Table of Contents
The governing regulations delineate seven distinct tiers of lifestyle quality, each accompanied by its own daily expenditure requirement. To implement these guidelines, select the lifestyle tier that aligns with your character’s circumstances and prepay the associated costs. These outlays may be settled on a daily basis, or in advance for a week or a month. Ideally, the Dungeon Master anticipates the span of downtime days leading to the next adventure and adjusts expense obligations accordingly.
Characters skilled in the Survival arts or endowed with the Wanderer background feature have the option to reside in the wilderness. There, they can sustain a lifestyle equivalent to the “poor” tier without incurring any costs, provided the land yields basic sustenance like berries, small game, and potable water.
Though lifestyle selections lack rigid mechanics that directly influence gameplay, the Dungeon Master retains the discretion to introduce repercussions. These may manifest as downtime encounters or unforeseen narrative developments stemming from the chosen lifestyle. The more frugal your accommodations, the higher the likelihood of mingling with individuals who might pose risks—those who are impoverished, envious, afflicted, ostracized, or otherwise perilous. Conversely, a lavish expenditure on lifestyle increases the chances of crossing paths with society’s upper echelons—individuals wielding influence who may attempt to ensnare you in their intricate webs of political machination.
Dwelling amidst the pinnacle of society’s elite, you find yourself in an exalted sanctuary of opulence. Every meal is a culinary masterpiece; every chamber in your abode is furnished with impeccable taste. Servants, well-versed in the art of discreet attendance, are ever-present to cater to your every whim. Sumptuous fabrics grace your form, setting sartorial standards for high society. Such a lifestyle is befitting of distinguished politicians, esteemed guild masters, revered high priests, and the nobility.
Details of an Aristocratic Lifestyle
Imagine waking up as daylight spills through velvet curtains, so opulent and thick they could muffle the trumpets of heaven. You are cocooned in sheets woven from the finest silks of far-off lands, cradled on a featherbed made soft by the plumage of mythical birds. The air carries the subtle aroma of exotic incense and the scents of a perfumed garden, an olfactory melody that drifts lazily through grand hallways adorned with priceless art and tapestries that tell stories of heroism, love, and celestial wars.
Your mornings are unhurried, marked by the elegant clinking of fine pottery and silverware, as servants quietly shuffle in, bearing trays laden with gastronomic creations: spiced meats, fresh fruits bathed in morning dew, pastries that seem to melt in the mouth, and beverages brewed to match your mood. You have the luxury of time, the privilege of choice, and the comfort of knowing that your every whim can be catered to.
But the Aristocratic lifestyle is not merely a life of idle pleasure. It is a theater where political dramas are played out in whispered conversations and masked balls. The drawing rooms and parlors are the stages on which alliances are formed, betrayals are plotted, and secrets are traded like precious gems. Your attire, crafted by the most skilled tailors, is not just clothing but a statement of your standing and a tool of your influence. Every fold of fabric, each intricate pattern, is a symbol, a nuanced language spoken by those who move the wheels of power.
As night falls, you may find yourself at the opera, listening to divine arias that stir the soul, or perhaps at a salon, where the intellectual elite debate philosophy and magic, under chandeliers dripping with crystal. The end of the day is a crescendo of elegance and exclusivity, a time to indulge in sumptuous, splendid, expensive feasts and be entertained by the most accomplished musicians, poets, and performers.
Yet this life is not without its cages. The expectations are lofty, and the eyes of society are ever-watchful. A single misstep could turn your gilded world into a prison, a labyrinth of scrutiny and judgment. But if you can navigate its complexities, the Aristocratic lifestyle offers a sublime experience that many can only dream of, a taste of what it feels like to dwell amongst the gods even when bound to mortal earth.
In the grand quest for power, glory, and wisdom that defines the adventure of Dungeons & Dragons, living an Aristocratic lifestyle offers characters a touch of the sublime, a momentary sojourn in a paradise crafted by wealth and sustained by the hidden choreographies of power. It is, in essence, a life where beauty and peril waltz in eternal embrace.
