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There are two different strategies that can help you survive your adventures in the Kingdom of Loathing. The first is to have a high enough Moxie that you can dodge all of the non-critical attacks made by the monsters. The second is to have a high enough Combat Initiative that you can be sure of getting the jump on the monsters, followed by other strategies to stop it from attacking at all (presumably either deleveling into safe moxie, stunning, or simply the use of spells, combat items, or to kill the monster before it can successfully attack).
This page lists both the minimum Moxie required to adventure in an area without being hit by the normal attacks of the monsters you will find there; and also the minimum Combat Initiative bonus you need to guarantee getting the jump on all the monsters there.
"Safe moxie" has traditionally been determined by multiplying the maximum amount of experience you could get from the monster by four to find the monster's attack power. To evade every non-critical attack, you must have 10 more Moxie than the monster has attack power. Since the introduction of Monster Manuel, the game can report each monster's attack values directly. There is also some variance in the attack power of most monsters. It is possible for some monsters to hit you if your Moxie is only slightly higher than the values listed below. At some point, the table should be updated to reflect this....
Remember: All these values are the very maximums of the area's strongest monsters' hitting or jumping abilities. If you're relying on Moxie, and your Moxie is only a few points lower than the value stated, you shouldn't have too much of a problem. Monsters might hit you, but infrequently. If you're relying on Initiative, and your Initiative is slightly under the values listed here, you may be jumped occasionally -- be prepared. Bear in mind that Underwater adventuring zones have a pressure penalty which affects initiative, as do high levels of Monster Level (over and above the normal increase in Monster Attack).
Note: Since the implementation of critical hits (which are guaranteed to "hit" and deal damage) and fumbles for monsters, all monsters get additional small chances to hit or miss you – regardless of your Moxie. While high Moxie still reduces damage from these critical hits as normal, it may mean that some HP may be required to survive this incidental damage. Adventure safely with this in mind.
Lower moxie limits
A monster's chance to hit decreases roughly linearly from 100% at (moxie-monsterlevel) <= -9 to 0% at (moxie-monsterlevel) >= 10. If your moxie is more than 19 points below what is given in the table above, the toughest monster at any given location will be hitting you 100% of the time.
If we simplify the damage incurred formula to
(Monster Level - Player Moxie) + (Monster Level * 1/4) = Total Damage
then (disregarding Elemental Resistance, Damage Absorption and other complications) the number of turns you can stay alive is
Hit pts Total HP Turns alive = --------- = ------------------------------------- Damage 1.25 * Monster Level - Player Moxie
Attacking with Player Moxie more than 19 points below the safe level above leaves fewer than 0-3 turns in which to win the fight. For example, without other modifications, a 75 HP, 82-moxie adventurer fighting in the Haert of the Cyrpt would be hit 100% of the time, for 36 to 41 HP each time, and only two to three turns.
There are a few zones where adventuring is never truly "safe".
- Oil Peak and The Junkyard contain monsters who have the special quality of never missing with their normal attacks, no matter how high your Moxie is.
- On the Oil Peak, if you have total +ML less than 20, you will fight only oil slicks, and those can miss you. If you have +ML of 20 or more, then you'll face the other monsters, who never miss.
- The Battlefield contains a few enemies which have special attacks which will hit no matter how high your Moxie is:
- Frat side:
- Panty Raider Frat Boy (Strangulated)
- War Frat Grill Sergeant/War Frat Senior Grill Sergeant (You're on fire!)
- War Frat Elite Wartender (Easily Embarrassed)
- Hippy side:
- Green Ops Soldier (Toad in the Hole / Light-Headed)
- War Hippy Fire Spinner/War Hippy Elite Fire Spinner (You're on fire!)
- War Hippy Elder Shaman (Flared Nostrils)
- Frat side:
- Hobopolis Hobos all have special attacks which will always hit for heavy damage no matter how high your Moxie gets in addition to their normal attacks which can be negated by Moxie. Additionally:
- Hitting Cold hobos too hard will deal heavy reactive damage, after icicles have formed in the zone.
- Hot hobos may get increased initiative based on how many tires are stacked. This mechanic is not well understood.
- Cisco's (#427002) Moxie Look-Up
- The Monster Survival Guide! from Kittiwake (#515189)
- Combat Mechanics Spading