Thieves & Kings
There are times between adventures, when you need to copy those scrolls you’ve found, or get to know that princess you just rescued (if you know what I mean), or just spend all those hard-earned gold pieces in a drinking contest to end all drinking contests. Day, weeks, or even months can pass between moments, as characters deal with personal issues (travel home to grandma, to bring her some moon radishes to bake you a pie) and generally settle into their recent life as the Baroness of Cleves.
These sorts of side adventures will let you become more invested in the role-playing experience, because you can’t spend every waking hour of every day of every frelling year slaying goblins and counting their ears for bounty. Besides, carousing is good for the soul (so says Torre – Our Lady of Joy).
It should be remembered that with great power also comes great responsibility. Not only do you become more powerful, but you also become more influential and invested in the politics of villages, kingdoms and the gods. You might be inclined to build a tower fort on that border where the Waterthorn’s goblin minions are constantly slipping through and slaughtering your tenant’s herds. You might want to spend a little time at court, trying to convince High-Lord Seregul that granting you those three villages recently ceded in the last war, might be best for the Free-City of Crebain, since you would look after them personally and bring their valuable iron ores directly to his capital. Whereas days or weeks might pass in the early levels, months or even years could pass as characters get older, wiser and higher in the realms of influence and power.
So keep in mind, that there are many things that could be done. Building a castle, or crafting a magic item, or just plain carousing and gaining renown on the gaming tables. Running your guild, your kingdom, or your newly founded clan can take time and effort, particularly if you want it to matter and have lasting influence in the world. These are the moments you’ll remember; these are the role-playing experiences that matter.
We are in a role-playing game, right?
The Cost of Living
When not descending into the depths of the earth, exploring ruins for lost treasures, or waging war against implacable darkness, adventurers face a far more mundane reality. Even in the Dominions, people require basic necessities such as shelter, sustenance, and clothing. These things cost money, although some lifestyle choices require more than others.
Living in towns can be a costly venture. The price of even basic necessities can be high, and luxuries even higher. For most typical items, the standard cost expense in the PHB (Chapter 5 : Equipment) is assumed to be in effect, unless previously determined that some items, due to shortages, are higher, or possibly lower (due to a market overage).
Owning and Renting Property
Most people who live in towns do not own their houses or shops, they rent them. Wealthy merchants and nobles own most residential properties. Even in rural villages, most peasants are “Cottars”, who pay a rent for the right to farm and use the Lord’s cottage, who also employs them to harvest his orchards and fields, and perform maintenance on his fences and bridges. In urban settings, rents can run from 5 sp (per month) for a single room flat in a cheap tenement, to 50 sp (per month) for a four-room suite on the upper level of a good tenement. Houses rent from 30 sp (per month) for a small 20′×30′ house, through _100 sp (per month) for a a medium-sized house with two or three rooms, to 500 sp (per moth) or more for a large two- or three-level stone townhouse with a stable and small kitchen garden. Particularly cheap or wealthy neighborhoods can run from half this to more than five times this cost, but each brings its own issues, sometimes literally, to the table.
Lucky individuals, usually former adventurers or successful craftsmen, inherit their properties from former masters or family. Typical houses can range from 5000 sp to upwards of 500,000 sp, with the lower end being small crofts on the edge of town, or suite of apartments in a poor tenement, to a multi-level walled estate house in the wealthy noble’s district, complete with barracks, stables, gardens and a handful of workshops.
In some parts of town, often referred to as “The Warrens”, exact ownership of property is always questionable, not the least reasoning of which, is that the “house” is little more than a timber structure occupying what was once a back alley, or a series of one-room hovels carved under a masonry bridge.
Most residents of towns live in the same district in which they work, but that is not always the case. Shopkeepers who live above their workshop may either rent or own the property and its building.
Adventurers can pay NPCs to assist them or act on their behalf in variety of circumstances. Most such hirelings have fairly ordinary skills, while others are masters of a craft or art, and a few are experts with specialized adventuring skills. Any task requiring a proficiency (weapons, skills or tools), such as soldiers, craftsmen, or scribes, and is considered skilled; any task requiring menial work, such as laborers, maids, or porters are considered unskilled.
Some of the most basic types of hirelings in demand, include metal smiths, wood crafters, and weapon crafters, typically found in towns and even small villages. Wizards might need a carpenter to craft them an elaborate chest and its miniature replica for use in a Leomund’s Secret Chest spell, or a fighter might commission a weaponsmith to craft a special silvered sword for his intended delve into the werewolf den suspected in the nearby mountains. These sorts of small transactions represent an important crafting for the hireling, and will take some time for them to accomplish, so prices can be high, but if the money is right, they’ll happily comply.
Other hirelings require a more expert and specialist form of services. Mercenary soldiers are paid to help adventurers take important tactical locations, or help defend their recently acquired castle. Mages might be consulted to research the location of Warphit the Mad’s location in the Ethereal Plane. Possession of a town estate or castle will bring its own host of hireling demands. including servants, bailiffs, craftsmen and soldiers. These sorts of hirelings will be hired on a long-term basis, that often includes lodging and food in the arrangement.
