Downtime

Player characters aren’t always adventuring, saving the world, or looting ancient tombs. Sometimes they are raising and caring for the Pegasus colt they found, cultivating a garden of magic plants, or tending to the manor they received as a reward from the local authorities after a recent adventure. Here, you’ll find a variety of new downtime activities for the characters to showcase their hobbies, create useful items for the group’s next big adventure, or make money on the side when they aren’t raiding dragon hoards.

Build a Courtly Reputation

Reputation represents how a character is viewed by the upper classes and nobility within a society. To increase this and garner favor with the upper class, a character must spend free time between adventures with society’s elite, making sure to be seen at the events and locales they frequent.

Increasing court reputation covers a workweek of social activities. A character must spend one workweek in a well-populated settlement and at least 250 gp attending musical performances, tournaments, the unveiling of new works of art, poetry readings, courtly dances, hunting parties, and other high-society events.

Gaining Reputation Points

After a workweek of increasing court reputation, a character can attempt a Charisma (Persuasion) check using the Table: Court Reputation to determine the number of reputation points acquired that week. If a character already has reputation points when making this check, add the reputation point total to the check.

Table: Court Reputation
Check Total Result
1-5 You unwittingly committed an egregious social error. You lose 1 reputation point. If you have no reputation points when you roll this result, you have disadvantage on the next Charisma (Persuasion) check you make to determine reputation points.
6-10 Your presence was unremarkable at best. You gain no reputation points.
11-15 You played the courtly “game” proficiently. You gain 1 reputation point.
16-20 Your charms have created quite the buzz. You gain 2 reputation points.
21+ Your social maneuvering was magnificent, and everyone is talking about you. You gain 3 reputation points.

Reputation points represent a character’s popularity and influence with the upper class. A character can spend one or more reputation points to use the following features.

Advantage (Costs 1 Reputation Point). The character has advantage on the next Charisma (Persuasion) or Charisma (Intimidation) check made to influence a humanoid. The humanoid must be familiar with the society where the character gained this court reputation. At the GM’s discretion, this might not work on certain humanoids, such as bandits seeking to overthrow the current nobility.

Acquire A Loan (Costs 1 or more Reputation Points). The character can acquire a loan from a wealthy contact. Upon acquiring a loan, the character receives 1,000 gp x the number of reputation points spent. The character must pay back the entire sum of the loan within 30 days of its initial acquisition, or the character loses 1 reputation point. A character who continues to forgo payments loses 1 reputation point for each week that passes beyond the due date. If a character is reduced to 0 reputation points in this manner, that character can no longer gain the benefits of the Court Reputation downtime activity in the settlement where the loan was borrowed until it is repaid. A character must be in a populated settlement and can’t have any other unpaid loans to acquire a loan.

Call in A Minor Favor (Costs 2 Reputation Points). The character can call in a minor favor. Minor favors from the upper class are small actions that can make life a little easier for an adventurer but are not strictly illegal. The following are some examples of minor favors:

  • Pardoning a prisoner who committed a petty crime
  • Bribing guards to look the other way for a minor offense
  • Securing an invitation to an exclusive event or gathering
  • Getting the location of an elusive person or especially rare object
  • Securing cost-free luxurious accommodations and food for one week

Call in A Major Favor (Costs 5 Reputation Points). The character can call in a major favor. Major favors from the upper class are serious abuses of power that dramatically turn the tides of fortune for a character.

The following are some examples of major favors:

  • Sending professionals to clean up a crime scene or dispose of a body
  • Ensuring a particular noble shows up at a designated place and time
  • Securing a pardon for a major crime
  • Locating a specific magic item (but not covering its cost)
  • Gifting a single nonmagical object worth 5,000 gp or less
  • Securing cost-free luxurious accommodations and food for 6 months

Complications

Characters who build a court reputation risk becoming embroiled in scandal, attracting the ire of jealous nobles, or losing wealth to frivolous pursuits.

A character has a 10% chance of triggering a complication for each workweek spent increasing court reputation. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d8 and consult the Table: Court Reputation Complications.

Table: Court Reputation Complications
d8 Complication
1 A noble asks you for help with some financial trouble. Lose an additional 100 gp this week but gain 1 extra reputation point this week.
2 You have become the subject of courtly gossip, and vicious rumors are circulating. You can’t gain reputation points this week.
3 A jealous noble has declared you to be their rival. You now have a wealthy individual constantly looking for ways to make your life difficult.
4 Your activities garner a little too much attention. You attract a series of hopeful suitors.
5 Another rising socialite has taken credit for your activities. Lose 1 reputation point.
6 An artist admires you. They insist on following you around until you inspire their next masterpiece.
7 You accidentally offend an influential socialite. You have disadvantage on the check to determine your reputation points this week.
8 Gossip has named you this week’s courtier to watch. You have advantage on the check to determine your reputation points this week.

Craft Masterpiece

A character can spend free time between adventures creating a piece of art. Whether the character’s medium is dance, painting, sculpture, epic poetry, or anything in between, crafting a masterpiece requires appropriate materials and time.

Craft masterpiece covers a workweek of advancing an art project. A character must spend one workweek and at least 100 gp working on the project, connecting with patrons, and securing resources necessary to continue the work of art.

Expression Points

After a workweek of crafting a masterpiece, a character makes a Charisma (Performance) check (or an ability check relevant to the tools used in making the art) using Table: Craft Masterpiece to determine the number of expression points acquired that week. If a character has expression points when making this check, add the expression point total to the check.

Table: Craft Masterpiece
Check Result
1-5 After a series of missteps, you start to doubt your project. You lose 1 expression point. If you have no expression points when you roll this result, you have disadvantage on the next check you make to determine expression points.
6-10 Other responsibilities got in the way of creativity, and you made no significant progress. You gain no expression points this week.
11-15 You made solid progress on your masterpiece. You gain 1 expression point.
16-20 Your creativity was kindled, and you feel incredible about the work you did. You gain 2 expression points.
21+ You had a true flash of inspiration, and your project has radically changed for the better.

You gain 3 expression points.

Expression points represent the character’s personal satisfaction with artistic pursuits and how much that satisfaction affects other creatures. A character can spend one or more expression points to use the following features.

Advantage (Costs 1 Expression Point). The character has advantage on the next Charisma (Performance) check or ability check using tools related to the artistic pursuit.

Secure Patronage (Costs 1 or more Expression Points). The character can attempt to secure a patron. When a character attempts to secure a patron, the character must make a Charisma (Performance or Persuasion) check, adding the amount of spent expression points to the check. The DC is equal to 10 + the number of patrons the character currently possesses. On a success, the character acquires a new patron. A character can have a total number of patrons equal to half the character’s level (minimum of 1). The character receives 50 gp per patron at the beginning of each week. If the character doesn’t spend at least one workweek performing the Create Masterpiece downtime activity every 30 days, the character loses one patron. The character continues to lose one additional patron for each week thereafter that the character doesn’t perform this downtime activity. A patron might have other demands of a character to continue being a patron, such as performing at the patron’s summer party or painting a portrait of the patron’s family free of charge. At the GM’s discretion, these activities can appease patrons and potentially win back a lost patron or substitute for a month of not performing this downtime activity.

Token of Admiration (Costs 2 Expression Points). The character can call in a minor favor from a patron or admirer. Minor favors are small actions that can make life a little bit easier for an adventurer. The following are some examples of minor favors:

  • Securing a performance, rehearsal, or studio space to use for one week
  • Receiving a gift of a nonmagical object worth 500 gp or less
  • Bribing guards to look the other way for a minor offense
  • Securing an invitation to an exclusive event or gathering
  • Getting access to rare or hard-to-find materials (but not necessarily covering the cost)

Complete Masterpiece (Costs 5 Expression Points). The character can complete a masterpiece, provided the character hasn’t completed a masterpiece in the past year. Completing a masterpiece is an extraordinary achievement, and it can net the character great satisfaction or great profit. The character doesn’t need to roll for complications when spending expression points to finish a masterpiece.

The character can choose whether to sell the masterpiece for 10,000 gp or to gain Inspiration (or some other boon determined by the GM) after every long rest for 100 days. The character must be in a populated settlement with wealthy individuals to sell a masterpiece.

Complications

Characters who spend their time creating a masterpiece take on the burdens and challenges common to creative work. A character has a 10 percent chance of triggering a complication for each workweek spent crafting a masterpiece. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d8 and consult Table: Crafter Masterpiece Complications.

Table: Craft Masterpiece Complications
d8 Complication
1 Your materials or resources are lost and must be replaced. Lose an additional 100 gp this week to cover expenses but gain 1 extra expression point this week for sticking with your project.
2 You’ve hit a creative block and can’t find a way to move forward. You can’t gain expression points this week.
3 You made a bad call and must rework a portion of your project from scratch. Lose 1 expression point.
4 A potential patron has come to view your work and insists on shadowing your every move.
5 A rival artist has just finished a masterpiece that is heartbreakingly similar to what you are working on. Lose 1 expression point.
6 Some passersby caught a glimpse of your work and were hypercritical. Their off-the-cuff opinions have been nagging at you.
7 Everything seems to be going wrong, and you’re starting to doubt your ability as an artist. You have disadvantage on the check to determine your expression points this week.
8 You received high praise and encouragement about your work from someone you admire. You have advantage on the check to determine your expression points this week.

Create Food or Plant Preserves

Heroes with an enterprising spirit can take extra resources and time on hand to prepare perishable foods and plants, flowers, herbs and salt, or magic plants and preserve them for later use, as gifts, or even to trade.

Possible items include rations, dried magic plants, jellies and jams, dried herbs or flowers, jerky, pickles, and other preserved delicacies.

Creating preserves requires no more than 1 pound of raw food or nonmagical plants or 6 magic plant cuttings per workweek, and cook’s utensils, if preserving food, or an herbalism kit, if preserving plants.

A character makes three skill checks using the appropriate set of tools, and the skill checks are made with one each of Dexterity, Intelligence, and Wisdom. For nonmagical goods, the DC for each of the checks is 5 + 2d6; generate a separate DC for each one. For magical goods, the DC for each of the checks is 5 + 2d8; generate a separate DC for each one.

Consult Table: Creating Preserves to see how well the process went.

