Assuming that you need to provide the building materials for the Lyre of Building, can you use it to break stones from a quarry and to fell trees that can later be used by the Lyre to build houses?

The idea is to use the Lyre to quickly rebuild a town after a dragon attack. We just ended a campaign during which a town was attacked by a red dragon and the GM asked us what our characters want to do in the time after the final fight. My idea was to give a Lyre of Building as a permanent loan to the town council because he is attached to the town and wants it rebuild soon.


2 Answers 2


Interesting question. :)

After a careful reading of the item I'm afraid I have to say it's not possible to use it to generate raw materials, as the descriptions clearly specifies building stuff:

... magically construct buildings, mines, tunnels, ditches, etc.

So the wood have to be chopped and worked by hand, but once it's made into suitable planks etc. then it can be used by the Lyre.
The only thing I'm a bit uncertain about is the mining, and I think it'll have to be up to the DM how much the Lyre does in this case. It is specified that it can be used to construct a mine, but what happens with the stone and ore removed in this process is not detailed. Taking the general intent of the Lyre, I'd say that the stone and ore would be gathered in a pile outside of the mine, ready for actual workers to separate and process the ore. As these things are not a part of actually constructing a mine, but rather the (usual) reason for why a mine is constructed.

As usual it is the DM that's the final arbiter on what's possible or not to do with the Lyre, depending upon how widely he defines the act of "constructing" to be.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Step 1 - use the lyre to "construct" a stone-mine (ie, quarry). Step 2 - use the quarried stone to construct buildings? \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Oct 21, 2016 at 6:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Adeptus True, but you still need the workers to refine the stone. Also, any raw materials needed in the mine (support beams etc) would still have to be provided. Constructing a quarry is not the same as producing raw building materials from said quarry, after all. \$\endgroup\$
    – ChristianF
    Oct 21, 2016 at 7:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since it provides the equivalent of "labour", can't you use some of that labour to produce resources? You can argue that cutting materials to size is part of the construction process. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Oct 21, 2016 at 8:43
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If we follow that line of reasoning, then cutting the wood is also part of the production process, and cutting the wood is basically chopping the wood. I'm not saying that there is a clear and definitive line here, but at some point the DM has to draw the line at what is "construction" and what is "production". Though, if one allows for a more liberal interpretation, the process of producing the raw materials also takes time and effort. Which counts against the effect's duration. \$\endgroup\$
    – ChristianF
    Oct 21, 2016 at 9:27

There is nothing in the description of the Lyre that permits it to do something that is not building or labor to do so.

Quarrying stone and making planks separate from building is not building.

Quarrying stone and building with it is building.

The stone and trees are a form of raw material, just less processed than cut blocks or finished planks. The lyre would be capable of quarrying said stone into blocks, transporting it to where it is needed, and connecting the stone together.

It wouldn't just quarry the stone and leave it in a pile, or make planks and stockpile them, as that is not building. It would cut down trees, make them into planks, and build the planks into a tower or a cabin.

It will do the work of 100 laborers over 3 days. The labor-price of everything it does must all be paid for; cutting of trees, dragging of logs, pounding of foundation.

An easy way to work out how much it builds over 30 minutes is to use the professional income system. Untrained laborers generate 1 sp per day of labor, and professional laborers generate (skill check/2) gp per week.

A +4 check laborer earns an average of 1 gp per day of labor.

So the Lyre generates between 300 sp and 300 gp of building value per half-hour of play. Raw materials delivered to the site would reduce the amount of work it would have to do by their value.


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