$$ question

81 posts / 0 new
Last post
How much should a house in a castle area cost? What would the ranges be on the size and price be?
How much should a house in a castle area cost? What would the ranges be on the size and price be?

4th Edition answer? Don't charge money; 4E money is an important track for obtaining mechanical rewards such as rituals and magical items and it's not really ideal to dock players large sums of cash to obtain non-mechanical benefits.

If players want a house or castle make it a quest reward, either as the subject of a specific quest, or thrown in with other rewards for an unrelated quest.

3.5 Ed answer will require someone else's input.
How much should a house in a castle area cost? What would the ranges be on the size and price be?

I would say anywhere between 1k or less for a small home and lot all the way up to about 15k for a lesser manor. Larger homes generally are granted by the state in medieval settings to those with title (nobility and the like), so unless the players are a pillar of the community they would likely not have one much bigger than what I listed (I gave about 15k as a top-tier price for purchasable homes because sailing ships were generally a sign of wealth, and they cost 10k in D&D).
4th Edition answer? Don't charge money; 4E money is an important track for obtaining mechanical rewards such as rituals and magical items and it's not really ideal to dock players large sums of cash to obtain non-mechanical benefits.

If players want a house or castle make it a quest reward, either as the subject of a specific quest, or thrown in with other rewards for an unrelated quest.

3.5 Ed answer will require someone else's input.

This is partially correct. The real answer is that if your players want to live in a castle, they certainly can purchase their lodgings with gold. Someone will have to give you an appropriate amount. The important thing is that you add that same amount of gold to the treasure that the party will eventually come across. If you don't, you'll leave the players short when it comes to the magical gear they should own.

So you don't have to make it a quest reward. But you do have to make it up to the players to preserve the game's balance.
Tales from the Rusty Dragon (http://rustydragon.blogspot.com) - A 4th Edition Conversion Project Covering Paizo's Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path
This is partially correct. The real answer is that if your players want to live in a castle, they certainly can purchase their lodgings with gold. Someone will have to give you an appropriate amount. The important thing is that you add that same amount of gold to the treasure that the party will eventually come across. If you don't, you'll leave the players short when it comes to the magical gear they should own.

So you don't have to make it a quest reward. But you do have to make it up to the players to preserve the game's balance.

That's a good answer too. Either/or.
For a really nice castle with servents and golems patrolling the halls and a moat... Either 13,600,000gp, or $80 IRL to the DM =D
There's a list of actual medieval prices on the Medieval History Source Book here. It includes costs for various buildings and other items that they can be compared to. A lot is going to depend on the size, the state of the economy, on whether the players are footing the whole bill. For an early actual castle, Rochester Castle, cost the Bishop who had to pay for it £60 at the end of the 11th Century.

These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth's foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling, And took their wages, and are dead. Playing: Legendof Five Rings, The One Ring, Fate Core. Planning: Lords in the Eastern Marches, Runequest in Glorantha. 

Like previously stated, if you force the PCs to drop a ginormous amount of loot for a house or castle, they're going to come up short somewhere else (probably in the purchasing of magic items, rituals, and so on).

The easiest, non-invasive way to get them permanent lodging might be to make it an adventure unto itself. Perhaps an evil baron lives in a particularly nice castle on the outskirts of his barony, and the residents are up in arms about his evil treatment of them. Snuff the baron, get his castle. Maybe goblins have taken residence in a country cottage to stage small raids on a neighboring town. Wipe out the goons, take their house. There's a million little ways to get the PCs a home without making them pay for it with their precious gold.
Like previously stated, if you force the PCs to drop a ginormous amount of loot for a house or castle, they're going to come up short somewhere else (probably in the purchasing of magic items, rituals, and so on).

The easiest, non-invasive way to get them permanent lodging might be to make it an adventure unto itself. Perhaps an evil baron lives in a particularly nice castle on the outskirts of his barony, and the residents are up in arms about his evil treatment of them. Snuff the baron, get his castle. Maybe goblins have taken residence in a country cottage to stage small raids on a neighboring town. Wipe out the goons, take their house. There's a million little ways to get the PCs a home without making them pay for it with their precious gold.

Yeah, but this isn't the only near-useless money sink of 4th Edition anyways. There's a 30th level ritual that allows you to make a plot of dirt float... what other purpose is that going to serve except bragging rights?

4th Edition assumes you won't generally do such stuff to waste money... but it leaves open the option if you want it.
It's definitely a buyer's market right now. Just make sure you get a home inspector who's not affiliated with the real estate agent. You also want to go there at different times of day; make sure that castle doesn't block the sun in the morning, that the stone walls retain some of the heat at night, etc.

Talk to the indentured servants, too. They most likely come with the house, and if you treat them right (and the previous owner treated them wrong), they'll be able to tell you about the things the real estate agent won't: if there's ever been a mould problem, how fertile the land is, whether or not the property is haunted by the souls of the restless dead, etc.

Last, don't be afraid to go on an astral quest to find out the history of the land, and be sure to get future predictions on the political stability of the area. No sense in buying a home near a castle if that kindly duke is one poisoned sandwich away from putting his megalomaniacal nephew into power. Nothing drops property values like a despot.
It's definitely a buyer's market right now. Just make sure you get a home inspector who's not affiliated with the real estate agent. You also want to go there at different times of day; make sure that castle doesn't block the sun in the morning, that the stone walls retain some of the heat at night, etc.

Talk to the indentured servants, too. They most likely come with the house, and if you treat them right (and the previous owner treated them wrong), they'll be able to tell you about the things the real estate agent won't: if there's ever been a mould problem, how fertile the land is, whether or not the property is haunted by the souls of the restless dead, etc.

Last, don't be afraid to go on an astral quest to find out the history of the land, and be sure to get future predictions on the political stability of the area. No sense in buying a home near a castle if that kindly duke is one poisoned sandwich away from putting his megalomaniacal nephew into power. Nothing drops property values like a despot.

There's nothing worse than having those damned Tieflings move in next to you...there goes the neighborhood. Property values will plummet, and then you'll have to make sure you keep your doors locked and your patio furniture secured when you're not home. And every time you have a block party, there they are, keeping to themselves, being non-friendly. They won't mingle, but they will eat all the hot dogs without chipping in for more.
Just another piece of advice: do not allow your players to be seduced by a variable rate mortgage. While these look attractive to first time castle buyers, in the long run, they can be costly. The best thing to do is to accept a variable rate mortgage and then refinance at a fixed rate as market conditions...

AHEM... sorry.

I mean: there was a nifty little splat book in 3/3.5 (can't remember which) called the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook. While the gp values therein might not translate very well to 4th Edition, it might give you a good starting point and it definitely helps with questions such as staffing the castle. I know it was underappreciated at the time, but my party loved the ability to build their own villa/stronghold when I allowed them to.

It will also give a good notion of the relative values of different components and some idea of how to set prices based on location and access to resources. I don't know if you want to put that kind of work into the game, but if so, there it is.

The Angry DM: D&D 4th Edition Advice with Attitude http://angrydm.com Follow me on Twitter @TheAngryDM "D&D is a world where you are a great champion, and the creator of the universe is frequently disorganized, highly distractable, and alarmingly vague on the rules of the universe he’s trying to run." -Shamus Young, Twenty Sided Tale (DM of the Rings)

There's a 30th level ritual that allows you to make a plot of dirt float... what other purpose is that going to serve except bragging rights?

Is that really something to brag about?
Barbarian: I just cut down that dragon in two hits...I took his head as a trophy.
Wizard: Well...I just made that pile of dirt float. Beat that...
Barbarian.........
Is that really something to brag about?
Barbarian: I just cut down that dragon in two hits...I took his head as a trophy.
Wizard: Well...I just made that pile of dirt float. Beat that...
Barbarian.........

Well, to be fair... it's a 20 mile-wide pile of dirt floating 10 miles in the air.

But the point stands... it's not something you do for function, especially when it costs 100k a casting.
There is a 3.0 book called "Stronghold Builders Guidebook" (or something along those lines) that has a plethora of information on building and maintaining keeps and castles in a D&D environment. Its not a 4e book, but as many of the options in the book don't deal with combat, it may be a good starting point for you.