Table: Creating Preserves
Result Outcome
0 successes Lose your raw materials and gain nothing.
1 Success 1 ration, 4 ounces of dried nonmagical plants, or 1 dried magic plant
2 successes 1d4 rations, 8 ounces of dried nonmagical plants, or 1d4 dried magic plants
3 successes 1d6 + 1 rations, 1 pound of dried nonmagical plants, or 1d6 + 1 dried magic plants.

Complications

The complications that typically occur from creating preserves involve interruptions, disturbances, or mishaps with the ingredients or the process. A character has a 10 percent chance of triggering a complication for each workweek spent preserving goods. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d6 and consult Table: Creating Preserves Complications.

Table: Creating Preserves Complications
d6 Complication
1 A rival tries to steal your recipes.
2 Your preserving methods attract pests that threaten to ruin your work.
3 An unexpected visitor takes keen, and disruptive, interest in your preserving methods.
4 A noteworthy community member spreads rumors about your work hygiene practices.
5 You accidentally burned, damaged, or otherwise spoiled your ingredients and lose half of what you produced this week.
6 A pushy acquaintance wants to enter you into a local preserves competition.

Care for Companion Creature

A character can take care of another creature by spending free time between adventures. To successfully train creatures, the character must spend time with them and keep them in a properly prepared living area such as a stable or other area safe from elements and predators.

Creature care requires access to a stabling facility equipped to care for the creatures. The weekly cost of stabling creatures depends on the size and number of creatures. Consult Table: Creature Care Expenses to determine the weekly cost of feeding and stabling the creatures in a character’s care. Gaining any creature care benefits (other than meeting basic survival needs) requires a character to spend one workweek training, handling, or otherwise personally caring for the creatures. At the GM’s discretion, a character can stable creature types other than beasts or monstrosities. For example, a GM might allow a character to stable a pegasus (a celestial) or a clutch of pseudodragons. Keep in mind, stabling unique or intelligent creatures might come with additional complications or needs, such as a special diet for the pegasus or a small library for the pseudodragons.

Table: Creature Care Expenses
Weekly Cost (Per Creature) Creature Type and Size
5 sp Tiny or Small Beast
1 gp Medium or Large Beast
5 gp Huge Beast
15 gp Large or smaller Monstrosity
30 gp Huge or larger Monstrosity

Husbandry Points

After a workweek of hands-on creature care, a character makes a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check using Table: Creature Care to determine the number of husbandry points acquired that week. If a character has husbandry points before making this check, add the husbandry point total to the check.

Table: Creature Care
Check Result
1-5 You unintentionally frightened your creatures or otherwise earned their ire. You lose 1 husbandry point. If you have no husbandry points when you roll this result, you have disadvantage on the next Wisdom (Animal Handling) check you make to determine husbandry points.
6-10 You tried your best, but your relationship with your creatures hasn’t deepened. You gain no husbandry points.
11-15 You had a small breakthrough and managed to connect a little more with your creatures. You gain 1 husbandry point.
16-20 The bond with your creatures has deepened significantly. You gain 2 husbandry points.
21+ Your relationship with your creatures has grown into true friendship. You gain 3 husbandry points.

Husbandry points represent the strength of a character’s bond with the creatures under the character’s care. A character can spend one or more husbandry points to use the following features.

Advantage (Costs 1 Husbandry Point). The character has advantage on a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check made to influence a non-humanoid creature with an Intelligence of 10 or less.

Training (Costs 2 or more Husbandry Points). The character can attempt to train a creature. The creature must be mature, and the character must have the creature stabled in an adequate facility. To train a creature, the character must make a Wisdom (Animal Handling) check, adding the amount of spent husbandry points to the check. The DC is equal to the creature’s highest ability score. At the GM’s discretion, the creature’s type or intelligence might increase or decrease this DC by up to 3. For example, an ape might easily pick up on training cues, while an owlbear might stubbornly resist training. On a success, the creature is trained to do one of the following:

  • As long as you have the appropriate equipment and the creature is of the appropriate size, you can ride the creature as a mount. A creature can receive this training only once.
  • The creature gains proficiency in one of the following skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Sleight of Hand, or Stealth.
  • The creature’s hit point maximum increases by 10. A creature can receive this training only once.
  • The creature’s base movement speed increases by 5 feet. A creature can receive this training only once.

Sell (Costs 3 Husbandry Points). The character can sell a creature that has been in the character’s care for at least 30 days. Due to the character’s expertise and connections, the creature sells for half again its standard cost. For example, a riding horse raised by the character sells for 112 gp instead of 75 gp. If the character has trained the creature, it sells for twice its standard cost. The GM determines the costs and sell values of creatures without standard costs.

Breed (Costs 5 Husbandry Points). The character can breed a mature creature that has been in the character’s care for at least 30 days. The selected parent creature must have reasonable conditions to breed, such as access to a mate, materials to nest, or similar, and it can’t have already produced offspring within the last year. If the mate is also in the character’s care, the husbandry point cost for the breeding is only 5, but the mate must still meet all the same requirements, such as not having produced offspring within the last year. Unless determined otherwise by the GM, an infant creature reaches maturity one year after its birth, hatching, or other first moment of life. Until the creature reaches maturity, its weekly creature care expenses are half the price of a mature creature of its size and type.

Complications

Characters who spend their time pursuing creature care take on several risks associated with caring for other creatures, including dealing with potential injuries, treating illness, and accruing unexpected costs. A character has a 10 percent chance of triggering a complication for each workweek spent providing creature care. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d8 and consult Table: Creature Care Complications.

Table: Creature Care Complications
d8 Complication
1 A creature has fallen ill. Lose 100 gp this week to cover medical expenses but gain 1 extra husbandry point this week.
2 Facility maintenance and other routine chores prevent you from spending enough quality time with your creatures. You can’t gain husbandry points this week.
3 One of your creatures damaged the stabling facility. You must pay double your standard creature care expenses this week.
4 An animal trainer is jealous of your success. You now have someone looking for ways to sabotage your efforts.
5 A particularly disastrous training session has put all your creatures on edge. Lose 1 husbandry point.
6 The locals are impressed with your efforts. You receive repeated requests to purchase your creatures.
7 Bad weather or poor environmental conditions have stressed out your creatures. You have disadvantage on the check to determine your husbandry points this week.
8 Lovely weather and ideal environment conditions have relaxed your creatures. You have advantage on the check to determine your husbandry points this week.

Build a Criminal Enterprise

A character creating and running a criminal enterprise spends free time between adventures orchestrating and performing crime for profit. Running a successful criminal enterprise requires gathering information, forging connections with criminal contacts, and greasing the appropriate wheels.

Criminal enterprise covers a workweek of planning punctuated by one major operation. A character must spend one workweek in a well-populated area and put forward at least 25 gp gathering resources to pull off a criminal operation.

Infamy Points

After a workweek of planning, a character makes an ability check using Table: Criminal Enterprise to determine the number of infamy points acquired that week. If a character has infamy points when making this check, add the infamy point total to the check.

The type of ability check a character makes depends on that character’s role in the criminal operation.

  • The Brains. The brains role is the mastermind behind the operation. The brains is rarely present when the operation goes down. A character filling this role makes an Intelligence (Investigation) check.
  • The Lookout. The lookout role is the eyes and ears of the operation. The lookout is responsible for standing guard while the rest of the team completes the job. A character filling this role makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • The Face. The face role is the inside agent that uses charm to their advantage. The face has gathered valuable information and deployed resources critical to the success of the operation. A character filling this role makes a Charisma (Deception) check.
  • The Thief. The thief role is the one getting their hands dirty. The thief is the team member that quietly slips in or out of whatever bars access to the operation’s target. A character filling this role makes a Dexterity (Stealth) check.
  • The Muscle. The muscle role is the bruiser that backs up the team. The muscle is the team member that goes out swinging if the operation goes sideways. A character filling this role makes a Strength (Athletics) check.
Table: Criminal Enterprise
Check Result
1-5 The operation was a disaster. People got caught, things went wrong. It was a total embarrassment. You lose 1 infamy point. If you have no infamy points when you roll this result, you have disadvantage on the next check you make to determine infamy points.
6-10 The operation fell apart. No one got caught, but no one got paid. You gain no infamy points this week.
11-15 You hit a few snags, but you pulled off the operation in the end. You gain 1 infamy point.
16-20 The operation was a success. It went exactly to plan. You gain 2 infamy points.
21+ You pulled off the perfect crime, the operation went flawlessly, and you even picked up a little extra. You gain 3 infamy points.

Infamy points represent a character’s successful crime streak and street credit with the criminal underworld. A character can spend one or more infamy points to use the following features.

Acquire Crew Members (Costs 1 or more Infamy Points). The character can call on others to help in an operation, reducing the chance for complications.

Each point spent represents one extra crew member who helped performed the operation. The chance for a character to experience a complication after the operation is reduced by 5 percent for each point spent on extra crew members.

Get Paid (Costs 1 or more Infamy Points). The character can fence stolen goods or otherwise get a payout for the committed crimes. The character receives 250 gp × the number of infamy points spent.

The character must be in a populated settlement to use this feature.

Grease the Wheels (Costs 2 Infamy Points). The character can call in a minor favor. Minor favors from the underworld are small actions that can make life a little easier for a criminal. The following are some examples of minor favors:

  • Making sure a particular door at a particular place is left unlocked
  • Ensuring a package is delivered quickly and quietly
  • Bribing guards to look the other way for a minor offense
  • Getting the location of a difficult to find person or object
  • Securing a hideout and food for one week

Legendary Caper (Costs 5 Infamy Points). The character can pull off a legendary caper, provided the character hasn’t performed a legendary caper in the last year. A legendary caper is the crown jewel of operations, and the character receives a significant amount from it. The character doesn’t need to roll for complications when spending infamy points to pull off a legendary caper. The character can choose whether to receive 10,000 gp or one uncommon or rarer magic item, provided the GM approves the item. The character must be in a populated settlement with wealthy individuals to pull off a legendary caper.

Complications

Characters who spend their time pursuing criminal enterprise have a high chance of becoming ensnared by complications. A character has a 25 percent chance of triggering a complication for each workweek spent pursuing criminal enterprise. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d8 and consult Table: Criminal Enterprise Complications.

