Special challenge path

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Special challenge paths are types of ascension runs that add variant rules and restrictions to the base game.

A new special challenge path debuts in the Spring, Summer, and Fall of each year. A challenge path is considered to be current or "in season" during its first three months.

Completing a special challenge path awards an additional 50 Karma for a Normal run or an additional 100 Karma for a Hardcore run, if the run started while the path was current. A run started outside of the initial season will earn an additional 50 Karma if it is a first of that path for a player (normal or hardcore). Additionally, a Thwaitgold statuette will drop from The Naughty Sorceress' final form or the equivalent final boss.

Playing the current special challenge path has additional restrictions and benefits:

  • You are under standard restrictions, not allowed to use limited-time content that is older than January of (path's starting date's year minus 2). For example, in the Spring 2018 challenge path which begins February 15, 2018, and ends May 14, 2018, you are not allowed to use limited-time content from before January 2016.
    • Standard restrictions end when Ronin ends. Standard does not apply when a special challenge path is no longer current.
  • For some paths, you will receive a special path-specific reward for completing a run (beating the final boss) while it is still current.
No. Season Path Description Reward
33 Fall 2020

August 15, 2020 to
November 14, 2020

Grey Goo
  • A self-replicating mass of grey goo has invaded the Kingdom from the furthest reaches of space. Destroy as much of it as you can in three days!
32 Summer 2020

May 15, 2020 to
August 14, 2020

Low Key Summer
  • Travel to out-of-the-way locations. Variety is key!
31 Spring 2020

February 15, 2020 to
May 14, 2020

Path of the Plumber
  • Jump, Hammer and Fireball your way through the Kingdom. Just like a plumber!
  • Play as a Plumber.
  • No access to permanent skills.
30 Fall 2019

August 15, 2019 to
November 14, 2019

Kingdom of Exploathing
  • The Kingdom has been blown to bits!
  • All Council quests are immediately available at the start of the run.
  • Most optional locations/shops are unavailable
29 Summer 2019

May 15, 2019 to
August 14, 2019

Two Crazy Random Summer
  • Items have random modifiers
28 Spring 2019

February 15, 2019 to
May 14, 2019

Dark Gyffte
  • Play as a Vampyre.
  • No access to permanent skills.
  • Skills cost HP and can be reconfigured throughout your run.
  • Food and Booze are limited to those that can be crafted with blood bags.
27 Fall 2018

August 15, 2018 to
November 14, 2018

Disguises Delimit
  • Wear a mask; swap masks with enemies wearing different masks.
26 Summer 2018

May 15, 2018 to
August 14, 2018

  • Items, effects, skills, and familiars without the letter G in their name can not be used.
25 Spring 2018

Feb 15, 2018 to
May 14, 2018

Pocket Familiars
  • Instead of fighting monsters, pit your team of familiars against theirs!
  • No access to permanent skills.
24 Fall 2017

Aug 14, 2017 to
Nov 14, 2017

Live. Ascend. Repeat.
  • Adventure encounters, item drops, and consumption results are deterministic rather than random.
23 Summer 2017

May 15, 2017 to
August 13, 2017

License to Adventure
  • Gain new secret agent skills, in addition to your permanent skills.
  • You must clear out a super villain lair each day or face being disavowed by your superiors.
  • You cannot eat, and booze is limited to martinis.
22 Spring 2017

Feb 15, 2017 to
May 14, 2017

Gelatinous Noob
  • Play as a new class, the Gelatinous Noob, a slime with aspirations of humanity.
  • Absorb items instead of eating and drinking.
  • Unique skills can be obtained when absorbing items.
21 Fall 2016

Aug 15, 2016 to
Nov 14, 2016

Nuclear Autumn
  • The rest of the planet was very recently destroyed by nuclear war, and the Kingdom is experiencing the very early stages of the apocalypse.
  • New path-specific skills. Permanent skills are not available.
  • Your diet is highly restricted.
  • No campground access.
20 Summer 2016

May 15, 2016 to
Aug 14, 2016

The Source
  • New path-specific skills, in addition to your permanent skills.
  • Most sources of stat gain are reduced.
  • Fight wandering Source Agents to gain stats.
19 Spring 2016

Feb 15, 2016 to
May 14, 2016

Avatar of West of Loathing
18 Fall 2015

Aug 15, 2015 to
Nov 15, 2015

Community Service
17 Summer 2015

May 15, 2015 to
Aug 14, 2015

One Crazy Random Summer
  • Every monster has a Monster Modifier
  • Dice gear is automatically free-pulled
  • Runs are ranked by Fun instead of speed
16 Spring 2015

