Terror level is indicated by the progress bar labeled with a skull icon, and increases by one increment each time the dots encircling the skull icon are fully lit up. Orange dots light up at a rate of +1 per two seconds; red dots light up at a rate of +2 per two seconds. Green dots are slowly extinguished at a rate of -1 per five seconds. If your crew is below a quarter the ship's total crew capacity, twice as many dots will light up at a time.
"The fear of the wide black zee, and the things beyond."
Game note: Reduce this with Shore Leave, especially in London. When you return to London after time at zee, your Terror will always drop to 50.
There are several ways your Terror can go up. These include:
- Sailing without your ship's light enabled outside of lit areas;
- Not zailing close to shore;
- Some attacks from enemies can deal Terror damage;
- Certain interactions or events can give you Terror.
On the other hand, keeping your level of Terror down is a complex task.
There are several ways to manage Terror. These include:
- Sail with your lights (saves you about 5 terror per 1 fuel crate, one of the strongest methods, but can be problematic in far waters due to fuel storage and acquisition complications, does not work in fog) on and/or in lit areas;
- Sail close to the shores (has to be really close, more often than not that's not an even an option) works best in combination with the lights.
- Reducing the time spend at sea (not exploring, not fighting, and not taking detours), obviously very situational.
- Many port interactions can reduce your Terror either for free or for a price.
- Many port interactions can increase your terror as well. Knowing when to avoid them and when to take advantage of them is at the core of the terror management. So is planning the routes that let you use the right ports at the right times.
- Having an affair with an officer. Although starting an affair with an officer can be saved for getting out of a tough spot.
- Killing enemies.
Ports of note for reducing Terror
- Rosegate ("Sample a high quality cigar") -3 x Terror for 12 echo. The best place to reduce terror, at 1 point per four echoes. No SAY limits. Requires Zubmarine.
- Frostfound ("Take tea with the squatters at the dock" interaction) -10 x Terror. Requires SAY.
- Mangrove College ("Eat, drink, be merry" interaction) -10 x Terror. Requires SAY.
- Salt Lions ("Visit the Unmakers" interaction) -5 x Terror. Requires SAY.
- Kingeater's Castle ("An act of burning faith" interaction, requires Terror 50+, 1 x Fuel and 1 x Supplies) -25 x Terror
- Pigmote Isle ("A banquet in your honour" interaction, requires you to have Pigmote Isle: Mastery at 51 or 52.) -5 x Terror. Requires SAY.
- Visage ("End your performance and leave the island" interaction, requires you to have Visage: Expertise in Parts ≥ 7, Visage: Ritual Participant ≥ 0, and to not have been kicked off the island.) -10 x Terror. Requires SAY. Though that's the ONLY way to use your SAY in Visage and the terror reduction is only a small part of what you get out of it.
- Port Carnelian -5 x Terror for 20 echo, doesn't require SAY. (That's a better deal than sleeping in London, unless you have other menaces to deal with or need restful nights.)
- The Chelonate -15 x Terror for 30 echo and, unless you pass the 167 iron check - 1 crew. Doesn't require SAY either.
- And of course London, where you can:
- Turn all your terror above 50 into nightmares. Ouch!
- Carouse in Wolfstack Docks once per SAY for:
- Spend Time with your Family for -20 x Terror once per SAY.
- Rest (depending on your house quality) as many times as you want to at the rate of: