Friday, September 21, 2012

Support and upkeep

I noticed today that the OD&D LBB's use the phrase "support and upkeep" in two paragraphs. The first instance is the Men-At-Arms paragraph of the Construction of Castles and Strongholds section:

"Hired fighters can be men, dwarves or elves. Chaotic characters may wish to employ Orcs; Orc support and upkeep is only half that of a man. Men-at-Arms require support and upkeep as follows..." (U&WA 23)

The second mention of "support and upkeeps" is the Player/Character Support and Upkeep paragraph:

"Player/Characters must pay Gold Pieces equal to 1% of their experience points for support and upkeep, until such time as they build a stronghold. If the stronghold is in a wilderness area all support and upkeep costs then cease, but if it is in a village or town not controlled by the player/character then support and upkeep payments must continue." (U&WA 24)

Support and upkeeps, then, appears to be a particular type of tax paid to the local ruler and earmarked for the men-at-arms who defend the local castle and surrounding countryside.

There's been some question through the years about how often characters should pay this 1% upkeep cost. Based on the fact that castle owners pay their men-at-arms on a monthly basis, I suggest the players characters should also pay their 1% upkeep monthly.

1 comment:

  1. One interpretation I saw was in the Ryth chronicles (http://www.risusmonkey.com/2011/06/ryth-chronicle-1975-1977.html) which described the PC upkeep as food, drink, entertainment, etc. Having a stronghold outside town meant you weren't tempted by all that city stuff and the stronghold's villagers would help support your more modest tastes.

    It also set the cost at 0.1% of Xp total (so a newly-2nd level Fighter with 2,000 XP would have an upkeep cost of 2 GP) and the cost was monthly.

    The campaign also advanced one week per real-life week, which meant if you didn't play for 4 weeks you'd still have to pay the fee!

    A 9th level Fighter with 240,000 XP would then pay 240 GP per month instead of 2,400 GP per month for 1%. But the price of a stronghold is relatively small and the treasure gained at that level quite high, so you can just throw together a stronghold and ignore it or if you're stubborn you can live the high life in town. I think I like the 1% of XP per month method.

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