From Breaking Worlds

Downtime is the name for what your character does between uptimes (interactives and linears) when you’re not actually playing them. It is used to simulate what your character does while ‘offscreen’ and allows you to find items, learn interesting information, or alter the game world in another way. Some skills are only useable in downtime.

You may submit a downtime if you have played an interactive or linear that week, and at ref discretion you may submit a downtime if you have crewed that week. You do not have to submit a downtime.

Your character cannot die in downtime without your consent as a player - but downtime actions can still cause them harm or loss. You may not use your downtime to deliberately physically attack another character (for instance, an action of “I lurk outside Jane Doe’s house and try to stab her when she leaves in the morning” is not allowed) although if characters come accidentally into conflict we will work with the players to resolve it.

For ease of processing downtimes are limited to one Major Action or Map Action, plus a few Minor Actions.

With the exception of Christmas, Easter and summer holidays, downtimes should be submitted (by email to by 1am on Sunday night/Monday morning. We do not guarantee responses to downtimes submitted after then.

Major Actions

These are actions which as a general rule need the Refs to interact with.
You have a large degree of freedom when taking a Major Action, and can use a few sentences if necessary to describe your goals and method. Example major actions might involve:

  • in-depth research on a particular spirit or individual
  • attempting to sway a major NPC
  • infiltrating a secret organisation
  • organising a heist

... and many more. Note that some skills, such as Greater Artifice, require a Major Action if you use them in downtime.

Your IC choices and what skills you have may also influence the effects of Major Actions - for example a character who has experience in smuggling or who is enchanted with the Rite of Concealment would be more likely to succeed in sneaking about unnoticed. If you have followers, they can assist you in your actions where appropriate.

Normally you can only undertake a Major Action in or near Fiveways. However, it is sometimes possible to call in a favour to travel (usually by horse or coach) to another part of Arginet during the week. Factions may sometimes arrange this for members, and you can also get favours from the Excellent Connections skill.

Major Actions are intended for more complex actions with a narrower focus than Map Actions.

Map Actions

These are a straightforward way of interacting with the area around Fiveways.
The downtime map is conveniently divided into hexes about five miles across. For a Map Action you must pick a hex on the map - this should ideally be with a grid reference, although we will do our best to match a description such as ‘Stow Chine’, ‘the place we had the linear’, ‘east of the town’ - and choose one of the following actions:

  • Explore: Find general information about sites that can be visited or exploited.
  • Raid: Fight or threaten, either for resources or to achieve another objective.
  • Forage: Search for resources that don’t require a fight.
  • Influence: Sway the opinions of people in the area.
  • Investigate: Find information about people and events (including other PCs).

You can specify the target or goal of an action - for instance ‘Raid: I attack the bandit camp with my retinue’, or ‘Forage: I look for people selling rare animals’ - and this will generally help us determine the outcome.

If you have followers, they can assist you in any of these actions; followers can have a bonus to any one action type, chosen at the time you take the skill. Your IC choices and what skills you have may also influence the effects of Map Actions - for example a healer would be more likely to find reagents when Foraging.

Map Actions are intended for actions with a broader scope but less complexity than Major Actions. If you are undertaking an action inside the town of Fiveways, you should generally use a Major Action.

It is helpful to the refs if you remind us about skills and objects you have which may enhance map actions, eg Followers, Smuggling.

Minor Actions

These are small things you did in the week that don’t need a detailed response from refs but which are useful for us to know and may flavour your downtime response. Some examples are:

  • ‘I pray to Bear at Reachgate’
  • ‘I get thoroughly drunk for my friend’s birthday’
  • ‘I go and get my wounds healed’
  • ‘I spend 32 SD on reagents in the market’

... the list goes on.

If something requires a detailed ref response (such as talking to a particular NPC) you should consider making it a Major Action. Broadly, if the expected response is "Noted." it's a minor action.
You can take Minor Actions in addition to a Major or Map Action. However, as the refs only have so much time, we request that you have no more than five Minor Actions per downtime and please don't make it up to five every week just because you can!