A Name Scrawled in Blood|
|Veilgarden||Persuasive||A Name Signed with a Flourish|
These are storylines that can only be played through once (though some related storylets remain after you've completed the main story). When you complete a stage of one of these stories, you'll get a pretty significant amount of CP in the associated attribute.
Making Your Name is essentially the main storyline of the early stages of the game, and these stories also open up new locations in London with more difficult challenges that will help you continue to level up.
Combined with the training professions, these stories should make it fairly easy for you to reach the first major leveling milestone: level 100 in each attribute, which makes you eligible to become A Person of Some Importance (PoSI). (See the associated guide for more details.)
In addition to the large CP boosts you get for finishing a stage of a Making Your Name story, there are also regular storylets that are ideal for leveling (especially using the high-difficulty strategy mentioned above) without risking Menaces. All the storylets in this list are repeatable, and have no requirements other than the Making Your Name level, if applicable, and access to the location where they appear.
|13||Frequent the public house across from Clathermont's Tattoo Parlour.||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 1|
|15||Note down descriptions of the visitors||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 1|
|18||See if you can get the names of the visitors.||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 1|
|18||Get casual work sweeping the parlour floor – and listen in||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 1|
|21||Snatch a glimpse – and memorise it||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 1|
|24||Make clandestine sketches, right there in the shop!||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 1|
|57||Watch from the rooftops||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 4–7|
|78||A distinctly cautious approach||Base-Camp||Alphabets 5–7|
|6||Catch a tabby cat in the alleys of Spite||Spite||NA|
|12||Catch a ginger tom on the rooftops||Spite||NA|
|18||Catch a white cat: Softly now...||Spite||NA|
|24||Catch a grey cat in the nave of the church of All Christs||Spite||Darkness 2–7|
|48||Catch a black cat||Spite||NA|
|51||Disguise yourself as an invalid||Ladybones Road||Alphabets 4–7|
|68||A little light legerdemain||The Flit||NA|
|13||Play it safe||Medusa's Head||Blood 2–7|
|15||Fight!||Medusa's Head||Blood 1–3|
|16||Turn it up a notch||Medusa's Head||Blood 2–7|
|18||Take on all comers!||Medusa's Head||Blood 1–3|
|39||Jack's claimed dibs!||Watchmaker's Hill||Blood 3–5|
|15||Take notes on your experiences||Veilgarden||Flourish 1|
|17||"My watch? That's not my watch!"||Veilgarden||Flourish 1–2|
|47||Pose as an investigator for the Ministry of Public Decency||Veilgarden||Flourish 3|
|64||Publish poetry in praise of the Duchess||Shuttered Palace||Flourish 4–7|
|89||Attend courtly functions||Empress' Court||NA|
|95||Perform artistically||Empress' Court||NA|
A patron is another player who is a Tier 2 Person of Some Importance, enabling them to give classes in the attribute of their specialisation to a protégé, provided the protégé has a (modified) level below 100 in that attribute. A patron who is a Tier 3 Person of Some Importance, aka a Paramount Presence, do not have this limit. This costs a Free Evening for both participants, and grants the protégé up to 70 CP in the attribute. (The patron gets a few CP of Making Waves for their efforts.) The best way to find a patron is by asking in one of the Fallen London forums.
For those still looking for ways to maximize CP gains early on, there are a few storylets that are ideal for the high-difficulty strategy mentioned above, as they don't cause Menaces on failure
- Watchful 95: A stroll around the quad in The University
- Dangerous 37–48: The Fighting Rings in Watchmaker's Hill.
- Dangerous 74: Boast about your wounds in a dockside tavern in The Blind Helmsman
Mid-game leveling (100–200)
This section of the guide is a work in progress and needs more information.
Many of the useful grinds at this point take place in locations you opened up towards the middle or end of the Making Your Name stories, or places you need a ship to reach.
- Watchful 125: Defect to the Flint while playing Flint or Dagger in The University
- Watchful 150: Sift through the pages of The Censored Census of 1862, available from the Bazaar Side-streets (Identify a rare manuscript right at the back) if you didn't get it from the 2020 Advent Calendar
- Watchful 178: Seek out spy-holes in the Sunken Embassy beneath Moloch Street
- Shadowy 120: Lurk in the eaves in Polythreme Streets
- Shadowy 178: Assist with assembly at L. B. Industries beneath The Blind Helmsman
- Shadowy +10 CP: Pass on information to a colleague to convert Casing...
- Shadowy +35-70 CP: Completing the heist on The mansion of an Unsympathetic Landlord (gain is inversely related to base Shadowy)
- Several options during a trade of reputations gives training or second chances on rare successes.
- Shadowy +275 or +250 CP: Various options in The Dome of Scales, in exchange for 4 x Vitreous Almanac, 20 Glass Gazette, or 450 x Sighting of a Parabolan Landmark depending on Parabolan Dominance; requires access to Parabola.
