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There are four kinds of resources that you can gain by requesting tribute. Souls, Ichor, Hellfire, and Darkness. In addition you can sometimes receive a manuscript page.

A resource card will contain at least 1 point of one resource, and may contain as many as 9 points in all four resources (for a total of 36 resource points). The number and type of resources you get when requesting tribute is random, but your diabolism power roll modifier is used and a higher roll will result in a larger tribute amount. With a high enough modifier, you can receive tribute cards with multiple resource types on them.

There is a limit of 99 tribute cards, including both resource cards and manuscripts. If you request tribute and do not have any space for the requested cards, the requested tribute will be discarded for you.

You can consolidate multiple resource types on to one tribute card using the consolidate tribute order.

Consolidate tribute will result in two (or more) cards if you attempt to consolidate 10 or more of one resource type.

Since you are limited to 8 tribute cards when purchasing items and attributes, you may need to plan for an extra order (and extra turn) to consolidate some tribute first.

Consolidated tribute returns to your pool on the phase that it is consolidated and can be stolen or destroyed after that, so you may wish to consolidate in phase 6 when possible.

(The following is from timus - Thanks!)

The base for all resource card generation is a tribute roll. Based on manual, the roll is 1d20+Modifier for the first demand each turn. All following demands roll with -4*(number of previous demands) to this. As far as I tested, the dice is rolled separately for each card in a demand. After that, the game takes the roll result and generate a card from it based on some secret table. Table or not, there are dices involved, so its still down to statistics in the end. What I made is generated some cards to see how figures turn out. So, here goes the numbers:

Base chance to get a resource: you get Soul on 33% cards and each other resource on 22% cards.

Tribute modifier (TribMod) +1: Resources per Card (RpC) 1.75 (possible error is approx +/- 0.07 for RpC calcs), Manusctipt chance: around 0.50 %

  • TribMod: +2 / RpC: 1.90 / Manuscript: 1.00 %
  • TribMod: +3 / RpC: 2.10 / Manuscript: 1.50 %
  • TribMod: +4 / RpC: 2.30 / Manuscript: 2.70 %
  • TribMod: +5 / RpC: 2.50 / Manuscript: 5.20 % (I hope it is a statistical flux in my calcs)
  • TribMod: +6 / RpC: 2.70 / Manuscript: 3.70 %

Now, this is a base chance to get this number of any resource on one card. However, besides a base tribute roll modifier, there is also a number of drawn and taken card for each tribute, that should be taken into account. It influence the base figures in the following way:

  • Draw 3 take 2 adds about 17% to the base RpC figure in case of going straight for highest resource value or add some 6-7% to the number of any specific resource (besides soul, as it is higher for them) you get at expense of overall q-ty.
  • Draw 4 take 3 = +13% to base Rpc or + 4-5% to resource
  • Draw 5 take 3 = +24% to base Rpc or + 8-9% to resource
  • Draw 4 take 2 = +27% to base Rpc or + 10-11% to resource

Let's take TribMod +3. It has a base 2.10 resource per card. If you draw 4 and take 3, it means you actually get 2.10 + 13% = around 2.37 RpC. Well, you get the idea.

Now as we have the numbers, let's look at some builds you can make at start.

For investing 6 points in Cha you can get:

  • Cha 2 = 1.90 base RpC + 17% for Drawing 3 and keeping 2 cards, equals approx 2.23 effective RPC, which is 4.46 resources per turn for you (if you demand tribute once). Now, if you aim for upgrading the Cha stat to 3 (which costs 6 of each resource), it will take you on average 5.8 turns. Please keep in mind that these are all average numbers, as luck still plays quite a big role.
  • Cha 3 + Obscure = 1.75 base RpC, +13% equals 1.98 effective RpC or 5.94 RpT. Upgrade will take 6.5 turns.

As you can see, Cha 2 is inferior in almost any way (except, probably, the chance to get a Manuscript, which is still too small to take into account). However, upgrade is slightly faster for Cha 2, although not much.

14 points in Cha:

  • Cha 3 = 2.10 base RpC, 2.38 effective RpC, 7.14 RpT. Upgrade will take 5.40 Turns.
  • Cha 2 + Infernal Cardinal = 2.30 base RpC, 2.70 effective RpC, 5.40 RpT. Upgrade will take 4.80 turns
  • Cha 2 + Devoted Minions = 1.90 base RpC, 2.42 effective RpC, 4.84 RpT. Upgrade will take 5.30 turns.

Third one is inferior, but taking Cha 2 + Infernal Cardinal is a viable trade-off for starting the game, if you actually want Cha3 + infernal cardinal but need these 8 points for something. You know that it will cost you about 5 game turns worth of tribute (more if you don't upgrade to Cha 3 as soon as possible). It is up to you to decide, which one (turn or points advantage) is better for you.

22 points in Cha:

  • Cha 2 + Infernal Cardinal + Devoted Minions = 2.30 base RpC, 2.93 effective RpC, 5.86 RpT. Upgrade will take 4.40 turns
  • Cha 3 + Infernal Cardinal = 2.50 base RpC, 2.83 effective RpC, 8.49 RpT. Upgrade will take 4.55 turns
  • Cha 3 + Devoted Minions = 2.10 base RpC, 2.55 effective RpC, 7.65 RpT. Upgrade will take 5.10 turns
  • Cha 4 + Obscure = 1.90 base RpC, 2.36 effective RpC, 7.08 RpT. Upgrade will take 7.30 turns

You can see that Cha 4 + Obscure is a disaster. It is actually worse than Cha 3 while having a higher cost. Cha 3 + Infernal Cardinal is a clear winner here.

30 points in Cha:

  • Cha 4 = 2.30 base RpC, 2.86 effective RpC, 8.58 RpT. Upgrade will take 6 turns.
  • Cha 3 + Infernal Cardinal + Devoted Minions = 2.50 base RpC, 3.1 effective RpC, 9.3 RpT. Upgrade will take 4.10 turns.

Now, it is interesting. Resourcewise it is better to take Cha 3 + Infernal Cardinal at 22 points than Cha 4. It will also cost less points and is quicker to upgrade.

38 points in Cha: (possible with negative perks)

  • Cha 4 + Infernal Cardinal = 2.70 base RpC, 3.27 effective RpC, 9.81 RpT. Upgrade will take 5.30 turns.
  • Cha 4 + Devoted Minions = 2.30 base RpC, 2.93 effective RpC, 8.79 RpT. Upgrade will take 5.90 turns.

Here the first one is a clear winner.

Let's poke it a bit more and see, who will get it quicker to Cha 5 (which is a milestone for it allows keeping 4 cards effectively adding 25% to your resource flow) or Cha 6 (Burnt offerings)

  • For a Cha 2 build it will take approx 18 turns to Cha 5 and about 23 turns to Cha 6
  • For Cha 3 + Obscure, it will take 14 turns to Cha 5 and about 21 turns to Cha 6

It is overall faster to reach Cha 6 with Cha 3 + Obscure build! Keep in mind that your draws at Cha 6 will be worse though.

  • For Cha 2 + Infernal Cardinal it will take 15 turns to reach Cha 5 and approx 22 turns to Cha 6.
  • For Cha 3 it will take about 12 turns to Cha 5 and 18-19 turns to Cha 6.

These figures are good to take into account if you are starting it low but are planning to go Cha-heavy all the way to Burnt Offerings.

(other notes from the thread)

Manuscript chance does not dimish with repeated requests. Some speculation that it might be based on the natural die roll (say rolling 20 on the d20 before any modifiers). Increased Diabolism does appear to increase the chances however it is calculated.

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