Revised Xanathar's Downtime Rules (Finalized)

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Editing the OP to present the finalized rules.

I have revised Xanathar's Downtime rules.

Keep in mind these rules are designed to be used with limited downtime. All of the activities are overpowered if the PCs have a lot of downtime available to them. In my games I like to have 1 week of downtime between every level.

I had 3 goals.

1) Support for all classes/archetypes
2) Balanced magic item prices
3) Worthwhile rewards for many activities past level 3

My actions:

1) Add in activities. Provide choices between abilities on almost all activities.

Ability and skill breakdown (number of times it shows up in an activity at least once):

Strength: 2
Dexterity: 3
Constitution: 1
Intelligence: 6
Wisdom: 5
Charisma: 6

Athletics: 2

Acrobatics: 1
Sleight of Hand: 1
Stealth: 1
Thieves' Tools: 1

Investigation: 2
Arcana: 2
History: 2
Nature: 2
Religion: 2

Insight: 4
Survival: 1

Deception: 3
Intimidation: 2
Persuasion: 3

2) Changed the formula.

  • Consumables went from 1/2 to 1/10th the price of a permanent item.
  • Permanent items now go x/2x/5x rather than x/10x/100x.
  • The floor for permanent items was raised 10x.

The effect is that getting any magic item costs more. Just having a +1 Sword is a big deal. Reducing the progression however allows the rarer items to be purchased. So that +2 Sword is now within reach. It isn't a great of a step up as getting the +1 Sword in the first place, but worth the x2 cost where at x10 it wasn't.

3) Activities such as pit fighting and crime didn't provide exciting rewards. Now those activities have gold rewards increased as well as providing rolls on consumable magic item lists for fun rewards.

Gathering Allies:

This may take the form of carousing, politicking, information gathering, etc.
Choose a social class and spend GP accordingly: 10gp for lower class, 50gp for middle class, or 250gp for upper class.
Make a Charisma (Persuasion) or Charisma (Deception) check.

11-15 - 1 Favour
16-20 - 2 Favours
21+ - 3 Favours

The player may spend 1 favour to request the help of a person from the chosen social class for 1 task.
A player may have no more than 3 favours at any time.

Alternative: Instead of a social class the player may choose a specific group such as a religious community, faction, or thieves’ guild. Cost determined by DM.

Research:

Spend 100gp
Make an Intelligence (Investigation) check.

11-15 - 1 Piece of Lore
16-20 - 2 Pieces of Lore
21+ - 3 Pieces of Lore

The player may spend 1 piece of lore to ask the DM 1 question regarding a person, place, or thing. The DM must answer truthfully if it is something that could have been learned.
A player may have no more than 3 pieces of lore at any time.

Alternative: Choose 1 of Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion. Gain advantage on all checks of the chosen skill. You lose this benefit the next time you perform a downtime activity.

Religious Services:

The character spends time performing deeds in service of their god, oath, or ideal.
Make an Intelligence (Religion) or Wisdom (Insight) check.
11-15 - 2 dice
16-20 - 3 dice
21+ - 4 dice

The player gains d4s which may be spent to add to the total of an Attack Roll or Saving Throw. You may choose to spend the die after the roll. These dice cannot be used in conjunction with the Bless spell and only 1 die may be spent on each roll.
A player may have no more than 4 of these dice at any time.

Crime:

Choose a DC. Choose 2 of the 3 following checks: Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools), Intelligence (Investigation), and Charisma (Deception).
Make the 2 chosen checks plus Dexterity (Stealth) at the chosen DC.

0 successes – player is caught and fined
1 success – failure
2 successes – half payout
3 successes – full payout

Payout (full/ half/ fine)
DC 10 – 200gp / 100gp / 200gp
DC 15 – 400gp, 1 Table B roll / 400gp / 400gp
DC 20 – 800gp, 1 Table C roll / 800gp / 800gp
DC 25 – 1600gp, 2 Table C rolls / 1600gp / 1600gp

Arena Fighting:

Make 3 d20 rolls and add the following bonuses:
Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics)
Wisdom (Insight) or Charisma (Intimidation)
Constitution Mod + Hit Die

Roll 2d10+5 for each roll to generate DCs.

