Boot Camp 102 - Creating IG-88

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.

Play-By-Post: Match 05 Round 04

Raiden - Colonel Wendy Zeus Thor Caesar Set Ronald




Grab a first full of quarters and prepare yourselves for the Danger Room!  Ripped right from the pages of marvel comics, evolve yourself and enter!

Dungeoneer Boot Camp 101

Alright, yer raw recruits! Listen up! This ain't your daddy's Dee-en-dee. This ain't your buddy's Fourthcore. This ain't your XBox shoot 'em up. This. Is. Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. D'ya have what it takes?

So, ya wanna build a 1st level 4e superhero one-shot map-breaking death-defying Fourthcore Deathmatcher? Well I tell you what, you better know a few thing 'bout FTDM character design that'll help you on any map. This is a general guide - Boot Camp 102 will outline my creation process for a simple, but effective character: IG-88. If you come across an unfamiliar term, there's a glossary at the end of the article.


DMG 42 Play-By-Post: LCT-N

Have you ever wondered at the origins of one of E1M2: The Citadel's keystone magic items, The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga? Have you ever wondered what it's like to have C. Steven Ross as a Dungeon Master in an actual adventure?

Now is your chance.

I'll be running a play-by-post game of The Lost Crown of Tesh-Naga at DMG 42: Actions the Rules Don't Cover. This will be a non-deathmatch adventure, which takes only one session of actual play to run through (3-4 hours). I'm hoping to start in mid to late February, conspicuously when I anticipate FTDM PbP Match 05 and Match 06 to be finishing up.

RECRUITMENT: Play-by-Post Match 07 (Starting mid-February)

Dungeon Master: C. Steven Ross

By special request, we're going back to where it all started* with the very first D&D Deathmatch map ever played, E1M1: Slaughterhouse!

Recruitment is officially open for any dungeoneer not currently in a play-by-post match. Recruitment will open up to everyone else once play-by-post Match 05 is concluded, with a follow-up recruitment post announcing such.

(Sorry to everyone who got turned around a bit during the confusion of the previous recruitment post.)

The match will start no earlier than Monday February13th and will not start before the Play-by-Post Match 05 (E4M1: Court of the Storm Lord) is finished. The teams will have 7 days to be able to discuss strategies and tactics among themselves once the roster has been filled. This will be a quick match, lasting a mere 6 rounds, and will consist of two teams of four dungeoneers. Why only 6 rounds? Because your teammates are sick of looking at you.

As per usual, the Dungeon Master wishes to emphasize the quickness and frantic pace of the match.

Once you have realized the inevitability of your participation, kindly send the Dungeon Master an email and/or comment here and you will be set up in a team of his own devising. If you have friends in mind with whom you would like to join in on your team, be sure to mention it and accommodations will be made. New players will be given preferential placement as a means of fostering a welcoming atmopshere of eternal war and hatred towards your fellow man.

Good hunting, dungeoneers!


Blood, Sweat, & Tears: E6M1 Revisions

Those crazy #$*&-ing fey...

After a very, very crazy round with a record number of deaths (50% more than the previous best 2-team match. Suck it, Graham & Ross!), we've finished the first test of E6M1: INTERECION IN THE FEYWILD!

Thanks to all the players who participated, including 3 FTDM newbies who gave the old-timers a run for their money.

So, what went right on this map?

Play-by-Post: Match 05 Round 03

Raiden - Colonel Wendy Zeus Thor Caesar Set Ronald



Play-by-Post Match 02 - The Aftermath

A prize to be fought over ...

Wetworks defeated by The Breakfast Club; Hap (Renato) smiling as he claims glory over the humiliation of C. Steven Ross.


Baltimore FTDM Tournament Post-Game Report

The January 14th Baltimore Fourthcore Team Deathmatch is over and has been a resounding success!

This past Saturday, sixteen dungeoneers delved against the most fearsome of foe: a band of rival dungeoneers. Pit against each other in a nightmarish realm of eternal death and suffering, these tormented souls battled for supremacy.

The assembled masses were organized together into four teams of four; quadcore to the max! We occupied by force the upstairs gaming tables at our local FLGS Games and Stuff. The match setup was brutal, the dungeoneers determined, the victory full of glory.

