Building a Keep?


Rules Questions


Where do i even begin to look for prices to construct/alter a castle?! Two of my players want to build one, as they're happy with the equipment they have, and want a base of operations. I really don't want to shoot them down, as they're psyched(as I am!)
Thanks.


Derfelcadarn wrote:

Where do i even begin to look for prices to construct/alter a castle?! Two of my players want to build one, as they're happy with the equipment they have, and want a base of operations. I really don't want to shoot them down, as they're psyched(as I am!)

Thanks.

3.5 had the Stronghold Builder's Guide, which wasn't bad. Not a lot on managing any land holding in it though. Amazon carries at the time I'm writing this. 2nd edition had a castle guide as well which was pretty good and went into more detail about castle life, etc. There's one thing nagging at me that I'll look for tomorrow after I've had a little sleep.

Actually building castles and such for my characters has always been an enjoyable part of the game for me. A few times I've made replicas of real castles, altered here and there of course, but also original designs for things like underground bases with just an unassuming house on top or layouts for demiplanes created with the Genesis spell.


This is from the DMG (3.5):
Tower: 50,000 GP
This round or square three level tower is made from stone.
Keep: 150,000 GP
This fortified stone building has 15 to 25 rooms.
Castle: 500,000 GP
A castle is a keep surrounded by a 15 ft. stone wall with 4 towers.
Huge Castle: 1,000,000 GP
A huge castle is a particularly large keep with numerous associated buildings (stables, forge, granaries, and so on) and an elaborate 20 ft. high wall that creates a bailey and courtyard areas.
Moat with Bridge 50,000 GP
The moat is 15 ft. deep and 30 ft. wide. The bridge is may be a wooden drawbridge or a permanent stone structure.

And don't forget that stone shape and wall of stone can go a long way towards building a castle.

Grand Lodge Premier Event Coordinator

The 1E AD&D DMG had a whole section on construction and costs, with various labor positions, building types, etc. I still have mine. Of course, that probably doesn't help much. :-)


Kierato wrote:

This is from the DMG (3.5):

Tower: 50,000 GP
This round or square three level tower is made from stone.
Keep: 150,000 GP
This fortified stone building has 15 to 25 rooms.
Castle: 500,000 GP
A castle is a keep surrounded by a 15 ft. stone wall with 4 towers.
Huge Castle: 1,000,000 GP
A huge castle is a particularly large keep with numerous associated buildings (stables, forge, granaries, and so on) and an elaborate 20 ft. high wall that creates a bailey and courtyard areas.
Moat with Bridge 50,000 GP
The moat is 15 ft. deep and 30 ft. wide. The bridge is may be a wooden drawbridge or a permanent stone structure.

And don't forget that stone shape and wall of stone can go a long way towards building a castle.

That's the bit I was thinking of.

Liberty's Edge

Note about the Stronghold Builder's Guide:
All the prices in there are too high. In my opinion, they all need to be dropped an order of magnitude before they can be taken seriously. Maybe two, in some cases. That's not to say the book is bad; it's a lot of fun and has great ideas in it. It's just that everything in there is in the hundreds of thousands of gold pieces range. You can't buy a room without at least five thousand gold pieces.


Perchance something in Kingmaker?


I agree completely. I drew up a star fortress and tried to price it out with stronghold builders guide.. i cant remember where i stopped counting cost, but i think it was in the 8-10 million gold range, wasn't nearly complete at that cost, and that was without any actual buildings in it... it really wasn't that big, a 2 story keep, mages guild, stables, smithy, and small shop in the inner star, with shops and living quarters for citizens built against the outer wall, and the barracks were built into the wall beneath the ground just to save some money and come up with enough room to house a semi decent contingent of soldiers. All told it probably would have been upwards of 20 mil. Loved drawing it out, but abandoned any hope of one day building it, at least with those rules.


Lathiira wrote:
Perchance something in Kingmaker?

Bingo


Lathiira wrote:
Perchance something in Kingmaker?

Bingo


Lyrax wrote:

Note about the Stronghold Builder's Guide:

All the prices in there are too high. In my opinion, they all need to be dropped an order of magnitude before they can be taken seriously. Maybe two, in some cases. That's not to say the book is bad; it's a lot of fun and has great ideas in it. It's just that everything in there is in the hundreds of thousands of gold pieces range. You can't buy a room without at least five thousand gold pieces.

The most recent 3.5 Private Sanctuary podcast was largely about the Stronghold Builders Guide, and they made much the same point about the costs listed. But they also pointed out that building castles is usually a generational process, with someone starting off building a fortified structure, then successive generations adding on to it.

Building a huge castle in one go is something that normally only happened with the resources of an entire country backing it up.


Costs in the Stronghold Builder's Guide (SBG) are out of whack just like most other costs in 3.5/Pathfinder, especially where magic is involved. The Second Edition Castle Guide was probably a bit more realistic in that regard.

However, both pointed out that the rules were meant to allow building on time scales the players would tolerate, not the years it could really take to build even a simple tower. One rule of thumb from the Middle Ages was that one could expect to build 10 feet of hieght on any given building in a single season on average. So a 50 foot tall tower might take 5 years to complete. Bear in mind also that the outer walls tended to be thicker than those described in SBG, up to 10 feet thick instead of 2 or 3 feet thick.

Of course with magic building would be quicker though very expensive, unless you are casting the magic yourself to build your own place. That's just casting Wall of Stone and such, the options and enchantments can get ridiculously expensive.


I agree with Lyrax, Stubs McKenzie, Firest, and Thane36425. The prices in the 3.5 Stronghold were WAY TOO HIGH.

Example? If I remember right, a one room hut for a poverty stricken peasant would cost like 1000 to 2000 GP, and a lower middle class home of 2 or 3 rooms with shop constructed of sturdy wood could shoot into the range of 7 to 10k. If houses truly cost this much it means it would take like 4 or 5 generations for someone to save up to build a house. Meanwhile someone relying on Survival checks could whip out an expert shettler for long term survival in a few weeks tops.

Overall I think the Stronghold Builder's guide was designed with an "adventurer's economy" in mind and maybe as a way to suck money out of a run away monty hawl game. Afterall, most PCs spend their money on gear first, ego projects second. If your PCs want to build castles instead of buy a better magic items it sometimes means they have too much money.

HOWEVER, the Stronghold Builder's Guide is a great place to start. If you are sure you are not accidently running an Monty Hawl game, then if you divide the cost of the nonmagic rooms and items (keep the walls and magic rooms the same) by like 5, then I think you will get a more realistic number. And these numbers feel off just shift the multiplier around until you get a final result that feels "real".


tlc_web tlc_web wrote:

I agree with Lyrax, Stubs McKenzie, Firest, and Thane36425. The prices in the 3.5 Stronghold were WAY TOO HIGH.

Example? If I remember right, a one room hut for a poverty stricken peasant would cost like 1000 to 2000 GP, and a lower middle class home of 2 or 3 rooms with shop constructed of sturdy wood could shoot into the range of 7 to 10k. If houses truly cost this much it means it would take like 4 or 5 generations for someone to save up to build a house. Meanwhile someone relying on Survival checks could whip out an expert shettler for long term survival in a few weeks tops.

Overall I think the Stronghold Builder's guide was designed with an "adventurer's economy" in mind and maybe as a way to suck money out of a run away monty hawl game. Afterall, most PCs spend their money on gear first, ego projects second. If your PCs want to build castles instead of buy a better magic items it sometimes means they have too much money.

HOWEVER, the Stronghold Builder's Guide is a great place to start. If you are sure you are not accidently running an Monty Hawl game, then if you divide the cost of the nonmagic rooms and items (keep the walls and magic rooms the same) by like 5, then I think you will get a more realistic number. And these numbers feel off just shift the multiplier around until you get a final result that feels "real".

You're probably right about the adventurer's economy and that SBG is a good place to start.

Some of the peasant houses were pretty cheap and even the better ones usually had dirt floors. If they were stone they could be lived in for many generations and some are still standing as ruins. Most were wood, usually frame with wattle and daub or the like. These lasted from a few years to centuries if well tended. Most weren't and had to be replaced from time to time. Since the residents and neighbors would do most of the work and gather materials, it is unlikely it took decades of saving money to build a new one. In the US, pioneers could bang out a log cabin in a few weeks with nothing but axes and some other tools. Even accounting for labor costs they wouldn't reach the typical cost from SBG.


