It’s time for part two of my entry concerning June’s RPG Blog Carnival. This month the carnival topic was picked by Phil over at Tales of a GM and the theme is “Summerland.” Great topic! Since summertime is all about vacation for many of us, I decided to provide some new downtime options in addition to the ones in the Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide for fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons.

In my previous post I showed off the downtime activities of creating a cover identity, making contacts, and committing a petty crime spree. In this post I’ll be giving you a look at building an organization and buying a magic item.

Note – maybe downtime isn’t for you… Or it just seems boring! We’re supposed to be adventuring after all! Well in another post next week I’m going to give you a few ways to make downtime more exciting and run smoothly at the table. For now, check out the options below.

New Downtime Options

These new downtime options can be added to any campaign at the DM’s discretion.

Build an Organization

A character can spend downtime between adventures creating and building the membership of an organization. The organization could be a guild of thieves or mercenaries, a church, a collective of magic users, a group of activists, or anything group of people with a common cause. Work with the player to come up with a mission statement for the organization. This statement should begin with the word “to” followed by a verb. “To kill dragons for gold,” “To uncover political corruption,” and “To spread the light of Apollo,” are all examples of organization mission statements.

To start the organization, the character must have a place for members to meet and spend at least thirty days and 100 gp recruiting new members. This time need not be spent consecutively. At the end of the thirty days the organization is established and the character has recruited ten members to the organization and makes a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check. For every 1 the check succeeds the DC, another recruit is added to the organization.

Once the organization is established, the PC can spend downtime recruiting new members. Every day of downtime and 5 gp the PC dedicates to recruiting members adds another member to the organization. At the end of a period of downtime spent recruiting members, the PC makes a DC 15 Charisma (Persuasion) check. For every 1 the check succeeds the DC, another recruit is added to the organization.

Once the organization is established, the PC can spend downtime assigning jobs to recruits to gain money for the organization. Every day of downtime the PC dedicates to assigning work (such as collecting donations, dues, contract fees, etc.) the PC earns 1 gp per recruit in the organization. The rest of the funds collected go to upkeep the organization.

While the PC is away from the organization the PC can order the organization to recruit new members, earn money, or both. The organization is less effective without the PC actively leading it, so it only recruits two recruits a week if ordered to focus on recruiting, only earns 1 sp per member per day if ordered to focus on earning money, or recruits one recruit a week and 1 cp per member per day if ordered to focus on both.

It is up to you as the DM if the organization can be of further help to a PC. Think about the organization’s mission statement. A network of spies can provide the PC with intel, while a mercenary guild could provide soldiers for storming an enemy castle.

Buy a Magic Item

In most worlds few people have magic items and even fewer are willing to sell them, but there are those out there who occasionally come an item for which they have no use.

A character looking for a magic item can spend downtime searching for a buyer. This downtime activity can only be performed in an area where the character can find lots of other adventurers or wealthy folk like a city or guild hall. Legendary magic items and artifacts cannot be bought during downtime, since these items are so rare and priceless.

The character must make a DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check to find a seller of an item with a generic description, such as “a magic sword.”  If a specific magic item, such as “a sword of wounding,” or an item with a specific ability, such as “a staff which lets the wielder cast fireball,” is desired, the character must make a DC 25 Intelligence (Investigation) check to find a seller for the item. On a failed check, no seller of the item is found after a search which lasts 10 days. On a successful check, a seller of the item is found after a number of days based on the item’s rarity as shown in the Purchasable Magic Items table. If the character wishing to buy a magic item provides a generic description, you decide which specific item is available for sale. Because of the research and investigation required, a character can only look for one magic item at a time.

If the PC finds an item for sale, the player rolls on the Buying a Magic Item table, applying a modifier based on the item’s rarity, as shown in the Purchasable Magic Items table. The PC also makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check and adds that check’s total to the result. The subsequent total determines the seller’s final sale price of the item.

You determine the seller’s identity. Sellers can be adventurers, wealthy collectors, or a more nefarious individual like a fence or thief. A seller could be someone trying to swindle the character by selling a mundane or cursed item. If the seller is shady, it’s up to you what the consequences of the sale are.

Purchasable Magic Items
Rarity Base Price Days to Find a Seller d100 Roll Modifier*
Common 100 gp 1d4 +10
Uncommon 500 gp 1d6 +0
Rare 5,000 gp 1d8 -10
Very Rare 50,000 gp 1d10 -20

*Apply this modifier to rolls on the Buying a Magic Item table.

d100 + Mod. You Find…
20 or lower A seller offering ten times the base price.
21 – 40 A seller offering four times the base price.
41 – 80 A seller offering twice the base price, and a shady seller offering the full base price.
81 – 90 A seller offering the full base price.
91 or higher A seller offering half the base price, no questions asked.

Time for a PDF

Hey do you want these downtime activities to have and hold forever and ever? Well you can grab them in a PDF if the link below.

Downtime Activities

If you want to grab it later you can head on over to the Free Game Resources section of the site where it will live forever alongside plenty of other resources for your game like monstersD&D fifth edition rules modules, backgroundsspells, magic items, and more.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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Comments
  1. Philmagpie says:

    Hi James,

    Many thanks for another great article for the Summerland Blog Carnival. I have posted a link to it on Tales of a GM.

    I like the idea of a pdf collection of articles. I shall give that some thought.

    All the best
    Phil

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Phil! I got one more coming atcha on Tuesday next week. I was going to send them all over once they were done so you didn’t have to collect them piecemeal. Thank you for doing that and for hosting the carnival.

      The PDFs have been wonderful for getting traffic to the site. I make them for myself anyway to preserve the things I create so I figured why not share?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Philmagpie says:

        Hi James,

        It is no problem to collect them individually on the blog.

        If the pdfs are driving traffic to your blog, then I really do need to take a serious look at them. The pdfs add value for the readers, and increase traffic, which seems like a double bonus.

        All the best
        Phil

        Like

  2. […] More downtime activities for Heroes […]

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