User:AstronautGuy/Dread Monster Strategy

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The purpose of this writing is to help acquaint players to the monsters encountered in Dreadsylvania (typically shortened to Dread or maybe even Dre), with a focus toward fighting 6-kiss monsters.

Disclaimer: Any strategy suggestions in this writing are those I have found to be useful and relatively non-resource-intensive, they are not the only solution. There are certainly other (and likely more effective) strategies out there.

Most of the values used come from this (not mine) link:

Monster Banishing

In each zone, there are choice adventures in which an element can be banished from the zone ("raising the kiss level"). This has the following consequences:

  • Monsters of that element will not be encountered.
  • An extra kiss will be earned when defeating monsters in that zone.
  • Monsters in that zone will have increased stats (+10% Init, +100 Atk, +100 Def, +200 HP per banish).
  • Monsters in that zone gain extra abilities, depending on the monster type and element (see below).
  • The boss will be more difficult.
  • If all 5 elements are banished in a zone, monsters of any element can be encountered, but keep the increasing difficulty.

Element-Specific Effects

Hot: Monsters gain extra initiative and stun resistance (375% init and full stun/stagger resistance at 6 kiss), and do a bit of Hot Damage when attacked.

Cold: At the start of combat, monsters give turns of Chilled to the Bone, an effect that greatly raises the MP cost of skills and gives monsters extra attacks each round.

Stench: Monsters deal passive Stench Damage when attacked, and give turns of Nauseated with each successful hit, an effect that reduces attributes by (30+turns)%.

Spooky: At the start of combat, monsters give one of the many Dreadsylvanian curses, reducing a stat, such as initiative, damage absorption, and other character qualities (resistible by wearing Protects-Your-Junk). In addition, successful hits drain MP.

Sleaze: Increased chance to fumble against the monster.

The effects of Hot and Sleaze can be ignored for the most part, and Spooky can be annoying but not usually terribly devastating. Cold can be an issue at higher kiss levels, and Stench becomes very dangerous when allowing monsters to hit multiple times via Chilled.


Monster-Specific Effects

Bugbears: Gain passive elemental damage and hard damage caps (75 @ 6-kiss).

Werewolves: Even at 1=kiss, scale to attributes (Monster attack based on Moxie, Monster defense and HP based on Muscle). At higher kiss levels, they scale even harder, and deal damage based on max HP. (confirm?)

Ghosts: Cause substat loss at the start of combat, and successful hits give turns of Touched by a Ghost, which reduces attributes similarly to Nauseated.

Zombies: Gain spell damage resistance, and successful hits shorten the durations of some of your effects.

Skeletons: Gain elemental resistance, and gain more HP per element banish compared to other monsters (37000 HP @ 6-kiss).

Vampires: Every round, damages you for 10 HP, healing it for 10 HP, even at 1-kiss. Gain increased chance to dodge weapon attacks.

Any of the above detrimental effects can be removed by consuming hot Dreadsylvanian cocoa, purchasable from the Inn or the Mall.

Difficulty Levels

At any kiss level, none of the monsters will resist insta-kill effects, or even combat items. In addition, none of the monsters will resist CLEESH, and the resulting amphibian fight will no effect on the kiss total or monster count in the instance.

It is highly recommended to keep HP high, ideally full, and keep an eye on effects such that too many turns of Nauseated and/or Touched by a Ghost do not accumulate.



Monster stats: 25% init, 500 attack, 500 defense, 800 HP

The default difficulty of Dread, where no elements have been banished in the zone. The monsters are pretty unremarkable, notable exceptions being the Werewolves' scaling stats, and the Ghosts' physical resistance. At this kiss level, the monsters should be reasonable for most characters able to enter Dread.

About any combat strategy works, though a Muscle/melee-based strategy may find some difficulty against the scaling Werewolves.



Monster stats: 65% init, 900 attack, 900 defense, 1600 HP

A step up in difficulty, where four elements have banished from the zone, leaving monsters of only one element. Often, one of the two monster types in the zone is also doubly-banished. This set-up is usually to farm a specific type of monster for their drops, also using the various heavy +item% effects that work only in Dread.