Your residence stands as a testament to affluence, situated within the desirable precincts of the city. Sumptuous meals adorn your table, and your life is cushioned by an array of conveniences and luxuries. Security is assured, shielding you from the vicissitudes of lesser lives. This lap of luxury is the province of prosperous merchants, favored attendants of the aristocracy, and owners of flourishing enterprises.
Details of an Affluent Lifestyle
Picture waking up in a spacious chamber where the floors are blanketed with rich carpets and the walls are adorned with tasteful artistry. The sun peeks through tasteful draperies, casting warm, inviting rays upon furnishings crafted with the utmost care. There’s a refined quality to everything, a harmony of form and function that whispers softly of affluence and careful selection. You’re greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or tea, mingling with the scent of freshly baked bread and the faint undertones of fragrant blossoms from the market square.
Breakfast is a leisurely affair—a banquet of subtlety rather than excess, with just enough exotic fruits, artisan breads, and well-curated cheeses to remind you of the breadth of your choices. Here, you’re likely to brush shoulders with successful merchants, renowned artists, and maybe even minor nobility, each absorbed in their own narratives yet united by the shared privilege of their means.
The Affluent lifestyle offers an array of choices for how to spend the day. Perhaps you’ll visit the city’s most exclusive shops, where artisans know your name and have already set aside rare gems, magical components, or mastercrafted weapons that caught their eye. Or maybe you’d prefer an afternoon at the theater, enjoying a matinee performance that leaves the soul nourished and the mind whirling with inspiration. The freedom is intoxicating, yet tempered by a sense of responsibility and ambition. After all, affluence is as much about maintaining your status as it is enjoying it.
As dusk descends, you might find yourself invited to a dinner party filled with scintillating conversation and delightful company. You’re not just dining; you’re participating in a communal celebration of prosperity and intellectual engagement. The tables are set with gleaming silverware and fine crystal, the food a sumptuous but not ostentatious spread of the finest the region has to offer. Every dish is a subtle testament to the talent and precision of the chefs, a balance of flavors that echo the balanced life you lead.
When the evening winds down, and you find yourself back in the comfort of your quarters, perhaps with a good book or magical trinket to while away the remaining hours, you feel a sense of gratefulness. In a world teeming with danger and uncertainty, marked by dungeons to explore and dragons to slay, the Affluent lifestyle is a reminder that there are sanctuaries where the soul can rest and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.
While it might not carry the dramatic gravitas of the Aristocratic way of life, the Affluent lifestyle in Dungeons & Dragons offers its own form of magic: the enchanting blend of comfort, opportunity, and autonomy that allows you to breathe deeply and savor the ephemeral, yet enduring, joys of a life well-lived.
Your living quarters serve as a seamless extension of your personal and professional upkeep. Whether it be a quaint cottage or a well-furnished flat, your residence offers every convenience for the maintenance of your wardrobe and equipment. This cultivated standard of living is well-suited for prosperous merchants, adept artisans, and commissioned military officers.
Detail of a Comfortable Lifestyle
In the world of Dungeons & Dragons, a Comfortable lifestyle is like a well-worn cloak: not opulent but full of warmth, a trusted shield against the rigors of the world outside. It’s a middle ground between the precariousness of a modest life and the often-fleeting luxuries of affluence. It’s a life rich in simple pleasures and honest labors, a sweet spot where adventurers can replenish both body and soul before plunging back into the maelstrom of quests and combat.
Envision waking up in a room where everything is agreeably cozy and utilitarian. The bed is spacious, outfitted with handmade quilts and plump pillows. Wooden beams overhead, a sturdy dresser, and maybe even a charming fireplace make the room feel like a welcome embrace. Morning light filters through clear glass windows, illuminating a room filled with the scent of freshly baked bread wafting from a nearby kitchen.
Breakfast is hearty and satisfying. Perhaps it’s a spread of scrambled eggs, sausages, and warm loaves served with a dollop of homemade jam, or maybe a nourishing porridge garnished with fresh berries. The culinary experience is not one of extravagance but of nourishment and familiarity. You are welcomed not as a patron but as a guest, perhaps even as part of a temporary family.