Table: Criminal Enterprise Complications
d8 Complication
1 One of your accomplices was caught. Either pay 250 gp to bail them out of jail or lose 2 infamy points.
2 Your information was bad, and the merchandise was worthless. You can’t gain infamy points this week.
3 There’s a new sentry or watchman in town, and they’ve become obsessed with bringing you down.
4 A new thieves guild has popped up, and their blundering mistakes are bringing heat down on the whole underworld.
5 Another criminal is taking credit for your operations. Lose 1 infamy point.
6 You were sold out by one of your own. Either pay 100 gp for each infamy point you currently have or spend a week in jail for each infamy point you have.
7 You intruded on a crime boss’s turf. You have disadvantage on the check to determine your infamy points this week.
8 You caught word of a golden opportunity. You have advantage on the check to determine your infamy points this week.

Forage for Provisions

Adventurers with some time on their hands in between daring escapades can engage in foraging for food, hidden treasures, and elusive magic plants. Foraging requires 1 day of searching an environment capable of supporting life for things of use and interest. This can mean searching city streets for discarded food or for plants clinging to rooftops, scouring a forest floor for truffles or lost hunting arrows, or similar.

To determine how well a character succeeded at foraging throughout the day, the character makes an ability check, depending on what the character is seeking: Intelligence (Nature) for magic plants, Intelligence (Investigation) for hidden treasures, or Wisdom (Survival) for food. Characters with the Hedgecraft feat have advantage on the check when foraging for magic plants. The player chooses which check to make then consults the appropriate Foraging table.

Magic plants labeled as “fresh” represent the fresh cuttings the character found, not the full plant itself.

Similarly, “dried” magic plants represent preserved or mostly lifeless magic plant cuttings, such as fallen leaves, that are good for using only the plants’ minor worts. See Hedge Magic for more information on magic plant cuttings and what a character can do with them. Food labeled as “perishable” lasts 7 days before decaying.

At the GM’s discretion, the character might not be able to forage for some types of goods in certain areas. For example, a character might be able to forage for hidden treasures in a town, but the town might not contain any magic plants.

Table: Foraging for Magic Plants
Result Magic Plants Found
5 Spell components worth up to 10 gp
10 1 uncommon magic plant (dried)
15 1d2 uncommon magic plants (fresh)
20 1 rare plant (dried)
25 1d2 rare plants (fresh)
30 1 very rare plant (dried)
Table: Foraging for Food
Result Magic Plants Found
5 1 day’s worth of perishable food
10 1 day’s worth of rations
15 1d4 day’s worth of perishable food
20 1d4 day’s worth of rations
25 1 week’s worth of perishable food
30 1 week’s worth of rations
Table: Foraging for Hidden Treasures
Result Magic Plants Found
5 1d4 intact arrows or bolts or 1d4 unlit torches
10 1 crudely fashioned simple weapon or wooden musical instrument
15 Half of the tools from an artisan’s tool kit (GM’s choice) 20 1 item from Table: Trinkets*
25 1 backpack or pouch containing 1d4 items from Table: Trinkets*
30 1d6 gp worth of random coins.

Complications

Foraging is a low-risk way to spend time, and complications that arise from it are generally mild.

A character has a 5 percent chance of triggering a complication for each day spent foraging. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d6 and consult the Foraging.

Table: Foraging Complications
d6 Complication
1 You encounter a child who is having bad luck collecting herbs for a sick parent.
2 A fey creature offers to show you their private garden of magic plants. For a price.
3 A grove of trees asks for your help in lifting a curse placed upon them.
4 You accidentally trespass on private property, earning the ire of the owner.
5 A group of foraging cultists invites you to join in their next midnight ritual.
6 You uncover a hidden cavern entrance but awaken something big within it.

Magic Plant Gardening

Taking the time to nurture a large supply of magical plants is an extensive project that produces truly special results. By spending considerable time and effort, a dedicated gardener can draw out the most powerful effects hidden deep in root and stem. This is not a task to be taken lightly and requires skill, commitment, and patience. Only one type of magical plant can be cared for by one character at a time, as the process is intensive and the needs of each magic plant are different.

Magic plant gardening is divided into two aspects: cultivating and maintaining. Cultivating involves the downtime necessary to create a new garden filled with a particular type of magic plant, while maintaining involves the downtime necessary to ensure the health and safety of that garden in the long-term.

Cultivating a Magic Garden

Cultivating a garden of magic plants requires a character to have the Hedgecraft feat, the appropriate tools for gardening, and the ability to perform consecutive workweeks of gardening, with an outlay of 25 gp in expenses per workweek. In addition, the character must have at least ten fresh, mature magic plants of the same type and a suitable plot of land to start cultivating. A fresh, mature magic plant includes its roots and is capable of reproducing. A character can’t start a garden with only a magic plant’s cuttings.

Each type of magic plant has a different cultivation time requirement, as detailed in the cultivated wort section of each plant’s entry. Once a magic plant garden has been cultivated, it produces fresh cuttings each day, and creatures in the garden gain access to its cultivated magical effects, as long as the garden remains maintained.

Assistance. If the character has an assistant to tend the garden while the character is away, the cultivating weeks don’t need to be consecutive. The character must still spend the requisite number of workweeks cultivating the garden and spend the required funds before the garden’s cultivated magical effects can be used. The assistant doesn’t need the Hedgecraft feat to tend the garden. For example, a character begins cultivating a garden of chaunic clover, spending two workweeks doing so. The character’s assistant then tends the garden for three weeks while the character spends time adventuring. After the adventure, the character must spend two more workweeks cultivating the garden to fulfill the clover’s requirement of four weeks of cultivation before gaining access to its cultivated wort.

Cultivation Checks. To cultivate a garden of magic plants, a character makes a series of checks, with a DC determined by the rarity of the magic plant, as shown on Table: Magic Plant Cultivation. Cultivation complications can increase the DC.

Table: Magic Plant Cultivation
Rarity DC
Uncommon 10
Rare 15
Very rare 20

For each workweek spent cultivating after the first week, the character makes one check of the player’s choice: Strength (Athletics), Intelligence (Arcana), Intelligence (Nature), or Wisdom (Survival). If desired, the character can replace up to half of the necessary skill checks with Constitution saving throws, getting the job done through perseverance and hard work. The character has advantage on a check if another character assists with the gardening that week. The assistant doesn’t need the Hedgecraft feat to aid the gardening character.

A failure means the character made no real progress that week, and that workweek doesn’t count toward fulfilling the requisite number of cultivating weeks for that magic plant (funds are still spent normally for the week). If the character fails three checks, there is a 50 percent chance the magic plants are ruined, and the character must acquire more before attempting to cultivate a garden again.

A success means the character made progress that week, and that workweek counts toward fulfilling the requisite number of cultivating weeks for that magic plant. If the character succeeds on three checks, the magic plants are healthy enough that they can’t be ruined, regardless of how many failures the character has afterward. If the character successfully cultivates the garden, the cultivated wort immediately becomes available at the end of the final requisite workweek, and the garden provides the benefits described in the plant’s cultivated wort entry. The cultivated wort lasts for as long as the garden is maintained. If the character isn’t of a high enough level to activate the magic plant’s cultivated wort, the garden remains healthy as long as it is maintained, and the cultivated wort can be activated with one week of work any time after the character reaches the appropriate level.

Maintaining a Magic Garden

Once cultivated, a garden of magic plants requires 25 gp and at least one workweek of maintenance every 30 days to retain its magical properties.

Maintaining the garden doesn’t require a skill check, and a character doesn’t need the Hedgecraft feat to do so. Alternatively, a character with the Hedgecraft feat can spend 25 gp and one day tending the garden every 30 days to maintain it. If a garden hasn’t been maintained in over 30 days, it loses its cultivated wort, and the garden must be cultivated anew. At the GM’s discretion, up to 1d10 of the plants in the abandoned garden can be recovered and used to cultivate a new garden.

A cultivated garden produces 2d6 fresh plant cuttings each week it is maintained after the initial cultivation. A fresh cutting remains usable and magical for up to 10 days. A cutting must be dried to maintain any magic after 10 days. A “cutting” varies by magic plant, but it is typically a sprig or bloom.

Complications

Cultivating large quantities of magic plants can sometimes attract unwanted and even dangerous attention, and growing anything comes with the risks of exposure to the elements or natural disasters.

A character has a 10 percent chance of triggering a complication for each workweek spent cultivating a magic garden. When a complication is triggered, the GM can create a complication or roll a d6 and consult Table: Cultivating Complications. Maintaining a magic garden doesn’t trigger a complication, but, at the GM’s discretion, inclement weather, thieves, or other events might reduce the number of clippings the garden produces each week.

Manage a Trading Company

One or more players can choose to have their characters spend funds and time running a mercantile trading operation as a part of their downtime activities. The funds they spend in most cases return a profit, while the time invested increases the potential of that profit. This downtime activity provides in-depth guidance for running a regional or even world-spanning trading company and is not for players who want to run a single smithy, bakery, or similar small, local business where they practice their profession. Use this downtime if your players want to jointly run a large business, have an impact on local economies, or build up a region through trade.

Founding the Company

To establish a company and begin trading, the characters must first establish a headquarters. This locale functions as a central hub for their trade routes as well as a local point of sales and the center of the business’s financial dealings. The size of the community in which the headquarters resides plays an important role in how large the company can eventually grow.

For the characters to build an initial hub where they can begin their foray into the trade business, they must visit the locale, succeed on a DC 10 Charisma (Persuasion) check to convince the locals of the benefits of the new business, and provide 5,000 gp to construct the physical building and hire employees to operate it. At that point, the characters have an established trading company, but it operates only locally, buying goods wholesale from other traders to sell. If the characters want to expand their enterprise, they must establish trade zones.

