On the last Dev Journal we showed you the new tweak we made the runic magic rules. For this Dev Journal, we’re showing off what your character can do when they are not being professional criminals for the Merchant League.
Not every moment of your character’s life will be spent sneaking around places they’re not supposed to be, taking things that don’t belong to them, killing people who get in the way of the first two, and in general being up to no good. They’ll need time to rest, recuperate, relax, or get back to their regular lives. That’s what Downtime is all about, seeing what your characters do on their days “off camera”. Down time is also a good way to “park” a character for a bit if you want to change out characters. One can be spending his time “off camera” while you take a new one out for a spin.
Downtime is split into three main parts: Work, Live, Play. Each part pretty much does what it says (and we’ll dive into them below), but there is a key thing that happens at the end of Downtime: paying the bill. Nothing in life comes for free, and you’ll need to pay for whatever you do on your Downtime.
At the end of it, paying the bill comes down to a Wealth Check with a modifier based on your lifestyle, but will be the only modifier. There is so much that can be done during Downtime, that we could drown you in modifiers to your roll. We’re not gonna do that. Instead, everything that happens during Downtime will give you either a Bonus Reroll or a Penalty Reroll. A Bonus Reroll means you reroll the Wealth Check and you choose the best result; and a Penalty Reroll means you reroll the Wealth Check but you must choose the worst result. Bonuses and Penalties cancel each other out, so when it comes time to pay the bill, you’re either gonna be left with just Bonus Rerolls, none at all, or just Penalty Rerolls.
It’s a quick and easy way to track your “spending” during Downtime, and so now let’s see all the things you can get up to.
Nothing in life is free, and for most of us, the way to make money is to work. During Downtime, your character can find a job, or go back to theirs and work like the rest of us plebs.
To look for a job, you’ll need to pass a Skill Check. If you pass, you can do that job for the Downtime. If you fail, however, you need to go look for another career. You can only attempt each job once per Downtime, and if you fail, you’ll get a -10 modifier to the next job-hunting Skill Check you do. If you already have a job from your background or a previous Downtime, you can just go straight back to it without having to do a Skill Check. And if you can’t find a job, or don’t want one, you can be a vagrant for the Downtime and get a Penalty Reroll to your Wealth Check at the end.
Here’s the list of Skills and what jobs you can get if you pass their Checks.
|Athletics||Chimney Sweep, Entertainer, Labourer, Messenger, Gardener|
|Broad-Craft||Artisan, Carpenter, Cobbler, Farrier, Mason, Smith, Wheelwright, Cobbler|
|Burglary||Footman, Locksmith, Tailor|
|Constitution||Brewer, Fishmonger, Labourer, Mason, Sailor, Tanner, Smith|
|Deceive||Artist, Butcher, Civil Official, Entertainer, Grocer, Office Clerk, Trader|
|Diplomacy||Barber, Barkeep, Coachman, Entertainer, Fishmonger, Grocer, Law Clerk, Printer, Trader, Retainer|
|Drive||Coachman, Farrier, Messenger, Sailor, Wheelwright|
|Fight||Barber, Bodyguard, Butcher, Constable|
|Fine-Craft||Apothecary, Artisan, Artist, Brewer, Cook, Jeweller, Locksmith, Runescribe, Tailor|
|Intuition||Barkeep, Clergy, Fisher, Scholar, Farrier, Cook, Retainer, Artist|
|Intimidate||Barkeep, Bodyguard, Civil Official|
|Investigate||Fisher, Gardener, Messenger, Runescribe, Scholar, Constable|
|Logic||Apothecary, Clergy, Law Clerk, Office Clerk, Printer, Runescribe, Scholar|
|Luck||Brewer, Chimney Sweep, Cook, Fisher|
|Might||Carpenter, Labourer, Mason, Sailor, Smith, Wheelwright|
|Perception||Artisan, Barber, Carpenter, Coachman, Jeweller, Locksmith, Tailor, Cobbler|
|Shoot||Bodyguard, Constable, Footman|
|Stealth||Chimney Sweep, Footman, Gardener, Tanner, Retainer|
|Wealth||Apothecary, Civil Official, Jeweller, Law Clerk, Office Clerk, Printer, Trader|
|Will||Clergy, Fishmonger, Grocer, Butcher, Tanner|
When you’re in a job, you can also make another Skill Check for the Downtime to see how well you are performing at your work. Pass this second Check and you’ll get a Bonus reroll to your Wealth Check at the end.
