Design Challenge – Fourthcore Memories

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Last month, continuing our Kingdom Death theme, we challenged our audience to come up with something totally gross. You did not disappoint.

The Killer GM wrote to us, saying:

In the Cess Pond, no plant is quite so insidious, or deadly, as the Devil’s Delight. A mushroom said to have been cultivated in the Burning Hells, patches of it litter the Cess Pond. If left alone, they are quite harmless, with intricate colors and veining on their caps. Petty nobles who make their fiefs on the fringe use it as decoration (and security, to be elaborated on below)

The mushrooms exude a pleasing aroma, and are quite delicious when eaten, raw or cooked. The aroma is so appealing, so appetizing, even those who have sat a full meal can find themselves compelled consume this tasty fungus. This is the trap! The Devil’s Delight thrives in the dark moist of a creature’s innards, it’s spores graced with an unnatural hardiness against the constitution of man or beast. It harbors itself in the creature, and begins to weave it’s insidious tendrils. It may take days or even a couple weeks for the fungus to spread throughout it’s host. The host shows no ill signs, save a continued craving for Devil’s Delight. Once the spores have completely infested the host, the 2nd stage begins.

The host falls ill, his body rejecting all nourishment, save mushrooms of any sort and water. Unless the subjected is cleansed at this point, he will be doomed. The illness takes days to progress, the host begins to see visions (The spores playing tricks on his mind) and his body becomes flush with fever and excess blood, the latter of which the host will start to weep and spit. At long last, when the body has been all but subsumed, the host will seek a spot on the ground, planting himself in the soil. It is then the newly matured Devil’s Delight erupts from the failing flesh of the host, who dies wracked with pain. All that remains is a stand of Devil’s Delight in the vague shape of the host, slicked with blood and covered in the last tatters of flesh. The remaining vital organs trapped in the gruesome sculpture are used to sustain the colony, and it begins to exude it’s delicious aroma, ready to begin the cycle anew…

Hell. Yes.

We’re sending out a little ‘thank you’ and token of recognition to him, a Defy Danger skull sticker. #putaskullonit

This Month’s Challenge – Fourthcore Memories

The theme this month is tagging onto the recently re-released Fourthcore adventure modules. The next challenge invites you to walk back in time and tell us about your pinnacle gaming experience with any of the Fourthcore series, including tangential things like Fourthcore Team Deathmatch. If you unfortunately missed some of that gaming history, you can pick anything else that you have played.

We want to hear about that one time which is seared into your brain forever, that you can’t forget because it was so amazing and encapsulated all the head-exploding terror that we carry on and perpetuate with Defy Danger. Tell us your best nightmare D&D story.

Post it here in a Comment. We’ll choose a winner next month and mail you a cool skull sticker.


6 thoughts on “Design Challenge – Fourthcore Memories

    Andrew S. Pascoe said:
    January 19, 2017 at 1:00 am

    There’s actually two moments I’d really like to share from my d&d group’s delve into the Revenge of the Iron Lich, one moment in-game, and one moment that’s more “meta.” Emotions were especially high because I dared to run this adventure with our characters that had been gaining experience and power over the past three years.

    Our crusaders were investigating room E (Crypts of Iron), investigating the sarcophagi. I had switched up some of the rumors that appear in that adventure, and one of the new ones they were following was, “The secret to eternal life lies within the sarcophagi.” Eventually, they opened the north-eastern most sarcophagi discovering it glowed with this violet power. Our party wizard (a wild mage) decided to jump in and learn the truth. The wizard steps into the sarcophagus, the lid closes, and the room flashes with power as necromantic runes blazed over the surface. I demanded silence from everyone at the table, and then turned to the wizard’s player, asking only, “What would you like your phylactery to be?” Everyone roared in excitement and horror, and he declared that his magical crown he’d poured all of his wealth into manufacturing would become his new lich’s phylactery.

