Single Downtime Roll

On the one hand, writing #downtimes has been one of the most rewarding parts of running games with #RedHack. On the other, it’s also the most time-consuming and demanding, equivalent to prep for the game itself.

So as well as providing for a range of downtime activities and results, I’m looking for ways to reduce bookkeeping.

In a addition to resolving downtime actions, I like the idea of Lodgings: Allowing PCs to trade upkeep costs for ameneties and the security of their possessions and persons, but there’s a risk of ending up with many steps of bookkeeping for each character – deducting upkeep, checking for illness, robbery, poor maintenance of equipment and so on, applying any perks, before even getting into downtimes and having to design progress clocks and roll for complications.

How much of this can we concentrate into one roll?

BenL's downtime system uses a 2d6 PBtA style roll, and recommends ability modifiers of +1 for 14-17 and +2 for 18. My system only has one tier of ability bonus or penalty (attributes are either High (16+), Low (6 or less), or Average.)

-1 0 1
2-6 58.35% 41.64% 27.76%
7-9 33.32% 41.65% 44.42%
10-12 8.33% 16.65% 27.76%

Converting these odds into odds out of 20 and massaging them a bit to offset my more stingy modifiers and to keep the odds of an 'Average' result consistent, we end up with:

Low Avg High
Poor 10 8 6
Average 8 8 8
Good 2 4 6

Every downtime each PC rolls a d20 and reports the number rolled.

If the result is a 1-8, an average downtime result is recorded, and the number is passed to a Lodgings table.

9+ means a good or bad result on the downtime. 17+ is a good result. (15 or better with High ability, 19 or better with Low ability.)

This isn't very intuitive; it would be nice to have the bad results at the bottom of the range and the average ones in the middle, but putting the average results first lets us pass the number on unchanged to a 1-8 table, which handles all of the upkeep costs and random events arising from wherever the PC happens to be living.

So from one roll we get two salient pieces of information for each character: Their downtime result, and either a complication/benefit to the downtime or some complication arising from their domestic situation.

That is, assuming the ‘average’ result for most downtimes is also the simplest outcome, which is only sometimes the case in Ben’s system – for Revelry and Learning a Skill, but not for Cultivating a Relationship or Building an Institution. I need to consider whether to diverge from this in the name of streamlining.

Another question is how to include other sources of random events and DT modifiers, such as Institutions. Perhaps a PC who owns a cafe gets to count a range such as 9-11 as ‘Good’ results on Gather Information downtimes.