|Crush your enemies ...|
For now, I wanted to sit down with the champions of the Baltimore tournament and fields one or two questions brought out by myself, and quite a few more brought out by the global Fourthcore community through the magic of the internet.
|Left to Right: Matt, Sean, Karl, Jon Paul|
Question: Whom do you think will win play-by-post round 5, Team Out To Lunch or Team Riders on the Storm?
Matt Surber: Obviously Out-to-Lunch as they have an Angille Smack Talk Banner!
Sean O'Connor: Sadly I don't really follow the play-by-post, but I will say the team that wants it more.
Karl "Toruk" Zahn: I sadly don't follow the play by post but I like food so I will go with Team out to lunch.
Jon Paul "The Pontiff" McLaughlin: I don't follow the Play-by-Post either, I'm afraid. I'll agree with Sean and say that whoever wants it more. That or whoever can pick up the sweetest item. You'd be surprised how one can turn the game around in the blink of an eye!
Q: What influenced the game the most; character build, in-game tactics, or luck of the dice?
MS: All of the above. And I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but each one is equally necessary. One of our enemies snagged a quad attack, moved into great position and unloaded only to roll a 1,2,3, and 12. Needless to say it was a huge break.
SO: I wish I could say character build was the most important bit, but I don't really think it is. While the build is important, the tactics really are what's important. Coordinating with your team on the fly, and reacting to situations as they crop up. These maps are brutal sometimes, and being able to swing that brutality into your favor is the key to victory. Luck is definitely a part of it too, but you can augment luck with awesome.
KZ: I would say its half tactics a quarter build and a quarter rolls (please don't smite me, oh dice gods!). If you've got a good strategy in place then you can do alright with almost any half decent build.
JM: Character build, I'd say, as that really determines what tactics you will use as well. Luck of the die can't be controlled, and will screw you as often as it will aid on you.
Q: What was your race and class? Why did you choose that combination? What informed your design the most?
MS: Human Warlock|Assassin MC Monk. (Editor's Note: WINNING!).
Why did you choose that combination? MASSIVE DAMAGE.
What informed your design the most? The desire to do MASSIVE DAMAGE.
Seriously though, it's all about the K:D (kills:death) ratio a character can bring in. I was doing 2d6+2d8+6 on a melee basic, so I knew I could NOVA and still keep a pretty solid dpr total running and if one or two characters can manage a good K:D on their own, their teammates are free to load up on item and terrain effects.
SO: I played a Thri-Kreen Thief. I went that way because I could solely emphasize damage. My character was singularly focused; get in there, find an opponent, and 1-shot him, usually focusing on the person on the opposing team who was poised to lay down some hurt. Die, respawn, rinse, repeat. And hope my other teammates could also pull off some kills so that we could tip the points in our favor.
KZ: I played a Revenent Executioner Assassin with the "way of the ninja". My plan was to nova someone using the assassin strike and executioner attack finesse and then tie people up and poison them for as long as possible until I inevitably respawned. With unnatural vitality keeping me up even past 0 hp and the "Swallowed by Shadow" feat letting me turn invisible when I used my dark reaping racial ability, I figured I had a bit of longevity on the board
JM: I bring a different build to every tournament, this time around I was a Revenant Slayer. I chose this combo so I could get more mileage out of the Stormhawk's Vengeance feat. My choice was based on this simple fact, you will die in the deathmatch, and if you can take some one to the point of near bloodied, just by dying, then it makes it that much easier to even the score. And as a revenant I'm only dazed when I first get knocked to 0 HP, so I can still at least charge or dish out damage, possibly enough to drop who ever brought me down.
Q: How much did metagaming factor into party design? Was the party built for synergy or to counter anticipated combos?
MS: Almost non-existant. And not for lack of trying or desire but the way things worked out, it was all just craziness and impossible to do. I would however strongly recommend NOT trying to counter anticipated other characters. There's a chance they won't bring what you think, or it won't work out the way you think or you'll be less than useful in too many other ways.
SO: Our party had absolutely zero synergy. We did not speak beforehand about builds or strategy, we just built what we would want to play most. Some even didn't have a character until they showed up! I think this really emphasizes question two, with strategy. Even a low-damage character can throw up some really useful and point-scoring rounds by playing smart.
KZ: As the others have stated our party was thrown together for the last round out of whoever was left at the tourney.
JM: Party build was as random as it could get, and our team was cobbled together at the last moment for the final round of the tournament.
Q: What was the most fun part of the tournament?
MS: Also the most devastating moment for me: I brought an extra char not knowing what I might need and ended up giving it over to someone else on my team. It was a Shadar-Kai Cleric|Assassin (Editor's Note: Vatican Assassin = WINNING!) MC Monk; Wisdom-focused using Sollinor's Hammer to make everything trigger. Well 'somehow' he lost the use of Sollinor's Hammer (Editor's Note: Deck of Mortals) and the entire build literally just crumbled right there before my eyes as my teammate looked bewildered and crushed. The funniest part was that the opposing player who affected this had no clue what kind of havoc he had even done.
SO: The most fun part, for me, was the first round on the E2M2: Mortal Kombat stage. Nobody knew what their opponents were going to be throwing at them, so it was very tense whenever someone came at you. Also, double points for dropping someone to negative bloodied played a significant role in point scoring. Our very last round was a super tense moment, that ended with the very last player being the deciding factor of who won. It was a blast.
KZ: Having the BFG, rocket launcher and plasma gun for like 3 or 4 turns while hanging on to life at 6 HP.
JM: Chucking dice with out a care in the world!
Q: What tactics or character build did you fight against that surprised or impressed you the most?
MS: Marks and Healing powers. They aren't going to win you the game, but everyone at the table suddenly goes 'hmmm'.
SO: I'm pretty sure one of the players was playing a melee sorcerer. Not sure if it was a hybrid, but it did surprisingly better than I thought (Editor's Note: dagger-channeling Dragonborn Sorcerer, everything picked from PHB1 and PHB2). Especially when he picked up a quad-damage implement in the E1M3: Tomb of the Iron Lich map. Took more than a few of us down with that one.
KZ: Before the last round seeing the sheer amount of damage Sean's Thri-Kreen Thief could do. That put my Undead ninja assasin to shame.
JM: Some of the Nova damages that can be thrown on it the first round of combat is pretty amazing. Not to mention the odd ways Hybrid characters an be utilized at 1st level.
Q: What is best in life?
MS: A nice MLT: a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe.
SO: If we don't know the answer to this one by now, there is not much hope. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PQ6335puOc
KZ: Crush enemies, see them driven before you... you know how it goes.
JM: Not getting crit'd by a razor jack.