Each week here at Geek & Sundry we take a look at new and upcoming exciting titles on Kickstarter! This week’s Kickstarter of the week is Strongholds & Streaming, a 5th Edition supplement from Master Class Dungeon Master Matt Colville.
Matt Colville, writer of the Critical Role comic book, occasional guest here on Geek & Sundry, and Dungeon Master extraordinaire can add one more title to his repertoire: King of Kickstarter.
Matt is currently in the middle of a million-dollar Kickstarter campaign. (You read that right, one million dollars.) Strongholds & Streaming, Matt’s fundraising efforts for a 5th Edition book and his next campaign livestream, is enjoying incredible support from tabletop fans around the world.
While Matt may not quite approve of the “King of Kickstarter” title, it’s clear that his Strongholds & Followers book, the campaign reward, is an instant success appealing to tabletop role-playing game players worldwide. Giving players expanded options for owning keeps, towers, temples, or establishments, the book is something Matt has worked on since 1985.
“This is a variation of the rules I used in the 80s,” says Matt. “Every edition of the game, I’ve updated my rules, including the warfare rules, to bring them in line with the current edition’s philosophy. It’s lucky that 5th Edition has Mike Mearls’ very old-school love of charts! We intend to give your percentile dice a workout.”
Once a player has chosen their stronghold, they can then determine the types of allies they will have beside them with a roll of the die. Whether you attract units, adventurers, artisans, or ambassadors to your side, you’ll marvel at the new facets of your adventuring life as a political power.
You can even attract the help of special allies like dragons, and some classes get bonuses to their abilities each time they return to their stronghold.
Rather than making the content available through Patreon or on a RPG download site, Matt chose Kickstarter because he’s a huge fan of the platform himself. “I’ve backed over 20 products, I think it’s a total game changer for the tabletop business,” he says. “Kickstarter lets the creators and the consumers interact directly and I consider this virtuous.”
He recommends Strongholds & Followers for both players and game masters, although he admits that his ulterior motive is obviously to get his book in more hands.
“Players need to see the book so they can leaf through it and go ‘Ooh, I want this!’” says Matt. “Players wanting things for their characters, having ambitions outside just leveling up, is a huge part of what makes this game different from a video game. In this game, you can build a stronghold, you can rule a people, you can tame a land.”
Along with raising funds to print and distribute the book, Matt’s campaign is also aimed at supporting the livestream of his next campaign. He gave his players a few options for the campaign, all based around player ambitions and what they might accomplish in the game.
“I asked them which they wanted to play and there was a lot of discussion!” Matt says. “But in the end they voted for the Big City campaign. So they could make a stronghold inside Capital, and there are good reasons to do so, but it would probably be an Establishment. But there are Keeps and Towers and Temples abound in the city.
“If they’d chosen any of the other games, you’d see a more classical use of these rules.”
Strongholds & Streaming & Smash Success
The success of the campaign has of course been an unbelievable experience for Matt, but he’s not resting on his laurels when there’s work to do. “I dreamed, I dreamed we might do $300,000 in a month. But I thought there was a 50/50 chance we’d never reach the final stretch goal.
“I know the Kickstarter is a smash, it may end up being a record-breaking smash for this category (tabletop RPGs), but to my way of thinking… we haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t made a book. We haven’t made minis. We haven’t streamed our game. Only if we succeed at doing those things and then those things are reasonably popular will I consider this a success. Until then, all we did was raise a lot of money.
“So that is what all my thought is bent upon. Getting the book done, making it good. Streaming our game, making it good.”
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Featured Image (Castle Artwork): Conceptopolis
All Other Images: Matt Colville