Buildings, Rooms, and Flying Towers


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Is there a guide for working with the Building rules? And if not, could someone please give me an overview?

I’m trying to find baseline prices for purchasing structures, but after reading through the sections on Buildings and Rooms, I’m not sure how it works. I am literally getting a headache trying to figure this out.

It looks like building anything requires working with the downtime rules, which involves generating capital, labor points, etc. But the more I read, the more confused I get. There doesn’t seem to be a single base price for anything, at least not separate from the labor-point aspect, which seems to demand full commitment to the entire downtime system.

I’d just like to put some money down and buy a little castle. Just a tower, a wonderful tower, tall and grand. Ideally I’d like it to fly, although I know that raises some other complications. For now I’d just like a baseline price. Help?


There are only either the downtime rules, the Cost of Living rules (that are very abstract, and tell you more how costly it would be to maintain a castle, not how costly it would be to get one), or maybe an Instant Fortress or a similar magic item.


It sounds like you're looking at the downtime (optional) rules, which I'm not really familiar with but there are a bunch of examples there e.g.

Watchtower

Create 35 Goods, 9 Influence, 25 Labor (1,470 gp)
Rooms 1 Armory, 1 Bell Tower, 1 Gatehouse

A tall structure that serves as a guard post.

Caster’s Tower

Create 88 Goods, 9 Influence, 81 Labor, 11 Magic (4,750 gp)
Rooms 1 Artisan’s Workshop, 1 Bath, 1 Bedroom, 1 Cell, 1 Ceremonial Room, 1 Kitchen, 1 Lavatory, 1 Magical Repository, 1 Office, 1 Scriptorium, 1 Scrying Room, 1 Sitting Room, 1 Storage

The home and laboratory for a spellcaster.

Note, there are costs in GP which can be substituted for the goods etc.

Edit: on a second look, the GP costs assume you're spending time under the downtime system too. Double them if you want to spend cash alone.

Sovereign Court

I have a feeling those gp costs are full price and it says halve that when you spend some downtime building.


Hmm. The bit I read before writing in that edit said that all GP costs would be assuming you were earning capital, but there are costs for both listed. Let's do a little math and see.

For the watchtower, the cost if you're purchasing rather than earning should be 35*20 + 9*30 + 25*20 = 700 + 270 + 500 = 1 470 GP. That's consistent with your feeling Ellias, so everyone ignore my edit above please.


I had the impression that you have to spend Labor, Influence, etc. in the process of building a structure, which is why I'm wondering if the listed price in gp is just part of the total cost.

I find the rules incredibly scattered and confusing, especially since I'm trying to read them on the PFSRD, which is a hot mess in terms of formatting. There are tables referenced which I can't find, links that are dead, and a lot of disorganized and downright confusing text. I just can't make sense of it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are two ways of obtaining a building.

1) Use the downtime rules to construct it yourself. This is the cheaper option, but probably will take longer, since you have to earn the capital, then spend it, and spend the time cost as well.

2) Buy it outright for the gp cost given for the building (see rules quote below). This is faster (you're buying a building that already exists), but your GM may force the specific design of building on you, and it costs twice as much as buying it with capital.

Ultimate Campaign, Downtime, Buildings and Organizations wrote:
The listed gp value assumes you are purchasing the building instead of constructing it by spending earned capital (see Purchased Cost values from Table 2– 1: Capital Values).


There are other options, too, such as bringing a Lyre of Building to bear.

You could also arrange for certain spells to be cast repeatedly, such as Expeditious Construction, Stone Shape, Fabricate, Transmute Rock to Mud, Transmute Mud to Rock, and/or Wall of Stone. Wall of Iron or even Transfiguring Touch could also come into play.

Unseen Engineers and Expeditious Excavation could come in handy if you want to dig down first, too.

The Downtime construction rules were intentionally made to not interact with spellcasting, though, so you have to have a GM willing to play ball with you and make the necessary judgment calls. If you even want any kind of interaction on that front.

You can totally just make a building that doesn't interact with the Downtime or Kingdom Building rules if that's all you want and you have the necessary amount of time and magic.

Although, since I'm mentioning the Kingdom Building Rules, there are BP costs given for a few things, though they typically can or do represent things like an area dominated by a feature in addition to the building dominating the area itself.

