Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers


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Retreater

Legend
I mean, magic items and high level spell components aren’t cheap.

Except there's no guidelines at all to buy magic items and it's pretty much specifically disallowed by the RAW and no official content I've seen indicates a setting where this can happen.
And really, does anyone ever get to a high enough level to cast those spells? Official adventures suggest the game ends at 11th level.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Except there's no guidelines at all to buy magic items and it's pretty much specifically disallowed by the RAW and no official content I've seen indicates a setting where this can happen.
And really, does anyone ever get to a high enough level to cast those spells? Official adventures suggest the game ends at 11th level.

I think each of these statements is untrue, actually.

There are guidelines in the DMG and Xanathar’s Guide To Everything for buying magic items.

Buying magic items is explicitly allowed, with the “catch” that it’s up to the DM whether an item can be found for sale, and what price it might have, and whether you’d have to also do someone a favor to even get “in the door”.

Those two sources, and the new Eberron book, directly indicate that “this can happen”. Eberron is explicitly a world where you can buy common and many uncommon magic items from a Cannith licensee Crafter’s Guild crafter or merchant. Or commission a piece from an Artificer, or buy one from a collector, etc.

Data shows that most games end around level 12-14. The APs tend to end before that, but nothing about that suggests that the game ends at those levels.

Spells aren’t even cheap at low levels.

Augury requires 25g worth of specially marked items for divination. Chromatic Orb requires a diamond. Find Familiar requires 10g In incense every time you summon your Familiar by casting the spell (including changing it’s form), etc. Continual Flame costs 50g every time. Magic Mouth 10g/cast. Clairvoyance uses a 100g focus. Glyph of Warding burns 200g/cast. Magic Circle 100g/cast. Non detection 25g/cast.

Revivify cost 300g in diamonds, per casting. You either have it ahead of time, or your friend stays dead.

Leomund’s Secret Chest costs 5050g. That’s a popular one, in my groups.



It adds up, if you actually track it.
 

schnee

First Post
Except there's no guidelines at all to buy magic items and it's pretty much specifically disallowed by the RAW and no official content I've seen indicates a setting where this can happen.
And really, does anyone ever get to a high enough level to cast those spells? Official adventures suggest the game ends at 11th level.

It's not specifically disallowed at all. It's just not supported by official rules that quantify everything to make it a default in places like Adventurer's League.

Look, whatever 3e brought to the table, the crafting rules caused a lot of trouble. It enabled, validated, and enshrined min/maxing like never before, since it had recommended wealth by level, easy crafting, and clearly-priced items. Now, magic items were no longer rare; just an additional 'tax'. 4e tried to fix that from another direction and failed also. So, now, magic items are intended to be 'rare' and 'special' again.

In the DMG, they explicitly encourage you to make crafting part of an adventure plot point, so it becomes adventure fodder, and the magic item they want is rewarded in lieu of the treasure they would have gotten adventuring in a standard way. So, instead of being manufacturers, the players are adventurers.

You want that kind of world? There's plenty of home brew. Or go write your own. Nobody's stopping you.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's not specifically disallowed at all. It's just not supported by official rules that quantify everything to make it a default in places like Adventurer's League.

Look, whatever 3e brought to the table, the crafting rules caused a lot of trouble. It enabled, validated, and enshrined min/maxing like never before, since it had recommended wealth by level, easy crafting, and clearly-priced items. Now, magic items were no longer rare; just an additional 'tax'. 4e tried to fix that from another direction and failed also. So, now, magic items are intended to be 'rare' and 'special' again.

In the DMG, they explicitly encourage you to make crafting part of an adventure plot point, so it becomes adventure fodder, and the magic item they want is rewarded in lieu of the treasure they would have gotten adventuring in a standard way. So, instead of being manufacturers, the players are adventurers.

You want that kind of world? There's plenty of home brew. Or go write your own. Nobody's stopping you.

But also, the DMG has rules for buying and making and selling magic items, and XGE has even better rules for it.
 

dave2008

Legend
Except there's no guidelines at all to buy magic items and it's pretty much specifically disallowed by the RAW and no official content I've seen indicates a setting where this can happen.

As noted by others, there are guidelines in 2 different 5e WotC products.

And really, does anyone ever get to a high enough level to cast those spells? Official adventures suggest the game ends at 11th level.

This is clearly false, 5e WotC AP's so far w/ level:

RoT: 15th lvl
PoA: 15th lvl
OotA: 15th lvl
CoS: 10th lvl
SKT: 10th lvl
DotMM: 20th lvl
 

It seems I'm one of the many that are stuck in "not getting the proper email" loop. I get some, but not all of their communication. That they suggest people go to discord or a subreddit rather than communicate through Kickstarter has been extraordinarily frustrating. That I have to sign up for their store, which tells me I'm not qualified despite Kickstarter saying that I overpaid by a dollar and change is also frustrating.

While the product may wind up worth paying for, the customer service experience is horrible.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Except there's no guidelines at all to buy magic items and it's pretty much specifically disallowed by the RAW and no official content I've seen indicates a setting where this can happen.
And really, does anyone ever get to a high enough level to cast those spells? Official adventures suggest the game ends at 11th level.

The adventures don't suggest the game ends at 11th level; most people stop playing around 11th level, so the market for higher level content is limited, and therefore less explored. It is further limited by the fact that people who do play higher and higher level want material more focused towards their characters specifically, which is basically impossible to make a mass market product for.
 

5ekyu

Hero
The adventures don't suggest the game ends at 11th level; most people stop playing around 11th level, so the market for higher level content is limited, and therefore less explored. It is further limited by the fact that people who do play higher and higher level want material more focused towards their characters specifically, which is basically impossible to make a mass market product for.
Agreement, in part, that by the time my games have reached even mid-tier-2 they are always highly customized and at best "official modules" are used like junkyards and thrist stores for useful parts i can incorporate,

It would be more useful for 7th+ for products featuring say a dozen or more challenges that have (re)usable maps foes etc with a half dozen of hooks each. Save me some encounter prep without wasting a lot of time on more global setup and story, i already got that.

Think like say Sprawl Sites (old Shadowrun Mapbook) but with say 3 different sets of foes at three tiers and ideas each (fewer maps of course.)

Sorry for going tangent there.
 

It seems I'm one of the many that are stuck in "not getting the proper email" loop. I get some, but not all of their communication. That they suggest people go to discord or a subreddit rather than communicate through Kickstarter has been extraordinarily frustrating. That I have to sign up for their store, which tells me I'm not qualified despite Kickstarter saying that I overpaid by a dollar and change is also frustrating.

While the product may wind up worth paying for, the customer service experience is horrible.

I can’t attest to email woes as I got the email update. The update which is also on the Kckstater page and has a video with instructions on how to download:


The shop also contains simple instructions at the top of the screen.

I honestly think they did as good a job as they could have at preempting issues.

I could be wrong but based on the Kickstarter comments, I’m thinking the “many” are the ones that did get the email. There are not “many” complaints considering over 28k people supported the project.

That said, make sure your payment went through. The accounting that you can view doesn’t necessarily mean you paid, if you look closely. I, too, overpaid by a dollar, but I had to update my card to make it work - but that was on me b/c my old card was hacked.
 

I can’t attest to email woes as I got the email update. The update which is also on the Kckstater page and has a video with instructions on how to download:



The shop also contains simple instructions at the top of the screen.

I honestly think they did as good a job as they could have at preempting issues.

I could be wrong but based on the Kickstarter comments, I’m thinking the “many” are the ones that did get the email. There are not “many” complaints considering over 28k people supported the project.

That said, make sure your payment went through. The accounting that you can view doesn’t necessarily mean you paid, if you look closely. I, too, overpaid by a dollar, but I had to update my card to make it work - but that was on me b/c my old card was hacked.

I've read and watched the video. But if you don't get the "Activate Account" email you cannot activate your account. I did get several other emails from them (they originally showed in junk, but now are in regular inbox after flagging them). I paid in March 2018, according to both my bank and Kickstarter.
 