0 successes – lose
1 success – 150gp
2 successes – 300gp, 1 Table B roll
3 successes – 600gp, 1 Table C roll

Gambling:

Choose a GP amount (up to 2000gp) to wager.
Choose 3 of the 4 following checks – Dexterity (Sleight of Hand), Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Deception), and Charisma (Intimidation).
Make the checks and roll 2d10+5 for each check to generate DCs.

0 successes – lose all gold wagered
1 success – lose half of gold wagered
2 successes – keep wager and win half more
3 successes – keep wager and win that amount more

The player may trade in winnings of 250gp for 1 Table B roll or 500gp for 1 Table C roll.

Relaxation:

You may reroll 1 die on an Attack Roll, Saving throw, or Ability Check. You must use the new roll.

Community Aid:

Perform tasks to help members of the community. Make an Intelligence (History) or Strength (Athletics) check.

11-15 - 2 dice
16-20 - 3 dice
21+ - 4 dice

You gain insight and contacts within the community.
The player gains d6s which may be spent to improve either their own or an ally’s roll during a downtime activity. You may choose to spend the die after the roll. Only 1 die may be spent for each activity.
You may only have up to 4 of these dice at any time.

Foraging:

Search for medicinal ingredients. Make an Intelligence (Nature) or Wisdom (Survival) check.
If you have and are proficient with an Herbalism Kit then you may forgo the cost.

11-15 - 1d4+1 Healing Potions – Cost 25gp
16-20 - 1d4+1 Greater Healing Potions – Cost 50gp
21+ - 1d3 Superior Healing Potions – Cost 100gp

Spell Research:

Spend 25gp per day for use of a library (plus the usual costs for adding spells to spell books).
Level 1 – 1 day
Level 2 – 3 days
Level 3 – 7 days

Scribe Scroll:

Level 1 – 1 day – 75gp
Level 2 – 3 days – 150gp
Level 3 – 7 days – 300gp

Magic Item Values:

Consumable:
Buy/Sell

Uncommon 1d6x100gp / 200gp
Rare 1d6x200gp / 400gp
Very Rare 1d6x500gp / 1000gp
Legendary Unknown

Permanent: Buy/Sell

Uncommon 1d6x1000gp / 2000gp
Rare 1d6x2000gp / 4000gp
Very Rare 1d6x5000gp / 10000gp
Legendary Unknown

Buy Magic Item:

Spend 100gp plus up to 500gp more.
Make a Charisma (Persuasion) or Intelligence (Arcana) check with a bonus of up to +5, 1 for every additional 100gp spent.

5-10 - 1d4+1 rolls on Table B
11-15 - 1d4+1 rolls on Table C
16-20 - 1d4 rolls on Table F
21-25 - 1 roll on Table G
26+ - 1 roll on Table H

The player may choose to take a lower result. Once items have been chosen and prices determined the player may purchase 1 permanent item or up to 2 consumable items.

Sell Magic Item:

Spend 100gp.
Make a Charisma (Persuasion) or Wisdom (Insight) check.

1-10 - Offer is 50% value
11-20 - Offer is 100% value
21+ - Offer is 150% value
 
Last edited:

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A somewhat generic (as in, anyone can do it) and always-useful activity might boil down to this:

Information Gathering:

Declare how many days you intend to spend at this. Spend 10 x number of days in g.p. to gather useful information regarding your choice of:
--- the last adventure you were on
--- the next adventure you're intending to do
--- both

The specific means by which the information is gathered are up to the player/PC. Some common methods include listening for rumours in local pubs, bars and gathering places; checking with any established organizations related to your class (e.g. thieves' or wizards' guilds, gyms or training grounds, mercenaries' hangouts, colleges, monasteries, and so forth); and-or visiting any people in town who might have relevant knowledge.

