Parabolan War (Guide)
|Late POSI Content|
- options in specific campaigns (e.g., the campaign against yourself)
- cost-benefit analysis of running your train through an opposing army
- options available after Campaigns
The Is-Not is yours to shape as best suits your need. You will be its steward and its shepherd as you enter the Parabolan Wars.
Waging War in Parabola entails a significant amount of content, and will take some time to fully explore.
This guide assumes you've completed the following prerequisites:
- Becoming a Person of Some Importance
- Obtaining a University Laboratory
- Opening a way into Parabola
You have more options available to you if you've also advanced your railroad, but it's not required to play or win your campaigns.
Establishing a Parabolan Reputation
In your Parabolan Base-Camp, the storylet The Drumbeat of War allows you to begin Establishing a Parabolan Reputation.
- The first choice you will make during this process is your initial Parabolan Counsel, and thus which Tutorial Campaign you will embark on first. Choose the Viscountess to take on the Fingerkings first, or Call on the Ophidian Gentleman to take on the Cats first.
- Next, raise your Parabolan Defences to 3; see Build up your Base-Camp for options.
- Then, you can Establish a Pavilion of War, at a one-time cost of 1 x Puzzling Map, 2 x Strong-Backed Labour, and 5 x Whisper-Satin Scrap.
- At the conclusion of the process, choose to act upon Parabola (to start with 1 x Parabolan Cultivator), or to allow Parabola to act upon you (to start with 1 x Parabolan Oneironaut).
After completing these preparations, you can access The Dolorous Pavilion. From there, you will be guided into a series of tutorial storylets.
Assembling Your Grand Parabolan Company
To engage in war, you will need a Grand Parabolan Company, which consists of:
- Parabolan Armaments
- Parabolan Infrastructure
- Parabolan Infantry
- Parabolan Cavalry
- Parabolan Grenadiers
These can be arranged at the storylet Assembling a Grand Parabolan Company.
The main gameplay effect of your choice of Company is your initial level of Oneironaut and Cultivator, which has a minor impact on Morale at the start of a Campaign. Both qualities will also advance over time as you complete Campaigns. Your choices of units you recruit will also change the text of some options on the campaign trail, but not the availability, difficulty, or results.
Assembling your company is expensive; however, you only need to do this 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. Creating a new Company will reset both Oneironaut and Cultivator, including any gained through Campaigns.
Armaments and Infrastructure
Your company will need 3 each of Parabolan Armaments and Parabolan Infrastructure, at the cost of various items. There are multiple options for each, with different costs and different effects on Oneironaut and Cultivator. You can choose the same option multiple times, or combine different ones.
|1 x Memory of Discordance||1 x Oneironaut|
|1 x Legal Document||1 x Oneironaut|
|1 x Thorned Ribcage||1 x Cultivator|
|1 x Verse of Counter-Creed||1 x Oneironaut|
|1 x Crystallised Euphoria||1 x Cultivator|
|5 x Strong-Backed Labour||1 x Cultivator|
The cheapest and easiest options for Armaments are Strong-Backed Labour (sources) and Legal Documents (sources).
|1 x Horned Skull||1 x Oneironaut|
|1 x Cultivator|
|5 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self||1 x Cultivator|
|1 x Sausage About Which No One Complains||1 x Oneironaut|
|1 x Oneironaut|
|1 x Cellar of Wine||1 x Cultivator|
The most efficient option for Infrastructure is to spend Cellars of Wine (sources).
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. There is no cost to hire any of the units; however, some are only available if you meet certain requirements.
|nothing||1 x Cultivator|
|3 x Favours: Fingerkings||1 x Oneironaut|
|Dreams: Chess 15|
The easiest option for your Infantry is The Wakeful Gentlemen, who are willing to work with you without conditions.
|A Vial of Queenly Attar||1 x Oneironaut|
|nothing||1 x Oneironaut|
|nothing||1 x Cultivator|
For your Cavalry, if you wish to hire The Company of the Exiled Rose, you must possess A Vial of Queenly Attar.
|nothing||1 x Oneironaut|
|Flask of Waswood Wellspring Water||1 x Cultivator|
|Glasswork 7||1 x Cultivator|
The Pale League of Irem is the fastest choice of Grenadiers, as hiring them also has no requirement.
