Logical In-World Reasons to Cut Down on Down Time


Advice


So, I'm going to be running a game in a couple weeks (rappan athuk) and some of my players seem to be expecting downtime for magic item creation. I am fine with that. However, I'd like to make sure they don't go overboard with it, and am hoping for advice and suggestions on how to get them back into the adventure / dungeons in an in-game "organic" feeling way.

Like I said, I'm fine with them doing some crafting, I just don't want it breaking up the flow / action too much.

Any ideas?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The only reasonable way of doing it is giving them a time limit.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Time-sensitive occurrences are the best way - "this guy's plan comes to fruition in a month", "the way to this place is only open for another week", that sort of thing. Other than that, there's really not much you can do - if they're determined to have downtime, they'll take it.

You can always try talking with them about it, though - maybe decide with them how much downtime you'll let happen, or limit their crafted items to no more than 25% of their character wealth.


I am not sure I understand you issue. What is "overboard with it"?

Generally speaking, downtime shouldn't break the 'flow of the action' of the game for the players at all. Sure, it is a break for the characters, but I don't see an issue with wanting to take some time off after some crazy adventure near death experiences. For the players though, it should generally happen if a few minutes of game time.

GM: "Ok so you are bake from the crypt of doom, what do you want to do now"

P1: "I want to craft a cloak of resistance +2 and a second level pearl of power. That will take me a week or so"

P2: "I want to take my sword from +2 to +3. That is 10 days"

P3: "I have a few potions I want to make. Should only take a few days"

P4: "Thorg is going to get drunk and visit the houses of ill repute."

GM: "OK, no problem. So after a couple weeks break, you guys are ready to head out again. Everyone make sure their sheets are all up to date, The map to the crypt of even more doom you found shows that you can get there in just a couple of days travel."

Players: "Awesome"


Dave Justus wrote:

I am not sure I understand you issue. What is "overboard with it"?

Generally speaking, downtime shouldn't break the 'flow of the action' of the game for the players at all. Sure, it is a break for the characters, but I don't see an issue with wanting to take some time off after some crazy adventure near death experiences. For the players though, it should generally happen if a few minutes of game time.

GM: "Ok so you are bake from the crypt of doom, what do you want to do now"

P1: "I want to craft a cloak of resistance +2 and a second level pearl of power. That will take me a week or so"

P2: "I want to take my sword from +2 to +3. That is 10 days"

P3: "I have a few potions I want to make. Should only take a few days"

P4: "Thorg is going to get drunk and visit the houses of ill repute."

GM: "OK, no problem. So after a couple weeks break, you guys are ready to head out again. Everyone make sure their sheets are all up to date, The map to the crypt of even more doom you found shows that you can get there in just a couple of days travel."

Players: "Awesome"

If it were just week or week and a half that'd be fine and that's likely how they'll start, I know. But, eventually they'll presumably get to the point where they've enough gold to make bigger things, and instead of adventuring (i.e. the entire reason they started going to the dungeon in the first place) they're spending months of in-game time making some nifty pieces of clothing.

If that's their fun, fine. I'd just prefer the world not grind to a halt because they felt like doing magical arts and crafts for a few months. So, I'll likely go with the above suggestions. Maybe even have one or two of the minor rooms defeated and looted by some other group. I doubt they'll be the only ones seeking glory, gold and experience after all.

Thanks everyone.


RA spoilers:
A lot of it depends on where and how they do it. My suggestion, however, would be having an encounter with a certain red dragon who lives in the area, and who demands tribute from them on a fairly regular basis. Making it clear that the dragon is beyond their ability to fight can motivate them to dive in without taking TOO much downtime.


Even better, make them wait for a signal. The bad guy is going to start a ritual, but they don't know when. If they attack too soon, they risk the bad guy relocating. So they have a charmed cultist talk to them about warning them when the ritual begins. The only issue is they need to act fast once it does.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
I'd just prefer the world not grind to a halt because they felt like doing magical arts and crafts for a few months.

They may set their pace...but the world's pace is up to you. Maybe they find areas they emptied now reoccupied; maybe they discover that others have designs on whatever their goals are. Even if they do decide to take off for arts and crafts time, things should keep moving around them.


