The Cost of Slaves


While working on the treasure for my current group I stumbled on something more than a little surprising. In neither ad&d, 3.5, or 4e’s iteration of Dark Sun am I able to find any information at all on how much slaves cost. Given the setting this had me more than a little concerned, especially given my PCs being the selfish do anything to survive and thrive group.

Thankfully I managed to dig up the neogi slave costs in Lords of Madness, but I was wondering if anyone had any other recommendations or systems they use. I run a 2e campaign but funny enough the prices for most things seem the same across editions.

(Mr Eco) #2

I found it surprising that a setting with slavery and slave trade being a core aspect had no tables or lists with prices for slaves. I can understand 4e wanted to take a more heroic approach (freeing the slaves, not owning them), but previous editions had no such qualms. I can also understand that such thing as slave prices was left up to the DMs to take care of. Maybe TSR feared repercussions for publishing pro-slavery stuff, especially at a time when D&D was being hounded as a satanic game?

There was a homebrewed table of slave prices, based on race, profession, stats, and class levels, if any, that circulated on the internet. I have laid eyes on it, and found it quite interesting, albeit a bit too complicated to use.


It was pretty clearly an issue of not wanting to appear supportive of slave-owning, and upsetting crusading soccer moms and preachers. Good ol’ TSR, walking the public relations fine line in the 90s.


Wouldn’t the situation be even worse now? Someone here showed the various revisions of the 4e Dark Sun description of slavery. At the end it was a full throated condemnation of slavery, just falling short of a disclaimer breaking the fourth wall.

Found it here -


Appreciate the input, any idea where the homebrewed table can be found?


Use this table and make the relevant currency alterations.

(Mr Eco) #7

I can’t seem to find the website, but I kept a copy of the file, in my Dropbox.


Many thanks guys :grin:


A couple resources for this come to mind. One, the Conan RPG doesn’t shy away from this stuff at all, and has very explicit rules for slavery prices. The sword and sorcery genre of Conan is also a good fit for Athas.

Two, the folks on the old wizards Star Wars RPG board came up with something like this: you have expansive rules for the pricing of droids. Using that as a benchmark you can extrapolate costs for clones and slaves: clones are more expensive, slaves are cheaper. Just pick a fractional value that makes sense and go from there.

(“clones” kept getting autocorrected to “clowns” thought that was funny. The Clown Wars, and Attack of the Clowns)

(Mr Eco) #10

That’d make a fine trilogy LOL
And I’ve always wanted to try Conan RPG… But which one are you talking about? There’s three games I’m aware of, the old AD&-- actually the one published by TSR, the one by Mongoose and the new one by Mofid… Moeb… Mophidius (geez).


Sorry, I knew that but forgot to mention. Mongoose. Tons of splatbooks, but IIRC there are slavery rules in the last d20 version of the main book they released. Or maybe the Atlantean version? Again, I don’t entirely remember.

(Sébastien Gamache) #12

Over a decade ago, in the 3.5e edition, when I had more time on my hand, I started to create a document about slaves, which I still have, unfinished, on my hard drive.

Anybody would care to modify it, add stuff and finish it?

(Sébastien Gamache) #13

Btw, your table sound like coming from my document :slight_smile:


Actually the end product removed the “vile slavery” language.

(Brent Welborn) #15

I made some slavery cost rules as part of the complete Athasian equipment list I’m naking. See if they work for you.

(Matthew T Laux) #16

The only info i can find on slave prices is that 1 silver piece is considered cheap. :man_shrugging: