Matt Colville’s Strongholds and Followers

hawkeyefan

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.

I agree about the style and the footnotes. Very readable.

I mentioned the "attacks of opportunity" as an example of using the standardized language of an edition. Yes, you're right that they mean the same thing. But there could be examples where not using the standardized language could make things unclear. I don't recall seeing any such examples so far, but I've only skimmed the book.
 

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TallIan

Explorer
I mentioned the "attacks of opportunity" as an example of using the standardized language of an edition. Yes, you're right that they mean the same thing. But there could be examples where not using the standardized language could make things unclear. I don't recall seeing any such examples so far, but I've only skimmed the book.

For me it is more an issue of professionalism. If I pay market price for a book I expect it to be properly edited for consistency. I only backed the pdf, even though I was tempted to get the actual book. If these sort of things are taken care of, I'd happily get the book. If not I'll stick with the pdf

That being said, this is still an early release and from a quick look at the Reddit feedback document, these things are being dealt with.
 

Version 1.1 has just been released based on feedback from people who bought the PDF. Some might disagree but I feel it appropriate to give Matt and the team some major kudos for delaying the hard copy book until the wrinkles have been ironed out.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Version 1.1 has just been released based on feedback from people who bought the PDF. Some might disagree but I feel it appropriate to give Matt and the team some major kudos for delaying the hard copy book until the wrinkles have been ironed out.

What changes have they made, if you've had a chance to look?

I'm still on the fence, but leaning toward purchasing eventually.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's mostly clarifications and typo fixes. Some of it is formatting of monster stat blocks and language to be more like that of 5e.

Ok, thanks!

My main issue with the book is that there are, I gather, implied and real restrictions to the usefulness of certain types of structures for certain classes, and I just don’t agree with that at all. I think I need to just find someone who owns it, and read it, before I can decide. Or wait till someone posts a really detailed review.

Still, the fact he made the language more in line with 5e’s language helps.
 

Ok, thanks!

My main issue with the book is that there are, I gather, implied and real restrictions to the usefulness of certain types of structures for certain classes, and I just don’t agree with that at all. I think I need to just find someone who owns it, and read it, before I can decide. Or wait till someone posts a really detailed review.

Still, the fact he made the language more in line with 5e’s language helps.

Sure, for optimization reasons, a particular class may want a particular stronghold, but there is no real restriction. Here's what the book says on this:

[SECTION]There are four types of basic stronghold, one complex
stronghold, and many varieties. Any character can
build or use any stronghold, although why a non-spellcasting
character might build a tower is an exercise left
to the reader. Maybe they have a spellcasting NPC ally![/SECTION]
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, for optimization reasons, a particular class may want a particular stronghold, but there is no real restriction. Here's what the book says on this:

[SECTION]There are four types of basic stronghold, one complex
stronghold, and many varieties. Any character can
build or use any stronghold, although why a non-spellcasting
character might build a tower is an exercise left
to the reader. Maybe they have a spellcasting NPC ally![/SECTION]

The tower does stand out as something that few non casters would have use for. Can it’s bonuses be applied to invention and alchemy without too much work?
 

The tower does stand out as something that few non casters would have use for. Can it’s bonuses be applied to invention and alchemy without too much work?

The research bonuses of the tower apply to spells, but I can see how they could be tweaked to apply to the creation/modification of potions or other magic items that have spell-like abilities.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The research bonuses of the tower apply to spells, but I can see how they could be tweaked to apply to the creation/modification of potions or other magic items that have spell-like abilities.

It's about inventing or learning new spells, right? Could probably tweak it to work for magic item crafting, and through that run all special item crafting like magic item crafting, mechanically.

Hmmm...I'll have to talk to the other main DM in my group, and see what he thinks.
 

cbwjm

Legend
It's about inventing or learning new spells, right? Could probably tweak it to work for magic item crafting, and through that run all special item crafting like magic item crafting, mechanically.

Hmmm...I'll have to talk to the other main DM in my group, and see what he thinks.

