Friday, January 20, 2012

Wining & Dining

Just after supper-time at the Smiling Jackalope, one of River-Town's more pleasant establishments.  You can tell the place is upscale from the fancy lamps, and also because no one in the picture is dead or on fire.

Although frontiersmen in Wampus Country usually combine fresh game with hardtack and call it a meal, in the towns one will find a fine selection of saloons, taverns, and ordinaries.  Availability of any particular food, and its price, will vary widely, but the below gives a good idea of what food and drink cost on the edge of the frontier.

Prices are in dollars and cents ($1 = 1gp = 10sp = 100cp).  Both coins and paper money are common in Wampus Country.

such as one might find at a saloon or ordinary
Standard tavern/inn combo: good breakfast 40 cents, a good dinner 50 cents, a good supper 40 cents, lodging 12 cents, making $1.42 per day; while a common breakfast, dinner, and supper cost each 10 cents less or $1.12 per day

Boiled mutton with oyster sauce, 10 cents
Roast beef with lima beans, 10 cents
Pig's feet, soused or in batter, 10 cents
Beefsteak and onions, with fried potatoes, 10 cents
Stewed mutton with bread, butter and potatoes, 5 cents
Buckwheat cakes with honey, 5 cents
Clam chowder, 5 cents
Cup of chocolate (hot chocolate), 5 cents
Chicken pot pie, 20 cents
Porterhouse steak, 25 cents
Baked apples, 5 cents
Stewed prunes, 5 cents
Roast turkey and currant jelly, 25 cents
Hot oatmeal mush, 10 cents

such as one might find at a restaurant in River-Town or the like
Ox tail soup, 1.00
Baked trout in a white sauce, 1.50
Roast beef, Stuffed lamb or mutton, 1.00
Pork & apple sauce, 1.25
Curried sausages, 1.00
Stewed Kidney in a wine sauce, 1.25
Beef stewed with onions, 1.25
Tenderloin lamb, green peas, 1.25
Baked sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, cabbage, squash, .50 (each)
Bread pudding, mince pie, apple pie, cheese, stewed prunes, .75 (each)
Brandy peach pastry, rum omelette, jelly omelette, 2.00 (each)

you want ice? double the price.
20-ounce bottle of soda (orange, grape, root beer, sarsparilla, ginger ale, etc), 5 cents
Pint of common beer, 5 cents (example: local brew, Northern Star, Swordsman)
Pint of upscale beer, 8 to 10 cents (example: Thunderbolt lagers, Blue Tiger Ale)
Sparkling bubbly, 5.00 (bottle)
Pale sherry, 3.00 (bottle)
Madeira, 4.00 (bottle)
Claret, 2.00 (bottle)
Short-mead or metheglin, 2.00 (bottle)


Pork, 11 cents/lb
Bacon, 12 1/2-15 cents/lb
Salted or corned beef, 8 1/2-9 cents/lb
Fresh beef, 4 1/2-5 cents/lb
Lambs, 2-2.35/cwt
Goats, 1.75-2.00/cwt
Beef, 2.50-3.00/cwt (live weight)

Hogs, 4.00-4.50/cwt

Veal calves, six weeks old, 3.00/cwt
Turkeys, 30-35 cents each 
Hens, 8.5-9 cents each
Eggs, 6 1/4 cents per dozen
Hard bread, 9-10 cents/lb
Beans, 10 1/2cents/quart

Flour and meal (per cwt, 100 pounds)
Wheat flour, 2.25-2.50
Rye flour, 2.25
Oats, 30-55 cents
Corn meal, 1.50-2.00
Bran & shorts, 60 cents
Maize, on cob, 22-27 cents

Family markets
Eggs, 16-18 cents/dozen
Buter, 16-18 cents/lb
Green apples, 2.00-3.25/barrel
Potatoes, 18-23 cents/bush(el)
Common salt, 2.20/bbl (bushel barrel)
Hams, 12-14 cents/lb
Cheese, 12-14 cents/lb
Codfish, 5-6 cents/lb
Whitefish, 3.20/half barrel
Table salt, 20-25 cents/sack
Brown sugar, 7-9 cents/lb
White sugar, 10-14 cents/lb
Coffee, 15-20 cents/lb
Tea, 50-75 cents/lb
Molasses, 40-50 cents/gallon
Vinegar (cider), 25 cents/gallon
Dried apples, 9 cents/lb
Dried peaches, 20 cents/lb
Cranberries, 12 cents/quart
Squash/gourds, 1.00/cwt
Raisins, 12-20 cents/lb
Honey, 25 cents/lb
Lemons, 2-3 cents/each
Sweet potatoes, 2.00/bushel
Squashes, 2-3 cents/each
Lake trout, 8 cents/lb
Currants, 12 cents/lb
Lard, butter, or tallow, 8.5-9 cents/lb
Chocolate bar, 5 cents

The above is kludged together from a sampling of food prices in the U.S. between 1800 and 1880, adjusted in places where there was seeming weirdness.  Note that I have not yet banged these costs up against standard D&D costs whatsoever - that's the next step.  I'm hoping that the gp=dollar works out pretty cleanly.


  1. Nice detail. I like the whole idea of Wampus Country. It's time fantasy got beyond the Medievalisms. My own setting had a frontier era not dissimilar to the cool stuff your doing here.

  2. Thanks, Trey, and I'm totally with you on the 'pushing fantasy other directions' wagon. I haven't picked up 'Weird Adventures' yet, but it's on the list. :)