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I can't find much on how to set up any kind of establishments that are for charity. HOw would I go about this? Acquiring a building, a few volunteers, how much to run it per day, ect? Anyone have any experience in this? My character is a NG Druid, who had never been to a city and saw the poverty and lack of food and housing for people. He wants to help! But I have no idea on how to establish a continual act of help. Buying food for the town and stuff, one time is easy to figure out. How many people * ammount of food needed is the price. But for bigger acts of continual charity, who knows?

EDIT: So, it was suggested that I make an eco orphanage in a forest. I accidently doomed the continent with demons, so that won't work. (Wish spell to get rid of orcs, things went horribly wrong) NO one knows it was me though! :D

I don't want the leadership feat cause I need my 6th level feat for a prestige class.

Also, I don't want to donate to the churches in this city, I'm finding a lot of corruption in some of these churches, especially this city, so I want something more controllable by me.

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Give some gold to a local temple and then go adventuring. If you want to manage a food pantry, then D&D 3.5e isn't the game for you. –  okeefe Feb 4 at 4:30
    
Give them some gold with the promise that they'll help the outskirts. If they don't, come back post-adventure with a swarm of angry bears. –  okeefe Feb 4 at 4:48
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I can't be the only person who read the question title as looking for ways to set up an orphanage which is also a food pantry, right? I thought: "now, that's a dark campaign setting"... –  Mark Bessey Feb 5 at 9:23
    
Well, I mean, that's part of the idea, but not in the idea of children become food. –  Samuraisoulification Feb 5 at 23:31

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There isn't anything in the core rules about building ownership, but you (or your DM) can fake it in a good-enough way (at least, so long as nobody tries to break the game using such a ruling) by estimating off the equipment tables. You need three things: cost for building maintenance (or rent), cost for food, and (if not renting) initial price of the building.

In the equipment chapter under Food, Drink, And Lodging, a poor meal costs 1sp. I'm picking "poor" because no matter how much you have, you want to stretch it as far as you can to feed as many, right? So go with "poor". That price is assuming making a profit, so let's be conservative (on the "more expensive for you" side) and cut it in half: 5cp to feed an orphan. Maybe shave that down to 3cp, since they're kids and not grown adults eating at a poor inn. (This is really back-of-the-envelope stuff, not rigorous at all.)

We can do something similar for the rent/maintenance of the building: a night's stay in a poor inn is listed as 2sp. Let's cut it in half to 1sp to eliminate the profit normally involved. Since a normal poor inn can maintain the whole building on 2sp per room per night, we can be pretty sure that the 1sp per orphan per night will cover (sans profits) whatever costs are involved in paying rent or taxes, repairs, replacing bedding, laundering, upkeep of the non-sleeping quarters and so on.

Somewhere, between the price for meals and the price for rooms, a combined inn/tavern also pays for their kitchen, so we're probably safely in the black with our estimates. You probably don't need to maintain a stable like a normal inn, and you're not paying for the volunteer labour, so that makes the estimate even more likely to at least meet or exceed the costs of rooms and food.

Altogether, that makes it 1sp, 3cp to feed and house a single orphan per day, assuming one good meal every day (which is not far off the unfortunate reality of old orphanages). If you want to have them slightly healthier, but be able to take in fewer, make it two meals per day and double the meals costs to 6cp, for 1.6sp per orphan per day.

So, very roughly, you see how you can use the goods and services lists in the core book to get a gameable estimate of the costs per orphan per day. From there you can look at what money you've got stashed and what your incoming donations are, and estimate how many orphans you can house and feed at once on an ongoing basis.

As for the initial cost of acquiring the building, that the core rules don't provide anything even close to helpful for estimating. You don't have to worry about this if you find a willing landlord, but if you have to buy the building outright, this becomes a slightly sticky issue. If I was running this game I'd probably just play it out, maybe angling for the druid to find a donor with a vacant building. At worst I'd just name a price in gold and get on with it, while making sure that the players know that the price is particular to this building from this seller, and they shouldn't expect it to set a precedent. Maybe, like 100gp or something.

