Polythremic Promenade (Guide)

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(The old guide to Polythreme by User:PotatoEngineer is still available in revision history.)

Preparations[edit]

Before leaving London, consider that while in Polythreme Streets:

  • you cannot access the Bazaar
  • you cannot use items from your inventory, including changing gear
  • you cannot send, get or answer social actions
  • you cannot reduce menaces (if one rises to 8 you will feel the consequences the second you get back to London)
  • you cannot gain second chances

Here is a spoiler free list of items that you might want to acquire before heading out to avoid leaving Polythreme not having done what you came for. Continue reading the guide to find out what they are for if you will.

Getting There[edit]

Polythreme Streets are located in Polythreme and require services of a ship. There are two ways to reach Polythreme:

  1. The first is to buy a ticket on the tramp steamer at Wolfstack Docks using 150 Map Scraps (typically earned from the Rat Market). Then build your Approaching Journey's End quality to 10, using the various cards and storylets aboard the Tramp Steamer. Once it is at 10, the There at last! storylet will open up. Selecting Polythreme there will place you in the Polythreme Docks, from where you can unlock and access The Maze-Garden.
  2. The second method requires a ship of your own (check the PoSI Item Crafting guide to see how to get one) and an assembled Screaming Map. See the Zailing (Guide) for an introduction to how you zail and plan a trip to Polythreme in the Sea of Voices.

When it's time to leave the island the following options are present:

Basic Mechanics[edit]

The Polythremic Promenade revolves around ALLURE (A) and COGNISANCE (C), which is used to progress the stories. In addition to this, you could go for instant profit with the action shown in the table below. The Surface-Silk Scraps and Romantic Notions can subsequently be used in Paying Your Way to increase ALLURE or COGNISANCE, should you wish to do so.

One Might Profit Even in Such a Place
Option Challenge Success Failure
Make off with a box of silks Dangerous 80 +8 x Surface-Silk Scrap 1 CP Suspicion
Observe the camaraderie of objects Watchful 80 +8 x Romantic Notion 1 CP Nightmares
Soft to the touch Persuasive 120 +12 x Surface-Silk Scrap 1 CP Scandal
Lurk in the eaves Shadowy 120 +12 Romantic Notion -

Polythremic Promenade[edit]

To access or advance any of the Polythreme Storylines you need to complete a 12 action carousel consisting of Beginning your Polythremic Promenade (giving you 11 Unnatural Exuberance (UE)), 10 actions reducing these to 1 while changing your A/ C and a last action to collect rewards or advance a story.

Raising ALLURE and COGNISANCE[edit]

The various ways to increase A/ C are:

  • Buy A/ C at Paying Your Way. Here you can pay to dependably raise ALLURE or COGNISANCE by 10 or more CP depending on the action. Succeeding gives more CP, and may also give CP of the other quality. The checks are marked as Sartorial Cooperation, which is essentially Luck checks that increases by 10% every time you've failed the previous round(s), and resets on a successful round. You can get most of the supplies on the One Might Profit Even in Such a Place storylet, which doesn't cost UE.
    • Fractious Furniture and The Zailors cannot be drawn before starting your promenade. If you want these cards, make sure to start your promenade first.

Paying Your Way[edit]

It's difficult to get the progress qualities up to 13 by using cards only, so it's usually a good idea to use Paying Your Way a few times at the beginning before resorting to cards (as the cost of Paying Your Way increases as Unnatural Exuberance decreases.)

If this results in also receiving extra of the quality that you don't want, see above for swapping it for the one that you do.

UE range Cost raise ALLURE raise COGNISANCE Base success rate Progress
11-8 (4) 25 x Surface-Silk Scrap (2.50 Echoes) Give surface-silk to Clay Men Offer silks to a clothes-colony 50% 20 / 10
7-5 (3) 50 x Romantic Notion (5.00) Spread tales of love and glamour Speak of romance to an empty garden 60% 20+10 / 10
4-2 (3) 25 x Mystery of the Elder Continent (12.50) Speak of the Elder Continent at Arcimboldo's 70% 40 + 10 / 10
4-2 (3) 5 x Volume of Collated Research (12.50) Present your findings to an academic gone native

Opportunity Cards Overview[edit]