A Caster's Tower in Kingdom Building is 30 BP. A Castle is 54 BP.
An Observatory, which can be in a tower format, is 12 BP, as is a Watchtower. For reference a House is 3 BP and a Mansion is 10 BP.

A BP's cost varies between 1000 and 4000 gp. So you could use those as alternate price benchmarks from Downtime, but it'll be more expensive, generally.

J. A. wrote:
Ideally I’d like it to fly, although I know that raises some other complications.

You'll have to go to third party sources or homebrew.

Just as one example, you can probably find references to the "Stronghold Builder's Guidebook" from D&D 3rd Edition if you do a bit of digging online, even in similar threads on this forum, and the prices it gives in there would be roughly comparable to the price scales used in Pathfinder and thus could be used either as-is or with minor alteration if you didn't want to make a go of converting it all into the Downtime style of format.

"Ultimate Strongholds" from Legendary Games would be another third party source you could look into, and was designed to be compatible with and expand the existing Pathfinder Downtime and Kingdom Building subsystems. I stumbled upon them just looking to double check a few things about Kingdom Building, at any rate.


Ok, to make the downtime building and organization rules really simple what you do is just buy the rooms you want to be in your building and connect them up with free corridors. Corridors shouldn't be too big, you aren't paying for a courtyard or a storage room. No more than 10' wide.

Ignore the downtime resources, just go for the big gold amount that comes after every room's cost and use that. That gold amount is the full cost of the room if you didn't invest any resources in the first place.

Because you are ignoring the downtime resources for this, that also means the building won't generate capital. That is fine, right? Right.

Now this won't be useful for a flying building. If that is what you really want I can see 2 options. One is to talk to the GM about creating a custom magic item (which is effectively what a flying building is, and expect to pay a lot for it since its more or less an artifact level item). The other option is to use an already existing flying thing and settle for what you can do with that.

Let me introduce the Airship. For a mere 50,000gp you get a boat under a balloon. It can haul up to 30 tons of cargo. You have a 20' x 60' space to worth with. This isn't really a castle, but it could be a nice little cozy flying cottage. Or you could make it literally just a flying throne room/feasting hall.


Meirril wrote:
Let me introduce the Airship. For a mere 50,000gp you get a boat under a balloon. It can haul up to 30 tons of cargo. You have a 20' x 60' space to worth with. This isn't really a castle, but it could be a nice little cozy flying cottage. Or you could make it literally just a flying throne room/feasting hall.

+1 to the airship. One game I was in we combined one of those with the building rules to customize our flying base/yacht.


Perfect opportunity for me to mention that Ultimate Strongholds by myself and Jason Nelson includes Downtime-compatible rules for walking/rolling/floating/hovering/flying/teleporting buildings.


I appreciate the responses, especially Coidzor's suggestions, which included a mention of Ultimate Strongholds.

I hadn't heard of this book, and since it hasn't been out very long I don't think it's well-known yet. Unfortunately the downtime rules are extremely confusing to me, and the rooms approach to building structures is even more so.

Add to this the kingdom-building rules, which are apparently a different approach altogether--and Coidzor's comment that the construction rules were deliberately designed to not interact with spellcasting--and it all seems like a great pile of hassle.

Feels like it would be simpler just to try to adapt the 3.0 Stronghold Builder's Guide as Coidzor suggested. Does anyone have a sense of how much altering that would require?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I made a point of not touching the Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook while I was writing Ultimate Strongholds, just because I didn’t want to risk being accused of violating the OGL.

I’ve just pulled if off my 3.0 bookshelf for the first time in a couple of years to remind myself of some things while I respond.

Firstly, if you’re not including the Downtime rules as a whole, don’t bother with them for building construction. All rooms in the Downtime rules have a gp cost as well as a capital cost, just use that.

Secondly, rooms in Downtime are functionally equivalent to Components in SBG, and are meant to be fitted together in a similar way, just that the size of rooms is in 5-foot squares rather than 20 by 20 “stronghold spaces”.

I tried to very carefully write the new rules in Ultimate Strongholds as an addition to the building rules in Ultimate Campaign, but they’re also as thoroughly researched as I could to fit in with other existing rules, so that if a player without UStrong works out how much a 10-foot by 10-foot by 1-inch piece of adamantine is worth, they’ll get the same answer.

I won’t pretend Ultimate Strongholds is somehow perfect (there are 3 materials missing from it, for example), but I did put a lot of effort into not making arbitrary choices, and keeping costs consistent, while allowing the flexibility of integration into other PFRPG subsystems.