The tower research rules allow an arcane character to take an existing spell and research it leading to a modification, creating a new higher level version. There are random tables although you could just pick the effect you want depending on how everyone agrees to play the game. This could allow you to take magic missile and create a new level 2 version called doctorbadwolf's thunderous magic missile. A level 2 spell that also knocks back its targets by 10 ft. You can only have a certain number of these researched spells but, after testing it and agreeing that it is of a suitable power level for the spell, it becomes a permanent part of the game world and your spell may be traded and copied to scrolls and spellbooks of other wizards or taught to other sorcerers or bards or warlocks.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The tower research rules allow an arcane character to take an existing spell and research it leading to a modification, creating a new higher level version. There are random tables although you could just pick the effect you want depending on how everyone agrees to play the game. This could allow you to take magic missile and create a new level 2 version called doctorbadwolf's thunderous magic missile. A level 2 spell that also knocks back its targets by 10 ft. You can only have a certain number of these researched spells but, after testing it and agreeing that it is of a suitable power level for the spell, it becomes a permanent part of the game world and your spell may be traded and copied to scrolls and spellbooks of other wizards or taught to other sorcerers or bards or warlocks.

I like it!

Definitely looks like something that can be very easily ported to inventions and magic items and alchemy, so long as you use spell equivalents to balance those resources. My Swashbuckler/Bladesinger would definitely use it more for those, than for spells. In fact...it might be worth getting just to steal the system for use in making magic items with spells/equivalent of a level higher than what you can cast, which is a thing in our game*.


*Using a variant of the Xanathar's rules for magic item crafting. requires research, a scroll/schematic, and there is a chance of wasting the rare ingredient and part of the time spent, ie bad rolls make it cost more in time and gold.

We don't really like the idea of having to adventure just to spend the reward for adventuring, instead of doing some downtime stuff and then getting back to the adventuring we want to do, so we don't always require actual adventuring to get the rare ingredient.

One of our DMs once had dwarves whose mine we'd save offer to "pay" us by letting us use their mine...and keep what we mined. Nah, we didn't take this job to get a job to get paid, we took this job to get paid, son.

Also, my character had been a statue for several years in that mine, so he especially was like "LOL nope! I'm gonna nope on over to the tavern, see if I can get a bath, feed my wolf, find a pretty barmaid or bar...guy? (what is a male equivelent?) that's interested, and see if I feel useful tomorrow. Some time around noon, maybe? Maybe we can look for work in a forest? Some lovely coastal villages, perhaps? Somewhere far from any caves, mines, tunnels, or other subertanea?"
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It's mostly clarifications and typo fixes. Some of it is formatting of monster stat blocks and language to be more like that of 5e.

Also some improvement to monster stats and new art (an example of a topaz dragonborn wizard).

Full path notes copied below:

Strongholds

Mercenary Units: Clarified that all units bought with gold are mercenary units.

Stronghold Size Per Level: Clarified the chart on page 10 so it lists the stronghold size in terms of casualty dice.

Spell Research Costs: Removed the text referencing the “cost” of using a tower to research a spell. It only costs time.

The Establishment: Revised the Keep Favor to grant the owner of the establishment free points to spend on units that disband after one battle.

Druid Strongholds: Replaced Savage Shape. The ability now expands your Wild Shape, letting you assume the forms of different types of creature.

Rogue Strongholds: Replaced Rejuvenating Strike with Vanishing Strike. Rogues with a stronghold now gain temporary invisibility after a successful sneak attack.

Sorcerer Strongholds: Revised Source of Magic, sorcerers with a stronghold now gain bonus sorcery points.

Warlock Strongholds: Replaced Master Invoker, warlocks with a stronghold now gain an extra spell slot.
Adventure

Art, Siege of Castle Rend: Added art for the collapsed tower on page 122, and the crypt of the blue dragonflight on page 125.
Appendices

Art, Gemstone Dragonborn: Added example art of a Topaz Dragonborn Wizard.

Monster Stats: Improved the formatting of monster stats to bring them more in line with 5E formatting and language.

Magic Items: Updated the language for Foxglove Bow, Glory, and the High Templars Glaive to make it clear the wielder can choose between different damage types in order to exploit an enemy’s vulnerabilities (or bypass resistances).
Warfare

Rockbreakers: Updated the cost of the example unit in the Warfare section to 440.

Morale Checks: Clarified that a morale check is DC 15 (unless otherwise stated).

Simple Warfare Example: Added a breakdown of the units both sides are fielding to the running example on page 243

Unit Cards: Added iconography to units to make it easier to visualize their ancestry, type, equipment and training.
General

Language: Fixed a bunch of typos and brought the language of the book more in line with 5E’s grammar.

And various other small changes and clarifications to make the text clearer and the book easier to use.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
One subtle part of Matt's rules for temples keeps catching me off guard. The concordance rules for getting favors or servitors? Those are not limited to people who have Temples. Temples just give you a big ole boost to them.