Dv ghostthread.gif

Spooky Ghost Village

Being spooky-aligned and physical resistant, spooky ghosts are almost asking to be hit by spells such as Saucegeyser. Winning initiative and one-shotting or stunning the ghost before it has a chance to attack allows you to avoid the MP-draining touch. Just be aware of curses that might affect initiative or spell damage, or wear a Protects-Your-Junk to ignore those entirely.

If there are also spooky zombies in the Village, their spell damage resistance may call for stuns, very powerful spells, and/or strong weapon attacks. Successful zombie attacks seem to only remove turns of active effects with the lowest effect numbers, which often come from buffs and non-combat skills.

Dv muddyskirt.gif

Stench Zombie Village

Much like the previously mentioned spooky zombies, stench zombies can be defeated with strong weapon attacks or very powerful spells, and stunning if needed. The threat of Nauseated further incentivizes not allowing the monsters to successfully hit, via stuns or high Moxie (beware of monster criticals).

If there are also stench ghosts, spells, and stuns if needed, will work. Weapon attacks with elemental damage or non-spell combat skills can also work, but may require more rounds in combat.

Dv bone.gif

Spooky Skeleton Castle

Note that 5-kiss skeletons have 16000 HP, rather than the 1600 listed earlier.

Due to the skeletons' elemental resistance (60%) and high HP, extremely high spell damage or very powerful weapon attacks are options. Weapon of the Pastalord will not have its physical component reduced, and Curse of Weaksauce can be useful in a weapon-based strategy.

If there are also spooky vampires, spells or persistent weapon attacks will make short work of them.



Monster stats: 75% init, 1000 attack, 1000 defense, 1800 HP

The difficulty with the hardest monsters, where monsters of any element can be encountered, and any element and monster-related abilities are in full effect.

At 6 kisses, Chilled to the Bone increases MP costs by 243. This makes many strategies that involve skills very MP-expensive. One option for working around this is to totally ignore skills and only use weapon attacks in combat. Another option is to have so much MP (for example, being extremely high-leveled), that the increased MP costs are not a problem. Chilled to the Bone also has a slightly different interaction with skills that cost 0 MP, requiring current MP to be greater than the increased MP cost to cast such skills, but casting the skill will not actually consume MP. When not afflicted by Chilled, skills may be used at their natural costs.

Having more than 1000 buffed Moxie will make most enemy hits miss, and makes most attacks hit if using a Moxie weapon, such as a ranged weapon or knife with Tricky Knifework. If opting to use a Muscle/melee-based strategy, having more than 1000 buffed Muscle will make most attacks hit, and more Muscle will add weapon damage. Having more attribute increasers is suggested, because it is very possible that a Stench monster will get a critical and still inflict Nauseated, especially when afflicted by Chilled. It is suggested to remove Nauseated if there are enough turns of it to significantly affect combat effectiveness.


Woods: Bugbears and Werewolves

Major constraints:

  • Bugbears have a hard damage cap at 75 per damage instance.
  • Werewolves scale to attributes, such that their base attack will always exceed Moxie (never miss), and their base defense will always exceed Muscle. Their attacks will also deal damage based on max HP (40%?). While one hit is survivable from full HP, this can be fatal when affected by Chilled.

Weapon Attack Strategy:

It is strongly recommended to enter each fight with full or nearly-full HP. With 70 Prismatic Damage, weapon attacks for 70(+1)(+75)(+75)(+70)(+70) each round will defeat Bugbears in 5 rounds. When affected by Chilled to the Bone (+243 to MP costs), wearing an Unkillable Skeleton's shield will cause around 2500 (before modifiers such as caps and negative Monster Level) retaliation damage when hit, which should instantly defeat Werewolves, assuming that Muscle is not too high. When not affected by Chilled to the Bone, at least one Werewolf attack should be survivable. If using a Moxie weapon, it is suggested to have a high Moxie/Muscle ratio, so Werewolves have less defense and HP, and weapon attacks deal more damage. If using a Muscle weapon, the same advice holds, but it is suggested to have gear/effects that reduce enemy defense, such as Hateful Habiliment pieces, to make successful attacks. When facing hot werewolves without Chilled to the Bone, it is especially important to one-shot them, be it by attack or skill, as they will typically win initiative, and cannot be stunned or staggered. Wearing Space Trip safety headphones (-100 ML) has the effect of reducing Bugbear (and Werewolf) HP, and amplifying outgoing damage by 40%, including prismatic damage and the damage dealt by the UKS shield. Because Bugbear fights will typically involve multiple rounds and Werewolves never miss, it is likely that Nauseated will build up, be sure to remove it at dangerous levels. Having too much Muscle will make the Werewolves have too much HP to be one-shot by the UKS shield's damage, this occurs around 2500 Muscle, or 3500 Muscle with Space Trip safety headphones.

