Housing for heroes


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So, I know it's kind of a joke by now that adventurers are homeless, but, I'm wondering why they can't just buy a house considering how much wealth they have. Now, at high levels they can just create a permanent demiplane for this purpose, but what about low (say, 1-5 or so) levels? Does it say how much houses cost anywhere? It seems like they would be pretty useful, as at the very least they would give the group a safe place to rest and somewhere to store their treasure. Also lets assume the whole group gets one big house they all share, how much would it be?


Adventurers have houses. I mean, they had to live somewhere before they started adventuring. But adventuring also often means that they move from place to place on a regular basis, so it's not cost effective to buy a house in every town they go through. It's cheaper and faster to rent a room in an inn, that's what they're there for. Now, when the campaign takes place in the same area, then it makes sense for them to establish a permanent base of operations, and I'd assume many adventurers do.


Yes there are rules for renting/buying a house, most people just don't bother with them. Adventurers tend to travel a lot, so a house isn't that useful, and the Player won't see the house much even if the Character does.

That said, if you are hanging around in one place for a while, it's probably worth it.


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There are a few ways to go about getting a house for PCs; your gaming group just have to decide on which one is best for them. Let's take a look at some of the options (I'm assuming you want houses for purchase, not one that your PC grew up in):

(1) Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to Korvosa has a detailed list for owning specific types of residences within that city. Mind you, these are expensive residences (cheapest being around 8,000 gold pieces). EDIT: Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to Absalom also has prices listed for a variety of buildings within that city.

(2) Use the Downtime Rules in Ultimate Campaign - described within that section are different types of buildings, including houses.

(3) Use the Kingdom Building Rules in Ultimate Campaign - similar to the Downtime Rules, but more abstract and meant for your PCs if they are rulers.

(4) Use the Cost of Living rules in the Core Rulebook (page 405); it's more like paying rent than buying outright a house, but it is simple and easy to implement.

(5) If you use any of the Factions, Guilds, Schools, etc. subsystems (see Inner Sea Magic, Pathfinder Society Primer, Pathfinder Society Field Guide, and others for details), you can spend Prestige Points (PP) to obtain property, one of which is a townhouse.

(6) If you don't mind using D&D 3.0/3.5, check out the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook.

That's all I got at this time. Cheers!

CB


While browsing through my D&D 3.5 Edition of the Dungeon Master's Guide, I found prices for different types of residences there as well (it's on page 151). ;)

CB


It's kinda funny. In my last game, it was alluded to that everyone had a house, but the party would almost ALWAYS gather in just one character's home. It became a running gag at some point.


Some people will spend gold and time dressing up an imaginary house, others will happily sleep rolled up in their cloak under a hedge if it gets them any closer to their next +1. It's probably better to use different currency for magic swords and nice houses unless you want to favour the would-be hobos.

Having there be useful consequences to a better lifestyle works better in Shadowrun than PF.


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The group in my current game bought a heavy wagon and spent a few hundred sprucing it up into a quaint little mobile home.


Nothing prevents an adventurer from owning a house. The cost of living rules in Gamemastering section covers this. Basically anyone in the average (10 gp/month) or above bracket can be considered to own their own house.

Just because you own a house does not mean that you always live there. When you spend most of your time away from home you still need a place to stay. Even in the real world this happens a lot. I know a lot of people who have to travel for work a lot, most of the time they end up staying in hotels. Adventurers are going to end up doing the same thing.


Be able to reliably hit a 10 with a Survival check; get along in the wilderness. Depending on your GM, this may also include basic shelter for the night.

Taking it a step up, carry some ladders, a 10' pole or 2, a climber's kit and some tent material and make your own shelter anywhere.

Yet another level: make tons of scrolls of Expeditious Construction and Expeditious Excavation. Go out into the wilderness and dig several 5'deep cubes of earth, surrounding these with 3' tall walls. Shape 2 of the four sides of walls into ramps that slope up to a point, insert a crossbeam at that peak, then lay on a roof across that cross beam. You've got a permanent residence.