Play-By-Post: Match 05 Round 02

Raiden - Colonel Wendy Zeus Thor Caesar Set Ronald

Rules Changes & Clarifications:
+ The center "square" of the Funnel Cloud is located at the central vertex point of the hazard.
+ Respawn triggers when a dungeoneer starts his turn dead or dying (as per most maps nowadays), and not by simply starting a turn on a sigil. However, as a Once per Turn Free Action after any "start of turn" effects a dungeoneer may teleport to a random Teleportation Sigil after he uses Respawn.
+ This rule changes takes place immediately and will be updated in the official map description at the author's convenience.


Baltimore Jan 14th Tournament - Post Game Interveiw

Crush your enemies ...
The energy and elation of the January 14th Baltimore Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Tournament is now beginning to subside. A full report of the glorious events is coming soon, pending the upload of pictures we were able to grab in the midst of the furious events (waiting on you, Samorodin!) and the official release of the newest Fourthcore Team Deathmatch map, E3M2, when this Secret Map is revealed to the public after the coming Austin Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Tournament.

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.

Play-by-Post: Match 04 FINAL ROUND

=== Screen Actors Guild vs. Venture Bros === 18
Brock - Adam West - Dean Venture - Val Kilmer - Dr. Venture - George Clooney - Christian Bale - Hank Venture


Play-by-Post: Match 5 Round 1

Raiden - Colonel - Wendy - Zeus - Thor - Caesar - Set - Ronald

Ronald wins Initiative!  He can choose to keep it as-is, or reverse!
Initiative is reversed!
Raiden spawns on sigil 1!  He teleports to sigil 4, and moves over to a chest to unlock it's treasure:  The Cloak of the Winter Wich!
The Colonel spawns on sigil 3, teleports to sigil 4, and retrieves the Dwarven Girdle and charges Raiden, but misses
Wendy spawns on sigil 4, skips to the obelisk, and calls lightening down on the Mortal Kombat lightening god!
Raiden is unconscious!

Play-by-Post: Match 04 Round 05

14 === Screen Actors Guild vs. Venture Bros === 13

Hank (4) - Dean (7) - George Clooney (13) - Brock (14) - Christian Bale (15) - Val Kilmer (19) - Dr Venture (20) - Adam West (20)


All right you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This is the Necromonicon ex Mortis. This book awoke something dark in the woods. Something evil. Close as you can figure, the year is 1300 AD and you're being sent to your death (over and over again). Deadites are everywhere, and as much as you're trying to defeat your enemies, staying alive is more important.

It's Lunch Time.

So, you know why I have no clue who's gonna win Match 4? 'Cause neither team has a (patent pending) Angille Fourthcore Team SmackTalk Banner, that's why! The banner wins. Or, to put it another way, only teams who care enough to have a banner care enough to win.

... Was that over the top? I'm such a nice guy, I almost feel dirty.


Blood, Sweat, and Tears: E2M1 Revisions

What a wild ride!  Now that Match 2 has wrapped up (again big thanks to Ross and PC's for all their efforts!), It's given me a good look at some of the things wrong with E2M1: Minecart Massacre.  I think it has potential, as can be seen by holding the new record for deaths - 23 (Suck it Ross!) - there are some big problems that I noticed emerge on the map once play started.  


Play-by-Post: Match 04 Round 04

10 === Screen Actors Guild vs. Venture Bros === 10

Hank (4) - Dean (7) - George Clooney (13) - Brock (14) - Christian Bale (15) - Val Kilmer (19) - Dr Venture (20) - Adam West (20)



by C. Steven Ross

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Mapmaking Basics

In the past months on the FTDM blog, we’ve held several matches and doled out countless deaths on new and unique maps that strive to push the razor’s edge of possibility with Dungeons and Dragons. Today, I’d like to take a moment to put down the weapons, recover from the bloodthirst, and talk about what goes into the FTDM maps, and some tips on how to make a map that’s both fun, fast, and streamlined for FTDM.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears will be a periodic mini-series within the FTDM blog to help those out there itching to get into FTDM, and have a really interesting idea for a map. Today we will cover some of the basics of making a FTDM map before we even start on a layout or idea. After that, I plan to release articles on different sections of published maps, and what the developers went through to get to the finished product.

Deathmatch Design: Terrain Power Complexity

This post is the first in an ongoing series where I will share some tips, tricks, and insider secrets into building a killer D&D Deathmatch map. I'll be going through the past, present, and future: showing you where we have fumbled with bad design, what we are doing now that works, and some insights into future maps and D&D Deathmatch in general.

