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Bad Moon is a special type of Hardcore ascension introduced with the rollout of NS13. Players who have met the qualifications of a Bad Moon lead-in run or have permanently unlocked the path can select it as a moon sign option in The Bureau of Reincarnation in Valhalla. The path is recorded as a moon sign on players' character sheets and ascension histories.
While in a Bad Moon run, in addition to the standard Hardcore restrictions, players cannot access any previously acquired permanent skills, must re-earn familiars, and will encounter numerous "unlucky" special adventures. Additionally, Hey Deze is unlocked.
Qualifying for Bad Moon
In order to access Bad Moon, the previous run must have been Hardcore within NS13 (any path except Grey Goo), and the player must not have encountered any of the special Lucky Adventures (via the Lucky! intrinsic) before freeing the king.
Lucky! use is not believed to be restricted in any way after freeing the king.
Once in a Bad Moon run, there is a method to permanently unlock the Bad Moon sign, but this has to be planned from the very beginning of the run.
During Bad Moon
During the Bad Moon run, previously acquired permanent skills are not accessible, and the player begins without a terrarium, requiring all desired familiars to be re-earned. In addition, various "unlucky" things will happen to the adventurer in certain places during the run.
The general theme in Bad Moon is one of "give-and-take." The Brimstone rewards all have negative effects to balance the positive. The unique skills acquired during Bad Moon runs also have positive and negative effects. The special "Bad Moon only" adventures also have a good and bad effect. This results in having a sudden new weakness and strength for a few turns after getting hit with one of the new effects, making for a very different gameplay experience.
Readers may also wish to look over Bad Moon Strategy.
Aside from the lack of previously acquired skills and familiars, there are several other restrictions that make Bad Moon a "level playing field." Most of these restrictions are not removed after freeing the king.
- As a hardcore ascension, players cannot receive items or buffs from other players before freeing the King.
- Pre-ascension (Beyond the Pale): You are not allowed to take anything from the The Deli Lama or Pet Heaven to help you in your run.
- PvP attacks are allowed. You receive burnt flowers instead of pretty flowers. PVP fights can be useful to reduce turns of undesired effects.
- Hagnk's is absent, replaced by the entrance to Hey Deze. Hagnk's disembodied arm is instead present in Hey Deze (with a handbasket), but, as in any other hardcore ascension, no pulls can be made until after freeing Ralph. (Likewise as in other hardcore ascensions, the exception is free pulls.)
- A Telescope is not present during a Bad Moon run.
- Your Workshed is not present during a Bad Moon run, any appliance you have installed there will not work.
- Any Garden will be invisible and unharvestable during a Bad Moon run. However, it will still grow as normal, and you will be able to harvest whatever it contains once you free the King.
- Your Mystical Bookshelf: If the player purchases a bookshelf item, such as a McPhee's Grimoire of Hilarious Object Summoning, from the mall after freeing the king, or from Mr. Store before or after freeing the King (as was the case when the Libram of Divine Favors was available), the player may use these items and the item will be added to the player's bookshelf. The associated skills remain unusable, however, until the player ascends into a non-Bad Moon run (or recall ancestral skills?).
- Other permanent Campground features such as Your Haunted Doghouse, A Tea Tree, the Source Terminal, and Your Witchess Set, are not present during a Bad Moon run.
- Although On a Downtown Train is still accessible via A Monorail Station, the breakfast counter is not present.
- Correspondence messages are still received, but any items you would have gained are turned into fistsful of ashes. As of December 2022, this does not apply to the Our Daily Candles™ subscription, allowing you to use the items normally.
- Ten-leaf clovers were not available during a Bad Moon run; they would not drop in the Barrel Full Of Barrels, from using 31337 scrolls, or from using Lucky-ish pills. As of December 2022, 11-leaf clovers are available and function as expected. This may be an oversight, but as of early 2023, Lucky Adventures *are* available.
- When the player places a familiar that he/she had in previous ascensions in his/her terrarium, the following message appears: "As you place the <hatchling> in your Familiar-Gro™ Terrarium, you feel a brief sense of deja-vu. You decide to name this familiar <previous familiar name>."
- Players cannot place familiar hatchlings purchased from Mr. Store into their terrarium before breaking the prism and recalling their skills. Attempting to do so results in the message: "You start to put the item in your terrarium, but you suddenly get scared -- you glance fearfully at the moons, and put it back in your sack."
- All previously owned familiars will be regained after the player ascends into a non-Bad Moon run. All familiars gained for the first time in Bad Moon will also be present in all subsequent non-Bad Moon runs.
- White Citadel burger experience from previous ascensions is ignored.
- Clan VIP Lounge is inaccessible, even though the Clan VIP Lounge key is a free pull from Hagnk's.
- Bastille Battalion is inaccessible, even though the Bastille Battalion control rig is a free pull from Hangk's.
- An ice house-trapped monster is not banished while Bad Moon is in effect.
