Imperial bureaucracy is extensive and difficult to navigate. Licenses and permits are required for many activities, and obtaining them is usually an expensive and time-consuming process. Forms must be filed, and often bribes must be paid. Ptolus residents apply for licenses and permits at the Administration Building in Oldtown.

Permits and licenses create revenue for the government and, more importantly, they register the applicant for appropriate taxes, which bring in even more revenue (see page 558). They also allow the Imperial government to monitor activities they consider worth monitoring, such as firearm ownership and book printing.

The list at the top of page 558 below shows a few examples of activities that require permits or licenses, and their cost.

PermitPermit Fee
Owning a firearm10 gp
Operating a tavern or restaurant*25 gp
Operating a shop* (permanent structure)50 gp
Operating a shop* (nonpermanent structure)10 gp
Operating a service*50 gp
Operating a gambling establishment*100 gp
Bottling liquor or alcohol4 cp/gallon
Working as a prostitute*50 gp
Building within the city walls25 gp
Modifying a structure significantly10 gp
Holding a public gathering10 gp
Keeping a creature5 gp /creature (Medium or larger)
Printing books1 gp/book
Distributing broadsheets1 cp per 50 copies

* Must be renewed each year.

It would be naïve to think that, just because certain actions require permits, everyone who undertakes such actions always has them. No one building in the Warrens obtains a permit first, and there are far more illegal prostitutes and gambling dens than legal ones (to avoid both license fees and taxes).