Thursday, June 14, 2012

Toronto FTDM Tournament: Retrospective

The first-ever Canadian Fourthcore Team Deathmatch (FTDM) tournament took place this past Saturday. While it suffered from a lackluster turnout, it was a great time!

We ran two teams of 3 dungeoneers each. Bflattery, Dosojin and Ameron (of Dungeon’s Master) made up the first team, while Gingerbeardman, Cedric, and I made up the other team. (I would have preferred to DM only, but you work with what life gives you).

In true Canadian fashion, this competitive tournament of blood-thirsty carnage ended in a freakin’ tie. As participants had to leave, we didn’t get around to a tie-breaker round.

Our first match was played on E1M2: the Citadel. I really think this is a strong map. While there was some confusion as to how the lava terrain functioned and the magic item (Blackrazor) was never utilized, the map made for a fast-paced play experience that emphasized tactical placement and character design (I believe this is a map that would-be FTDM map designers should look to as an example of solid streamlined design).

That said, my team got hammered on this map. If not for the energy the other team expended trying to take down Cedric’s tiefling warlock (the temp hitpoints and fire resistance were beautiful), it would have been a blowout. As I experienced an affinity for rolling 1s, my bugbear slayer spent the majority of the match on his ass (a theme that continued throughout the tournament).

The second match was played on a map of my own design, E4M1: Court of the Storm Lord (although we lacked the incredibly beautiful build that Benoit rendered for the Baltimore tournament). Through some devastating slides on the part of Gingerbeardman’s enchanter, some luck in regards to enemy respawns, and a devastating use of Blood Sacrifice, my group managed a narrow victory. Unfortunately, nobody was able to make it up the central column, so neither the Primordial Cyclone of Devastation nor the Lodestone came into play.

Looking back, I plan on making a couple of tweaks to Court of the Storm Lord. Mobility and line of sight were problematic; I’m going to remove the need to make athletics checks for climbing and the stairs will no longer be difficult terrain.

Although I was initially disappointed with the turnout, I think the first ever Toronto FTDM tournament was a rousing success. I met some great people and was able to spread the gospel of Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. A follow-up tournament is already in the works!

Game on,



  1. I wouldn't change the athletics check or stairs as difficult terrain. Someone in our match made it to the top, so it's not impossible, just difficult. Unless you're trying to make it a King of the Hill scenario, I think it should be difficult to gain the 15-20 crit benefit and the lodestone. That lodestone was devestating (and fun!). If anything, change the range of the lightning rods to "any" so that players don't have to be near the *right* lightning rod to hit someone on the map. Especially since there's already a penalty associated with them (missing=death).

    One thing I learned was that the sun switches are in really strategic places. You have to really want them, because it's easy to get pinned in that little area, either by the cyclone or by the opposing team.

  2. I'm not sure I'd change things either, but if you want to play test it I'd help out...
    Making the central column a little easier to climb might be good, or offer an item that players can pick up to let them climb their speed...maybe add that feature to the lodestone? mixed blessing magic items can be a lot of fun to play...