The last form of service is usually only available in larger communities, and includes messenger, coach and caravan/fleet passage. These services are usually available on a fairly immediate basis, though the last one requires some planning and preparation, and is dependent upon restricted availability. If the trade winds aren’t blowing for two months, and there are no ships in port, you’re not going to be able to inform the Amir of Tashan that the pirate fleet is planning an attack.
A simple means of covering the daily grind of expenditure, is to assign oneself a level of lifestyle, and simply pay a basic cost in gold. This represents replacing clothing burnt when you fought Dragon Lord Verminthrax, or those boots hacked to bits by the pit traps of Howling Winds Dungeon. It explains away accommodations, food. drink, clothing, and other common items, and assumes many of the common expenses for things we deal with on a daily basis. It does not include replacement adventuring gear, magic items, bribes and other matters requiring role-playing or demonstrably rare.
At the start of each month, (Day 1 of every calendar month), characters are assumed to be living a specific lifestyle of their choice, determined through previous role-playing efforts. This money is assumed to be paid for by either yourself directly, or any servants hired to look after your belongings and goods in a residence, and is also assumed to be spent throughout the month, as goods are needed and available.
Upkeep costs are determined by the players, and each lifestyle choice assumes a bucolic series of events leading to its presence in one’s life. Hiring or replacing new staff, acquiring new furnishings or clothing, and getting the straps replaced on your armor all take time and effort between adventures. Acquiring water for a bath, choosing food for the next couple days to restock your larder; these are the things of domestic life that take time and effort.
Furthermore, lifestyle choices cannot drastically change from month to month. One cannot move from a palatial townhouse one month to living in the streets the next month, and then back to a new townhouse, without dramatically altering your reputation, social standing, besides proving nearly impossible. There are not a lot of open townhouses waiting for would-be nobility, nor are adventurers likely to remain unmolested and disease free living in a squalid alley under a tarp. Choose a lifestyle that makes sense and stay with it until your fortunes grant you a means to move up.
Adventurers will possess cash that the common man has no concept of. Therefore, it is assumed they will live in modest to wealthy lifestyles, until such time as they acquire their own holdings, properties and castles, particularly if they intend to impress the local merchants and nobility and gain their sponsorship in defeating a goblin horde preparing to raid the outer farms of the local barony. It’s hard to do these things if you smell of fish and have wine stains on your ragged cloak. Other lifestyles are included for reference.
Subsistence (20 sp) : This amount of money is keeping you barely alive. It assumes living in a cheap apartment, likely rooming with others, such as laborers or your fellow poor, who likely covet your possessions. Unless you have access to free food, all you eat are boiled cabbage, bone broth and sometimes coarse bread. You never eat in taverns, and have no luxuries. You wear shabby, filthy clothing (likely heavily patched and in need of mending), and rarely bathe. Violence, disease and hunger follow you wherever you go. You are beneath the notice of most other people.
Wretched (50 sp) : This is the lifestyle of the average unskilled laborer, street peddler, independent thief, or guild thug in town. In rural communities, this is the typical subsistence cottager with perhaps five (5) acres of land, who make enough to feed themselves and their families, but but can suffer from a bad harvest, or be easily afflicted by a goblin raid, having little time beyond struggling to find what they need each day to survive. You live in a one-room apartment, eat poorly, and drink only thin, watery small ale at low-cost taverns. You probably can afford one new set of clothing each year, so what you wear is tattered, patched and stained. Most people at this level deal with disease, hunger, and misfortune on a daily basis, and is still a desperate and often violent environment.
Poor (100 sp) : You live comfortably, but completely without luxury. This is the income of soldiers or laborers with families, guild apprentices, wandering priests, and hedge wizards. Meals are simple, but you don’t go hungry, and can afford a mug or two of ale regularly. Your clothing is simple, but not shabby or dirty. You still have to deal with violence, crime and disease, but there are some legal protections.
Modest (200 sp) : This is the “middle-class” lifestyle of a typical craftsman, mercenary soldiers, and laborers with extended families. Among rural families, these folk are typical free farmers with 30 acres of land, living in comfortable, but simple halls, eating the produce of their own lands and pastures. You have a decent place to live, perhaps even with more than one room. You eat fairly well, occasionally at a good tavern. You can afford to indulge in extravagances like a decent wine or the occasional new set of clothing or even one or two small pieces of bronze or copper jewelry, treasured belongings that are tokens of status among their peers.
Comfortable (500 sp) : This is the lifestyle of merchants, skilled tradesmen and mercenary officers. In rural families, this represents a master farmer, who supports several smaller cottars under him to work an extensive plot of land, typically about 100 acres or so, and living in a small great hall, like a small mothalla. You live very well. You rent a house or a multi-room suite in a good tenement on the edge of the Noble’s Quarter, and dine on quality food with every meal. You can adopt an expensive habit, like fine wines, perfumes, gambling, or fancy clothing, but you still must be mindful of your expenses. You likely have a personal servant or two.