    The second was later in the same adventure, I can’t remember exactly where we were like I can with the sarcophagi, but I know it was near the end. I think the party was preparing to ascend the spectral staircase for the final confrontation, and just before, two of the players’ girlfriends both barge in through our front door (We were living in a college dorm at the time). I was extremely frustrated, because I knew they were going to waste a bunch of time and annihilate everybody’s suspension of disbelief. However, before I could even say anything, one of the boyfriends at our table said, “NOW IS NOT THE TIME” and pointed them out the door, since our party only had 45 minutes in real time before they would be destroyed. I consider this my greatest personal victory as a Dungeon Master, and I now use the real timer in almost every adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

      ddeadventures responded:
      February 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm


      Send a mailing address to us at ddeadventures at gmail and we’ll mail you some stickers!


    […] make sure to turn on the nostalgia faucet and let the memories gush out in this month’s Design Challenge. Tell us about your most harrowing DEFY DANGER moment, either with the adventures from our […]


    The Killer GM said:
    February 6, 2017 at 4:35 am

    My favorite Fourthcore memory comes from Crucible of the Gods. The crusaders were smart, and resourceful. They easily bested the challenge of Lyth, and while difficult, managed to complete the challenges of Asar-Segt,

    Finally, it came time for the dread Challenge of Kotaresh (E Kotaresh’s Trial) It was here, that the crafty Crusaders outsmarted even themselves.The leader convinced the others, the solution to the challenge was to pull multiple blocks from the central pillar. (They had not tested the pillar, merely observed the room. I cannot remember accurately if they had obtained the clue tablet, but I seem to recall them being lucky and finding it) The brave, foolish crusaders arranged themselves all around the pillar (One to each face) They all then pulled one designated face from the pillar. None of them the right one. All 6 tries in one go. I confirmed their actions, they replied this is what they wanted.

    In hindsight, full blown maniacal laughter was probably not the response they were expecting, nor was it the one I should have given. But there I was, laughing until tears were streaming down my face. Once I’d regained my composure, I informed them of their crusader’s sad fate, impaled on spikes as the floor vanished beneath them. To be fair, the Half-Orc Ranger did survive and try to guide the fresh replacements through Kishar’s Trial. Needless to say, that run of the dungeon did not succeed. My players confessed they would likely not retry the dungeon, and when I told them the solution to the puzzle they had so thoroughly botched, you could have knocked them over with a pin.

    I have my nom de guerre for a reason after all.


    RUMORS – February 2017 « DEFY DANGER said:
    February 14, 2017 at 1:33 am

    […] week, we present a new Design Challenge, as well as announcing the winner to last month’s Design Challenge. Each month, we send a personalized letter out to the winner along with a pair of DEFY DANGER skull […]


    bflat said:
    February 14, 2017 at 8:49 am

    My earliest experience with high intensity, high stakes gaming came during the early days of 3.5e, long before I knew what fourthcore meant, long before Revenge of the Iron Lich and Deathmatch made me into a convert. This earlier event opened my eyes and prepared me for the gaming I would do later on.

    Our party was comprised of three PCs, two of whom shared the DM role. Through many various adventures we found ourselves defending a fortress the we seized from a Frost Giant who had been terrorizing the locals (as they do). Not long after, we were beset by an angry army of drow who came in the dead of night to punish us from some wrong we had committed in the Underdark.The details escape me, but they came in force and they came for blood.

    What followed was a massive encounter where the 3 of us each commanded a squad of NPCs based on our classes (Barbarian, Paladin and my own Sorcerer) against wave after wave of Drow, Underdark minions and monsters, and their High Priestess atop a dragon steed. My sorcerers did their best to thin the numbers as they approached the wall, but eventually we retreated through the keep, to the inner wall, courtyard, through the bailey and even up to its roof, where our Paladin (rwaluchow) finally managed to vanquish the High Priestess by knocking her clear off the dragon with his ring of the ram.

    It was epic in the true sense of the word, dire, exciting, exhausting and glorious. We played for three days straight, in real time, pausing to eat occasionally, without sleep, not wanting to rest until we defended our new home from the forces of evil.

    Before this event I didn’t truly know what it meant to be a power gamer, to min-max because failing to optimize a character meant certain death. It would be many years yet until 4e came out and I discovered FTDM, but for me it all started then.


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