- Elemental International Airport and the other zones within are inaccessible.
- Although The Neverending Party and the Secret Underground Spacegate Facility appear in their usual locations, they are inaccessible.
- The Deck of Every Card is not added to the inventory at the start of the run.
- Chateau Mantegna, the Shrine to the Barrel God, The Snojo, LT&T Office, and the 11th Precinct Headquarters are inaccessible.
Your past lives still have some effect:
- Demon names found in prior ascensions can be used in the Summoning Chamber.
- Your Pool Skill is still affected by A Shark's Chum encounters from previous ascensions.
- Previously-learned recipes (such as the recipe for White chocolate chip brownies) are still usable.
- The gifts and packages in The Gift Shop earned by multiple ascensions are accessible.
- Baron von Ratsworth seems to count your ascension history to scale up (needs confirmation).
- Arrrbor Day is treated as normal. This means you can get a reward that you earned in a previous run.
- Monster Manuel reveals monster stats for monsters with at least one factoid unlocked, and certain monsters with all three factoids unlocked may drop avatar-changing potions, which can be autosold for 5 Meat.
- World's Best Adventurer sash works as normal, scaling to capped number of ascensions.
Finally as Bad Moon is not being maintained and bugs are rarely fixed, some items that aren't supposed to function are, in fact, available. This includes certain Mr. Store items, mostly ones that work in unusual ways. Standard restrictions do not apply. The list below is not complete, but is accurate as of late December 2022.
- You can visit Oliver's Place and the Voting Booth if you've purchased access. They both function as expected.
- The cosmic bowling ball still appears in your inventory at the beginning of the run and can be used as expected.
- While the shrine itself is inaccessible, you can Pray to the Barrel God using e. g. KoLMafia or (presumably) chat commands.
- You can't do anything with them, but a combat encounter in an appropriate zone may still yield a stick of firewood.
- The Hermit sells 11-leaf clover, which can be used to become Lucky! - you can now encounter former clover adventures, which was not possible before the introduction of 11-leaf clovers.
Some things replaced the need for clovers:
- Even though Epic Weapons are no longer meatsmithed, a big rock is received in the letter from King Ralph, and big rocks drop randomly in the Lemon Party Slot instead of requiring a clover.
- The first Elf Farm Raffle ticket used will give the pagoda plans.
- The loaded dice drop in a Bad Moon adventure, though the tower no longer contains A Perplexing Door to use them at.
Bad Moon, like other moon signs, allows access to a sign-only area, in this case Hey Deze. The Hey Deze page provides more in-depth information.
- Nervewrecker's Store sells basic crafting tools for less than The Market and The Meatsmith.
- Meansucker's Skill Training provides training for several passive skills unique to Bad Moon.
- The Styx Pixie provides a free buff, once per day.
- Hell's Kitchen sells deliciously evil food.
- Heartbreaker's Hotel gives access to alternate dimensions of aggravated monsters.
- Hagnk has all your belongings in a handbasket, so you can retrieve them once you have freed the King.
Many areas contain an additional adventure in Bad Moon. These special adventures will occur only once per run, and some will only occur after certain conditions are met. These special adventures are all superlikely, once their prerequisites are met.
The special adventures will still occur even after the prism is broken and after you've recalled your skills and familiars.
- Most of the "retired" Bad Moon adventures are theorized to actually have been rendered unobtainable accidentally, due to a rework of their container zone, and not enough bug reports about the now-missing Bad Moon adventure being sent.
- Characters that complete a Bad Moon ascension are entitled to a Brimstone item specific to their class instead of the stainless steel item.
- 211 Karma is also rewarded, just as in regular Hardcore without Path.
Permanently Unlocking Bad Moon
You can permanently unlock the Bad Moon sign by doing a 100% Black Cat, Bad Moon ascension.
A 100% Black Cat, Bad Moon ascension can be accomplished by getting the Cat and a Terrarium from the special Noob Cave non-combat Bad Moon adventure (listed above) before encountering any combat adventures. You must then have the Cat as your active familiar through all combat adventures until you step through the gash. It is not enough to have the cat as your familiar until you free the King, as using other familiars after breaking the prism will result in a loss of the permanent unlock.
Non-combat adventures do not count towards the total familiar use percentage. This used to be necessary to complete the Black Market and Sorceress' Tower quests, but revamps since then mean that you can just keep the cat with you your entire run and not think about it.
Having a different familiar (or no familiar) active during even one combat adventure will make you ineligible for the permanent unlock. Using tattered scraps of paper and the like will not save you because the familiar usage counter is incremented anyway. However, the free runaway given at rollover will save you, for some reason.
The following message is displayed in your Quest Log after successfully accomplishing a permanent unlock:
- You have permanently unlocked the Bad Moon sign.
