My cousin Doug's PC Maylin is 14th level. He has a small castle, three henchmen, all 8th level. 40 men-at-arms + leaders, and eight griffons. That's not at all extravagant when compared to stories about the PCs in Gary's campaign. That's 10,960 gold pieces a a month for expenses. The money needed to build a castle at name level, and then maintain it, plus henchmen, etc. A lot of treasure coming in was definitely the expectation. All those pauper PCs I played in the 2E days.
The downside is the accounting involved which a lot of players don't seem to want to do these days. Back in the war gamer days players were more detail oriented or at least understood that was an essential part of the game. Nowadays, players seem to want to focus on the role-playing, the tactics, the game night experience -- but don't want to do what they perceive as boring homework. One of my players, Mark, hired some men-at-arms and retainers to accompany his dwarf fighter, especially to help guard and maintain their campsites when they travel (a good idea), but he's expressed a desire to get rid of them because he finds it to be a burden to keep up with the accounting and often not a lot goes on with the NPCs since they don't go into the dungeon with the characters. If they don't roll random encounters these NPCs usually don't come into play. One night Mark was complaining about all of his NPC's, and I responded: "But you wanted them." He shrugged and said, "And now, I don't." My players also get annoyed when I ask them how much money each has, where it is stored on their person, how much is stored elsewhere, etc. They struggle to keep track of what they have. To be fair, I don't keep track of their living costs between adventures, either -- those mundane details often fall by the wayside.
Last Edit: Jan 27, 2023 15:44:03 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
For the most part it is a player choice. they can avoid it if they aren't interested. The newer experience rules probably work better for the more common style of play, since the original revolve around some assumptions that haven't really been very common since the 70s.