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Less food because they're kids and not full-grown adults? You've never cared for someone between the ages of 10 an 16, have you? –  Matthew Najmon Feb 4 at 20:41
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@MatthewNajmon I have. We're not talking first-world, growing teenagers here, we're talking stunted nutrient-starved orphans. And we're not talking sedentary, office-working adults in comparison either, a "poor tavern" is going to be selling to dock workers, sailors, and other people who do hard labour from sunup to sundown. They eat a lot. –  SevenSidedDie Feb 4 at 22:46
    
I could've sworn that the 3.5 core rules included building prices somewhere... –  GMJoe Feb 5 at 5:51
    
@GMJoe I believe there are building/castle construction rules somewhere outside the core three books. If you find them though, a reference would improve this! –  SevenSidedDie Feb 5 at 15:54
    
@GMJoe GMJoe, SSD, i believe the book you are looking for is the "Stronghold Builder's Guidebook", though that is a 3rd edition book, not 3.5. I don't know of any updates to it for either 3.5 or Pathfinder, but would be interested in finding out about them if they do exist. –  Matthew Najmon Feb 5 at 22:38

Focus on efforts outside of the city. Your spells are more powerful than your money.

You possess three crucial spells:

I'm going to skip over silly solutions like magic traps of create food and water for in-character solutions possible immediately.

You're a druid, and so overpopulation is a fact of nature. You're a good druid, so just killing the excess populace is distasteful. Instead, you can create suburbs in local forest via tree shape. Thereby, you can provide environmentally friendly housing to local orphans and people who take care of them. Untrained hirelings are 1sp per day, and you can purchase mouldy food and fix it via purify food and drink (my recommendation is to negotiate a deal with various innkeepers: you'll cast this on mouldy food stores. They keep half, and they transport the rest to your little suburb.)

You can use many castings of goodberry to make 2d4 servings per meal. (If you want to make this work when you're not there, make sure someone with craft wondrous is nearby, and enchant the spell into a command-word activated bowl for 1800 gold).

You can also use Plant Growth to enhance the productivity of surrounding fields. Make sure to enhance the productivity of both freeholds and sharecroppers, as annoying local lords by ignoring their money-generating resources is bad for your health, but improving other productivity should actually pass on lower prices to the city in terms of its food supply.

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I like this solution a lot, but two problems are presented in this. On the first one, making eco friendly orphanges and such, I won't be around for them. Also, I may have doomed the entire continent with demons for a while. The second, is that I'm pretty sure that the city has some cooruption and the poor wouldn't get the food. –  Samuraisoulification Feb 4 at 4:35
    
"I may have doomed the entire continent with demons". Delightful. I completely ignore the magical aspects of it for the more mundane ones, so +1 Brian –  CatLord Feb 4 at 4:37

Strangely enough I recommend taking the Leadership feat once you reach the proper level and all the followers you get would be dedicated to the running of the building but that might come off a bit heavy handed.

After all, diplomacy and profession checks when buying regular supplies (in bulk?) would be the way to go and then it really depends on the economy of the world your DM created. Are there bulk rates? What availability is there at those numbers? Moreover, your DM has to determine what demand is going to be had for your services and thus the whole supply/demand issue comes into play in any realistic game.

For example, just going with core information, it's 5sp for one days worth of good quality food. 3sp for common quality, and 1sp for poor. That's standard price for one person. Nothing however stops you from haggling via Diplomacy. Profession(Host) or something like that would raise you money.

As for building houses, I refer to this question and this one as well which point you to the Stronghold Builder's Guide for the prices of construction of any type of structure, although comparing to the ship costs, a small house would likely cost 5k-10k in gp.

Edit 1: Another issue you may face with a stationary location is bandits, vermin, and/or spoilage as depreciation factors thus putting good money to waste. Especially if you buy a cheaper product.

Edit 2: - In SBG, it says a basic residential 'stronghold' is 12k in gp for a 30 person building complete with two kitchen servants (6gp a month salary). - A basic Tavern seats 20 if you want to do a "soup kitchen" for only 900gp, same servant price.

If you find a copy of this book (I found a readable PDF with a basic search) it breaks down what each room costs for a building in a table on SBG page 15 as a modular system for a larger stronghold/castle/keep/etc. but essentially parts of it can easily be their own buildings or parts of more commonplace structures.

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I see, I like the idea of the leadership feat, but I think I would rather have some characters of like mind help. I don't wish for all the leadership crap that comes with it, plus I can't spare my 6th level feat for it. –  Samuraisoulification Feb 4 at 4:36

First, D&D 3.5e doesn't really support this kind of play. If you want to run a food pantry, you might be happier playing a different game.

Second, if your GM is game, then you can explore the decisions and choices during play rather than attempt to preplan it all as a player. Try something—build a shelter, hire a manager, donate funds for food—and come back in a week/month/season and see what happened. Church corruption actually sounds like a potentially interesting urban plot. Rooting out evil there could leave the city with favorable clerics more aligned toward your goals.

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