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So I was looking into the spell wish, and according to its description, it has the ability to produce an object up to 25,000gp of value. I was wondering if this could be used to produce a homestead, but there appears to be a debate on the cost of a house mainly due to its location. Should this be taken into consideration or just the raw material necessary to make the house and assume magic builds it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking as a DM looking to understand how you should rule on wishes that your player makes, or as a player looking to understand the kind of wishes your DM is likely to accept? \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a player in this instance, but I'm asking more for a clarification of rules. Should property value play into the 25,000gp limit of wish? \$\endgroup\$
    – Zacarius
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 16:25

4 Answers 4

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Ask your DM.

Like many parts of the D&D 5E rules, a lot of specifics and clarifications are left up to the DM to decide. It's very unlikely that you'll get a solid answer from the book about this, because as you point out in your question, even something as simple as "how much does a house cost" is going to be complicated enough to require in-game adjudication by a DM. There are three different approaches to this issue that I can see, all of which are entirely valid and supported by the system.

1. The total cost of the house must cost less than 25,000G.

This approach means that everything involved in the normal purchase of the house has to be considered in the wish. Buying the land, buying the raw materials, shipping the raw materials to the build site, labor, buying appropriate land deeds to make the purchase legal, and anything else that might plausibly come up when building a house using mundane means must be accounted for under the 25,000G price limit. This approach treats wish as a way to effectively give you a 25,000G bonus, as well as speeding up the process of spending it, and gives you both a house and the legal right to own that house.

2. The cost of the raw materials must cost less than 25,000G.

This approach focuses on the wording of wish that says that it creates an object. This wish won't affect the legal standing of the land or provide any other ancillary benefits, but will make a proportionally larger house than option 1. In this approach, the wish is just creating the house itself and placing it where you direct, and thus doesn't need to care about outside cost considerations.

3. It's wish. Do whatever you want.

The wish spell is a big deal. It's a 9th level spell, it has some serious drawbacks, and there's a significant chance that any single wish will be your last. In my games, if a player is using wish on something as mundane as a house, I'm going to let them have as much house as they want, and not bother them with the legal issues. In this approach, the precise GP value of the house or the land that it's on isn't important enough to the game to be calculated precisely, and so is handwaved as "probably less than 25,000G, so let's move on with the game".

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    \$\begingroup\$ Might be worth mentioning that the rules for Objects in the DMG p 246 indicate that a building is a collection of objects and thus not an object itself. Something to think about when you ask your DM. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 17:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's only a significant chance that a Wish will be your last if you use it for something other than duplicating another spell (which is already a very potent ability of itself) \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 19:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to let them have as much house as they want ... up to 300 feet in any dimension? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rawling
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 8:51
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No Land...

Wish creates an object of value, with a maximum dimension of 300 feet. The land itself is not an object. In fact, the object has to appear on the "ground". It doesn't create the land. Of course, any land useful for farming or similar activities is going to be bigger than 300 feet.

...unless you Wish carefully.

You need to include title to the land in the Wish. The title is just a piece of paper, easily within the dimensional capabilities of the spell. Depending on the DM, you may need to specify you want the title to be uncontestable as well. Some DMs are more particular about the wording of request, while others stay closer to intention ("the letter vs. the spirit").

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If you wish for a house to appear on the land owned by someone else, then the landowner might either thank you for the free house or get angry at you for blocking their property.

When you don't want to deal with any third party claims on your new house, then there are two options:

  • Wish for a house in a location not claimed by anyone. In that case it will have negligible location value.
  • Wish explicitly for "a house in the best neighborhood of [city] and a title to the land it stands on". Note that the title is not just wishing for a piece of paper. You are also wishing for the reality-warping required to get people to recognize your claim on the land. So the current market value for the plot should get added to the total value of your wish.
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The homestead principle is a specific legal concept that inherently carries some risk. The biggest problem isn't even in the value of the land, per se, though it does impose a restriction of its own: you can only create your homestead on land that no one has any legal claim to (otherwise it's not a homestead). You could word your wish to cause the claims on a piece of land to be relinquished, but that's definitely dangerous.

The big problem is that your claim is generally only permanent once you've lived on the land and "improved" it in some way for a certain period of some time (generally several years, but it depends on the legal system). A generous DM (or a careful wish) might say that your wish can start a homestead, but put no time on the claim. That means it's up to you to maintain the homestead or risk losing it, and this could put a serious damper on your adventuring career. A stricter DM might reach back in time and revise pieces of your family history, rewriting your past onto this land so that your claim is valid and permanent, but perhaps causing major aftershocks in your backstory. A truly sadistic DM might do the same, but take this time out of your character's personal history, retconning your past few years of adventuring out of existence!

Bottom line: tread carefully. The homestead concept is interesting, but be sure you know how you intend to handle the time aspect of things.

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