The Rules from Ultimate Campaign allow you to build a building in order to generate gold or capital. They assume you are going to combine rooms together in order too make your building, but a player could simply abuse the fact that each separate building gets its own dice to roll for capital checks.

For example I could make a small business that is 4 Pits, each Pit generates +1 gold. There are two possible ways to run this:

  1. Combine the 4 Pits into one building and make 1 d20 roll making an average of 14 silver per day.

  2. Run each Pit as if they were a separate building and make 4 d20 rolls making an average of 44 silver per day

These two options are not equal, and doing the second one isn't harder to do since in the capital check rules you can take 10 on the check, so you don't even have to roll an extra amount of times.

Am I interpreting this right? Is there a minimum size for a building or some other handle in place to prevent a player from paying for/building 20 Pits in two days so that way he can earn 22 Gold per day during his downtime?


3 Answers 3


The rules here are perhaps not the best written, but the intent seems to be clear, so I'm going to try to help out. First, though, I suggest reading this other similar question; I'm not certain they're duplicates, but they're certainly related.

Still got questions? Alright then, let's go.

The GM still exists. These rules very specifically say that the GM can and should step in when people try to nitpick corner cases into unintended uses. The Downtime rules even more so than the Kingdom Building rules are subject to oversight, because you're getting the townsfolk to build this stuff for you. What if they have an objection to, say, fifty new alcohol breweries or an extra twenty thieves' dens being built in their town?

Probably the best way for the GM to limit this is to simply rule that multiple similar buildings, and especially multiple of the same room built by itself as a single building, simply count as a single building for most purposes. (A fire might not spread between them - or it might, given that the downtime rules don't ask you to specify locations in a town and he can assume they're near enough for the fire to affect multiple - but taxation events, unpopularity, threats from thieves, etc could.)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I have read that other question and was looking to see if there was an answer past "The GM should rule out cases of abuse". I was wondering more along the lines of maybe some numerical hot fixes (You can only make one roll per x rooms a building has). My main concern is trying to leave the rules simple without nerfing the buildings or buffing them. But since you say the "The rules here are perhaps not the best written" that answers my question. Basically I'll have to homebrew some rules of my own to prevent abuse, while still keeping the benefits of owning multiple (separate) businesses. \$\endgroup\$
    – falordphil
    Oct 1, 2014 at 21:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @falordphil honestly, the easiest way to put a cap on people making tons of one-room buildings is to put a DC on profit checks that increases per separate building the same PC owns in the same market (that makes profit checks, so PCs can have any number of bases/personal shrines/houses/whatever without affecting their businesses), like the Kingdom Building rules. Make the DC low enough that even a brand new business with a tiny profit check can hit it taking 10, and set the scale high enough that four or five buildings starts getting really hard. On a fail, no profit. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2014 at 21:43

You are correct in principle that the RAW do not explicitly contain a downside to the 1-pit-per-building approach that you describe.

[Edit--Deleted my own failure to do math correctly.]

An unscrupulous PC might try to take advantage of this imbalance. A competent GM, however, will introduce some static. The townsfolk probably don't take kindly to the PC turning their town into (apologies in advance) Pits Burg, and they are likely to put political and economic pressure on the PC (in the form of higher prices for capital, worse exchange rates, etc) to cease and desist.

Heck, it could become a major political contest between the PCs and the local elite who object to his pitiful business practices. It might even come to be known as the Hole-y War.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I like the puns and that role-play answer works if a player is really trying to abuse it and say, build 100 Pits in a small town. In my more specific case my Pits would be in a Metropolis, since this is the main city of the lore. This city is so large that your character could easily own 100 Pits throughout the city. The truly best solution for this (I've thought of) is to allow only one roll per 5 total rooms you own. So if you have a single building with 10 rooms, that building can take two rolls. And if you have 10 buildings with one room each, you still only get 2 rolls. \$\endgroup\$
    – falordphil
    Oct 1, 2014 at 23:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be even cleaner (in terms of balance) to use this houserule: "the result of the capital check for any building cannot exceed twice the total bonus granted to the role by the rooms in the building." That rule would reduce the incentive for spamming single-pit buildings. The incentive being that taking 10 on the 1d20 is 10 times as valuable as the +1 to the roll. With this rule, a single-pit building could not get a result higher than 2. The freebie portion for having a building has been reduced by 90%. \$\endgroup\$
    – skoormit
    Oct 2, 2014 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ That houserule wouldn't balance the system very well because if you were to say, spam alchemists stalls (which grant +10) you would still be increasing the effectiveness of each stall x2 for it to be a standalone business. I think the best way to solve this would be to introduce a hit dice type system for buildings and rooms. \$\endgroup\$
    – falordphil
    Oct 4, 2014 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it would be x2 effectiveness. No room could get more than that. In the RAW, the pit (and any anything else that grants +1) can get x10 as a standalone. If you want super-simple, just require the player to make a single combined roll for all buildings. \$\endgroup\$
    – skoormit
    Oct 5, 2014 at 2:52

One possibility is look at this as a 'business' rather than a 'building'. As a business, it can be in a single building or it can be distributed. But it is the Management that make the decisions - and therefore make the roll. If you have 4 Pits and employ a manager for each Pit, it gets its own roll. if on the other hand, you only emply one manager who has to run all 4 pits in your absence, you only get 1 roll. Make sense?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hello, welcome to RPG.SE. It looks like what you're suggesting here is a homebrew solution to the querent's problem. On RPG.SE, we ask that any homebrew solutions are backed up by experience running with those rules. If you've used the rules that you're talking about in play, then please describe your experience in more detail. If you haven't, then this post is likely to get downvoted a lot. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Mar 17, 2015 at 15:27

You must log in to answer this question.

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