Updated Downtime Actions:
There are two kinds of downtime actions, simple and complex. Everyone gets a simple action, and you can use the downtime ticket page to submit your simple action. Complex actions only come from having certain skills, backgrounds, or the use of Volunteer Points.
At the end of each game players without any special downtime abilities gain one simple downtime game action. This action allows you to perform some mundane task with your character’s free time between games. This is above and beyond the normal requirements of making a living—your character isn’t at risk of starving to death or having no place to stay; it’s assumed that you are able to eke out a reasonable living and still have some time left over. You can perform any of the following with your character’s time:
Simple Downtime Actions:
- use any professional skill to earn money,
- use a production skill to craft an item, or gather a resource.
- Learn a spell or alchemical formula.
- Do a basic lore research.
- Generate influence if you have the ability to do so.
- Participate in (but not request) a special tabletop session between events.
Use a Production Skill: You can use your downtime action as one cycle of your production skill. Turn in any components and money used to staff. Write down an itemized list of what you’re making. Remember, you can use your full level of skill in any one production skill, so if you have three levels of weaponsmithing, you could make three daggers (level one each) in that one cycle.
Earn Money: If you have a Professional skill, you can earn money in your downtime action. You can use your profession to receive 5 copper, or 1 draught if you participate in a Sun Acolyte Ceremony specially designed to increase this amount.
Learn a spell: If you are part of a magical tradition that can or must learn spells via downtime actions, doing so is a simple action. This is also true for alchemical formulae.
Generate Influence: If you have a means to generate influence, doing so is a simple downtime. This may come from a skill, from a background, or from some special school or ability. All the usual restrictions for influence still apply.
Basic Lore Research: Basic lore research is inquiring about a topic so as to qualify to purchase that lore with CP. This is not directed research on a particular topic, but broad inquiry on a general subject. (See below for directed research.)
Participate in a tabletop:Sometimes you might get asked to go along on an adventure for a dedicated tabletop between events. You have to spend a BDT to do so. Since most adventures include opportunities to do simple stuff like learn a spell or research something, this shouldn’t be a problem in terms of getting stuff done. Requesting a special tabletop, however, is an Advanced action, detailed below.
With a complex downtime, you can do the following:
- Directed Research
- Some RP action. (Like spending influence.)
- Request a Tabletop session.
Roleplaying Action: If you want to perform some special task but there isn’t an applicable skill, and it’s not something you can do in play, this is the time to do it. This might include helping the villagers to rebuild after an attack, or taking a trip back home to visit your character’s family.
Directed Research: You can use a Lore skill to gain access to special knowledge. Write down your question and the Lore skill that you want to use. You’ll receive an answer in your envelope at the next event.
Request a Tabletop: It takes a downtime action to request a special dedicated tabletop to resolve some of your personal plot, advance a particular story, or get attention focused on something you’re interested in. Tabletop sessions at an event do not count for this; this is purely for personal stories in between events. Of course, this is subject to everyone’s availablity and schedule, so make sure you have all that sorted out before you spend your ADT.
If you have requested a private TT game, the best way to make that happen in a timely manner is if you do a lot of the scheduling legwork and player wrangling yourself. Ask the GM for a range of dates that they might be able to run on and how many players he or she is comfortable running a game for and then get your chosen adventuring group to commit to one of those dates within a reasonable timeframe. All you need to do then confirm a final date with the GM and nail that baby down on your calendar! This needs to be sorted out before you spend your advanced downtime.
Things You Can’t Do: Unless you have special Story Team approval, you can’t use your downtime action to explore, to prospect, or to engage in combats. You must do such things at adventures in game events.
DOWNTIME DEADLINES AND CONTACT
- Please submit your downtimes via our online ticketing system. Create a title of your action you want to perform, select whether your downtime is simple or complex, select the skill you are using to submit your downtime with (basic, reason, seneschal, circadian philosopher, or via your leadership network), make sure you select a category your downtimes are in (Lore, Production, Professions, Role Playing, or Spell or Alchemy research), and make sure you have a clear description of the downtime action you wish to perform. Please also add your Out of Character (OOC) desired result of your action. If you have multiple downtime actions per downtime, please send each action as a separate ticket.
- Review your downtimes on the downtime list, you may have to adjust parameters to “any” and “all” to see them. You will receive an email as well to your site registered email confirming your submission.
- Please do not send general game information requests or extended chats or conversations on the downtime ticket channel, though you may certainly clarify questions about your downtime on your ticket.
- There is a hard deadline for downtime action requests. If you would like to receive responses to your downtime actions in game you MUST send your requests two weeks prior to game start. Thanks for your cooperation. This new system will help to improve the overall downtime process and make it easier for your actions to be processed correctly.