Card Option Req Challenge Success Failure
At the Market Attract attention at the market Persuasive +12 CP
-5 CP
+5 CP
-5 CP
Wander around the market 4 -10 CP
25 
The Temple Have a look around the temple Shadowy +12 CP
-5 CP
+5 CP
 -5 CP
Poke around the grounds 4 -10 CP
20-30 
The Priest at the Temple Speak of his spiritual work Sartorial Cooperation 50% +15 CP +2 CP
-10 CP
Speak to the Clay priest of matters romantic 8 Reset
60 
The Ruin The walls are rattling Sartorial Cooperation 50% +15 CP +2 CP
-10 CP
What's that fluttering? 8 Reset
60 
Fractious Furniture - Examine the carvings Spying on Polythreme 1 Shadowy 120 +12 CP
-5 CP
-5 CP
The Zailors at Polythreme's Harbour - Speak with the zailors Writing of your Polythreme Travels 1 Persuasive 120 +12 CP
-5 CP
-5 CP
The Masked Man - Bid him a good morning Sartorial Cooperation 70% +6 CP
+6 CP
The Wax Wind Comes - Crouching in a low stone building Luck 50% +12 CP +12 CP

Spending ALLURE and COGNISANCE[edit]

Once you reach your last UE you cash in whatever A/ C you gathered:

Spending your Time

Name Requirement Reward Value EPA
A Distressing Lack of Progress - 200 x Maniac's Prayer 20.00 1.67
The Voice in the Fog A 13 30.00 2.50
There's someone in there A 13, PoSI 30.00 2.50
What's going on in the bay? C 13 12 x Extraordinary Implication 30.00 2.50
Speak to a matched pair C 13, PoSI 12 x Stolen Kiss 30.00 2.50
What's going on here? A 8, C 8 30.00 2.50
A walk in the villa gardens A 8, C 8 12 x Touching Love Story 30.00 2.50

The required number of CP for the relevant levels are (91 CP for lvl 13), (78 for 12) and (36 for 8). It therefore seems easier to get A8/ C8 than A13 or C13 (36+36=72 vs 91) but since most cards raise one quality while reducing the other it is not.

The highest rewards will result in 2.50 Echoes per action. However, this does not account for failures.

If, maybe because of bad luck, you will reach neither A8/ C8, A12, nor C12 you can spend small amounts of A/ C via some of the opportunity cards to increase the round's revenue. Picking up 25 x Surface-Silk Scraps requires 10 CP of A or C, while getting 60 x Romantic Notions requires at least A8 or C8 and costs all of it. Remember that you will be able to gain 200 x Maniac's Prayers at Spending your Time no matter how low your A/ C is. This has the bonus of increasing Sartorial Cooperation, making your next cycle easier.

Storylines[edit]

There are a handful of storylines to follow. It might be a good idea to do several of these at a time.

See Polythremic Promenade (Guide)/Story Table for a breakdown of all the story-based conclusions to the promenade.

All of the listed storylets become available with exactly 1 UE. Playing any option will remove that last one and finish the promenade.

Notes[edit]

  • All storylines require A12 or C12 but not all offer a superior option for A13 or C13. The superior options double the reward.
    • If your round has hit level 13 but the story you wanted to advance has only level 12 options, it is usually better to spend it on a story you did not want to advance, or just Spend your Time without advancing a story, rather than waste half the reward.
    • If your round hits only level 12 and there are level-12-only stories you could advance with it, consider advancing one of those stories rather than another story which does have a level 13 option, even if you would prefer to make progress on the latter.
  • Regardless of how you cash in your A/ C, you will lose all of it with your last UE. There is no way to Begin your Polythremic Promenade with any A/ C.

Tips & Tricks[edit]

A summary of the tips mentioned in the guide:

  • It's often a good idea to spend an action or two buying progress, to ensure you get enough - at least when not doing the carousel for Echoes.
  • Unlock either The Zailors at Polythreme's Harbour or Fractious Furniture depending on whether you're going for ALLURE or COGNISANCE (assuming you have the stats to do the challenge). Start your promenade before drawing cards.
  • If you get progress in the wrong quality, such as with The Wax Wind Comes, exchange it for what you want.
  • If you see that you're not going to make it, spend your progress on the cards that exchange them from items, and use the cycle to increase Sartorial Cooperation instead.