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, with an additional full-length campaign.
Completing Your Company
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
War in Parabola is carried out as individual Campaigns, aided by your Company and sometimes a General. During a Campaign, your Company must Advance through Parabola in Stages by passing skill checks or spending items. Finishing a Campaign earns various rewards. Afterwards, you must clear any Ravages of Parabolan Warfare you've accumulated before embarking on another Campaign.
Each Campaign finds your Company assisting one of the powers in Parabola against another. In addition to revealing different things about the goings-on in Parabola, your choice of Campaign affects which General can lead your Company, the rewards available at the end, and which power is dominant in Parabola.
|The Ophidian Gentleman||3||Ophidian Gentleman||
|The Cats||5||played first Tutorial||Cats|
|The Fingerkings||5||played first Tutorial||Fingerkings|
|A Dreaming Priest of the Second City||3||played first Tutorial||(no change)|
|The Chessboard||5||played 3 Tutorials||Chessboard|
Your first Campaign will be the 3-stage tutorial Campaign with the Viscountess or the Ophidian Gentleman, depending on which you chose as your Parabolan Counsel. Completing this unlocks additional Campaigns, as well as the option to appoint Generals. Further Campaigns may be unlocked by playing the 5-stage Campaigns with the Cats and Fingerkings, plus additional requirements.
Stages of War
Campaigns are conducted in Stages, each of which requires your Company to Advance through a region of Parabola by passing skill checks or spending items. You can also call upon your Company's Morale for a burst of progress. Each Stage requires 24 x Advance! to complete.
|No.||Stage||Items for faster progress|
|1||Traversing the Wastes of Want||Moves in the Great Game (if a Silverer)|
|2||Through the Hanging Mountains|
|London theater: The War from Home||Secluded Address|
|3||Along the Writhing River|
|4||Along the Smoking Shore|
|London theater: Shadows on the Mirrorpane|
|5||Within the Castle of Forests|
Full-length Campaigns consist of 5 Stages. The second and fourth Stages, which only appear in full-length Campaigns, may be fought from London instead, with different options. You may shift the campaign to London at any point, and retain Advance!, but you may not shift combat back to Parabola until you have concluded the Stage.
After completing the first Tutorial, you gain access to Generals, who assist on your Campaigns by lowering the difficulty of certain skill checks. There is a General associated with each of the Powers in Parabola: the Cats, the Fingerkings, and the Chessboard.
|Principle of Heralds||Cats||Shadowy|
|Principle of Hollows||Fingerkings||Persuasive|
|Principle of Horizons||Chessboard||Watchful|
At first, Generals may only be used on Campaigns associated with their Power: e.g., the Principle of Heralds can only assist the Cats. Once a General has completed a Campaign—so long as you have Dangerous Gains 12 (see Guide)—they receive gifts, which raise their effectiveness in lowering challenge difficulties. This also unlocks a Laboratory project to upgrade the General, which makes them even more effective and allows them to participate in any Campaign.
Epilogue and Lasting Effects
Campaigns have multiple endings, depending on narrative choices you make in between Stages or at the end. Your final value of Stage of the War, representing the ending, determines the epilogue you see. This is reset when you begin your next Campaign.
Some Campaign endings shift Parabolan Dominance to the power you fought for, unlocking certain content in Parabola (and occasionally London). For instance, The Dome of Scales reflects the current dominant power, with unique options available for each. Other differences can be seen in the Viric Jungle and a certain house in Wolfstack Docks.