Thanks you guys, knew I'd read that bit from the 3.5 DMG before, couldn't remember where. Doesn't matter though, as last night I managed a TPK...
On the bright side, we just started Kingmaker instead!

Grand Lodge Premier Event Coordinator

Derfelcadarn wrote:
Doesn't matter though, as last night I managed a TPK...

Really?!? So this group had sooo much money that they were at equipment satiation and looking to build a castle, yet didn't have back-up plans in case of character death??? Hmmmm...


They were hoping to convert Thistletop, in the ROTR AP, but it was all plans for the far future, I just wanted to make sure I'd have what I needed when the time came!


A wand of "wall of stone" made by a summoner would cost 30,000 GP, and with this you can do 50*4 feet square... so 200 feet square for 30,000 GP... Not cheap though...


Grow a pair.
You don't buy a keep,
You CONQUER a keep.
Find some ruler not worthy of his keep and take it from him by right of conquest. Mwahahahaha!

I'm just teasing about the grow a pair. But that's stuff i like to see in game <insert evil grin>.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
tlc_web tlc_web wrote:
Overall I think the Stronghold Builder's guide was designed with an "adventurer's economy" in mind and maybe as a way to suck money out of a run away monty hawl game.

Nail on the head. Outside of that, however, the 3.5 stronghold guide is an excellent resource. One of its high points is really thinking about the question "hey, what are all the cool things that we can do with magic and castles?" and coming up with some nifty answers. This is in striking opposition to the 2E guide, which is out for history and how castles operated in a much more historical and real-world based context. It, more or less, disregarded magic (the sort of time and cost reduction for building magic or fantastical creature assistance was laughably low).

I'd like to also hold it out for Expert Set for D&D.


whoops wrong thread... Meant to post here

The Exchange

Castle Building...........This will allow your players do determine sizes of all the rooms in the castle. My suggestion is to have them build their castle 'as they can afford/are allowed to'.

BRUCE A. HEARD'S CASTLE BUILDER

DETERMINE WHO LIVES HERE
"My home this is!"

Calculate who lives in the City/Castle: Generate a Quick list of NPCS and give them Social Ranks.

IMPORTANT PEOPLE: Lord, Lady, Children, Guests, Adult Children, Senior Officials

SERVANTS: These are the Household Staff and the Menial labourers
Personal Servants* = #people of Importance x SRM
Smithy & Stables* = soldiers/20
Kitchen Staff* = (Important People + Soldiers + Personal Servants + Smithy&Stables Workers)/20
*Round upwards

SOCIAL RANK MAGNIFIER(SRM)
KING/DUKE x 3
MARQUIS/COUNT x 2
BARON/LORD x 1
KNIGHT x1/2
We can use this to increase the size of a room using the SOCIAL RANK MAGNIFIER (ex - Count Gregor might have a bedchamber of 800-1000 square feet instead of 400-500 square feet).

LIVING QUARTERS
"Trying to Sleep Here!"

LORD & LADY: Located in the Uppermost levels, these are the quarters of the Top People in charge. This chamber is 400 - 500 square feet and 9-10 feet high.

GUESTS: These rooms are for adult children of the Ruler and Senior Officials. They are near the Upper most floors (but not likely on the Same floor as the Lord & Lady's Bedchamber). 'Such Guest Rooms' should be 200-300 square feet.

CHILDREN: For reasons of security these are on the top floor. Such a Nursery should be 30 square feet. There is likley a Servants quarters and Guard post on this level.

SERVANTS & TROOPS: Crowded into Three Tier Bunkbeds, They have about 20 square feet per person. Most likely this is a Servery (a Quarters for Servants) or a Barracks (Troops Quarters).

GATHERING ROOMS
"Bring on the Dancing Girls!"

THE GREAT HALL: This is a huge chamber with Chimney or fire pit, maybe a balcony for musicians, ect. Its dimensions are about 14 - 20 feet to ceiling. Area is 500 square feet + 50 square feet per person.

