Down Time For Fun And Profit

I found myself thinking of all the ways a character can make Down Time as enjoyable as adventuring.

Some of the more interesting skills from the list come to mind.

Art and Craft - Between adventures, if the character's scores are sufficiently high (over 50%) he can create art works as commission pieces for patrons. Also may require Courtesy and Seduction skills, among other social skills, to sweet talk a rich patron to part with an advance to keep the wolf from the door while the character works on his art.

Craft (food) - Specifically food here, the character's craft could get put to work in the kitchens of, again, a sufficiently rich patron - possibly someone for whom the character had cooked during an adventure. The rich and influential need to know beyond doubt they they can trust their food maker.

Acrobatics, Athletics and Brawn - The stage beckons. "Presenting The Amazing Ballisto, Extraordinary Athlete And Strongman! Witness How He Tears Apart A Beam Of Oak As Thick As His Torso With His Bare Hands!"

Dance - With high CHA and a high enough level of this skill, any character could become a dance instructor, teaching the young men and women the steps to a new dance, or come up with some new dance moves to charm the ladies.

Sing, Play Instrument - Perhaps a composer of musical plays ...?

Influence and Insight - Whatever law enforcement personnel exist would welcome someone skilled in reading the subtle body language cues of liars. Perception would come in handy here as well.

Sleight - Again, the stage beckons. "I'd like a willing member from the audience. You down there, sir. Yes, please, do come up. It's the only way I'm going to give you back the fob watch I lifted from your pocket in the theatre lobby."

Engineering, Mechanisms - Some very practical jobs await, on the large or the small scale. A good engineer could find himself involved with the local Clockmakers' Guild, or designing and inventing stuff.

Oratory, Sing, Play Instrument, Influence, Insight, Seduction - The courtier's (or courtesan's) path awaits. Perhaps the characters could establish a Guild for such charming people to belong to ...

However, the most important skill of the whole list is ...


Never mind what it says about being a teacher in your Down Time on the table on page 85 where you get a free slate and chalk. :) Just about any skill the characters have that's 50% or higher, and your characters' time in a class can become a premium. Combat skills and Teaching, and your character an become a martial arts instructor or drill sergeant training the local militia in your weapon combat skills or Unarmed.

And apart from all of that, if the character builds up his Art (Writing) skill, his Down Time could make a lot of money for him as a writer or journalist, chronicling his escapades during his adventures or chronicling daily life in his adopted city. Think of a Samuel Pepys, an Alexander Pope ... or a Shakespeare, scribing plays for an appreciative audience.

And that's before you get into the magical skills.
Also a great time for the character to deal with maintenance issues if they own a home, deal with "family" issues or a some very small solo adventures.

Did their less than famous childhood enemy try to frame them for a crime in the old neighborhood?

Marital issues being away form home adventuring?

Nephew kidnapped by minor local villian who knows you have a bit of silver that could be lining his pockets?

Don't get me wrong, your skill thing is great but there can be so much more.
I actually like the idea of a fantasy adventurer whose raison d'etre for adventuring is to acquire experience of something mundane, such as fluency in a foreign language or a variety of foreign languages, with commensurate knowledge of the Lore of the people of the foreign lands he visits, or perhaps skill at an Art, or experiences that he can turn into a book and thereby make his name (and fortune) as an author.

Having enemies just adds spice to an autobiography: readers love books outlining lots of juicy scandals.
I agree, sometimes an adventure not being epic can be more fun than chasing down the dragon's horde. Bad rolls while learning a language skill you mentioned could land the character in prison, guess they would pick up a lot of street slang there. :lol:
I use Runequest cities and have for many years.
I use my battered old copy of it that I bought in the early 90s.
It's a great city source book with in between adventure events, developments. I don't just use it for Runequest based games, it's very easily adaptable to pretty much any fantasy game.