Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

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Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby Havard » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:41 pm

What are some good downtime activies for a Modern or Future RPG?

In a fantasy game, building a stronghold, crafting magical items, carousing or training could be appropriate.

What would be modern equivalents?

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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby night_druid » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:23 am

Same things we do in modern times.

1. Take in a movie(s).
2. Play on the internet.
3. Go camping.
4. Go back to school to get your Masters.
5. Buy a new house/RV.
6. Buy/upgrade a transport (car, boat, airplane, starship, etc).
7. Go bar-hopping/hit the red-light district.
8. Upkeep on house/RV/transport (change oil, mow lawn, etc).
9. Build a droid (level of functionality dependent on the game, from toy to astromech).
10. Take up hobby (too many to list).
11. Volunteer work.
12. Local politics.
13. Fitness club.
14. New pet
15. Shooting range.
16. Spend time with the family (ugh...;) )
17. Street racing with fancy sports cars
18. Write a book.
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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby Morfie » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:54 am

Playing rpg's :D
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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby RobJN » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 am

Netflix and chill? :P
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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:24 am

I would recommend that low level PCs have day-jobs and that they do things with those part time.
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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby agathokles » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:26 am

Conspiracy X 2e has the following:
- training/instruction: provides XP dedicated to a specific skill
- resource gathering: provides resource points
- influence building: provides XP dedicated to increasing the influence quality.

Call of Cthulhu has at least two:
- recovering sanity (relax, psychotherapy)
- reading mythos books

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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby Havard » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:06 pm

Great input!

Perhaps we should try to define downtime activity a bit more.

The way I see it this is time spent between adventures. This assumes that not every day of a character's life is roleplayed but that considerable time passes between each adventure (weeks, months). Some RPGs, as has been mentioned in this thread too, have rules for figuring out what the PCs have done since the last adventure. These could even provide the PC with some benefits if the GM allows it.

Someone mentioned in the Middle Earth Forum here on The Piazza that this is also a feature of The One Ring RPG so that is another game we could borrow some ideas from.


Maybe we could try to structure it a bit:




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Re: Modern/Future Downtime Activities?

Postby timemrick » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:58 am

The Ultimate Campaign book for Pathfinder has a pretty nicely developed downtime system that I plan to try out in my next campaign. First, it defines rules for gaining and using capital (an abstraction of the goods, influence, labor, and magic generated and consumed by downtime activities) and what the phases are for a downtime day. Then it gives a list of downtime activities and how they work in this system:
  • Add spells to your spellbook
  • Construct buildings
  • Craft magic items
  • Craft mundane items
  • Earn capital
  • Earn XP [used to catch up with other PCs, if you're lagging behind]
  • Gather information
  • Heal others
  • Lead your kingdom [uses the kingdom-building rules, found in another chapter]
  • Promote a business
  • Replace your animal companion
  • Replace your familiar
  • Recruit for an organization
  • Research a spell
  • Research facts and lore
  • Rest
  • Retrain
  • Run a business
  • Scheme for an upcoming adventure [spend capital and time to gain a bonus on specific future checks]
  • Train an animal
Many of these are right out of the Core Rulebook. Some activities involve creating and using buildings or organizations, so the next section details how that works (buildings are defined as a set of rooms, with specific game functions, and organizations are similarly built of teams of workers). The final section consists of lists of random events that can make downtime more interesting. The full rules can be found in the PF SRD here.

This system was designed for a medieval/renaissance setting, but could be adapted to modern or future games with some effort. The capital system is abstract enough that different forms of currency wouldn't be an insurmountable obstacle. It also might take some work to adapt the room/team system to later tech levels, but since each unit is defined in terms of skill use and earning capital, the basic functions of many of them won't appreciably change with tech level.
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