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Strongholds is an Unearthed Arcana article in Dragon 395. [Dr395]

The base price of a stronghold is 25000gp, equivalent to a level 15 magic item. It comprises of 300 squares of floor space, and is considered save and secure for most cases. If it is in a remote location, it may cost 50,000 gp if on a mountaintop or deep wilderness, or 125,000 if in a fantastical location such as underwater or on another plane.

Strongholds may be purchased, conquered or constructed. If constructed, it may need around 1d10+5 months or 1d10+5 years depending on the complexity of the stronghold.


There are 300 squares for use in the stronghold, height being irrelevant unless excessive (10-foot ceilings being standard, but may be as high as 25 feet.)

Corridors must be at least 1 square wide.

Interior walls are normally 6 inches thick, exterior being 1 foot thick.


Special rooms for the stronghold are as follows, each with a minimum size and cost. For tiered rooms, multiply the cost by 25 for the next tier.

  • Auditorium (24 squares, 520gp): +1 item bonus to bluff or diplomacy checks in this room. (Obsolete by throne room)
  • Armory (24 squares, 2600gp): Holds 50 mundany weapons and armor, but not more than five of one type. 1 weapon may be substituted for 30 arrows, 20 bolts, or 6 shuriken.
  • Chapel (9 squares, 1000gp): +1/+2/+3 item bonus to religion checks
  • Magical Laboratory (4 squares, 1000 gp): +1/+2/+3 item bonus to arcana checks
  • Library (16 squares, 3400gp): +1/+2/+3 item bonus to one skill. May be purchased multiple times for the same room to give bonuses to more than one skill.
  • Prison (16 squares, 840gp): Creatures placed in the room can't escape unless they succeed on a DC 21/29/37 Acrobatics or Athletics check.
  • Throne Room (16 squares, 1800 gp): +1 item bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Insight and Intimidate checks in the room.
  • Torture chamber (16 squares, 680gp): +1/+2/+3 item bonus to intimidate checks in this room.


  • Arrow slits (840 gp): Windows in the fortress count as arrow slits, giving superior cover
  • Defensive walls (5000gp): Defensive walls surrounding the fortress, 10 feet high and thick. Requires moderate DC to climb the wall. Can be purchased multiple times to increase the height or width 5 feet, or to make an extra wall.
  • Guards (special cost): Makes stronghold immune to attacks from creatures of their level or lower.
  • Iron doors (680 gp)
  • Moat (3400 gp): A 15 foot deep and 30 foot wide moat surrounds the stronghold, and includes a drawbridge.
  • Superior locks (680 gp): Requires a Thievery check against hard DC.

Traps count as a magic item equal to their level. Elite traps cost double, and solo traps cost quintuple.

Other notes[]

The stronghold also includes staff as part of the initial cost. The rules in the article do not have explicit upkeep rules, as it's presumed they provide their own income.

The first major investment for a stronghold is a teleportation circle. A conquered stronghold may already have one.