Wealthy (1000 sp) : This is the lifestyle of a highly successful merchant, a favored official of the local court, or the owner of a few small businesses and tenements. You live in a large house with expensive furniture and good sheets on the beds. You eat fine foods, drink quality ales and wines, and wear fashionable clothing. Perfume, jewelry, and expensive pipe weed are just some of the luxuries you can afford. You likely have a small staff of personal servants.
Aristocratic (5000 sp) : You are a person of influence and power in your local community, and a regular at important social events, and even at court. If you see something you want, you buy it. No extravagance is too great. You take every meal at a fine fest-hall or an elegant tavern. Your wardrobes overflow with articles of expensive clothing, and you wear jewelry and high-priced colognes at all times. You certainly employ a staff of personal servants and guards that look after your possessions and home, which is likely in the Noble’s Quarter.
While people who are able to cast spells fall under the skilled label of a hireling, they are not a typical hireling for the simple reason that their services are based on their spells, not their skills. Finding either a mage or a cleric willing to cast spells in exchange for something simple like coins or favors is difficult, simply because there is no set rate for these sorts of services. While some mage’s guilds might have a standard level of payment they suggest, the decision is still in the hands of the individual person of power and their own needs or wants. As a general rule of thumb, the higher level the spell, the more difficult it is to locate a person willing to cast it, and the more it is going to cost.
Hiring someone to cast a simple 1st or 2nd level spell, such as Cure Light Wounds or Identify, is easy enough in a town or city like Mornhaven, or even in Thornkeep, and could cost between 100 to 500 sp, plus the costs of any components used in the casting. Finding someone to cast something more powerful, might require travel to Mornhaven, or perhaps an isolated monastery in the wilderness, where they have an exclusive control over a certain spell or other ritual. Once located, the caster might demand more than just coins for the service; usually a demand for the retrieval of a lost relic, or some other service may be required for the casting. Especially rare spells also require especially rare components, and might require a quest to find or retrieve one first, before the ritual can be cast.
Between trips to dungeons and battles against ancient evils, adventurers take time to rest, recuperate, and prepare for their next adventure. Many adventurers also use this time to perform other tasks, such as crafting arms and armor, performing research, or spending their hard-earned gold.
It is assumed that at least eight (8) hours of each day is spent in some sort of downtime activity, to count towards completion of any tasks. These days do not need to be consecutive. If you have more days available than you need to accomplish the task, you can switch to another task on your list upon completion, or continue the task for a longer period of time to grant you a benefit to the task.
This list is by no means complete. Other items, such as improving one’s stronghold, or establishing a trade road across the mountains, or investing in the markets area ll things that can be done during downtime. The only limit is the player’s own imagination, and the abilities of their characters.
Brewing Potions of Healing : Potions of Healing fall into a special category for item crafting, separate from other magic items. A character who has proficiency with the Herbalism Kit can create these potions, provided they have both the materials and the space. The times and costs for doing so are summarized on the Potion of Healing Creation table.
Healing : 1 day (25 gp)
Greater Healing : 1 ten-day (100 gp)
Superior Healing : 3 ten-days (1,000 gp)
Supreme Healing : 4 ten-days (10,000 gp)
Building a Stronghold : Before work on a stronghold can begin, one must acquire a plot of land. Crown Charters are generally required if the land in question lies within the disputed territory of an established realm. These documents grant specific individuals the right to oversee an estate in the name of the crown, and usually grant them a recognized title, such as the Lord of Butterworth. They are usually granted to individuals seeking to build a new fortress in disputed territory that the Crown seeks to conquer and claim. Crown Grants are legal documents granting existing territorial lands and associated communities to an individual for their custody in the Crown’s name. These documents usually grant a minor title, typically a knighthood (or Sir Butterworth), and the custody of one or more small communities to support a minor stronghold, such as a tower fort. Crown Deeds are simple possession documents serving as proof of ownership of a portion of land, a shop, or house in the name of the crown, and do not confer any titles.
Most Crown Charters and Crown Grants are granted by the Crown as a reward for dutiful and thoughtful service in their name, but can also be purchased, though such rights are rarely made available and often ruinous to acquire. Crown Deeds are often inherited, but can also be purchased fairly easily, often from others seeking cash for investment or improvement of other properties in their control. Small properties can sell for as little as 1000 sp to as much as 10,000 sp. Large estates (or farms) might cost 50,000 sp or more, if they’re available at all.
Once estate land is secured, one requires access to materials and labor. If adventurers spend their downtime overseeing construction of their future homes, the costs remain unchanged. If, however, they adventure or spend time away from the project, things tend to slow down appreciably, and a character’s absence can lead to cost over-runs. Furthermore, having appropriate skills in tools and training required (such as having Intelligence (Investigation) trained), can lead to an advantage on unusual rolls, or building secrets known only to the character, such as a secret treasure vault, or a passage leading out of the stronghold. Prices for strongholds range from 50,000 sp for a townhouse or a guild hall taking two to three (2-3) months for completion, to 5 million sp for a large castle, that could take four to five years to complete.
Carousing : Carousing is a default downtime activity for many characters. Between adventures, who doesn’t want to relax with a few drinks and a group of friends at a tavern?
Resources : Carousing covers a ten-day of fine food, strong drink, and socializing. A character can attempt to carouse among lower-, middle-, or upper-class folk. A character can carouse with the lower class for 100 sp to cover expenses, or 500 sp for the middle class. Carousing with the upper class requires 2500 sp and access to the local nobility. A character with the noble background can mingle with the upper class, but other characters can do so only if you judge that the character has made sufficient contacts. Alternatively, a character might use a disguise kit and the Charisma (Deception) skill to pass as a noble visiting from a distant city.
Resolution : After a ten-day of carousing, a character stands to make contacts within the selected social class. The character makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check using the Carousing table.
1-5 : Character has made a hostile contact.
6-10 : Character has made no new contacts.
11-15 : Character has made an allied contact.
16-20 : Character has made two allied contacts.
21+ : Character has made three allied contacts.
Contacts are NPCs who now share a bond with the character. Each one either owes the character a favor or has some reason to bear a grudge. A hostile contact works against the character, placing obstacles but stopping short of committing a crime or a violent act. Allied contacts are friends who will render aid to the character, but not at the risk of their lives.
Lower-Class contacts include criminals, laborers, mercenaries, the town guard, and any other folk who normally frequent the cheapest taverns in town. Middle-Class contacts include guild members, spell-casters, town officials, and other folk who frequent well-kept establishments. Upper-Class contacts are nobles and their personal servants. Carousing with such folk covers formal banquets, state dinners, and the like.
At any time, a character can have a maximum number of unspecified allied contacts equal to 1 + the character’s Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). Specific, named contacts don’t count toward this limit, only ones that can be used at any time to declare an NPC as a contact.
Construct Buildings : Downtime can be spent upgrading or constructing buildings of a more mundane status than a fortress or stronghold. These buildings include temples, guildhalls or even simple things like a tavern or a smithy. How much each building costs varies on its size and eventual purposes, but is also dependent upon the size of the community and its available resources. Once the building is complete, it may be employed immediately for its primary purposes. This may include crafting items, or earning an income by “Running a Business”.
Crafting Magic Items : To start with, a character needs a formula for a magic item in order to create it. The formula is like a recipe. It lists the materials needed and steps required to make the item. An item invariably requires an exotic material to complete it. This material can range from the skin of a yeti to a vial of water taken from a whirlpool on the Elemental Plane of Water. Finding that material should take place as part of an adventure. The Magic ltem Ingredients table suggests the challenge rating of a creature that the characters need to face to acquire the materials for an item. Note that facing a creature does not necessarily mean that the characters must collect items from its corpse. Rather, the creature might guard a location or a resource that the characters need access to.
Common : CR 1-3
Uncommon : CR 4-8
Rare : CR 9-12
Very rare : CR 13-18
Legendary : CR 19+
In addition to facing a specific creature, creating an item comes with a gold piece cost covering other materials, tools, and so on, based on the item’s rarity. Those values, as well as the time a character needs to work in order to complete the item, are shown on the Magic Item Crafting Time and Cost table. Halve the listed price and creation time for any consumable items.
Common : 1 Ten-day (50 gp)
Uncommon : 2 Ten-days (200 gp)
Rare : 10 Ten-days (2,000 gp)
Very Rare : 25 Ten-Days (20,000 gp)
Legendary : 50 Ten-Days (100,000 gp)
To complete a magic item, a character also needs whatever tool proficiency is appropriate, as for crafting a non-magical object, or proficiency in the INT (Arcana) skill. If all the above requirements are met, the result of the process is a magic item of the desired sort.
Crafting Mundane Items : A character who has the time, the money, and the needed tools can use downtime to craft armor, weapons, clothing, or other kinds of non-magical gear.
Resources and Resolution : In addition to the appropriate tools for the item to be crafted, a character needs raw materials worth half of the item’s selling cost. To determine how many ten-days it takes to create an item, divide its gold piece cost by 50. A character can complete multiple items in a ten-day if the items‘ combined cost is 500 sp or lower. Items that cost more than 500 sp can be completed over longer periods of time, as long as the work in progress is stored in a safe location.
Multiple characters can combine their efforts. Divide the time needed to create an item by the number of characters working on it. Use your judgment when determining how many characters can collaborate on an item. A particularly tiny item, like a ring, might allow only one or two workers, whereas a large, complex item might allow four or more workers.
A character needs to be proficient with the tools needed to craft an item and have access to the appropriate equipment. Everyone who collaborates needs to have the appropriate tool proficiency. You need to make any judgment calls regarding whether a character has the correct equipment. If all the above requirements are met, the result of the process is an item of the desired sort. A character can sell an item crafted in this way at its listed price. Some examples include;
Herbalism Kit : Antitoxin, Potion of Healing.
Leatherworker’s Tools : Leather Armor, Boots.
Smith’s Tools : Armor, Weapons.
Weaver’s Tools : Cloaks, Robes.
Crime : Sometimes it pays to be bad. This activity gives a character the chance to make some extra cash, at the risk of arrest.
Resources : A character must spend one (1) ten-day and at least 25 gp gathering information on potential targets before committing the intended crime.
Resolution : The character must make a series of checks, with the DC for all the checks chosen by the character according to the amount of profit sought from the crime. The chosen DC can be 10, 15, 20, or 25. Successful completion of the crime yields a number of gold pieces, as shown on the Loot Value table.
To attempt a crime, the character makes three checks; Dexterity (Stealth), Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools), and the player’s choice of Intelligence (Investigation), Wisdom (Perception), or Charisma (Deception). If none of the checks are successful, the character is caught and jailed. The character must pay a fine equal to the profit the crime would have earned and must spend one (1) ten-day in jail for each 25 gp of the fine. If only one (1) check is successful, the heist fails but the character escapes. If two (2) checks are successful, the heist is a partial success, netting the character half the payout. If all three (3) checks are successful, the character earns the full value of the loot.
DC 10 (50 gp) : Robbery of a struggling merchant.
DC 15 (100 gp) : Robbery of a prosperous merchant.
DC 20 (200 gp) : Robbery of a minor noble.
DC 25 (1000 gp) : Robbery of one of the primary local nobles.
Earning a Living : When all else fails, an adventurer can turn to an honest trade to earn a living. This activity represents a character’s attempt to find temporary work, the quality and wages of which are difficult to predict.
Resources : Performing a job requires one ten-day of effort.
Resolution : To determine how much money a character earns, the character makes an ability check, such as Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), Intelligence (Tools), Charisma (Performance), or Charisma (Musical Instrument). They then consult the Wages table to see how much money is generated according to the total of the check.
DC 9 or lower : 30 sp for the ten-day.
DC 10-14 : 60 sp for the ten-day.
DC 15-20 : 150 sp for the ten-day.
DC 21+ : 500 sp for the ten-day.
Gaining Renown : Spending downtime to improve one’s reputation within a given guild or other organization, such as a thieves’ guild, can undertake minor tasks and socialize with its members. After pursuing these tasks for a number of days equal to their existing renown multiplied by ten, their renown can increase one (1) point.
Gambling : Games of chance are a way to make a fortune—and perhaps a better way to lose one. This activity requires one ten-day of effort, plus a stake of at least 100 sp, to a maximum of 1,000 gp or more, as you see fit.
Resolution : The character must make a series of checks, with a DC determined at random based on the quality of the competition that the character runs into. Part of the risk of gambling is that one never knows who might end up sitting across the table.
The character makes three checks: Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Deception), and Charisma (Intimidation). If the character has proficiency with an appropriate gaming set, that tool proficiency can replace the relevant skill in any of the checks. The DC for each of the checks is DC 5 + 2d10; generate a separate DC for each one. Consult the Gambling Results table to see how the character did.
0 Successes : Lose all the money you bet, and accrue a debt equal to that amount.
1 Success : Lose half the money you bet.
2 Successes : Gain the amount you bet plus half again more.
3 Successes : Gain double the amount you bet.
Gather Information : By spending a day of downtime, one can thoroughly converse with several knowledgeable individuals and reliable contacts over the course of the day. You may attempt up to three Intelligence (Investigation) checks to gather information. These checks can be for the same or different subjects, and one of the rolls can be expended to re-roll a check failed during this activity.
Heal Others : One can use downtime to help others rest and recover using the Wisdom (Medicine) skill. For long-term care, treating wounds and diseases, you can spend your day(s) assisting others in getting better, granting a bonus (+2) on recuperating from a disease or poisoned status. One can care for up to six (6) others each day.
Performing Sacred Rites : A pious adventurer can spend their downtime performing sacred rites in their local temple, or in their own established holy place. Between these rites, it is assumed their time is spent in prayers, devotions and service among the community. These rites can include weddings, funerals, and acolyte ordinations. Laypersons, or non-priests, can assist priests in these rites and prayers.
An adventurer who spends at least one (1) ten-day performing sacred rites, gains one (1) Inspiration Point at the start of each day over the next ten-day to be spent in other tasks they might wish or be involved in.
Practicing a Profession : Adventurers can work between adventures, allowing them to maintain themselves at a modest lifestyle without having to pay anything. This benefit lasts as long as you continue to spend the requisite amount of time practicing your profession.