I've read and watched the video. But if you don't get the "Activate Account" email you cannot activate your account. I did get several other emails from them (they originally showed in junk, but now are in regular inbox after flagging them). I paid in March 2018, according to both my bank and Kickstarter.

From the KS comments;
Anyone having problems with receiving their email or getting their PDF afterwards should email hello@mcdmproductions.com and we will help you as quickly as we can.

Seems pretty friendly to me.
 


It's a weekend. The emails started going out Thursday from them. How long have you been seeking help?

I know you are excited to get what you paid for, but sometimes things are not instant and sometimes problems occur. Take a deep breath, walk away and Monday morning if you don't have a solution you can reach out to them via Reddit, email or Discord. Or all three.

Still much more friendly than the businesses I deal with that only provide a FAX number for customer service.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
The most common problem with the Email is that it's being auto sorted into the wrong folder. Mine, for instance, was arbitrarily routed into the "Promotions" folder in Gmail.
 


77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
I was kind of disappointed in this book. I definitely really like parts of it, but overall it wasn't what I was expecting, and I don't think I'll find it super useful.

It's got a ton of good ideas, but they are buried under poor writing and filler, and some are underdeveloped. His writing style is very chatty in a way that turns me off; I keep skipping whole paragraphs thinking "Get to the point, already!" The game mechanics are often worded poorly -- like, I know what he means, I think, but maybe someone with a better grasp of 5e could have given this a once over? And honestly, I don't need footnotes about why the French invasion of Russia failed; save it for forum arguments.

Much of the book seems like padding just to increase word count or persuade the reader of something. As an example, on page 11, there's a half-column sidebar entitled "Paying More To Get It Done Faster," which has 3 paragraphs of text that can basically be summed up as "You can't." Not only is this answer wrong (he cites The Mythical Man-Month as proof, but that's a book about software engineering, which is a very different endeavor than construction), it's also boring. It would have been faster and more interesting to say something like, "Hiring more workers and better supervisors can speed things up, but with a sharp diminishing return. Reduce the time by 10% for every doubling of gold spent." That's such a steep cost that most players will not pursue this path. But instead, he writes 3 paragraphs about why it won't work.

Now, all that said, there is tremendous creativity in this book. I particularly love the monsters in the appendix -- these are fantastic, in multiple senses of the word. I love the freakish angels and the tentacular Court of All Flesh and the robotic Inexorables. Even the gem dragons are presented in a pretty cool and interesting way. I also love the "Strongholds by Class" starting on p.40. These are very evocative, and it's neat how they apply "Lair" effects to PCs. The Follower tables are a really good and concise combination of flavor and mechanics that work really well. And the fact that each class's info fits on a single page (except Paladins, who get more goodies) makes it very easy to digest (unlike the rest of the Strongholds chapter). The DM advice is also pretty good, and I appreciate all the times when he points out alternate approaches the DM could take, so that people understand which parts of the system can be flexible without becoming broken. Finally, nothing I've criticized so far applies to the excellent Warfare rules in the appendix -- those are tightly crafted, and the writing gets right down to business.

In short, it seems to me that Colville is really excellent at coming up with creative and useful ideas, but should really pair up with someone who knows how to write rules text, or maybe with a ruthless editor who is willing to take the red pen to all the extraneous filler. If I were actually going to use this book in game-play, I'd probably print out page 10 (stronghold cost & time) and all the class-specific pages, and then wing it from there.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Can anyone explain what "Size" in the "size per level" table is? For example, for a keep he gives sample maps of a a small and a large keep. It the large keep a size "20"? I can't find anything in the book that explains what the "size" value is. The entire table is useless without explaining what it means.

EDIT: Never mind. I'm blind.

They also have a Sizerepresenting the die used to track damage done to
them, and a Toughness rating representing how hard
they are to damage.
 
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The first reply was a form email that didn't apply, because it still says I need an email that says activate.
There's been no further message

They sent an email last night, nearly at midnight, with the fix to my account. It turns out that answering the survey they requested broke my account. It's all fixed now.
 

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