Workers on construction projects

I’ve got a couple of questions regarding workers on large construction projects:
1)Does the cost per month (or day) assume costs to feed the workers?
2)When working on a project in dangerous terrain (i.e. not civilized lands), is there a need to give workers hazard pay?
3)I’d also assume there needs to be a sizable force of mercenaries present to protect the workers
4)Where do all these workers come from? The text on p.127 states that 500 gp worth of work can be done per day – I’m assuming a portion of that cost covers materials – but when you consider a master craftsman can only pump out 40 gp worth of work per month, that assumes a hell of a lot of workers (I’m guessing the reason it is abstracted to 500 gp/day is to reduce bookkeeping for large projects; I mean, it’s cool to assume you hire a local master carpenter to build an inn or whatever, but that could become too much “papers and paychecks” to do on the scale of a stronghold). Where do these workers come from, in borderlands or wilderness areas?


  1. Historically, most workers were paid with a mix of food and coin. We have simplified this into a simplified gp payment that covers both. You do not have to separately pay supply for the workers.

  2. There is no official rule to this effect but as Judge you should certainly feel free to impose it if you feel it warranted!

  3. As above. There is no official rule to this effect but as Judge you should certainly feel free to impose it if you feel it warranted.

  4. The vast majority of the labor is unskilled labor. To get to 500gp per day it requires 3,000 workers producing 1 2/3sp of labor each per day. See “The Typical Laborer” sidebar.

Realistically speaking, not every building projects in antiquity and the middle ages employed 3,000 laborers at once. Some certainly did, especially military projects by Alexander or the Romans, and monumental construction by the Egyptians and Mesopotamians; but your average lords’ castle did not. Monarchical and imperial projects got much more labor than baronial ones.

If you want to be more realistic, you could limit the labor force available to a construction project based on its market size and domain by using the craftsmen available by Market Availability and the workers available from conscription, militia, and mercenaries.

However, I do not recommend that you actually do this. I set 500gp per day (e.g. 3000 workers) as the default because it is within a historically plausible workforce while allowing for castles to be constructed in a relatively short period of time. Even at 500gp per day, it takes six months to build a basic keep, and a year or more to build a fortress like Turos Tem. Extending that to 5-10 years is realistic but not exceptionally fun, unless you are playing a multi-generational Pendragon-style game.

Hope that helps! As always, it’s your campaign so do as you will. :slight_smile: