D&D 5E Buying the Farm - Claiming the Ruin - Occupying the Dungeon


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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As both player and DM I love the idea of a home base where all the various adventurers gather between adventures, pool resources, spend their downtime, etc.

In my current game the closest they've come was during an early string of lucrative adventures one PC wanted to settle down afterwards and build a pub, and so he did. That pub - the Fallen Flagon - became the de-facto home base for a small boatload of adventurers over the next few in-game years, until its founder and a bunch of other characters decided to sail off into the sunset. The Flagon is still there (the founding PC gave it over to one of the barmaids before leaving), but is no longer an adventurers' hangout. Now there's no real home base as such other than one large city they tend to gravitate back to now and then, and the various parties have become more scattered.

In the game I play in we've taken over an old dungeon site as a home base, and made some extensive renovations. It's in a remote location, but that's fine - we have all kinds of long-range transport options including mundane ships (the "super-secret base" is on the seacoast and includes a deep-water hidden-underground harbour) which means if anyone wants to attack us out here there won't be any collateral damage. The biggest challenge in finding a suitable home base was it needed to have an underground area big enough to hide our stolen (!) zeppelin (!), which in theory nobody in this side of the world knows we have; fortunately the underground harbour has enough airspace above it to suit.

The only real challenge is at the table level: some players just aren't interested in any of this. :(
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
In my current campaign, that has been running a little over 4 years, this is a big part of it.

First, the Adventure/Campaign setting has a ruined castle in the area which includes some tips for costs for fixing it up to use as a home base and I just went with that.

Then I integrated MCDM's Strongholds & Followers, basically RAW. While I don't like the warefare-lite rules in that book, I really do like the rules for building, upgrading, and maintaining strongholds and attracting and supporting followers.

Part of what makes it fun is that the PCs get some special powers. Some apply only when the PCs are in their demesnes. But these can be useful in research, gathering intel, and other things that support (preparing for) adventuring. Other are "extended rest abilities" that give cool abilities that require spending a week's downtime in your demesne to recharge.

The setting is the mega dungeon Rappan Athuk. As they continue to work against the Cult of Orcus and other dangers in the massive complex of natural tunnels, caverns, dungeons, and subterranean lairs and settlements, they secure cleared and allied areas with troops purchased and maintained per the Strongholds & Followers rules.

Over time, which each PC building different class-related "strongholds" (castle, wizards tower, arena, temple, monastery, etc., they have attracted followers, trade, farmers, etc. and a town has grown and continues to grow. That creates new opportunities for political intrigue and diplomacy.

I also use a mix of rules from the DMG, Xanathar's and an ENWorld article for a reputation system where they can gain fame and infamy points and risks of complications. The amount of fame they have determines the size of a reputation die a player can roll with a character levels up (from d4 to d30) to attempt to get better benefits from the various organizations/factions/patrons they've earned a good reputation with. They can also spend fame points to call in a favor. Depending on the nature of the favor, I set a DC and for each point spent they get a +1 on the roll.

I helps give more purpose to their efforts in the megadungeon, something they have invested in and care about to protect, and a use for gold.

I also use GP for XP in this campaign and training and leveling up rules that involve cost and tie which tie in with the reputation system.

All players also have backup PCs in the town that are part of the same band of heros. Some players will swap characters depending on what they want to accomplish in a session or just for variety. Unplayers backup PCs level up at two-levels lower than the lowest level active PC. If a PC dies they always have another character ready to go that already has an organically developed backstory and reason for joining the party. This also allows occasional players who cannot attend every session to join in when they can.

We made tweaks here and there and somethings that we tracked carefully at lower levels we handwaive now that the active PC's average 17th level. Most teaks are to avoid too much bookkeeping. At this stage, in tier 4 play, the party has accumulated so much wealth from plunder, various businesses, and trade that we don't track expenses anymore and focus heavily on reputation and complications. At lower levels (really until they hit level 16 and over 3.5 years of play), however, the party had to strategize how they would spend their wealth and gaining more gold was a constant necessity.
 

Lorithen

Explorer
Recently, our party of adventurers cleaned out a hidden pirate base and took it over as our own, still keeping hidden from the local monarch and authorities so they don't confiscate our boat and airship fo
In the game I play in we've taken over an old dungeon site as a home base, and made some extensive renovations. It's in a remote location, but that's fine - we have all kinds of long-range transport options including mundane ships (the "super-secret base" is on the seacoast and includes a deep-water hidden-underground harbour) which means if anyone wants to attack us out here there won't be any collateral damage. The biggest challenge in finding a suitable home base was it needed to have an underground area big enough to hide our stolen (!) zeppelin (!), which in theory nobody in this side of the world knows we have; fortunately the underground harbour has enough airspace above it to suit.

The only real challenge is at the table level: some players just aren't interested in any of this. :(

Yeah, but they put up with us. :) And I can't recall anyone arguing that we shouldn't be doing this.

I believe that one player did come into the campaign with the assumption (from experience in other gaming groups) that all adventurers were wandering vagabonds with no fixed address. But this campaign had been running for some years before this player joined, with some players either choosing their home towns and how involved they still are there, or the DM assisting players in rolling-up "character histories" including determining where characters came from (in case anyone's wondering, he has tables for this, which we can share if folks if you're interested). So some characters have/had places they consider/considered to be "home base." Cleaning out a nest of pirates and using the place as a consolidated "home base" for party operations is only a small step further.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
My group has a fascination with mobile bases. One campaign we acquired a ship that my artificer later tricked out into a magical flying ship with mana powered rail guns. Another campaign we had a self propelling carriage who’s inside was an entire tavern.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
In my home game the first adventure I ran was Secret of Saltmarsh. The PCs took the smugglers' ship and they have had it ever since. After they decided to settle down in Greyhawk City they kept the ship running as a small cargo ship. In the city itself they've bought up a mansion, took over an dilapidated warehouse (synergises well with the cargo ship), and have built a large, luxury bathhouse (in the Baklunish style.)

