Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers


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André Soares

First Post
One important thing I didn't see mentioned is that they plan to update the PDF after hearing the feedback on it... if you have any feedback, you should go to the Matt Colville Reddit page and contribute.
 

gyor

Legend
There is a fifth category of Stronghold, Castles, more expensive, but worth it over the long wrong, because it's a mix of multiple strongholds.

I think I'd go Castle over the other strongholds everytime.

You want to go Establishment and either Tower, Temple, or Keep. The Establishment pays for the maintance cost of your castle and the other stronghold protects you and your establishment.
 

5ekyu

Hero
There is a fifth category of Stronghold, Castles, more expensive, but worth it over the long wrong, because it's a mix of multiple strongholds.

I think I'd go Castle over the other strongholds everytime.

You want to go Establishment and either Tower, Temple, or Keep. The Establishment pays for the maintance cost of your castle and the other stronghold protects you and your establishment.

castle to me seemed the obvious "party" option.
 

Reading through, I'm a little irked so much of the rules seem held back for a forthcoming book available in a year or so IF the Kickstarter funds. Especially when half this book was an adventure...
Couldn't they have put all the rules in one book and then done the adventure(s) separately?
 

TallIan

Explorer
Reading through, I'm a little irked so much of the rules seem held back for a forthcoming book available in a year or so IF the Kickstarter funds. Especially when half this book was an adventure...
Couldn't they have put all the rules in one book and then done the adventure(s) separately?

The adventure was a stretch goal of the Kickstarter. I think that Matt was trying to ensure the actual goal was reachable by splitting into two sections and underestimated his fan base.

So he was kind of stuck making the adventure.

I do see you point though, but I quite like the look of the adventure as a way to try out the stronghold rules.
 

Reading through, I'm a little irked so much of the rules seem held back for a forthcoming book available in a year or so IF the Kickstarter funds. Especially when half this book was an adventure...
Couldn't they have put all the rules in one book and then done the adventure(s) separately?

Meh. Here's what his website says about the next book:

"Kingdoms & Warfare is a 5th Edition supplement with rules for running countries and organizations like thieves' guilds, churches and wizard colleges, as well as more rules for large scale warfare."

Sounds like a nice follow-up expansion to me and not something I was expecting in the Strongholds and Followers book. The warfare rules in the appendix of this current book are more of a bonus as far as I am concerned.

Also, 50 of the 265 pages are the adventure. An adventure that helps DMs try out the rules as [MENTION=6853819]TallIan[/MENTION] indicates. More like a fifth than a half of the book, but who's counting...
 

Meh. Here's what his website says about the next book:

"Kingdoms & Warfare is a 5th Edition supplement with rules for running countries and organizations like thieves' guilds, churches and wizard colleges, as well as more rules for large scale warfare."

Sounds like a nice follow-up expansion to me and not something I was expecting in the Strongholds and Followers book. The warfare rules in the appendix of this current book are more of a bonus as far as I am concerned.

Also, 50 of the 265 pages are the adventure. An adventure that helps DMs try out the rules as [MENTION=6853819]TallIan[/MENTION] indicates. More like a fifth than a half of the book, but who's counting...
I just like to be able to USE all the content in the shiny new book I just purchased rather than have some elements rely on DLC, like the barbarian tribes.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
I bought the pdf after the KS and I’m about 3/4 through reading it.

It’s competently written. The ideas, concepts, and rules look like they’ll add a layer of expression, power, and discovery without adding much complexity.

I particularly like the “extended rest” concept and the stuff tied to that. I also like the monsters. I can do without the adventure.

I also got sold on the concept of the 24 mile hex.

All in all, I’d say I’ll use about half this stuff without much modding at all. So that’s worth $20 to me.
 


What DLC? Did I miss something?
Stuff like the Barbarian camp on page 10, where half its rules reference another book that currently doesn't exist.
Only being a dozen pages and change into the book, this really jumped out and me and made me wonder how many other fun references and missing rules there will be, and how useable the book will be on its own.
 

dagger

Explorer
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.

We just finished our second 1st to 18-20th campaign. So it does happen
 

TallIan

Explorer
Stuff like the Barbarian camp on page 10, where half its rules reference another book that currently doesn't exist.
Only being a dozen pages and change into the book, this really jumped out and me and made me wonder how many other fun references and missing rules there will be, and how usable the book will be on its own.