There's lots of ways to have a private domicile in this game. A Shack for example is a 10 x 10 "room" in the Downtime rules that costs 100 GP to buy or 50 GP to make on your own and is essentially a tiny one room hut that grants the PC an extremely basic, no-frills shelter of permanent construction.

Turning that into an "Office" is a 20 GP upgrade and basically just gives you some furniture and a locking door. So, for 120 GP you've got a 10 x 15 space with a locking door, a desk, and perhaps a pit in the floor for cooking/heating. The lock is only a Simple lock and you may have to work with your GM to say that the cot you had when it was a Shack stayed during the conversion to an Office, but otherwise what more does a PC really need?

Well, you MIGHT need a lot actually. Depending on your character and level you might need storage for a full weapons rack or several suits of armor; crafting areas for a variety of magic item types; a sanctum and shrine to commune with your god and so on. There's room packages you can tack on through Downtime rules or you could just make them yourself, or assume you have them through the Cost of Living rules and such.

As far as PCs being homeless, or even folks that travel so much they live out of inns, this really depends on the campaign. The Lost City of Barakus for example, a mini AP from Frog God Games, has a megadungeon the PCs explore for several levels placed 2 days' walk from a major seaport. As the game opens the AP assumes the PCs are renting rooms at the King's Inn, but the PCs are expected to make several trips to and from the dungeon.

Why not get something permanent? Better yet, with plenty of untamed wilderness around the area, why not build a keep of your own over time?

Another way to think about it is Indiana Jones. Professor Jones is lecturing in class when suddenly some government men show up and request his assistance on a dangerous mission. When he accepts, he's seen heading back to his fairly urbane, middle-class home, packing a bag and readying for several days to several months of adventure. The assumption though is that, after this one adventure, he'll return to this life of teaching archeology, going home every night to grade papers, etc.


Yqatuba wrote:
So, I know it's kind of a joke by now that adventurers are homeless, but, I'm wondering why they can't just buy a house considering how much wealth they have. Now, at high levels they can just create a permanent demiplane for this purpose, but what about low (say, 1-5 or so) levels? Does it say how much houses cost anywhere? It seems like they would be pretty useful, as at the very least they would give the group a safe place to rest and somewhere to store their treasure. Also lets assume the whole group gets one big house they all share, how much would it be?

There aren't rules in the game for comfort. There is nothing in the game rules preventing me from sleeping on the ground in the snow. A bedroll would keep me warm enough (otherwise why have one?). Then again, there are no rules on stringing bows or having water rained onto these bows, on maintaining or "derusting" weapons, and so forth.

Comfort costs money. Gold is also used to buy magic items, which keep you alive. So PCs prioritize magic items over pretty much anything else. Even when PCs spend money on other things, these are either character goals or plot goals. Maintain the orphanage who raised you takes precedence over having a house or fine clothes.

You have to consult non-core rules (such as some 3e sources) to know how much much non-magic stuff costs. A house isn't magical, but it is expensive, and it competes with magic items. PCs replicate "knight errants", who were wealthy warriors. I've seen them compared to Air Force officers (because a horse was an expensive weapon platform, much like a bomber or D&D-style magical armor and weapon set). These warriors weren't "titled" but still had very small fiefs, enough to sustain a few families (such as their own) and support their warhorse, armor maintenance, and so forth. The families acted like servants, even if they never saw their lord. The game rules don't really cover this, though.

Adventuring PCs travel so much that, unless they have Teleport or similar magic, it just makes sense to have "no fixed address".

I am recalling the Deverry Cycle, where the elven civilization fell before the series started and the elves are nomadic. One elf lord became a vassal to a human lord, and said lord was annoyed because he couldn't send letters to his vassal (since letters are sent to locations!). Also, elven men were mainly illiterate because sexism (they thought writing was "women's work") even before you take interspecific literacy into account. And humans either hated magic or thought it didn't exist, so no convenient Sending spells (unless you're an elf or secret wizard).

Quote:
A Shack for example is a 10 x 10 "room" in the Downtime rules that costs 100 GP to buy or 50 GP to make on your own and is essentially a tiny one room hut that grants the PC an extremely basic, no-frills shelter of permanent construction.

That is monstrously expensive. A typical peasant could afford a hut, and they wouldn't have 100 gp in assets, or anything close to that. Peasants generally had trouble feeding themselves (real estate was relatively cheap compared to food in those days; peasants could starve to death in their huts, while today working homeless people can feed themselves but cannot save up enough for first and last month's rent).


My players nearly always have a "home base". If they're not owners or renters of places in the primary city of my current setting then they buy a large place and all, or most of them live in it. Currently, my group just purchased a farmhouse a fair distance from the city and have hired the family "across the holler", as we say in Arkansas to just keep an eye on the place when they're gone.


Canadian Bakka, are you sure about that page number in the 3.5 DMG?

In my copy, page 151 is in the middle of the section on planes, with nothing about housing prices. I'd be interested in seeing those prices you mentioned, but either you mistyped the page number or we have different printings with different layouts.


J. A. wrote:

Canadian Bakka, are you sure about that page number in the 3.5 DMG?

In my copy, page 151 is in the middle of the section on planes, with nothing about housing prices. I'd be interested in seeing those prices you mentioned, but either you mistyped the page number or we have different printings with different layouts.

My bad, it's page 151 for the 3.0 Dungeon Master's Guide, specifically on Table 5-6: Additional Goods and Services. For the 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide, it is located on page 101, specifically on Table 3-27: Buildings (top right corner of the page).

Sorry about the mix-up, I had both books open at the time. :)

Cheers!

CB


Thanks, I see it now on p. 101.

Those are some ridiculous prices. A thatched-roof house should cost a couple hundred gp at most, and much less if you pay for the construction yourself.

There's a third-party Pathfinder book which goes into a lot of detail on construction, essentially a Pathfinder 1E update of the old Stronghold Builder's Guide. Apparently there are even rules and pricing for a gingerbread house. Can't remember the title now, but I recall it seemed impressive.


Kimera757 wrote:
There aren't rules in the game for comfort. There is nothing in the game rules preventing me from sleeping on the ground in the snow. A bedroll would keep me warm enough (otherwise why have one?).
Environmental rules wrote:

Cold

Cold and exposure deal nonlethal damage to the victim. A character cannot recover from the damage dealt by a cold environment until she gets out of the cold and warms up again. Once a character has taken an amount of nonlethal damage equal to her total hit points, any further damage from a cold environment is lethal damage.

An unprotected character in cold weather (below 40° F) must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and might be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well (see the skill description).

In conditions of severe cold or exposure (below 0° F), an unprotected character must make a Fortitude save once every 10 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check), taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage on each failed save. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and might be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well. Characters wearing a cold weather outfit only need check once per hour for cold and exposure damage.

A character who takes any nonlethal damage from cold or exposure is beset by frostbite or hypothermia (treat her as fatigued). These penalties end when the character recovers the nonlethal damage she took from the cold and exposure.

Extreme cold (below –20° F) deals 1d6 points of lethal damage per minute (no save). In addition, a character must make a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d4 points of nonlethal damage.

A bedroll alone in the snow is not likely to be sufficient. If it's too cold, it won't provide enough shelter. If it's not cold enough (say, 33℉ to 39℉), the snow will melt and soak the bedroll. Regular physical things still happen even if the Core Rulebook doesn't include a primer on thermodynamics.

Scarab Sages

I fondly remember the series of 3rd ed spells that made various residences. Leomunds tiny hut, Leomunds Secure shelter, Hidden Lodge and more.