It’s the quickest and easiest part of Downtime, and it says what sort of level of lifestyle you have. How rich or poor are you living? The answer to that will determine the modifier you’ll get to your Wealth Check at the end.
There are also things that can get you rerolls. If you have dependants living with you, you’ll get a Penalty Reroll, but if you have another breadwinner in the house then that’s a Bonus Reroll.
Each Downtime you can also choose to increase or decrease your standard of living. Increasing means a Penalty Reroll for that Downtime, while decreasing is a Bonus Reroll (on top of the change in modifier).
This is where you get to unwind and enjoy yourself. Well, maybe. You can always choose not to do any activities for the Downtime and just focus on more work instead, which will net you a Bonus Reroll.
There are 10 broad categories of activities that you can partake in during Downtime, and each will have it’s own quirks and special rules (that will be fully explored in the book), and some will give you Bonus Rerolls or Penalty Rerolls; some will give you other types of rewards or misfortunes that could carry over into the next adventure as well.
Your level of lifestyle will also affect many of the activities you participate in. Going socialising with the upper-crust of society is clearly different type of party than slumming it in the… well… slums. Your lifestyle will add flavour to your activities, but it could also unlock some extra tidbits as well.
- Craft: Start, or continue on, a project.
- The GM will give you a target number to reach, and the first digit of each successful Broad/Fine-Craft Skill Check will contribute to reaching this target. The more complex the project, the larger the target number.
- Gamble: Try and make some easy money.
- Roll a d100 to set a target and then roll another d100 to see if you can get lower than the target number. If you succeed, the first digit of your result is the number of Bonus Rerolls you get, but if you fail, the first digit of the total by which you failed is the number of Penalty Rerolls you get. You’ll also get positive/negative modifiers to your next adventure’s Wealth Checks.
- Relationship: Work on a personal, social, or business relationship
- You can try and ingratiate yourself with a faction, go looking for love, take care of your family, or try and get a business partnership settled. Like the Craft Project, your GM will give you a target number to reach, and your Social Skill checks will help or hinder you to this goal. Each step along the way will make your relationship stronger.
- Research: Find out more about a topic.
- Knowledge is power, and a Logic, Investigate or Intuition Check and some time will get you more about both. You can be looking for new runic array designs, maps and blueprints to locations, or history of a person you’re investigating.
- Rest: Good old R&R
- Sometimes you just need to kick back and relax for a while. The world is a chaotic place and you need to get away from it for a bit. Resting will help heal wounds (both physical and mental) quicker, so if you really need to recuperate, just rest for a while.
- Scout: Go far afield to a new place.
- Scouting is the physical counterpart to Research. It’s about actually going somewhere you haven’t before to find something out. This can be as mundane as a nice holiday, or more nefarious like checking out the next place to rob.
- Shopping: Buying and selling.
- Who doesn’t like a shopping trip? Work with your GM as to what exactly you want to buy and he’ll give you modifiers to a Wealth Skill Check that you’ll need to beat. You can always choose to take Penalty Rerolls to make that Check easier. In the reverse, if you want to sell, you’ll need to beat a Social Skill Check and if you do you’ll get some Bonus Rerolls.
- Socialise: Get out and about with your friends.
- Or get out and about with new friends. Here you can recover some energy from your latest adventure, make new friends that you can then use a Relationship activity to strengthen that friendship.
- Train: get better at a Skill
- Probably the most straightforward of all the activities. You choose a Skill to get better at, roll a Skill Check and (hopefully) get better at it. You can also take a Penalty Reroll to find a mentor to help you, and this will make your Skill Check easier or get you more EXP in that Skill.
- Tutor: Teach another character to be as cool as you
- The exact opposite to Train. Here you can help another character get better at something that you are good at. This can be another player’s character, a friendly NPC, or perhaps your character’s family and heir (that you can play as if something happens to your character).
Paying the bill
Now that you’ve done everything you could or wanted, it’s time to pay the bill. So tally up your rerolls, get your Modifier from your Lifestyle, and roll that Wealth Check. If you pass, then all is well. If you fail, well then you have a choice.
You can go broke, which means the number by which you failed becomes a negative modifier to all your Wealth Checks for the next session of gaming, and your Lifestyle gets forced down by one for the next Downtime. Or you can go into debt, which means nothing bad happens now, but eventually you’ll have to pay up alongside the interest. Who knows, maybe a determined debt collector might show up in an adventure or mission a few sessions from now.
And while we are busy with The Runed Age, you can have your say about what we should work on afterwards by filling out this little survey.