- Dangerous 125: Defect to the Dagger
- Dangerous 150: Classic Bone Market grind—Build on the Human Ribcage, then break it down
- Persuasive 230: Suggest that they define knowledge at the Spider Symposium beneath The Singing Mandrake. Depending on level, it can produce more average CP by lowering Persuasive as much as possible. Refer to the Leveling tables above.
- Persuasive +10 CP: Pass information to the Brass Embassy to convert Casing...
- When patrons won't help you anymore, it may be worth it to spend your Free Evenings on drinking tea instead. This provides 35 CP per free evening, in addition to giving Making Waves and reducing one of your menaces.
- Several options during a trade of reputations gives training or second chances on rare successes.
Late-game leveling (200+)
This section of the guide is a work in progress and needs more information. Main attributes are initially capped at 200 and require the completion of certain quests to increase them further. See the main article Raising Attribute Caps (Guide).
- Prowling practice (Cats): 450 x Sighting of a Parabolan Landmark for Shadowy +250 CP
- Keep below the leaves (Fingerkings): 4 x Vitreous Almanac for Shadowy +275 CP
- The arts of indirection (The Red-Handed Queen): 20 x Glass Gazette for Shadowy +275 CP
A ready source of Sightings of Parabolan Landmarks is guiding dreamers in the Viric Jungle. (Sightings can also be converted to Glass Gazettes and Vitreous Almanacs.) For most options that end the dream, the payout is 15 Sightings per Duration of a Dream. Therefore, you should alternate between Lend power to the dream and Observe and learn, as the latter has a chance of granting 2 x Duration instead of just one. You should not spend Sightings to Draw in another place, or choose More! Further!, as these prioritise Intensity of the Dream and make it harder to build up Duration. The per-action payout of Sightings is better the longer you can keep the dream going, since you spend fewer actions on cashing out than with multiple shorter dreams.
Directly grinding Sightings is likely best if the Cats control the Dome of Scales. If it's the Red-Handed Queen, you may have better per-action rates getting Glass Gazettes from other sources compared to converting Sightings; see this comment.
- Persuasive 230: Suggest that they define knowledge at the Spider Symposium beneath The Singing Mandrake
- Watchful 250: Consider the Magistracy with new eyes, Watch a civil trial or Watch a criminal trial in The Magistracy of the Evenlode
- Watchful 250: Watch the village grown around Factory VIII in Station VIII
See Raising Favours (Guide) for more information on where to get these.
- Watchful: Constables, Great Game, Hell
- Dangerous: Revolutionaries, Docks, Tomb-Colonies
- Shadowy: Criminals, Urchins
- Persuasive: Bohemians, Society, Church
Exchange letters with your acquaintances. These actions gain a large amount of CP, initially comparable to masterclasses from a Paramount Presence, that is reduced with each letter you read (tracked by the Mired in Mail quality, which is reset each week by Time, the Healer). The following table shows the amount of CP given at each level:
|Mired in Mail||1–4||5||6||7||8||9||≥10|
At Your Social Engagements, under the Attend to matters of... storylets, you can trade 5 second chances for 1–50 CP in the associated attribute (and 1 CP in two others), for an average of 27.5 CP per trade-in. Relevant actions are:
|Watchful||Every stone||5 x Sudden Insight|
|Shadowy||Tricks traps and treats||5 x Hastily Scrawled Warning Note|
|Dangerous||The strength of scars||5 x Hard-Earned Lesson|
|Persuasive||An easy confidence||5 x Confident Smile|
This works out to about 4.16 CP per action in the main attribute, even if you count spending an action to gain the second chance—comparable CP to doing the hardest-difficulty challenges on regular actions.
Some sources for second chances include:
- Read incoming mail: Letters sent by your acquaintances can gain you second chances. They also provide a significant amount of CP in the related attribute, as detailed in the Mired in Mail table in the previous section.
- Write some case notes into a letter costs them 5 x Journal of Infamy and gives you 1 x Sudden Insight (and Watchful CP)
- Write down a beloved family recipe costs them 5 x Journal of Infamy and gives you 1 x Hastily Scrawled Warning Note (and Shadowy CP)
- Write down some favoured fighting techniques costs them 5 x Tale of Terror!! and gives you 1 x Hard-Earned Lesson (and Dangerous CP)
- Compile licentious gossip costs them 1 x Stolen Kiss and gives you 1 x Confident Smile (and Persuasive CP)
- Talk to the Porters for a Sudden Insight: Only available before you finish the investigation in The University while Making Your Name.
- Give a Gift! A commotion in the Square of Lofty Words: If you have Hedonist 8, "I myself am my only true friend!" gives one of each second chance.
- A contact in the Great Game has a tale for you: This conflict card comes up if you have 5 favours each from The Great Game and The Church. Choosing Everyone deserves a second chance gets one of each second chance (and 7.5 worth of other items), in exchange for two Favours: The Great Game. (This is a particularly profitable action, netting about 4.5 CP per action on trade-in, even taking into account the actions to earn the two favours you spend, while also earning Echoes.)