At some point during the introductory adventure Lost Mine of Phandelver, the PC's are capable of liberating a manor.

After clearing Tresendar Manor the PC's have a chance to take it over and rebuild it as their base of operations or Manor Home. It is otherwise abandoned and in disrepair.

My question is, what is a proper price to charge the party as a cost to rebuild that particular Manor which has largely been abandoned and uncared for save for the basement level? Should I worry about upkeep? Tax? I can not find much in the way of how to go about this in the DMG.

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    \$\begingroup\$ By the way, you should totally encourage this. I strongly believe in PCs and parties becoming landholders. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure that there's rules for governing this sort of thing in the Acquisitions Incorporated book. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 6:05

4 Answers 4


11k gp renovation; 10gp/day upkeep/operating costs, or maybe less.


I'll tell you what's reasonable: referencing 2e's The Castle Guide. In previous years I've done comparisons between the 5e DMG's "big ticket" items--keep/small castle, large castle, and tower--and the costs of constructing such buildings as described in The Castle Guide. The amount to which figures match is, frankly, astounding.* All this is to say: numbers derived from The Castle Guide are reasonable to use in 5e.

Looking specifically at your manor, then, we have two touchstones: the 5e DMG tells us a manor costs 25k gp from scratch (p.128). There's no guidance on how using materials recovered at the site might factor in, so let's take a cue from The Castle Guide and cut material costs in half by reclamation, and call it 12.5k gp. (As Miniman suggests.)

The Castle Guide tells us that building in a moderate climate, in rolling hills, in an agricultural society, with workers of average skill and morale, with resources near and good (there's a quarry in town, after all), and using recovered materials on-site all combines for a production multiplier of 0.5 (pp.48-53). The manor you're trying to rebuild measures between 130' and 100' in one direction, 80' in another. That'll require two "great hall" modules smooshed together, for a sticker price of 20k gp (p.54-55). Apply production multiplier and overhead costs (p.59) for a final cost of 11k gp.


5e DMG tells us the "maintenance cost" of a noble estate is 10gp/day--this includes the salaries of your 3 skilled hirelings and 15 unskilled ones (p.127). But this is for the whole "estate," and it's not clear whether you're looking to gentleman-farm this place or just have a fancy house ripe for burgling. You can bargain this one down, perhaps.

* - Construction costs match absurdly well, that is. Construction times, on the other hand, are quite off. But the 5e DMG also assumes that PCs assist in construction, which is separately called-out in The Castle Guide under "heroic characters." I've not yet looked at how well times match or don't once that correction's applied.


No-one can tell you what is reasonable, but we have some guidelines from the books that we can work with to come up with a number. The "Building a Stronghold" table on page 128 of the DMG gives the cost of building a noble estate with manor as 25000 gp. Obviously, your players wouldn't be building it from scratch, but that gives you a number to start from.

Personally, I would recommend deciding approximately what fraction of the work has already been done, and dividing the 25000 gp figure accordingly. For example, given that the foundations are largely intact, you might decide that half the work is already done, and therefore the remaining work would cost about 12500 gp.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Fascinating--I'm through one sheet of scrap-paper, doing a pretty-detailed workup, and am looking at ~11Kgp right now =) (Psst... Airatome: go with the low bid, when it comes in!) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 1:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 It's funny how these things tend to work out. I look forward to seeing your answer! \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 1:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Guys...guys.... you dont have to get in to a bidding war just for my epic votes....but I also wont stop you :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 1:45

I suggest you take a different tack from trying to work out what is a reasonable cost in some in-world sense and instead ask yourself what you want the players to be able to do with the manor in the campaign you intend running and what funds will be available.

Low level characters have very limited funds available to them in typical campaigns. You can therefore control the utility of the manor by controlling the costs to repair. The players might be able to make a small number of rooms available for a low cost, and slowly improve the manor as the game progresses as you see fit. Upkeep costs would also increase along with their funds as the bring the rest of the manor 'online'. In the longer term, however, I would expect the grounds of the manor to be a source of income rather than a cost as they are re-established for farming purposes.


Spoilers for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist:

At the end of chapter 1, the players acquire Trollskull Manor. Renovating the tavern is a one-time expense of 1,000 gp. Regular maintenance includes:

  • 50 gp per tenday for maintenance and wages of hirelings
  • 10 gp per tenday for all other guild expenses

(the latter bullet point may not apply in your scenario, as Phandalin is much smaller than Waterdeep).


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