Generally Using Connections
Generally speaking, you can cash in connections on the appropriate connection card to increase either Watchful, Dangerous, Shadowy, Persuasive. Any connections without such a card, of course, are excluded from this (Rubbery Men, The Widow, and all Unusual Connections).
For all connections except unusual connections, you can cash the connection in for items instead. See the table following.
Unless otherwise noted, you need Connected: 15 to cash in connections.
|Connection||Location||Reward||Connection Loss||Echo Value||Notes|
|Bohemian||The Shuttered Palace||120 x Drop of Prisoner's Honey||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|Criminals||The Flit||720 x Moon-pearl||-120 CP||7.2 echoes||Only via Opportunity Card.|
|Hell||The Forgotten Quarter||240 x Nevercold Brass Sliver||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|Revolutionaries||The Flit||30 x Proscribed Material||-120 CP||28.8 echoes||Only via Opportunity Card. One of the highest-value actions in the game. Advances the Liberation of Night (+1 CP).|
|Rubbery Men||The Forgotten Quarter||240 x Deep Amber||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|Society||The Shuttered Palace||120 x Greyfields 1882||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|Society||The Shuttered Palace||+20 CP The Duchess||-40 CP||Other||Requires Connected 9.|
|Society||The Empress' Court||4 x London Street Sign||-500 CP||10 echoes||Requires Connected 32. Adds Suspicion (+1 CP).|
|The Church||The Shuttered Palace||240 x Foxfire Candle Stub||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|The Constables||The Shuttered Palace||80 x Surface Currency||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|The Docks||Wolfstack Docks||240 x Glim||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|The Great Game||Wolfstack Docks||120 x Cryptic Clues||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|The Widow||Wolfstack Docks||240 x Jade Fragment||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|The Tomb-Colonies||The Forgotten Quarter||120 x Primordial Shriek||-120 CP||2.4 echoes|
|Urchins||The Flit||20 Certifiable Scrap + Bundle of Oddities 215 (215+?)||-120 CP||Other||Only via Opportunity Card. High value due to Scrap.|
For all connections with a card to draw, you can gain your Tier 2 professions on those cards. Tier 2 professions provide a powerful equippable item, and grant items every week instead of increasing stats like Tier 1 professions — ideal once your stats hit 70 (the cap for training professions). You also need Tier 2 professions to qualify for advancement to Tier 3 and 4 professions (as well as being a Person of Some Importance, in most cases). Gaining these professions require level 25 in the appropriate connection. Usually, two factions will be associated with each profession.
Raising Connections in general
Connections can be raised easily to 10 at the Carnival, except for Unusual Connections that are not the Duchess. Masters can be raised, but will more likely get lowered. Criminals can go up to 15.
In "The Big Top", you can raise Bohemian, The Church, Constables, Hell, Society, The Tomb-Colonies, and The Widow by 30 CP for 2 actions — albeit with skill challenges that are tough for a new character. You will need fairly high Persuasive and to have attended the Ambassador's Ball to have access to Society at all.
"The Sideshows" have no skill requirements but take more actions; 10 CP per 2 actions for Criminals and Docks, 12 CP per 2 actions for Rubbery and Urchines, 20 CP per 2 actions for Duchess and Great Game, and 20 CP per 3 actions for Revolutionaries.
You can buy Connection items to raise most Connections from 10 to 20, except for Unusual Connections that are not Benthic/Summerset. Usually, this takes three actions and gives 75 CP in exchange for 1.5 Echoes worth of items.
The Society Connection item (Entry in Slowcake's Exceptionals) is required to gain Notability; the Docks item (Pewter Tankard) is the best way to grind Docks to cash in for Expedition supplies. The Urchins item (Rookery Password) is slightly more expensive, but the best way of raising Urchins to cash in for increasing Orphanage scheme. The Tomb Colonies item (Diary of the Dead) is needed for upgrading Shadowy Raven Advisors and for gaining Fecund Amber in the Nadir. The Benthic/Summerset item (Endowment of a University Fellowship) can be used at Connected 1, and can also be used to cash in Benthic/Summerset connection once it reaches 10.