A member of a specific guild that can provide gainful employment, or is a member of a noted religious order or a mage’s guild, is assumed to be able to support a comfortable lifestyle instead. A proficiency in the Charisma (Performance) skill, and the ability to employ it during downtime, is able to support themselves at the wealthy lifestyle level instead.
Promote a Business : One can spend a day of downtime to increase interest in a business, temple, organization, or other local fixture. If you wish to promote a bakery, spending coin on goods to give free bread to the local people in town, or placing notices about town, or spending time with the local lord to get them to publically endorse the facility are all ways in which one can influence the business efforts, and require different expenses and skill checks. The means employed can not be duplicated again in the same season.
This promotion increases business over the next ten-day, and requires a successful check for the appropriate skill used, such as a Charisma (Persuasion) check to influence the baron, or Wisdom (Insight) to determine the best form of free bread to give away. If promoting an organization without access to an appropriate physical building, makes the effort have disadvantage, as there is no focus for the effort. It’s harder to promote something that doesn’t seem to have a place in society. For example, trying to gain support for the local fey, is made more difficult since they don’t live in town, and likely don’t have a center of “Fey Rights”.
The business or organization promoted during downtime, does not have to be owned by the character. If the building or organization does not normally generate an income, such as an orphanage, it can do so as a result of the effort.
Recruit for an Organization : One can create and recruit for an organization that doesn’t rely on a specific building. For example, one might want to recruit minions if you’re a rogue and want to start your own gang of cutpurses or a cleric who wants to start their own cult of followers. An organization can be built from existing teams of personnel previously recruited, so that one can build an organization to the taste of all concerned. Depending on the community in question, the amount of time and wealth spent in the effort varies, but upon completion, the organization or team built is considered complete and can work immediately.
Relaxation : Sometimes the best thing to do between adventures is simply relax. Whether a character wants a hard-earned vacation, or needs to recover from injuries, relaxation is the ideal option for adventurers who need a break. This option is also ideal for players who don’t want to make use of the Downtime system.
Resources : Relaxation requires one (1) ten-day. A character needs to maintain at least a “modest” lifestyle while relaxing to gain the benefit of the activity.
Resolution : While relaxing, characters gain several benefits. A character gains advantage on saving throws to recover from long-acting diseases and poisons. In addition, at the end of the ten-day, a character can end one effect that keeps the character from regaining hit points, or can restore one ability score that has been reduced to less than its normal value. This benefit cannot be used if the harmful effect was caused by a spell or some other magical effect with an ongoing duration.
Religious Services : Characters with a religious bent might want to spend downtime in service to a temple, either by attending rites or by proselytizing in the community. Someone who undertakes this activity has a chance of winning the favor of the temple’s leadership.
Performing religious services requires access to, and often attendance at, a temple whose beliefs and ethos align with the character’s. If such a place is available, the activity takes one ten-day of time but involves no gold piece expenditure.
At the end of the required time, the character chooses to make either an Intelligence (Religion) check or a Charisma (Persuasion) check. The total of the check determines the benefits of service, as shown on the Religious Service table.
1-10 : No effect. Your efforts fail to make a lasting impression.
11-20 : You earn one favor.
21+ : You earn two favors.
A favor, in broad terms, is a promise of future assistance from a representative of the temple. It can be expended to ask the temple for help in dealing with a specific problem, for general political or social support, or to reduce the cost of cleric spell-casting by 50 percent. A favor could also take the form of a deity’s intervention, such as an omen, a vision, or a minor miracle provided at a key moment. This latter sort of favor is expended by the DM, who also determines its nature. Favors earned need not be expended immediately, but only a certain number can be stored up. A character can have a maximum number of unused favors equal to 1 + the character‘s Charisma modifier (minimum of one un- used favor).
Researching : “Forewarned is forearmed”. The time between adventures is a great chance to perform research, gaining insight into mysteries that have unfurled over the course of the campaign. Research can include poring over dusty tomes and crumbling scrolls in a library or buying drinks for the locals to pry rumors and gossip from their lips. The _research downtime activity allows a character to delve into lore concerning a monster, a location, a magic item, or some other particular topic.
Typically, a character needs access to a library or a sage to conduct research. Assuming such access is available, conducting research requires one ten-day of effort and at least 500 sp spent on materials, bribes, gifts, and other expenses.
The character then declares the focus of the research – a specific person, place, or thing. After one ten-day, the character makes an Intelligence check with a bonus (6). In addition, a character who has access to a particularly well-stocked library or knowledgeable sages gains advantage on this check. Determine how much lore a character learns using the Research Outcomes table.
1-5 : No effect.
6-10 : You learn one piece of lore.
11-20 : You learn two pieces of lore.
21+ : You learn three pieces of lore.
Each piece of lore is the equivalent of one true statement about a person, place, or thing. Examples include; knowledge of a creature’s resistances; the password needed to enter a sealed dungeon level; the spells commonly prepared by an order of wizards, and so on. The DM, you are the final arbiter concerning exactly what a character learns. For a monster or an NPC, this might reveal elements of statistics or personality. For a location, it might reveal secrets about it, such as a hidden entrance, the answer to a riddle, or the nature of a creature that guards the place.
