Carving out a Reputation at Court (Guide)

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It will no doubt be magnificent. Let us hope the dour old thing will appreciate it.

Shaping a Masterpiece for the Empress is now a defunct story Quality. All the associated cards and mechanics still exist, though. This page now serves as the guide to creating great works of art at The Empress' Court and achieving the Poet-Laureate quality.

Start Carving out a Reputation at Court[edit]

Upon entering The Empress' Court you unlock A slow day where you get your first point of CRC (you must not be working on anything, e.g. a short story). You can now access What's your next work? and pick one of the following masterpieces to craft which locks your  Working on... and won't let you choose another project until you finish it. To do so, you need to acquire a certain level of Inspired..., which is either 24 for minor works (e.g. a Song), or 34 for major ones (e.g. a Novel). Note that this requires either 300 or 595 CPs of Inspired..., respectively, whereas the challenges give you roughly 10-20 CPs per action. So it is advisable to not start work on a masterpiece for the Empress unless you have high enough stats to reliably pass Persuasive 100 skill checks.

  • an Epic Poem
  • a Novel
  • a Play
  • a Song
  • a Symphony
  • a Ballet

What's next? or A Tale of Banishment[edit]

After having finished a masterpiece you do what all artists do: get on with life and do something productive or start over. Should you decide to keep pursuing the arts you will eventually reach Carving out a Reputation at Court 4 which locks working on any more masterpieces and has the Veteran Privy Counsellor ask you to craft one last work of art. If you oblige, you will work on a special scandalous opera and after presenting it, be banished from The Empress' Court. You can refuse him to reduce your CRC to 3 and do more things at court. But who wants to stay there anyway, right? So you grind up to  Inspired... 24 and end it like the artsy little fellow you are. (Although you can pick the flavour of your masterpiece as usual, there are no different results this time around. You collect 2000 Drops of Prisoner's Honey, 2 Fate, a bunch of Scandal and a one way ticket to the Tomb-Colonies.)

Epilogue: If you are wondering why you should burn this bridge, it's because getting banished from Court opens up new storylines - namely the Foreign Office, and Port Carnelian (where you can serve terms as governor). Don't worry - you'll be able to restore your reputation later and return to Court in due time.

Also: Choosing a certain kind of opera to perform lets you advance with a certain ambition (SPOILER: if you are A Scholar of the Correspondence you can choose to have written the Topsy King's opera, basically warping you to the end of that part of the Heart's Desire story. It saves you a lot of trouble the alternative would imply.)

Restored to the Court of Her Enduring Majesty[edit]

Once banished from the Court, you can start working on being let back in. First you need to serve as governor of Port Carnelian. Once you complete one term, the Veteran Privy Counsellor tells you that you need to serve a few more so that you can host a state dinner for the Captivating Princess, who then restores you back to the Court.

Once restored, you'll be able to create all the old works of art, as well as new ones, including new types:

  • an Opera
  • a Film
  • a new Fashion

Unlike before your Banishment, you'll find that creating works no longer raises Carving out a Reputation at Court, but a new quality called A Fine Piece. Spend these on your (long) journey to become London's Poet-Laureate.

Inspired... Progress[edit]

All challenges are broad Persuasive challenges unless specified otherwise.

All quality gains and losses are in Change Points unless specified, and CP gains to Persuasive based on the challenge itself are not listed.

The common qualities have been compressed to just images in the tables:
Persuasive , Inspired...
Menaces:
Scandal , Suspicion , Wounds
Quirks:
Melancholy , Hedonist , Austere
Favours:
Favours: Bohemians, Favours: The Church, Favours: Revolutionaries, Favours: Hell, Favours: Society
Renown:
Renown: Bohemians, Renown: Tomb-Colonies


Simple Skill Challenges[edit]

Straight up grinding here.

Option Challenge Success Failure
Nature in the Neath 98 +10 (Rare: +20) +1
A quiet day at your lodgings 99 +10 (Rare: +20) +1
[1]Composition: the low path 100 +10 (Rare: +15) +1
The men from the Ministry 102 +10 +1
Business at the Court 105 +10 (Rare: +15) +1
Competition for the post of Imperial Artist-in-Residence 105 +10 +1


Complex Skill Challenges[edit]

These challenges spend items, give additional menaces, change quirks or connections for sometimes various rewards and have no ++ unless denoted.

Option Requirement Challenge Success Failure Rare Success
A city of culture 1 97 +30
-1
+1 +40
-1
You have rivals 1 100 +30
-1
+1 +30
2 x Scrap of Incendiary Gossip

-1

The people's art 1 100 +35
+1
-1
+1
+1
Devils and art 1 100 +25
-1
+1
[1]The music of the tomb 4 100 +10
+1 (up to 5)
+1
+1 (up to 5)
[2]The lead 100 +15
+1 (up to 5)
-5
-20
+1
+15
+1 (up to 5)
-5
2 x Flawed Diamond
Religion and Art
Call on the help of the Church
1 100 +35
-1
Religion and Art
Mortification of the flesh!
+5
-3
+3 (up to 10)
Religion and Art
An organ recital at All Christs
10 x Jade Fragment 7 +20
-10 x Jade Fragment
-3
-1
-10 x Jade Fragment
+1
[2]A gaggle of artistic temperaments 103 +10 +1
The Bohemians 5 107 +15
+1
-20 +20
2 x Appalling Secret
[1]Composition: the high path 25 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey 108 +20
-25 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey
-20
-25 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey
+1
+20
1 x Sapphire

Luck Challenges[edit]

Option Requirement Success Chance Success Failure
The Decency Evaluator 50 x Foxfire Candle Stub 30% -50 x Foxfire Candle Stub
+15
+2
+2 Secluded Address
-50 x Foxfire Candle Stub
+15
+2
+1
Yesterday's work 5 60% +25 (Rare: +35)
+1 Confident Smile
-20
+2
The pleasures of the Neath 15 x Honey
20 x Bottle of Greyfields 1879
50% -15 x Honey
-20 x Bottle of Greyfields 1879
+20
+3 (up to 10)
-3
-15 x Honey
-20 x Bottle of Greyfields 1879
+10
+3 (up to 10)
-3
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Unlocked only when working on a Song, Symphony, Ballet, Opera, or Film.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Unlocked only when working on a Play, Song, Symphony, Ballet, Opera or Film.

Minor Works[edit]

Minor works include plays, songs, symphonies, ballets and fashion.

These options require raising Inspired... to level 24, and provide materials worth 30. Note that there is no benefit from achieving more than the needed level of Inspired....

Before being Banished from Court, these provide +1 CP Carving out a Reputation at Court.
After being Restored to Court, they provide instead 2 x A Fine Piece.

Plays[edit]

Opening Night! Making Waves Results
A Slapstick Farce +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Wry Satirical Comedy +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Heart-Wrenching Tragedy +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Romance of Poverty [1] +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A History [1][2] +10 CP 3000 x Nevercold Brass Sliver
Scandal +10 CP
A Celestial Spectacle [1][3] +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Only available after being Restored to Court
  2. Requires Connected: Summerset 5
  3. Requires Identified with a School: The Celestials


Songs[edit]

Publish your song! Making Waves Results
A Rousing Hymn +5 CP 3000 x Foxfire Candle Stub
A Newly Arranged Folk Song +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Patriotic Anthem +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Drinking Song! [1] +10 CP 3000 x Piece of Rostygold
A Renaissance Piece! [1] +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Political Anthem! [1][2] +10 CP 3000 x Lump of Lamplighter Beeswax
Scandal +10 CP
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Only available after being Restored to Court
  2. Requires Renown: Revolutionaries 5


Symphonies[edit]

Your symphony is complete! Making Waves Results
Somewhat challenging music [1] +8 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Scholar of the Correspondence +1 CP (up to 10)
Wounds +3 CP
An exuberant cannonade +5 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
Scandal +3 CP
A choral requiem +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Modern Fantasia [2] +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
Something of your own genius [2][3] +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A Rubbery Tone Poem [2][4] +10 CP 3000 x Nodule of Deep Amber
Scandal +10 CP
  1. Requires A Scholar of the Correspondence 1
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Only available after being Restored to Court
  3. Requires Identified with a School: Your own genius
  4. Requires Renown: Rubbery Men 5


Ballet[edit]

Stage your ballet! Making Waves Results
A light work based around a Neathy folk tale +8 CP 3000 x Jade Fragment
A work of romance and automata +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
Scandal +5 CP
A work of barely clad decadence +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
Scandal +10 CP
Disgraced exile in the Tomb-Colonies
An infernal work [1][2] +10 CP 3000 x Nevercold Brass Sliver
Scandal +10 CP
A Carnelian work [1] +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
3 x Tribute [3]
A Blemmigan work [1][4] +10 CP FATE
3000 x Moon-Pearl
Scandal +10 CP
A work of burning dance [1][5] +10 CP FATE
3000 x Moon-Pearl
Scandal +4 CP
Nightmares +4 CP
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Only available after being Restored to Court
  2. Requires Renown: Hell 5
  3. Only with Associating with Radical Academics at least 15
  4. Requires Identified with a School: The Mycologenes
  5. Requires Identified with a School: The Terpsichoreans

Fashion [1][edit]

A Fashionable Extravaganza! Making Waves Results
A sleek suit +10 CP 3000 x Jade Fragment
Practical improvements for undergarments! +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
A return to the styles of yore +10 CP 3000 x Moon-Pearl
  1. Only available after being Restored to Court


Major Works[edit]

Major works include poems, novels, operas and films.

These options require raising Inspired... to level 34, and provide materials worth 60. Note that there is no benefit from achieving more than the needed level of Inspired....

Before being Banished from Court, these provide +2 CP Carving out a Reputation at Court.
After being Restored to Court, they provide instead 3 x A Fine Piece.

Poems[edit]

Your poem is complete! Making Waves Results
An Epic Cycle +12 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
1 x Copy of your Epic Poetic Cycle
A Tragedy of Romance +12 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
Fascinating... +50 CP
Scandal +3 CP
1 x Copy of your Tragedy of Romance
An Allegorical Satire +15 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
Scandal +3 CP
1 x Copy of your Allegorical Satire
A Zeefaring Epic [1][2] +15 CP 6000 x Piece of Rostygold
1 x Copy of your Zeefaring Epic
An Ode to the Elder Continent [1] +15 CP 6000 x Lump of Lamplighter Beeswax
1 x Copy of your Ode to the Elder Continent
A Nocturnal Rhapsody [1][3] +15 CP 6000 x Foxfire Candle Stub
1 x Copy of your Nocturnal Rhapsody
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Only available after being Restored to Court
  2. Requires Renown: The Docks 5 and Zeefaring
  3. Requires Identified with a School: The Nocturnals

Novels[edit]

Your novel is complete! Making Waves Results
A Gothic Romance +10 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
Fascinating... +50 CP
1 x Copy of your Gothic Romance
A Tale of the Future! +10 CP 6000 x Nevercold Brass Sliver
Connected: Benthic +10 CP
Connected: Summerset +10 CP
1 x Copy of your Tale of the Future
A Patriotic Adventure! +15 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
1 x Copy of your Patriotic Adventure
A Tale of Espionage! [1][2] +15 CP 6000 x Jade Fragment
1 x Copy of your Tale of Espionage
A Tale for the People! [1][3] +15 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
1 x Copy of your Tale for the People
A Bazaarine Tale! [1][4] +15 CP 6000 x Nevercold Brass Sliver
1 x Copy of your Bazaarine Tale
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Only available after being Restored to Court
  2. Requires Renown: The Great Game 5
  3. Requires Renown: Criminals 5 and Renown: Urchins 5
  4. Requires Identified with a School: The Bazaarines


Operas [1][edit]

An Opera! Making Waves Results
A Thunderstorm of Morality +10 CP 6000 x Shard of Glim
A Heartwarming Farce +10 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
An Epic of Far-Off Lands +10 CP 6000 x Foxfire Candle Stub
  1. Only available after being Restored to Court


Films [1][edit]

Show your Film! Making Waves Results
An Innocent Fictional Scene +10 CP 6000 x Shard of Glim
A Brief Comedy +10 CP 6000 x Moon-Pearl
Nightmares +10 CP
A Documentary +10 CP 6000 x Silk Scrap
  1. Only available after being Restored to Court

Is it worth it?[edit]

Having a Copy of your Tale of the Future can come in handy when Designing your Zubmarine if you don't have A Scholar of the Correspondence 3, while any of the other eleven poems or novels saves you 2000 Foxfire Candles and two Favours when Making Friends among God's Editors on the Making the Good Book Better golden opportunity card. A  Copy of your Patriotic Adventure can be used for increasing  Connected: The Masters of the Bazaar on the 6th day of Mr Sacks, with Mr Sacks! Take this exalted hymn to patriotism!, but unlike the previously mentioned uses you lose your copy. It is possible to give this Sacks 10 touching love stories instead for the same reward.