The Rubbery item (Pulsating Amber) is very inefficient, at barely over half the connection value for the same cost. The Criminals item (Skeleton Key) is redundant with the Carnival, locking at 15.
You can also use conflict cards to raise and lower connections. Most conflict cards let you trade 15 CP with one faction for 30 CP with the other, and many give other rewards on top (and sometimes menaces or menace reductions). You need Connected: 5 in each faction to unlock them. The exceptions are Docks/Widow (requires 30 each) and Criminals/Constables (requires 50 each), which give valuable items with a significant decrease in one or both Connections.
With no Connected Pet, you can draw location-specific gold-bordered cards which will raise a single connection by 15 CP (which is a significant amount for connections that are harder to gain). These are (may be?) marked as Infrequent, but show up quite commonly (as of mid-2015).
|Location||Card Name||Connection||Cost||Additional Reward||Notes|
|Ladybones Road||Valuable Secrets||Hell||15 x Whispered Secret||2 x Nevercold Brass Sliver|
|Ladybones Road||Valuable Secrets||The Great Game||15 x Whispered Secret||2 x Jade Fragment||No high-level storylets increase Great Game, so this is useful.|
|Ladybones Road||Valuable Secrets||Bohemians||1 x Appalling Secret||2 x Moon-pearl||You need 15 x Whispered Secret to access this option, which are not consumed (assuming this info is accurate)|
|Spite||The Tomb-colonist and the Footpad||Criminals||1 x Intriguing Gossip||2 x Deep Amber||Good if you don't want to grind Casing. If you have capped Shadowy, it's better than grinding Casing.|
|Spite||The Tomb-colonist and the Footpad||The Tomb-Colonies||1 x Intriguing Gossip||2 x Deep Amber|
|Veilgarden||A scuffle in the street||Society||None||15 x Glim||Despite giving small additional profit, this is not the best way to gain Society when you have access to the Palace (or better yet, Court).|
|Veilgarden||A scuffle in the street||Revolutionaries||None||None|
|Veilgarden||A scuffle in the street||Urchins||None||None||This might be the best way to raise Urchins connection above 20.|
|Watchmaker's Hill||A tavern dust-up||The Church||10 x Cryptic Clue||2 x Rostygold||No high-level storylets increase The Church, so this is useful (unless you are a Soul Shepherd via the heroic path of the Fate-locked Soul Trade story).|
|Watchmaker's Hill||A tavern dust-up||The Docks||10 x Cryptic Clue||2 x Rostygold||This is might be the best way to raise Docks connection above 20.|
|Watchmaker's Hill||A tavern dust-up||The Constables||10 x Cryptic Clue||2 x Rostygold|
Connections in detail
Connected: Criminals is one of the first Connections you can get, available in New Newgate via the "Start a brawl" card, and when visiting either Repentant Forger or Sardonic Music Hall Singer acquaintances.
Generally speaking, Connected: Criminals is a very nice Connection; it has only one, easily avoided conflict card, it can be cashed in for a great variety of valuable awards, and a connection as low as 1 unlocks a large number of options. Outside of jail, deck clutter resulting from this Connection is minimal.
In New Newgate Prison: Having Connected: Criminals 2 unlocks the "University of Crime" card - a useless card so it may be worth avoiding Connected: Criminals in the early stages of the game to improve your odds of drawing a good card in prison. Connected: Criminals 3 unlocks a suspicion reducing option on the "Stuttering fence", while Connected: Criminals 20 unlocks the "A Grass" option on "The talkative gaoler" - this completely removes all suspicion and Connected: Criminals. However as it's possible to remove all suspicion with the "The new cell" and "The passing dirigible" cards, this means spending 210+ change points to save a single action - only worth it if the cards have been very unkind. Of course, none of this applies if you don't have many issues with avoiding (or handling) imprisonment.
Once you are a person of some importance, you will want this connection at 20 to unlock the gaining a criminal reputation storylet, which leads to gaining a Gang of Hoodlums, the best source of casing in the game at high Shadowy.
Once you're a POSI, you can easy grind both Shadowy and Criminals by using either the risk-free POSI Casing option or the Gang of Hoodlums, then cashing Casing in via "Sell information" to gain both Criminals connections and Shadowy CP. This is capped at 50. (This shakes out to only 2.65 CP per action with the Gang, but the Shadowy increase is substantial.)