Retraining Feats : You can change one Feat for another through retraining during downtime. Retraining a feat takes five (5) days with a character who has the Feat you seek. The old Feat can’t be one required for an existing feat, class feature, or other ability. If the old feat is a class feature, you must replace the entire series of Class features, by following a new path. Such retraining simply takes time, a trainer, and can occur as often as desired.
Retraining Hit Points : Sometimes the dice aren’t in your favor when you gain a level, and your hit points roll is especially low. Unlike retraining other abilities, retraining hit points doesn’t involve replacing an ability with another, it simply increases your maximum hit points.
Retraining Hit Points takes three days of Downtime, and requires access to a martial academy or monastery of some martial order, or a master of combat who is at least one level higher than yourself. At the end of the period, you increase your maximum hit points by one (1). You can retrain hit points only if your maximum allowed hit points total is less than the maximum possible hit points total for your character’s chosen classes.
For example, you are a 5th level Fighter, with a Constitution 14 and no other special abilities; your maximum hit point total is 60. If your maximum hit point total is already 60 HP, you cannot train to increase this total, because you already have the maximum allowed. If you took the Tough Feat, this total would increase to 70, thus increasing your maximum total to 70, which means the maximum would remain 70 without allowing to train further.
Running a Business : Adventurers often wind up owning businesses or other properties, such as castles, none of which directly have anything to do with saving the world or exploring the Lower Planes. One could inherit a smithy or some farmland, or the rights to control a fortress and several villages, and feel obliged to spend their downtime maintaining the venture and ensuring it runs smoothly.
The results of this effort have long-ranging effects on the adventurer’s world; granting access to craftsmen not usually available, or resources not commonly found on the market, and often bring access to contacts, research facilities and markets for the sale of their salvaged treasures. They also have a chance to bring in a little coin to allow one to improve their lifestyle. They can also provide a safe place to store valuables or craft items.
Scheme for an Upcoming Adventure : Downtime can be used to prepare for an upcoming adventure or event. For example, if you know you have to attend a fancy ball at the baron’s castle in two days, you can spend those days watching the baron’s manor, investigating what clothes the participants are expected to wear, and discover who is intending to attend. If one’s approach to the effort is deemed appropriate, it can grant a +2 assistance bonus in other rolls for the event, such as a Charisma check to “blend into the crowd”, or a Charisma (Performance) roll to delight the audience, or a Charisma (Deception) roll to disguise a team of assassins as servants. A separate day must be spent to gain assistance on every separatel roll.
Scribing a Scroll : With time and patience, a spell-caster can transfer a spell to a scroll, creating a spell scroll.
Resources : Scribing a spell scroll takes an amount of time and money related to the level of the spell the character wants to scribe, as shown in the Spell Scroll Costs table. In addition, the character must have proficiency in the Intelligence (Arcana) skill and must provide any material components required for the casting of the spell. Moreover, the character must have the Spell prepared, or it must be among the character’s known spells, in order to scribe a scroll of that spell. If the scribed spell is a cantrip, the version on the scroll works as if the caster were 1st level.
Cantrip : 1 day (15 gp)
1st : 1 day (25 gp)
2nd : 3 days (250 gp)
3rd : 1 ten-day (500 gp)
4th : 2 ten-days (2500 gp)
5th : 4 ten-days (5,000 gp)
6th : 8 ten-days (15,000 gp)
7th : 16 ten-days (25,000 gp)
8th : 32 ten-days (50,000 gp)
9th : 48 ten-days (250,000 gp)
Selling Magic Items : Few can afford the relics and artifacts adventurers wrest from ruins and dungeons, and fewer still know how to find one. Adventurers are the exception to this, in regard to the nature of their career.
Resources : Downtime can be spent trying to search for a buyer for any magic item they own, from Common to Rare, but must be conducted in a city or other location that has wealthy enough patrons to be interested in such things. Priceless Artifacts and unique or Legendary magic items cannot be sold during downtime. Finding such an interested buyer is the substance of its own adventure. Only one (1) item can be offered each ten-day.
Resolution : A character who wants to sell an item must make a Charisma (Persuasion) check to determine what kind of offer comes in. The character can always opt not to sell, instead forfeiting the effort and trying again later. Use the Magic Item Base Prices
and Magic Item Offers tables to determine the sale price. Prices are halved for consumables, such as potions or scrolls.
Common : 100 gp
Uncommon : 400 gp
Rare : 4000 gp
Very Rare : 40,000 gp
DC 1 : 10-50% of base price
DC 11-20 : 100% of base price
DC 21+ : 150% of base price
Buyers sometimes procure rare and very rare items through proxies and merchants to ensure their identity remains unknown. If a buyer seems shady, one should recognize that the adventurer’s reputation is on the line; “Wasn’t this the ‘Dread Black Blade of Angor’ used in the murder of the mayor, the one you pulled from the treasure horde of the ‘Smashfist Ogres’, and used last year during the Goblin Wars?”.
