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Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building $24.95 $22.46
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Caleb M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/27/2019 10:15:24

As someone who loves both worldbuilding and is also a systems/mechanics nerd, I really enjoyed how this was designed structured and implemented and as a DM, I can see myself using it for years into the future, if for nothing else than just inspiration for features to put into various towns and settlements, regardless of the mechanical structure behind them.

I would however caution against the author's suggestion that this book can be used seamlessly with Colville's Strongholds and Followers. It can't really without greatly increasing the DM workload, beyond the increase in workload I already volunteered for when I decided I wanted to give my players stronghold and settlement mechanics to play with.

The system breaks down with units and mass combat, this supplement uses a system whereby a unit's mechanics/stats are derived from the settlement they come from and work under the assumption of fast resolution in combat, with a single competing d20 roll deciding the outcome. Contrast this with the system presented in S&F where unit mechanics and statistics are inherent to the unit and not irrevocably tied to the stronghold they come from, and are designed for a more engaged back and forth with other enemy units. Could you extrapolate back and forth? Kind of, but at the end of it you would be running two competing rulessets for the exact same in-game circumstance.

That's not a criticism against this book, however, so much as a note to take one specific claim made by the author in an info-blurb with a grain of salt, because the Author does oversell the compatibility of the systems. The venn diagrams definitely overlap, and they overlap in such a way that means you have to fundamentally change either this rulesset or S&Fs in order to get them to play nicely together.

This book, however, would be worth its full price tag, even if you never once directly implemented any of the mechanical underpinnings in game. The potential of this book as a worldbuilding tool to create flushed out, well rounded settlements quickly is unparalleled.

You could start by following the rules for building a settlement, starting with how big you want your end settlement to be, following the building prerequisite rules, as though you were going to use the mechancis presented in this supplement, and then, once you're done, set aside the statistics and what you're left with is a detailed description of a settlement, the people who live there, even the minority populations that might live there, and a listing of all of the points of interest inside of that settlement that are unique to that settlement's structure and needs, and you've done it in about 15-20 minutes once you know the system.

To go from a single-line premise like "industrial mining city" to knowing every one of the potential points of interest your players might explore there in 20 minutes is chef's kiss.

Amazing supplement, worth every penny, 5/5 and the author got a little ahead of themselves on a single blurb on a single page towards the front of the book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
You make a good point, Caleb. I should have made it clear that Balduran's Guide works with Strongholds and Followers, if you are not including the appendices of the latter.
Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Josh P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/29/2019 15:14:17

I often find that homebrew content can sometimes rub up harshly against the design philosophies of 5e, namely being an overall easy-to-understand system that gives the DM tools to easily adjudicate a player's unique approaches to the game without having to trudge through a rulebook. Balduran's, on the other hand, cooperates with this philosophy, and feels as natural an extension to the game as if it was in the DMG from the start. In essence, this documents offers the rules and scenarios to get players in the deep end of interesting encounters where the players not only understand the goal, context, and stakes, but often are the ones to establish these three, giving them a satisfying sense of impacting the world. This would be a welcome addition to any table that's looking to really get their hand's dirty with politics, warfare, and any other epic scale stories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Hiten D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/09/2019 23:17:15

If you love table-top roleplaying games, you will NOT be disappointed spending $24.99 on this! Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building is not simply a toolset for in-world property management, but also has tons of resources for world-builders to create their own settlements (from tiny villages to bustling metropolises). There's a lot of inspiration to draw on from here if you need to whip up an original city for your next adventure, and you're unlikely to find something of this quality anywhere else.

Adam has taken a lot of bold, calculated risks in developing this, and that tangible desinger's authenticity is rare to come by. This product has great attention to detail, solid pacing of information presentation, and lots of insightful examples to keep you both informed and engaged. Don't let the price put you off...if you plan to continue playing and/or DMing any TTRPG, this book is an incredibly valuable investment for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Luke D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/07/2019 22:46:13

Things I liked: -- the use of the 6 city "attributes" means that one can easily express a great many different types of conflicts. A bardic whisper campaign against the king, a religious revival, a plague, or an influx of black market goods flooding the city, or a clash of knights on the field of battle can all be modeled with relative ease.

--The core system is simple enough that it can be added in easily without overwhelming the players or the DM.

--I liked that different races all added something special to a community, and come with their own special buildings.

--the added mini-adventures, random encounter tables, and terrific artwork make this product feel very professionally done.

Things I disliked: -- Cities grow virtually automatically with only a minimal effort on the player's behalf. Given enough time, it seems every inconsequential hamlet will become a great metropolis. This doesn't really require the player's to do anything heroic, and feels unsatisfying to me.

--Almost no use of money. For some this might be a small point, but as 5e has limited uses for large sums of money. Allowing players to dump gold into a town seems like a no-brainer to me.

--Too much direct player control. The rules make it appear that the players select each and every building that appears in their town. I feel like a city should have more of a life of it's own rather than being so directly controlled by the players.

--Without the DM frequently modifying the rules as presented, things can often be extremely illogical. A town can have it's commerce reduced from a thriving hub of trade to near ruins, and in a single season bounce back to full again. There's no real reason you cannot have a full blown Metropolis in the middle of a tundra, as the rules don't make growing a city here any more difficult than usual.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Addison S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2019 16:05:31

Really love the book's ideas for extending the concept of statblocks to towns/cities. I think it'll make it a lot easier for my players to conceptualize just how large or small an area is. I'm using this to build player handouts for places they've visited (or are otherwise familiar with).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Anthony J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2019 15:16:04

Adam brilliantly brings macro level management of kingdoms to life. He provides masterful stat blocks for towns so you and your players can take their adventurers to the next level and act as stewards of a kingdom!

I always felt this scope of game play was missing from 5E, but now we can give our players the prestige they deserve once they hit Tier 3-4 play. Also the mass comat rules are simple and effective to convey conflict at the strategic level.

Lastly, it is clear that Adam hired a team of creators to work on this project to provide us a professional supplement. I can't say how excited I am to have this product at my disposal so my players can rule kingdoms!

P.S. Anne's dungeon maps for the buildings are incredible....now you can easily provide dungeons/encounters when your players decide to wreak havoc in town!

-Anthony J.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Cameron D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2019 12:35:14

There are those players and DMs who thrive on realism and ingenious integration within their games, and then there are those of us who have to slap campaigns together in 10 or 15 minutes. Adam's Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building is one of the most useful supplements you could ever ask for - it has monsters, maps, guidelines, tables, and all sorts of mechanics for ensuring that you can build the most comprehensive and realistic kingdom in your game.

The biggest strength of this product is the heavy importance of geographic location and biome in which your kingdom is located, as this is going to play directly into how your kingdom is going to function - an arctic kingdom is going to be scores different in the way it is built and managed than a marsh or plains kingdom. If you partnered this with Neverember's Guide to Urbanization, you would be set to create and flesh out entire worlds for life. In 160+ pages you get so much amazing new content that it is unreal.

This is a stunning example of content creation perfection - really everyone who can should take a look at and buy Balduran's: you will not be disappointed in the slightest.

Comics, Clerics, & Controllers d20: Nat 20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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