• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

Unearthed Arcana Explores Downtime Activities

This is EXACTLY what I wanted and EXACTLY what the game needed.

Then there's this: "For more information, see “Brewing Potions of Healing” in this section on crafting and “Scribing a Spell Scroll” on page Error! Bookmark not defined." (p. 7) :erm:
 

Comments

tmanbeaubien

Explorer
I think this is good fodder for adventure. I have used a variation of the "quest required" idea for high level magic items for quite a few years, so that's pretty familiar for my group.

I find that downtime activities are easily set up away from the table and fleshed out by email and such, so that the key rolls and activities can be played out at the table for maximum payoff on all the buildup you've done with one or more players. But then, I also tell my players that a few weeks or months have passed since they got back from that dungeon if they don't have any pressing concerns. Then I can let them write the story by merely asking, "what are you doing in the meantime?"
 

dave2008

Adventurer
I think these are a needed expansion and I agree there ares some flaws - make sure to respond to the survey when it is up! Hopefully we can help improve them before they become the real deal.
 

Bacon Bits

Explorer
Prices on scribing scrolls seems a bit ridiculous. Rare magic items are 2,000 gp. Very rare, 20,000 gp. Legendary, 100,000 gp. 4th and 5th level scrolls are rare and are... 2,500 gp to 5,000 gp? Twice as much? 6th, 7th, and 8th level scrolls are very rare and are 15,000 gp to 50,000 gp? Up to 2.5x as much? 9th level scrolls are legendary and cost 250,000 gp? Are you kidding me? Sure, I can hear you saying, "But you can create a wish scroll!" That may be true, but you can create a ring of three wishes and a luck blade for the price of creating a scroll of wish. And, yeah, it takes 10 times longer for only 6 times the output, but you can combine efforts on items! Also, a wand of fireballs is rare and costs 2,000 gp. A scroll with a single fireball spell is 500 gp! For that matter, a staff of healing is 2,000 gp, but a potion of supreme healing is 10,000 gp?

I quite like the idea that for permanent items you need to go on a minor downtime quest of some sort, but the prices are wonky, and the time involved really makes me question the commonality of magic items.


It also feels like they've kind of picked from a grab bag for the we-promise-it's-not-a-skill-challenge options. Pit Fighting seems particularly strange: "The character makes three checks: Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), and Wisdom (Insight)." Wait, Insight? ♫ One of these things is not like the others! ♫ Apparently we're doing boxing, wrestling, and... poker? Sure, there might be a fight in the first event that involves Deception and Insight, but exactly one fight every time? I'm just not buying it. Why should pit fighting or street fighting benefit from Insight, while actual combat doesn't? I prefer the Crime version which gives the player several choices.


I'm also confused about Work. A day laborer, a skilled craftsman, and a performer all earn the same wages?
 

FitzTheRuke

Adventurer
Clearly, with some of these complaints (no offense, people) they are going to need to explicitly point out that the three skill checks are DM guidelines and any three that make sense to the DM will do.

(Same goes for the little charts. Guidelines. Roll, pick from, or make up something *along these lines*)

I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice for the real rules to have more examples. It absolutely would be a good idea. But these are good for our purposes here.

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
 

guachi

Villager
I'll add that, while I like the UA, I still object to calling it "down time" as if it's lesser than other stuff.

To me, it's just role playing. It's just as important, useful, valuable, and fun as killing monsters and taking their stuff.
 
Clearly, with some of these complaints (no offense, people) they are going to need to explicitly point out that the three skill checks are DM guidelines and any three that make sense to the DM will do.

(Same goes for the little charts. Guidelines. Roll, pick from, or make up something *along these lines*)

I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice for the real rules to have more examples. It absolutely would be a good idea. But these are good for our purposes here.

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
I would much rather have none of these superfluous subsystems and use all those words spent on them to give me cool ideas to use.
 

FitzTheRuke

Adventurer
I'll add that, while I like the UA, I still object to calling it "down time" as if it's lesser than other stuff.

To me, it's just role playing. It's just as important, useful, valuable, and fun as killing monsters and taking their stuff.
I think they just mean it in a sense that it is less actively stressful (dangerous) than Adventuring. I don't think it implies any lack of worthiness.

Just downright relaxing by comparison!

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
 

Saeviomagy

Villager
The complications tables are a bit crappy. Too many are "this thing already happened", when the thing in question is something you would have had to actively participate in. The gambling complications table has "you get a debt that can't be paid in cash", even if you are successful and make money! The carousing table has you agree to do all kinds of stupid things, because apparently attempting to make new contacts inevitably includes getting so blind drunk you sign random contracts and give away 500gp at a time.
 

