For my next homebrew PF2E campaign I am planning to have the BBEG be the mayor of a travelling town/city, made possible by items like Instant Fortress and Campaign Stable, and I am willing to bend/break the lore of these items to make them work.

So far I have used the Structure tag to search for relevant items on the Archives of Nethys but am concerned that I may have missed some. I am aware that as a DM I can create my own items but would like to draw from the rules/official items as much as possible.

What relevant (e.g. shrinkable structures/buildings) items [or spells] exist in PF2E?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the Stack! Is there a reason you need specific items? Why not just allow your BBEG to move the town as your campaign needs? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    May 27, 2023 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Thanks for your question - be sure to check out the Tour and visit the Help Center with questions about the site. Jason's question is a good one and will be helpful in answering your question. Tangentially, you might be interested in looking at the Bida - if your campaign is a low enough level this might help! \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    May 27, 2023 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


There is a better way to make this work

Firstly, to be able to answer this well with a mechanical solution, we would need to know what resources your BBEG has access to — how much gold, what class and caster levels?

But, it is pretty clear that unless this is a town of nomadic huts, making a whole town move around magically in line with game mechanics available to PCs would require an immense amount of resources for anything but epic levels (and maybe even then). Maybe a large number of off-label wishes could work in a way that does not conflict with wealth rules.

Realistically though, spells and magic items are designed for a small party of traveling adventurers, and not a good fit for this, due to the magic item economy. A whole town of Instant Fortresses, construct shelters or home aways would break the bank of wealth by level, at pretty much any level. What would you do if your PCs claimed all these magic items?

One way to avoid this is to create the town transiently with spells every day. But an army of high level wizards to create a town of secure shelters, resplendent mansions and walls of stone would likewise seem to be overkill. And very hard to defeat, if they packed anything in addition to those construction spells.

The real answer to your question is that (as Jason_o_o commented) you do not need to construct this effect mechanically, and you should not. Published adventures are full of magical effects that would be hard to replicate mechanically. You’re the GM. Your BBEG and story is not limited by what is available to PCs. You can just give them a traveling town, no explanation needed how exactly they achieved that, if it is important for your story. And you can decide if the PCs will be able to control that town after they defeat him, or not.

Or, an alternative could be that no magic is needed at all. There are examples in history of armies moving and building settlements on the fly, from the Mongols to the Roman army camps. You could limit the magic items to a few select structures like the big bad’s mansion or castle, and have the rest of the town be a mundane moving town.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While I agree that a mechanical, RAW solution is the wrong call, I do think that looking at the various related mechanics (like the Instant Fortress) is a good way for answering the dozens of inevitable questions of how this NPC’s whole deal works. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 5, 2023 at 12:04

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