A Comfortable lifestyle provides you with the opportunity to roam through bustling markets and pleasant squares without the weight of excess coin burning in your pocket but equally without the pinch of penny-counting. Maybe you’ll buy a small trinket, a new piece of parchment, or some extra rations for the road ahead. Your interactions are with artisans and shopkeepers who know the value of a hard day’s work and appreciate the business that adventurers like you bring to their establishments.
As the sun moves across the sky, you have the luxury of time to sharpen your weapons, consult with learned scholars, or simply sit in a sun-drenched plaza listening to local minstrels play tunes that remind you of home. If you’re an adventurer of scholarly inclination, perhaps you’d spend your afternoon in a well-maintained library, its shelves lined with the shared wisdom and folklore of the region.
By evening, dinner is a casual affair, a communal experience where tales from the road are swapped over bowls of hot stew or platters of roasted meats and vegetables. Here, you’re likely to encounter fellow adventurers, merchants, and other travelers. Together, you share stories and news, creating a rich collage of human experience that serves as its own form of currency.
And when you retire for the night, perhaps spending a few moments to tend to your equipment or scribble in a journal, you feel a profound sense of peace. It’s not just the absence of want but the presence of enough—enough warmth, enough food, enough companionship—to fill the soul and prepare you for whatever the next day holds.
In the kaleidoscope of life in Dungeons & Dragons, a Comfortable lifestyle is like a reliable stanza in an ever-evolving ballad. It might not possess the grandeur of an epic chorus or the poignancy of a tragic verse, but it provides the steady rhythm that anchors the entire song, a grounding force that empowers you to face another day of adventure, brimming with both hazards and wonders.
Nestled within the safer corridors of the urban sprawl, your home offers a sanctuary of simplicity yet dignity. Your environs are unembellished but impeccably clean, enabling you to focus on your daily endeavors. This level of modest living resonates with the aspirations of family-oriented soldiers, industrious laborers, diligent students, devout clergy, and practitioners of the arcane arts.
Details of a Modest Lifestyle
A Modest lifestyle is akin to the unassuming flicker of a lantern in a dark cavern—a humble but essential beacon that guides adventurers back to their human roots. Stripped of extravagance and devoid of opulence, this way of living resonates with the raw, elemental core of existence, with meals earned from sweat and toil, and sleep that tastes all the sweeter for its simplicity.
Imagine waking up to the call of a rooster, or the distant toll of a town bell, in a small but clean room with a ceiling of wooden beams and walls of unadorned plaster. Your bed may creak a little, and the mattress might not cradle you like a cloud, but it offers a respite that rejuvenates your weary muscles. The first light of day filters in through a small, perhaps slightly grimy window, painting your spartan surroundings in hues of pale gold.
The aroma of a simple breakfast beckons—a bowl of oatmeal, perhaps, or a hunk of bread with a wedge of hard cheese. As you make your way to the communal dining area, you exchange nods with other guests: traveling merchants, off-duty guards, perhaps a minstrel who sang for his supper the night before. There’s a kinship here, a shared understanding that life’s basic necessities are blessings not to be taken for granted.
Living a Modest lifestyle means embracing the freedom that comes with limited means. You peruse local markets not for exotic trinkets but for practical goods: a new pair of boots, perhaps, or a simple potion that could mean the difference between life and death in the dungeons you delve. You may not have the wealth to frequent high-end blacksmiths, but the local craftsman’s work is solid and trustworthy, a dependable extension of your own fighting spirit.
As the day unfolds, you might visit a public library, savoring each scrap of wisdom as if it were a jewel, or perhaps you’ll train with fellow warriors in the town square, the clangor of steel a symphony of survival and growth. There are no banquets or elaborate entertainments here, but a local tavern might offer the lilting tunes of a lute, stories shared over pints of modest ale, and the occasional burst of hearty laughter.
Evening comes softly, like an old tale told by the fire. Dinner is a simple affair: a bowl of hot stew, a freshly baked loaf, a piece of fruit. It’s a meal that fills the stomach and warms the soul, a reminder that life’s simplest pleasures often offer the most genuine satisfaction.