In short:

  • Have full or nearly-full HP before each fight
  • Have at least 1100 Moxie (more is preferable)
  • Have up to 70 Prismatic Damage (less is fine, and less is needed if using Space Trip safety headphones)
  • (optional) Have Passive Damage effects that do not depend on being hit
  • Have 0 or less bonus Monster Level
  • Wear Unkillable Skeleton's shield and have less than 2500 Muscle (less if possible), or
  • (if UKS shield is unavailable) Have ~425% Combat Initiative or avoid adventuring here whenever affected by Chilled to the Bone.
  • (optional) Wear Space Trip safety headphones (reduces Bugbear HP, amplifies existing Prismatic Damage and damage dealt by the UKS shield)
  • Use weapon attacks
  • Have some way to one-shot Werewolves when not Chilled to the Bone:
    • Weapon attacks with a Moxie weapon, with buffed Moxie being much higher than buffed Muscle
    • Weapon attacks with a Muscle weapon, with have "reduce enemy defense by X%" and "+X% weapon damage" effects
    • Powerful spells
    • Insta-kill effects

Village: Ghosts and Zombies

In high-kiss instances, the Village will usually be 5-kiss, rather than 6-kiss.

Major Constraints:

  • Ghosts are physically resistant, and inflict 5 turns of Touched by a Ghost on successful hits.
  • Zombies are spell resistant, and remove a few turns of effects on successful hits.

Weapon Attack Strategy:

In general, high Prismatic Damage is useful, allowing for good damage on any element. Pill Power removes the Ghosts' physical resistance and also provides a handy attribute boost. Wielding a Space Tourist Phaser converts physical damage of weapon attacks into a random element. Successful zombie attacks seem to only remove turns of active effects with the lowest effect numbers, which often come from buffs and non-combat skills. Having longer durations for such effects should protect other effects from being shortened. Ideally, try to finish combats quickly, giving enemies few chances to act that could possibly be critical hits. Compared to the Woods, maintaining HP is less of a priority, but still a good habit.

In short:

  • (at least one) Have any of high Prismatic Damage, Pill Power, and/or wielding a Space Tourist Phaser
  • Have 1100+ Moxie
  • Be able to hit the monsters (depends on weapon type)
  • Have 0 or less bonus Monster Level
  • (optional) Have bonus weapon damage
  • (optional) Have high durations of buffs and other effects from skills
  • Use weapon attacks

Castle: Skeletons and Vampires

Major Constraints:

  • Skeletons have heavy elemental resistance, and 37000 HP.
  • Vampires deal minor unavoidable damage each round, and avoid a lot of weapon attacks, but are not impossible to hit.

Weapon Attack Strategy:

The 30-round limit is a potential concern, from either not doing enough damage per round vs. a Skeleton, or getting unlucky with a Vampire avoiding attacks. Much like Bugbear fights in the Woods, these fights have the potential to drag on, where Stench monsters can inflict Nauseated and Spooky monsters can drain MP. Having a lot of Muscle or Moxie (depending on weapon) and weapon damage is one way to deal a lot of damage each round to Skeletons, and ideally one-shot Vampires. A remorseless knife will deal considerable bleeding damage, amounting to almost an additional weapon attack each round. Against Vampires, the bleeding can also finish them off if the initial hit was not enough. When not affected by Chilled to the Bone, or if there is MP to spare, spells are a reliable way to deal with Vampires. As usual, combat items remain an option to defeat Vampires.

In short:

  • (if using Muscle weapon) Have 1100+ Moxie, and even higher Muscle and bonus weapon damage
  • (if using Moxie weapon) Have very high Moxie, bonus weapon damage, and ranged damage if applicable
  • Have 0 or less bonus Monster Level
  • (optional) Wield a remorseless knife
  • Use weapon attacks
  • (recommended) Have a backup plan if the fight approaches the 30-round limit: enough MP for spells/CLEESH, means of insta-killing, etc.

See Also