bleary in the kingdom of loathing

adventures near a seaside town

utility familiars

utility familiars

These familiars are particularly useful for one special thing. They may be useful for other things, but there are one or two mechanics that these provide which are special.

The He-Boulder lets you yellow ray things. This makes every item drop, so long as there isn’t a special conditional on when it drops. Yellow rays are also available from a few other sources: there’s the pumpkin bomb (if you have pumpkins in your garden), the Nanorhino, and the unbearable light (from Tome of Clip Art). This mechanic is very powerful, especially in combination with the Fax Machine accessible with the VIP Key.

The Bandersnatch and the Stomping Boots are notable as sources of free runaways. If the monster that you’ve encountered isn’t the one you’re looking for, free runaways allow you to end combat without spending an adventure. Both the Bandersnatch and the Boots grant these runaways based on weight.

The Obtuse Angel and the Reanimator have a mechanic (“arrowing”) whereby you can cause a monster you’re currently fighting to become a wandering monster and re-appear down the road.

The Organ Grinder and the Spirit Medium are both familiars which can turn enemies into food and booze, respectively. I’ll admit I don’t know much about these, since I mostly play HCO.

The Jung Man will drop an item which allows access to an area which apparently is much better for collecting pixels than either adventuring directly in the 8-bit zone or faxing and arrowing a Ghost. I guess I should investigate this as well.


Written by bleary

October 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Posted in mechanics

Tagged with

spleen spleen spleen

spleen fams

Spleen familiars drop or create items that you stuff into your spleen for adventures, or items that you trade for other spleeny items, or items that lead you on little excursions which can yield spleen items. The Green Pixie and the Llama Lama are both obsolete, as I understand it, and the Baby Sandworm is likely on the way there too.

So, the Stomping Boots, the Rogue Program, and the Bloovian Groose seem to be the usual spleen familiars these days, with the Collective Unconscious also dropping spleen items. For HCO runs, these are pretty important. It’s my understanding that the drop rates (or activation rates, for the Boots) of these familiars have been smoothed out sometime in the past year or so, so they’re not the giant headache they used to be. And, with so many of them, HCO mavens just swap back and forth to get the spleen fullness they need.

Newcomers, though, have some choices. I’d guess the Boots are the best all-round, since they have the free runaway thing going for them. The Rogue Program is also pretty nice, since with the upheaval in combat styles, the finger cuffs it enables may become even more useful.

Written by bleary

October 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Posted in mechanics

Tagged with

familiar catch-up continued

item familiars
Let’s talk about Fairies. They cause loot to drop more frequently from the monsters you defeat. Is this desirable? Yes, very. Well, what are the best fairies going now?

The basic fairy is the Baby Gravy Fairy, and there are also a bunch of other types of gravy fairies. Collect them all, if you like.

The Jumpsuited Hound Dog is a 125% fairy (it acts like it weighs 25% more than it does), so it’s a better fairy than a fairy. Unfortunately, it costs 100 filthy lucre, which is a pain to farm up. On the other hand, it doesn’t cost much meat-wise, just time and boredom.

The Slimeling is a 100% fairy that will act as a starfish (damaging opponents and granting MP during combat) if you feed it equipment, and it has a bonus which helps get equipment drops. Here’s a chart to look at: The gist is that it’s a normal fairy for normal items, and a much better fairy when you’re looking for a piece of equipment. The starfish capability is handy. Slimelings can be acquired in a roundabout manner, as they’re a reward for finishing a slime tube. There’s usually someone around who is selling them, awarding them as contest prizes, or just giving them away. Ask around.

The Stomping Boots are a technically a fairy, but they don’t have any advanced item-drop mechanics. I’ll cover them as a spleen/utility familiar later. There’s some advantage to using them as a fairy though, as it helps them build weight and improves the utility functions.

The Fancypants Scarecrow (like the Mad Hatrack before it) can act as a fairy when equipped with the right item. In speed runs, you’ll see someone use a VIP key to fax in a Sleepy Mariachi, use a Yellow Ray of some sort on it, and then put the spangly mariachi pants on their pantsrack. These pants make it act like a 200% fairy (up to a limit of 37lbs). This is the best straight-up fairy you’ll find. There are a few other pants (that aren’t as tough to find) that’ll also give it fairy-powers, but I’m not sure how common doing that is in lower-end play. My suspicion is that a Slimeling, a Hound Dog, or a Cubeling is better if you don’t have the VIP key and the source of Yellow Rays.

The Gelationous Cubeling is new to me, but appears to be a 100% fairy with added functionality which delevels enemies, and the ability to dropping useful items, including some that make the Daily Dungeons faster. This looks great for folks that don’t have a better fairy, or perhaps for about 12 turns per run for others. You can pick one of these up using fat loot tokens, which you get in the dungeons. (Pick up more than one token per day by using GameInformPowerDailyPro magazines, which you can buy in the Mall).

