Downtime Activities

Downtime Activities Quick List
Building or improving a Stronghold
Carousing
Crafting
Crafting a Magic Item
Gaining Renown
Making Contacts, Friends, and/or Allies
Performing Sacred Rites
Practicing a Profession
Recuperating
Running a Business
Selling Magic Items
Sowing Rumors
Training – language, tools, other
Create a Downtime Activity

Between Adventures
The campaign benefits when characters have time between adventures to engage in other activities. Allowing days, weeks, or months to pass between adventures stretches the campaign over a longer period of time and helps to manage the characters’ level progression, preventing them from gaining too much power too quickly. Allowing characters to pursue side interests between adventures also encourages players to become more invested in the campaign world. When a character owns a tavern in a village or spends time carousing with the locals, that character’s player is more likely to respond to threats to the village and its inhabitants. As your campaign progresses, your players’ characters will not only become more powerful but also more influential and invested in the world. They might be inclined to undertake projects that require more time between adventures, such as building and maintaining a stronghold. As the party gains levels, you can add more downtime between adventures to give characters the time they need to pursue such interests. Whereas days or weeks might pass between low-level adventures, the amount of downtime between higher-level adventures might be measured in months or years.

Between Adventures

Between trips to dungeons and battles against ancient evils, adventurers need 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.

In some cases, the passage of time is something that occurs with little fanfare or description. When starting a new adventure, the GM might simply declare that a certain amount of time has passed and allow you to describe in general terms what your character has been doing. At other times, the GM might want to keep track of just how much time is passing as events beyond your perception stay in motion.

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.

Downtime Activities

Between adventures, the GM might ask you what your character is doing during his or her downtime. Periods of downtime can vary in duration, but each downtime activity requires a certain number of days to complete before you gain any benefit, and at least 8 hours of each day must be spent on the downtime activity for the day to count. The days do not need to be consecutive. If you have more than the minimum amount of days to spend, you can keep doing the same thing for a longer period of time, or switch to a new downtime activity.

Downtime activities other than the ones presented below are possible. If you want your character to spend his or her downtime performing an activity not covered here, discuss it with your GM.

Crafting

You can craft nonmagical objects, including adventuring equipment and works of art. You must be proficient with tools related to the object you are trying to create (typically artisan’s tools). You might also need access to special materials or locations necessary to create it. For example, someone proficient with smith’s tools needs a forge in order to craft a sword or suit of armor.

For every day of downtime you spend crafting, you can craft one or more items with a total market value not exceeding 5 gp, and you must expend raw materials worth half the total market value. If something you want to craft has a market value greater than 5 gp, you make progress every day in 5- gp increments until you reach the market value of the item. For example, a suit of plate armor (market value 1,500 gp) takes 300 days to craft by yourself.

Multiple characters can combine their efforts toward the crafting of a single item, provided that the characters all have proficiency with the requisite tools and are working together in the same place.

Each character contributes 5 gp worth of effort for every day spent helping to craft the item. For example, three characters with the requisite tool proficiency and the proper facilities can craft a suit of plate armor in 100 days, at a total cost of 750 gp.

While crafting, you can maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 gp per day, or a comfortable lifestyle at half the normal cost.

Practicing a Profession

You can work between adventures, allowing you to maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 gp per day. This benefit lasts as long you continue to practice your profession.

If you are a member of an organization that can provide gainful employment, such as a temple or a thieves’ guild, you earn enough to support a comfortable lifestyle instead.

If you have proficiency in the Performance skill and put your performance skill to use during your downtime, you earn enough to support a wealthy lifestyle instead.

Recuperating

You can use downtime between adventures to recover from a debilitating injury, disease, or poison.

After three days of downtime spent recuperating, you can make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a successful save, you can choose one of the following results:

End one effect on you that prevents you from regaining hit points.
For the next 24 hours, gain advantage on saving throws against one disease or poison currently affecting you.
Researching

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.

When you begin your research, the GM determines whether the information is available, how many days of downtime it will take to find it, and whether there are any restrictions on your research (such as needing to seek out a specific individual, tome, or location). The GM might also require you to make one or more ability checks, such as an Intelligence (Investigation) check to find clues pointing toward the information you seek, or a Charisma (Persuasion) check to secure someone’s aid. Once those conditions are met, you learn the information if it is available.

For each day of research, you must spend 1 gp to cover your expenses. This cost is in addition to your normal lifestyle expenses.

Training

You can spend time between adventures learning a new language or training with a set of tools. Your GM might allow additional training options.

First, you must find an instructor willing to teach you. The GM determines how long it takes, and whether one or more ability checks are required.

The training lasts for 250 days and costs 1 gp per day. After you spend the requisite amount of time and money, you learn the new language or gain proficiency with the new tool.

Carousing

Gaining Renown

Making Contacts, Friends, and/or Allies

Crafting a Magic Item

Building a Stronghold

Performing Sacred Rites

Running a Business

Selling Magic Items

Sowing Rumors

Other training???

Creating Downtime Activities
Players might be interested in pursuing other downtime activities. If new ones are invented, remember the following:

  • An activity should never negate the need or desire for characters to go on adventures.
  • Activities that have a monetary cost associated with them provide opportunities for player characters to spend their hard-won treasure.
  • Activities that reveal new adventure hooks and previously unknown facts about your campaign can help you foreshadow future events and conflicts.
  • For an activity you expect a character to repeat with variable degrees of success, consider creating a random outcome table.
  • If a character belongs to a class or has a proficiency or background that would make him or her well suited to a particular activity, consider granting a bonus to ability checks made by the character to complete that activity successfully.

RECURRING EXPENSES
Besides the expenses associated with maintaining a particular lifestyle, adventurers might have additional drains on their adventuring income. Player characters who come into possession of property, own businesses. and employ hirelings must cover the expenses that accompany these ventures.
It’s not unusual for adventurers – especially after 10th level – to gain possession of a castle, a tavern, or another piece of property. They might buy it with their hard-won loot, take it by force, obtain it in a lucky draw from a deck of many things, or acquire it by other means. There is a table for the per-day upkeep cost for any such property. (The cost of a normal residence isn’t included here because it falls under lifestyle expenses, as discussed in the Player’s Handbook.) Maintenance expenses need to be paid every 30 days. Given that adventurers spend much of their time adventuring, staff includes a steward who can make payments in the party’s absence.
Total Cost per Day
The cost includes everything it takes to maintain the property and keep things running -smoothly, including the salaries of hirelings. If the property earns money that can offset maintenance costs (by charging fees, collecting tithes or donations, or selling goods), that is taken into account in the table.
Skilled and Untrained Hirelings
The Player’s Handbook explains the difference between a skilled hireling and an untrained one.

Businesses
An adventurer-owned business can earn enough money to cover its own maintenance costs. However, the owner needs to periodically ensure that everything is running smoothly by tending to the business between adventures.

Garrisons
Castles and keeps employ soldiers (use the veteran and guard statistics in the Monster Manual) to defend them. Roadside inns, outposts and forts, palaces, and temples rely on less-experienced defenders (use the guard statistics in the Monster Manual). These armed warriors make up the bulk of a property’s skilled hirelings.

Downtime Activities

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