Downtime

DOWNTIME ACTIVITIES

Downtime activities are tasks that usually take a week or longer to perform. These tasks can include buying or creating magic items, pulling off crimes, and working at a job. A character selects a downtime activity from among those available and pays the cost of that activity in time and money.

As much as possible, downtime activities will be handled away from the game table. The party should agree on how many weeks will be spent in downtime and each player should then submit a list of downtime activities to the GM. Any rolls and checks that need to be made will be resolved at the beginning of the next gametime session. Complications may take several game sessions to arise.

Lifestyle Expenses

Between adventures, you choose a particular quality of life and pay the cost of maintaining that lifestyle.

Living a particular lifestyle doesn’t have a huge effect on your character, but your lifestyle can affect the way other individuals and groups react to you. For example, when you lead an aristocratic lifestyle, it might be easier for you to influence the nobles of the city than if you live in poverty.

Lifestyle Price/week
Wretched
Squalid 1 gp
Poor 2 gp
Modest 10 gp
Comfortable 20 gp
Wealthy 40 gp
Aristocratic 100 gp +

RESOLVING ACTIVITIES

The description of each activity tells you how to resolve it. Many activities require an ability check, so be sure to note the character’s relevant ability modifiers. Follow the steps in the activity, and determine the results.

Most downtime activities require a week to complete. Some activities require days or months. A character must spend at least 8 hours of each day engaged in the downtime activity for that day to count toward the activity’s completion.

The days of an activity don’t need to be consecutive; you can spread them over a longer period of time than is required for the activity. But that period of time should be no more than twice as long as the required time; otherwise you should introduce extra complications (see below) and possibly double the activity’s costs to represent the inefficiency of the character’s progress.

Contacts and Rivals

Contacts are NPCs who are friendly with a particular character and may offer aid and assistance to the character at opportune times. Contacts are often made during downtime activities, though other contacts may be made while the character adventures.

Rivals are NPCs who oppose a particular character on some level and often create roadblocks and difficulties for the character. Like contacts, rivals are often made during downtime activities, but can also be made during adventures.

For more detail see Contacts and Rivals Rules

COMPLICATIONS

The description of each activity includes a discussion of complications that may arise for the characters. The consequences of a complication might spawn entire adventures, introduce NPCs to vex the party, or give the characters headaches or advantages in any number of other ways.

Complications generally occur only about 10% of the time a character engages in a Downtime Activity.

The following Downtime Actions are from Xanathar’s Guide.

Downtime Action Brief Description Time and Cost
Buy Magic Items The character seeks out magic items for sale, or maybe a particular magic item. 1 week+ and 100 gp+
Carousing The character hits the town socializing 1 week, 10-250 gp
Crafting a Mundane Item The character crafts a mundane item Time and costs vary by base value of item 1
Crafting a Magic Item The character crafts a magic item Time and costs vary by base value of item 1
Crime The character plans and executes a crime 1 week, 25 gp
Gambling The character spends the week gambling 1 week, 10-1,000 gp
Pit Fighting The character spends the week looking for and engaging in pit-fighting opportunities 1 week
Relaxation The character spends the week relaxing Normal Lifestyle Expenses
Religious Service The character spends the week at a local temple helping with and performing religious services 1 week
Research The character spends time consulting libraries and sages looking for information or lore 1 week + and 50 gp +
Scribing a Spell Scroll The character spends time scribing spells and/or cantrips onto scrolls Varies by spell level 1
Sell Magical Items The character spends time locating a buyer for a specific magic item 1 week and 25 gp
Training The character spends the week learning a new secondary skill (tool proficiency) or language. 25 gp/week (10 weeks (100 days) to learn.
Work The character spends the week earning coin 1 week

1 These Downtime Activities are modified to match the House Rules for Crafting Items

The following Downtime Actions are sources other than Xanathar’s Guide.

Downtime Action Brief Description Time and Cost
Adding Spells to a Spellbook The character spends time adding spells to their spellbooks 2 hrs + 50 gp per spell level
Construct Buildings The character designs and arranges for construction of a building Varies
Earn XP The character spends the week taking minor quests to earn some XP 1 week
Gain Renown The character spends the week earning renown with their organization 1 week/current renown
Gather Information The character spends a day looking for information from the local populace. 1 day and 25 gp
Lead Your Kingdom If you have a leadership role in a domain, you must spend at least 7 days per month fulfilling your duties 7 days per month
Mastering a Foreign Spellbook The character spends time studying the spells and notation of another wizard’s spellbook in order to be able to use that book to prepare spells. 2 hours + 10 gp per spell level.
Promote a Business The character spends the week promoting a local business, organization or institution 1 week and 25 gp
Recruit for an Organization The character spends the week searching for hirelings, managers, and teams to build an organization or staff a building Varies
Research a Spell or Formula The character spends the week researching a spell, incantation or magic item formula. Varies
Run a Business The character spends the week actively running their business 1 week
Scheme for an Upcoming Adventure The character spends the week gathering facts and information to prepare for an upcoming adventure 1 week and 50 gp
Sow Rumors You spend the week planting rumors about a person, place or thing. 1 week and 25 gp
Train an Animal You spend a week acclimating a wild animal to yourself or teaching a domestic or acclimated animal a command. 1 week + and 25 gp/week

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Downtime

Tales of the Bloodstone Lands Autumnfyr