Between Adventures

Downtime Activities


Time. To carouse, a PC must spend at least one week of downtime attending social events and gatherings in a city or other densely populated area.

Cost. Carousing requires a PC to spend money based on the class of individuals they want to carouse with: lower class, middle class, or upper class. Carousing with the upper class costs more than carousing with the lower class due to the higher cost of events, clothing, and food enjoyed by the wealthy.

Select one of the following options or ask your GM to select based on the kind of people you wish to carouse with. Note that if more than one PC engages in the same carousing activity, the cost must be paid for each participant, but only one PC must expend the required downtime. Listed costs cover an entire week of carousing.

  • Lower Class (10 gp). This type of carousing is for nights of drinking at a favorite tavern, outdoor concerts and fairs, and late-night loitering. Members of the lower class typically include students, servants, laborers, petty criminals, soldiers, acolytes, and sailors.
  • Middle Class (50 gp). This type of carousing is for pub crawls, concerts and plays, and similar ticketed activities. Members of the middle class typically include business owners, skilled tradespeople, professors, scholars, and military officers.
  • Upper Class (250 gp). This type of carousing is for invitation-only soirees, hobnobbing with nobility, lavish consecutive dinners out, and other costly endeavors. Members of the upper class typically include nobles, celebrities, high priests, archmages, crime bosses, and generals.

Resolution. After each week spent carousing, a PC makes a CHA (Persuasion) check or a similarly relevant ability check to determine if they made any contacts or gained any favors, as shown on the Carousing Resolution table.

Carousing Resolution

1–5Lose a contact or a favor owed by an existing contact.
6–10Make no new contacts and gain no favors.
11–15Make one new contact or gain one favor with an existing contact.
16–20Make two new contacts or gain two favors with existing contacts (or one of each).
21+Make three new contacts or gain three favors with existing contacts (or a combination of those options).

Using Contacts and Favors

Making a contact via carousing represents time spent building a bond with a specific NPC. When a new contact is gained, the GM and PC can work together to decide if they made a contact of a suitable NPC previously encountered in the game, a new distinct NPC that needs a name and personality, or if an NPC’s function is needed more than a person, such as “city guard” or “spice merchant.”

Contacts can be called on to help PCs by performing favors for them. A new contact automatically owes the PC one favor. After a PC has made at least one contact by carousing, future carousing successes can be used to gain new contacts or accrue favors with existing contacts.

In general, favors can be called in to accomplish tasks that don’t put contacts at risk of harm or betray their nature. For example, a favor likely can’t be called in to make a contact fight for you, but a favor could be called in to have a contact find a talented mercenary willing to work for you at a discounted rate.

The type of favors a contact can perform depend on which economic class they belong to. Suggestions of favors appropriate for each category are given in the Favors by Status table, but the GM has final say on what a particular contact can accomplish.

Favors by Status

StatusSuggested Favors
Lower ClassTrack the comings and goings of an employer or other specific person for up to a week. Ensure a particular door or window is left unlocked. Discretely deliver a message or package.
Middle ClassFind a supplier selling materials or equipment at a discounted rate. Provide your party with free food and accommodations for up to a week. Agree to become your regular instructor (see the Training activity in this section).
Upper ClassGet an invitation for you to an exclusive party or event. Connect you with someone willing to buy or sell rare goods or magic items. Lend you a substantial amount of money (to be paid back at a later date).


Time. Your progress toward crafting items is measured in days of downtime. For each workday spent crafting, you can craft one item worth 10 gp or multiple items worth a combined total of 10 gp. If something you want to craft is worth more than that, you can spend multiple days of downtime working to complete the item, making 10 gp worth of progress each day, until it is completed. You don’t need to work consecutive days to make progress, but the GM might rule you need to start over if long periods of time pass without resuming work on the same item.

More than one character can work together to craft an item more quickly, as long as they are also proficient with the relevant tools and have access to the appropriate materials. The GM has final say on how many characters can work on a single item at once. A large project, such as building a cart, might offer plenty of room for characters to work together while a belt might be small enough that only one character can work on it at a time.

Cost. Crafting items requires a PC to spend money on materials necessary to make them. To craft an item, a PC must purchase materials equal to half the cost of the item’s listed value.

Resolution. Once all required components and tools are in hand and downtime is spent, the item is successfully crafted.


Time. To conduct research, a PC must spend at least one week of downtime reading, studying, attending lectures, or conducting interviews where multiple sources of relevant information are found.

Cost. Each week of downtime you spend researching, you must spend at least 50 gp to cover expenses, or more if the GM rules the information you seek is difficult to find. This cost represents materials purchased, palms greased to gain access, donations required to access public records, and similar expenses.

Resolution. At the end of each week spent researching, a PC makes an INT (Arcana), INT (History), INT (Nature), INT (Religion) check (or a similarly relevant ability check) to determine whether they learned any clues about the topic of their research, as shown on the Researching Resolution table.

Reasearching Resolution

Check ResultResolution
1–5Learn an incorrect “clue.” You believe it to be true
or lose an unused clue.
6–10Research leads to a dead end. You gain no clues.
11–15Learn one clue.
16–20Learn two clues.
21+Learn three clues.

Using Clues

A clue is a secret or otherwise valuable piece of information regarding the subject of your research. When you gain a new clue, you can spend it immediately to have the GM give one true (and useful) fact about the research topic you discussed with and GM when you began the research downtime activity.

Alternatively, you can hold a clue to spend at a later time. A held clue can be used to automatically succeed on a future INT-based ability check made to learn about the research topic.

A clue is a concise, specific, and true fact about a creature, place, historical event, or item. The best clues provide helpful hints, warnings, or leads relevant to the story. The Sample Clues table contains some suggested clues.

Sample Clues
Research TopicSuggested Clues
CreaturesA list of immunities, vulnerabilities, and resistances or similar mechanical information. Details of where a particular creature might lair or signs to detect its presence in a region. Lore about a particular creature’s history or origin.
ItemsThe last known location of a particular magic item. The name or history of an item’s creator. Properties of a magic item or signs of its use.
PlacesDirections to a particular location. Hazards (magical or mundane) in an area. Information on the customs of people in an area.


Time. Training typically requires at least 50 weeks before mastering a new proficiency or talent, but the GM can increase or decrease this number as makes sense for the pace and story of a campaign. Successful resolution checks can dramatically shorten this time.

Cost. A PC must pay an instructor at least 1 gp per week to receive their tutelage, unless the GM determines that the instructor requires a higher amount. Some instructors, especially those gained through carousing, might require a student to regularly perform tasks for them in addition to paying money.

Resolution. At the end of each week spent training, a PC rolls a d20 and adds their PB to determine the result of their training as shown on the Training Resolution table. Luck can be spent 1-for-1 to increase the result of this roll, but Luck can’t be used to grant advantage on the roll and no other features can modify it. Once the full time and cost are spent, your character learns the new feature.

Training Resolution

Check ResultResolution
1–5Lose a week of progress toward your goal or you lose your instructor and you must find another one before you can continue training (player’s choice).
6–10Make one week of progress toward your goal.
11–15Make two weeks of progress toward your goal.
16–20Make three weeks of progress toward your goal, or a number of weeks of progress equal to your PB (whichever is higher).
21+Halve the total number of remaining weeks needed to meet your goal (to a minimum of 1 week remaining).


Time. To work, a PC must spend at least one week of downtime.

Resolution. At the end of a week spent working, the PC makes a single ability check using a skill or tool that the PC and GM agree is most relevant to the type of work performed. The result of the check determines how much money the PC earned for the week, as shown on the Working Resolution table. Monetary values assume a standard economy in a typical fantasy setting, but the GM should feel free to adjust these values as suits the needs of the game.

Working Resolution

Check ResultResolution
1–5You earn 10 sp for the week
6–10You earn 5 gp for the week
11–15You earn 10 gp for the week
16–20You earn 20 gp for the week
21+You earn 20 gp for the week + bonus gp equal to your PB × 5

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