Menaces (Guide)

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Ladybonessmall.png Early MYN Content and Onwards
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Menaces are generally troublesome qualities increased by certain actions. When their levels get too high, something unpleasant may happen.

Introduction[edit]

When you fail a challenge, you may suffer harm in the form of raising qualities called Menaces. The higher a menace gets, the more unpleasant things start happening. The main menaces increase the same way as other qualities: it takes 1 CP to raise a menace to level 1, another 2 CP to raise it to level 2, etc.

Each menace tends to be associated with a certain Attribute — for example, you're more likely to get Nightmares while doing Watchful things. If a menace reaches level 8, the consequences send you to a penalty location, where you'll have to spend actions and maybe resources to reduce that menace in order to escape.

Watchful gains Nightmares which lead to A state of some confusion or The Mirror-Marches.
Owl.pngSidebarnightmares.pngMad.png or Parabola.png

Shadowy gains Suspicion which leads to New Newgate Prison - again!
Cat.pngSidebarsuspicion.pngNewgate.png

Dangerous gains Wounds which lead to a slow boat passing a dark beach on a silent river.
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Persuasive gains Scandal which leads to Disgraced exile in the Tomb-Colonies.
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If you move to a menace location, see Menace Locations (Guide) for how to best escape.

In general, you want to keep your menaces as low as possible, but there may also be times when you'll need to raise a menace on purpose. Ambitions, for instance, require you to visit particular menace locations to proceed at certain points. Since most cards and storylets in the menace locations provide opportunities to reduce the relevant menace, it can be significantly easier to reduce the menace there than in London.

Later in the game, you will start to encounter high-stakes actions that harm you even on success, and even actions that send you directly to a menace location. Don't worry — the effects probably won't be permanent. A major exception is being arrested and sent to New Newgate Prison; this raises your criminal record, which eventually prevents you from using Ablution Absolution. Reducing Criminal Record is possible only in the late game, and doing so is prohibitively expensive, so keeping Suspicion low is arguably more important than any other menace.

Note that there are certain locations that are exempt from menace-related movement:


Menace Equipment[edit]

Some equipment items have bonuses affecting menaces, which work differently[1] than for other stats. Instead of directly modifying your current menaces level, these items affect the amount of menace gained when playing options. Equipment effects do not affect menace losses, only menace gains.

Equipment affecting the same menace stacks with diminishing returns for each additional bonus. Menace-affecting equipment will only reduce/increase CP gains by up to 2 CP.

To calculate an outfit's average effect on a menace:

  1. Add together all items affecting that menace. Call this number d, for difference. If d > 0, then you will gain more of the menace on average. If d < 0, you will gain less of the menace on average.
    • Items that increase menace build up are worth +1 and items that reduce menace build up are worth -1.
    • Items that "greatly" increase/reduce a menace are worth +2/-2.
    • Items that "massively" increase/reduce a menace are worth +4/-4.
  2. Calculate the base probability p0 that an effect will apply with p0 = 0.6 * (1 - 0.75^abs(d)). This is the first row in the below table.
  3. Each time you would gain m CP of menace, the game determines the actual amount by calculating the effect probability p = p0 * m.
    • If p <= 1: you will receive 1 CP fewer, with probability p.
      • Thus, if p = 0.15, you will receive 1 CP fewer 15% of the time.
    • If 1 < p < 2: you will always receive 1 CP fewer. With probability (p - 100%), you will receive an additional 1 CP fewer.
      • Thus, if p = 1.23, you will receive 1 CP fewer 77% of the time and 2 CP fewer 23% of the time.
    • If p >= 2, you will always receive 2 CP fewer.
Expected CP reduction/increase (p, with all p>2 truncated)
Equipped points (d)
Base CP (m) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 0.15 0.26 0.35 0.41 0.46 0.49 0.52 0.54
2 0.30 0.53 0.69 0.82 0.92 0.99 1.04 1.08
3 0.45 0.79 1.04 1.23 1.37 1.48 1.56 1.62
4 0.60 1.05 1.39 1.64 1.83 1.97 2.00 2.00
5 0.75 1.31 1.73 2.00 2.00 2.00
6 0.90 1.58 2.00
7 1.05 1.84
8 1.35 2.00


  1. This is only the case for pyramidal menaces, i.e. those with change points. This distinction only affects A Complete Set of Preserved Internal Organs, which directly increases Unaccountably Peckish by one level.

More Than One Menace[edit]

Time, the Healer reduces all primary Menaces: Wounds by -2 CP, and the others primary menaces by -1 CP. It also allows you to remove Irrigo, reduces Plagued by a Popular Song by -1 CP, and approximately halves Taimen's Attention (see the page for detailed calculations).

During Christmas, receiving a card reduces one of the primary Menaces.

While in your University Laboratory, the cards See a Doctor, Nightmares of Your Experiment, and Tomb Sciences can respectively reduce Wounds, Nightmares, and Scandal, at the cost of some of your Laboratory Research. You can also Take a day off, reducing a random Menace.

If you have access to Station VIII, you can prepare meals which you may consume (either immediately or through an opportunity in the Upper River) to reduce Wounds or Nightmares. See A Kitchen for Artists (Guide) for more details.

In the Iron Republic Streets, days 8, 12, 17, 19, 40, 51, 78, 81, and 88 all have an option that sets a Menace to 2 or 3. See the Iron Republic Street Map for details.

If you'd rather increase your menaces, suffering a Reckless end at zee will set all four main Menaces to 7, and will send you to the slow boat. Likewise, certain options when Seeking Mr Eaten's Name can raise more than one Menace above 8.

Seasonally, bringing a Menace to 7 during Hallowmas allows you to take advantage of The Fool's Judgement, regardless of how you got it that high.

Nightmares[edit]

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Nightmares are becoming a problem. Some nights you hardly dare sleep. If this reaches 5, bad things may begin to happen. Don't let it reach 8.

Nightmares tend to come from Watchful actions, though another notable (if unreliable) source is the variety of opportunity cards about recurring dreams. Reaching Nightmares 5 causes the appearance of a non-discardable opportunity card, A merry gentleman. Playing the card and greeting the man is a very difficult Watchful check; success adds a Boon that decreases future Nightmares gains, but adds a Burden that increases Nightmares build-up on a failure. In either case, the merry gentleman's card will no longer appear until Time, the Healer removes the affliction.

If you hit Nightmares 8, you will be likely be sent to A state of some confusion. If you are at zee, Having Recurring Dreams: Is Someone There? 10, or in possession of at least one Memory of Light, you will go to The Mirror-Marches instead. Refer to the menace locations Guide for help escaping the state of confusion or Mirror-Marches.

Reducing Nightmares[edit]

Social actions:
Actions:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in London:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in the Hinterlands:

Items:

Equipped items (chance to reduce Nightmares gain while equipped):

Increasing Nightmares[edit]

Social Actions:
  • +6 CP: Allow an acquaintance to study your nightmares. (Unlikely to be received unless requested; doing so provides no benefit to the betrayer)
Actions:

Scandal[edit]

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Scandal is getting out of hand. If this reaches 8, something bad may happen.

Scandal tends to come from Persuasive actions. If it hits 8, you will be sent to Disgraced exile in the Tomb-Colonies. Refer to the menace location guide for help getting back from exile.


Reducing Scandal[edit]

Actions:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in London:
Items:

Increasing Scandal[edit]

Social actions:
  • +4 or +6 CP: Allow an acquaintance to use you as a dupe (the other person will get -5 or -6 CP Scandal)
Actions:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in London:
Items:

Suspicion[edit]

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Suspicious activities are beginning to draw the attention of the law. If this reaches 8, something bad may happen.

Suspicion tends to come from Shadowy actions. If it hits 8, you will be ARRESTED! and sent to New Newgate Prison - again!. When arrested, you will also gain A Criminal Record:, and if that quality reaches 4, Nikolas & Sons Instant Ablution Absolution will no longer reduce your Suspicion. Some actions send you directly to prison without trial; these don't increase Criminal Record.

Refer to the menace location guide for help re-escaping New Newgate.


Reducing Suspicion[edit]

Actions:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in London:
Items:
Equipped items (chance to reduce Suspicion gain while equipped):
  • Set of Workman's Clothes (E 0.20 from Gottery the Outfitter)
  • Sober Dress (E 0.20 from Gottery the Outfitter)
  • Light-Drinking Cravat (E 12.50 from Trompowsky et Fils)
  • A Silent Nod of Acknowledgement from Mr Hearts (from Hearts' Game)
  • A Preserver of London (RETIRED affiliation)
  • Inconspicuous Overalls (CHRISTMAS 2023)
  • The Undying Respect of the Order of the Blackened Hoof (affiliation) FATE CHRISTMAS
  • Clay Corroborator (HALLOWMAS 2023)

Increasing Suspicion[edit]

Social actions:
Actions:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in London:
Equipped items (chance to increase Suspicion gain while equipped):

Wounds[edit]

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Wounds are becoming troublesome. At 8, they may become fatal. Which would be inconvenient.

Wounds tend to come from Dangerous actions, and once they reach 8, you are sent on a slow boat passing a dark beach on a silent river, which is indeed inconvenient but not permanent. See the menace location guide for help coming back from the dead.


Reducing Wounds[edit]

Wounds may be the easiest to reduce between primary Menaces, and the most overlooked because there's no penalty before level 8. However, Wounds may be difficult to reduce in a slow boat passing a dark beach on a silent river if you die too many times. Therefore, remember to reduce Wounds.

In early MYN, tincture is recommended, but A Restorative and Time in bed are also fine if you're very very poor. However, the most recomended way to reduce Wounds is to make good use of MYN. Every time A Name Scrawled in Blood levels up, all Wounds can heal.

In early PoSI, Take a moment to tend your wounds is recommended. But when not urgent, Take tea with Lettice are better.

Social actions:
Actions:
Semi-reliable opportunity cards in London:
Items:
Equipped items (chance to reduce Wounds gain while equipped):

Increasing Wounds[edit]

Actions:
Social Actions:
Equipped items (chance to increase Wounds gain while equipped):

Advanced menaces[edit]

Some menaces are associated with certain locations. The most important of these are listed below.

Irrigo[edit]

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Irrigo is a menace gained while exploring the Cave of the Nadir. It is discrete, typically increasing by one or two levels for each action you take in the Nadir, and the amount you accrue determines the Attribute penalties inflicted as you leave. If this menace reaches 10, you are ejected via the storylet Drowning in violet and take additional Attribute loss.

Irrigo prevents you from re-entering the Nadir. It can be cleared with Fleeting Recollections granted by Time, the Healer. For more information on the Cave expedition, see Cave of the Nadir (Guide).

Disgruntlement among the Students[edit]

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Disgruntlement among the Students is a menace exclusive to the University Laboratory. Occasionally, making use of a maximum-level student (quality level 5) will raise Disgruntlement by 1 CP on an alternate success. Disgruntlement is reset when graduating a student, but most other means of reducing it require a certain level.

When Directing your Team, you can Give them a day off with Disgruntlement 2, reducing it by -2 CP. The menace card Student Complaints begins appearing at Disgruntlement 4, offering various ways to lower it. At Disgruntlement 6, you will invoke Student Fury, which will cost you -200 x Laboratory Research, gain you Scandal +1 CP, and lower Disgruntlement by -7 CP.

Troubled Waters[edit]

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Troubled Waters is a menace gained at zee. Most options on zailing cards increase it at least slightly. As it increases, you'll start to encounter greater hazards, like the Circumcelion Brotherhood or the Killing Wind. If it reaches 8, your voyage will end abruptly, as you are either killed (sent to the Fathomking, who will refer you to the Boatman) or driven to madness (The Mirror-Marches)).

A number of other qualities ("zee-menaces") track details of the dangers on your journey such as your crew's morale (Creeping Fear, Mutinous Whispers, Rumbling Stomachs), your vessel's condition (Groaning Hull), and who or what is pursuing you (Silent Stalker, Unwelcome on the Waters). These are discrete Circumstance qualities with a maximum level of 1, and they mostly determine the type of demise you face at Troubled Waters 8.

Some options on zailing cards decrease Troubled Waters, while docking at certain safe ports clears it and removes other zee-menaces. For more information on how Troubled Waters affects zailing, refer to Zailing (Guide).

Taimen's Attention[edit]

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Taimen's Attention is specific to Khan's Heart, and is gained when completing most intrigues and failing checks in the Khanate. The higher Taimen's Attention, the more damaging to your Khaganian Front failures are. Higher Taimen's Attention also makes certain checks more difficult.

It is reduced every week by Time, the Healer, or by using resources at False-Dawn. It will also be cleared if you choose to Dismantle your front, or if the White-and-Golds force you to do so. For more information on the Khanate, see Khaganian Intrigue (Guide).

Unaccountably Peckish[edit]

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Unaccountably Peckish is associated with a particularly infamous and dread story. It adds a series of Ubiquitous cards to your deck, all of which have very nasty consequences. If you are not Seeking Mr Eaten's Name, you will want to eliminate this menace posthaste.

These are some of the more reliable ways to reduce UP:

These options increase UP, which should be avoided at all costs unless you are committed to Seeking the Name

Less common menaces[edit]

This is a non-exhaustive list of menaces specific to particular stories.

A Turncoat[edit]

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A Turncoat tracks how often you have betrayed London's underworld to the Law, or vice versa. It is mainly used during A Boxful of Intrigue.

After you have become A Power in Waiting - and become either The Consience of Empire or A Guardian of the Realm, picking an option opposed to your previous choice (for instance, hunting a union leader as Consience of Empire) changes your allegiance and increases Turncoat.

The only way to reduce Turncoat is the storylet The Traitor's Feast in Spite, which unlocks at A Turncoat 4. It also requires Shadowy 120 and A Survivor of the Affair of the Box 12.

A Turncoat can also be raised in a few other ways.

Plagued by a Popular Song[edit]

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Plagued by a Popular Song is a menace specific to Mahogany Hall.

If it reaches 5, a storylet auto-fires in that location that causes one of your weasels (an Araby Fighting-Weasel, or a Lucky Weasel if you don't have a fighting weasel), or an unlucky nearby weasel, to explode. For more details see Tales of Mahogany Hall (Guide).

Curing the Plague

Orthos is Coming![edit]

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Orthos is Coming! is a timer that increases while doing actions at Bullbone Island, Corpsecage Island, or Grunting Fen. It measures the length of your stay and which options are available at any given time on each island. For more details, see Embarking on a Voyage of Scientific Discovery (Guide).

Attracting Attention in the Orphanage[edit]

Attracting Attention in the Orphanage is part of Ambition: Light Fingers!. See the Light Fingers guide for details.

Inciting a Simian Revenge?[edit]

Inciting a Simian Revenge? is part of the Topsy King branch of Ambition: Heart's Desire!. See the Heart's Desire guide for details.

Acclimating to Pressure[edit]

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Acclimating to Pressure is specific to Diving in the Magistracy of the Evenlode. It is raised by changing Diving Depth, and goes down by 1 CP for each action you spend on the same depth level. If you Emerge from the water while still having this menace, it will be converted 1:1 to Wounds CP. See Diving in the Magistracy (Guide) for full details.

Disgruntlement among the Expedition[edit]

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Disgruntlement is a menace exclusive to Moulin Expeditions. It is gained by failing checks during an expedition, or when using inefficient options like attacking sorrow-spiders or wading through viric. Its is cleared when returning to Moulin.

If this ever reaches 8, Mutiny! will trigger, causing +4 CP Wounds and immediately returning you to Moulin with no wages. For full details see Moulin Expeditions (Guide).

Hearts' Game[edit]

Several qualities are associated with your target in the game of Poison and Delight, including Elusiveness of your Target, Poison Tolerance of Your Target, and Hearts' Game: Counterplay. For full details, see Hearts' Game (Guide).

Unravelling[edit]

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Unravelling is a menace specific to Irem, accrued by failing certain checks while navigating the futures on the Loom.

If it reaches 8, Unraveled! will autofire, removing some of the Iremi items you collected and kicking you back to Irem. Returning to Irem by choice will raise Wounds and Nightmares based on your level of Unravelling, and clear the quality.

Noises in the Library[edit]

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Noises in the Library is a menace exclusive to The Stacks of The Midnight Moon. It generally accrues when failing checks, with some failures raising it by as many as 6 CP. Making Noises will cause a couple of cards to appear in the opportunity deck, and if the menace reaches 8, WE WILL HAVE SILENCE will autofire, which kills you. It is reset upon leaving The Stacks.

For more details, see The Stacks (Guide).

The City Waning[edit]

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The City Waning is a quality in The City of the Tracklayers representing the Tracklayers' City not faring too well. It's increased by taking certain clearly marked options as well as by failing checks. Higher levels gradually remove options for profit, while opening opportunities to benefit from the instability. Actions that reduce The City Waning are also marked in the instructions, e.g. Welcome some new arrivals and consulting the city on the various The (Alignment) Way cards. For full details, see The City of the Tracklayers (Guide).