But yeah, the Keep, Temple and Establishment are very generically useful if you want access to the types of things they give access to. Sure, the keep might not give as many bonuses to the wizard, seeing as how they have far fewer options for training bonuses, but they still get an army and can "project force" as necessary. Maybe you aren't into the spy network aspect of an establishment, but you are a crafter and the 4,000 gold a year sounds really good to you. Plus, owning a place makes you famous.


The bigger issue for me is that the individual class bonuses are definitely not balanced. They are better with this update, but some of them (Fighter and Wizard) are far and above more powerful than some of their counterparts (barbarian and warlock)

Not that the other classes don't get cool and useful things but if your players are the type to be bothered by mechanical differences, you definitely need to tread with caution and make sure everyone is getting what they need from these mechanics.
 

I feel like the Fighting Surge should be limited to the first X hits, where X is limited by stronghold level, score a critical hit. The idea that every single attack is a critical blows my mind.
 

flametitan

Explorer
The bigger issue for me is that the individual class bonuses are definitely not balanced. They are better with this update, but some of them (Fighter and Wizard) are far and above more powerful than some of their counterparts (barbarian and warlock)

Not that the other classes don't get cool and useful things but if your players are the type to be bothered by mechanical differences, you definitely need to tread with caution and make sure everyone is getting what they need from these mechanics.

At least with the warlock, a large part of the problem is figuring out what the warlock's "thing," is, its unique mechanical ability that helps it stand out. Initially it was going to be an eldritch blast boost, but then it was pointed out that warlocks didn't have to take Eldritch Blast. Invocations are unique to the warlock, but how do you boost invocations?

The extra spell slot was eventually deemed to be the simplest way to boost the warlock via a stronghold bonus.
 

5ekyu

Hero
At least with the warlock, a large part of the problem is figuring out what the warlock's "thing," is, its unique mechanical ability that helps it stand out. Initially it was going to be an eldritch blast boost, but then it was pointed out that warlocks didn't have to take Eldritch Blast. Invocations are unique to the warlock, but how do you boost invocations?

The extra spell slot was eventually deemed to be the simplest way to boost the warlock via a stronghold bonus.
Honestly, if I were going to expand this feature for my campaign - and I would - there would be features for each sub-class as to me and my experience that is the level where class meets "who am I" and they become fast friends.

One feature per class was imo a good choice for ironing out the core system in a reasonable amount of space and time as well as completeness as new classes are likely not as likely as new sub-classes. Also marrying feature to form (structure to gains) is to me another good choice for presenting a simpler form at first.

But for my games, more flexibility is easy to add and beneficial.
 

flametitan

Explorer
Honestly, if I were going to expand this feature for my campaign - and I would - there would be features for each sub-class as to me and my experience that is the level where class meets "who am I" and they become fast friends.

One feature per class was imo a good choice for ironing out the core system in a reasonable amount of space and time as well as completeness as new classes are likely not as likely as new sub-classes. Also marrying feature to form (structure to gains) is to me another good choice for presenting a simpler form at first.

But for my games, more flexibility is easy to add and beneficial.

And also because the OGL doesn't have more than one subclass per. But yeah, wotc's not going to give you legal trouble modifying this for your home games.
 

5ekyu

Hero
And also because the OGL doesn't have more than one subclass per. But yeah, wotc's not going to give you legal trouble modifying this for your home games.
Ahhh... I did not realize that was a restriction - never bothered to read the latest OGL. That makes a lot of sense then, given the legal concerns.

And yea, OGL has no impact on homebrew.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
At least with the warlock, a large part of the problem is figuring out what the warlock's "thing," is, its unique mechanical ability that helps it stand out. Initially it was going to be an eldritch blast boost, but then it was pointed out that warlocks didn't have to take Eldritch Blast. Invocations are unique to the warlock, but how do you boost invocations?

The extra spell slot was eventually deemed to be the simplest way to boost the warlock via a stronghold bonus.

Yeah.

I've got a hombrew we're talking about at my tables, breaking it up per pact boon. So a blade pact gets free crits, a tome pact gets double concentration, and the chain pact gets to summon servitors.

It feels right since A) Warlocks make deals to copy the powers of others, B) The pacts are different enough that it doesn't feel too strange to have different benefits and C) It gives a buff to chainlocks, and gives a better feel for their theme.
 

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