The Jung Man is a 100% fairy, and I’ll cover it as a utility familiar later.

Written by bleary

October 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Posted in mechanics

Tagged with

the state of stat familars

stat familiars

It’s a good time to revisit the stat familiar basics.

Sometimes I think of KoL as having two interlocking goals: one, complete the quests the Council gives you. Two, gain enough experience to go up a level and get a new quest. If you’re completing quests without gaining levels, you’ll find yourself spending additional resources trying to gain the experience you need: spending additional turns fighting or exploring to get to the next level. Sometimes this is unavoidable. Sometimes this is boring or tedious.

Stat familiars help you make progress on both game goals at the same time by increasing the amount of experience you gain from combat. When you don’t need a familiar to help you out in a more specific way, stat familiars are what you’re generally using. Stat familiars are important enough to speedsters to be worth creating from scratch in a Bad Moon run: you’ll find Bad Moon speedsters visiting the hermit and creating a Volleyball very very early on. The experience they provide makes a huge difference during the early levels.

You’ll see that I’ve categorized stat familiars into three types. Two types are based on the Bloody-faced Volleyball and the Hovering Sombrero, which were the original stat familiars back in the olden days. Volleyballs and Sombreros add to your experience from combat in slightly different ways, with the result that Sombrero-type familiars are slightly more advantageous later in runs. See

The Baby Sandworm is just like a Hovering Sombrero, though it also will drop up to 5 spleen items per day after combat at intervals. For whatever reason, there just aren’t that many familiars that act like sombreros.

Among the volleyballs on the chart, the Frumious Bandersnatch is no longer the fixture of speedy runs that it used to be. At one time, its combination of (tuned) stats, combat utility and free runaways made it an all-star. These days it has been somewhat supplanted by the Fairy Stomping Boots, which give the same free runaways. I have a suspicion that it might still be quite useful in softcore, but I’m not sure.

The Baby Bugged Bugbear was a mysterious and confusing familiar at the time of its introduction, and it remains one today. By equipping it with a bugged balaclava, you make the BBB a permanent full-weight volleyball, and add +20 ML. Adding ML makes monsters tougher, but increases stat gain. Every +1 ML means 0.25 extra stats per combat (before modifiers). This gives an additional 5 substats per combat over an equivalent plain volleyball. The BBB is therefore quite powerful as a stat familiar. See This is perhaps why we don’t see much sombrero use in top speed runs: the BBB is almost always better.

Other than the Goth Kid, the other two volleyballs in the chart are average stat familiars with some added utility. The Bloovian Groose is a volleyball that also increases meat drops and drops spleen items. The Reanimator is a volleyball with an interesting monster-repeating ability (I’ll discuss it in a later post).

The Artistic Goth Kid is a normal volleyball, but also shares a mechanic with the Mini-Hipster. The Hipster is an interesting stat familiar in several ways. Firstly, in any combat, the familiar grants 2 or 3 substats to either myst, mus, or moxie at random in the first round. That equates to about an 8 lb. volleyball. Second, if the hipster is equipped with a fixed-gear bicycle, it’ll grant an additional 3 substats at the end of combat, making it equivalent to about a 30 lb. volleyball. This is not better than the BBB, but the additional mechanic that the Mini-Hipster shares with the Goth Kid is the chance of a special encounter, which replaces the combat or non-combat you would ordinarily have seen with a special combat which does not use a turn. This essentially gives you the opportunity to have 7 free *scaling* combats per day, which is awesome. More about this when I review utility familiars.

The Stocking Mimic isn’t ordinarily considered a stat familiar, but it should be noted that it is a lot of fun. One of the candies that it drops is BitterSweetTarts, which if used at level 11 or above, will yield ten adventures of +11 substats per combat. Research indicates that it drops a candy about every 6 combats, and you’ve got a 1 in 3 chance of getting BitterSweetTarts. That comes to… let’s say about 6 substats per turn, if everything works out averagely. That’s not terrible, though the stats are delayed until level 11 or afterwards, and you need to find 10 combats in a row. (Squeeze in some free combats here if you can, for extra bonus stats.) The other real prize with the Mimic is the Polka Pop, not to mention the fun.

The Fancypants Scarecrow can be turned into a volleyball or other stats familiar by equipping it with particular pants, notably the pin-stripe slacks (if you happen to be moxie class with a Pen Pal), and the studded leather boxer shorts (which may be more useful in low-skill situations).

What’s the takeaway? For new players, you’re probably looking at either an Artistic Goth Kid or the Reanimated Reanimator as your best stat familiar beyond the regular volleyball and sombrero, at around 11m-12m meat. There’s also the Happy Medium, which I somehow left out of this analysis (a volleyball with added drink-making utility), at around 10m meat.

