Downtime Rounds

It may be an exciting place, but life moves slowly in the Blackwood. Characters might go on one or two adventures at a time, but most of their lives are spent searching out and preparing for the next one. Whenever the party finishes an adventure, they have the option to take a Downtime Round. These special rounds are measured in months, and may be as long or short as the party needs. Alternatively, the GM may roll a die to determine how many months pass between adventures (1d6 or 2d4 is recommended). Each month, players may choose two Exploits to pursue. Each exploit is assumed to fill half of each day.

Exploit… …Provides… …and…
Training
Research
Trade
1 Reputation
1 Adventure
1 Resource
Advancement Check
Skill Check
Wealth Check

Training
Mastering new spells and fighting techniques takes time and training. Characters gain 1 Reputation level for every three consecutive months of training. Reputation could be fame or notoriety, and may provide bonuses or penalties to characters in play. If characters have an alter ego (or several), Reputation should be tracked separately for each identity. Each point of Reputation grants a +1 bonus to Wealth Checks.

Characters who spend their time training also have a chance for Advancement. Players should roll 1d6, then add their highest attribute. The DL for this check is 7+1/Advancement. For example, the DL would be 7 for a character with no Advancements so far, 9 for a character with 2 Advancements, and so on. Characters may make 1 Advancement Check for each month they spend in training, but they may only advance once during any one Downtime Round. Each Advancement grants a +1 bonus to Wealth Checks.

Research
Learning is the key to growth and the goal of many characters. Whether by reading ancient tomes or keeping an ear to the ground, characters learn of 1 new Adventure for every 3 consecutive months of research. This Adventures will be determined by the GM, but spending 1 Fate point will allow a player to dictate either the premise or reward of an Adventure.

Characters who spend at least 1 month researching may attempt to learn a skill or talent. Players should roll 1d6, then add the most relevant attribute for the skill or talent to be learned. The DL for this check is 7+1/Advancement. For example, the DL would be 8 for a character with 1 Advancement, 10 for a character with 3 Advancements, and so on. Characters may make 1 Skill/Talent Check for each month they spend in training, but they may learn 1 skill and 1 talent during any one Downtime Round. 1 relevant Skill and 1 relevant Talent each grant a +2 bonus to Wealth Checks.

Trade
Some characters may harbor ambitions of enterprise and success. Characters secure a steady supply of 1 Resource for every 3 consecutive months engaged in the pursuit of trade. A Resource is defined by the player, and could be a material (wood, iron), a service (blacksmithing, transportation), or an entity (guards, cattle). Players may describe this resource however they prefer, but everything is subject to GM approval. Each relevant Resource grants +1 to Wealth Checks.

Players interested in making Wealth Checks must make an initial investment of at least 500sp into a product: training, trade, or research.

Training: +1 to Advancement Checks, 20% Weapon/Spell Mastery Discount
Example Trades: Warrior Order, Thieves Guild, Scholars Academy

Trade: 20% Discount with all Merchants
Example Trades: Shop, Inn, Black Market

Research: +1 to Skill/Talent Checks, +1 Fate Point/Downtime Round
Example Trades: Library, Spy Network, Mystic Order

It takes three months for this initial investment to begin earning profit. After the third month, characters earn profit equal to 1% of their total investment per month. This rate of return is modified by certain conditions:

  • +2% if you have a relevant Skill (max 3 Skills)
  • +2% if you have a relevant Talent (max 2 Talents)
  • +1% per relevant Resource (max 3 Resources)
  • +1% per Advancement
  • +1% per Reputation level

For example, let’s say Gertrude, an average woman with no Advancements, wants to start a caravan. She spends 3 months to secure wagons as a Resource (+1% Profit), then another 3 months and 500sp to secure teams to drive the wagons and trade deals in other towns. She has no relevant skills, but the Lucky Devil talent will grant a +2% Profit bonus to her Wealth Check. Her total Profit is 5% (1% base, +2% Resource [wagons], +2% Talent [Lucky Devil]), so she will earn 25 silver pieces each month. Considering the average commoner earns 1 silver piece per day, Gertrude doesn’t have the best caravan yet!

Profit can be increased by learning new skills, securing more resources, and gaining fame and notoriety, but investing more silver into the trade is the fastest way to see greater profits. Characters may invest more silver into their trade any time they take a trade action during a Downtime Round. Even the shrewdest and most established traders are unlikely to earn more than 10% profit from their trades. This is not only historically accurate, but it’s a great motivation for characters to remain adventurers until they have invested huge sums into their trades.

Downtime Rounds

The Blackwood Campaign Setting Zap_Dynamic