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land value

so i was thinking... (and dont say thats where u went bad in the first place lol)(and remember im new to the expanded world DMing) in todays world u can buy a simple house for about 50 grand, and put it on a acer lot for what... 75, so it would end up being 125?... just guesses i know it the location is a huge factor, but im thinking that it works good for a problem i have had, and have seen others have. if its out a good distance from town, say 2 or 3 days ride, or say 80 to 120 miles away, then im thinking land would be pretty damn cheep, considering you pretty much are renting long term from the lord or king of the land, unless u kill him, then why dont u take his castle... lol


but im thinking for out in the boonies land would cost say 1250gp per acre? am i putting that to much or to little? so a simple house and a acer of land would cost you about 2250gp, sound ok?

some input would be very much appropriated thanks
 

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Nagol

Unimportant
so i was thinking... (and dont say thats where u went bad in the first place lol)(and remember im new to the expanded world DMing) in todays world u can buy a simple house for about 50 grand, and put it on a acer lot for what... 75, so it would end up being 125?... just guesses i know it the location is a huge factor, but im thinking that it works good for a problem i have had, and have seen others have. if its out a good distance from town, say 2 or 3 days ride, or say 80 to 120 miles away, then im thinking land would be pretty damn cheep, considering you pretty much are renting long term from the lord or king of the land, unless u kill him, then why dont u take his castle... lol


but im thinking for out in the boonies land would cost say 1250gp per acre? am i putting that to much or to little? so a simple house and a acer of land would cost you about 2250gp, sound ok?

some input would be very much appropriated thanks

It depends strongly on the world, of course.

If land ownership is restricted (i.e. the nobility are nobility because they own land) then purchasing land outright may be impossible unless/until a noble falls on hard times and desperately needs cash. Getting the right to build a manor house and become sub-infeudiated (a minor noble like a knight pledged to the land owner) would be easier.

If land ownership isn't restricted and the land is currently considered "wild" (i.e. not under the control of the government) then acquiring the land might be free to anyone who can clear and hold the land and is willing to abide by the laws of the land. This scenario can even be used in conjuntion with teh first and have the new owner granted nobile title for his action.

Even assuming a developed and capitalist-style nation then the price of land will depend on its location, its ability to generate income, esthetic factors, the general wealth of the surrounding population, and the general demand for land in the culture. In my neighborhood, for example, a townhouse without land is going for 600-800K. Five years ago the prices were closer to 400K. The increase is not because the area has substantially changed, the value of a dollar has deflated, nor has the population risen substantially. The general demand for a home has risen and the the general wealth has increased. Contrast with an area like Phoenix Arizona in the U.S. and you'll see the opposite trend and very different base pricing for a similar house.
 

Wik

First Post
Where are you buying houses at 50 grand? And can I move there? ;)

As for prices in a campaign, forget the real world. And remember that land that is completely unclaimed is gonna be sold cheap - it's called "homesteading". Here in Canada, even in the present day, if people buy territory in Yukon, they actually get a homesteading tax break.

(basically, the only way for a nation to claim ownership of land is to have people living on it. So, if you sell distant land at cheap prices, people will move there, and you now own the land. In a fantasy situation, if I sell you this distant land, you're basically telling people I own that land. And I'm all for that).

In a D&D game, lords will often GIVE AWAY land to adventurers, knowing the guys will clear it of monsters, and will be fairly powerful allies. However, even highly-desirable land would not sell for huge amounts, unless land is in very high demand (on a heavily-populated island, for example). Remember that pseudo-medieval realms were highly agrarian and the population density was much lighter than what we're used to - multiple acres of land are probably pretty cheap.

Hell, my dad got something like 40 acres of land as part of his inheritence... and sold 20 acres for about 80K, which is only about 4K an acre. When my grandfather on my mother's side passed on, nobody could even sell his four acres. So, yeah.
 

fumetti

First Post
IT shouldn't be cheap. DnD is based on medieval economy (manoralism), and land was the basis of that economy.

Lords always sought more, not less. And letting land go would have to somehow help the lord in return. Land was a critical part of the feudal political structure too.

You can do a story where the seller (Lord or freeholder) in a pinch sold land cheap, but that should be the exception not the rule. And being far from town wouldn't necessarily cause a fire sale. 90 percent of the population was rural.

But it all depends on the gameworld you're running. If it's medieval, don't sell it cheap. If it's based on the modern world, then ok.
 

thejc

First Post
Tons of factors in this....You are the DM...well then I would say your price is right then.

Couple points mentioned here.

Homesteading; Settling and clearing land really wouldn't cost anything other than the promise of paying taxes in the future. Taxes are in fact government cash, the richer the land in resource or potential then the higher the tax and so forth.

If it is settled cleared a manor built on it and kept, thats probably where the cost will be incurred.

So I guess what I am adding is taxes.

Oh also for some reason I believe church owned would be way more expensive....Idk why I just do.

