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Downtime

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 76
In many campaigns, returning to town after an adventure is a lull in your character’s activity. You sell loot, stock up on potions, and perhaps wait around for the wizard to scribe some scrolls. However, there is much more you can do in town in between adventures—your character might want to practice with a military school, start a guild, build a temple, train a new pet, and so on. Normally you and the other PCs would have to compete for the GM’s attention so you can explain what your characters want to do and haggle over how much time that should take. With the rules presented here, what you can do with a day of downtime is clearly spelled out, allowing you to get on with your plans.

Even if you don’t want to use the rules to earn extra gold or throw your weight around in town as a business owner, there are campaign and roleplaying benefits for using the downtime system. For example, if you build or buy a house, you have a comfortable, private place to rest between adventures. By adding a few more rooms, you can easily convert a house into a base of operations for your adventuring party; it would count as “very familiar” for the purpose of your teleport spells, and if it includes an altar to your deity, you can use it as the destination for a word of recall.

Additionally, if you have a business, the GM can insert campaign events and story awards tied to it. You might earn XP as a story award when your business earns its first 1,000 gp or first 100 points of Goods. If you own a restaurant, the king might hear about your famous soup recipe and arrange a visit to sample it. If you have a tavern, it could become a hangout for young adventurers hoping your luck and success rub off on them. In either case, the GM may award you Influence instead of XP for these events.

Of course, having a building or organization has its risks. Your enemies might try to burn down your tavern or attack you at your home. If you start a thieves’ guild and are away for months at a time, a personable rogue might take over the guild and turn it against you. If a dragon attacks the town, it could destroy your house (and give you a perfect setup for you taking the Nemesis story feat). Investing yourself in a community means you’re part of it—for good or ill. The GM should remember to use that investment to enrich the campaign, not just exploit it as a way to attack your character or strong-arm you into adventures.

The downtime system is designed to put much of the power and decision making for non-adventuring tasks in the hands of the players. These rules assume the reader is a player making decisions about what his character does during downtime. However, the GM is still in charge of the campaign and the final judge of what is possible using this system; these rules simply take much of the burden away from busy GMs, allowing them more time to work on creating adventures and other campaign issues.

Downtime Overview

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 76
The key parts of the downtime rules that you’ll be referencing often are the following:
  • Explanation of the downtime terminology used throughout this chapter.
  • Earning downtime capital such as Goods, Influence, and Labor.
  • The phase sequence for using downtime.
  • The kinds of activities you can do with this system.
  • Constructing rooms, the building blocks of buildings such as guildhalls or temples, and recruiting teams such as apprentices and guards.
  • Example buildings constructed out of rooms, and example organizations built out of teams.
  • Positive and negative events that can occur during downtime.
  • Downtime tracking sheet (page 130).

Downtime Activities

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 84
This section provides many examples of activities you can undertake during downtime. Some of these are new, and others expand on options from the Core Rulebook or other sourcebooks to explain how those activities relate to the downtime rules. In most cases, using the downtime rules doesn’t change the costs for performing the action, but it might allow you to spend capital instead of gp as per Table 2–1: Capital Values. You can substitute 1 point of Goods or Labor for 20 gp, 1 point of Influence for 30 gp, and 1 point of Magic for 100 gp where appropriate. You can combine multiple types of capital when substituting for a gp value.

Some downtime activities allow you to spend Goods, Influence, Labor, or Magic to modify the outcome of a check. You must decide to spend this capital before you attempt the check.

Managers

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 88
A manager is a competent employee qualified to run a business while you’re gone, even for weeks or months at a time. A manager is authorized to make certain decisions about your property while you’re away, such as paying tax collectors, banning cultists from your store, and handling emergency situations.

Having a manager delays capital attrition Upkeep phase step 3) from 1 every 7 days to 1 every 14 days. As long as the manager’s pay is up to date, having a manager look after your business prevents business attrition see step 4 of the Upkeep phase).

Unlike a team, a manager requires daily wages paid in gp. It’s customary to pay a manager in advance when you’re going to be absent, or arrange to pay wages through a bank or accountant. If you trust the manager, you can even allow her to take wages out of your business’s earnings or from money you’ve set aside for your building or organization.

It’s a good idea to give a manager some means of contacting you while you’re away, even just an address in a city near where you’re adventuring. You might want to provide a magical means of contacting you (and leave funds set aside to pay for it) in case something requires your urgent attention.

Rooms and Teams

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 90
Many players want to run inns, found mercenary companies, build temples, or lead cabals of mages. The downtime system allows you to do this by presenting small constituent units: rooms for constructing buildings and teams for forming organizations.

A room can be as simple as a 10-foot-by-10-foot area surrounded by wooden walls, or as complex as a stone-walled guard tower with a heavy wooden gate. A team can be as simple as a few beggars or pickpockets, as skilled as a group of acolytes trained in the healing arts, or as dangerous as a band of veteran mercenary soldiers. The details of the room or team are left vague to allow you greater versatility— they provide the game mechanics for your building or organization, but you decide the layout or hierarchy that suits your aesthetics.

Each room and team costs one or more kinds of capital (gp, Goods, Influence, Labor, or Magic). When you construct a building or create an organization, determine what rooms or teams you want, add up the gp, Goods, Influence, Labor, and Magic prices for these rooms, and spend that capital to begin construction or start recruiting. A list of rooms begins here and a list of teams here.

Constructing Buildings from Rooms: If you are constructing a building (described starting on page 107), you can connect these rooms in any way you see fit using normal doors and hallways, or fit them together without interior partitions into a large common space. Unless otherwise stated, each room includes a floor, ceiling, walls, furniture, doors, windows, and other details that are appropriate to the room’s purpose in your building.

Example: A Common Room is a large area designed for use by many people at once. In a Fort, a Common Room has tables and chairs and functions as a mess hall for soldiers. In a Tavern or Inn, it has tables and chairs and is the main place for socializing and drinking. In a Temple, it has chairs or pews and is used for conducting worship services. In a Bardic College, it has chairs and music stands and is used for practicing performances.

Exterior doors are good wooden doors with simple locks. Interior doors are simple wooden doors with no locks. You may install different locks by paying the normal price for locks.

You don’t need to construct all of a building’s rooms at once. The price of constructing a two-room building is the same whether you build them together or complete the first one and add the second one later.

Broken Rooms: If a room takes damage in excess of half its hit points (or is otherwise rendered sufficiently damaged by a downtime event or at the GM’s discretion), it gains the broken condition. A room with the broken condition generates half the normal income. In general, repairing a broken room requires spending an amount of gp or other capital equal to half the price of constructing the room from scratch. Certain building events may have alternative prices for repairing rooms with the broken condition.

Entire buildings can also gain the broken condition. Treat the building as if each room in it had the condition, except you must repair the entire building at once rather than repairing rooms one at a time.

Creating Organizations from Teams: Unless otherwise stated, the people on a team have clothing, a small amount of personal gear appropriate to their line of work, and a place to live—in other words, lives outside of their involvement with you. You may outfit them with better gear and construct or purchase a place for them to live.

You don’t need to add every team to your organization at once. The price for recruiting a team of beggars and a team of burglars is the same whether you recruit them together or recruit one and add the second team later.

The composition of a team is flexible and can change over time depending on the nature of your organization. For example, if your thieves’ guild has Cutpurses and Robbers, some of them might get caught and jailed, but it is assumed your organization replaces them with individuals of similar skill. In the same way that you don’t have to track routine maintenance on a building you own, replacing individuals who leave your organization is factored into the price of the team.

You can only recruit a team if the character levels of its individual members are equal to or lower than your Leadership score. Even if you don’t have the Leadership feat, calculate your Leadership score as your character level + your Charisma modifier.

Unless otherwise noted, the members of a team are not adventurers and are unwilling to accompany you into dungeons and other deadly locations.

Example: An Acolyte is a low-level divine spellcaster. In a Cult, Acolytes are the lowest-ranked members of the group and handle most of the interactions with new converts. In a Thieves’ Guild, they are responsible for patching up members of the guild after a robbery or gang war. In a Mercenary Company, they look after the spiritual needs and physical injuries of the soldiers.