With Casing… 5 and Suspicion 2, you can watch those watching you in the Flit for 30 Cryptic Clues and 2 CP Hell, Constables and Criminals per action.
The Gang of Hoodlums card can raise Criminals by 10 CP at the cost of 1 CP Suspicion; being an annoyance to Jack of Smiles (gained by rare successes in Watchmaker's Hill) allows you to use the Smoky Flophouse card to gain 10 CP Criminals & Revolutionaries assuming the Jack case hasn't been resolved in ways that lock this option.
Connected: Criminals 10 unlocks the "An Implausible Penance" card, which allows you to cash in this quality for a large variety of rewards. (Or alternatively, slowly increase it by always choosing to prize-fight.) Some of the cash-in options are fairly profitable, though it's not necessarily intuitive which; currently, The Smugglers' Grave (-> One stone in a thousand) and Glim-Smuggling (-> Cheat the Widow) are significantly more profitable than the others, as well as Pugilism and Politics (see below).
If you need Magnificent Diamonds, it is highly worth raising this connection to 30 to use the "Pugilism and Politics" option on the "An Implausible Penance" card. Beating up a Minister gains 2 Magnificent Diamonds at the cost of all 30 connected levels. This is invaluable for creating a zubmarine.
It can also be cashed in on a card drawn in The Flit for a higher-than-average value; worth considering if you don't want Scrap (Urchins), or to advance the Liberation of Night (Revolutionaries).
If you are playing the Affair of the Box grind on the side of Conscience of the Empire (which is also the most profitable side), you will want Connected: Criminals 1 to complete the loop.
To gain the exceptionally cool companion Cat's Chiefest Claw at the Feast of the Rose (only during February), you need Connected 1 as well.
Connected: Criminals has a conflict card with Connected: Constables, but it only unlocks if both connections are at 50, and is Very Infrequent. It cannot be discarded (except by standard deck-clearing methods such as using the Pickpocket's Promenade, or going to the Nadir). Of course, if you have sufficiently advanced Affair of the Box, you can simply use the Boxful of Intrigue option to avoid choosing a side.
Connected: Bohemian is also available early on (especially via the Acquaintance: Repentant Forger) and Connected: Bohemian 10 unlocks the "A rather decadent evening" card. This card is an excellent source of Confident Smiles and so very useful early in the game. The card is both a Persuasive and Connected challenge; succeeding in the Connected challenge greatly increases your rewards, but at the cost of about 3 times as much Connected: Bohemian.
If you have a Salon, you can cash in Connected: Bohemian along with stolen kisses to raise your Salon's Scheme (only with Connected 50+). However, Connected: Society is generally preferable to use here, since it is easier & faster in the late game to increase Connected: Society, and the result is less random.
If you wish to become an Author before becoming a Person of Some Importance, you'll want Connected: Bohemian 25 as well as the appropriate Short Story (Exceptional). Author is both the best Tier 3 profession, and the only Tier 3 profession available pre-POSI.
You will need Connected: Bohemian 20 (as well as Church) upon becoming a POSI to be able to join God's Editors. And to get a Salon (which you will if you don't want an Orphanage), you will need Connected 60.
Grinding Connected: Bohemian is best done in the Shuttered Palace, via "Publishing poetry in praise of the Duchess". This is relatively slow, at 22 CP Bohemians and 10 CP Duchess. A more dangerous alternative is to give public lectures in The Forgotten Quarter (under Reaping the Academic Benefits) for 15 CP Bohemians, Revolutionaries and Society in exchange for 1 CP Suspicion. Creating works in Court will also raise Bohemians.
The Bohemians card can be used to reliably raise Bohemian connection, but its use is largely to lower Austere for little corresponding benefit, and it's significantly less efficient than simply grinding in the Palace.
Connected: Bohemian has a conflict card with Connected: Church, so it is preferable to keep one of the two below 10 if you are deck-clearing.