FitzTheRuke

Adventurer
The complications tables are a bit crappy. Too many are "this thing already happened", when the thing in question is something you would have had to actively participate in. The gambling complications table has "you get a debt that can't be paid in cash", even if you are successful and make money! The carousing table has you agree to do all kinds of stupid things, because apparently attempting to make new contacts inevitably includes getting so blind drunk you sign random contracts and give away 500gp at a time.
Yeah, they get a bit carried away. Mearls even uses an example in the interview (under the assumption that downtime is used between sessions) that you could get back to the table and discover that the party rogue is now in jail "from a few bad rolls".

That... doesn't sound good to me.

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
 

Geeknamese

Explorer
Yeah, they get a bit carried away. Mearls even uses an example in the interview (under the assumption that downtime is used between sessions) that you could get back to the table and discover that the party rogue is now in jail "from a few bad rolls".

That... doesn't sound good to me.

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
Hehe, you've never had a friend of family member with a gambling problem? Or that person that's been on a losing streak and is just chasing hope that luck will turn around? People gamble, lose and start pawning things hoping to just double up and go home even. Eventually incur big debts to loan sharks and get into serious trouble.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
 

Ristamar

Explorer
The complications tables are a bit crappy. Too many are "this thing already happened", when the thing in question is something you would have had to actively participate in. The gambling complications table has "you get a debt that can't be paid in cash", even if you are successful and make money! The carousing table has you agree to do all kinds of stupid things, because apparently attempting to make new contacts inevitably includes getting so blind drunk you sign random contracts and give away 500gp at a time.
It may not be for everyone, but there are plenty of tables that enjoy those types of jump cuts when carousing. In fact, they're often actively seeking trouble, fully aware they could end up in a bad scene with a quick roll of the dice.

It is expected that more straight-laced groups will trim potential consequences to fit their own comfort level while the more gonzo types will add in any Hangover-style craziness they can imagine.
 

FitzTheRuke

Adventurer
Hehe, you've never had a friend of family member with a gambling problem? Or that person that's been on a losing streak and is just chasing hope that luck will turn around? People gamble, lose and start pawning things hoping to just double up and go home even. Eventually incur big debts to loan sharks and get into serious trouble.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
I'm not sure how any if that relates to what I said.

I just think that some of the more severe consequences of failure are a bit much, not in that they aren't an interesting story, but that they could interfere with the gamw going forward.

It's easy enough to chose to do something else instead, so I am not worried about it.

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
 

unknowable

Explorer
The complications tables are a bit crappy. Too many are "this thing already happened", when the thing in question is something you would have had to actively participate in. The gambling complications table has "you get a debt that can't be paid in cash", even if you are successful and make money! The carousing table has you agree to do all kinds of stupid things, because apparently attempting to make new contacts inevitably includes getting so blind drunk you sign random contracts and give away 500gp at a time.
Hmmm no, it is saying that you end up gambling for something that isn't money or maybe allow yourself to wager something that isn't monetarily valued / trade it for money to gamble with or enter a gambling establishment.
This can be things like favors, or maybe a kidney. That is what they are going for.

Also it is post event because this is handwaving between large stretches of time man, if you don't want this and a group has time just roleplay the experience... It is that simple. The game doesn't need rules for actively roleplaying, but it did need rules for quickly summarizing downtime activities.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
Yes, more nuanced thought required, but a good idea generally.

For instance, I would have the three rolls for Pit Fighting be as follows;

Melee Attack Roll - whichever melee combat style is yours, you will use it in the Pit.
Constitution Roll - however you fight, being tough enough counts in the Pit.
Perception Roll - the Pit is famed dirty fighting, hidden weapons and sand in the face - keep frosty or suffer the consequences!

For crafting I would say that skill should count, and workdays should be reduced by 10% for every skill point above the DC, to a maximum of 50% time reduction.

Also, every day and assistant helps to create an item has their input count as a workday towards the total needed only if they have a skill equal to the DC or more.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ath-kethin

Explorer
I think the rules and guidelines are, overall, pretty good. My group has a character we decided likes gambling and drinking and gaming on his off time (no productive hobbies), and the carousing table in the DMG was getting worn a little thin. I'm happy to have more tables to roll on.

I/we had already introduced a number of NPCs who fit the "foils" descriptions in this article, but it's nice to have a set of operations and activities that are a little more codified.

I had no need and have no use for rules on making magic items, but I like the approach the article takes.

This kind of article is of far greater interest to me than additional splat and options.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Relaxation restores stat damage. That's really handy if you are running a low level or low magic world. We are about one or two steps away from having healers and doctors that don't require using Lesser or Greater Restoration to cure people.
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

Top