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The Downtime Rules from Ultimate Campaign include rules for building buildings by combining different distinct rooms. However, I can't see any mechanical benefit (that is, besides aesthetics and realism) to combine multiple rooms into a single "building."

On the other hand, I see plenty of reasons not to:

  • Buildings can be broken as a whole, rather than individual rooms
  • Rooms not in the same building can be built in parallel, reducing overall construction time
  • Making a capital check as a building is much less efficient than per room (because of taking-10)

What benefit, if any, does combining rooms into buildings provide?

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Aesthetics and realism. –  mxyzplk Sep 26 '13 at 0:15
    
Specific building events will only happen in their respective buildings. Whether that's good or bad is debatable. –  Eric B Sep 26 '13 at 3:42
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The rules are provided as a way to price buildings. Each building is made of rooms, so if you want the building you just sum up the room's value and get the total result.

In real life you don't build the rooms separate from each other because that would mean building a lot more walls, all the walls need to be load-bearing, residential zoning is subject to taxes and you try to build rooms adjacent to one other and on multiple stories. When you build on multiple floors, you also want your base floor to be quite large.

When following these oversimplified rules those issues don't come into play (literally).
Building a room with load-bearing walls, a room with simple walls or a room that is enclosed by the walls of other rooms costs exactly the same, there are large lots of land you can buy in most fantasy towns and you don't usually get taxed for owning them or need to spend a lot to buy a lot (sorry for the pun). You don't make stability assessment either.

In a world like that, everyone builds separated rooms because it's convenient, unless you want to enforce some sort of realism and tell your players "let's say you can have a separate lab or store but your house has to be built all in one piece, please".

Or, you know, I'd pay a little extra for having the bathroom inside my house, rather than 35' across the lot, especially in a rainy day.

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Who said it had to be that far off? How much extra would you pay to have it inside the house, versus having the bathroom with a 6 inch gap to the next room's wall (just enough for that Smash Building spell to treat them as seperate targets), with a tarp pinned up to enclose and shelter the path between them? –  Matthew Najmon Sep 26 '13 at 4:40
    
@MatthewNajmon Why that far off? Because if you start building a new bathroom in front of every room it becomes costly really fast. (And I would get a shower every time because I'm stingy.) –  Zachiel Sep 26 '13 at 8:53
    
it doesn't have to be that far off from every room. just from the next room. even in the modern real world in rich-nation cities, where homes tend to be downright miraculously nice by medieval standards, it's not at all uncommon to have to go through the living room in order to get from the kitchen to the bathroom. just make that one the same way, everything with 6' gaps and tarps. No slogging through weather to get from the pots to the pot, and an enemy still needs separate castings of Smash Building for each and every room you have. –  Matthew Najmon Sep 27 '13 at 21:16
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