So I have a player who plays a gnome oracle with the stargazer archtype and Heavens mystery. His background was really well written, he's all into mapping stars, he even has ranks in Profession (astrology) and has a deck of harrow cards (which he claims are based on stars). In other words he plays a star-obsessed gnome. Anyway, he's the Councilor in the Kingdom and has done some amazing things as far as RP and being involved in the kingdom building. He's always lamented on not having an observatory in his kingdom. So I was thinking that one of his rewards would be to find some old building plans for an observatory, obviously I'll make it part of a treasure he finds somewhere or gifted to him by one of his merchant buddies if he helps him with something. My only problem is, I can't exactly figure out what the stats on something like that would be. I'm thinking it would be very expensive, probably in the range of 60 - 80 BP, maybe 1x2 city blocks. I'm looking for some bonuses other than just the regular old +1 to one of the Kingdom stats, though it should get one of those at least, but I'm not sure which. I don't think this building would produce any magic items nor would it add to the base value. Any ideas what interesting bonus an observatory could grant?
I run with that they have to have certain buildings in the kingdom to build certain units....like they have to have an aviary to build flying mount units, or a fletcher to build ranged units, ect.
|M P 433|
Ancient Chitzen Itza had an observatory in the city, and there's one on Talon Peak (ruined) in Varnhold Vanishing. As for benefits, figure +2 Loyalty as a testament to investment in advanced science and culture, and maybe a building bonus to spells like Augury, Divination, or attempts to foretell the future cast within the improvement. Cost might be more around the 40-50 range.
I used the following:
Observatory: 16 BP; +2 loyalty, divination spells cast within the observatory are treated as +1 CL. 1 minor item. An observatory must be built in a mountains hex, and must be at least 2 hexes away from a city.
Rather than simply plans in a treasure hoard, make it a tome discussing an ancient observatory (not too far away) that he can lead the party on a side quest to discover. While there throw in a few fun encounters (perhaps a rival is scouting the ruined observatory as well - are you mixing in Brevic politics?), and then have the gnome discover the plans while there.
Maybe even throw in plans for a magical telescope of... (scrying? summoning? interplanetary travel?)
Just my 2 cp.
Tycho Brahe Uraniborg and Stjerneborg.
those building are a great inspiration for a medieval/renaissance observatory. Notice how Stjerneborg was underground to protect the instrument from high winds. You can find some passable plans of the buildings searching the net.
Some source claim that the cost of building those observatories and the supporting activities (there was a papermaking industry on the same island and a castle that was inhabited by Tycho) was about 1% of the whole Demnark PIL for 25 years.
An observatory on the level of Uraniborg would have a large impact on the nation as it will be something with a continental wide notoriety.
I would make it something similar to an University (from Wayfinder 4):
Observatory (110 BP)
A centre of intellectual excellence where all manner of astronomers, astrologers, engineers and sages gather to experiment, philosophize and otherwise innovate.
City base value +1,000 gp; halves cost of Academy in the same city; Consumption +1, Economy +3, Loyalty +3; 10% chance of nullifying a negative kingdom event thanks to predictions.
Paying an additional point of Consumption opens up several options to kingdom builders:
• Divination spells cast within the observatory are cast at +1 CL or get a 5% better chance of success.
• you can calculate the best and most auspicious placement for a building,reducing the problems during construction, that reduce building cost by 1 BP (essentially you shift the cost from 1 BP to 1 consumption point, good if you have excess consumption point production).
• you can calculate the best location for a new city and the best placement of its building. If you build a new city/town/hamlet using this benefit the city give a +1 to each kingdom stat as long as you use this benefit every time you build a new edifice or start a new district in that city.
Note: it is a +1 for the whole city city, not for building/district.