Information gathered in this way is, of course, only as accurate as the knowledge of its source. Deeper research or accurate corroboration comes under "Research", detailed elsewhere.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
A somewhat generic (as in, anyone can do it) and always-useful activity might boil down to this:

Information Gathering:

Declare how many days you intend to spend at this. Spend 10 x number of days in g.p. to gather useful information regarding your choice of:
--- the last adventure you were on
--- the next adventure you're intending to do
--- both

The specific means by which the information is gathered are up to the player/PC. Some common methods include listening for rumours in local pubs, bars and gathering places; checking with any established organizations related to your class (e.g. thieves' or wizards' guilds, gyms or training grounds, mercenaries' hangouts, colleges, monasteries, and so forth); and-or visiting any people in town who might have relevant knowledge.

Information gathered in this way is, of course, only as accurate as the knowledge of its source. Deeper research or accurate corroboration comes under "Research", detailed elsewhere.
Thanks.

How is this different than Carousing? The way I'm reading it, it sounds just like Carousing using your favours for information.

One thing I changed about Carousing was to allow the player to choose a community or organization to carouse in rather than just a social class. That's what this sounds like to me.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
How about meta resources?

Renown
Contacts
Research

Get both points and a concrete thing from "tracks". So you'd earn Contact points, and pick up a Contact, on successful downtime.

Contact points can be spent to give a boost to a roll.

Pit Fighting grants Renown, as does Good Deeds. Sage types can do Research; this earns Research Points and immediate information.
 

DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
Did someone say sane magical item prices?

I've been slavishly following this:


Using it for years and very happy with how the prices were balanced.

As for the rest you're doing great work and I'm grabbing your whole write up! Not totally happy with Xanathar's, Acq. Inc., or Strongholds & Followers.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Thanks.

How is this different than Carousing?
Intent.

Carousing implies just having a good time and if some info happens to fall into your lap, so be it.

Information Gathering implies the primary intention is to (try to) learn stuff. In the fiction, in a tavern scene the Carouser would be Pippin in the thick of the partying while the Info Gatherer would be Aragorn off in a corner observing. But IG also implies chatting with guilds, etc.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
One downtime thing I've done in the past for non-CHA classes is to allow bonuses for things like info gathering within class related groups. So a fighter would be better at schmoozing other fighter types even without high CHA, which I think makes some sense. This works fairly well conceptually even outside Info gathering. For example, the idea that a fighter might be better at carousing (with other fighter types) for reasons that have nothing to do with CHA isn't strange either.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Intent.

Carousing implies just having a good time and if some info happens to fall into your lap, so be it.

Information Gathering implies the primary intention is to (try to) learn stuff. In the fiction, in a tavern scene the Carouser would be Pippin in the thick of the partying while the Info Gatherer would be Aragorn off in a corner observing. But IG also implies chatting with guilds, etc.
Might be a good idea for me to rename Carousing then. Your idea isn't bad, I just think I've already got that mechanic more or less in there.

One downtime thing I've done in the past for non-CHA classes is to allow bonuses for things like info gathering within class related groups. So a fighter would be better at schmoozing other fighter types even without high CHA, which I think makes some sense. This works fairly well conceptually even outside Info gathering. For example, the idea that a fighter might be better at carousing (with other fighter types) for reasons that have nothing to do with CHA isn't strange either.
Yeah that's a good idea. Not sure the exact implementation. Maybe let them use a different ability if they stick to a certain group.
 

bedir than

Adventurer
Yeah that's a good idea. Not sure the exact implementation. Maybe let them use a different ability if they stick to a certain group.
Yes! Is the fighter a former blacksmith? Use STR (Smith's Tools) as they checkout the local smiths.
Has the Paladin gained Reknown in an Order with local influence? Use the Reknown rank instead of an attribute.

Mix and match the attribute used based on the activity being undertaken. The classic example being STR(Intimidation), but it should be used in Downtime as well.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Yes! Is the fighter a former blacksmith? Use STR (Smith's Tools) as they checkout the local smiths.
Has the Paladin gained Reknown in an Order with local influence? Use the Reknown rank instead of an attribute.

Mix and match the attribute used based on the activity being undertaken. The classic example being STR(Intimidation), but it should be used in Downtime as well.
The only issue remains how to adjudicate the favours they earn.

I think I have a handle on how to look at what different social classes can do. Narrowing it down too much and it's hard for the player to use what they've gained.

