Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Price List

by Ville Lähde

As we all no doubt know, money and prices have been handled very badly in OD&D. The price lists in the old "Sets" and in the Cyclopaedia are very short and self-contradictory - especially regarding weapons. That's of course because they have been written to fit the character creation system (3d6 times 10 starting money) and the combat system, where plate mail seems to be the minimum requirement of survival. When it comes to weapon prices, Pasi Anias's article "Item Prices" covers the ground excellently. I'm definitely going to move in that direction if I'm ever to start another campaign.

My first and only campaign is still on, after 15 years. Finance is a continuous headache to me, since it is impossible to "rewrite history" when it comes to dominion incomes, construction costs, mercenary costs, armour and weapon prices - all of which are the most off mark. We have played too much with them during the time when I had neither the time nor the inclination to devise my own system. So I must stick with the official material.

But other aspects of finance, the everyday living, are perhaps even more important. Still, being the lazy sod I am, I have been pretty much "winging" the prices for ale, room and board and such. But right now I need some standards, as I have to be able to convey some great economic changes to my players. Namely, the return to inflation-stricken Darokin to note that prices have doubled or tripled, and that nobody wishes to exchange their daros. (Some WIS checks are in order for them to notice the glee in the eyes of the innkeeper if they pay with strong foreign currency, boosting the entrepreneurs profits.)

So I "cannibalised" Pasi's excellent article, changed it a bit and added some stuff. (Thanks a lot, Pasi.) It would be nice if you could see it through, comment on it and make some further additions. Also, is you think that some prices are off the mark, note it. I think we all would benefit greatly if we collectively gathered an extensive price list for everyday items and services.

Valuable additions to the list would be the prices/rent of houses in cities, long-term hired help like servants, luxury items, tools of the trade for various crafts, basic materials like textiles, wood etc.

Rented room (1 month):
- beggars and such 4
- peasant, poor student 8
- middle class 12-15
- rich 30
- extravagant - 50 to 200 or higher
Note 1: "extravagant" lodgings can be found only in capitol-level cities.
They include good meals, servants and such.
Note 2: Other prices can of course range depending on whether the room includes other services like food, laundry, security (guards) and such.
For example, a beggar could make do with 2 gp (20 sp) per month, using his/her remaining coppers for some food.

- A small low-cost house for one family 500 (one common room, kitchen, storeroom)
- A larger low-cost house 1000 (two-three rooms, kitchen, storeroom, attic, cellar)
- A middle-class building 1500-3000
- A high-class building 5000-10 000 or higher - An inn or a pub 2000-4000
- A low-cost tenement house (10 rooms) 2000 (see Note 2) - A business establishment 1000-3000 (the lowest cost is for one ground-level room and a small storeroom) Note 1: These prices are for already existing buildings in cities. The prices vary depending on the quality of the house, the nature of the city and the general economic situation. After a war, for example, real estate is a lot cheaper.
Note 2: This is the lowest of the low, with no comforts whatsoever. If all rooms are rented, the yearly income is about 480 gp/year. Acceptable maintenance costs are 100 gp/year. With the yearly net income of 380 it will take 5 years to get return on you investment. Many landlords of course skim on maintenance costs, take higher rent and threaten their tenants.

A room in an inn (1 day, 1 person, with horse and 1 meal) - peasant 0,5
- middle class 1
- rich 2
- extravagant 5-10 (large cities only)
Note: Again the prices may range depending on the service level of the establishment. Inn prices also vary greatly due to their location: inns that are close to heavily used trade routes in wilderness or borderland areas tend to tax their customers greatly.

A bed in the common room
- 0,05-0.1

Foodstuffs for one day (examples)
- poor 0.03-0.05 (oatmeal, beans, fat of pork, some potatoes or turnips) - common 0.1-0.2 (as above, plus some vegetables bread, cheese, fish and/or eggs, with occasional meat)
- middle class/rich 0.3-2 (price can go up if you prefer to)

- poor to middle class 0.01-0.2
- rich 0.5-1

Lunch or dinner
- poor to middle class 0.03-0.5
- rich 1-3
- extravagant 5-10

A feast
- normal 0.5-10 /person
- extravagant 20-30

-common 0.03 a glass or 0.2 a bottle (plus .5-1 for the bottle) -good 0.1-0.3
-excellent 0.2-1
- rare 3-10

- common 0.01-0.03 a pint
- good 0.05-0.1
- excellent 0.2-0.3

Hard liquor
- regular moonshine 0.05
- run-of-the-mill 0.1
- brandy, whisky, vodka 0.2-0.5 (regular quality) - the good stuff 1-2 (imported or rare - like dwarven spirits outside Rockhome)

A pipe-full of tobacco
- poor 0.01
- average 0.02-0.1
- good 0.2
- exquisite 0.3-0.5 (halfling tobacco, Ylari tobacco, spiced varieties)

Trail rations
- normal 2-4 a week
- iron 8-15 a week
Note: You can survive with 1 gp or less/week if you are content with oatmeal and stuff

Normal clothes
-beggar 0.01-0.1
-peasant 0.1-1
-middle class 1-15
-rich 10-100


Mundane help:
- dagger/sword sharpening 0.01-0.2
- messenger boy 0.01-1
- shaving 0.01-0.2
- haircut 0.1-1
- bath 0.1-0.5 ("Thyatian baths" are much more expensive of course) - clothes washed 0.03-1
- foretelling 0.1-5
- cleaning 0.05-0.1
- grooming a horse 0.01-0.05
- cleaning shoes 0.01-0.05 (also a form of beggary, so prices vary, especially if "the lad knows many rumours") - guide in a city 0.01-0.5 (depending on the area visited, the legality of actions etc.)
- sexual services 0.03-0.1 (back alley) 0.1-0.5 (prostitute) 1-50 (courtesan)
Note: Sorry if the last one offends anyone, but it is a sad fact of live in many Mystaran societies.

Professional works:
- wounds bandaged 0.1-5
- horse shoed 0.1-2
- letter written 0.1-10
- legal services 1-100
- armour tended 0.5-50

Special Help:
- Wounds tended by a cleric 10-500
- magical item identified 10-500
- with commands told etc 100-1000
- Foretelling 10-100