Crowd FundingD&D 5e

Matt Colville’s Strongholds & Followers

This weekend, we have a guest post by Kyle Backer.

In a matter of days, Matt Colville’s Strongholds & Followers Kickstarter broke the record for must-funded Tabletop RPG book, surpassing the previous record of $1,316,813 in under two weeks.

Matt Colville, who runs a game master advice YouTube channel, states that his book focuses on “a style of play that assumes your character will grow beyond just fighting monsters, and become a mover and shaker in the world.”

The Strongholds

After the dragon is slain, the treasure looted, the heroes head back… to the village inn?

The rules for structures do more than save the party a few gold on lodging. Players get temporary buffs to their class features, like an improved Divine Smite or Inspiration. Four types of strongholds can be built:

  • Keeps to train troops.
  • Towers to conduct spell research.
  • Temples to buff your troops.
  • Establishments to generate money and collect information.

Variations of the four strongholds have strengths and weaknesses, like a barbarian camp that’s a mobile keep, but turns civilized lands into wilderness over time. Whatever the players choose to spend their hard-earned gold on, locals will take notice.

The Followers

“I need a squire to polish my armor until it glistens in the sun and blinds my enemies!” -Somebody’s paladin, probably

After a stronghold is completed, the player rolls on a d100 chart based on their class and alignment to see what followers they attract. Five types of followers can be recruited:

  • Units are soldiers that are bought or trained to fight in large-scale combat.
  • Adventures pledge service to the players and can be sent out on missions.
  • Artisans create magic items or provide buffs.
  • Ambassadors from other races or nations allow players to buy units from them.
  • Special Allies, like angels or dragons, can take an interest in the players and lend a helping hand (or claw).

While followers certainly carry narrative weight, they all provide a mechanical benefit too. A tailor gives players a bonus to Charisma checks while in the stronghold and surrounding land, but dwindles as they travel further away.

The Final Product

Matt Coleville will use some of the funds to livestream his next campaign after finishing the 150+ pages of Strongholds and Followers. It only took four hours for all stretch goals to be unlocked:

  • Five different types of Gem Dragons minis.
  • Twenty more pages of magical items.
  • An adventure written by Matt Coleville.
  • Pirate ship stronghold rules.

Strongholds & Followers is set to deliver in September 2018.

About Kyle Backer

Kyle is a game master, writer, and general fantasy lover hailing from Phoenix, Arizona. When not over-prepping for his two homebrew campaigns, he spends his free time actually getting to run a player character. Get in on the ground floor for his blog, tabletopdown.com.