Table: Cultivating Complications
d6 Complication
1 Swarms of pest insects attack your plants. Increase the DC of this workweek’s cultivating check by 5.
2 A group of pixies moves into your garden and begins to play pranks and disruptive tricks on you.
3 Someone or something has broken into your garden while you are away and has stolen your tools, forcing you to buy new ones.
4 Another hedgecrafter or druid arrives and demands that you cease your efforts, claiming that you are upsetting the natural order.
5 A disease has swept through your plants, ravaging a large portion and setting you back 1 workweek. No cuttings are available this week.
6 Inclement weather or other natural disaster damages your plants, setting you back 1d4 workweeks. No cuttings are available this week.
Trade Zones
Zone Type DC Check HQ City Size Hub Cost Time Trade Limit
Local 10 Min. 500 5,000 gp 30 days 50 units
Provincial 15 Min. 1,000 2,500 gp 30 days 100 units
Kingdom 20 Min. 5,000 5,000 gp 30 days 200 units
Continental 25 Min. 10,000 7,500 gp 90 days 350 units
World 30 Min. 25,000 10,000 gp 180 days 500 units
Sample Trade Sheet
Zone Time Vehicles Capacity
Trade Good Units Cost/Unit Expense Participation Modifier Profit Percentage Return
 
 
 
 
 

Zone Type

This is a spot to record whether the trade is local, provincial, kingdom, continental, or worldwide. If the company has more than one trade run occurring within the allotted timeframe, some additional identifying information—such as the name of the NPC caravan master—could also be included.

Expanding the Company

Expanding the business by adding trade zones to and from more distant locales broadens the scope of goods available—and the potential profits. Each zone they wish to establish requires the characters to construct hubs, as shown on Table: Trade Zones.

For the purposes of this downtime, “trade zone” refers to the movement of goods within a type of region and not a specific road, river, or sea lane. For example, a kingdom trade zone might involve three cities and the myriad of roads and rivers that carry trade between them.

Zone Type

The trade zone indicates how far afield trade takes place.

  • Local. Trade that takes place at a single site, like a market or trading post.
  • Provincial. Trade routes that cover only short distances within a single province or similar. Travel times between markets or trading posts are typically 2 to 5 days each way.
  • Kingdom. Trade that connects hubs across an entire kingdom. Travel times between hubs are usually 10 to 15 days each way.
  • Continental. Trade that connects hubs across an entire continent. Travel times for these trade routes can last 30 to 50 days or longer each way and may be via road, river, or coastal ship routes.
  • World. Trade that crosses oceans and connects the most distant known points of the world. Travel times vary greatly based on the world’s geography and are usually measured in months.

DC Check

The Charisma (Persuasion) check needed to establish the trade zone. This assumes the efforts made to convince local governments to grant charters and licenses, local merchants to sell or buy the goods to the characters’ company rather than to competitors, and similar. The difficulty increases the greater the distance the zone covers due to shifts in cultural norms, lack of familiarity with officials, language barriers, and the increased number of needed business relationships.

Persuasion Failure. If the characters fail to convince a population center of the benefits of their new business presence, they can make the check again in 1 month’s time. Subsequent checks are each made with a cumulative +5 bonus. This reflects the characters’ efforts to progress successfully through convoluted bureaucracies, win over locals, hire charismatic managers, grease palms, and similar.

H.Q. City Size

This indicates the minimum population of the urban center where the headquarters is based that is needed to establish a trade zone. No headquarters for a trading company can be established in any place with fewer than 500 people, and a community that small can support only a local trading post. To conduct trade to more distant places, the headquarters must be placed in a larger town or city with sufficient population to support it.

Hub Cost

The expense of establishing the far end of a trading zone from the headquarters. The local zone is also the site of the headquarters. It costs 5,000 gp to set up the initial headquarters hub, as described at the beginning of this downtime, and only local trade can occur there. To expand to provincial trade, a second hub must be established for an additional 2,500 gp. At the GM’s discretion, additional hubs can be specific urban centers within the campaign world, but for the purposes of the downtime activity, it is enough to establish the zone at the listed costs without specifying the location of each trade route destination. If the characters choose to relocate their headquarters—perhaps to a larger city with more distant trade potential—it costs 2,500 gp each time they relocate it.

Time

The trading company collects whatever profits are made at the end of each listed timeframe. Larger trading companies often run multiple shipments within the same zone type with staggered departure times for the lengthier trips so that cost and profits can be spread out more evenly.

Trade Limit

This column indicates the maximum amount of trade, in units of goods, that can occur within the timeframe listed in the Time column. For example, a provincial trade zone can handle only 100 units of goods, in any combination, traded in a given month.

This reflects the limits of what the markets can bear within a given area.

Trade Infrastructure

For a trading company to expand, it must establish a second hub within a zone type and have one or more vehicles for moving goods between those hubs. Table: Trade Infrastructure lists each type of vehicle (or group of vehicles), the cost to build and staff it, and the units of cargo it can hold. Trade zones can be made up of combinations of vehicles.

  • Wagon. A single vehicle with horses used to transport cargo along overland routes.
  • Caravan. A group of wagons that can operate more efficiently together.
  • Barge. A riverboat that can haul large amounts of cargo along the interior of a landmass with minimal crew.
  • Ship. A seagoing vessel that can make coastal trips as well as cross oceans to islands and other continents.
  • Fleet. A group of ships that operate more efficiently together.
Trade Infrastructure
Vehicle Cost Capacity
Wagon 100 gp 1 unit
Caravan 400 gp 5 units
Barge 2,000 gp 15 units
Ship 10,000 gp 20 units
Fleet 40,000 gp 100 units

Trade Runs

Once the trading company is set up (or expanded), the company must conduct trade runs to make a profit. Each run can be tracked on the Trade Sheet where all the details of the cargo and potential earnings are recorded. A trade run represents the movement of all trade goods along all routes within a particular zone in the given timeframe (as detailed in the Time column of Table: Trade Zone). The characters can’t conduct trade runs outside of their trade zone. For example, a trading company that has been expanded to continental can’t do a provincial trade run because provincial trade is already assumed to be included in the continental trade run. This means the characters must track fewer trade runs and receive profit less frequently the larger the company gets, but the profits are potentially much higher as the company grows.

Time

This is the timeframe listed in the Time column of Table: Trade Zone and represents the amount of time the trade run takes for that zone.

Vehicles and Capacity

Record the types and numbers of vehicles included in the trade run here, followed by the total capacity of all the vehicles together. The number of units of various types of trade goods can’t exceed the total capacity of the vehicles holding the goods. The number of units also can’t exceed the trade limit for the trade zone, even if the characters have enough money to move more units.

Units, Cost/Unit, and Expense

Record the number of units the characters purchased, the cost of those units, and the financial expense (calculated by multiplying cost/unit by number of units) here.

Trade Goods

A variety of goods can be bought, transported, and sold. Some are very common and safe investments—but with more limited profitability—while others can be moved great distances to locales where they would be considered valuable exotic goods. Each kind of good to be traded should be entered onto its own line on the Trade Sheet. The cost per unit for each trade good can be found on Table: Trade Good Costs and includes normal fees, taxes, and other expenses related to that trade good.

  • Durable Goods. Trade goods that have longevity and can easily withstand travel, such as lumber, iron, tools, furniture, armor, or weapons.
  • Foodstuffs. Perishable, edible trade goods, such as grain, flour, fruits and vegetables, cheese, fish, or meats.
  • Livestock. Living trade goods, such as horses, sheep, cattle, oxen, goats, or chickens.
  • Luxury Goods. Extravagant trade goods that are valued highly, especially to the social elite, such as jewelry, art, edible delicacies, luxurious dresses, or rare spices.
  • Precious Metals. Raw metals are valuable due to their use as coinage, for jewelry, for high-quality armor and weapons, or similar, such as adamantine, copper, silver, electrum, gold, platinum, or mithral.
  • Spices. Edible, typically dried, trade goods used medicinally or to add flavor to food or beverages, such as salt, peppers, saffron, ginger, cloves, or other herbs.
  • Textiles. Trade goods of cloth or woven fabric, either raw or worked into clothing or other clothbased goods, such as simple dresses or workwear, wool, furs, sails, cotton, silk, canvas, or other clothing.
Trade Good Costs
Trade Good Cost/Unit
Durable goods 150 gp
Foodstuffs 100 gp
Livestock 100 gp
Luxury Goods 5,000 gp
Precious metals 10,000 gp
Spices 1,000 gp
Textiles 200 gp

Participation Modifier

The likelihood of profitability is influenced by how much time the characters devote to operating the trading company they created. Character participation involve negotiating favorable prices, interviewing and hiring shipping agents, caravan masters, and ship captains, inspecting equipment, picking up the latest trade news and gossip, or similar.

Characters can participate in managing the trading company by spending one or more workdays at the company’s headquarters. Character participation is calculated as a percentage of days spent managing during a trade run, as detailed in Table: Character Participation. This means characters must spend more days managing a larger company to receive the same participation benefit they would from spending fewer days managing a smaller company.

Table: Character Participation
Percentage of Days Modifier
0% –1
5% +0
10% +1
15% +2
20% or more +3

2d3 + ModifierDurable GoodsFoodstuffsLivestockLuxury GoodsPrecious MetalsSpicesTextiles

