Last night was the culmination of what seemed like two or three months of planning as our friend Geek Mom introduces her daughter Pink to the Shroud.
Yes. The Thirteenth Eclipse. Parts one through five. Arraetrikos. That Shroud.
Most of this is Geek Mom’s story, and I’ll wait for her to tell it. For me, it was about remembering an old friend as much as anything.
It has been forever since I’ve run the Shroud. Especially the heroic Shroud. Especially, a Normal, heroic Shroud. It was … interesting? Seeing an old friend like this? Interesting and illuminating at the same time. And full of lessons. I’ll save everyone a few thousand words and limit myself to only five lessons learned.
Lesson #1: Have the right tool for the job
Even on Normal, you still want to have something that works effectively against the portals, and later, something else that works effectively against the devils. My custom-crafted Harry-beater was perfectly fine (+5 holy silver of evil outsider bane), but I brought a +2 adamantine of smiting greatsword for the portals and it was not at all effective. I would have been beating on the first one all night if others had not picked up the slack.
I hate it when I have inadequate feelings about my sword.
Lesson #2: Do not bite off more than you can chew
Having a bad ass melee character who can intimidate and cleave and otherwise occupy lots of bad guys at the same time is awesome! Except when you need to be able to split the bad guys up into separate, individual melees but cannot because all of them are pissed off at you, personally.
Share the wealth, everyone, don’t hog all the bad guys to yourself!
Lesson #3: Confront your fears head on
The whirling blades are faster than you are. You cannot out run them. It is way better to turn back and run through them, thus taking damage once, than it is to try a stay ahead of them, taking damage over and over until you die.
[Ding] Your party member, Exterminate, has died
Lesson #4: Stop and smell the roses
Dancing on the altar tops is still a thing! Who knew? Fun!
Lesson #5: Enough is enough
All session long I was worried about part 4 where we face off against Arraetrikos directly. I am playing Exterminate, a first-life, under-geared, level 15 build and am sitting at 375 hit points. Everyone else is at least one level higher. Even the rogue has more hit points!
Back in the day, you needed 300 hit points to survive the Harry fight as a meleer. But that was when the cap was level 16. Harry has gotten tougher since then, much tougher! The last time I knew about these things, you needed 400 hit points at the minimum.
And I have less.
On the other hand, we won, and I didn’t die. Or at least, I didn’t die against Arraetrikos. My character’s Lay On Hands is good for about 150 hit points, and I have five of them which were all put to good use. Geek Mom is an excellent healer and was on top of her healing game. But still, none of that should have been enough. I can only attribute my survival to to the fact that we are on Normal.
Nonetheless, you really only need one hit point, right? The last one?
And apparently, 374 more are enough.
And so Operation Pink Shroud is in the books, a victory for the good guys, and fun for all who participated.
Hardly any lag, lots of fun.
A winning combination!
🙂 😀 🙂
p.s. All of the images are in high-def and look awesome when seen in full-size. Click one and see!