• Justin Handlin

Fortresses, Temples, and Strongholds



Fortresses, Temples, and Strongholds

Crit Academy covers the best-selling DMsguild supplement, Fortresses, Temples, and Strongholds. A fantastic set of rules for building and customizing player-owned structures in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.


As we make our way through this product, we were blown away by the sheer variety of options to flesh out player-owned structures. We especially loved the rules for repairing and restoring damaged structures. The beauty is that it really pushes players into engaging and meaningful discussion on important aspects of the game. Like where are we going to build this bad boy! Give a listen as we walk through the product and share our thoughts and the massive collection of content within this wonderful D&D supplement.


The word is a wild and scary place, full of monsters, malevolence, and myriad evils to be expunged. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a place for your character to unwind? A place to hang your hat, build and customize, and call your home? Wouldn't it be nice to leave your mark in the world? to build a permanent edifice as a testament to the ages, a bulwark of safety against the ravages of time? Would you build a mighty temple to your gods, proclaiming your faith far and wide? A dreary dungeon complete with a grotto of poisonous herbs and holding cells for those that would oppose you? Or a quiet cottage in the forest, an idyllic and relaxing retreat holding a simple magical study?


The Fortresses, Temples, & Strongholds ruleset holds options to build all these and more, allowing players to customize the world they live in and create a known presence that NPCs such as merchants, hirelings, soldiers, and spellcasters can flock to and partake in. A stronghold can become the center of a campaign, a place of respite, or a valiant bastion against the dark forces that threaten the world.


Get Fortresses, Temples, and Strongholds


Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.


Character Concept:

Ryan Sheen The Bearded Bard


This can be any Race but must be a Bard. This PC is obsessed with beards and everything beard related.

For inspiration look to the Australian band called "The Beards" They have over 100 Songs and they are all about beards. 1 I'm in the Mood.......For Beards 2 This beard stays 3 Got me a beard 4 You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man 5 Bearded nation 6 Still Got My Beard 7 The beard accessory store 8 Why Having A Beard Is Better Than Having A Woman 9 The beard 10 I Think Beards Are Great 11 B.E.A.R.D (Ft. The Beards) 12 There's Just Nothing Better Than A Beard 13 Beard Related Song No.38

Have some fun, name them after real songs!

14: When a man loves a beard!

15: Stop….in the name of beards!


Monster Variant:

Wicked Witch

Origin: Mage

New Features:

Curse of the Wicked Witch (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest).

With a stare, the wicked witch can use a bonus action to curse a creature it can see within 60 feet. The creature makes a DC 14 Charisma saving throw on a failed save, the creature is also cursed with magical deformities. While deformed, the creature has its speed halved and has disadvantage on ability checks, saving throws, and attacks based on Strength or Dexterity.

The transformed creature can repeat the saving throw whenever it finishes a long rest, ending the effect on a success.


Horrifying Visage. Each non-undead creature within 60 feet of the wicked witch that can see her must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. A frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the wicked witch is within line of sight, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a target's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to the wicked witch's Horrifying Visage for the next 24 hours.


Encounter:

Ancient Mimic

Our heroes take refuge inside an abandoned home, little do they know it's alive...and hungry. Essentially they are inside a giant mimic.

Different pieces of furniture in the house would serve as the mimic's "organs,"(stat blocks of individual mimics) which would all need to be destroyed to kill the thing. So, in the master bedroom the players might have to fight a four-post king-sized "Death bed." In the kitchen, maybe it's an oven that tries to swallow the players and cook them alive.

As for moving throughout the house, it would probably be dangerous and difficult.

Maybe there are some rooms on the inside with surreal, nonsensical architecture. Make use of Lair Actions: floors ripping open, walls compacting, floor plans changing, "stomach acid" filling the room. The house is trying to "swallow" them. It could be treated similarly to when a gargantuan monster swallows a player and there is a chance to be regurgitated (see the Kraken). Outside the mimic, they fight it like they would a gargantuan monster, except it has a chance to bite and swallow.


Magic Item:

Staff of Fate

Staff, uncommon (requires attunement by a cleric, druid or monk)

A black raven’s head with diamond eyes tops this mighty staff. It bolsters your fate, increasing your odds of survival and allowing you to act when others aren’t quick enough.


This staff has 1d4+1 charges. When one of your melee weapon attacks reduces a target to 0 hit points, you can use a bonus action to instantly spend a hit die to recover hit points. The staff regains 1d4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff becomes a nonmagical quarterstaff.


Dungeon Master Tip:

Magic Item Cards- Matt Mercers Template Link

Make magic item cards before the game and keep them on you. Matt Mercer has blank cards on Geek and sundry that can be used in excel to make your own homebrew or copy the DMG descriptions into.


As a bonus make two copies of the item. The item can be cursed and the second card contains the full details of the cursed item. I did this recently with your magic item Forlorn Hope. The Look on the Clerics faces after She read the Full item card was amazing knowing that she could of just died.

This also stops players from referencing the book every 5 seconds


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

What would your character do? Ryan Sheen Not every action you do as a player needs to be followed by "Well that's what my character would do".

If you find yourself saying this phrase a lot then it is something you feel you need to justify. Not only does it get repetitive but it also feels like you are making excuses for shitty behavior. It makes far better role play to just do the action and live with the consequences than try to convince everyone that's what my PC would do. This breaks from the role play. I have a Pally who stopped our Monk from walking into danger just because he was afraid of everything being a trap. Not only did he follow up with, "Well it's what Perrin would do" he would stop the curious monk from learning from her mistakes.



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