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KISMETT’S STRONGHOLDS & SPACES

 

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grand hall

Art by SnowSkadi

 

One of the joys of roleplaying games is being able to take ownership of places that exist in a setting. Houses, keeps, castles, taverns - whatever the case, when player characters get to own pieces of the game world, players become more invested and dropping plot hooks becomes easier for the GM. A whole book just for building locations was published for 3rd edition D&D - the Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook, which I’ve reviewed elsewhere on this site. Pathfinder presented its own system for ownership years later in Ultimate Campaign.

What I have here is a system I have extrapolated and adjusted to use in my games. It is not aimed at building large keeps or kingdoms (although it could be used for such); instead, it was brought about for individual buildings. The PCs in my games own their own businesses and have plenty of gold to spend on them, so we needed a guiding framework to determine prices. I also wanted to offer flexibility and plenty of options, including variable quality and sizes. I streamlined it as best I could so it doesn’t take long to stat a new room or improve an existing one. I offer it here in case it serves another GM’s needs as it has mine.

Rooms


Rooms contain the basic furniture required for their functions, but they can be of varying size and quality.  Multiply the base cost for a room times the population and quality cost modifiers below for the basic price. Special materials for walls and permanent magical effects cost extra (see below).  Please note special size requirements for particular rooms.


Component

Base Cost

Component

Base Cost

Alchemy lab

500

Kitchen@

500

Armory

350

Labyrinth^

3,000

Auditorium~

1,050

Lava forge~

14,000

Barbican

700

Library

350

Barracks@

300

Magic lab

500

Bath

300

Meditation chamber

500

Bedroom suite

560

Observation area/walk~

300

Bedrooms

500

Ossuary

350

Chapel

700

Prison cell

350

Classroom

1400

Sauna~

2,800

Common area~

350

Servants’ quarters

400

Concealed passages

1,400

Shop~

300

Courtyard~

350

Smithy~

350

Crypt~

750

Stable~

700

Dining area~

400

Storage

250

Dock~

350

Strongroom

700

Flying creature aerie#

5,000*

Study/office

140

Game room~

1,750 + 750

Tavern~

900

Garden

100

Throne room~

1,400

Gatehouse

700

Torture chamber

2,000

Greenhouse

700

Training area~

700

Guard post

200

Trap control room~

10,000

Hatchery

500

Trophy hall~

700

Indoor archery range^

2,100

War room~

1,000

Kennel

420*

Workplace~

350

* For each size category above medium

^ Must be at least 3 ss

# Must be +1 ss per size category above medium

~ Must be at least 1 ss and allow for a small population in order to function; otherwise, operational penalties and risks of injury will apply

@ Basic allowance is higher than normal; 10 Medium sized creatures for barracks, kitchen feeds up to 15 Medium sized creatures


Population


There are only so many people who can operate in a space before problems arise.  Population is a measure of how many Medium sized creatures can comfortably inhabit a space.  A stronghold space, as per the Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook, is 20 x 20 x 10 feet.


Cost Mod

Size

Population

Stronghold Space

x.25

Diminutive

---

.25 ss

x1/2

Tiny

---

½ ss

x.75+

Small

1-3

.75 ss

x1

Medium

1-5

1 ss

x2

Large

6-20

2 ss

x3

Huge

21-50

3 ss

x4

Gargantuan

50-100

4 ss

Kitchens can serve meals for as many people as the Population rating.

+ Half a stronghold space is 10 x 10 x 10 (or less for smaller creatures).  


Quality


Appearance and hardiness matter when it comes to furnishings.  Broken and rough surroundings will not impress those who visit and may get in the way of what owners try to do in their own space.  Posh surroundings, however, will serve to put an owner in a position of power. 


Cost Mod

Quality

Description

Bonuses and Penalties

x1

Poor

the roughest and most breakable furnishings, with some necessary pieces missing

-1 penalty to one roll associated with the function of the room; -2 penalty to social rolls with those of higher social caste when inside; -1 penalty to social rolls when just outside

x2

Basic

sturdy furnishings, all the necessary items present, with a few general art pieces

+1 to one roll associated with the function of the room; -1 penalty to social rolls with those of higher caste, no bonuses socially when inside

x3

Fancy

good looking and long-lasting furnishings, more than the necessary items, nice artistic flourishes

+2 to one roll associated with the function of the room, with the same bonus to social rolls when within it


x4

Luxury*

all furnishings are high craftsmanship, plentiful supplies, layout is ornately decorated

+4 to one roll associated with the function of the room, with the same bonus to social rolls when within it*

* Must be at least 2 ss for the full bonus; otherwise, half bonus


Upgrading


Advancement: Once a room has been settled on and paid for, notes should be made of the costs for the level of quality above and below the current price point.  If enough damage is done to the room or if many major furnishings are sold, it could be downgraded. If expensive additions are made (such as advanced locks), higher-grade furniture is added, and impressive decorations are displayed, it could reach the next threshold and be upgraded a level of quality.  In this way, spaces can be improved or reduced based on their owner’s wishes and conditions.

Expansion: Enough land must be owned to expand a room’s size (without magical intervention), or walls can be knocked down to expand into nearby spaces.  Upper floors can be added to grant more space, as well. It is up to the GM to decide the difficulty of acquiring building permits or more land; this is especially true and appropriate in crowded urban environments.

Magic: Dwellings can be purchased and improved via magic in various ways.  Make whole can be used to heal poor materials, but the spell can only upgrade a room to basic quality (no 0 level spell is adequate).  Spells that are attached to rooms via permanency should have their casting cost added to the overall value of the room.  Temporary dispelling does not alter this advantage, but permanent loss (such as damage to a teleportation circle) will mean that the spell no longer adds to the total value of the space.  Magical items only add to the value of a room as long as they are in it; if they are stolen or otherwise removed for long periods, they will not count.

Size Categories: Small creatures and their tinier counterparts have their own places, which are naturally restrictive to larger creatures.  Reduce the Population modifier by 1 for each size category below Medium (but the Population of the appropriate sized creatures will fit).  A creature cannot effectively use a room that was built for a creature more than one size category smaller than itself (so a Medium sized creature cannot fit in a room built for Tiny creatures).  Creatures of Large and greater sizes have their own dwellings set to the appropriate scale; add a x1 modifier to Population for each size category above Medium, to account for the extra materials and craftsmanship needed.  

Any skill bonuses provided are available to creatures of the size category for which the space was made and are halved for each size category below or above.  The social bonuses remain the same for creatures of smaller size categories, but are halved for each size category larger than the original owner. On the other hand, social bonuses gain a +1 for each size category smaller than the original occupant.

A fancy fire giant’s keep (tailored for size Large) will be more difficult for humans to operate in (granting only a +1 to skill checks for the rooms), but will remain impressive in scope, so the social bonuses will not be affected.  The same keep will not be as awe-inspiring for adult blue dragons (size Huge). It will certainly be more amazing to Diminutive visitors, granting a +6 to a Diminutive owner.

Staff: Rooms do not come with servants to tend them. A player character can do the work on their own, assign their followers to operate a place; in these cases, they do not have to provide wages. They can appeal to family members and friends, but those characters will likely want some kind of compensation. The owner can hire NPCs to work, and salaries will depend on the NPC’s skills and reputation, as well as the average earnings of the area (at the GM’s discretion).

Walls: Walls are constructed with the natural materials that are most prevalent and cheap in the area - usually wood - but others are possible, if enough quantity can be secured and the buyer is willing to foot the bill.  Add a x1 modifier per 5 points of hardness rating (rounded up) of the special wall material to the Quality rating; on the flip side, reduce the room’s total cost by 10% for every point of hardness between the special material’s rating and 5.  Floors of wood or stone are of no additional cost; other special materials for floors will add or subtract as per walls.

Sample Rooms


Alchemy lab: 500

Population: x1 Small 1-5 1 ss

Quality: x2 Basic sturdy furnishings, all the necessary items present, with a few general art pieces +1 to one roll associated with the function of the room; -1 penalty to social rolls with those of higher caste, no bonuses socially when inside

Walls: x2 Stone walls (and floors, no extra cost)

Final cost: 2000 gp (1000 gp poor quality; 3000 gp fancy quality)


Kitchen: 500

Population: x3 Large 21-50 3 ss

Quality: x2 Basic sturdy furnishings, all the necessary items present, with a few general art pieces +1 to one roll associated with the function of the room; -1 penalty to social rolls with those of higher caste, no bonuses socially when inside

Final cost: 3000 gp (750 gp poor quality; 4500 gp fancy quality)


Bedroom suite: 560

Population: x.75+ Small 1-3 .75 ss

Quality: x3 Fancy good looking and long-lasting furnishings, more than the necessary items, nice artistic flourishes +2 to one roll associated with the function of the room, with the same bonus to social rolls when within it

Final cost: 1260 gp (840 gp basic quality; 5040 gp for luxury, expanded size for full bonus)