Build Points are used across the Campaign Rules as a form of currency. However, BP is not money - nor does 1 BP relate directly to a given amount of money, so there isn't a straightforward way to sell BPs for GPs.
1 BP might consist of a load of timber, the labour of a few dozen workers, a spell or two from the local cleric, The local Lord’s good will, food to feed your workers and something to pay them with. And workers might be paid in land, rights, jobs, money or opportunity. But that all happens in the background.
For Example: If you build a Jetty – you source the wood and stone from somewhere, some rope, large bolts, nails, building tools etc. You have made work for quarrymen, a smith or two, wood cutters, rope makers etc. Then you need workers to actually build it.
Afterwards the builders might move out into the countryside (to some land the local lord has said you can use) and set up small holdings. A few more turn into fishermen - perhaps building themselves coracles or small boats or even just fishing from the Jetty. Their wives clean the fish, smoke them, make fish-sauce and prepare the fish for sale in other way. Someone might set up as a fishmonger, while others might just hang around and find casual labour elsewhere.
So really BP is ‘The Economy’ – and the number of BP you have represents the amount influence you have over the economy of your area.
Another time, 1 BP will represent a completely different set of resources you need to build something completely different – and the knock-on effect you have to the economy.
First things first, buying and selling BP is neither easy or normal. The campaign system is a series of Opt-In rules, designed to have minimal impact on the adventuring side of the game, taking part in the Campaign side of a game is voluntary and players who don't take part should not be penalized. That means that players who do participate in the campaign side of the game should not have significantly more equipment, or better equipment, than those who don't. For that reason, selling BP to make money to buy extra gear should be discouraged.
Build Points measure a player's impact on the local economy, and represent a combination of local influence, goodwill, access to labour and materials, preferred exchange rates with other local businesses and many other aspects of the local economy. You can't just pick up a BP from one place and take it somewhere else. You can, however, sell buildings or businesses to 'cash in' a build point or two.
Worse still BP in different types of terrain are made up in different proportions - and that affects their monetary value. In a wilderness area, there are plenty of natural resources, but they might be hard to collect or in a dangerous location. In a rural area there are still plenty of resources, but more people about and roads make transportation easier – but you need to get permission and support your staff through the first couple of years. In an urban hex, resources get used up more quickly, land is more in demand and permission can be more difficult to get and you still need to support the development through the first couple of years. Once you are inside the town or city itself, resources need to be shipped in, competition for land is very high, and there are taxes and fees to pay. It all means that there is less cash involved the further away you are from civilization.
You cannot just swap BPs for GPs - instead you must use the BPs to build something and then sell it on. The table below lists various sale and purchase guidelines for when you sell a property for cash. The left most column lists the type of hex - that should be self-explanatory. The next three columns list 'purchase prices' or how many GP you must put in to generate 1 BP in the given Hex Type. An Outsider (who has no real link to the location) will pay more than the Standard Rate, which a resident of the Hex would pay. The Preferred Rate is for those people who have been granted special rights in the area. The final column represents what you will get if you cash in a BP in any given hex.
There are big gains to be made from investing in a wilderness hex and watching it grow into a city.
|Purchase Price GP|
|Hex Type||Outsider||Standard||Preferred||Sale Price|
|Managed Wilderness (*)||3750||3000||2250||1500|
|Small town (+)||5625||4500||3375||2250|
(*) A Managed Wilderness Hex is one that is protected By a +2 (or better) defensive building in an adjoining hex.
(+) All items with a BP value which are not specifically related to a location (such as Boats, Mule Trains, or Magic), are sold at Small Town value (2250gp).
There are limits to how many properties you can buy or sell in a given Campaign Round. Unless you are selling to other PCs there aren't that many potential customers - so once you have sold one business, there are fewer potential buyers for the second (and subsequent) property, and you may get less for it.
However, that is always at your DMs discretion. They may rule that there are a lot of potential buyers around, or that you cannot cash in any BP in a given round - or even that you need to wait a round or two make the sale. The DM can always vary the price somewhat - some areas of a town or city are going to be more desirable and therefore more expensive than other areas.
Advertising for settlers has been taken care of for you by Henry and the Lords of Brevoy - it means that you will each get 2 bp to start your own Stronghold/Business/Organisation, so long as you join the Midmarch Chapter of the Brevic Order and go adventuring. After that you will have to use the BP your business generates. Or find some other way borrow or earn BP
The thoughts below are just in case I (or a different DM) use these rules in a different setting.
Every kingdom or business needs to get a start somewhere and that means getting your first BPs from somewhere. There are a number of different ways to do this, most involve spending money – how much money you need to spend depends on the location of your development. See this table
Whatever you decide to do, talk to your DM about it first and let them build it into the campaign.
Here are some thoughts:
Take-over 1: If you clear out a Bandit Gang from a wilderness stronghold, you could take it over and use it as a watch base to start your own stronghold. You might need to spend resources on it to upgrade it to something really useful later - but it is a start. DM Notes
Take-over 2: The local lord might ask you clear out a bunch of Bandits from an old building in a rural area, and your reward is permission to develop it into a village. After all a lord-of-the manor who pays taxes is much better than bandits. You will need to spend resources on it to upgrade it to something really useful later - but it is a start. DM Notes
Advertising: Excellent if you are trying to populate a new area. Use some of your money to pay for Bards to spread the word and send messages via sympathetic churches in a neighbouring country. This is particularly effective for recruiting settlers for wilderness and rural areas – they build the road and get a bit of land to build their own smallholding. The rest of the money goes on providing tools and other support for the first year or so. It works for Farmers, Miners, Fishers and other country folk as well. This is one kickstart development with GP. DM Notes
Organisations: If you belong to an organisation you might be able to get funding from them. For example a religion might want to extend its area of influence, a Lord might want to expand his influence or protect a border. DM Notes
Background: Sometimes a character’s background might be a source of BP. If your family is wealthy and you are on good terms with them - they MAY lend you one or two BP to start developing with. You will certainly be expected to pay the loan back, although they MIGHT NOT charge you any interest. This isn’t guaranteed, and will only be for a small amount and assumes that the character will champion the family’s interests. DM Notes
Purchase: If you want to get started in an already developed town, you MIGHT find a suitable building for sale. Don’t expect it to find everything you are interested all at once. It costs a lot, see this table, and you will probably have to start off at the outsider price lists. Note
Loan: Sometimes, you might not have the money when you want to invest in some advertising or buy an existing property. In which case you might want to ask a bank for a loan. Assuming that you are trustworthy and reliable, they will probably lend you some money - however, this is an expensive way of doing things and you will have to pay it back, with interest, in cash. If you are really lucky you will find a fellow player (or significant NPC) who will lend you a BP for a small consideration.