Parabolan War (Guide)

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What needs work: Info missing
  • all campaigns (particularly details like Red/Black/White Leaning and waging battle against yourself)
  • cost-benefit analysis of running your train through an opposing army

Waging War in Parabola entails a significant amount of content, and will take some time to fully explore. To even begin preparations for war, you need to have a reliable way into the Parabola and a Parabolan Base-Camp of your own. See Parabola (Guide) for help on how to achieve this. Being a Person of Some Importance is the first step. This guide will be assuming that you've achieved that reputation.

You will also have more options available to you if you've advanced your railroad, but it's not required to play or win your campaigns.

Getting Started[edit]

A Storylet in your Parabolan Base-Camp will instruct you that War is available. You will need to level up your Parabolan Defences to 3 continue. There are many options; see the the Parabola defences section of the Parabola Guide for details.

After your base-camp is suitably defended, you can Establish a Pavilion of War. This will cost you the following:

After the requirements have been paid, the game will direct you to your very own Dolorous Pavilion. From there, you will be guided into a series of Tutorial storylets.

Creating Your Grand Parabolan Company[edit]

Inside your Pavilion, you will continue your war efforts by forming a Grand Parabolan Company. It is expensive; however, you only need to assemble your company once, not for each campaign. Your initial company will last as long as you want it to. You may also dissolve it and create a new one whenever you wish.

Armaments and Infrastructure[edit]

For your company to be complete, you will need to upgrade Parabolan Armaments and Parabolan Infrastructure three times each. You'll see your options for the first in The Munitions of War storylet, and the second in The Logistics of War. Any option can be used multiple times, or just once.

The cheapest and easiest option for Parabolan Armaments is to Muster the Workers' Dreams, which will cost you 5 x Strong-Backed Labour.

The second cheapest armament in Parabola is The force of law, which will cost you a Legal Document. A document can be found by doing Business in Wilmot's End, or by selling a Cave-Aged Code of Honour (from Hunting Bees in Old Newgate) at the Bazaar. Another option is offices of Baseborn & Fowlingpiece in the Sidestreets. One legal document from the latter will cost you 6 x Aeolian Scream, 30 x Correspondence Plaque, and 300 x Maniac's Prayer.

The business of creating Parabolan Infrastructure is much the same. Any option you have may be used once or multiple times.

The easiest option for infrastructure is to Build a Parabolan waterway, which will (naturally) cost you a Cellar of Wine.

Alternatively, if you happen to have a Horned Skull or three laying around from a trip to Bullbone Island during your voyage of scientific discovery, sowing a crop of Flourishing Aurochs is a viable option (if rather macabre in practice).

Recruiting Units[edit]

In the The Mercenary Companies of Parabola, you must select which units to recruit for your Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery. There are three choices for each.

The easiest option for your infantry is The Wakeful Gentlemen, who are willing to work with you without conditions. Both other choices, the Satrap-Saints and the Pax Homines, have particular requirements: 3 Favours: Fingerkings or 15 Having Recurring Dreams: A Game of Chess, respectively.

For your cavalry, if you wish to hire The Company of the Exiled Rose, you will need A Vial of Queenly Attar. It will not be used up if you hire them.

The Grand Myriad Company and the Peace Of October, your company's other two options for cavalry, have no cost attached.

The Pale League of Irem is the fastest choice of grenadiers, as hiring them also has no initial hiring cost. If you have built your Glasswork skill up to 7, you have the option to hire The Order Speculorum. The 77th Queen's Own Hussars also become an option if you have 1 x Flask of Waswood Wellspring Water.

The main gameplay effect your choice of units, armaments, and infrastructure has is setting initial values for Parabolan Oneironaut and Parabolan Cultivator, which has a minor impact on starting Morale. Both of these qualities will also advance over time as you complete campaigns. Your choices of units you recruit will change the text of some options on the campaign trail, but not the availability, difficulty, or results.

Creating a new Company will reset both qualities.

Parabolan Counsel[edit]

A commander, however skilled, cannot run an army alone. In your Pavilion you may manage your advisors. You begin with two choices: The Viscountess of the Viric Jungle, and the Ophidian Gentleman.

Who you choose as your Advisor will decide which Tutorial Campaign is available to you. The Viscountess, naturally, represents the Cats of Parabola. The Ophidian Gentleman is a representative of the Fingerkings. Choosing one will embroil you in a war against the other.

You may freely change Advisors at any point, even while on a campaign. Both Tutorial Campaigns will continue to be available permanently; your choice of initial Advisor determines which content you experience first, but you will not be locked out of anything.

Completing full-length campaigns will eventually unlock a third Advisor, unlocking an additional full-length campaign.

Completing Your Company[edit]

When you have assembled your army, their armaments, dreamed your infrastructure, and chosen an advisor, go into the Assembling a Grand Parabolan Company storylet. From there you may officially Form your Grand Parabolan Company. Along with opening the path to war, this will reward you with 1 x Bottle of Fourth City Airag: Year of the Tortoise. To victory!

Mechanics At a Glance[edit]

War in Parabola is a series of Campaigns. The initial preparations are to raise a Company, pick a Campaign, and choose a General. The main bulk of the campaign is five stages (three for the Tutorial campaigns), each of which requires substantial progress to complete. Narrative content occurs after each stage, and at the conclusion of all stages are rewards for your Campaign and General (if you have one). After your campaign, you must clear Ravages of Parabolan Warfare before embarking on another.

Parabolan Campaign[edit]

Your first campaign will be one of the two tutorials, with your company fighting alongside the Cats or the Fingerkings, depending on your current choice of Parabolan Counsel. These campaigns are shorter (three stages instead of five) and simpler (no London theater or General), but still offer proportional rewards to their length. They will continue to be available later.

After completing your first Campaign, you will unlock the first two full-length ones, and the ability to hire Generals. Your generals mature with experience; as you complete full-length campaigns, they will grow stronger.

Your choice of which war to wage will affect the narrative text in-between campaigns, the General, and the rewards and effect on Parabola. Choosing a campaign does not initiate it. It is possible to change your choice before you embark, if you wish to see different options for Generals or Advisors.

Your General[edit]

There are several Generals, and they can be upgraded over the course of several campaigns. You may collect and upgrade all of the Generals at once, although only one may be leading your troops at any given point. They decrease the difficulties of some checks, and your choice of General can be altered mid-campaign among those available.

You gain access to the Generals by spending 3 Human Arms after completing a tutorial campaign. At first, Generals may only be used on Campaigns associated with their Power, and completing such a campaign you will have the opportunity to level up your General, raising Dangerous Gains provided it is already at least 12 and increasing the effect of the general. The first upgrade for each General unlocks a lab experiment that will allow the General to be used on any Campaign, as well as increasing their effect further.

Stage of the War[edit]

Each stage of the war requires raising Advance! to 24. All Stages have options which raise this by one point per Action. Different Stages will also allow you to gain Campaign Morale while making progress, or let you spend items or Campaign Morale for faster progress. Some stages may optionally be fought in London instead of Parabola, which has broadly similar mechanics but different specific options. Failing stat challenges raises Ravages of Parabolan Warfare.

Epilogue and Lasting Effects[edit]

After concluding your campaign, you will have the qualities Parabolan Dominance reflecting whose side you fought for, Stage of the War reflecting your final choice, and Ravages of Parabolan Warfare as a Menace from failed checks.

Content in Parabola (and London) may be unlocked by the Dominance or Stage of the War qualities. Content unlocked by Dominance will remain until changed by the conclusion of another campaign. This content is mostly located in the Dome of Scales and the Viric Jungle. Content unlocked by Stage of the War will lock out as soon as you begin another campaign. These options are usually an Epilogue representing lasting effects of your choices.

Ravages must be cleared before embarking on another campaign, and has minor gameplay effects in the rest of Parabola.

On the Campaign Trail[edit]

There are five Campaign Stages, which are shared by all Campaigns (although the tutorial campaigns and the second city vengeance only use the first three).

The second and fourth stages can optionally be fought from London instead of Parabola. You may shift the campaign to London at any point, and retain Advance! if you do. You may not shift combat back to Parabola until you have concluded that Stage.

During each Stage, the Advance! progress quality begins at 0, and must be brought to 24 to complete the Stage. You may also accumulate or spend Campaign Morale, which carries between Stages. Failures usually generate Ravages of Parabolan Warfare, which is a Menace. It does not affect your current campaign, but must be cleared before starting a new one, and has some effects elsewhere in Parabola.

Action Types[edit]

Each stage has a unique set of actions available. Most actions fall into a number of common categories, although the variations are still considerable and there are exceptions. These categorizations are an attempt to map Parabola, with all of the attending caveats.

Progress Safely
These options are the slowest, but the least-risky and usually the least-costly. They are characterized by having easy skill checks (150 or lower), and generating Advance! even on failure.
In the first two Stages, they have no cost above the action and produce 1 x Advance!. In later stages, they cost a E 2.50 item and produce 2 x Advance!.
Progress Quickly
These actions can potentially produce faster progress, but are more risky and costly. They have higher skill checks of 250 (reducible with Generals), and cost items worth E 3 or more, which are often lost even on failure. Success produces 3 x Advance!, while failure produces 2 x Ravages.
Some actions in this group produce Ravages on success instead of costing items. Actions in the final Stage cost items worth E 4 and produce 4 x Advance! on success.
Airs Options
As their name implies, these options depend on Airs of the Parabolan War and each of them is only available 30% of the time. These actions share several features: A base difficulty of 250 (reduced by Generals), successes giving 4 x Advance!, and failures giving 3 x Ravages.
Skills Options
These options are characterized by testing against Advanced Skills instead of the Primary Skills. They are somewhat expensive, but do **not** generate Ravages on failure. In general, the challenges have a difficulty of 6, generate 2 x Advance! on success, and cost items worth E 1.50 on both success and failure.
Morale Options
There is less variability among these options. Options that generate Morale are usually a Dangerous challenge with difficulty of 175 which produce 1 x Advance! and 1 x Campaign Morale on success and 2 x Ravages on failure. Options that use morale exchange 5 x Campaign Morale for 5 x Advance! with a trivial challenge.

Action Type Comparisons[edit]

This is a high-level summary of the different action types. Actions that cost items will be compared based on their echo cost, for convenience and easier comparison. A grinding guide should go into more detail about sourcing those items, but this is merely meant to compare whether the faster or slower approach is generally preferable.

Ravages of Parabolan Warfare can be cleared at a rate of 2 levels for 1 action and an item costing E 2.50. For simplicity we shall approximate that 1 Ravages = 1 Action. When calculating the Advance! per action, Ravages will be counted as increasing the Action cost, i.e. they will increase the denominator.

Early Safe Progress options gain Advance! reliably at 1 x Advance! per action, with negligible chance of failure. Later options gain 2 Advance! at the cost of 1 action and E 2.50 of items. Assuming the items can be obtained at 1 per action, this gives the same rate of 1 per action. Better sources might improve this, but not significantly--if items can be obtained at an unrealistic 5.00 EPA, that would improve to 1.5 Advance per action.

Actions that use Campaign Morale also have negligible chance of failure (except in London without an appropriate General). Options that Gain Morale universally spend 1 action to gain 1 x Advance! and 1 x Morale, while options that Spend Morale generally spend 1 action and 5 x Morale to gain 5 x Advance!. Give gain actions and one spend action will therefore generate 1.67 x Advance! per action, a significant improvement over Safe Progress.

Before the last stage, Fast Progress options spend items to gain 3 x Advance! on success, while accruing 1 x Ravages and a smaller item cost on failure (1/3 to 1/2). The item cost can be incorporated as the number of actions it takes to obtain the items in question. For an item cost of c actions and a success rate of s, the Advance! per action is given by the formula below. The numerator is simply the average Advance per attempt. The denominator is the sum of the actions required: 1 action for the attempt, plus a c-term for actions for the items consumed[1], plus an s-term term for the actions required to clear Ravages afterwards.

The value of A in this formula is very sensitive to c, and somewhat sensitive to s. With unrealistically optimistic values of c = 0.5 and s = 1.00 (which requires modified stats over 340), the maximum is 2.00 x Advance! per action. More realistically, an endgame-equipped player with 300 stats would have a success rate s = 72% against a base difficulty of 250, improved to s = 87% with a max-level general, giving 1.75 to 1.88 Advance per action, a slight improvement over Morale-based options. At these same success rates, if c is estimated at 1.00, these options give 1.40 to 1.45 Advance per Action, not as good as Morale-options. Overall, the efficiency of these options strongly depends on how you obtain the items they consume.

Airs-Dependent Options give 4 x Advance! on success, and 1 x Ravages of Parabolan Warfare on failure. For a success chance of s, the expected Advance per attempt is 4s, and the expected actions is the sum of 1 action for the attempt plus 1-s from Ravages. The formula for Advance per Action is given below:

Our hypothetical endgame-equipped character with a stat of 300 would gain 2.25 x Advance! per action taking actions with the base difficulty of 250, and 3.08 Advance! per action taking actions where a General has reduced the difficulty to 205, a substantial improvement over Morale options. This calculation is extremely sensitive to s, as it appears in both the numerator and denominator.

Options using Advanced Skills do not accrue Ravages on failure, but merely cost E 1.50 of materials on success or failure. As before, these items can be accounted for by the number of actions to acquire them. Treating these as worth half of an action each, they have an expected result of . Even with a 100% chance of success (which is fairly accessible), this caps out at only 1.33 x Advance! per action, a poor return compared to Morale-based options.

In summary, Morale Options are usually superior to other forms of making progress. Situationally, Airs-Dependent options can be better, for exceptionally well-geared players and when using a matching General.

  1. Because fewer items are consumed on failure, this term is more accurately represented by the expression below. Replacing this whole expression with c is pessimistic, but gets more accurate as s approaches 1. The expression assumes item costs are reduced by half on failure.


Stage Safe Progress Fast Progress Airs Skill Morale
1: Wastes of Want Rally your army
(, Snake)
Scout the way
(, Cat)
(, Chess)
Forgotten trenches
(, -)
Glasswhispery [stages 1]
Host a hunt
(, Gain Morale)
2: Hanging Mountains Raid from the sky
(, Cat)
Gather Flowers [stages 2]
(, Snake)
False fruit
(, Chess)
Deploy allegiances
( A Player of Chess)
Toxify the waters
( Kataleptic Toxicology)
Hold a feast
(, Gain Morale)
2: War from Home ( London) Deploy reinforcements
(, -)
Provide a distraction
(, Cat)
Boost the spirits
(, Snake)
Bathtub experiment
( Kataleptic Toxicology)
Spy on cats
(, Gain Morale, Cat) [stages 3]
Artistic support
(, Spend Morale, Snake)
3: Writhing River Safe options now cost supplies
Delegate to yourself
(, Snake)
Poisoned Oracle
(, Cat)
Grow Mounts
(, Chess)
Ancient passages
(, -)[stages 4]
Naval assault
(, Gain Morale)
The Wanting-Way
(, Spend Morale, 1 extra advance)
4: Smoking Shore Petition Cats
(, Snake) [stages 5]
Siege a Spinney
(, -)
Dream your way past
(, Chess)
Column of Ash
(, Snake)[stages 6]
Disseminate Falsehood
( Mithridacy)
Enjoy a respite
(, Gain Morale)
Cavalry charge
(, Spend Morale)
4: Mirrorpane ( London) Night watch
(, Chess)
(, Cat)
Dr Schlomo
(, Snake)
Infiltrate dreams
( Glasswork)
Public health
(, Gain Morale, Snake) [stages 7]
Summon your Company
(, Spend Morale)
5: Castle of Forests Pray
(, Snake)
Terror-Bird [stages 8]
(, Chess)
Ignite the Forests [stages 8]
(, -)
Sear the Castle
( Glasswork)
Liberate the dungeous
(, Gain Morale)
Assault the Citadel
(, Spend Morale)
  1. Silverer only
  2. Gains Ravages of Parabolan Warfare on success in lieu of costing items. Easier challenge than usual (Broad, 150).
  3. Harder than other Gain Morale options (Broad 200).
  4. Cheaper than usual.
  5. Harder than other Safe Progress options.
  6. Also gains Ravages of Parabolan Warfare on success.
  7. Compared to other Gain Morale options, has a higher base difficulty of 200, and tests against Persuasive instead of Dangerous.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Compared to other Fast Progress options, this costs materials worth E 4 and grants 4 x Advance! on success.

Wastes of Want Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Rally your army onward Safe Progress Persuasive 150
Snake General
1 x Advance! 1 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
Scout the way ahead Safe Progress Shadowy 150
Cat General
1 x Advance! 1 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
Deploy Counter-Factual Phantasies Airs Watchful 250
Chess General
4 x Advance! 1 x Ravages
Lead your army through forgotten trenches Airs Dangerous 250 4 x Advance! 1 x Ravages
Host a hunt Gain Morale Dangerous 175 1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
2 x Ravages
Employ the arts of Glasswhispery
( Silverer only)
Advanced Skill Glasswork 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Moves in the Great Game
+3 CP Nightmares
-1 x Moves in the Great Game
The Hanging Mountains Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Lead a raid from the sky Safe Progress Shadowy 150
Cat General
1 x Advance! 1 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
Gather the Flowers of Nevermore Fast Progress Persuasive 150
Snake General
3 x Advance!
2 x Ravages
2 x Ravages
Lure the (enemies) with false fruit Fast Progress Watchful 250
Chess General
3 x Advance!
-6 x Solacefruit
1 x Ravages
-3 x Solacefruit
Deploy a whirlwind of allegiances Advanced Skill A Player of Chess 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Well-Placed Pawn
-1 x Moves in the Great Game
-1 x Well-Placed Pawn
Toxify the waters of the (enemies) Advanced Skill Kataleptic Toxicology 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Deep-zee Catch
-1 x Deep-zee Catch
Hold a feast Gain Morale Dangerous 175 1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
2 x Ravages
The War from Home Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Deploy reinforcements Safe Progress Dangerous 150 1 x Advance! 1 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
Provide a distraction Safe Progress Shadowy 150
Cat General
1 x Advance! 1 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
Boost the spirits of your Company Airs Persuasive 250
Snake General
4 x Advance! 1 x Ravages
Conduct an experiment from within your tub Advanced Skill Kataleptic Toxicology 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Secluded Address
-1 x Secluded Address
Spy on the movement of cats Gain Morale Shadowy 200
Cat General
1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
2 x Ravages
Inspire artistic support Spend Morale Persuasive 90 5 x Advance!
-5 x Morale
-3 x Morale
The Writhing River Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Delegate to yourself Safe Progress Persuasive 150
Snake General
2 x Advance!
-1 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self
1 x Mirror-Fed
2 x Advance!
-1 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self
1 x Ravages
Consult a Poisoned Oracle Safe Progress Shadowy 150
Cat General
2 x Advance!
-1 x Glass Gazette
2 x Advance!
-1 x Glass Gazette
1 x Ravages
Grow mounts to speed your passage Fast Progress Watchful 250
Chess General
3 x Advance!
-6 x Royal-Blue Feather
1 x Ravages
-2 x Royal-Blue Feather
Illuminate ancient passages Fast Progress Dangerous 250 3 x Advance!
-3 x Memory of Light
1 x Ravages
-1 x Memory of Light
Launch a naval assault Gain Morale Dangerous 175 1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
2 x Ravages
Sail the Wanting-Way Spend Morale Dangerous 90 6 x Advance!
-5 x Morale
-? x Morale
The Smoking Shore Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Petition Long-Dead Cats Safe Progress Watchful 250
Snake General
2 x Advance!
-25 x Silvered Cat's Claw
2 x Advance!
-25 x Silvered Cat's Claw
1 x Ravages
Consult a Column of Searing Ash Airs Persuasive 250
Snake General
3 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
2 x Ravages
Siege an Insidious Spinney Airs Dangerous 250 4 x Advance! 1 x Ravages
2 x Solacefruit
Dream your way past the (enemies) Airs Watchful 250
Chess General
4 x Advance! 1 x Ravages
2 x Trace of Viric
Disseminate Falsehood Advanced Skill Mithridacy 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Palimpsest Scrap
-3? x Palimpsest Scrap
Enjoy a respite Gain Morale Dangerous 175 1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
2 x Ravages
Mount a cavalry charge Spend Morale Watchful 90 5 x Advance!
-5 x Morale
-3 x Morale
Shadows on the Mirrorpane Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Establish a night watch Safe Progress Watchful 150
Chess General
2 x Advance!
-1 x London Street Sign
1 x Advance!
-1 x London Street Sign
1 x Ravages
Embark upon a crime-spree Airs Shadowy 250
Cat General
4 x Advance! 3 x Ravages
Call on Dr Schlomo's assistance Airs Persuasive 250
Snake General
4 x Advance! 1 x Ravages
Infiltrate disordered dreams Advanced Skill Glasswork 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Memory of Light
-3? x Memory of Light
Initiate a campaign of public health Gain Morale Persuasive 200
Snake General
1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
3 x Ravages
Summon your Company for aid Spend Morale Shadowy 90 5 x Advance!
-5 x Morale
-5 x Morale
The Castle of Forests Type Challenge Success Failure [Expand]
Pray Safe Progress Persuasive 150
Snake General
2 x Advance!
-1 x Apostate's Psalm
2 x Advance!
1 x Ravages
Summon a Terror-Bird Fast Progress Watchful 250
Chess General
4 x Advance!
-3 x Memory of Light
-1 x Wing of a Young Terror Bird
1 x Ravages
-1 x Memory of Light
-1 x Wing of a Young Terror Bird
Ignite the Chorus of Forests Fast Progress Dangerous 250 4 x Advance!
-3 x Correspondence Plaque
-1 x Glass Gazette
1 x Ravages
-1 x Correspondence Plaque
-1 x Glass Gazette
Sear the Castle with Viric Advanced Skill Glasswork 6 2 x Advance!
-3 x Trace of Viric
-3? x Trace of Viric
Liberate the dungeons of the Castle Gain Morale Dangerous 175 1 x Advance!
1 x Morale
2 x Ravages
Assault the Citadel of Vineyards Spend Morale Watchful 90 5 x Advance!
-5 x Morale
-? x Morale


Morale is gained at the beginning of each campaign based on your level of Parabolan Commander, with a maximum of 9 Morale, plus 1 if your ethos is aligned with who you're campaigning for - i.e. if you have Parabolan Cultivator> Parabolan Oneironaut for Cats, Parabolan Oneironaut> Parabolan Cultivator for Fingerkings or the two qualities equal for the Chessboard. It is also gained, along with one Advance!, on certain options (e.g. Host a hunt, Hold a feast), but it is not possible to have more than 16 at any time. It can be traded with various options at a rate of 5 morale (and one action on a relatively easy stat roll) for 5 Advance! (except when Along the Writhing River, where it is 5 morale for 6 advance). Effectively, this means that with the morale options, you are spending 6 actions for 10 (or 11) Advance!, assuming no failures. These options also don't cost items. However, failing them will add 2 Ravages of Parabolan Warfare, which have to be removed by either spending actions and items, or waiting for Time, the Healer.

If your probability of succeeding at a morale option is p, then on average doing it will net you p Advance!, p Morale and 2(1-p) Ravages, requiring 1-p actions and materials worth 2(1-p)E to clear. So accumulating 5 Morale and then spending it will on average take 5(2-p)+1 actions and 10(1-p)E of materials to gain 10 (or 11) Advance!. For example, if your chance of success is 100%, you'll use 6 actions for 10 (or 11) Advance!, whereas a 50% chance will take about 8.5 actions and 5E for 10 (or 11) Advance!.

Choo choo![edit]

If you are in the middle of a campaign when you convene a Board Meeting of the Great Hellbound Railway, you may have an option to use your trains for war. This requires having built track to Balmoral, and potentially building a Spur Line depending on your choices there. This board action will automatically complete the Stage you are on (sets Advance! to 24) and gives 8 x Ravages of Parabolan Warfare.

Depending on the number of Board members you have, deploying a train can provide Advance! far more efficiently than any other option, if you discount the Ravages of Parabolan Warfare. Time, the Healer reduces the latter by 10 each week and allows you to send another train, so the following strategy can be used to maximize the benefit:

  1. Prosecute the war using non-train methods until you possess at least 2 x Ravages of Parabolan Warfare (or exactly 2 if you are on the final stage) and exactly 0 x Advance!.
  2. Begin a Board meeting (after any other Board-related preparation) and deploy a train before concluding.
  3. Await Time, the Healer.

This may be repeated indefinitely for maximum value.

Warplan Calculator[edit]

Access the calculator page on its own at Parabolan War (Guide)/Warplan.

This calculator will guide you through a Campaign of Parabolan Warfare by deciding the correct options to play at each Stage and values of Advance! and Campaign Morale, based on your character's stats and your own valuation of the different items that might be consumed.

By using this calculator, you are making the decision that you would rather let a spreadsheet play the game for you. You should only use this tool if you already find grinds to be joyless, or a higher EPA is better motivation than gameplay.

This calculator is considered Beta-quality. As far as I can tell it probably works right, but if something seems odd, then send questions or bugs to my Talk page. It also makes the hamster-wheel in the server spin really fast. Know Beta things:

  • The tables are not collapsible in this page. They will be collapsible if you output as Wikitext and save to your user page.
  • Options that use Advanced Skills are not implemented.

Using this Calculator[edit]

The first set of inputs is straightforward: your character's stats, and your choice of Campaign and General. The choice of campaign only affects the number of actions spent on narrative after each stage.

The second set of inputs is the Action costs for the various items that can be spent (or gained) via the various actions on the campaign trial. This calculator works by converting all resources into an "action cost" equivalent, so items are valued based on the number of actions to replenish those spent. Ravages of Parabolan Warfare are valued based on the actions to clear them after the campaign. The default values assume all resources can be obtained at 2.5 EPA, and that Ravages take 1 action to clear.

The results of the calculator will show tables of the expected actions to complete the Parabolan Campaign from any given campaign state, as well as the optimal choice at each state. If Airs-dependent actions are worth playing, then the tables will list the best non-Airs choice, as well as all Airs-dependent choices that should be played if available.

In some cases, multiple choices are equally-optimally. Ties are broken by arbitrary implementation details.

By default, the calculator will display your Battle-Plan on this page. Save your Battle-Plan to your own user pages by selecting the output format of "WikiCode" and copy-pasting the resulting Wiki mark-up into your own page.

Get My Personalized Battle-Plan[edit]

 template = :Parabolan War (Guide)/Saver
 form = parameters
 result = warplan
  param = Campaign|Campaign|Yourself|select|Viscountess,Ophidian Gentleman,Second City Priest,The Cats,The Fingerkings,The Chessboard,Yourself|The Cats,The Fingerkings,The Chessboard=General,General_Level
 param = General|Chosen General|None|buttonselect|None,Cat,Snake,Chess
 param = General_Level|General Level|3|buttonselect|1,2,3
 param = selects|Character Stats||group|Watchful,Shadowy,Dangerous,Persuasive,Glasswork,Toxicology,Mithridacy,Chess,Silverer
 param = Watchful|Watchful|300|int|0-400
 param = Shadowy|Shadowy|300|int|0-400
 param = Dangerous|Dangerous|300|int|0-400
 param = Persuasive|Persuasive|300|int|0-400
 param = Glasswork|Glasswork|7|int|0-20
 param = Toxicology|Kataleptic Toxicology|7|int|0-20
 param = Mithridacy|Mithridacy|7|int|0-20
 param = Chess|A Player of Chess|7|int|0-20
 param = Silverer|Silverer?|no|check|yes,no
 param = selects|Item Costs, in Actions to Acquire||group|Cost_Ravage,Cost_Psalm,Cost_Sign,Cost_Self,Cost_Glass,Cost_Wing,Cost_Plaque,Cost_Light,Cost_Solacefruit,Cost_Viric,Cost_Feather,Cost_Claw,Cost_Address,Cost_Palim,Cost_Pawn,Cost_Move,Cost_Nightmare,Cost_Catch
 param = Cost_Ravage|Curing Ravages of Parabolan Warfare|1|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Nightmare|Curing 1 CP of Nightmares|0.5|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Psalm|Apostate's Pslam|1|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Sign|London Street Sign|1|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Self|Memory of a Much Lesser Self|1|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Glass|Glass Gazette|1|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Wing|Wing of a Young Terror Bird|1|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Plaque|Correspondence Plaque|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Catch|Deep-Zee Catch|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Light|Memory of Light|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Move|Moves in the Great Game|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Palim|Palimpsest Scrap|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Address|Secluded Address|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Solacefruit|Solacefruit|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Viric|Trace of Viric|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Feather|Royal-Blue Feather|0.2|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Claw|Silvered Cat's Claw|0.04|number|0-10
 param = Cost_Pawn|Well-Placed Pawns|0.04|number|0-10
 param = Format|Output Format|Tables|buttonselect|Tables,WikiCode
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How it Works[edit]

This calculator is based on a classical optimization technique called Dynamic Programming. (Despite the similar name, this bears no relation to "dynamic programming languages" like JavaScript or Lua.) The core concept is that results are computed starting from the end of the campaign working backwards rather than from the beginning, calculating actions-to-goal rather than actions-spent. Going in this order means that when considering any given campaign state, the outcomes of the all of the options available from that state have already been calculated, so the arithmetic to choose which is best becomes very simple.

As an example, consider the table below, showing results for the Writhing River, calculated with default values. Results in the table are computed beginning from the bottom of the table going upwards, and from left to right. The cell highlighted in purple represents the campaign state of 0 x Advance! & 5 x Campaign Morale, and the other highlighted cells indicate the outcome of all the possible actions that a player could choose from that point. The total Actions-to-Complete from each of those states in the Campaign have already been calculated. We can then compute the expected Actions-to-Complete of each of the available options by taking into account its outcomes, success probability, and resource cost. The option with the lowest expected Actions-to-Complete is recommended as the best option, and its Actions-to-Complete is stored as the value for that cell, which will be referenced by other actions that result in that game state.

Dynamic programming example.png

From these data points, the values of each of the options available can be calculated as in the table below. Based on these, the best option available is to Gain Morale (Launch a naval assault), with an expected Actions-to-Complete of 36.82 from this point forward.

Option Cost to Move Result of Move Total Actions-to-Complete
Spend Morale 1 Action 36.82 on success (100%) 37.82
40.67 on failure (0%)
Gain Morale 1 Action 35.82 36.82
Safe Progress 1 Action
Item worth 1 Action
35.82 37.82
Fast Progress 1.39 Actions
Items worth 0.88 Actions
Ravages worth 0.39 Actions
35.82 38.48


Some actions (like most Safe Progress options) always produce the same amount of Advance! on success or failure, but have different resource costs. For a given Advance! a and Morale m, the Actions-to-Goal value A(a, m) can be computed as

where p is the probability of success, and cs and cf are the resource costs of success and failure. The constant 1 is the action spent on playing the option. The value A(a+1, m) is the Actions-to-Goal for one more Advance! and the same Morale; some actions may add more Advance!.

Spending Morale is a slightly different situation, where success & failure both always spend Morale but one only gives Advance!. For this situation, the formula is modified slightly. Note that no Morale options cost resources, so the c terms are ignored.

Most other options work slightly differently, where costs are accrued on failure but neither Advance! nor Morale is modified. If such an option is the best choice, then it should be attempted repeatedly until successful. In these cases, the formula can be derived by observing that with a success probability p, one success will require 1/p attempts and incur ( 1/p - 1) failures.

As before, the a + 3 term is an example for early-stage Fast Progress options, but other options modify Advance! and Morale in different ways.


The impact of Airs-dependent options are tricky to account for. They cannot always be attempted, which is straightforward to accommodate. The more difficult issue is that on failure, sometimes the option can be re-attempted and sometimes it cannot.

The Actions-to-complete value for an Airs option Aa(a, m) depends in part on the value for the best deterministic option available, Ad(a, m). With a success probability s, and assuming Airs options are available exactly 1/3 of the time, the value Aa(a, m) can be calculated as:

This equation defines Aa in terms of itself, which represents re-attempting on failure. The term that does not contain Aa encapsulates the fact that the option is not always available to re-attempt. Solving this recurrence relationship for a closed-form value of Aa yields the following:

The Airs-dependent option should be taken if it has a better Action-to-Goal value than the determenistic options available, when , i.e. when . By substituting terms, we found Airs-dependent actions should be played when the following is true:

The fraction on the right describes how much better the success result of the Airs option needs to be compared to the best deterministic option in order to be worth playing.

When there are multiple Airs-dependent options available, the same analysis will produce equations which have more terms but are not significantly more complicated. This analysis will slightly under-value Airs-dependent options when the best deterministic option can be re-attempted on failure, because it does not account for the possibility that failures of the deterministic option might allow the Airs option to become available again.

What To Do After A Campaign[edit]

This article is incomplete. You can help the Fallen London Wiki by expanding it.

Reason: The section "What To Do After A Campaign" needs an expansion, listing all (mechanically sensible) options in London, Parabola and elsewhere

Each campaign/war that you win sets Parabolan Dominance to a certain value, This opens up some options, and closes others. Some of these options have long-term effects, like unlocking a room in Helicon House, so it's a very good idea to play them (if accessible).

Attribute Gains[edit]

After winning a 5-stage campaign with Cats, Fingerkings or the Chessboard, you can raise your Shadowy Gains (for increased max Shadowy) in The Dome of Scales. The exact costs and methods depend on the Parabolan Dominance.

Playing through each of Cats, Fingerkings, and Chessboard are necessary to level up their respective generals and raise the Dangerous cap.

Raising Glass Studies can also be achieved at the Dome of Scales, with varying requirements.

See Raising Attribute Caps (Guide) for more.


After winning a Cats campaign, you can access The Dome of Scales, Becoming.

Notable options there include:


The The Dome of Scales, Occupied is locked with Parabolan Dominance, so you cannot play it after fighting a campaign for the Cats or the Chessboard.

Notable options there include:


After winning a Chessboard campaign, you can access The Dome of Scales, Adorned with Rubies.

Reference Material[edit]


This article is incomplete. You can help the Fallen London Wiki by expanding it.

Composing a Grand Parabolan Company[edit]

Name Cost Cultivator/Oneironaut
Infantry (1)
Tigerstripes.png The Wakeful Gentlemen -
Snakehead2.png The Satrap-Saints 3 x Favours: Fingerkings
Chesspiece apocyan.png The Pax Homines 15 Having Recurring Dreams: A Game of Chess
Cavalry (1)
Rose TC.png The Company of the Exiled Rose A Vial of Queenly Attar
Varchas port.png The Grand Myriad Company -
Moonparliament.png The Peace of October -
Grenadiers/Bombard (1)
Irem port.png The Pale League of Irem -
Cannon.png The 77th Queen's Own Hussars 1 x Flask of Waswood Wellspring Water
Hauntedmagician.png The Order Speculorum Glasswork 7
Munitions (3)
Snowflake.png Words, Broken 1 x Memory of Discordance
Lawfurnace.png The force of law 1 x Legal Document
Skullmoth.png The Spectre of Decay 1 x Thorned Ribcage
Cross.png An Antiphonal of Doubter's Hymns 1 x Verse of Counter-Creed
Scintillack.png A Vision of Peace 1 x Crystallised Euphoria
Wolfstackdocks port.png Muster the Workers' Dreams 5 x Strong-Backed Labour
Logistics (3)
Auroch minotaur.png Sow a crop of Flourishing Aurochs 1 x Horned Skull
Parabola.png Reorient Parabola 3 x Vienna Opening
2 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self
Irrigo.png Summon dreams past 5 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self , +1 x Mirror-Fed
Sausage.png Kindle a dream of pigs 1 x Sausage About Which No One Complains
Knife3.png Draw upon Parabola's bounty 3 x Crate of Biscuits
2 x Tin of Zzoup
1 x Parabolan Orange-apple
Riverofblood.png Build a Parabolan waterway 1 x Cellar of Wine


Parabolan Campaign Stages Decision Rewards Leaning Other effects
Cats 5 Reject the King's offer 1 x Parabolan Parable 3 x  Dominance 3, unlocks The Dome of Scales, Becoming
Accept the King's offer 1 x Ray-Drenched Cinder 3 x 
Fingerkings Recover the Khatun 1 x Parabolan Parable 3 x  Dominance 1
Recover the Crown 1 x Edicts of the First City 3 x 
The Chessboard Do not get a Tie 1 x Parabolan Parable 1 x  Dominance 4
Get a Tie 1 x Waswood Almanac 1 x 
Yourself Give your reflection what it wants 1 x Concentrate of Self 3 x 
Deny Yourself 1 x Waswood Almanac 3 x 
The Viscountess 3 Break the Glass 3 x Night-Whisper 1 x 
Walk away (The Entanglement of Glass) 3 x Stalemate 1 x 
The Ophidian Gentleman Follow the Gentleman 3 x Night-Whisper 1 x 
Wait for the Ophidian Gentleman 3 x False Hagiotoponym 1 x 
A Second City Vengeance Enforce your demands 3 x Mortification of a Great Power 1 x 
Suggest she join you 3 x Oneiromantic Revelation 1 x