Princes of the Apocalypse
When a character is out adventuring, most of his time is spent doing things that directly move the game forward. You’re exploring the dungeon, killing the bad guys, acquiring loot, or talking to NPCs. But that’s not the entirety of your existence. You have some free time that is just yours. Maybe it’s part of a short rest, or maybe something you do before bed. To represent this, we use Downtime Points.
These are extra points that you can save up and spend to accomplish things not directly related to the plot. The acquisition is simple – For every day of gametime that passes, you gain 5 downtime points. Downtime Points are not days that you spend in between adventures, but extra time you devote here and there to some minor project. Perhaps the bard composes a song during the short rests. This helps him perform in the next town. Or maybe the metalsmith works some metal while travelling, so he can create a new sword when he reaches a forge. Or the fighter really wants to learn to speak elvish to impress the Elven princess he met, so before bed each night he reads an elvish journal.
How does it work?
The downtime system allows characters to pursue long-term activities between game sessions. A character selects a downtime activity and pays the cost of that activity in time and money. Then, the DM determines the resolution for that activity. Sometimes, a roll is required. Additionally, some actions may not always be available at all times. If you’re unable to proceed with a downtime action for some reason, The DM will let you know immediately. You can change your action, or reserve your points for later.
For game purposes, you may submit a downtime action any time up to the Wednesday before the game. You’ll then receive the results of that downtime at the game.
Each Character has a number of Downtime Points listed below. Each Character gains a minimum of 3 points per game day. Other activities may also gain points in the future.
The following activities are available for any character who can afford to pursue them. The effects and benefits are listed below.
- Buying a Magic Item
- Build a building
- Crafting an Item (Magical or Non-Magical)
- Create a False Identity
- Faction Missions
- Religious Service
- Scribing a Spell Scroll
- Selling a Magic Item
Do I have to spend Downtime Points?
Nope! They’re not required, and you don’t lose anything by banking them. Plus, they never expire. If you don’t want to spend them, save them for later!
What if I want to do something that doesn’t fit the list?
Tell me about it! I’ll either add it, or adjust an existing thing to include it.
What if I don’t want to do anything?
Then you don’t do anything. Or, you do something that doesn’t directly advance the plot or your character.
Can multiple party members combine downtime actions
It depends. Generally, if it’s something that benefits a single character, like training, then no. If it’s something that can be shared, like gathering information or building a building, then yes.
Buying a Magic Item – Finding a seller is complicated. You must spend 25 Downtime points and 100 gp. Then you must make a Charisma (Persuasion) check. Spending an additional 25 Downtime points or an additional 100 will give an additional +1 to the roll, but the total bonus cannot exceed +10. The higher the roll, the better quality magic items that the seller has available.
Build a building – This requires a land grant from a suitable authority before construction can begin. Once a grant is acquired, the character can use downtime actions to hire workers. The time, cost, and downtime actions require vary greatly on the type and location of the building.
Carousing – Carousing requires 25 Downtime Points and a variable cost based on the class you are carousing with. Lower class carousing costs 25 gp, Middle Class costs 100 gp, and upper class requires 500 gp, and you must be known to the nobility. You then make a Charisma (Persuasion) check. This results in a favor or two from the class you were carousing in.
Crafting an Item (Magical or Non-Magical) – To create an item, you must pay half the items cost in gp for materials, and 1 downtime point for every 10 gp of the items cost. You must also be proficient in the kit used to create that item. For example, a Longsword costs 10 gp. It can be made by someone proficient in smiths tools with 5gp and 1 downtime point. For magical items, the process is more complicated. First, each magical item must have a formula. The formula lists the ingredients that must be acquired, which includes at least one exotic material. Finally, the cost of Downtime points and gp cost of the remaining materials vary by rarity.
Brewing a potion of healing requires a character proficient in an herbalism kit and a variable amount based on the strength of the potion. Creating Poisons requires proficiency in a poisoner’s kit and a variable amount based on the poison strength. Scribing a scroll must be done by a spellcaster who knows the spell, and takes a variable amount based on the level of the spell.
Create a False Identity – This creates a false Identity. You must spend 50 downtime points, and 250 gp. Then you must make a Charisma (Deception) check. Success means the identity was created, and can be used.
Crime – Going on a crime spree requires 25 gp and 5 downtime points. Then the player chooses who to target. The richer the target the greater the payoff, but also the higher the risk. choose a mark difficulty. This determines your difficulty. Then you must make three checks: Dexterity (Stealth), Dexterity with thieves’ tools, and the player’s choice of Intelligence (Investigation), Wisdom (Perception), or Charisma (Deception). If all three succeed, the character earns the payout. If one or two succeed, you may earn some or none of the payout.
Faction Missions – These are short side missions for your faction. If successful, you gain renown in your faction. To gain a mission, you must pay 10 gp per current renown point, and 5 downtime points. You then roll a target DC based on your current rank in the system (Higher ranked members are given more dangerous missions.) The relevant skill is the player’s choice, based on the Faction. If successful, you gain 1 renown in your faction.
|Emerald Enclave||Animal Handling, Nature, Perception, Medicine, Investigation|
|Harpers||Insight, History, Investigation, Performance, Sleight of Hand|
|Lord’s Alliance||History, Deception, Investigation, Persuasion, Survival|
|Order of the Gauntlet||Arcana, History, Insight, Religion, Persuasion|
|Zhentarim||Arcana, Intimidation, Deception, Stealth, Slight of Hand|
Gambling – Gambling is an excellent and legal way to make money fast. This activity requires 5 downtime points from a character, plus the character must risk at least 100 gp, to a maximum of 1,000 gp. The character then makes 3 checks, against a variable DC. Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Deception), and Charisma (Intimidation). The DC is 5 + 2d10, generating a separate DC for each check. The number of successes determines the payout.
Philanthropy – By giving back to the community, you earn their favor.
Religious Service – Characters with a religious bent might wish to spend their downtime in service to a temple. This activity has the chance of winning the favor of the temple’s leaders, and perhaps even the gods themselves. Religious service costs 5 downtime points, and no gold. The character then makes either an Intelligence (Religion) or a Charisma (Persuasion) check. The result earns a certain number of “Prayers” that can be traded in to the church for certain benefits. Someone with a high number of prayers can gain the attention of the god in question. This god need not be the character’s patron god, but that patron god is more likely to answer with a smaller investment.
Research Research requires one workweek of work and at least 100 gp spent on materials, bribes, gifts, and other expenses. Typically, a character needs access to a library or sage to conduct research. The character declares the focus of the
research—a specific person, place, or thing. After a workweek of research, a character makes an Intelligence check with a +1 bonus per 100 gp spent beyond the initial 100 gp, to a maximum of +6. In addition, a character with access to a particularly well-stocked library or knowledgeable sages gains advantage on this check.
Training – Given enough free time and the services of an instructor, a character can learn a language or pick up proficiency with a tool. Training in a language or tool takes at least 50 points, but reduce this time by the characters intelligence bonus x5 (an Intelligence penalty doesn’t increase the time needed). Training costs 20 gp per point spent.
Work – When all else fails, an adventurer can turn to an honest trade to earn a living. To work, a character simply spends 5 downtime points, and makes an ability check: Strength (Athletics), Intelligence with a set of tools, Charisma (Performance), or Charisma with a musical instrument. The result determines the amount made.