Downtime Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying

DnD Downtime Spellcasters

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Downtime – Spellcaster Changes

In my D&D game, I have a altered part of the magic system so some of the downtime has changed to reflect this.

This is all about how to gain, maintain and work with spells and spellcasting.

Note: Downtime between sessions is handled slightly differently than in session.

  • In Game – During a game session it takes up time and a roll is involved.
  • Between Sessions – When done as off screen time, no roll is done, and a flat 10 is added to the bonus. If you can’t succeed at the check with a flat 10 then you can’t do this downtime off screen. The type of check shows if you can do any extra time to modify the check and any limitations.
  • Number of Downtime Activities – A character can attempt as many downtime activities in a week as their character tier.

Spellcasting Traditions

  • Arcane Spells (Sorcerer and Wizard) – Tapping into the weave of magic directly, these are the only spellcasters that do not have a sponsor or patron. Linked to the Arcana skill.
  • Divine Spells (Cleric and Paladin) – Calling on the might of one of the Spheres of Power (and a specific deity) or a Religious Organisation (and a pantheon of gods) the characters spells are prayers for gods to assist them in their mortal needs. Linked to the Religion skill.
  • Lore Spells (Bard and Warlock) – Using long forgotten knowledge, they can call upon the powers of the universe (via deities) that are long forgotten or not safe to talk to directly. The old saying of knowledge is power is true in this case. Your spells are a demand of service through a ritualistic formula which your patron responds to. Linked to the History skill.
  • Primal Spells (Druid and Ranger) – Channelling nature in its raw form (via deities of nature or elements) you gain power of the land, animals and plants. Your spells are a request to nature for assistance, and nature responds (through a patron deity). Linked to the Nature skill.


You can memorise (or know) two cantrips plus your character’s tier per day. Cantrips can be added to your spellbook if you’re a prepared caster and your known cantrips can be replaced while preparing spells for the day. This replaces the number of cantrips you receive as a class feature and does not add to that number.

Spellbooks and Ritualbooks

  • Prepared Casters: (or anyone who refers to a class list of spells to select after a long rest) – Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Wizard
  • Spontaneous Casters: (or anyone with known spells) – Bard, Rangers, Sorcerer, Warlock

All prepared casters gain the Spellbook class feature (Players Handbook p114) for their list of spells that they can prepare from for the day.

All spellcasters gain access to the Ritual Caster feat when they learn their first spell as a class feature using their spellcasting tradition (does not allow a Warlock to choose wizard rituals).

  • The Books Appearance – Your spellbook is a unique compilation of spells, with its own decorative flourishes and margin notes. It might be a plain, functional leather volume that you received as a gift from your master, a finely bound gilt-edged tome you found in an ancient library, or even a loose collection of notes scrounged together after you lost your previous spellbook in a mishap.
  • Replacing the Book: You can copy a spell from your own spellbook into another book-for example, if you want to make a backup copy of your spellbook. If you lose your spellbook, you can use the same procedure to transcribe the spells that you have prepared into a new spellbook. Filling out the remainder of your spellbook requires you to find new spells to do so, as normal. For this reason, many spellcasters keep backup spellbooks in a safe place.
  • Spellbook Class Feature (updated): At 1st level, you have a spellbook containing six 1st level spells from your class list of your choice.
    • Each spell takes up one page per spell level, with 100 pages in a book.
    • At each new level you gain two more spells of a level you can cast as part of your downtime level training.
    • Cantrips are also recorded in the spellbook and take up a page.
    • The spells you add to your spellbook as you gain levels represent your research, understanding and enlightenment depending on your class.
    • You can find other spells during your adventures. You could discover a spell recorded on a scroll in a chest, or in a dusty tome in an ancient library.
Ritual Caster Class Feature (updated)

You have learned several spells that you can cast as rituals. These spells are written in a ritual book, which you must have in hand while casting one of them. Each spell takes up five pages per spell level, with 100 pages in a book.