I think Smiths are too narrow. A Paladin gaining friends in the Order of the Gauntlet is about right though.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Did someone say sane magical item prices?

I've been slavishly following this:


Using it for years and very happy with how the prices were balanced.

As for the rest you're doing great work and I'm grabbing your whole write up! Not totally happy with Xanathar's, Acq. Inc., or Strongholds & Followers.
I took a look at it.

Those prices are far too cheap. Not even in the ballpark IMO.

I think I'm good with the permanent items starting at 1d6 x 1000.

It's going from there I'm not 100% on. I will think it over and maybe tinker with it a bit.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Yeah that's a good idea. Not sure the exact implementation. Maybe let them use a different ability if they stick to a certain group.
The easy answer is situational use of the proficiency bonus on usually non-proficient checks. This is the best answer if the rule is in place to start the campaign and players can build for it, although it also generally my first answer. Alternate stat mods for skills is also situationally useful, and, finally, just good old fashioned bonuses as required. Some mix of those things should work for most campaigns.

I use the above in the context of a hacked version of the downtime rules, but they should also work just fine in the bog standard rules.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I have made revisions. I have added a choice to all of the activities (except relaxation).

I think the balance on abilities and skill choices is pretty good overall. Charisma is still king but Intelligence and Wisdom both do very well. Strength is the one left out now.

Here is the count of how many activities are associated with each ability:

Strength: 1
Dexterity: 3
Constitution: 1
Intelligence: 5
Wisdom: 5
Charisma: 6

And here are the skill choices:

Athletics: 1

Acrobatics: 1
Sleight of Hand: 1
Stealth: 1
Thieves' Tools: 1

Investigation: 2
Arcana: 2
History: 1
Nature: 2
Religion: 2

Insight: 4
Survival: 1

Deception: 3
Intimidation: 2
Persuasion: 3

Gathering Contacts:

This may take the form of carousing, politicking, information gathering, etc.
Choose a social class and spend GP accordingly: 10gp for lower class, 50gp for middle class, or 250gp for upper class.
Make a Charisma (Persuasion) or Charisma (Deception) check.

11-15 - 1 Favour
16-20 - 2 Favours
21+ - 3 Favours

Favours may be spent to request the help of a person from the chosen social class for 1 task.

Alternative: Instead of a social class the player may choose a specific group such as a religious community, faction, or thieves’ guild. Cost determined by DM.

Religious Services:

The character spends time performing deeds in service of their god, oath, or ideal.
Make an Intelligence (Religion) or Wisdom (Insight) check.
11-15 - 1 die
16-20 - 2 dice
21+ - 3 dice

The player gains d6s which can be spent to add to the total of an Attack Roll, Saving Throw, or Ability Check (after the roll is made). These dice cannot be used in conjunction with the Bless spell.

Research:

Spend 100gp
Make an Intelligence (Investigation) check.

11-15 - 1 Piece of Lore
16-20 - 2 Pieces of Lore
21+ - 3 Pieces of Lore

The player may spend 1 piece of lore to ask the DM 1 question. The DM must answer truthfully if it is something that could have been learned.

Alternative: Choose 1 of Arcana, History, Nature, or Religion. Gain advantage on all checks of the chosen skill. You lose this benefit the next time you perform a downtime activity.



Crime:

Choose a DC. Choose 2 of the 3 following checks: Dexterity (Thieves’ Tools), Intelligence (Investigation), and Charisma (Deception).
Make the 2 chosen checks plus Dexterity (Stealth) at the chosen DC.

0 successes – player is caught and fined
1 success – failure
2 successes – half payout
3 successes – full payout

Payout (payout, half, fine)
DC 10 – 100gp / 50gp / 200gp
DC 15 – 200gp, 1 Table B roll / 200gp / 500gp
DC 20 – 400gp, 1 Table C roll / 400gp / 1000gp
DC 25 – 600gp, 2 Table C rolls / 600gp / 2000gp

Arena Fighting:

Make 3 d20 rolls and add the following bonuses:
Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics)
Wisdom (Insight) or Charisma (Intimidation)
Constitution Mod + Hit Die

Roll 2d10+5 for each roll to generate DCs.