If you have accumulated any Ravages of Parabolan Warfare, you will need to clear them in The Aftermath of a Parabolan War before you can begin a new Campaign. Ravages also affect narrative text elsewhere in Parabola, but they also have some mechanical effects, including the difficulty of an option when attending a dreamer in the Viric Jungle.
Wiki note: This section needs information on other Campaigns.
The Appalling Socialite dreamt that her family's stolen jewels could be found in Parabola. Your Company will escort her, and her Aged Governess, in search of the jewels.
Unlocked with: Completion of 3 tutorial Campaigns (your initial tutorial, The Cats, and The Fingerkings all count).
This campaign's ending is determined by the levels of three hidden tracking qualities— White Leaning, Red Leaning, and Black Leaning—which are affected by choices you make after the second, third, and fourth Stages of the war.
|2||A Quiet Moment with the Appalling Socialite||x 1||Abandon her quest|
|x 1||Continue her quest|
|x 1||Seek vengeance|
|3||The Rosy Crown||x 2||Keep the jewels|
|x 2||Wear the jewels|
|x 2||Destroy the jewels|
|4||Queen of Roses||x 2||Retain the Aged Governess|
|x 2||Surrender the Aged Governess|
|x 2||Defy the Roseate Queen|
- White, Red, or Black at 4 or higher: 1 x Parabolan Parable, 1 x Parabolan Oneironaut
- White, Red, and Black all 3 or less: 1 x Waswood Almanac, 1 x Parabolan Oneironaut
Currently, the Almanac is available only from this and the Yourself campaign. It is needed in order to Break open the gate at Marigold Station (see Guide). The ending that yields the Almanac does not change Parabolan Dominance; the others set it to 4 (The Red-Handed Queen Throughout).
If you qualify for the Red Leaning ending, and have the FATE-locked quality Scarlet-Handed (from the Exceptional Story The Fair Unknown), you can choose to Make a sacrifice and exchange Scarlet-Handed for Crimson-Handed.
Upon departing for your Base Camp, your Leaning qualities will be reset, and you can play the campaign through again to get another ending. However, the ending you reached will influence the rewards available from An Empty House in Wolfstack Docks (see the After a Campaign section below).
Something is amiss in the Pavilion. Troops stationed in the marsh have gone missing. Munitions requested are absent without leave. Investigation is required.
Unlocked with: Completion of 4 tutorial Campaigns, A True Denizen of the Neath (awarded upon completing your Ambition), and 7 x Mirror-Fed.
Upon beginning this Campaign, your Parabolan Cavalry goes missing, to be regained only at the Campaign's conclusion, when you confront yourself. At this point, you will be presented with two options: Give your reflection what it wants, or Deny Yourself. The former option has unique text corresponding to the specific ending of your Ambition.
- Give your reflection what it wants: 1 x Concentrate of Self, 3 x Parabolan Oneironaut
- Deny yourself: 1 x Waswood Almanac, 3 x Parabolan Cultivator
Neither ending affects Parabolan Dominance.
After a Campaign
Certain Campaign endings alter the availability of content in Parabola, London, or elsewhere. This is mainly controlled by:
- Stage of the War: The final value of this quality reflects the specific ending achieved. It remains set until you begin a new Campaign.
- Parabolan Dominance: Some endings shift this quality to the side you fought for. This remains set until you complete another Campaign that alters Dominance.
|1||Fingerkings||Completing the Fingerkings 5-stage Campaign|
|2||Cats in the Viric Jungle||Request a demonstration when Dominance is 1|
|3||Cats Throughout||Completing the Cats 5-stage Campaign|
|4||The Red-Handed Queen||Black, White or Red endings of the Chessboard Campaign|
Completing the 5-stage Campaign for the Fingerkings sets Parabolan Dominance to 1.
Fingerkings Dominance unlocks The Dome of Scales, Occupied. It remains available even if Dominance is shifted to Cats in the Viric Jungle. At this version of the Dome, you can gain:
- 4–5 x Incisive Observation for Offer the Storm-bird to Fingerkings.
- 1 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self for Display yourself, if you have a Tatterskin Shawl from Ambition: Light Fingers! (Guide).
- Favours: Fingerkings, which is needed to unlock The Mirrored Salon in Helicon House.
- Along with Weasels of Social Discomfiture, Possessed Goldfish, Forty-Nine-Voiced Warblers, and Viric Lizards, which reduce Bizarre, Dreaded, and/or Respectable, useful at the Bone Market, and which can also be sold there for various Upper River items.
- Connected: Fingerkings, needed to Plant an unsecured mirror in Khan's Heart.
- Shadowy +275 CP for 4 x Vitreous Almanac, via Keep below the leaves.
- Shadowy Gains and Glass Studies.
Depending on your ending choice during the Campaign, you can obtain the following in the Viric Jungle:
- 5 x Solacefruit for Sit with the Catastrophe, if you chose to Recover a piece of the Catastrophe of Crowns.
- 5 x Royal-Blue Feather for Speak with the Khatun, if you chose to Recover the Khatun.
The 5-stage Cats Campaign sets Parabolan Dominance to 3: Cats Throughout.
Cats Dominance unlocks The Dome of Scales, Becoming. It provides opportunities to gain the following:
- 1 x Extraordinary Implication or 1 x Glass Gazette, and a one-time reward of 1 x Salve of Righteousness (currently FATE-locked), via A Cub's Education (Guide).
This also unlocks Feline Expeditions into Shadow, where you can gain:
- Shadowy +275 CP for a cost of 450 x Sighting of a Parabolan Landmark, via Prowling practice.
- Shadowy Gains and Glass Studies.
Elsewhere, you can gain:
The Lost Palatinate is unlocked if you rejected the offer of the King of Cats during the Campaign. Here you can gain:
- 1 x Nicatorean Relic for entering the Palatinate alone; or 1 x Apostate's Psalm, if you have Lyon Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary from Ambition: Light Fingers! (Guide).
- 1 x Favours: Fingerkings, if you Enter in the company of a Fingerking.
The Restored Palatinate is available if you accepted the King of Cats' offer. Here you can gain:
- 1 x Unprovenanced Artefact for entering the Palatinate alone; or 1 x Memory of a Much Lesser Self, if you have Lyon Pursuivant of Arms Extraordinary from Ambition: Light Fingers! (Guide).
- 1 x Favour: Her Roseate Splendour in exchange for A Vial of Queenly Attar, if you Plant a rose-garden in the Palatinate.
- 1 x Aeolian Scream, if you Enter in the company of a Storm-bird.
- 1 x Favours: Fingerkings (and an instant trip to The Mirror-Marches) if you Enter in the company of a Fingerking.
Winning the Chessboard Campaign sets Parabolan Dominance to 4, unlocking The Dome of Scales, Adorned with Rubies. Here, you can gain:
- 25–32 x Well-Placed Pawn when you Attend a Shrouded Soirée from the Wrong Side of the Mirror, if you have A Member of the Order of Those Who Will Not Be Caught Red-Handed from Hallowmas.
- Shadowy +275 CP for a cost of 20 x Glass Gazette, via The arts of indirection.
- Shadowy Gains and Glass Studies.
All endings to the Chessboard Campaign unlock the storylet An Empty House in Wolfstack Docks. Here, you can find out a bit more about what happened to your companions on the Campaign, and receive a small but repeatable item gift.
- 5 x Dubious Testimony, with ending 300 (White Leaning)
- 5 x Whisper-Satin Scrap, with ending 325 (Tied)
- 5 x Moves in the Great Game, with ending 350 (Red Leaning)
- 5 x Secluded Address, with leaning 375 (Black Leaning).
|A player-created Guide is available for this content: Raising Attribute Caps (Guide)|
Parabolan Dominance determines which options are available to raise Dangerous Gains and Shadowy Gains (increasing the stat cap for these skills to 230) and Glass Studies (raising the cap for Glasswork to 7).
Dangerous: With Dangerous Gains 12, winning a full-length Campaign with its General (e.g., the Cats with the Principle of Heralds) awards an additional 6 Gains. At the same time, your General will receive their gifts, and the Laboratory project to upgrade them will be unlocked. You may only do this once for each General, requiring all three to be used to raise the Dangerous cap to 230.
Shadowy: With Shadowy Gains 12 and Base Shadowy 212, The Dome of Scales contains options to raise Gains to 18, 24, and finally 30. The cost in items or Favours depends on Parabolan Dominance.
Glasswork: Glass Studies can also be raised at the Dome of Scales, with different options depending on Dominance.
|1||1–2||Be introduced to the enormous snake*||50 x Memory of Light|
|3||Be instructed in the traversal of mirrors||5 x Baptised Rattus Faber Corpse|
|4||Procure a patron in matters of Glasswork||5 x Vienna Opening|
|2||1–2||Purchase a greater freedom of the place||7 x Favours: Fingerkings|
|3||Be instructed further in the traversal of mirrors|
|4||Flatter your patron in matters of Glasswork||1 x Queen Mate|
|* unless you have either Fingerwork 15 or (FATE-locked) Promises Made to an Ophidian Gentleman, which have no-cost options|
To effeciently pursue Campaigns, it helps to understand the action types available at each Stage, and when it is best to use each one.
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.
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 2.50 item and produce 2 x Advance!
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 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 4 and produce 4 x Advance! on success.
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.
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 5, generate 2 x Advance! on success, and cost items worth 1.50 on both success and failure.
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
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 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 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, 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 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Silverer only
- ↑ Gains Ravages of Parabolan Warfare on success in lieu of costing items. Easier challenge than usual (Broad, 150).
- ↑ Harder than other Gain Morale options (Broad 200).
- ↑ Cheaper than usual.
- ↑ Harder than other Safe Progress options.
- ↑ Also gains Ravages of Parabolan Warfare on success.
- ↑ Compared to other Gain Morale options, has a higher base difficulty of 200, and tests against Persuasive instead of Dangerous.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Compared to other Fast Progress options, this costs materials worth 4 and grants 4 x Advance! on success.
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. The formula for starting Morale is unknown; see the embedded table below for what's been collected. 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) to clear. So accumulating 5 Morale and then spending it will on average take 5(2-p)+1 actions and 10(1-p) 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 5 for 10 (or 11) Advance!.
|Campaign & Alignment||Preferred?||0||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9+|
|Cats: Greater Cultivator||✓||✗||7||7||9?||9||10|
|Cats: Equal or Lesser Cultivator||✗||✗||8||9|
|Chessboard: Balanced; C= O||✓||✗||9||10|
|Chessboard: Cultivator/ Oneironaut Mismatched||✗||✗||7||8||9|
|Fingerkings: Greater Oneironaut||✓||✗||7||10|
|Fingerkings: Equal or Lesser Oneironaut||✗||✗||6||7||8||9|
|Short campaigns (Viscountess/Gentleman/ Second City):||✗?||3||4||6||6|
|The Starting Morale formula is unknown. It is believed to be based on the Parabolan Commander value with a bonus if your alignment matches the campaign's preferred value, and may vary with campaign length. ✗s denote impossible situations because some campaigns do not unlock until other campaigns are complete. Please update this table if you find a new result or one which doesn't match.|
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:
- 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!.
- Begin a Board meeting (after any other Board-related preparation) and deploy a train before concluding.
- Await Time, the Healer.
This may be repeated indefinitely for maximum value.
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
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-optimal. 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
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
How it Works
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.
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
|Fast Progress||1.39 Actions
Items worth 0.88 Actions
Ravages worth 0.39 Actions
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.
|This article is incomplete. You can help the Fallen London Wiki by expanding it.
Composing a Grand Parabolan Company
|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|