I stopped playing KoL a while back, but I still remember people making outrageous claims of ascending in under 3 days or something of the sort, maybe even less.

How is that even possible?


From what I remember:

(optional):Buying Mr. Store items / donating (they get delivered through Ronin, I believe) Softcore Withdrawals of only the most adventurers / stomach/drunkenness/spleen hit (so the Oxygenarian, Boozetefarian, and Teetotaler rewards)

It requires a lot of meat (as the relevant items are hard to farm on your own) and dedication.


Raven isn't wrong, but I will say skills matter more than items (until you get to the bleeding edge, so to speak). Also normal runs, aka "Softcore" is not simply a matter of pulling the best consumables. In a 4 day SC run you have some pull leeway but not a ton and the RNG can take that away from you. In a 3 day SC run you have very little pull leeway. In both cases, you don't pull any spleen if you can help it, you try to get as much booze in-run as possible (the Tavern more or less covers day 1; a semirare adventure can cover the leftover liver. A pumpkin patch - another Mr Store item - can help as well). In a 3 dayer I am anticipating pulling the 3 stat key lime pies, 3 digital key lime pies, and 3 star key lime pies. I'll still have to farm a few white pixels and I could wind up short a star/line (unlikely but possible). These things save turns, which saves daycount (since I can spend the turns I would use to get them on leveling). I will fill extra stomach with fortune cookies and semirare stuff, most likely.

Mr Store items are tremendously helpful. Familiars and skill books are the most helpful. Great is terrific but not as essential as you might think. Oh, bringing out the awesome items is a treat (I switched from HC to SC recently for a change of pace and to play witn my toys), but most of them go unused. For super fast runs, critical needs are:

  1. A spleen generating familiar. Pixie, Llama, Rogue Program, Sandworm, fiary-worn boots. Boots aside those are in roder of least desierable to most, just in terms of the spleen item. Oh, the stats from feathers/pipes are fine, but really un-necessary and it takes time to get them. The Program and Sandworm give you more gratification from a + turn standpoint. The boots have a lot of potential but I haven't had a chance to use mine yet (I'm gearing up for my last basement run! Hurray!).

  2. Something to grant free runaways. There are two free runaway queues. One is shared by the Greatest American Pants & Navel Ring, the other by the Bandersnatch and the Fairy-Worn Boots. Free runaways are used to burn Delay() in quest zones. Also, a Hipster can really help here as his extra combat adventures don't count as adventures but burn Delay(). Also, the first 3-4 combats come quickly.

  3. As much Monster level as you can handle. Fortunately the revamped Valhalla has a great item for this purpose. Mr store items are of lesser importance here. The Ice Sickle (a form of the Iceberglet) is +15 ML but there are +10 ML items you can get in game. The Crown of Thrones, OTOH, is superb (stick an El Vibrato Megra Drone in it. Enjoy the +10 ML and several billion MP it generates). A Grimacite Gown is a popular pull but is insanely expensive. The Lunar Shirt is as well IIRC, but that's the province of a Mr Store Familiar (but it's droppables are sold in the mall). A Hippo Skin Poncho is less + ML but something anyone can get. I won't need the Gown or the Lunar item to hit 3 days.

  4. A way to survive in combat with nasty monsters. This is mostly skill dependent. Mr store items can help here, but they are not strictly necessary. You need +init and a way to hit monsters with high defensive values (that's generally spellslinging or shieldbutting). And keep them from attacking (entangling noodles!).

  5. Clan access. A clan VIP hall is a huge help. The fax machine will allow you to speed up some areas (but it works best in conjunction with a spooky putty sheet). The pool table provides terrific buffs. The hot tub is 5 free full heal/debuff removals a day. The shower provides several different options.

  6. Knowing the ins and the outs of the game. This just takes time, but there are a bunch of tricks and interesting strategies to employ you just have to learn over time.

Anyone can make Key Lime Pies, though Limes are a little pricey for a new player (1k or so last I looked). I do pull very choice booze for nightcaps (or when I am pulling drinks; I am working on getting more of my booze in-run), but that's a luxury and not strictly necessary. Pulling Reagent Dishes (Hell Ramen, etc) and Advanced Cocktails (Fuzzbump, etc) are probably sufficient for 6-day runs.

My day 1 gear pull list from my most recent (4-day/672 turn Sauceror SC no path run) run (note, including stats for people who may not know):

  1. Crown of Thrones (essential)
  2. Spooky Stick (not essential, probably a waste, but I so enjoy nuking things).
  3. Navel Ring (runaways + huge burst in nuking potential, but I'll go back to the GAP pants next run)
  4. Operation Patriot Shield (defense, +stats)
  5. Spooky Putty Sheet (this is a tremendous item if you can get ahold of a spooky putty ball; faxed ghosts and used this on them day 1, faxed and used onAscii Art day 2, Lobsterfrogmen day 3).
  6. JuJu Mask (+ stats and some odd powers/buffs. Not strictly necessary but helpful).
  7. Moveable Feast (+5 familiar weight, buffs, extra familiar xp gain).
  8. Ring of Conflict (obtainable in game).

