FTDM Playtest: How I Killed 40+ PCs in a Single Night

EDIT: If you are anywhere nearby whatsoever, be sure to sign up for the Baltimore Fourthcore Team Deathmatch, held on Saturday October 15th 2011!

This is the one word I can use to describe the experience. I will now relate to you the harrowing, awesome events of last night’s playtest of my latest project, the Fourthcore Team Deathmatch.

Podcast Interview

A 4th Edition podcasting blog, A Roving Band of Misfits, has posted a podcast where they start out excitedly talking about the Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. All this support and excitement has gotten me very encouraged! I can't wait! There has also been talk from Benoit's side about some very special treats for some lucky teams in the Deathmatch. More details will be dropped as things progress!

As I write this, we're at 23 31 players signed up! Only 1 ticket remaining! I see this event easily selling out by the end of the week. I thank you all for your love of killing your fellow man.

With that in mind, please make sure to get in touch with me and get your team squared away. I'd hate to have to do all that messy administrative juggling at GenCon, splicing together teams and all, when we could be better spending our time telefragging.

GenCon 2011 FTDM Cast-Stone Terrain

For the last few month, Benoit & Co. at Roving Band of Misfits have been diligently working away at their fantastic cast-stone model terrain to create something truly unique. Behold! Cast-stone terrain pieces for the Fourthcore Team Deathmatch:  http://www.rovingbandofmisfits.com/?p=2048

Benoit will be running the table where these terrain pieces are setup, and then making them available to the general public afterwards. The plan is to spread out the love and give as many different teams a try on the terrain as possible.

The first two maps look absolutely stunning, but I'm even more excited by the Secret Map. It will be revealed around the start of the event, when setup is taking place, and my hope is that is will be a bit of an eye-catcher and a fascinating point of conversation to the onlookers. I want to tell you all about it, but I can't! It will be so much better when revealed if cloaked in secrecy now.

FTDM Analysis

The Fourthcore Team Deathmatch (FTDM) has been my pet project for a few months now, and I have poured quite a bit of thought and energy into its design and implementation. Originally inspired by a chat with Sersa V, it has taken on a life of its own and promises to be an amazing event. My mind was filled with visions of blood and glory, and I could already hear the screams of both triumphant victory and devastating defeat. With GenCon fast approaching, I wanted to take a little time to explain my motives and reasoning behind many of the decisions made on FTDM.

RBoM 2011 Interview

I was interviewed this past Monday night by the guys at Roving Band of Misfits about my thoughts, intentions, and playtesting experiences on the Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. Enjoy! Comments welcome.

GenCon 2011 FTDM: Sights & Sounds

During GenCon, I was able to interview the top four FTDM teams. Some interviews were prior to the event, some immediately after.

Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Interview - Team Critzkrieg!

The first minute and a half or so has pretty low volume. My apologies. We had some technical difficulties.

Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Interview - Team Nighthawk!

Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Interview - combined Teams Cellar Dwellers and Don't Make This Weird!

Pictures below!

Q: How does Respawn work?

A: Each map will have set respawn points (usually four). Using Respawn, a dead or dying character will be restored to full hit points and healing surges, all encounter powers and power points restored, all failed death saves removed, all conditions removed (besides end of encounter conditions), and then teleported to a respawn point (either random or determined as per the map).
The dungeoneer will then will be able to take their full turn.
Animal Companions are unaffected by Respawn.

Q: How often do daily powers, action points, and psionic power points recharge?

A: Psionic power points and encounter powers recharge every time your character dies and respawns. Action points and daily powers are recharged at the start of every match.

Q: I don’t have a full group of four players/it's only me. What should I do?

A: If you are not a full team, submit your player(s) and we will coordinate between everyone to fill out all of the teams, combining where we can to ensure that as many people get to play as possible.

Q: How do powers such as Killing Spree, Infernal Wrath, and Stormhawk's Vengeance interact with instant kill effects?

A: Many Fourthcore Team Deathmatch powers are of the instant death variety. Telefragging, E1M1's Meat Grinder, E3M1's Pit of Wombs, etc. instantly kill an enemy. Most of the powers in question trigger on a character going to 0 hit points or fewer. Since the instant-kill terrain powers do not change the target's hit points, the other powers do not trigger.
In other words, no Killing Spree for telefrags.

Q: How is this different from a D&D Minatures warband skirmish, Lair Assault, or the Core Coliseum?

A: Fourthcore Team Deathmatch is much more fast paced and engaging experience than a simple warband encounter. We use the full D&D 4th Edition ruleset, and tap into all the benefits and fun of cooperative team play, with the excitement and rush of victory when you smite your fellow dungeoneers. Fourthcore Team Deathmatch provides a frantic, frenzied pace that is typically unheard of in tabletop games, and completely avoids the slow, "chess playing" mentality that can creep into some games. Also, while many similar PvP games stop when a team is killed, Fourthcore Team Deathmatch keeps the fun and high-octane action going. A few bad rolls or poor tactical decisions early on can be overcome with a fever-pitched comeback by a determined team.


by C. Steven Ross and Jasmine Barlow