My main character, Mawry, tends to die unexpectedly at awkward times. This is not anything special about her in particular, in fact her FeyBuckler build is proving itself to be quite resilient. No, this is really about me, the player. After nearly ten years, I still just can’t seem to get the hang of watching my own hit points and healing/fleeing/shield blocking or whatever it is I need to do in time to avoid death.
One second I am valiantly fighting the bad guys, staying out of clumps, arduously pressing the various keys needed to activate the current character’s abilities. Fight! Fight! Cast! Fight!
The next second I am dead. What happened? Did I get one-shotted somehow? It always feels that way. But according to my Gamer Girl, it almost never really is. Really, my hit points were dwindling at a predictable and controllable rate, I just didn’t notice, and the whatever it was that seemed to have one-shotted me in fact only just did a normal attack and took out my last 50 hit points.
Except in this life, Mawry has not consumed a single raise cake. Not a single one.
What?!? Did I suddenly learn to play? Is Mawry avoiding the usual unnecessary-yet-totally-inevitable deaths that are the hallmark of my player style?
No. None of that. Mawry’s raise cakes are sitting in her bank unused for one reason, and one reason only: The cursed blade of Jack Jibbers.
It is important to note that the Cursed Blade of Jack Jibbers is not a direct replacement for raise cake. A raise cake is still a better solution in almost every case. For lots of reasons.
But raise cake costs money, real money, in the form of Turbine Points. You can get one per life, for free. And there have been occasions where you could get one as a turn-in at a festival. One Festivult they were even given out as Festivult cookies! But normally you have to buy them, and each one can only be used once.
Jack Jibbers Blade is not free either, although it costs time rather than money. It is a very rare drop and can be quite difficult to acquire. My Gamer Girl and I have been running the Legend of Two-Toed Tobias, the quest where the blade drops, sometimes running it every day, because we can knock it out in around ten minutes and it pays off in big XP.
There have been a lot of chances to earn the blade. I’ve gotten one on several different characters now. My Gamer Girl on the other hand is having poor loot luck, one blade only, still no blades for the two characters that she plays the most often.
It is not only a rare drop but also an especially impish one: when we’ve invited others to join us on our XP speed runs, the blade will commonly appear for whomever we’ve invited. Not for my Gamer Girl who has racked up dozens of completions of this quest, only for the quest rookie. The blade apparently has a crooked sense of humor.
I should point out, again, that using the blade is not as good as eating a raise cake. For several reasons:
- You can eat as many raise cakes as you can afford. But you can only use Jack Jibbers’ Blade once per rest
- A raise cake restores you to full life with full mana and hit points. Jack Jibbers’ Blade brings you to life as a wraith. You have full HP but you are undead. You cannot be healed
- Once raised by a cake, you stay alive forever (unless you get yourself killed again). When you are raised by Jack Jibbers’ Blade, you quickly decompose, taking unavoidable damage over time, and will die again in one minute
- You cannot use a raise shrine while in wraith form or accept a raise from a cleric. You have to just stand there and wait for the minute to pass until you fully decompose and die again
- That second death counts against your death penalties. It’s like taking a penalty stroke to get a free drop in golf; when you use Jack Jibbers’ blade you take a “penalty death” to get one more minute of agency
This sounds awful, but it isn’t that bad. You can do a lot in a minute. Sometimes you can finish the quest and just recall out. Sometimes you just gather stones and get to the shrine. But you can get to a shrine that is quite far away. You can fight your way there, and open doors, and shift inventory, and do all those things you cannot possibly do while dead. Being a quickly-decomposing wraith is not optimal but it is way better than being just dead.
Slightly undead. Not entirely, just a little bit. For a short while.
Totally worth it.
🙂 😀 🙂