Table: Local Profit
1 TL TL TL TL TL TL TL
2 95% 85% 70% 95% 98% 95% 90%
3 99% 90% 77% 98% 100% 98% 94%
4 104% 95% 84% 100% 101% 100% 98%
5 109% 100% 93% 103% 103% 103% 102%
6 114% 106% 102% 106% 105% 106% 106%
7 119% 112% 112% 109% 106% 109% 111%
8 124% 118% 123% 112% 108% 112% 115%
9 130% 125% 135% 115% 110% 115% 120%
Table: Provincial Profit
2d4 + Modifier Durable Goods Foodstuffs Livestock Luxury Goods Precious Metals Spices Textiles
1 TL TL TL TL TL TL TL
2 90% TL TL 75% 85% 60% 80%
3 96% 70% 60% 84% 91% 72% 88%
4 10 3% 86% 81% 94% 97% 87% 98%
5 110% 105% 110% 106% 103% 105% 108%
6 114% 109% 115% 112% 106% 109% 111%
7 118% 113% 119% 119% 110% 114% 113%
8 122% 117% 124% 126% 113% 119% 116%
9 126% 121% 129% 134% 117% 124% 119%
10 130% 125% 134% 142% 121% 129% 122%
11 135% 130% 140% 150% 125% 135% 125%
Table: Kingdom Profit
2d6 + Modifier Durable Goods Foodstuffs Livestock Luxury Goods Precious Metals Spices Textiles
1–2 TL TL TL TL TL TL TL
3 80% TL TL 70% 65% TL 70%
4 89% 60% TL 80% 74% 50% 79%
5 98% 73% 50% 92% 85% 65% 90%
6 108% 90% 76% 105% 96% 85% 102%
7 120% 110% 115% 120% 110% 110% 115%
8 123% 113% 121% 126% 117% 119% 119%
9 127% 117% 128% 132% 124% 128% 123%
10 130% 120% 135% 138% 131% 138% 127%
11 134% 124% 142% 145% 139% 148% 131%
12 138% 128% 150% 152% 147% 160% 136%
13 142% 132% 158% 159% 156% 172% 140%
14 146% 136% 166% 167% 165% 186% 145%
15 150% 140% 175% 175% 175% 200% 150%
Table: Continental Profit
2d8 + Modifier Durable Goods Foodstuffs Livestock Luxury Goods Precious Metals Spices Textiles
1–3 TL TL TL TL TL TL TL 4 70% TL TL 60% 75% TL TL 5 79% TL TL 69% 84% TL 60% 6 90% 50% TL 79% 93% 40% 73% 7 101% 65% TL 91% 104% 58% 88% 8 115% 85% 40% 104% 116% 83% 107% 9 130% 110% 130% 120% 130% 120% 130% 10 133% 113% 136% 126% 137% 132% 134% 11 136% 117% 142% 133% 145% 144% 138% 12 138% 121% 148% 140% 153% 158% 142% 13 141% 125% 154% 147% 162% 173% 146% 14 144% 128% 161% 155% 171% 190% 151% 15 147% 132% 168% 163% 181% 208% 155% 16 150% 137% 176% 172% 191% 228% 160% 17 153% 141% 183% 181% 202% 250% 165% 18 157% 145% 192% 190% 213% 274% 170% 19 160% 150% 200% 200% 225% 300% 175%
Table: World Profit
2d10 + Modifier Durable Goods Foodstuffs Livestock Luxury Goods Precious Metals Spices Textiles
1–4 TL TL TL TL TL TL TL
5 60% TL TL 50% 60% TL TL
6 69% TL TL 59% 70% TL 50%
7 80% TL TL 69% 81% 30% 62%
8 92% TL TL 81% 95% 44% 78%
9 106% TL TL 95% 111% 65% 97%
10 122% 40% TL 111% 129% 95% 120%
11 140% 120% 140% 130% 150% 140% 150%
12 144% 125% 149% 143% 166% 162% 161%
13 149% 131% 159% 157% 183% 187% 173%
14 153% 136% 169% 172% 203% 216% 185%
15 158% 142% 180% 189% 224% 250% 199%
16 162% 148% 192% 208% 248% 289% 214%
17 167% 155% 205% 228% 274% 335% 229%
18 172% 162% 218% 250% 303% 387% 246%
19 178% 169% 233% 275% 335% 447% 264%
20 183% 176% 248% 302% 370% 517% 283%
21 188% 184% 264% 332% 409% 598% 304%
22 194% 192% 282% 364% 452% 692% 326%
23 200% 200% 300% 400% 500% 800% 350%

Profit Percentage

This value is determined by consulting the zone’s Table: Profit then rolling the indicated dice and applying any modifier from character participation to the die result. Values listed at less than 100 percent mean the business made less than it spent on the trade run, while values greater than 100 percent indicate the business made more than it spent on the trade run. A value listed as “TL” means that trade run was a total loss; the business spent money buying and moving goods on the trade run without making any money in return. Shipwrecks, banditry, and natural disasters can all results in a total loss.

For example, if a trade run cost the characters 100 gp, a value of 90 percent means the business made 90 gp at the end of the run, while a value of 110 percent means the business made 110 gp in the end, and a value of TL means the business made 0 gp in the end. In this example, a value of 90 percent means the characters would need to pay 10 gp out of their pockets to make another trade run that costs 100 gp, while a value of 110 percent means the characters could add 10 gp to their group treasury and could spend the other 100 gp on another trade run that costs 100 gp. A total loss means the characters would have to pay the full 100 gp to send goods on that trade run again.

Profit Tables. As the trading company grows, it faces risks associated with transporting goods over greater distances and through more hostile terrain, fees and exchange rates in foreign lands, complications related to changing laws or political atmospheres as the goods cross borders, and so forth.

The profit tables are divided by zone to reflect these varying challenges.

Unlike most downtime activities, which often include complications—either adverse or beneficial—as part of the results, this downtime provides such developments abstractly through profits and losses, represented by the profit percentages on the profit tables. When a shipment of goods pays out only a fraction of the initial coin spent, or when the trading company experiences a huge windfall, the details of such results are left to the GM and players to determine. Perhaps bandits struck a caravan and made off with part of the shipment, or maybe demand for commodities has risen during a wartime economy. Such events can become part of the ongoing dynamics of the campaign and can be the seeds of a new adventure for the characters.

Return

Multiply the Total Expense by the Profit Percentage and enter the result in this column. This is the amount of coin earned from selling that trade good in this trade run. Add together all of the results in this column to get the total earnings from this trade run. By also adding together the expenses in the Expense column, the characters can compare their total expenses and total return to discover how lucrative (or not) this trade run was for them, giving them insight into what changes they might want to make for the next trade run, such as more or less participation, changing the goods they trade, or even expanding their trade zone.

Example of Managing a Trading Company

The characters decide to start up a trading company using 12,000 gp of accumulated wealth, intending to start off conservatively, with lower-risk commodities.

They sink 5,000 gp into establishing a trade company headquarters in the local town (population 1,500) where they spend most of their time between adventures. They then spend another 2,500 gp to establish a hub in order to create a provincial trade zone. Though setting up the headquarters in a larger city would allow for greater future business growth, they decide to place the headquarters closest to where they are adventuring, allowing them to spend downtime participating in the business. This means they can conduct trade only within the province for now.

With the hubs established, they begin the process of convincing the authorities and merchants of the value of their trade plans. The group’s bard, with the aid of the paladin using the Help action, rolls a Charisma (Persuasion) check with advantage, resulting in a 19—exceeding the DC 15 required to succeed for provincial trade. (If the check had failed, the group could try again after a month, gaining a +5 bonus to the check. If that roll failed, the next check would be made another month later with a +10 bonus, and so on, until they finally manage to work through all the bureaucracy and glad-handing necessary to establish the zone.) Now that the zone is established, the group needs transportation and goods. They invest in two caravans, spending 800 gp and gaining a load capacity of 10 units. This leaves the fledging business with 3,700 gp to buy trade goods. They purchase 4 units of durable goods (600 gp), 4 units of textiles (800 gp), and 2 units of spices (2,000 gp) for a total cost of 3,400 gp, leaving them with 300 gp in the group treasury for the future.

The caravans are ready to go, and the group figuratively waves goodbye to them as they depart.

Over the next month, the group strikes out on other excursions, but each time the members return to the town from their adventuring, they take a day or two to check on the business, making sure operations are running smoothly and that any unexpected challenges or set-backs are handled. Over the 30 days of the provincial trade run, they devote 6 days toward managing the trading company, enough to gain the +3 Participation Modifier.

At the end of the month, it’s time to see what kind of success they garnered from the trading. Because the trade route is at the provincial level, the players use that table to determine what kind of profits or losses they incur for the month. Table: Provincial Profit indicates the die roll is 2d4 + the modifier, which in this case is +3 due to their participation. Each kind of trade good gets its own roll. For the durable goods, the final result is 9 (3 and 3 on the d4s plus 3 for the modifier) and, reading across the row marked “9” to the column where Durable Goods results are listed, the income shown is 126 percent. They record this value on their Trade Sheet. For textiles, the players roll another 9, resulting in 119 percent return, and the result for spices is only 6 with a 109 percent return.

Now that they have recorded their investment returns, they multiply the total expenses for each trade good by its profit percentage (for the durable goods, that’s 600 gp times 126 percent, which equals 756 gp), then record each result in the Return column, as shown in the Trade Sheet Example. Adding the values in the Return column together shows a total of 3,888 gp. Adding the values in the Expense column together shows their expense of 3,400 gp. This means the characters spent 3,400 gp on the trade goods and received 488 gp of net profit for the month, which is not a bad start to their trading enterprise.

The group could now choose to keep doing this same trade run with the same sets of goods by spending 3,400 gp of the money they just earned, or they could expand things by investing in more wagons or perhaps some barges and increasing their load capacity. Depending on their other sources of income and where their adventures take them in the coming months, they might choose to move their headquarters to a bigger city (by spending 2,500 gp) and expand their trading company to handle larger trade zones, increasing their chances at greater profits—or losses.

Manor Ownership and Operation

One seldom-utilized element of long-term campaign play is the characters’ acquisition of land and titles. Roleplaying a group of adventurers engaged in exciting and dangerous expeditions into the wilderness, against maniacal cults and secret societies, or among the cunning and shady machinations of the political class can and should be the focus of any game. But with success comes power—in the form of greater prowess (leveling up), wealth, contacts, and sometimes property.

Such property can exist in many forms, including as a village workshop, a ship, a guild hall, a palace, or even as an underground cavern kingdom, but the traditional medieval fantasy campaign setting practically begs to see the heroes gain title to a rural manor or castle. of course, not every campaign takes place in a medieval fantasy world. This downtime activity uses the term “manor,” but the idea of the “manor” should be stretched to include other kinds of resource-producing properties set in different regions and climates. A vast swath of open, temperate plains featuring a ranch filled with livestock, a vineyard set among the hills, terraced mountains covered in coffee, or a tropical island teeming with fish, mussels, and rare bird eggs could each easily serve as titled property for characters of status and wealth. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what form the manor takes, as long as you and your players have fun putting it together and running it as a lucrative downtime activity.

Trade Sheet Example
Zone Provincial
Time 30 days
Vehicles 2 caravans
Capacity 10
Trade Good Units Cost/Unit Expense Participation Modifier Profit Percentage Return
Durable 4 150 gp 600 gp +3 126% 756 gp
Textiles 4 200 gp 800 gp +3 119% 952 gp
Spices 2 1,000 gp 2,000 gp +3 109% 2,180 gp
    Total 3,400 gp   Total 3,888 gp

Creating a Manor

When rewarding your player’s characters with a manor, you must first determine the size and nature of the property. Then you must determine what kind of input and output is possible to maintain and reap from the property. This downtime presents a range of options for various facets of a manor. Though the tables presented here can help you and your players generate a reasonable set of criteria for a manor (or for you to quickly create an NPC’s estate), characters owning property is more fulfilling when you and your players spend time considering and selecting appropriate outcomes that suit both the particulars of the campaign and the players’ goals for their characters.

