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Wren's Curse of the Crimson Throne Downtime

Game Master Wren McGalliard

The downtime play for Wren's Curse of the Crimson Throne.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map


On the colossal, flat-topped pyramid known as the Grand Mastaba, rises Castle Korvosa. It's black marble turrets reach skyward like claws of so many roosting, giant and ominous birds of prey. Around it spreads The Heights, like so many Shaonti worshipers of old, laying their lives in homage to such a display of dominance over the land.

The Pillar Wall guards the southern edge of Citadel Hill- a one-hundred-foot-tall corpse of a once astonishing barrier. Although it is a shadow of it's former glory, the wall is none the less imposing upon the skyline. At Pillar Wall's western end stands Gatefoot, a massive portal that has lost all function save it's outstanding presence.

Standing north of Castle Korvosa, beyond the well-to-do neighborhood of Citadel Crest, with it's shining banners, luxurious manor-homes and marvelous old-Chelaxian style, at the Merciless Cliffs stands the Great Tower. The tower itself, atop the cliffs which are no minor bluff, stands 270 feet in the air and play host to a few dozen hippogriffs that fly to and fro, carrying armed soldiers.

South of the Great Tower protrudes the Hall of Summoning into the oft-cloudy sky. The hall being the center of the Acadmae, flashes in brilliant color and sound with each risky spell of the mages therein.

Besides the most apperent landmarks, Korvosa plays host to many walls, both sturdy and functional and in disrepair, gorgeous bridges not to speak of the dangerous Vaults that lie beneath, out of view, but of no less volume than those structures above the surface. And threaded between it all are countless shacks, bridges, ladders, stairs, ropes and makeshift pathways that constitute The Shingles, which shift, fall and rebuild on daily basis.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Somewhere in Old Korvosa, among the endless stacks of worn down tenements, grease and soot laden buildings stands an old tower. By any normal standards the tower was quite tall, somewhere between four and eight stories high, but Korvosa did not have normal standards, not as far as architecture was concerned.

In this sleepy tower, which leaned far to the side, much further than would normally be considered possible for such a tower, slumped a man covered with fresh wounds. He wrapped himself, his wounds as well as his face, in scraps of cloth of various colors and removed a mask from his face. He sighed loudly and looked at himself in shambles. Then he coughed, sighed again, and painstakingly raised himself to his feet. He was Varisian of descent, no doubt, but with the rugged good looks of a Chelaxian ne'er-do-well, save the tawny complexion.

Another man slid from the shadows, his appearance a split between the two- Varisian and Chelaxian, a bastard of some noble and some back alley tramp. Or perhaps a lucky dashing scamp not unlike the first man, and an adventurous young pale skinned, red haired Chelish woman. This second, shadowy man mixed something sulfurous in a small jar and grinned mischievously.

On the street level, separated by a few unused floors, a few trendy Korvosan nobles sat and smoked pipes and sipped fortified wine, chatting gaily, unknowing or uncaring for their questionable-at-best proprietors some floors above. The sitting room had sprung up over night and while it was not in the best of neighborhoods (a detail that may actually have lured such nobles to it's midst) it spared no expense in quality, formal relaxation. In fact, this place's popularity had become as such that if one was so inclined one may find a tasty morsel of gossip or two, should one spend the time to listen.

"Seems like we have a few customers. Better get another case of wine ready by the looks of them."

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

The day is Fireday 31 Arodus, 4718 AR.

Dorsey and Aldo recover from their previous nights (or early morning) escapades. Verik Vancaskerkin is dead and his body is buried in the Gray district. The sting of defeat doubles the pain of poison.

Why was Virmanda Arkona having Verik give away meat? Was it she that had Verik killed? Those questions must remained unanswered for now. "I will look into it and let you know," Cressida Kroft had said. "Do not go asking around about her. It could ruin any investigation and it could ruin you as well."

The city streets grow more tense with each passing day and there is no end to the protests to quell, unions to squash and crimes to put down for those silver and red uniformed men and women. The city writhes on the edge of anarchy.

