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More About Manors, part 2

More About Manors, part 2

The Kobold Press expansive book of player options, Tome of Heroes, introduced a comprehensive list of activities for players to enjoy while not adventuring (known as downtime activities). One of these activities includes owning and running their own manor.

If you’ve been using that and thought, “Yes, but what else can I do with my stately manor?” wonder no longer. These new structures and complications can be easily added to your other manor house downtime activities, expanding on the existing lists in Tome of Heroes.

Ready for even more about manors? (Check here for part 1 to get up to speed.)

This article shows how to use spells in operating a manor and includes a selection of new sample manors.


Some spells can ease the logistics of running a manor. This list of benefits derived from spell castings includes deep cuts taken from the Kobold blog itself! Where spells previously existed on the blog, we have helpfully provided hyperlinks.

GMs might find that these spells remove some challenge from the task or destabilize a campaign if used too frequently. The impact of most spells is mitigated by their requirements, whether in level, casting time, or material components. However, GMs should feel free to limit the effect of any of these spells at their discretion.

Each resource type can only benefit once from a spell per production cycle, regardless of the number of times it is cast. For example, while plant growth can affect multiple resource types, it can only affect a given resource type once per cycle.

Blessing of the beasts 1+1 to Pasture and reduces penalties caused by plague by +1.
Blessing of the fields 1+1 to Cropland.
Blessing of the seeds 1+1 to Forest.
Bountiful lands 2+2 to Cropland, Forest, or Pasture per casting.
Conjure rainshower 1Reduces the penalties to Cropland from minor drought by +1.
Control water 3Reduces penalties caused by fouled water, tainted water, and flooding by +2.
Control weather 3Negates penalties caused by weather-related complications such as blizzards and storms.
Create food and waterReduces penalties caused by drought, fouled water, and tainted water by +1.
Frame the crafter’s touch 2+2 to Services and +1 to Contentment.
Lesser restorationReduces penalties caused by disease and plague by +1.
Move earth 3+2 to Cropland or Mines per casting (see below).
Plant growth+2 to Cropland, Forest, or Pasture per casting (8-hour version only).
Scourge of fumigation 1+1 to Cropland.
Spirit of the Comforting Vista 2Replicates effects of the Fey Blessing complication.

1 spells found in Adam Roy’s Folk Magic: Farmer’s Magic article.
2 spells found in Greg Marks’s Arcane Adventures series.
3 The GM ultimately decides the uses this spell can be put to. Some examples are given below.

Control Water. Aside from the benefits listed above, this spell can help many aspects of running a manor, including redirecting water for irrigation and mining.

Control Weather. Like control water, this spell can improve manor production and completely nullify or generate most weather events of a non-magical nature.

Lesser Restoration. This assumes that the spell is cast at least once per day over the course of the disease or plague.

Move Earth. As with the spells above, move earth can be used in various ways, including creating walls to prevent flooding and building fortifications.

Example Manors

The following assortment of manors builds on the sample manors presented in Tome of Heroes.

Border Outpost

Tiny Manor
SIZE 3 acres (2 cropland, 1 services)
RESOURCE SCORES Cropland 14 (+2), Forest —, Minerals —, Pasture —, Services 11 (+0), Water — 
STRUCTURES Garrison (1)

Situated on the border of a great kingdom, this manor is one of the last signs of civilization in the region. It contains a small plot of land for growing fruit and vegetables and a garrison for around fifty soldiers.

Floating Stronghold

Medium Manor
SIZE 200 acres (115 cropland, 25 forest, 59 pasture, 1 services)
RESOURCE SCORES Cropland 13 (+1), Forest 9 (-1), Minerals —, Pasture 15 (+2), Services 12 (+1), Water — 
STRUCTURES Chapel (1), Housing (1), Market (1), Monument (1), Tower (2), Workshop (1)

This magical stronghold floats on a granite islet above the ground. It can be reached only by flying or similar magical means. It features a meager tract of woodland, but fine Pasture for aerial mounts such as pegasuses and several cozy houses for its residents. The statue of a famous wizard stands in the center of the manor.

River Mansion

Large Manor
SIZE 720 acres (250 cropland, 265 forest, 3 minerals, 2 services, 200 water)
RESOURCE SCORES Cropland 7 (-2), Forest 14 (+2), Minerals 12 (+1), Pasture —, Services 10 (+0), Water 17 (+3) 
STRUCTURES Castle (5), Entertainment (2), Temple (4), Warehouse (1)

Located on the banks of a wide, slow-moving river, this manor features a large tavern and a temple to a popular deity. The region’s fish stocks are plentiful, and the forest is rich in wildlife. However, the soil is sandy, making growing anything in it difficult despite the best efforts of the local farmers. A small silver mine is nestled in the nearby foothills.

Want More?

Get Tome of Heroes for more details about running a PC’s manor house in their downtime. You could also try your hand at running a trading company, building a reputation at court, raising magical livestock, starting your own thieves’ guild… you might decide never to go down a hole in the ground again!


about Phillip Larwood

Phillip has been writing for Kobold Press and other companies for many years. From multiple articles in the early days of Kobold Quarterly magazine to recent books like Tome of Beasts 2 and Vault of Magic, Phillip is never more satisfied than when he sees his name in print. Something that he points out to his family and friends over and over and over again.

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