Teams and Leadership: One advantage of having followers from the Leadership feat is that they increase the effect of Influence and Labor you spend in a settlement (see Using Followers). As the primary component of the price of recruiting teams is Influence, having followers in a settlement makes it easier to get the word out about the organization you want to build.

The people in your organization obey you because you pay them, or at least keep regular contact with them and direct their activities. Unlike with cohorts and followers gained from the Leadership feat (who are loyal toward you because of your reputation and behavior), if you’re away from your organization for a long period of time, you might lose your connection with it. In the Upkeep Phase section, see Step 3—Determine Capital Attrition.

In addition to the ways to combat attrition mentioned in the Upkeep Phase section, recruiting your followers into your organization can help with this problem. You can automatically add followers to your organizations as you recruit teams. For every five of your followers who are also members of your organization, you gain a +1 bonus on the leadership check to avoid attrition. As most followers are low-level characters with NPC classes, most teams of followers aren’t trained for combat and are usually recruited to be Acolytes, Bureaucrats, Craftspeople, Lackeys, and so on (see Teams).

Combining Rooms and Teams: This system allows you to construct a building that has no workers, create an organization that has no base of operations, or combine the two to make a fully staffed building or an organization with a headquarters. For example, if you build a Temple and recruit Acolytes in that settlement, you can have the Acolytes work at your temple. If the Temple has a place for the Acolytes to sleep, they can even live there. If you later want the Acolytes to go somewhere else or disperse, you still have the Temple and can use it for whatever purpose you see fit.

Buildings and Organizations

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 107
This section presents many standard buildings and organizations. Each example lists exactly what rooms or teams are used to construct it, a total of each type of capital required if you want to construct one of your own, and a gp total if you want to purchase a completed building of this type. The listed gp value assumes you are purchasing the building instead of constructing it by spending earned capital (see Purchased Cost values from Table 2– 1: Capital Values).

The examples that follow are not the only ways to construct these kinds of buildings and organizations. A particular Inn might have two Lodgings instead of one, include a Trophy Room instead of a Bar, or display a Statue of the goddess of travelers. A Thieves’ Guild might be larger and more thuggish because it includes more Cutpurses and Soldiers than are listed in this section. Use these as typical examples of these kinds of buildings and organizations, a baseline for designing your own versions, or a springboard for ideas on how to use this system to design whatever you want. The system is designed to be flexible so you can construct the kind of building you want to own.

Interspersed with these stat blocks are example maps of various types of buildings. These maps are not intended to exactly correspond to the buildings described in this section. Rather, you can use these maps as inspiration for buildings of their type or adapt them to other purposes. For example, even if players aren’t using the downtime system to construct or purchase buildings of their own, a busy GM can use the maps for encounters in town.

Downtime Events

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 114
The following events are examples of the sort of random encounters a GM can add to the downtime system. Rolling for events occurs during the Event phase.

The first set of events consists of events that could happen to any kind of building—bad weather, a fire, a famous visitor, and so on. Following those generic events are specific events keyed to certain types of buildings—an Inn has different events than a Military Academy or Smithy. This section concludes with events for several kinds of organizations. Not every building and organization has its own event table—the GM should use the Generic Building Events table or take inspiration from this section to make tables for other buildings and organizations.

If you don’t own any buildings or organizations in a settlement, the GM can use these event tables to create events for buildings you are in or near. For example, the GM can use the Tavern Events table on page 125 to generate an event while you are at a tavern. The event descriptions assume that you are the owner, so the GM should adjust the outcome if you are merely present for an event.

These tables are designed so low rolls tend to be beneficial and high rolls are harmful or dangerous. If you’re using the settlement danger value, add the danger value to the percentile roll. Some results have you roll on another event table. Reroll any results that don’t make sense.

Many events allow a skill check to affect the outcome of the event. If you’re present, either attempt this skill check yourself or ask another member of the party or a manager to attempt the check for you. If you’re absent, either your representative (such as a cohort or manager) attempts the check or roll 1d20 with no bonuses to determine the result. The GM can also allow methods other than those listed to end harmful events. For example, you might be able to end an ongoing rivalry event by befriending the owner of the rival business or driving him out of town.