When you finally retire, the room welcomes you back like an old friend. You take a moment to tend to your gear, patch up any minor damages in your attire, and perhaps thumb through a journal or sketchbook, capturing memories with ink as you prepare to forge new ones in the crucible of adventure.
In the vast and intricate narrative of Dungeons & Dragons, a Modest lifestyle is a humble but indelible paragraph, often overlooked but crucial to the story’s integrity. It is the grounding force that reminds adventurers what they fight for—the simple joys, the basic freedoms, the quiet moments that make the struggle against darkness meaningful. This lifestyle may not offer the luxuries of the aristocracy or the comforts of affluence, but it extends something far more elemental: the dignified grace of a life unadorned, a canvas on which even the most modest deeds can become legends.
Humble Stability (poor)
Your lifestyle, though sparse, grants you the rudimentary amenities essential to civil existence. Your garments, though frayed, do not expose you to societal disdain, nor are you forsaken by the rule of law. This minimally adequate lifestyle is the common refuge for unskilled laborers, itinerant peddlers, shadowy figures from the underworld, and soldiers of fortune.
Details of a Humble Poor Lifestyle
Bereft, lacking luxury and even comfort, this state of existence has a stark beauty of its own—a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, a tribute to the elemental will to survive against all odds.
Imagine awakening on a bed of straw or perhaps a thin, worn-out mattress laid directly on a wooden floor. The walls may be of crude timber or packed earth, offering scant insulation from the chill that permeates the air. Daylight seeps through gaps in the walls or the fabric of a makeshift window covering, heralding the dawn with an unceremonious, muted glow. There is no breakfast spread waiting for you; just a dry crust of bread and perhaps some water or weak ale if fortune favors you.
Yet even in these austere conditions, you find small graces—a smile from a fellow boarder who shares a similar lot, the simple salutation of a neighbor who recognizes the value of community in a world where community is all some have. Your attire is a patchwork of fabrics, each stitch an act of defiance against a world that often feels uncaring and relentless.
The Poor lifestyle allows no frills or indulgences; it is a mode of living pared down to the essentials. Market visits consist of haggling for scraps and necessities, with every copper piece weighed against immediate needs: a loaf of stale bread, a simple knife, or maybe a tattered map promising the potential of better days. The transactions are unglamorous but crucial; in a world without safety nets, every acquisition is a victory, a lifeline cast into the future.
Your day might be spent in labor, offering your strength or skills in exchange for the currency of sustenance. Alternatively, you could find yourself in a library—public and sparse, yet a treasure trove for those who seek knowledge over material wealth. Time is a scarce resource, and moments of leisure are often filled with practical concerns: mending your gear, seeking news of employment or a potential quest, and gathering information essential for the challenges that lie ahead.
When evening arrives, it does so without fanfare. The sky’s colors fade into a monochrome realm, and the world quiets down as though paying homage to the struggles of the day. Supper is a frugal affair—a thin soup, perhaps, or leftovers from the market, flavored with the spices of necessity and gratitude.
In this humble setting, storytelling becomes more than entertainment; it’s a lifeline that connects you to a greater narrative, one that elevates your experiences beyond the immediate struggle for survival. You listen to tales of heroism and folly, of monsters defeated and fortunes lost, and for a brief moment, the walls of your circumstances stretch and expand, allowing a glimpse of worlds and wonders far beyond your reach.
And as you lie down on your humble bed, your body aching but your spirit unbroken, you realize that the Poor lifestyle is not merely an absence of wealth but a stage for extraordinary resilience. It is a crucible that tests and refines, a rough-hewn chapter in the sprawling epic that is life in Dungeons & Dragons. The lack of material comfort is both a challenge and a statement—a call to rise, to strive, and to turn even the harshest conditions into a tale worth telling. While the world may offer little, you, in your own way, offer much back: the dignity of endurance, the nobility of effort, and the invaluable lore of the human spirit, undeterred.