But without any direct orders from Field Marshall Croft, one will have to carry on with this and that.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

The day is Starday, 1 Rova, 4718 AR.

Recovered from their adventures, Dorsey and Aldo set about their day to day.

(We will skip over the Upkeep phase, because you have no upkeep at this point. The Upkeep phase is where you'd pay for ongoing projects or any other recurring fees.)

Activity Phase

Step 1-Perform Free Activities
You can perform any activities that don't require downtime days, such as buying gear, selling unwanted magic items, and bartering.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Hiring a tail for Jarif Jeggare and Vimanda Arkona.

First, Aldo looks for the right men for the job.

Aldo Diplomacy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27

He finds half a dozen ne'er-do-wells eager to perform this service. Since there is nothing strictly illegal about it, and Jarif Jeggare doesn't seem to be much of a threat despite being rather arrogant, the going rate will be 6 silver pieces per day.

He can also take specific instructions about what to watch or listen for, and when to report back to you.

As for following Vimanda Arkona: nearly nobody will touch that job with a ten foot pole. Few even stick around to hear you out after you drop the name. However, one particularly ambitious fellow offers to take the job. He is frail with beady, deep set eyes and he doesn't offer a name to go by. His going rate for such a high profile target is 3 platinum pieces per day.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Step 2-Continue Ongoing Downtime Activity

Nothing is ongoing, so we'll skip this step.

Step 3-Begin New Downtime Activity

Post how you spend this downtime day. A full explanation of your options is here.

If you're making a skill check to earn capital or money, or for any other activity, go ahead and post that skill check. There is a little button down under the new post box that can show you how to format it. Make sure you calculate your bonus correctly- it's just like any other skill check. Also tell me what kind of Capital you intend to earn. I'll post results and explanations for that. After those of you who are interested have posted, we'll move on to the next Phase.

Message me on the chat if you have any questions.

i'm looking to start building my alchemist lab. i'm willing to pay the 390 up front and wait the sixteen days.

i would also like to find a pair of masterwork hand axes if i could. not sure if i'm able to do that on the same day.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

You can also pay for 2, 3 or 4 times the amount of Labor to reduce the time by 2, 3 or 4. The Alchemy Lab requires 5 Labor, so if you payed 100 more, it'd take 8 days. If you paid 200 more, it'd take 5. There's obviously some diminishing returns there. I'd suggest paying the extra 100, if anything.

Yeah you can buy and sell stuff during Step 1 of Phase 2, although it doesn't matter exactly when it happens. It doesn't take up any time, unless I decide it should.

Masterwork Handaxes are 306gp a piece.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Dorcey arranges to meet the foreman of a construction crew, a man by the name of Waygott, at Copper-Beater Hall in Old Korvosa. A cacophany of pangs and ringing sounds from within the wide building. Large containers are filled and emptied of various metals, raw and refined. A dozen or so smiths work tirelessly at anvils, smelters and tables.

Waygott leans on a desk and chews on strong smelling leaves."Wood and a quality stone from Janderhoff is the basic order, with a bit of iron to hold it all together. If you're looking for something a little more lavish, I can procure some black marble or," He looks around suspiciously and lowers his voice to a whisper "Even got a few blocks left of that old crumbled corner of the Grand Mastaba, though I trust you won't tell anyone I said that. They'd downright hang me for it. You'll have to find someone to provide the more specialized equipment, but I can work with whomever to put it all together if you introduce us."

"It'll be sixteen days for that order, or I can cut it down for half if you throw in another hundred gold for more laborers for the job."

It takes the day for Dorsey to set everything up, but won't require any further days spent to finish the building, so on the following days you'll be free to pursue other projects. Finding an alchemist for Waygott is just for flavor and can be done during the free activity step.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Don spends the day guiding travelers from the city gates out into the wilderness near Korvosa. For his services, a clothier coming into Korvosa gives Aldo an excellent deal on a set of wait staff uniforms and equipment, such as serving trays, pocket notebooks and linens of various styles (some with pockets, etc).

This would be Don generating Labor for the day:

Don Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21

That's a total of 2 Labor Capital. Someone (Don, Aldo or Dorcey) will have to pay 20 gold pieces (10 gp each) for those Labor.

I'll just consider your Capital collectively for all three of you for now, until Don decides, if at all, to build or hire something or someone of his own.

The flavor text above is written with the assumption that Aldo is going to try and hire a group of "Cutpurses" to act as the wait-staff and spies for the Grouse and Gander. Cutpurse is just the name for that team in the rules, as we can re-name any of those teams and even customize them if necessary.

I will pay that hundred gold extra. That makes 460 all together, right?

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Yes. So in 8 days you'll have your alchemy lab, which can be used to create Alchemy equipment and can also generate money or Capital. You can also "Run a Business" and boost it's ability to generate Capital.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Sorry, It's actually 490 gold pieces for the alchemy lab in half the time.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Aldo tends to the Grouse and Gander, fishing for any information that might lead him to trustworthy, and skullduggerous, potential staff.

This is the downtime action Run a Business, which counts like earning capital, but with a +10 bonus.

Aldo Bluff: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (17) + 21 = 38

That's a total of 3 Influence capital, which costs 45 gp.

Aldo uses his subtly and charm to coax gossip out of patrons to the Grouse and Gander. The nobles that visit are quick to complain of their relatives and acquaintances that spend more time socializing among gamblers and at taverns (and in particularly bad cases at the docks and drug dens) than studying or learning their family trade.

Aldo also hears tell of the following rumor:

Queen Domina, the late King Eodred's mother, was responsible for bringing the Hellknights Order of the Nail to the area as an extra layer of security. The populous bristled at the very public presence of the Order of the Nail, but few spoke out against it and still few do. Detractors of the Hellknights quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the law, or on the end of a sword. It is said that the Order origionally declined to relocate out of their homeland and that the public identified with the monarchy's frustration at such a gesture. Ever since the relationship between the monarchy and the Hellknights has been strenuous but quite effective in keeping order.

All capital is added to your totals in a later round, so you'll have to wait until the next day of downtime to actually hire a Team or build a Room.

That's all three of your activities for Step 3, so we move on to the next Phase.

Income Phase

Step 1-Determine Building Income

Buildings automatically generate income, or capital just as a player does. For the sake of keeping this first downtime day simple, I'll just have the Grouse and Gander generate money. You can choose to have it generate Influence (and other kinds of capital as you add rooms) on later days.

Sitting Room Income (Influence): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11

That'd be 1 gp and 1 sp. You can take 10 on these checks, too.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Step 2-Determine Organization Income

You guys don't technically have an organization yet. That is, you don't have any Teams hired. We'll skip this step for this day.

Step 3-Determine Other Income

This is where you actually receive the Capital and the money from your downtime activities. It's important that it occurs at this step, because that means you can't spend it until the next downtime day.

To sum it all up from above:

2 Labor Capital for Don. This costs 20 gp to use. Don said he was cool with putting one towards the Grouse and Gander for Aldo and Dorcey to use.

3 Influence Capital for Aldo. This costs 45 gp to use.

1 gp and 1 sp from the Grouse and Gander. That's net profit from the day to day services. Aldo or Dorsey are free to disperse that as they will.

You don't have to pay for the cost of the Capital as soon as you earn it, but you do have to pay for it before you use it. For simplicity sake, you should just pay for it immediately, that way we don't have to keep track of it, else this might become too much like accounting.

Step 4-Abandon Assets In case you want to abandon any rooms or teams, this would be the place. But f$%@ that, so let's skip it.

Step 5-Sell Assets Instead of abandoning assets you can sell them. It gets you half the cost to build and there is a 75% chance it could take 3d6 days to find a buyer. Kind of a raw deal, but might come in useful in the future. Skip.

Event Phase

This is where extra stuff can happen to your building or your organization. The chance increases every day that something doesn't happen.

Event: 1d100 ⇒ 41 (20% chance)

Nothing happens.

So that ends the first day of Downtime.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

The day is Moonday 3 Rova 4718 Absalom Reckoning.

Semerio spends the day digging through paperwork and speaking with clerks and officials. A young clerk who has visited the Grouse and Gander has worked on the filing of vice taxes for eels end. This clerk informs Semiro that Eel's End vice taxes are paid promptly, but that it's curious how the business at Eel's End are able to pay such hefty taxes despite not appearing to be extremely profitable. Semiro files an audit through the Bank of Abadar and takes Aldo and Enik Toke along as disguised officials. Aldo's disguise is outstanding, while Enik's is less than convincing.

this takes the entire downtime day for Semiro. Anyone else is free to pursue other activities leading up to the sting on Eel's End, which happens at night after all normal downtime day activities are conducted.

Upkeep Phase
We'll skip this phase because all debts have been paid up front so far.

Activity Phase

Step 1-Perform Free Activities
You can perform any activities that don't require downtime days, such as buying gear, selling unwanted magic items, and bartering. Dorcey should decide if he wants to hire either of those tails, before the trail gets cold. Otherwise, we'll just assume everyone passed on this to spend time preparing for the sting later that night.

Step 2-Continue Ongoing Downtime Activity
The contractors continue working on the Alchemy lab. Nothing else is in progress.

Step 3-Begin New Downtime Activity.
Post your chosen activity from this list. Include any relevant rolls. Let me know in the discussion if you have any questions about anything. Or gchat or whatever works.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

Ok, so we did a couple days in person. I'll just put up the results starting with the day listed above, Moonday 3 Rova:

Dorsey earned 3 Influence by working the Grouse and Gander, gathering bits of information about the goings on in Korvosa, hopefully to come in handy later.

Aldo goes to Vencarlo's school and trains with his mentor. This gives him the experience to catch up with Dorcey.

Don enlists to train with the Sable Company marines, who are holding open enrollment due to the recent strife in Korvosa. They explain that they will make Don a full fledged member once he is finished with recruitment training. (At least 4th level he can take the Sable Company Marine feat) This catches Don up with Dorcey as well.

The Grouse and Gander earns 1 Influence as well, playing host to some young minor noblemen and women, as well as some possible contacts from various other professions.

Toilday 4 Rova 4718 Absalom Reckoning

Dorcey arranges to hire a group of Cutpurses, which includes Grau Soldado, the ex-student of Vencarlo and ex-gaurd Sergeant. Grau acts as a bouncer for the Grouse and Gander and the others act as waiters and waitresses formally, while offering illicit purposes in secret. Primarily they help gather information.

Aldo spends the resting and tending to his wounds. The effects of the poison wear away and he is nearly back to full ability.

Don uses his new found contacts with the Sable Company to help the Grouse and Gander gain 1 Influence.

The Grouse and Gander earns gold for its services. I didn't record the number of gold, but I trust it was added to the treasury.

Wealday 5 Rova 4718 Absalom Reckoning

Dorcey uses the newly hired crew to gain 2 Goods that "fell off the back of a cart".

Don used his time to Promote Business as mentioned below.

Aldo rests again and returns to full ability.

The Grouse and Gander earns 1 Influence by gathering more information and contacts- business as usual.

The group of Cut Purses assist Dorcey in obtaining the left-goods and prove quite proficient thanks to Don's promotion. They were tipped off by Don who learned of the goods when a Sable Company Marine let slip he had seen the abandoned goods on one of his patrols. They get 3 Goods

Feel free to post acitivies for those last two days (Semiro was occupied on 3 Rova with gathering information) for Semiro, Matt, and I'll explain how it plays out. Eels' End is not available to take over operations until after the night of Wealday 5 Rova, because that is the night that Don, Dorcey and Aldo go back and clean the place out.

I would like to spend my two days generating capital in order to hire a team of bureaucrats in preparation for running business in Eel's End.

