Stream Lining Downtime



Does anyone have any ideas for streamlining downtime encounters? Such as visits to town, gear runs, info gathering, etc…

I’m working on fleshing out an idea/product for getting your players in and out of town without lingering horribly long.


Check this out! I vouch for it!


I ran the Eyes of Sett adventure (CORE 2e) and they came upon the town, but I didn’t want them to stay super long either. I just set a timer for 6 rounds and gave them several locations (using the Index Cards) that they could interact with. At the end of the 6 rounds, I had an angry mob try and run them out of town. (I had Liette insight a riot to keep those pesky adventures from investigating haha)

I think a Timer is a good solution, personally, but I would love to discuss it more :smiley: What are you thinking so far?


Run town in turn order.

Everyone gets three turns to do whatever they want to do.

Come up with six locations to visit: for example, apothecary, blacksmith, general store, tavern, captain of the guard/barracks, and town hall/temple. If players can’t decide where to go, roll a 1d6.

Players describe what they need: arrows, magic dagger, healing potions, etc. Make those transactions happen super fast then get characters back out in the wilderness and in peril, unless town itself is the trouble.


So my ideas…

First I am working out the idea of townsmen Archetypes. An idea I stole directly from DungeonCraft on YouTube. My idea is that there are places every town is expected to have. so Im putting together a set of mechanics and tables to run a town in a quick and concise manner. As well as roll up what items and such might be available during their visit in each store.

The building I’m building roll tables for include…

  • The Tavern
  • The Blacksmith
  • The Archana
  • The Temple
  • The General Store

I plan to have the basic weapons, armor, gear, and potions always available but I want to have a couple of options for the player looking to upgrade. For those items I am trying to figure out some sort of item Enchantment effect Dice table that isn’t too cluncky.

As far as the mechanics for getting my players in and out without getting stuck in town. I’m still mining my noggin (and yours) for ideas.

I like having a set amount of turns to spend in town. But I also kinda like the idea of having some sort of mechanic that would motivate the players to want to get in and out of town on there own.

Maybe some kind of reward for making a haste trip or a conciquince for taking a little to much time.


I like the idea! I think it would be super helpful to have some mechanisms to push through a town, especially if it starts to slog along.

Your list of roll tables reminds me of a D&D thread I saw awhile ago on a Shopping Catalog. Might be worth a look to get some ideas. Here’s the link:

Anyway, as for ideas, hmm… What if you based it on some form of reputation? Like the it builds credibility for the heroes if they’re in and out of the town quickly.

“Oh look at those heroes! They barely have enough time to stop in town with all the adventures they go on. They must be incredible!”

Then if they stay in town a long time, people might see them as lazy or slobs or think that they’re not really doing their job as adventurers.

“Bleh! What a bunch of losers. Last I heard, they hadn’t gone adventuring in over two months. Just spend all their time down at the tavern, drinking their gold away.”

Or maybe you could assign a HEART value of downtime for a given town. Then you could do things around town as ATTEMPTS and apply EFFORT to the total value of downtime remaining. This would be a case where you would want to roll low on EFFORT rolls so you can maximize the time spent around time. It’s like being efficient with your time. High rolls would be like getting stuck in traffic, being harassed by a side walk solicitor, or getting lost on your way to the market.

Once the HEART value has been used up, the table agrees it’s time to move on.


Lots of great ideas here

The idea of Reputation grabs my attention. So I think I will circle that concept for a bit and see what happens!

Thank a bunch for that little brainstorm!