Squalid Existence (very poor)*
Your abode is but a rudimentary shelter—be it a makeshift hut, a cramped boarding closet, or temporary sanctuary offered by compassionate temples. The sustenance provided is meager at best, scarcely filling yet just enough to stave off the gnawing pangs of hunger. Such a wretched lifestyle often accommodates the denizens of back-alley gangs and other souls cast adrift by fate.
This lifestyle comes devoid of any financial toll, for it is a plight rather than a choice. One’s existence hinges on the mere scraps scavenged from refuse heaps, or the morsels secured through begging or opportunistic foraging. Bereft of even the most rudimentary shelter, one becomes vulnerable to the myriad perils lurking in society’s sordid underbelly. Such a desolate way of living is the lot of beggars and other hapless souls forsaken by fortune.
Details of Living an Abysmal Destitution Lifestyle
In the sprawling worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, where mythical landscapes and fantastical quests often dominate the narrative, the Abysmal Destitution lifestyle exists as a sobering counterpoint, a chiaroscuro of stark shadows that contrast against even the bleakest shades of poverty. It is less a lifestyle and more an existential challenge, a gauntlet thrown down by the very gods of fortune, demanding that one find meaning and vitality in the utter dearth of material comfort.
Imagine awakening not in a bed, but on cold, unforgiving earth or perhaps in the dank recesses of an alleyway. The dawn is not a gentle friend heralding a new day; it’s a harsh spotlight exposing you to the world’s judgment. Your bones ache from the chill and the hard surface, your stomach cries out from prolonged emptiness, and yet, you rise. You rise because the alternative is unthinkable, because your spirit, no matter how beleaguered, still clings to life with tenacious fervor.
There is no breakfast to greet your waking moments. Your sustenance comes not from food but from the ingenuity you must summon to survive another day. You scavenge what others discard, your eyes ever vigilant for the slightest scrap that could alleviate your physical hunger or help you patch up your worn, tattered garments. Each morsel is a banquet in your world, each sip of water a nectar unparalleled.
The concept of ‘shopping’ or even bartering in markets is an illusory dream, a mirage on the distant horizon of your reality. Your transactions are far more primal, a direct communion with the harsh laws of survival. A piece of string, a shard of broken glass, the discarded remnants of another’s meal—these are your currency, your treasures, the tools you utilize to carve out another day in a life defined by scarcity.
Days do not offer the leisure of choice. Every moment is a battlefield, every encounter a potential conflict or alliance in the ceaseless struggle for survival. Libraries, taverns, the companionship of fellow adventurers—these are luxuries as remote as the stars in the sky. Your wisdom is not gleaned from books but from the brutal teachings of experience; your tales are not shared over ales in cozy taverns but whispered in the dead of night to a makeshift community of equally destitute souls.
As the sun sinks below the horizon, you find yourself in quiet corners or hidden alcoves, sheltered from the biting winds and the prying eyes of society. There is no supper to mark the day’s end, no moment of culinary respite to fortify your body. Yet, in the company of others who share your lot, or even in solitary reflection, you find a different kind of nourishment: the indomitable will to continue, to strive against fate, and to make your existence a testament to resilience and courage.
Abysmal Destitution is not a chapter any would willingly choose in their Dungeons & Dragons journey, yet its presence serves as a grim reminder of the complexities of the world, a challenge to our notions of heroism and our definitions of value. It strips away the grandiosity often associated with adventure, reducing life to its most basic equation of survival. But even here, in this bleak setting, tales of extraordinary fortitude emerge—parables of humanity’s capacity to transcend circumstance, fables of valor and honor born not from treasure hoards or mighty battles, but from the unyielding desire to see yet another dawn, no matter the cost.
Daily Cost Relative to Lifestyle
|Wretched / Abysmal Destitution||—|
|Very Poor Squalid Existence||1 SP|
|Poor / Humble Stability||2 SP|
|Modest Serenity||1 GP|
|Comfortable Sophistication||2 GP|
|Wealthy / Affluent Elegance||4 GP|
|Aristocratic Splendor||10 GP min|
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