D&D5e: Prices For Spellcasting Services

According to various D&D5e forums, the following formula may be used for estimating the price of spellcasting services: SQUARE of the spell level multiplied by 10 g.p., plus DOUBLE of the consumed material cost, plus 10% of non-consumed material cost…

((level x level) x 10) + (consumed material cost x 2) + (0.10 x non-consumed material cost)

This formula does not take into consideration how common it is to purchase magical services. Going by a “fairly typical” D&D urban setting standard (the major cities of Greyhawk, the Forgotten Realms, Eberron), I’m using the following benchmarks…

(base price, level requirements, spellcasting modifier and chance of availability per day)
* Cantrip: 5 g.p., requires magical adept or spellcaster (+4).
* Level 1 Spell: 10 g.p., req. 1st level spellcaster (+5), generally available.
* Level 2 Spell: 40 g.p., req. 3rd level spellcaster (+6), generally available.
* Level 3 Spell: 90 g.p., req. 5th level spellcaster (+7), 65% availability.
* Level 4 Spell: 160 g.p., req. 7th level spellcaster (+7), 30% availability.
* Level 5 Spell: 250 g.p., req. 9th level spellcaster (+8), 15% availability.
* Level 6 Spell: 360 g.p., req. 11th level spellcaster (+9), 8% availability.
* Level 7 Spell: 490 g.p., req. 13th level spellcaster (+10), 4% availability.
* Level 8 Spell: 640 g.p., req. 15th level spellcaster (+10), 2% availability.
* Level 9 Spell: 810 g.p., req. 17th level spellcaster (+11), 1% availability.

In addition to the base price, add double the value of any consumable material components and 10% the value of any non-consumed materials.

If the spells are not being cast at the spellcaster’s residence/tower/temple/whatever, a DM may impose a hireling cost of at least an additional 2 g.p./spellcaster level as a “house call” fee.

Outside of major cities (Waterdeep, Greyhawk, Sharn), availability of these services would drop off considerably – maybe half availabilities in settlements below 20,000 and impossible in borderland frontier settlements.

By way of comparison to modern currency
* 1 c.p. equals $1, 1 s.p. equals $10, 1 g.p. equals $100.
* 10 g.p. for a 1st level spell equals about $1,000.
* 90 g.p. for a 3rd level spell equals almost $10,000.
* 250 g.p. for a 5th level spell equals about $25,000.
* 490 g.p. for a 7th level spell equals almost $50,000.

Prices of instant global and planar travel…
* Use of a teleportation circle or druidic passage between distant trees averages at 355 g.p., equalling $35,500.
* Teleporting without a circle costs almost $50,000 for a group of up to 8 – or slightly more if traveling to another plane.
* Creating a new teleportation circle is like a $12.8 million project.
* Opening a portal to another plane via the Gate spell costs roughly $131,000.

Prices for rich people to cheat death…
* Raise Dead, at 1,250 g.p., costs $125,000.
* Clone, at 2,840 g.p., costs $284,000.
* True Resurrection, at 50,810 g.p., costs over $5 million.

MAGICAL SURVEILLANCE (spellcasters investigating crimes or seeking wanted criminals)

Locate Object (spell slot level 2): 40 g.p. per 10 minutes, range up to 1,000 feet unless blocked by barriers. Fairly easily foiled by cunning thieves with access to lead.

Clairvoyance (spell slot level 3): 100 g.p. per 10 minutes to either see or hear a location within 1 mile. Any known meeting of important people will be targeted by hidden spies using this spell.

Divination (spell slot level 4 or ritual): 210 g.p. to ask a single question concerning a specific goal, event, or activity to occur within 7 days. Some individuals seek knowledge of their fates, while guildmasters use it to plan business adjustments.

Locate Creature (spell slot level 4): 165 g.p. per hour, range up to 1,000 feet unless blocked by barriers or 10-foot-wide flows of running water. Sometimes money is better spent as a reward for public information from snitches.

Commune (spell slot level 5 or ritual): 260 g.p. for three questions asked within one minute. Same usage as Divination.

Contact Other Plane (spell slot level 5 or ritual): 500 g.p. for five questions asked within one minute. Price is higher due to the possibly deadly risk to the caster’s mind.

Scrying (spell slot level 5): 350 g.p. for up to 10 minutes of observation to anywhere on the same plane. Usage as Clairvoyance, but distant rivals may use.

MAGICAL COMMUNICATION (Typically cast by bards or wizards via the Guild of Wizardry)

Message (cantrip): 5 g.p., works only to 120 feet but good side money for low-level casters to act as “quiet couriers” delivering coded messages to guards, military commanders, spies, criminals or others looking to avoid signs of an obvious rendezvous.

Sending (spell slot level 3): 90 g.p. for one message of 25 words or less to a creature anywhere on the same plane, or even to another plane with 95% success rate (1 in 20 chance of failure beyond current plane).

Dream (spell slot level 5): 255 g.p. for up to 8 hours of messages to a sleeper, unlimited range. Often used by wizards of 9th level or higher to network with their magical peers or reach powerful creatures too dangerous to approach while awake.

MAGICAL TRANSPORTATION (typically cast by wizards in the Guild of Wizardry)

Most lower-level spells only affect the caster. (Misty Step, Dimension Door, etc.)

Teleportation Circle (spell slot level 5): 350 g.p., permanent teleportation circle must be at the known destination. Creating a permanent circle requires at least one caster to stay at the location for a year, casting daily, costing 127,750 g.p.

Transport Via Plants (spell slot level 6): 360 g.p., requires a large living plant at start and destination but otherwise unlimited range on the same plane.

