Downtime actions are what your character is doing with their time in-between games. Characters will have three Downtime action points available to them that can be used to do these actions. There are five different categories for the actions, which describe the sort of action and how it will interact with the world. Each one also has a cost of points associated with them, between one to three. These costs are based upon how difficult and time-consuming the action is to accomplish in universe and how much work it takes for the STs to process the action.
In each downtime period, you will have three action points to spend, in any combination you like.
Things that Make Good Downtime Actions
Overall, we want the focus of the game sessions to be moments of high tension and action, and we’d like to keep those fun cinematic moments for game sessions. The ideal downtime action will be along the lines of researching a lead on a monster you found during game, or making preparations to attack a monster nest—things that might be necessary, but aren’t necessarily interesting to have on-screen.
However, these preparations are still possible to do during game; if you’re short on time or don’t have a character for whom between-game preparations make sense, you won’t suffer for not putting in downtime actions. We will always assume that your character goes about their usual routine, such as going to an established job or usual haunts unless you tell us otherwise.
Assets and Downtime Actions
The results of your downtime actions will depend on what resources your character has at their disposal. Certain resources, such as a relevant kind of Allies or having the Resources to spend on something uncommon, may make obstacles take much less time or be trivial to accomplish.
On our downtime form, we ask you to list your relevant assets, where you can mention Skills, Skill Specialties, Merits, Equipment and Conditions that you believe will help you in your goal. We ask that for clarity, you only list items that you feel are directly relevant, rather than anything that might be a stretch.
Some large goals may still take concentrated focus over several downtime periods to accomplish! Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Types of Downtime Actions
Below are the four main downtime action types and a brief description of what they cover. Scenes, the fifth type, have different rules shown below. Each of them has a list of example action at each of the different action point costs.
This action covers affection the world around you to suit your needs. This might mean attacking the foundation of in-world institutions or founding one of your own. This also covers actions that might affect other players.
- Start a book club, Privately rent out a public space, Personally lobby for a political cause
- Get an activist group together for a cause, Organize a medium-sized meetup, Start an Etsy store as a side hustle
- Doctor infrequently-used city records, Break ground on a new construction project, Start a small business
This action covers maintaining the status quo of the world. Many things are already set up to the benefit of specific people and they often want to keep it that way, keeping skeletons in the closet. This action also covers keeping the public from learning about the supernatural threats facing them.
- Help the Neighborhood Watch, Hide a body
- Start regular patrols in a neighborhood for monsters, Cover up an isolated supernatural incident, Make improvements to existing safehouse defenses
- Fortify your safehouse, Prop up a failing local business, Cover up a localized supernatural incident
This action is about researching and investigating things in the world around your character. This also covers developing contacts and gaining social information.
- Plumb the depths of the local libraries, Dig up local mortal gossip, Watch a specific location
- Learn occult secrets, Get an introduction to an important stranger, Plant a bug
- Extensively research a relic, Follow another character or a major NPC covertly the entire downtime, Gain access to secret records
This action covers what you do for yourself that might not fall under any of the other categories. These things won’t affect other players or in-world institutions heavily at all.
- Get your collection of fancy suits dry-cleaned quietly, buy a unique item with a cost up to the rating of your Resources, plan and place an advertisement.
- Set up improved security in your hideout, Promote a new venture across several channels.
- Performing major home renovation with little assistance, plan and host a fancy banquet.
We will process all submitted downtimes as taking place at an arbitrary point in the downtime period; there’s no need to specify a particular date. We request no more than a 4-sentence description of your action, and therefore will assume competence and good decision-making in areas where your character has skill.
When taking actions that come into conflict with another player, we may make draws on your behalf to determine the outcome of a situation. Note that you may not always know if you are coming into conflict with another PC if they’ve kept their connections hidden.
Sample Downtime Actions