Downtime Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying

DnD Downtime Research, Languages and Tools

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Downtime –
Research, Languages and Tools

In my D&D game, I have an taken some of the unearthed arcana and xanathar’s guide information and made some downtime for languages and tools. Languages for the setting are getting an update as I clean up the races and regions of the world, so that is still useful and will become more useful as the work completes.

This contains the following downtime activities:

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.


Uses one of the downtime activities for the duration

Downtime activity for learning secrets about monsters, locations, magical items or specific topics of interest. This requires access to a library, scholar or other form of knowledge on the subject you want more information about.

  • Requirement
  • Time:
    • 1 Week (additional weeks add +1 to research check)
  • Weekly Costs:
    • 10 gp per week
  • Check:
    • Research Check – Intelligence check modified by settlement type and lifestyle modifiers with roll vs DC 14.
      • Critical Failure – No information on this topic is available in this settlement.
      • Critical Success – Gain an extra bit of information
      • Between Session – 10 + stat bonus + Renown + Settlement mod + lifestyle
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: Research takes one week and costs 10 gp for the chance to make an Intelligence check at the end of the week to see if you learn anything. You can spend additional weeks (at 10 gp each) to gain a +1 to the roll (max +5). A natural 1 gains no information. A natural 20 gains you an extra bit of information. You can choose to upgrade to the next level on the chart if you also take a complication.

Complications: You can increase your check result to the next level if you take a complication. You spend 10 gp per point you increase the check. This can be used with a failure or a critical failure, but can only raise it one level.

Check Modifiers Table

Type / Modifier

  • Immortals: Base of -18 adding level of Immortal. So Level 1 Immortal is -17 and level 36 Immortal is +18 to check. (the more powerful an Immortal the more likely you will find material about them.
  • Magical Items: -2 to roll for each level of magical item. (i.e. Common is -2, Uncommon is -4, Rare is -6, Very Rare -8, Legendary -10, Artefacts -12)
  • Monsters: -1 per CR of the creature
  • Topic in Library: +1 per point of relevance of the topic to the source of knowledge. Such as, location site of historical battle, holiday named after it, features in folk lore, together could provide a +3 to the check.
  • previous attempts for this knowledge: -5 per previous attempt in this location

Each piece of information is a true statement about the object of the research. Additional research can provide new pieces of information, if there is not a complication from the last check, and the DC increases by 5.

Research Results Table

Check / Result

  • Less than DC – No information
  • Equal to DC – One piece of information
  • Greater than DC by a factor of 5 – an extra piece of information
Research Complications Table

d6 / Complications (* Might involve a rival)

  1. You accidentally damage a rare book
  2. If you had known that a book was cursed, you never would have opened it
  3. Your actions cause you to be banned from a library until you make reparations *
  4. You offend a sage, who demands an extravagant gift *
  5. A sage becomes obsessed with convincing you of several strange theories about reality *
  6. You uncover useful lore, but only by promising to complete a dangerous task in return
Downtime – Research Assistance
Uses one of the downtime activities for the duration

You can provide research assistance if you have experience with the topic, gaining half the cost of the rserarch activity each week.

Training for Languages and Tools

Uses one of the downtime activities for the duration

Downtime activity for learning another language, a set of tools or a different dialect of a language you already know. First, you must find an instructor willing to teach you. The DM determines how long it takes, and whether one or more ability checks are required.

After you spend the requisite amount of time and money, and pass the checks each week, you learn the new language with the dialect of the teacher (or the local where you learn it) or gain proficiency with the new tool. Learning another dialect of a language you already know takes less time and you learn to speak and understand the local nuance.

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.

  • Requirement
  • Time:
    • 1 Week for tool or language (additional weeks adds +1 to language check)
    • 4 Weeks for new skill.
  • Weekly Costs:
    • 25 gp per week (5 gp per day)
  • Check:
    • Learning Check – Intelligence check modified by settlement type and modifiers with roll vs DC 10 (+1 per language , tool or skill known).
      • Critical Failure – Language beyond your capabilities
      • Critical Success – Gain an dialect related to the teacher
      • Between Sessions – 10+stat bonus+Renown+Settlement Mod+lifestyle
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)

Human Languages

  • Thyatian (Common, region dialect)
  • Alphatian (Alt Common, region dialect)
  • Atruaghin (Clan dialect)
  • Ethengarian (Tribe dialect)
  • Heldannic (Nation dialect)
  • Makai (Island dialect)
  • Nuar (Island dialect)
  • Traladaran (Nation dialect)
  • Ylari (region dialect)

Non-human Languages:

  • Draconic (Element dialect)
  • Dwarven (Clan dialect)
  • Elven (Clan dialect)
  • Gnome (Clan dialect)
  • Seacommon (Oceans common)
  • Undercommon (Shadowlands common)

Ancient Human Languages:

  • Neathar (HW Common)
  • Antalian
  • Nithian
  • Oltec
  • Traldara

Ancient Halfling Language

  • Lalor (not available)

Others still in Development:

  • Giant
  • Goblin
  • Troglodyte
  • tba not listed yet

Check: At the end of training there is an attribute check to successfully complete it. If you already know the language you can learn a dialect and sound like a natural speaker. You can choose to succeed on a failure if you also take a complication.

Complications: Complications arise while training typically involve the teacher. When you take a complication, you increase your training cost by 1 day for each point you increase your check by.

Language or Tool Complications Table

d6 / Complications (* Might involve a rival)

  • Your instructor disappears, forcing you to spend one workweek finding a new one. *
  • Your teacher is a spy sent to learn your plans. *
  • Your teacher is a cruel taskmaster.
  • Your teacher instructs you in rare, archaic methods, which draw comments from others.
  • Your teacher is a wanted criminal.
  • Your teacher asks for help dealing with a threat.
Downtime – Teach Skill or Language
Uses one of the downtime activities for the duration

You can teach a skill or language you have learnt, gaining half the cost of the training each week. You can only teach skills or languages you know.

Design Decisions

Changed the learning breakdown to be at least a week, with the option to take longer to succeed at the check away from play.

Learning breakdown:

  • New Language or Tool – 4 weeks, 25 gp per week
  • Gain a dialect in a language you know – 1 week – 25 gp per week

Content Updates

  • 2021-11-08 – Added in some between session details for language/skills
  • 2021-08-04 – Updated the menu.
  • 2021-03-11 – Added in details for in session and between session downtime.
  • 2020-10-15 – Added in renown and cleaned up modifiers.
  • 2020-08-19 – Cleanup.
  • 2020-03-23 – Structure.
  • 2020-03-20 – Added extra ancient languages.
  • 2020-03-17 – Structure and language additions.
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

Main Logo

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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