June 18th, 2011


Finances in D&D (4e, if that makes a difference)

I generally like to stay away from economics and finances in my games, mostly because I don't like too much bookkeeping -- math and I are not friends for the most part. However, in one of the campaigns I'm running, the characters are starting to get to the level where they're looking at raising and keeping armies, and they've been asking me questions. I know the answers I give will have consequences, so I don't want to just pull something out of the air. I want it to actually make a bit of sense and be the foundation for further expansion. I've done a bit of looking around on the net, but I haven't found exactly what I'm looking for (although this article is actually pretty interesting).

What I'm looking for is the cost for maintaining an army. The characters now have a keep that can hold up to 500 soldiers, although there are only 250 currently in residence. These are not conscripted peasants, but people who chose to join the army as a way of making a living.

How much per year should I charge the party for keeping a standing army of 250? They are mostly using them to keep the peace around the area -- patrolling roads, scouting missions, and basically clearing the surrounding region of wandering monsters, bandit gangs, slavers and raiders to make it safe for civilians to live on the land.

The players have also been making noises about laying plans to swell their numbers and lay siege to a nearby city-state (walled). They are aware that this is a plan that may take some years.

I'd just like a ballpark figure as to how much maintaining a small army would cost them per year. I'm adhering pretty close to the treasure packages and general costs of things laid out in the PHB and DMG (4e), but I'm bad at estimating and have really no idea how to go about figuring something reasonable out.