Male Human Bard 1|HP: 8/9|AC: 12/11/11|Saves: 0 Fort, +3 Ref, +5 Will|Initiative: +1|Diplomacy: +7|Knowledge (geography): +7|Knowledge (history): +7|Knowledge (local) :+7|Perception +3|Perform (strings): +7|Perform (oratory): +7|Bardic Performance 4/7

And one day resting and healing from the spider poison.

6 Pharast, AR 4718 Exploration Map / Local Map

So you ended up with spending one day resting, then the second day hiring the bureaucrats.

6 Rova

This day was spent adventuring, but the organizations and rooms/buildings can still make a roll. Post one for the Grouse and Gander, one for the Cutpurses, and one for the Bureaucrats.

I'm gunna try and do things this way. Just keep the order of things in mind. You pick downtime activities and/or hire and build new things, then you make the rolls, then you collect the income. Any new income from a day can't be spent until the next day. After you collect income I'll post whether or not any special occurrences occur.

I'm going to post on this Alias from now on. That way I can get some relevant links under the name here.

To make it simple, just post for 7 Rova.

Don gathers information on the missing Seneschal.
Don Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (18) - 1 = 17
Don Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5
Don Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12

Don's investigations turn up little about the Seneschal save for general knowledge:

Despite the pledge of fealty, the commandant of the Sable Company does not answer to the city’s leader, but rather to Castle Korvosa’s seneschal. This arrangement gives the company’s commandant freedom to act on behalf of the city against a tyrannical ruler, but it potentially puts him at odds with the powerful field marshal of the Korvosan Guard.

By charter amendment, in order to maintain this balance of power, the commandant must be at least three generations removed from a common ancestor of the city’s leader. The current leader of the Sable Company, Commandant Marcus Thalassinus Endrin, is first in line to become the new seneschal of Castle Korvosa, should Seneschal Neolandus Kalepopolis retire or die.

As for the castle itself:

Castle Korvosa

The centerpiece of the city, Castle Korvosa towers over every other building. Two pieces comprise Castle Korvosa: the Grand Mastaba and the high-walled citadel itself. Together, Castle Korvosa rises high above Citadel Hill.

Only the king, his immediate family, the seneschal of the castle, and his family may live in Castle Korvosa. Either man can invite long-term guests (such as the king’s small harem), but the other can evict these guests at any time (except during times of war).

Since the completion of the main walls in 4464, multiple lord magistrates, seneschals, and monarchs have added to the section of the castle within the high stone walls. As such, despite a relatively consistent neo-Chelaxian styling (Identifiable by its black stone, ugly gargoyles, and multitude of spikes), the castle’s main keep contains many mismatched and randomly placed towers, walls, and stairs.

And for the Seneschal himself:

Before it became the home of Korvosa’s monarchs, Castle Korvosa provided a home for the city’s garrison. An early charter amendment gave the castle’s seneschal complete control over the entirety of the pyramid “and all structures built on it and all tunnels discovered or dug within it.” Later, when the headquarters of the Sable Company moved into the castle, a new amendment made the seneschal the liaison between the city’s leader and the company’s commandant. The seneschal can veto the nomination of any applicant to the post of Sable Company commandant.

People in Korvosa consider the castle’s seneschal as the second most powerful individual in the city, behind only the monarch. Although he no longer possesses the power to evict the monarch, he can make the city’s leader a prisoner within the castle by sealing it and calling for Sable Company marines to man and guard it. To date, no seneschal has had any reason to use such draconian measures, but he retains the power nonetheless. When a seneschal dies or retires, the field marshal of the Korvosan Guard chooses his replacement from among the leadership of the Sable Company. Typically, the company’s commandant becomes the new seneschal, although a promising junior officer occasionally leapfrogs into the limited but powerful position. Those close to him expect the current seneschal, Neolandus Kalepopolis, to step down in 3 years, on the 50th anniversary of his appointment to the post. Many see his very close and mentor-like relationship with Commandant Marcus Thalassinus Endrin as the most obvious sign of this.

If Dorcey wanted to speed up the building of the Alchemy lab, he could spend 100 gp for the extra labor (or earn 5 labor and spend 50 gp) to wrap it up this day.

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