Teleport (spell slot level 7): 490 g.p. to transport up to 8 willing creatures or a single object fitting within a 10-foot cube, limited to same plane of existence. Cannot affect unwilling creatures.

Plane Shift (spell slot level 7): 515 g.p. to transport up to 8 willing creatures to another plane. Can affect unwilling targets that fail a Charisma saving throw.

Gate (spell slot level 9): 1,310 g.p. to create a portal to another plane that lasts up to 1 minute, with travel possible in both directions. The destination can open near a specifically named creature.

HEALTH AND LIFE MAGIC (typically cast by clerics or druids at various temples)

Detect Poison And Disease (spell slot level 1 or ritual): 10 g.p., can be used all creatures within 30 feet for up to 10 minutes. Many middle-class families get a “scan” a few times a year, while the wealthy may get it weekly or even daily. Merchants may request such a spell cast on livestock before making a purchase.

Goodberry (spell slot level 1): 10 g.p., a druid feeds 10 people a day per casting amid famine or those living in extreme poverty.

Create Food and Water (spell slot level 3): 90 g.p., feeds 15 people or 5 steeds, same usage as Goodberry spell.

Cure Wounds (spell slot level 1 and up): Varies by spell slot used, range is touch…
* Level 1 Slot: 10 g.p., one creature regains 9 h.p. (1d8+5).
* Level 2 Slot: 40 g.p., one creature regains 15 h.p. (2d8+6).
* Level 3 Slot: 90 g.p., one creature regains 20 h.p. (3d8+7).
* Level 4 Slot: 160 g.p., one creature regains 25 h.p. (4d8+7).
* Level 5 Slot: 250 g.p., one creature regains 30 h.p. (5d8+8).
* At higher levels, use Heal spell instead.

Heal (spell slot level 6 and up): Varies by spell slot used, range is 60 feet…
* Level 6 Slot: 360 g.p., one creature regains 70 h.p.
* Level 7 Slot: 490 g.p., one creature regains 80 h.p.
* Level 8 Slot: 640 g.p., one creature regains 90 h.p.
* At a higher level, use Mass Heal instead.

Mass Heal (spell slot level 9): 810 g.p., heals up to 700 hit points to chosen creatures within sight, also curing them of disease and ending any effect causing them to be blinded or deafened.

Lesser Restoration (spell slot level 2): 40 g.p., ends one case of the blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned condition, or removes one disease.

Dispel Magic (spell slot level 3): 90 g.p., automatic on spells of level 3 or less, 1d20+7 versus higher level spells. Can be purchased at higher levels.

Remove Curse (spell slot level 3): 90 g.p., ends one curse.

Dispel Evil and Good (spell slot level 5): 250 g.p., the “default exorcism” used on people suspected of being charmed, frightened or possessed by a celestial, elemental, fey, fiend or undead.

Raise Dead (spell slot level 5): 1,250 g.p., takes 1 hour, returns someone dead up to 10 days years to a weakened state.

Reincarnation (spell slot level 5): 2,250 g.p., takes 1 hour, returns someone dead up to 10 days years into a random new body.

Greater Restoration (spell slot level 5): 450 g.p., does one of the following: remove one level of exhaustion, end charmed or petrified condition, end one curse, end attunement to a cursed magic item, end any reduction to the target’s ability scores, or end one effect reducing the target’s hit point maximum.

Clone (spell slot level 8): 2,840 g.p., takes 1 hour to start and 120 days to mature, ultimate life insurance. If killed, the soul goes to the clone’s body and animates with full memories and abilities of the original. (Spell also nicknames the “3,000 gold insurance” plan.)

True Resurrection (spell slot level 9): 50,810 g.p., takes 1 hour, returns someone dead up to 200 years.

MAGICAL SECURITY (Guild of Wizardry may have open contracts with wealthy homeowners or expensive businesses to maintain such protections.)

Alarm (spell spot level 1): 10 g.p., affects one portal (door, window), mental alert or audible noise. Lasts 8 hours.

Arcane Lock (spell slot level 2): 40 g.p., lasts until dispelled, suppressed by the Knock spell for 10 minutes, and increases lockpicking DCs by +10.

Continual Flame (spell slot level 2): 40 g.p., torch-like light – 20-feet bright life, then 20-feet dim light – with no heat, no risk of starting fires, works even if wet, doesn’t use oxygen and never goes out unless dispelled.

Animate Dead (spell slot level 3): 95 g.p., technically illegal but some like having a few undying guards trapped inside a treasure vault as an extra nuisance to would-be thieves.

Guards And Wards (spell slot level 6): 360 g.p., provides 2,500 sq. ft. of dwelling space (100 5-foot squares) with several magical protections for 24 hours. It would cost 131,400 g.p. to make these protections permanent. Features include…
* All corridors filled with fog (heavily obscured).
* Each corridor intersection posed 50% chance of turning opposite direction than intended.
* All doors under the effect of the Arcane Lock spell.
* Up to 10 doors hidden by minor illusions to appear as blank walls.
* All stairs have the effect of a Web spell on them, and stands regrow in 10 minutes if burned.

…plus one of the following:
* Dancing Lights spell in four cooridors.
* Magic Mouth spell in two locations.
* Stinking Cloud spell in two locations.
* Constant gust of wind in one cooridor.
* Suggestion spell triggers from one 5-foot square.


Detect Thoughts (spell slot level 2): 40 g.p., paired with non-magical methods (Insight checks) when questioning a prisoner. Target gets a Wisdom DC 14 saving throw to resist.

Zone of Truth (spell slot level 2): 40 g.p., forces anyone in a 15-foot radius to make a Charisma saving throw of DC 15 in order to lie. Lasts 10 minutes per casting, assume it is always used for interrogations and court testimonies.

Also see: Suggested fair prices for magic items