Power Leveling is a strategy for spending Adventures in an optimal way so as to maximize experience gained per turn. This is not only handy for speed runs, but also for getting the nine level 30 trophies (one for each class and one each for Avatars of Boris, Jarlsberg, and Sneaky Pete).
Low level suggestions
- Use a Volleyball-type familiar. (The best choice as of May 2009 is the Frumious Bandersnatch with the jub-jub bird attuned to your main stat. In softcore, you can pull the jub-jub bird and stroke it to turn it the right color.)
- Wear equipment that maximizes Stat Gains from Fights and/or Monster Level as soon as you can.
- Adventuring with Aloysius' Antiphon of Aptitude is especially helpful early in the game, since the stat increase is higher relative to the stats from adventuring.
- Avoid low-level noncombat adventures as much as possible, as these tend to give very few (or no) stats compared to combats.
- Postpone eating, drinking and spleen-filling as long as possible, so you can consume higher-level consumables. In particular, aim for not-a-pipes or glimmering roc feathers at level 4 and SHCs at level 6. This helps maximize the number of adventures you will get per day, which in turn helps maximize the number of stats you can gain per day.
- If any quests, current or future, require adventuring in low-level areas, complete these adventures as early as possible – it's better to unlock Spookyraven Manor at level 1 and the Hidden Temple at level 2, when the stats in these areas are still competitive with your other available zones, than to go back to them once you reach level 11.
- Note, however, that overall run goals may trump power leveling requirements. In particular, if you're aiming for day 1 Liver of Steel, you may need to skip a few low-level quests until day 2. That sort of strategy is a bit beyond the scope of this page, but worth a brief mention.
- When not completing quests, adventure in the highest level areas where you can consistently avoid getting Beaten Up. The Frumious Bandersnatch makes combat against extremely high level monsters feasible (for example the Hobopolis sewers), if you have enough skills, and the MP to fuel them.
Medium level suggestions
- Stick with the attuned Frumious Bandersnatch if you have it and its equipment. Otherwise, switch to a Hovering Sombrero-type familiar only if you are running a lot of +ML. When in doubt, use a volleyball-type, or a Green Pixie, or a PBS or SFF, depending on where you are and what your budget is.
- Bear in mind that you will need to spend a lot of adventures just finishing all the quests, so keep monster level high as much as possible while you are playing through the game normally. Nevertheless, you will almost certainly have to power level through the back half of level 9 and most of level 10.
- If you are rich and out of Ronin, try using ten-leaf clovers in the three manor locations that give a specific stat: The Haunted Gallery (Muscle), The Haunted Bathroom (Mysticality), and The Haunted Ballroom (Moxie). Players in Ronin may also pull clovers, and players in Ronin or Hardcore may obtain them in-run, though supplies tend to be limited.
- The Second Floor of Spookyraven Manor provides cost-efficient power leveling options for players in Ronin/Hardcore:
- Muscle classes can boost their non-combat adventures and adventure in the Haunted Gallery, always seeking out the muscle substat reward in Louvre It or Leave It.
- Mysticality classes can also adventure in the Haunted Gallery, seeking out the mysticality substat reward in the Louvre.
- While The Haunted Bathroom also contains a non-combat adventure with a mysticality substat boost, it cannot match the Louvre until you obtain an antique hand mirror and your base mysticality reaches 166. You will reach this point about 70% of the way to level 14, which makes the Bathroom infeasible for power leveling in an Ascension.
- Moxie classes should level in the Haunted Ballroom. Maximize your item drop chance and sniff the dancing zombies to maximize dance cards for occasional extra Moxie bonuses in place of clovers. Also maximize non-combats and watch the dancers for direct moxie increases.
- If you're level 10 or higher, it becomes worthwhile to do 5/1 absinthe power leveling. A stockpile of absinthe from earlier in the game becomes an opportunity to reap stats now. Be careful if you're mixing dance cards and absinthe, though. It requires careful timing to avoid a collision between the two.
High level suggestions
These are for level 13 and above, and assume you are not in Ronin/HC. Remember to halve the time your leveling takes by using Boosty Juice.
- Donating meat - You can get some non-adventure-based stats every day by donating to The Dungeoneers' Association.
- Divine favors - You can get stats multiple times during combat by using divine noisemakers, blowouts, or cans of silly string against monsters that will survive the scaling damage. Typically, these are physically resistant monsters such as ghost miners. To avoid consuming an Adventure, use any means of free runaway that doesn't banish the monster (like the divine champagne popper would) by round 30. This is extremely expensive.
