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Downtime Guide

Downtime Guide

  1. Downtime represents what characters do between events
  2. Only primary characters may act in downtime
  3. Actions are submitted by e-mail to the ref team
  4. Skills are learned in downtime
  5. There is 1 week of IC time between interactives

‘Downtime’ is the time between events. During downtime primary characters can act in the game world. You can email the referees to tell them what actions you would like your character to attempt between events. There is one downtime period between events during term. Downtime is intended to provide a background to Uptime and not as a primary way to advance your characters goals. It is of lesser importance to Uptime – indeed, it is not necessary to submit a Downtime in order to play at events.

To submit a Downtime, you should send it via e-mail to [email protected]. The weekly deadline for downtime submissions is set by the ref team and will be announced at the end of the previous event.

Because Downtime is not roleplayed, some actions are impossible to take. For instance, you may not attack another character between events.

Each Downtime period represents roughly one week of IC time.


  1. You may take one major action and one research action per Downtime as well as minor actions
  2. Certain skills have uses in Downtime
  3. Common actions include: preaching, gathering information, travel, training and research

Some actions are considered major actions and are restricted to one per downtime. These include, but are not limited to, learning a major skill.

In addition to your major action you can have up to one research action per downtime This allows characters with skills like Elemental Theory and Alchemy to research new potions or spells.

Minor actions are not strictly limited and you may submit as many as you like, though you may not have enough time to complete all of them. Examples of minor actions include learning non-root skills, buying items, gathering small amounts of information or rumour and other miscellaneous actions.

Actions should be submitted in order of importance; the first action will be given highest priority over the course of the Downtime, the second less so, and so on.

Common actions include:

Preaching allows your character to influence the population’s view on a topic of your choice. You do not need any skills to preach. Preaching increases the number of followers listening to your character’s words. These followers can be asked to perform tasks, although they may refuse demands depending on their loyalty and the nature of your preaching. Preaching is more effective if conducted from an appropriate facility.

Gathering information includes spying, listening to gossip, canvassing sources for news and other related actions. If performed as a major action this will yield more detailed information about a particular topic. Generally, a character will automatically hear about important or significant events simply by being in an area. You should be specific about what information you are attempting to gain. It is also possible with access to a library or other source of knowledge to research a topic, which may make you eligible for learning a Knowledge skill in the related area.

Travel: it is possible to travel significant distances in Downtime. On occasions a character may require more than one Downtime to get to a location and back. In these cases the character cannot be played until they have completed their journey.

Training is a necessary action to gain root skills. See “Gaining Skills in Downtime”, below.

Research: It is also possible to research new elemental spells and potions.

You should not expect immediate success with research – it may take a significant amount of time and resources to produce the desired effect.

Using skills: certain skills have explicit downtime components, e.g. smithing, writing geomantic rituals or performing astrology.

When performing other actions, you should include any relevant skills which may improve your success.

Example: if you submit a downtime action to follow an NPC without being noticed, you should include your character’s level in Stealth.


  1. You may contact other characters by letter
  2. You may not have IC conversations between events
  3. The ref team must receive a copy of every letter
  4. 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 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 they may be taken into account in Downtime processing.

If you wish to perform an action involving another character then you should both submit an action mentioning a wish to work with the other character. If the other player does not submit a downtime or does not submit the action then it is assumed that the character forgets about the planned action or fails to participate for other reasons.


  1. There are two types of skill: root skills and other skills
  2. Learning a root skill is a major action requiring an appropriate facility
  3. Learning other skills is a minor action

Certain skills are ‘Root skills’ and noted as such in the skills section. Root skills represent important leaps in understanding and require a facility in order to be gained. Learning a root skill is a major action.

Other skills are less time-intensive and you may learn more than one within a given Downtime. In all cases you should justify how you are learning the skill with a brief IC explanation, but it is rare for a skill to be impossible to learn. It is of course possible to learn other skills at the same time as a root skill.

Example: Vladimir wishes to learn Sun and Star Lore and Tracking I. He spends time in the city carefully watching the progression of the sun over the course of the day, as well as following stray dogs around by observing their paw-prints in the mud.


  1. Some downtime actions will need to be roleplayed

Sometimes unavoidably actions will occur in downtime that require roleplay. In this case 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 pursue actions you know require Uptime Downtime with the exception of actions solely involving NPCs.


  1. The subject line should state ‘Downtime’, and then your characters name
  2. You should include the character’s current location and status including any significant conditions (including curses, permanent injuries, etc.)
  3. You should submit your major action first, then any minor actions, then any queries for the refs
  4. Be concise and simple

A Downtime submission should give the refs enough information with which to create an appropriate return. It is not necessary to go into excessive detail. For clarity, it is best to label your major and minor actions.

A sample submission might be as follows:

From: Tom

To: [email protected]

Subject: Downtime for Boris, Interactive 4 Term 2

Boris is in Durholme at the moment, staying in a room in the Red Warlock Inn. He is recovering from the bar brawl at the interactive but is otherwise fine.

Major action:

– Boris is going to spend the week trying to find out more about the cult of Astalon in the city, particularly by talking to the city guards.

Minor actions:

– He wants to get his own back on the ruffians from the Greedy Goblin. He practices his left hook on some hanging meat at the butcher’s until he can do some damage. (Learning Brawling)

– He wanders around the market looking for a shield to buy, but he doesn’t want to be overcharged. (Using Evaluate)

Question: is there anyone living in the other rooms of the Inn where Boris is lodging?

Thanks, -Tom