Connected: Urchins is highly valuable if you are either grinding Certifiable Scrap, or running an Orphanage. If you want Scrap, you need to draw cards in The Flit, so you can cash in this connection for 20 Certifiable Scrap. If you are using an Orphanage for Making Waves (or to get the Laconic Prodigy), the most cost-efficient way is to cash in Connected: Urchins to raise your Scheme.
Grinding Urchins can be frustrating; the best standard option (speaking softly to them in the Flit) gets you only 3 CP per action. Otherwise, grinding is largely card-based.
A good way to raise this connection above 20 in a pinch (above what a Rookery Password will get you) is to have no Connected Pet and draw the "A scuffle in the street" card in Veilgarden, and favor the Urchin. This is one of the best such options.
The Urchins card can be used to reliably raise this connection at the cost of lucky weasels (grind in Spite at high Shadowy), but only if you're okay with losing all Melancholy.
Urchins has conflicts with three other groups - Hell, The Docks and The Widow. If you are trying to clear your deck and have no need for the options above (largely if you are using the Flit card for Revolutionaries instead, and have no Orphanage), Connected: Urchins may be best avoided. Otherwise, it's worth gaining (but not necessarily keeping), simply for the high cash-in value.
Connected: Society is one of the best Connections available. It's worth noting that the "The Ways of the Shuttered Palace" allows travel to the Shuttered Palace: once there Connected: Society can be traded for Greyfields 1882, which in turn can be spent to buy permanent access to the palace. Connected: Society can be spent to access the Court, but this is expensive; it is usually better to spend Connected: The Duchess for Court access. (If you must use Connected: Society, then trade it in for Connected: Duchess using the "Call in favours at the Shuttered Palace"/'Curry favour with the Duchess' storylet, as this is more cost effective than spending it directly). Once in Court, Connected: Society can be spent to gain London Street Signs (one of which can be spent to gain access to the Forgotten Quarter). Connected: Society is easily increased in Court, in particular using the "Attend to matters of romance/Attend courtly functions", "Tea at Court" (10 CP, 84 Whispered Secrets) and "Someone else's scandal" (30 CP, 20 Greyfields 1882) options. Once you are Carving Out a Reputation at Court "You have rivals" requires Connected: Society 50. Creating works in Court will also raise Society.
If you do not have access to Court, then attending one of the Duchess' salons and being erudite is an excellent way to grind this connection, though it does not provide any other benefits, unlike the Court options.
Alternatively, grind at the University by addressing The Committee on Semiotic Safety. This gets you 20 CP and 21 Proscribed Material.
Connected: Society is also the best option for building a Scheme to generate Making Waves with a Salon; it's easier to grind than Connected: Bohemian and has a more reliable effect. (You will need Connected 60 to get the Salon in the first place.)
Having over 100 in this connection will also allow you to cash in connection points on the Slowcake's Amaneunsis card for Making Waves.
You need Connected 15 to use a profitable grind during the Big Rat storyline (Advertise a spot of hunting under Gather your forces against the Big Rat).
The Society card's option is exceptionally good as the Connection cards go; it increases the connection at no resource cost, reduces Wounds, increases Making Waves, and does not affect quirks. You need to become darling of the Ambassador's ball (needs Persuasive 56).
The card for the Lair in the Marshes is surprisingly good here; saving someone from drowning grants 30 CP and 1 Certifiable Scrap. (This is the only 1-scrap lodging with an option this good.)
If you wish to gain huge amounts of Society, Constables, and Church (in addition to other benefits), consider spending Fate to unlock the Soul Trade, and follow the path favorable to those three factions. Note that if you only wish to grind Society, then the Palace/Court options are still better.
The only conflict card is with the Tomb Colonies.
Connected: The Great Game unlocks the "On the Trail of the Cheesemonger" and An Agent Of The Cheesemonger storylines; also the "A new piece in the Game" card (at mid levels). It can be gained early via the "A parliament of bats" card (unlocked simply by purchasing a Sulky Bat — and a highly valuable card, providing 3 Scrap on a lucky result). You can also increase it to 10 using Dabble in the Great Game in Veilgarden.
Level 5 is needed for the "Riding Your Velocipede" card, which provides 70 Cryptic Clues and in turn increases your Connected (to a maximum of 15). Level 10 (and Shadowy 110) is required to access Wilmot's End on the "Don't you know her?" card. (Note you can buy Great Game connection at 10 CP per time on that card so long as you don't unlock Wilmot's End — though Wilmot's End is a very valuable location to have access to.)
If desperate to increase the connection beyond 10, you can chat with a tipsy spy inside The Singing Mandrake in Veilgarden, for a whole 1 CP per action. You can also pay some Whispered Secrets in Ladybones Road to increase it on the Valuable Secrets card with no connected pet.
If you're in Wilmot's End and your stats are too low to make progress, you can spent Great Game CP to proceed through the first stage of the Missing Woman storyline. (You can do that anytime; it's just not necessarily worth it.)
Only conflict card is with The Church; once you have a Velocipede, it's worth increasing Connected: The Great Game to 11 (+5 change points) and then taking the conflict card - dropping Connected: The Great Game costs nothing as you will rebuild it with Velocipede cards, and you will gain one of each of the 2nd chances (capped at 20 for each stat).
Connected: Revolutionaries is another valuable Connection. Level 5 unlocks the Revolutionary Firebrand storyline, while level 15 unlocks "The people's art" when Carving Out a Reputation at Court. It can be cashed in on a card drawn in The Flit for 28.8 echoes — one of the highest-value actions in the game, but be forewarned it will advance the Liberation of Night (this of yet has no in-game effect, but perhaps serious roleplaying & future connotations; of course, maybe this is something you want).
Public lectures in the Forgotten Quarter (under "reaping the academic benefits") grants 15 CP to Revolutionaries, Bohemians and Society for 1 CP Suspicion. Blowing up statues and bankers in the Flit works well; statues get you 50 CP, 200 Proscribed Material and 90 Stolen Correspondence, bankers get you 100 CP, 300 Proscribed Material and 200 Cryptic Clues. You can also write an Allegorical Satire at Court for 45 CP.
Being an annoyance to Jack of Smiles (gained by rare successes in Watchmaker's Hill) allows you to use the Smoky Flophouse card to gain 10 CP Revolutionaries & Criminals assuming the Jack case hasn't been resolved in ways that lock this option. If you're not grinding Urchins, taking the Revolutionary's side on A scuffle on the street at Veilgarden (with no connected pet) will give you 15 CP at no cost.
The only conflict card is with the Rubbery Men.
Connected: The Constables comes into its own late in the game, where level 30 is one of the unlocks for the velocipede squad, and one the velocipede squad action is a Connected: The Constables challenge. The connection also unlocks a number of useful mid-level cards; once these are locked, this connection does not have many non-velocipede-squad uses.
To raise this, selling casing in the Flit works well; unlike the Criminals option, this won't help Shadowy, but will get you 11.25 CP per action with a Gang of Hoodlums (with 100% success). Providing training in Watchmaker's hill will give 5 CP and 47 Rostygold. If Jack of Smiles is about, you can dress up as a victim and wait to be stabbed under "Smiles! Put that man down!" in Watchmaker's Hill, for 6 CP and 39 Rostygold, and Annoyance to Jack of Smiles increase upon rare success.
Cashing in Constables on the Constables card will gain you Implacable Detective's business cards (not particularly profitable, but potentially fun) as well as increasing Watchful. You can raise the connection on the card instead, but at the cost of connection from Urchins and Criminals (not necessarily worthwhile).
If you wish to gain huge amounts of Society, Constables, and Church (in addition to other benefits), consider spending Fate to unlock the Soul Trade, and follow the path favorable to those three factions.
Conflicts with Rubbery Men (as normal) and Criminals (but only at level 50 at Very Infrequent frequency; see Criminals entry for details). Note that cashing in the connection on the Criminals conflict card may be more profitable than cashing in normally.
Connected: Hell unlocks a large number of early game storylines. Later in the game, this is primarily useful for grinding souls: the "Unfinished Business in Spite./The prince of…" storylet provides an average of 50+ souls and is unlocked by Connected: Hell 10. This is especially useful for those engaged in the (Fate only) Trade of Souls storyline (on either side).
You will want this Connection at 50 to get the 4-card Brass Embassy lodging (getting all 4-card lodgings is highly worth it due to their valuable cards). The Connection also unlocks a number of other miscellaneous things, such as the 5-card upgrade to the Brass Embassy lodgings (at 50), cheaper methods of starting a Newspaper, and unlocking two Fate-locked companions.
At 5, Connected: Hell unlocks the "Stealth Watch Repair" card in Watchmaker's Hill: a card whose value increases depending on which Rat companions you possess (the Chief being the best).
However, there are many cards of little use that are unlocked by this connection, so avoiding it will improve your deck. Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid these useless cards unless you also give up the benefits; having any Hell connection at all will unlock most of the useless cards. Note the cards aren't so useless in early game; it's only later on that they become terrible, due to lack of scaling.
To raise this, selling casing in the Flit works well; unlike the Criminals option, this won't help Shadowy, but will get you 11.25 CP per action with a Gang of Hoodlums (with 100% success). More rarely, you can also raise this at parties by handing an infernal contract to the Ambassador on her opportunity card at the end of the party, which gives 50 CP but does not raise Talk of the Town.
The Hell card can be reliably used to increase the connection plus Watchful at no cost.
Conflicts with The Church and Urchins.
Connected: The Docks is most directly useful as the best source for Expedition Supplies in the Forgotten Quarter. It's the cheapest method, so long as you are using the pewter mug (which can only be used to get Connected Docks from 10 to above 20).
You will need this connection when Acquiring A Ship if you are not a Zailor in the Making.
One of the rewards from the "A tournament of weasels!" lucky result. If your Dangerous is 90 or less ,you can take a break from dueling in Wolfstack Docks for 5 CP Docks, 15 Cryptic Clues and 3 Morelways. In Court, you can raise this by completing A Patriotic Adventure (50 CP) or A Newly Arranged Folk Song (25 CP). If you have a ship, you can go to Mutton Island, and rescue a crew at the end of the loop to raise the connection up to level 31 (150 CP per round).
The Docks card is an exceptionally good card for connection-raising, exchanging a few rostygold for Docks connection and making waves, with no reduction in quirks. Otherwise, it may be worthwhile to pay Cryptic Clues in Watchmaker's Hill with no Connected Pet.
Has conflict cards with the The Widow (but only at level 30) and Urchins.
Connected: Rubbery Men unlocks the "A limping figure in a top hat beckons" card at 5; this is a reasonable source of Sudden Insights in the very early game (capped at 11) and is a continual source of Warm Amber (which is in itself not very useful, but you should have at least one in the early game, as it is a decent Persuasive weapon).
If you want a Rubbery Euphonium (and don't want a Salt Weasel or Haunted-Looking Dog), you need to hang out in Spite and have Connected 3 (best done early game, because this is a Rare card).
Otherwise, this connection is not exactly useful and does very little.
The best source of Connected: Rubbery Men is, unsurprisingly, Flute Street, but this is Fate-locked. Otherwise, this is essentially card-based. But if you really like the Rubbery Men, you'll want to invest Fate in Flute Street either way.
Has conflict cards with the Constables, Revolutionaries and Tomb Colonies. Because of this, if you're deck-clearing, you may want to avoid this connection.
Connected: Tomb Colonies is not particularly useful, not even when in the Tomb Colonies! You can, of course, raise this in the Tomb Colonies.
Connected: Tomb Colonies 5 unlocks the 'The music of the tomb' storylet when creating a masterpiece in Court.
The Tomb Colonies card allows you to exchange a Collection of Curiosities for 5 Puzzling Maps, representing one of the best grinds in the entire game, but this requires no connection whatsoever.
Has conflict cards with Society and Rubbery Men. If deck-clearing, consider avoiding this connection.
Connected: Church is useful in the 4th Coil of the Labyrinth of Tigers; however this can be easily increased up to level 100 with the "Into the Fourth Coil/Scout out the Fourth Coil" option when you first arrive, so there is scant point in increasing it beforehand. Even the "Mortification of the flesh!" option when Carving Out a Reputation at Court doesn't require Connected: Church. You do need level 5 to murder a vicar when Attending To The Needs Of A Singular Plant - and if your Connected: Church exceeds 10, there is no penalty for doing so. Once you are a person of some importance, you will want this connection at 20 for an unlock in the making friends among god's editors storylet.