Tammy built her Phylactery in Magical Arts and Crafts.


Alternatively, if the issue is more that you don't want the world to slow down and you don't mind them having all the items they can afford to craft, you could just reduce the crafting times.


Third Mind wrote:
If it were just week or week and a half that'd be fine and that's likely how they'll start, I know. But, eventually they'll presumably get to the point where they've enough gold to make bigger things, and instead of adventuring (i.e. the entire reason they started going to the dungeon in the first place) they're spending months of in-game time making some nifty pieces of clothing.

And there you have laid bare the painful wound that is crafting. The timeframe scales with price. While characters earning potential skyrockets, prices go up with them and all is well. Except the time=price factor.

Now that you've seen the problem for what it is, the solution should be straightforward.

In my campaigns I've bent the system several different ways, depending on my mood. But when crafting comes up - even if it's not PCs doing the crafting - at high level I always end up bending the rules. From pocket planes where time flows 100x faster than the material plane but you don't age, to magic forges that let you craft faster than RAW, to... whatever.

I understand the desire for realism. Creating a suit of full plate "shouldn't" take fifteen minutes. But why does enhancing it up a few notches require weeks? Because... reasons. Not good ones. Just reasons.

Screw it. Crafting an (magic) item that costs more than 1,000gp* requires one day for every two CLs it has. So yeah, that CL 20 magic item in the book, that takes 10 days. That +1 longsword only takes two days to magic up because it's CL 3.

Problem solved. And you didn't need to resort to artificially pushing the plot along, or denying your players the ability to make unique items like a cloak of resistant elven bat-kind +4. 45 days by RAW. 8 days by my rule (assuming adding up all the CLs.)

Just a thought.

* Items that cost less than 1,000gp, you can craft up to 1,000gp of them in a day. So, yeah, scrolls, potions, whatever. Up to 1kgp per day.


Third Mind wrote:

So, I'm going to be running a game in a couple weeks (rappan athuk) and some of my players seem to be expecting downtime for magic item creation. I am fine with that. However, I'd like to make sure they don't go overboard with it, and am hoping for advice and suggestions on how to get them back into the adventure / dungeons in an in-game "organic" feeling way.

Like I said, I'm fine with them doing some crafting, I just don't want it breaking up the flow / action too much.

Any ideas?

IIRC, there are rules for lessening the crafting time via a Spellcraft check. It's been a while since I looked at them, though.


Third Mind wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

I am not sure I understand you issue. What is "overboard with it"?

Generally speaking, downtime shouldn't break the 'flow of the action' of the game for the players at all. Sure, it is a break for the characters, but I don't see an issue with wanting to take some time off after some crazy adventure near death experiences. For the players though, it should generally happen if a few minutes of game time.

GM: "Ok so you are bake from the crypt of doom, what do you want to do now"

P1: "I want to craft a cloak of resistance +2 and a second level pearl of power. That will take me a week or so"

P2: "I want to take my sword from +2 to +3. That is 10 days"

P3: "I have a few potions I want to make. Should only take a few days"

P4: "Thorg is going to get drunk and visit the houses of ill repute."

GM: "OK, no problem. So after a couple weeks break, you guys are ready to head out again. Everyone make sure their sheets are all up to date, The map to the crypt of even more doom you found shows that you can get there in just a couple of days travel."

Players: "Awesome"

If it were just week or week and a half that'd be fine and that's likely how they'll start, I know. But, eventually they'll presumably get to the point where they've enough gold to make bigger things, and instead of adventuring (i.e. the entire reason they started going to the dungeon in the first place) they're spending months of in-game time making some nifty pieces of clothing.

If that's their fun, fine. I'd just prefer the world not grind to a halt because they felt like doing magical arts and crafts for a few months. So, I'll likely go with the above suggestions. Maybe even have one or two of the minor rooms defeated and looted by some other group. I doubt they'll be the only ones seeking glory, gold and experience after all.

Thanks everyone.

Eventually they will run out of money and need to go looting adventuring again.

Those months of time can be resolved in just a few minutes at the table, just like months of travel can be.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Logical In-World Reasons to Cut Down on Down Time All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Advice
Sword Cane: Why bother?