I'm running a setting where my PCs want some kind of machinery. Mechanical canaries, clockwork, guns, etc... are just a few examples. I have heard that D&D has a list of machinery cost/price but I haven't been able to find it.

In my last session the PCs wanted to build a temple to Erathis (a clockwork tower) but I have no idea how much it would cost them.

How should I cost a machinery type item cost based on its function or size? Is there some guidance available for this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure this is opinion-based or off-topic. A viable answer here (if known) is there isn't anything. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 5 '19 at 17:59

5e doesn't have rules for this

At least not rules beyond "the DM decides". My personal recommendation is that you price these so you drive the story forwards, which largely means pricing them dependent on their usefulness to adventurers. That's largely how items in 5e are priced anyway.

That said, you get some guidance on the cost of a tower: page 128 of the Dungeon Master's Guide includes the construction cost for a fortified tower; 15,000 gp. If that cost is steep enough for you, you can decide that the cost of 'clockworking' the tower equals the cost of fortifying it. Otherwise, tune that number up or down as desired.

The only priced clockwork object that springs to mind is from the rock gnome's Tinker ability. They can use 1 hour and 10 gp worth of material to make a toy that runs around screaming making animal noises, what is basically a lighter, or a music box. If you were to buy such an item of a gnome the cost you should include the gnomes time (I don't know what gnomes charge by the hour), and you could use this as a starting point for other clockwork items, but there is little to no guidance on how to do this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Nice call on bringing in the fortified tower. Not sure I'd agree with clockwork=fortifying, but that's a very DM specific decision (and more dependent on overall cost needs for storytelling.) +1 for you! \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 5 '19 at 18:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the fortified and the gnome's references. I'll check them for further homebrewing. I'll leave this question open for a few more days in other to get more feedback and ideas, otherwise I'll check this one as answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Giancarlo Benítez Sep 5 '19 at 20:39

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