This system makes several assumptions, but much of the flavor and personality of the manor are left to you and the players to flesh out and make your own.

It is up to you, as the GM, to determine the kinds of crops, livestock, and other resources available on a manor’s grounds or in the region where the manor is located.

The Manor Sheet

The Manor Sheet functions very much like a character sheet, where the players can record all the pertinent information regarding the nature of the manor.

Size

This measures the total acreage of the manor as shown in Table: Manor Size. The size of the manor determines the total potential yield of its resources, and the size sets the maximum number of structures possible on the property.

As the GM, you determine the size of the plot of land based on the type and flavor of the campaign, your long-term goals for the campaign, the acreage’s location in the world, the characters’ levels and accumulated wealth, and how and why the characters gained possession of the property. Each size description includes examples of properties that fit that size category as well as what might be found on the property.

Manor Name
Bonuses Resource Scores
Size Cropland (2 gp/acre) Forest (2 gp/acre) Minerals (20 gp/acre) Pasture (2 gp/acre) Services (10 gp/acre) Water (5 gp/acre)
Defense Score  
Contentment Bonus  
Efficiency Bonus Acres  

Structures

 

 

 
Manor Size
Size Category Total Acres Total Structure Points
Tiny 1–9 1
Small 10–99 3
Medium 100–499 7
Large 500–2,000 12
Huge 2,001+ 20
  • Tiny. Often a simple cottage and garden with a few animals that can be managed by a single household. It might have one additional structure, such as a chapel or roadside market.
  • Small. Primarily a farm tended by a single household with an extended family. As with the Tiny manor, it typically consists of a cottage or larger farmhouse plus a small structure or two.
  • Medium. A large plot of acreage for a lord and his or her family plus numerous servants, farmers, and craftsmen. There is often some type of fortified resident structure, plus one or two others.
  • Large. The demesne of a well-off lord plus farmers and craftsmen. A fortified structure typically houses the lord and family, and the acreage often includes a small hamlet or village nearby made up of several additional structures.
  • Huge. A manor for wealthy nobility that typically includes a sizeable, fortified structure for the lord, family, and staff, plus one or two hamlets, villages, or even a small town comprised of numerous additional structures.

Defense

A manor’s Defense is a measure of its ability to withstand violent events with wild creatures or hostile foes. A manor’s Defense is determined by the structures on the manor. If multiple structures provide Defense, add the Defense bonuses together for the manor’s total Defense. A manor without structures has a Defense of 1. Other factors might increase or decrease a manor’s Defense, as described in later sections.

Contentment

A manor’s Contentment measures the serenity and well-being of the residents of the manor. Like the manor’s Defense, Contentment is determined by the structures on the manor. If multiple structures provide Contentment, add the Contentment bonuses together for the manor’s total Contentment.

A manor without structures has a Contentment of 0.

Other factors might increase or decrease a manor’s Contentment, as described in later sections.

Efficiency Bonus

A manor’s Efficiency Bonus determines how well the manor operates due to the leadership and skill levels of the characters in charge. The manor’s Efficiency Bonus equals half the proficiency bonus, rounded down, of the highest-level character participating in the manor’s upkeep.

Resource Scores

The manor sheet shows a set of resources with an associated score for each. The scores work similarly to a character’s ability scores, quantifying the manor’s innate characteristics in a range of 3 to 18. You can generate these scores randomly by rolling 3d6 to create a unique manor, or you and the players can work together to assign values to the six scores based on the circumstances of the characters gaining the manor, details of the terrain, or other factors unique to your campaign. No resource score can be higher than 18. Once the six scores are determined, each score generates a penalty or bonus (identical to Ability Score penalties and bonuses).

This penalty or bonus is included when rolls are made to determine the Yield of each resource category each season.

Score Modifier
3 –4
4–5 –3
6–7 –2
8–9 –1
10–11 0
12–13 +1
14–15 +2
16–17 +3
18 +4

Resource Types and Sizes

The total acreage (size) of the manor is broken down across the six types of resources, with Minerals and Services taking up specific ratios of land area.

Divide the remaining resources across the land as you and the players see fit, based on the physical characteristics of the land. Keep in mind, some portion of the total acreage could be barren or otherwise useless land, such as sandy desert, rocky badlands, or similar.

The numbers in parentheses with each score indicate the standard profit per acre each season after all expenses are deducted. This information is also included on the Manor Sheet. This number is modified by the Yield for that resource in a given season, as detailed in the Yield section.

  • Cropland (2 gp per Acre). The portion of a manor used for growing harvestable crops, whether they be for food, textiles, or other needs. The Cropland score indicates the relative quality of the manor’s soil and climate and its suitability for growing crops.
  • Forest (2 gp per Acre). The portion of the manor that is covered in woodland or wilderness. The Forest score measures the value and quantity of timber, wild game, furs, and exotic foods such as bird eggs, truffles, berries, and mushrooms that can be acquired from that wilderness. For manors in more exotic locations, the Forest score represents any wilderness that can be used for resources, such as a mushroom field underground or a wetland filled with wild game.
  • Minerals (20 gp per Acre). The presence of any mines or quarries for extracting precious metals, salt, and stone on the property. The Mineral score represents the presence and purity of minable resources and the ease with which they can be mined. A mine or quarry can take up no more than 5 percent of the total acreage of the manor.
  • Pasture (2 gp per Acre). The portion of the manor used for raising livestock. Similar to Cropland, the score indicates the relative quality of the grasses and climate suitability for livestock.
  • Services (10 gp per Acre). The specialized labor and goods available on the property due to an inn, a blacksmith, a tannery, a brewery, a tailor, and so forth. The Services score is a measure of the quality and scarcity of such goods and services, along with any trade passing through that benefits the manor. The area required for service buildings can take up no more than 10 percent of the total acreage of the manor.
  • Water (5 gp per Acre). Any rivers, lakes, or oceans where the manor is located. The Water score indicates the relative value of resources that can be harvested, such as fish, shellfish, pearls, pelts, or pure spring water, along with the potential for trade.

Reshaping Resources

The characters can’t change the total acreage of a manor without additional titles, deeds, conquering their neighbors, or similar ways of increasing the manor’s size. However, the characters can reshape the distribution of resources with some work if the manor’s distribution of resources isn’t to their liking.

For example, characters who want more cropland might spend a season cutting down some trees, reducing the acres of forest and increasing the acres of cropland by the same amount. No resource’s acreage can be reduced below 5 percent of its original, starting acreage without losing all benefits of that resource type (in other words, if the characters cut down all the trees of the forest, they eliminate the ability to harvest any timber, furs, or similar). The acreage distributed to services and minerals can’t be changed.

The number of acres the characters can reshape each season is up to you, but keep in mind the manor’s potential for natural resources and reshaping. The characters might be unable to reshape some resources due to the lay of the land, climate, or other factors. Characters that spend time reshaping the manor’s resources are considered to be participating in the manor for those days.

Structures

A manor’s structures function much like a character’s equipment and magic items, granting bonuses to the manor’s ability to thrive. A manor without structures is merely property with a hamlet, collection of cottages and farms, or other very small gathering of local residents.

Each structure has a structure point cost, which represents the portion of the manor’s property it occupies. A manor’s size determines the maximum number of structure points it can support. Unless noted otherwise, a manor can have only one of each type of structure. For example, a manor can have only one castle, but it can have a tavern and a theater.

The ten structures listed are general types of structures that might exist on a property. If you or your players want to create new structures that don’t fit into one of these categories, go for it! Use these structures as guidelines for building your own unique structures for the players’ characters to own or build.

Structure Point Cost Defense Contentment
Castle 5 +5 +2
Chapel 1 +1
Entertainment 2 +2
Garrison 1 +2
Housing 1 +1 +1
Keep 4 +4 +2
Market 1 +1 +2
Palace 3 +2 +1
Temple 4 +1 +3
Tower 2 +3
  • Castle. A large defensive structure with multiple layers of fortifications, such as walls made of stone or ice, ditches or crevasses, water barriers, and so forth.
  • Chapel. A small place of worship such as a shrine, grove, or menhir. This type of structure can be added to a manor more than once.
  • Entertainment. A gathering place where performances occur, such as a tavern, theater, or fighting pit. This type of structure can be added to a manor more than once.
  • Garrison. A lightly fortified structure that houses a troop of militia or soldiers, like a fort or outpost. This type of structure can be added to a manor more than once.
  • Housing. Homes for the citizenry that goes beyond the bare minimum shelter to include creature comforts such as fireplaces, furnishings, small gathering halls, and similar. This structure represents an increase in quality of housing and community resources for the residents, not a specific building or set of buildings.
  • Keep. A smaller defensive structure similar to a castle that includes only a single layer of fortifications.
  • Market. A trade hub where goods and services are bought and sold. This could be a covered market hall, guild hall, flea market, business-lined wharf, or similar.
  • Palace. Any opulent dwelling with many creature comforts that house lords, their families, and their attendants. It isn’t as fortified as a keep or castle.
  • Temple. A large place of worship where holy leaders reside, teach, and hold services.
  • Tower. A singular fortified building designed for one or a few residents to conduct research and experiments or for military leaders, such as guard captains, who might train local militia in an adjoining yard.

How it Works

A manor operates as a self-sustaining entity, producing goods and services contributing to the health and well-being of the occupants, maintenance of the structures, and so forth. Thus, good cropland on a manor produces vegetables and grains that feed the lord, family, and tenants, while stone from a quarry contributes to the building of new structures, and furs from creatures trapped in the woodland are made into clothing or sold for coin to further aid in supply and upkeep. In this way, a subsistence cycle continues season after season, with banner seasons producing bumper crops and poor seasons forcing the lord to dig into the financial coffers to cover shortfalls.

To emulate this cycle, take these five steps to determine what kind of production occurs, as follows:

  1. Determine the season (Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall). The yield for a season is determined at the end of that season.
  2. Determine Character Participation by calculating how much time the characters spent at the manor during that season. Note any efficiency bonuses and expertise benefits the manor gained from the characters.
  3. Determine any Complications that happen that season and their effects.
  4. Make Production checks to determine the Yield Percentage of each resource, applying all pertinent modifiers and cross-referencing the result on the season’s Yield table.
  5. Calculate the total profit for each resource that season using the Yield Percentage, as described in the Manor Production section.