One thing to keep in mind is that medivally speaking most peasants wouldn't buy a house they'd build it. Not sure of the situation with land may want to get an expert to chime in on that. This fellow https://thehistoryofengland.co.uk/resource/medieval-prices-and-wages/ say's you could rent a cottage for a year for roughly the same price as a cow. So maybe reduce the prices significantly or have them come with land/be paying the owner for their time/effort in building it?

I recall seeing once a comment using medieval techniques it took 10 people about 5 months to get a house ready. So hireling skilled? 3sp day say 30 day's a month that gives us 3 x 30 x 5 = 45 gold. Could go with that buying a house is 45ish gold and represents the time/work they'll need to put in to build a new home which they can only do in down time when not pursuing other work? Bearing in mind of course that people in pathfinder do seem to earn more than the equivilent in our timeperiod. That link above say's a labourer could get 2 pence a day which would be coppers not silvers in coinage levels (pound, shilling, pence. Gold, silver, copper).


I would suggest staying away from pathfinder economics vs "real world" - it is a rabbit hole. Confine players to WBL...

With regards to the advantages of a hobo lifestyle vs a homebase, that all depends on the DM's timeline. If you are running things to push the players to not have downtime (many AP's functionally do this), the hobo lifestyle has advantages. If you're semi realistic (ie an adventure hook doesn't pop up every 24 hours... and characters do stuff besides adventure), a homebase lets you do things from researching your next adventure, crafting, or even just being part of the community enough that people will take your deposit to craft that magic item you want...


Would you say the weaving of a thatch roof, wattle-and-daub wall or stacking and mudding fieldstone for flooring is a Very Simple, Typical, High Quality or Complex item for the purposes of crafting? A ladder is a 10' long section of wooden construction, probably as wide as a Medium PC so, say, 2' wide, and with large openings between the rungs. It costs 2 SP.

If that's, say, a Typical item and requires a DC 10 to craft using the Craft skill, that means that using the standard RAW Crafting rules a PC with 0 ranks in this skill could take 10 and make 10 ladders/day with very basic tools and the materials at hand.

Following that logic, what if a PC armed with lots of twine and a shovel along with some basic tools, like a handaxe, a hammer and a dagger, spent a day gathering/milling/planing/whittling the wood, then another day making 10 ladders. By day 3 you could

stack 1 ladder on its side, on the ground, making a low obstacle 10' long by 2' tall by, say, an inch thick

Peg another ladder on top of the first, effectively building up a wall 4' tall, an inch thick, with lots of spaces between the rungs

build a similar wall parallel to the first, leaving 4'' between them

Weave hazel boughs or bark or whatever in the spaces between the rungs, closing those in

Fill in the space between ladder-walls with the shovel, filling it with dirt, pebbles, clay and so forth

Repeat all of these steps until you've got 4 walls, 10' long by 6'' thick all linked together with pegs and twine, then build up with an "A" frame off the walls, a ladder down the middle as a ridgepole, and ladders, the spaces enclosed with wattle, then heaped with forest debris and moss diagonally down the sides of the "A" frame as a roof.

Or you can just say a basic Shack room costs 100 GP (50 to Craft over the course of several days) and call it a day.


Mostly I assume that players have an appropriate home. It's rarely relevant, gives them a hook into the campaign and isn't punitive to the WBL if only one person wants to purchase a place.


In most games, I let the players decide whether they have a home and what that home is. If a player wants to play the fifth child of the royal family and live in lavish apartments in the king's castle, that's fine by me. If they want to play a lone wanderer whose only home is a lean-to in a tiny village an ocean away, that's fine too. I've found it to be much more fun to cede a bit of narrative control to the players in this fashion. It often leads to innovative scenarios that I could never have designed in advance. : )