0 successes – lose
1 success – 100gp
2 successes – 200gp, 1 Table B roll
3 successes – 400gp, 1 Table C roll

Gambling:

Choose a GP amount to wager up to 2000gp.
Choose 3 of the 4 following checks – Dexterity (Sleight of Hand), Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Deception), and Charisma (Intimidation).
Make the checks and roll 2d10+5 for each check to generate DCs.

0 successes – lose all gold wagered
1 success – lose half of gold wagered
2 successes – keep wager and win half more
3 successes – keep wager and win that amount more

The player may trade in winnings of 500gp for 1 Table B roll or 1000 GP for 1 Table C roll.

Relaxation:

You may reroll 1 die on an Attack Roll, Saving throw, or Ability Check. You must use the new roll.

Foraging:

Search for medicinal ingredients. Make an Intelligence (Nature) or Wisdom (Survival) check.
If you have and are proficient with an Herbalism Kit then you may forgo the cost.

11-15 – 1d4+1 Healing Potions – Cost 25gp
16-20 – 1d4+1 Greater Healing Potions – Cost 50gp
21+ - 1d3 Superior Healing Potions – Cost 100gp

Spell Research:

Spend 25gp per day for use of a library (plus the usual costs for adding spells to spell books).
Level 1 – 1 day
Level 2 – 3 days
Level 3 – 7 days

Scribe Scroll:

Level 1 – 1 day – 75gp
Level 2 – 3 days – 150gp
Level 3 – 7 days – 300gp


Magic Item Values:

Consumable: Buy/Sell

Uncommon 1d6x100gp / 200gp
Rare 1d6x200gp / 400gp
Very Rare 1d6x500gp / 1000gp
Legendary Unknown

Permanent: Buy/Sell

Uncommon 1d6x1000gp / 2000gp
Rare 1d6x2000gp / 4000gp
Very Rare 1d6x5000gp / 10000gp
Legendary Unknown

Buy Magic Item:

Spend 100gp plus up to 500gp more.
Make a Charisma (Persuasion) or Intelligence (Arcana) check with a bonus of up to +5, 1 for every additional 100gp spent.

5-10 – 1d4 rolls on Table B
11-15 – 1d4 rolls on Table C
16-20 – 1d4 rolls on Table F
21-25 – 1 roll on Table G
26+ - 1 roll on Table H

The player may choose to take a lower result. Once items have been chosen and prices determined the player may purchase 1 item.

Sell Magic Item:

Spend 100gp.
Make a Charisma (Persuasion) or Wisdom (Insight) check.

1-10 – Offer is 50% value
11-20 – Offer is 100% value
21+ - Offer is 150% value
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I took a look at it.

Those prices are far too cheap. Not even in the ballpark IMO.

I think I'm good with the permanent items starting at 1d6 x 1000.

It's going from there I'm not 100% on. I will think it over and maybe tinker with it a bit.
Damn. That is....a huge amount of gold for spider climbing shoes.

Is the idea to simply bar the crafting of any permanent magical items until midway through the game?
 

DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
I found the Sane Magical prices to work very very well using the DMG's gold acquisition per level and rolling random loot according to the DMG hoards/level range suggestions. The PCs could only access items from randomly rolled DMG stores too.

The really expensive stuff was just hard enough to get to make them really pull together and make hard choices while the lesser stuff was fairly priced.

If you're increasing the access to gp in general the prices will have to be adjusted or less handed out in adventures. I'd say using the relative prices from Sane Magical prices is a good starting point at least.

(note - I used these from level 1-15, after that they didn't hit a store before the finale).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Damn. That is....a huge amount of gold for spider climbing shoes.

Is the idea to simply bar the crafting of any permanent magical items until midway through the game?
I have 'em at 8000 in my game, though I'm not sure if the 5e version and mine function the same. That'll be based on 1e item pricing, which is the basis for what I use.

What worries me more about ad-hoc's system is the amount of variability: if one character builds/buys these slippers for 6000 and the next gets 'em for 1000, someone's gonna feel more than a bit ripped off. (never mind that it's screaming out for a PC to game the system by buying when the dice roll low and selling when they roll high...)
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I found the Sane Magical prices to work very very well using the DMG's gold acquisition per level and rolling random loot according to the DMG hoards/level range suggestions. The PCs could only access items from randomly rolled DMG stores too.

The really expensive stuff was just hard enough to get to make them really pull together and make hard choices while the lesser stuff was fairly priced.

If you're increasing the access to gp in general the prices will have to be adjusted or less handed out in adventures. I'd say using the relative prices from Sane Magical prices is a good starting point at least.

(note - I used these from level 1-15, after that they didn't hit a store before the finale).
I guess I just think there is a lot of gold in the treasure hoards compared to magic items.

It's entirely reasonable to not even find a single magic weapon by level 8-10 for example. The party will have thousands and thousands of gold at that point. So they may end up spending quite a bit of downtime searching for a +1 weapon to buy. If the items are as cheap as they are in that document I would expect the party to spend most of their downtime simply buying items which I definitely want to avoid.

I have 'em at 8000 in my game, though I'm not sure if the 5e version and mine function the same. That'll be based on 1e item pricing, which is the basis for what I use.

What worries me more about ad-hoc's system is the amount of variability: if one character builds/buys these slippers for 6000 and the next gets 'em for 1000, someone's gonna feel more than a bit ripped off. (never mind that it's screaming out for a PC to game the system by buying when the dice roll low and selling when they roll high...)
I see magic items as being very rare and valued. As such prices will be all over the place as individual owners are going to value them differently. So that's the theme behind the prices. As to the game reasons...

The key is that it costs a week of downtime and a roll to even sell them. The selling rates are low compared to the possible cost.

Same with buying. A week of downtime to generate 1d4 random items (or just 1 at higher rarity). If you don't want to buy what you get then you've just wasted a week. If you get a bargain you get a bargain.

My own game shapes how I've built it I'm sure.

We have 1 week of downtime between levels. Each downtime week is meant to be very significant. Just look at the favours or pieces of lore you can get for your week compared to the opportunity cost of searching for an item to buy.

The other thing is that the convention at our table is to share wealth and give magic items to those who can best use them. That's because adventures are very dangerous and character deaths and TPKs are a real possibility. Also, the party could simply lose their objectives and chances for treasure which would put them out much more than trying to be selfish with items. So with that mindset there isn't a worry about 1 person getting luckier than another. We want everyone to do well.
 

DWChancellor

Kobold Enthusiast
I guess I just think there is a lot of gold in the treasure hoards compared to magic items.

It's entirely reasonable to not even find a single magic weapon by level 8-10 for example. The party will have thousands and thousands of gold at that point. So they may end up spending quite a bit of downtime searching for a +1 weapon to buy. If the items are as cheap as they are in that document I would expect the party to spend most of their downtime simply buying items which I definitely want to avoid.

I see magic items as being very rare and valued. As such prices will be all over the place as individual owners are going to value them differently. So that's the theme behind the prices. As to the game reasons...

The other thing is that the convention at our table is to share wealth and give magic items to those who can best use them. That's because adventures are very dangerous and character deaths and TPKs are a real possibility. Also, the party could simply lose their objectives and chances for treasure which would put them out much more than trying to be selfish with items. So with that mindset there isn't a worry about 1 person getting luckier than another. We want everyone to do well.
TLDR - When I made magic item shops rare and their stock random according to RAW, I got a long way to what you're aiming it without much work.

Yeah, this is how it played out in my game using everything as I described. "Magic item shops" aren't a normal thing in 5E (certainly not at level 8-10). I think a lot of reaction to the 5E economy is from not running it as written (especially by DM's more used to 3E's required multi-slot gear and 4E's item glut). YMMV.

There were so few repeat items in shops - because I was using the random tables and because I kept the shop's and their stock rare - that I didn't need to mess around with prices much to give it the appearance of what you're describing.

What I found is that the PCs had an reasonable time ensuring everyone had something magic to throw at resistant monsters, but that the really badass stuff either required a giant portion of their (collective) treasure or came out from random table rolls. Obviously as DM I exercised my right to fudge treasure hoards from time to time.
 

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