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Terminology stuff

What are all these HCB SCNP ML NC abbreviations?

Speedy runs stuff

What skill(s) should I perm next?

There's no universally agreed-upon order. There's a sort of vague consensus.

My run took X days. Is that good? Bad?

You can compare yourself to others with similar skill counts using koldb and/or the in-game leaderboards, from which runs expire after 60 days. Be aware that certain holidays (Crimbo, Feast of Boris, etc.) can greatly distort run lengths. If you're still gathering lucre every day, that's also going to slow you down.

Should I get lucre during my ascensions?

Ultimately, it's up to you, but most people would say "Yes, until you have olfaction." Or "Yes, until you have olfaction and the hound." If you need to take a break from lucre-hunting for a while to avoid burn-out, or for a speed run, go ahead.
You should definitely get a lucre every day in aftercore until you have all the BHH stuff you want (unless you're getting burned out by it).
If you've already got all the BHH stuff, and an airship bounty turns up during your run (before you've finished the airship), you should accept it. You're nearly guaranteed to get a free lucre that way if you're running Ur-Kel's during the airship. And free lucre means bounty-Os or brandy!

Where do I level up?

See power leveling.

What's this sewer leveling stuff?

Low level characters can get pretty good stats by killing monsters in the Hobopolis sewer. You need access to a clan with an open Hobopolis instance; ideally one with someone in a cage so you don't get caught. You need +60% initiative (at +0 ML) to get the jump on the monsters. And you need some means of killing them before your entangling noodles wear off. Shieldbutt or Saucegeyser seem to work -- the latter may require a sugar chapeau and/or the pool table buff. A Frumious Bandersnatch helps immensely but isn't strictly required. A scratch 'n' sniff sword with rock band stickers helps but isn't required if you have enough +damage skills.
Sewer leveling gives you far fewer stats than Spookyraven leveling does, so it may add a bit to your overall turn count. The trade-off is that you get the stats now at a low level (typically level 4 or 5 is when people use this strategy), which can help you hit thresholds for consumables (like hell ramen at level 6) or get Liver of Steel a day earlier.

Which tomes/librams should I summon from?

Depends on which ones you have available, and where you are in your run. Sugar tome is considered superior on day 1 (stats from shirt, bandersnatch runaways from the shield), followed by sticker tome (apple stickers, or rock band for sewer leveling). Candy hearts are very useful in the early game due to the +3 stat buff (especially white candy hearts). Unicorn stickers are useful anywhere you need item drops, and most people want to be sure to have 3 stacked for the filthworms and/or tomb ratchets. UPC stickers are saved for the nuns.
Divine favors have a diminishing chance of a "good" summon (popper, cracker, champagne flute) each time a "good" favor is summoned. So, some people summon favors until they get 1-2 "good" ones, then switch.
There's no consensus on the usefulness of BRICKOs yet.

What's delay()?

In NS13, Jick wanted to slow people down. He introduced several new mechanics to do that. One of them is called delay() because (according to dev team members) that's the actual name of the function in the PHP code.
Certain zones have delay() added to them. delay() is a number of turns, from 0 to 9, which must be expended in that zone before certain things can happen. For example, in the airship, you can't get the immateria until delay() has been burned up.
The total amount of delay() across all the zones in an ascension is supposed to be a constant. So if you had very large delay() in one zone, that means you'll have less somewhere else.
Free runaways burn off delay() without spending a turn. This is part of what makes free runaways (bandersnatch, navel ring, etc.) so incredibly important.
There is currently no way to know for sure whether there's delay() left in a given zone, other than to run into the thing that the delay() was preventing (immateria adventure, etc.).

How does the zap wand work with Daily Dungeon keys?

If you are missing any of the three Daily Dungeon keys (also known as legend keys), then zapping any Daily Dungeon Room 10 item will produce one of the keys you are missing. With 1 key and 1 accessory (or 2 keys) when you hit the lair, and the zap wand, you're guaranteed to be able to pass the key tests. For example:
Suppose your run is going to be 5 days long. You must do the Daily Dungeon at least once during the first 4 days. This will give you either a DD key, or a DD accessory. If it gives you an accessory, then you need to zap it on or before day 4. This will give you a DD key. With a DD key in hand on day 5, you do the DD again. This gives you either a DD key (possibly a duplicate) or a DD accessory. So, upon arriving at the lair on day 5, you will have either 2 different DD keys, or 1 DD key and a zappable DD item.
Use the key in the door, and then zap the accessory. This will give you a second, non-duplicate key. Use that one in the door. Now zap either of the two keys you have, and you will get the third and final legend key that you need. This may, however, destroy the wand.
If you think you might need the wand after the doors (e.g. for black pepper) then you should do the DD earlier, and arrive at the lair with 2 keys.

Level 12 stuff

See the level 12 quest guide and the level 12 quest optimizer.

But if I'm leveling in the bathroom anyway, why is the Guy Made of Bees bad?

Every time you say "Guy Made of Bees" you're throwing away one of the Myst noncombats you were going there for in the first place. It's going to take you another 3 turns or so of bathroom leveling to get back the stats you just lost. So you're losing 5 turns of saying "Bees", plus about 15 turns of leveling -- or more, if you aren't maxing your -combats.
If you have a sandworm, you can use an empty agua de vida bottle to set up and flyer Cyrus instead of the Guy Made of Bees. Using 1 clover in the Primordial Soup should get you all the amino acids you need to face him once -- which is all you need to complete the flyering. If it's a cloverless run, you could also farm the amino acids directly.

Tomb ratchets, or middle chamber?

Pyramid optimizer.

Killing stuff stuff

How do I kill the Naughty Sorceress as a myst class?

If you're in Bad Moon or have few combat skills, she's rough. What works best in that case is to bring 30 macrame nets from the war; lose to her 3 times without using any items; then spam the nets at her.
Damage Absorption works better than moxie after a certain point, when it comes to reducing the damage you take. Try the reinforced beaded headband, black greaves or bullet-proof corduroys, bejeweled pledge pin, your best shield, and so on. Boosting moxie only helps a lot if you're pretty close to 200 already.
If you got a chef-staff, you can try spellslinging against her, but it's frustrating. As a last resort, you can level moxie in the ballroom, but that will add days to your run.

How come I can't kill these naughty sorority nurses?

They heal. A lot. Every round. Either stun them, or blast them with large spells or combat items, or just CLEESH them.

Kittycore stuff

See beating your shadow in kittycore.

What's kittycore?

A 100% black cat Bad Moon ascension.

What class is best for kittycore, and why?

Disco Bandit. You get cocktails for turn generation, you get passive +items, you get pick pocketing (the cat can't bat away items when you yoink them) with passive +initiative, there are no buffs for the cat to uneffect, and you get combat that doesn't require the use of skills, so the cat can't block you. Funkslinging for the shadow fight doesn't hurt either.
See koldb kittycore leaderboard.

Rabbit Hole stuff

Is it worth getting a pail for the +ML tea party buff?

In HCO, probably. In HCNP, probably not. Doing the artist quest costs you however many turns the Sleazy Back Alley piece takes (highly RNG swingy), plus the loss of combat stats from two statless turns of delay() burning in the Pantry and Outskirts. At least, we think it burns delay(). This is still unproven.

You don't do the artist quest anyway, for the rat whisker meat?


Does the tea party take a turn?


Does using the reflection of a map take a turn?


Can you use the reflection of a map without the Down the Rabbit Hole effect?

No. Gives the message: This is a map of stuff in the Rabbit Hole, and you don't know where the Rabbit Hole is right now.

If I ascend, can I get another DRINK ME potion?

Yes. The looking glass works like the pool table, not like the Crimbo tree.

Hobopolis stuff

This new prismatic/passive damage equipment will really help me kill Frosty!

You don't need or want any +damage equipment for Frosty. As with all the Hobopolis bosses, you want all your precious equipment slots to have +item stuff. You can kill Frosty by dropping all +ML, using 1 of each elemental nugget for prismatic damage, getting all the passive damage buffs (Jabañero Saucesphere etc.), using gremlin juice and hand chalk to guarantee you hit every round, and if necessary, debuffing your moxie so that Frosty hits you every round.
Moxie debuffs include Knob Goblin pet-buffing spray, patchouli incense stick, bottled inspiration, Mr. Mediocrebar, marzipan skull (but you may want to soft green the sugar rush). There are others as well. You may want to remove some of these effects after Frosty's dead.
You can also use continuing-damage items early in the fight: possessed tomato, Colon Annihilation Hot Sauce.

Which 5 buffs should I use for Ol' Scratch?

False assumption. You should use all of your buffs, including the +initiative ones, so that you get the jump on him. Then stunlock him: funksling a gob of wet hair and a love song or divine favor every round until he's dead. He won't debuff you if he never gets to act.
This also goes for Zombo, to a lesser extent, to let you retain your equipment during the fight.