Off Time System

Brass Jester

This is a system I've developed to handle what goes on 'in-between' adventures. It was originally designed for solo play. Basically, start at Location 1 and follow the instructions, then roll D6 and move to the next location. Continue until End is reached.
This is supposed to represent whats gone on between the adventures, thus each character cycles throught the chart once. Characters can go through as a group or separately, as desired.
On to the chart. Be warned, it is rather long!

CONAN RPG ‘OFF-TIME’ SYSTEM ã Brass Jester 2005

Start at Location #1 and follow the instructions. Then roll d6 and go to the indicated Location. Repeat until Location #15 (End) is reached, at which point the next adventure starts. See GM’s notes at the end.

1. Start. Pay upkeep: 2sp x (Level)2 else –1 Rep

1-2 (2) Buy/Sell one item
3-4 (3) Heal
5-6 (4) Sell one item

2. Buy or sell one item or group of related items (e.g.: a sword or 20 arrows etc.) Only one item may be traded unless directed back to this location.

1 (5) Train
2 (2) Buy/Sell one item
3-4 (3) Heal
5-6 (6) Carouse

3. Heal or Profession. Either Heal 3 + Con. Mod. + Level and make Profession Check to gain money or Heal 6 + Con.mod + Level

1 (3) Heal
2-3 (6) Carouse
4 (2) Buy/Sell one item
5 (4) Sell one item
6 (7) Event

4. Sell any one item. May sell any one item or group of related items (e.g.: a sword or 20 arrows etc.) Only one item may be traded unless directed back to this location.

1 (4) Sell one item
2-3 (6) Carouse
4 (7) Event
5-6 (3) Heal

5. Train. Practice skills and weapons. Pay 5sp x (Level)2. Roll d20 + current Level, gain x.p according to DC beaten: -

DC 5 50 xp
DC 10 100 xp
DC 15 150 xp
DC 20 200 xp
DC 25 250 xp 250 xp is the maximum that can be gained in any one visit to this location.

1-2 (6) Carouse
3 (5) Train
4 (7) Event
5-6 (3) Options

6. Carouse. Out on the town, spending money in true Conan style. Pay d6 x 10 sp to join in, else lose 1d6 Rep. Then make Gather Information check at +1 per 10 sp spent (in addition to any normal modifiers.)

DC 5 Rumour
DC 10 News of event [see Events table]
DC 15 Rumour of adventure [Use the Brass Jester Adventure Creation System]
DC 20 Patron is seeking adventurers [See Location #13]
DC 25 Gain map/item

1-2 (5) Train
3 (7) Event
4-5 (9) Options
6 (8) Aftermath

7. Event. Roll on Event Table. Some may have long-term or far reaching effects.
Event Table [see appendix]

1-2 (9) Options
3 (6) Carouse
4 (11) Heal
5-6 (10) Buy/Sell any items

8. Aftermath. The morning after the night before. Roll d6; on a ‘6’ something has happened to you:-
Roll d6 again:
1 Bad hangover
2 Wake up in the streets with most of your clothes and possessions missing, including money
3 50% of your remaining money has gone
4 Wake up in bed with someone. You have gained an NPC lover (create NPC.)
5 Vague memories of a glorious brawl. Take 1d6 damage
6 Wake up in prison/ chained in a slave train etc.

1-2 (13) Patron
3 (12) Event
4-6 (9) Options

9. Options. Take any listed Action, practice Profession, start creating something, get a scroll read, fight a duel etc.

1 (12) Event
2 (9) Options
3-4 (10) Buy/Sell any items
5 (14) Recruit
6 (15) End

10. Buy or sell any item or group of related items.

1-2 (14) Recruit
3-4 (9) Options
5 (11) Event
6 (15) End

11. Heal or Profession. Either Heal 3 + Con. Mod. + Level and make Profession Check to gain money or Heal 6 + Con.mod + Level