I quite appreciate the future proofing of the book, knowing that when/if I buy the next book the two will be easily compatible.

Strongholds is entirely stand alone atm, as the rules he references can either be safely ignored or easily incorporated into your existing game. He is offering a mechanic for tracking something that is mostly a narrative thing anyway. eg the pirate ship can attack a port city and reduce its development* level. That is easy enough to hand wave as "much of the city was destroyed. The once thriving port if now a ruin filled with destitute beggars sifting through the rubble."

*AFB, this might be civilization level or something like that


The two things that I have a quibble with are:

There seems to be a lot of blank column inches. This is entirely a lay out issue as nothing as missing, but it gives the feeling that the book is not complete. Since Matt has said he is going to update this after some feedback from the players I don't find this too much of an issue - as long as he gets this tidied up after the update.

The other thing is more to do with consistency 5e design philosophy. Someone has mentioned how he uses the "wrong" terminology in some places - its obvious what he means, but it would be nice if he could stick with the current edition terms. He also gives a few cool magic items that ring back to older editions, where the items gives +x all the time and +y in certain situations (attacking opposing alignment). His customised orcs have a "recharge on sort or long rest" abilities that would probably make more sense as a recharge(x) ability like most monsters have.

Otherwise I am very happy with the product, it does exactly what it says on the tin. It gives DMs an easy way to manage some players desire to have a keep/tower/temple without the need for all the players to have one. Balancing some players having a stronghold with others not being interested is as easy as giving the uninterested player a competing magic item. For the most part the book is edition proof, and even game proof. I think this would be easy to implement in any fantasy setting.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I FR a peak at some of the mechanics, and I have to agree with the points about being incongruous with 5e design language. I frankly find it obnoxious and unprofessional when I read a 3pp that doesn’t stick to the current edition design format and language.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I don't mind the style stuff (and I like the future proofing for Kingdoms, Barbarian Camps are a variant of the Keep anyways, so it is one aspect of a variant of the rule in the book which references a mechanic yet to be introduced).

One thing that is rubbing me the wrong way is some of the balances in the various abilities. We're pretty sure he is going to rewrite the Warlock benefit (gaining an invocation X times per extended rest, it is allowed to be five levels higher than you) but there are still a few things that are pretty heavily out of whack.

For Example, Sorcerers can have exploding damage dice X times per extended rest
Wizards can concentrate on two spells X times per extended rest

Bards can give +1 proficiency if you have an unspent bardic die
Rogues can heal equal to their sneak attack damage


I'm definitely going to have to go over some of these abilities and decide if I'm changing them or keeping them as is.

Still love the book though and it was definitely worth it, just wish it was tighter on balance.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I FR a peak at some of the mechanics, and I have to agree with the points about being incongruous with 5e design language. I frankly find it obnoxious and unprofessional when I read a 3pp that doesn’t stick to the current edition design format and language.

The phrase, "I FR a peak at some of the mechanics," in the context of this message board translates as, "I Forgotten Realms a peak at some of the mechanics." Which is nonsense and incongruous with this message board's language. I frankly find it obnoxious and unprofessional when I read a post that doesn't stick to the current board language. :)
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The phrase, "I FR a peak at some of the mechanics," in the context of this message board translates as, "I Forgotten Realms a peak at some of the mechanics." Which is nonsense and incongruous with this message board's language. I frankly find it obnoxious and unprofessional when I read a post that doesn't stick to the current board language. :)

This is trolling
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
Personally, I think the whole thing is pretty good. I'm most impressed by the Retainers and Units rules. The warfare rules are pretty cool, too.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
So MCDM has released a FAQ and they’re accepting feedback that will help them revise the PDF. They’ll release a new one soon including updates. The goal is to clarify some rules, to make things generally clearer, and to bring terminology more in line with 5e design.

The actual book will therefore be revised to match the latest version of the PDF at the time of printing. Pretty cool.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I've read through it, I think the rules will be quite usable by me but as my friends and I don't play very often, I'm not sure if I will be able to incorporate the systems into a game.

I also quite like his writing style, I'm not too worried that he doesn't stick 100% to the language in the official 5e books (opportunity attack vs attack of opportunity? who cares, means the same thing). The foot notes are an interesting touch that I've also quite enjoyed reading.
 

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