normal game length
small map (my choice)
common places of power
no special rules
I'd like to give a big shoutout to Fuu for coming up with a creative and fun way to setup the map, and for hosting.
Based on all that, I started with Deception 4. I decided that I wanted to start with a third order slot. I've tried Intellect 4, Cunning 4, and Wickedness 4, and for me, Deception is the way to go. Wickedness is too restrictive. In order to use the Wickedness rituals, you need vendetta status or Ritual Masking (Deception 5.) Also, Wickedness doesn't provide any tribute at all, but Looting the Vaults (Deception 4) can. Intellect is the easiest of these stats to increase in the game and doesn't compare well to Deception for overall ritual ability.
I knew I would have to take negative perks to afford anything else, and I had further desires. I wanted Prince of Lies to minimize the amount of failed Deception rituals, and I'd clearly also need some charisma and some rank. I could grab 3 Fiend points from Gluttony, but to afford everything, I'd need multiple negative perks. I strongly considered Debauched. I decided against it primarily because it cancels much of the benefit of Deception 4, the third order slot. That's where I started, that's what I wanted. So I took Obscure and Slothful. Slothful broadcasts itself to your rivals and costs a lot of order slots if you ever should need to move around. Obscure hits your tribute rolls, and that's where it really hurts. I still think I made the right call by taking both obscure and slothful, but not debauched.
With my 13 remaining points, I couldn't start with charisma 3. You can't have absolutely everything. Charisma 2 is just fine, since I have an extra order slot. I have the option every single turn of making an extra demand. It will be subject to diminishing returns and made with a lower base charisma, but the sheer quantity of demands will more than make up for the reduced quality, I have found. I hope it holds true in this game. Then I have 7 Fiend points left. That's enough for Marquis, but not for Duke. I tried a whole bunch of ways to spend that unspent point, but I like this way the best.