The Mask is not critical but is going to get pulled again. The shield might be- I'm doing a Sauceror run again but probably going back to shieldbutting and pulling an Ice Sickle.

My other pulls? A nightcap (A corpse drink), milk of magnesium, the 3 stat pies, quadraculars (to speed up yellow raying with a He-Boulder), a Loathing Legion Knife (+4 stats as a necktie but switched to rollerblades in some areas. Not critical), a couple of screwups, and I forget. Basically, the Loathing Legion knife was the only other equipment I pulled that got regular use.

How is it possible? I finished with a bunch of extra turns (I was, in essence, two pulls shy of doing a 3 day run). My turns came from good (but outside of my nightcaps, not great) consumeables and spleen items obtained in run. I used Ode to Booze and Milk of Magnesium to enhance consumption turns. My solid +ML (base value is +40, 10 from the Crown of Thrones familiar, 20 from an astral Belt, and 10 from the Radio obtained in Degrassi Knoll) and extra stats make for speedy leveling. The hipster produces special combats low skilled players couldn't survive. I can take them easily at +40 ML and they don't count as adventures. I hit level 4 well within the 40 initial turns, thanks to all the extra stats. Then it's a matter of knowing the right shortcuts. E.g. a Ten-Leaf Clover in the Guano Junction saves a lot of time (though I forgot to do that last run, sigh). I don't need to get Liver of Steel so I skip that and save a bunch of turns. I yellow rayed a Harem Girl outfit and then wore it and adventured in the harem to obtain the Perfumed Effect (that area has been overhauled since you last played) and kill the king. The Tavern is easier to do now as well. I used runaways/hipster combats to speed up the spooky forest, speed up the time spent in the outskirts of Cob's Knobb, and unlocking spookyraven. I used lots of -combat to quickly finish the haunted library. Stuff like that.

I know this is already absurdly long, but here is my recent 4/672 run:


I should add up all the extra benefits I got from + stat and + ML items. In the mean time, I made a few basic mistakes:

  1. I royally screwed up pull management. This caused me to botch my 3-day run (ended day 3 with 14 turns left but short a few needed items).
  2. Botched Puttying the Ascii Art on day 2.
  3. Forgot to Clover the Guano Junction (noted earlier). This cost me 10-15 turns.
  4. Didn't pull a jub-jub for my Bandersnatch (this increases the Mainstat gains from the familiar)
  5. Over-ran the hound dog, as someone noted.

I estimated 10 wasted pulls (an absurd number). This would have allowed me to pull the two instruments I needed, a spider web (farmed in 3 turns), black #2 (yellow rayed but it took like 4 turns to get the adventure). And given me a buffer had my Boxen (3 Large Box pulls) gone awry (as they frequently do. Had to pull 6 a few ascensions ago, on another 4-day run).

And that's without getting most of my booze in-run as a clannie helpfully noted. Which I could have, and should have, done.

2012 edit:

So I'm on a little break from KoL but plan on returning soon. I was consistently hitting 3-day SC runs but having trouble with sub 600 turn efforts. Switched to the Rogue Program as my primary familiar. Stopped pulling a chef staff and also stopped pulling the navel ring (content to rely on the Bander for that; I do run the bander in some places - Friars and the Crypt - because I can use spellslinging to boost it's leveling and get a goodly # of runaways). On the Mr Item front it looks like Clip art and Resolutions became the dominant-in-category selection for Tomes and Librams. A couple of good familiars appeared (scarecrow, medium), and peppermints look marginally better than pumpkins.


Here's a slightly more timely answer for this. The following are for relatively skilled ascenders with a decent collection of relevant IOTMs and familiars:

Hardcore no-path ascensions can be done in 4-6, with a few 3-day runs on record. Softcore no-path ascensions are running about 2-4 days if you spend some decent meat on consumables. Casual runs can be done in 1-3 days, again depending on meat spent.

The new challenge runs such as Bees Hate You may add 0-2 days. Boozetefarian and Teetotaler runs add 1-4 days. Oxygenarian can double the run time or more.

If you want to search through a huge database of runs, check out KOLDB.com


If I remember correctly the 3 day ascentions were before NS13. NS13 moved the Naughty Sorceress Quest back to lvl 13 and added additional quests to fill in the gap. It's been a while since I played, but I would suspect the 3 day ascention is gone, and likely will be replaced with maybe a 5 day, or around there.

  • 3 day ascension is most certainly not gone. I'm about to hit 3 day SC ascensions (I am right on the cusp - my turncount is within the high end expected amount of a 3-dayer). I don't believe I'll ever hit them in HC - 4 days seems tough. It took a little while for the speed game to get caught up post NS13 though, no question.
    – peacedog
    Aug 17 '11 at 20:14
  • It seems well out of my reach too, but if you log into the game and have a look at the ascension leaderboards (in the Museum in Seaside Town), you'll see that a lot of people have completed 3 day runs, and even 2 days runs - some on restricted paths / diets as well!
    – tenshi_a
    Aug 17 '11 at 21:20

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