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Following on from discussion of what to do with money in 5e, this is the campaign I am currently running. It has a lot of downtime stuff in it. As of last night the PCS are 9th level
We drew up a mind map showing who each character relates, or has heard of, the other. Everyone rolled up their background first, then race and class.
PCs can spend time working toward their metaplot. These are based on discussion, and what things their background rolls threw up! Each one is sort of abstract in that, I havent written 80 bits of plot, item, places etc they need to find. The players just decide if soemting fits their metaplot and writes a line of two about it.
-Wood elf (noble)Monk is trying to find the ‘quantum of ki’. A moment of perfection. Law and Chaos, Good and Evil, Light and Dark;…..all together in a never ending circle. Legend says there is a state of being, a point of absolute perfection, where all are both in balance, but still, with no motion or deviation. The ‘Quantum of Ki’, when inner and outer are as one. Past, Present, Future. He who can control this perfect moment of Ki, can control his own destiny, and even halt death. With this you can contact your ancestors and bring peace to your tortured family, and ensure death no longer walks waiting in the shadows with your elven blood. To fulfil this task you must find, witness, and discover etc some moments of absolute perfection/extremism or such related to each alignment.
-High Elf (sage) ranger. Is trying to finally get to the bottom of what makes underdark creatures more powerful and weird, than their surface ‘cousins’. The Underdark is a weird and terrifying place. The dwellers there seem very powerful compared to surface folk, and this something that plagued your human associate Doctor Mellors until his death at the ripe of old age of 79. He has bequeathed you his research and put into safe keeping some mighty tomes which you can claim if you complete his life’s work. What is the ‘strange’ that gives the underdwellers such power? You must collect 12 bits of information, observation, evidence, magic, treasures, relics, anatomies etc deemed worthy of his name. Luckily a new group seems headed that way. Your previous doctorates on the ‘Ways of Giants’ seem most interesting to one of the group.
-Half elf (charlatan) Bard/Warlock. You intend to be the great impresario and put the ultimate show, the Fall of Aelinthaldaar; the ancient elven city where Waterdeep now sits. Uncovering its history will add to the appeal of investors. Improving your own glory, renown and prestige will have people flocking in
To do this you must accumulate 125,000 gp in terms of actuals, promissory and investments.
-Gnome (Folk Hero) Rogue. He has had a dream that he is to be a Lord of Waterdeep. You are a great folk hero and destined for many things. Your dreams are plagued by visions of a dark room, a circular table and mysterious folk of great power discussing the city. It is clear you are meant to join them and become a Lord of Waterdeep. To do you must find 13 pieces of lore and artefact tied to the flavour/theme of the dream. So such things as scrying, eyes, cyclops, orbs, mirrors, mind flayers, crystal balls, beholders, etc. You hope with all this power you find your lost love
-Human (noble) sorcerer. Seeking the secrests of Dracomanchy. “You need to find the great link between Dragonkind and the Innate arts of Sorcery. How does dragon blood flow through the veins of some; is their inheritance or random luck; can one be taught sorcery; can you gain the long life of a dragon; who was the first sorcerer? What role did dragons play in the fall of Aelinthaldaar the great elf city that once stood where Waterdeep now is built. To complete you need to find 11 dragon related clues, mysteries, items, etc that will pull all the lore together. You must uphold the name of your house and not alienate others in the process.”
Human (Soldier) Fighter. "You need to solve the mystery of your disgrace & dishonour; the defeat against the fire giant Zucchuss the bloodied; the loss of the great banner of your house ‘ The Iron Pennant’; you must ultimately slay your nemesis, and be redeemed in the eyes of military and nobility who hold you in low esteem. To do this you must do 8 deeds that will lead to your redemption"
Quests These are small 1 scene things based on the quests in Lords of Waterdeep. Completing these raises a PCs renown in one of 4 areas (piety, commerce, warfare, arcane).
Downtime Activities p.187 and expanded in DMG
Between adventures, the DM might ask you what your character is doing during his or her downtime. Periods of downtime can vary in duration, but each downtime activity requires a certain number of days to complete before you gain any benefit, and at least 8 hours of each day must be spent on the downtime activity for the day to count
CRAFT AN ITEM ……whether mundane or magical
TRY TO SELL EXPENSIVE ITEMS …..magical is more tricky
PRACTICE ….basically fund a moderate lifestyle for free
RECUPERATE …..spend your days trying to actively get better from a debilitating effect
CAROUSE…have a good time for weal or woe
RESEARCH…plot, adventure, gain quests, etc
ATTEND A HOUSE OF LEARNING…pay 250gp over a week to gain a skill (can only be done once per 4 levels)
BASIC TRAINING…..pay 125gp over a week to learn a language or proficiency in a tool kit (can only be done once per 4 levels)
BUILDING….create a stronghold suitable to your class. Adds renown as well. Generates followers at 9th level
GAIN RENOWN…..acts a benefit to finding adventure, increasing reward, getting into tricky places and a ‘get of jail free card’
RUN A BUSINESS……cos PCs love this
SACRED RITES…..allows a pc to have 2 points inspiration instead of only 1 at a time
SOW A RUMOUR….to benefit or befoul an individual, organisation, etc
Lifestyle Price/Day (d20 roll)
Wretched — You gain 1 hp back only, you recharge no hit dice On a 1-5 you gain no rest in fact, and gain a level of exhaustion
Squalid 1 sp You gain 1 hp back per level, you recharge no hit dice On a 1-3 you gain little rest and ‘no effect’
Poor 2 sp You get up to 2 hp/level only. You do not count as recovering from illness etc. You regain one hit dice only .On a 1 you have a disrupted night and only gain back 1 hp/level. A survival check or similar gives you the effect of ‘modest’
Modest 1 gp You recover from illness etc at a normal rate. You recover all but d6 hps. You regain half hit dice. A survival check or similar gives you the effect of ‘comfortable’
Comfortable 2 gp You recover from illness etc at a normal rate. You regain all hp and half hit dice On a 20, you gain a rumour OR quest or other favourable plot-point. A survival check or similar gives you the effect of ‘wealthy’
Wealthy 4 gp You double your rate of recovering from illness etc. You regain all hp and half hit dice. On a 18-20, you gain a rumour OR quest or other favourable plot-point
Aristocratic 10 gp minimum You triple your rate of recovering from illness etc. You regain all hp and half hit dice. On a 15-20, you gain a rumour OR quest or other favourable plot-point