- If you have any questions please contact Plot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please note that downtimes are different than CP spends, CP spends must be sent to our Records and Book Keeping team.
- Downtimes are specific actions taken by a character, to do specific things allowed in a downtime between games. Its a mechanical action within the rule system.
- You must have played at the previous game (convention court games or camper games) to submit a downtime action for the next game. Table Top Games do not generate downtimes.
Common and Useful Downtime Actions:
There has been a bit of confusion in the past about what downtimes are and how to use them. Let’s try to clear some of that up!
Downtimes generally fall under the following categories:
- 1) Earning money. This is downtimes like Profession, and Advantages like Illumin Baronet. The downtime basically converts to a small amount of cash, added to your packet next game.
- 2) Generating resources. This is usually abilities like generating influences and such. These are all special abilities and take a downtime to do.
- 3) A special action from a special school. Some special schools and organization have special things that can be done with a downtime. Some cultures also have this. An example is Verrakan Guild Membership. A member of the Merchants guild can sell one item for the list appraisal sheet price, with a downtime action.
- 4) Use a lore. This one is a bit complicated and will be described further, below.
- 5) Learn Spells or Alchemical formulas. Some schools of magic take downtimes to learn spells or Alchemical formulas. Not all schools of magic work like this. Many also require a teacher. These are designated in the information about the school. Alchemical formulas each take one downtime to learn.
- 6) Crafting. Crafting can be done in downtime. However, it can also be done in game and is usually more efficient to do in game. A Marshal can collect the resources for you right then and there and issue an item tag. While valid, maybe 3 items have been crafted in submitted downtimes in the history of the game.
- 7) Mining. Mining can be done in downtime to gather resources. One needs to have a prospected mining site to do this. Other types of gathering cannot be done in downtime and must be done in game. Herb gathering and Survival are done in-game. Mining can also be done in game.
- 9) Something not listed. This one causes a lot of confusion and will be addressed below in Other Downtime Actions.
You have access to specialized knowledge.
- Cost: 1 CP
- Time: None.
- Props: Scrolls, books, ancient notes.
- Effect: You can gain special information regarding a particular topic. Typically, you must submit this request as a downtime action
Common lores include geography, cultures, history, ancient history, undead, magical schools, demons, fey, elves, and luminaries. Just because they are “common” does not mean they can’t shed awesome new light on your character’s arc.
Lores can be used to research specific things. This is a lore downtime action. Lores are best used within ones field of specialty. Sometimes lores overlap or can grant different knowledge about things. As an example, let’s say the players want to know more about the Innumerable Army. Lore: Strategy and Tactics, would tell about how they use a Circadian phalanx formation, are a professional military, and are led by a famous Circadian general. Lore: Sun Invocation would tell you their leader, Hyrum, is a Sun Acolyte. Different lores give different things. Some will give more info than others. Sometimes a lore is not that appropriate to learning more info about a thing. Lore: Magic items would give minimal information on the Innumerable Army. That lore would tell you that they use a lot of concoctions and talismans, pretty limited knowledge, but it’s really out of the field of the lore to give more information. Sometimes lores have no appropriate info. Use of Lore: Demonology on the Innumerable Army would yield no info, because the lore is of no help with the topic.
If you are researching a topic and do not have the appropriate lore, do not put in a downtime. You cannot research Fire Invocation without the lore. And sometimes the lores you have will yield limited or no information.
Directed vs. Undirected Research:
Note that you can use any Lore with Undirected Research to find out super cool in game stuff. For example, with “Lore: Fire invocation” under normal Directed Research, what the player is saying is “I want to learn secret fire spells!” With Undirected Research essentially the player says “Tell me something cool about fire that I do not know about!” Staff then gets to pick something cool and possibly relevant to the player’s story arc and pitches it the players way. This can be a fun surprise and a good way to use downtime actions that is both useful to you and easy on staff. Just submit the downtime and say you want to do undirected research.
Using Lore in Game:
Lores can also be used in game. Just come up to staff, say I have X lore and ask questions. Marshalls will usually throw more info and advice about the topic to a player if they have the right lore. But you have to ask, Staff and the Marshalls have no idea what 80+ players have for lores, so please make sure to let us know the lore and what you want to ask about it.
Other downtime actions
There are other things people attempt that do not fall under one of the downtime categories above and are classified as complex downtimes. As a general rule, resolving plots, fighting your enemies and going on adventures are things that should happen in game or a TT, not in a downtime. Please keep to a minimum other actions that are not in the list of downtimes, and note that you may only have one complex downtime per downtime cycle. If you have a question about an action, then feel free to email Plot at email@example.com and ask if an action would be appropriate for a downtime. Going on a personally requested Table Top between games will use up one of your downtimes. You do not gain CP from a personal Table Top game that you have solicited though you WILL gain CP from official fundraising or convention Table Top games. The downtime cycle is between any events that you pay to attend, including fundraising TTs.