I would suggest that if your players want a keep or a house, that you take the reigns and make it a part of the story. I have always liked the idea of player castles. I would start them with an adventure in a ruined castle (maybe they got the deed to it in a dragons hoard or from a noble they helped who abandoned the property) Then as they progress and get better and get more well known maybe they attract a couple of minor NPCs to the castle. Perhaps the local royalty offer to let them use some troops if they train them and patrol the roads near the keep. There are a million ways to make the castle bigger and better without tapping into the players gold pieces (which are tightly distributed int his edition, and intended to be spent on magical items).

If it gets big enough and they desire to build more then have they people who live/farm around their castle pay a little in taxes (this should not be in gold so that players cannot use it to get above those same tightly wound treasure rules, but rather in good and services) that can be used solely for improving the place.

It can be a great addition to a game as it gives the players a home and a sense of growth, just be sure to make sure that it does not become the focal point of the campaign all the time. Its ok every now and then, but if the adventurers stop adventuring and spend more time playing SIM-Castle then its time to think about retiring them to NPCdom as lord of a keep, put a new dot on the map for their town, and make new adventurers.

But thats just my own opinion.

love,

malkav
Well, to be fair... it's a 20 mile-wide pile of dirt floating 10 miles in the air.

But the point stands... it's not something you do for function, especially when it costs 100k a casting.

I dunno... turn off the spell and then maybe:

Barbarian: I just cut a dragon in two!
Wizard: Oh yeah? See that twenty mile wide pile of dirt over there?
Barbarian: Ummm yeah...
Wizard: Used to be a hobgoblin city. I even gave them a proper burial.

The Angry DM: D&D 4th Edition Advice with Attitude http://angrydm.com Follow me on Twitter @TheAngryDM "D&D is a world where you are a great champion, and the creator of the universe is frequently disorganized, highly distractable, and alarmingly vague on the rules of the universe he’s trying to run." -Shamus Young, Twenty Sided Tale (DM of the Rings)

gah, this thread has me sick. A great question by OP, and honest, no BS answers by everyone else...no issues there...but the fact that you are all talking about the imbalance of the PC's if they spend their gold in this direction...WTF?

If they spend the gold in this direction, the DM will adjust...Geesh
If they spend the gold in this direction, the DM will adjust...Geesh

The DM can most certainly adjust the GP he hands out...but...it will make any parcel tables or adventure GP rewards useless. I think the OP (and others on this thread) is trying to figure out how to do it without literally throwing boxes of gold at the PCs just because they would like to own a home. There are simply too many other ways to go about it without the DM being forced to hand out ridiculous amounts of GP.
In my opinion, about half the monetary treasure awards the PCs receive go to equipping the PCs and about half should be spent on "other things" (travel, lodging, bribing guards, etc.). Given that treasure for any given level is equal to twice the cost of a +0 magic item, this means the PCs still get more than enough treasure to keep parity.

Based on that, the cost of something should be based on what level range it is appropriate for the PCs to be able to buy it. For example, if the PCs wanted to buy a large house to live in, that is probably reasonable for mid heroic tier. So, I would likely cost it at about 1000gp. If they buy it at level 5, it is 1/2 their earned gold for that level. If they wait until level 8 to buy it, it is roughly 1/7th of their earned gold that level.

Similarly, a mid sized estate is probably reasonable for the PCs to buy at mid paragon, so I might charge 21,000gp for that. And, a castle is probably reasonable for PCs to buy at early epic, so I might charge 325,000gp for that. I am using the magic item costs, but it is a reasonable chart because these mundane items have "levels" in a sense, too.

Alternately, I may give the PCs one of these items for free, but then I am likely to charge a maintenance fee for it, based on the "level" of the item. For example, if the PCs earn an estate by freeing the local lords level, I would probably charge about 5-10% of the "cost" of the estate each level to represent maintaining estate (paying wages of servants and guards, adding buildings as necessary, paying taxes, etc.). That fee would become trivial after about 6-8 levels, at which point I would probably ignore it, but it is designed to be low enough not to severely impact character wealth.

-SYB
I had one problem with my question. I didn't mean how much to buy a castle, I just meant how much would it be to buy a house in a castle/palace setting, where you would be protected by invaders by the kings army and gaurds and stuff, not buying a castle. Also, my question is more for 3.5 than 4, and I would like to add that next time they make an edition, they should have hire economist to do the prices. It doesn't make sense from an economic sense that spell casters and alike can't make a profit selling things like spell books they made and magical items. They took the material they had, and added value to it, so it would go up in value, I guess this is just the problem you'll have when you have people making an RPG that have no idea about economics.
Also, my question is more for 3.5 than 4, and I would like to add that next time they make an edition, they should have hire economist to do the prices. It doesn't make sense from an economic sense that spell casters and alike can't make a profit selling things like spell books they made and magical items. They took the material they had, and added value to it, so it would go up in value, I guess this is just the problem you'll have when you have people making an RPG that have no idea about economics.

Ahh...it's just another 4E=suxxorz/unrealistic/killz my suspension of disbelief rant. Had I known that, I wouldn't have wasted my time. By the way....3.5 questions do not go here, in the 4E forums. The previous editions forums are further down.
Ahh...it's just another 4E=suxxorz/unrealistic/killz my suspension of disbelief rant. Had I known that, I wouldn't have wasted my time. By the way....3.5 questions do not go here, in the 4E forums. The previous editions forums are further down.

Where is the 3.5 board?
Where is the 3.5 board?

Here

I still think you should check out the stronghold builders handbook. Its a 3.0 book and I believe it explicitly covers the questions youa re asking.

love,

malkav
I had one question with my problem. I didn't mean how much to buy a castle, I just meant how much would it be to buy a house in a castle/palace setting, where you would be protected by invaders by the kings army and gaurds and stuff, not buying a castle. Also, my question is more for 3.5 than 4, and I would like to add that next time they make an edition, they should have hire economist to do the prices. It doesn't make sense from an economic sense that spell casters and alike can't make a profit selling things like spell books they made and magical items. They took the material they had, and added value to it, so it would go up in value, I guess this is just the problem you'll have when you have people making an RPG that have no idea about economics.

Everything I said in my answer should work for 3.5, too. There is an expected earned treasure per level table in the DMG. Figure out what level it is appropriate for characters to reasonably buy the item you are talking about. Check the expected treasure earned during that level. Make the price a % of that.

Also, as to your economics comment, you obviously haven't read 4e at all. Merchants do make a profit in 4e. They make items at base cost and sell at a 10-40% markup. Adventurers don't make a profit, because they don't spend their lives selling stuff. For all intents and purposes, whether an adventurer makes an item or finds an item, they have to sell it at a pawn shop (or second-hand store). This is because they don't run shops. If adventurers wanted to stop adventuring and run shops for a living, they could make money selling items they make. But, much like in the real world, most shop keepers aren't interested in buying things from guys off the street at wholesale prices. They pay a % of wholesale price for these things.

It actually makes perfect sense and translates well to reality. My car may technically be worth $20,000, but I'd probably only get about $10,000 (at most) for it selling it to a used car dealer (and cars have some of the best used value of all items in the world). My VCR basically won't sell at all. My printer would likely earn me about 20-30% of its new value. My TV from 1988 probably will get me less than $10. Heck, if I walked into Best Buy today and bought a new $2000 TV, I would have a VERY difficult time selling it. In fact, I probably wouldn't be able to even vaguely make my money back.

-SYB
I had one question with my problem. I didn't mean how much to buy a castle, I just meant how much would it be to buy a house in a castle/palace setting, where you would be protected by invaders by the kings army and gaurds and stuff, not buying a castle.

It should be something the average merchant can afford. Say, 200 to 300 gold. Plus taxes. Unless you're in Sigil or something where the average merchant is a bit more well off.

Also, my question is more for 3.5 than 4,

Oh. In that case the price is meaningless because money has no worth in 3.5 past 15,000. It will be less then a wish.

and I would like to add that next time they make an edition, they should have hire economist to do the prices. It doesn't make sense from an economic sense that spell casters and alike can't make a profit selling things like spell books they made and magical items. They took the material they had, and added value to it, so it would go up in value, I guess this is just the problem you'll have when you have people making an RPG that have no idea about economics.