1 (11) Heal
2-4 (9) Options
5 (10) Buy/Sell any items
6 (14) Recuit

12. Event. Roll on Event Table. Some may have long-term or far reaching effects

1 (9) Options
2 (13) Patron
3 (10) Buy/Sell any items
4-6 (15) End

13. Patron. A patron offers employment or a quest etc.
Is it accepted 1-3 No 4-6 Yes [This is if you can’t make up your mind]
Patron Table
1 Merchant
2 Thief
3 Sorcerer
4 Scholar
[Note: I have some specific Patrons made up as leads into adventures, also this can define where the PC’s are. For example, Vortis Orrando, a merchant in Khorshemish, is seeking to hire guards to escort a cargo down into Argos. He will give them a letter of introduction to a friend at Messantia who is seeking a crew for an expedition to the South. Thus, the PC’s start in Khorshemish.]
Make Diplomacy Check, +2 Synergy if patron rolled as a Carouse check, to see if Patron accepts you.

1-2 (10) Buy/Sell any items
3-4 (14) Recruit
5-6 (15) End

14. Recruit. May hire or purchase NPC bearers, guards, horses, slaves etc.

1-2 (10) Buy/Sell items
3-6 (15) End

15. End Last night on the town. Spend 5sp x (Level)2. Gain +1 Rep per 10 sp spent.

1. The chart is not time or location specific, other than that a Patron can give some indication of the starting location.

2. The Healing is deliberately limited. It is possible that a character may start the next adventure not fully healed and has to heal ‘en-route.’

3. The limits on the Buy/Sell locations are intended to reflect that a) there isn’t always a market for the item and b) to avoid the well-known players statement “well, we’ll replace everything we used and pay for it by selling everything we don’t need.” Now, you have to make a choice between that much-needed rope or replacing the dagger that fell down the pit.

4. Options is very versatile; it allows any action. For example, the long example under Craft (Herbalism) in the rulebook could be tied into the Options location, with the herbalist making a Craft roll each visit to the location. Also, scholars starting research, sorcererers crafting items etc.

5. Patrons: a Diplomacy check is needed to see if the PC impresses the patron enough to get the job. DC’s can be set based on the perceived difficulty:
e.g: Guard my house for a month DC10
Escort a caravan DC12
Hunt down my enemy and retrieve my stolen goods DC15
* Note, the way the chart is set up, once a patron is found then there is a limited time to purchase supplies etc. before the End is reached. This is because the patron is not usually inclined to wait around for the PC’s to go out carousing again (or whatever)


11 Meet new PC
12 Meet NPC
13 Find purse 2d6 sp
14 Find purse 1d6 lunas
15 Break weapon (roll randomly)

21 Lose 2d6 sp
22 Encounter guards
23 Relative dies
24 Inherit something
25 Get involved in brawl
26 Accused of ………… by ……………

31 NPC friend dies
32 War declared [where?]
33 New tax to be paid
34 Find weapon
35 Find something
36 Dependant NPC in danger

41 Catch disease
42 Attacked by mistake
43 Mistaken identity
44 Natural disaster
45 Unnatural happening
46 Robbed! Lose half of possessions [divide into two piles and dice to see which one went]

51 House/ dwelling destroyed
52 Bandit raids on borders
53 Meet long-lost sibling [create new NPC]
54 Armour damaged/rusty, -1 DR
55 Gain a pet
56 Rescue important person [who?]

61 Local noble dies
62 Prince/ess born
63 Prince/ess dies/ killed
64 Mercenaries in town
65 Horse/ mount dies
66 Omen/ Foreshadowing
An interesting system! And WOW!, you've spent a lot of time on this! Cudos!

However, I prefer to write out what happens to my players between sessions. I find it helps me stage their upcoming adventures, as well as exercise my very humble writing skills. :wink:

The Conan books I read as a youth (the softcover reprints) had a paragraph or two (usually written in italics) that described what Conan was up to between the stories. It was an attempt to connect the tales, even the pastiches by de Camp and Carter. If you check out my website and read the adventure journals, you'll see some examples of what I do.
I use it to write up narratives based on what came out of the chart. For example, consider the following:-
(my apologies for the writing style)
Off-time flowchart narrative

