Noman Tattoo (Guide)
Acquiring The Face in the Snow tattoo or A Private Tattoo of your Noman, Inscribed in Gant is a difficult endeavour, requiring a great deal of preparation, timing, and some luck. This guide is meant to help with the first two, and mitigate the need for the last.
The creation of a Noman can take place at any point from the opening of Penstock's Wicket (on January 5th, when you play the twelfth visit from Mr Sacks) until when it closes; in 2022, this happened on the 29th. The Noman begins with 100 Noman's Friend, some of which is taken away each time Time, the Healer arrives - the exact amount depending on the length of time since the Wicket opened and on random chance. Once Noman's Friend reaches zero, the Noman dies, so in order to get the tattoo one must gain enough Noman's Friend to keep it alive until the second week of the Feast of the Rose. In recent years, the Feast has begun on the first Thursday of February; as such, it is likely (but not certain) that this will take place on the 9th.
The best way of getting a large amount of Noman's Friend is to acquire Putting the Pieces Together: the Taste of Lacre by warming Vials of Tears of the Bazaar; this has a 4 in 5 chance of giving one PtPT:tToL, and a 1 in 5 chance of giving 2 PtPT:tToL and consuming the Vial. If you have a point of PtPT:tToL, this will allow you to get up to 11-12 PtPT:tToL (depending on luck), with each vial producing 6 on average; then using the Noman card this can be converted to 33-36 Noman's Friend. If you know how to grind Vials, then the tricky part becomes getting that first point of PtPT:tToL, as by this point both the Days of Mr Sacks and Advent will be over. Thus, this method may only be used as many times as you have Unusual Pails of So-Called Snow.
This places a bit of a time constraint on feeding the Noman, as Pails usually melt with the Time, the Healer immediately after the Wicket closes; as such, depending on your exact TtH day and the amount of Noman's Friend you need to acquire, it may be wise to create a Noman sooner than is strictly optimal in order to ensure you get all the converting done. On the other hand, you'll have about a week to draw an Abundant Frequency card at most four times, so this isn't too much of a concern.
Each time Time, the Healer arrives, you will lose between (1.75 × D)+3 and (1.75 × D)+36 Noman's Friend, where D is the number of days since January 5th - so for example, if your TtH came on the 6th (and you'd already made a Noman) you'd lose between 5 and 38 Noman's Friend. Meanwhile, the Taste of Lacre cost for making a Noman only increases by ~0.8 per day, to a maximum of 15 (reached on the 17th), so generally it's a good idea to wait until after the last of your Time, the Healers which falls in the period the Wicket is open to make your Noman.
The numbers that follow are for Christmas 2022, assuming that the Wicket closes on the 29th, the Feast opens on the 2nd and the Noman's Friend loss scales as it did last year. Blank spaces in the last two columns indicate that none of a particular resource is necessary. These assumptions may not hold true, and adding a healthy margin for error on top may be wise.
|TtH Day||Noman creation day||Expected Noman's Friend loss||Maximum possible Noman's Friend loss||Safe number of Pails||Safe number of Vials|
Note that the worst-case scenario here is a loss of 179 Noman's Friend; as such, you need only acquire an extra 80, which may be done with 3 Pails and an average of 2.83 vials - even if you're incredibly unlucky, you'll need at most 9 vials..
Fortunately, it is possible to reach ToL 15 with five pails left over even if you started the season with no ToL. You gain 1 from Advent, then use a pail with Examine it through your Semiotic Monocle to get to 4, then Warm your Tears of the Bazaar to get to 11 (uses on average another 1.17 Vials and at most 4), then use the Mr Sacks cards to gain 4 ToL and a Pail (requires that you be a Celestial or a Notary or Doctor). If you only need four pails left over, you can examine two and save yourself an average of 0.33 Vials; if you need none at all, you could feed the rest to Wild Boars to save some more Vials. See Christmas (Guide) and 12 Days of Mr Sacks (Guide) for more information on this.
The amount of preparation you need to do depends heavily on what day of the week your Time, the Healer falls on and how lucky you feel, but is at absolute most grinding x 13 Vial of Tears of the Bazaar.
- As seen in the next section, at most five conversions of ToL into Noman's Friend are needed, so you just need to do four conversions and then observe the last pail before the deadline.
- The method here is to examine each pail with a Semiotic Monocle, gaining 3 ToL, then warm the Tears until you reach 10 or 11.