And please, don’t get me wrong, I love the Stronghold Builder’s Guidebook, it is a beautiful piece of work, and converting it to PF would be a very worthwhile method of getting building construction rules into your game.

Go with whatever you think will be easiest and work best for you.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
J. A. wrote:

I hadn't heard of this book, and since it hasn't been out very long I don't think it's well-known yet. Unfortunately the downtime rules are extremely confusing to me, and the rooms approach to building structures is even more so.

Add to this the kingdom-building rules, which are apparently a different approach altogether--and Coidzor's comment that the construction rules were deliberately designed to not interact with spellcasting--and it all seems like a great pile of hassle.

Basically, beyond getting a basic understanding of the subsystems to see if you want to use them, which, admittedly, can be more or less of a pain in the butt for different people, it's mostly as much of a hassle as you want to take and also depends heavily on what your GM currently knows about and how willing they are to play ball with you and exactly what you want to do with the thing and the kind of campaign you're in.

If you're in, say, a game where armies are a thing and you want to make a floating black obelisk of Adamantine-armored-plating that has death beams and can utterly destroy a magically inferior force as a matter of course, that's a very different thing from wanting a home base in or around the main city your party operates out of for your character to have a place where they spend downtime and can more or less securely-ish store the stuff and/or creatures they don't take out adventuring with them in a game that's mostly about going to dungeon locations and dungeon crawling with some RP and crafting between missions.

And then both of those are going to be very different from wanting to take a secure place to rest at the end of the adventuring day with you that you can park right outside of a dungeon, or a short walk away from a dungeon. And the kind of game you wanted to do that in would also heavily alter the equation in terms of how valuable it was, how much it contributed to your character's or party's power, etc.

How necessary it is to pump most or all of your character's personal wealth into magic items in order to keep up with the Joneses, or at least the enemies, is also going to have an impact on things.

As is how inclined the GM is to give non-monetary rewards that don't necessarily impact direct power or even versatility necessarily. For instance, some GMs will just allow throw a home base at the party as an additional quest reward or as a bonus for doing especially well in a quest.

Others may out-and-out shackle one to the party in order to communicate without actually directly stating it out of character that the party is supposed to be sticking around in a given area and getting invested in it.

So a certain amount of your situation ultimately boils down to you, your GM, the other players, your respective ideas about the game and how it should be played, and your communication.

Although if you have any specific questions or areas where you feel you're not quite grasping things properly, there may be something we can do to help clear up confusion on that front.

J. A. wrote:
Feels like it would be simpler just to try to adapt the 3.0 Stronghold Builder's Guide as Coidzor suggested. Does anyone have a sense of how much altering that would require?

It's probably the route that by default would likely take the most amount of work. The only route that might take more work would be homebrewing things up between yourself and the GM.

That said, working things out between yourself and the GM might be as simple as "Hey, do you think it'd be broken if we had a flying tower we could use as a home base and travel between adventures in?" "Nah, that actually sounds cool, especially the part where you have to clear it out of monsters first."

Of course, if you have access to the SBG or the GM does and they're cool with just using the listed price for making a building fly that you're not intending to take into battle, that could also be pretty quick and painless, too.

If all you needed was a ballbpark figure for a stone tower that's a few stories tall and furnished for living in and doing some basic magic, then the cost for an example Caster's Tower in Downtime of 4.750 or about 5K gold should be decent enough. Although if you wanted to customize things further, you could always delve deeper.

As for getting a ballpark on the cost to make a tower fly, I can't help you with any sourced figures off hand, sorry. If you want to compare to a magic item, the Carpet of Flying is one magic item that offers continuous flight, with the larger sizes offering it to a group of creatures. In many ways from an adventurer's perspective, a flying wizard's tower is worse than a carpet of flying, since you can't use it while adventuring in most cases and it can't usually get you to a part of a dungeon that you otherwise couldn't reach without flight. In a few notable ways, though, it is better due to being able to carry more creatures and weight and bypassing a certain class of terrestrial random encounters while traveling since the entire party should be able to travel on it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

In case anyone’s interested:

Gingerbread walls are 6 inches thick, have a hardness of 6, 4 hp per inch of thickness, and cost 4,400 gp per 10-foot by 10-foot wall segment.

This was based on the costs for the components of a gingerbread recipe and a research paper I found about the strength of gingerbread.

