KoLmafia Guide: Preface

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How I Teach & Requirements

I have only played KoL for 3 months. (well, more like 7 now!) I am hoping this means that I will not take stuff for-granted like year-long players. I can actually address more advanced stuff now that I know how clan dungeons work, the Sea, and so forth. ;-)

I assume that you have played KoL for at least a few weeks before reading this guide. This is simply so I can reference examples while teaching. This is not a strict requirement though... it just means that you might not catch some of my examples.

Finally, you need to be able to play while reading this guide! Learning while trying to break a speed ascension record or something is probably not the best way to go. 50 turns should be enough to get through most of the lessons.

My main goal is to start out playing KoL using KoLmafia's 'Relay Browser', which is basically identical to normal browser play. Then, each short lesson will progressively give you a new 'trick' that you can use. This lets you learn at your own pace.

Continue working through the guide by doing 'Lessons' until you have learned as much as you want. The lessons are roughly in the order of importance, or more honestly, the order in which I figured the stuff out. :-) There is tons of stuff that I probably won't cover, but by the time you are done with the lessons, you will have the hang of it.

What About Greasemonkey?

Greasemonkey is another scripting tool that can be used for Kingdom of Loathing. Please skip this section if you don't know or care about Greasemonkey.

I tried Greasemonkey scripts. They are nice, but have four major disadvantages:

  • CodeRot - Many scripts are outdated and their functionality continues to break due to new content, changes, etc.
  • Out of Date - A script is typically written by the author who uses it, posts it, then it is forgotten. People quit KoL all the time for varying reasons. Hence, scripts are very likely to be outdated by the time you find them.
  • Version Overload - On the other hand, there can be too many versions of a popular script, all written by different people who baselined off of someone else's version and so forth. Certain versions incorporate particular fixes and updates, but might be lacking updates and rewrites by someone else. It can be difficult to find the latest, most correct version of a particular script.
  • Security Issues - Greasemonkey by itself doesn't do anything. All functionality comes from the actual scripts, which coupled with many versions/updates and the fact that scripts are scattered all over the internet makes executing them more of a security risk.

I decided to try KoLmafia which has these advantages:

  • More Secure - It comes from ONE sourceforge open-source website and its base version includes plenty of functionality. This makes it much safer to use out of the box.
  • Easier to Install - No digging around and searching forums for hours to find the right script. (At least not until you have mastered Mafia and go looking for Mafia-specific scripts...)
  • Easier to Customize - Not much of an issue at first, but writing a new Greasemonkey script is relatively hard. Modifying KoLmafia behavior can be a lot easier for certain aspects.
  • Consolidated Updates - All KoLmafia work occurs at its sourceforge website. Versions are numbered and under version-control. This means you can easily find the most up-to-date version and no intermediate fixes were skipped.
  • Easier to Figure Out - While the documentation for KoLmafia is not amazing, you will have a lot more luck finding help documents (like this one!) for Mafia, as opposed to documentation for random Greasemonkey scripts.


You need to have this post handy, while playing I will guide you through each lesson, but you have to be reading it while using KoLmafia for it to really make any sense. Printing it or having it on a second monitor is helpful.

First, here's a list of various websites that I may refer to during the guide. You do not need to worry about them now!

Getting Started

We are now officially starting your KoLmafia lessons!

  1. Go to KoLmafia's website (listed above). The download link is not really obvious; it's a small link at the top left somewhere. Click it to go here: https://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=126572
  2. By default it picks the appropriate package for you. All you need is your system's file. As a windows user, I download the 3 Meg executable. Mac users download theirs. Linux, etc. If all else fails, use the java Jar file.
  3. Move the file somewhere handy. Note that KoLmafia can be downloaded as an executable. However, it does not install per se. Instead, I like to say that it 'roots'. When executed, will create quite a few subfolders to store its settings. Therefore, I extremely highly recommend placing it in its own folder. Once moved, make a link to it on your desktop so you can easily execute it. . You just run the file to run KoLmafia. No further setup is needed.
  4. If the file doesn't run, you need the 1.6 or better Java Runtime Environment. This is not particularly hard and many will likely already have it. The KoLmafia website given above, has a 'Getting Started' section that you can refer to in case of such issues.
  5. When you first run it, two windows pop up. Ignore the complicated looking frame, and look at the one with the login fields. Type in your login info (make sure you don't have KoL running elsewhere obviously), then click the LOGIN button. Ignore the RELAY button for now. Keep the other options unchecked, including breakfast. We will discuss this stuff later.
  6. The Login frame goes away and now you have the main box, which I will call the KoLmafia Frame. I don't have a place to store an up to date picture, but the whole thing is kind-of intimidating. You are probably ready to quit, but stick in there!' We will make this easy by doing things step-by-step. I'm a noob, remember? I got your back! ;-)
  7. Note that is possible that KoLmafia may pop up an events logger window. This occurrs if you were attacked, received a message, or whatever other event type stuff might happen. Just close that small window if you encounter it.

Continue to Lesson 1: Basics (Relay Browser)