To the Manor Born: Fief Generation in the World of Greyhawk Part II
Date: Tue, June 14, 2005
Topic: The Game Engine

Following is the second installment of "To the Manor Born: Fief Generation in the World of Greyhawk". Part II of Fief Generation presents Advanced fief development.

To the Manor Born: Fief Generation in the World of Greyhawk, Part II
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung

Advanced Resources – Introduction

With the expenditure of Disposable Income, over and above standard maintenance, upkeep and improvements, it is possible, over time, to develop advanced Animal, Agricultural and Mineral resources that will produce more gold pieces per resource. There are three keys to developing advanced resources - number of resources already in the fief of the type to be advanced, Disposable Income devoted to developing advanced resources and time for the development to occur.

Advanced Animal Resources

For every four or more Animal resources in a fief, two Animal resources out of the four can be developed into Advanced Animal resources. Advanced Animal resources take the form of furs and generate 3 gp, instead of the standard 2 gp that basic Animal resources generate. Development involves a careful forestry program that will provide habitat for valuable fur bearing animals.

Advanced Agricultural Resources

For every five or more Agricultural resources in a fief, three Agricultural resources out of the five can be developed into Advanced Agricultural resources. Advanced Agricultural resources take the form of vineyards that produce wine and generate 2 gp, instead of the standard 1 gp that basic Agricultural resources generate. Development involves careful soil preparation and the cultivation of the grape vines.

Advanced Mineral Resources

For every three or more Mineral resources in a fief, one Mineral resource out of the three can be developed into Advanced Mineral resources. Advanced Mineral resources take the form of gold, silver or gems and generate 4 gp, instead of the standard 3 gp that basic Mineral resources generate. Development involves deep delving until a vein of valuable ore is discovered. A dungeon master may rule that it is simply impossible to develop Advanced Minerals in some locations.

Cost and Time to Develop Advanced Resources

The cost to develop any type of Advanced Resource requires the landowner to spend 20% of their Total Annual Fief Income each year for five years. In addition, in each of these five years, the landowner must successfully avoid or mitigate any Resource Disasters. Failure to avoid or mitigate a Resource Disaster means that the 20% development cost for that year must be spent but that no progress is made toward developing the Advanced Resource, adding another year to the process. If no progress is made in developing an Advanced Resource due to Resource Disasters for three years in a row, all time and money toward advancement to that point is lost and the five year requirement must begin anew. Once beginning a five year development cycle, if a landowner ever chooses or is forced to forego the annual 20% expenditure of Total Annual Fief Income, the five year cycle terminates and must be begun again.

Each individual resource is developed individually and accrues the above costs. In other words, if a fief has three Animal resources, each must be developed individually and each accrues the development costs set out above. All three Animal resources are not automatically developed together; each must be paid for individually to become an Advanced Resource. If only one Animal resource were successfully developed, the fief would have one Advanced Animal Resource and two basic Animal resources, etc.

Resource Disasters are opportunities for adventures and role playing associated with resource development. The type of disaster and chance for one to annually occur on a 1d6 is reflected in the table below:

Resource Disaster
Die Roll
No Disaster4-6

Resource Disaster
Die Roll
No Disaster4-6

Resource Disaster
Die Roll
Oerthquake/Cave In1
Underground Invasion2-3
No Disaster4-6


The economics of fief generation presented here reflect a gold standard that I use in my campaign. Other articles that I write assume this economic standard. Dungeon masters must adjust downward fief income if they use a silver standard or if they use a particularly low level economy. Dungeon Masters running campaigns where magic items or other extremely expensive items are regularly bought or sold may wish to increase the fief income presented above.

By way of comparison, I use an economic model that is slightly more advanced in terms of prices and income generation than that assumed in the core books. This reflects a campaign where economic activity is a vital part of the campaign, contributing to player character and non-player character motivation somewhat more than the core books assume as a model.

This article comes from Canonfire!

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