It was early morning in the city of Belverus, capital of Nemedia. The door of Smade’s Tavern was thrown back and a weary figure limped to the bar. “A flagon of wine, a plate of food and a room” he growled, throwing some silver onto the counter. Smade took the coins, as he did so he looked at and recognised the figure. “Alvander,” he cried, “it is some time since you were here last.” He noticed the caked wound on the man’s leg and grimaced. “Here, rest that, I will send a girl with hot water. You have been fighting again, my friend.” Alvander shook his head, and then winced; Smade noticed the gash on his head as well. “ Not a fight, only a cursed horse that went lame, pitched and threw me three days ago whilst crossing the Torkos River.”
Two days later, Alvander arose and tested his leg. It was healing well and he could put his full weight upon it. From downstairs came raised voices and the crash of breaking furniture, he quickly donned his leather jerkin and went down to the main taproom. Two rowdies were facing off at each other, wielding crude clubs; so intent were they on each other that they didn’t notice Alvander until he came up behind them and cracked their heads together. “My thanks,” said Smade. “They and their crowd have been causing trouble of late, they’ll likely be back tonight, unless, of course, you would care to earn a few honest silver?” Alvander laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. “Smade, the silver I earn never bothers you when I spend it here. Break open the barrels; I need to drink. And I’ll keep an eye on your tavern for you.”
That evening, getting into the swing of things, Alvander heard some interesting news. It seemed that there was trouble brewing across the border in Aquilonia. Two of the northern provinces were at loggerheads; the Count of Amilius has gone missing, apparently killed in an ambush. The Duke of Albiona is being blamed for the deed, despite a rumour that the Count is still alive. The King seemed to be disinterested in the situation and war loomed. “There might be rich pickings to be had in a civil war” he mused. The following day Smade paid him 14 ½ sp for his role in keeping the peace; but that evening Alvander was horrified to see a bigger crowd turn up, looking for a party. They went away disappointed, Smade said nothing.
The Aquilonian situation intrigued him and he decided to investigate further. After some practice with the bow and war sword he said his farewells to Smade, packed up his kit and headed off over the border into Aquilonia.

This was generated as follows:-
Alvander, Soldier 2, starts with 23 sp and a gem worth 40 sp. Has a 10 hp wound. Profession (soldier) +2, Gather Info +2
1.[1] Upkeep. Pay 2 x 4 sp = 8 sp. Roll 4 = [3] Heal
2.[3] Heal. Full heal, 6 + 2 = 8 hp. Roll 1 = [3] Heal
3.[3] Heal & Profession (soldier). Heal 3 + 2 = Fully healed. Practice Profession, roll 9 + 2 = 5 1/2 sp. Roll 2 = [6] Carouse
4.[6] Carouse. Cost 30 sp, hasn't got the money so pays over the gem (but gets no change!) Gather Infor +2 +3 + roll 14 = 19. Rumour of adventure.
(Using adventure creator) [Power/Ambush/Civil War/Treasure/Treachery]
also rumour/event. Event is important person missing, rumour is they are not dead. (GM: make notes on Aquilonian situation to be written into adventure) Roll 3 = [7] Event
5.[7] Event. Find purse with 9 sp. Roll 3 = [6] Carouse
6.[6] Carouse. Cost 60 sp. Can't pay so lose d6 Rep (roll = 2). Roll 1 = [5] Train
7.[5] Train. Cost 20 sp, Roll 15 +2 = 150 xp. Roll 6 = [9] Options
8.[9] Options. Choose End. Decided not to have farewell party and heads out west to Aquilonia. Final funds, 9 1/2 sp.

So, Alvander is heading into Aquilonia and I now need to write the adventure.

None of this existed before tonight, except Alvander. The whole thing, from running through the charts to writing the narrative, took about two hours.

BTW Red, I've looked at your site and bookmarked it. You've got good stuff there and its a real good read.


Location 5 Train
5-6 should read 5-6 [9] Options
Good stuff, Jester. I may have to give your system a try when our game starts back up again in February.

Brass Jester said:
BTW Red, I've looked at your site and bookmarked it. You've got good stuff there and its a real good read.

Thanks! :wink: