Posts Tagged ‘gold’

Know what I love? Giving gold to my PCs. It’s a great way to give rewards beyond experience points. The trouble with fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons is that the players don’t have a lot of obvious ways to spend gold in large amounts. At a certain point the PCs may have more gold than they know what to do with once they’ve purchased their resurrection diamonds and suits of plate armor. After that gaining gold can become a bookkeeping exercise as players run out of the obvious, especially since buying magic items isn’t an option in many fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons games.

Well in this post I’m going to give you a whole bunch of stuff players can spend their gold pieces on. Stuff that’s useful for players and has a benefit beyond swimming in a pool of gold a la Scrooge McDuck.

Disclaimer

Before we begin let me state simply that I know not all these options are right for every game. I wouldn’t include all of these in my own game, but you might allow something I wouldn’t so I’m throwing all the options I can think of out there.

Buildings

Who doesn’t want to buy a castle? Well in Dungeons and Dragons, you can! The Dungeon Master’s Guide has rules for building your own castles, keeps, temples, and other strongholds during downtime on page 128. What if your players don’t want to wait and have a mountain of gold burning a hole in their pockets? Let them buy something that’s already been built!

Using the list in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, here’s a list for how much it will cost to buy specific buildings in my game.

Stronghold Costs
Stronghold Cost
Abbey 100,000 gp
Guildhall, town or city 10,000 gp
Keep or small estate 100,000 gp
Noble estate with manor 50,000 gp
Outpost or fort 30,000 gp
Palace or large castle 1,000,000 gp
Temple 100,000 gp
Tower, fortified 30,000 gp
Trading post 10,000 gp

Vehicles

Maybe your adventurers don’t want the house, but they might need a car, boat, or airship. The Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook have tons of pricing information on everything from carts to airships.

There’s plenty of mounts PCs can buy to get them from one place to the next. Checkout the Beasts PDF in the Free Game Resources section of this site for exotic mounts which ignore various types of difficult terrain. With so many wonderful mounts to choose from characters might invest in a whole stable full.

Of course if you really want the players to spend their money maybe you make truly exotic equipment available to them like a dragonborn submarine, ornithopter, or maybe you want to allow your players to buy elemental-powered land carts, boats, and airships like the ones in Eberron. We don’t have prices for those (yet!) but here’s my best guess for 5e!

Vehicle Costs
Vehicle Cost Speed
Elemental airship 100,000 gp 20 mph
Elemental galleon 150,000 gp 5 mph
Elemental land cart 10,000 gp 15 mph

Outfit Buildings/Vehicles

Of course if they’ve already got the house and car, they might want to trick them out with a state of the art home security system! Maybe you’ll let your players buy traps or siege weapons. Who doesn’t want to put a crushing room in a fortress or drive around in an elemental land cart with a ballista mounted on the roof? Here’s my best guess at what it would cost for traps and siege weapons. Note that many of these traps and siege weapons are found in the Free Game Resources section of this site.

Trap Costs
Traps Cost
Abyssal Gate 5,000 gp
Acidic Fall 500 gp
Collapsing Roof 100 gp
Crushing Room 3,000 gp
Electrified Floor 5,000 gp
Explosive Object 1,000 gp
Falling Net 100 gp
Fire-Breathing Statue 5,000 gp
Flame Jets 2,000 gp
Grasping Arms 5,000 gp
Hungry Insects 500 gp
Log Slammer 1,000 gp
Malicious Harpsichord 5,000 gp
Mists of Madness 5,000 gp
Object of Deception 1,000 gp
Pendulum Scythe 2,000 gp
Pit, Hidden 150 gp
Pit, Locking 200 gp
Pit, Simple 100 gp
Pit, Spiked 150 gp
Poison Darts 300 gp
Poison Mister 500 gp
Poison Needle 200 gp
Rolling Sphere 2,000 gp
Room Filling With Water 3,000 gp
Spectral Tendrils 5,000 gp
Sphere of Annihilation 50,000 gp
Spinning Saw Blades 2,000 gp
Widening Pit 5,000 gp
Withering Tapestry 5,000 gp
Zealous Altar 5,000 gp
Siege Weapon Costs
Siege Weapon Cost
Arcane Cannon 50,000 gp
Acid canister 250 gp
Fire canister 250 gp
Force canister 250 gp
Frost canister 250 gp
Lightning canister 250 gp
Ballista 2,000 gp
Bolt 25 gp
Cannon 5,000 gp
Canister shot 50 gp
Cannon ball 50 gp
Chain shot 25 gp
Shell 50 gp
Cauldron, suspended 200 gp
Oil (1 cauldron full) 20 gp
Dwarven Drill 15,000 gp
Mangonel 3,000 gp
Mangonel flaming barrel 50 gp
Mangonel stone 20 gp
Ram 2,000 gp
Siege Tower 1,000 gp
Trebuchet 4,000 gp
Trebuchet flaming barrel 100 gp
Trebuchet stone 30 gp

Make ‘Em Fly

Know what’s cool? Airships. Know what’s cooler? Flying castles. If you’ve got the world for it, why not allow the PCs to trick out their stronghold by letting it fly? It’s certainly not right for every campaign, but think about it. If you’re campaign takes the PCs all over the map, why would they buy a fortress… unless they could bring the fortress with them! To make a building fly I charge my PCs twice the building’s cost. So it would take 2,000,000 gp to make a castle fly or 3,000,000 gp total to buy a flying castle outright.

Magic Items

Many fifth edition campaigns do not allow PCs to buy magic items, but if you want to allow them to buy magic items during their downtime, there’s rules for that in the Free Game Resources section of this site. These rules don’t allow a player to walk in and buy a magic item right off the shelf of a store so it limits players and ultimately keeps things random an in the hands of the DM.

Of course if you don’t want to allow your PCs to buy magic swords, armor, and bioarcane items, there’s always single use magic items like potions, scrolls, and the like. I always allow my players to stock up while they’re in town to spend some of their well-earned gold. Here’s the prices I use.

Potion Costs
Potion Rarity Cost
Common 50 gp
Uncommon 100 gp
Rare 500 gp
Very rare 5,000 gp
Legendary 50,000 gp
Scroll Costs
Spell Scroll Level Cost*
Cantrip 25 gp
1st 50 gp
2nd 100 gp
3rd 250 gp
4th 500 gp
5th 2,500 gp
6th 5,000 gp
7th 15,000 gp
8th 30,000 gp
9th 50,000 gp

*Plus the cost of any material components used in casting the spell.

Setting-Specific Technology

If you have something specific in your setting that your players buy that costs a pretty penny. Exploration Age has firearms and bombs you could sell to your PCs. Maybe even some of Exploration Age’s finest mechs are available for sale. Here’s a quick list for you of how much mechs would cost in my game if I made them available for sale.

Mech Cost
Destroyer 75,000 gp
Gladiator 50,000 gp
Knight 100,000 gp
Lifter 10,000 gp
Lumberjack 20,000 gp
Miner 35,000 gp
Pyro 75,000 gp

Mundane Magic

In some worlds teapots walk across the table and pour themselves, cabinets keep food cold and fresh, and clockwork spiders carry notes from one room in a house to another. If your world is high magic, your PCs might pay for fun and cool little mundane items like these which make their lives easier.

Henchmen and Upkeep

If the PCs are going to have airships and castles, they might need servants, guards, skilled laborers and more to get things off the ground. The Player’s Handbook has some good rules for hirelings which can add up over time.

You might also decide the players need to spend a certain amount of gold maintaining and repairing their prized possessions. Mike Shea of slyflourish.com recently had his PCs acquire a magic flying castle, but in order to keep it flying they have to feed it gold or magic item. Vehicles get damaged in battles and castle walls might fall during a dragon attack. Make sure your PCs are paying for those repairs.

Donations

When the PCs have lots of gold it might be in their best interest to give it away. Their gold could turn them into lobbyists with political influence if they give donations to the right government, church, or guild. Know who else loves gold? Dragons. Imagine if one of those owed the PCs a favor…

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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You ever look at the North Pole and ask yourself, “Why in the Hell would Santa want to live there?” The answer is simple – his operation is so confidential he went to the one place no one could find him. Even if you know exactly where his operation is, good luck braving the elements to get there. I feel bad for the person who has to deliver all those letters to him. Seriously, a man with the power to see us at all times of the day should have an email address.

Exploration Age has blank spots on the map beyond The Damned Lands and Verda. The harsh environments of Glacius and the North and South Poles of Canus have kept even the toughest explorers at bay.

Glacius

Map of Glacius

Map of Glacius

Just North of Findalay lies a continent about the size of Parian covered in snow and ice. Glacius is one-third frozen ocean, one-third snow-covered plains, and one-third mysterious ice-covered mountain range with the occasional volcano and aberrant ruin thrown-in.

The snow plains of Glacius are a near constant blizzard, but thanks to the Society of Seekers and The Explorers’ Guild most of the area has been mapped. For those with the stomach for it, the snow plains offer some of the most spectacular sights in all of Canus. Rare beasts, a strange aberrant ruin full of mysterious labs, and bizarre weather phenomena make Glacius unlike any other place on the planet. All of these rarities are not as strange as the seemingly abandoned tunnels dug into the frozen snow. Where exactly the tunnels lead and what their purpose was is up for debate, as no expedition deep into the tunnels has ever come back.

Glacius’ frozen ocean is the most dangerous place to get rich quick. Frozen within the ice is gold dust. Ice-breaking ships manned by all-or-nothing crews make their way through the sea, trying to find the best places to saw out blocks of ice flecked with gold. These blocks are melted aboard the ship and the gold is then harvested. Of course, the frozen ocean has many of its own hazards such as weather, thin ice, hidden icebergs, polar bears, krakens, ice pirates, and more. Boats can get stuck inside the frozen ocean if they venture too far into the ice and the sea freezes their path behind them. In this case the crew can starve and freeze or abandon ship and try to survive out on the ice – a miserable existence. Perhaps the most frightening hazard upon the frozen ocean is The Undead Miner Army. Sailors tell tales of a greedy legion of wights who met their fate mining gold on the ice. These undead are always looking to increase their ranks and horde of gold by attacking the crews of the living. There may be truth to these rumors, since destroyed mining ships have been found with all their gold removed and not a single corpse ever in the bloodstained area.

Imagine… a legion of this guy!

The Ice Ranges of Glacius are the unmapped area of the continent. The ice-covered mountains have peaks higher than 20,000 feet. As a result, no one has ever ventured beyond the outer-most mountains so what occurs within the Ice Ranges remains a mystery. Occasionally a white dragon can be seen flying toward the mountains and those with keen ears can hear thunderous booms erupting from the inner peaks through the howling blizzard winds.

Two active volcanoes live in Glacius. Mt. Steam sits on an island in the frozen ocean. Some sailors claim to have seen a massive red dragon coming from or going to Mt. Steam, but those rumors have never been corroborated. The other volcano, Mt. Hyrias sits on Glacius’ coast and seems to constantly spew ash and lava into the sea. Mad soothsayers claim that the aberrants buried a weapon beneath this lava flow long ago and are soon going to return to use it and cover Canus in ash and fire.

The Poles

If Glacius is remote and dangerous than Canus’ poles are the hardest-earned suicide mission Exploration Age has to offer. Barely explored, and less often survived, few know what the poles have to offer. To some that is a reason to stay away, but for others the challenge has become a draw. The Society of Seekers and The Explorers’ Guild have a bit of an unofficial race going between them. The Society has an independent pet project of exploring the South Pole while The Guild is exploring the North. Both are hoping to prove their superiority over the other by filling in the blank spots of their pole’s map first.

While both poles are cold, icy masses of frozen ocean with treacherous terrain and more dangerous weather, each does have its own unique hazards. The North Pole’s winds are stronger than any other on Canus. Whirlwinds of snow and ice can kick up at any moment, or gusts of wind could blow so strong that a traveler without ice cleats may be lifted off of the surface of the frozen ocean and carried into the air. Flying is not an option on the North Pole for any but the most powerful creatures.

Below the surface of the North Pole swim predatory creatures known as ice-breaker sharks. These crafty beings use the bony growths upon their heads to weaken the ice in a given area then surprise their prey by either breaking through the weak spot or allowing their target to fall through it before attacking. Either way ice breaker sharks can sense footsteps through the ice from up to a mile away and will begin preparing a hunting ground with plenty of these weak spots. They often allow their prey to travel far into the hunting grounds before attacking so they can surround the victims with weak spots, giving no option for easy escape.

Who wants to snuggle?

The South Pole is just as deadly as the North Pole. Winds are not as fierce, however the snow falls so heavily here it forms massive dunes that are treacherous to climb. The snow is uneven and could collapse at any moment, burying a traveler. As if the snow and weather weren’t enough, earthquakes constantly shake The South Pole, threatening to level and reform new snow dunes constantly, not to mention bury and knock adventurers off their feet. But the worst of the worst hazards in The South Pole is The Lingering Havoc.

No one is sure of The Havoc’s origin. Some say it is an ancient remnant of aberrant societies, some say it migrated from The Damned Lands or mysterious parts of Verda, and others believe there is a darker force somewhere deep within the South Pole controlling the force. Few have seen The Lingering Havoc and lived to tell of it. Those who have their minds permanently warped. Yet all those who describe The Havoc have a similar story to tell. Either coming out of the snowy depths or rising through the broken ice, a massive creature, more than 500 feet tall by many accounts. The Lingering Havoc is a hulking mass of bones and corpses of various humanoids, animals, and monsters that have somehow formed together into one colossal engine of destruction.

Other than their ongoing competition, why would The Society of Seekers and The Explorers’ Guild continue to risk it all over two seemingly worthless hunks of ice? Because there could be profit, adventure, glory, and discovery to be found over the next snow dune. Aberrant ruins that have yet to be picked over, a new race of intelligent beings, portals to other worlds, and more endless possibilities live in the minds of adventurers and PCs. It’s my promise to deliver on those expectations, provided they survive the harsh cold… and the ice breaker sharks… and The Lingering Havoc… you get the idea.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!