After completing a library in Jericho Locks, you can lend out a Tale of the Future with Lend in expectation, a Tale for the People with Lend cautiously, or a Zeefaring Epic with Lend proudly, depending on Airs of Jericho Locks, none of which consumes the book in question. All of these grant 2-3 points of Making Waves and cycle Airs; additionally, the Tale of the Future gets you Nevercold Brass, the Zeefaring Epic gets you Rostygold, and the Tale for the People lets you trade Proscribed Material for Nightsoil of the Bazaar. The Tale of the Future is particularly useful, since it's used when Airs is less than 25, and can therefore help you cycle Airs to get a Deep-Zee Catch.

Once you max out your Poet-Laureate, you can make a statue of yourself in Ealing Gardens. This is no longer that profitable, but lets you trade 4 x Favours: Bohemians for 2 x Ivory Humerus, should you wish to do that.

Should you fancy a trip to the Tomb-Colonies, a saucy ballet is the way to go. Composing a couple dozen somewhat-challenging symphonies is the best non-Fate-locked way to reliably grind A Scholar of the Correspondence to 10.

Whatever you create, it will basically give you a bit more than one Echo (per action) worth of the various 0.01 Echo items. This is assuming you pass the challenges at 100%. Investing favours or items increases inspiration but, well, you pay for it. The optimal choice to get complete works the fastest while Persuasive is below 148 is The Decency Evaluator, which will complete a small work in 20 actions, cost 1000 Foxfire Candle Stubs, gain an average of 12 Secluded Addresses, and gain an average of 14 Suspicion, which works out to (30 - 10 + 12 * 0.50) / (20 + 0.25 * 14 + 2) = 1.02 Echoes per Action. Once you have Persuasive 148, The lead becomes the better option on works other than poems and novels. At Persuasive 167, there is no chance of failure and you can rack up the needed inspiration with 20 actions, netting a whopping 30 / (20 + 2) = 1.36 Echoes per Action.

Late-game players who have a university laboratory can do slightly better by using Composition: the high path. If you have Persuasive 292 you can use a Struggling Artist to get honey; you'll get 375 honey with 3 actions (best to do more than this in one go so as to avoid wasting actions entering Court). Then, Composition: the high path will spend that honey and 15 actions to get enough Inspired... for level 24. Ergo, you spend 3 actions getting honey + 15 actions using it, for a total of 18 actions, saving 2 actions compared to The lead. This works out at 30 / (18 + 2) = 1.5 Echoes per action, worse than you can do by just grinding honey, so it's only of interest if you want to be A Poet-Laureate.

If your only interest is in becoming A Poet-Laureate, then the most action efficient approach is to use Composition: the high path to complete minor works and sell half of your earnings from each work to buy the honey for the next (each minor work provides 30 and 375 honey costs 15 at Merrigan's Exchange). To get to 20 A Poet-Laureate, you will need 290 x A Fine Piece total, which will take 145 minor works (major works cost almost twice as many Inspired... change points and provide only 50% more A Fine Piece). At 17 actions per minor work, this is 2,465 actions total to get from 0 to 20 A Poet-Laureate (not including the action cost of getting the "seed honey" for your first work). At 140 actions/day, this will take about 18 days.

It will net you 2,175 in rewards, for 0.88 Echoes per Action (this ignores the rare success for Composition: the high path; if that occurs once per work on average, the total would be 0.94 Echoes per Action). If you only choose Carnelian Ballets and have Associating with Radical Academics at least 15, you will additionally earn 435 x Tribute which can be cashed in 21 times for items worth 62.5 for 98 actions (14 to get to the Court of the Wakeful Eye and back home, and 84 to exchange), bringing the total reward to 1.36 Echoes per Action.