Oh, and here’s the footnote for thatch walls from a Ultimate Strongholds:

“At the GM’s discretion, wolves and dire wolves may make a breath attack as a full-round action against thatch walls, automatically destroying them.”


3 people marked this as a favorite.

That's some tough gingerbread.

Edit: Drat, I missed a perfect opportunity for "that's one tough cookie". Oh well, if I can't have it, no one will!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting point there, actually. As part of writing Ultimate Strongholds, I actually started completely rewriting the rules for materials, to account for hardness, tensile strength, resistances to different energy types, and so on, and so on. Every material was going to have a different “hardness” rating for different types of damage. It was going to be beautiful! Comprehensive! The most detailed material analysis ever performed in a fantasy RPG!

And a colossal waste of time and effort.

It very quickly became apparent that the table required would be huge (and Ultimate Strongholds already has its materials table split in two), and that, actually, the hardness numbers already in the game are pretty much on the mark for an average-ish approximation of the materials in question versus different kinds of forces, so I stopped writing that up, but when my beautiful lady wife pointed out that I hadn’t included gingerbread in the original text, I used what I’d learned to approximate the hardness of the strongest gingerbread recipe the research paper I’d found had used.

I am therefore very comfortable in the knowledge that if someone actually decided to make a house out of gingerbread, for the purposes of Pathfinder rules, it has a hardness of 6. I cannot, however, comment on gumdrops.


That's pretty useful information for a game that includes witches who can cook children into delicious cookies. Your efforts are appreciated!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

From Ultimate Strongholds:

This building can move, either by walking, rolling, hovering, flying, swimming, teleporting, or even across the planes. The following table shows the base speed of each movement type, how much it costs to add the type of movement to a building, and any additional information or restrictions which apply to the type of movement. A building may have multiple movement types added, each one must be paid for separately, but only one may be used at any one time. It is also possible to increase the speed of a movement type, with the cost of each additional 10 feet of movement given in the table.

Type|Base Speed|Cost|Speed Increase (+10 feet)|Notes
Walking|30 ft.|700 magic (70,000 gp)|300 magic (30,000 gp)|Cannot enter water greater in depth than the height of the building
Rolling|40 ft.|850 magic (85,000 gp)|500 magic (50,000 gp)|Cannot enter water greater in depth than half the height of the building
Hovering|0 ft.|300 magic (30,000 gp)|N/A|Does not reduce speed due to terrain and may pass over water. Maximum altitude is 30 feet.
Flying|30 ft.|1,000 magic (100,000 gp)|600 magic (60,000 gp)|Clumsy maneuverability, may hover at any altitude.
Swimming|30 ft.|700 magic (70,000 gp)|300 magic (30,000 gp)|Floats on the surface of the water unless the building has the environmentally sealed augmentation
Teleporting|Special|4,480 magic (448,000 gp)|N/A|CL 16 1/day, greater teleport
Planar-travel|Special|2,000 magic (200,000 gp)|N/A|CL 10 1/day, plane shift
Room Spell wrote:
Spells with a duration greater than instantaneous can be set to affect entire rooms. Treat these as continuous use wondrous items (base price of 2,000 gp times spell level times caster level) but the effects of the spell do not extend beyond the room, and automatically affect all creatures inside the room (spell resistance and saving throws still apply, and only need to be checked when a creature first enters the room – if the creature leaves and re-enters the room, check spell resistance and/or make any saving throw again).

Like rooms, buildings may have a spell augmentation.

This costs twice as much as a room augmentation of the same spell, but a building may only have a single spell augmentation applied to it. This limitation does not prevent all rooms in the building being given the same spell augmentations. Anyone inside the building is affected by the spell augmentation when they enter the building, with spell resistance and any saving throws being attempted once when the creature first enters. The effect ends immediately when a creature leaves the building.

Just need to know where to look (and how to use the search engine)

Castle 7,390 gp
Caster’s Tower 4,750 gp
Magical flight 100,000 for 30' (clumsy) +60,000 for +10'
Spell flight 3 SL * 5 CL * 2000 Continuous * 2 MinPerLevel * 2 Building = 120000 and is dispellable

/cevah


Ben Walklate wrote:
I won’t pretend Ultimate Strongholds is somehow perfect (there are 3 materials missing from it, for example)...

Update? Expansion? SOON?

Y U tease us so...

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Buildings, Rooms, and Flying Towers All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.