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BobVosh
2010-03-14, 07:25 PM
Lets pretend we didn't want to be a hobo in the city. How much would a house be in a medieval type city?

Also is it in cityscape? I couldn't find it.

Elfin
2010-03-14, 07:32 PM
Well, everyone knows that no self-respecting adventurer would ever spend more than a few coppers on lodging, but the cost of buildings is listed in Chapter 5 of the DMG.

Swok
2010-03-14, 07:35 PM
The most stylish way to live is an item with 1/day Mordenkainen's Mansion. :smalltongue:

BobVosh
2010-03-14, 07:40 PM
I found how much gold cities have, etc, but not the cost of a house. Pricing on inns beyond the normal as well.

onthetown
2010-03-14, 07:42 PM
Ask your DM? Maybe a hovel for 1000, nice bungalow for 5000, two story for 10000, etc... Would depend on location of course, but if it's just a home base for your character it shouldn't matter too much.

BobVosh
2010-03-14, 07:42 PM
I did, he said he had no clue. I was trying to find out if any hints existed.

Edit: Chapter 3 has it.

Fairly close costs, btw. 1000 for a regular house, 5000 for a grand house, then it goes to towers/mansions/expensive stuff. Thank you all, though. My slum lord's story begins...

The Rose Dragon
2010-03-14, 07:45 PM
There's the Stronghold Builder's Guide (or something). I think you can build a stronghold that is nearly indistinguishable from a house if you work hard enough.

Amphetryon
2010-03-14, 07:46 PM
Stronghold Builder's Guide has the prices you're after. Whether they fit within your DM's economic structure is another matter.

Ormur
2010-03-14, 08:13 PM
The definite D&D book on something like that would be The Stronghold Builders Guide but it's generally considered to suggest too high prices. Although if you're really cheap/smart you could have a single story wooden house since wooden walls are free for the first floor. Then you only have to pay for the components (rooms) which might be as little as 500 gp for a single sparsely furnished 20x20 ft cottage.

Masonry walls are a lot more expensive at 2500 gp per such area but there are cost reducers. A two story masonry house with 6 such 20x20 feet components (about 216 square metres) would cost 14400 gp before taking in account other factors. If it's split into four apartments each would cost 3600. That's for 50 square metres in a well built house. Building from brick on a larger scale would reduce costs since internal walls would be a larger percentage and could be made of wood, half of which you'd get for free for the first floor. But building higher than two stories also costs more.

The book is meant for adventurers building keeps outside of towns so you could imagine there would be cost reducers for building on a larger scale, having the workforce live nearby and even magical or unusual help. On the other hand real estate prices in larger towns would be higher (the SBG gives modifiers from 0% for small towns to 10% for metropolises).

Going by those rules small simple apartments could be bought for 500-4000 gp with prices rising rapidly with greater size and luxury.

Mastikator
2010-03-14, 08:29 PM
Depends on the quality of the house. I mean, you could hire a bunch of cheap workers and raw material.
Considering mercenaries cost 3sp per day, regular laborers should only cost 1 sp per day, or maybe even less. But lets say 1sp per day. And you employ 10 of them to build your house in a reasonable time. That's 1 gp per day.
If you build it from wood only, then the wood itself is probably in the range of 1gp to 5 gp in total. Lets keep in mind that wood is cheap, and that 1 golden coin is a lot of money! Lets be conservative again and say 5 gp.
And lets say that it takes 2 months to build a small house of wood. That's 65 gp.

65 gp for a cheap, wooden house. A shackle probably 30gp or less. Heck, if you have the appropriate craft skill you can probably cheapen it further.

The way I see it, if you can afford magic items. You can also afford a mansion.