Feb 15, 2015 to
May 14, 2015

Actually Ed the Undying
  • Play as Ed the Undying!
  • Gain Skill Points as you level up, and use them to progress in three different skill trees.
  • Instead of familiars, servants are unlocked at certain levels, gaining new effects every 7 levels.
  • Losing a fight takes you to The Underworld, where you can upgrade your body and buy special items for Ka coins, dropped by certain phylum of monsters.
  • Immune to most HP Restorers; only a trip to The Underworld can heal you.
  • You can't consume food or booze without buying the required organ, and your Spleen starts out small.
  • No campground access.
15 Winter 2014

Nov 15, 2014 to
Feb 14, 2015

  • Pick only 3 familiars and 11 permanent skills.
14 Fall 2014

Aug 15, 2014 to
Nov 14, 2014

Heavy Rains
  • The Kingdom is flooded! Each water level (up to 6) adds +10 ML, +5% chance of dropped items washing away, and various other difficulties
  • New wandering monsters, varying by water level and zone type
  • New path-specific skills cast with new resources Rain, Lightning, and Thunder (100 max, regained through various sources, filled to 100 each rollover) and learned with the items dropped from the wanderers at water level 6
  • Most ascension-relevant bosses are replaced with dangerous new watery versions of their old selves
13 Summer 2014

May 15, 2014 to
Aug 14, 2014

Slow and Steady
  • 100 adventures each rollover, no adventure gains from other sources
12 Spring 2014

Feb 15, 2014 to
May 14, 2014

Avatar of Sneaky Pete
  • Play as a new class, The Avatar of Sneaky Pete.
  • Gain Skill Points with each level up, and use them in three different skill trees.
  • In place of a familiar, you have a talking motorcycle that can be upgraded.
  • Your stomach is small, but your liver is legendary.
11 Winter 2013

Nov 15, 2013 to
Feb 14, 2014

Class Act II: A Class For Pigs
  • You cannot use other classes' Guild skills or any Traveling Trader skills.
  • You start with all Guild skills for your class.

(Before May 14, 2014)

  • Double stat gain from monsters, but most noncombat stat gains are halved.
  • Monsters gain additional powers at higher +ML.
10 Fall 2013

Aug 15, 2013 to
Nov 14, 2013

9 Summer 2013

May 15, 2013 to
August 14, 2013

  • You start off at level 15, with 200 points in your mainstat, and 150 in each of your offstats.
  • All the monsters have 150 additional attack, defense, and HP.
8 Spring 2013

Feb 15, 2013 to
May 14, 2013

Avatar of Jarlsberg
  • Play as a new class, The Avatar of Jarlsberg.
  • Gain Skill Points with each level up, and use them to gain skills in four different skill trees.
  • In place of a familiar, you may summon one of four Food Companions.
  • Use your Cosmic Kitchen to cook up special food and weapons depending on the skills you unlocked.
  • Your diet is restricted to food and drink from your Cosmic Kitchen.
7 Winter 2012

Nov 15, 2012 to
Feb 14, 2013

Class Act
  • You cannot use permed skills except those from your own character class.
6 Fall 2012

Aug 15, 2012 to
Nov 14, 2012

Zombie Slayer
  • Play as a new class, The Zombie Master.
  • Unique skills can be obtained when defeating special monsters.
  • Only unliving familiars can accompany you.
  • Instead of MP, you have a Zombie Horde.
  • Your liver is limited, and you can eat only brains.
5 Summer 2012

May 15, 2012 to
Aug 14, 2012

Bugbear Invasion
4 Spring 2012

Feb 15, 2012 to
May 14, 2012

Avatar of Boris
  • Play as a new class, The Avatar of Boris.
  • Unique skills can be obtained for free when you level up.
  • Your faithful minstrel Clancy accompanies you in place of familiars.
  • The only weapon allowed is your trusty axe Trusty.
  • Your liver is limited, but your appetite is legendary.
3 Winter 2011

Nov 15, 2011 to
Feb 14, 2012

  • Cannot use any limited-time content that has been unavailable for more than one year.
  • Skills, items, and familiars are all subject to being non-trendy.
2 Fall 2011

Aug 15, 2011 to
Nov 14, 2011

Way of the Surprising Fist
  • Weapons and off-hand items may not be equipped.
  • Meat gains from monsters, quests, and items are significantly reduced or non-existent.
  • Items may not be auto-sold for meat, and meat cannot be pulled from Hagnk's.
  • Special combat skills may be learned from certain zones.
1 Summer 2011

May 17, 2011 to
Aug 14, 2011

Bees Hate You
  • Cannot use any items or familiars that have the letter "b" in them.
  • Equipment with the letter "b" will cause you damage in combat.
  • Bees attack you every 15-20 turns.

In-Season Rewards

These are special rewards given to those who complete a special challenge path while it is in-season.

  • This reward is given only if the run is started while it is still current. That means as long as the path is current when started, you will receive the in-season reward.
  • If your run exceeds 1000 turns in a normal ascension and breaks ronin you are released from standard restrictions, but you can still get the in-season reward.


Challenge Path Commendations are special rewards given to players whose ascension is listed on an in-game challenge path leaderboard (either Normal or Hardcore) at the end of that path's season. These commendations appear on a player's profile, and are awarded based on placement within the leaderboard:

Leaderboard Position Commendation
(1 per season)
Gold Star
Gold Star
#2 - #12
(11 per season)
Silver Moon
Silver Moon
#13 - #35
(23 per season)
Bronze Button
Bronze Button

Commendations are accompanied by a message from the Leaderboard Robot (#3737):

Dear <playername>,
Your position on the final <pathname> <ascension type> leaderboard entitles to you to a <commendation type>.

Now everybody that looks at your profile will know how awesome you are. Or were, at the end of the <pathname> season.

The Magical Mystical Mighty Meritorious Misanthropic Masterful Magnanimous Masticating Muhahahahah-ing Leaderboard Robot

There is one new adjective on the last line each season, added onto the other ones. The earliest recorded was "Magical Mystical" when Avatar of Boris was the current path.

For either Sneaky Pete or Slow and Steady "Muhahahahah-ing" was removed and replaced with "Meddling." Also, line breaks were added to the format. As of Avatar of West of Loathing, "Maddening" has been replaced by "Maniacal Much-Loved".

Dear <playername>,
Your position on the final <pathname> <ascension type> leaderboard entitles to you to a <commendation type>.

Now everybody that looks at your profile will know how awesome you are. Or were, at the end of the <pathname> season.

The Magical Mystical Mighty Meritorious
Misanthropic Masterful Magnanimous
Masticating Meddling Marauding Maudlin
Malingering Metamorphic Maniacal
Much-Loved Mind-Bending Majestic
Masochistic Majesty's-Secret- Service-Serving Monotonous Monotonous Monotonous
Merry-Making Mechanical Merry-Crimboing Much-Belated
Leaderboard Robot

Commendations may not be received immediately following the end of a path; some manual intervention by KoL's admins is required. Because faster runs of a given ascension type (Normal or Hardcore) "overwrite" slower runs by the same player, it is not possible to get more than one commendation per path per ascension type. It is possible, however, to get a commendation for both Normal and Hardcore in a given path. In challenge paths with multiple classes (eg Class Act-types with 6 classes × 2 formats = 12 boards or subsequently Avatar of West of Loathing with 3 classes × 2 formats = 6 boards), being on multiple boards for the same ascension type only yields 1 Commendation.

Having a commendation allows access to the /challenge chat channel.

Ascension Paths
Bowl.gif Martini.gif Smalloxy.gif
Teetotaler Boozetafarian Oxygenarian
Special Challenge Paths
Spring Summer Fall Winter
2011 Hardcorex.gif
Bees Hate You
Wosp fist.gif
Way of the Surprising Fist
2012 Trusty.gif
Avatar of Boris
Bugbear Invasion
Zombie Slayer
Class Act
2013 Path12icon.gif
Avatar of Jarlsberg
Class Act II: A Class For Pigs
2014 Bigglasses.gif
Avatar of Sneaky Pete
Slow and Steady
Heavy Rains
2015 Scarab.gif
Actually Ed the Undying
One Crazy Random Summer
Community Service
2016 Badge.gif
Avatar of West of Loathing
Ss datasiphon.gif
The Source
Nuclear Autumn
2017 Gcube.gif
Gelatinous Noob
License to Adventure
Live. Ascend. Repeat.
2018 Spiritorb.gif
Pocket Familiars
Dd icon.gif
Disguises Delimit
2019 Darkgift.gif
Dark Gyffte
Two Crazy Random Summer
Kingdom of Exploathing
2020 Mario mushroom1.gif
Path of the Plumber
Low Key Summer
Grey Goo
Not released yet