# How much should a rundown tavern in the docks district of a large city cost?

How much should a rundown tavern in the docks district of a large city cost?
need some help with an adventure i have written where the characters owe a debt to a loan shark because they bought into a local tavern thinking to make big bucks.

ACKS pg 127 gives you a few values for civilian buildings, adjust as necessary for what the square footage of the tavern is, second stories, perhaps a wooden roof (calculable through the Accessories Cost on the very next table)

After you’ve done that, decide how run down it is by applying SHP damage.

Let’s assume the default wooden cottage.

From D@W:C pg 48, we know a wooden cottage has 6 SHP - apply whatever damage you think applicable - say, 2 SHP is ~32% of the structure, so it has (cost of cottage @ 300 GP * 32%) = 96 GP of damage.

Take some percentage of that (75%? I dunno, I am not a realtor :)) subtract it from the full cost of the building, and there you are.

If you’ve got D@W I can show you how to estimate the damage on the building by deriving it from the statement “It will take a team of X laborers Y weeks to bring this place up to snuff.”

So, because this is related to something I’m thinking of trying in my campaign. How would you calculate real-estate costs in a city (not buying a domain)?

ACKS Core page 125: An acre of good civilized land costs about 50 gp.

Presumably it’s more expensive than that in a city. If reality is any indication, land should be more expensive the bigger the city. We can use market class to abstract this.

Some semi-random numbers I will use: According to the 2000 census, NYC had a population density of 26,403/mi^2. NY State, 402; the US overall, 80. Since 1,000 gp gets you 1d10 families in both domain and urban investment, I will assume that population density can be used as a ratio to see what sort of different area they will take up.

In other words, the relative population densities of the area can be used as an estimate of the relative cost of land, since it costs 1,000 gp for 1d10 families worth of land in both cases.

NYC’s population density is 330 times that of the US overall. If we say that a Class 1 market has land costs 330 times as much, an acre would cost 16,500 gp. One acre is 43, 560 square feet, so this would be a cost of 4 silver per square foot. (For everyone playing along at home with calculators, yes, I’m rounding.)

Is this reasonable? A stone townhouse costs 1,200 gp and takes up 900 square feet. The lot is probably larger than the house itself, so let’s say a thousand square foot lot, giving it a tiny lawn or a little bit of space between neighbors or a small back lot or the like. At 4 sp a square foot, 1000 square feet will cost 400 gp. This gives us a cost for undeveloped land equal to 1/3 of the cost of the building. It seems reasonable to me, although I have no real knowledge of real estate.

A quick ballparking with market classes off the top of my head gives me this price for land in each market class.

Class 1 - 4 sp per square foot
Class 2 - 3 sp per square foot
Class 3 - 1 sp per square foot
Class IV - 8 cp per square foot
Class V - 5 cp per square foot
Class VI - 3 cp per square foot

My land prices get pretty low here at the bottom, but I’m kind of assuming that in a Class VI market, the only reason to buy land is the specific location. If you just want to build something, you can just walk ten feet out of town and get to it. Class I is the only one that has any math behind it at all, it’s late >.>

I should note that I tend to assume the kingdom/city owns all the land in a city. I ran these numbers for amusement value; in a campaign, I’d just use the book prices for the structure and ignore buying the land.

I’d only actually care to find out land prices if the players wanted to speculate on land prices; buy a bad neighborhood and fix the whole place up, for example.

“I’d only actually care to find out land prices if the players wanted to speculate on land prices; buy a bad neighborhood and fix the whole place up, for example.”

That’s pretty much exactly what I’m trying to sort out. The players are surveying for a new road. Ultimately there’s a choice between whether the road will extend to the south or whether the road will extend to the west. The idea is to purchase the land near the appropriate gate before anyone else knows which gate (and potentially spreading rumors about the other). So yes, this is land speculation.

Those figures seem reasonable. With regards to ownership, I’d assume that in a city of any size, the land actually belongs to the lord/city and that purchase by the party in this case is essentially a license to exclusive usage. This would likely be a different form of ownership than being a domain holder.

For gameplay purposes, the players wouldn’t really be the recipients of taxes, military service, etc, but might earn rental fees (subject to whether they’re slumlords, renting space to merchants, creating a new luxury neighborhood, etc). I’d imagine they’d be subject to taxes on these earnings though.

This response is awesome. Thank you for doing the math.

I was about to start a new thread regarding the price of urban land. Instead, I found this delight.

This should go into an official publication down the road.