On occasion, your character may sign up for a custom action that staff provides and that action will eat a downtime; for example, when groups of players went to go stabilize the stelae in Ikhten, they signed up on a list and removed one of their downtime actions in order to complete the objective before next game.
Things to Consider When Submitting a Downtime
Each time a player submits a lore downtime, that means staff has to write up a sheet. Sometimes what they want to do is not viable or will not yield any useful results. Sometimes staff needs clarification on the downtime. In this case you will be emailed and we will work it out.
Sometimes lores get played out. If you have Circadian Philosopher and tons of downtimes, you might have learned everything there is to know about Lore: Healing Arts. You might learn all the advanced mundane types of healing. In that case, well, you learned a lot and there is nothing more to submit downtimes for.
As a final note, Lore downtimes take the most time to process, so please, if you do not really need anything, you do not need to submit a downtime. This helps when staff has to write 40 loresheets a game.
Please note custom downtimes take a long time to write, and may not give you the information you’re looking for. If you want to get a downtime processed quickly, look for a standard lore, a new spell, or use your production and profession skills. Before you craft out a wacky downtime, think about what you think the outcome will be.
You may deliberately abandon a skill—by failing to practice it or keep up to date on it—simply by noting this to Records and Book Keeping and it will be added to your downtime log (Book of All Knowledge Sheet: BOAK). This doesn’t require a downtime action; you simply declare that you’ve decided to let a particular skill languish, and at the next game, you’ll no longer have that skill.
Character points from the skill are refunded immediately, so you could (for instance) abandon one old skill and use those points to learn a different skill, which would represent using your time to practice something new.
A character with Reason has a strong grasp of logic, perception, and interpretation, coupled with an excellent memory. The Reason core trait grants an extra, complex, downtime action to the character. Additional levels count for additional downtime actions. Reason traits refresh in each downtime cycle. So with one Reason trait, a character gets one complex and one simple downtime action, or two simple actions. (But not two complex.)
A character with Cunning has good intuition and a quick and slippery mind. You can use a leveled skill as if it’s one level higher than your character actually knows—for instance, if your character had Artifice 1, you could use it at level 2 instead for one lock. This does not give you extra codes, but would allow your character to pick a harder lock, perform more production, or understand a more complicated task. Extra levels of Cunning grant extra daily improvements, but they do not stack together. Cunning is usable during downtime production between games in order to make more or better items. Cunning traits refresh daily.
Perform two Lore research actions with *one* downtime. This applies to lores only.
Verrakan Guild Member
Gain benefits from a guild as a downtime action
You may also salvage unwanted armor and weapons as a downtime action, in order to recoup some of its raw materials. You can salvage a batch of items as one downtime action.
Learning a formula requires the use of one downtime action. Every forumla you wish to add takes one downtime action. You may also copy a formula during play, but you must spend a subsequent downtime action from that event to master the formula. (You may, however, use it immediately at that event.)
You can use salvaging on a device to learn its artifice codes as a downtime action, if you are also gaining a new level of Artifice. Salvaging a device requires one downtime action.
Bird Familiars can carry messages between events at no cost, without using downtime actions.
High levels of Pick Pocket may open access to steal special items in downtime, and access to thieves’ guilds.
Mining as a downtime
Members of a team can gain specific benefits with respect to one another. Simply being in a team allows you to assist one another in downtime actions. Any individual in your network can be given a downtime from anyone else in your network, although any individual can only gain one extra downtime in this fashion. Still, this can be of great use in doubling production or income skills.
A magician can learn one spell as a downtime action, so long as an appropriate teaching resource exists. Characters may teach spells to one another. Not all magic schools learn spells via downtimes
You can use a downtime to hunt and gain hides
You must use a Profession as a downtime action. For most production skills you can do more during game than during downtime. But maybe you want something done before the next game, so want skill up and make something. You may also use a downtime action to produce an item between games, if you have the necessary elements. In general production is emphasized at game, both cause it is something to do and also good advertising that you can craft things. For instance, with Alchemy you can tinker away during a game and, with the primary ingredient plus some cash, produce a concoction in 1 minute/level. If you use a Downtime, can you produce [Skill Level] worth of concoctions (if you were level 3, you could produce one Level 3 Concoction, a 2 and a 1, or three 1s).
See Chapter Eight: Influence, Land, and Warfare of the Players Handbook for how to use downtimes in Military maneuvers.