While never the most important part of a campaign usually I and another GM have allowed PCs to purchase a house if they want. Most times one person buys it and charges a rent to other PCs who choose to live there. We in later games gave Leadership feat for free. Depending on the campaign the followers gained were used to help establish a new base of operations for the PCs turning them into Landed Nobles.
Now I'm with a new group playing Rise of the Runelords. One PC bought a house in the town of Sandpoint most of the others staying in one of two hotels. My old character bought a medium wagon as his home staying at one motel for free in exchange of working as a cook when not adventuring.


blahpers wrote:
In most games, I let the players decide whether they have a home and what that home is. If a player wants to play the fifth child of the royal family and live in lavish apartments in the king's castle, that's fine by me. If they want to play a lone wanderer whose only home is a lean-to in a tiny village an ocean away, that's fine too. I've found it to be much more fun to cede a bit of narrative control to the players in this fashion. It often leads to innovative scenarios that I could never have designed in advance. : )

Weirdly I cede control a bit as well, with the same end-goal in mind, but my players always seem to use it for their own mechanical benefit rather than to provide me or the larger game any obvious enhancement.

In other words when I let my players pick where they want to live they inevitably choose something very specific; somewhere that contains THINGS that they wouldn't normally be able to buy with starting gold. Then they take those things. I threaten the retribution of some authority that may come after them for these things and they shrug and then lean into the first fight with masterwork this or minor magic item that from the kings' chambers.

Man, but I am cynical in my old age!

Scarab Sages

That does sound like their taking advantage of the situation. Personally If I got the choice in your game I'd go with a small caravan and a mule to pull it.


Now that is something I would have put a stop to immediately. That's a form of cheating I personally take a dim view of this. It's one thing to say I live in the noble district of the city. It's another to say since I live there I receive this or that. Sure you live in the noble district but you gain nothing from that. I have seen crap like this all the time and do what I can to curb or stop it. Here's why you get players like this doing crap like this and suddenly you get another two or three players getting screwed over. Players like this figure okay I got away with this I can get away with more.
I think it's important to have a home base of operations especially if the character plans on having Leadership. I have had games where roleplaying gets the PC a place of their own for free. Depending on the game and player I'll never really mess with their home. They start assuming they can use it for more then all bets are off.
On the same vein I'd never mess with their non class mounts. I mean realistically leaving a horse outside a dungeon in a rather untamed wilderness would result in a horse that runs away probably never to be seen again or a dead one. You use said mount in combat yes I will take that into account.


The downtime rules has a "House" at 1,290 gp.

It has the following:

Alchemist (1,940 gp) The laboratory and home for a creator of potions, poisons, and alchemical items.

Caster's Tower (4,750 gp) The home and laboratory for a spellcaster.
Castle (7,390 gp) An elaborate fortified home, a noble’s retreat, or the heart of a settlement’s defenses.
Exotic Artisan (1,730 gp) The workshop and home for a creator of magic items, a fireworks maker, a glassblower, or the like.
Farm (2,090 gp) A small family farm or ranch.
Herbalist (2,030 gp) The workshop and home of a gardener, healer, poisoner, or potion crafter.
House (1,290 gp) A small cottage that can house up to two adults or a new family.
Mansion (5,160 gp) A huge manor housing a rich family and its servants.
Noble Villa (8,920 gp) A sprawling manor with luxurious grounds.
Palace (19,640 gp) A grand edifice and grounds demonstrating wealth, power, and authority to the world.
Treehouse (3,440 gp) Residences sized for one or two families into the boughs of neighboring trees.
Witch Hut (7,500 gp) Be it a crazy old hermit, a hag, or just an herbalist who likes to live near the source of her craft, a spellcaster who prefers to dwell far from civilization calls this structure home.

These are just some of the buildings listed.

/cevah


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
In other words when I let my players pick where they want to live they inevitably choose something very specific; somewhere that contains THINGS that they wouldn't normally be able to buy with starting gold. Then they take those things. I threaten the retribution of some authority that may come after them for these things and they shrug and then lean into the first fight with masterwork this or minor magic item that from the kings' chambers.

