Know what I love? Giving gold to my PCs. It’s a great way to give rewards beyond experience points. The trouble with fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons is that the players don’t have a lot of obvious ways to spend gold in large amounts. At a certain point the PCs may have more gold than they know what to do with once they’ve purchased their resurrection diamonds and suits of plate armor. After that gaining gold can become a bookkeeping exercise as players run out of the obvious, especially since buying magic items isn’t an option in many fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons games.

Well in this post I’m going to give you a whole bunch of stuff players can spend their gold pieces on. Stuff that’s useful for players and has a benefit beyond swimming in a pool of gold a la Scrooge McDuck.

Disclaimer

Before we begin let me state simply that I know not all these options are right for every game. I wouldn’t include all of these in my own game, but you might allow something I wouldn’t so I’m throwing all the options I can think of out there.

Buildings

Who doesn’t want to buy a castle? Well in Dungeons and Dragons, you can! The Dungeon Master’s Guide has rules for building your own castles, keeps, temples, and other strongholds during downtime on page 128. What if your players don’t want to wait and have a mountain of gold burning a hole in their pockets? Let them buy something that’s already been built!

Using the list in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, here’s a list for how much it will cost to buy specific buildings in my game.

Stronghold Costs
Stronghold Cost
Abbey 100,000 gp
Guildhall, town or city 10,000 gp
Keep or small estate 100,000 gp
Noble estate with manor 50,000 gp
Outpost or fort 30,000 gp
Palace or large castle 1,000,000 gp
Temple 100,000 gp
Tower, fortified 30,000 gp
Trading post 10,000 gp

Vehicles

Maybe your adventurers don’t want the house, but they might need a car, boat, or airship. The Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook have tons of pricing information on everything from carts to airships.

There’s plenty of mounts PCs can buy to get them from one place to the next. Checkout the Beasts PDF in the Free Game Resources section of this site for exotic mounts which ignore various types of difficult terrain. With so many wonderful mounts to choose from characters might invest in a whole stable full.

Of course if you really want the players to spend their money maybe you make truly exotic equipment available to them like a dragonborn submarine, ornithopter, or maybe you want to allow your players to buy elemental-powered land carts, boats, and airships like the ones in Eberron. We don’t have prices for those (yet!) but here’s my best guess for 5e!

Vehicle Costs
Vehicle Cost Speed
Elemental airship 100,000 gp 20 mph
Elemental galleon 150,000 gp 5 mph
Elemental land cart 10,000 gp 15 mph

Outfit Buildings/Vehicles

Of course if they’ve already got the house and car, they might want to trick them out with a state of the art home security system! Maybe you’ll let your players buy traps or siege weapons. Who doesn’t want to put a crushing room in a fortress or drive around in an elemental land cart with a ballista mounted on the roof? Here’s my best guess at what it would cost for traps and siege weapons. Note that many of these traps and siege weapons are found in the Free Game Resources section of this site.

Trap Costs
Traps Cost
Abyssal Gate 5,000 gp
Acidic Fall 500 gp
Collapsing Roof 100 gp
Crushing Room 3,000 gp
Electrified Floor 5,000 gp
Explosive Object 1,000 gp
Falling Net 100 gp
Fire-Breathing Statue 5,000 gp
Flame Jets 2,000 gp
Grasping Arms 5,000 gp
Hungry Insects 500 gp
Log Slammer 1,000 gp
Malicious Harpsichord 5,000 gp
Mists of Madness 5,000 gp
Object of Deception 1,000 gp
Pendulum Scythe 2,000 gp
Pit, Hidden 150 gp
Pit, Locking 200 gp
Pit, Simple 100 gp
Pit, Spiked 150 gp
Poison Darts 300 gp
Poison Mister 500 gp
Poison Needle 200 gp
Rolling Sphere 2,000 gp
Room Filling With Water 3,000 gp
Spectral Tendrils 5,000 gp
Sphere of Annihilation 50,000 gp
Spinning Saw Blades 2,000 gp
Widening Pit 5,000 gp
Withering Tapestry 5,000 gp
Zealous Altar 5,000 gp
Siege Weapon Costs
Siege Weapon Cost
Arcane Cannon 50,000 gp
Acid canister 250 gp
Fire canister 250 gp
Force canister 250 gp
Frost canister 250 gp
Lightning canister 250 gp
Ballista 2,000 gp
Bolt 25 gp
Cannon 5,000 gp
Canister shot 50 gp
Cannon ball 50 gp
Chain shot 25 gp
Shell 50 gp
Cauldron, suspended 200 gp
Oil (1 cauldron full) 20 gp
Dwarven Drill 15,000 gp
Mangonel 3,000 gp
Mangonel flaming barrel 50 gp
Mangonel stone 20 gp
Ram 2,000 gp
Siege Tower 1,000 gp
Trebuchet 4,000 gp
Trebuchet flaming barrel 100 gp
Trebuchet stone 30 gp

Make ‘Em Fly

Know what’s cool? Airships. Know what’s cooler? Flying castles. If you’ve got the world for it, why not allow the PCs to trick out their stronghold by letting it fly? It’s certainly not right for every campaign, but think about it. If you’re campaign takes the PCs all over the map, why would they buy a fortress… unless they could bring the fortress with them! To make a building fly I charge my PCs twice the building’s cost. So it would take 2,000,000 gp to make a castle fly or 3,000,000 gp total to buy a flying castle outright.

Magic Items

Many fifth edition campaigns do not allow PCs to buy magic items, but if you want to allow them to buy magic items during their downtime, there’s rules for that in the Free Game Resources section of this site. These rules don’t allow a player to walk in and buy a magic item right off the shelf of a store so it limits players and ultimately keeps things random an in the hands of the DM.

Of course if you don’t want to allow your PCs to buy magic swords, armor, and bioarcane items, there’s always single use magic items like potions, scrolls, and the like. I always allow my players to stock up while they’re in town to spend some of their well-earned gold. Here’s the prices I use.

Potion Costs
Potion Rarity Cost
Common 50 gp
Uncommon 100 gp
Rare 500 gp
Very rare 5,000 gp
Legendary 50,000 gp
Scroll Costs
Spell Scroll Level Cost*
Cantrip 25 gp
1st 50 gp
2nd 100 gp
3rd 250 gp
4th 500 gp
5th 2,500 gp
6th 5,000 gp
7th 15,000 gp
8th 30,000 gp
9th 50,000 gp

*Plus the cost of any material components used in casting the spell.

Setting-Specific Technology

If you have something specific in your setting that your players buy that costs a pretty penny. Exploration Age has firearms and bombs you could sell to your PCs. Maybe even some of Exploration Age’s finest mechs are available for sale. Here’s a quick list for you of how much mechs would cost in my game if I made them available for sale.

Mech Cost
Destroyer 75,000 gp
Gladiator 50,000 gp
Knight 100,000 gp
Lifter 10,000 gp
Lumberjack 20,000 gp
Miner 35,000 gp
Pyro 75,000 gp

Mundane Magic

In some worlds teapots walk across the table and pour themselves, cabinets keep food cold and fresh, and clockwork spiders carry notes from one room in a house to another. If your world is high magic, your PCs might pay for fun and cool little mundane items like these which make their lives easier.

Henchmen and Upkeep

If the PCs are going to have airships and castles, they might need servants, guards, skilled laborers and more to get things off the ground. The Player’s Handbook has some good rules for hirelings which can add up over time.

You might also decide the players need to spend a certain amount of gold maintaining and repairing their prized possessions. Mike Shea of slyflourish.com recently had his PCs acquire a magic flying castle, but in order to keep it flying they have to feed it gold or magic item. Vehicles get damaged in battles and castle walls might fall during a dragon attack. Make sure your PCs are paying for those repairs.

Donations

When the PCs have lots of gold it might be in their best interest to give it away. Their gold could turn them into lobbyists with political influence if they give donations to the right government, church, or guild. Know who else loves gold? Dragons. Imagine if one of those owed the PCs a favor…

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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Comments
  1. joelastowski says:

    I think it’d be an awesome idea if you made Players make (and pay for) dungeons to hold their treasure. There’d have to be at least one way through, because they’d want to have access to it themselves, but that way centuries after they die, other adventurers could try their hand at trying to beat the traps of this now ancient dungeon, unsure why anyone would put together something this crazy. Sort of like inserting a DungeonKeeper/BossMonster game component to your D&D game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fyxtrpggm says:

    Great ideas for helping the PCs get rid of that pesky extra cash! For my https://fyxtrpg.com campaigns I always try to build in some kind of “money sink”. Whether that is a castle, town, or army. I think it helps to keep the players more engaged in the world when they literally have a say in what is built in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dandare2050 says:

    I notice the buildings are all fairly grand or commercial. What about a free hold cottage to become a PCs home? In feudal terms this would, I guess, make the PC a villein, a village dweller. Say 500gp?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dandare2050 says:

    Sorry, missed a zero, 5,000GP

    Liked by 1 person

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