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Kickstarter Highlight – Strongholds and Streaming by Matt Colville

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Kickstarter article, but here’s one that caught me by the eye and the wallet.

I may have mentioned that I am a fan of Matthew Colville, a writer, DM, and YouTuber and the writer of the Critical Role official comic book. I may have mentioned it repeatedly to anyone who will listen. So when I discover he has a Kickstarter in mind I was all kinds of ready to lay my money on the table, it would inevitably be Dungeons & Dragons oriented, and worth the money.

Strongholds and Streaming is a two-part project:

Strongholds and Followers is the physical component, a book detailing rules on how best to manage the building and maintaining of a fortified castle, wizards tower, or similar structure in D&D 5e. It builds on Matt’s love of the Birthright campaign setting, in which heroes begin as heirs and inheritors of nations, and are set to manage the duties and tasks thereof, to lead armies and govern a people, as well as breaking into the live of adventuring. Building a stronghold will attract folk from far and wide, and will include people willing to ply their trade or fight in your name, including some more fantastic creatures and creations.

To get a .pdf of the book for download is a mere $20, and a physical copy, $30, although that becomes £30 when shipping is added and currency converted. T-shirts, and access to making-of and playtesting Twitch streams and Discord chats are further up the list of backer rewards, but there is another physical component to tempt people further up the line.

Crystal Dragon Miniatures await those who pledge $80 or more, with a full set of five for those willing to pledge as much as $350. The concept art for the miniatures looks spectacular, stat blocks and lore will also be available alongside them, although there are already little bits available reading through the campaign information and watching the video updates.

Streaming is the ultimate goal, a Critical-Role style D&D campaign with proper production quality, studio sound and lighting, and proper space in which to play. The book is designed as an incentive to fund this project, as he and his group were enjoying streaming their games before the difficulty of producing the sessions became overly burdensome, and they would like to return to form.

The goal of the Kickstarter was $50K (about £36K) to rent studio space of a reasonable size and produce the books and miniatures, at time of writing the project has reached a little short of $1.5M. Just let that one sink in a little… not only is it 30 times the requested amount, it’s also a record breaking amount for a role-playing book, and that’s just for a supplement. It reached that point so fast that Matt and the other campaign managers simply could not look to add stretch goals big enough or fast enough, so it became a simple matter of telling backers after less than a week that if the record was broken he would add rules for managing pirate ships.

Suffice to say it was not long after that – about four days – that the record was then broken.

Strongholds and Streaming does not require your money, far from it, but this is a product that may very well be worth purchasing. £30 for a D&D book is a smidge more than average and at least you get a .pdf with it, alongside stickers, because we all need stickers. ETA for physical products is September, although the massive upswing in funds may result in a delay in favour of a bigger, more compelling product. There are other ideas in the works, warfare and country-management supplements, and the overwhelming response to this project all but guarantees their appearance before too long.

However, as a fan of Mr. Colville for over a year now, and now that I am finally watching Critical Role and can appreciate watching the campaigns of others, I am deeply looking forward to this projects fruition. I’m also going to be buying some crystal dragons despite the fact that I rarely (never) use miniatures.

The campaign ends on March 11th.

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