Poor toll dude. I’d be scared too if Cleric’s grapple check was all that was standing between me and a raging Fighter.

I mean, what kind of jerk can’t fork over a lousy 5 cp? That’s just the cost of doing business in a fantasy world. You’ve got to pay for your stay ye olde inn (and extra if you want stabling). You have to replenish your rations and your ammo.  You’ve got to pay your tithe to the church, your tax to the crown, and your tolls to the toll taker. At the very least you ought to abstract it out into a monthly cost of living fee, right?

Well not necessarily. I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I don’t go in for fantasy adventure in order to play Home Ec Simulator. Especially when you get into later levels, pillaging dragon hoards every other session and walking around with a king’s ransom worth of magic items on your back, it can feel a bit silly to sweat the small stuff. Sure these petty cash issues makes sense from a worldbuilding standpoint, but I find that they can detract narrative attention from the aforementioned pillaging of dragon hoards.

There are many reasons to play RPGs, but I think that one of the big ones lies in escaping the mundane concerns of the real world. Part of being a big damn hero is getting treated like a big damn hero. When smug royal functionaries, disinterested clerks, and rude waiters arise in-game, you get to defenestrate them properly, just like you can’t do in real life. Whether that makes your an entitled murderhobo or a proud barbarian warrior unconcerned with the petty dictates of the so-called “civilized world” is a matter of perspective.

That of course brings us to our question of the day! Do you worry about cost of living concerns in your game? Or do you handwave that mess in favor of high adventure? In other words, would you pay that toll? Would your players? Tell us all about the likely fate of that luckless toll taker in your game world down in the comments!


THIS COMIC SUCKS! IT NEEDS MORE [INSERT OPINION HERE] Is your favorite class missing from the Handbook of Heroes? Maybe you want to see more dragonborn or aarakocra? Then check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. You’ll become part of the monthly vote to see which elements get featured in the comic next!