Lifestyle expenses provide you with a simple way to account for the cost of living in a fantasy world. They cover your accommodations, food and drink, and all your other necessities. Furthermore, expenses cover the cost of maintaining your equipment so you can be ready when adventure next calls.
At the start of each week or month (your choice), choose a lifestyle from the Expenses table and pay the price to sustain that lifestyle. The prices listed are per day, so if you wish to calculate the cost of your chosen lifestyle over a thirty-day period, multiply the listed price by 30. Your lifestyle might change from one period to the next, based on the funds you have at your disposal, or you might maintain the same lifestyle throughout your character’s career.
Your lifestyle choice can have consequences. Maintaining a wealthy lifestyle might help you make contacts with the rich and powerful, though you run the risk of attracting thieves. Likewise, living frugally might help you avoid criminals, but you are unlikely to make powerful connections.
Lifestyle Expenses [table pg 73]
|Aristocratic||10 gp minimum|
The expenses and lifestyles described here assume that you are spending your time between adventures in town, availing yourself of whatever services you can afford–paying for food and shelter, paying townspeople to sharpen your sword and repair your armor, and so on. Some characters, though, might prefer to spend their time away from civilization, sustaining themselves in the wild by hunting, foraging, and repairing their own gear.
Maintaining this kind of lifestyle doesn’t require you to spend any coin, but it is time-consuming. If you spend your time between adventures practicing a profession, you can eke out the equivalent of a poor lifestyle. Proficiency in Survival the skill lets you live at the equivalent of a comfortable lifestyle.
Food, Drink, and Lodging
The Food, Drink, and Lodging table gives prices for individual food items and a single night’s lodging. These prices are included in your total lifestyle expenses.
Food, Drink, and Lodging [table pg 73]
|Banquet (per person)||10 gp|
|Bread, loaf||2 cp|
|Cheese, hunk||1 sp|
|Inn stay (per day)|
|Meals (per day)|
|Meat, chunk||3 sp|
|Common (pitcher)||2 sp|
|Fine (bottle)||10 gp|
Adventurers can pay nonplayer characters to assist them or act on their behalf in a variety of circumstances. Most such hirelings have fairly ordinary skills, while others are masters of a craft or art, and a few are experts with specialized adventuring skills.
Some of the most basic types of hirelings appear on the Services table. Other common hirelings include any of the wide variety of people who inhabit a typical town or city, when the adventurers pay them to perform a specific task. For example, a wizard might pay a carpenter to construct an elaborate chest (and its miniature replica) for use in the secret chest spell. A fighter might commission a blacksmith to forge a special sword. A bard might pay a tailor to make exquisite clothing for an upcoming performance in front of the duke.
Other hirelings provide more expert or dangerous services. Mercenary soldiers paid to help the adventurers take on a hobgoblin army are hirelings, as are sages hired to research ancient or esoteric lore. If a high-level adventurer establishes a stronghold of some kind, he or she might hire a whole staff of servants and agents to run the place, from a castellan or steward to menial laborers to keep the stables clean. These hirelings often enjoy a long-term contract that includes a place to live within the stronghold as part of the offered compensation.
Services [table pg 74]
|Between towns||3 cp per mile|
|Within a city||1 cp|
|Skilled||2 gp per day|
|Untrained||2 sp per day|
|Messenger||2 cp per mile|
|Road or gate toll||1 cp|
|Ship’s Passage||1 sp per mile|
People who are able to cast spells don’t fall into the category of ordinary hirelings. It might be possible to find someone willing to cast a spell in exchange for coin or favors, but it is rarely easy and no established pay rates exist. As a rule, the higher the level of the desired spell, the harder it is to find someone who can cast it and the more it costs.
Hiring someone to cast a relatively common spell of 1st or 2nd level, such as cure wounds or identify, is easy enough in a city or town, and might cost 10 to 50 gold pieces (plus the cost of any expensive material components). Finding someone able and willing to cast a higher-level spell might involve traveling to a large city, perhaps one with a university or prominent temple. Once found, the spellcaster might ask for a service instead of payment — the kind of service that only adventurers can provide, such as retrieving a rare item from a dangerous locale or traversing a monster-infested wilderness to deliver something important to a distant settlement.