No they shouldn't, because no real economic system can handle mages who create matter from nothing and adventurers who constantly spend their weight in gold to buy magic swords. Especially because that money is being added to the economy, having been sitting in a Dragons lair for the past 1000 years. You'd spend 3+ hours calculating out exactly how the players deflate the market, and then your game will suck because wealth by level won't be. And it only gets worse from there. Stick with balanced game economics.
Well... At least we got custom avatars....
Just another piece of advice: do not allow your players to be seduced by a variable rate mortgage. While these look attractive to first time castle buyers, in the long run, they can be costly.

Yes, but what an incentive to get out of bed & go adventure!

Oh if only there were orc & dragon lairs to plunder in the real world when funds dwindled....
4th Edition answer? Don't charge money; 4E money is an important track for obtaining mechanical rewards such as rituals and magical items and it's not really ideal to dock players large sums of cash to obtain non-mechanical benefits.

I'm sorry, but that's just got to be the worst answers possible.

If ones goal is to have a castle, then having enough cash to build/support it should be equely as important as having enough cash to buy the next magic sword or whatever.
And if you've got players with such goals you likely aren't playing a game where every + is of paramont importance.....
I dunno... turn off the spell and then maybe:

Barbarian: I just cut a dragon in two!
Wizard: Oh yeah? See that twenty mile wide pile of dirt over there?
Barbarian: Ummm yeah...
Wizard: Used to be a hobgoblin city. I even gave them a proper burial.

I don't know if you can turn off the spell. I think it's permanent.
"Perhaps we should introduce ourselves, and our motivations."
"I adventure for glory!"
"I adventure 'cause the bank is threatening to foreclose on my house."
I'd heavily recommend not charging gold for castle construction. Make it a plot based cost. Maybe they have to do a favor for their liege to earn the right to a castle, maybe they have to take control of a region which then pays them taxes that they use to fund a castle's construction, something along those lines.

Its not particularly reasonable to imagine someone plunking down a bag of money and getting a castle. Construction of this sort of thing is a multi-year exercise, and typically took place in a context where organizing agriculture and grain production to feed your workers was as important as paying actual wages.
If ones goal is to have a castle, then having enough cash to build/support it should be equely as important as having enough cash to buy the next magic sword or whatever.

Castles are supported by the land appurtenant to the castle, and the serfs/peasants that live there. In most medieval settings, you can't support a castle with treasure because the economy doesn't work that way. Your castle needs feed, livestock and labor.

The money you get will be useful for buying luxury items and maybe an architect to help him design a better castle. But once he's at the level where he earned himself a castle through adventuring (likely the paragon level), he could hire most of what he would need with his spare change.

And if you've got players with such goals you likely aren't playing a game where every + is of paramont importance.....

Why? If they are adventuring in the hopes of owning a castle, they should be working to earn privileges and titles that will eventually allow them to own a castle. Generally castles were not bought. The suzerain granted one of his vassals the right to manage lands, and a title to go with it, and then the vassal employed the folks living on his land to build him a fortress.

Or, if a lord was lucky, he'd be given title to a land with an existing structure on it. Then he employed his peasantry to improve it.


And since the PC earned his right to a castle through his valor as an adventurers, his sovereign is going to expect him to maintain his adventuring prowess. He will not be happy to find out that his lord has been selling off the tools of his adventuring trade.

"Sir Valiant, I want you to vanquish a dragon that's... um, Sir Valiant, what happened to your gleaming suit of plate mail obtained from the mystic eladrin of the Feywild, and the flaming sword that did vanquish the dark demons of chaos?"

"I sold them to redecorate my keep. My interior decorator said that white marble with gold inlay was the fashion of the day, so I tore the keep down and rebuilt the whole thing from marble and gold."


Castles can be bought and sold today but that's a phenomenon that would not have occurred before the Industrial Age when you had mercantile families with capital to rival nobility. Prior to the 18th century, if a nobleman could no longer afford his estate, it would devolve to his liege or fall to ruin.

If your setting is quasi-industrial, then chances are people aren't building castles, or living in them, for actual protection. It would simply be a status symbol. At that point, a castle should be worth as much as any mansion or posh penthouse in your realm. Simply adjust modern-day prices to gold pieces. (Though, in an industrial setting, they should have moved over to paper money.)
How much should a house in a castle area cost? What would the ranges be on the size and price be?

Depends on setting. Are your cities small walled holdings or are they giant cityscapes? Do you live in an age of average danger, great danger or little danger? Is the city on the edge of the kingdom, the center of the kingdom? Is the kingdom at the edge of wilderness, or the center of all human lands? Is your king a despot? A good man? then there is a question of dressing. Is this a slum, an area of nobles etc.

A good rule of thumb is that a house single room with lofted sleeping area in the middle ages directly outside a walled city was half the price of a warhorse, in the first row of a walled compound or city usually where the poorest live, the house is the price of a warhorse +goods to keep the house supplied, safe and secure with bedding. In 4e that would be 1000GP for an average danger, average town size (x2 for city) average distance from kingdom center, average amount of wilderness, average nobleman. The more dangerous the less expensive by half, the bigger the city the more expensive by multiples (take the city size divided by 10000 to get that multiple) the worse the king the more expensive by 2, 3, 4, even 5 x the normal price. My information is taken from the london telegraph 1883 which compared prices in modern London (1883) to London of the past (1400's). And I just learned why killing a deer in 1400 was considered a capital offense, venison costs nearly as much as a wagon. No wonder nobles were rich they sold venison at ridiculous prices.

You multiply the price of the house by the number of rooms desired to 5 for every room after that you multiplied by the number of rooms twice. So a 10 room house would be 10x10x1000 or 100,000GP (In the middle ages since warhorses cost a lot less this would have been about 10,000 pound stirling)

4th Edition answer? Don't charge money; 4E money is an important track for obtaining mechanical rewards such as rituals and magical items and it's not really ideal to dock players large sums of cash to obtain non-mechanical benefits.

Agreed which is why if you do this in any D&D edition you should consider ways to allow them to work off debt or to acrue quarters or to make money off their house. One way is to have the house built with a storefront, or market front that can be rented. An owner can also be a patron of the arts which often garners him a percentage of the artists fees and gains, or he can rent to country nobles.

If you want to provide living space for adventurers it makes more sense to provide them quarters in a city like apartments. these generally cost 8-10 times the price of a single night lodging in an inn.

Good luck
I'm sorry, but that's just got to be the worst answers possible.

If ones goal is to have a castle, then having enough cash to build/support it should be equely as important as having enough cash to buy the next magic sword or whatever.
And if you've got players with such goals you likely aren't playing a game where every + is of paramont importance.....

Honestly, unless the minutiae of managing one's assets is desired by the players, hand waving the costs to an extent is desirable. GP in D&D has always been more a second XP track than a real economic factor; the general suggestion of recompensing the GP cost of the castle is essentially the same as just ignoring it outright. The fairest explanation may be to force an initial GP charge, and then use it to justify extra funds with each return to it until its profits can safely be devoured by the much greater values of the later treasure packet amounts. Tada! Removing the cost outright just saves the trouble, and can be handled via non-monetary acquisition explanations. Perhaps a gift / bribe from a local monarch hoping to keep you on his side? If you've got a group that cares more about story than mechanical details, this should be more fulfilling anyway. Hand wave!
I would like to add that next time they make an edition, they should have hire economist to do the prices. It doesn't make sense from an economic sense that spell casters and alike can't make a profit selling things like spell books they made and magical items. They took the material they had, and added value to it, so it would go up in value, I guess this is just the problem you'll have when you have people making an RPG that have no idea about economics.

Economics... isn't fun. Or if it is, it's a separate and special kind of fun to what D&D is aiming to achieve. Also, it's inherently ludicrous to demand realistic economic modelling in a world where a competent wizard can summon a couple of tons of iron every five minutes.

The pricing schemes in 4th Edition aren't built at creating a realistic world that lets you track seasonal variations in the market price of bananas. They're designed entirely around getting you armed, armoured, and into a dungeon in the least amount of time possible. That's what 4E does well, and it's not ashamed of it.

Penny pinching, accounting, and haggling are rarely entertaining. Sometimes in small doses, but not as a mechanical fixture. As a DM, you don't ask your players to track their bowel movements or let you know when they're getting around to taking a shower; similarly, the adventurer's domestic budget simply isn't something the game cares about. Just as Monopoly doesn't ask you to submit tax returns, 4E hand-waves the financials down to being merely a magical-item purchase meter.
1) The "Economy of D&D"

Let's just get one thing out there: D&D doesn't have an economy. An economy is the method by which a society allocates scarce resources. When PCs pay an innkeeper for a room, that innkeeper doesn't have that money to use to buy wine or ale. The money is just gone. Money in D&D is part reward structure and part advancement scheme. Players get 'money' for killing monsters. Yay! They use that money to make themselves more powerful so they can kill more monsters. Or, they use that money to bribe guards, pay for travel, buy rituals/spells, and so forth to make adventuring easier or to undo mistakes. If a realistic economy was in force, the PCs would create rampant inflation everytime they killed a dragon and took its hoard, eventually devaluing the currency to the point where they couldn't afford a masterwork steak knife, let alone a +5 bastard sword.

2) Treasure as the Path to a Goal

I ran a campaign in Eberron in which the party worked as the crew of a ship. One of the PCs was a young, black sheep member of House Lyrander (the shipping cartel, for those not in the know). They decided early on that one of their goals as a party was to eventually purchase an elemental galleon of their own. We discussed the goal and I agreed to inflate the treasure available in the various adventures to allow them to put enough away for a ship without hurting their own advancement. They agreed, in turn, that they wouldn't abandon that goal and turn around and spend all of the excess gold on ridiculous magic items.

So, they sought rare and valuable treasures and took on high profile, high paying jobs, squirreling excess cash away in the Kundarak banks. The lure of gold took and rare and valuable treasures took them to exotic and dangerous places few people would dare to tread. The party negotiated the best deals and the best prices they could for rare treasures and other services. All in all, it was a lot of fun.

Yes, its all well and good to give a house or a ship or whatever a plot cost, but the system doesn't negate the idea of letting the party save for something awesome. It just means the DM and the players have to be on the same page and the DM has to adjust accordingly.

The Angry DM: D&D 4th Edition Advice with Attitude http://angrydm.com Follow me on Twitter @TheAngryDM "D&D is a world where you are a great champion, and the creator of the universe is frequently disorganized, highly distractable, and alarmingly vague on the rules of the universe he’s trying to run." -Shamus Young, Twenty Sided Tale (DM of the Rings)

*stuff*

If there was a way to report a post for awesome, I would.
I would like to add that next time they make an edition, they should have hire economist to do the prices. It doesn't make sense from an economic sense that spell casters and alike can't make a profit selling things like spell books they made and magical items. They took the material they had, and added value to it, so it would go up in value, I guess this is just the problem you'll have when you have people making an RPG that have no idea about economics.

This plan would single-handedly make the game so boring that it would bring back the idea that DnD drives people to suicide because people woudl be falling asleep and hurting themselves.
Sig to be rebuilt soon The Descendants-- the webserial that reads like a comic book! World of Ere-- A campaign setting that puts style to the fore.
Economics... isn't fun. Or if it is, it's a separate and special kind of fun to what D&D is aiming to achieve. Also, it's inherently ludicrous to demand realistic economic modelling in a world where a competent wizard can summon a couple of tons of iron every five minutes.

The pricing schemes in 4th Edition aren't built at creating a realistic world that lets you track seasonal variations in the market price of bananas. They're designed entirely around getting you armed, armoured, and into a dungeon in the least amount of time possible. That's what 4E does well, and it's not ashamed of it.

Penny pinching, accounting, and haggling are rarely entertaining. Sometimes in small doses, but not as a mechanical fixture. As a DM, you don't ask your players to track their bowel movements or let you know when they're getting around to taking a shower; similarly, the adventurer's domestic budget simply isn't something the game cares about. Just as Monopoly doesn't ask you to submit tax returns, 4E hand-waves the financials down to being merely a magical-item purchase meter.

If economics was all about taxation and haggling and accounting I would agree that it's not fun. Economics is a system to understand a society and can even be used to understand fictional societies
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1008035
http://news.cnet.com/Real-money-in-a-virtual-world/2030-1069_3-5905390.html

but it is also a sytematic and statistical approach to social cognitive theory, which is some of what makes the backbone of game theory as well as gameplaying. Many modern board games use economists to "price" positions and gains in the game and to determine fair play issues. Many modern games use economists as part of the creative process to create a fair system.

You'll never see the econimist at work in these games because their work is creating a balanced system of gain, whether that gain is in gold, dollars, XP or goods. That is their purpose. Even if they didn't hire an economist D&D did use the basic principles to determine equitable costs for magic and non magical goods. in fact the first edition research gygax did was based off samples of real life markets and economics.

So in a way I agree with scion maybe they should have done some more research on economy when writing the new system instead of basing goods off each previous edition
For most adventurers the cost of the home will be secondary. The main cost to consider is how much tax they will be charged by the lord of the nearby castle, and where they can be pressed into service in a time of strife.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

If economics was all about taxation and haggling and accounting I would agree that it's not fun.
...
So in a way I agree with scion maybe they should have done some more research on economy when writing the new system instead of basing goods off each previous edition

Not suggesting that's what economics was about; but I take your larger point. I'll also set aside the threshold issue that D&D as a game simply doesn't care about this kind of issue.

As a hypothetical, what kind of value can an economist add to D&D on the book-design side that players and a GM without that training can really appreciate in game? What can they contribute that doesn't break once you change setting from Forgotten Realms to Eberron to homebrew? What can they suggest that holds true from mud-splattered feudal realms through to magic-as-technology fantasy wondercities? What can they offer that improves the core D&D experience rather than diverting players from the task of being heroes into the less glamorous field of medieval mercantilism?
Merchants do make a profit in 4e. They make items at base cost and sell at a 10-40% markup. Adventurers don't make a profit, because they don't spend their lives selling stuff. For all intents and purposes, whether an adventurer makes an item or finds an item, they have to sell it at a pawn shop (or second-hand store). This is because they don't run shops. If adventurers wanted to stop adventuring and run shops for a living, they could make money selling items they make. But, much like in the real world, most shop keepers aren't interested in buying things from guys off the street at wholesale prices. They pay a % of wholesale price for these things.

Most merchants also have added incentives to not buy anything adventurers are selling cheap. Frankly, anything that an adventurer has to sell comes with its own risk - merchants need to pay less so they can recuperate their looses when that risk blows up their face: here are just a few examples.

1.) Adventurers are dangerous people with big pointy weapons, small point weapons, big bludgeoning weapons, big exploding spells; etc... They tend to deal with people (and things. . . shudder) with similar personals. What happens when Lord Arvos the Dreadful comes and busts up the shop demanding to know where the merchant got that magic shield once carried by Sir Mandos the Just?

2.) Most of the things sold by adventurers are used for combat and survival and appeal to the dangerous people discussed in point 1. Even if these people don't care a lick about the PCs they might decide it is cheaper to take the dangerous item then buy it. Many people who have actually need a +3 flaming sword the resources to take it. If the merchant is lucky, they will just break into the store at night and not decide to burst in chopping, burning, etc...

3,) Adventurers don't always get their treasure in the most legitimate of ways. Sure Merlin over there may claim he really did just make these boots of levitation he promises but how do you really know? Maybe they were stolen from the Empress of Ertia and she is going to come and demand you give them to her (losing out on everything you paid). Maybe they were ripped off the foot of the Hobgoblin King and his daughter wants them back as her birth right - honor demands she fights the current owner in the ring of fire. Maybe they were taken from some lost tomb and on the next full moon a specter will arise and haunt however last touched them. How can a merchant really know.

4.) Finally, even if a magic item doesn't attract any unwanted attention it is an expensive piece of equipment. Unless the merchant happens to find the right adventuring client; how long will it sit on his shelves. If a merchant spends 10,000 GP on a magic sword that is great deal of money; the sword doesn't do him any good (and invites trouble as discussed above) as long as it sits on his shelf. Sure, he might buy it cheap hoping to find the right buyer and make a big profit - but he can't risk too many of his assets on one item.


Of course, their is nothing wrong with having merchants who deal with magical items in your game. Some people will be attracted to the high risk / high reward business of dealing in such wondrous goods. Still, anyone serious about the business will have a lot of expenses for dealing with potential disasters (guards, divination, research, traps wards, searching for the right buyer, lost or stolen merchandise). These things will really cut into their profits and the only way they will make a living is to buy low and sell high.