Character Participation

Determine whether the characters have spent enough time at the manor to help in its production efficiency.

If no characters spent time at the manor during a season, the manor makes Production checks without the efficiency bonus.

No Participation. If a full cycle of seasons (typically 1 year) passes without any character participating in the production of the manor, the manor no longer makes Production checks and remains self-sufficient enough to sustain itself for another full cycle of seasons. If a second full cycle of seasons passes without any character participating in the production of the manor, it begins to deteriorate, losing staff, crops, livestock, and other resources. Deteriorating manors make Production checks each season with a penalty to each roll equal to the manor’s efficiency bonus. If a deteriorating manor’s yield percentage for three of six resources is at or below 75 percent for two consecutive seasons, the manor is abandoned and no longer productive. At your discretion, the characters might lose rights to the manor if it is left to deteriorate.

Partial Participation. If at least one of the characters spent at least 10 percent of the season’s days on the premises, it is assumed the character was overseeing the operations to a limited but significant degree, helping the manor run smoothly. In this case, each of the six Production checks gains the benefits of the manor’s efficiency bonus. The time a character spends on-site doesn’t need to be consecutive days, but it can’t include non-managerial activities, like scribing scrolls, crafting, or recuperating.

Table: Manor Complications
d% Result Cropland Forest Mineral Pasture Services Water
01–02 Bandit Incursion, Major1 –5 -5 -2
03–07 Bandit Incursion, Minor1 –2 -2 -1
08–09 Banner Season +3 +3 +3 +3 +5 +3
10 Blight, Major -5
11–13 Blight, Minor -2
14–25 Bountiful Resources +2 +3 +2
26–27 Civil Unrest2 -2 –2 –3
28 Disease, Major2 –5 -5 -2
29–31 Disease, Minor2 –2 -2 -1
32 Drought, Major -5 -3 –3 –5
33–35 Drought, Minor -3 -1 –2 –3
36 Earthquake, Major –3 -5 -3
37–38 Earthquake, Minor –1 +3 -1
39 Fire (or Frost), Major -3 -5
40–42 Fire (or Frost), Minor +2 -2
43–44 Flood, Major -3 -2 -5 -3 –5
45–47 Flood, Minor -1 -1 –1 –3
48 Fouled Water –5 -5 -5
49–60 Gentle Season +5 +3 +3 +2
61–62 Monster Infestation, Major1 -3 -5 -5 -2
63–67 Monster Infestation, Minor1 –2 -2 -1
68 Plague, Major2 –5 –5 –5
69–71 Plague, Minor2 –2 –2 –2
72 Rebellion3 -5 -2 -3 –5
73–74 Storm, Major -3 -5 –2
75–78 Storm, Minor -1 -2 –1
79–81 Tainted Water –2 -3 -3
82–97 Uneventful Season
98–99 Roll Two Times*
00 Roll Three Times*

*When rerolling, ignore results of 82–00 and roll again.

1The manor’s Defense Bonus mitigates these penalties2The manor’s Contentment Bonus mitigates these penalties3The manor’s Defense and Contentment bonuses added together mitigate these penalties

Complete Participation. If at least one of the characters spent at least 25 percent of the season’s days on the premises, then that character has thoroughly overseen operations. In this case, each of the six Production checks gains the benefits of both the efficiency bonus and the character’s expertise benefits, as shown on the Character Expertise Benefits table.

Again, the days don’t need to be consecutive, but they can’t include other, non-participating activities. Only characters who each spent at least 25 percent of the season’s days on the premises can contribute expertise benefits to the manor.

Expertise Benefits

A resource listed as an expertise benefit indicates an area where a character class’s particular skills come in handy for improving the production of that resource.

For example, a druid is quite useful for tending crops and livestock, a bard of some renown increases contentment in the local inn, and a wizard can use magic to aid any number of efforts.

If a character’s expertise benefit includes a resource, that resource has advantage on the Production check at the end of the season. As versatile spellcasters, wizards are unique and can choose which resource gains an expertise benefit that season.

Any character that had complete participation in the manor that season contributes expertise benefits.

If multiple characters contribute Defense and Contentment benefits, add the bonuses together for the total character participation bonuses to Defense and Contentment. These bonuses increase the manor’s base Defense and Contentment for that season, which can lessen the impact of some complications, as detailed in the Complications section.

Complications

Complications provide extra flavor and changes in fortunes to the ongoing operation of a manor. At the start of the season, choose a complication or roll a d% and consult the Manor Complications table. The chosen complication either happens at a random point during the season or persists through the season, depending on the type of complication.

A complication might have an impact on a particular resource’s Production check, represented by a bonus or penalty in the resource’s column in the table. See the Manor Production section for more details on Production checks.

Each complication’s entry provides details on the complication and notes if its impact can be reduced by the manor’s Defense or Contentment.

The characters can increase the manor’s Defense or Contentment that season, as described in Character Participation, to mitigate the impact of some complications. Regardless of a manor’s total Defense or Contentment, a penalty can be reduced only to 0 and can’t be turned into a bonus.

Expertise benefits represent the characters’ contributions to resolving complications and increasing the manor’s productivity. However, some characters might want to take direct action or roleplay particularly clever solutions to complications. Feel free to award the characters an extra bonus or reduce a complication’s penalty in these situations. It is up to you to determine the exact impact the characters have on the complication beyond contributing expertise benefits, but no bonus or penalty should be more than +/-5.

Manor Complications as Story Hooks

Instead of simply applying a complication’s penalties or bonuses to that season’s Production check, you can use the complication as a jumping-off point for adventure hooks and roleplay the events of the complication.

The characters can then contribute their participation bonuses (or even rid the manor of the complication altogether, at your discretion) as part of the campaign rather than merely through downtime recordkeeping.

Table: Character Expertise Benefits
Class Benefit
Barbarian +1 Defense and Forest or Pasture
Bard +1 Contentment and Services
Cleric +2 Contentment or +1 Contentment and Water
Druid +1 Contentment and Cropland, Pasture, or Water
Fighter +2 Defense or +1 Defense and Minerals
Monk Cropland and +1 Defense or +1 Contentment
Paladin +1 Defense and +1 Contentment
Ranger +1 Defense and Forest or Pasture
Rogue +1 Defense and Services
Sorcerer +1 Contentment and Pasture
Warlock +1 Contentment and Minerals
Wizard Choice

In some circumstances, a given complication might make no sense. For example, a storm is highly unlikely in an underground environment.

In these instances, either ignore the result, select (or roll) again, or develop an unusual version of the complication that applies to the environment.

  • Bandit Incursion. Outlaws have taken refuge on or near the manor and are stealing livestock, harassing trade, and generally causing a disruption to the operations of the manor. Mitigated by Defense.
  • Banner Season. The entire season has perfect weather and bumper harvests of every resource type.
  • Blight. A fungus, parasite, or pest has infected the season’s crop and is badly damaging the harvest.
  • Bountiful Resources. Favorable conditions result in a particularly rich season of mining, trading, and fishing.
  • Civil Unrest. The political landscape nearby has grown unstable, and the locals fret and worry about war, corruption, or rebellion. This, in turn, has reduced their ability to operate at peak efficiency.

Mitigated by Contentment.

Disease. A sickness affects the populace, livestock, or fish. It might even be magical in origin. The illness means less productivity and the loss of animals.

Winter Production
Cropland Forest Minerals Pasture Services Water Yield
<6 <4 <2 <5 <3 <10 25%
6–7 4–8 2–4 5–6 3–4 10–14 50%
8–11 9–13 5–7 7–13 5–9 15–19 75%
12–17 14–17 8–14 14–18 10–16 20–25 100%
18–19 18–21 15–17 19–21 17–18 26+ 110%
20+ 22+ 18+ 22+ 19+ 125%
Table: Spring Production
Cropland Forest Minerals Pasture Services Water Yield
<4 <3 <2 <2 <2 <6 25%
4–5 3–7 2–4 2–3 2–3 6–8 50%
6–8 8–12 5–7 4–6 4–7 9–11 75%
9–12 13–16 8–14 7–15 8–13 12–16 100%
13–17 17–20 15–17 16–19 14–17 17–19 110%
18+ 21+ 18+ 20+ 18+ 20+ 125%
Table: Summer Production
Cropland Forest Minerals Pasture Services Water Yield
<3 <2 <2 <1 <1 <2 25%
3–4 3–5 2–4 1 1–2 2–3 50%
5–7 6–7 5–7 2–5 3–5 4–5 75%
8–11 8–12 8–14 6–12 6–12 6–10 100%
12–16 13–15 15–17 13–17 13–16 11–13 110%
17+ 16+ 18+ 18+ 17+ 14+ 125%
Table: Fall Production
Cropland Forest Minerals Pasture Services Water Yield
<1 <3 <2 <4 <1 <6 25%
1–2 3–7 2–4 4–5 1 6–8 50%
3–6 8–12 5–7 6–12 2–4 9–11 75%
7–10 13–16 8–14 13–17 5–11 12–16 100%
11–14 17–20 15–17 18–20 12–15 17–19 110%
15+ 21+ 18+ 21+ 16+ 20+ 125%

Mitigated by Contentment

  • Drought. Particularly dry weather reduces the water supply. Everything from crops to fishing declines.
  • Earthquake. A temblor shakes the manor, knocking over trees, damaging buildings, causing landslides and mine collapses (possibly exposing rich new veins), or even rerouting watercourses.
  • Fire (or Frost). A lightning strike or embers ignites a fire that sweeps through both woodland and cropland, ruining acres of the property. Alternatively, a severe cold snap has similar effects during winter.
  • Flood. Heavy rains flood the land, causing widespread damage to crops, flooding mines and quarries, and disrupting trade. In spring this might be flooding caused by snow melt.
  • Fouled or Tainted Water. A natural or magical pollutant has seeped into the water system, poisoning it for humans and livestock and killing fish.
  • Gentle Season. A season of good weather provides the ideal growing conditions for crops, pastures, woodland, and waterways.
  • Monster Infestation. A dangerous creature (or creatures) has appeared near the manor, threatening the residents and damaging property. Mitigated by Defense.
  • Plague. Similar to disease, a sickness infects the creatures of the manor, though it afflicts the woodland animals rather than aquatic species.

