PS0229 – Downtime (Crunch)

Adventuring again? You look so tired. All this adventuring isn’t good for someone your age. Kick off those plated boots and relax. Pick up a hobby. Maybe start a small business.

Listen Now!




Chimera Café and Games


Board member Kizan suggested we look at the downtime system introduced in Ultimate Campaign.

I’m getting ready to start a the new adventure Dragon’s Demand with my home group. I very much want to use the Downtime system presented in Ultimate Campaign, but after a read through I still don’t understand it as well as I’d like. Could you guys go over that system at some depth?”

This ties in to PS 205 – Time Mechanics with Matt, and PS 20 – Reality with Jay. Now it’s Cathy’s turn to weigh in.


Read about the downtime system yourself on Paizo’s PRD.

What’s Downtime?

· PCs are not on nonstop adventures. Just like there are no rules for unexciting things during adventures, like having to pee or dealing with the soul-crushing guilt of how many lives you’ve seen end, there were no rules for the unexciting things between adventures, like paying mortgage or raise children.

Why Downtime?

· What a character does between adventures can be more important to who that character is than what she does on adventures;

o Lois & Clark

· There are organic situations that grow out of adventuring that can only be explored between adventures;

o The tavern;

o Relationships

§ Save the princess, then what? Discard her? Save her again?

· Fable

How Downtime Works

· At its core, Downtime uses days as a currency, a long term action, in which you can perform Downtime activities, gain income, and deal with unexpected happenings, in four phases.

· There are four Downtime capital broaden concepts already in the game: Goods, Influence, Labour, and Magic.

· There are two types of activities during Downtime: activities that involve Downtime capital, and activities that do not involve Downtime capital.

· If everyone is only interested in activities that do not involve Downtime capital, don’t worry about the Downtime phase sequence. These activities include:

o Add Spells to Your Spellbook*

o Craft Magic Items*

o Craft Mundane Items*

o Earn XP

o Gather Information

o Heal Others

o Replace Your Animal Companion

o Research a Spell*

o Research Facts and Lore

o Rest

o Retrain*

o Train an Animal

· A lot of items on that list include as asterix. That’s because these rules already exist in the game and can be run as is. However, Ultimate Campaign introduces variants that use Downtime capital.

· Phase 1—Upkeep: Pay costs associated with maintaining completed buildings and organizations.

· Phase 2—Activity: Perform downtime activities, such as constructing a building, recruiting an organization, or retraining.

o Construct Buildings

o Earn Capital

o Promote a Business

o Recruit for an Organization

o Run a Business

o Scheme for an Upcoming Adventure

· Phase 3—Income: Determine how much capital your buildings, organizations, and other activities generate, and sell off assets you no longer want.

Phase 4—Event: Check whether any unusual events occur. Some are beneficial, such as Famous Visitor or Good Fortune. Others are detrimental, such as Fire or Sickness.


Like 3.5 Private Sanctuary on Facebook.

Visit DriveThru RPG for all your RPG PDF needs.

This podcast is a member of RPG Podcasts.

Jefferson Thacker

Before Perram joined Know Direction as the show’s first full time co-host, the podcast could have best been describe as a bunch of Pathfinder RPG stuff. Perram brings a knowledge of and love for Golarion to Know Direction, something any Pathfinder podcast is lacking without. On top of being a man on the pulse of the Pathfinder campaign setting, Perram is the founder of the superlative site for Pathfinder spellcasters, Perram’s Spellbook, a free web application that creates customized spell cards.

Leave a Reply