A Guide To Downtime
- Downtime represents what characters do between events.
- Only primary characters may act in downtime.
- Downtimes are submitted to the ref team by email to [email protected].
- Characters learn skills through downtimes.
- Characters can also take a variety of other actions in downtime, such as crafting, preaching, or astrology.
- There is 1 week of IC time between most interactives.
“Downtime” is the time between events. During downtime, primary characters can act in the game world. For each Downtime, you should email [email protected] to tell the ref team what actions you would like your character to attempt between events. There is one downtime period between each interactive. Downtime is of lesser importance to Uptime (time spent IC at events), and it is not necessary to submit a downtime in order to play at events.
To submit a downtime, you should send an email to the refs at [email protected]. The weekly deadline for downtime submissions in 2022-2023 will typically be 7pm on the Wednesday before the next event; any change from this will be announced by the ref team. Please try to stick to the Downtime Template provided at the bottom of this page when submitting your downtime.
Because downtime is not roleplayed, some actions are impossible to take. For instance, you may not attack another character between events.
Most downtime periods represent roughly one week of IC time. Some downtime periods (such as holiday downtimes) may be longer or shorter, and will be announced as such by the ref team beforehand.
Communications in Downtime
- You may contact other characters by letter.
- You may not have IC conversations between events.
- The ref team must receive a copy of every letter. This is done by sending the e-mail to both the desired recipient and [email protected]
- If you wish to coordinate with another character, you should both mention this in your downtime submission.
You should try to avoid any significant interaction between PCs outside of Uptime. You may send letters (by e-mail), but you should not actively roleplay with other players between events. It is, notably, possible for a character to be spied on during Downtime, and thus it is crucial that the refs are aware of any communications between characters which may be intercepted.
Letters should ideally be sent before the downtime deadline so that they may be taken into account in downtime processing. If two characters are significantly far apart, then the refs may declare that the letter will take time to arrive. If this happens, you should try to avoid acting upon its information until you are told that it has arrived.
If you wish to perform an action involving another character then both players should mention wanting to work with the other character in the corresponding downtime action. If one player does not submit a downtime, or does not submit the action, then it is assumed that their character forgets about the planned action — or fails to participate for other reasons.
Gaining Skills and Levelling Up
- There are two types of skill: root skills and other skills.
- Learning a root skill takes a major action.
- Learning any other skill takes a minor action for each skill learnt.
- You may learn any number of skills per downtime, so long as you have enough actions and experience points for them.
- Experience points, Character Levels, and “Double-Buying” are explained in “The Treasure Trap System”.
- All characters may take a single major action each Downtime. This is the action to which the character dedicates the majority of their time and effort that week.
- Some common major actions include:
- Learning a root skill (e.g. Scouting III).
- Astrology major actions.
- Travelling long distances.
- Gaining additional minor actions (one Major = 2 Minors).
- You should tell the refs of any relevant skills and their level alongside the action.
- A character may take one Research Action each downtime.
- These are used to invent new spells, potions, hextech schematics, etc.
- You will require the relevant skills to research something, e.g. a non-mage will have a hard time trying to research a new spell!
- Complex research will often require multiple research actions spread across multiple downtimes.
- It may be possible to research other things. If you don’t know if an action should be counted as Research, ask!
- All characters can take up to seven minor actions each downtime.
- Characters who use their Major action for extra minor actions may take an additional two minor actions for this downtime (so, 9 minor actions).
- Some common minor actions include:
- Learning non-root skills (e.g. Subdual).
- Interacting with NPCs.
- Crafting / alchemy / etc., including reverse-engineering devices you own.
- Travelling short distances.
- Sneaking around, tracking or spying on NPCs or players.
- Astrology minor actions.
- Checking through geomantic rituals.
- …or anything else you can think of to do in Durholme that you want a ref response for.
- You should highlight any relevant skills and their level alongside the action.
While you should generally get the number of minor actions listed, it may occasionally be found that your character has run out of time to get things done in the week for some reason or another. It may therefore be useful to put the minor action most important to you first, and the least important last, as the last in the list is likely to be the one you lose first. This need not be the actual chronological order in which your character does things!
“Fluff” is the catch-all term for the non-number-crunching roleplay stuff that we’re here to do! Fluff is your character’s state of mind, or their visit to the fishmonger’s that has no mechanical effect (not even gathering rumours); it can be as long, short, or non-existent as you like. Fluff doesn’t count as an action, but can absolutely be used to elaborate on your actions: it may be the text of the speech you give about why Azraelites should be banned from the city, or how you actually carry out the actions you submitted. For example, if a player has submitted the minor action “Tanya learns Subdual II at the Warriors’ Guild. (5xp, Subdual I)”, they might write fluff about
Tanya heads down to the Warriors’ Guild on Wednesday to practice safe fighting with her sparring partners. She’s determined not to let the disaster in the Greedy Goblin happen again — if she had been able to knock the red-robed stranger out quickly enough, nobody would have been hurt. She stays utterly focused on her training, to the point of forgetting the other warriors, besides her sparring partner, are even there.
An “uptime downtime” occurs when a downtime action you have taken is deemed to require some form of roleplay. If this happens, you will be asked to see the refs at the start of the next event for Uptime Downtime. You cannot request Uptime Downtime, and you should not deliberately take actions you know will require uptime downtime, where possible. (If, however, you are in an unusual situation, such as having been kidnapped by monsters on your last adventure, all actions are likely to require uptime downtime and you should feel completely free to attempt them!)
This year (2021-22), the refs ask everyone if they could please, please try to stick to the following template when writing downtimes. It makes it much easier to see what your character is doing and respond!
Short text for your major action, and any relevant skills.
What you are researching, your progress to date, and the relevant skills.
- Most important minor action, and any relevant skills.
- Next most important…
- …and least important. (And relevant skills, of course!)
Write as much or as little as you like about your character’s week, their state of mind, etc. etc. etc. How much fluff you get in your downtime response depends on how much time the refs have to write it.