Strongholds and Homes
The goal of the stronghold rules is to give players an easy way to build a base that has functions that enhance play and give some unique bonuses.
What is a stronghold?
A stronghold is a place that serves as a base and home to the adventurers and their allies. It is a place of healing, crafting, and power within the lands. The stronghold is crafted by the adventurers with the gold found on their adventures. It gives bonuses, but may also attract attention from others.
A stronghold comes with certain bonuses based on level and type.
|Stronghold Level||Prerequisites||Average Cost*||Bonuses|
|1||3 Rooms||500||+1 Saga Point, +1 Renown, Bonus Horror Recovery|
|2||6 Rooms||900||1 Diplomat, Bonus Horror Recovery|
|3||9 Rooms||1300||+1 Saga Point, +1 Renown, Bonus Horror Recovery|
|4||12 Rooms||1800||1 Knowledge Keeper, Bonus Horror Recovery|
|5||18 Rooms||2700||+1 Saga Point, +1 Renown, Bonus Horror Recovery|
- Average costs are based on strongholds consisting of half basic rooms and half specialty rooms.
When the adventurers spend downtime in the stronghold, they gain additional Saga Points, based on stronghold level, to spend when they next leave on an adventure.
Your stronghold employs one Diplomat with no upkeep cost.
Your stronghold employs one Knowledge Keeper with no upkeep cost.
Bonus Horror Recovery
Players lose 1 extra horror point per Stronghold level for each week of downtime, even if doing other activities.
A stronghold can have a Type that gains Ranks. As it gains Ranks, the players with the associated Type gain benefits.
The home of fighters, a keep is a strongly defended home.
|Keep Rank||Keep Rooms Required||Bonus|
|1||4||2 Guard Allies, +1 Expertise|
|2||6||+2 DR to Stronghold|
|3||8||4 Guard Allies, +1 Expertise, +1 Ability Modifier|
2 Guard Allies
Your Stronghold supports 2 Guard Allies as hirelings at no cost.
All fighter player characters gain +1 to an expertise of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 1st level of Keep.
+2 DR to Stronghold
You have built your stronghold with an eye for defense, and all rooms, walls, and doors gain +2 DR
4 Guard Allies
Your Stronghold supports a total of 4 Guard Allies as hirelings at no cost.
All fighter player characters gain +1 to an expertise of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 3rd level of Keep.
+1 Ability Modifier
All fighter player characters gain +1 to an ability modifier of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 3rd level of Keep.
Filled with books and artifacts, a mage tower gives it bonuses to those who use the Arts.
|Mage Tower Rank||Mage Rooms Required||Bonus|
|1||4||1 Knowledge Keeper Ally, +1 Expertise|
|3||8||2 Knowledge Keeper Allies, +1 Expertise, +1 Ability Modifier|
1 Knowledge Keeper Ally
Your Stronghold supports 1 Knowledge Keeper as a hireling at no cost.
All mage player characters gain +1 to an expertise of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 1st level of Mage Tower.
A mage tower can identify Artifacts. A mage within the tower must use the identify spell after a week’s worth of research and a successful DC 20 Spellcraft or Knowledge check.
2 Knowledge Keeper Allies
Your Stronghold supports a total of 2 Knowledge Keeper Allies as hirelings at no cost.
All mage player characters gain +1 to an expertise of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 3rd level of Mage Tower.
+1 Ability Modifier
All mage player characters gain +1 to an ability modifier of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 3rd level of Mage Tower.
A hidden safe house, the back room of a well known tavern, or a building in plain sight can hide many secrets. A cabin far out in the woods, a hunting lodge, or a watch tower high in the mountains. The hideout is the stronghold of experts, giving them a stronghold to call home.
|Hideout Rank||Hideout Rooms Required||Bonus|
|1||4||1 Infiltrator or 2 Guard Allies, +1 Expertise|
|2||6||Gain useful knowledge|
|3||8||2 Infiltrator or 4 Guard Allies, +1 Expertise, +1 Ability Modifier|
1 Infiltrator or 2 Guard Allies
Your Stronghold supports 1 Infiltrator or 2 Guards as a hirelings at no cost.
All expert player characters gain +1 to an expertise of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 1st level of Hideout.
Gain useful knowledge
With a week’s research a expert can find out useful information about a person or place as long as the expert can physically go there to spy. An Awareness or Thievery check will determine how much information the StoryGuide gives.
2 Infiltrator or 4 Guard Allies
Your Stronghold supports a total of 2 Infiltrator or 4 Guard Allies as hirelings at no cost.
All expert player characters gain +1 to an expertise of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 3rd level of Hideout.
+1 Ability Modifier
All expert player characters gain +1 to an ability modifier of their choice. This applies only one time, when a stronghold reaches the 3rd level of Hideout.
A trade based stronghold generates passive income for the adventurers based on size and rooms. It gives no other bonuses.
Building your Stronghold
Strongholds are built with rooms. While some rooms may only have a basic function, specialty rooms allow items to be crafted, or may count towards creating a certain type of stronghold. A room has a minimum size, but they can be expanded as much as the builder wishes. The larger a stronghold, the more noticed it may become by others in the area.
Only one ally or hero can work during a week in most crafting or specialty rooms. Therefore, if you want three allies or heroes to be crafting alchemical goods, you will need three separate alchemy labs.
|Name||Cost||Bonus||Size in feet||Squares||Type|
|Alchemy Lab||200 gp||Allows Alchemical crafting, 50% discount||10×10||4||Mage|
|Animal Pen||100 gp||10×10||4||Basic|
|Archery Range||400 gp||Allows Warriors or Experts to gain an extra Saga Point for a week’s training||10×20||8||Keep, Hideout|
|Artificer’s Laboratory||200 gp||Allows Artifice crafting, 50% discount||10×10||4||Mage|
|Barracks||200 gp||Housing for up to 4 people.||10×10||4||Keep|
|Bell Tower||200 gp||10×10||4||Keep|
|Brewer or Distiller’s Room||200 gp||Allows for the crafting of beer, wine, or liquor.||10×10||4||Trade|
|Carpenter’s Room||200 gp||Allows Carpentry, 50% discount.||10×10||4||Craft|
|Common Room||25 gp x sq||A common room used for various activities.||Varies||Basic|
|Defensive Walls||100 gp||10 x 10 x 5 fortified wall. 50 HP, AC 12, DR 4 per 5×5 Square.||10×5||2||Keep|
|Drawbridge||400 gp||A retractable bridge that spans an excavated channel||10×20||8||Keep|
|Escape route||200 gp||A Hidden exit from the building||10×10||4||Hideout|
|Farm||25 gp x sq||Varies based on size||Varies||Basic|
|Gambling Hall||200 gp||10 x 10||10×10||4||Hideout, Trade|
|Graveyard||25 gp x sq||Varies||Mage|
|Greenhouse||200 gp||Grants a 5% discount to Alchemical components.||10×10||4||Mage|
|Guard Checkpoint||200 gp||10×10||4||Keep|
|Infirmary||200 gp||Gives a +2 to all skills checks involving healing or curing of disease or poisons.||10×10||4||Keep, Mage|
|Lapidary Craftroom||200 gp||10×10||4||Mage|
|Leatherworker’s Room||200 gp||Allows Leatherworking, 50% discount.||10×10||4||Craft|
|Library||200 gp||Allows research and grants +1 to knowledge checks while at the stronghold.||10×10||4||Mage|
|Meditation Room||200 gp||Allows an extra point of Ravaging to be healed per week.||10×10||4||Mage|
|Moat||50 gp x sq||Varies||Keep|
|Personal Bedroom||50 gp||Housing for 1 person||5×10||2||Basic|
|Poisoner’s Room||200 gp||Allows Poison Brewing, 50% discount.||10×10||4||Hideout|
|Practice Ring||200 gp||Gives a Warrior an extra Saga Point for a week’s training.||10×10||4||Keep|
|Prison||200 gp||A Prison contains cells for holding up to three captives.||10×10||1||Keep|
|Smithy||200 gp||Allows Blacksmithing, 50% discount.||10×10||4||Keep|
|Study||200 gp||This room allows you to retrain an Expertise after a month of research.||10×10||4||Mage|
|Throne Room||25 gp x sq||10×10||4||Basic|
|Tinker’s Room||200 gp||Allows Tinkering, 50% discount.||10×10||4||Hideout|
|Trapped Room||200 gp||10×10||4||Hideout|
|Training Room||200 gp||Allows an expert to train, giving them an extra Saga Point.||10×10||4||Hideout|
|Trophy Room||100 gp||10×10||4||Basic|
|War Room||200 gp||Gives +2 to Knowledge checks involving warfare or tactics while in this room.||10×10||4||Keep|
|Writing Room||200 gp||Allows a mage to study, giving them an extra Saga Point.||10×10||4||Mage|
Alchemy Lab: An Alchemy Lab contains instruments such as flasks, alembics, and hand-mills useful for the creation of Alchemical goods.
Animal Pen: An Animal Pen is an Enclosure built to support one Large Sized Creature Comfortably or the equivalent in other sizes. It features a fence and a feeding trough.
Archery Range: An Archery Range is typically an open Area with targets used typically by Archers set at a range to practice on.
Armory: An armory contains custom made shelves, displays, and mannequins for storing various types of weapons, armor and gear.
Artificer’s Laboratory: A mage’s lab for the creation and enchantment of items.
Barracks: Communal Living Space containing beds and a small trunk for personal Items.
Bell Tower: A Tower housing a bell that can be heard at a great distance.
Brewer or Distiller’s Room: A place to craft alcohol.
Carpenter’s Room: A Carpenter’s Room contains A woodworking bench, various saws and axes, and a place to store scrap wood.
Common Room: A room for many basic needs.
Courtyard: A place to greet visitors.
Defensive Walls: A fortified wall that guards a stronghold.
Dock: A structure extending from a piece of land outward to a body of water.
Drawbridge: A retractable bridge that spans an excavated channel
Escape Route: As minimal as a rock covering a cavern or as complex as a hidden switch in a bookshelf with a hallway behind, an escape route contains some sort of hidden tunnel as a way to escape your stronghold without alerting your enemy to your whereabouts.
Farm: A place to grow food or raise animals.
Front: A false common room made to disguise a hideout stronghold’s true purpose.
Gambling Hall: A gathering place for gaming and betting.
Graveyard: A burial place for honoring the dead.
Greenhouse: An indoor space to grow plants year round.
Guard Checkpoint: A place for guards to examine those approaching along a thoroughfare.
Infirmary: A place to care for the wounded.
Kitchen: A room for cooking and preparing food.
Lapidary Craft Room: This room contains a tumbler, polisher, grinder, and metalworking tools for the creation of jewelry and refining of gemstones.
Leatherworker’s Room: This room contains tanning racks, shaping tools, and chemicals used in the creation of leather hides and leather goods.
Library: A collection of books and tomes.
Meditation Room: A small quiet space that allows for mental healing. An adventurer who spends one week of downtime meditating here heals one extra point of Ravaging or Horror.
Moat: A ditch filled with water typically for the purposes of defense.
Personal Bedroom: A living space set aside for a specific person. Includes a bed, a washing basin, and a chest for personal items.
Poisoner’s Room: A room filled with vials of natural venom and poisonous materials ready to be crafted into toxic concoctions.
Practice Ring: A place to practice martial skills.
Prison: A prison contains cells for holding up to three captives.
Sanctuary: A room for worship or meditation.
Smithy: A smithy contains an anvil, cooling bath, and various tools used to assist in the creation of metal objects.
Storefront: The storefront is a place to sell items, be it crafted or looted.
Study: The study is a place for retraining.
Tavern: An establishment to have a drink and a meal. Depending on its renown, a bar open to the public can attract commoners, adventurers, and even nobility.
Throne Room: A room to greet those you rule.
Tinker’s Room: This room contains various tools for making and repairing tools, traps, and kits.
Trapped Room: A room with traps to impede intruders.
Trophy Room: A place to house trophies representing successes in the careers of adventurers.
Vault: A room with thick walls and a heavily secured entrance used to keep unwanted hands off of important things.
War Room: A room to plan large scale warfare.
Writing Room: A room containing a desk, ink, and scroll parchment dedicated for the creation of magical scrolls, deciphering magical texts, or writing mundane pamphlets.
Other building factors can make a dwelling cost more.
On/In Water x3
On Difficult Terrain x1.5
Mobile (Caravan, boat or other) x4
A stronghold can have as many building factors as necessary. To get the total you add each multiplier together and multiply that by the original cost. Different parts of your stronghold can have different factors, and that is best worked out with your GM.
Rooms built with the highest quality are considered Masterwork. A masterwork room grants a discount of 75% to crafting (25% more than the standard 50%) . A masterwork room costs 3x the amount of the standard room cost (150 gp per 5×5 square) to build, and costs 2x the base cost to upgrade a current room (100 gp per 5×5 square).
It takes 1 week per 1000 gp build cost to complete a stronghold project. While this can seem very unrealistic, the goal is for the heroes to have a stronghold to use, not one to retire in.
A Stronghold costs 1% of its build cost per month of operation. If a Stronghold is not maintained it will fall into disrepair. A Storyguide may dictate the effects of neglect, or a basic loss of 10% of Stronghold HP per month if it is not maintained.
A general story rule is if the Stronghold is left as is with hirelings left inside, they continue to work and produce money to upkeep the Stronghold, but do not produce materials for the adventurers while the Stronghold is on “autopilot”. This is also a source of future stories and struggles the Storyguide can use in the campaign plot.
Cost for Stronghold Rooms
A stronghold is normally constructed of premade rooms with specific purposes and sizes, which are listed in the chart above. These rooms follow basic guidelines, which allows for the Player and Storyguide to create and use any number of rooms not already listed or allows for an expansion of any room. For upgrading a room from a Basic Room to a Specialized Room, see the next section.
A basic stronghold room costs 25 gp per 5’x5’ square (sq, 1 square combat space, average height 8’) to build, and costs 1% (round down) of the building cost to maintain per month. Specialty rooms, which give various bonuses, cost 50 gp per 5×5 square foundation. A speciality room is any stronghold room that is not a Basic room. A masterwork speciality room costs 150 gp per 5×5 foundation. To repair an abandoned or damaged stronghold costs 1 gp per hit point lost.
Example: Jace has a small stone building he owns outside of Trelucca. It is 25’x30’ (30 foundations). He found it abandoned so he did not have to spend the 750 gold to build it, instead spending 375 gold to repair it to a livable condition. He spends 7 gold per month to keep it in good condition. This is only upgrading it to livable Basic Rooms (such as bedroom, kitchen, or common room).
Upgrading foundations that are already built.
If the heroes are upgrading a base room that has already been built, the upgrade cost is minus the original build cost. Build time is halved.
Example: Jace wants to upgrade a 10×10 Common Room to a Smithy. The Common Room is already worth 100 gp, so it will only cost 100 gp more to upgrade to a Smithy (worth 200 gp and a component to a Keep). The upgrade time would be a little less than a day.
Tables, chairs, sofa, shelves, beds, etc.
Fancy: 5 gp per 5×5
Extravagant: 10 gp per 5×5
Stronghold Hit Points
Strongholds have 25 HP per 5×5, 50 HP per 5×5 if fortified. Strongholds have a Base AC of 10 and BASE DR of 2.
This small keep was built originally as a map, and then given stats based on what the players wanted it to be. The goal was to provide housing for many guard allies, as well as giving bonuses for tactics and warfare. This small stronghold has 4 Keep rooms, making it a level 1 Keep (there are 2 Barracks even though they are not divided, 1 Armory, and a War Room).
This Mage Tower was built room by room on a Stronghold Sheet, with no map as reference. The goal of this book is to allow for the creation of a Stronghold however the Storyguide or Players find easiest.
Mingus’ Mage Tower
|Chymistry Lab||Mage||10×10||4||200 gp||Allows Alchemical crafting, 50% discount|
|Artificer’s Laboratory||Mage||10×10||4||200 gp||Allows Artifice crafting, 50% discount|
|Library||Mage||10×10||4||200 gp||Allows research and grants +1 to knowledge checks while at the stronghold.|
|Meditation Room||Mage||10×10||4||200 gp||Allows an extra point of Ravaging to be healed per week.|
|Common Room||Basic||10×20||8||200 gp|
|Total Worth:||1220 gp|
|Total Upkeep:||12 gp|
|Mage||1||1 Knowledge Keeper Ally, +1 Expertise|
All Stronghold Bonuses:
+1 Saga Point, +1 Renown, Bonus Horror Recovery
Build your home, become part of your world.
Strongholds is a system for helping the players build a home for the SagaBorn Roleplaying System. Wizard’s towers, rogue’s hideouts, and warrior’s fortresses allow the adventurers to make the land their own.
Simple rules to add depth to your tabletop game, Strongholds is a system streamlined enough to fit in any game.