From my perspective, it’s looking like nothing is terribly new or disruptive with stat familiars, which is great for me.

Written by bleary

October 28, 2013 at 4:16 am

Posted in mechanics

Tagged with

returning to the game


It’s been a while, but let’s see if we can’t find a use for this blog again. I guess that’ll mean returning to the seaside town and figuring out what’s what. For a while, after HCO and some Boris runs, I was experimenting with tortoisecore (prioritizing turns over days) and snailcore (40/turns day max) runs, but these weren’t really able to sustain my interest, so I idled for a while. There have been a bunch of re-vamps since I’ve played seriously. I’m finishing up a “normal” run just to see what’s new, and it appears that the quests for levels 8, 9, and 10 and parts of 11 have been seriously changed (and lengthened), and there are on-going class revamps. The IoTM landscape may have changed a bunch too, so I’m looking forward to exploring these new mechanics.

I’m going to start from scratch(ish) and re-evaluate ascension in KoL, starting by looking at what kind of runs speedsters are doing lately and what sort of day/turn targets are out there.

Written by bleary

October 27, 2013 at 5:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

014 – TT HCNP: Day 5

What a day looks like when you don’t have enough time to play all of your turns:

===Day 5===
Adventure count at day start: 153
Current meat: 9700

o> Used 1 Manual of Labor [50,0,0]
[724-742] Haunted Bathroom [875,96,79]
+> [732] Got llama lama gong
+> [738] Got llama lama gong
=> Level 11 (Turn 742)! (104/65/66)
[743-751] Black Forest [167,117,53]
+> [743] Got adder bladder, llama lama gong
+> [745] Got black picnic basket
+> [747] Got little paper umbrella, little paper umbrella, little paper umbrella, little paper umbrella
+> [747] Got magical ice cubes
+> [750] Got Black No. 2, broken wings
+> [751] Got sugar sheet, sugar sheet, sugar sheet, sunken eyes
-> Turn [743] Slimeling
[752] Whitey's Grove [10,3,0]
[753-755] Muscle Vacation [0,0,0]
[756-763] Poop Deck [160,51,59]
-> Turn [761] Blood-Faced Volleyball
[764-771] Belowdecks [234,75,90]
+> [764] Got snakehead charrrm
+> [769] Got acoustic guitarrr
+> [771] Got glimmering roc feather, snakehead charrrm
o> Used 1 glimmering roc feather (10 adventures gained) [38,30,21]
[772-793] Palindome [551,233,345]
+> [772] Got hard rock candy
+> [773] Got hard-boiled ostrich egg
+> [774] Got ketchup hound, stunt nuts
+> [778] Got bottle of gin
+> [781] Got photograph of God
+> [792] Got glimmering roc feather
}> [774] Disintegrated Bob Racecar
-> Turn [772] He-Boulder
-> Turn [774] Slimeling
-> Turn [785] Blood-Faced Volleyball
[794-795] Knob Goblin Laboratory [13,4,5]
-> Turn [795] Slimeling
[796-800] Whitey's Grove [25,7,8]
+> [797] Got boxed wine, boxed wine, boxed wine
+> [798] Got lion oil
+> [800] Got bird rib
[801] Knob Goblin Laboratory [0,0,0]
+> [801] Got Mega Gem
[802-821] Spooky Forest [106,26,21]
+> [805] Got spooky sapling
+> [812] Got spices
+> [818] Got spices
+> [821] Got Spooky-Gro fertilizer
o> Used 1 bottle of used blood [18,9,7]
-> Turn [804] Baby Bugged Bugbear
[822-828] Haunted Ballroom [138,63,60]
[829-833] Desert (Unhydrated) [0,0,0]
[834-842] Hidden Temple [125,50,100]
[843] Sleazy Back Alley [0,0,0]
#> [843] Semirare: In the Still of the Alley
-> Turn [843] Slimeling

Turn rundown finished!

Written by bleary

May 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Posted in hc-07, turtle tamer

014 – TT HCNP: Day 4

Wow, rollover is at a really awkward time. Now that I have to work all day, it’s really difficult to get my turns in. I had to bank more than 100 for tomorrow. Sheesh.

