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Book of Facts: Overview

2023-08-31 // IOTM Overview

Have you ever gotten into a hole on Wikipedia, where you spend hours upon hours digging into increasingly bizarre and unfathomable facts that you hazily half remember later? Then, at some work lunch, you tell your coworker something like "oh, yeah, actor Michael J. Fox won a nobel prize for his work on elastic belts" only to realize you've combined a lot of complete nonsense in your head to make up a fake fact that doesn't mean anything? ... no, just me? Well, crap. Anyway, September's IOTM is the Book of Facts, and it comes with some similarly dubiously crafted facts about every monster in the kingdom... and MUCH more.

General Summary

The Book of Facts is hard to summarize. In a nutshell, it gives you a skill. That skill lets you see a special fact about every monster in the kingdom. But TPTB didn't manually create these facts -- these facts were built via procedural generation, which means they change locations (essentially) every class/path combination you can think of. (Hence the "the facts are fake" part of the intro.) But never fear -- Semenar, the professor of the Ascension Speed Society, put in some major work and managed to completely derive the formula used to procedurally generate these facts. You can find our hosted tool to dig into every seed here! It's great, don't miss out! (And if you want to see the brain-melting data collection exercise that helped our professor solve BOFA, check out this spreadsheet!)

But, Scotch, what are the actual facts? What the actual hell do these even give you?

Boy, am I glad you asked, disembodied voice of the loathers.net reader! These facts allow you to get:

  • Up to 3 pocket wishes per day -- and as a result of BOFA dropping, pocket wishes are back in standard!
  • Up to 11 tattered scraps of paper per day, for ~5.5 free runs a day in some seeds
  • Bursts of certain buffs for free (the most important being Ultrahydrated for the Arid, Extra Dry Desert)
  • Items that can be sold for big meat gain (like tenderizing hammers!)
  • The gear you need to summon a demon at the Spookyraven Demon Summoning Chamber

In addition to these postcombat drops/buffs -- where, again, something is placed on every monster in the entire dang game -- we also are granted two skills. One skill (Recall Rhythms) can be used to get +11 rollover adventures per day. The much more important skill, Recall Habitats, gives you 3 shots a day of a skill that's effectively "Extrovermectin, but better" -- it produces 5 copies of the monster you use them on that will appear in any wander-able zone you adventure in.

That rules! That's so good! What the hell!

Speedrun Applicability

I mean, holy crap, this thing does everything.

Going from best to worst:

  • You save 15-18 turns per day through Recall Habitat alone, so long as you route correctly to put the free fights you copy into delay zones
  • Pocket Wishes are pretty powerful; if you don't have the Combat Lover's Locket, this is probably worth more like 2-4 turns per summon. If you do, it's probably more like 1-3, but still very good! And you get three of them!
  • It doesn't happen in every path, but in some paths you'll be able to get 5-11 tatters per day, which is anywhere from 3 to 6 free runs on average
  • It helps alleviate meat pressure in basically any path; the extra drops stack up REALLY fast. Probably 1 turn of benefit in some low-resource quasi-avatars and other tougher paths

That makes this an IOTM that is similar in value to the Cold Medicine Cabinet -- it saves a floor of about 21 turns a day that can bulk up to 29+ in some situations. Absolutely bonkers turnsave value in an IOTM.

2023 In-Standard Synergies

  • The Miniature Crystal Ball (2021) allows you to get 6 copies out of every cast of recall habitats, so long as you can manipulate the combat selection vector in your given zone to ensure that nothing but the habituated monster will show up.
  • To make the first point happen, you probably want to use the Patriotic Eagle -- its phylum banish can be potent for clearing out large swaths of monsters from any given monophylum (or nearly monophylum) zone in the game. The Desert is a particularly great spot for this, as it is (mostly!) a bug zone, so a phylum banish of bugs + one banish of the cactuary (monkey slap?) gives you a habitat-filled desert, and conserves your ultrahydrated turns
  • The halloween monsters from trick or treating are inherently free, making the Jill-of-All-Trade's free trick or treating fights an easy free copy target for Recall Habitat

Overall Rating

We'd rate the Book of Facts as a tier 0 IOTM, with (way more!) than 15 turns saved daily in your average run. If you care about speedrunning, this isn't an IOTM you'll want to miss.

Article contributed by Captain Scotch