Church is somewhat frustrating to grind; giving the Bishop a Hound of Heaven (in the Labyrinth of Tigers) will give you 50 CP and a Cellar of Wine, but is quite the ordeal to accomplish. A Rousing Hymn in Court will give 50 CP.
The Church's card will increase the connection at a small price, and will decrease Nightmares and provide other small benefits, but will also decrease Hedonist.
If you wish to gain huge amounts of Society, Constables, and Church (in addition to other benefits), consider spending Fate to unlock the Soul Trade, and follow the path favorable to those three factions.
The God's Editors card provides a good option, increasing Church by 10 CP and decreasing Scandal and Nightmares, and increasing Austere up to 10 with no downsides. Being a member of God's Editors is extremely highly recommended — not just for its excellent card, but also for help with Notability gain via its +4 Respectable score.
Failing that, praying at Church to decrease Scandal will increase Church by small amounts. Or the card in Watchmaker's Hill provides a decent increase with no connected pet.
Conflicts with Hell and the Great Game. Note that favoring the Church over the Great Game will grant you one of each Sudden Insight, so long as you don't have over 21.
Connected: The Widow is not usually useful and can be avoided to improve your deck. When needed, it can easily be raised various storylets in Spite (notably offering the Widow advice if you have some connection already).
It has conflict cards with the Docks (at level 30 in each) and the Urchins. If you are trying to grind Urchins connection, then it may be worthwhile to raise Connected: Widow simply to activate this card — as it happens, the option to favor the Urchins is also a significant Nightmare reduction.
Connected: the Duchess. Acquired in the palace, the Duchess can grant you access to the Court comparatively cheaply, losing about 30 change points (compared to 210 change points with Connected: Society). The Duchess disapproves of mistreatment of cats, so it is best to resolve any "Pass the cat" experiments before seeking her favour (you can also free cats to gain favor). Be prepared to temporarily lose most of this Connection if you join the Young Stags (only applicable during the joining process). This Connection has story links in both the Labyrinth and the university.
Connected: the Masters is incredibly rare and expensive, but not very useful. Most storylets granting this Connection cap out at level 1 or 2, making pursuing the Masters pointless. Those who wish to engage in this fruitless endeavour should begin with the An Occasional Guest at Mr Wines' Revels storyline, as it has the lowest level caps. Other small benefits are scattered through the game. Halloween and Christmas are the best times to raise this connection; otherwise, once you have run out of game content, then the "A libraryette for Mr Pages" card provides a single point of this Connection for a cost of 10,000 Proscribed Material (400 echoes), or the slightly cheaper price of 5 x Blackmail Material, 5 x Uncanny Incunabulum, 80 x Touching Love Story, and 20 x Collated Research (375 echoes). (This particular option caps at 10, because the card locks.)
Connected: Benthic and Connected: Summerset - engage in the bitter rivalry of the university's colleges! Well, maybe not so bitter. These Connections open up new options when Term Passing… reaches 8. Fortunately these Connections are very easily increased: new arrivals at the university should repeatedly use the "Enjoying the pace of academic life"/'Perhaps you might read a book today' storylet as in addition to increasing these Connections and providing material rewards, the storylet reduces Nightmares. Early on in the University storyline, you can also cash in Summerset to reduce Wounds ("Feasting at Summerset"), and a high connection will let you seduce the Provost at the Feast of the World for Greyfields First Sporing, Black Wings Absinthe, and some Scandal — and even more Summerset connection. Even after being expelled from university these connections will be very useful when Embarking on a Voyage of Scientific Discovery. (Being expelled will erase your Summerset connection, but it will be restored once you get back in at a lowered level.) Writing a Tale of the Future at Court will increase both connections. Yo ucan also increase one or the other by donating treasures found from archaeological expedition, but this is a pretty bad deal.
Connected: Glass and Connected: Shroud. After becoming Embroiled in the Wars of Illusion at the Flit these Connections open up in Mahogany Hall. While they open up several storylets, it appears that the bulk of the Wars of Illusion has yet to be written.