Unearthed Arcana 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:
 

Crafting doesn't seem to take into account a bunch of assistants or hirelings artisans who might assist in something. I could see a bunch of them reducing crafting time by a lot.

I like carousing the best, as I think having contacts builds on a lot for a more story orientated campaign.
 

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mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
Love this! There's some cool stuff in here.

:)

Two things immediately jumped out at me upon first perusal...

GAMBLING
The basic rules guide us to call for an Intelligence check when an adventurer tries to win a game of skill, and also state that if an adventurer is proficient with a gaming set, he can add his proficiency bonus to ability checks he makes to play a game with that set. -- Are neither of these things meaningful when gambling over games of skill in your downtime?

RESEARCH
The basic rules state that for each day of research, an adventurer must spend 1 gp to cover his research expenses. -- A leap to at least 100 gp for a workweek is quite the increase.
 

Staffan

Legend
From my point of view, the buying/crafting magic items is probably going to be the most controversial part of the UA. I'm going to approach it from the standpoint that yes, you do want PCs to be able to buy/craft magic items (if you don't, just don't add those particular rules).

That said, I'm not a fan of the rules for buying items. I have two beefs with them. The first is that the random magic item tables are not supposed to be strictly sequential in commonality. Rather, they are split into two parts: table A through E is for consumables, and F through I for permanent items. On the treasure hoard tables, table F is about equal to table C in commonality (level 1-4 has a 10% chance of generating 1d4 C items, and 12% chance of generating 1d4 F items; level 5-10 has 11% chance for 1d4 C items and 14% for 1d4 F items).

My second beef is that the low-level DCs are too low, and the high-levels might be a bit too high. So, to combine the two beefs into one double-burger, here's what I'd do:

Check: Item table
1-9: None
10-13: A
14-17: B
18-21: C or F
22-25: D or G
26+: E or H

I wouldn't allow table I items for random sale - that table has things like hammer of thunderbolts, robe of the archmagi, deck of many things, or sphere of annihilation. If something like that is for sale, that's going to be a major campaign event. That'd be like selling off the Bayeux Tapestry, or the David statue - except if they also had a comparative military value of, say, an aircraft carrier with a full complement of planes.
 

Ovarwa

Explorer
Hi,

The idea is fine. Implementation, not so much.

Some activities very much favor Cha-based classes, and for no good reason: Why not a Wisdom-based check instead of Cha(persuasion), to perceive who might be selling an item? Or an Int-based knowledge check, to know who is who in town? Int(investigation) makes more sense than Cha(persuasion). There's no tie-in to backgrounds that might be helpful either, or various divination spells that might provide Guidance of some kind. And if it's going to be a Charisma check, why does Persuasion work but Intimidation fail?

BTW, a level 20 character skilled in persuasion with Cha 20 who rolls a 20 after maxing out the +10 bonus has achieved a 41, barely enough to get onto Table I. This (bad design) might be intentional, but Bards and Rogues can get another +6, which utterly changes things.

Speaking of utterly changing things, maybe just label the tables "Casing the Joint: Preparation for a Magic Item Heist." Because once a seller has been identified, why pay crazy prices? Heck, you can build an entire campaign around this. Naturally, I see no mention of this because this consequence was probably not considered.

This is the kind of material that limits rp in the name of expanding it, sort of like video game NPCs with limited possibility for interaction.

On to carousing; I'll stop when I tire of typing. Cha makes more sense here, I suppose, but why not Deception to worm your way into people's good graces, or Performance to wow a crowd, or get a patron or groupie? Or even intimidation, to convince people that they'll be happy if you're happy? But of course, Int gets no love as usual: Why not investigation, to find people who are likely to have interests sympathetic to yours? BTW, the carousing outcomes are limited and, once again, limiting. Even silly. It's silly to think that a guild master will "help in any way possible" just because you partied with him, but if it does happen, it's silly to think that he'll help exactly once unless you party with him again.

Once more, NPC reaction and motivation is crunched down to fit into 8-bit container.

Just in case you thought things couldn't get worse, along comes crafting. Notice how crafting isn't really a downtime activity because it totally depends on obtaining the materials through adventure? (If crafting is a thing, then why doesn't anyone sell the item? Never mind.) Notice how it costs more to craft an item than to buy it? Right.

Oh, look: Crime. I suppose that's full circle, and I'll stop here. This section isn't really about crime in general, only thieving. Unless, of course, forgery isn't a crime, blackmail, armed robbery, kidnapping, arson... Even for thieving, this section is pretty pathetic: Why be satisfied with a mere 1000gp heist when you can start by finding a magic item to steal using the first section, or take advantage of all the contacts you made using section 2 (less obvious, since the value is not determined here but still)?

Not down with these downtime rules,

Ken
 



unknowable

Explorer
I always thought the magic item bases prices from the DMG felt odd, but these changes make absolutely no sense... it costs more to make an item than sell it?! You can craft a single scroll of wish for a quarter million, or shell out 100,000 to make a ring of wishes (sure it takes way longer)... but why, when you can buy that ring for for an average of twice that. They really need to look at their math!

