More About Manors

More About Manors

Kobold’s 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.

New Manor Structures

The structures listed below follow the rules as presented in Tome of Heroes, including point cost, defense, and contentment rating.

StructurePoint CostDefenseContentment
Academy, Magical  5+2+5
Academy, Mundane  4+1+4
Graveyard 1  2+3
Monument 1  1+2
Park 12+3
Warehouse 11+2
Workshop 12+1+2

1 This type of structure can be added to a manor more than once.

Academy. A grand building (sometimes larger than a castle or palace) holding many students and teachers involved in learning and research. The structure and its inhabitants can be either magical or mundane in nature.

Graveyard. A plot of land specifically set aside for the internment of the dead. Often found next to a chapel or temple.

Monument. A plaque, fountain, or statue representing a famous person or important event.

Orphanage. A large building where abandoned children or those whose parents have died are raised and sometimes educated.

Park. An area of land typically filled with trees and gardens set aside for recreation and exercise.

Prison. A large fortified building used to incarcerate criminals and other malcontents. The criminals can range from simple bandits to intelligent monstrosities.

Warehouse. A secure building used for holding various items of value.

Workshop. A building where various items are crafted for sale in the market or other suitable location.

New Manor Complications

The complications listed below follow the rules as presented in Tome of Heroes. They can be used to replace the ones found in that book, especially if the rolled complication does not suit the environment in which the manor is located or has been rolled previously. Generally speaking, harmful complications should not be swapped with good ones or vice versa unless there is a reason to do so. The chosen complication should also provide similar benefits or penalties when possible.  

Manor ComplicationCroplandForestMineralPastureServiceWater
Divine Blessing+3+3
Fey Blessing+3+3
Industrial Espionage−5−5−3
Market Shortage−2−2−2−2−2−2
Religious Upheaval−2−2−4
Strike it Rich+5+2
Visiting Dignitaries+5+2
Volcanic Eruption−3−3−5−3−3

Blizzard. A powerful storm results in heavy snowfall that destroys crops and pastures and generally makes getting around difficult. This complication typically occurs during winter but can occur at other times if powerful magic is involved.

Divine Blessing. An angel or some other celestial or divine being blesses the community’s cropland and pasture, providing a greater yield than normal.

Fey Blessing. A powerful fey lord or similar entity blesses the forest and water, providing a greater yield than normal.

Heatwave. The temperature increases rapidly over a period of several days, affecting everything that does not take shelter from the oppressive heat and lowering overall productivity. This complication typically occurs during summer but can occur at other times if powerful magic is involved. This complication does not necessarily involve a lack of rainfall.

Industrial Sabotage. A rival foreign power or similar group secretly infiltrates the region and disrupts the local mines, services, and waterways with willful acts of destruction and mayhem. This complication is mitigated by a combination of Defense and Contentment (add both together to determine the impact of this complication). If the effects of this complication are reduced to 0, the perpetrators are caught. Otherwise, they escape and might cause trouble in the future.

Market Shortage. A lack of equipment or goods resulting from a previous manor complication, such as a major flood, rebellion or drought, causes a severe downturn in the economy. This complication is mitigated by Contentment.

Religious Upheaval. An event shakes people’s faith in the gods and fills them with dread, negatively impacting their ability to work. This could be the arrival of a brand-new religion in the area, the appearance of a rogue comet associated with a dire prophecy, the destruction of an important religious site, or something of similar magnitude. This complication is mitigated by Contentment.

Strike it Rich. Miners discover a rich vein of precious metals or minerals, such as gold or diamonds.

Visiting Dignitaries. Important visitors bring in new business opportunities and increase local trade. The dignitaries are of noble birth or similar importance, such as an archmage or famous artist.

Volcanic Eruption. A volcano springs to life, showering the land in lava, filling the air with choking ash, and polluting the waterways. Use this complication to replace another major calamity such as an earthquake.

What Does All This Mean?

Need more context to make sense of this? Tome of Heroes contains full rules that allow PCs to run their own manor houses or enjoy other pursuits on their off days from adventuring.

Run a trading company, build a reputation at court, raise magical livestock, start your own thieves’ guild… you might decide never to go down a hole in the ground again!

Get Tome of Heroes for all this and more!

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.

6 thoughts on “More About Manors”

    1. Notwithstanding the potential benefits of volcanic ash on soil, the numbers should have a minus symbol in front of them. The minus symbols were present in the original turnover but were obviously lost in translation.

  1. Complication idea for you…
    Refugees, (major/minor) depending on season a drain on resources or extra workers for harvest etc., A plus to defences all the time.

    1. Potential complications are virtually endless, lol. However, refugees would certainly be a fine addition to the list.

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