If they want something like they need to take the "Rich Parents" trait (or some such thing) otherwise they've stolen something and have been caught before the game begins.

Unless, you know, I can use it as a good story early on...

If you're allowing them to do things for story reasons, you're also allowed to say "no, you can't abuse this."


^ I was actually thinking the same thing: make some trait that says they inherited some house or other building. Alternately, if they can't afford a new house, maybe the city would be willing to sell them some old abandoned building they closed down some time ago for cheap (wouldn't have to be a house, could just be an abandoned great hall or the like, just as long as it's big enough for all the PCs to live in and store their stuff in it.


All players have houses. Your character wasn’t magically born yesterday as a fully grown adult with combat training. They factually live somewhere.

And before you try saying “but it would cost money”, you do realise it would cost more money to live in an inn everyday for the past 7 or more years, right (when you factor in the cost of food and water anyways)?


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
In most games, I let the players decide whether they have a home and what that home is. If a player wants to play the fifth child of the royal family and live in lavish apartments in the king's castle, that's fine by me. If they want to play a lone wanderer whose only home is a lean-to in a tiny village an ocean away, that's fine too. I've found it to be much more fun to cede a bit of narrative control to the players in this fashion. It often leads to innovative scenarios that I could never have designed in advance. : )

Weirdly I cede control a bit as well, with the same end-goal in mind, but my players always seem to use it for their own mechanical benefit rather than to provide me or the larger game any obvious enhancement.

In other words when I let my players pick where they want to live they inevitably choose something very specific; somewhere that contains THINGS that they wouldn't normally be able to buy with starting gold. Then they take those things. I threaten the retribution of some authority that may come after them for these things and they shrug and then lean into the first fight with masterwork this or minor magic item that from the kings' chambers.

Man, but I am cynical in my old age!

That's the sort of thing I'm okay with, so long as the players understand that it affects their wealth by level and, thus, they might not be finding any relevant treasure for a while. And yeah, selling Royal Dad's tapestry collection to buy cloaks and wands is likely to cause some family friction.

Ditto starting with a house just so the player can turn around and sell it: Assuming they're even successful, that basically takes the place of loot from their WBL allowance.


Reksew_Trebla wrote:

All players have houses. Your character wasn’t magically born yesterday as a fully grown adult with combat training. They factually live somewhere.

And before you try saying “but it would cost money”, you do realise it would cost more money to live in an inn everyday for the past 7 or more years, right (when you factor in the cost of food and water anyways)?

That assumes that you have the capital to buy the house. In the real world, many people don't own their own house, and very few young people (which Level 1 characters usually are) own theirs. They rent, or stay with parents, or couch-surf off friends. I suspect the same will be true in Golarion. So yes, people live somewhere, but that's by no means the same thing as owning a house.

Scarab Sages

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Medieval housing tended to be built by family/friends though rather than bought and Golarion is more likely to be alongside that in nature rather than today's inflated housing prices.


Senko wrote:
Medieval housing tended to be built by family/friends though rather than bought and Golarion is more likely to be alongside that in nature rather than today's inflated housing prices.

"I cast raise barn."


Yqatuba,

Most of my PCs have not only been homeless people, but paranoid schizophrenic homeless people. Think about what happens when you and some friends go on vacation and go to a hotel. Do you all share the same room, or do you split up the party? How do you arrange the watch order: who sits out in the hall to make sure nobody breaks into any of thee rooms, and all are all your rooms on the same side of the building, because somebody also needs to keep looking out the windows to make sure no one is attempting to fly in or scale the walls and enter through the party's windows. Hopefully all the rooms you got are on the same side of the building, or you'll need more than 1 guard keeping track of the windows. And who among your friends sleep in their armor or have armored pajamas? Do you trap your hotel room doors and windows?

Of course, some campaigns do have PCs building homes, especially high level PCs that take Leadership and build castles. There's a whole PF campaign based on that, what, Kingmaker?

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