D&D: Strongholds and Followers and Matt Colville’s AMA

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With Strongholds and Followers’ record-breaking Kickstarter success, DM Matt Colville hits Reddit.

With a little under two weeks left in the Strongholds and Streaming Kickstarter, Matt Colville is basically the King of Kickstarter, with his book raising $1.4 million dollars and becoming the highest grossing tabletop rpg book Kickstart so far. And it’s not hard to see why. Colville’s insights as a DM are second to none. Whether it’s making villains villainous or cooking up new ways of getting players involved in the world, he’s basically a fantastic resource and designer for any aspiring game master out there, regardless of system.

And so, with that in mind, Colville has taken to Reddit worth a fairly insightful AMA. You can read the whole thing here, or check out some featured q’s and associated a’s below. And definitely get in on this Kickstarter, also linked below, while the getting is good.


First off, a classic module question. Gotta love that Castle Amber flavor. Then of course there’s the always fun “what else do you play” quotation which features a cameo by an old familiar fantasy role playing system face.

It always warms my heart to see 4th Edition being mentioned. Doubly so to see how enduring the Warlord is after all this time. That class really did something unique–but on to my favorite question:

And finally, some good advice for getting information to your PCs…

That’s just a taste of what you can expect to find in the Kickstarter. This book is real exciting–it has already shattered records, and it promises a lot of that old school “name level” kind of play. I’m talking tables full of followers you can get when you’re high enough level and build a stronghold. The kind of stuff that really opens up the world in a whole new way. There’s something exciting about that idea. About that aspirational drive to reach higher levels and to have a fortress or a wizard tower or Experimental Apparatus of Kwalish that can give one ping only.

The first time I ever came across this kind of playstyle was in Baldur’s Gate II. There was a whole quest line that involved the Wizard getting an experimental “Planar Sphere” which took you across the planes, and was your base of operations–you could attract some minions that would brew potions. And years later, that moment stands out. It made me feel ownership of the world of the game. It gave me agency in a way I didn’t know I wanted.

So with every update from Kickstarter’s benevolent new king, and his book dedicated to those kinds of moments, I get a little giddy. There’s something about that play style that speaks to me–and given that the Kickstarter is one of the most popular tabletop rugs of all time, it seems I’m not the only one hungering for this.

via Matt Coville

A hardcover book (or PDF!) 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.

Maybe only one or two players in any group are interested in this sort of thing, but it only takes one character building a stronghold to radically change the nature of a campaign and introduce new narrative opportunities for DM and players alike! Huge new story opportunities arise! This book includes tons of examples for DMs to inspire them.

Suffice it to say, this is an incredibly cool Kickstarter. The stretch goals add more to the book, Coville has already raised enough for a new adventure that is sort of a how-to for the book. But then there’s the other big reward.

Five crystalline dragon types–gemstone dragons, representing the neutral grounds not covered by metallic or chromatic affiliation–will be getting miniatures. And these dragons look amazing!

But on top of all that, there’s all the stuff to just play with. Rules for Stronghold Actions (mirroring lair actions, but for PCs), new powers, special allies. It captures that 2nd Edition excitement with 5th Edition flair. Seriously, check this one out gang, it seems like a chapter worth really digging into. And with 13 days left in the Kickstarter, it’s only going to get more amazing. So get in while the getting is good.

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Happy adventuring!

  • Craig Cormier

    An actual link to the original AMA would be helpful.

  • Chaos_United_8

    Ugh. Friendly to the EU, but not Canada? Yeesh…the cost is off putting.