Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yes, and also other things.What would a gather information procedure give that is not included in the research downtime activity? A series of skill checks rather than one? Example or defined DCs?
Like a lot of downtime activities, it’s just not any fun, has a hard set unchangeable time and gold cost, and at most one skill check for a task that is much too complex to be one check.
IMO all downtime activities should have at least 3 checks, which can be done by multiple characters when multiple PCs are involved, with at least 3 levels of outcome, from total failure, through partial/complicated success, to total success.
Research would be 3+ checks, using social, Int, or both, skills, with how much info you get being on a success ladder with at least 4 rungs. No successes, 1, 2, and 3, successes.
Full disclosure, this is how I handle complex adventuring tasks, already. Finding, examining, disarming, and whatever the PC does next (scavenge parts, break so it won’t operate anymore without extensive repair, take sketches as they disassemble it ao they can recreate it later, rearm it so that enemies following them have to deal with it, etc) will have 3 to 5 checks, and low successes might mean disarming but gettin hurt, for instance.