===Day 4===
Adventure count at day start: 141
Current meat: 5680

o> Used 1 Manual of Labor [100,0,0]
[495] Knob Goblin Treasury [6,2,1]
}> [495] Disintegrated Knob Goblin Elite Guardsman
-> Turn [495] Llama Lama
[496-503] Daily Dungeon [4,3,1]
+> [503] Got Jarlsberg's key
[504-506] Hippy Camp [23,7,15]
[507-511] Unlucky Sewer [0,0,0]
+> [507] Got turtle totem
+> [508] Got spices
+> [510] Got worthless trinket
+> [511] Got ten-leaf clover, worthless gewgaw
[512-537] Haunted Gallery [842,389,414]
+> [513] Got llama lama gong
+> [518] Got llama lama gong
+> [519] Got broken sword
+> [528] Got glimmering roc feather
+> [533] Got llama lama gong
+> [536] Got coconut shell, coconut shell, coconut shell, little paper umbrella
+> [536] Got little paper umbrella
o> Used 1 glimmering roc feather (9 adventures gained) [27,26,20]
-> Turn [533] Blood-Faced Volleyball
-> Turn [534] Slimeling
-> Turn [537] Blood-Faced Volleyball
=> Level 9 (Turn 535)! (70/53/52)
[538-543] Haunted Bedroom [71,0,71]
+> [542] Got Lord Spookyraven's spectacles
+> [543] Got glimmering roc feather
o> Used 1 glimmering roc feather (9 adventures gained) [21,20,21]
[544-575] Orc Chasm [386,183,181]
+> [544] Got 30669 scroll
+> [548] Got 33398 scroll
+> [551] Got 33398 scroll
+> [554] Got 30669 scroll
+> [557] Got 334 scroll
+> [560] Got 33398 scroll
+> [561] Got 30669 scroll
+> [565] Got 334 scroll
+> [568] Got lowercase N
+> [572] Got 334 scroll
+> [573] Got 30669 scroll
+> [575] Got 64735 scroll, sugar sheet, sugar sheet, sugar sheet
-> Turn [544] Slimeling
-> Turn [568] Stocking Mimic
[576-582] Haunted Ballroom [86,38,99]
-> Turn [582] Baby Bugged Bugbear
[583-614] Haunted Gallery [1608,208,232]
+> [597] Got glimmering roc feather
o> Used 1 glimmering roc feather (6 adventures gained) [23,26,20]
-> Turn [598] Blood-Faced Volleyball
-> Turn [614] Slimeling
=> Level 10 (Turn 614)! (85/58/58)
[615-656] Fantasy Airship [516,264,262]
+> [616] Got metallic A, photoprotoneutron torpedo
+> [628] Got Tissue Paper Immateria
+> [631] Got Tin Foil Immateria
+> [635] Got Gauze Immateria
+> [650] Got filthy lucre
+> [651] Got Plastic Wrap Immateria
+> [656] Got S.O.C.K.
*> [624] Started hunting Quiet Healer
-> Turn [654] Blood-Faced Volleyball
[657-659] Barrel Full of Barrels [0,0,0]
+> [658] Got bottle of tequila
+> [659] Got bottle of vodka
o> Drank 1 ducha de oro (16 adventures gained) [9,25,0]
o> Drank 1 fuzzbump (13 adventures gained) [36,0,0]
o> Drank 1 ocean motion (17 adventures gained) [27,9,0]
o> Drank 3 shot of orange schnapps (9 adventures gained) [10,0,0]
o> Drank 1 slip 'n' slide (15 adventures gained) [34,0,0]
[660] Outskirts of The Knob [0,0,0]
#> [660] Semirare: Lunchboxing
-> Turn [660] Slimeling
[661-677] Giant's Castle [373,91,281]
+> [663] Got original G
+> [664] Got furry fur
+> [666] Got awful poetry journal, thin black candle
+> [668] Got giant needle
+> [671] Got thin black candle
+> [672] Got thin black candle
+> [673] Got plot hole
-> Turn [676] Blood-Faced Volleyball
[678-682] Haunted Bathroom [71,42,44]
+> [681] Got fancy bath salts
-> Turn [682] Slimeling
[683-697] Hole in the Sky [242,138,132]
[698-700] Whitey's Grove [15,7,3]
[701-703] Hole in the Sky [59,30,31]
[704-722] Haunted Gallery [1165,125,135]
+> [710] Got serpentine sword
o> Ate 1 Hell ramen (27 adventures gained) [23,27,24]
o> Ate 1 Knob pasty (8 adventures gained) [5,6,6]
o> Ate 1 fortune cookie (2 adventures gained) [0,0,0]
o> Ate 1 grue egg omelette (30 adventures gained) [42,45,43]
o> Ate 1 pr0n stir-fry (8 adventures gained) [10,0,8]
o> Ate 1 tasty tart (7 adventures gained) [5,5,6]
-> Turn [705] Blood-Faced Volleyball
-> Turn [716] Baby Bugged Bugbear
[723] Barrel Full of Barrels [0,0,0]
+> [723] Got bottle of whiskey
o> Drank 1 roll in the hay (17 adventures gained) [0,35,0]

Turn rundown finished!

Written by bleary

May 19, 2010 at 3:31 am

Posted in hc-07, turtle tamer