Match 07 Retrospective

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Final Round

Ok folks, that was brutal! I have never seen so much prone in my life! What did everyone think?

Running a Match
More work than I expected, actually. I expected a map that had almost no DM involvement (except for the teleport, all player posts could happen in one post) to need less attention. I probably set the bar a little high for myself, with limiting myself to map updates on computers with Photoshop. And I've got a full-time job with a weird schedule, a three-year-old, and a house to keep up. But yeah - instead of having to be "on it" once a round, I was posting every time someone else was. So I'm just hoping I was attentive enough and energetic enough to keep everyone's attention.

That said, what the heck was up with missed turns? There was a whole round lost between both teams over six rounds! Ok, that's all I'm gonna say about that. Feel free to light up the comments.

Brilliant map. Heavily playtested, very true to the core tenets of FTDM map design, and for good reason. I am so pumped to run this tomorrow night at GameStorm, and I thank CS Ross for allowing me the experience of running it for all of you!

A strange frustration was that saving throws against falling were so pervasive! Sure, the conveyors were unstoppable otherwise, but the fall wasn't. Although... looking back, I'd say the DEATH and MAYHEM were not diminished in an unfun way. The items were an interesting distraction, but ultimately (the second half of the match) folks ignored them.

Holy crap, Dimensional Scramble! Holy crap, Hellfire Touch! Also, good map for the Bladesinger.

I will reveal this now that the match is over: half of WTF didn't even have backgrounds/themes. I don't think that would have made or broke the match, but the slapdash effort to rebuild the team immediately before the match did not do WTF any favors.

Ok, players, other DMs, flies on the wall. How'd it go? What was your favorite part and least favorite part?


  1. I really don't have access to themes and only a few backgrounds, so that why GR didn't have 'em.

    I thought the Githyanki's Telekinetic Leap was awesome. Also, sitting on the platform for so long, I never used my Bladesinger encounter or daily power!

    Has anyone considered a penalty or no save fro falling off the conveyors? I agree that all of the successful saves were a huge disappointment, it makes the conveyors less dangerous.

    1. Yep, Githyanki, Eladrin, Windsoul Genasi, Pixies... am I missing anyone who can reliably fly/teleport? Good stuff.

      Of course, you still have to get them off of there. I honestly don't know if a 2-square or 1-square platform would be better - they would just make for different games.

      And I was thinking, perhaps the conveyors needn't give saves? Forced movement, yeah, sure, but not the conveyors?

  2. I missed one turn due to college things suddenly piling up, and i suddenly forgot about it till it was too late =)

    I moved our team concept of forced movement for almost everyone, and thanks to them I've discovered a new cool feat for Goliath.

  3. In my mind's eye, I picture the conveyors moving at a fairly constant speed - something to be aware of, but easily manageable for your standard better-than-the-average-villager adventurer. Then I think of the control platform, cranking out 3 squares of conveyor movement in overdrive. I know it would contradict RAW a bit, but I kinda think that the players shouldn't be able to save against that. I guess it would require a bit of playtesting to hammer out the details... maybe if a player is on the top conveyor when the controls are activated, they shouldn't be able to save against that. Not getting a save the meat grinder might suck, but then again this is FTDM, on the "Slaughterhouse" map, so what do you expect? Maybe it would make battles for the control platform more frequent.

    As far as themes/backgrounds go... I think they can make a big difference in the damage output and versatility of a character. Did they make/break the match because half of team WTF didn't have them? Hard to say. Since Takedown Strike (+4 damage and prone) and Hellfire Touch (+5 damage and slide a beastly 5) are probably the most common/effective powers on this map, let's use them as examples. If all 4 players on one team have the theme power, then they're doing approximately 20 extra damage on their round; and if only 2 players on the other team have a theme, they're only doing 10 extra (this is assuming that all attacks hit). 20 vs 10 may not seem like much, but this is 1st level, where HP ranges 20-35, so 10 damage could be 1/3 of a character's life, not to mention all of the other damage from weapons, and add-ons like power strike, bladesong or flurry of blows, etc. A theme might mean the difference between dropping an enemy, or having to "waste" your next ally's turn to finish them off. So yeah, I could see it having a bigger impact in the long run.
    As you said, part of the problem was the mixup in e-mail addresses before the match started, and the fact that we had to scramble our team together kinda last-minute. If someone doesn't have an active subscription to DDi, and they're still using an old version of the character builder, then they could be missing out on a lot of newer themes and feats. So communication, and the lending of a DDi login can help maximize a team's efforts

    Kudo's on all the time and attention you put into updating the map. The custom icons for magic items and character effects were a nice touch. The writing on the right side was a little tough to see at times (like for my bladesong bonus, or the stone's endurance), so maybe make the map a clickable link to a larger, higher-res image. The isometric view was nice, but I kinda feel the need for gridlines extending all the way from the 1-12/A-L bars. Because of the Nailguns, the map wasn't sitting along the edges of the markers, and maybe my eyes are just screwy, but on a couple occasions I found myself holding up a ruler to my screen to figure out what designation a particular square is.

    1. Re: hard to read stuff on the map: Exactly the kind of feedback I need! So the map itself was higher res - you could always right-click and view image. But yeah... shoulda been a link.

      And my brain follows lines without thinking, so it wouldn't have even occurred to me to make the row/column headings easier to associate. You never know what's obvious to yourself and completely obtuse to other people until they point it out to you, huh? (rickety stairs, anyone?)

    2. You may not want the save to automatically fail on the conveyer, but give a penalty (-5?) to saves when the conveyer moves (either way, sitting on the edge at the end of your turn or when the conveyer is activated, or maybe something like a -2 for the 1 square forced movement and a -5 when the platform activates the conveyer).

    3. @Kurt - if there's one thing I've learned about FTDM, it's you gotta keep it simple. A -2 now, and a -5 then, and no penalty that other time? Not gonna happen.

      I love that level of fiddliness, but it's not appropriate for the fast and furious deathmatch.