- Baseballs - Likewise, you can use Baseballs for a few stat points without consuming turns, which is probably even more expensive.
- Superduperballs - See baseball. These can't be traded directly, and must be redeemed for 5 Game Grid tickets each. Which is expensive.
- Gummi Fossils: ammonite, belemnite, and trilobite - Again, you can use these to get a shedload of stats without consuming turns, but this is expensive to the point of insanity.
- BRICKO monsters - Can be fought without consuming a turn up to 10 times per day. Higher level foes yield excellent stats.
- Moon sign workout areas ("Sign gyms") - Sign gyms give an average of 15% of base stat in substats, plus a little more. Clovering is better until approximately level 45.
- Richard gym (Hobopolis) - Make bandages, protein shakes, or riot grenades, providing stats equivalent to the moon sign workout areas (15% of base stat). This can be useful in case your moon sign does not match your main stat, and is the optimal non-Fernswarthy/Crimbo adventuring choice for many of the buff bots.
- The Shore - Gives about 45% of base stat for three adventures at the cost of 500 meat per trip. This averages out to 15% of base stat per turn.
- A Shimmering Portal - Another high-level zone, but this is another expensive proposition as you must buy or obtain spheres.
- The Palindome - Can compete for non-clover Moxie substat gain.
Adventuring in the appropriate Spookyraven zone, with +noncombat (see Combat Frequency) is a cheap way to earn stats. Here are the base average stats (with everything set up, and making optimal choices in choice adventures):
- The Haunted Gallery (Muscle) - Combat rate: 70%; Combats: 60 ML; Noncombats: effectively 0% combat, 100% 300 exp
- The Haunted Bathroom (Mysticality) - Combat rate: 70%; Combats: 60 ML; Noncombats: 100% 300 exp
- This assumes that your mainstat is at least 166 and you have an antique hand mirror in inventory. Without both of these, the Bathroom cannot compete with the Gallery for gaining Mysticality.
- The Haunted Ballroom (Moxie) - Combat rate: 90%; Combats: 65 ML; Noncombats: 150 exp
- Choose the moxie choice in Curtains.
- For the Strung-Up Quartet adventure, choose the "Sono Un Amanten Non Un Combattente" (-5% combat frequency). Note, however, if you can muster -25% combat frequency modifiers without the quartet, this song will only contribute an additional -1% combat frequency. Also, the increase in noncombats may reduce your chances of acquiring dance cards.
- Note that making the Strung-Up Quartet to keep playing the same song will not cost an adventure.
- A dance card can be used to get a 300 exp adventure every four turns, making 25% of the adventures spent in the Ballroom the Rotting Matilda adventure. However, dance cards drop in 5% of combats (subject to +item bonuses), so maintaining this pace will be difficult without sniffing the zombie waltzers and running plenty of +item bonuses. Dance cards can also be bought in the mall.
- Note that you only need to visit the Ballroom when the dance card timer expires. If you can buy plenty of dance cards, spending your adventures between dance cards in The Haunted Gallery (for the moxie reward in the Louvre), or sniffing the animated rustic nightstand in The Haunted Bedroom (for the moxie choice in the post-fight choice adventure) may be better than spending all of your turns in the Ballroom.
- Dance cards are less valuable than clovers (which can be used every turn). Note also that the clover adventure takes precedence over the dance card adventure.
- The Haunted Bedroom - This zone contains only combats, but all nightstands provide a turn-free choice adventure when defeated. There are 3 nightstands that provide up to +200 substats to a stat in this choice adventure. However, it requires sniffing the right nightstand and running lots of +ML to be effective, and may still be inferior to other Spookyraven locations.
- The Purple Light District (Hobopolis) has a choice adventure that gives up to 1000 of each stat, but has to be set up in advance and is limited by the number of hobos remaining in the zone.
- Hobo marketplace (Hobopolis) - The Glurk choice gives 200 of each stat, and doesn't cost nickels.
- Hobos also give pretty good stats when you kill them, although killing non-scaling monsters is always going to be less effective than other stat sources at high levels.
- The Sea has some of the strongest monsters. Another strategy, then, is simply to boost monster level up as high as you can, and go there with a fairy or a sombrero. This gives fewer stats than the other strategies mentioned so far, but it may also give you a few useful items if you have good enough item-drop boosters.
