Stumbling as a Teetotaling Pastamancer in The Kingdom of Loathing

This is a post of me just completely geeking out over The Kingdom of Loathing. It’s this silly web-based game that I’ve been playing for years now. Despite the fact that I’ve been on it for years, I’ve only really started getting into it properly during the last half-year or so. And as I keep playing, I keep diving deeper into the strategy and gameplay mechanics behind it. If you don’t play The Kingdom of Loathing, try it out sometime, it’s completely free, and you don’t need to understand anything I’m saying here to be able to play it.

Some time ago, I thought it was a good idea to stop doing non-path runs. Hardcore was turning soft on me, my runs started getting shorter and easier, my understanding of the game stronger. It was time to stop being a sissy and take another step deeper into the dark.

At first I wanted to do a Oxycore run. A full run without food or booze. For those who never played this game, Kingdom of Loathing, like most other online web-based games, has a system that restricts how much you can do in a single day. You get 40 adventures every day, 40 turns to do whatever you want to do. There’s several ways to increase these adventures, the most basic is by eating food and drinking alcohol. A Oxygenerian run completely bars eating and drinking for the entire run.

Well, okay, you can drop it at any given time if you’re a weak little sissy girl, but that’s no fun. Yes, I’m using the Dwarf Fortress kind of fun here, it is the one true fun.

Oxycore is, yeah exactly, this precise thing in Hardcore mode. No item trading, no user made stores, no buffing from other players, AND no food or drinks.

Then I realized that the only way to speed up Oxycore would be through spleen items. And apparently the best way to deal with spleen items is through either very expensive familiars I can’t afford, or by getting Pulverize as a permanent skill. There were a few other really useful skills I might need if I was going to seriously attempt a Oxycore as well, so I figured I’d go easy on myself and do a Hardcore Teetotaler run instead.

So a Hardcore run without any booze. As a Pastamancer.

It’s surprising how one small change in gameplay, like not having any booze, can actually change how you play. And how many stupid problems you start tripping over when you throw away your usual strategy because it’s not working this time around.

The first difference I thought of was that there would be no booze-farming at the Barrel Full of Barrels. That’s a gain of 4 adventures next to a loss of… I’d say about 50 adventures.

Since you have fewer adventures, you start trying to get more done with a smaller amount of time. There was this pressure that I didn’t want this run to last too much longer than my usual ones. And with that pressure came a lot of rushing headstrong into stupid situations. The smaller amount of adventures a day also meant that I spent less time farming certain items. I’m still debating if it was worth that trade-off.

The five extra maximum fullness bonus from the Stomach of Steel ability, as opposed to the 5 maximum drunkenness bonus with Liver of Steel was both a blessing and a curse.

Initially I thought it a godsend, that extra fullness that I could spend on food meant I could easily squeeze in another pasta or noodle dish. (Bite me, I don’t have access to Hi or Lo Meins yet.)

Then after some time I realize I might need to revise my food farming scheme since it also meant that all three of my daily Scrumptious Reagents went to crafting food now. Nothing left for potions. So there was much less going on in terms of buffing, not to mention the loss of Milk of Magnesium adventure gains.

That was one of the first things that really shook things around. The lack of booze also meant another lack of quick stat gains, which actually did affect the speed I was leveling, although to a minor extent. So less buffing, less stat gains, a bit more grinding, fewer adventures.

For some reason my usual paranoia was screaming at me, telling me I was messing this entire run up beyond repair. Yet in the end it took about 29 days. That’s really not too bad for a first run in which I had no idea what I was doing. But it’s still kind of bad next to my more recent Hardcore runs, which lasted between 15-25 days.

I also toyed around with the new Dataspider familiar. It turned out to be a very useful one for Mysticality classes. Half of the time it would help me regain my mana at about the same speed that I was using it. Plus it did a little extra damage on the side. The way it changes monster images during battles could get confusing at times though, but it really wasn’t too big a deal.

So… Now that I’ve finished that run, I’m back to a regular Hardcore run. Not because I’m a complete wuss… Well, okay, partially because I am a big wuss, but the main reason is that I’m aiming at a Bad Moon run. So I’m playing a full run with no Ten-Leaf Clovers as a Seal Clubber so I can HC Perm Pulverize this time.

After the Bad Moon run it’ll be time for a OxyCore run. I’m likely going to hate myself halfway through.

I might put up another post about how not using any Clovers changed things up as well, since I’ve had to revise my strategy again.

Oh, on a quick side-note: I’ve played through 11 ascensions.

That’s ridiculous. It’s not even funny.


2 thoughts on “Stumbling as a Teetotaling Pastamancer in The Kingdom of Loathing

  1. Bad moon is fine, kittycore is… REALLY masochistic. I’ve done 8 or so kitty runs. I’ve never figured out strategy. I find “normal” to be the hardest, in reality. too many choices.

    • I’d like to try Kittycore some time. I haven’t done a normal run since my first run. I’d probably get lost with the amount of ways to play the game in a normal run.

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