Create a character
- Choose your gender.
The only thing this affects is how various storylets (bite-sized chunks of story) address you. Otherwise there are no mechanical differences between the choices.
- Choose a silhouette for your cameo (avatar).
This can be changed later by paying some Nex, or through a limited opportunity item.
- You can now see the main screen of the game. There are many things on the screen, but first familiarize yourself with the tabbed display in the center.
|Story||This is where the action happens in the game. You will see and select Opportunity Cards here or select available storylets.|
|Messages||This tab gives you important game messages, a space to check on how your friends are doing and the status and results of any Social Actions you have engaged in. You can also select your messaging settings here, which will control when the game sends you messages about actions that happen to you.|
|Myself||This tab includes your cameo, your inventory and and and all of your minor Qualities and all of the other details of your character. You will need to use this tab to use or equip inventory items. You'll also be able to see the status of your qualities: Connections, story progress, Quirks etc.|
|My Friends||This screen allows you to manage your list of other player contacts, for Social Actions.|
|Bazaar||The Bazaar is where you can buy and sell inventory items. There are many different items you can purchase here and you may be able to sell things you come across during the game.|
|Nex||This is where you purchase credits to unlock exclusive (but optional) parts of the game. Nex can also be used to gain in-game advantages as part of the freemium model. These include action refreshes, deck refreshes, and some stories allow you to use a little Nex to make something a sure thing instead of a luck roll.|
|Help||Failbetter Games has a long FAQ here and instructions on how to contact them if there is a problem with the game. The FAQ is well worth reading.|
Other areas of the screen
- Your Action Candle to the left
This shows you how many actions you can play and how long it will take them to refresh.
- You main stats display, below the Candle
This allows you to see your four main stats (and eventually others) that you will want to keep in mind when choosing options of what to play.
Welcome to New Newgate Prison
When you begin the game, you find yourself a prisoner in a cell in New Newgate Prison: a miserable dripstone cell with a barred window and a straw mattress but with and a magnificent view of the lights of the Bazaar reflected in the dark waters of the Unterzee below.
This initial area is rather inauspicious but allows you to familiarize yourself with gameplay and you will eventually find a way to escape.
You start with a series of auto-played cards (aka "Storylets"), each with one or more "branches". Choose a branch, receive a reward. There are no 'wrong' choices in this game, though some may help/hinder you on your way to your goals.
Get out of Jail
- Pretty soon, your Preparing for a Daring Escape Quality will reach 4, and you will be able to escape. Choose an area to visit — but don't worry too much about which you choose because you'll be able to move freely between them soon enough.
Out on the Town
Once you've completed your daring escape, you're now in Fallen London proper. Opportunity Cards and storylets appear and you can now make your way.
- Regardless of where you choose to begin, you now have two new twists in your tale: a New Arrival and Homeless!
- A few more special Opportunity Cards appear giving you some additional first hints. Once you have played those, you are on your own. (And no longer a New Arrival.)
- One of your first goal should be to save enough commodities to find Lodgings. A couple of very simple choices will be available to you right away — but you may not be able to afford them yet — and more will come over time.
- Keep playing Opportunity Cards and storylets and use the Travel button on the Story tab to move around the city.