- If you don't eat Sushi (ideally with Warm Belly), adventuring underwater costs two adventures instead of one, so you'll either lose adventures to Underwater adventuring or to suboptimal diet.
- A fairy or sombrero will be 10 or 20 pounds lighter than normal underwater (due to equipment requirement). The stat gain from a 30 lb. sombrero vs. a magic dragonfish is less than 13 total substats, or about a 10% increase over the monster's regular stat gain. While not negligible, this relatively small increase may be worth less to you than the sea items you could get with a fairy.
- Mother hellseals (Seal Clubber only) - Fully enraged mother hellseals have nearly 4000ML, translating to about 487 muscularity per turn. A decently leveled sombrero-type familiar can give dozens more. You will have to be strong enough to survive an attack and be able to maintain your health consistently.
- Clovers - Clovers in your appropriate Spookyraven zone are the optimal (except for Seal Clubbers) adventure-based stat source until around experience level 45, excepting Fernswarthy's basement, clan dungeons and scaling monsters. They give about 200% of base stat, capped at about 300.
- Residual zeal - If you're at least Level 20, for 5 Spleen, using one of these gives a massive 25-35k to all substats, equal to a dozens' worth of Adventures in stats (without massively buffing yourself, that is). This item is dropped from a Xiblaxian political prisoner, and can go for ~500k meat at the Market.
Seal Clubbers will find it easier and cheaper to kill Mother Hellseals, and can continue doing so until reaching 4000 Muscle is relatively cheap.
- Crimbo scaling monsters - There is a Crimbo tradition of scaling monsters some time around the middle of the month. However, recent Crimbo scaling monsters have a cap (inefficient for past level 45?).
- Dad, I'm in Space! - Accessible using a transporter transponder, monsters here scale the same as the Crimbo scaling monsters, but have the added benefit of being nonseasonal, albeit somewhat costly. In addition, the monsters have ML caps ranging from 310 to 5000; the Hamburglaris Shield Generator holds the highest ML cap monsters.
- The GameInformPowerDailyPro Dungeon - From item GameInformPowerDailyPro magazine, allows about 30 turns of scaling monsters. Scaling cap 10,000ML.
- Spring Break Beach - The Sloppy Seconds Diner contains scaling monsters, up to a cap of 11,111 ML. Every 20 (or 15) adventures, you can increase one of the monster's ML by 15. If you bought the charter, you can adventure here as much as you'd like. Other players can buy a one-day ticket instead.
- Conspiracy Island - Like the Spring Break Beach, Conspiracy Island contains a zone with scaling monsters (The Deep Dark Jungle). You can double your EXP gain there by drinking Jungle Juice.
- Dinseylandfill - Like the Spring Break Beach, Dinseylandfill contains a zone with scaling monsters (Uncle Gator's Country Fun-Time Liquid Waste Sluice). Bonus ML is 3x as effective, and with back-door access you can turn off the post-combat stench damage and cause bonus ML to be 5x as effective.
Fernswarthy's Basement doesn't have monsters that scale with your stats, but they do have stronger and stronger monsters (5000ML at around floor 267), as well as stat adventures every five floors. Gives you stat rewards that scale with your main stat, and monsters that scale with basement depth. The monsters will surpass clovers after a few hundred levels, though you will find that you must spend more and more meat on buffs, until at some point you must level up outside of the basement before continuing.
Some monsters offer very high ML without scaling to player stats. These include:
- Mother Hellseals (Seal Clubbers only)
- one of Doctor Weirdeaux's creations in The Mansion of Dr. Weirdeaux at the Conspiracy Island
Very high level
- If you have access to llama lama gongs (either by purchasing them or by adventuring with a Llama Lama), adventuring on the Path of the Roach can boost up a stat considerably. Use the two adventures that give your main stat, and then acquire Unpopular to boost Monster Level by 30. The first two adventures give about your stat in substats up to 200.
- However, this does not work with Muscle. In order to acquire Unpopular, Muscle then Moxie (or MP, but less favorable) has to be chosen first.
- If you have access to issues of GameInformPowerDailyPro magazine, the monsters in those dungeons scale to your level, and the bosses drop good stat-requirement-free equipment.
- Queen cookies and King cookies confer the effect The Royal We, which gives up to +50 stat gain per fight. The cookies are relatively easy to acquire (averaging 10/(1+ (+itemdrop)) + 1 turns to acquire) and are great foods in and of themselves.
- Families of kobolds give absolutely the best stats/adventure for reasonable player levels, but can be a somewhat expensive drain on resources.