I see the selling section as more of what the initial offer is, than what it's total value will be. But that isn't codified here, so I understand your concern. Nobody goes into a purchase at max offer.

Buying a Ring of three Wishes is ~175,000gp with a minimum of 50,000 and a maximum of 300,000. IF you can find it (very difficult without direct GM assistance).
Crafting one costs 50,000gp (it is a consumable) and the max offer is 37,500gp.

Personally I see this as fine... But I would be tempted to use the Buy magic item price table and replace 50% 100% 150% with, base, 50% rolled, 100% rolled for offers.

WotC are making it this way to stop people from looking at magic item sales as gaining easy cash or making magic items commonplace, as the system isn't built for it.
Selling is more there to give some extra gold to people who have things they don't want.

Hi,

The idea is fine. Implementation, not so much.

Some activities very much favor Cha-based classes, and for no good reason: Why not a Wisdom-based check instead of Cha(persuasion), to perceive who might be selling an item? Or an Int-based knowledge check, to know who is who in town? Int(investigation) makes more sense than Cha(persuasion). There's no tie-in to backgrounds that might be helpful either, or various divination spells that might provide Guidance of some kind. And if it's going to be a Charisma check, why does Persuasion work but Intimidation fail?

BTW, a level 20 character skilled in persuasion with Cha 20 who rolls a 20 after maxing out the +10 bonus has achieved a 41, barely enough to get onto Table I. This (bad design) might be intentional, but Bards and Rogues can get another +6, which utterly changes things.

Wisdom doesn't make sense except to maybe notice someone... Perception is your ability to generally perceive things, not go searching for them. That is more investigation, which then in the case of people requires persuasion/intimidation/deception.
They are going for the idea that you aren't wandering streets finding a person with a well known magic shop, you are finding a person who is selling a magical item.

Intelligence knowledge may or may not work, but you generally need to have reason to have knowledge of the person selling the magical item or that it is being sold. Again, not the best ability for the job.
I would say that would probably fall under the research side of things, at best.

As for why you wouldn't just case a joint... Sure a player can do that, there is no reason to have rules for that as the base rules already cover everything that is needed.
It really limits you to evil characters though and is likely to result in unforseen events depending on the owner... Given that the more powerful the object the more powerful the seller is likely to be.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
So lucky I had copied this post in case there was a second thread. Combining them deleted my post since I fell in the middle (at least I couldn't find it)



So, yeah, I'm not as enthused about these crafting rules as I had hoped to be. A 20th level master craftsman takes just as long as the apprentice that just figured out which tools are which.

And... I need to do some quick math, but I think it is either slower or just about the same to make things.

Splint mail costs 200 gold, nice round number. Both rule sets mean you need 100 gold in materials to make it.

Old rules said 5 gold a day, which is 40 days 5.7 weeks.

New Rules say divide cost by 50, so 4 weeks.

Edit: Just noticed workweeks, so 20 days compared to 39 days. Almost twice as fast once you notice they switched units on you for some reason, but I feel that is just an artifact of this particular gp value, as the platemail example above was not twice as fast.

It's a bit faster then, but that doesn't fit one of the things that I found the most ridiculous with my jeweler. If I was making a ring that included a 500 gold gem, then making that single ring takes twice as long as making an entire suit of armor... and you can brew gallons of beer in a single day. A week of brewing gives you 250 gallons of beer by the math, good stuff to not cheap swill.


I like a lot of the stuff in here, but crafting wasn't really fixed and that disappoints me a lot.


I do like different carousing for different social levels.

I also don't like the samey-ness of some of the complications. I know they are placeholders, but the entire town seems to be overrun with devil worshippers, blood cultists, and disguised demons. Some variety from the creators would have been nice.


One thing that is amazing though is the change to training. Used to be 250 days and 250 gold, now it is 50 days (10 workweeks) at most with the ability to drop it down to 25 days (5 workweeks) if you've got a high Int. Unfortunately the price skyrocketed to between 1,000 gold and 500 gold. So... the price probably needs changed but the timeline feels a lot better.



Now, I'll grant, in the real world things should take time, but the game provides us with vastly different incentives. The longest downtime I've ever given players was a single month (4 weeks) because of Spring Break at the college. There is very little they could have accomplished under the old rules or the new rules with that amount of time. Normal games don't seem to offer any downtime at all (I've been fighting for some downtime from one group) because the clock is ticking and evil is on the rise.


Honestly, I really want rules that acknowledge skill and proficiency (proficiency in the items are next to meaningless because you never roll anything involving your tools 90% of the time) and that allow for characters to act quickly enough that they can affect the story without us needing to pause the game for over a year.
 

MiraMels

Explorer
I LOVE the foils and complications rules.

I do find it a bit odd that the Investigation skill isn't relevant to Research, and that Gaming Set proficiencies aren't relevant to Gambling. Though i do like the "make these three different checks and total up your successes" resolution mechanic.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World mobile app
 


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