Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:47 pm

These little buggers are probably the most useful things in the whole damn game. Collect them like pogs and learn to love them, boys and girls.

Getting straight to the point, disregard what the item description says entirely. Bonfire ascetics work by bumping that bonfire's area into the next NG+ level, which has a number of immediate benefits:

  • All enemies are respawned
  • The respawn counter of all enemies is reset
  • Loot on dead bodies is respawned
  • Some chests have their loot restored, if they would get any new loot in NG+
  • Doors stay open, and any keys you've collected remain effective
  • If there are any NG+ enemy types in the area, they will spawn
  • NG+ BP enemies and NG+ BP NPCs will spawn in the area (the BP NPCs will not respawn if killed unless another ascetic is burned)
  • Enemies have more hp, deal more damage, and drop more souls on death
  • If there is a boss within the bonfire's area, it will respawn
  • If the boss drops any additional loot in NG+ or higher, it will drop that loot when killed in addition to the loot it normally drops (boss souls, etc)
  • Bosses have more hp, deal more damage, and drop more souls on death

You can check how many ascetics you've dropped into a bonfire by selecting the travel option and looking at the little number in the lower right-hand corner of each bonfire's picture. There is no limit to how many times you can burn an ascetic at a particular bonfire, but numbers over 99 are not displayed (credit for this find goes to Callyste).

IMPORTANT NOTE: The effects of burning a bonfire ascetic never wear off. They'll last even when you go into NG+ yourself, and will stack on top of the natural NG+ level. Basically, going into NG+ acts like burning a bonfire ascetic at each and every bonfire, on top of resetting the rest of the game back to its uncompleted state.

As you might guess, this makes them very, very handy for farming. The best places I've found to farm are

The Place Unbeknownst, in the Forest of Fallen Giants. This will reset all of the Giant Memories, not just the Giant King's. As previously stated, all enemies will be respawned, and giants are worth tons of souls... and the really big ones have a chance of dropping Awestones. All loot corpses are restored... including the many Fire Seeds, the Soul Vessel in Orro's Memory, and the couple of Bonfire Ascetics (so you can do it all over again). Oh, and this also includes the two twinkling titanites outside the Giant King's memory. You'll have to kill the Giant King before you can use another Bonfire Ascetic, but he's not a very hard boss and drops a ton of souls on death.

The Dragon Aerie is another great place to farm if you're looking for upgrade materials. Crystal Lizards are plentiful there, and the only enemies of note are the exploding hollows and the drakes themselves, which are terribly easy to kill and also drop petrified dragon bones and petrified somethings.


Bonfire ascetics are rather rare and sold by some merchants in only limited quantities, but there is one area I've found where you can farm them:

All of the enemies in the three Dark Chasm gates have a pretty good chance of dropping ascetics. But be careful: these enemies will NOT reset their spawn counter if you burn an ascetic. Also, they're pretty tough and appear to have the equivalent of 99 in all their stats. Yes, that includes the one wearing Havel's stuff. Bring a weapon that does something other than physical damage.

In addition, you can win bonfire ascetics by invading in the Dark Chasm of Old and killing the host, or by defeating someone who invaded you. This means it is possible to farm infinite bonfire ascetics, provided you are online.


Happy hunting, folks.
Last edited by Tsmp on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:38 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby DxV04 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:37 am

:twisted: What I want to know is can I burn it at a host bonfire :twisted:

The spoilers you put on are very very nice! Thanks.
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:36 am

DxV04 wrote::twisted: What I want to know is can I burn it at a host bonfire :twisted:

The spoilers you put on are very very nice! Thanks.

I don't believe you can, no. But what you can do is burn your own bonfire up to 10 or so, wait for an invader, then pop a giant's seed and watch them die. :D
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Wolffather » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:04 am

They also reset some Pharros' Contraptions (if not all).
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:23 am

Updated with new-ish info:

Some chests reload when a bonfire ascetic is burned if they get any new loot in NG+, and bonfire ascetics can now be farmed ad infinitum by invading in the Dark Chasm of Old.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby edgemaster » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:44 pm

Like in the other games, the difficulty tapers off after about NG++. Meaning NG+++ isn't hardly any tougher than NG++. Even NG++ isn't that big of a jump over NG+ IMO. NG => NG+ is the biggest increase you'll see. If you can beat NG+, then you could probably do NG+7 nearly as easily. They did this for a reason. Because if each NG+ scaled up as much as the first NG+, then mobs would eventually become unbeatably hard after 2-3 NG+.

Even in NG+7 I still survived a club hit from one of the giants when I was farming the Giant Lord. I got clipped as I ran by one of them, and surprisingly it only did about 3/4 of my HP bar. I had about 1k armor though and 2100 HP. Lower armor + lower HP would have certainly been oneshotted.

I'm saying this because people shouldn't fear too much about making the enemies unbeatably hard. They won't get that much tougher after the first NG+. If you farm an area in NG+ and make them go extinct, then its not too much more risk to keep burning more bonfire ascetics if you didn't get the drops you were looking for. If you're around SL 150, you should be able to tackle any difficulty NG+ and beyond if you're running a good build.
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Astrichthyes » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:45 pm

Thank you for posting this. Very helpful for me as I try to create and test builds
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Dellusions » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:35 pm

Good stuff as always :)

Nice about the first spoiler, I didn't think of that possibility at all!
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:22 pm

Whoa, I had completely forgotten that I'd said beating the Darklurker would lock you out of the dark chasm here. Freaking spoiler hid it from me. In my first playthrough some kind of bug occurred where I couldn't re-enter the dark chasm afterwards, but in all of my other playthroughs that has not been the case.

Terribly sorry about that, re-edited for accuracy. Thanks for pointing out the spoilers there, Dellusions.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Alluboy » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:56 pm

Does burning Bonfire ascetics in Majula have effect on anything besides different stuff for merchants, and resetting the loot? And how many of them is recommended for burning there?

I used my first character just to finish the game, and now with my 2nd char, I'm thinking of doing every possible thing, including collecting some of the (if not all) NG+ stuff by using the bonfire ascetics.

Another thing I was wondering, how does burning these affect co-op/invasions? If I burn one at Heide's tower, can I summon only NG+ people or NG?
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:55 pm

Alluboy wrote:Does burning Bonfire ascetics in Majula have effect on anything besides different stuff for merchants, and resetting the loot? And how many of them is recommended for burning there?

I used my first character just to finish the game, and now with my 2nd char, I'm thinking of doing every possible thing, including collecting some of the (if not all) NG+ stuff by using the bonfire ascetics.

Another thing I was wondering, how does burning these affect co-op/invasions? If I burn one at Heide's tower, can I summon only NG+ people or NG?

Every ascetic you burn will spawn an additional skeleton in the Majula mansion basement. Each of these skeletons has a 100% chance to drop human effigies, so provided you can deal with the numbers it's a good way to farm them.

Burning three bonfire ascetics (for a total bonfire intensity of four) will add the entire moon butterfly armor set, including the hat, to the armor merchant's inventory after you kill the throne watcher and defender. The chest above him will also have a moon butterfly shield.

Note that burning bonfire ascetics to add NG+ or higher items to a merchant's inventory only seems to work in Majula, as far as I can tell.

I don't know yet whether burning an ascetic in NG allows you to play with NG+ players or keeps you with NG players, sorry. Though I imagine it'd be rather awkward if you could cook like, ten of the things and summon people just to mess with them. And yes, I know I posted something to that effect earlier in this thread, but at that point I didn't know NG+ characters couldn't interact with NG characters.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby ODHGABFEye » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:47 am

out of curiosity, say I burned an ascetic at The Crestfallen Retreat bonfire. how far from the bonfire does the effect of the NG+ reach? I don't imagine it would influence the turtle knights by Soldiers Rest or the Fire Drakes or the soldiers in Pates Trap area. I started a new character as a test and had an ascetic as my gift. I went to crestfallen retreat before I progressed any further and tried burning it. The game said I needed to beat the area boss first. I would picture the last giant and the pursuer to be tied to cardinal tower if anything. So would burning it at crestfallen even bring back a boss?
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Astrichthyes » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:36 pm

Tsmp wrote:[*]Loot on dead bodies is respawned, with some exceptions (you can't pick up another soul vessel in Orro's memory, for example)

My soul vessel DID respawn in the Memory of Orro. Today. Either this is a glitch or the ascetic did, in fact, cause it to respawn, which would allow us all to constantly change our builds until we find what suits us. Brilliant! :D
ODHGABFEye wrote:out of curiosity, say I burned an ascetic at The Crestfallen Retreat bonfire. how far from the bonfire does the effect of the NG+ reach? I don't imagine it would influence the turtle knights by Soldiers Rest or the Fire Drakes or the soldiers in Pates Trap area. I started a new character as a test and had an ascetic as my gift. I went to crestfallen retreat before I progressed any further and tried burning it. The game said I needed to beat the area boss first. I would picture the last giant and the pursuer to be tied to cardinal tower if anything. So would burning it at crestfallen even bring back a boss?

if you burn an ascetic in an area that doesn't have a boss, you can burn as many as you like there. This is wonderful for farming purposes (dragon aerie for consumable souls and ore).
If you burned one in the cardinal tower bonfire, the pursuer would respawn. If you burned it in the one past the king's door, the giant lord would respawn.
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:45 am

Astrichthyes wrote:
Tsmp wrote:[*]Loot on dead bodies is respawned, with some exceptions (you can't pick up another soul vessel in Orro's memory, for example)

My soul vessel DID respawn in the Memory of Orro. Today. Either this is a glitch or the ascetic did, in fact, cause it to respawn, which would allow us all to constantly change our builds until we find what suits us. Brilliant! :D


Did you now? Mine didn't respawn when I tried. I'll give it another go, if one of us is experiencing a bug I want to know which one it is.

Of course, it would also be immensely helpful if there was a way to farm soul vessels. Even if it means having to deal with powered-up giants.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby The Onceler » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:55 pm

So I tried to use a bonfire ascetic on the upper ramparts bonfire after the belfrey gargoyles to respawn them and I got the message that I needed to kill the area boss first. Has anyone else had this issue? Does the Lost Sinner need to be dead too, because I have not killed her yet? I figured the gargoyles were that area boss. Thanks.
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby H_Pilgrim » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:58 pm

The Onceler wrote:So I tried to use a bonfire ascetic on the upper ramparts bonfire after the belfrey gargoyles to respawn them and I got the message that I needed to kill the area boss first. Has anyone else had this issue? Does the Lost Sinner need to be dead too, because I have not killed her yet? I figured the gargoyles were that area boss. Thanks.


Yes, this happens everywhere. You can't ascetic an area until you clear the main boss at the end(Sinner, Freja, etc). Then you can go back and re-ascetic previous bonfires repeatedly without re-killing the main boss again. I am not positive it is always the "final" boss of the primal bonfire, but so far for me it has been.
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby The Onceler » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:19 pm

H_Pilgrim wrote:
The Onceler wrote:So I tried to use a bonfire ascetic on the upper ramparts bonfire after the belfrey gargoyles to respawn them and I got the message that I needed to kill the area boss first. Has anyone else had this issue? Does the Lost Sinner need to be dead too, because I have not killed her yet? I figured the gargoyles were that area boss. Thanks.


Yes, this happens everywhere. You can't ascetic an area until you clear the main boss at the end(Sinner, Freja, etc). Then you can go back and re-ascetic previous bonfires repeatedly without re-killing the main boss again. I am not positive it is always the "final" boss of the primal bonfire, but so far for me it has been.


Nice. Thanks for the reply. I guess I know where I am off to next then:)
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby ThreeEyedCrow » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:30 pm

Tsmp wrote:
Astrichthyes wrote:
Tsmp wrote:[*]Loot on dead bodies is respawned, with some exceptions (you can't pick up another soul vessel in Orro's memory, for example)

My soul vessel DID respawn in the Memory of Orro. Today. Either this is a glitch or the ascetic did, in fact, cause it to respawn, which would allow us all to constantly change our builds until we find what suits us. Brilliant! :D


Did you now? Mine didn't respawn when I tried. I'll give it another go, if one of us is experiencing a bug I want to know which one it is.

Of course, it would also be immensely helpful if there was a way to farm soul vessels. Even if it means having to deal with powered-up giants.


Can confirm this happened to me also. I did the ascetic to see if the giant souls would come back since I used mine by mistake :cry:. They didn't, but I got all the loot from the areas again along with the soul vessel. This is very useful if it truly is 1 per ascetic use! :)
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby Tsmp » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:07 pm

ThreeEyedCrow wrote:
Tsmp wrote:
Astrichthyes wrote:My soul vessel DID respawn in the Memory of Orro. Today. Either this is a glitch or the ascetic did, in fact, cause it to respawn, which would allow us all to constantly change our builds until we find what suits us. Brilliant! :D


Did you now? Mine didn't respawn when I tried. I'll give it another go, if one of us is experiencing a bug I want to know which one it is.

Of course, it would also be immensely helpful if there was a way to farm soul vessels. Even if it means having to deal with powered-up giants.


Can confirm this happened to me also. I did the ascetic to see if the giant souls would come back since I used mine by mistake :cry:. They didn't, but I got all the loot from the areas again along with the soul vessel. This is very useful if it truly is 1 per ascetic use! :)

Yes, turns out it is. You have to ascetic the bonfire before the giant king. The reason mine didn't respawn is because I used the wrong bonfire.

Speaking of, I should edit the first post with more specifics on this. Giant memories are, like, grade-A farming grounds. Them and the dragon aerie.
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Rest in pieces, Manus.

Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: Bonfire Ascetics: What they do and how to use them

Postby ThreeEyedCrow » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:12 pm

Very nice, think this thread should be stickied or at least added to the wiki as some people may not have realized this yet.

Good work!
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