COMMON HALL: This is where Troops and Servants Eat their meals or Guard Rooms. These should be 50 square feet + 20 square feet per person.

CHAPEL: A private Chapel might be as small as a Guest Room or you might be dealing with something the size of a Church. It should be about half the size of a Great Hall, with maybe a balcony if the ceiling is high enough - where the Nobles sit and watch the show. There is probably an altar. A Cleric might have an apartment connected to this chamber.

UTILITY ROOMS
"Is that elf in the stew pot? It tastes like elf."

KITCHEN: There will be Work Tables, Sinks, a Hearth for cookery. 150 square feet + 1 square foot per person served. most likley it is used to cook for Nobles, and servants and Soldiers alike if their places of residence are scattered. Else there might be a second kitchen attatched to a Baracks or Servery. Some Kitchens also have a Seperate larder for the hanging of Game (other than the Cellars).

BLACKSMITH'S WORKSHOP: This is the room with the Forge, Anvils, hammers. They look after equipment, make repairs to tools and weapons, Horses, ect. This is 150 square feet + 5 square feet per soldier.

STORAGE AREAS
"Wow! Thats a lot of Swords..."

ARMORY: This is filled with Weapons and Armor. It is likley 1/3 the size of the Blacksmith's Workshop.

BUTTERY: This is where the Servants prepare Beer and Wine in jugs before taking them to the Great Hall. it is about 1/3 the size of the Kitchen. It may have a Cistern (or a Tap).

PANTRY: It is where Linen and Tableware is stored along with bread. This is about half the size of the great hall's kitchen.

CELLAR: This is where Stockpiles of supplies against famine and Sieges are stored. Barrels filled with Preserved meats, Ales, Wines, Salts, Spices, cheese, honey, dried fruits. All stored in a cool cellar for preservation. The Ceiling is about 15 feet high, and is 40 cubic feet per person for 6 months. Stacked to the Ceiling.

GRAINARY: This is a Drystore filled with Barrels of Grain (or Sacks). it is about half the Size of the Cellar at 20 cubic feet per person per 6 months.

STABLE: This is 100 square feet per horse (larger for Monstrous Mounts +25 square feet per HD).

STOREHOUSE: Household Tools might be stored here. No Specific Size but assume 25 square feet x SOCIAL RANK MAGNIFIER.

OTHER DETAILS
"Has anyone found the toilets yet?"

CISTERNS & WELLS: A thirty cubic foot Cistern can hold 250 gallons of water. This might mean a Cistern of 30 cubic feet of water per person per six months. This could be Storage Tunnels with 10 foot diameter barrels. A Well might simply be a vertical Shaft for the storage of Water with a lid. The Water supply is a matter of security. An Underground Cistern Vault supplied with water from a hundred mile long Aquaduct.

GARTEROBES: These are toilets for those who dont want to squat over a bowl in their bedroom.

STAIRS & HALLS: These are designed to keep people from wandering though the private residences of others. Privacy is an issue. There might be private staircases and Halls to provide secrecy of movement and interaction.

FIREPLACES AND HEATING: There are likely a few permanent Fireplaces with Braziers (Bowls on Tripods where coals burn) to heat smaller Rooms, perhaps Cupboards lined with copper sheet to draw heat from a Chimney Pipe and heat the air through convection causing hot air to rise up to different floors.
Using the Social Rank Magnifier: Mutliply The size of Rooms used by a Ruler by the Rank Modifier.

USING THIS TO BUILD A CITY
"You can't bring your horses in here!"

STORES: A City of 10,000 people might have a 1/2 mile of 10 feet wide 15 feet high Storage Cellars and 1/4 mile of Grainaries, a Subterranean Cistern of 100 feet x 100 feet x 30 feet ceiling and Well shafts for drawing out water.

CHURCH: A Grand Cathedral build for the King with a capacity of a thousand people might be calculated as 750 square feet + 75 square feet per person (75,750 square feet or 100 feet x 760 feet long).

OTHERS FACILITIES: As you can see you can calculate all the bits and pieces...enjoy.

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