Mitigated by Contentment

  • Rebellion. The folk of the realm are angry about perceived injustices, war, famine, or similar, and rise up in rebellion. They refuse to work, disrupting the operations of the manor. Mitigated by a combination of Defense and Contentment (add both together to determine the impact of this complication).
  • Storm. Severe weather including damaging winds or icy cold sweeps through the manor, ruining crops, toppling trees, and damaging buildings.
  • Roll Multiple Times. Two or more events occur in a single season. When rolling multiple times, ignore subsequent results of 82–00 and re-roll until the required number of events are selected. Once the complications are decided, add the bonuses and penalties together to determine these complications’ total modifiers to the Production checks.

Manor Production

Once all bonuses and penalties are determined for the six resources, make one Production check for each resource type, for a total of six Production checks. This is similar to a character making a series of skill checks, one for each ability score. To make a Production check, roll a d20, adding or subtracting bonuses and penalties for that resource from events and character participation. For each check, consult the appropriate season’s Production table. Find the result in the number range in the appropriate resource’s column, then read across that line to find the yield percentage in the Yield column.

Multiply a resource’s yield percentage by that resource’s standard profit in gold pieces per acre (found on the manor sheet and in the Resource Scores section). Next, multiply the result for that resource by the total acreage allocated to that resource in the manor’s property. This total represents the profit generated from that resource that season. Add together the profits from each resource to determine the total profits the characters made from the manor that season.

Additional Modifiers. Character participation and the associated expertise benefits should represent most scenarios where characters work to better the manor and its productivity; however, some characters might want to cause long-term changes. For example, a druid might cast the plant growth spell over 8 hours on the manor, doubling the yield of plants in the area for 1 year, or a fighter might dig irrigation channels through the manor, increasing accessibility of water throughout the property for multiple seasons or until a complication erodes or destroys them. At your discretion, such an activity from a character can grant that resource a multi-season bonus to the Production check, provided the character continues to at least partially participate in the manor to maintain the bonus.

An Example of Manor Production

Suppose a group of four characters—a fighter, a cleric, a rogue, and a wizard, all of 5th level—are given title to a mid-sized manor of 250 acres. Since the property falls into the Medium category, it can support no more than 7 points of structures. It already has a noble estate built upon it (“Palace” on the Structure table), consuming 3 Structure points, plus a small hamlet of free folk that includes a small inn (“Entertainment,” 2 points) and trading post (“Market,” 1 point). Only 1 more point’s worth of structures could be built by the characters if they wished to add to the property. The estate, inn, and trading post provide a total +3 Defense Bonus and +5 Contentment Bonus. The characters’ level provides a +1 Efficiency Bonus.

The manor has a salt mine on the premises, which occupies 5 percent of the total acreage of the property, or 12 acres. The hamlet occupies 25 acres. The remaining 213 acres are divided between 75 acres of cropland, 75 acres of pasture, 60 acres of forest, and the only water resource on the manor in the form of a small pond and stream covering the final 3 acres.

Rolling for the six Resource Scores results in the following (associated bonus in parentheses): Cropland: 18 (+4) Pasture: 11 (+0) Forest: 13 (+1) Services: 5 (–3) Minerals: 8 (–1) Water: 14 (+2) Clearly, the farmland is rich and the water is clean and fresh. However, the mine’s output is a bit low-grade, and the hamlet must not be more than a couple of run-down buildings poorly tended and inadequately stocked.

The four characters were given title in late summer, after their exploits during the summer military campaign season drew the favorable attention of the noble who granted them the land. They decide to spend the fall, their first season, heavily tending to the operation of their new manor. They thus gain the benefits of Complete Participation, resulting in an overall +1 Efficiency Bonus, and decide to provide a +2 to the Defense Bonus (fighter), +1 to the Contentment Bonus and advantage on the Water check (cleric), advantage on the Services check (rogue), and advantage on the Minerals check (wizard’s choice).

The fighter’s +2 Defense Bonus added to the estate’s +3 Defense Bonus means a +5 total Defense during the fall season. Similarly, the cleric’s +1 Contentment Bonus coupled with the estate’s +5 Contentment Bonus provides an overall +6 Contentment for the manor. Both of those bonuses are good enough to offset potential penalties due to certain applicable complications.

With those values established, it’s time to roll on the Complications Table, which results in a 25, Bountiful Resources. There is no need to apply either the Defense or Contentment bonuses, and when the six Yield rolls are made, the Minerals Production check gains a +2 bonus, the Services Production check gains a +3 bonus, and the Water Production check gains a +2 bonus to Water due to the complication. In addition, each of the six rolls gains +1 bonus due to the characters providing an Efficiency Bonus this season plus the normal bonus from the resource’s score.

For example, the cropland’s score of +4, plus the Efficiency Bonus of +1 from the characters, provides a total bonus of +5 to the Cropland Production check. The d20 is rolled for Cropland and results in a 16, for a total of 21. Looking at the Fall Production table and reading down the Cropland column reveals that any result of 15 or higher grants 125 percent yield for the season.

The other five rolls are made, with the following results (where advantage was applicable, the two results are shown separated by a slash) and with the Yield Percentage in parenthesis (determined using the Fall Table): Cropland: 16 + 5 = 21 (125%) Forest: 17 + 2 = 19 (110%) Minerals: 10/12 + 0 = 12 (100%) Pasture: 8 + 1 = 9 (75%) Services: 6/11 – 2 = 9 (100%) Water: 4/11 + 3 = 14 (100%)

The results suggest the manor harvested a bumper crop and reaped good resources from the forest, while the livestock from the pasture fared a bit more poorly (perhaps the market value of goat’s milk fell). It’s also clear the rogue’s efforts at negotiating better deals (even some underhanded ones) made the hamlet more prosperous than expected.

The last step requires the Yield percentages to be applied to standard yield values and multiplied by the number of acres for each resource type. These are summarized in the following table:

Yield Multiplier Profit per Acre Acres Profit
Cropland 1.25 2 gp 75 187.5 gp
Forest 1.1 2 gp 60 132 gp
Minerals 1 25 gp 12 300 gp
Pasture 0.75 2 gp 75 112.5 gp
Services 1 10 gp 25 250 gp
Water 1 2 gp 3 6 gp
Total 988 gp

Yield Multiplier. The Yield percentage rolled for each resource, converted into decimal format.

Profit per Acre. Value listed in the Resource Types and Sizes section and on the Manor Sheet.

Acres. The number of acres established at the beginning of this example.

Profit. The product derived by multiplying the yield multiplier, profit per acre, and acres together.

Total Profit. All in all, the four characters make a tidy sum of 988 gp during the fall. The characters could divide their shares among themselves, invest the coin back into future structures (perhaps a shrine would be useful), pay taxes or tithes to the noble who granted them the land, and so forth.

Example Manors

Here are examples of different types of manors the characters might be granted. You can give the characters a completely blank manor to build however they want, or you can use one of these as a starting point for rewarding them with property in your campaign. Alternatively, you can use these examples as quick manors for NPCs.

Desert Caravanserai

Tiny manor

Size: 5 acres (2 pasture, 1 minerals, 1 services, 1 water)

Defense: +1

Contentment: +1

Resource Scores: Cropland —, Forest —, Minerals 12 (+1), Pasture 7 (–2), Services 16 (+3), Water 18 (+4)

Structures: Housing (1)

This strategic plot of land sits on an oasis in the desert and provides a stopover locale for traveling caravans. It supports itself primarily through access to water and shelter plus the availability of salt and grassland for beasts of burden to graze.

High Country Ranch

Huge manor

Size: 2,500 acres (2,000 pasture, 290 forest, 200 water, 9 minerals, 1 services)

Defense: +4

Contentment: +2

Resource Scores: Cropland —, Forest 10 (+0), Minerals 14 (+2), Pasture 16 (+3), Services 8 (–1), Water 15 (+2)

Structures: Chapel (1), garrison (1), palace (3), plus 13 more points’ worth

This large estate’s main source of income is derived from livestock and a small iron mine. It includes a large ranch house, a small chapel, an outpost to house additional ranch hands or soldiers, and other structures of the characters’ choice.

Mountain Fortress

Large manor

Size: 1,500 acres (1,000 forest, 75 minerals, 20 water, 10 services, 400 barren)

Defense: +9

Contentment: +6

Resource Scores: Cropland —, Forest 14 (+2), Minerals 12 (+1), Pasture —, Services 16 (+3), Water 10 (+0)

Structures: Castle (5), chapel (1), garrison (1), housing (1), market (1), plus 3 more points’ worth

This manor consists of a strong defensive fortress nestled within high, rocky terrain surrounded by forest at its lower elevations. It derives most of its income from a quarry, timber, and artisanal goods like honey and brews.

Pirate’s Island

Small manor

Size: 80 acres (50 forest, 16 water, 10 pasture, 4 minerals)

Defense: +4

Contentment: +1

Resource Scores: Cropland —, Forest 16 (+3), Minerals 13 (+1), Pasture 11 (+0), Services —, Water 18 (+4)

Structures: Housing (1), tower (2)

This manor could be granted to the characters by a local pirate captain as a peace offering or equitable division of pirating waters or by a local magistrate after authorities caught and imprisoned the island’s former lord. It includes a single tower high up the side of volcanic slopes, plus numerous tree houses secluded in the jungle canopy, and it sustains itself from fishing, fresh fruits and nuts, and produces income from obsidian and pearl-diving.

Underground Citadel

Small manor

Size: 50 acres (38 forest, 5 services, 5 water, 2 minerals)

Defense: +3

Contentment: +2

Resource Scores: Cropland —, Forest 13 (+1), Minerals 17 (+3), Pasture —, Services 14 (+2), Water 6 (–2)

Structures: Garrison (1), market (1)

This manor is a cave system within a larger underground realm. It features mines that produce precious metals and gems and a trade center where finished jewelry is sold. It sustains itself on harvesting food from the mushroom forest and the subterranean lake found within its boundaries.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Heroes ©2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Celeste Conowitch, Jeff Lee, Sarah Madsen, Ben McFarland, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind

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