If attempting a perma-unlock Bad Moon Black Cat run, you will want to take the negative effects of the Cat into consideration when choosing your class. The cat will regularly debuff you, force you to attack with your weapon instead of using combat skills, prevent combat item use, and cause you to lose Mana, stats, and items. Given that, classes that rely on combat skills or buffs will be much harder to play. Since passive and non-combat skills are unaffected, Disco Bandits will probably provide the least aggravating run, especially given their passive item drop bonus and the fact that pickpocketed items are not subject to the Cat's item loss effect. Disco Bandits also benefit from having the skill Ambidextrous Funkslinging when fighting your shadow, since the cat will cause you to lose half the healing items used against it.
Dropping Bad Moon
Dropping Bad moon will result in a number of things being removed or restored in an attempt to restore things to a pre-Bad Moon state. In particular:
- All permed skills and familiars are restored.
- Access to the VIP Lounge, Gift Shop et al. are restored.
- Hey Deze becomes inaccessible, and no other zodiac area takes its place.
- Any skills bought from Meansucker are lost.
- Any effects from Bad Moon Adventures are lost.
Note that if you have defeated The Naughty Sorceress and secured your piece of Brimstone then it is not lost by dropping Bad Moon, but if you drop path before then you will no longer be eligible.
After freeing the king and entering aftercore, only some of the normal hardcore restrictions are removed.
- Any combats without the Black Cat will still invalidate a 100% Black Cat run.
- Permed skills and familiars are not restored. Mr. Store familiars cannot be placed in the terrarium.
- Access to Hey Deze is still available.
- Bad Moon Adventures are still available.
- It is still possible to drop Bad Moon. This has the normal effect.
- Clovers are usable, but they still do not drop.
- Elemental International Airport is not available.
- The Neverending Party is not available, with the following message:
- You glance at the moon and decide not to waste time at a party.
- VIP Lounge cannot be accessed (provided you have a key), giving the message:
- You stroll into the VIP Lounge, but your cursed presence is not very welcome. Cursing the moon, you head back to the clan hall proper.
However, inherited campsite items such as A Telescope, Your Mystical Bookshelf, and your Garden are available again, though Your Workshed, Your Doghouse and Potted tea tree are not. You can also access The Gift Shop.
Recall Ancestral Memories
In aftercore, there is the option of recalling ancestral memories in the account menu. These are the only changes:
- All permed skills and familiars are restored. Mr. Store familiars can be placed into the terrarium. (2010 Dec 6 update)
- Any skills bought from Meansucker are lost. Meansucker will no longer be available.
- Recalling your ancestral memories after a Black Cat run will NOT invalidate the run: however, do not spend any adventures with a different familiar.
- Items missing from your campground, continue to be missing. As does the Elemental International Airport, VIP Lounge, and The Neverending Party.
- The following message appears upon recalling ancestral memories:
- Your ancient memories return in a flood! You feel more skilled! You remember some old familiar familiars!
- "Bad Moon" may be a reference to the 1990s horror film of the same name.
- It may also refer to the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Bad Moon Rising".
- Bad Moon was added to KoL as part of the NS13 revamp and was discovered as a direct result of hints dropped by TPTB.
- The first hint was in the official NS-13 press-release claiming there is now "A super-awesome, super-secret, super-new ascension type -- the long pined-for totally level playing field." As a result, people immediately started trying wild things to discover it.
- The first mention of the term Bad Moon was during this radio show, but we didn't know what that meant until Skully posted this. Knowing the name was one of the most important clues as it sounded like something unlucky.
- Much of the spading happened in this thread and there is a compendium of all clues in this thread.
- The black kitten adventure was added August 4, 2008. Initially, it gave 5 drunkenness but had a 30-turn delay before it could be found. (The Noob Cave was 100% noncombats prior to the Toot Oriole revamp of October 5, 2010. This allowed 30 turns of familiar-less adventuring without endangering the 100% familiar run. The kitten adventure was also changed on October 5, 2010.)
- Heartbreaker's Hotel was implemented September 1, 2009.
- Prior to the Valhalla revamp of May 17, 2011, characters in Bad Moon received their previous run's rewards in a smoldering box. This included the pork gem(s).
- Prior to November 17, 2020, you could obtain ten-leaf clovers via lucky-ish pills.
- The following message was previously displayed in Valhalla after a player successfully accomplished a permanent unlock:
- By completing a 100% Black Cat Bad Moon run, you have permanently unlocked the Bad Moon sign for your character.
|friendly Degrassi Knoll||Mongoose||+20% Physical Damage||Wallaby||+20% Spell Damage||Vole|| +20% Combat Initiative,|
+20 Maximum HP/MP
|Little Canadia||Platypus||Familiar Weight +5 lbs.||Opossum||+5 Adv. from first food/day||Marmot||Slight Resistance to All Elements (+1)|
|Gnomish Gnomad Camp||Wombat||+20% Meat from Monsters||Blender||+5 Adv. from first booze/day||Packrat||+10% Items from Monsters|
|Hey Deze||Bad Moon||Many crazy adventures|