Though I know that with how vast imagination can take this question, the most common answer would be "ask the DM", though I am looking for common items that should be listed somewhere...

Specifically, I am searching for the price of tripwire and wood. Though these two items are mentioned a lot in XGE and the PHB, there's no mention of their cost as raw materials.

Tripwire is one of the most common ingredients I can find in trap making, yet the closest comparison is a 50-foot rope which has enough tensile strength to suggest that it's made of multiple tripwires woven together. As for traps, the only one mentioned is the Hunter's Trap, which is described as a bear trap.

Wood is missing among the trade goods list, although metals, many plants, spices, and livestock are all mentioned, making the evaluation of how much wood is needed to create anything hard to calculate.

In my search for these prices, I will admit that I have convinced myself that I must be missing a book that elaborates on such mundane item prices to help DMs out to avoid player complaints and inconsistencies. Thus, I thought that asking for this resource might be more beneficial in the long run.


1 Answer 1


You are not missing anything.

From the intro to the Player's Handbook chapter on Equipment:

This chapter details the mundane and exotic merchandise that adventurers commonly find useful in the face of the threats that the worlds of D&D present.

Now, I'm not saying that the things you mention aren't useful to adventurers, but the focus here is really on stuff that might fill out a starting character's backpack. It's definitely not the basis for an economy. Likewise, there's some stuff in the DMG about reoccurring expenses and business costs, but that is all in the context of "What are the adventurers doing offscreen between adventures?", not world-building or economy. The only other major part of the core rules that talks about money at all is the section on treasure and magic items — player rewards, not raw material costs.

For better or for worse, while the game talks about different pillars of gameplay, the rules focus is primarily on combat, with exploration second. Things like "simulation of the world" are basically left up to the DM to come up with ad hoc.

If you're interested in something more, you'll need to look to third-party sources.

Personally, I've found A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe to be a great help in thinking about economies and populations — and it has a chapter called "Economic Simulator" which can either be used as a basic price guide or can be used to drive a more complicated game-world economy. The book was written in the days of 3E, but the vast majority of it is generic and the rest flexible enough. Particularly, the economy chapter isn't really edition-specific (although some of the prices for things like armor which are in the 5E PHP might need adjusting — although if you're going for a complex economy it's your call whether to house rule the PHB prices or change the table). Don't buy it just for the table, though — that's also focused more on things like weapons, gems, and spell components and doesn't list tripwire or lumber. It's more the general concept of how to fit this kind of purchasing into your game world that it's good for. There are probably other third-party books that provide lists of mundane item prices, but I don't have any experience with them personally.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I was losing my mind in searching... Now if I could just figure out how a belt pouch costs 1 gold when a regular pouch cost 1 silver, I could relax ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Mar 16, 2019 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB Probably the monogram? Yeah, I could also mention that the prices in the PHB appear to be pulled from a hat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 16, 2019 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Monogram? lol sounds like it tbh \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Mar 16, 2019 at 21:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There's also "And a Ten Foot Pole" which gives a system agnostic price list for a wide variety of common and uncommon items at a variety of levels of technology. \$\endgroup\$
    – Perkins
    Mar 17, 2019 at 0:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Perkins Sounds interesting — do you have a link? The only thing I could find in a quick search is an out-of-print book from 1999. (That may be it — but also may be hard to find!) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Mar 17, 2019 at 2:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .