Last time on Boot Camp 101, we discussed several general strategies for creating a survivable and effective Fourthcore Team Deathmatch dungeoneer. Today, I'll be going over my thought process as I built IG-88 for Match 3.
For something a little simpler than a hybrid monstrosity or a fringe build, I decided to try an Essentials striker. Slayer, Thief, or Scout? I think I went Thief mostly because Sneak Attack is fun! The nice thing about Essentials is that a lot of pretty optimal choices are already made for you. It's difficult to make a bad character.
I knew that I wanted a +2 Dex race. I also knew that if I dumped the full 20 into Dex, my Con was going to suffer. This was before the Background errata, but I'll orient this guide as if it wasn't. The race needed to be a little more resilient than normal. Dwarf? Warforged? Mul? None of those worked with the +2 Dex requirement. But Revenant does! And the racial power boosts damage without costing actions? I'm there! I chose Elf as the Race in Life, but it didn't matter in the end.
Background and Theme
There are several good Themes for Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. In fact, that may become a Boot Camp post all on its own. I chose to go the melee nova route, and picked Mercenary. Like the racial power, it's free damage! As for the post-errata Background? Whatever gave a +2 Athletics, which wouldn't have avoided IG-88's fall to death, but it is something.
With the Auspicious Birth Background, this was 11/8/20/10/10/16. Without, we still have the 20 Dex, but we switch the racial bonus from Cha to Con, sacrificing Will defense for Hit Points. Final tally? 8/15/20/10/10/13 - turns out a Thief can easily be a one-stat wonder, folks!
As per Boot Camp 101, IG-88 is trained in the Core Four skills. Along with... uh, Bluff?
As an Essentials build, IG-88 doesn't have a ton of choice here. Escape Artist's Trick was especially useful in E3M1's tight hallways. I chose Unbalancing Trick for the other, but better ones as it turns out would have been Ambush Trick or Tactical Trick, for the few times the Cunning Stalker feat was inapplicable.
Lots of good choices here. Light Blade Expertise? Past Soul (a pretty decent one for Revenants)? Stormhawk's Vengeance (a classic for Fourthcore Team Deathmatch and better for Revenants)? Death's Quickening? Ooh, here's an awesome one: Cunning Stalker! Combat Advantage against lone enemies should practically guarantee constant use of IG-88's nova abilities.
This pretty much got defined by the class. Leather armor, short sword, and a couple of daggers. This isn't an adventure - there's no need for adventuring things. I packed a couple bottles of oil in my first match, but... they never came up.
From what I hear of the hot-blooded and fast-paced live matches, there's no time or space for roleplay, or even character names. It's much faster to say "James, your turn" and get an immediate 30-year-old Pavlovian response than "Hey, IG-88's next" or even "Angille's up!"
That said, it seems like the Play-by-Post format has taken a definite turn towards over-the-top themed teams. In this case, continuing the tradition of Quadcore's droids from Match 1, but having such a radical departure from P3-10R, I chose to characterize this Revenant Thief as IG-88, the deadly droid bounty hunter from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
In the end, we followed the goals of Boot Camp 101. As a Revenant, IG-88 is hard to kill. As a nova-focused Thief he can one-shot... well, anyone if he's lucky. He's capable of dealing over 50 damage, in a team with a good leader, with a single melee or ranged attack. He would have been hilariously over the top with the Quad Damage PowerUp he had for about two seconds.
There are other more effective builds, especially given the various and crazy map effects, but IG-88 is a strong, simple build for a new Fourthcore Team Deathmatch player on a wide variety of maps.