When you gain this class feature, you acquire a ritual book holding two 1st-level spells of your choice. Choose one of the following classes: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You must choose your spells from that class’s spell list, and the spells you choose must have the ritual tag. The class you choose also determines your spellcasting ability for these spells: Charisma for bard, sorcerer, or warlock; Wisdom for cleric or druid; or Intelligence for wizard.

If you come across a spell in written form, such as a magical spell scroll or a wizard’s spellbook, you might be able to add it to your ritual book. The spell must be on the spell list for the class you chose, the spell’s level can be no higher than half your level (rounded up), and it must have the ritual tag. See Training for Learning a Spell for time and costs to master new magic. The process of copying the spell into your ritual book follows the Gaining a new Spell downtime activity.

You can cast a ritual from your prepared spells without having to make a skill check. If you’re a spontaneous caster, you need to have it as part of your known spells to cast it without a skill check. Casting from a ritual spellbook when the spell is not memorised comes at a skill check (DC = 10 + twice spell level):

  • Bard and Warlock – History
  • Cleric and Paladin books – Religion
  • Druid and Ranger books – Nature
  • Sorcerer and Wizard books – Arcana

Downtime – Gaining a New Spell

only activity for One to Two Days – Not learnt

Downtime activity for gaining new spells into your spellbook. This works for spellbooks and ritualbooks. The intention of this downtime activity is to gain access to learn new spells.

When you find a spell from your spell list, you can add it to your spellbook if it is of a level for which you have spell slots and if you can spare the time to decipher and copy it.

To copy the spell into your spellbook takes time and money. For each level of the spell, the process takes 2 hours and costs 50 gp. The cost represents the fine inks you need to record it. Once you have spent this time and money to scribe it into your book, you can then use the downtime activity learn a spell to be able to cast it. The spells you gain from Training to Gain Levels are included in that cost.

Another spellcaster can do this for you but will generally require a service from them. Or if you are creating a backup copy of your spellbook, you can do so for 1 hour and 10 gp per level of spell you have memorised (or have access to from a scroll which uses up the scroll in the process).

Downtime – Sharing Spells
only activity for One to Two Days – Not learnt

You can share a spell you in your spellbook, gaining half the cost of gaining a spell.

Downtime – Learning a New Spell

Uses one of the downtime activities for the duration

Downtime activity for learning new spells takes two weeks per level of the spell to learn a spell from a scroll or spellbook. Half that time with instruction which costs 20 gp per spell level per week and has an appropriate skill check DC of 15 plus spell level for each week working.

Scribing the spell from a scroll to a spellbook does not provide knowledge of how to then memorise and cast that spell, but It does reduce the learning DC by 4 to have it in your own spellbook written by yourself.

It is up to the player to justify the attribute they are going to use and to describe their teachers as part of the training process, adding to the lore of the setting. The teacher will only train with that attribute. Settlement modifier might apply.

Learning breakdown:

  • Requirements
    • Stay in location for duration
    • Base Check DC = 10 + twice Spell level + rarity
    • Finding an instructor requires a Renown check of Base Check DC Settlement Modifier. See Downtime – Renown
    • Convincing the instructor requires a Persuasion (or Tradition) Check of Base Check DC.
  • Time
    • 1 week per spell level (+1 to check for every additional week spent learning)
    • Double if without an instructor
  • Cost per week
    • 20 gp + 10 gp per level of spell (or +10 gp + 5 gp per level of spell if not using an instructor)
  • Check
    • Tradition Check DC 10 + spell level + rarity
      • Between Session 10 + Associated Tradition Skill
Lifestyle modifier table

see Downtime – Lifestyle

  • Wretched -3 (0 gp per week)
  • Squalid -2 (7 cp per week)
  • Poor -1 (7 sp per week)
  • Modest – no change (7 ep per week)
  • Comfortable +1 (7 gp per week)
  • Wealthy +2 (35 gp per week)
  • Aristocratic +3 (70 gp per week)
Settlement Modifier Table

Type – Check mod

  • Thorp -8
  • Hamlet -6 (Tier 1 max)
  • Village -4
  • Town, Small -2 (Tier 2 max)
  • Town, Large 0
  • City, Small +2 (Tier 3 max)
  • City, Large +4
  • Metropolis +6 (Tier 4 max)
  • Capital +8 (Tier 5 max)

Check: Each week of training has an attribute check versus a DC based on the level of the spell to successfully complete it. A natural 1 caused the task to fail. A natural 20 reduces the time to learn by a week (minimum of one week). You can choose to succeed on a failure if you also take a complication.