Sowing Rumors : Swaying public opinion can be an effective means to bring down a villain or elevate a friend. Spreading rumors is an effective, if under-handed, way to accomplish that goal. Well-placed rumors can increase the subject’s or organization’s standing in a community, or embroil them in scandals. A rumor, however, needs to be a simple, concrete, and hard to disprove idea. An effective rumor has to play off what the public want to believe about the person in question.
Sowing such rumors requires a number of days depending on the size of the community in question; roughly a ten-day for a village, or a month for a city. The time spent must be continuous. If an adventurer spends a ten-day talking about how great Tomas the Necromancer is, then goes off to clear the bandit hold at Skullport for three days, he would need to start over again, because the rumor faded away without the constant repetition required before it could develop.
It costs 10 sp per day to spread the rumor, which covers the costs of ale, social appearances, lost money in back alley dicing games, and other expenses. At the end of the rumor’s spreading, a (DC 15) Charisma (Deception or Persuasion) check is made. If successful the community’s prevailing attitude towards the subject shifts one step towards either friendly or hostile, depending on the intent of the rumor. If it fails, the rumor never gained the traction necessary to propagate, and fails.
Shifting a community’s general attitude towards a person or an organization doesn’t affect everyone in the community. Individuals hold their own opinions, particularly if they have personal experiences in dealing with the subject of the rumors. It’s hard, for example, to convince the personal maid of the queen that Queen’s evil, when the maid is with her day in and day out.
Spells Known : Spontaneous spellcasters (such as sorcerers, or bards) can retrain known spells. This retraining takes two (2) days per spell level of the new spell (or one day in the case of a cantrip), and requires a trainer who can cast the spell you want. The trainer must have access to the same type of spells as you do (arcane versus divine).
The spell with which you’re replacing the previous spell must be another from your class spell list. The new spell must be one you could place in the old spell’s spell slot. Note that this retraining is unrelated to learning a new spell in place of an old one at certain class levels (like a warlock). These are class abilities, occur instantly with the new level, and have no other cost affiliated with them. Retraining a spell requires time, a trainer and can happen as often as one wishes.
Train an Animal : One can use their Wisdom (Animal Training) skill to train an animal. While it is assumed that the training period is continuous, however, it can be broken into smaller increments (allowing progress to continue between adventures), but a check must be made during each downtime period, and the DC increases by 2 for each check.
Teach an Animal a Trick : Requires a ten-day and a successful Wisdom (Animal Handling) check at the end of the training period. Tricks include giving its owner support in one activity, such as aiding in one of the following ability checks; Charisma (Intimidation), Intelligence (Investigation), or Wisdom (Perception). When using an animal in this manner, you gain proficiency in the given skill (even if not trained), and advantage when so assisted. If you have skill trained, you gain double your proficiency bonus.
Teach an Animal to Fight : Requires a ten-day and a successful Wisdom (Animal Handling) check at the end of the training period. Animals can be then be given the ability to Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge or Help without requiring an action from its owner. Each skill requires a separate Downtime period to train.
Train an Animal for a General Purpose : This sort of training can take several weeks, depending on the nature of the training, but takes an untrained animal to trained status to make a mount capable of wearing barding, or pull a wagon, or other purpose.
Rear a Wild Animal : Depending on the maturation rate of the animal, this can take from months to years. It is assumed the animal is interacted with for one hour each day, and at the end of the maturity period a roll can be made. This does not require any downtime. An interruption in this training, however, requires a day of downtime to continue training, along with a successful Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. It is assumed, that an non-expert has been assigned to help raise the animal in your absence. At the end of the rearing period, the animal is considered domesticated.
Training : One can spend time between adventures learning a language or training to learn a new set of proficiency skill tools. These new languages or skills do not count against the maximum number allowed by race or class. However, one may only learn an additional number of skills or languages this way equal to 1+INT bonus.
First, you must find an instructor willing to teach you. The time required finding such a hireling can vary, and may require one or more ability checks (such as Charisma (Persuasion) or Intelligence (Investigation) ) to uncover. Training lasts for a number of days (depending on the language or proficiency), and can cost 10 sp per day. After the requisite amount of time and money is spent, it is assumed the adventurer has learned the new language or gained proficiency in a new set of tools.
Training times depend greatly upon the specific proficiency being learned, and take from a month (for tools such as agriculture, brewing or mining tools), to 2-3 months (for a complex proficiency such as jewelcraft, metalcraft or ceramics) to six months (for alchemy, piloting or weaponscraft). Languages almost universally require one month. Superior Intelligence, however can reduce this time by a number of ten-days equal to the character’s Intelligence modifier, though an Intelligence penalty doesn’t increase the time needed. There is always a minimum of one ten-day to learn any new tool or language.