How Much Downtime Do You See in Campaigns?

Hexmage-EN

Explorer
So I'm looking at the magic item crafting rules and seeing that it takes a PC somewhere in the neighborhood of five years to make a single Very Rare magic item. In the experience of those here, do many campaigns have weeks, months, years, or even decades of downtime? It seems to me that most published campaigns at least assume very little downtime.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I do a home campaign, downtime can go anywhere from a week to a year or more between chapters.

But I've noticed that most published campaigns don't do that. I pattern mine more after novels like The Dresden Files where everything is going okay, perfecting new skills, recuperating from the events of the last book and then everything goes sideways for a few days. Gives people a more grounded (well as grounded as D&D can be) sense of growth. You didn't just go from being a newb to a hero of the realm overnight, there was a lot of off-screen time spent training and researching.

Pacing is whatever makes sense for you, your group and the campaign.
 

aco175

Adventurer
I tend to have little downtime. The players seem to think that they need to be doing something unless I say 'You have been in town resting for a week...'
 

Legatus_Legionis

< BLAH HA Ha ha >
I always have time added to PC's ages. I do have PC age in my campaigns

One for how long the module lasted PLUS one week per every 1,000 XP awarded to the PCs (to allow for time to buy/sell items, supplies, etc.)

Things like a PC creating items, that I consider a mini-module/solo adventure. That time is then added to the time characters age.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Very little in my current campaign because downtime just isn't part of the program.

In my next campaign, downtime will happen every time the PCs take a long rest.

So, it varies by campaign.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Our downtime ranges from a couple days up to six months (so far). We "winter" in towns for 4-5 months typically, enjoying our gains, learning skills, researching spells, etc.

In prior games as a DM, I've had over 5 years a few times, and once a span of over 20 years as the characters all settled down, until their children were grown enough to carry on the mantle of heroism. :)
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
It's plentiful. Generally at least a couple of weeks between conflicts, although it can extend to a couple of years. I do not tend to run long form adventures or dungeon crawls. A given conflict might end up with maybe 3 or 4 encounters and that includes social encounters, generally not lasting more than 2 sessions at most. I focus just as much on downtime as adventuring.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Depends on the campaign. My fsirst campaign had story arcs that had a few months break in between. My last campaign had a lot of downtime, because players chose which character to play (their others used downtime). My current one has bursts of downtime, but usually only in the week or two category.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Much of what I have seen is akin to the published adventures, with continuous storylines over short time periods, and not months or years worth of breaks of downtime.
 

S'mon

Legend
So I'm looking at the magic item crafting rules and seeing that it takes a PC somewhere in the neighborhood of five years to make a single Very Rare magic item. In the experience of those here, do many campaigns have weeks, months, years, or even decades of downtime? It seems to me that most published campaigns at least assume very little downtime.
I use 1 week long rests so inherently there tends to be some 'downtime'; PCs can do crafting etc during their LR if they wish.

I normally speed up high level crafting rates, eg at a wizard tower or temple the wizard/high priest may be able to craft at x10 rate.

Of my current campaigns Primeval Thule has gone over a year of game time in 6.5 months of real time, Princes of the Apocalypse has gone 3 months of game time in 8 months of real time. Red Hand of Doom has gone 16 days game time in 1 month of real time. Runelords of the Shattered Star has gone 9 years 3 months game time in 3 years 10 months of real time, but that includes a break of 14 months real time & 5 years 10 months game time, so could be classed as 2 separate campaigns.
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Because I have a whole bunch of plot threads in play at once, players very rarely have their characters take downtime. They can have as much as they want - but other plots and such are still moving in the meantime.
 

MarkB

Hero
My campaigns feature very little straight-up downtime. My latest one has featured a lot of travel via airship, which allows for the use of travel time as downtime.
 

Myrhdraak

Explorer
We had two years of downtime to fill up the time before the next big adventure track started. We did not follow the downtime rules. Instead it was more joint story telling where the players told what they spent 3 months a time doing. Was very creative and allowed the players to follow up on personal quests and story arcs. As a DM it gave me new story arcs I could use in the new game as well as deepen the characters background. Should have used this concept earlier.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
We do one week between adventures and use Xanathar's downtime. So each player picks one thing that they do.

We do modify the rules a bit.

Thievery and combat can both provide consumable magic items for example. Research allows the player to ask X amount of questions next adventure and get a true answer (as long as it could have been researched).

Buying magic items gets rolls on the treasure tables. No crafting of permanent items but we can craft scrolls.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I'd love to see more downtime, in campaigns where there's no time pressure. Problem is, people (and thus PCs) get bored, trouble erupts in one way or another, and downtime becomes uptime. Rare indeed is the situation where the players/PCs say "hell with it, we're taking the winter off and staying put in town".

(my current campaign has some time pressure, so while some characters get downtime others are fairly seriously under the gun at the moment)
 

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