(I'm just picking numbers out of the air here, but they seem reasonable to me. I don't know if there is any rules for raw building materials or house building labor, but this is medieval times, labor and materials are cheap, and laborers are dirt poor)

Lysander
2010-03-14, 09:40 PM
It's in the srd in "Surroundings, Weather & Environment" under "Wilderness"

{table="head"]Item|Cost
Simple house|1,000 gp
Grand house|5,000 gp
Mansion|100,000 gp
Tower|50,000 gp
Keep|150,000 gp
Castle|500,000 gp
Huge castle|1,000,000 gp
Moat with bridge|50,000 gp
[/table]

Dr Bwaa
2010-03-14, 09:43 PM
It's in the srd in "Surroundings, Weather & Environment" under "Wilderness"

Of course it is :smallconfused:

Zexion
2010-03-14, 09:48 PM
Wait a second: why is it under "Wilderness?"

jindra34
2010-03-14, 09:52 PM
BEcause everyone knows adventurers buy houses out in the middle of now where to retire too.

Zexion
2010-03-14, 09:57 PM
Actually, when one of the PCs in a campaign I was running decided that he didn't want to play anymore, he bought a track of "land" (by which I mean an empty track of water) in the middle of the ocean about a hundred miles by a hundred miles. Then he cast a whole lot of permanent wall of force on it to act as floors and walls for a massive mansion, and made a magic item that allowed him to suppress the walls of force at will. It took him about six days to rig up the entire system.

Mastikator
2010-03-14, 09:58 PM
It's in the srd in "Surroundings, Weather & Environment" under "Wilderness"

{table="head"]Item|Cost
Simple house|1,000 gp
Grand house|5,000 gp
Mansion|100,000 gp
Tower|50,000 gp
Keep|150,000 gp
Castle|500,000 gp
Huge castle|1,000,000 gp
Moat with bridge|50,000 gp
[/table]

Nice find.
*RANT WARNING*
But this is why I hate D&D economics. It makes absolutely zero chance. This either means that the average peasant who lives in a simple house (with his entire family of say 5 in total, has access to 1000gp. That's 20 pound of gold!
Nope, no freaking way, not acceptable, I can't have it, there's no way a simple house is worth 20 pounds of gold! That's more money than a commoner would ever dream of having.
For reference a cow is worth 10 gp, there's no way a simple house can be worth 100 cows, that's a lot of cows!)

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-14, 10:04 PM
This is the cost of buying a house.

Being given a house by the local lord in return for farming his land, or building your own house, isn't nearly the same as buying a house.

Zexion
2010-03-14, 10:22 PM
Yuki Akuma is correct. It is almost certain that commoners would build their own houses.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-14, 10:35 PM
Exactly simple house assumes your paying a bunch of masons to build your house or buying it premade. it assumes your buying the land from a local lord all of which are very expensive. I would actually say that for buying a simple house most of the cost is acquiring the land. (or shipping the men and materials out into the wilderness to build a house in the middle of nowhere).

A commoner doesn't own his house, he doesn't own his farm. The local lord does. Owning your own land and house was something only something the most successful people could do. One big reason tens of thousands of people in Europe crossed the ocean in the Colonial era, was land was available.

Randel
2010-03-14, 10:39 PM
Or you can go Invader Zim and cast Secure Shelter... watch as it magically extracts material from the surrounding environment and shoves a perfectly nice house wherever you want it.

Or get a bunch of wood and stone and cast Fabricate, should let you make a decent sized structure permanently for much much cheaper than buying it.

Godskook
2010-03-14, 10:44 PM
Nice find.
*RANT WARNING*
But this is why I hate D&D economics. It makes absolutely zero chance. This either means that the average peasant who lives in a simple house (with his entire family of say 5 in total, has access to 1000gp. That's 20 pound of gold!
Nope, no freaking way, not acceptable, I can't have it, there's no way a simple house is worth 20 pounds of gold! That's more money than a commoner would ever dream of having.
For reference a cow is worth 10 gp, there's no way a simple house can be worth 100 cows, that's a lot of cows!)

Keep in mind that properties were inherited, and houses maintained over generations.

An untrained worker makes 1sp/day, or probably 30gp a year(estimated). In 30 years(the rate of a standard mortgage of recent years), he'd accumulate 900gp just on his own, assuming he had the wits to live off the land for that period. Add a wife who cooks, 3 sons who contribute to the family estate, a brother who can't make his own way in the world and you've got enough earning power to make that a reality in very short order. And that's *BUYING* a house, which I doubt many commoners do in D&D. More likely, long-term leases, rental agreements or vassals arangments are made.

In any case, that's using the lowest wage you could possibly pay someone for something. Given that the poorest man in D&D can forseeably gather 1000gp in his lifetime, I'd say that the average commoner does it quite readily, since they're trained(3x the pay, minimally), and likely married(for a second income, even if its only a part-time thing, such as mending clothes).

Kirgoth
2010-03-14, 10:55 PM
This could be a nice adventure hook. Have them win it gambling or get the deed as loot on adventure then find it is haunted; has monsters in the basement; is one of the local thieves guilds hideouts. etc. Another adventure; once cleared they have a house with sewer access; secret panels; locks and decommissioned small dungeon / temple to evil gods.

Very cool.

As house owners make it required they join the town militia as they are landowners; rather than spending time doing drills and boring stuff they can then be called on by the local authorities to help when things get beyond them. Aka other adventures

Cheers

Randel
2010-03-14, 11:43 PM
They get a cheap house in the city but find out it was used as a meth lab. (or whatever other horrible alchemical admixtures crooks with a few ranks in craft alchemy cook up in a magical world)

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-14, 11:51 PM
When a powerful adventure buys a house you don't ask him to join the militia you just hope he's around when the militia is needed.

Anyway
Landowners didn't often join the militia, the militia were made up of peasants and farmers not the guys wealthy enough to actually own the land.

Remember the opportunity for commonfolk to own land didn't occur until after 1492. The main reason people left Europe for America was for the opportunity to own land.
In either case if your wealthy you can buy your way out of militia service. If anything as landowners they'd be called upon by the local baron or King to serve in a military capacity in a time of war. You'd be army not militia

Ormur
2010-03-15, 12:19 AM
There were always free peasants that owned their land in medival western Europe and even serfs could be quite successful but that was of course the exception.

As you say in D&D it wouldn't be impossible for a commoner to buy a house outright even though it costs 1000 gp. Even so he'd probably inherit it from his father, rent or build it himself most of time. You must also consider that only the wealthiest people in the modern world buy their houses outright. We usually don't scrape together more than a 100 grand, we take out mortgages or rent. What's more ridiculous is probably the price of gold in D&D but a modern house would still cost the equivalent of 10 pounds of gold or more.

Kelb_Panthera
2010-03-15, 01:06 AM
I don't know how it ended up in the "wilderness" section of the srd, but in the DMG, there's an "urban" section just after the wilderness part, and that's where the table above is printed. 1000gp for a house in a town, makes some sense. A subsistence farmer, a.k.a. a commoner, would likely live in a home his father or grandfather built a day's journey from the nearest town.

Lysander
2010-03-15, 08:31 AM
1000gp is a huge but not ridiculous amount of money. 1gp = one goat, or 50ft of rope, or half the cost of a backpack. To a D&D commoner one gold is probably the equivalent of a few hundred dollars, maybe even as low as a hundred. So 1,000gp is the equivalent of a few hundred thousand, which is what buying a house in real life costs. Most D&D commoners presumably max out profession and make a few gold a week, so if they take out a loan to buy a house and pay it off over a few decades it's doable. And as people pointed out, a lot of houses are probably not bought outright but merely rented or leased to them as serfs.

ericgrau
2010-03-15, 09:14 AM
Even without building the house the commoner could afford it after 20 years or so. That's actually typical for modern home owners. And even without lenders they could pass them down to the next generation, share them in the mean time, etc., etc. But yeah, it's normal for commoners to grow their own food, raise their own animals, build their own homes, sew their own clothes, etc. Every once in a while they buy a pair of shoes when the old pair is ruined and so on, and that's what their income is supposed to represent.

Emmerask
2010-03-15, 09:22 AM
It's in the srd in "Surroundings, Weather & Environment" under "Wilderness"

{table="head"]Item|Cost
Simple house|1,000 gp
Grand house|5,000 gp
Mansion|100,000 gp
Tower|50,000 gp
Keep|150,000 gp
Castle|500,000 gp
Huge castle|1,000,000 gp
Moat with bridge|50,000 gp
[/table]

problem is that this is only the price for the house and nothing more I think...
the simple house in the rich district of the city will cost a lot more then the simple house in the tanners district (horrible horrible smell ^^)

Soonerdj
2010-03-15, 09:23 AM
The method in our (evil) game seems to be:

1. Find a nice house that suits your purposes
2. Follow the inhabitants around town for a day or two.
3. ??????? (Generally murder/MC/etc.)
4. Receive House.

Emmerask
2010-03-15, 09:25 AM
The method in our (evil) game seems to be:

1. Find a nice house that suits your purposes
2. Follow the inhabitants around town for a day or two.
3. ??????? (Generally murder/MC/etc.)
4. Receive House.

And no city guards investigate why person xyz is gone? maybe if its a very simple house in the cheapest district no one will care but otherwise for example a rich merchant?

Lysander
2010-03-15, 09:28 AM
problem is that this is only the price for the house and nothing more I think...
the simple house in the rich district of the city will cost a lot more then the simple house in the tanners district (horrible horrible smell ^^)

I think this list assumes you're buying a house out in the countryside somewhere. That's probably why this list is under "Wilderness." This is how much a house you randomly stumble across while adventuring would cost.

A house in the city would cost more (real estate cost) or less (plentiful building supplies, many available workers) depending on what you're building. In a city I'd say the cheap stuff would cost a little bit more, and the expensive stuff cost a little bit less.

CapnVan
2010-03-15, 09:41 AM
Most D&D commoners presumably max out profession and make a few gold a week, so if they take out a loan to buy a house and pay it off over a few decades it's doable.

Let me take these back to front.

First, the modern concept of credit, loans, etc. are a fairly new development. Banking as an industry didn't even really begin until the late Middle Ages. And those bankers weren't lending to peasants. When they did make loans to nobles and wealthy merchants, interest rates were exceedingly high. It's one of the reasons that medieval Jews were so prevalent in banking the Church maintained a prohibition against charging interest.

So, the idea that a commoner could get any kind of loan just isn't practical. They have no collateral, to begin with. Even assuming that they're a freeholder, it's unlikely that the lender would be able to get clear title to their land, which would be the only possible collateral (and even then wouldn't suffice to cover the loan). More importantly, and this brings me to the second point, commoners don't have any money.

Common folk, up until relatively recently, used the barter system. They didn't have money to pay back their loans, which was the way that bankers preferred to be paid. Bankers want cash, not sheep's wool, or sheaves of grain. Maybe in some fantasy worlds, things are different, but there simply wasn't enough gold and silver in the market to allow the peasantry to have anything more than a very occasional coin.

Most commoners are going to be subsistence farmers, followed by very cheap day laborers. Neither one is going to get much money. It was very common for management to pay their labor pool in their product, rather than in cash. A brewer, in other words, might pay his crew in beer, rather than coin. Given that urban unemployment was generally a problem, and there was no social safety net, the workers didn't have much of a choice.

CapnVan
2010-03-15, 10:10 AM
Keep in mind that properties were inherited, and houses maintained over generations.

Properties, as in the family compound, could be maintained for generations. Generally, the houses were not. Pre-industrial build quality, particularly among the poor, wasn't the greatest. If you're talking wood, then many of the preservatives that allow wood to last as long as it does today weren't invented yet. And if you're talking an urban center, then fire would almost guaranteed to burn your house down before too many decades.


An untrained worker makes 1sp/day, or probably 30gp a year(estimated).

This starts breaking into the problems of economics in D&D, because those numbers are just wildly off. If, as is stated in the PHB, 1 chicken costs 2 cp, then the idea that unskilled labor is worth 5 chickens per day is simply ludicrous. Unskilled medieval labor would have been lucky to eat meat of any kind once a week at most.

Moreover, the idea that an unskilled laborer would work 300 days a year just isn't even remotely realistic. Chronic underemployment remains a significant problem - it was in medieval times as well. There was a much larger pool of unskilled labor than there were people looking for mooks to lug stones up a hill.


In 30 years(the rate of a standard mortgage of recent years), he'd accumulate 900gp just on his own, assuming he had the wits to live off the land for that period.

He wouldn't accumulate that much. Taking your assumption, he would have earned that much. But the idea that he'd be living off the land? First, if he's in an urban center, where's he going to go to "live off the land"? And when's he going to do it? If he's working 300 days a year, from sunup to sundown, when, exactly, is he going to have the time to grow his vegetables and hunt for meat? Unskilled labor means back-breaking labor. It means you're on the street every day looking for work. You don't have time to hoof it out to the boonies to tend your crops.


Add a wife who cooks, 3 sons who contribute to the family estate, a brother who can't make his own way in the world and you've got enough earning power to make that a reality in very short order.

Except that those people eat. They need clothes. Shoes. Blankets in winter. Etc. And your unskilled laborer has to pay for it. Again, you seem to misunderstand the employment opportunities for unskilled labor - they're not good.

There's a reason that people don't remain unskilled labor if they can possibly help it - it's really hard to live that way. And you definitely can't earn enough to purchase a house.

Radiun
2010-03-15, 10:19 AM
Ok, a house costs less that fullplate armour
And a huge castle could net you ~5 +10 swords (with +5 being random enhancements)
...
...
Well, good thing adventurers are the type to wipe out entire ecosystems in dungeons. Should be simpler to wipe out the inhabitants of the castle

Soonerdj
2010-03-15, 10:42 AM
And no city guards investigate why person xyz is gone? maybe if its a very simple house in the cheapest district no one will care but otherwise for example a rich merchant?

Dominate Person lasts for days, and having a Bard along with him when he signs the deed over means Glibness. And Glibness is insane.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-15, 01:08 PM
Dominate Person lasts for days, and having a Bard along with him when he signs the deed over means Glibness. And Glibness is insane.


A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time

Its like every bluff master PC forgets this rule probably because it blows there mayhem right out of the water.

Bluff isn't magical or mind altering and it doesn't make the people stupid, the crazier the bluff the more quickly the target will realize he's been duped unless he really is an idiot.

The guards would realize they were tricked, and transferring a property deed takes a little time. So a bluff isn't going to last beyond a verbal contract.

The headaches involved of simply murdering someone or otherwise extorting them out of their house are such its probably easier to kill someone else, take their wealth sell it then use that money to buy a house.

Lysander
2010-03-16, 01:45 AM
You can't assume that everyone is an unskilled laborer though. Most people are going to have at least a few ranks in Profession or Craft. Even a single rank means you'll usually make a few gold each week.

Let's go for a lowball estimate and assume a lowly peasant just makes 5gp a week on average. That's 240gp a year, so buying a house is the equivalent of just over four years straight pay. Obviously they have other expenses, but 1,000gp is definitely something they could save up for. It might take more than a decade but its doable. And peasants with more ranks in profession or craft could earn a house much quicker.

ericgrau
2010-03-16, 02:02 AM
Try more like 5sp a week. Give it 40 years. But that doesn't include the many many things they make for themselves. Heck they probably build their own house too and pay only for materials, if not share the house with others as well and pass it down through generations. Why pay someone else for labor when you're the cheapest laborer out there?


The method in our (evil) game seems to be:

1. Find a nice house that suits your purposes
2. Follow the inhabitants around town for a day or two.
3. ??????? (Generally murder/MC/etc.)
4. Receive House.

Reminds me of the video game Fable. I played it straight as a paladin the whole way through, saved the world, and my alignment was filled all the way to good. Then I got bored and slaughtered a city. When the guards came, I killed them too. Then I rented out the vacant houses of the people I killed for money, even though I had plenty. My alignment shifted to perfectly neutral. It seems saving the world and slaughtering a town are supposed to balance out evenly.

TheMadLinguist
2010-03-16, 02:47 AM
Its like every bluff master PC forgets this rule probably because it blows there mayhem right out of the water.

Bluff isn't magical or mind altering and it doesn't make the people stupid, the crazier the bluff the more quickly the target will realize he's been duped unless he really is an idiot.

The guards would realize they were tricked, and transferring a property deed takes a little time. So a bluff isn't going to last beyond a verbal contract.

The headaches involved of simply murdering someone or otherwise extorting them out of their house are such its probably easier to kill someone else, take their wealth sell it then use that money to buy a house.

I believe you missed half the sentence, there.


A successful Bluff check indicates that the target reacts as you wish, at least for a short time (usually 1 round or less) or believes something that you want it to believe.