But I would say buying a base acre would go for around 1k-2k in gold. Every resource and proximity to trade routes and such would make it go up. So rich in timber 300 gold. Medium sized fresh water 400 gold. Ore or mine 1000 gold.

Just some stuff off the top of my head.
 
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El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
There's some good stuff in this thread.

First off, I'd recomend A_Magical_Medieval_Society:_Western_Europe, (available at RPGNow.com as a .pdf), as an invaluable game resource. (I don't think it's available as a print book anymore except for old copies possibly on sites like ebay...maybe.) This book details everything you're looking for in good old D&D terms.


If you don't want the book, try the following for a quick and dirty rule of thumb. Personally, I wouldn't go with land prices as high as in the OP. I'd probably go more like 200 GP for an acre. 200 GP is also the price for a heavy war horse, and close to the price of a good set of armor. So I'd start at about 200 GP per acre, and then adjust accordingly. Some ideas for adjustment factors:

  • Rocky, unproductive land = -50%
  • Forrested = no adjustment (clearing the land takes extra effort, but the timber can be sold)
  • Water source on the property (pond, creek, etc.) = +50%
  • Already possesses serviceable buildings = (add the value of the buildings)
  • In a dangerous area subject to likely attack = -50%
Also, as mentioned above, determine the tax value of the land. 10 GP per acre / per year, would probably be a good place to start, and then modify based on the value/productivity of the land.

In the real medieval world, one would either buy the property from a noble or a church/monestary, or rent it (in which case, make the rent about the equal of the taxes for that property, plus a profit for goods the land might produce).

Using Wik's example from above. During the reign of Edward II in England, the King wanted to build up the border area with Wales. He did this by offering border land and titles to Nobles. The frontier with Wales was known as the March, so the nobles who accepted these lands were called "Marcher" Lords (the root of the title "Marquis"). By accepting the title and land from the King, they were provided the privilege/approval to build a castle (this always required the King's approval, even if you just wanted to add things like a tower, fortifications, crenallations, etc.). The new Marcher Lord would then entice freemen or tenants from his other properties, to come and build/farm/log the land by either selling plots, providing attractive agreements (low rent, you keep the profits, etc.), or simply renting them as normal (possibly even allowing serfs to "move up").

Another historical reference would be William the Conquerors Domesday Book, which listed virtually every property in England at the time, and it's tax value (based on "Hides", with a hide being a variable/subjective amount of land equal to what one family with an oxen team could cultivate in a year).

Here's another interesting reference for some real world ideas: Medieval_price_list

B-)
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
I have seen hilly rocky poor quality dirt pasture land go for 500 an acre inb 10 acre sections. i havealso seen acrage go for 50k in 1/2 acre sections.

market is quite a varied thing.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
First up, welcome to the boards!

Second up, it's "acre" ;). An acre of land, is 43,560 square feet. That may sound like a lot if you live in the heart of a major city but it's really not that much land for purposes of a fantasy setting, in my opinion.

An acre of land is about large enough to build a house, have a few chickens or goats and plant a decent sized garden. I think it is very unlikely that a typical sized peasant family could sustain themselves on an acre of land.

Consider that most families who were homesteading in the settlement of the western US were allowed to claim land in blocks of 40 acres (because that was 1/16th of a square mile), which allowed for enough space to graze some livestock, plant several fields and keep some land in timber for raising hogs and gathering firewood.

Now close in to a city an acre lot might make more sense for a tradesman who didn't need a lot of land for production. Somebody like a blacksmith or carpenter could set up a cottage industry on an acre with no problem. Whether or not such lots would be for sale or rent is going to depend on the political system more than anything else.

As for a price, in a free market then an acre of land will sell for exactly what somebody is willing to pay for it. That means that your price should probably be based on what a typical user can afford for rent or sale. If land is only available to the upper class, such as with exclusive neighborhoods within a city or the "merchant district" where a lot of commerce will be conducted, then it will sell for more. But most land is going to be purchased by "commoners" and they probably can't afford to spend much money on it.

Finally, I'd highly recommend Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe as suggested above. It's an excellent resource put out by some wonderful people whom I've recently shared a hot tub with.
 

I've always disagreed with the notion of patterning a D&D economy too closely after any real world examples - including medieval, feudal Europe. Most campaigns are NOT run like medieval Europe but like a bizzare mix of medieval trappings trying to imitate modern western civilizations. People don't play D&D to simulate Dark Ages economic models - they play for ADVENTURE. When it then comes time to fiddle about with economic details the actual data don't matter all that much, and the closer you get to the real world the less sense it makes in D&D - and the less fun and interesting it becomes for most players. Players mostly just need, "costs this much, produces that much, requires x amount of time to do so."

You just have to keep a few things in mind if you want it to superficially make sense. First is that if commoners/peasants are able to buy land then PC's have to be able to obtain it for the same costs (if youre setting prices based on what the PC's can afford then you're generally forcing yourself to create an economy where commoners cannot afford to own land). If it requires some oath of fealty to obtain it then the sky is pretty much the limit. If you're running anything like a "points of light" kind of setting then bazillions of acres of land is FREE (whether it's a single frontier farmstead, a PC's personal manor house, or the first stone tower of their new kingdom) - they just have to be able to hold onto it and defend it when the DM decides to threaten it with something.

All of those possibilities are all equally viable, at the same time, in the same game. The details and limits are pretty much set only by what the DM wants to fiddle with.
 

shadzar

First Post
Price depends on many factors if you want to build or use a system for it, rather than just make it up.

Captured land from enemies is free.

I recall an older system with a series of thing to figure the land out, but then it was generally 50-200 gp per acre, or under the system it had modifiers to the land as far as location and resources that could change the price.

Buying a swamp, or renting it, would likely be less than buying a forest.

The house would cost whatever you have to pay for materials, nails form a blacksmith, stone from a mason, logs, saws, etc, and labor. A house could effectively be free as could the land.
 

Scott DeWar

Prof. Emeritus-Supernatural Events/Countermeasure
in the Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe, they talk of a section of a grant known as a hundred, or a tract of land consisting of 100 acres.

it also gives guidlines on builds and construction costs IIRC.
 


Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I've always disagreed with the notion of patterning a D&D economy too closely after any real world examples - including medieval, feudal Europe. Most campaigns are NOT run like medieval Europe but like a bizzare mix of medieval trappings trying to imitate modern western civilizations. People don't play D&D to simulate Dark Ages economic models - they play for ADVENTURE.

For most gaming groups, you're probably right. Even so, these kinds of details can really add to the verisimilitude of a setting. A couple of the people I play with, as well as I, enjoy dealing with the economics of a fantasy world. Of course, other players couldn't care less and just want to drink beer and smash things.

From a game perspective though, I have to warn the original poster about pricing land too low. Unless you're willing to rethink the entire game's economy, high level characters will be able to sell their sword and buy a kingdom.
 


Gabriel Gowell

First Post
Unfortunately, there is little-to-no correlation between medieval-to-modern realty. Recently (my wife DM'd for the second time, I helped with the numbers and some plot hooks) our party can be rewarded with lands and titles, or 1000gp, for saving the son of an earl. The title is knight, the lowest of the low. The land: 1 acre (660^2 ft^2) per PC, nestled near the base a rocky mountain, at the edge of the earldom. By taking the land option, the PCs will be the first line of defense against marauders (think Fallout IV: settlement needs your assistance). This gives the PCs more options (like, to be the denizens of a dungeon, set traps, guard their loot).
 

SwivSnapshot

First Post
IRL land values are dictated by (((highest and best use x location) x demand) x a little Kentucky windage). In other words the experts are making a best guess. Unless you want to do a lot of behind the scenes calculations, the simplest way to make it work in game is to make the land jest expensive enough to make the PC's feel the bite of having to buy it- if a PC has 10k gp, then the land is worth 6.5k gp.

If you want the PC's to have a base to wrk from that keeps them tied to a location, then a land grant from the government will work or they can homestead after clearing out a haunted mansion or a particularly vile monster.
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
Something that made an impression on me while flying into Paris was how in use the countryside was. Just about everything was parceled up by walls and hedges, and was almost all cultivated, building, or road.

Then, when did Europe gets so filled up, and how does that color ones sense of land availability? And, what is (or was) the situation, say, in China or Japan -- or Australia.

Thx!
TomB
 

SwivSnapshot

First Post
Something that made an impression on me while flying into Paris was how in use the countryside was. Just about everything was parceled up by walls and hedges, and was almost all cultivated, building, or road.

Then, when did Europe gets so filled up, and how does that color ones sense of land availability? And, what is (or was) the situation, say, in China or Japan -- or Australia.

Thx!
TomB

I'm no expert, but I do know that it's a wicked complex equation that factors in form of government, governmental land policy, age of the country, population, age of the population, geography, etc., etc., etc.

You might be able to compare France and Japan or China and Australia without getting brain hurt, but comparing France to Australia or Japan to China...ouch!
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
The Adventurer, Conqueror, King game, which put a HUGE amount of time and effort into its economics, values an acre of good land at 50 gp. I don't even really care where the number came from; it is so useful that you can more or less develop and entire economic system from it (which they did).
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
I'm no expert, but I do know that it's a wicked complex equation that factors in form of government, governmental land policy, age of the country, population, age of the population, geography, etc., etc., etc.

You might be able to compare France and Japan or China and Australia without getting brain hurt, but comparing France to Australia or Japan to China...ouch!

China I am thinking has been filled up for quite as well, just the same for Europe and Japan. I threw in Australia in comparison since it is quite the opposite.

But, filled up applies to habitable or positionally valuable land. I would think there are huge swaths of desert and mountain which are rather empty and would be cheap to acquire.

Thx!
TomB
 

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