D&D Deathmatch is an ever-evolving medium, and is constantly looking for new ways to stretch the boundaries of the game's realities. This advise is not law. If you've got a good design, don't be restricted by what we say here.

Lastly, these discussions, while drawing on the information gained through the Play-by-Post matches, will not specifically address any issues brought up by that specific style of play.


January Announcements

Some welcome news for FTDM this month:

1). Blog Follower Will Doyle has announced word on his site that he will have an article published in DDi next month. Look for the article about a tavern strapped to the back of a flying dragon, a great idea for a FTDM map if I ever saw one!

2). A big thanks to dungeoneer Anthony Franchini (aka Deuce DM) for setting up the FTDM group on the Wizards of the Coast Community Bulletin Boards! This has been done partially to prepare for the upcoming FTDM Tournament at PAX East this year.

3). Speaking of live tournaments, at PAX East we will be switching from awarding cheap, plastic trophies to fabulously lush custom Dragon Chow Dice Bags as prizes for winning teams at tournaments. Each tournament will have a unique design, creating a prized treasure that can only be earned through bloodshed. Look for pictures to be posted soon.

3). The blog will be changing in the near future, expanding to accommodate our Pathfinder brethren and making room for the upcoming new iteration of Dungeons & Dragons, not to mention support for Wrath Deathmatch. Now is your chance to input ideas on how best we can accomplish these goals.

4). Last but not least, Match 05 is postponed indefinitely due to lack of available dungeoneers. Once Match 2 wraps up, another call to arms will be posted looking for recruits.


PAX East Tournament Information Updated!

Attention, dungeoneers!

The PAX East Fourthcore Team Deathmatch tournament information has been released! While still under development and subject to possible small changes, what we have here is a great guideline for what to expect in Boston.

As this is primarily a video gaming conference with Dungeons & Dragons forming only a small part, we are seeking ways to enhance our exposure to the PAX East audience and show them the fun times that they are missing out on. Any support, retweets, and word-of-mouth advertising is greatly appreciated.

Reservations and any questions are being taken now here to secure your place in the carnage and glory. Don't be a sucker! Skip the legendary long lines of PAX by signing up today!


Play-by-Post: Match 04 Round 02

02 === Screen Actors Guild vs. Venture Bros === 05

Hank (4) - Dean (7) - George Clooney (13) - Brock (14) - Christian Bale (15) - Val Kilmer (19) - Dr Venture (20) - Adam West (20)


Play-by-Post: Match 04 Round 01

=== Screen Actors Guild vs. Venture Bros === 01

Hank(4) - Dean (7) - George Clooney (13) - Brock (14) - Christian Bale (15) - Val Kilmer (19) - Dr Venture (20) - Adam West (20)


Play-By-Post: Match 02 Round 05

12 === WetWorks vs. Breakfast Club === 06

Umbra 24 -
Shazi 18 - Margorach 16
- Co
unt Chocula 15 - Booberry 11 - Lucky 8 - Frankenberry 4 - Damakos 1

Round 5 - Fight!
Umbra respawns on location 3 and provides Shazi a surge of primal healing and laying down a cloud of darkness to cover her allies.
Shazi is up next, and from the Count's own shadow, fires off a crossbow bolt hitting him and knocking him out before army crawling to the track controls and flipping the switch.

Count Chocula is unconscious!
Margorach unleashes a volley of shadowy darts that embed into Count Chocula, one going right through his temple and out the other side!
Count Chocula is GIBBED!
Count Chocula respawns in location 1, conspiracies of "Vaffle House" in his mind before attempting to exact his revenge upon Margorach, but misses!
Booberry jumps off the mine cart, mirages of breakfast goodies hypnotizing Margorach and making him walk into position before hurling his High Explosive Barrel hitting everyone on the platform!!
Shazi is unconscious
Umbra is bloodied
Margorach is unconscious
Frankenberry is unconscious
Lucky flies up and follows up with another barrage of High Explosive death, sacrificing his teammate, Frankenberry, in the process. As rainbows emanate from him, the sugary goodness of his marshmallow charms sears away at Umbra.
Shazi is GIBBED
Damakos is unconscious
Umbra is GIBBED
Margorach is GIBBED
Frankenberry is GIBBED
Frankenberry respawns in location 3 and takes Total Defense.
Damakos wipes the blood of his brow, and unleashes another rock ballad which brings both Lucky and Booberry to their knees.
Booberry is bloodied