Complications: Complications arise while training typically involve the teacher. This increases the cost of learning the spell by one week per point that the character missed the target number.

Spell Learning Complications Table

d6 / Complications (* Might involve a rival)

  1. Your instructor or spell source disappears, forcing you to find a new one. *
  2. Your teacher or spell source is a spy sent to learn your plans. *
  3. Your teacher or spell source is a cruel taskmaster.
  4. Your teacher or spell source instructs you in rare, archaic methods, which draw comments from others.
  5. Your teacher or spell source is a wanted for crimes.
  6. Your teacher or spell source asks for help dealing with a threat before continuing.
Downtime – Teach Spell
Uses one of the downtime activities for the duration

You can teach a spell you have learnt, gaining half the cost of the training each week. You can only teach spells you know.

Note on Secret Crafts: You can use this to learn spells from a secret craft.

Content Updates

  • 2021-11-08 – Reduced DC from base 15 to base 10 to fit with planned difficulties.
  • 2021-08-04 – Updated the menu.
  • 2021-03-11 – Adding in some clean up for in session and between session.
  • 2020-10-14 – Cleaned up the learning a spell section and incorporated renown as part of the requirements for gaining a teacher.
  • 2020-08-15 – Moved Sphere details to Cleric for higher level play.
  • 2020-03-23 – Structure.
Downtime for Mystara

Overview, Downtime Uses

Appease (Immortal, Secret Craft), Arduous Rally, Building Stronghold, Buying and Selling (Finding, New Spell, Selling Magical Item, Selling Other Item, Sharing Spells), Carousing, Crafting (Item Formula, Magical Item, Other Item, Spell Scroll), Crime, Druidic Wild Shape, Gambling, Performing Sacred Rites or Religious Services, Pit Fighting, Practicing Profession, Recuperating & Relaxing, Renown, Research, Research Assistance, Rivals, Running Business, Sowing Rumours, Spellcasters, Wizards School

Teaching: Class, Language or Tool, Secret Craft, Spell, Weapons Mastery, Wild Shape

Training: Class Levels, Extra Wild Shapes, Language or Tool, New or Replacement Spell, Secret Craft, Weapons Mastery

D&D 5E in Mystara

D&D MenuAdventures, Artefacts, Backgrounds, Classes, Dominions, Downtime, Feats, Gazetteers, Gods, Magical Items, Monsters, Organisations, Pantheons, Races, Ranks & Titles, Rune Magic, Secret Crafts, Settlements, Spells, Timeline, Weapons Mastery

WRATH: Campaign, Design

Game ManagementAnnotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Gaming over Skype, GM’s Luck Roll, Tracking Experience

Class Builds – Artificer – Bombardier (Tinkerkin), Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Ethegnarian), Totem Warrior (Heldannic), Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey), Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Circle of the Tree of Life (Seasonfey), Fighter – Battlemaster (Seashire), Eldritch Knight (Kerendan), Weapons Master (Makai), Weapons Master (Stonebound), Monk – Way of the Elements (Waterchild), Paladin – Oath of Radiance (Sunfey), Oath of Vengeance (Firechild), Sorcerer – Wild Magic (Shadowfey), Warlock – Celestial (Sunfey), Wizard – Bladesinger (Seasonfey), Dragon – White. Multiclass – Cleric/Wizard (Ethengarian), Rogue/Cleric (Atruaghin), Rogue/Sorcerer (Seashire), Wizard/Rogue (Traladaran)


Session Recordings – Campaign Journals

Library of Books

B5, d20 System, Pathfinder, SW

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This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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