"A hooligans game played by gentlemen."
by C. Steven Ross and Steven Samorodin

Authors' Notes: We're very proud to present this new and innovative map for Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. The sport is a passion for both of us, and we're thrilled at the chance to try and show this to the FTDM community. Rugby's fast, frantic play fits in very well with the FTDM philosophy, not to mention both the sport and the hobby game sharing an attitude of unrelenting violence and brutality. We're taking a big leap here, not only are we introducing a new grid layout for FTMD in the form of a hex map, but we're also blending the worlds of the jocks and the nerds into one utterly ridiculous and over-the-top expression of Dungeons & Dragons. We hope you enjoy!

Driving Rain: Rugby games are not cancelled due to poor weather, and thunderstorms have created a swampy field of mud.
All squares are difficult terrain and creatures cannot fly more than 3 squares with a single action.
Dungeoneers may not jump over difficult terrain.

Kickoff: All creatures start the Match in an unoccupied square adjacent to the opposite team's goal. The dungeoneer with the highest initiative is on the receiving team and the other team is considered the kicking team. Dungeoneers are then shuffled into alternating initiative order (Team 1, Team 2, Team 1, etc.). The dungeoneer with the highest initiative on the receiving team then holds the Ball.

Scoring: Deaths do not count for points.  Points, referred to as “tries”, are gained from using Touch It Down. The winner of the Match is the team with the most tries. In the case of a tie, Driving Rain is removed and the next team to score a try wins.

Humiliation: A creature rolling a natural 1 on an attack roll is knocked prone immediately after the attack and Tackled! By the Dungeon Master. Being knocked prone in this way cannot be negated in any way.

Line of Scrimmage: The column of the dungeoneer holding the Ball is considered the Line of Scrimmage.
Dungeoneers not holding the ball cannot move, teleport, or appear any closer to their goal than the Line of Scrimmage.
Dungeoneers ending their turn closer to the goal that the Line of Scrimmage are gibbed.

Respawn                                 Terrain Power
At-Will + teleportation
You start your turn dying, dead or begin your first turn of the encounter.
Effect (No Action): If you are dying, you die. You regain all hit points and healing surges, refresh all encounter powers and power points, remove all conditions, and teleport to an unoccupied square of your choosing.

Touch It Down                       Terrain Power
Free Action                             Personal

Requirement: You have the Ball, are prone, and are in one of your goal squares.
Effect: You gain a try, all creatures teleport to an unoccupied square adjacent to the opposite team's goal, and the next dungeoneer in initiative order holds the Ball.

Pick It Up!                               Terrain Power
Minor Action                         Personal
You are adjacent to the Ball and no enemies are holding the Ball.
Effect: You hold the Ball.

Pass                                         Terrain Power
Minor Action                         Personal
You are holding the Ball.
Effect: Slide the Ball up to 5 squares. The Ball cannot slide closer to your goal. If the slide places the Ball in a square occupied by a dungeoneer, that dungeoneer has the Ball.

Tackled!                                   Terrain Power
Free Action                             Personal

Trigger: You knock an enemy that is holding the Ball prone or unconscious.
Effect: The Ball slides 1 square in a random direction (d8: 1-north, 2-northeast, etc.)

Killing Spree                             Terrain Power
At-Will (1/turn)                             Terrain Power

You reduce 2 or more enemies with at least 1 hit point to 0 hit points or fewer during the same turn.
Effect (Free Action): 
Gain an action point. You may spend more than one action point per encounter, but only one action point per round.


  1. I love this. I once played a rugby tournament that was cancelled due to weather, just after we scored the first try of the game.

    Can the ball be a goblin's head?

    1. I didn't know you were a rugger! What position did you play? Do you think the sport is more popular in Canada than the US?

    2. I had a brief stint as a lock in high school (due to my above-average height). It's not very popular up here either.

  2. Gonna see some weird builds in this. There's even less incentive to kill than in 2fort!

  3. Hmm...the field size seems like it will be a significant problem. Since everything is difficult terrain, either the ball will move at a snail's pace; or the few PCs who build to capitalize on speed/ignoring difficult terrain will fly past everyone.

    1. I'll be the first to admit that I'm very shaky on how well this will actually play out. However, do you have some numbers to back up your concerns? If your typical ball-runner has Speed 8 (which is very easy to do, Elf Druid for example, and low for some builds), they're chugging along Runnning for a net of almost half the field per turn, and can pass the ball as a minor action to a Defense-oriented character (Dwarf Warden, for example), keeping possession the entire time.

  4. Well... they can pass the ball... backwards? The line of scrimmage in a turn-based system is going to make a passing game difficult.

    Unless... You could choose to make the Ready an Action action the same as the action you ready. Eg: "Ok, I double-run to Q-4 and spend a minor to ready a pass to any teammate in column Q."

    1. One of the biggest differences between rugby and gridiron football is the forward pass. Although one can kick in rugby, the sport is almost exclusively a running game. There's a lot that goes into thinking ahead of time, if I mere here now, will that open up space there later?

      I'm not sure if I want to open up the can of worms of readied actions, but I like that you're thinking about different ways to handle everything. We're looking to do a live playtest soon, maybe that will tell us to cut down the field size like Jon suggests, or do an easier pass like you suggest.

      Keep the comments comin'!

  5. I might suggest either a Free Action to drop the ball off turn, or a Minor/Standard to take it from a willing ally.

    Otherwise I line up a Hunter and Immobilize/Slow/Prone ad nauseum and the ball never moves forward.

    Any reason you all chose hex over square?

    1. You already can grab the ball from an adjacent ally as a minor action, see Pick It Up.

      We chose hexes on this map because, well, hexes are cool. They work perfectly well in the 4E system as opposed to traditional squares, yet provide an interesting twist. I also think that they provide a visual trick into making you think and feel the board is more open and flexible than it really is. With no long, straight lines it feels less like a box and more organic and like you have more choices for movement, even though technically that's not true at all.

    2. MORE choice of movement? It's actually more limiting! You have 6 adjacent squares rather than 8.

      I'm interested to see how this thing actually plays; I think you are going to have a very low-scoring map on your hands. Interesting for sure, I just don't really see this as FTDM.

    3. Yes exactly, the hexes are technically more restricting, but the feel of them in play tends to trick the player into thinking that it's more open, just because of the visual effect of not having the straight lines of traditional squares.

      It's interesting, I've been getting lots of feedback on the map size: some say it's too big, others say it's too small. I'l be tweaking it in the coming weeks based on some live playtests to see how it really goes.