Rule Your Own Fortress with Matt Coville’s Strongholds & Followers

Rule Your Own Fortress with Matt Coville’s Strongholds & Followers

By Jacky Leung     Twitter

One of the many opportunities and joys a group of adventurers has after amassing a substantial wealth is to acquire their castle or keep. Building a fort and filling it with followers is almost as much work as creating a campaign setting sometimes. Matt Coville’s Strongholds & Followers helps characters find ways to spend their considerable sum of loot and influence an area to raise armies, research spells, and maybe even spy on their enemies. The Kickstarter campaign has become quite the talk of the RPG community, breaking records by raising over a million dollars within one week. Strongholds & Followers is a Dungeons & Dragons supplement under the 5th Edition ruleset featuring a style of play that assumes characters in the roleplaying game have interest building a stronghold, providing ample examples of narrative opportunities for players and their Dungeon Masters.

According to the Kickstarter page, the book will provide new character options along with advice and information as the narrative can potentially expand into the political arena. It’s alluded that there are four types of strongholds, each possessing their benefits. Some class options such as the Paladin’s Divine Smite or the Bard’s Bardic Inspiration receive a temporary boon upon the establishment of a new stronghold. Players can attract followers from soldiers to defend the keep while the party goes on adventures, artisans to craft and research, and even give them emissaries to represent their plot of land. Additionally, players can also recruit unique and powerful allies like demons, celestials, or even a dragon! Imagine a dragon ally guarding your keep against enemies. Colville has a draft for potential followers for a Paladin’s stronghold available on the Kickstarter page.

You will note that while there are game mechanics, it serves as a narrative tool to add depth to expand the experience of the campaign for both players and DMs. Much of the inspiration for Strongholds & Followers stemmed from variations of the rules when Colville played D&D back in the 80s, wherein the mechanics and rules adapted to the changing editions of the game.  

The current stretch goals for the campaigns have been met, expanding the list of potential special allies to include the neutral-inclined, psionic gem dragons, new magic items, and an adventure written by the wordsmith himself.

Matt Coville is best known for his YouTube series on dungeon mastering, and he also writes the Critical Role comics. Coville is regarded highly with the D&D community, granting him the status of a “celebrity” DM. The YouTube series provides a wealth of information while with a vast amount of entertainment with Coville “nerding out” on occasion and comes highly recommended. Part of the Kickstarter campaign involves funding for Colville to lease a studio space to stream their next D&D game.

Kickstarter link:


I'm a blogger, writer, RPG designer, and longtime Dungeon Master living in eternally sunny Florida in the United States. Storytelling is one of the many core aspects of our human condition, along with food and music, I want everyone to share their stories. Always hungry to learn more, eat more, and discover more. You can check out my blog:

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