I don't bother with details, we've just agreed that the businesses pay for themselves and any taxes and maintenance on property as well as covering the costs of the many followers.
 



Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
The party in my GREYHAWK campaign received a land title and tower in Hommlet for good services. It's lease free of charge for 100 years, passable to their decendants but the town remains owner.

It became their home base and the local druid Jaroo Ashstaff supply them with fresh vegetables so basically it's a free food and lodging perks while in Hommlet, with cost operations and upkeep maintained by the town council.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
So I spent the last couple days scouring the Internet for rules and resources for player-built homes, strongholds, fortresses, and temples. And here's what I found so far (sorted by price, in ascending order):

Smitty's Modular Strongholds (PDF, $4.95 on DM's Guild). "A compendium of house rules for building and maintaining strongholds for DMs and Players of 5E Dungeons & Dragons, including: construction materials, costs, and time; fortifications, hirelings and NPCs, siege equipment and combat, and new feats and gear."

The Book of Strongholds & Dynasties (PDF, $5.95 on DriveThruRPG). "The first in the new "classic play" series from Mongoose Publishing.
Here you will find not only the lore of castles, but dozens of other strongholds and other buildings, enough to build all the major features of a city. Everything from the humblest farmhouse to the mightiest palace is covered between these covers. Having harvested the resources or had them delivered to you by professional builders’ guilds characters can build anything from a log cabin of wood to a towering fortress in crystal. Rules found herein cover the transformation of an ordinary manor house into a fortified tower or the skull of a dead god into a homely retreat.

Here you will find not only the lore of castles, but dozens of other strongholds and other buildings, enough to build all the major features of a city. Everything from the humblest farmhouse to the mightiest palace is covered between these covers. The Book of Strongholds and Dynasties unveils the Open Governmental System, a set of game mechanics that allows players to establish themselves as kings, princes, potentates, dictators, generals, theocrats and governors. After they have made their fortune as an adventurer, they can now try their hand as a monarch or as a politician. As a despot, governing with force, a plutocrat using your wealth to buy your way to power or a High King uniting the tribal warlords of a battle-ravaged country with nothing but your powers of leadership they must learn to wield new kinds of power.

An expanded and updated version of the Open Mass Combat System version II, completes this tome of architectural lore. After all, what use are rules for building strongholds without some rules to smash them down with!"

Ultimate Strongholds (5E) (PDF, $9.99 on DriveThruRPG). "Ultimate Strongholds brings you an awesome array of fantastic fortifications for your 5th Edition Campaign! This exhaustive encyclopedia integrates all levels of 5E play, from classic party-level adventuring to an easy system for creating buildings of your own, on up to the expansive kingdom-building and management rules in Kingdoms from Legendary Games! Explore tons of new options for buildings, rooms, augmentations, and fortified buildings, as well as unusual building locations. Dive into siege warfare with an array of siege weapons, ammunition, and special structures and building materials. Ultimate Strongholds goes far beyond the basic building blocks, of course, with a wealth of information for buildings integrated with kingdom and settlement attributes and a host of exotic strongholds and structures, from cloud castles to water walls, flesh piles to crystal palaces, hedge forts to ghostly redoubts, with rules for damaging such bizarre and magical constructions and the hazards they bring! Plus, you get over two dozen new spells ideal for defending your stronghold or breaching the holds of your enemies like battering bolt, deathless defenders, and spiritual pike wall, along with spells to enhance the fortress itself like elemental architecture and haunted ruin! Last but not least, you also get the brand-new castellan arcane tradition that guides and guards a fortress like no one else can!

The Legendary Games tradition is to combine rich story and background, innovative layout, beautiful aesthetics, and excellence in design that is second to none. This product is the latest in that tradition, and we hope you enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it. Grab this amazing 42-page 5E supplement by Ben Walklate and Jason Nelson and Make Your Game Legendary!"

Walrock's Fortresses, Temples, & Strongholds (PDF, $11.95 on DM's Guild) "The world is a wild and scary place, full of monsters, malevolence, and myriad evils to be expunged. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a place to unwind? A place to hang your hat, build and customize, and to call your home? Wouldn't it be nice to leave your mark in the world? To build a permanent edifice as a testament to the ages, a bulwark of safety against the ravages of time? Would you build a mighty temple to your gods, proclaiming your faith far and wide? A dreary dungeon complete with a grotto of poisonous herbs and holding cells for those that would oppose you? Or a quiet cottage in the forest, an idyllic and relaxing retreat holding a simple magical study?

The Fortresses, Temples, & Strongholds ruleset holds options to build all these and more, allowing players to customize the world they live in and create a known presence that NPCs such as merchants, hirelings, soldiers, and spellcasters can flock to and partake in. A stronghold can become the center of a campaign, a place of respite, or a valiant bastion against the dark forces that threaten the world."

Strongholds & Followers (PDF, $30.00 at mcdmproductions.com). "Strongholds & Followers is a supplement for 5th Edition that gives your character something to spend their money on and extend their influence in the local area. Raise armies! Research spells! Spy on your enemies! More than just a set of rules and charts, this book also describes a style of play that assumes your character becomes more interested in influencing the world around them. You’ll still adventure and fight monsters, but this supplement gives you tons of fun things to do during your downtime.

It only takes one character building a stronghold to radically change the nature of a campaign and introduce new narrative opportunities for GM and players alike! Huge new story opportunities arise! This book includes tons of examples for GMs to inspire them."

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If anyone knows of any other resources out there, drop a link!
 

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