As exciting and important as money is for player characters, tracing day-to-day expenses just isn't very interesting. Forcing players to record every purchase their characters make is time-consuming and, plainly put, not very heroic. It's better simply to charge player characters a monthly living expense.

This living expense covers all normal room and board charges whenever a character is operating out of his home base. Separate charges for meals and beds need be made only when the character is traveling away from home.

Players describe how well (or poorly) they want their characters to live. From this the DM decides if they are living in squalid, poor, middle-class, or wealthy surroundings. The Player Character Living Expenses table, below, gives estimated base costs for each category.

Squalid and poor living conditions cost the same for all characters regardless of race or level. However, as a character increases in level, his needs increase according to (or beyond) his means. Characters living middle-class or wealthy lifestyles multiply the base living expense by their level to determine the cost. Characters of races other than the predominant one of the area (e.g., dwarves in a human city or humans in an elven village) pay double the normal rate. This is due to suspicion and a scarcity of goods the character is accustomed to.

The only direct game effect of living conditions is the expense involved, but living conditions can also determine some role-playing events and conditions in your game. Your player characters' lifestyles even can be used as a starting point for many different types of adventures.

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